Cipher & Fotia ~ Revised by Carrie Frost

Chapter One

Cipher tossed and turned, his skin covered in sweat as his tormentors voice filled his head. Images, horrible and dark shown before his eyes. He screamed, the sound muffled by the crashing waves and pouring rain. His eyes flew open and he sat bolt upright, gasping for air. Tears filled his eyes and he wept, his whole body shaking. He cried himself into exhaustion and he fell asleep leaning against the wall. The next morning a knock woke him and he jerked awake, his heart pounding fearfully against his chest. He got up, pulling on his pants and opening the door to his room. It was Aurel and Diana and both frowned when they saw him. Diana hugged him and he tensed in her arms at first, but finally hugged her back.

“You should have woken us.” She said as she let him go.

“I am no child Diana.” He replied.

“No one should have to face such nightmares alone.” Aurel added. “The port is in sight so we will be docking soon. The cook has made oatmeal if you are hungry.”

“I’m fine, but thank you. Let me dress and I’ll join you above.” They left and he shut his door. He dressed quickly then grabbed his bag and headed up.

Fotia sat in the garden with her gryphon, enjoying the sun and flowers. Aurel and Diana were coming to visit and she was excited about seeing them. It had been awhile since their last visit and she had just had her seventeenth birthday. Her brother Nero and sister in law Lissana were the most excited, especially since Diana had said in her letter she was pregnant with twin boys. She couldn’t wait to congratulate them.

Cipher felt nervous as he walked with Diana and Aurel to Chthon’s castle. It wasn’t so much he was scared of them but mainly his irrational fear they could look at him and see everything she had forced him to do, the things she forced him to endure. He didn’t want anybody to know. Cipher was embarrassed beyond all reason that he as a male demon was used as a toy. Diana and Aurel had told him that the only person that should feel shame is Peony, but Cipher felt he should have been stronger.

When they arrived a bright eyed, beautiful brunette and what appeared to be her pet greeted them with hugs. Fotia even hugged Cipher though she didn’t know him. “Welcome” she said sweetly.

“Hey, you’ve grown so much”

“I was still a child last time you saw me”

“I know, what a beautiful woman you have become. We’re sorry we didn’t come celebrate when you became an adult”

“You guys live pretty far away. I don’t blame you. I don’t see why it’s such a big celebration anyway. I feel no different.” They smiled as Fotia then turned to guide them inside. Cipher looked to the side, still fighting the irrational fear that she may be able to tell what happened to him.
“Where are Chthon and Ruth?” Aurel asked.

“Dad’s in his study with mom so I would knock before going in.”

“Thank you sweetie.” Diana said. “Would you mind looking after Cipher for us while we talk to them about something important. You know, not baby related.”

“Sure, but you know they’re excited about having more babies to dote over so it might be hard to get off the topic.”

“Believe us, we know. We’ll be back in a little bit.”

Fotia turned to Cipher as they walked away and smiled warmly. It lit up her whole face, making her look radiant and innocent. He looked away, but she caught the flash of pain and embarrassment in his eyes. She reached out for him and he flinched away. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do startle you.” She said softly.

“It’s me who should apologize, being afraid of you is stupid.”

“Don’t be such a man, everyone gets scared some times. Come and sit with me outside, it’s so nice out.” The gryphon standing next to her made a loud chirping sound, agreeing with her. She held out her hand to him and he nervously took it. He felt like he was tainting her just a little by touching her and would have jerked away if he didn’t fear upsetting her.

They walked back to where she had been sitting and settled themselves. “How was the boat ride?” Fotia asked.

“It was fine” He said though his nightmares had been terrible.

“I love sailing, the ocean is so pretty”

“Do you sail often?”

“No but I should. I’ve just kind of stayed here with my parents and travel not even half as much as I want to. Nothing’s keeping me, in fact I don’t know at all why I don’t travel more”

“Maybe you just don’t want to go alone.”

“Maybe, I don’t know who I’d even go with. I would say my brothers, but Pagos is crushing hard on Duryn. I doubt anything short of knocking him out will get him to travel far away from her.” Cipher gave a small smile, still conflicted about looking at Fotia. She was gorgeous and very pleasant to look at, but he felt even his gaze tainted her. Fotia wondered why Cipher seemed so upset and nervous. He truly seemed afraid of her so it made her wonder if he had been through something terrible. He looked as she imagined Rika and Reyna looked before they got over their trauma and then it made her wonder if he had suffered a similar trauma.

