Lievon & Amara

Chapter One

Lievon stood outside the all to familiar castle, his heart hammering in his chest, a knot forming in his throat. He couldn’t even remember how long it had been since he had been here last, but he remembered the day he had been cast out. His betrayal of his friend still twisted in his heart and he knew he had no right to be here, but he needed Chthon’s help. He forced himself to walk up to the front door and bang on it. He wasn’t expecting the beautiful young woman who answered, but he could see both Ruth and Chthon in her. read more

Antia & Andrej 2

Chapter One

“Do you think they had trouble on the road?” Antia asked as she and Andrej waited at the front door of their home for her brothers.

“I’m sure they’re fine my love.” Andrej couldn’t help but chuckle at how excited and worried she was. He could feel it. He pulled her into him and tipped her head back, adoring the blush that tinted her cheeks. “They’re grown men and I am sure capable.” read more

Hafsah & Chione

Chapter One

“wake up!” they heard children calling happily as three or four of them pounded on their bedroom door. Chione giggled “you up Hafsah?”

“I’ve been up, just seeing how long I could lay here with you before breakfast” Chione rubbed her still sleepy eyes and moved to kiss her wife “we better feed the cuties.”

“we hear you!” The oldest, a thirteen year old named Hasina called from the other side of the door. “We’re coming, go wake up Dakarai!”

“He left a half hour ago to head to town. Nani is still accidentally setting things on fire when she has bad dreams so she doesnt have a mattress anymore and theres no more extra ones. He has to get her another. Its why we’re all up. She was screaming.” Nani, their severely abused five year old. Next week marked six months since they saved her and her one year older brother from their parents. He seemed to be doing alright but Nani suffered from nightmares, not of the physical abuse but the sexual abuse she had been suffering through.

It got the two moving faster to make sure she was okay. They dressed then came out “you go talk to Nani and I’ll start breakfast” Hafsah said to Chione. Chione started walking to Nanis room while the other children followed Hafsah. Chione slowly pushed Nanis bedroom door open and found Nani and Colt sitting on the floor, Nani wrapped in Colts arms “You okay Nani?”

“I’m sorry miss Chione”

“You know we dont care about the bed baby.”

“But the wall too”

“Dakarai will take care of it, you know that. I’m sure he told you too it was okay”

“Yeah”

“but are you okay Nani?’

“fire can’t hurt me. I’m a demon”

“we know that but how’re you feeling”

“Just bad I keep ruining the things you give me” Chione walked over to Nani and took her from her brother “You never have to apologize for what happens when you have your nightmares honey. We just want you to feel better. He can never hurt you again, him or anybody else. Hafsah and I will always keep every one of you safe.”

“But my heart still hurts”

“I know honey” Chione said with great sadness filling her body. She would never understand parents who hurt their children, especially sexually. “want me to stay in here with you until breakfast?’

“No, I have Colt. I just want to sit in here with my brother”

“Okay, then we’ll get the two of you when breakfast is ready’ Chione gave Nani back to Colt and kissed them both on the head before walking out, allowing herself to shed a few tears for Nani once she shut the door. By the time Dakarai returned they had already finished breakfast. Chione and Hafsah took all the children outside so Dakarai could work without them getting in his way. Nani hugged his leg “sorry Dakarai”

“go play Nani, I’ll be out as soon as I’m done. There’s nothing to be sorry about” When Nani was outside he grumbled to himself “it’s your fucking father who shoudl be sorry” he deeply wished his sister and Chione would have killed the bastard but for whatever reason they never killed unless it was the only option they had. If anybody deserved to die it was that scum for beating those children and then on top of that molesting Nani.

“I wish we could make her forget.” Hafsah said as she rested her head on Chione’s shoulder. “It’s not fair such a small child should be tormented like that.”

“I know baby, but getting someone to tamper with her memories can be just as damaging.”

“I know.”

Hafsah lifted her head and gave her a kiss. “She’ll heal, she just needs time and for us all to be as understanding as possible.”

When Dakarai finally made his way outside, Nani came running to him and he lifted her into his arms. It made everyone happy to see her brighten up. He tossed the little girl in the air, making her squeal with delight. “That’s better, princesses should always smile.” Dakarai said and Nani hugged him.

Hafsah and Chione watched as Dakarai played with their children, neither knowing what they’d do without him here. Especially while they had Nani but they knew there wasn’t a chance he’d ever leave until she was an adult. They had raised many children in this house but he had never attached to any quite like he had Nani. It wasn’t even that she was sexually abused because they had taken and raised other little girls and boys who had suffered that way. They didn’t know why but it certainly helped Nani and they were glad they had such a close relationship.

The day went by peacefully until Chione had the children gathered in the living room for a story. She was just turning the second page when loud knocking sounded at the door. Dakarai removed Nani from his lap and set her down on the floor before answer the door, ready to attack any potential threat. It was a fairy woman holding a baby that couldnt be over four months old. Sensing no threat Dakarai invited her in. “a baby?’ Hasinas face lit up as she said the words and walked over. The fairy woman smiled “yes, you may hold her if you’re careful” Hasina took the baby then Hafsah asked “what brings you here? Your baby?”

“Oh no, I love my little girl and want to keep her. I came to you because I once dated a man you three raised. He told me so much about you guys. His name was Andure, a fairy like myself” Hafsah and Chione smiled “Thats sweet to hear. We hope he’s doing alright”

“I wouldn’t know, we had a falling out and he left me last year but recently sombody came to my home and offered to buy my little girl. They said fairy children fetch high prices if you knew what creatures to sell them to and they’d give me half of what they knew they’d make if I just gave them my daughter. This was months ago and I pretended to have some interest in order to find out what was going on and as you three can imagine they are selling children to just anybody for any reason. For sex, fairies for drugs, some creatures used to turn others so they live forever. It goes on and on. They are taking defenseless children and giving them to just anybody who is willing to pay.

I can’t do anything about it on my own but if anything I heard about you is true I knew you’d help those babies.” her voice started to crack ‘they aren’t even treated nicely while the demons have them. They were in cages. It was so hard to see”

“we’ll leave tonight” Hafsah said angrily. She looked at her brother “I’ll finish the story and tend to them as always. You two just hurry and bring those children back here where we can protect them” he said with a mixture of sadness and anger. “is your baby staying here mam?” Hasina asked and Chione said “we’ll need you to guide us there. She’ll be in good hands with my wifes brother and it seems Hasina will want to help”

“I know she will be. I was planning to leave her here with him while we went”

They went to their room and packed a small bag then went into the kitchen and grabbed fruit, some jerky sticks, and water. They kissed the children buy and told Hasina not to stay up too late with the baby then followed the woman out. It was nice having Dakarai around since it meant leaving earlier. “Would you mind if I ask why you and Andure split up?” Chione said.

“He was going through some issues, anger issues, we’d argue. One day he just left. I don’t know if he felt bad for the way he was treating me or what, but he hasn’t been back. I wish he would come back, I still love him and I would really like for him to meet his daughter.”

“Maybe after this, we can help you find him. His mother left him on out steps with promises she would be back, you can imagine how he must have felt when she never returned for him. I think it gave him a somewhat negative view on mother’s and wives. In short it wasn’t really you, it was his fear of being abandoned again.”

“So he left me before I could leave him? I would have never done that, I wanted to help him.”

“We know that, but when something like that happens to you, it’s hard to get over.”

She nodded “thats surprising since he talks about you two like you created the heavens. he really loves the two of you and Dakarai of course. He’s told me a lot about him too.”

“he was a good kid, had anger issues when he lived with us too but we understood and tried to help him. What he really needs is a good woman like you to never give up on him. I’m glad he found that. I just wish he hadn’t been the one to give up”

“I’m just glad to know why. I hope he’ll come back home and meet our little girl”

“we’ll talk sense into him, don’t worry. We just need to get to these kids first. How many are there?”

“It was hard to look at them and I had to leave. I’m not sure. Does it matter?”

“Not really, if our current home isn’t big enough my brother will make it bigger. With groups like this you dont know how large of a number they have. We’ve already had to build onto the house once”

“Its a beautiful place, did Dakarai build it all?”

“No, it started as our childhood home. Our parents decided they didn’t want to be parents any longer when we were ten and we raised ourselves from that point. Its why I wanted to take children in like I do. I mean, we survived but if i can prevent another child from growing up alone I’ll do it. Luckily when I found my mate she was happy to continue my work with me and Dakarai is just a giving soul. Child or adult he is always the first to help. Especially when it comes to handy work. He can build and fix all day long which is helpful when dealing with so many children.”

Hasina was trying to get the baby girl to sleep when Dakarai came into the nursery “You need sleep little one. Give her to me and get ready for bed”

“a little longer?”

“I’ve already let you stay up much later than I should have. My sister will have my head. Sleep is important when you’re young so run along” Hasina handed over the baby and kissed Dakarais cheek “night”

“goodnight, thank you for being such a help with the baby”

“I love babies” When she was gone Dakarai asked ‘so why wont you sleep little one?” he sat down in the rocking chair and began to hum softly. When she was resting he walked over to a crib and laid her inside before covering her with a light blanket. He then left to get a bottle ready for when she woke again. He didn’t know how old she was but obviously still at the age of waking multiple times a night.

He cleared his throat when he came in the kitchen and found Nani with her brother Colt. “we were thirsty” Colt answered. He took Nani off the counter she had been climbing then made them both glasses of water. “Its far too late for you two to be up. Please dont come in here again tonight”

“yes sir” they both said then ran off to their bedroom. He listened for their door to close before grabbing a bottle and filling it with milk. He was glad Chione had just went shopping a few days ago since he was alone with the children. Its why they always stayed stocked. With the milk put away and him sure all the little ones were in their beds he locked the doors and laid down on the couch. It was just him and the seven little ones he had promised to always protect. If anything tried to come through that door it would deeply regret it’s decision.

Chapter Two

“How long did it take you to get to where the children were being held?” Hafsah asked.

“It was a day and a half. Walking into that place was terrifying.”

“Any magical barriers?”

“None that I noticed, but they could have taken them down to allow me entrance.”

“How many demons?”

She thought really hard trying to remember. “Three walked me along the cages, one of them was telling all about their “products”. There were two guarding the front and then there were a couple of customers. So if you take them out just five.”

“Five shouldn’t be too hard. The hard part is going to be getting all of the kids to come with us

Chione spoke up “If they are being kept in cages they might be easier, anywhere is better than a cage” Chione looked at that young woman “whats your name hun?’

“My name is Sunny but I prefer to be called my middle name which is Lynn.”

“Okay, you told us earlier you could barely look at the children because it upset you so much. Will you be able to fight for them and keep yourself together?”

“Oh yeah, I’ll gladly beat those bastards senseless. I just know my own power and knew if I tried alone I’d fail, plus I don’t have the space and Andure said you take children no matter what. If you don’t have the space you make it”

“hopefully we can get him visiting us too once we convince him he was crazy to leave you”

“I’d like that” The next morning when they were finally sitting to eat breakfast Nani asked “Dakarai, do you know when Chione and Hafsah are coming back?” A smile briefly showed on his face “I don’t know but they’ll be back as soon as they can”

“could we go to the lake today?’ Wilton asked “I have that baby kids I’m sorry. As soon as they come back I’ll take you all. You kids can play outside as much as you want as long as you don’t stray far” Wilton looked disappointed but didn’t ask again. When it came down to it Hafsah and Chione might have to take the kids themselves when they returned. He needed to count up the money they had to see if they could afford adding more children to their home. If they couldn’t he would have to leave to earn more money when his sister and her wife came back.

Hafsah, Chione, and Sunny’s breakfast consisted of an apple a piece which they ate while they walked. They were determined to get to the children as quickly as possible and would only stop if they absolutely had too. If they kept at this pace they would make it there by midnight. “What are we going to do about the children who have already been sold?” Sunny asked.

“I suspect the demons have a ledger where they record all of their transactions. We’ll just look up the names and find the buyers.”

“But they had a lot of kids, I’m sure there are many buyers.”

“Then we’ll appeal to the queen. She has some very powerful people in her family that I am sure will help us.” Chione replied and gave Sunny’s back a reassuring pat. “Everyone knows how generous she is.” This seemed to ease some of Sunny’s worry. Both Hafsah and Chione knew what kind of people were in Cantaly’s family. The assassin Zane and High Dragon Irim could probably take out most of the demons without anyone else getting involved by what everyone else said about them.

