Aleece and Panya sat side by side on a Clif. They were enjoying looking over at the gorgeous land Panya wasn’t allowed into. Panya really wanted to explore but she had never disobeyed her parents and she wouldn’t start now. She knew any time her father told her she couldn’t do somthing it was always with her best interest at heart. She looked up to him and felt lucky to have such a loving father. Panya rolled her eyes when Aleece started up again “Lets just go Panya. Your parents don’t have to know. They let us stay out as late as we want. I won’t tell on you”
“Aleece no, my dad says it’s too dangerous. He promises to take me when I’m a little older”
“Panya, you’re an adult. Stop letting a man run your life” and this was why they fought when they did. Aleece and her mother were those psycho, all men are out to oppress women type of women. She loved Aleece and she was an amazing friend aside from her irrationality when it came to the male gender but somtimes it really was hard to stomach, especially when it came to her dad. “My dad keeps me safe. he loves mom and I”
“I know he loves you Panya but he’s still a man. He’s just telling you not to because he can. Men just like to control women. It’s fact”
“Aleece I wont go. He gives me hardly any rules. The rules I do have are for my own good. It has nothing to do with my gender.” Her voice was starting to raise “Yes it does, if you were a boy you’d be allowed to go”
“Thats not true!”
“Panya, you need to wake up and take charge of your life. Stand up to him and make him know you’re not less than because you’re a female” Panya groaned “God you sound so stupid. You let this extreme feminism you have going on make you and idiot. Don’t talk about my dad like he’s some asshole. My dad is the best man I know”
“Well you know what I’m going just to show you he’s only trying to control you Panya. You need to wake up and take control of your life. Men just ruin womens fun. You’ll see, I’ll be back in two hours tops”
“You’re not going down there”
“Yes I am”
“Aleece please, if” Aleece interrupted her with a hug “I’ll be right back Panya and you’ll see the light” Panya protested more but her friend still jumped off the Clif. She could push against gravity so Panya knew the fall wouldn’t hurt her. She just worried about the land below. Panya didn’t know what to do so she paced back and forth. It felt liek days when five hours passed and Aleece still wasn’t back.
Panya was scared, Aleece was a bitch sometimes but she was still her best friend. Panya decided to get her father. She knew Aleece got on his nerves but she hoped he would help her for his daughters sake.
Nigel lay with Vina in the grass just behind their home, both of them watching as the clouds passed by and enjoying one another’s company. He rubbed his nose against her cheek and she giggled, making his heart flutter.
“Love you.” He said.
“Love you too.” She snuggles closer, feeling content.
“Dad? Mom?” Panya’s voice startled them and Nigel could tell something was off.
“Backyard.” He yelled as he got to his feet and helped Vina up.
Panya rushed to the back yard and Nigels senses filled with her panic “Panya, what is it baby?”
“Aleece and I were hanging out right above that area I’m not supposed to go to because we like looking over it. You know, like you and I do when we’re having picnics sometimes. She tried to get me to go but I wouldn’t and she went on one of her rants then went just to prove to me you were being overbearing. It’s been five hours dad, please, I know you don’t like her very much but she’s my best friend. Please go get her” Nigel deeply sighed and pushed his fingers through his hair. He couldn’t stand her or her mother but his little Panya looked so heartbroken. He knew there was a good chance his daughters best friend was already dead but he couldn’t turn his back on the situation when he had to look into those sad, pleading eyes. “I will go Panya but…I need you to understand I might not be able to help her if she’s been there for that long. I wasn’t just being a jerk, I just wanted you to wait until you were a stronger demon because it is such a dangerous area.”
She hugged him as she started crying “I know dad, thats why I’m so scared. I know you were just keeping me safe. I need to go too though. She wont let you help her dad so I need to be there to slap sense into her. I’ll listen to you and stick by your side the whole time. I promise”
“I know so let me tell you a few things before we go help her. No matter how harmless a creature seems down there don’t be fooled, almost everything there is blood thirsty. Some are tricksters aswell, one second you’re letting a small, cute animal run up to you then the last thing you see is it shift into a nasty, vile looking creature. It’s a deceiving place so you can’t trust anything unless I tell you you can.”
“Should I come too?” Vina asked.
Nigel fought an internal battle. He wanted to take her, knew she was much stronger and had amazing control of her powers, but he worried he might become more distracted than he would be with Panya down there. “Vina…”
“I’ll stay, calm down okay.”
