Barbarah and her son had been living in this make shift house she built them for about two months when one night she heard something come crashing in. Her eyes snapped open and she gripped her also waking son tightly. It was her ex boyfriend and he looked more hateful than ever. She burst them through the ceiling, flying as fast as she could. She had hoped they finally escaped, that maybe he would just leave them alone and let his son live but that was only wishful thinking. On his first attempt at killing their son he had told her that she didn’t deserve to have him if she wouldn’t be with him and he had no time for children. Acastus clung to his mother since unlike his parents he was unable to fly. Saul was gaining on them quickly, too quickly. He grabbed onto Barbarah and slammed her and their ten year old boy into the ground below. As they flew down Barbarah positioned herself under Acastus to cushion the impact for him but none the less he still was teary eyed and frightened.
She drew her blade and blocked his strike as he tried to slice her in two with his own. “give me the damn boy!” he screamed and they began dueling. Sauls blade pierced through Barbarahs stomach but she still fought on as if she wasn’t wounded. She was guiding him over to a large stone she had seen out of the corner of her eye. Once they were over there she managed to collect it and slam it into Sauls head so he was badly disoriented. Using this as an opportunity to get away she quickley ripped her kimono and tied it around her wound to slow the bleeding while her body healed.
There was no time to rest and wait for it to close up so she ran back to her son and flew him away “mommy, your stomach”
“I know baby. I’ll rest. We just need to find a cave or somthing to hide in”
“I promise you I wont. I’d never leave you alone to face your father” she kissed her sons head then descended down upon seeing a cave. She could smell wolves inside and called into them “hello?” she heard one stand and come out, it barred its teeth but wasn’t growling so she took it as a sign she could continue to speak “I just need somwhere to sleep where we arent in the open. Please. I’ll leave you in the morning” The gray wolf gave a nod and she entered with her son “thank you” Acastus wanted to ask his mom how she was feeling but didn’t want to anger the pack of wolves that were trying to sleep. He just clung to her and silently cried, praying his dad would go away.
In the morning Barbarah left the den as she had promised the alpha and went on her way. Her wound was closed now and she was ready if he caught up to them. “don’t look like that sweetheart. We’ll find a place to live again. We always do” Acastus nodded, fearing the day they didn’t escape his father.
Savant walked down the path behind his home, enjoying the warm sun and the soft breeze that caused the tree branches to sway gently. This was where he was most comfortable, where no one feared him or saw him as a threat. There were few he enjoyed the company of, those who were his family and those he considered family. It was easier living alone. The wind picked up a bit, swirling around his head and he froze in his tracks. He inhaled deeply, knowing the smell of blood all to well. It was faint, but close and it jerked him into action. He followed the smell, his eyes and ears open as he searched for whoever or whatever was wounded. Blood could easily draw predators and if something was hurt, he didn’t want it getting torn to shreds. The smell grew stronger the closer he got to the lake at the bottom.
He came to an abrupt stop when the woman turned toward him, sword at the ready, a young boy shoved protectively behind her. He held up his hands, showing he held no weapon and that he was no threat. “I’m not here to hurt you.” He said, his voice calm.
“Then what do you want?” He could tell she was tired and her face was unnaturally pale. She had dry blood covering her clothes and she had an almost feral look in her eyes.
“That boy is your son isn’t he, he looked hungry. My home is near the top of this mountain and if you come with me you can get clean and eat as much as you like.” He took a step forward.
“Stop, stay away.”
“Please, you’re weak, I promise not to hurt you or the boy. Let me help you, let me take you somewhere safe.”
Acastus tugged on his mothers kimono “Mom, I really am hungry and you need to rest more. Dad hurt you so badly. maybe you could lay down, please mommy. You look so sick and it scares me” his little voice was heartbreaking with how he plead with her. He hadn’t wiped that worried look off his face since the wound happened. She also knew that this man would be able to provide her son a much better meal than she could in her weakened condition. “we will go with you because I don’t want my son to stress about my injury last night but that doesn’t mean i trust you. Even if I rest I will be ready in a moment to protect my son.”
