Chthon Age 26 Ruth Age 18

Chapter One

“Chthon let me up! You have to take me home.”

“This is your home” Chthon said still holding her as they laid in the bed together. “Honey, we agreed I’d finish my lessons and then I’d move in here. This isn’t my home yet and I have lessons today so please let me up so I can go home.” Chthon groaned “Maybe I should move into the village until lessons are over. I can’t sleep when you aren’t here. I can’t even enjoy reading any longer when you aren’t here. Do you think I could get a house in the village until you’re an adult?”

“I don’t see why not. I think that’s an amazing idea.” Chthon smiled “I’ve wanted to since we had the talk about where we’d live together. I worried you may find it too clingy”

“I love how much you like to keep me close. Why don’t you talk to my father about it while I’m at lessons? If there’s a house available I’m sure you can move in. If there isn’t he could find some men to help you build one in town” Chthon kissed Ruth then let her go so they could both get dressed. They pulled on their clothes then Chthon tugged Ruth into another hug.If there wasn’t a house available it would take a long time to build one so he was still really sad it was time for lessons again. He lifted her up after a few moments then walked out of the castle and ran to Tresnia. When they got there he took her to her mentors house then Chthon went to find Ruths father so they could talk.

“hey Chthon, what can I do for you?”

“I was interested in moving into this village. Are there any available houses?”

“I’ll go talk to the elders and see but there should be. If there isn’t I’ll help you build one. I’m sure my little girl would love to have you here.”

“Thank you sir”

“No problem. Come back tomorrow and I’ll know what we’re going to do”

“Alright, tell Ruth I love her when she gets home tonight”

“I’m sure that goes without saying. Safe travels!” Chthon wished Wesly would’ve let him spend the night but that man never budged on him sleeping there unless he deemed it absolutely necessary. He didn’t understand why it was fine for her to sleep with him at his house but not at hers. He wouldn’t bring it up though. Chthon was afraid if he did her father would quit allowing it. Today Ruths mentor wanted her to fight creatures near Vrinjour lake. It was about an hour and a half to walk there. There were a couple things Meldy thought Ruth could benefit from fighting. They walked there and began provoking creatures for a fight. Ruth detested this kind of training but she didn’t have a choice. she hated her mentor was like a third parent and could make her do whatever.

She fought and fought until she became exhausted and they took a break. Ruth kept looking around her so Meldy asked “Why do you keep looking around like that?”

“I swear sombody is watching me. I’ve been getting this feeling since I came back to town. It’s getting really creepy. I don’t like how whatever or whoever feels.”

“Ruth there’s monsters everywhere. That’s probably what you’re feeling. Just don’t worry about it and relax your mind for more training.”

“But Meldy it’s been following me. I can feel its eyes on me. Its stare makes me feel uneasy and scared even though I can’t see it.”

“Ruth it’ll be fine. Wouldn’t your boyfriend have noticed somebody following you two? Did he say anything?”

“well no but”

“Just clear your head for training. Nothing is following you. I or your boyfriend would have noticed it too” Ruth still felt uneasy but tried not to dart her head around since Meldy asked her not to. Whatever she felt seemed evil. There was something unsettling about its presence. She called whatever it was an it  because she could tell it wasn’t human. It’s eyes didn’t feel human. They felt menacing and pierced right through her. She hoped her mentor was right and it was simply paranoia. She tried to comfort herself in the fact Chthon hadn’t noticed anything. He could even see demons who were making themselves invisible.

They got up and continued their lesson until Ruth just froze and looked horror struck behind Meldy ‘Meldy! He’s behind you!” was the last thing Meldy heard before falling into the black of unconsiousness. Ruth also hit the ground wishing she had just gone home and accepted whatever punishment she got for that. Adramalech picked Ruth up and then took off to the home he was staying in a few more hours out by Kalkurni Mountain. He was impressed Ruth had figured out he was following her. He had been watching her for much longer than she realized but the fact she picked up on it atall was astounding to him. Not even his son had sensed his presence. He planned on asking her what kind of sorcery she used to know he was lurking.

Before Adramalech could get too far a beautiful demon woman with long white hair and yellow eyes that had a gorgeous glow about them yelled “Put Ruth down right now!”  as she tried to land a punch of Adramalech. He laughed as she missed and stopped running. “do you know who you’re speaking to bitch?”

“I do, Adramalech put my friend down.”

“I guess since you’re gorgeous you’re used to men letting you talk back so they can fuck you but I dont care how beautiful you are. A woman will mind her tongue in my presence!”

“Put her down and fight me. I’m not scared of you even though I know well the power you wield.” Adramalech laughed loudly and bent forward he was laughing so hard. “Because you amuse me I will fight you. Just out of curiosity while I still am holding Ruth and know you wont strike until shes not in my arms. How is it you knew I had her?”

“The same reason she could tell you were near. I enchanted Ruths anklet. For something as powerful as you it took the anklets magic a long time to work through your field but it did. That anklet tells me when Ruths in danger. I was in another dimension when the anklet pierced through. I’ve known as long as the anklets been telling her something was following but it’s hard for me to travel through dimensions so it took me a long time to get back. Thankfully you didn’t get too far away before i manged to make it back to this world”

“That’s sexy, you must have good magic yourself. I may come back and have my way with you once I’ve fixed my problem here.”

“Don’t count yourself a winner before the fight.”

“Please, this wont even be able to be called a fight” Adramalech said before setting Ruth down. Empusa tried quickly to cast her dark purple, poison electricity into Adramalech  but he was fast to dodge and was laughing again which pissed Empusa off further. She knew she was no match for a demon like this. She knew coming into this there wasn’t much chance she would live but she had to try for Ruth. Ruth had helped her out so many times, even helped with her son Manah somtimes. She had told her son to go home when they came back to this world and prayed he listened. Adramalech wouldn’t show mercy, even on a six year old. She didn’t want her son dieing too if she died.

Suddenly she couldn’t move and he jumped on top of Empusa and began punching her repeatedly. To Empusas horror she heard her son scream “stop hurting my mommmy!”