“Sorry, I do trust you, I really do.”
“I know.” She gave him a quick kiss. “I’ll go tell Aleece’s mother, you two get down there and bring her back.”
“I love you Vina.”
“I love you too and you Panya, stay safe.” Vina hugged them both then waited until they were gone before she headed to Aleece’s mother’s.”
Vina didn’t hurry due to the fact Nigel was already on his way and she didn’t like the two any more than Nigel did. They were always nice to her but their comments about men rubbed her the wrong way. She hated the way they just summed them all up together, especially because of her mate Nigel. Their nasty comments of course included him and Nigel was a truly amazing man and mate to her. In raising their daughter he had been so sweet and patient. He had such a good relationship with Panya and Aleece was always spewing her venom because of the way her mother had raised her.
“Vina?” Ada asked as she answered teh door “Your daughter has gotten herself into trouble. She was trying to get my Panya to go somewhere her father told her not to and took it as far to go herself. She’s been missing for hours. My husband and daughter are out looking now”
“she’s a strong woman, she’s fine”
“You don’t even know where she’s gone”
“where?” Vina pointed in the direction of the cliffs and Adas eyes actually got wide “she wouldn’t be that dumb” Ada said in surprise “she was, she tries so hard to make our daughter think less of her dad she made a mistake that might cost her her life”
“don’t you make it about that. Nigel does control you and your daughter too much”
“Thats crap and you have to know that”
“we can fight later. I’m going and let me guess, you’re staying here?”
“I offered Ada”
“sure you did, let a man run your life. I need to go help my strong, independent daughter” Ada ran off.
Nigel was not happy when he saw Ada running toward them and he resisted the urge to roll his eyes at her. “I’m coming.” She said.
“You heard me.”
He sighed. “Whatever, I have no time to argue and it’s your fault she’s down there anyway.”
“What did you say?”
“You heard me.” He threw her words back at her. “On my back Panya.” His tone softened as he squatted down and his daughter climbed onto his back. “Hold tight and don’t be scared, I won’t drop you.”
“I know daddy.” He dropped over the edge, not bothering to see if Ada followed. He didn’t have time for her, not when another young woman was in danger. The moment his feet touched the ground, he let Panya down then opened up his senses. He inhaled, listened, ignored Ada when she dropped down next to them.
“Anything dad?” Panya asked.
“Why ask him? You have your senses too or has he kept you undertrained.”
“My dad has had much more experience than I and I trust his nose better than mine.” Ada huffed and Panya rolled her eyes. “So, anything?”
“She headed straight on into the fog.” He took his daughter’s hand and strayed walking, staying alert. “Blood, I smell blood, not far.” He picked up his pace, coming to a quick stop when they came to a small patch of red.
“She was attacked?” Ada sounded shocked.
Nigel studied the area around the blood. “Ambushed, the blood is probably from a head wound. She was knocked unconscious then taken, probably a demon or monster of some sort.”
Ada looked scared but he offered her no comfort. If she wouldn’t tell Aleece anything any man in her life did was to try and control her because she was a woman she wouldn’t be down here. He hoped maybe she’d reconsider her parenting even just a little bit. He knew his Panya was smart but he always worried about her with Aleece for reasons like this. What if she had convinced his daughter to come here without him just because he had told her not to. It would kill both him and Vina if they ever lost their daughter. “Aleece!” Ada called as teh blood droplets began to scare her further “Hush” Nigel tried not to snap but she was going to attract something if she didn’t be quite. Ada yelled one more time and louder just because he had tried to silence her. Panya was about to scold her but she couldn’t be heard over the loud cry of what sounded like a terrifying beast “Fucking damn it Ada”
“what is that?”
Panyas heart sped up in fear as the figure came into view, fire engulfing everything around it.
“Panya, I need a storm and for you to stay back.”
“Okay, be careful.”
“You’re just going to do as he says?” Ada asked.
“It’s your fault it found us.” Panya replied in irritation as she held her hands up toward the sky. She formed storm clouds, making them heavy with rain that was soon falling on them. It put out the fires and hissed as it touched the monster Nigel faced. He watched, waited. He knew what they were capable of and as it let out a smokey breath, it formed fireballs in its hands. They were hot enough that the water did nothing to them. Nigel rushed the creature, dodging fireballs as they sailed at him with lightening speed. He could feel the heat of them as they threatened to singe his clothes and he landed a punch square in the thing’s chest so it was knocked back.
