Thorn carried Gloria delightedly across their home land so they could pass into Chthons world. he was excited to show off his mate and let everyone get to know the wonderful woman who had turned him around. “I only stumbled a little. I can walk”
“any excuse to hold you, you know that” Gloria kissed Thorns cheek and he leaned into it. He carried her straight through the portal and all the way to Chthons doorstep. He knocked, beaming and making Gloria feel adored. Kandara, Shri & Suka answered before he even finished knocking. Since they knew Gloria and Thorn were coming they had been excitedly waiting by the door. Kandara hugged her father, somthing that made Gloria smile. Kandara then turned to Gloria and gave her an even tighter hug “thank you for making my dad a better man. It will be nice to have a father in my life.”
“It’s nice to meet you. You are a gorgeous young woman”
“Thank you, please come in, meet everyone. We’ve all been excited.” Kandara grabbed Glorias hand while the twins shuffled Thorn along. They went into the ballroom where everyone had been hanging out so they could all greet Gloria at once with plenty of space so she didn’t feel suffocated. The first person that hugged her was Rika. It was a long embrace “it’s really nice to meet you. I have a lot of respect for you for giving Thorn a heart”
“Are you kidding? Ever since Thorn told me you had a child with him I’ve been amazed that you’ve apparently been such a good mother despite how she was conceived and you’re so ok after all that”
“I wasn’t for awhile but I have a great family, children and mate. Meet Lispin and my son with him” They greeted her then the rest of the family took turns in the order they decided to go in. Chthon was the last and jerked back to look at her the second he hugged her “what?” he smelled her which made her and Thorn nervous “what is it?” Ruth asked. “I’m sorry and I know this sounds weird but I need you to come with me and drink somthing.”
“Um, ok” she said nervously as everyone else looked confused. “everyone but my wife and Thorn stay here” They obeyed, all concerned about what was going on. “is she ok?” Thorn asked in worry. “I don’t know. She has some sort of charm on her and I doubt it’s of her choosing. It feels like bad magic to me”
“I haven’t done anything to myself” Gloria said and Ruth answered ‘he knows, we’ll see what’s wrong” He took her into a room where he pulled out a vial “drink this and trust me. I’d never hurt you”
“I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about you Chthon. I know” She took the vial and downed it, not doubting this man for a second. Nothing happened so he grabbed another “drink that one” she did and instantly her head hurt. She fell to her knees with the massive pain. “Gloria” Thorn said as he dropped to the floor to comfort her. “Chthon, what is it?” Ruth asked. “Sombodies done somthing to her head. I’m going to find out what and who. She’s a part of our family now and whomever would hurt or tamper with a woman so kind hearted needs to be dealt with”
“How do we fix her?” Thorn asked.
“To find out what happened I have to reverse the enchantment.”
“Well then do it.” Gloria said as she wiped away the tears of pain.
“It might take some time since I don’t know who did it to you and it could also be painful.”
“Someone’s messed with my head, that’s not okay. Just fix me, I don’t care how long it takes.”
Gloria didn’t like she had been manipulated and hated not knowing the reason behind it. Thorn helped her off the floor and she swayed a little as her vision spun. “Thorn please take her to a room and I’ll be in shortly.”
“Yes sir.” He lifted Gloria in his arms and took her up to one of the empty rooms. He was nervous, angry, and hoped Chthon could help her. He wanted to kill whoever had charmed her without her consent. “Are you feeling okay?” He asked as he sat down on the bed with her on his lap.
“Yeah, ticked off, but fine. I wonder what was done to me?”
“Nothing good if Chthon is worried about it, but he’ll fix it.” He tucked her hair behind her ear and kissed her cheek.
Chthon came in with Ruth a few minutes later, carrying a vial of liquid. “Drink this, it’s pain medicine. Hopefully if this hurts, it will help to soften the blow.” Gloria grabbed the vial and gulped down the liquid within without question.