“what else could I expect from a mother who has obviously been through a lot. Just follow me and I’ll prepare you two a meal and show you to my bathroom so you can have a shower.”
“could I have a bubble bath?!” Acastus asked excitedly. “Of course you can” Barbarah listened intently for Saul and was even overwhelming herself with smells on the way to Savants to make sure Saul wasn’t coming for Acastus again. Since she started this run to keep her child alive she barely had a moment where she was actually relaxing. When they reached Savants house Acastus was amazed at how big Savants home was. It wasn’t a mansion but compared to the small homes his mother had been putting together it was massive.
“can i see everywhere after I eat and bathe?” he asked Savant “yes, I’ll give you both a tour”
“doesn’t mom need to rest?”
“Yes but I think she’d be more comfortable if you and I weren’t alone. By the looks of your mother I think shes right to be worried about you so if your mom wants to rest you two rest and if shes up for a tour then I’ll give it a little later”
“Okay I guess.” Acastus looked disappointed and Savant smiled at the boy’s enthusiasm.
“How about some left over stew, does that sound good?” He asked.
“We’ll eat anything.” Barbarah replied and he directed them to the kitchen table. He pulled out the big pot of stew and sat it on the stove then turned on the burner.
“My name is Savant, may I know your names or is that something you’d like to save for when you trust me?”
He said it without inflection, his voice completely calm as he pulled bowls out of a cabinet and spoons out of a drawer. He poured them juice and turned, placing the glasses slowly on the table so as not to startle his guests. Barbarah felt a little bad for the rude greeting she had given him even though he had not seemed the least bit insulted. He had accepted her reaction to him the way one would accept the sky being blue. It was what it was and it didn’t worry him. “I am Barbarah and this is Acastus.” She finally answered and he smiled as if he would be please with just that little bit of information.
“May I ask about the blood, Barbarah?”
“My father stabbed her.” Acastus answered before Barbarah could open her mouth. It amazed her that her son so easily trusted this stranger.
“Why would he do such a vile thing?”
“Because I left him. If he kills me then he’ll kill my son or he might just kill my son to hurt me. He’s sick, his mind twisted and evil. He sees nothing but his wants and needs. He’s a monster.” Barbarah answered, her voice angry not at Savant, but at her ex.
Savants demeanor stayed calm but her exs behavior angered him. That he could hurt the mother of his child for no reason was disgusting enough but to try and kill his own son was even more deplorable. “where’s he now? Do you think he’ll try and hurt you again?” Acastus spoke up again before his mother could answer, knowing talking about his dad was hard for her. “Dad beat up mom two years ago and she left him. That night he came to where we were staying and tried to kill me. He told my mom she didn’t deserve to have me if she wouldn’t be with him. Dads a lot stronger than mom so all we’re ever able to do is just escape and run. He’s been trying to kill me for two years. He keeps coming back. The longest we’ve ever gotten to live without an attack is three months. Normally he finds us in weeks, the shortest time was only days. He is so scary and I get so worried he’s going to kill my mom”
The brave boys voice sounding near tears but none came. “I want you two to stay right here then. I’m a much stronger demon than I appear to be and that sort of behavior is sick, even for a demon. I will put that monster in his place if you two will let him find you here and allow me to deal with him myself” Savant looked at Barbarah, hoping she’d say yes.
“alright” she answered with a pause then continued “I’m sorry for how we greeted you. You came to offer help and I treated you as an attacker”
“You’ve been running from a monster for two years. I understood then but I definitely understand now.”
“I still shouldn’t have lumped you in with him. Anyone should have seen from the moment you walked up that you weren’t an immediate threat. I’ve just been on edge for so long and don’t know how to calm down. I’m liable to worry myself to death.”
“Don’t say that.” Acastus reprimanded.
“I’m sorry sweetie.”
Savant ladled soup into their bowls and sat down across from them as they ate. “You’re not going to eat?” Acastus asked.
“I’m not hungry, I’ll eat at dinner time.” Savant answered with a warm smile.