When they were done eating they flew up again. When they arrived they were glad these demons were cocky enough to actually not have any barriers around where they were keeping the children. If there were any Chion couldn’t sense them as they approached. They landed and started to walk when they grew near and almost just as the large pit where the childrens cages were came into view the same male demon that had showed her around seemed to come out of nowhere “your back and without a baby”

“We didn’t come to deliver or purchase, we came to free these children.” Hafsah replied.

The demon laughed. “Three women, have come to defeat a group of demons?”

“Give us the children.”

He grinned then swung at Hafsah, but Chione grabbed his fist. “No one touches my wife.” She snapped his wrist then grabbed a handful of his hair and sunk her fangs into his neck. He was surprised at her strength and his scream brought out his companions. Chione dropped the demon, his blood on her face so she looked for all the world like a vampire gone mad. Sunny was amazed at how well they fought, moving in unison like two angels of death. One of the demons broke away from the pack and went for the children, the intent to murder them clear in his eyes. Sunny used her magic to stop him, making fire climb up his legs so he howled in pain.

She quickly flew over to him “give me the fucking keys” she cursed. He tossed them at her and she allowed the flames to stop. As she suspected of a child trafficker he was a coward and ran away. Sunny flew down to the children looked terrified “Its okay babies. Those women are just trying to save you. They only want to give you a home with comfortable beds and good food. Nobody is going to hurt you kids ever again so please come with us.” The older ones seemed unsure but the smallest children looked excited at the prospect of food and beds.

She unlocked the cages and allowed them to come out “we need to stay right here while they fight so you children don’t get hurt” When Chione and Hafsah had either killed or sent running the remaining demons they were covered in blood so they called “Sunny, can your magic clean us up atall?’ She answered in teh form of instantly removing the blood that covered them “wow!” Chione exclaimed ‘yeah, I was blessed with quite a bit of magic” Sunny responded. Sunny started leading the children up while Chione and Hafsah walked towards them, not surprised the children were afraid.

“What are you going to do to us?” One of the oldest asked.

“We’re going to take you home, let you get cleaned up and get some food in your bellies. Would that be alright?” Hafsah replied, giving them her warmest smile.

“How do we know you’re not lying?”

“We promise, all we want is to help.” Chione chimed in.

One of the younger children, a little boy no older that four or five walked up and Chione squatted down so they were at eye level. The little boy took her face in his hands and she smiled at him. “She’s not lying.” He said and moved into her arms so she could pick him up. “She’s safe and warm.”

“If Carwyn says you’re okay then you must be.” A teenage girl said. “He’s special and knows things.”

“Then lets hurry to your new home. A couple of you will have to share rooms regrettably. We always like to give our children their own space. I’ll talk to my brother and see if we have the money to build on again once we have you all clean and fed” The older ones carried the smaller children so they could keep a fast pace. They stopped as frequently as the kids needed, urging them to speak up if they wanted to stop. Now that they were safe there wasn’t any rush since Dakarai was more than capable of tending to the children at home.

On one break a fourteen year old shapeshifter girl named Zahra asked “are you going to do anything about the kids who were already sold?”

“yes, we’re going to talk to the queen. We’re hoping her family will help us”

“Please do, my sister was already sold and I hate to think whats been happening to her”

“You could help by describing who bought her and what she looks like when we get to the house. Any information you kids can remember for us will help us find them” she nodded, looking worried.

Though the journey home was slower, it was worth the looks of relief on the children’s faces when it came into view and Hafsah pointed it out. The front door opened before they got to it and Dakarai stepped out with Nani clutching to his pant leg. He had a grim look on his face at the sight of the children and his eyes burned with the promise of vengeance. “We killed them all.” Hafsah said as the children passed through the front door.

“There are others who deserve to die.”

“And we’ll find them. Chione and I are going to go to the queen and ask her for assistance.”

“Let me go, you just got back and you need to get these kids settled.”

Hafsah opened her bag and pulled out a book. “This has all the names of every person who ever bought from them and what they bought. There is a girl we brought back with us whose sister is missing, take her with you and let her give it to those the queen would send.”

“Can I go too?” Nani asked.

“You should stay here with your brother.” Dakarai said, his eyes and voice softening.

“Please.” He sighed.

“Okay little one, as long as Hafsah and your brother say it’s okay.”

“She’ll be safe with you and it’s not that far to the castle.” Hafsah said with a smile.

“Then go ask your brother, we don’t want him to worry.” She ran off and he turned back to Hafsah. “Tell that girl we will leave when she’s ready.”

“I will, her name’s Zahra so you know it” he hugged his sister then Chione before speaking to Sunny “Your little girl is asleep again. Shes the best sleeper I’ve ever seen when it comes to babies”

“she just got over being ill. I’m glad she was good for you.” When Dakarai walked off to ready for the journey Chione said to Sunny “we still plan to help you find Andure. Stay here aswell and once everything is settled we’ll find him”

“I’ll help out while I’m here”

“You have a baby to mind, don’t worry about anything else” She smiled “I can help out and tend to my daughter. I’m a fairy with a lot of magic and I plan to save you guys a little money when it comes to expanding this home a bit for the new ones. I might not be able to make and do anything but you will soon experience my gifts after I rest a bit”

“Let me show you a room that can be yours” Hafsah said then left Chione momentarily to help out the children.

Nani came running back to Dakarai a few minutes later, a happy smile on her face. He lifted her up onto his shoulders and ran around the yard, making her laugh. Zahra came out after they had been playing for ten minutes and introduced herself after he lowered Nani onto his hip. She clung to him and buried her face in his shirt. “She’ll warm up to you, just give her some time.”

“It’s okay, I understand. So, we’re really going to the castle?”

“Yeah, all are welcome there as long as they don’t present a threat. The queen is kind and wise.”

“I can’t believe I’m going to get to meet the queen. Is it true they are all dragons?” She asked as they started walking.

“Most of them.”

“Do you think they’ll be able to find my sister?”

“If anyone can it’ll be them.”

“And if they can’t, Dakarai will.” Nani added, making them both smile.

“We’ll all work together.” Dakarai replied.

When they made it to the castle Cantaly Jr called for Zane and Irim right away and also informed Dakarai that they should have told her they were running an orphanage sooner so she could have been sending money to support their cause. She gave them six months worth of what she would have been sending them so they could expand their home like he wanted to for the children to have their own space to deal with whatever traumas they had suffered. With Irims and Zanes tracking skills it didn’t take long for the children and monsters that had bought them to be gathered up and get Zahra reunited with her sister.

Cantaly promised they would pay for their crimes against the children along with promising they would be sent money monthly to help them out with raising them. Dakarai had newfound respect for his queen and was grateful he wouldn’t have to leave his sister and the children to earn the extra money they needed. He knew his sister and her wife were strong but tending that many children needed all three of them. Hafsah, Chione, Dakarai & Sunny began work on their home with hope for the future, especially with hope they’d find Andure and get him to open up enough to be a father to his daghter and a proper mate to Sunny.

~ The End ~

Geoffrey & Tiffany

Geoffrey and Tiffany had stayed up all night studying again. An exam that would account for a majority of their grade was coming up in a weeks time. He and Tiffany were in college to become Anesthesiologists. He had met Tiffany when they became dormroom companions at the start of the year. He was worried about sharing a room with a woman, especially one as gorgeous as she was but he had quickly realized she was laid back, fun and everything you could want in someone you were sharing a dormroom with. They had become quick friends and now, ever more slightly over their days together he was falling in love with that vibrant smile, that glorious laugh and just about everything their was about her. Just about the only thing he didn’t like was her tendency to dress him. He liked picking out his own clothes but nearly every day she was trying to tell him what to wear.

Sh wasn’t controlling by any other means and didn’t know why one day she suddenly began to have opinions about his wardrobe. He feared mentioning his dislike for this since he didn’t want to upset her, he loved everything else about Tiffany after all so what was it truly to deal with that one thing? He was aware their might be a million things about him that bothered her. He knew well that he always annoyed his two older siblings growing up but he mostly waved that off since he was sure all youngest siblings annoyed their older siblings. To his knowledge she had never been asked to be placed in a different room so he felt even if somthing did bother her it was somthing she could live with as he lived with her need to pick out his clothes.

It was four am, only two hours after they had fallen asleep from their study overhaul. Tiffanys phone rang, then it rang again, then again and again. He groaned, she was obviously in a deep sleep so he decided just to answer it. Tiffany was an open person and didn’t seem to have any need for privacy so Geoffrey didn’t feel he would upset her by doing this. “Hello” He said in a whisper “Hello Geoffrey, long time no see. You’re big now” An eerie, inhuman voice spoke through the phone in a whisper that matched his. “excuse me, who is this and if you wanted to talk to me why didn’t you call my phone?” He asked confused “you left it in class today” Geoffrey looked around the room. He hadn’t noticed until now that he didn’t have his phone “how do you know me? What class are you in and when did I first meet you?’

“Don’t play coy Geffers. You know mommy doesn’t like when you lie to her” The voice on the phone turned into a precise replica of his mothers and he dropped the phone, his heart pounding at the odd, apparently changing voice. He wondered if he was having a hallucination from lack of sleep until he heard that creepy voice yelling on thephone “pick up the damn phone geffers!” He shakily picked it up and put it to his ear “You know me, you know this voice” Whomever was on the phone said “I don’t” Geoffreys voice shook even though he had tried to keep it strong. “Night little Gef, tucked in his bed, night little gef, rest your head. The monsters and ghouls can’t harm you here, not when mommy and daddy are so near” read more

Kaelani & Nara

The wind was blowing today making Kaelanis loose brown hair move even wilder as he rode his horse. He had a letter and package to deliver to a woman who lived in the Albelino mountains. It would take him a few days to get there if no problems arose but it was highly unlikely that all demons, monsters and men that he passed would actually leave him alone and allow Kaelani to do his work. He didn’t mind far off jobs though, they paid much more which meant he could give more to his sister. She played music in town and hoped for tips. As an unwed mother a lot of women treated her as a  pariah so she couldn’t really find work in shops or in any service. The scorn she got for being a mother both so young and without a husband didn’t phase his sister a bit which was one of the many reasons why Kaelani had a lot of respect for his sister. She never once begged her former boyfriend for help and she didn’t have a fuck to give about what people thought of her. In general Talitha was a happy person and let nothing get her down.

She had only started to shine brighter since having her daughter Wynne. That little girl brought out an even deeper happiness that Kaelani was surprised to see since she had to raise her alone and struggle to support both herself and now a little girl. as soon as he collected his payment for sending this letter and package to the woman in the mountains he would stop by and make her take a portion of his earnings. As Kaelani approached a swamp he stopped to rest and eat before going through it. He didn’t like to stop in them due to the bad stench they often had so would stay the remainder of the day and the night right where he was. he also had his horse to consider who seemed to get tense and nervous in the swamps. He couldn’t blame her though. More often than not demons attacked in them.

They rested and the next morning were off again. Kaelan gave his horse comforting strokes as they trotted into the woods. All was smooth and seemingly well until what was once dry, hard land vanished and became goo. This was an illusion no doubt set by a demon and they began to sink. His horse panicked which only made things worse as they rapidly were sucked in. They heard a malicious, deep laugh and just as Kaelin suspected it was a demon. The laugh woke Nara from her sleep in a nearby tree. She got up to defend herself but instead heard the panicked neighs of a horse and ran towards it.

Kaelani was tossed from his horse and into the cold sludge that pulled at them. “Look at this tasty little morsel who has come into my domain.” The demon said as he approached Kaelani and grabbed his hair. He lifted him out of the sludge and Kaelani kicked at him.

“Let me go you bastard.” He yelled and the demon just laughed.

“Shall we play before I devour you little human.”

Nara pulled her dagger from her hip and run up some rocks, not wanting to be caught in the demon’s trap. She pushed off, flying through the air and landing on his back where she stabbed her dagger in. He screamed and dropped the man in his grasp then tried pulling her off. Once the demon’s concentration was on her he was unable to hold up the illusion that had trapped his victim. It melted away and Kaelani was able to grab his horse. Nara jumped from the demon’s back and he turned on her, screaming in rage as he attacked her. She batted his hands away, forcing herself past his guard and driving her dagger into his throat. He choked, his hands flying to the hole in his throat as blood seeped out.

She stabbed him again, this time driving her knife into his solar plexus and up into his heart. He collapsed on the ground and she turned to the young man behind her. “You alright?”

“Yeah, thank you.” He said as he checked his horse for any injuries.

“What are you doing out here all alone?”

“Delivering a letter and a package to a Nara Lian. I would really like to stay and talk, but I have to get back to work, thank you again.”

“Wait, you said Nara Lian right?”

“Yeah, do you know her?”

