Vina’s eyes snapped open, the world around her was so dark, almost pitch black. She had a feeling if she wasn’t a demon she wouldn’t be able to see at all. Her analyzation of where she was came to an abrupt halt when thousands of different types of bugs started crawling all over every inch of her body. She started to scream and some entered her mouth causing her to choke. She started to try and move but then she realized her legs and wrists were tied. She struggled, gagged and cried until suddenly she was standing, bug free and the ropes were gone. A man was before her, his expression manic she started to back up which only seemed to make the man look crazier. She was terrified of him and what he might do to her. “Nigel!” she screamed and he cackled before vanishing. “Nigel!” she screamed in absolute horror.
Vina began to run. She didn’t know where she was going but she had a deep need to run. She started hearing that mans laughter again. She covered her ears and kept running. Questions ran through her head, where was she? Was this a nightmare? Wasn’t she in Nigels arms when they fell asleep? Who was that disturbing man? Was he why she was here? Her thoughts were once again driven to a halt when she found herself surrounded by hell hounds. The cackling began again or maybe it had never stopped. The hounds attacked, ripping at her. They were ripping flesh from her body as she screamed in agony. She was on the brink of death when the man appeared again. The dogs ran away whimpering and she was suddenly healed. He squatted down, grabbing her by her rabbit ears “Welcome little bitch. You’re going to come to the brink of death many many times but I’ll never let you.” Her demon senses could pick up he had gotten aroused watching the dogs do that to her. He seemed to be getting off even now just from the look of terror in her eyes. “I know all of your worst fears little rabbit and I’m going to love torturing you with them.”
“Nigel” she whimpered even though he probably couldn’t hear her. He started laughing again even his laugh was disturbing. The deranged man spoke again “Nigel, you know he and I were once friends. We did this sort of thing together until Chthon changed him” he said Chthons name like it was vile. He chuckled “but don’t go thinking I’m doing this to cause him pain. I do this all the time, it’s the only way I can get off you see. Biches like you suffering, fearing for your lives, that delicious terror in those big eyes..It’s just that Nigel wont play with me anymore so you’re not safe. I saw you at his side and I needed you. We’ve always had the same taste in women and it seems that hasn’t changed but before I have sex with you I need to watch you suffer awhile longer. You wont survive this little bitch but I wanted you to know for my own enjoyment that your mate used to be friends with someone like me”
“Li…liar, he said…he said he never…ra…raped.”
“Oh how cute and the little bunny believed him.” He pulled her closer. “Get ready to run.”
Nigel woke feeling groggy, his stomach twisted in knots. He was laying in the grass where he and Vina and fallen asleep. He pushed himself onto his hands and knees, his head swimming. “Vina?” He called and his heart leaped when he got no answer. A light breeze blew over him and he picked up a familiar scent, a scent he had hoped to forget. “Vina!” He yelled as he stumbled to his feet. He knew this sedative, knew he had been drugged into a deeper sleep so he could stop his love from being stolen. He had to find her, to stop him before he killed her. He took a deep breath, steadying himself.
He started thinking of the multiple places his old friend used to take women to torture them. His heart wrenched again at the thought, knowing the things that were probably happening to his mate, knowing he had probably told her they were friends. He hoped he hadn’t chose to attack Vina because of him and that he wasn’t lieing to her about anything. The truth of him helping torture women was enough without any lies added about him participating in raping women. He had been telling the truth when he told Vina that and he hoped she would still believe him after coming face to face with that monster and having to endure the things Nigel just watched, offering no help to the victims. He had been such a heartless bastard and another heartless bastard who he used to call friend had his Vina.
Regardless of how Vina felt about him now or what she believed he had to hurry and get her back. He tried his old friend Ishams favorite spot first, praying that’s where she was. Vina was hyperventilating as she looked on in horror at an image of Prima being tortured. She had watched Prima be murdered and mutilated multiple times now and everytime Vina tried to help the images vanished but they would just start again at another location. Nigel had taught her a lot and she knew this was mirage magic but it was still horrible and miserable to watch. It looked and sounded just like her best friend and she couldnt’ escape the images no matter how she tried.
