Thorn could barely make himself move as he made his way to Chthons castle. The last woman he apologized to beat him severely and he was still feeling it even though his body had mostly healed. He only had two more women to go and he could have hope for a chance with Gloria. Since the day he could understand language his father taught him women were toys to be used so he spent most of his teen and adult years violently raping women until he wanted somthing new to look at. About a year ago he fell in love. He met a woman he didn’t see as an object. He saw Gloria as a magnificent, wonderful woman and he wanted to be with her always. He wanted to make her feel loved and make love to her instead of raping and taunting her like he had done with so many women before.
Thorn knew his past would catch up with him anyway so the night he professed his love he professed everything he ever did to the women he met before her. At first Gloria was horrified and ran off. Thorn cried that night for the first time in his life, knowing his love was gone for good. He didn’t deserve her so he didn’t try and chase. A few months later Gloria came back. She told him that she had enjoyed their time together and asked if he was truly sorry for his crimes and if he’d ever consider doing somthing like that again. Thorn told her he would never because that was true. Now that he loved a woman he saw himself for the terrible monster he was. Gloria told him if he went to every woman he hurt, begged her forgiveness and did anything they asked to earn that forgiveness she would consider being with him. It wasn’t a promise but she was worth anything. These women deserved an apology anyway.
Next on his list was Rika, a woman he tortured for days. She was so beautiful it took a long time to get tired of her body and the sounds she made. He grew repulsed at himself as he remembered how much joy he took in her tears. It brought him to his knees and he bawled. The pain from his beating made it worse but he wouldn’t have cried if he wasn’t so disgusted with how he used to feel and think. He had almost enjoyed the beatings and other things he had to endure to get these women to write on paper they forgave him so he would have proof for Gloria that he did what she asked of him.
Lispin sat with Rika outside in the garden, making the flowers around them change color. She giggled and he kissed her cheek. He loved making her happy more than anything. “How are you feeling?”
“Better, thank you.” She placed a hand on her stomach and he placed his over hers. “Are you happy?” She asked softly.
“I’m always happy, but I’m also scared.”
“You’re going to be a great father Lispin.”
“How can you tell?”
She tipped her head up and looked at him with a warm smile. “Because you love me and that love will translate to our children. You are always so gentle and understanding with me. I promise you will be an amazing father.”
Thorn moved as fast as he could, wanting to get this over with. The castle loomed up in front of him and his heart beat quickened. He felt sick to his stomach again and his eyes filled with tears. When he made it to the large double doors he knocked. He swallowed nervously, knowing he could be killed on the spot when he was recognized. The door was opened by a dark haired man with bluish purple eyes.
“May I help you?” Zeus asked the stranger.
“Yes…uh…may I please speak with Rika.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Thorn and I must speak with her, it’s important. Please.”
“Come inside and I’ll see if she’ll speak to you.”
“Thank you” Thorn said nervously then stepped inside. This was Chthons castle filled with Chthons family. He knew well of the strong and intelligent people here. He worried what might happen when Rika told them who he was. Understandably they’d all be angry. He knew he would deserve it if he did die but he hoped to see Gloria again. He also had one more girl to apologize to after Rika so if he didn’t leave here alive she would never got the sorry she deserved and she’d never get to beat him or whatever she needed to do to unleash her anger. He knew he should have come to see Rika first incase someone before killd him but it took a lot to step into her new home. He felt the most ashamed about how badly he hurt her, how long he tortured her, how much his sick twisted heart loved the pain she suffered. He would go above and beyond whatever she asked of him to atone for what he did.
Pagos and Ilios had come down at the sound of knocking and stared at the stranger from the staircase. “Maybe we should tell the others.” Ilios said.
“Why? He doesn’t seem that bad. Maybe he’d like to see our powers.”
“I don’t think we should talk to him until dad says it’s okay.”
Bishin looked back when he heard footsteps and smiled at his father. “He dad.”