“No son! Run now! He’ll kill you! Go home like I told you you foolish little boy!” The break in concentration made it to where Empusa could move. She shot a sharp, large piece of poison ice into Adramalechs stomach while her son threw tiny bolts of poison electricity. Adramalech growled in frustration “I dont have time for this shit. I need to get away before my son catches on. Play time is over. I’ll be back for you my sexy demoness.” Empusa and Manah fell into unconsciousness just like Ruth and Meldy. He pulled the ice out of him and chanted to take the poison out of his body. It came up in his throat and he spit it in Empusas face. There’d be plenty of time for this woman and child after he settled things with Ruth. By the time he was done she’d never be brave enough to be with his son again.

Adramalech picked Ruth up and ran the rest of the way to his home. He laid her on the floor and enchanted his house so that if she tried to run out while he rested she would get shocked back into the house. He may have taken the poison out and removed the ice but it had still taken a toll on him and he needed to rest. Empusas poison really impressed and aroused him. Without him lifting the sleep spell on Ruth she would rest until lunch tomorrow. Even if Adramalech ended up sleeping longer than he intended he had taken all the precaution he needed with the forcefield. Adramalech grabbed some potions and drank to shut his stomach wound then liad down for some rest.

When morning came across the horizon Chthon woke happily in hopes Ruths father had good news for him. He showered just incase he saw Ruth at somepoint then put on a shirt and pants. When he walked out of his room Chthon almost ran straight into Lievon. “Your senses are getting dull with Ruth always on your mind. You used to be much more perceptive to what lurked around you but now all your thoughts are on her.”

“Is that so bad? She’s wonderful to think about”

“I suppose it isn’t. Ruth is amazing. That’s quite the ring you bought her.”

“Shh, I don’t want everyone to know. I don’t want Ruth finding out before I propose. I was just so excited so I had to tell somebody. Who better than my best friend?” Lievon smiled. “sorry, I didn’t realize it was somthing between you and I. Where are you headed?”

“To Ruths village.”

“But you aren’t supposed to see her for a few more days.”

“Her fathers looking into a home for me in Tresnia so I can stay there during the days Ruth has lessons.”

“I was really hoping you’d stay here today.”

“why?”

“well, I needed some help.”

“I really cant stay I promised her father.”

“You sure you don’t have any time?”

“I don’t want to make him mad. Ask anybody else in the castle. Tell them I command them to help you or their butts on the street.” Lievon smiled “Thanks Chthon, I’ll see you later” Lievon went to his room and grabbed his messenger bird. He wrote out a note and attached it to the small bluebirds foot. “Hurry now” The bird chirped and flew out the window. Lievon held his head in his hands as he leaned against his desk. Chthon ran as fast as he could to meet Ruths father. When he arrived at Ruths house he knocked loudly in his excitement “Calm down Chthon”

“Sorry, so what did you find out yesterday?”

“Just come in a second boy. I’ve only been up ten minuets. How are you always up and here so early when it’s a five hour trip. I wish I had the stamina of the young. We’ll discuss things once I’ve had coffee and breakfast.”

“Did Ruth cook?” Chthon said looking around for her. “No, she didn’t come home last night. I’m guessing Meldy decided to sleep outside with her for more training.”

“Ruth sleeps outside some nights! There’s all kinds of dangerous things out there!”

“Ruth is eighteen Chthon. She’s with Meldy anyway. She’ll be ok” Chthon sighed and sat down. Her lessons gave him more and more reason to hate them all the time. Ruth woke to being kicked over and over again in the stomach. “good, you finally woke up.” Ruth stood quickly with her back against the wall. “what do you want with me?”

“Do you know who I am?”

“No, should I?”

“Well I’m your boyfriends father.” A shocked look crossed her face as she said “Adramalech..”

“So he has mentioned me. I have something to settle with you.”

“What is it”

‘I want you to leave my son right now.”

“Why would you want that? Why do you care who he’s with”

“Its an embaressment MY son is with a human girl. I dealt with it when I didn’t know how serious he was but I will not abide by my son marrying a human girl. I’d be a laughing stalk! He’ll ruin me! Our line has been nothing but powerful demons. We kill the offspring that aren’t powerful enough to bare our family name. I will not let him marry you and have abominations for children!”

“What’re you talking about? We’re not getting married”

“He just hasn’t proposed yet.”

“How do you know anything about this?”

“Since you will either die or never speak to my son again I may aswell tell you. I had one of my friends make their son befriend mine many years ago so that I could keep tabs on him and make sure he wasn’t tarnishing the family name too badly that I needed to come and handle things. I have high hopes for my son in the future. He is capable of being a good asset to me which is why i let him live like a fool. I was semi proud of him because he’s so powerful but now I’m ashamed to say he’s my son. I hoped he’d fool around with you for awhile then cast you out for a demon woman but my spy sent me a message a few days ago telling me Chthon was planning marriage and children with you. Chthon apparently has already bought you a ring”

“Sombody in the castle…is working for you…”

“Reluctantly but yes. He had to be pursuaded a little more not to tell Chthon I was coming for you but I managed to get him to be a good little dog. I’m done talking about this. I’m giving you one chance to do this the easy way Ruth. Nobody has to get hurt if you just promise me now you will never speak to my son again.”

“Nothing you could do to me coudl make me leave Chthon” Adramaleich laughed “I was hoping this would get fun”

Chapter Two

All the fingers on Ruths left hand were broken except her thumb which Adramalech was ready to snap like the ones before. Tears were streaming down her face as he asked again “are you ready to leave my son and never speak to him again?”

“Never” She said in an angry tone. He snapped it in three different ways making her left hand useless until it had time to heal. “You’re tough for a woman. Most would’ve given into me by now.”

“I love you son and he loves me. Just leave us alone”

“I can’t, He’s tarnishing my name with you. Besides I particularly love the sound your bones make when snapping. I’m glad you’re being so tough so that I get the pleasure of listening to those dainty little bones snap as a bend them. If only my son would learn the rush you get when another living thing is at your mercy. Nothing brings me more joy which is why I opted for this way of dealing with you rather than killing you. You’ll bend to my will just as your bones do soon.”

