Damek was in so much pain, his body battered from being tortured. His blood dripped onto the muddy ground as he ran. He had finally managed to gain his freedom after his guards had made the mistake of unchaining him so he could eat. He had brought the ceiling crashing down around him, expending the rest of his magical energy. Adrenaline alone pushed him. He had not remembered how they had managed to catch him, only that he had awoke in a cell chained to a wall with magical shackles that bound his power so he could not use it. When he had asked his captors what they had wanted they had said nothing. It wasn’t until the next morning, when a man wearing expensive clothes came to him, that he learned they wanted immortality so they would be able to easily defeat their rivals in battle. He could tell by their smell that these men were corrupt and had refused them their wish. He didn’t know how long they had tortured him, one day had bled into another and he wasn’t sure if it had been a week or a month. What he did know is that he was in bad shape and had not been able to heal completely since they were constantly coming to hurt him.
Now he ran, rain pouring down on him, blood running down his skin to mingle with the mud, his body in so much pain it wanted to collapse, but he refused when he knew they could be following him. Anahita smiled as she twirled beneath the pouring rain, her face turned to the sky as she enjoyed the coolness of the water. It soaked her dress, making it cling to her pale skin. She could feel the life in the rain and in the wet grass beneath her feet. It was a beautiful, wonderful thing that made her heart race. The sound of footsteps made her eyes fly open and her body freeze. She waited, ready to run if the need arose. It startled her when the man came stumbling out of the woods. He came to a stop, his labored breathing loud and ragged, his body trembling and soaked with blood.
“Help.” He said with a hoarse voice and then collapsed to the wet ground. She ran worriedly to his side and dropped down next to him. He was handsome even through the bruises, his skin bronzed from the sun and long brown hair clinging to his wet skin. Large brown wolf ears sat atop his head and gave a little twitch when she touched them, letting her know they were real. He was feverish and shivering, she needed to get him to the village before he died.
She wasn’t particularly strong but she managed to drag him the short ways until some men fro her village came to help. “get him in and warm! He’ll die” They dutifully listened to her, taking him to her home and laying him by the fire place. One man worked on starting a fire while the other went to dry Anahitas floor. This was one time she was grateful the people of her village were always so eager to help her. She went to her bathroom to collect things to tend to the wounded man with.
“thank you” she said when she returned and saw the fire going. “anything else I can do Anahita?”
“start some soup for me. That way I can just heat it when he wakes”
“yes mam” he said then went to her kitchen. “You’ll be alright as long as you have the will to wake again. This whole village will tend to you since i wish it so please wake”
Damek groaned as he began to wake, his entire body still in pain. He tried to set up, but a stabbing pain ran through him and he hissed at the agony of it all. “Oh thank the gods, you’re awake.” The voice was gentle, beautiful, like music to both his human and wolf ears. Her face hovered into view and he recognized the woman from before. She was a gorgeous creature with pale skin and crimson eyes full of concern as she looked down at him. There was something about her scent, something familiar, but he was in far too much pain to think about it.
“Where am I?” He asked, his voice hoarse and throat dry.
“My home, you collapsed and you have a fever.”
“How fortunate of me to find you.”
She smiled, looking just a sweet as she sounded. “Would you like some water and food?”
“Yes please.” She vanished from his sight and he couldn’t help but feel a little stab of disappointment. When she came back, she sat his bowl and cup down then helped him set up. “Damn that hurts.”
“It’s not your fault, though it may make it harder to eat or lift a cup.”
“Let me help then, I don’t mind.” She lifted the cup to his lips and let him drink as much as he needed then grabbed the bowl of soup and sat down next to him. “It’s not hot, so don’t worry.”
“What were you doing out there anyway, you could have died in such a state.”
He chewed and swallowed then answered. “I am the Earth God Damek and I was captured by some bastards who thought they could just torture me for immortality. They locked away my powers, but the morons unchained me and I showed them what happens when you mess with a god.”
“You’re the Earth God?”
“Yes, my siblings control the other elements.”