“sit sideways and more to the center of the bed Thorn if you want to hold her” Ruth commanded gently and Thorn obeyed. Chthon got on his knees beside them and held her head in his hands. “I’m going to reverse the enchantment. Hopefully I can undo it myself and it wont take anything complex. I’m an old and powerful demon so I should. If not we can always get my good friend Aurel”
“I’m ready” Chthon closed his eyes and first tried reading her memories. He could tell whatever had enchanted her had been in the workings for years so he went far back. He knew somthing was off right away. He could tell she had many years worth of tampered memory. He deduced it was a memory editing charm by the way the memories played. It was as if scenes were clipped out or somthing else was pasted in. Now that he knew the type of charmery he began to undo it. It started to hurt but not unbearably so. She just gritted her teeth and held as still as possible for him.
The mild pain soon turned into massive. “we’re sorry” Ruth said sadly. She let out a loud scream, startling Thorn and the passes out. Chthon had finished and the massive rewrite and restore had been a lot for her brain to handle which was what caused her to pass out like that. “Nine years” Chthon said in shock and disgust. “what?” Ruth asked “nine years worth of her memories were tampered with”
Ruth covered her mouth and Chthon looked at Thorn “I fixed them and saw what they were before they were edited”
“what were they? Did someone hurt her and cover it up?” He sighed, both an angry and sad sigh. “she had a mate. They went to visit some world I’ve never been to but I didn’t like it one bit. The bitch queen there coveted Glorias mate and abused Gloria until he agreed to be her sex slave. They slammed her head into the floor until she passed out before they discussed it in length and she woke up in her house after they fixed her memory so she wouldn’t go back for him or bring any fucking help. They stole her mate and on top of that changed a whole nine years of her life. Not only that but this queen is wicked and needs to be stopped. Just from what i’ve seen I’m ready to destroy her”
Thorn swallowed. “She loved someone before me and he gave himself away for her.” His heart ached just thinking about it.
“Oh Thorn, she loves you very much.” Ruth said in a comforting tone.
“She loved him didn’t she?”
“Yes, very much.” Chthon answered honestly.
Thorn brushed his knuckles over her cheek. She had been robbed of her first love and the memories they had shared. He pressed a gentle kiss onto her forehead. “We have to save him.” He choked up at the words, but he meant them. “She deserves to see him again.”
Both Ruth and Chthon’s hearts went out to both of them. “Once she wakes and I am sure she is well, we will go and liberate him from that monster.”
“Everything’s going to be alright Thorn.” Ruth said and patted his back before they left him and Gloria alone. He held her close, tears burning in his eyes as sorrow tore at his heart. He knew what could happen if they found her first mate. He knew if someone had gone through the trouble of rewriting nine years of her memories that the man must have been extremely important. He didn’t know what he would do if she chose to go back to him, but he knew he wouldn’t blame her. The things he had done in his past had been monstrous and he was sure the other man had never done the terrible things he had done.
Chthon went to his family that were waiting with worried faces in the same room Gloria had been first ushered to. He explained to them in greater detail all the events since that werent as wounding to his family as they were to Thorn. They all felt anger and disgust when Chthon was done. “when Gloria is fit for traveling we are going to save Aegaeon from his slavery. Are any of you going to join Ruth, Gloria, Thorn and I?” Nero, Lissana, Zeus, Lucy, Ava, Ilios, Cipher & Assaku all decided to go while the others stayed. That was army enough, just Chthon was army enough when you pissed him off.
They were instructed by Chthon to be ready to leave at any time so they went to their rooms. Thorn laid in the bed cuddling with Gloria. He hoped he could stop crying by the time she woke up. These were such selfish tears. He was scared of her leaving him for a man much better than he was. It only made it worse they had nine years together. He was only just about to be with Gloria for a year so she had much more history with her first mate.
He had been Glorias friend for months before they became mates but that still only meant he knew her for a little over a year. Regardless, in his heart all he wanted was for her to be happy. He loved her enough not to let his selfish wants get in the way. He would help his mate save her first mate and if she left he would recover as best he could.
Gloria jerked awake half an hour later, her heart wrenching in her chest at the memories that came flooding back in. Tears flowed down her face and she curled up in a ball. Thorn’s arms went around her and held her tightly to him as she wept. “I’m so sorry Gloria.” He said softly then kissed her shoulder.