“I’m Nara Lian or the lady of the mountain or that one crazy girl who lives near the swamp. Whichever you prefer.”

“oh this is so great. Here” He said as he pulled her package and letter out “Oh, well if you don’t mind could we ride your horse together back to my home. I’d rather get it there safely and I don’t have a horse with me.”

“I was going to take it all the way there anyways, sure”

“You don’t mind?”

“I wa shired to take it there wasn’t I? I’ll take it there”

“I’ll pay you extra”

“You’ll pay me what was promised and nothing more”

“You can’t stop me from giving you more money. I’m paying for the ride on your horse” Kaelani knew his sister could use all the money he could afford to give her so he quit fighting Nara on the matter. “sure but lets walk with Kisa until we’re out of the swamp, she’s really stressed now and I want her calm before we get on. I’ll also let her rest when we’re out of her.”

“I can tell she is, poor girl. I don’t want you to kill your horse for me nor am I in a rush so do whatever you feel is best for her.”

“I’m Kaelani by the way”

“Lucky you, having a rare name. Mines so common”

“Easier to remember. People often forget my name”

“I guess you could look at it that way. How long have you been working for the post?”

“Since I was fifteen”

“How old are you now?”

“Twenty four”

“I’m twenty three”

“what do you do for a living?”

“Nothing honestly, I just enjoy life. I helped a dragon smooth things over with his mate once and in return he gave me one fourth of his treasure.”

“One fourth of a dragons hoard!?” Kaelani said in a disbelieving voice. “Swear, I’ll show you. She means a lot to him. he would have given me more to help him if i had asked.”

“wow”

“yep, I’m set and i wager my children are set as long as I’m not stupid with my money and they aren’t. I’ve never really counted it. I just keep it in a magic protected room in my home”

“And I thought getting to deliver mail to places like this was exciting. Compared to you I’m quite boring.”

“Come on, I bet you do plenty of cool things.”

“Well, I do write music and I’m pretty good at chess.”

She smiled. “Do you play an instrument or sing?”

“No, I write for my sister. She plays the guitar, violin, and flute. She’s amazing and the best mom too. She uses her talent to provide for her and my niece.”

“Does she not have a husband to help her?”

Kaelani shook his head. “She gets a lot of crap for being unwed and having a child. You know how some women can be. Instead of seeing my sister and niece are happy they like to look down on her for getting pregnant without getting married first.”

“Don’t you just hate some people?”

“Not at all, actually I feel bad for them. Maybe they lost someone once or they live horrible lives and the sight of true happiness reminds them of what they don’t have.”

“Maybe, some people just just put nothers down to make themselves look better. Like they can say look at that girl over there. She didn’t do things the right way like me. Not all assholes went through somthing terrible. Some assholes are just assholes” Laelani huckled “Yeah, most jerks are that way for a reason though”

“Yeah”

“How old is your niece?”

“two and as sweet as can be. I love that little girl”

“How does your sister do with tips? Is she making enough”

“Not really, I give her what I can spare. If I’m really worried about them somtimes more than I can spare. it’s hard to give her any money because shes a very independant woman hell bent on not just letting me help her but I force it on her to have the peace of mind they are ok when I’m not there. I will get her a job with me when Wynne is older. This job isn’t for people who will need to carry a toddler with them. I’m always traveling”

“Yeah, do you think she’d accept money from me?”

“Oh, no I wasn’t asking for handouts. Jeez, I didn’t realize it sounded like that”

“I know you weren’t. I’ve met plenty of men trying to get at my money and I know you aren’t one of them. I asked questions and you gave me answeres is all. I have so much money and I want to help her. Oh i’ve got an idea since she’s proud. When we get to my house I’ll send her a package and it will be filled with money. I’ll write a note saying i listen to her in town every day and want to make sure she keeps working.”

“You’d do that for a stranger?”

“You do it for her plenty.”

“Yeah, but I’m her brother, it’s my job to watch over her.”

Nara smiled. “Just let me help out. I don’t need all the gold I have anyway.” When they finally made it out of the swamp Kaelani climbed onto Kisa’s back and held out a hand for Nara. He smiled down at her and she took his hand, allowing him to pull her up behind him. She was usually pretty independent, but she actually enjoyed him being a gentlemen. It was probably because he didn’t do it because she was a woman, but because he really just wanted to help.

He clicked his tongue and Kisa trotted up the mountain path. “It’s really beautiful up here.” Kaelani said.

“Yeah, I really love it, it’s so quiet and peaceful.”

“Do demons ever bother you?”

“Sometimes, but if they attack me I kill them, if they leave me alone I leave them alone. Not all of them are bad.”

“How do you know?”

“Well one was an on again off again lover and then one helped me after I stepped in a hole and broke my ankle. She healed me and stayed for a couple of days to make sure I could walk without discomfort. They were both really nice and polite.”

“Where did they go?”

“They guy, Lirium, just travels around so I have no idea where he is. The woman who didn’t give her name just kept saying she went where she was needed and we were meant to meet. It was strange, but she was a really sweet person.”

“I’m glad she helped you” Kaelani answered, finiding himself jealous of the demon lover. He wanted to punch himself for feeling that way but he felt it all the same. “So she said you were meant to meet her?” He continued, wanting to just talk about the woman if they were to speak of either of the demons. “Nope, you apparently. She gave me your name. Imagine my surprise when I really meet a man with that name. Maybe I’m your sisters saving grace”

“Is that why you’re helping?”

“No, I would have anyway. I help people I feel deserve it now that I have so much money and I’m sure your sister deserves it. There’s a lot of women who would have gotten rid of an unwanted child if you know what i mean”

“I do but lets not talk of such practice. I’m not taking sides or anything but talk of ending unborn babies lives is depressing for me”

“Me too, I just know thats how a lot of young unmarried women handle those situations. On a lighter note, do you have more sibligns than just your sister?”

“Yeah, I have a brother named Ajmal. What about you? Any siblings?”

“Nope, just me. My father is an assasin and my mother is an escorter so they are busy people. Somtimes i’ve wondered how they enjoy their marriage with how little they see eachother. I rarely saw them together growing up”

“Did they spend a lot of time with you?”

“Yeah, but I was either escorting with mom or helping dad on his jobs. It wasn’t normally with both of them at once. They do really love eachother though, that I can say. Somhow it works for them. When they are together they are really happy and I never once saw or heard of them flirting or straying on eachother.”

“That’s good, but I couldn’t imagine my paents always being apart. Dad dotes on our mother and never liked leaving home. They’re probably the most lovey dovey couple I’ve ever seen. I’m not saying your parents aren’t or anything.”

“I know what you meant.”

“It’s weird a demon knew my name. I’ve never even met any so it’s really strange.”

“I’m glad she did, it just means everything she said was true and she wasn’t crazy.”

They made it to her home and slid off of Kisa’s back. Kaelani didn’t bother tying her since he knew she wouldn’t go far. “Would you like some tea?” Nara asked as they headed inside.

“Sure, that’d be great.” He sat down on the couch and just soaked up the warmth her home exuded. She came back with a glass and handed it to him befor sitting down next to him. He couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she was and how captivating her smile was. He had never met anyone like her and wished he didn’t have to go home.

“So do you have a girlfriend?”

“No, I don’t have the time and no one’s going to put up with someone who’s gone all the time. I don’t want to make someone feel neglected.” She grabbed his hand.

“You’re a really good man and you’ll find someone someday. You always go home at the end of the day right?”

“Yeah, most of the time.”

“Well someday someone will realize that and be waiting there with a big smile and a hot meal.” They just smiled at each other, getting lost in each other’s eyes. They both blushed and looked away, clearing their throats and composing themselves. “Let me get that money for your sister. You can leave it on her porch when she’s not looking.”

“Okay, thanks for doing this.”

“I don’t mind atall. Come with me so you can see it. There’s some pretty things he gave me”

“I’d imagine so. Dragons have a knack for finding gorgeous treasure.” They walked back to the room where she kept her money. Even though Kaelani was expecting a gorgeous sight he was still taken back but the gold, silver and gifts the dragon had bestowed upon Nara “wow” was all he said and she smiled. She pulled out a box from the corner of the room and began to fill it with the things she thought were most valuable along with gold and silver coins. When she was done she put the box in a second box to be sure it wouldn’t bust under the weight. She then left the room to write a note to his sister pretending to be someone that listened to her play daily.

When she came back she also returned with a small bag to put Kaelanis payment in. “don’t look. I don’t want you fussing over how much I pay you”

“But”

“Don’t look” She said seriously. Nara stuffed the bag full then looked back at Kaelani as he stood there. She wondered what it would be like to kiss him. The demoness had told her they were meant to meet and they would bring great happiness to eachother. She already felt happy just for knowing Kaelani but maybe they were intended for more than just a small trip together. She stood, contemplating if she should try a kiss or not. He had been just as lost in her eyes as she was in his earlier so maybe the kiss was worth a try and she wouldn’t look like an idiot.

Nara closed the gap between them and before Kaelani formed the words he was about to speak she kissed him. Kaelani was surprised but pleasantly so. He kissed back slowly, loving this feeling intensely. This wasn’t Kaelanis first kiss but it was the best he ever experienced. When she pulled back Kaelani opened his eyes. Nara blushed slightly but didn’t break eye contact with Lani. “that was amazing” Kaelani said, breaking the silence. “it was, I think that woman had it right when she said we were meant to meet. I’ve loved the day I’ve spent with you and I want the opportunity to get to know you better. I definitely want to kiss you a lot more times. Kaelani smiled “I want the same things. I don’t have any more jobs lined up so maybe after I take this to my sister I could spend some time here with you. In fact, I don’t want to travel down the mountain in the dark so maybe I could sleep on your couch tonight”

“That sounds like an amazing idea. Lets start on somthing to eat. I’m hungry after all that traveling.”

“Me too” Lani said, already hungering for another kiss but controlling himself. They made sandwiches to keep it simple then sat on Naras porch just to talk and eat. That evening as they were talking and laughing Kaelani became bold and said “Curious minds want to know. What’s in your package and who sent you the letter?”

“Wow, spending time with you made me forget how you came to be here.” Kaelani laughed happily at that. Nara got up and retrieved the package and letter to open them. She decided to check the letter first “Oh, it’s from my mothers sister” Nara said then ripped open the letter. Naras face seemed to go from happy to sad to despair until she just began to cry. Lani quickly crossed the room to Nara and pulled her into his arms “what’s wrong?” Nara just cried harder and Lani wished he knew what to do. He decided just holding her was probably all she needed right now so he tugged Nara until she was sitting in his lap, head in his neck crying. She cried for well over an hour, her eyes throbbing and Lanis neck soaked. She sat up and wiped her face before shakily saying “My…my parents have passed….The box is what valuables were on them when they died…” She was going to further explain but couldn’t so she just handed Lani the letter to read for himself.

My Sweet Niece Nara

I hate to be the one to give you such news but somebody had to. Your father went along with your mother on an escort mission where they were attacked by demons. One person survived and says your parents fought vigorously and you should be proud. They both died valant deaths to protect who they were with and eachother. We’re waiting for you to come to have their funeral. What was on them I sent in the package. We all love you here in Talisburry and we’re sure we’ll see you soon. Your parents house is untouched and waiting for you to guide what will be done with it. Of course everything inside belongs to you or to whom ever you want it to go to.

Aunt Rachel

Lani set the letter down and held Nara tightly to him “I’m so sorry” He said with tears of his won for her loss. He held her and let her cry into him when she’d start again until she was sleeping in his arms. Lani didn’t know how hard of a sleeper she was so decided it was best just to scoot slowly backward into the wall so he could lean against it. When he was close enough Lani kissed Naras head and leaned back to sleep himself.

Nara woke a few hours later, her head hurting from crying so hard. She was really warm and it took her a moment to realize she laying in Kaelani’s arms. She slowly raised her head and smiled when she saw him sleeping. “Kaelani.” She whispered and brushed her lips over his cheek. He opened his eyes and stretched before pulling her back down so her head was on his shoulder.

“Too comfortable, let’s just stay here.” He said softly, still half asleep.

“I would love nothing more, but I need to make dinner and make traveling plans.” She felt the sadness creeping back in and swallowed the lump in her throat.

“It’s okay Nara, go ahead and cry if you need to. I don’t mind holding you.”

“I need to get up and do something, keep myself busy. Would you help me cook?”

“Sure.” They got off the couch and Kaelani followed her into the kitchen. He hated how sad she looked and wished there was something he coud do. He could only imagine her sorrow. He chopped garlic cloves for her while she heated oil in a skillet then put chicken breasts in it. He dumped the garlic in and she seasoned it. He made a salad and garlic toast while she watched the meat. He just wanted to see her smile again. “Nara?”