Everything stopped again and she started bawling as she tried to get up. “Nigel please” she cried again.
Nigel felt himself beginning to panic as he left another of his old companions haunts. It was empty, smelling of dust and mold. Each place held memories for him, memories he was ashamed of. He felt himself choking up as he racked his brain. Most of the places they had frequented were out of the way, but there was one in particular that was far more complicated to find. It rested in a place between worlds and it took some time to get to. He knew the routine, knew what Vina would be going through and he hated himself for it. He needed help, needed Chthon to help him.
Vina say shivering, her knees pulled up to her chest and hands holding her head. She heard him laughing again and he appeared before her. She scrambled away and he grabbed her by her ears. “I don’t think so.” He forced her to look at him.
“Nigel, give me back to Ni…Nigel.”
“Nigel, Nigel,” he grinned, “maybe I should use his face.” His face changed to Nigel’s and she squeezed her eyes closed.
“Not real, not real. Stop!”
He laughed that horrible, manic laugh again. In all the time she had been traveling the world with Nigel she had never heard such an unnerving sound. She didn’t understand how something like a laugh could be so demented. “Look at me” he snarled, his voice sounded the same even though he looked like Nigel. “This isn’t real” she repeated. He slammed her into the ground then held her in the air again by her long, white ears. “Look at me you damn rabbit!”
His other hand wrapped around her throat. “Open them or I’ll rip your pretty little rabbit ears off.”
She whimpered, but just scrunched her eye closed harder. She wasn’t going to let him taint her and Nigel’s relationship. She had faith that Nigel was looking for her, she just had to hold on. “Do…do it, I won’t look.” He growled and slammed her into the ground, both hands around her throat now as he straddled her.
“That would be too easy.” She couldn’t breathe and she kicked and fought him, her eyes snapping open in her panic. A small amount of relief flooded through her when she saw he no longer looked like Nigel. She had made him mad enough that the illusion had slipped.
Nigel didn’t know how long he ran, only that his fear was pushing him. In traveling with Vina he had managed to find a few shortcuts so he made it to Chthon’s front door much faster than if he had taken the direct route. He pushed through it, the sound of the door banging against the wall drawing the attention of everyone in the castle. “Chthon!” He yelled, the fear in his voice bringing his friend instantly to his side.
“Nigel, what happened?” He looked around. “Where is Vina?”
“I think someone I used to consider a friend has her. I recognize the drug he used on me while we were resting. Chthon, it’s too much to explain but he’s the type of demon who would have been best friends with your father. He’s torturing her, all he does is torture and rape. I don’t think he targeted her to hurt me. He doesn’t give a shit about anybody else enough for that. I think he took her because of simple attraction.” Nigel was starting to choke on his tears as he continued “Vinas too sweet and innocent for this. She can’t handle it Chthon. Please help me”
“Calm down Nigel. You need to be thinking clearly. Where do you think he has her?”
“There’s this place inbetween worlds he must have her in. Your the best I know at getting to those places”
“Okay, just help me figure out where. We’ll get Vina, she’ll be okay I swear”
“You can’t, not even you can promise me Vina will be fine. I honestly don’t know if she can handle this”
Mekhi was trying struggling to take Vinas panties off when Vinas terror stirred magic inside of her. Magic she hadn’t been aware rested within her. Suddenly he was propelled off her. He had her panties in hand but he was almost a football fields length away. Vina scrambled to her feet, baffled by what she had just done. If she hadn’t felt it come from her she might not have believed she did it. She had always lead such a peaceful life. Nothing was aggressive in the world she grew up in and at Nigels side she was always safe and without worry. Maybe she was stronger than she thought she was and just had never needed it before.
“Little bitch.” He growled as he got back to his feet. A wall appeared behind her and started pushing her towards him. She pressed her back flat against it, digging her heels into the ground and scraping them up as she was forced forward. She screamed when he reached for her and the wall behind her exploded and she pushed herself away from him. “Oh I see, you want to play, well I can play. How about a rabbit hunt?” He laughed. “I don’t even mind the dogs tearing you up, blood only makes it better.” Vina suddenly found herself standing in a forest and she glanced around then let her eyes settle back on her captor. He had the dogs again, slobbering, red eyed beasts with blood stained teeth. “I would run.”