“It was my fault. I took him there, knowing that bitch was still ruling.”
“Hush now love, I’m sure he doesn’t blame you.” His heart was ready to burst with sorrow, but he kept it to himself.
“We have to save him, we have to get him out of there. He won’t have let himself be completely broken, but he’ll be suffering.”
“I’ve already asked Chthon for his help, we’ll get him back I promise.” She turned over and he wiped the tears off her face. “We’ll get him out safe and bring him back here. Cipher, Rika, and Reyna can help him.”
“You have such a big heart Thorn, thank you, I love you.”
“I love you too Gloria. Let me take you down so the others know you’re awake.” He got up then lifted her into his arms and carried her downstairs where everyone was talking, some in angry tones, others seeming almost worried or sad.
They all turned to Gloria, receiving hugs from multiple people in the room. Ruth went into the kichen to ask the workers to prepare a meal. Chthon walked up to her “how do you feel?”
“sad, my head hurts but…he’s been stuck there for years and I didn’t even remember what he did for me or our life together…I” Chthon grabbed her shoulders “none of it was your fault. I looked through a great deal of your memories. You had taken many males friends and relatives into that world with no problem. You couldn’t have foreseen the queens interest or that she’d take him from you by force. He did a noble thing, a sacrifice out of love that i know I’d do for my Ruth if it came down to it. He obviously loved you a great deal and chose to give up his life so you could live. Don’t feel guilty. We will save him and he has a home in my castle for as long as he wishes. I’d be proud to house a man like that so once we get him on the road to mental recovery he’ll have a happy life within our family.”
“Thank you Chthon”
“You are family now that you are with Thorn as he is Kandaras father. Even so, I will not abide such abuse of power. I will expose her to her kingdom and hopefully they’ll have the head to understand she’s a monster. That whole world is backwards and needs to be fixed. At first Nero, Lissana, Zeus, Lucy, Ava, Ilios, Cipher & Assaku were going but I’ve gotten in contact with Abraxas and his wife. They’ll be coming too and Lispin has decided to tag along. Together this family can do anything, even change a world of bad values and ideals. I plan to deal with the people peacefully but the queen has a heart of coal.”
They all sat at the table talking until dinner was served. “I think we should go after dinner if you feel up to it after what your brain went through” Chthon said. “I’m fine, just the headache”
“I’ll get you somthinf for it” Kandara jumped up and left, coming back and handing her a vial “thank you” Kandara smiled and sat back in her seat.
After dinner they each packed a small bag, Thorn worrying the whole time. Gloria could tell and grabbed his hand as they met the others at the front door. “Thorn are you alright?” She finally asked.
“I’m fine love, just have a lot on my mind right now.” He gave her a half smile then became silent once again, seeming to withdraw into himself, his face almost sad. She wondered what he was really feeling, if he was angry or jealous, or if he felt like he meant nothing to her anymore. She wanted to ask him, but didn’t think it was appropriate right now, especially with Aegaeon’s life hanging in the balance. Her thoughts then drifted over to Aegaeon. She wondered how he would feel upon finding she had a new mate, if he would be happy for her or upset. He had loved her more than anything and had always wanted her happiness. She squeezed Thorn’s hand, hoping to reassure him that she was still his and that wouldn’t change.
“Chthon, you know how to get there right?” Gloria asked.
“Of course I do, from your memories, I’m simply going to take a short cut.”
“What kind of short cut?”
“I’m going to create tears that will allow us to travel from world to world without taking so long to get where we need to be.”
“Dad, that takes a lot of energy.” Abraxas pointed out.
“I know, but don’t worry, your old man’s a tough demon.” Chthon replied. “I think we’re far enough away from the castle. Remember, tears are not as stable as portals so hold onto each other. They’re simply much faster so we won’t have to walk for so long.”