“There’s someone here to see Rika.”
“Who?” Lispin asked as he stood and pulled Rika to her feet.
“A young man named Thorn. He says it’s important.”
“Well take me to him then.”
They followed Zeus back inside, holding hands and wondering who was waiting for them. Bishin saw the boys standing on the stairs and got curious as to what they were whispering about. “What are you two doing?” He asked and they snapped their heads to him.
“Nothing.” He came to the top of the stairs just as Rika walked into the room. The smell hit both of their noses at the same time. Rika’s eyes widened and Bishin felt rage boil to the surface. He jumped down the stairs and attacked the demon standing at the front door.
“Whoa, Bishin stop.” Zeus said and pulled him off.
“That’s the son of a bitch right there, he’s the one who hurt her. Kill him now.” He struggled against Zeus, but to no avail. He wasn’t nearly as strong as the older demon.
“what are you talking about Bishin?” Everyone in the room could feel how angry Bishin was and how terrified Rika was despite her being in a house filled with other demons who could protect her. “That’s the bastard who raped Rika! He’s Kandaras father!” Bishin screamed, his voice and words echoed through the castle. Thorn felt even worse now. He had been hopeful none of the women had to bare a child by him and so far none had. Now it turns out the one he would have wished that on the least was stuck with a child that undoubtedly reminded her of him and how she had to suffer. Thorn tunred his head towards Rika but didnt look her in the face “I…I came to tell you I’m sorry. I came to offer anything you want Rika. I did somthing unforgivable to you, I know that but i came hoping to make amends in any way you see fit. You can beat me, burn me, torture me in any way you can dream up. Whatever you need to do you do it. I will do anything to help you release the anger you must feel and to pay for the monster I was”
Rika was shaking like a leaf, but finally managed to find her voice. “Wh…why are you doing this? Why are you here?”
“Because I found a woman who I love more than anything. She knows what I did to you and the others. The only way to get her to completely forgive me is to ask all of the women I hurt for forgiveness.”
“He’s lying.” Bishin screamed.
“Pagos, Ilios get your father.” Zeus ordered and the boys ran off. Lispin didn’t know what to do about this situation. He was furious that the man who had hurt the love of his life was here, but he also had a dark past that he had been forgiven for. He placed his hands on Rika’s shoulders and she jumped and looked up at him.
“What do you want to do Rika?”
Chthon came downstairs before she could answer and Zeus handed Bishin off to him. “Please take him away and I’ll explain later.” Zeus said.
“There is no later. This is the man who raped and beat my sister so let me go so I can kill him. Him asking for forgiveness is a lie.” Bishin yelled.
“Whatever happens to this man is up to Rika and if you try anything without her permission then I will strip you of your powers until this matter is resolved. Do you understand me?”
“Yes sir.” He let Bishin go.
He turned his ice cold gaze on Thorn and he actually shivered. “This is my home and if you try anything I will kill you and leave nothing.”
“Now Rika what would you like to do with this man?”
“I don’t know, may I think on it?”
“Yes you can.”
“This is bullshit.” Bishin snapped and Chthon gave him a look that had him snapping his mouth shut.
“Pagos, Ilios take this man up to a room. Bishin you will leave him alone and Rika please take all the time you need. This man will not be leaving here until this is settled. If he leaves at all.”
Pagos and Illios each grabbed an arm of Thorns. Their grips tight and strong, especially for such young demons. They didn’t need to walk him this way but Thorn understood. He still had goosebumps from how Chthon looked at him. He could see in Chthons eyes that he would like nothing more than to gut him. Pagos and Illion shoved him into a room, one went in while the other stayed out. Pagos who walked in said “I know you can tell we’re young but do not make the mistake of leaving this room until Rika or my father say so. You will deeply regret it.”