“Oh my, it is truly an honor to meet the father of nature.”
He chuckled, causing pain to shoot through his ribs. “It would be nothing without my siblings I assure you.” He took another bite, chewed and swallowed. “May I ask your name?”
“Nice to meet you Anahita and thank you for saving my life.”
“it was more than just effort on my part. A couple of the village men helped me” his wolf felt jealousy which was odd to him since he hardly knew this woman. “tell them thank you as well if I don’t meet them’ he said anyway. “I will”
“why were they so eager to help you?”
“so many questions for a man who seems to be in pain when he speaks”
“it’s my last until I finish eating”
“I have no father. I was immaculately conceived by the High Priestess. To top it off the village has prospered greatly since my birth so they all think I’m good luck. All the men of this village wish to marry me because of it” He let her finish feeding him then laid back down before asking “so you don’t have a boyfriend or husband?”
“No, but you should just worry about resting for now”
“I will heal soon enough” he said in what would have been a gentle tone if he wasn’t in so much pain.
She smiled. “Rest helps.”
“Did your mother tell you that you were immaculately conceived?”
“You’ve already asked two questions over what you said you would.”
“I’m a very curious wolf.” She held up another spoonful and he gladly took it. Her food was so amazing, especially after being held captive.
“Yes, she did.”
“Hmm, you have this smell about you.”
He nodded. “Yes, a smell, something different.” He inhaled the air, isolating her scent from all the others. “I know this scent, I just can’t remember from where.” He sighed. “It must have been from long ago.”
“Are all Gods and Goddesses this cryptic?”
“Probably, you’ll have to find out for yourself and you’ll probably get your chance, I plan on calling my little sister hear once I can actually move without difficulty.”
“What is she the Goddess of?”
“The sky, you’ll like her.”
She gave a soft laugh. “Alright, mister talk, finish your food so you can rest.”
It wasn’t long before he was sleeping again. She was glad for it because he obviously wasn’t going to properly rest awake. She went out to get another log for the fire so he would stay warm and saw her mother coming “hey mom”
“I hear you have company”
“The earth god, he was tortured”
“How is he?”
“He’ll be okay if he keeps resting”
“what an honor my blessed child”
“speaking of which he was asking about that and says I smell familiar” Her mother gave her an odd look “oh?”
“yeah, I’m curious but really wanted him to rest. He’s a god but even gods need to let themselves relax”
“do you have any tea made?”
“I’ll get some started unless you were going far”
“Just to grab another log”
“with how much the men fuss I’m surprised they aren’t piled high by your fire place”
“I’ve been shooing them more lately. They seem to be getting more persistent. I am glad they helped me with Damek though”
“well, I’m here to help you now”
“thank you” Anahita grabbed the wood and brought it in to make sure Damek stayed warm then went into the kitchen to sit with her while she made the tea.
“I can’t believe someone would attack a god.” Alessandra said once they both had their cups of tea.
“He seems like such a nice man too.”
“A god in my child’s house, it’s truly amazing.”
They talked softly until Damek jerked awake an hour later and managed to sit partway up. Anahita hurried to his side and he gave her a warm smile. “Are you okay?”
“Perfect, I just need to use the bathroom.”
“Mom will you help me please.”
Damek cocked his head to the side when he saw the other woman. She looked very different from Anahita, her hair was dark, her eyes a deep blue and her skin was a bit darker. He would not have believed this woman was her mother, if they did not share some of the same scent. “It’s an honor.” Her mother said.
Anahita threw back the covers and she and her mother helped him out of bed. He leaned closer to her mother, inhaling her scent then shaking his head. “No, the smell does not come from your blood.”
“Remember, I told you he said I smelled familiar.” Anahita replied.
“Oh, that’s right. What kind of smell?”
“I don’t know how to describe it. I’ll keep thinking. I swear I know someone with this smell.”
“You needed the bathroom.” Anahita said.
“I think I can walk on my own, it just hurt getting up. Thank you beautiful Anahita and thank you…”
“Thank you Alessandra.”