“Okay, so why do you look so different?”
“Acastus!” Barbarah said in shock. “I’m so sorry, he just speaks his mind.”
“No, it’s quite alright.” He waved his hand as if dismissing the idea the child’s words being rude. He turned his attention back to Acastus. “I was born this way, it’s just how I’ve always been.”
“Oh, well you look cool. I really like your eyes, do your pupils dilate like cat’s eyes.”
“Yes they do.”
“even more cool!” Savant smiled, enjoying that Acastus thought he looked cool rather than scary and Barbarah looked at him as if he was no different atall. When they were done eating Barbarah already had a little more color, though she was still far too pale. Trying to trust this kind man she said “Acastas, I’m going to take my shower and rest in whatever room Savant gives me. If he wouldn’t mind guiding you around his home alone you may stay up with him but please mind your manners and listen to him if he tells you not to do or touch somthing.” Acastus’s face lit up “would you mind Savant? I’ll be good”
Savant turned his attention to Barbarah. His face the image of how touched he was she would let him be alone with her child “thank you Barbarah, I don’t mind atall. We’ll have fun and you get all the rest you need. For clothes I think my niece has some here. She’s near your size so they should fit alright” Savant gathered the clothes then showed her into the bathroom.
Barbarah felt bad for the small bit of worry she felt as the door closed. Her instincts wanted her to stay by her son and guard him from Saul but she wouldn’t insult Savant. She laid the clothes on the bathroom counter then started the water. Dry blood was caked on her skin. She hadn’t realized she had bled this much from her wound.
She stepped under the warm water, muscles she had not even realized were cramped loosened and she gave a contented sigh. She wiped the blood away and looked at her stomach. The wound had healed without a scar and she was glad for it. She had enough scars from Saul already and she didn’t want another one. Savant showed the boy each room, saving the library for last. Acastus stared wide eyed at all the books, his eyes dancing with excitement. “Am I allowed to read these?”
“Of course, knowledge is always free in this house as long as you are careful with the books and put them back when you’re done.”
“What are all those vials and pouches?”
“You must never touch those unless I am with you. Some of the chemicals and powders are dangerous and should be mixed with care or not at all. Here, let me show you something.” He pulled a chair up for the boy and grabbed a small white pouch that was completely empty. He then grabbed two bags and a vial along with his mortar and pestle. He mixed a certain amount together then allowed it to dry before pouring it into the small pouch and using a piece of leather to tie the top. He handed it to Acastus who held it carefully in his palm.
“What does it do?”
“If you hit someone in the face with it, it burns like hell. Their eyes will water uncontrollably, they’ll get a severe migraine and it will by you enough time to run away or get the upper hand. Keep it just in case.”
“thank you so much. I might be able to help mommy next time….he hurts her so bad trying to get at me…every time I see her scars I feel bad. If he didn’t want me he might leave her alone” Savant grabbed his shoulders “do not ever think that horrible man is your fault. I’m sure you’re only a target to hurt her. He would still be a monster if you weren’t around so don’t blame yourself. You obviously mean a lot to your mother. Not all children are lucky enough to have such devoted mothers. Too many demons abandon their young at the first sign of trouble. She loves you and from what I’ve seen you are a great young man. Don’t let your dad make you feel bad”
“Do you think you can beat him so he stops hurting her?”
“I don’t think, I made a promise to you and your mother. When he comes again it will be his last time and I ask you and your mother not to watch me fight him”
“I’m even more of a hideous beast when I fight”
“You’re cool, not hideous” Savant smiled “thank you, is there anything I can do to relax your mother?”
“I dont know, she likes scented candles and pumpkin pie. Mom never lets me know when shes upset but if she makes pumpkin pie I know because she eats it to calm down”
“want to help me make one for her when she gets out of my shower and goes to bed?”
“Yeah, mom lets me help if I want so I know how” It made Barbarah moan in comfort when she laid in the guest bed. The beds she made for herself and Acastus were always so crappy since they had to be made in a hurry and were made knowing it was only temporary. Despite her worry she fell asleep quickly, sinking into the soft bed.