“I won’t, guard me if it will make you more secure, not that I’m in position to tell you you can or cant do somthing but yeah let me just pull the foot out of my mouth now.” Pagos just stared coldly, a stare almost as chilling as his fathers. Illios stayed pressed against the door. Ready to help Pagos if Thorn tried anything. Lispin pulled Rika into a hug “want to go to our room to talk and think my love?’ Rika nodded and Lispin picked her up. Bishin was shaking with anger and Olivia came up and grabbed his hand. It helped but he was still lost in his fury. The man who hurt his sister was here and he couldn’t do a thing to make him pay.
Rika laid in Lispin’s arm, her head resting on his chest as she played with the buttons on his shirt. She was still in shock over seeing that demon’s face again. Her attacker and the father of her beautiful daughter had come to her looking far different than the monster that had haunted her dreams. “Rika love, talk to me. I want to know what’s going through your head.”
“I’m scared, especially of him meeting Kandara. This is all so strange and I want to keep telling myself my brother is right, but the look on his face was filled with pain. I want to hate him, I want to hit him and scream at him, but I can’t.”
“That’s because you have a heart of gold my love. You have never been a violent person.” He tipped her head back and gave her a warm smile. “What would you like to do?”
“I don’t want to hurt him or kill him, I just want to know why he chose me and why he did it.”
“He was probably raised like most male demons believing women are nothing but possessions, toys, to be taken when a man wishes. Take my father and I for instance. We were raised by monsters to be monsters. My grandfather killed all of my aunts and raped my grandmother. If it had not been for Lucy my father would have become Jerimiah and if it had not been for you I would have never known the feeling of true love.”
“So he chose me because he had to?”
“He chose you because you were helpless, alone, and because he knew nothing else.”
“So should I forgive him?”
“That’s up to you.”
She sighed. “Maybe I should get to know him, try to understand him and maybe let him meet Kandara.”
“If that’s what you want to do then I will be right beside you.”
“I’m glad, I’ll need you”
“I wouldn’t have you alone with that man even if you wanted to be at first. I need to know he can be trusted.” For all Lispin knew this might be a plan to get her lone again. Demons without conscious could easily fake feeling distraught. “Lets go talk to him. I want to talk to Thorn before I expose Kandara to him.”
“That’s probably smart. I hope he’s being sincere”
“He seemed sincere” Rika said and Lispin nodded. They got up and walked towards Thorns scent. They say Illios standing by the door “You’ve come to a decision?”
“I want to talk to him. Where’s your brother?”
“Inside with Thorn, guarding him”
“Let us in please” Ilios moved over and they walked in. They asked Pagos to leave so he did. “you’ve decided what you need to do?” Thorn asked, still looking just as sad and sorry for what he had done to her. Rika could see how ashamed he was in his eyes. “I want to get to know you. I want to talk to you for a bit and if I think you’re safe I want to introduce you to our daughter. She’s an amazing woman. Out of those horrible days I gained somthing wonderful. I love her so much and I think you would too if you got to know her.”
“She doesn’t need to know me and I don’t deserve to know her. I am and always will be a monster. I am the lowest of the low. You have no idea how disgusted with myself I am, how much I hate myself for what I did. My father, well all the men in my family were not good. The things they did to the women, to my mother, were unforgivable and like our daughter I am the product of rape. All I did was continue the cycle of pain and humiliation. I am more sorry than I can ever express and I wish you would not have to look at me. I should let your brother have me and kill me the way he has always dreamed.”
“Thorn, I…” He held up his hand.
“You should not force yourself to speak to me, I know it bothers you.”
“It’s true, I’m scared and if I could hate you I probably would, but I don’t have it in me. Lispin was troubled once as was his father. Both of their minds were poisoned, Lispin by his mother and Zeus by his father and uncles. If they can be forgiven for any bad they did then you too can be forgiven. I want to know you, the man you are now before I make my descision.”
“That’s more than fair.”
“Would you like something to eat or drink?” She asked. “Or maybe you’d like to go outside.?” Thorn looked at the male demon holding her hand. He was silent, letting her lead, but he could tell Lispin was a force to be reckoned with.