She didn’t dare ask though since that ran the risk of making him more uncomfortable. She just tried to keep the conversation as light as possible in hopes of relaxing him. In Chthon’s study Aurel said to them “We brought a friend along and we wanted to talk to you about him first.”

“What about him?” Ruth asked. Aurel explained what all he had seen in Cipher’s head. Chthon and Ruth listened with horror struck faces. Aurel finished with, “We brought him so that Rika and Reyna could help him work through the trauma. The poor man is plagued with nightmares and embarrassed as a male demon for falling victim. We’ve tried to tell him that he shouldn’t be ashamed but he is.”
“We’ll get Rika and Reyna and see if they feel up to talking to him. I’m sure Lispin and Neme will be close by, especially Lispin since Rika is pregnant.”

“Thank you so much grandma and grandpa.” Diana hugged them both tightly.

“After he’s settled in with them we’ll have to discuss these new babies. I’m sure you haven’t found names yet since Aurel is hard to please with that sort of thing.” Chthon said and Diana giggled.

“Yes he is.”

“Why don’t you two go find a room and put your stuff away.” Ruth said warmly.

“Okay, love you guys.”

“We love both of you as well.”

Diana and Aurel went to a room while Chthon and Ruth went to find Rika and Reyna. The former was in her room listening to Lispin read and the latter was sitting next to the underground hotspring while Neme recharged. They explained to them the situation and they both immediately said they would be happy to help. “So do you have any siblings?” Fotia asked.

“I have a little sister. She’s ten and a real sweetheart. How many siblings do you have?”

“Eight, I’m the second youngest and the biggest nag. I try to keep Pagos and Ilios out of trouble if I can. They’re so mischiveous.”

He gave a small smile and she felt like she had made some real progress. “You’re like a second mother then.”

“Pretty much.” She wished he would look at her so she moved closer. “Hey, would you please look at me. It’s kind of awkward to talk to the top of your head.” He swallowed worriedly, but lifted his head. He knew she could see and hated it. He wanted this to all go away. “You have very pretty eyes.” She said and he frowned. He didn’t feel like there was anything great about him. He was just a weak coward.

Fotia kept the smile on her face though she wanted to frown in response to his. She felt crestfallen, her efforts were doing little to put him in a lighter mood. She smiled as brightly as she could and kept the conversation light and happy in aspiration to make him relaxed around her. All she wanted was a genuine smile or laugh to come from him. She would do anything it took to make him smile. Soon Rika and Reyna came out. They could see themselves in the unsettled man. They approached gently, knowing since they were female he may be afraid of them. They both introduced themselves and he didn’t look at them, but told them his name.

“What’re you and Fotia doing?” Rika asked.

“Just talking” Cipher answered.

“Do you want to talk to us?”

“If Fotia will stay.” Rika and Reyna weren’t sure if Fotia knew or if Cipher wished her to know so couldn’t talk about what they wanted with her there. What he needed most was to feel in control of his own life though so they didn’t protest her staying, they just didn’t talk to him yet about what they planned on when they came out. Fotia was surprised he wanted her company with how he had been acting but she felt happy knowing he did like her.
“So you’re a friend of Aurel’s? That must be hard work.” Reyna said.

“He was away for many years, but before that he was always pretty quiet. He was kind of a loner, but he let me hang out with him anyway.”

They all three smiled and he rubbed his neck in discomfort. “Are you okay Cipher?” Fotia asked with a concerned look on her face.

“Yes, I’m fine.” He dropped his hand into his lap, wishing he was anywhere but here. Even knowing Rika and Reyna had been through something as terrible as what he had been through didn’t help.

“Here let me rub your neck. You seem really stressed and it’s probably starting to make you ache.” Her warm fingers drifted over his neck and he swallowed nervously. He felt a mix of fear and excitement move through him and had the sudden urge to jerk away from her. He forced himself to sit still, not wanting to hurt her feelings.

“Were you born in Protea like Aurel?” Rika asked.

“Yeah, born and raised.”

“Do you like it there?” Fotia asked.

He clenched his fists. “I did, but not anymore. I have some bad memories about that place.”