It was the sound of laughter and the smell of pumpkin pie that woke her an hour later. Her eyes fluttered open and she just laid there for a moment, savoring the softness of the bed. She didn’t want to get up, she was so tired and ached from the constant running and fighting. She finally pushed herself up and got out of bed, walking quietly out of the bedroom. Her lip quivered at the sound of her son laughing. That was something she hadn’t heard in a long time and had missed it more than anything. She heard the talking stop and was startled when Savant stepped out in front of her.
“Are you okay?” His voice was concerned.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
He stepped closer and reached out, wiping away a stray tear. “I could feel your sadness, why were you crying?”
She looked at her feet. “It was just hearing Acastus laugh. He hasn’t been this happy in a long time.”
“Why don’t you come and have some pie with us, it just came out of the oven. He said you love pumpkin pie so please join us.” His voice was warm and he held out his hand to her, an invitation. She reached out and placed her hand slowly into his and he curled his fingers gently around hers. He gave her the sweetest smile and she felt her heart stutter in her chest.
She was blushing by the time she sat down. Savant loved the feeling he was getting from holding Barbarahs hand. His whole body had tingles and his heart felt comfortably warm. He didn’t want to but he let her hand go to grab desert plates and forks for them. Savant cut the three of them slices of pumpkin pie, both men waiting to see Barbarah take a bite. Savant could practically feel tension leaving Barbarahs body. He ate his pie happily, glad he could do somthing for her.
As Barbarah took her last bite she said “thank you two. Oh how I needed some good pie”
“It was actually Savants idea. He wanted to do somthing to make you more comfortable” Barbarah did somthing that surprised him, she leaned over and gave him a tight hug “thank you, for this and the invitation to stay in your home” Savant hugged her back, finding he enjoyed this even more than the mere touch of her hand. He had received hugs before but none that felt this good.
“Thank you for trusting me.” He said softly back. Acastus smiled at his mother’s lightened mood and hoped they stayed for a very long time. Savant made him feel safe and acted like he actually cared about them. He wanted only the best for his mother and Savant was the best.
“So what are you going to do if my dad shows up?” Acastus asked.
“Whatever I have to do to keep him from you and your mother. I would prefer not to kill him, but if I must I will not hesitate to do so.”
They could both hear the conviction in his voice. He had committed himself to protecting them, would tear apart any soul who dared to lay a hand on them. He himself did not know where this need to protect them came from, but inside where the true beast slept he was ready to do anything for them, to pay any price. He felt like Barbarah felt the first moment had seen him. “I can help you.” She said and he shook his head.
“I am not doubting your skills as a warrior, but I would prefer you not seeing the monster that lies under this face as I said before. It’s not a pretty sight.”
“Let me be the judge of that. You can’t decide for me how I will feel upon seeing the monster that lies beneath your face. I know most male demons have them and I’m not worried about seeing yours.”
He worried it would be enough to scare Barbarah away even though this face didn’t seem bad to her but he wouldn’t argue with her on fighting at his side when he could tell how much she meant those words. That night Saul was nearly there. He could tell by how strong Barbarahs scent was getting that he was close to her and that little brat. It was going to end this time. He was going to kill Ascastus no matter what it took. He walked until Savants came into view. At this point in the night it must be around two am so he would be quiet this time and catch them by surprise. He growled when he realized they were sleeping in the same bed again. He tried to coax the front door open but it was lock so he began trying windows.
Not a one budged and he really didn’t want to go down the chimney but if he wanted to surprise her this time he couldn’t burst through a wall as was typical of him. He flew up slowly and then as gracefully as possible landed on the top of the chimney. He compressed his wings as tightly against his back as they would go then began to carefully go down. It was a crushingly tight squeeze but he was managing it with minimal noise.
Savant had been so alert just those tiny noises were enough to wake him. He stood and took in the air. A male was in his house, a male he hadn’t invited and Savant knew he didn’t have to guess who it was. Savant went to the room he had Given Barbarah and Acastus to check on them, his heart beating an easier rhythm when Saul wasn’t in the room with them. It was as he pulled their door shut that Savant heard a thud in the living room. Saul had fallen the last little bit down the chimney.
