Saiya walked angrily as she followed the directions in her head she had been given. She had found out where that bastard Thorn lived now but had no knowledge he had a family. She planned to make him suffer for the rape of her daughter and the slaughter of her son. All these years later and she still couldn’t let go despite her daughter always telling her she was only hurting herself by remaining so bitter. If her daughter knew what she was going to do to Thorn Saiya was aware she would be disappointed but that didn’t matter. Nobody touched her babies and this bastard had taken one completely from her.
When she arrived at the house she decided to knock instead of bust in. He would be less on guard if he was just answering the door. What demon with ill intent ever knocks? Instead she had to look down at the demon who answered “Yes?’ said a girl of about eleven. “What’re you doing here?” Saiya asked. The girl smiled “this is my home silly”
‘who’s at the door” Gloria asked as she now appeared “Um..” she wondered if her directions were wrong. These women were much too happy to be captives. “Does Thorn live here?’
“Yes but he’s hunting right now. Who are you?’ Saiya paused, not knowing what to say. He had a family, or did he? She decided to ask “who are you two to him?’
“I’m his mate and this is our daughter. Who are you to him?” The question was thrown back. “I..um..” What was she to do now? She was so angry but he had a family, an unharmed family. Maybe this was the Gloria that had made him apologize and she was actually still with him. Was she any better than him if she took a mate and father away from these two. She decided if she could gain entry to see what the situation was really like and then decide what she wanted to do. “I’m a really old friend of his… I was hoping to catch up”
“a friend? Thorn didn’t used to have friends” she made up a quick lie “well, I was one of the women that actually chose to have sex with him”
“Oh, I mean, I guess you can wait for him to come back.” Gloria trusted her husband even though she didn’t much trust this woman. Gloria stepped out with her daughter instead of letting Saiya in just incase Saiya tried anything. That way her daughter would have a safe place to run into where she couldn’t be harmed if this woman meant either of them harm.
Thorn stared patiently at the deer, his breathing quiet and even. It moved, picking at the grass. He held out his hand, a dagger appearing in it. He moved with lightening speed, on the deer before it had time to react and driving the blade into the spot at the base of its skull before it had time to panic. It fell dead, not feeling a thing and Thorn gave it a pat on the side. “Thank you for your sacrifice.” He said then sliced it open and cleaned it out. Once he was done, the dagger vanished and he lifted it, settling it across his shoulders. Gloria would be happy with the meat. He ran through the forest, jumping easily over fallen trees and ducking under low branches. He was careful not to catch the bucks antlers on anything. It was the smell that alerted him to a stranger’s presence, it was familiar yet also foreign at the same time. It reminded him of someone. He slowed to a walk when the house came into view then froze when the woman came into view.
A name sprang into his head as the woman’s scent once again filled his nose. This woman had the same look as one of his victims. He dropped the deer, his heart giving a leap at the perceived threat to Gloria and Loren who were talking with her. “Hey, get away from them.” He ordered as he made his way across the yard.
Saiya knew it was him the minute she set eyes on the demon. He looked angry and scared, not of her but for his family. He drew closer and her hand jumped to on of her swords, pulling it out of its sheath in the blink of an eye. Thorn didn’t have time to back pedal, but managed to twist a bit out of the way so the blade coming at him stuck him in the side rather than the gut. He jumped back, gripping the wound. “Monster.” She yelled, her other sword coming out of its sheath. “Devil.”
Gloria didn’t come to her senses until she heard Loren scream. She was so shocked by the attack that she had frozen for a minute. She grabbed her daughter and forced her into the house and slammed the door then started to call upon her demon companions to aid Thorn. “Gloria, stop.” His command was loud and stopped her chanting. “Why are you here?” He asked the woman, wanting to keep her attention on him.