Panya helped her father by launching lighting directly into the creature. She wasn’t sure it would do much but she hoped it would help. It didn’t have near the effect she wished but it did seem to help keep it down as her father jumped on the creature. Even in it’s weakened state it tried to stab her father with it’s pointy fingers but Nigel was too fast. He launched a killing blow into the monsters chest then angrily walked over to Ada “Unless you want another one of those or somthing worse shut your mouth” He emphasized the words in his fury. Ada and Aleece were putting his daughter in danger with their foolishness and he wouldn’t have this women draw things to them with her yelling.
Ada glared at Nigel who took his daughters hand and spoke in a suddenly sweet tone. “You did so well Panya. Thank you for the added electricity. It helped me quite a bit”
“really, I wasn’t sure what to do” He smiled at her warmly “You did perfect. Keep sticking to me though and be quite” Panya nodded and Nigel’s face grew serious again as he looked ahead, opening his senses to follow Aleece’s trail. Ada wasn’t yelling for her daughter any longer but it urked her not to since Nigel told her not to.
“I smell something different.” Nigel said as they found a few drops of blood. “Definitely demon, male.”
“Of course.” Ada said in a snotty tone.
“If I were you, Ada, I would change my ways. Your man hating put your daughter at risk. Instead of teaching her to see men as the enemy, you should have focused on common sense and honing her skills. Maybe if you had spent that time being a good example, she would have escaped.”
“You son of a…”
Nigel let go of Panya and clamped his hand over Ada’s mouth to keep her from screaming. “If you dare to put my daughter at risk again, I will tie you up and leave you here. Her and Vina are my world and I refuse to lose them to your idiocy.” He moved away from her and took Panya’s hand.
“Are we close daddy?” Panya asked, drawing his attention away from Ada.
“Their scent is stronger here. I don’t know how this demon will react to us so please follow my lead. If he should corner you, attack and do not stop attacking.”
“Okay” Nigel cautiously followed the scent, ready to protect his daughter from any surprises this male might throw at him. Ada he honestly wasn’t worried about in the slightest. He wished he could care about her but right now her stupidity just had him too angry at her. Nigel knew as a female demon she had probably had a hard life when it came to males due to the general attitude of them and thats normally what he wold keep telling himself as he dealt with her and Aleece for his daughter but right now nothing he could tell himself to make Ada more tolerable could make him care for her safety.
When Aleece came into view the male demon seemed to be tending a wound on her leg. That was clear to Nigel but Ada, seeing men as only villans didn’t notice it and tried to go for him. Nigel summoned his whip and flicked it, catching her around her ankle and pulling her down. She hit hard and cursed “what the fuck Nigel”
“He’s helping her” Nigel snapped. “Mom!” Aleece said with tears in her eyes and got up to help her up and hug her. “My baby”
“I don’t know what he wants but this demon is helping me”
“Jesus I said I didn’t want anything. Despite the fact you clocked me for no reason after I saved you” Panya rushed over to him “Thank you or helping my friend” The male gave a charming and a little too flirty smile for Nigels comfort as he looked at Panya “Eh, my parents taught me to help people in need if I can. I’m Luca, what’s your name?”
“Panya” Nigel walked over and tugged his daughter behind him “and I’m Nigel, her dad” Panya blushed. “Hi sir, it’s good to meet you too.”
“So, if you didn’t hurt her, who did?” Panya asked.
“Like he’d tell the truth.” Ada snapped.
Luca chuckled. “Well at least I’m used to that sort of thing.” He cleared his throat. “Anyway, there are these creatures that live in the mist, they’re fast. One moment they’re there and the next gone. They like to wound, the smell of blood excited them and then they pounce, ripping their prey apart.”
“They didn’t bother us.” Panya said.
“That’s probably because of you father, he gives off a very intimidating aura.”
“Well thank you so much for saving her, even after she hit you.”
“It was nothing, though I don’t understand why she was stupid enough to come down here alone, she could have died.”