Chthon stood next to the pond, his eyes focused on the placid water. Liquids were the best for opening doors. There was power in water. Nigel had explained the place they would be going was manipulated by ones own mental powers. You could do anything there. It was a blank slate where Mekhi liked to play his mind games, where Nigel himself had watched and done nothing to stop him. He was ashamed to be facing Vina, but he had to get her and if she chose to leave him, he would understand. Now she would know how dark he had been, now she would be disgusted. “Are you ready?” Chthon asked.
“Yes, I just want her safe. Now I see what you went through, now I understand what it feels like to have your heart ripped from your chest. I won’t let him rape and kill her, I won’t let that be her last memory.”
“She’s strong Nigel, stronger than you know. It takes a warrior to love monsters like us. We’ll get her back and end his life.” He held his hand out, manipulating the water. It swirled up in a spout and he started chanting, changing the very fabric of it to form a doorway between his world and the one Vina was being held in.
Nigel clenched his fists. “He’s mine Chthon, I have to finish him myself.” Chthon understood, this was something Nigel had to do and he wouldn’t interfere unless it was necessary
Vina pushed her body as hard as she could to keep running. Sweat trailed down her body, it pouring out of every inch of her she had been running like this so long. She knew he was just waiting for her to tire out, that he simply enjoyed her running in fear of him. She now was just trying to think of what to do. She had no idea what she was capable of so it made it near impossible to decide on something. She had long since given up calling for her mate. He wasn’t here and she might not be seeing him again. Even if she survived this horrible man she could be anywhere and Vina had no idea how to travel by herself.
She might be stuck in this awful, depressing world. The sound of barking grew louder and seemed to surround her more so she glanced back, seeing there were even more dogs following her now “shit” she cursed, another thing she hadn’t done before. “You’re impressive little rabbit. Most women gave up long before now but you keep running like you really have a chance of getting away from me” it sounded like he was whispering in her ear even though he was far behind her. “I don’t give up!” she called back and he laughed again.
Nigel wasn’t surprised when they stepped through and into a forest. This was one of Mekhi’s favorite games, the hunt. “He’s using the dogs.” Nigel said as he opened up his senses, looking for Vina. His heart nearly stopped when the scent of blood hit his nose. “He hurt her.” He took off at a dead sprint, Chthon easily keeping up with him. “He hurt my sweet Vina.” Nigel’s anger far outweighed his fear and he let that old rage wash over him. It was an emotion he hadn’t felt in a long time, but he needed it. He called on dogs of his own, these much fast and sleeker than those Mekhi favored, these were sight hounds and they would easily spot Vina. He sent them out to look for her, ordering them to protect her.
“This place is strange.” Chthon stated.
“I told you, it’s a blank slate and Mekhi will try using that to his advantage.”
Vina was so tired, but she knew she had to keep going. She tried doing what she had seen Nigel and the other do and held out her hand, wanting a weapon of some kind. When she could will anything to happen, not fire or a knife she almost felt like crying. She told herself to stay calm, taking a deep breath. She had seen her pursuer manipulate this place and if he could do it, then so could she. She held out her hand again, picturing a knife and nearly jumped with joy when one actually appeared. It wasn’t much, but she could at least stab him if he got to close.
“Little rabbit” the words were all around her in whispers. She got herself ready to fight him, fighting off the fear in herself. She needed to be brave, she needed to live to see her best friend Prima and her mate Nigel again. She still hadn’t even got to raise a baby with Nigel. They had been trying and talking about it so long and she just couldn’t die until she got to have a child with him. She didn’t believe this monster she was alone with. Nigel had always been honest no matter how bad the truth was. Upon meeting he had told her about his past without any sort of prompting. Nigel wasn’t a liar and a horrible man like this wasn’t going to sway her conviction in the fact Nigel was an honest man.