“You or either going to kill me or set me free. Nothing will make me leave your son. Do what you want. I love him. nothing will make me denounce that. I will marry him if he lives to ask me.”

“Run”

“What?”

“Run out my front door, run to Chthon” Ruth stood then ran for the door only to have her screames fill the house along with Adramaleches laughter. “I can’t believe you really tried” He said as she laid on the floor. Her face contorted in pain. Her joints hurt with any movement atall now. Adramalech picked Ruth up by her hair and drug her into the bathroom. “Be still” he said and she coudln’t move atall. He filled the bath then set her in it. “will you leave my son?”

“No” He sent a harsh surge into the water and Ruth was unable to hold her scream in. “Will you leave my son?”

“No” Another surge rocketed through her as the water amplified it. “Are you stupid little girl? Enough of this and you will die. I’ve locked away your magic and now all of your body movement below the neck and yet you still sit here and tell me no.”

“and I will keep telling you no until you kill me or set me free.”

“You really are a pretty human girl Ruth. It would be a shame for the human men to lose such a nice sex toy”

“I’ve never been with a human man in that way and I never will be with a man other than your son. I will not bend to you”

“all woman break, you’re just going to take longer than the others!” A bird started pecking at the window and Adramalech walked away to open the window for the bird. It flew in and he grabbed the note. “Shit”

“what is it?” Ruth asked weakly. The pain was really starting to get at her. Every muscle and joint in her bodyached. Especially her hand. “My son is in your village. He wasn’t supposed to be around here! Why is he here!”

“He’s moving into my village to see me more. Now that i know he wants to marry me I guess I see why. Why does that anger you so much? Aren’t we far from home?”

“My son knows my scent. If he walks through where I took off my field to capture you  he’ll find the scent and follow it. I guess I can’t have as much fun as I wanted with you. We’re going to amp things up a bit. I don’t have time to be slow.”

“Do you worst. I love your son and you can’t make me stay away from him”

“He’s a demon like me Ruth and just as powerful. He could turn on you and do this very same thing”

“He wouldn’t”

“He’s my son”

“It doesn’t matter. You may have donated sperm to make him but he’s nothing like you. He’s a good hearted man.”

“Shut up!” Adramalech lifted Ruth out the tub then began throwing her around the house. He threw and threw her screaming for her to stay away from his son. Ruth was silent as she slammed into walls and various other things around the house. Blood was pouring from her nose and mouth, bruises were showing up all over but she just remained silent. She hit the living room wall and fell to the floor. She looked over at the hand where he had broken so many bones and couldn’t believe how purple it was. She wondered how bad she was bleeding internally.

Chthon and Wesly were looking at the house the elders said Chthon could have. Wesly sighed “you don’t even look happy, are you that worried about Ruth sleeping outside? She’s done it many times with her mentor.”

“I’m sorry sir”

“Don’t be, I want her to be with a man who cares for her so much. I have things to do but I know where they went if you’d like to check on her. Maybe Meldy will let you watch them train.”

“Thank you, where did they go?”

“Vrinjour lake, have you been before?”

“Ruth took me there once. I knwo the way. Thanks again for finding me this house and everything!”

“No problem, you make Ruth very happy.”

“You have no idea how happy she makes me” With that Chthon ran out of his new home and headed towards Vrinjour Lake. He couldn’t wait to see her and wrap her in his arms. He’d begin moving things into his home right after Ruths lessons if Meldy let him stay. If not he’d just pass time doing it after he had to leave. Either way he was happy and excited. Lievon paced around his room in the caslte as tears rolled down his cheeks and he prayed Chthon could save Ruth. He had grown to like her very much and loved how happy she made Chthon. Being Chthons friend had started out as somthing he had to do but as he got to know Chthon the more he liked the man. Chthon always helped him out if he needed anything and they had many fun memories together.

He didn’t want this job any longer. He had wanted to tell Chthon right away when Adramalech responded to his note about Chthon planning to marry Ruth. He wanted to quit being a spy and come clean but Adramalech warned him that if he warned Chthon or Ruth his father would hunt and kill his mother. He knew his father was just sick enough to do it too. Lievons dad was almost as evil as Adramalech so it wouldn’t be beyond him to kill her. Lievon knew his father never loved his mother. They had only been a sexual fling that didn’t even last long.

When Chthon was out of view of Tresnia he increased his speed to hurry and get to the lake. He jerked to a halt when he saw Meldy laying unconscious in the grass. He darted his eyes around and there were no signs of Ruth. Chthon did his best not to panic. Panicking would only make it harder to figure out where she was. He sat down beside Meldy and grabbed her arm so he could enter her head. He wanted to see all that happened so he’d know what he needed to do. He watched their whole excursion up until Ruth yelled and and Meldy fell. He growled in his anger then stood, taking in all the air he could to scent whatever demons had been around. It had to be a very powerful one to be able to be around him without him noticing. He didn’t understand how Ruth knew since he didn’t but this wasn’t the time to think about that. Somthing bad had her and he needed to figure out what. He knew very few demons that could make people drop unconscious with a simple whim. His heart stopped, frozen in fear when he smelled his father.

Once it started again it was slamming in it’s anger. He blocked out all other scents to concentrate on Adramalechs then took off. He saw Empusa laying on the ground and her son near by. He knew these were Ruths friends since she had introduced them a few months ago. Chthon ran to Manah and checked if he was alive. When Chthon realized he was he picked him up and laid him by his mother then woke them from the sleep Adramalech put them in. When Empusa looked up and saw Chthon she said “thank goodness. Your father has her.”

“I know, I am going now. I only stopped because you two are important to Ruth. I would help but saving her is more important.”

“I wont forgive you if she dies. Run now.” With that Chthon took off. He wouldn’t forgive himself if she died. His father was targeting her because of him. Whatever torture Adramalech put her through was his fault and he would beg her forgiveness if he made it in time to save her. As he drew near to the house he could smell Ruths blood and it only enraged him further. His was lost to it and wanted to kill his father and anything else that got between him and Ruth. He ran straight in, the electric field had surged through him but he acted as if it wasn’t there atall. Adramalech quit kicking ruth and turned to his son, still holding the bloody knife he was using to skin her. He had taken off most the skin on her arm and some off her back. He was now kicking her because she had gone unconscious from the pain and he was trying to wake her back up so he could enjoy her twisted faces and tears.