That scent lingered in his mind as he walked to the bathroom and relieved himself. It was going to drive him crazy until he figured out who she smelled like. Though it lingered in his mind it was hard to concentrate on because how beautiful and sweet Anahita was would take over. He wanted to be near her, have her lay with him for comfort but that would be far too forward to ask a lady he had just met. He returned and sat where he was laying “is there by any chance tea left?”
“yes, I’ll fetch it” Alessandra offered and went away to grab it. ‘how’re you feeling”
“already much better due to your care”
“are you going to lay back down after your tea?” he chuckled “probably”
“what? I just want you well. I’m worried”
“No need to worry, I’m going to be just fine. Your food has given me the strength I need to heal.”
She sat down next to him. “Still, you should take it easy.”
“I don’t like being stuck in bed, I get restless so easily, but for you I’ll try not to let it get to me.”
Alessandra brought his tea and took a seat in the chair next to the bed. “So what will you do once you are healed?” She asked.
“Gather my siblings and destroy the men who attacked me. They deal in war and death and they shall receive both.” He took a sip of his tea. “This is quite delicious.”
“It’s just mint tea.” Anahita said.
“Made with mint you grew daughter.” Alessandra added. “All I did was boil the water, but you’re the one who put the love and patience into the plants.”
“Mother.” Anahita blushed and Damek smiled at hurt.
“You did a wonderful job Anahita, I can taste the care you put into it.”
“So, are you going to call your sister?”
“Later, you insist I rest so I will. I don’t want you worrying.”
“I’m not annoying you am I?” He smiled and looked at her with a slight head tilt and sideways glance “a beautiful woman is fussing over me, what red blooded, straight man would complain?” she blushed again. his smile widening to the point he was showing teeth. For a small moment, looking at her with that adorable, yet sexy blush made him forget all about the pain. When he was done he laid down like she wanted and Alessandra asked “am I really needed around here?”
“Mom, the roads are still soaked. Please stay”
“ah so you fuss over everyone” Damek interjected. “she is a sweet girl” Alessandra said
“That she is, a real gift, an angel come to save me in my time of need. Think on how you would like to be repaid for your kindness.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
He took her hand gently in his and she felt a warm tingle move through her fingers. “Yes I do, anything within my power as an earth god I will give you, so think on it.”
She brushed some hair off his forehead. “I will, now sleep.”
He smiled and closed his eyes, his hand holding onto hers until he fell asleep. She slowly removed her hand from his and left the room with her mother. “He seems quite taken with you already.”
“Most are mother.”
“Yes, but he has no reason to want to prosper from you, he is a god after all. He seems to genuinely like you.”
“It’s hard to believe he’s a god.”
“I can sense his power and he has plenty of it.”
“He smells of the earth, like the forest, it’s so strange.” She sat down on her couch. “I want to know what he meant by my smell being familiar. I don’t smell any different than usual.” She brought her wrist to her nose and inhaled. “I mean I smell like my soap, but that’s not so strange.”
“Maybe he just likes sniffing you, he is a wolf after all.”
Even is his dreams Damek thought of Anahita, about how wonderfully different she was, and her scent. He thought hard about it, letting the smell dance around in his head as he broke it apart. He wasn’t sure how long he slept, but he snapped awake, his body feeling less achy than it had when he had fallen asleep. He smiled, knowing he was going to have to give Anahita something big for nursing him back to health. The love she put into her plants, showed in her cooking. He could feel the positive energy she put into it and in return the plants lent their healing properties to her. He slowly sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed, his ribs still a little sore so he winced.
She seemed to poof into the room “hey” he began to chuckle but it hurt too much so he stopped. “I’m well enough to call my sister. Truly I am”
“alright” Anahita said with a blush then allowed him to go outside on his own. When he was sure Esen was coming he returned inside “she’s on her way”
‘how do you know?”
“I just do, it’s hard to explain”
“Oh, okay. How are you feeling now?”