It was awful knowing there was a point in time he could possibly be friends with her tormentor but she wouldn’t hold that against him. He had changed, she had seen it first hand being with him all these years. He wasn’t able to change his past and she adored the man he was now. She wanted to thank Chthon again if she lived for changing Nigel.
Vina heard more dogs and managed not to whimper this time. At this point she was too determined to be terrified. Let the dogs come at her, she was ready to gut them. She was caught off guard when she noticed these dogs weren’t the same as the ones she had been seeing. She gripped her knife ready to fight but somthing told her these hounds weren’t here to hurt her, they were here to help.
“Here bunny, come out.” It sounded like he was everywhere and the dogs surrounded her, completely calm as they waited. His dogs came out before him, drool dripping from their mouths and the beautiful hounds surrounding her moved forward, teeth suddenly bared and growls rumbling in their throats. “Found you.” He was grinning and then he saw the dogs. “Where did you get those?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Don’t play with me bitch, those are Nigel’s dogs.”
She lowered the knife a little. “Nigel? Nigel’s here?”
Mekhi growled and attacked her, his dogs going for the hounds protecting her. His hand was around her throat and he slammed her against a tree, knocking the wind out of her. “I guess I should end this game then before he gets here.” He slammed her onto the ground and she kicked at him. He started unbuckling his pants when she remembered the knife in her hand. She squeezed the handle and with all of her might, she stabbed him in the shoulder, burying the blade completely. He released her and she scrambled up, sprinting away, the dogs coming with her.
When his mate came into view Nigel also saw Mekhi close behind, gripping his shoulder and looking thoroughly pissed off. “Chthon! Take Vina back to your castle where she will be safe. As long as she is in this world with him she’s in danger. I’ll follow after he’s dead”
“are you sure? You know I can keep her safe and here. I worry you wont be able to make it home if I leave you. This is a tricky place to find and leave”
“Okay, just please, protect her as you would Ruth”
“Of course, you are still one of my best friends Nigel.” Chthon went for Vina while Nigel went to face an old friend. Vina noticed her mate and stopped “Nigel!” He didn’t know what to say back. He was consumed in his rage and need to annihilate Mekhi. Vina was alive which meant she hadn’t been raped yet but this demon had been torturing his mate and that was unforgivable to Nigel. Chthon grabbed Vina “are you okay? Anything I need to tend to right this second?”
“No, what’s Nigel doing?”
“He’s going to kill Mekhi. I’ve saved a lot of demons Vina but I can already feel theres nothing but blackness in this ones heart. It’s what needs to be done. I hope knowing how many demons I’ve turned around you trust that this is true Vina”
“I trust you, I trust you both” Vina said emotionally. It caught Nigels ears and he felt some comfort. His mate still trusted him.
“Nigel, how good to see you.” Mekhi said as he wrenched the knife from his shoulder. “It’s so nice to see you again.”
Nigel punched him, sending him flying. “You bastard, how dare you touch what is mine.”
Mekhi laughed as he picked himself up. “Oh, so you’re the only one who can fuck the little bunny eared bitch?”
Nigel’s rage conjured storm clouds above them and it poured rain, soaking everything. “I’m going to kill you Mekhi.”
“Oh Nigel, how weak you have become. Letting a little whore and that new master of yours tell you how to live. Does she know how depraved you were, that she’s exactly your type. I bet you think back to all of the times you watched me every time you have sex with her. You’re just like me Nigel, don’t deny it.”
“I never got off on you raping women and you know that. Stop trying to scare her” Nigel seethed.There was that manic laugh again. It made Vina move closer to Chthon who put up a sound proof shield around them. Vina looked at Chthon in surprise “You don’t need to listen to that horrible mans taunts” he looked her in the eyes and said “looking at you it seems anything this demon may have said about Nigel hasn’t swayed you. I’m glad, Nigel is a good man now and has been since long before I even found my Ruth. He loves you massively Vina. You could so easily destroy Nigel. He’s been worried how you might feel about him now”
“He’s admitted so much to me over the years. I know Nigel would never lie. Even though he’s told me about who he used to be it’s hard to imagine he could be friends with this demon”
“Nigel was fairly close to too far gone when I met him but I still saw good in him. I knew if I worked hard enough I could save him and I turned out to be right”
“Thank you…I love him so much…he’s made me life so much better. If it weren’t for you I would have met the old Nigel and never would have known all this happiness with him”
Nigel attacked Mekhi and the demon grinned as he slashed at him with the knife, cutting Nigel’s cheek open. “You’re not as strong as I am Nigel, not even close.” The world around them began to shift and change so they were suddenly standing on a mountain. There was nothing but fog around them and sheer cliffs on all sides. It was still pouring rain and Mekhi held out the knife, willing it to lengthen into a sword. Nigel dodged the first slash of the blade, but the follow up caught him across the chest. Blood soaked his shirt and Vina wanted to run to him.