Chthon held his hand out and Adramalech was sent flying back. He broke through the living room wall and the kitchen wall so that he was thrown into the back yard. Chthon ran out, he wanted to get Ruth help but it would be fruitless unless he killed his father. He would just follow him if he tried to run Ruth back to the village. His father laughed “where did you learn that trick boy?” Chthon didn’t speak as he lunged towards his father again. Adramalech could feel there was a volcano near in the world below them. He summoned the lava up and it burst through the earth. He channeled it towards his son who began to make it snow. It turned into a blizzard as he dodged the lava.

“That’s my boy! Impressive as always! Chthon still was unwilling to speak to his father. All the animals and other demons were fleeing the area. They didn’t want to be caught up in whatever these two demons threw at eachother. “Too good to speak to your father!”

“I have nothing to say to you!”

“Is this still about your sister?”

“It’s about fucking Ruth you bastard! How dare you touch her!”

“You need to be separated from her! She’s made you even more pathetic! All you do is think about and concentrate on her! I was willing to deal with it until I found out you planned on marrying her.” Those last words caught his attention. “How do you know that father?”

“Your senses have become so dull as you’ve consumed yourself with Ruth you haven’t realized there’s a man working for me in your castle. One of your friends really isn’t atall. He’s been there years and you’ve never suspected him, even before Ruth. He’s played the part I gave him well. Even informed me when I should come after Ruth so you’d be the least likely to be able to get her back from me before I convinced her to leave you. She’s stubborn and very tough for a human. No matter what i did she wouldn’t leave you. After I get you knocked out I’m going to kill her. She obviously can’t be reasoned with”

“I wont give you the chance.” Chthon yelled. The ground trembled beneath him he was so angry. He had only told one man, one man knew he was going to propose and it was Lievon. The man he considered his best friend had never been his friend atall and had basically delivered Ruth to Adramalech. Chthon refused to lose Ruth. She was still alive and he was going to get her away and finally kill his father. He should have done this when he was younger but he had always been too afraid to challenge Adramalech. Now he had to because Ruth was on the line.

Empusa was almost to Adramalechs home. She had taken her son back to her house and commanded him to stay put until she returned. Her body ached but she had to help Chthon. She knew with Chthons help she could get Ruth and take her to her village where healers could tend to her wounds. The anklet told her Ruth was still alive, she was barely hanging on but she could feel Ruths life. Suddenly she came upon snow and the chaos that griped the land Chthon and Adramalech were fighting in. It almost halted her with amazement seeing what these two men could do but she kept pushing forward. She wasn’t used to how cold it was because it rarely snowed in Tresnia. Even when it did it wasn’t to the extent that snow covered the land here. The red and black lava looked really pretty mixed in with the white snow. Empusas feet were stinging from running barefoot in the snow once she burst into Adramalechs home.

Adramalech was too engulfed in the war with his son to notice Empusa but Chthon did. As hard as he was fighting some of his attention had stayed on the house and Ruth to make sure one of his fathers minions didn’t come and snatch her. He was happy he stopped to help Empusa now. He could really let lose without having to worry about somthing taking or hurting Ruth further. He’d also now not have to be mindful not to hit the house. Empusa was in tears as she scooped Ruth up. She tried to be careful of the exposed flesh but she had to touch some of it to hold her properly. She turned and ran as fast as she could to Tresnia. She hoped the villagers wouldn’t accuse her without letting her explain it was another demon that left her like this.

She just cried and ran in her fear. Ruths life force was so weak, Empusa could tell her internal injuries were very bad. Empusa knew Ruth had a strong will to live that would hold her until she got help. Her will to live was probably the only reason she was still clinging to her life. Empusa made it to the village and women started screaming and carrying their children inside. No doubt they would tell their husbands. A man pulled out his sword “Put Ruth down you filthy demon!”

“She needs help. I didn’t do this to her! She needs a healer now. She’ll bleed to death internally if you dont get your head out of your ass and help me! Please just take her to one. I’ll give her to you if you put down your sword” The man didn’t trust her but Ruth was obviously in dire need of medicine and healing magic. He sheathed his blade and Empusa quickly handed her off and ran to her home to make sure Manah was still safe. She was planning on going back through dimensions until Ruth was conscious and could explain that she had helped, not hurt her.

She hoped Chthon could handle his father. She couldn’t risk her sons safety any longer by being involved. Empusa felt alright leaving the situation now that Ruth was back in her village. Maze saw the man running with Ruth “what happened?!” he asked Porter. “I’m not sure, some demon brought Ruth back like this. Go tell Ruths father that we’ve found her. Meldy should still be with him so you can tell her at the same time so she quits panicking.

“which healer are you taking her to?”

“Sandra”

Chapter Three

Porter kicked Sandras door. She opened quickly since the village knew Ruth had been missing. “Bring her in, hurry now.” Porter walked in “How should I lay her?”

“Just go in my room and sit on my bed. I want to check her stomach but I know that exposed flesh is really sensitive. I want to have her on her back as little as possible so when I’m done lay her on her stomach on my bed.” Porter walked in Sandras bedroom and sat down. Sandra followed close behind. She knelt down and said “get her a shirt when you leave. I’m sure she doesn’t like anybody seeing her with nothing but a bra covering her breasts.”

“Ok” Porter said now blushing. He had been so concerned about Ruth he hadn’t notice. He had obviously seen it but it didn’t sink in she was topless until Sandra said somthing. Sandra put her hands on Ruths stomach as gently as possible and sent healing magic rushing through her. Sandra would have to send Porter to fetch another healer. Sandra was going to use up half of her magic supply just to make sure all her internal injuries were closed up. Those weren’t the kind to mess with and judging by how black, purple, and red her stomach was Sandra was sure she had quite a bit of damage. When Sandra stopped she said “Lay her down as carefully as you can.” Porter slowly laid Ruth on her stomach. “Grab a shirt for Ruth then go find me Fawnie . I used a lot of magic shutting all the damage inside of her so I’ll need her power too.”