“You’re here by yourself” Aleece said indignantly. “I’m by myself because I was born and raised here. My parents are adrenaline junkies. I don’t live here anymore but they still do. I’ve been here spending time with them.” Luca answered, seeming completely frustrated with Aleece. Panya was grateful, she knew what a jerk Aleece could be to men and she thought a lot of Luca for helping her friend despite her attitude. “well I’m getting my daughter out of here” Ada scooped up Aleece and ran off without letting them protest. Luca groaned “did she really just do that? They aren’t going to get out of here on their own”
“Panya, get on my back again. Luca, would you mind helping me with damage control? Who knows what Ada will stumble into trying to get out by herself. Aleece is my daughters best friend believe it or not and it would mean a lot to Panya if you helped us” Nigel didn’t know how much Luca cared being they just met but he really didn’t want to let down his daughter. He also wasn’t blind, he knew his daughter was as beautiful as her mother. It was why he had tugged his daughter away from Luca so fast. He trusted his daughter and wanted her happy but her dating was still something he feared and hoped would still be years away.
“Of” Luca was starting to say of course I’ll help but screams already carried through the mist.
“Of course.” Nigel said with a sigh. “Hold on tightly Panya.” He took off at a sprint, Luca keeping pace.
When they came upon Ada and Aleece, the latter was holding tightly to her mother’s wrist as something long and serpent like was trying to pull Ada into a bog. “H…help.” Aleece said and Nigel let Panya down so he could grab what he thought was a tentacle and rip it in half.
“Get back.” He ordered and the two women scrambled away. “Panya, lightening.” It slammed into the bog and something bubbled under the mud before going still. Nigel glared at Ada and Aleece. “You can either stick with us or die out here. I’m not going to chase you all around this place because you are too stupid to listen.” He sighed. “Are you at least okay?”
“We’re fine.” Ada said as she stood and lifted Aleece. “Just hurry and get us out of here.”
“This way.” Luca said and Nigel lifted Panya onto his back.
“Luca, you should have dinner with us tonight as a thank you.” Panya said and he gave her a sweet smile.
“I would love to if your father says it’s okay.”
“It’s fine with me” Nigel answered as they made their way out and back up the cliffs. Once safe Panya got off her fathers back and said “wait” to Ada and Aleece. They stopped and Ada set her daughter down to talk to her friend “You need to thank my dad Aleece. As much as you hate men my dad risked his life for you and as my best friend you really should thank him” Aleece glanced back at her mother just looked away with an attitude. Aleece looked uncomfortable but Panyas friendship meant more than her pride so she walked over to Nigel and said “thank you” she didn’t look him in the face but Nigel was surprised she was even thanking him.
As Aleece rejoined her mother she asked “are we good Panya?”
“Yes” Aleece smiled then allowed her mom to take her home. When they were out of sight Nigel said “it wasn’t a big deal for me Panya. I was only worried about taking you”
“still she needed to thank you dad.”
“I’m blown back you were able to get her to”
“She’s not really a jerk dad. I know that’s easier for me to say. She’s just been raised with her mother drilling into her men are terrible and are all out to hurt her or get sex from her. She’s a good friend to me and I think she can change. Maybe not anytime soon but I think if I’m patient enough with her she can change someday when she doesn’t live with her mother.”
“I hope so or she’s going to get herself killed. Her mother has made her reckless.” He sighed. “Let’s get back to your mother, I’m sure she’s worried.”
“Come on Luca, you’ll like my mom, she’s really great.”
“Well, I’m sure, if she’s as sweet as you.” Nigel shot him a look and Luca looked apologetic. “Running at the mouth, both a gift and a curse.”
“Be nice daddy.”
“You now how it is baby girl, it’s a dads job to be protective of his children. It has nothing to do with your sex and everything to do with you being my child.”
“I know and that’s why you’re such a wonderful father.”
Vina felt a massive amount of relief when she saw her husband and daughter coming home. She hugged Panya first “Oh my baby, is your friend okay?”
“She’s safe and home” After Vina had hugged Nigel Panya introduced Luca “This is Luca, He was helping Aleece when we found her”
“Oh my, she let you help her?”
“She punched me and only let me help with her wound when she could no longer stand”
“sounds like Aleece, thank you for still helping her. She means a lot to my daughter” Luca chuckled “I didn’t do that much. I grew up there and know the easiest way to take down everything”
“wow, you grew up there?”
“Yeah, it was quite the childhood. My parents are addicted to getting their adrenaline up. My whole childhood was completely wild. I loved every second”
“You should have brought them”
“well if I find myself invited again I’ll bring them along”
“Come on in, you seem like a young man we’d love to have over again.” They went inside and Vina instantly urged Nigel and Panya to take showers. They left, leaving Vina and Luca alone “do you want a drink?”