“Yeah.” She said and looked up at him. He kissed her, making her face grow hot and goosebumps crawl over her skin. When he pulled back she just blinked up at him for a moment then smiled happily.

“that’s what i wanted to see” Kaelani said sweetly. When dinner was on plates and they had begun eating Kaelani offered ‘I could take you to your home town if you want. Like I said, I have no other deliveries lined up and now that you’ve paid me so generously I can afford to not work however long it takes you to mourn”

“You really want to do that?”

“You sound like me when you wanted to help my sister. Yes I do. My sister is on the way to your home town so I would like to drop her package off first if you don’t mind”

“We can, thank you. The trip will be easier with you”

“I’ll be here for you as long as you need me. Do you know what you’re doing with your parents home?”

“Not a clue, I don’t know how anybody expects me to know what to do”

‘I’m sure there’s no rush. Just keep it until you know what you want to do with it”

“I guess, I don’t know if I can walk in my old home. One where neither of them will be there to greet me”

“I’ll hold your hand and walk in right beside you for strength. If you cry again, I’ll hold you again. I’ll stay right by your side until you can cope with this loss”

“Thank you so much Kaelani. I’m glad it was you who they sent to deliver my package”

“Me too” After dinner thye did dishes together. It had been a really late dinner so Nara said “will you hold me in my bed tonight so I can sleep?”

“of course” Kaelani followed Nara into her bedroom where he held her close and gently slid his knuckles down the side of her face to help soothe her. Kaelani intended to stay up until she was resting but she made him so comfortable he passed out. Nara smiled when he fell asleep then kissed his chest, not knowing what she would have done if she had to get that news all by herself with no comfort. It now didn’t seem like such a good idea to live up in the mountains all by herself.

The next morning Kaelani jerked awake at exactly six. He was used to get an early start to his day so always woke up at the exact same time no matter where he was. Nara shifted next to him and sat up, her sleepy face making him smile. “Good morning beautiful.” He said as he brushed some hair out of her face.

“Good morning, did you sleep well?”

“Of course I did, I was incredibly comfortable.” He leaned in and kissed her and she quickly pulled back.

“Sorry my breath stinks.” He smiled and grabbed her face in his hands, giving her a soft kiss.

“Like I care, I wanted a kiss.”

She giggled and hugged him. “You are something else.”

“Why don’t you go get ready for the day and I’ll make breakfast. I’ve become pretty amazing at it with all the traveling.”

“Alright, I won’t take long.” They got out of bed and Kaelani tugged his boots on before heading into the kitchen and looking through her pantry. He decided on chocolate chip pancakes and put a skillet on to heat while he made the mix. Once the mix was made he dropped some butter into the skillet and got to cooking. He hoped she liked them. He had learned how to make the perfect mix from a woman he met in a village two days from his home. He couldn’t wait to get back down the mountain and deliver that box of treasures to his sister. He knew he would have to leave her a note telling her he was going away with Nara for a little bit so she wouldn’t worry, but he wouldn’t let on that he knew where the box came from. She deserved to have an easy life with Wynne.

When Nara came out she looked stunning. Her long black hair brushed and falling over her shoulder. She was wearing a red, perfectly fitting tshirt and some very flattering pants. She smiled at Kaelanis brief admiration then look away so not to oggle her. “you’re my boyfriend, you can admire me handsome” Nara said as she wrapped her arms around him from behind and kissed the back of his neck. ‘am I really?”

“You want to be right?”

“But I work as a delivery boy. I’ll be gone a lot.”

“and I’ll b here, happily waiting your return. I want you to live with me here. Also when the traveling gets tiresome i have enough to where you can take as long of vacations as you want. You don’t have to work atall if you don’t want to and we can just do what i’ve been doing. Getting into mischief and having fun” Lorenzo smiled “well sit down beautiful, breakfast is nearly ready” Nara kissed the back of his neck again, goosebumps appearing where her lips were. When Kaelani had the meal served he said “I would love to just quit but I’ve become close with the owner of The National Post and he doesnt have enough delivery people as it is. I woudl put a real strain on him if I quit. I’ll take vacations whenever you ask it of me though if you’ll be happy that way”

“Of course, you’re so sweet Kaelani, always thinking of others before yourself. It’s somthing I really like about you” Kaelani couldn’t help but wear a goofy smile. He was beyond happy and wanted to introduce Nara to everyone he knew. “These are amazing! What did you put in these things?!”

“I’ll teach you after your parents stuff is all settled. That way you can have these even when I’m not home” Nara frowned and Kaelanis happiness drained. He walked over to where she sat and hugged her. She turned her face into his chest and let a few tears fall, hating her parents would never get to meet Kaelani. When she was done crying Kaelani kissed her “I want you to sit in front of me on Kisa during the trip. That way if you need to cry you can just lay back on me and cry”

“Okay, thank you.”

“You never have to thank me, that’s what boyfriends are for.”

She smiled and wiped her face before continuing to eat. Kaelani made his plate and sat down next her, enjoying the closeness. When they wee finished she insisted on washing their plates so he grabbed the box of gold and went outside. Kisa was standing there waiting and he slipped the box into his saddle bag. Nara came out with a bag full of clothes and he tied that to the saddle before climbing onto Kisa’s back and helping Nara up in front of him. He wrapped one arm tightly around her waist and guided Kisa with the other. “This is definitely the best way to ride a horse.” He said softly and she gave him a dazzling smile that sent his heart into an excited fit.

“It’s very comfortable.”

“And I can kiss your neck whenever I want too.”

She giggled, relaxing completely into him and resting her hands on his knees. She was so happy to have him with her. She had never had an actual boyfriend, it had never been something she had thought about, but the moment that demon had spoken Kaelani’s name she knew she would have someone special in her life. She wouldn’t let him get away no matter what happened. When they made it to Kaelani’s village they were both happy to see Talitha and Wynne were gone. Kaelani left the box on her porch then went inside since he had a spare key and scribbled her a quick message so she knew he wouldn’t be back for awhile.

Before they took off on the rode again Kaelani fed and watered Kisa. When she was ready to go they got back on her and rode on to Talisburry. Naras head played all the memories she had with her parents as they rode. Some brought soft tears to her eyes that tugged at Kaelanis heart. He hated she was so heartbroken and wished he could make it better but knew all he could do was offer comfort. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose the wonderful people that raised him and his siblings. He hoped his parents would live well into their two hundreds so he wouldn’t have to mourn them anytime soon. He knew right now was just as hard for her as it would be for him since she too had a great relationship with her parents.

Kisa began to grow tired so Kaelani guided them only until he found water Kisa could drink from. Kaelani helped Nara down and they sat in the grass eating apples as Kisa drank. “she’s a sweet horse” Nara said. “Yeah she is” Kaelani replied. “where’d you get her?”

“One of my friends parents owns a horse ranch and as a fifteenth birthday present they gave me one of their baby horses. I raised Kisa.”

“wow, horses are expensive. You must be good friends with them”

“I still am, he’s an awesome guy. He’s engaged and I’m to be best man at his wedding. Would you join me when I go?”

“Of course, I’ll love seeing you dressed up” Kaelani kissed Naras cheek “I’m glad you’ll come. It’s in three months”

“I’ll have to buy a nice dress for it.”

“I’ll go with you to buy one whenever you’re ready to. Just let me know.”

I haven’t worn one in a long time, I bet I’ll look weird.”

“I bet you’ll look just as beautiful then as you do now.” A blush tinted her cheeks and he kissed her, enjoying the sweet taste of apples on her lips. Kisa nudged his hip, making him laugh as they got their feet and climbed onto her back. “I think she wants to hurry and get you there. She knows you’re sad.”

Nara rubbed Kisa’s neck. “Don’t worry about me girl, I’ll be fine as long Kaelani is here.” Kisa nodded her head, making Nara smile. She leaned back into Kaelani, getting tired as the warmth of his body enveloped her. She fell asleep and he tightened his hold on her, unwilling to let her fall. He had not told her he knew demon attacks very well. His own brother had been horribly scarred after an attack that nearly ended his life. That day had been the most terrifying day of Kaelani’s life. He had cried harder than anything at the thought of losing Ajmal.

He pushed the horrible memory out of his head, just thankful Ajmal was still alive. He often told his brother that he admired his strength and made sure to call his scars battle scars to help him feel better. He hoped his brother found someone who loved him despite his outward appearance. They reached Talisburry just as the sun was beginning to fall past the horizon and Kaelani gently shook Nara awake. “We’re here.” He whispered in her ear.”

“Sorry I fell asleep.” She stretched and looked around.

“Don’t apologize, sorrow can take a lot out of you. Should we drop Kisa off at a stable?”

“No, my parents had one so just keep going straight until you come to a big house with a deer carved on the door. The stable is in the back. We’ll walk to my aunt’s home from there.”

“alright” He guided Kisa until they came to her house. They slid off of her then took their things off before guided Kisa around back to be put away. “You be good girl. I’ll be back” Kisa nodded and Nara smiled “she is such a smart horse”

“Yeah, I’m proud she’s mine”

“I could tell that when you told me you raised her” Kaelani smiled and pulled Nara in for a hug “I’m even prouder to be with you. I’m excited to introduce you to everyone I know. For now lets get you to your Aunts so she knows you’re safe” They walked hand in hand with Nara guiding Kaelani to her aunts house. They knocked on the door, not having to wait long for an answer. Kaelani let go of Naras hand so she could hug Rachel who looked as if she had only just been crying “I’m so glad you made it sweetheart. Who’s this young man?”

“My boyfriend Kaelani” Racheal reached out to hug kaelani who hugged her back ‘I didn’t know you were dating anybody. He’s handsome” Kaelani gave her a smile and Nara said ‘We haven’t been dating long”

“well come on in you two. My husband and daughters are working on dinner together.” They entered and were guided into the kitchen “Jamin, Nova, Zehava” Rachel said then they all turned and soon stopped what they were doing for hugs. Kaelani was introduced and welcomed by them aswell then they were shooed out of the kitchen to relax while they handled dinner. In the living room Rachel said “I’ve never been much good at cooking if you’re wondering Kaelani” Kaelani smiled “I just thought it was sweet to see a dad cooking with his daughters”

“do you cook Kaelani?”

“Yes, I’m very good at it.”

“Have you put that to the test yet sweetheart?” Rachels question pointed at Nara who answered ‘oh yes, he’s amazing” Her voice coming out sad as if she may cry again. Kaelani grabbed her hand for comfort and Rachel smiled “I’m glad you have someone to help you through this. I was worried about you grieving alone. You’ve always been more of a loner and I worried this would shut you off from everybody”

“I would never allow her to do that ma’am. Now that she is with me I promise I will make sure she goes on living.”

“You are such a nice young man, a true blessing.” When dinner was ready Jamin called them to the table and they all ate and chatted happily. Nara’s cousins asked him many questions, wanting to know this young man who had so easily captured their cousin. Nara blushed and glared when they told him stories of funny things that had happened to her as a child. He laughed and grabbed her hand, putting her at ease. He loved hearing about her life and he found her all the more adorable.

When dinner was over Nara said, “I think we’ll stay in mom and dad’s house tonight aunt Rachel. When is the funeral?”

“The day after tomorrow sweetie. Their bodies are still being prepared.” They both teared up and before they knew it they were crying again. Everyone in the room held tightly to each other, Kaelani doing his best to comfort these wonderful people. “You can always stay here tonight child.” Rachel said.

“We’ll be fine there I promise, besides I’d like Kaelani to see the wonderful place I grew up in. If it becomes too much we’ll come back.”

“Okay baby girl, be careful walking home.”

“Always.” She and hugged everyone and gave them her love before grabbing Kaelani’s hand and pulling him out of their house. “You’re going to love my home, it’s very beautiful. I might bawl my eyes out for awhile. There are so many amazing memories in that house.”

“Then bawl them out love, I’ll be right there to hold you.”

They made sure Kisa was set wth plenty of water and food for the night before walking into Naras childhood home. She froze at the entry way, her eyes traveling around and growing ever sadder by the second. When she began to cry Kaelani pulled her close and comforted her as best he could. He decided to pick her up and carry her to her old bedroom so they could sit someplace comfortable while she got it all out. “which ones yours baby?” He asked softly. Nara pointed and he went in the room and sat down against her headboard. Kaelani cried into him, clinging to Kaelani like she’d sleep away into an ocean of despair without him to hold her. She fell asleep even as she cried. Kaelani carefully pulledwhat blanket he could over her then rested against the headboard to catch his own rest.