“I’ll go as fast as I can”

“Please do” The boy ran out and then Sandra noticed Ruths hand and sucked air through her teeth. The only time she had seen anything like that was when Tallin came to her last year. “You poor baby.” Sandra grabbed some wrappings for Ruths hand. It would be painful but she needed to get the bones aligned properly. She’d do it finger by finger then wrap her hand before giving her the bone mending medicine. They wouldn’t heal correctly unless she aligned them. As soon as Sandra grabbe done of Ruths fingers Ruths eyes snapped open. She still couldn’t move from the spell Adaramlech cast on her but she began to cry.

“Honey I’m sorry, I need to align your fingers and wrap them so they stay straight so your bones can heal properly. It’ll be painful but I have medicine for that. Let me grab some” Sandra got up and went into her cabinet. “Can you move Ruth? I’m surprised you didn’t jerk.”

“No”

“I have medicine for that too. The demon who had you must have known locking magic” Sandra came back with a few bottles. “I know it’s scary not to be able to move but I’d prefer you stay like that while I wrap your hand because I need you still anyway. Do you mind if I give you the potion to fix that after?”

“That’s fine.”

“Good, here’s somthing for the pain I’ll cause you” Ruth quickly drank it quickly then braced herself for more pain. She was just glad she was in her village now. She guessed Chthon must have found her. She wondered if it was even the same day. All the questions fled from her head as soon as Sandra was touching her hand again. “I’ll be as quick as possible.” Sandra did finger by finger wrapping as she went. Once everything was in line she wrapped her palm too then gave her another vial of potion for the pain. Porter came back in with Fawnie “Sorry it took so long. I had trouble finding her.”

“what matters is she’s here. I haven’t needed her yet anyways.” Sandra said as she poured the potion to restore Ruths movement into Ruths mouth. “what happend to you?” Fawnie asked with horror in her eyes as she examined Ruths body. “More than I care to repeat. What are you going to do about my skin? Can it come back?”

“Yes but it will be a long process. Skin is very hard to grow but it can be done.”

Chthon and Adramalech still fought but were both growing weary from their wounds so it was down to a hand to hand combat. They punched and kicked at eachother, tumbling around the disaster everything around them was in. Adramalech couldn’t believe it when his son actually pinned him down and began punching him over and over as fast as he could. Adramalech pulled a red sword out of the earth and stabbed it into his sons side then shoved him off. “I should’ve killed you as soon as I figured out you were different. It disgusts me my son is fighting so hard for some pathetic human woman. I’ve always kept high hopes for you but today you die so you can’t sully my name any longer.” Without a word Chthon summoned his own sword and stood “How do you still stand?” Chthon coughed up some blood before saying “If I fail in killing you you will hurt Ruth again. I can’t lose. It isn’t an option” Chthon ran at his father and his father locked blades with him.

They moved and weaved around the field clashing blades. Until Chthon saw the perfect opportunity and took it. With one clean, fast movement his fathers head was removed from his body and fell to the earth. Chthon threw it up and sliced it through a few more times before chopping up his fathers body so it wouldn’t regenerate. Chthon coughed up more blood and collapsed. He held himself up on his hands and knees as he took deep breaths. He really wished he had healing magic. Chthon was glad he succeeded. He forced himself to stand. All Chthon wanted was to make sure Ruth was alright and to be near her. He wanted to offer her comfort and apologize that his father hurt her.

Chthon looked through the wreckage of his fathers home, knowing he would have kept healing potions. He finally found an area where some where. Most were broken but a few remained. He drank all the ones for healing then downed two for pain. He put the other two in his pocket and walked towards the village. He’d begin running once they took effect. All of Ruths wounds were closed and healed aside for her missing skin but that would take days to come back. She was missing so much Sandra told her it may even be up to a week before she had all of the skin she had lost.

Wesly was crying which Ruth hadn’t seen him do before. “Can I take her home now?”

“First you need a few things.” Sandra rummaged around in her cabinet and grabbed a large box which she set on the counter by the cabinet. She began to fill it with vials then handed it to Meldy. “Carry this for Wesly.” Sandra turned her focus on him “You need to give her the yellow ones every six hours on the dot. The furthest it can be off is fifteen minuets if you want her skin to grow back and look like it was before it was carved off her body. It’s very important. Give her the pink ones for her bones. She’ll need to drink those after every meal tomorrow. After that they should finish the work on their own. They may be fine now but they were all broken in so many plaes I want to be sure she gets all her function.”

“I understand”

“Also she’ll be very sensitive, especially on her stomach for a few days. She can have all the vials for pain as she wants. If you run out of a single thing I want you to come get more for me. I’ll be making more in the morning after I’ve gotten some rest.”

“I understand. Can I take her?”

“Yes, rest well Ruth”

“Thank you so much Sandra and Fawnie”

“we’re just glad you’re ok Ruth” Wesly picked up his daughter, trying not to hurt her but she still winced. “I’m sorry”

“You can’t help it dad.” Ruth worried about Chthon since he still wasn’t back yet. She began to cry “do you already need somthing Ruth?”

“No, I’m worried about Chthon. He still isn’t back and you said he’s been gone since just before lunch”

“I’m sure he’s still far out looking for you. He’ll be ok sweetheart. I’ll get Keltern and Maze to keep an eye out for you. I’m sure they will”

“Thanks” she said unable to quit crying. She knew the only way she had woken up back in the village was because of him. He had to have fought his father and from what she heard of him from the other people in Chthons castle that was a terrifying though. Then it came back to her. She had been so much pain since Adramalech told her about the traitor in Chthons castle. One of the many friends she had made was fake and she couldn’t even begin to think who. Everybody seemed so nice and she liked them all. Ruth wasn’t even sure how she and Chthon would figure out who it was.

Keltern saw Chthon struggling to walk into the village and ran to him “Chthon! Lets get you to a healer”

“Is Ruth ok?”