Chthon made the rip then they all grabbed a hold of one another so they made a large chain. Only Lispin, Abraxas, Chthon and Ruth managed to land gracefully but none the less they all made it through. None of them noticed the beauty of this place, they were far too angry and worried. They walked through town, a few women upset by their odd looks since little of the people here ever saw people from other worlds. They went straight for the castle where Chthon demanded from a guard “I will see the queen” No recognition crossed the mans face or fear “you will not. She’s having fun today”
“I bet she is” Chthon growled and cast the guard away, sending him flying. “I will see the queen” they raised their weapons as if to fight them so Chthon parted his hands, sending the rest flying. Ruth felt bad since the guards were men and had to obey the queen. Even if they wanted to let them pass they couldn’t have. She also knew fussing at Chthon would do no good. Not only had this woman messed with someone in their family she had stolen someones mate. Chthon was always extra sensitive about such affairs since he knew the pain of being without your mate.
He easily broke down the front doors, somthing he shouldn’t have been able to do but his magic surpassed the magic of this world, leaving the queens magic to cower against his. A servant ran “queen! intruders! Guards!’ Guards came and Chthon dispatched of them quickly until he heard the queen come in with men from her harem.
“Who do you think you are?” She hissed angrily. “How dare you come here and…” her eyes settled on Gloria. “Impossible, we erased your memories.”
“And I got them back you sick bitch. Where is he, where is Aegaeon?” Her fists were clenched at her sides, her entire body trembling.
The queen dared to smirk. “He’s in my room, being a good little doggy. I’m sure he’ll be devastated when he finds out you’e dead.” She snapped her fingers. “Boys, do away with these intruders and you will be greatly rewarded.” Her harem boys attacked the demons and Chthon gave a growl, freezing them in their places.
“You are a coward and a deceiver. How many innocent lives have you ruined, how many deaths have you caused? How dare you steal a mate from someone, how dare you toy with the mind of such a sweet woman. You sicken me.” The queen tried to use her magic against Chthon as he moved across the room, but none of it effected him. They could all see the panic in her eyes as she tried in vain to stop his advance. He gripped her by her throat, showing his true form. “Do you see what I am, a true monster, a real nightmare. I can tear you apart from the inside out, I can make you live your worst fears, I can make you beg for death. You will pay for what you have done.”
“Are…are you going to…to kill me?” She asked shakily.
“No, I am going to reveal your true nature to your people and then leave you in their hands to punish. I wonder what they’ll choose: beheading, hanging, leaving you to rot alone in a cell with nothing but a torn piece of cloth to cover you. I hope they make it as long and drawn out as possible. Now, where is the wolf demon and if you lie, I will rip out your tongue.”
“My room, he wouldn’t listen so…so I tied him d…down.”
Chthon took her magic from her, leaving her weak. He shoved her toward Abraxas. “Hold her. Gloria, Thorn, Cipher you will come with Ruth and I. The rest of you keep the guards off of us.” He unfroze the harem boys in the room with them and sent them into a deep sleep before turning and leaving the room.
It was an easy guess which one was her bedroom with how gorgeous the door was. Thorn heart felt like it was being gripped, ready for Gloria to leave him for Aegaeon. “you go in first Gloria” Chthon said and she nodded. She pushed open the door and Aegaeons eyes widened at first in disbelief then in terror “No! oh, tell her to come back. I’ll be good. Have they hurt you? I’m so sorry…oh god” she ran to him “shh, no, it’s not like that. That’s not why I’m here” His lip quivered “you act as if you know me” Thorn and the rest walked in the room “she does, i figured out sombody had tampered with her mind. I restored her memories and helped overthrow the queen. You are free Aegaeon”
Abraxas cut the binds so Aegaeon could get up. He pulled Gloria into his arms and cried into her shoulder. “I can’t believe you did this for me…” Gloria said then he pulled back and wiped his face “You couldn’t hear me because you were passed out but I love you too much and owed you too much to let you die here. I was a bitter, lonely man when I stated listening to you play in those woods. You brought so much happiness into my life and truly made me live. You saved me from misery and it was my turn to save you.” Tears slipped out of Glorias eyes ‘thank you”
Aegaeon started to pull her in for a kiss but she halted him. He looked at her confused and she said “Thorn, come here” He came, looking like he had been at the queens mercy with how sad he looked. “Aegaeon, this is my new mate. During the years I didn’t remember I found him.” Aegaeon smiled, it was real but still held sadness. “Then you listened. I’m so happy. I told you to find a mate and move on. All I’ve ever wanted is your happiness Gloria. If you’re happy with him then I’m happy for you. It’s been many years.”