“First it was to kill you, then I saw you actually had a family” She looked as if that disgusted her “upon seeing them I was hoping with all the women you’ve raped and tortured you’d have no idea who I was but apparently you remember your victims. No doubt masturbate to their screams and pleading. I dont know why I thought you might forget you horrible beast. I wanted to come on as an old friend and see if maybe I should spare your life if you’re really different. I mean either this woman condones your behavior and is a sick bitch herself or you’ve changed and shes somhow able to stomach how vile you are’
“why would you attack me then?”
“You were coming at me and looked angry. I dont think its unreasonable when you brutally raped one child and murdered the other”
Her words stabbed him in the heart and he glanced at Gloria to see her reaction. She just stood there, ready to defend him with her demons. “I apologized to your daughter, I begged her forgiveness and she gave it to me. There is nothing that will change what I put her through.”
“Apologized to her?”
“I went to every one of my victims and begged then to forgive me. Some attacked me, but they all gave me their forgiveness.”
“And you expect me to believe that? You murdered my son, what about his life?” She pointed her sword at him. “You are nothing, but a murderer.”
He swallowed and looked at Gloria. “Go inside with Loren, Gloria and keep her away from the windows.”
“What are you talking about? I’m not leaving you.” Gloria replied, her eyes on the woman.
“If she wants my life then she should have it, blood for blood. I don’t want you and Loren caught in the middle.”
“Will that make you happy, will that ease your pain if you can spill my blood?” Thorn’s eyes bored into the woman who had come to his home looking for revenge. “Go inside Gloria, there’s no reason for you and Loren to see.”
Saiya’s grip tightened on her sword and Thorn opened his arms wide, exposing his chest. She started to step forward when the front door of Gloria and Thorn’s house flew open and Loren shoved past her mother. “Don’t hurt my daddy.” She sprinted across the yard and Thorn dropped down to hug her.
“You need to go inside sweetie.”
“Oh baby girl.” Gloria took the opportunity to cross over and stand next to her husband.
“He’s not like he was then. He’s changed, he regrets his evil ways and he was granted his forgiveness. I’m sorry for what happened, sorry for the pain you feel, but he’s not a monster anymore.”
“How does it not make him revolting to you to know what he’s done?”
“Maybe if I had known before I fell in love things would be different but I was already head over heels when he admitted his past to me. He spoke so sorrowfully when he did and when I asked him to go apologize to all his victims he readily agreed and did so. Ever since he’s been nothing but an amazing father and mate. He can’t go back and undo what he did but he shows every day he will never go back to that life. Having a daughter I can’t imagine how deep your thirst for revenge is. For one t be harmed so badly and the other have his life taken but please, don’t take Lorens father from her or my husband from me”
She stood there silently a few moments then put her blades away “I…I’m going to be back” she turned and walked away but Gloria felt little relief. She was afraid the woman would come back and Thorn would throw away his life and leave them alone. He and their daughter were so close she wasn’t sure if her little one could handle it. She ran over and hugged Thorn. He held back tears as he held them close, glad to still be alive.
When they would let him go he brought his kill inside, leaving some out to cook with, putting some in the fridge and then what remained in the freezer. Loren was always his shadow but after that she practically clung to him with fear her father was going to let himself be slain if the woman came back asking for his life. Gloria knew if she didn’t come back for days her daughter probably wouldn’t sleep for days in worry over her father.
“Loren honey, could you do me a huge favor?” Thorn asked as he looked down at his little girl.
“Could you go play in your room so mom and I can talk?”
“But what if…”
“I’ll still be here, I won’t leave.”
Loren looked worried, but finally nodded and let go of him. Once she was out of sight he turned to Gloria who slapped him. “How dare you try sacrificing yourself.” The anger had come bubbling up and her first reaction was to hit him. He grabbed her, pulling her into his arms.
“It was all I could think to do. I know dying won’t fix anything, but if it will keep you and Loren safe I’ll gladly do it.”
“I can protect us Thorn, I can shield our daughter and myself.”
“All I could think was what if another comes along for revenge and they decide the best way to punish me is through you and Loren. I would die without you and our little girl.”
“And we would die without you. You can’t leave us Thorn. Loren adores you, I love you.”