“Maybe we should stay inside where your family can keep a watchful eye over us until they trust me. I don’t want to make them angry.”
“They won’t lay a finger on you without just cause.”
“Don’t they already have it?”
“You have done nothing wrong today and none of them will go against Chthon’s word. He is the most powerful demon here. If anyone tries anything without reason they will be punished by him since he is the patriarch of this family and his wife Ruth will be right behind him.”
“I would very much like some food and water then.”
Thorn stood slowly, not wanting to be seen as any threat atall. They walked out the room and teh twins stiffened. They heard Rika and Lupin invite them out but they were still a bit nervous. Thorn walked with his head hung as they went to the dining hall. A maid looked at them “can i help you three?”
“Could you make us somthing to eat and get us drinks? It can just be an easy thing like a salad or sandwhich”
“Of course Mrs Rika, even for Thorn?”
“Yes, I’m getting to know him. He’s truly sorry” The maid nodded then walked away. Lispin, Rika and Thorn sat down. “do you want to eat outside when the food comes?” Rika asked Thorn. “sure, I spend most of my time outside. I really appreciate the meal”
“How far away do you live?”
“About a months travel”
“Yeah, Im glad I ended up that far…Gloria…she’s far more than I deserve and I really pray she’ll give me a chance. Doing this doesnt insure one but she said she’d consider it. You and the other girls deserved an apology anyway…I’m a little surprised you don’t need to hit me. All the other women beat me pretty good”
“I’ve never been violent…well…aside from what you know” Thorn looked away “yeah, you seem happy now. I’m glad you havent been wounded all this time…not that i know but you seem to have a nice family…they love you”
“I do, Lispin here is who finished healing me. Without his and my daughters support I dont know where I’d be. There was a few times the poor girl ended up mothering me. She’s such a strong woman our Kandara. I couldn’t be prouder.” Kandara was leanin against the door of the dining hall listening. She didn’t know if she should go in or not. She had so many mixed emotions about the man that sat with her mother and the only father figure she ever had. Lispin had been such a wonderful dad even though she was a grown up and he didn’t have to do things.
“I’m glad she had you.” Their food arrived and they took it out to the garden. Thorn sat silently at the little table and ate. Lispin’s anger at him had lessened once he heard of his harsh upbringing. His own father had been made into a cold, unfeeling thing and he himself had been taught by his mother that love was for the weak, that you had to be a monster to get what you wanted. Even Chthon had been lucky to grow into the man he was.
“So tell us about Gloria.” Lispin said.
“She’s fantastic, beautiful, kind and she has the most heavenly voice. She gives me butterflies and hope. My heart ached the first time I spoke to her and everything I had ever done haunted me. I saw my father when I looked in the mirror and I hated myself. She’s something worth fighting for.”
They both couldn’t help but smile at the love he held for Gloria, at how dedicated he was to prove he was a changed man. “You said you’d do anything right?” Lispin asked and Thorn nodded.
“Well a bad storm blew through here and broke the boys treehouse. If you don’t mind hard labor you could help me rebuild it. I’m sure the boys would appreciate it and it would go towards gaining everyone’s trust.”
“Anything, you name it and I’ll do it.”
“We’ll get to work bright and early then.”
They finished eating and headed inside. Everyone in the dining room grew silent when they saw Thorn. Chthon cleared his throat. “I hope everything is going well.” He said.
“Yes, we’re doing just fine.” Rika replied with a smile.
“That’s all that matters so everyone stop staring and finish dinner. That goes double for you Bishin, enough with the glaring. Rika has made her choice and you will respect it.”
Bishin tore his eyes away from Thorn and Olivia took his hand. Rika frowned, wishing her brother could let go of his anger and understand. “If it is okay with all of you I would like to bathe.” Thorn said.