Fotia moved to sit next to him. “That’s why you make new and better memories like Rika and Reyna did. Bad memories don’t have to last forever.” Her gryphon chirped and she smiled. “I’m sorry, you must be hungry. I’ll be back in a bit.”

Fotia walked away and Cipher became more uncomfortable. He wanted to plead for her to come back, but instead he kept silent as he looked at the ground. “Cipher, we’ve been through what you’ve been through. In fact Reyna went through thousands of years of what you did. It’s okay to be scared and unsure of things. It will help if you talk about it. It helped Reyna and I.” Rika said.

His eyes still downcast he said “Does Fotia know?”

“No.” Reyna answered. Cipher felt some relief. He was glad she didn’t know of his shame.

“Who all knows?” He continued his questioning.

“Just Aurel, Diana, Chthon, Ruth, us and our husbands. Nobody else is going to know unless you want them to.”

“Don’t tell anybody else, especially not Fotia. I don’t want her to know my shame. I’ve already embarrassed myself enough with her, tainted her even.”

“Tainted her?” Reyna asked and he nodded.

“She’s so sweet and innocent. My disgusting hands touching hers was practically an abomination. I shouldn’t touch such a sweet woman. Not with these filthy hands. I barely feel like any part of me is mine any longer.”
Rika and Reyna both slowly reached for him, each of them grabbing one of his hands. “You are not filthy Cipher and even though we have both felt it, there is nothing to be ashamed of. You were hurt, a part of you was broken and there are so many pieces scattered about that you don’t think you’ll ever be able to put them back together. My ex husband was a brutal man. He tied me down for days at a time, he beat me and raped me on a daily basis until I was pregnant. He murdered every little girl I bore him then raped me again until I had our son Zeus. I was like a broken doll, empty and alone with no one to save me. I contemplated suicide, but couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“And I was attacked and raped by a demon who just happened to come my way. He kept me for days, but it felt like months. I got pregnant with his child, my oldest daughter Kandara. She is the only thing I don’t regret about that time.” Rika added.

“How did you forget?”

“We never forgot. It’s still in our minds. We found someone who we loved more than anything in the world. I have Lispin who actually kidnapped us women after being decieved by his mother. He turned out to be the sweetest man I have ever met. He’s the father of this baby.” Rika said as she rested her other hand on her stomach.

“And Neme rescued me, he chased away the demons. He is everything to me, my hero and the love of my life. We found someone who we could talk to, who would hold us when we had a nightmare and needed to cry, someone who showed us we had worth and that we weren’t filthy.” Reyna said with a warm smile.

“I can’t burden someone with my troubles, it would only add to the shame I feel.”

“You men and thinking you have to be invincible. You’re a person too and like us you need someone who will always be there when you need them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or lover or girlfriend, but you need someone who will not judge you or make you feel inadequate. Just think on it okay.” Fotia came running back and sat back down beside them with a big smile.

“What did I miss?” She asked happily.

“Nothing dear, Rika and I are going to head back inside. I’m sure Lispin and Neme are worried about us.”

“Okay.” Fotia leaned over and rubbed Rika’s belly. “You be good to your mommy okay baby.” She said, her innocent smile tugging at Cipher’s heart. The baby kicked and everyone but Cipher smiled. “See you two later.”

Chapter Two

Fotia’s gryphon flew off and she waved bye. “Where’s it going?” Cipher asked

“She’s mine but she likes to be free sometimes too. She’ll be back later today or tomorrow or whenever. I don’t really know”

“That’s nice you don’t trap her.”

“Well she’s a living thing with feelings. She’s more my friend than anything else. I’m happy for her to go have fun with whatever she does without me.”

“You and your family are really nice.”

“Well if you like it here and don’t want to go back I’m sure my father would let you stay.” Cipher didn’t answer. They just awkwardly talked until dinner was approaching. Fotia offered her hand again and he took it. He tried not to feel like he was tainting Fotia, but these were the same hands that were on Peony. He felt like he was rubbing that horrible woman into Fotia’s sweet, gentle palm. He sat by Fotia at the dinner table while her twin brothers sat on her other side. Rika soon sat at his empty side and he felt guilty for wishing she hadn’t.