She spent the next day doing her best to tell Kaelani of what memories everything in the house inspired. Most stories ended in tears which broke Kaelanis heart but she didn’t ask her to stop because he could tell she really wanted him to know about everything in her old home. As they sat eating dinner that night Nara said ‘how am I expected to get rid of any of this?”

“Well, Like I said back at your home. Why dont you just keep it? You can afford to keep up the taxes for owning two homes so why get rid of your childhood home when it means so much to you. Maybe” Kaelani stopped and blushed at what he was about to say. He stuck food in his mouth, hoping Nara would let the maybe slip. “maybe?” She asked and he blushed even more before swallowing. “never mind the maybe”

“Please Kaelani, what?” Looking more to the side of Nara rather than her face he said “i was going to say maybe we could give it to one of our kids someday but that just sounded crazy. I should think more before I speak out loud” Nara smiled and got up form her seat to hug him “Oh Lani, I’m glad you didn’t think. That was so sweet. I needed to hear somthing that sweet. You like me that much?”

“You don’t understand that means I love you? I wouldn’t want children with a woman I just liked Nara”

“I’m sorry, this is all just so new to me. I mean I’ve never had a guy say hey want to get married and have some kids. The last guy I was with, well you know about him, he wasn’t the committing kind.”

“I’d rather not talk about him if you don’t mind.”

“Why?” He got even more red and she sat in his lap. “Wait, does he make you jealous?”

“That’s stupid.”

“Come on, don’t lie. He does doesn’t he?”

Kaelani sighed. “Well yeah, I mean he got to make love to you.”

Nara started laughing and kissed him. “Lani, there was no making love between us, it was just two people who had nothing better to do so we had sex. If anything we were friends with benefits. We made it clear that if one or both of us got into a serious relationship we would just be friends and that’s it.”

“It still makes me jealous and I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t be since you chose to be with me, but I am.”

“It’s okay, I don’t mind a little jealousy as long as you promise not to try and lock me up.”

“I promise.”

She kissed him again and he held her tightly to him, letting the warmth and smell wash over him. He never knew how wonderful it could feel to love someone like this and he felt a little guilty. His sister had no one because there wasn’t a soul in their village who would marry a single mother and his brother was alone because women found his scars repulsive. He wanted the same kind of happiness for them. He parted their lips and smiled at Nara’s flushed face. She was the most beautiful thing in the world and he promised himself he would never let her go.

“Lets finish our dinner and get some rest beautiful”

‘I’m full when it comes to dinner. Nara got out of Kaelanis lap then stood, pulling him out of his seat. “I want something else now, somthing much better” Nara continued as she pulled him to her old bedroom.Being a little dense Kaelani asked “what do you want” It made her giggle “I want to experience what making love is like”

“but you’re grieving right now and” Nara interrupted Kaelani with a kiss. “Make me feel better. I swear this isn’t grief talking, I promise. If it is, it’s my own fault but I promise it isn’t. Please make love to me so I can go to sleep happy instead of with tears” Kaelani blushed and kissed her again “You love me too?”

“deeply, I always will. I wont regret this so don’t hold back. Make love to me” Nara slid her hands under Kaelanis shirt and he lifted his arms so she coudl pull it off. They took off eachothers pants and underwear then Kaelani finished stripping Nara. Kaelani gave a small gasp at how beautiful Nara looked. She smiled, her eyes softening at the way he was looking at her. Never once had she been looked at in such a way that made her feel so amazing and beautiful. She knelt down and kissed just above where his shaft was then trailed her kisses up, letting her tongue dip into his belly button then continuing to kiss. She kissed slowly up his neck, loving Kaelanis reaction to it. When he lips met his he cupped her breats, squuezing, pressing and pulling at the soft mounds in his hands.

Nara wrapped a hand around his spear and began to move it back and forth as their tongues mingled. She did this until Kaelani could barely kiss he was moaning so much. He lifted her up and laid her on the bed. His tongue and hands traveling her for a few moments before he locked lips and thrust his hips forward to dive into her. He kept a steady pace, never moving his lips off of hers. He loved kissing her, those gentle moans he could hear getting louder and more intense as he thrust. She began to quiver around his length making him need her more. He thrust harder, Nara breaking the lip contact with her deep moan.

Kaelani kept this pace until he exploded within her, white liquid traveling inside and him suddenly feeling guilt “oh no, I didn’t use protection. i wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry” Nara gave a gentle laugh, too worn out to laugh any louder. “it’s ok baby. If I get pregnant before we marry i get pregnant before we marry. I wont mind.” Kaelani kissed her again “that was really amazing” She sniffled and he noticed her soft tears “It really was. I’ve been missing out with just fucking. I’m glad I have someone to make love to now”

“You’ll always have me Nara” Kaelani said as he got both of them under the blanket and began spooning her. Thy talked sweetly to eachother about their plans until they fell asleep. The whole village turned out for the funeral the next day, giving their condolences, speeches and tears about what amazing people Nara had for parents. Kaelani wished he was ever going to meet the people who raised such a wonderful woman. He would spend forever making her happy and hoped somhow they knew and were passing into the next life peacfully and happy.

~ The End ~

Cipher & Fotia

Cipher tossed and turned, his skin covered in sweat as his tormentors voice filled his head. Images, horrible and dark shown before his eyes. He screamed, the sound muffled by the crashing waves and pouring rain. His eyes flew open and he sat bolt upright, gasping for air. Tears filled his eyes and he wept, his whole body shaking. He cried himself into exhaustion and he fell asleep leaning against the wall. The next morning a knock woke him and he jerked awake, his heart pounding fearfully against his chest. He got up, pulling on his pants and opening the door to his room. It was Aurel and Diana and both frowned when they saw him. Diana hugged him and he tensed in her arms at first, but finally hugged her back.

“You should have woken us.” She said as she let him go.

“I am no child Diana.” He replied.

“No one should have to face such nightmares alone.” Aurel added. “The port is in sight so we will be docking soon. The cook has made oatmeal if you are hungry.”

“I’m fine, but thank you. Let me dress and I’ll join you above.” They left and he shut his door. He dressed quickly then grabbed his bag and headed up.

Fotia sat in the garden with her gryphon, enjoying the sun and flowers. Aurel and Diana were coming to visit and she was excited about seeing them. It had been awhile since their last visit and she had just had her seventeenth birthday. Her brother Nero and sister in law Lissana were the most excited, especially since Diana had said in her letter she was pregnant with twin boys. She couldn’t wait to congratulate them.

Cipher felt nervous as he walked with Diana and Aurel to Chthons castle. It wasn’t so much he was scared of them but mainly his irrational fear they could look at him and see everything she had forced him to do, the things she forced him to endure. He didn’t want anybody to know. Cipher was embarrassed beyond all reason that he as a male demon was used as a toy. Diana and Aurel had told him that the only person that should feel shame is Peony but Cipher felt he should have been stronger.

When they arrived a bright eyes, beautiful brunette and what appeared to be her pet greeted them with hugs. Fotia even hugged Cipher though she didn’t know him. “welcome” she said sweetly. “Hey, you’ve grown so much”

“I was still a child last time you saw me”

“I know, what a beautiful woman you have become. We’re sorry we didn’t come celebrate when you became an adult”

“You guys live pretty far away. I don’t blame you. I don’t see why it’s such a big celebration anyway. I feel no different” They smiled as Fotia then turned to guide them inside. Cipher looked to the side, still fighting the irrational fear that she may be able to tell what happened to him.

“Where are Chthon and Ruth?” Aurel asked.

“Dad’s in his study with mom so I would knock before going in.”

“Thank you sweetie.” Diana said. “Would you mind looking after Cipher for us while we talk to them about something important. You know, not baby related.”

“Sure, but you know they’re excited about having more babies to dote over so it might be hard to get off the topic.”

“Believe us, we know. We’ll be back in a little bit.”

Fotia turned to Cipher as they walked away and smiled warmly. It lit up her whole face, making her look radiant and innocent. He looked away, but she caught the flash of pain and embarrassment in his eyes. She reached out for him and he flinched away. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do startle you.” She said softly.

“It’s me who should apologize, being afraid of you is stupid.”

“Don’t be such a man, everyone gets scared some times. Come and sit with me outside, it’s so nice out.” The gryphon standing next to her made a loud chirping sound, agreeing with her. She held out her hand to him and he nervously took it. He felt like he was tainting her just a little by touching her and would have jerked away if he didn’t fear upsetting her.

They walked back to where she had been sitting and settled themselves. “How was the boat ride?” Fotia asked. “It was fine” He said though his nightmares had been terrible. “I love sailing, the ocean is so pretty”

“Do you sail often?”

“No but I should. I’ve just kind of stayed here with my parents and travel not even half as much as i want to. Nothings keeping me, in fact i don’t know atall why i dont travel more”

“Maybe you just dont want to go alone”

“Maybe. I don’t know who I’d even go with. Would say my brothers but Pagos is crushing hard on Duryn. I doubt anything short of knocking him out will get him to travel far away from her.” Cipher gave a small smile, still conflicted about looking at Fotia. She was gorgeous and very pleasant to look at but he felt even his gaze tainted her. Fotia wondered why Cipher seemed so upset and nervous. He truly seemed afraid of her so it maid her wonder if he had been through somthing terrible.He looked as she imagined Rika and Reyna looked before they got over their trauma and then it made her wonder if he had suffered a similar trauma.

She didn’t dare ask though since that ran the risk of making him more uncomfortable. She just tried to kepe the conversation as light as possible in hopes of relaxing him. In Chthons study Aurel said to them “We brought a friend along and we wanted tot alk to you about him first”

“What about him?” Ruth asked. Aurel explained what all he had seen in Ciphers head. Chthon and Ruth listened with horror struck faces. Aurel finished with “we brought him so that Rika and Reyna could help him work through the trauma. The poor man is plagued with nightmares and embarrassed as a male demon for falling victim. We’ve tried to tell him that he shouldn’t be ashamed but he is.”

“We’ll get Rika and Reyna and see if they feel up to talking to him. I’m sure Lispin and Neme will be close by, especially Lispin since Rika is pregnant.”

“Thank you so much grandma and grandpa.” Diana hugged them both tightly.

“After he’s settled in with them we’ll have to discuss these new babies. I’m sure you haven’t found names yet since Aurel is hard to please with that sort of thing.” Chthon said and Diana giggled.

“Yes he is.”

“Why don’t you two go find a room and put your stuff away.” Ruth said warmly.

“Okay, love you guys.”

“We love both of you as well.”

Diana and Aurel went to a room while Chthon and Ruth went to find Rika and Reyna. The former was in her room listening to Lispin read and the latter was sitting next to the underground hotspring while Neme recharged. They explained to them the situation and they both immediately said they would be happy to help. “So do you have any siblings?” Fotia asked.

“I have a little sister. She’s ten and a real sweetheart. How many siblings do you have?”

“Eight, I’m the second youngest and the biggest nag. I try to keep Pagos and Ilios out of toruble if I can. They’re so mischiveous.”

He gave a small smile and she felt like she had made some real progress. “You’re like a second mother then.”

“Pretty much.” She wished he would look at her so she moved closer. “Hey, would you please look at me. It’s kind of awkward to talk to the top of your head.” He swallowed worriedly, but lifted his head. He knew she could see and hated it. He wanted this to all go away. “You have very pretty eyes.” She said and he frowned. He didn’t feel like there was anything great about him. He was just a weak coward.

Fotia kept the smile on her face though she wanted to frown in response to his. She felt crestfallen her efforts were doing little to put him in a lighter mood. She smiled as brightly as she could and kept the conversation light and happy in aspiration to make him relaxed around her. All she wanted was a genuine smile or laugh to come from him. She would do anything it took to make him smile. Soon Rika and Reyna came out. They could see themselves in the unsettled man. They approached gently, knowing since they were female he may be afraid of them. They both introduced themselves and he didn’t look at them but told them his name.

“What’re you and Fotia doing?” Rika asked. “Just talking” Cipher answered. “Do you want to talk to us?”

“If Fotia will stay” Rika and Reyna weren’t sure if Fotia knew or if Cipher wished her to know so couldn’t talk about what they wanted with her there. What he needed most was to feel in control of his own life though so they didn’t protest her staying, they just didn’t talk to him just yet about what they planned on when they came out. Fotia was surprised he wanted her company with how he had been acting but she felt happy knowing he did like her.

“So you’re a friend of Aurel’s? That must be hard work.” Reyna said.