He pressed his forehead against hers. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know what to do. My past will always haunt me, it will cling to me like some parasite and I want you both safe from it.”
“it’s been twelve years since anybody bothered us. Most have moved on and accepted things.”
“I know, I just don’t want either of you ever hurt because of me”
“but not fighting for us has damn near traumatized Lauren. We have a daughter now. You can’t just die. If you wont live for me live for her. That girl may never sleep again out of fear she’ll wake up and you’ll have let someone kill you. You are a good man and don’t deserve to die.” Thorn quickly turned the meat so it wouldn’t burn then crushed Gloria into him, his silent tears hitting her shoulder. “I love you too so much Gloria”
“I’d never want to leave either of you”
“we know baby but you can’t just give up your life to protect us. Fight to protect our family. Loren and I need you.” he kissed her shoulder “Okay” he wanted to keep holding Gloria but he was cooking and didn’t want to burn the food. She wiped his tears away as he let her go. After giving him a few moments they called Lorena and she came running back in. Gloria pulled out a few potatos and started preparing them as her daughter stared out the window. She hoped Thorn was going to talk to her while they ate.
Thorn could see Loren was still upset, her face sad and afraid. He hated he had caused her to worry, but he really had thought he had no choice but to give himself over for what he had done. Once the table was set and everyone was seated, he turned to her, wanting to make her understand. “Loren, do you remember when your mother and I told you I had a dark past?”
“You understand that that’s why that woman was here right?”
“Yeah.” Loren shifted a little in her chair. “She said you raped her daughter and killed her son. Is that the kind of thing you did?”
“Yes it was. I was an extremely bad person when I met your mother. Like many male demons I was raised to believe I was entitled to whatever I wanted. I took and took, not caring about my victims or their families. I hurt a lot of people. I didn’t know any other life until I met your mother and she changed me, she made me want to be a good person.”
“You are a good person dad. They forgave you, so you are a good person so don’t leave us okay. You’ll just hurt more people by dying, mom and me, Kandara, everyone who you have made friends with and who see you as family, you’ll hurt them. So don’t let anyone hurt you okay?”
He got up and hugged her. “I’m sorry I scared you baby girl, it won’t happen again, I promise.”
“what’re we going to do about Saiya?”
“If she wont go away peacefully your mother and I will protect you, our home and ourselves”
“I can’t help”
“You are amazing for your age baby but I can feel this woman is a very skilled demon. She can’t be taken lightly and sadly that means we need you to stay in the house”
“good, Once I’m sure she isn’t coming back maybe your mother and I can work on honing your skills some more” Her face was now excited “Okay” Gloria smiled, her heart warming as she watched the two. He was a better father than he’d ever give himself credit for. That lit up, innocent little girl was proof of that. They ate in a much lighter mood than what hung in the house while they prepared the meal. It was Lorens turn to clean the kitchen so Gloria and Thorn went into the living room .
“You think I put her at ease?” he asked and she moved to sit in his lap “yeah, she just needed to know you’d fight to stay with us”
“I will, you’ve seen my power. Though she is strong I know I’m stronger. I’ve wiped out my father and you felt his power”
“yeah, and she has maybe one third of that”
“I don’t want to hurt her and cause her daughter more grief but I promise I’m not leaving you and our daughter”
“Thank you” Saiya passed, increasingly frustrated with every circle. She loathed that man but he had people that loved him, people that would suffer as she did when she lost her son. It urked her how they could love a man who was once so cruel but obviously he wasn’t anything like that now. Loren seemed so sweet, Gloria so built up and strong. Neither had signs he had abused them even once.
She didn’t know what to do or what to believe. She needed to talk to her daughter. She sat down and reached into a small pouch hanging from her belt. She pulled out a blue stone and held it between her hands, calling her daughter’s name. “Mother?” Her daughter’s voice resonated from the stone.
“I need to ask you a question about the demon who hurt you.”
“Mom, I thought I asked you to let it go.”
“Just listen. Did he come to you after what he had done and apologize?”