He tried to stand and almost fell, but Thorn grabbed a hold of him and pulled his arm over his shoulders. “Sorry, I’m just so weak, I feel drained.”
“It’s okay, you can lean on me.”
Aegaeon smiled. “I’m glad she found you, really glad.” Thorn helped him walk and he hissed in pain. “My ribs are still broken.”
“We’re going to take you back to our castle where you can truly rest.” Chthon said.
“Thank you.” Gloria grabbed his other arm, helping Thorn. They walked him back down to the throne room where Abraxas had tied up the queen. She lay on the floor, gagged.
“She wouldn’t stop cussing and spitting at us.” Abraxas said angrily.
“Listen I want you, Ilios and Ava to check the rest of the castle for prisoners. Ruth you know how to make a tear so I want you and Cipher to take these three back to the castle and heal Aegaeon. I and the others are going to out this evil bitch to her people.”
“Okay my love, please stay safe.” Ruth said and gave him a kiss.
Gloria, Thorn, and Aegaeon followed Ruth and Cipher out of the castle, hurrying through the city and into the woods. Ruth took a deep breath and opened the tear then grabbed Cipher who took Gloria’s hand and they stepped through. The minute they were on the other side Aegaeon threw up. He spit and gave a small laugh. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.”
“It’s just like the day we went there.” Gloria laughed along with him. It was slow going getting home with Aegaeon in such a weakened state, but they finally managed to get back and get him into a room. Gloria helped Ruth clean him up and then Ruth healed him, resetting his ribs. He was given potions to make doubly sure he was completely healed. He fell asleep and Gloria sat with him for a time, Thorn sitting on the floor next to her legs. “Thank you for wanting to help me save him.” She said softly.
“You loved him.”
“I love you Thorn. A part of me will always love him, he was such a big part of my life, but you are my mate. You were willing to give me up, weren’t you?”
“Anything for your happiness. If it meant you being with him I would have let you go just to see you smile.”
“And that’s what makes you both good men. Come on, let’s go to bed.” She got up and he followed her, lacing his fingers through hers. “I hope Cipher, Reyna, and Rika can help him. He’s been through far too much.”
“I know it sounds selfish, but I’m glad you still want me.”
“That’s a good thing. I think it might hurt my feelings if you weren’t relieved that I’m staying with you. Aegaeon will heal and find a new love then the love he has for me will become secondary in his heart and he can be happy.” As they entered their room Thorn cupped Glorias cheeks so she was looking in his eyes “you do know that if I was put in that precise position I would have done the same right?”
“Yes, you went back to the women you raped even though it meant them hurting you or maybe trying to kill you because I wanted you to apologize. I’m not comparing you to Aegaeon anyway Thorn. I love you, cuddle with me and don’t worry” They settled into bed, cuddling up to eachother until morning.
The next day they were woke by someone knocking on their door. Thorn got up and pulled it open, smiling sleepily at Fotia. “Aegaeon is trying to get out of bed, he keeps insisting he’s fine and won’t listen to anyone.”
“Give me a minute and I’ll come set him straight.” Gloria said as she sat up ans stretched. She climbed out of bed and pulled on her housecoat. “Come on, lets see what all the fuss is about.”
When they got to Aegaeon’s room he was already setting up and arguing with Matalia who had volunteered to help take care of him so the other women wouldn’t exhaust themselves. “Grandma and grandpa said you are supposed to be resting, you’re not strong enough to get out of bed.”
“I’m fine, nothing a good nights rest can’t fix.” He shot back.
“I said no.”
“And I said yes so move.” Matalia crossed her arms and stood her ground.
“Aegaeon, she’s right.” They both looked at Gloria and Thorn who were standing there with amused expressions on their faces.
“I’m fine now Gloria, really. Tell this girl to let me get up.”