“just my ribs are sore”
“I’m glad you heal so quick”
“I’m going to give you a proper hug when it wont hurt. Have you figured out how I can repay you”
“you could be my friend”
“I was going to be that anyway. Let me do somthing for you”
“dang, now I’ll have to think on it more” He sat down “think all you need” she sat beside him and she noticed how purely happy it made his face. Her smell began wrapping around him, taunting him with both desire and having where he had smelled it before right on the tip of his tongue.
“You look perplexed.” She said, still smiling. “Like a confused puppy.”
“And you look beautiful like a pale rose.” Her cheeks reddened. “With a dash of pink.”
“Looks like he won daughter.” Alessandra said with a smile.
“I was merely thinking of you scent. It reminds me of clovers.”
“Yeah…it’s right there on the edge of my memory. Damn, if I could just…” There was a knock on the front door that interrupted his train of thought and Alessandra jumped up and pulled it open. “Come in sister dear.” He called and Esen stepped through the front door. Anahita was amazed by this woman. She had two sets of pink wings and the most stunning violet eyes she had ever seen. Her mouth was agape and Esen cocked her head to the side much like Damek often did.
“Brother dearest, what is a luck goddess doing here? Did you need help?”
“Luck goddess?” Anahita asked in confusion.
Damek snapped his fingers. “That’s who it is, Behruz, the god of luck.” He turned his gaze to Alessandra. “You had sex with a god.”
Anahita looked even more confused. “Mom?”
“I…” she frowned and cleared her throat, “I didn’t wish to burden you.”
“So you chose immaculate conception?”
“To be the daughter of a god, people would bother you even more, they’d worship you, hound you. I didn’t want that for you.”
“Her luck is what makes this town prosper and probably how we came upon each other.” Damek explained. “Behruz travels all over this world, leaving behind the scent of clovers.”
“I can’t believe this.”
“Honey, I’m sorry, I just wanted to protect you.”
Damek took Anahita’s hand. “Don’t be upset my beautiful flower, being a god is not as easy as you’d think.”
She frowned. “We’re always honest with each other. How did this come about?”
Alessandra sighed and sat down. “I always wanted children, but when I was younger I got an infection that robbed me of that. I prayed every day for a miracle and then he just showed up. He was charming and handsome and one night one thing led to another and nine months later you were born. It wasn’t until I realized I was pregnant that I found out he was a god.”
Anahita swallowed. “I…I want to find him…I want…no need to meet him.”
“I don’t know how but I guess we’re lucky there are other gods here then..” her mother said sadly. Anahita sighed “I will get over being so angry, besides, I’m angry at him yo. I know you and its not like you told him he couldn’t see me. At least you wanted me and have raised me. You’ve been an amazing mom while he hasnt even bothered meeting me once. Just give me some time”
“we’ll help you meet him” Esen said as she placed her hand on Anahitas shoulder. “thank you”
“you helped my brother and as you said Behruz has some nerve never meeting you.” she looked at her brother “but what did you need me for?” He explained in detail then he looked at Anahita “which should we take care of first?”
“You’re asking me?”
He stroked her cheek and tucked some hair behind her ear. “Of course, your opinion matters greatly to me. What do you want to do Anahita?”
Her face turned red and her heart did a flip. “Well, my father can wait, the people who hurt you should be stopped. I mean, when I found you, it was really upsetting.”
He smiled and pulled her into a hug. “You are truly wonderful.”
“I was scared for you, I didn’t want you to die.”
He pulled back and grabbed her chin. “Oh my beautiful rose, you truly are a blessing.” He turned to his sister. “We should leave now and get this over with.”
“I want to go.” Anahita said.
“No way, it’ll be dangerous.”
“Please Damek, let me go. I’ll just worry about you, please. You’re still sore from being tortured, let me come just in case you need me.”
“Please, I don’t want to lose you.” She blushed and looked away, making him smile.
“Fond of me are you?”
“Maybe, you treat me like a person. All those other people come to me because of my luck, those men want to marry me because they want good lives, but you treat me like a normal person.”
“You’re still thinking about what you want right?”
“Good, remember, anything.”