“Do you have clean clothes?” Lispin asked and he shook his head. “You look about my size. You can borrow some of mine.” Lispin kissed Rika cheek. “I’ll take him up, you go ahead and relax.” Rika smiled and went to sit by her daughter. She knew Thorn had not noticed her since he kept his eyes downcast most of the time.
“My father’s really ok?” Kandara asked her mother. “Yes, he’s sorry and is a changed man. He desrves a second chance just as Nigel, Lispin and Zeus did.” she added for the rest of the family to hear. She thought it might help them all loosen up. “I want to talk to him too” Kandara said “Sure honey, I think that’ll be good.”
“I love you mom. I’m so proud of you. I know how badly he hurt you. It shows what a good woman you are that you can forgive him.” Rika kissed her daughters cheek “You’re so sweet.” Lispin and Thorn went into Lispin and Rikas room where Lispin grabbed some clothes. “Thank you Lispin”
“Well, my mate wants to forgive you. I can’t really judge with my past. I’ve never raped anyone but I’ve done some terrible things that this family has looked past. I would be a hypocrite to judge you but you must understand it’s hard. You deeoky hurt the woman I love”
“I understand, I’d have a hard time forgiving anyone who hurt Gloria”
“If you need anything else just ask.”
“Thanks again.” Lispin headed back downstairs while Thorn headed to his room. Rika came to her feet when Lispin came back down. He pulled her into his arms and gave her a light kiss.
“It’s always so cute to see you two together.” Kandara said and everyone else laughed.
“Oh shush you and go back to eating.” Rika replied.
“Are you ready for bed my love?”
“Yes, I’m so exhausted.” He lifted her in his arms and carried her up to their room. He lay her on their bed, kissing her passionately as he pulled her clothes off. “Lispin.” She gasped.
“Is this okay, you’re not scared are you?” He was worried Thorn being close might have brought everything back to the surface.
“Just make love to me.”
He smiled as he pulled his own clothes off and ran his hands over her body. His lips followed his hands, heating her skin. He pushed her legs open and covered her with his mouth. Her cries filled the room as he hungrily licked her. By the time he kissed his way back up her she was gasping for air and shaking. He pulled her legs around his waist and pushed into her, taking on a wild pace so she had to bite down on his shoulder to muffle her loud moans. Her back arched off the bed as she tightened around him and he spilled his seed inside her. He kissed her softly before moving to lay next to her.
“You okay?” He asked.
“Mm hmm.” Was all she could manage and he chuckled before pulling her into his arms.
“I love you.”
“Me too.” He pulled the covers over them and kissed her again. She fell asleep quickly, her body falling limp against him and her breathing evening out.
Lispin smiled, placing a tender kiss on Rikas cheek before falling asleep. In Bishin and Olivias room Bishin laid against the headboard while Olivia laid against him. “You should really calm down baby. He hasn’t hurt her and he seems sorry. Everyone deserves forgiveness if they are truly sorry and he is. If your sister is able to give him a chance you should too.” Bishin sighed. “I just keep remembering when she showed up at my door after. She was bloody and bruised. She wouldn’t stop crying…..somtimes she would spend hours in one of the corners of my house just staring blankly. I’d try to move her or talk to her and all she’d do is just stare like she wasn’t really looking at anything. Somtimes I’d just be trying to hug her for comfort and she’d start screaming like I was going to hurt her. None of you had to see her the way I did… None of you had to spend months just trying to make her into any kind of a person again..” Olivia turned in his arms and gave Bishin a kiss.
“I can understand why it’s more challenging for you than anyone else in this house because you did have to put her back together after Thorn broke her. I do baby but you need to try. She’s the one who actually went through it and she’s finding it in her heart to forgive. We forgave my father. I know neglect is nowhere near on the same scale as rape but you know what I’m saying.” Bishin sighed again, unable to deny any request from Olivia “Ok, tomorrow there will be no glaring or nastiness”
“Thank you Bishin”
Thorn stared at the ceiling of his room and cried. He couldn’t believe he had spent a day with his victim and had not been punished. She had looked at him with forgiveness and spoke so kindly the he had almost believed he was dreaming. His eye lids grew heavy and he finally allowed them to close, his exhaustion getting the best of him. Rika woke before Lispin the next morning as usual. She had always been an early riser. She wanted to spend more time curled up next to Lispin, but knew she needed to wake him so he and Thorn could get to work.