He was here to get help. He had agreed to it, but it was hard. He ate dinner quickly, just wanting to be alone in his room awhile so that he could calm down. Fotia frowned as he seemed to bolt out. Aurel excused himself and followed Cipher since Cipher didn’t know where his room was. She had suddenly lost her appetite, feeling as if she was upsetting him even though she could tell it was somthing deeper. “I’m going to my room. Goodnight everybody” Fotia said then left to grab a book from their library and just read the rest of the evening away so she wouldn’t have to think of how upset Cipher was.

Fotia didn’t linger long in the library since she already knew which book she wanted. They had just went out to buy more and the one titled Dreams of a River Born Serpent caught her attention. She took it and walked to her bedroom, hoping her gryphon would return to her tonight. Once in her bed clothes she dove right into the story, getting lost in the authors world.
Cipher sat on his bed in the room Aurel had directed him to and just stared out the window at the clear, star filled sky. He wished he could fly like Fotia’s gryphon and go somewhere far away where no one could find him. He wasn’t sure if that was even possible. He knew Aurel would come for him, knowing that being alone with his thoughts for to long would be bad. Even now horrible things filled his head, images of Peony taunting and touching him, his body unable to refuse her commands even though he had fought for control. He laid down, his eyes still looking outside. He knew he had to sleep, but he was terrified. He knew he would have a nightmare, but night after night of restless sleep had exhausted him. He fought to stay awake, but he finally fell into sleep.

Fotia’s mind drifted back to Cipher, pulling her attention away from the book. He had seemed so hurt, his eyes betraying his pain. She sighed and marked her place before closing her book and sitting it down. She needed to talk to him, to make sure she hadn’t done anything wrong. She knew she could be very open, her family knew that from her constant reprimanding of Pagos and Ilios. She got out of bed and stepped out of her room, inhaling the air around her. Her father had taught her the importance of remembering the smell of everything around her. She followed Cipher’s scent down the hall and around the corner. She stopped in front of his door and raised her hand to knock just as he screamed.

It startled her, making her jump and freeze for a moment. Another wail came from within and she quickly shoved the door open and ran to him. She grabbed his shoulders and shook him as hard as she could. “Cipher, wake up.” She ordered. He was drenched in sweat and his face was pale. “Cipher, please wake up.” His eyes flew open and he scrambled away from her, falling out of bed and pressing himself into the corner. “Cipher?” She moved around the bed and he pushed himself into the wall as hard as he could. The bedroom light came on and Aurel and Diana, as well as everyone else in the house froze at the sight of the shaking Cipher. Chthon ordered everyone who had not been told of Cipher’s trauma back to bed with the exception of Fotia who was trying to get closer to Cipher. “Cipher it’s okay, everything’s okay now.” She said softly and reached for him.

“Please don’t touch me.” He whimpered.

“Shh, let me have your hand, just your hand.” He shakily reached out and she laced her fingers through his then moved a little closer. “It’s okay, I’m just touching your hand and I won’t go any further until you say so.” She looked back at her family. “I think I’ll stay here tonight. Could you get him some water?”
“I’ll get it.” Ruth said then everybody left, knowing Fotia had the kind, tender heart needed to help him. Fotia just sat there holding his hand until her mother returned with a drink. Cipher was too afraid to take it so Fotia did for him.

“Thanks mom. Goodnight”

“You don’t need anything else?”

“No thank you.” Ruth walked out and shut the door. “Please drink Cipher, I’m sure you’re thirsty.” He was actually willing to take it from Fotia though his hand shook when he reached for the glass. He spilled a little from the jerky movement of bringing it to his lips.

“Did I get any on you?”

“A little, but it’s only water.”

“You don’t have to stay with me.”

“I want to. Maybe you should shower to get the sweat off you.” He looked away from her and she said, “It was just a suggestion. You do what you want.”

“If you’ll be in here I want to shower. I’ll be back.”

“Where would you like me to wait?”

“Anywhere” Cipher pushed himself up the wall and Fotia backed up to give him space. He felt fear in him with his back to Fotia as he walked to the bathroom but he kept walking anyway. He knew she wasn’t Peony. Fotia was far too sweet to do any of the things to him Peony did. Cipher meant to take a quick shower, but images from his nightmare plagued him and he ended up just standing there, letting the water flow down his body, curving into his muscles. Fotia began to worry and knocked on the door. He jumped and she heard his heart rate pick up

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I was only worried.”