“He was away for many years, but before that he was always pretty quiet. He was kind of a loner, but he let me hang out with him anyway.”

They all three smiled and he rubbed his neck in discomfort. “Are you okay Cipher?” Fotia asked with a concerned look on her face.

“Yes, I’m fine.” He dropped his hand into his lap, wishing he was anywhere but here. Even knowing Rika and Reyna had been through something as terrible as what he had been through didn’t help.

“Here let me rub your neck. You seem really stressed and it’s probably starting to make you ache.” Her warm fingers drifted over his neck and he swallowed nervously. He felt a mix of fear and excitement move through him and had the sudden urge to jerk away from her. He forced himself to sit still, not wanting to hurt her feelings.

“Were you born in Protea like Aurel?” Rika asked.

“Yeah, born and raised.”

“Do you like it there?” Fotia asked.

He clenched his fists. “I did, but not anymore. I have some bad memories about that place.”

Fotia moved to sit next to him. “That’s why you make new and better memories like Rika and Reyna did. Bad memories don’t have to last forever.” Her gryphon chirped and she smiled. “I’m sorry, you must be hungry. I’ll be back in a bit.”

Fotia walked away and Cipher became more uncomfortable. He wanted to plead for her to come back but instead he kept silent as he looked at the ground. “Cipher, we’ve been through what you’ve been through. In fact Reyna went through thousands of years of what you did. It’s ok to be cared and unsure of things. It will help if you talk about it. It helped Reyna and I” Rika said. His eyes still downcast he said “Does Fotia know?”

“No” Reyna answered. Cipher felt some relief. He was glad she didn’t know of his shame “Who all knows?” He continued his questioning. “Just Aurel, Diana, Chthon, Ruth, us and our husbands. Nobody else is going to know unless you want them to”

“Don’t tell anybody else, especially not Fotia. I don’t want her to know my shame. I’ve already embarrassed myself enough with her, tainted her even”

“Tainted her?” Reyna asked and he nodded “she’s so sweet and innocent. My disgusting hands touching hers was practically an abomination. I shouldn’t touch such a sweet woman. Not with these filthy hands. i barely feel like any part of me is mine any longer”

Rika and Reyna both slowly reached for him, each of them grabbing one of his hands. “You are not filthy Cipher and even though we have both felt it, there is nothing to be ashamed of. You were hurt, a part of you was broken and there are so many pieces scattered about that you don’t think you’ll ever be able to put them back together. My es husband was a brutal man. He tied me down for days at a time, he beat me and raped me on a daily basis until I was pregnant. He murdered every little girl I bore him then raped me again until I had our son Zeus. I was like a broken doll, empty and alone with no one to save me. I contemplated suicide, but couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“And I was attacked and raped by a demon who just happened to come my way. He kept me for days, but it felt like months. I got pregnant with his child, my oldest daughter Kandara. She is the only thing I don’t regret about that time.” Rika added.

“How did you forget?”

“We never forgot. It’s still in our minds. We found someone who we loved more than anything in the world. I have Lispin who actually kidnapped us women after being decieved by his mother. He turned out to be the sweetest man I have ever met. He’s the father of this baby.” Rika said as she rested her other hand on her stomach.

“And Neme rescued me, he chased away the demons. He is everything to me, my hero and the love of my life. We found someone who we could talk to, who would hold us when we had a nightmare and needed to cry, someone who showed us we had worth and that we weren’t filthy.” Reyna said with a warm smile.

“I can’t burden someone with my troubles, it would only add to the shame I feel.”

“You men and thinking you have to be invincible. You’re a person too and like us you need someone who will always be there when you need them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or lover or girlfriend, but you need someone who will not judge you or make you feel inadequate. Just think on it okay.” Fotian came running back and sat back down beside them with a big smile.

“What did I miss?” She asked happily.

“Nothing dear, Rika and I are going to head back inside. I’m sure Lispin and Neme are worried about us.”

“Okay.” Fotia leaned over and rubbed Rika’s belly. “You be good to your mommy okay baby.” She said, her innocent smile tugging at Cipher’s heart. The baby kicked and everyone but Cipher smiled. “See you two later.”

Fotias gryphon flew off and she waved bye “where’s it going” Cipher asked “She’s mine but she likes to be free somtimes too. She’ll be back later today or tomorrow or whenever. I don’t really know”

“Thats nice you dont trap her”

“”Well she’s a living thing with feelings. She more my friend than anything else. I’m happy for her to go have fun with whatever she goes and does without me”

“You and your family are really nice”

“well if you like it here and don’t want to go back I’m sure my father would let you stay” Cipher didn’t answer. They just awkwardly talked until dinner was approaching. Fotia offered her hand again and he took it. He tried not to feel like he was tainting Fotia but these were the same hands that were on Peony. He felt like he was rubbing that horrible woman into Fotias sweet, gentle palm. He sat by Fotia at the dinner table while her twin brothers sat on her other side. Rika soon sat at his empty side and he felt guilty for wishing she hadn’t.

He was here to get helped. he agreed to it but it was hard. He ate dinner quickly, just wanting to be alone in his room awhile so that he could calm down. Fotia frowned as he seemed to bolt out. Aurel excused himself and followed Cipher since Cipher didn’t know where his room was. She had suddenly lost her appetite, feeling as if she was upsetting him even though she could tell it was somthing deeper. “I’m going to my room. Goodnight everybody” Fptia said then left to grab a book from their library and just read the rest of the evening away so she wouldn’t have to think of how upset Cipher was.

Fotia didn’t linger long in the library since she already knew which book she wanted. They had just went out to buy more and the one titled Dreams of a River Born Serpent caught her attention. She took it and walked to her bedroom, hoping her gryphon would return to her tonight. Once in her bed clothes she dove right into the story, getting lost in the authors world.

Cipher sat on his bed in the room Aurel had directed him to and just stared out the window at the clear, star filled sky. He wished he could fly like Fotia’s gryphon and go somewhere far away where no one could find him. He wasn’t sure if that was even possible. He knew Aurel would come for him, knowing that being alone with his thoughts for to long would be bad. Even now horrible things filled his head, images of Peony taunting and touching him, his body unable to refuse her commands even though he had fought for control. He laid down, his eyes still looking outside. He knew he had to sleep, but he was terrified. He knew he would have a nightmare, but night after night of restless sleep had exhausted him. He fought to stay awake, but he finally fell into sleep.

Fotia’s mind drifted back to Cipher, pulling her attention away from the book. He had seemed so hurt, his eyes betraying his pain. She sighed and marked her place before closing her book and sitting it down. She needed to talk to him, to make sure she hadn’t done anything wrong. She knew she could be very open, her family knew that from her constant reprimanding of Pagos and Ilios. She got out of bed and stepped out of her room, inhaling the air around her. Her father had taught her the importance of remembering the smell of everything around her. She followed Cipher’s scent down the hall and around the corner. She stopped in front of his door and raised her hand to knock just as he screamed.

It startled her, making her jump and freeze for a moment. Another wail came from within and she quickly shoved the door open and ran to him. She grabbed his shoulders and shook him as hard as she could. “Cipher, wake up.” She ordered. He was drenched in sweat and his face was pale. “Cipher, please wake up.” His eyes flew open and he scrambled away from her, falling out of bed and pressing himself into the corner. “Cipher?” She moved around the bed and he pushed himself into the wall as hard as he could. The bedroom light came on and Aurel and Diana, as well as everyone else in the house stopped froze at the sight of the shaking Cipher. Chthon ordered everyone who had not been told of Cipher’s trauma back to bed with the exception of Fotia who was trying to get closer to Cipher. “Cipher it’s okay, everything’s okay now.” She said softly and reached for him.

“Please don’t touch me.” He whimpered.

“Shh, let me have your hand, just your hand.” He shakily reached out and she laced her fingers through his then moved a little closer. “It’s okay, I’m just touching your hand and I won’t go any further until you say so.” She looked back at her family. “I think I’ll stay here tonight. Could you get him some water?”

“I’ll get it” Ruth said then everybody left, knowing Fotia had the kind, tender heart needed to help him. Fotia just sat there holding his hand until her mother returned with a drink. Cipher was too afraid to take it so Fotia did for him. “Thanks mom. Goodnight”

“You don’t need anything else?’

“No thank you” Ruth walked out and shut the door. “Please drink Cipher? I’m sure you’re thirsty” He was actually willing to take it from Fotia though his hand shook when he reached for the glass. He spilled a little from the jerky movement of bringing it to his lips. “Did I get any on you?”

“a little, but it’s only water”

“You don’t have to stay with me”

“I want to. Maybe you should shower to get the sweat off” He looked away from her and she said “it was just a suggestion. You do what you want”

“If you’ll be in here I want to shower. I’ll be back’

“where would you like me to wait?”

“anywhere” Cipher pushed himself up the wall and Fotia backed up to give him space. He felt fear in him with his back to Fotia as he walked to the bathroom but he kept walking anyway. He knew she wasn’t Peony. Fotia was far too sweet to do any of the things to him Peony did. Cipher meant to take a quick shower but images from his nightmare plagued him and he ended up just standing there, letting the water flow down his body, curving into his muscles.Fotia began to worry and knocked on the door. He jumped and she heard his heart rate pick up “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I was only worried.”

“I’ll be right out. please don’t be sorry Fotia”

“do you need clothes?” He only then relaixed he hadn’t brought anything into the bathroom. “yes” Fotia went to his bag and collected sleeping garmets before walking back. ‘I’ll just hold them through the door. Is that ok?”

“Yes” She cracked the door open only just enough and stuck the clothes through. He took them and she pulled her arm out, shutting the door. When Cipher was covered he came out, jumping again because she was so near. Do you want me to lay with you? I’ll lay on the floor if you’ll be afraid with me in bed. I just want to be in here for comfort if you have another nightmare”

“I..I don’t know.” He looked at his feet, unable to make eye contact with her.

“Cipher, I’m going to touch you okay. Nothing weird, I promise.” She reached slowly up and tipped his head back by his chin so he was looking at her. “There that’s better. I really love your eyes.”

“You should just leave me here. You’re so innocent and I’m broken and tainted.”

“I’m not going anywhere, you won’t sleep if I leave I can tell. So where do you want me?”

“You can sleep in the bed with me.”

She smiled and slowly reached for his hand, taking it gently and pulling him slowly toward the bed. He stopped when she crawled on the bed, his heart threatening to burst from his chest. She waited patiently, her beautiful eyes looking warmly up at him with compassion. He took a deep breath and crawled in next to her then she lifted the covers over them. She made sure there was space between them, but retained possession of his hand. “Why do you think you’re tainted? Does it have something to do with your nightmare?” She asked as she brushed her thumb over his hand.

“I don’t want to tell you, please don’t make me.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to say anything.”

“It’s just, I’m ashamed. I feel like a coward.”

She moved closer, making his heart race. “I’m not going to hurt you I promise.” She lifted her hand and ran her fingers through his hair, then moved them down to the back of his neck. “It’s okay, just relax. I promise to stay here all night and keep your nightmares away. They can’t get around me no matter what.” She rubbed his neck then slipped her hand down to his upper back, wanting him to relax. “Tell me if I make you uncomfortable and I’ll stop.”

“It’s fine, thank you.” She was close enough he could have kissed her if he had the courage. She was so beautiful and full of light. He wanted to touch her so badly, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. She was too innocent and he was too broken.

“Please don’t look so sad Cipher, it breaks my heart.” She fell asleep with her hand resting on his neck and he slowly moved it and laid it on the bed. He moved a little closer to her and pressed his forehead against hers then closed his eyes, letting the warmth of her skin and her sweet smell lull him to sleep.

Cipher and Fotia slept soundly through the night, both being woken to come eat the next morning. Fotia smiled at Cipher “No more bad dreams?” Her benevolent voice asked. He smiled back, this one looking real to her. “Yes I did. Thank you for staying”

“I’ll sleep in here every night until they go away for good if you want”

“I’d really appreciate that Fotia”

“well, let me go to my room and dress for the day. I’ll meet you at breakfast”

“ok” Fotia moved and let her feet fall to the floor so she could walk out. Cipher stayed still until she was gone, just letting his eyes follow her. When she was out of his room he changed his clothes then went down to breakfast. He picked a place to sit that had a free spot on both sides of himself in hopes Fotia would sit with him. His wish was granted when she walked in and sat with him. A small smile flitted across his lips that Chthon, Rika, Ruth and Reyna caught. Their hearts all warmed, having a feeling somthing could grow between those two that would pull Cipher out of the dark.