“No thank you” Vina sat with him “do you have any siblings?”
“Yep, I’m the baby. My other siblings are considerably older”
“How was that?”
“amazing, my whole family is pretty loving”
“That’s good, we have Panya together. Panya has three half siblings from Nigels previous relationships. I love them all and thankfully they love me too”
“You adn your daughter seem really lovely” Vina giggled “did Nigel give you a hard time?”
“Oh, not really, he just kind of has I’ll kick your ass vibe going on but I understand. I’ve been a bit flirty with Panya. She’s a very pretty girl if it’s okay for me to say”
“That’s fine. It’s because she’s only thirteen and he hopes she wait for a bit before dating. You see, he has a bit of a past and he worries about her. He knows what demon males can become if raised by the wrong people.”
“I understand, really I do. If it makes you feel better, I would like to get to know Panya. I won’t make a move on her or anything until she’s older.”
“How old are you?”
“That’s not a big gap and I’m sure it’ll make Nigel feel better.”
“Better about what?” Nigel asked as he walked into the living room still drying his hair.
“About Panya growing up.” Vina answered honestly.
“What about it?”
“Well, Luca’s sixteen and he’s promised to be good for your sake.”
Nigel nodded “Okay, you can come around if you want and Panya is comfortable. Regardless, Panya is a smart woman. She can make her own choices. I know you don’t think she hangs out with Aleece because I want her to. I just try to guide her. Though keep in mind she is my baby. I will protect her even if she hates me for it.” Luca stood and shook Nigels hand “I swear I will never do anything to harm her. Thank you for letting me in your home. I know you’ll let her do what she wants but I’d rather have your blessing. My parents taught me to be respectful, especially of my elders”
When Panya came out the two teens sat and talked while Nigel and Vina made dinner. “My dad relaxed a little around you”
“good, I’m glad, how do you feel around me?” She blushed “Um, I’m hoping you’ll be my friend and come hangout with Aleece and I” Luca smiled again “I’ll come back tomorrow with something you can summon me with when you want to hangout. I’d prefer you not try to come get me and risk yourself’
“Are you saying I’m a wuss?” She teased.
“No, but you’re not stupid.”
He smiled. “So, your dad is pretty cool. I mean he isn’t afraid to jump into the fray.”
“Yeah, he’s pretty amazing. I want to be just like him. He trains me any time I ask so I’ll be able to defend myself. He says all his children should be strong and be able to hold their own if they must. He says sometimes the world is a cruel place and you should learn how to combat it, not only physically, but with compassion. My uncle Chthon saved him and he feels like he should try to do the same, but he says that sometimes they’ll try to kill you anyway and you should fight with all your strength.”
“wow, he’s a bad ass himself. You come from quite the family Panya”
“I do, I’m very proud to be a part of it”
“So your half siblings, how do you get along?”
“we’re pretty close. They’ve always treated me like a full blooded sister and they love my mom quite a bit” He smiled “thats what your mom said, I’m glad to hear it. If I am going to be able to hangout with you how is Aleece going to be about it?”
“she’ll just have to get over it. I love her but she can’t be the way she is forever. I hope it doesn’t cause a rift between us but it’s a choice she’s going to have to make” Panya started asking about his family and childhood. It was a conversation that lasted all through dinner and long after. It was getting pretty late when he said “I’m sure I’m starting to over stay my welcome. Thank you for inviting me to dinner. When can I come tomorrow?”
“ten it is Panya” He hugged her, keeping it short so he wouldn’t worry her father. Panya in turn hugged her parents “goodnight” she said to each of them then ran to her room in excitment for tomorrow. Vina giggled “somthing is definitely going to bloom between those two. If not a romance it will be a really strong friendship” Nigel swept his mate off her feet and carried her to their room “He does seem nice but I’m not ready to fully trust him with her yet. We’ve only just met him”
“I know Nigel” They got undressed and cuddled up in bed. Nigel drifted off in the bliss of his wife and in hope Aleece has learned a lesson today. He feared that girl around his daughter far more than he feared Luca. Luca seemed polite and intelligent. Aleece and her mother did extremely stupid things in the name of sticking it to every man they met. He just had to believe his Panya would keep making good choices.
~ The End