Anahita hugged her mother despite her anger. Being angry that she hadn’t been told the truth didn’t change how much she loved her mother or how wonderful their relationship had always been “I’ll come back safely”
“you better my beautiful, sweet child” As they left her mother sat down with a deep frown, tears streaming her face. She hoped after her daughter met her father she would get over the only lie she ever told her and they could go back to normal. She also hoped that he would have a relationship with her if she reached out for it. She didn’t want her precious Anahitas heart broken by a god who was most likely fathered many children with how he just came and went with her.
“You must promise me something Anahita.” Damek said as they stepped outside.
“Do not interfere in our fight with those men. I feel what they did to me is only a small taste of what they are capable of, so stay back.”
“I will, I promise.”
He stroked her cheek and brought his face closer to hers so her heart stuttered. “I would never forgive myself if something happened to you.”
“Oh just kiss her already.” Esen said and Anahita blushed.
“I’ll kiss her when she asks me to and not a moment before sister.”
“For a guy who walks around half naked, you sure are chaste in your affections.” She teased.
“I might be an animal, but I do not lack self control.” Esen laughed and Damek rolled his eyes. “Let me show you something really cool Anahita.” He stepped back, allowing the wolf to take over. Anahita stood there in wide eyed wondered as his body shifted shape. She had never seen something so amazing. He was giant and beautiful and she couldn’t help but run her fingers through his thick brown coat. He laid down and gestured with his head to his back.
“You want me to ride you?” He nodded and she climbed on, her heart dancing excitedly in her chest.
When he felt her grip his coat he took off running and his sister followed, flying just beside her brother. Though it was her first time riding like this Anahita felt safe and completely secure on his back as the wind played in her hair. This was an amazing feeling despite the fact they were heading towards the very people who caused him to be in such horrible condition when Anahita found him. She wondered what her father might be like or how many siblings she might have since she was the product of a one night stand. It would be exciting to have a lot if she could find them too.
She wasn’t sure how long or how far they had traveled, but Damek began to slow and then finally came to a stop and started to shift shape. She let him go and, taking a step back. “I can smell them.” He said. “They’re close, too close.”
“What are you going to do?” She asked.
“Destroy them. I wish for you to stay here so as not to witness such violence.” His eyes met hers and he took her hand, pulling her into him so she blushed. “You should not see such bloodshed.”
“But I want to watch over you, being close would give you luck right?”
“I don’t need luck, just knowing you care gives me the strength I need.” He stroked her cheek, a soft smile pulling at his lips. “You must stay safe for my sake.”
Her heart was in a frenzy and she quickly pushed her lips against his, making his eyes widen in surprise. She pulled in embarrassment and he smiled when he finally came out of his shock. “Just…just come back to me.”
“I think I know what I can give you Anahita, as payment for rescuing me.”
“My heart, hopefully it is adequate.” She just stared at him and he kissed her forehead. “Think on it.” He turned to his sister. “Let’s get this over with.”
She could do little more than stare at him as he went away with his sister. Once her mind cleared up she wished she had instantly said yes and planned to accept that as his gift when he returned. She may not know this man well but there was a connection she couldn’t deny. She wanted to be with him even more than she wanted to meet her father which was saying something since she had imagined what it would be like to have one many times. She really hoped he was a good man and that meeting her in person would inspire want in him for a father daughter relationship.
When Damek returned he and his sister barely looked touched and triumphant. Anahita ran to him and they embraced, sharing a soft kiss when they let go “I want your heart but only if you’ll accept mine in return”
“it’ll be more precious to me than anything I’ve ever had my beautiful goddess.”
“Guys, I’m happy for you and all but lets stop with the corny and find her father so she can meet him. I’ll hold him down if you feel like punching him for never coming around” Anahita smiled “That wont be needed. If he wants to be in my life I’ll be happy and if not I’m not going to beg for it. I have an amazing mother who more than made up for me not having a father.”