After breakfast Pagos left to go visit Duryn for a few days. Ilios looked disapointed but he was making himself get used to the fact he and his brother didn’t do everything together any longer. They were grown men and it would have happened eventually. Pagos meeting Duryn just sped their seperation up a little. Ava as always patted him on the back ‘why don’t you hang out with Assaku and I today?”

“sounds fun” Ilios answered then Chthon chimed in “why don’t we all go to the nearest lake and play around. It will be fun” Everyone agreed but Cipher who still wasn’t speaking to everyone as a group much. Fotia asked ‘want to go with them?”

“you’re going”

“I’ll stay if you dont want to go”

“No, lets go. It will be fun”

Everyone went up and changed into their swimwear, Cipher debating whether or not he should change his mind. He had a lot of scars from Peony’s abuse and they made him feel even more ashamed. He heard a tapping on his door that startled him. “Sorry.” Fotia said from the other side of the door. “May I come in?”

“Uh sure.” He replied and she pushed the door open, his eyes widening at her bikini clad form.

“You haven’t changed yet. We don’t have to go, I see my family every day so I don’t mind staying.”

He looked away, gripping his trunks tightly in his hand. “I’m scared.” He admitted.

“Of what?” She closed the door and crossed the room, tipping his head back up. “You don’t have to tell me, but it would make me really happy if you did.”

He swallowed. “I have these scars and I hate them. They’re why I started wearing a shirt.”

“Would you take off your shirt and let me see?” He shook his head, not wanting her to see. He was sure she now had some inkling of what had happened to him. “Let me be the judge of how horrible they are.” She coaxed softly as she slowly slid her hands under his shirt, pushing it up and then off. He had scars from cuts across his chest and abdomen. There was a burn scar over his right side and even more cuts on his back. She eached out and ran her fingers gently over them. “They look like battle scars, not ugly at all.”

Ciphers bottom lip quivered. He was in disblief she really didn’t find his scars repulsive. She smiled and he very nearly kissed her. Instead he walked into the bathroom to change into his trunks. When he came out she was sittign on his bed, smiling the prepossessing smile. She got up, her boobs giving a slight jigggle that made him look away. “you okay?”

“yes”

“I told you your scars aren’t ugly Cipher”

“It wasn’t that”

“then what?”

“You’re just so beautiful” He answered truthfully again. A light tint of pink colored Fotias cheek “well you’re very handsome. You can look at me. I like you think I’m beautiful” He looked at her again, not being able to keep himself from admiring her. She giggled “come on, lets go swim” Fotia took his hand and they walked out. He became nervous again since everyone could see but not an eye lingered, nor did anybody act appalled in the slightest. They left the castle and started walking to the lake. Fotia looked up excitedly when her gryphon was coming back “hey!” she called happily. She got a chirp in return as the gryphon flew past ‘she must be going home” Fotia said to Cipher. He just smiled in return of her words.

When they arrived at the lake everyone got in aside from Lupin and Rika who sat right beside the water. Fotia pulled Cipher out until their heads only just stuck out of the water “I love bing deep. Guess what I can do? I was lucky and inherited it like Abraxas”

“Abraxas?”

“He’s my brother. He and his wife aren’t living here right now”

“What can you do”

“Breath underwater.”

“That;s really cool”

“Yep, even better thing about it is anybody I kiss can breath underwater too. Do you want to swim under with me? I’ll kiss you so you can breath” His heart began thundering again. He remembered Rika and reyna telling him he wasn’t filthy, that he needed contact to move on. He also wanted to kiss her so badly, even if it was just a small one so he could breath underwater with her.

He nodded and she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his. His heart leapt in his chest and he found himself shaking. He wasn’t sure if it was fear or excitement, but she pulled back before he could decide. “Sorry.” She whispered and grabbed his hand. “Come on.” She pulled him beneath the water, taking him deep down to explore. Being able to breathe under water was amazing and he found himself staring at her more than the things she was pointing at. She swam so gracefully, reminding him of a mermaid. He wanted to kiss her again, to feel her soft lips moving against his and the feeling of his heart racing in his chest. He pulled her into him, his lips finding hers in a nervous kiss.

Fotia felt butterflies brush her insides as his lips touched hers. He held her wrists as if he was afraid to be touched while they kissed. He parted their lips, looking embarrassed as he let her go and swam toward the surface where everyone else was playing. She followed, worrying about him the whole way up. “I’m sorry.” He said once they were above the water.

“For what?” She asked as she grabbed his hand a moved closer.

“You were just so beautiful and being kissed by you was amazing. I just wanted another one. I sound like such an idiot. I used to be good at talking to women, but now…”

She pressed a finger against his lips. “Tell me what happened Cipher, tell me so I can help you. I want you to be comfortable around me, but if I don’t know what’s wrong I can’t do the right thing.”

“I can’t.” He sounded so heart broken.

“How about we go back to the castle where it’s just us. You can talk if it’s just me right?”

Her eyes were full of worry and sadness and it made him feel guilty. She had already done so much and he was hiding things from her. “Okay, as long as it’s just you.”

They swam up to Chthon and Ruth “we’re going back to the castle now”

“alright, bye you two” Fotia kept Ciphers hand the whole way back. Not a word was spoken between them since he was decided how to shame himself infront of her. Cipher didn’t want Fotia to see him as some weakling demon made a slave by a crazy she devil. As he braced he tried to calm down aswell. She had been nothing but a sweet, kind angel that wasn’t even taken back by his scars. In the castle they went into his bedroom where they sat down on the bed. “Talk to me when you’re ready. my family will be gone a long while and even if they do come home they wont come in here”

Cipher gripped Fotias hand tighter “A few years after Aurel left our world this girl he used to sleep with came over to my home. She wanted me to spend some time with her because she was sad over Aurel so I did.” Cipher paused, obviously having trouble even at the start of his story. Cipher sighed then forced his mouth to keep forming the words of his tale. “She cats a spell on me, one that made me have to obey every command she gave me. She kept me for her own amusement. She’d beat me and force me to have sex with her. Somtimes she’d beat me while I was doing sexual acts with her I didn’t want to do. I was…” He started crying. His sobs quickly became worse and worse so Fotia wrapped him in a tight hug.

“I’m so sorry Cipher…no wonder I scare you…” Cipher shook his head trying to stop crying enough to where he could talk intelligibly. “No, you do but you don’t Fotia. I’m so glad I met you and that you kissed me. I love kissing you. It feels so good. Now because of that bitch I’m going to scare you away because I’m but a shell of what i used to be”

She pulled him into a tight hug and he wrapped his arms around as he cried, his face buried in her soft hair. She rubbed his back, letting him get it all out. “It’s okay Cipher, I promise to stay with you no matter what.”

“You say that now, but what about when I wake you up every night screaming?”

“I’ll hold you and kiss you and we’ll make love until you’re so lost in me you won’t even remember what scared you.” He pulled back to look into her eyes.

“Do you have any idea what you are saying? You can’t give yourself to me. These hands and this body touched that bitch and I don’t want to…” She pressed her lips against his, silencing him and exciting him.

When she pulled back she said, “I don’t care Cipher, I want you and only you. I don’t think for a minute you’ll dirty me.”

“But why? Why me, why someone broken and scared?”

“Because I love you.” She was so sincere, her eyes shining with compassion and adoration and need. He swallowed nervously, wanting to feel her soft skin. His lips found hers in a hungry kiss, one hand pinned her wrists above her head while the other pulled at her bikini. She moaned when he shakily cupped her breasts and his fingers tugged at her nipples. It felt amazing to have him touch her, even if he wouldn’t allow her to do the same. He was scared of being hurt again and she understood. His hand moved lower, going down her side to her hip then over to her inner thigh. She gasped when he pushed his hand between her legs and slipped his fingers inside her.

“You’ve never done this have you?” He whispered as he bit at her breasts.

“No, never. I’m glad my first time will be with you.” He kissed her again and she felt his lip quivering. He pushed his shorts off and got between her legs.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered then slammed into her, making her yelp at the pain between her legs. He started crying as he moved, his grip loosening so she pulled her wrists free and hugged herself to him. “I love you Fotia, I love you so much.”

Cipher said when he spilled himself into her confines. He moved to her side and brought Fotia into his arms “I do love you Fotia”

“I love you”

“I feel guilty I had to hurt you”

“It wasn’t bad, just surprising” Cipher kissed Fotia “I hope that’s the only time I ever hurt you”

“I know it will be. Do you want to take a nap?”

“I just want to hold you anyway”

“I love how it feels when I’m with you and in your arms Cipher. I hope you’ll never call yourself disgusting again. Please stop crying” She asked since he was still shedding light tears. “That was just so amazing and like I said, I felt guilty” Cipher managed to make the tears stop as her scent washed over him. Cipher clung to Fotia, desperately needing both rest and her. He had gotten so little sleep over the years so went into a deep sleep at this moment that lasted the rest of the day and through the night. He finally felt safe and was glad to know his mate would be right there if Peony tortured him again in his nightmares.

~ The End ~

Nina & Cavan 3

The demons of Halvincora became outraged when they realized all portals leaving their world had been closed off. They started going around telling everyone and growing in numbers as they tried to break through and destroy the seals. Some started trying passages that hadn’t been used in centuries to see if they missed any that were just rarely thought of but it was to no avail until Kremler suggested ‘Lets try somewhere they’d never think we’d go. Lets go to a fairy world.” They began trying fairy world after fairy world but none of the portals would budge. Finally they found one, a portal they could travel through. The whole hoard that had come went through aside from one who was to tell the other demons. They decided to take out their anger and frustration on the fairies of whatever world this was.  Just being in it was enough to enrage them with how vibrant and beautiful it was.

They were used to dark and gloomy so this was repulsive. The demons let out a battle cry, startling the wildlife and sending every creature running. A fire breathing demon set fire to the woods they appeared in while the others ran off to unleash as much havoc as possible while killing anything or anybody that got in their way. Cavans parents had stepped down as king and queen allowing their son and Nina to rule. Nina had relinquished leadership of her clan to their oldest daughter Maggie who was guiding them well. Both Nina and Cavan were very proud of her. They were proud of all of their children.

 

Today they were all gathered together at lunch which was rare lately. Their children were all adults so lived their own lives for the most part. Their second oldest Asher was the only one around frequently since he would be taking over when Nina and Cavan decided to step down as King and Queen. It was going to be Maggie since she was the eldest of their children but she wanted to watch over her mothers clan instead. Asher was more than willing to take on the huge responsibility it would be to become king so it was an easily accepted arrangement. Their two younger children Aeon and Fawn were trouble makers. They weren’t bad but if somthing was trouble it was what they wanted to do. Their adventurous nature was always getting them into trouble but it was somthing Nina found amuseing while it drove Cavan insane.

“So Maggie, I was told by a clan member that that boy Teasel has been eyeing you lately. He seems to have quite the crush on you.” Nina said with a swet smile.

“I don’t know what you mean mother, he and I are just friends. If that were true he would have said something, we have no secrets between us.” Maggie replied.

Nina just smiled, knowing full well no clan member would ever lie to her about such a thing. She decided to let the very shy Teasel tell her in his own time. Their happy lunch was interrupted by the sound of running and loud talking. Cavan came to his feet as a man burst into the dining hall covered in cuts and burns. “What happened?” Cavan asked.

“We were attacked.”

“By who?” Nina asked as she helped the man sit and handed him some water.

He took a big drink. “Demons, there were so many. They took many of our women and children. We barely managed to save any. They’re running ramapant.”

“Maggie you have to alert our clan.” Nina said. “Asher go with her and watch her back.”

“Yes mother.” They said as one then took off together.

“I tried to save the women and children, but I couldn’t. I’m such a weak coward.” The man said, his hands covering his face.

“Hush now, it’s okay.” Nina said softly then turned to the maid who had followed him in. “Take him to a room and draw him a bath.”

“Yes ma’am.”

The maid escorted the man away. Ninas heart raced as she looked at Cavan “lets go protect our people” Nina said to her husband. “we’re coming too!” Aeon and Fawn said in a voice that told their parents they couldn’t be budged on this. “fine, just remember your training and don’t be foolish” Cavan said sternly and both girls nodded. They all flew out, almost instantly seeing the ruination of their world caused by the demons. The fairies were using what magic they could since non royals could normally atleast use elemental magic.

The king, queen and two princess sprung into action to help their people while Maggie and Asher went to warn the clan if they didn’t know already. Maggie wished her clan wasn’t so far from the castle. She and her brother zoomed through the air trying to get there. They were nearly there when a large, ogre like demon ran in front of them. Maggie and Asher both slammed into his rock hard chest. The ogre laughed in a disturbing way then held up his club to swing it at them.