“Yes, now come on” Keltern helped support Chthon and took him to Lana since Fawnie and Sandra had already used so much of their magic on Ruth. Chthon really just wanted to see her but knew he needed help so went with Keltern. “so I guess you’re why that demon brought Ruth back?”

“Yeah, you didn’t hurt the one who brought her home right? She didn’t hurt Ruth”

“Porter almost did but she tongue lashed him and quickly handed Ruth off to him before disappearing. Did you take care of whatever got her?”

“Yeah, I killed him.”

“Good, thanks”

“You don’t need to thank me. She’s my love” Keltern smiled then knocked on Lanas door. When she opened Keltern helped Chthon get situated and stayed. “I’ll help you get to Ruths when you’re all better. I’m sure her fathers not sleeping tonight anyway.”

“Thank you”

“Well she’s my best friend. She means a lot to me and you’re what means the most to her. She’ll be happier when she sees you”

“How is she?”

“Fawnie and Sandra fixed her. It’ll take them a bit to grow the skin she’s missing and fix her bones. Apparently every bone in her right hand was broken atleast once. They wrapped it and are giving her medicine to help the bones grow and mend properly. Sandra says they should go back to normal as long as she takes her medicine like she’s supposed to. Even her skin will be normal if she does what she needs so you better make sure she doesn’t forget. Besides those things she’s a bit spacey but you really can’t blame her. We don’t know what happened but by the looks of her it was horrible. Did you see her stomach and sides? I’ve never seen bruising that bad”

“I wasn’t looking at her very long before I attacked the demon that was attacking her” When Lana was done Chthon felt even more exhuasted now that he wasn’t in so much pain. He hadn’t seen his Ruth yet so he still couldn’t sleep. “I think I can walk on my own Keltern but thanks for staying and talking to me”

“No problem man, I’ll see you two tomorrow”

“alright” Chthon walked out and to Ruths house. He knocked and her father answered “Oh good, she’s been worried about you. She’s sleeping again right now but if you behave yourself you can sleep on her floor tonight. I’ll be in there in four hours.”

“why four hours?” Chthon said as he walked in. “She needs to take the yellow bottles every six hours to help her skin grow back the way it was. You look too exhausted for me to trust you’ll be up then so I’ll do it.”

“I’ll sleep tonight because I absolutely have to but I’ll take over tomorrow.”

“Thanks for saving my baby. You’re why she made it home right?”

“I killed the demon who had her.”

“Thank you, I wish I could’ve helped you”

“You helped Ruth, that’s plenty enough” Chthon walked upstairs and saw Ruth sleeping on her left side to keep her exposed flesh from touching the bed. She had her shirt off so he could see how badly bruised she was now. Since he heard Ruths heartbeat at his fathers home he had concentrated on killing his dad before he hurt her further so hadn’t really examined her. Chthon was a little surprised he was allowed in here, especially since Ruth was only in a bra and her pants. Chthon sat beside the bed and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Her eyes opened slowly “I didn’t mean to wake you. I’ve just been so worried. Your heartbeat was faint at the house and I didn’t know if Empusa got you back in time”

“Don’t be sorry, I’m happy to see you’re ok too. What happened with Adramalech?”

“I killed him.”

“I’m sorry you had to.”

“I”m not sad, I was never attached to my father. He’s been cold and cruel as long as I’ve been alive. I never had one happy memory of him. The only person who needs to be sorry here is me. He wouldnt have attacked you if I didn’t love you. It’s my fault.”

“You can’t help what your father does, you’re not responsible for any of his actions”

“You forgive me then?”

“There’s nothing to forgive you crazy man. I love you so much and I don’t blame you for your father attacking me. Can I have a real kiss?” Chthon slightly smiled then met their lips. The contact and relief made him cry. Ruth pulled back “Chthon”

“I’m so glad you’re ok. I’ve never been so afraid. I can’t lose you, ever. You’re what I live for. I need you as much as I need air”

“I feel the same” Ruth said in a sleepy tone. “You get more rest Ruth. Your dad is letting me take your floor tonight”

“I think he knows why you’ve been gone so long”

“Yeah, he thanked me at the door”

“night Chthon”

“Goodnight, I may be gone in the morning but I’ll be back. I have to take care of somthing at the castle”

“The person who has been talking to your father?”

“How’d you know?”

“Your father talked to me between the things he did.” A few more tears rushed down Chthons cheeks. “go to sleep baby. I don’t like crying in front of you anyway.”

“why? It makes me feel loved.”

“Good, because you are. Deeper then the deepest depths of the ocean” Ruth just smiled at him “sweet dreams Chthon” was the last thing she said before falling back asleep. Chthon would have kissed her again if he wasn’t afraid of waking her back up. He got himself a pillow and blanket then laid on the floor to sleep. He was instantly to his feet when Wesly walked in the room four hours later. Wesly jumped back in fear with the angry and protective look in Chthons eyes. “Calm down Chthon, it’s just me. I told you I’d be in here.”

“Sorry”

“You’re enough to give a man a heart attack. I can understand you being jumpy though” Wesly walked over to his daughter, his heart still pounding from how bad Chthon scared him. He gently touched her cheek and spoke her name firmly to wake her. Ruth opened her eyes “Oh no, that time again”

“Yeah, need help sitting up?”

“I’m fine” Ruth struggled a bit but sat up. She drank what her father gave her then he handed her water so she could rinse the taste out her mouth “I’ll see you at breakfast. Want to eat in here?”

“I’d prefer it”

“ok, I’ll just bring you and Chthon food up after I cook. If you get hungry before I wake up I’m sure Chthon will help you out but remember you need to drink one of the pink bottles after you eat.”

“Ok dad, goodnight”

“night Ruth, Chthon” When Wesly was gone Chthon went over to kiss Ruth again. He held the kiss for awhile then said “I love you so much”

“I love you too.”

“I’ve rested enough now. I’ll try to be back before breakfast. From the looks of outside that’s four more hours away.”

“be careful Chthon”

“Just worry about getting better and healing. I’ll be as fast as possible. I’m going to bring back some books so I can read to you. Any type you want?’

“Not really, just get the book we’ve already started and whatever else you want.”