It took them nearly two weeks to track down her father and they found him sitting on the edge of a fountain in a small city. He held a flute to his lips and played a beautiful tune that had people stopping to watch him. He only stopped when he saw her, his red eyes wide with surprise. “You’re Alessandra’s daughter.” He said, giving her a sad smile.
“I’m Anahita, you’re my father.”
He sat his flute down, looking down at the ground. “So I really did grant her wish. I’m glad.”
She sat down next to him and he glanced at her. “You look so sad.”
“He didn’t want to leave.” Damek said and Behruz raised his head, taking a deep breath.
“You are far to perceptive Damek, Earth God.”
“I’m just not a moron. I can see it on your face.”
“Is that true?” Anahita asked as she placed a hand on his shoulder. “Then why did you leave?”
He sighed. “Your mother prayed hard for me, it was her sorrow that drew me in. She wanted so desperately to have children and none would marry her since she couldn’t produce any. Her voice was full of tears and I couldn’t stand it. I came to her as a High Priest, I lied to her and told her I was from a far away city, but I was traveling. The moment I looked into her eyes I was no longer myself. Usually when people need my luck, I give it to them and I walk away, but your mother, she drew me in. She was stubborn and honest and more beautiful than any other woman in the world. I ran like a coward right after I granted her wish, afraid of her hating me for deceiving her.”
“You love her.”
“Oh yes. No one had ever asked for something so pure and wonderful. All she wanted was to be a mother, to have that chance. She never asked for money or expensive clothes or jewelry, she just wanted you. So I granted her wish and I ran away like the bastard that I am. Hate me if you wish, I deserve it.”
She paused for a few moments, seeing in his face that he had truly been in pain and that the thought of her mother stirred up so many emotions for him. She grabbed his hand “I don’t hate you dad. It was cowardly not to face her but I’m glad to find out you didn’t just callously leave and that you actually care about my mom because she deserves a better man than that. I think she’s missed you too. For as long as I have memories I’ve never seen her with another man. She’s stayed single and it never made sense because I’ve seen men ask her out and flirt with her but she always told them no. Come home with me, apologize to her and be my dad…I’ve always wanted one.”
“You think she’ll forgive me”
“It’s my mom who taught me to be so forgiving”
“can I hug you?”
“youre my dad”
“I helped your mother make you but I havent been a dad yet. I promise I’m going to be though. Even if she wont have me I’ll visit you and make up for missing you grow up as best I can” He pulled her into him “I’ve always loved you too even though I never returned” When they returned home they cleaned up then went straight for Alessandras home. “mom?” Anahita called as they stepped inside.
Alessandra came out of the kitchen in a rush and wrapped her daughter in a tight hug. “You’re safe.”
“Of course I am, neither Damek nor Esen would let anything happen to me. We brought someone.”
It was only then Alessandra noticed Behruz standing behind them and her eyes widened in shock. “You.”
“Hello Alessandra.” She moved away from her daughter and walked over to him. “I’ve missed…” She slapped him, silencing him.
“You lied to me, you said so many sweet things and they were lies.” Her voice cracked and her eyes filled with tears. Behruz wrapped his arms around her and she pushed at his chest. “No, let me go.”
“Stop it Alessandra.” He held her tighter, one hand pressing into the back of her head so it rested on his chest. “I’m sorry, so sorry for everything and I have missed you more than anything.”
All the fight seemed to drain out of her and she just cried. “Liar.”
“Only about who I was, but not about my love for you. I have had no other since you stole my heart.”
“He means it mom, he still loves you very much.” Anahita said. “Please believe him.”
“why would you abandon me”
“I thought you’d hate me once you realized I got you pregnant. I was too much of a coward to face your anger”
“I was so happy..I would have forgiven you..you gave me a daughter”
“I’m so sorry, please forgive me now. I love you so much and I want to be with you and be here for our daughter” she cried awhile longer. She had never been able to get over him either and she knew she never would so even though she risked being walked out on again by a man who already proved he’d do it she took him back to the relief of him and Anahita. Anahita went from only having her mother and this village to having a father and a boyfriend. Nothing around this place would ever be the same and she didn’t want it to be.
~ The End ~