“I’m not some girl you dog eared twit, my name is Matalia and right now even I could kick your ass so get back in bed.” He huffed, growled and did as he was told. “Oh don’t make that face it doesn’t suit you at all. I’ll bring you some breakfast so just stay there and don’t think about trying to sneak out.”
“Fine, I’ll stay put.”
“Besides Rika, Reyna, and Cipher want to talk to you. They’ve all been through what you went through on some level. I think you’ll want to be here relaxing when they come to talk to you since speaking about such things can be hard so don’t go wandering off.”
“Okay, I get it.”
“Good, I’m sure Gloria and Thorn would stop you if you tried anyway.”
“Damn straight, go ahead and get this stubborn wolf some food, we’ll keep an eye on him.” Gloria chimed in.
“Ugh, that girl. She’s been at it for an hour, it’s like she never tires.”
“Well maybe you should listen to her, she’s just looking out for your well being.”
“I guess…I’ve just done enough being in bed” he said and looked away. Gloria walked over and sat down to hug him. “I can never thank you enough for not letting her kill me. Even though I told you not to offer yourself you did”
“As I said, I love you. I couldn’t let you die. I couldn’t listen to or watch you suffer.” Aegaeon looked at Thorn “are we cool?”
“Why wouldn’t we be?”
“well, I do love your mate but I want her to be happy. I also want to remain in her life as her friend but I can see how it would be awkward so I’m just hoping it doesn’t have to be. I mean, out of courtesy sake I’d hope you guys wouldn’t maul faces just yet in front of me but I’m truly happy for you two and have no plans of pursuing Gloria”
“we’re good, after what you did for her I’d be an ass to say you couldn’t hang around. Besides, you’ll be living in Chthons castle”
“I just wanted to talk to you about it.” Matalia soon came back in with breakfast. They quipped back and forth, reminding Gloria of how she and Aegaeon had been upon first meeting. She actually hoped that maybe he’d fall in love with Matalia as he did her. He would need a mate to help him deal with the after math of what he suffered for her. They stayed until Rika, Reyna, and Cipher came into the room. “I’ll see you later Aegaeon” Gloria said as she walked out with Thorn.
“Was he like that with you?” Thorn asked once they were downstairs.
“Oh yes, he had no trust for women at all. His mother and his aunts were horrible, not as bad as the queen, but not nice to him at all. It made him bitter towards the opposite sex and I hope the queen didn’t bring back that hate. I hope he can still see that not every woman is that monstrous. He’s so stubborn though, a male through and through.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine and with Matalia too keep him from pushing himself, he’ll recover faster.”
“She’s a good girl and I can see that fire in her. You can tell she’s related to Chthon.” They sat down with everyone else and got to know them now that they didn’t have anything to worry about. It was after breakfast when Cipher, Reyna, and Rika came downstairs. “How is he?” Gloria asked.
“Upset, too proud to talk about much, he feels like I did when I first came here.” Cipher answered. “He asked to be left alone. I tried telling him it was good to talk, but he just asked us to leave.” Matalia got to her feet and headed upstairs.
“If anyone can get him to open up it’ll be Matalia, she’s got a will of iron.” Chthon said. “She won’t be driven away if he gets angry and says things he doesn’t mean which in his state he just might.”
Gloria frowned and Thorn took her hand “he wanted to save you Gloria”
“It doesn’t stop me from feeling bad that he had to endure so much because of my decision”
“The queens decisions” Chthon added. “what did the people do about the queen?”
“They are going to go rulerless now and we helped them see the light that men shouldn’t be treated as less than them. Hopefully they’ll stick to that attitude”
“Also Gloria, i dont think he could go back to thinking all women are the same. You showed him in you and your friends how great women can be and more are good than bad. He doesn’t seem bitter”
“I’m glad” They stayed a couple weeks, Matalia and Aegaeon spending most their time just the two of them. By the time Gloria and Thorn left she knew romantic feelings were growing and she couldn’t wait to see them blossom. Thorn and Gloria walked home with intertwined hands. Thorn happy things went so well and even happy they saved the man who saved Gloria. Without him Thorn wouldn’t have her and he shuddered to think about who he’d still be and how horrible of a world it would be without his Gloria.
~ The End ~