“Stay Vina.” Chthon said.
“He could die.”
“No, I know this trick. Nigel tried it with me when we first met, he’s testing Mekhi, looking for an opening. He knows he is formidable, but Mekhi’s weakness is his pride. He thinks he’s going to beat Nigel, but he doesn’t understand that Nigel wants him to attack.”
Vina watched, gripped in fear for Nigel until she finally saw him take his chance. Mekhi had gotten cocky, thinking he was just that superior to Nigel so he gave Nigel the perfect opening to kill him. Nigel snapped his old friends neck then stole the sword he had been holding to stab him in calculated places to be sure he would be dead. The rain slowed but didn’t stop as he cast away the sword angrily and turned to walk to Vina. Chthon took down the sound proof shield and allowed Vina to run to him.
Nigel didn’t really know what to do with himself as Vina ran towords him. Here he was, before her again absolutely ashamed of himself. Vina huggged him and he hugged back as he silently cried “My sweet Vina, are you okay?” he said into her hair. “You’re bleeding Nigel. We need to get home”
“Do you still love me?”
“Of course Nigel”
“I’m sorry” She took his hand and started pulling him to Chthon. “stop that, lets hurry” Chthon took them home where they healed both Nigel and Vina. Needing to talk to Vina alone the couple went to Nigels old room. Chthon always left it empty for them. Vina spoke the second they entered. She didn’t want her mate looking so heartbroken. “Nigel, I don’t for a second blame you for him hurting me”
“what did he say to you?”
“That you two were friends and he tried to convince me you raped women but I didn’t believe him. You’ve always been truthful no matter how embarrassing the truth. I’d be an idiot to trust a maniac over my loving mate. You’ve been nothing but good to me since we met in Qwerxi.
“The things I did Vina, hurting people, killing people, I regret that. I’m ashamed of my actions, ashamed of the man I was then. I hate that he hurt you and I couldn’t stop him.” Tears stung his eyes and he clenched his fists, wanting to kill Mekhi again. “If not for Chthon, that is what I would have become.”
“Nigel,” She hugged him. “I don’t believe that for a moment. I know what you’ve done, I saw the consequences with my own eyes, but there was something much darker in him. What he was doing, you would have never done.”
“You don’t know Vina, I could have stopped him anytime and I didn’t. I was a coward following in the footsteps of cowards.”
“Stop, stop talking about yourself like that.” She pulled back just enough to look into his eyes. “You are wonderful and kind and gentle, you love me and are so patient with me. You’re my hero Nigel and no matter what anyone says, I will always love you.” She reached up, her hands framing his face. He looked so broken, his eyes swimming with tears. “I know what lives in you, I know about the darkness and I’m not afraid. I don’t regret choosing you Nigel.”
“I love you Vina, so much.”
“I love you too.”
He wrapped his arms around her, his lips pushing against hers as he finally let himself cry. She soothed him as best as she could, her fingers running through his hair as she softly shushed him. He lifted her, carrying her over to the bed, just wanting to hold her and know she was okay. He was surprised when she pushed him onto his back and straddled him, knowing she had to be tired. “Vina, you’ve been through so much, you should rest.”
“Hush.” She leaned down and gave him a gentle kiss, her cheeks turning pink. “Make love to me please, I’m okay, I just want you.”