“I’ll be right out. please don’t be sorry Fotia.”

“Do you need clothes?” He only then realized he hadn’t brought anything into the bathroom.

“Yes.” Fotia went to his bag and collected sleeping garments before walking back.

“I’ll just hold them through the door. Is that okay?”

“Yes.” She cracked the door open only just enough and stuck the clothes through. He took them and she pulled her arm out, shutting the door. When Cipher was covered he came out, jumping again because she was so near.

“Do you want me to lay with you? I’ll lay on the floor if you’ll be afraid with me in bed. I just want to be in here for comfort if you have another nightmare.”
“I..I don’t know.” He looked at his feet, unable to make eye contact with her.

“Cipher, I’m going to touch you okay. Nothing weird, I promise.” She reached slowly up and tipped his head back by his chin so he was looking at her. “There that’s better. I really love your eyes.”

“You should just leave me here. You’re so innocent and I’m broken and tainted.”

“I’m not going anywhere, you won’t sleep if I leave I can tell. So where do you want me?”

“You can sleep in the bed with me.”

She smiled and slowly reached for his hand, taking it gently and pulling him toward the bed. He stopped when she crawled on the bed, his heart threatening to burst from his chest. She waited patiently, her beautiful eyes looking warmly up at him with compassion. He took a deep breath and crawled in next to her then she lifted the covers over them. She made sure there was space between them, but retained possession of his hand. “Why do you think you’re tainted? Does it have something to do with your nightmare?” She asked as she brushed her thumb over his hand.

“I don’t want to tell you, please don’t make me.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to say anything.”

“It’s just, I’m ashamed. I feel like a coward.”

She moved closer, making his heart race. “I’m not going to hurt you I promise.” She lifted her hand and ran her fingers through his hair, then moved them down to the back of his neck. “It’s okay, just relax. I promise to stay here all night and keep your nightmares away. They can’t get around me no matter what.” She rubbed his neck then slipped her hand down to his upper back, wanting him to relax. “Tell me if I make you uncomfortable and I’ll stop.”

“It’s fine, thank you.” She was close enough he could have kissed her if he had the courage. She was so beautiful and full of light. He wanted to touch her so badly, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. She was too innocent and he was too broken.

“Please don’t look so sad Cipher, it breaks my heart.” She fell asleep with her hand resting on his neck and he slowly moved it and laid it on the bed. He moved a little closer to her and pressed his forehead against hers then closed his eyes, letting the warmth of her skin and her sweet smell lull him to sleep.

Chapter Three

Cipher and Fotia slept soundly through the night, both being woken to come eat the next morning. Fotia smiled at Cipher “No more bad dreams?” Her benevolent voice asked. He smiled back, this one looking real to her.

“Not one, thank you for staying.”

“I’ll sleep in here every night until they go away for good if you want.”

“I’d really appreciate that Fotia.”

“Well, let me go to my room and dress for the day. I’ll meet you at breakfast.”

“Okay.” Fotia moved and let her feet fall to the floor so she could walk out. Cipher stayed still until she was gone, just letting his eyes follow her. When she was out of his room he changed his clothes then went down to breakfast. He picked a place to sit that had a free spot on both sides of himself in hopes Fotia would sit with him. His wish was granted when she walked in and sat with him. A small smile flitted across his lips that Chthon, Rika, Ruth and Reyna caught. Their hearts all warmed, having a feeling something could grow between those two that would pull Cipher out of the dark.

After breakfast Pagos left to go visit Duryn for a few days. Ilios looked disappointed, but he was making himself get used to the fact he and his brother didn’t do everything together any longer. They were grown men and it would have happened eventually. Pagos meeting Duryn just sped their seperation up a little. Ava as always patted him on the back ‘Why don’t you hang out with Assaku and I today?”

“Sounds fun.” Ilios answered.

Chthon chimed in, “Why don’t we all go to the nearest lake and play around. It will be fun.” Everyone agreed but Cipher who still wasn’t speaking to everyone as a group much.

Fotia asked, “Want to go with them?”

“You’re going.”

“I’ll stay if you don’t want to go.”

“No, lets go. It will be fun.”