“Lispin, it’s time to get up.” She said softly and rubbed her hand across his chest. He opened his eyes and groaned before pulling her back down and wrapping his arms tightly around her. “Come on baby, you need to get up.”
“I’d rather sleep with you instead.”
She smiled and kissed his cheek. “You slept with me all night.”
“Okay then I just want to be awake with you,but in bed.” She giggled and moved so she was on top of him.
“You told Thorn you wanted his help rebuilding the treehouse so get up and get dressed. Besides, the harder you work, the more time we get together.”
“You make it really hard to leave.” He rolled her beneath him and kissed her. She found herself clinging to him, his kisses exciting her. Before she knew it they were completely lost in each other. He whispered how much he loved her and needed her as he made love to her slowly and gently. He kissed her softly as he brought them both over the edge and she actually felt like crying. “Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yes, just really happy that I have you. I really love you.” He smiled and kissed her again.
“I love you too.”
“Now, time to get out of bed.”
“If I must.” He took her with him to the bathroom where they took a quick shower. They got out and he dried both of them, savoring her soft skin for just another minute before getting dressed. “You go ahead and head down to breakfast, I’ll wake Thorn.”
Lispin walked down the hall to Thorn’s room and knocked. He heard footsteps and the door was pulled open. “Oh good morning Lispin, just let me get dressed and I’ll be right out.” He closed the door, quickly pulling on the clothes he had been given.
Lispin and Thorn walked to the dining hall together. This morning the room felt a little more friendly when Thorn walked in. Even Bishin kept a kind demeanor. Thorn very nearly cried again but he held it back. It was just unbelievable how forgiving these people were being. Lispin and Thorn ate quickly then let the boys know they would be fixing the tree house. They got an excited look “can we help?” They asked and Lispin nodded. Thorn glanced at Chthon to see if he cared about his boys working with him but Chthon seemed to just be wrapped up in his wife and the new baby she had in her arms. He couldn’t help but think of Gloria holding a baby, their baby. He hoped with everything in him that could be his future. He wanted to break the cycle in his family and actually have a baby conceived in love instead of rape.
“Come on Thorn, you can eat later.” Pagos said.
“Yeah, if we don’t get started it’ll never get done.” Ilios chimed in and grabbed Lispin.
“Boys, let them at least finish breakfast.” Ruth said.
“It’s okay, they’re right. We can eat later.” Lispin replied and got up. Thorn followed him and they allowed the boys to pull them outside.
“So how old are you two?” Thorn asked as they made their way across the yard.
“Sixteen and a half.” Pagos answered.
“Always with you and the half.” Fotia said as she came up behind them. “He thinks it makes them so much better.”
“And who are you?”
“I’m their baby sister Fotia, but if you spend enough time with us you would swear I was the oldest. These two are about as mature as my baby sister.”
“Come on sis, don’t say that.” Ilios jumped in.
“Start acting like adults and I won’t have to act like a second mother.”
The tree house roof had been caved in by a fallen branch and one of the walls was part way knocked out. Fotia stood below, but out of the way, making sure the boys didn’t hurt themselves. Thorn chopped down a tree while the boys helped Lispin remove the rubble. Once the tree was down Pagos hopped down and grabbed another axe and helped Thorn chop it up.
“when will I get to talk to him?” Kandara asked her mother. “soon baby, they’ll be tired after working on the treehouse but maybe you and your father could have some one on one time when they are done.”
“Ok, are you still doing good?”