Savant walked silently into the darkness of his living room and crouched on the ground, allowing his true form to emerge and take him completely over. Horns sprouted from his head, three on each side that looked much like those of a dragon, his eyes turned a bright orange and seemed to glow, his teeth turned to sharp points and his nails grew into sharp claws. His body became leaner, almost cat like. He could see Saul getting to his feet and brush the soot off of himself. Savant let out a growl, sounding like a demonically possessed dog. It made Saul freeze and he took a step back when he saw the two orange orbs staring at him from the darkness.
“What business have you coming into my home?” Savant asked, his voice devoid of emotion. It sent a shiver up Saul’s spine.
“I’m here for the woman and the child.” He saw the glowing eyes move up and knew their owner was standing.
“You can’t have them and if I was you I would leave now.”
Saul drew his sword. “They belong to me so why don’t you be a good boy and step aside.”
Savant growled again and lunged at Saul who slashed at him with his sword, catching him across his chest. It only seemed to enrage him further and he tackled him out the living room window. Barbarah jerked awake at the sound of shattering glass and jumped up, grabbing her sword, ready to defend their protector. Acastus was right behind her, the bag of powder in his hand. He didn’t want anything to happen to Savant.
They raced outside to see Saul and who they knew was Savant fighting. To Acastus Savant only looked cooler in his true form and at this moment all Barbarah was thinking about was not loseing her son or her new friend. “there they are” Saul said triumphantly, as if by seeing them he had already won this struggle. “keep at a safe distance baby” she said firmly to her son as she stretched her wings. He planned to but also planned on slamming his fathers face with the bag if he got the upper hand on either one of them.
Saul spread his wings aswell but for a different reason than her. Savant obviously wasn’t good at keeping his chimney clean so as he slid down and then fell Sauls wings collected a sizeable amount of ash. He had been holding his wings tightly shut, waiting and he chose now to spread and shake his wings so he could blind and get away from Savant.
Savant grabbed his face as the ash filled his eyes and felt a burning sensation in his stomach as Saul’s sword tore through skin and muscle. He grabbed the blade, snapping it off the hilt as he stumbled back coughing. Savant growled as he wiped at his face, wishing he could see clearly.
Barbarah slammed into Saul, knocking him away from Savant. “You will not touch him or my son.” She spat, her blade up.
“Oh please Barbarah, you are nothing but a weak little owl woman. You can barely defend yourself and our little spawn, you’re pathetic.” He was on her in the blink of an eye, his fist slamming into her jaw. Her vision spun and colors burst behind her eyes, making the dizziness worse. Her sword was wrenched from her hand and she could just barely see Saul moving toward Acastus. “Don’t make it any worse than it has to be little bastard.”
“I’m not afraid of you.” Acastus shot back and stood his ground even though he was shaking.
“Oh I’m so sure.” Saul reached for him, grabbing him by his hair, pressing the tip of Barbarah’s sword to the boys throat. Acastus hit Saul in the face with the bag, sending him stumbling back as the powder burned his eyes and throat. Savant grabbed the blade protruding from his abdomen and pulled it out with a little grunt, almost like it was more of an annoyance than painful. He got to his feet, finally able to see enough and rushed Saul, using the blade to slice through his back.
Saul let out a piercing yell of pain as Savant pushed him to the ground on his stomach. Savant held the blade up to Sauls throat “Leave and never come after these two again. If you dont run when I let you up I wont spare you a second time”
“Is that really what you want to say to a man who has your life in his hands?” Saul growled and Savan hesitated, wishing the man would choose running. Saul had a history of never backing down even when it was obvious he should. How powerful he was had long since run to his head and made him feel invincible no matter the situation. “fuck you and the bitch. She’s mine and I’ll spend however long I need putting Barbarah in her fucking place” he responded angrily despite his position. Acastus covered his eyes and Savant took the demons life.