Everyone went up and changed into their swimwear, Cipher debating whether or not he should change his mind. He had a lot of scars from Peony’s abuse and they made him feel even more ashamed. He heard a tapping on his door that startled him. “Sorry.” Fotia said from the other side of the door. “May I come in?”

“Uh sure.” He replied and she pushed the door open, his eyes widening at her bikini clad form.

“You haven’t changed yet. We don’t have to go, I see my family every day so I don’t mind staying.”

He looked away, gripping his trunks tightly in his hand. “I’m scared.” He admitted.

“Of what?” She closed the door and crossed the room, tipping his head back up. “You don’t have to tell me, but it would make me really happy if you did.”

He swallowed. “I have these scars and I hate them. They’re why I started wearing a shirt.”

“Would you take off your shirt and let me see?” He shook his head, not wanting her to see. He was sure she now had some inkling of what had happened to him. “Let me be the judge of how horrible they are.” She coaxed softly as she slowly slid her hands under his shirt, pushing it up and then off. He had scars from cuts across his chest and abdomen. There was a burn scar over his right side and even more cuts on his back. She reached out and ran her fingers gently over them. “They look like battle scars, not ugly at all.”
Cipher’s bottom lip quivered. He was in disblief she really didn’t find his scars repulsive. She smiled and he very nearly kissed her. Instead he walked into the bathroom to change into his trunks. When he came out she was sitting on his bed, smiling that prepossessing smile. She got up, her boobs giving a slight jiggle that made him look away. “You okay?”


“I told you your scars aren’t ugly Cipher.”

“It wasn’t that.”

“Then what?”

“You’re just so beautiful.” He answered truthfully again. A light tint of pink colored Fotia’s cheek

“Well you’re very handsome. You can look at me. I like that you think I’m beautiful.” He looked at her again, not being able to keep himself from admiring her. She giggled, “Come on, lets go swim.” Fotia took his hand and they walked out. He became nervous again since everyone could see, but not an eye lingered, nor did anybody act appalled in the slightest. They left the castle and started walking to the lake. Fotia looked up excitedly when her gryphon was coming back “Hey!” she called happily. She got a chirp in return as the gryphon flew past “She must be going home.” Fotia said to Cipher. He just smiled in return of her words.

When they arrived at the lake everyone got in aside from Lupin and Rika who sat right beside the water. Fotia pulled Cipher out until their heads only just stuck out of the water “I love going deep. Guess what I can do? I was lucky and inherited it like Abraxas.”


“He’s my brother. He and his wife aren’t living here right now”

“What can you do?”

“Breath underwater.”

“That’s really cool.”

“Yep, even better thing about it is anybody I kiss can breathe underwater too. Do you want to swim under with me? I’ll kiss you so you can breathe.” His heart began thundering again. He remembered Rika and Reyna telling him he wasn’t filthy, that he needed contact to move on. He also wanted to kiss her so badly, even if it was just a small one so he could breathe underwater with her.
He nodded and she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his. His heart leapt in his chest and he found himself shaking. He wasn’t sure if it was fear or excitement, but she pulled back before he could decide. “Sorry.” She whispered and grabbed his hand. “Come on.” She pulled him beneath the water, taking him deep down to explore. Being able to breathe under water was amazing and he found himself staring at her more than the things she was pointing at. She swam so gracefully, reminding him of a mermaid. He wanted to kiss her again, to feel her soft lips moving against his and the feeling of his heart racing in his chest. He pulled her into him, his lips finding hers in a nervous kiss.

Fotia felt butterflies brush her insides as his lips touched hers. He held her wrists as if he was afraid to be touched while they kissed. He parted their lips, looking embarrassed as he let her go and swam toward the surface where everyone else was playing. She followed, worrying about him the whole way up. “I’m sorry.” He said once they were above the water.

“For what?” She asked as she grabbed his hand a moved closer.

“You were just so beautiful and being kissed by you was amazing. I just wanted another one. I sound like such an idiot. I used to be good at talking to women, but now…”

She pressed a finger against his lips. “Tell me what happened Cipher, tell me so I can help you. I want you to be comfortable around me, but if I don’t know what’s wrong I can’t do the right thing.”

“I can’t.” He sounded so heart broken.

“How about we go back to the castle where it’s just us. You can talk if it’s just me right?”