Her daughter was silent for a moment then, “I told you he begged on hands and knees for my forgiveness. He said I could do whatever I needed to do to make myself feel better. He was ready to let me kill him even. He then asked me to sign a piece of paper as proof for the woman he loved. He said he was going to everyone he had harmed and begging them to forgive him.” She was silent another moment. “Mom, where are you?”
“Don’t worry about it sweetie.”
“Are you there, are you with him? Mom, I told you to leave him alone.”
“I’ll be back home before you know it.”
“I love you, stay safe.” She cut the connection and stuck the stone back in its pouch.
She sighed, her daughter was the victim and yet she was handling this better than she was. It was hard to forgive loseing her son and her daughter being used the way she was. Though after sitting out there a few hours she knew some of the anger she was placing on Thorn wasn’t deserved. She had loved her sons father immensely but was too afraid of commitment to make the man a demon. She stayed with him his full human life span and almost instantly regretted it when his last breath left his body. Now that she lost her son she had nothing left of him. A human males life span was all the commitment she could ever muster and now she was taking out some of that on Thorn.
Her daughter had chosen to forgive so Saiya decided she would swallow her pride and return to Thorn. It was he now that deserved an apology. He had already admitted he was once a monster, humbled himself enough to apologize and was obviously honestly living a better life. In her bitter rage she had come and scared his family, trudging up a past the young girl might not even know about and they would now have to explain it to her.
She walked slowly through the wood to return to his home. She was going to apologize but apologizing to the man who wronged her children was easier decided than done. As she got closer her pace got slower and her doubt about letting this go got louder. She had to keep remembering the strength of her daughter to continue walking forward.
The knocking at the front door heralded the return of Saiya and Thorn was the first to his feet. He was across the room before Gloria or Loren could issue a be careful and had the door open. He leaned against the door frame, his body seemingly relaxed as he looked back at the woman who had come to kill him. “We need to talk.” She said and balled her hands into fists.
“I don’t want to do anymore damage to your daughter’s perception of you.”
“She knows of my sins, I would never lie to her.”
Saiya swallowed. “I should apologize for bringing up something like that in front of you family, even if they do know and accept you.”
“I…I should also say sorry for attacking you. I was angry.”
“That one I will not accept, you were justified in your anger.”
“Still I shouldn’t have acted that way.” She clenched her fists tighter. “I have disappointed my daughter by coming here. She had already told me that you were good enough to come to her and apologize, it just flew out of my head in my rage.”
“If someone hurt my Loren, I would be out of my mind. She’s my little angel.”
“I don’t know if I can forgive you.”
“I don’t expect you too.”
“good but I will leave your family alone and go visit my much more level headed daughter. Please tell them I’m sorry for scaring them” he nodded “I appreciate it” she sighed and walked off their porch. Thorn closed the door with gratitude things had gone so easily. They knew a monster lurked in him but that didn’t mean he wanted to show it off by harming that woman. Loren ran and hugged her father. He lifted her in his arms “everything will be okay now my love” she clung tighter as she felt all the weight of her terror fall away. Gloria walked up and joined the hug, equally relieved that woman was leaving them in peace. After awhile Thorn set his daughter down and he looked at his wife seriously “I think it would be wise to set up a few enchanted traps we can call upon if need be. I don’t want somthing ever happening when I’m not home”
“okay, lets go outside and discuss it” They spent the next week casting spells and planning attacks for possible situations they could find themselves in. Once they were done at that front Thorn and Gloria got serious about training their daughter skills while trying to teach her new ones. Even if her father hadn’t done all the things Thorn had she’d still need to know how to protect herself once she was grown and out in the world alone. They needed to be sure she had all the skills and power she could before the time came she wanted to leave their nest.
Eventually they developed a nice routine so things could be normal and happy but their daughter would still get the training she needed. Thorn felt happy, safe and more grateful for Gloria and Loren than ever. They would always be his greatest treasures in life and now he would fight any battle he had to to remain at their side.
~ The End