It hurt Savant immensely even though this man was heartless and cruel. Killing would never be somthing Savant could get used to but a demons life seemed to require it since there were so many evil demons who would stop at nothing but death in their pursuit to spread pain, misery and their selfish wants. “go inside with your mother please” Savant said sadly in a more normal tone. Acastus helped his mother up and went inside with her while Savant lifted Sauls corpse to burn it.
Barbarah hugged her son “I failed” she said on the verge of tears “No you didn’t. You’ve been fighting him off for two years. Countless times you’ve kept me safe and thankfully this time we had Savant. We aren’t going to leave him are we? Savant likes us and he especially likes you”
“I feel like such a burden. I drew him into our fight and he got hurt and had to kill someone.”
“He’s not going to blame you mom, he’s a good person.”
“The boy is right.” Savant’s voice startled them as he stepped through the front door and into the living room. “Saul should have walked away, he should have taken a hint.”
“Are you okay?” Barbarah asked as she crossed the room to him. “You were injured.”
“I’m fine, I heal fast.” He wiped at the blood, revealing perfectly healed skin. “See.”
“I’m sorry you had to kill someone, I could tell you didn’t like it.”
He grabbed her chin and brushed his thumb over her bottom lip. “I’m glad you and Acastus are safe. Even if it meant bloodying my hands.”
She hugged him and kissed his cheek, making his heart skip a beat. “I’ve never been so happy to run into a stranger. If it wasn’t for you we might not be here. Thank you so much.”
“you two are still welcome to stay, please don’t leave”
“for how long?”
“Always, you don’t have a home do you?”
“No, Saul destroyed every one I’ve made”
‘Then…then let your home be with me. I care so much for you and Acastus already. I enjoy time with him and I love when you touch me. It feels greater than anything else I’ve experienced. I don’t understand most of what you make me feel but I do know I want you to always stay here with me or let me go wherever you go. I’m not much nor do I have looks but..you don’t seem to care about that.”
“Savant, don’t say you aren’t much. You are a kind and wonderful man. I’d love to stay and so would my son.” she smiled at how sweetly he was looking at her then she asked “am I staying as your mate or your friend? You may not understand your feelings but it sounds an awful lot like you want me to be your mate” Acastus looked hopeful, it would break his heart if Savant said anything but Mate in response to his mothers question. “you’d truly be my mate?” he asked in a disbelieving yet touched tone.
“if you want me. I have never met a better man or one that my son has taken to like you” Savant took Barbarah into his arms and hugged her tightly, pushing his forehead into her shoulder “yes, please be my mate. I’ve never had one before but I know I can be a good one to you and a good father to Acastus”
“well, then you wash the blood off and I’ll get our son back in bed” Savant kissed Barbarahs head the rushed to his bathroom happily. Barbarah wanting to be his mate erased the pain of killing. A woman that wasn’t related to him had never loved him before or shown him affection. Despite his age he was actually a virgin since all seemed to run in fear of him when he went anywhere. Having Barabrah would be completely new but he wouldn’t let himself fail as a mate and have her slip through his fingers.
When he was clean he found Barbarah in his living room. “are you not tired or would you like to go to bed with me?”
“whatever you want. I could go to sleep again if I tried” Savant was too nervous about being Barbarahs mate to make a decision “please choose” she got up with a smile “you ok?”
“yes, this is just new to me and I don’t know what to do with myself”
“I’ve never had a mate before. I’ve never even had sex”
“just be you and when it comes to sex I find it sweet you’ve never been with anybody. We don’t have to rush it and don’t feel any pressure when we do”
“Could I cuddle with you? I’ve always wanted to cuddle with someone.”
“we can cuddle until we fall asleep” They went back to Savants room with Barbarah relaxed for the first time in two years. Her horrible ex was gone and she had a future with a wonderful man. She’d finally get to see her son happy and childlike as a kid his age should be. She owed so much to this wonderful man and the first way she was going to pay him back was by showing him how amazing he was since he apparently didn’t know.
~ The End ~