“ok, I’m going to sit here until you fall back asleep.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“I want to.” Ruth smiled “kiss me again” He did then just looked at her until she was sound asleep. He sighed then went over to her door and placed his hands on it. He began to chant quietly until his glyph appeared on her door for a second then disappeared as suddenly as it came. He had made it so any other demon but him wouldn’t be able to enter her room. He looked back at her one more time before walking out and leaving Ruths house. He dashed off through the night towards his castle. He was going to read Lievons memories for the whole time Ruth had been there to see what else he had done and see just how much punishment he deserved.

When he arrived at the castle he burst through the doors. Everyone could see how angry he was and got as far away as possible. Chthon went straight for Lievons room. His eyes and demeanor only getting colder by the second. When he reached the door he kicked it so that It flung off it’s hinges and slammed across the room making Lievon jump up. “Chthon I” was all he got out before Chthon was pinning him against the wall. He entered Lievons head immediately and began watching his memories from the very first day he met Ruth. Chthon wanted to see what all he had been up to since the first day they met but that would take too long and he wanted to be by Ruths side.

When Chthon pulled out he was still angry but had a better understanding as to why he chose to do what he did. Lievon just stood there, terrified since he didn’t know what Chthon was thinking. “run” Chthon growled out. It was more of a growl than words so Lievon could barely understand it. “What?”

“Run while I’m allowing you to. I understand you wanting your mother to be safe but it doesn’t change what’s happened. Run before I change my mind. I better never see you again.” As soon as Chthon let got Lievon ran away leaving all his things behind. He hadn’t expected Chthon to let him go, even after seeing what happened he knew what Ruth meant to him so it was unfathomable he was letting him run. Chthon let out a loud yell mixed with a growl that shook the castle and had everyone afraid. Chthon let the bird out knowing Ruth would be cross if she found out he killed it then he began to destroy everything in Lievons room in his rage. He threw things around and yelled until he dropped down on the floor and sobbed almost as violently as he had wrecked Lievons room.

He could tell the sun was coming so he forced himself to stand and wiped away his tears. He walked out of Lievons room and saw Nirobi standing there. She had been wanting to go in and comfort him but she could feel his boiling rage and knew it wouldn’t be smart to enter. “I want you and whomever will help you to empty this room and burn everything inside. I don’t want a speck of Lievon left in this castle. He’s never welcome back”

“Ok” she responded nervously. Chthon walked by her and she shuddered with the chill that swept over her as Chthon passed. She wondered what happened to make Chthon this angry but she’d wait until he was in his right mind again. Chthon was a good man but still a very powerful and unpredictable demon when he was angry. Chthon got a bag and collected the book he had started with Ruth then grabbed a few more from his library he knew she hadn’t heard or read herself. He then walked out of his castle and ran to Tresnia. When he got there Wesly was cooking. “where’d you go?”

“I had somthing to take care of.” Chthon said in an eerie tone that was unsettling. “breakfast will be ready soon. Ruths still sleeping. You can go back up there.”

“Thank you” Chthon tried to speak in a more friendly voice but it still came out as frigid as the arctic ocean. Weslys heart was pumping fast again. He never saw Chthon as scary before but last night and today it was all he could do to be in the same room with him without running away. Chthon slowly pushed open the door and finally relaxed again. He sat by the side of her bed so he was looking at her face. She didn’t look quite so relaxed like he was accustomed to seeing but he was glad to find her in any manner of a peaceful state after what happened. He hoped when all her skin came back she’d look like his peaceful lamb as she slept again instead of looking worried.

He wasn’t even aware of the passing time until Ruths father opened the door again. Chthons neck cracked he turned so quickly in response to the door opening. Once again Wesly was staring into a face that dared anything to harm her. Wesly actually did get startled a little this time even though he had been braced for the mood Chthon was in. Wesly walked in, brushing it off and handed Chthon his plate then set Ruths down. “do you want to wake her.”

“I’m sorry I keep scaring you”

“I’m no good at hiding it huh? You just have such a chill about you since last night. I do understand and am glad you care about her so much.”

“I would like to wake her.”

“Just make her drink this right after she eats and if she’s in pain this blue vial is what she needs.”

“alright”

“I’ll leave you to it.” Wesly said as he did his best to walk instead of run out of the room. Chthon put his plate on the floor then kissed Ruth, savouring the lip contact and the sensation it gave him. She opened her eyes slowly “morning handsome. I’m glad you’re back”

“I was happy to see you were still resting when I got here. Did you have bad dreams? Your face looked tense.”

“Yeah, but it’s ok” Chthon frowned, he was hoping for a no. “do you need help sitting up?”

“Its challenging without the use of my right hand but I’m ok.” Chthon stood and brought Ruths plate to her as she got herself into a sitting position. “You’re supposed to drink that pink one after you eat. The blue one is incase you hurt.”

“I know, don’t look so sad. I told you this isn’t your fault”

“Why didn’t you tell me Ruth?”

“hm?”

“one of the things I can do is watch memories. When I went to check on you at the lake and saw Meldy passed out I read her memories to see what happened. You told her you felt somebody watching you when you first got back here. You were still with me at that time. Did you think I would accuse you of imagining things like Meldy did? I will always believe you Ruth. You could say you see the grass is rainbow colored and I would believe thats what you see and I’d try to figure out why. If anything is off to you atall I want you to always tell me so I have a chance of protecting you before you get seriously hurt. Being with me entails many dangers. I have many enemies of my own along with enemies I’ve inherited because I’m Adramalechs son. If anything scares you or doesn’t feel right I need you to tell me right away. I’m not sure how you were aware of a presence I couldn’t sense but that was the case this time. My father was following you for who knows how long.”

“when I was still with you it wasn’t scaring me yet and I was telling myself the same things Meldy told me. I thought if it was anything bad you would’ve known.”

“So you’ll tell me now if anything feels off to you in the slightest or you feel like sombody is watching you.”

“I will, are you upset I didn’t?”