For her to want to be intimate with him after that made emotion tear through him. Vina was so sweet. She was so much more than a man like him deserved. He ravished her, soaking up her warmth, loving being able to be this close to her and hoping more than anything he would finally get her pregnant. He brought Vina to one more orgasm once he noticed her getting too tired then held her tightly in his arms. Nigel kissed her forehead, making sure to tell her again “I love you so much Vina”
“I love you too Nigel” she whispered. A couple days later Vina felt nauseous and with the aide of Chthons family they discovered she was newly pregnant with their first baby together. “Oh Nigel” she said excitedly and tackled him with a hug. He hugged her back, feeling blessed. He was finally getting his chance to actually raise a child right and best of all he was going to get to do it with Vina.
Nigel fussed over her, wanting her safe and healthy. She couldn’t help but laugh at him and he actually blushed he was so embarrassed. He thought about what they would have, hoping he would be a good role model and that his child would understand his past if it came up. He never wanted to be dishonest with them. “Stop making that face.” Vina said as they picnicked behind Chthon’s castle.
“The one that says you’re doubting yourself.”
“Sorry, I’m just nervous. I’m excited, but so nervous. I know I’ve been a pain.”
“You haven’t, I’m enjoying it actually.” She scooted closer to him and kissed his cheek. “I do want to talk to you about something though.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes silly, I’d tell you if there was something wrong. When Mekhi was attacking me, my powers protected me. I don’t know where they came from, but without them I wouldn’t have been able to escape. I want you and Chthon to help me learn how to use them. I think it would be good for me to learn to protect myself just in case.”
Nigel looked excited “why didn’t you bring that up before sweetheart?”
“There were so many other things to worry about and I don’t know if it was just that world that caused me to have some”
“You felt it?”
“Then it came from you. We’d be more than happy to help you. I’d feel a lot better if you had some powers to rely on”
“Me too, I’ve relied on you and Prima too much” He kissed her head “we’re happy to keep you safe. You bring so much light into our lives…I think we’d both be lost without you” Vina blushed and sighed happily. Nigel started teaching her right away relying on Vina being honest with him when she needed to rest. They were able to develop quite a few abilities with her by the time their baby arrived nine months later.
“My little Panya.” Nigel said as he walked around the room with his daughter, his arms gently rocking her. Vina watched him, a smile on her face at how much he loved their little one. He was so gentle with her and had already promised to protect her. He looked up from the baby in his arms and smiled.
“I told you you’d be a good dad.” Vina said sleepily and he gently laid Panya down so he could be with his mate. He climbed in bed next to her and took her in his arms, his lips pressing to her temple.
“Thank you so much Vina, thank you for loving me and trusting me, thank you for giving me our little girl.I wonder what her siblings will think, if they’ll love her too. I want them to meet her.”
“I’m sure they’ll adore her. She’s so cute, no one could say no to that face.”
Nigel chuckled. “Just like her mother.” He tipped her head back and kissed her lips. “I’m so happy and I can never thank Chthon enough for saving me, for befriending me and giving me this chance. Sometimes I think what if he and I had never met or what if I had refused to yield when he beat me to a pulp. I wouldn’t be here with you, I would have Panya or want to be a better man.”
“The only thing that matters is that you’re a good man now and that you’re mine. When Panya is a week old we’ll travel to show her off to your older children”
“I wish they lived closer”
“Yeah, they are so spread out even if we moved we couldn’t manage to live near all of them”
“Maybe I’ll be a good enough dad this time Panya will want to stay close”
“Your children love you Nigel”
“I know, it’s just different connecting later and actually being there the first time like a dad should”
“shh, lets rest for now. I’m so tired Nigel” He kissed her head “Okay, I’ll get the baby if she cries.”
“If she’s hungry let her feed on me”
“Rest now my beautiful mate” She smiled at him again and let herself fade. They waited for Panya to be a week old then showed her off to his other children. They were all excited for the new arrival and dotted on little Panya for as long as they visited. Nigel really appreciated his children too for forgiving him and for welcome Vina like they had and for now easily accepting this new child. He was a man who got more chances than he deserved but he was a man who knew that and knew he’d never do anything to disappoint his family. Panya would be raised the way he should have raised his older children and Vina would always be loved and taken care of.
~ The End