Her eyes were full of worry and sadness and it made him feel guilty. She had already done so much and he was hiding things from her. “Okay, as long as it’s just you.”

They swam up to Chthon and Ruth. “We’re going back to the castle now.”

“Alright, bye you two.” Fotia kept Cipher’s hand the whole way back. Not a word was spoken between them since he had decided to shame himself in front of her. Cipher didn’t want Fotia to see him as some weakling demon made a slave by a crazy she devil. As he braced himself he tried to calm down as well. She had been nothing but a sweet, kind angel that wasn’t even taken back by his scars. In the castle they went into his bedroom where they sat down on the bed. “Talk to me when you’re ready, my family will be gone a long while and even if they do come home they wont come in here.”

Cipher gripped Fotia’s hand tighter. “A few years after Aurel left our world this girl he used to sleep with came over to my home. She wanted me to spend some time with her because she was sad over Aurel so I did.” Cipher paused, obviously having trouble even at the start of his story. Cipher sighed then forced his mouth to keep forming the words of his tale. “She cast a spell on me, one that made me have to obey every command she gave me. She kept me for her own amusement. She’d beat me and force me to have sex with her. Sometimes she’d beat me while I was doing sexual acts with her I didn’t want to do. I was…” He started crying. His sobs quickly became worse and worse so Fotia wrapped him in a tight hug.

“I’m so sorry Cipher…no wonder I scare you…” Cipher shook his head trying to stop crying enough to where he could talk inteligably.

“No, you do but you don’t Fotia. I’m so glad I met you and that you kissed me. I love kissing you. It feels so good. Now because of that bitch I’m going to scare you away because I’m but a shell of what I used to be”
She pulled him into a tight hug and he wrapped his arms around her as he cried, his face buried in her soft hair. She rubbed his back, letting him get it all out. “It’s okay Cipher, I promise to stay with you no matter what.”

“You say that now, but what about when I wake you up every night screaming?”

“I’ll hold you and kiss you and we’ll make love until you’re so lost in me you won’t even remember what scared you.” He pulled back to look into her eyes.

“Do you have any idea what you are saying? You can’t give yourself to me. These hands and this body touched that bitch and I don’t want to…” She pressed her lips against his, silencing him and exciting him.

When she pulled back she said, “I don’t care Cipher, I want you and only you. I don’t think for a minute you’ll dirty me.”

“But why? Why me, why someone broken and scarred?”

“Because I love you.” She was so sincere, her eyes shining with compassion and adoration and need. He swallowed nervously, wanting to feel her soft skin. His lips found hers in a hungry kiss, one hand pinned her wrists above her head while the other pulled at her bikini. She moaned when he shakily cupped her breasts and his fingers tugged at her nipples. It felt amazing to have him touch her, even if he wouldn’t allow her to do the same. He was scared of being hurt again and she understood. His hand moved lower, going down her side to her hip then over to her inner thigh. She gasped when he pushed his hand between her legs and slipped his fingers inside her.

“You’ve never done this have you?” He whispered as he bit at her breasts.

“No, never. I’m glad my first time will be with you.” He kissed her again and she felt his lip quivering. He pushed his shorts off and got between her legs.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered then slammed into her, making her yelp at the pain between her legs. He started crying as he moved, his grip loosening so she pulled her wrists free and hugged herself to him. “I love you Fotia, I love you so much.” Cipher said when he spilled himself into her confines. He moved to her side and brought Fotia into his arms. “I do love you Fotia.”

“I love you too.”

“I feel guilty I had to hurt you.”

“It wasn’t bad, just surprising.” Cipher kissed Fotia.

“I hope that’s the only time I ever hurt you.”

“I know it will be. Do you want to take a nap?”

“I just want to hold you.”

“I love how it feels when I’m with you and in your arms Cipher. I hope you’ll never call yourself disgusting again. Please stop crying.” She asked since he was still shedding light tears.

“That was just so amazing and like I said, I felt guilty.” Cipher managed to make the tears stop as her scent washed over him. Cipher clung to Fotia, desperatly needing both rest and her. He had gotten so little sleep over the years so went into a deep sleep at this moment that lasted the rest of the day and through the night. He finally felt safe and was glad to know his mate would be right there if Peony tortured him again in his nightmares.

~ The End ~

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