“No, the only people I’m angry with are Adramalech and Lievon.” Ruth quit eating “It couldn’t have been” she said with an expression mixed with sadness and shock. Chthon sighed “He didn’t want to, my dad had leverage but I can’t talk about it right now. I need to calm down before I give your father a heart attack. I keep scaring him unintentionally.”

“alright, we can talk about it later” Ruth began eating again and cleared her plate. Chthon got up and handed her the vial she needed to drink. Ruth sighed then downed it as fast as she could. “will you hand me the blue one too” He did and she downed that aswell. “I’ll get us somthing to drink”

“Thank you”

Chthon went downstairs and got them each a glass of orange juice. “How’s my baby?” Cindy asked. Chthon tunred and put on the most friendly face he could manage right now. “She’s ok. Just thirsty”

“are you staying in there all day?”

“If I’m allowed.”

“I say you are. I’ll handle my husband if he starts being weird”

“Thanks” Chthon said before going up the stairs. He handed a glass to Ruth. “want to sit with me?”

“what if I hurt you?”

“Just sit to the left of me.”

“Could you get up for a second and let me sit down so you could lay back down with your head in my lap. I’ll put a pillow on it”

“That’s a better idea.” Chthon helped Ruth get up then he sat down excitedly. He quickly grabbed a pillow to place over his crossed legs then Ruth laid down. Chthon began to run his hands through her hair and down her back repetedly. The closeness slowly driving away his anger. The sadness still loomed looking at her where there wasn’t any skin. “Please stop looking sad Chthon”

“I’m trying, I’m not so angry any longer but I just wish there was a faster way to make you better. I also want to wrap myself around you to keep you pressed against me but that would hurt. I miss holding you and I want it all the more since you’re hurt but I cant, It’s killing me.”

“Would you feel better if I promised that when my skin comes back I’ll lay in bed with you at your castle and let you hold me until you’ve had enough. I’ll lay with you for days if it’ll make you smile for me right now.”

“If you promise”

“Promise” a genuine look of happiness filled Chthons face and Ruth smiled before saying “there, how can I be happy when you’re not. Cuddling with you is wonderful anyway.”

“Would you like me to read to you while you’re resting.”

“Did you brings books?”

“Yep. I have the one we started a few days ago”

“I’ll get up and get it.”

“No, I’ll get from under you then position myself right back.” Chthon eased from under her, gently setting her head down with the pillow then pulled a book out of the bag he brought. He then got back on the bed being as careful as he could while he moved Ruth. “You ready beautiful”

“mhm” Chthon rubbed her cheek with his knuckles one more time before opening the book and reading. Wesly was passing the door to go handle a few things and heard Chthon. He smiled then walked down the stairs. “why do you look so happy?”

“Chthons reading to Ruth.”

“aw, I want to go listen”

“Have fun with that. I’ll see you later” they kissed and Wesly left. It was almost comical to him to listen to Chthon reading to his daughter. This was the man that had been making him afraid to walk around his own house. Now Chthon was sitting there reading a story to his little girl. Wesly was just happy the nightmare was over and Sandra could fix Ruth. He had been terrified when Meldy came running into the village in a panic saying somthing had taken Ruth. He wondered how Chthon had fought the demon on his own. He had never seen him use magic or wield a sword. Wesly guessed Chthon must use magic to have been able to fight.

Chthon kept reading until sombody opening Ruths door interrupted him. Not meaning to show it on his face he looked at Sandra like she was a huge inconvenience intervening in their time. “Hey Ruth, I just wanted to put a little more magic into your hand. How does it feel?”

“I can’t feel it anymore. Is that bad?”

“No that’s actually good. Tomorrow you should try using it. Today leave it alone but tomorrow I think it would be safe to try. It’s almost time for your next dose of medicine. You’ve been taking it like you should right?”

“Yeah my dad has been making sure.”

“But he’s gone”

“Well I’ve taken over now. I told him I would last night. I’m paying attention to the passage of time”

“ok, just trying to be sure.” Sandra set her hand on Ruths broken one and pushed healing magic into her. Ruth gave a relaxed sigh which now made Chthon not mind the womans presence so much. “I’ll let you two get back to the story. I’ll bring more medicine for nay pain later.”

“I wont need it, I’m fine” Sandra smiled “I guess you are. Bye you two.”

“Bye” Ruth said then looked up at Chthon when Sandra was gone. “why’d you give her such a look. She’s helping me get better”

“I don’t know, I’m sorry. My nerves are still up. I just want you to stay safe and I only trust myself with you. You’re going to have to give me some time to get over the fact I nearly lost you and to sort through the guilt you went through so much.”

“But it’s not your fault”

“Well”

“No, stop it. Stop blaming yourself or I’ll be really mad”

“Ok, ok I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad at me. It’s not my fault but youll still have to give me some time to be comfortable around other people”

“ok”

“can we get back to the story? After this you’ll take the stuff for your bones then I’ll make you lunch if your mom isn’t home.” Ruth smiled up at him and he started where he left off. He was holding the book with one hand so he could play with her hair using the other. They spent the next four days like this until her skin came back and her hand was back to normal. Meldy had given Ruth a month just to do what she wanted since she had gone through so much. Chthon and some of his friends from the castle moved a few things into his home in the village so that when lessons resumed he wouldn’t have to leave her. Chthon showed Ruth around the house once it was done “it’s so cute.” Chthon smiled “I’m glad it makes you happy. Can we go to my castle now? I haven’t forgotten the promise you made me.”

“lets just tell my parents we’re leaving” Once her parents knew they gathered the books Chthon had finished reading to her and ran to his castle. He went straight to his bedroom and set her on the bed before stripping down to nothing. He had Ruths clothes off and wrapped in his arms under the covers faster than she could register. She laughed then kissed him. “I love you so much”

“I love you too Ruth. It feels so good to be skin to skin with you again.”

“Thanks for being so sweet to me and taking such good care of me Chthon”

“It wasn’t work, I enjoyed sitting with you. As long as I’m with you and you’re happy, I’m happy. I just hope you don’t regret your promise because you aren’t leaving this bedroom for a long time.” Ruth giggled “I’m glad for it. Just as long as theirs sex too.” Chthon bit her ear “of course there will be”

~ The End ~

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