“Yes, I’m not afraid of him or anything” Kandara smiled “good” Rika turned her attention to her brother. She could see the burried worry and anger so she stood and walked over “Hey, can we have some alone time in the library?” Bishin stood “of course sister” They walked away, finally drawing Ruth and Chthons attention away from the baby. Chthon spoke “I’m glad he’s gathered himself today. No doubt in thanks to you Olivia.”
“I talked to him last night. He’s struggling but is trying to accept Thorn” When the library was closed Bishin hugged Rika. “I’m ok Bishin. He wont hurt me. I know you love me so this is hard but he deserves our forgivness”
“I’m doing my best to give it. I’m sorry I’m having so much trouble”
“Don’t be sorry, I told you I know it’s because you love me. You helped me get better after everything. You really saw how broken I became and you’ve always been such a protective brother. You are a guard dog for anyone you love”
“I just don’t know what to say or do when I’m around him.”
“You forgave Lispin didn’t you? So please forgive Thorn. I have spent so much time being built back up by you and Kandara and Lispin so let me stay up. You should be happy because I am. I have the most amazing mate, a big family, and I’m going to be a mother again. Be happy for me and let the past go.”
“I’ll try, I really will. Just take it easy okay, the last thing I need is to stress out that baby.”
“Thank you.” They hugged then went back out to the dining room. Everyone had left the room and gone out to watch the men build on the treehouse and enjoy the sun. Rika sat down next to Ruth and asked to hold little baby Amara. Ruth handed her off and Rika smiled happily down at the little baby. She had not realized how much she missed babies until she saw Amara. Finding out she was pregnant had made her nearly jump with joy.
Lispin called a stop to the project around lunch time and they all wiped their faces before heading over to their family. Rika handed Amara to Ruth and stood, hugging Lispin. “I’m sweaty and stinky.”
“I don’t care, I’m happy and want a hug. How about some lunch.”
“Lunch sounds amazing, with lemonade.”
“Sure. Who feels like helping me?”
Adette, Ruth, and Ava raised their hands and everyone headed inside. Kandara kept looking at her father as he talked and laughed with the twins. He didn’t look like anything she imagined and it was the first time any of them had seen him give a real smile since he arrived. Pagos and Ilios seemed to be enjoying him a lot more than when they had met and even Ruth brought Amara over for him to see. Kandara had not expected him to be a kind man.
“Would you like to hold her before I take her up and feed her?” Ruth asked and Thorn looked to Chthon who nodded.
“Uh sure, okay.” She handed him the baby and he held her like she was made of glass. “Well hello there little one, aren’t you cute.” Amara smiled at him and he choked up. “She’s beautiful, thank you.” He handed the baby back and Ruth and Chthon headed upstairs to feed her and put her down for a nap.
Kandara grabbed Thorns hand which surprised him. She was just tired of waiting and really wanted to speak with him and get to know this new, friendly man. “Yes?” He asked nervously now realizing who this was. She looked so much like his own mother it was shocking “I’m your daughter..I’m Rikas daughter Kandara. I just…I guess I was impatient for my turn to talk to you.” Thorns eyes grew damp “maybe you and I could sit together at lunch. I’d eat alone with you if you would be comfortable with that” Kandara smiled at him, humbling Thorn even further “I’d love to eat in the garden with you” When lunch was ready Thorn and Kandara went outside. After Kandaras first bite she said “I have a question for you. Before i told you who I was you recognized me. The way you looked at me told me you knew who I was. How’d you know?”
“You look a lot like my mother” Kandara smiled “really?”
“Yeah, I ahvent seen her in a long time. I can’t find her but I hope to at somepoint. You look really beautiful, if that’s ok for me to say”
“It is and thank you. I’m glad to know I look like one of my grandmas.”
“You know Rikas mother?”
“Yeah, Devina is awesome and really strong.”
“Do you spend a lot of time with her?”
“we go visit her quite a bit. I love our visits”
“Do you like living here in Chthons castle?”
“Yeah, we’re all one big family here. It’s nice being surrounded with such love. Here i actually feel I can live my own life. I used to worry so much over my mother but now, now I know shes fine. If i ever find a mate and we want to leave, i know we can do it. Though I’d probably want to stay here. I’m sure whoever my mate would be would like it here too. It’s just nice to know I have the option. I can go without feeling guilty or having any worry,”
“I’m glad you’re happy and even though it might not be much coming from me, I want you to always go after what you want most. I want you to be as happy as your mother.”
“I’m sure I will be.” Their food was brought out and they grabbed their plates and headed out to the garden. He sat down next to her, still feeling nervous. “So what kind of powers do you have anyway? I haven’t seen you use any.”
“I didn’t think it would be a good idea to do that here in case someone took it the wrong way.” He took a bite of food then chewed and swallowed. “I’m not really that talented. I can run fast, lift heavy things, oh and I have heat vision. It’s how I catch food. I know it’s cheating, but it works.”
“That’s pretty cool. So you can track really well then?”
“Yeah or evade. I can see them, but they can’t see me.”
“I wonder if I’ll develope that gift? It would come in handy I’m sure.”
“Well demons get stronger with age. So you very well could.”
She smiled and they finished their lunch then headed back inside to wash their dishes. “Ready to build some more on that treehouse?” Lispin asked.
“Yes, of course.”
They kept working until it looked just as it did before. Ilios, Pagos, and Fotia ran and climbed right up it. This was one of the few things in Thorns life he was actually proud of doing. He had helped this family, the family who helped the woman he made his victim all those years ago. Thorn approached Rika “What should I do next to earn the forgiveness you and your family has shown me.” Rika hugged him which shocked Thorn. “You have done enough. You are forgivin Thorn.” Thorn wanted to hug her tighter but didn’t dare. He pulled out a folded piece of paper “could you write down for Gloria that you forgave me. She didn’t ask for proof but I dont want her to have doubts. I want her to know I did as I said I was going to do” Rika smiled, grabbing the paper as he handed her a pen. She pressed on Lispins back and wrote a short note then handed it back to Thorn.
“Thank you for your help with this treehouse. You are welcome back anytime if you’d like to see Kandara. I’m sure she wants to get to know you” Thorn looked at her “would you like that Kandara?”
“I’d like that a lot” Thorn gave her a humble smile. “Then I’ll come visit, hopefully with Gloria. I would stay longer but there’s one more woman whom I need to beg forgiveness from. I hope you all understand me rushing off”
“we understand, go.” Rika said. Kandara gave her father a hug “Come back soon dad” He hugged her as tight as he could, having no fear he’d scare her. He kissed her cheek “I meant when I said you were beautiful. I’m proud I have a daughter like you. Always be happy and make sure your mom stays happy” Kandara nodded and then Thorn left. He had renewed vigor after this stop. He had a daughter, had true and full forgiveness and somthing that resembled a family. He wanted to hurry and get to the next woman. He wanted to help heal her in anyway he could then find his Gloria to show her he had done whatever he was asked to make up for his cruelty. He planned on telling her of Kandara, especially because he would want his mate to meet his child. He hoped to form a strong bond with Kandara and visit her frequently.
That night when Rika and Lispin were alone in their room Lispin asked “so how are you feeling?”
“Better, him coming to apologize really made an impact. I was already better but it feels good to know he’s sorry and that hes a changed man. Kandara loves you, you know that but I’m sure it’s nice for her to know her dad isnt a monster any longer and I’m sure she’s excited to know her birth father. The way he is now anyway.” Lispin kissed Rikas cheek “Yeah, I hope he does come visit her. I’m really happy he came. I was pissed at first but it turned out to be a good thing” They talked until Rika fell asleep in Lispins arms. He kissed her head then allowed himself to drift. As he finally succumbed to rest he felt happy knowing that horrible point in Rikas life was fully resolved and would never haunt her again.
~ The End ~