Maggie and Asher both dodged then came back at hime with electrified fists. They hit him at the same time making the ogre let out a painful yowl. Maggie made ice appear, it was large and oval with a sharp point. She lunged it into the ogres heart and he went crashing to the ground. Both their necks hurt from slamming into him but thye just kept flying to warn the clan.

Nina called down electricity and sent it arcing over a large group. She flew high then dropped back down, driving her feet into the chest of a demon so he was slammed into the ground. She flew back up before his friends could grab her, shooting fire at them. One of the demons summoned lightning from the sky, shooting it toward Nina who dodged as quickly as she could. A bolt struck her int back, sending her plummeting toward earth. Cavan flew toward her, snatching her out of the air and checking her pulse. She was still alive and breathing.

Maggie and her siblings made it to their clan’s village and she quickly rounded up every able bodied man and woman. They flew back to the battle field, angry that their home had been attacked. Cavan flew Nina a way from the battle then kissed her cheek before flying back to help defend his people. He raced through the horde, his electrified sword cutting through every demon he passed. The demons began to retreat when a voice boomed over the noise, telling them to hold their position. Every fairy could tell this new demon was very powerful and Cavan faced him down, sword held out in challenge.

“Does the little fairy want to play?” He asked.

“Come, I welcome the fight.”

They attacked each other, the demon growling as he dodged the enraged fairy. He punched Cavan in the face, sending him flying. He was back on his feet in an instant, coming back at the head demon. The demon laughed catching Cavan’s arm and slamming him into a tree. He then punched Cavan in the stomach, making him drop his sword. “You’ll make a nice play thing, King Cavan.” The demon said and slammed Cavan’s head into the tree until he was unconcious. He whistled for the demons, taking the fairy king with him and they retreated.

Maggie arrived with her clan, Teasel close by her side. “where’s my parents!” She asked angrily. One of the men said “Your mother was taken in the castle by some maids. Your father was taken by the demons along with most of the women and children…there were so many princess…We’re sorry we have failed  you and your family.”

“It is us who protects our people. I’m sorry, All wounded are welcome to stay in the castle. The maids will tend to you all. All fairies that have strong magic and want to fight for your fellow people and king come with us. All others please go to the castle and help our maids with the wounded or, those who are able to heal nature, help restore the land to it’s former beauty. Some quickly flew up to join Maggies clan, others headed to the castle while some started on healing the world that had been destroyed by the intruders. Maggie flew angrily to the portal into the demon world. She knew these were Halvincora demons. Teasal stayed close to Maggie, worried about her fighter demons. They were dirty and underhanded. They would use any trick to win a fight.

When they had all passed into Halvincora they were appauled by the land there. Everything was so bleak and dreary. It was no wonder demons were such a disconsolate, woebegone bunch. They flew fast, searching for their king, the women and children. Nina woke with a jerk to a maid dabbing her forehead. “where’s my husband? My children?” She asked in a panicked voice. “I’m afraid the demons have taken your husband and all your children are in the pursuit after them along with every able bodied fairy. We’re tending to the wounded here. Please rest. Ninas face became quickly lugubrious. Her voice was even so when she got up “My queen” One of the maids said “please Jessica, I must go help them. I’m fine. Where are my clothes?” She asked, relaizing they had stripped her “we wanted to check for more wounds” Tisha said.

Nina went to her closet and threw on the first thigns she saw ‘i’m leaving. Thank you for tending me. Please continue to help the people”

“we will, please be careful” Looks of concern on all their faces “I am your queen. It’s my job to help protect everyone” She flew out of the castle while the maids went off to tend others.

“Wake up you stupid fairy.” Someone said as they slapped Cavan in the face. His head felt like someone was constantly smashing a brick over it. He opened his eyes instantly glaring at the demon before him. “Look at the little fairy king all chained up, weakling. You were so easy to capture.”

“The only one who could defeat me was your boss. The rest of you were hardly a challenge.” The demon punched him in the stomach. “Is that all you’ve got.” The demon raised his fist again when the cell door behind him opened.

“Enough.” The familiar voice of the demon leader said and the one who had been beating him backed off. “Fairy King Cavan, you have spirit. I love the spirited ones the most. They are always the most entertaining to watch fall into the dark void which is mindlessness. They also make the best pets.” He grabbed Cavan’s chin. “It amazes me how beautiful even your men are. You have a son don’t you? I think I’ll take him too.”

Cavan jerked his chin away. “You stay away from my childen.”

“Or what, you’ll kill me? So terrifying.” He laughed. “We have your women and children, they’ll be easy enough to break. Your men will be easy enough to defeat and the survivors easy to sell.”

“I will not allow you to auction us off like livestock.”

“You will be staying here little king, you belong to me now and when I get your boy he will belong to me too then you’ll have to live with the fact that you let your son become one of my toys. Think on that for awhile.” He called the other demon away and they left Cavan there alone with his rage.

Cavan angrily jerked and thrashed but nothing was helping. He decided to try and use bolt clippers to break the chains. He made one appear in one of his hands but his efforts were awkward at best. He dropped it and pondered what else he could try. He then decided on snibits. They liked eating all kinds of metals. He hoped they would and could eat through what chained him. It took a lot of energy to call on living things and he had used so much fighting but he knew he could do it. Cavan closed his eyes, gathering his energy to try and summon the creatures. His breathing became labored but to his relief he soon felt the small, black and purple creatures crawling on him. They resembled cockroaches with mice ears and cats fur. Cavan had to admit they were gross looking creatures but right now he would kiss them if he could.

They began to nibble at the chains, much slower than Cavan had hoped but they did seem to making some, if little progress. It didn’t much matter. He had used more energy than he hoped to and couldn’t move very much. He angrily thought of those demons hurting his family to gather up enough adrenaline to be able to fight if these creatures got rid of his chains before a demon came back to check on him.

He would have used all that energy for nothing if one of those repulsive creatures came back in the room. In the lead was still Nina, Silvermist, Teasel, Aeon, Asher, Fawn, and Maggie. They were all flying fast, desperatly listening out for any screams for help. It was frustrating to all they still hadn’t found where their comrades were being held. Nina halted and everyone else stopped to listen. “what if we aren’t seeing this world for what it is? Demons are tricky creatures”

Nina looked around them. It seemed to her like the world was going on in a continuous loop of trees and dark clouds. “I think you are right. We have stumbled into an illusion. Cover your eyes.” She said and they all did so. She began whispering to the wold around them, to earth, and wind, and light. She asked them to do away with the illusion and give them a true path to follow. When they uncovered their eyes the world was still as gloomy as ever, but now there was some variation in the landscape and they had a clear trail in the mud where the demons had ran. “Mother be praised.” Maggie said to both the earth and Nina. They raced over the forest, keeping, their eyes ever watchful and their ears open.

The sound of screaming was brought to them by the wind. It was the voice of a female in panic and they hurried through the air. They came upon a woman surrounded by four demons who were taunting her and trying to take the crying toddler out of her arms. They all felt a rage move through them and swooped down on the demons like an angry swarm of wasps. Teasel grabbed the female fairy and took her and her daughter up into the air. He did his best to comfort them as he sat them a little ways away and went back to help the others. One of the demons snatched Maggie out of the air and pinned her to the ground, his hands squeezing her throat. He tackled the demon off, rolled across the ground then came to his feet holding two daggers.

“You will not touch her you filth.” He snapped and the demon attacked him.

Nina was proud of the young male fairy and hoped her daughter could hear the love in the ferocity of his words. Gone was the shy boy who blushed every time he talked to Maggie. He was no a warrior fighting on his clan leaders behalf. When they were all dead Nina ordered one of the fairies to take the woman and her child home, wanting them away from the carnage so they would not be further traumatized. Teasel helped Maggie to her feet and wiped mud off of her face. “Thank you Teasel.”

“Oh, you’re welcome. Are you alright?”

“Yes, barely a scratch thanks to you.” He blushed and cleared his throat.

“It was nothing, I would slay a thousand demons to keep you safe. You are, after all, my clan leader.” He cleared his throat again. “Perhaps we should search the bodies my queen. Maybe they have some clue on them as to where they are keeping the others.”

“wise idea Teasel” Nina, Maggie, Asher and Aeon searched the bodies. Nina sighed “nothing, now that we’ve escaped that illusion we will find them” Everyone took to the sky again. Teasel flew closer to Maggie now with his worry another demon could strike. His worries were soon realized when three demons with huge, bat like wings started flying towards them “we must be going the right way!” Nina proclaimed and they all fought the demons off. Demons were powerful, most more powerful than fairies but fairies had an advantage the demons didn’t. When fairies were fighting along side one another they truly fought together. Demons fought people at the same time but were rarely, truly working together.

They flew faster until multiple female screams caught their ears and a large, red castle appeared in front of them. They weren’t out of the woods and in the castle yet though. What must be guards to the castle came at them, looking to be about thirty in number. “we can do this as long as we work together. We’re a team” Queen Nina said before they started the tussle with the demons. A few worried they may be over powered when a demon dug its claws into Maggies back. Teasal was already seeing red but when she screamed he got lost in his fury. Almost taking down the rest of the demons alone the guards sent after them fell.

Nina healed her daughter then left her to Teasel so she could work on the wounds of the others. Teasel hugged her tightly. His eyes were in pain from the effort it took not to cry even though Nina had healed Maggies wounds completely. Still seeing the blood on her tore a hole through him. Maggie was in shock at the wild beast Teasel had become. She had never seen him fight like that.

Silvermist, Asher, and a few of the others followed her into the castle. The demons could smell them as they entered and began another assault on the fairies. They recognized the prince from before and knew they had to take him alive if possible. Cavan couldn’t help but feel a sense of triumph when the little snibits finally chewed through the metal enough for him to break free. He wrenched on the chains, snapping them and sending the bugs scattering away. “Thank you.” He said as he pushed himself to his feet. He winced at the pain in his ribs where both the demon leader and his lackey had hit him. He wasn’t sue if his ribs were merely bruised or if they were broken.

He walked over to the cell door which was surprisingly not locked. He wondered if the demons did not have the key or had not thought him capable of escape. He moved as quickly as he dared down the narrow passage, coming to a set of spiral stairs. “And where do you think you are going little fairy king?” He turned, glaring at the demon guard.

“I am going to kill your leader.” He answered, unafraid of this monster.

“He will rip your wings off like a little fly.”

“Not before I cut his heart out.”

The demon rushed him and Cavan gathered all the water that covered the floor then formed it into a cage that he wrapped around it. He charged it with electricity, shocking the demon to death. He panted for air, knowing he was overdoing it, but having no choice. He heard the sounds of screams coming from above him along with the sounds of battle. His family had come for him and the others.

Cavan felt he had to help. His body was growing weak from all the magic use but he had to persevere for his kingdom. He had already shamed himself enough by being captured. A king was supposed to protect his people but here they were saving him. cavan ran through the castle until he came upon the war waging. He joined in, helping Nina fight off her demon. “Cavan!” She said happily. He smiled and she could tell he was weak from over doing himself. She had been married to him long enough to easily tell. “Cavan, get out of here”

“No, I’m helping you”

“What if you pass out?”

‘I wont allow it” Nina had also been with Cavan long enough to know when he was immovable on a subject. She knew he was being a prideful king, ashamed of being taken. He was an open book to her and she wished she had a moment right now to tell him that kings don’t have to be invincible. One of the other demons stumbled upon the one Cavan killed. The demon knew it was Cavan because of how flower like fairy magic smelled. The demon checked where Cavan was supposed to be and saw that he was indeed missing and on the loose. He turned, running to get his leader.

Cavan fought back to back with Nina, drawing strength from her even when he was ready to collapse. The demons circled the band of faires, growling and lunging at them. A loud voice sounded over the mayhem and the demons grew silent, parting as their leader came walking through. “You managed to get a lot further than I thought.” The demon leader said with a smirk. “You came all this way to be disappointed, now I have all of you.”

“You will not take my family.” Cavan said as he stood between his rescuers and the demon leader.

“You are far to weak to fight me now fairy king which is too bad since I love when my toys fight and you brought your boy too. He is even more beautiful than the others. Take them.”

The demons moved forward and Cavan screamed, “Fight me for them. A fight to the death.” The demons froze.

“Cavan you’re to weak.” Nina said, grabbing her husband’s shoulder.

“I would listen to your wife little fairy and maybe I will keep your little family together as my own personal harem.”

“To the death or are you a coward? Come, step with me outside and fight me like a real man.”

The demon leader glared, a growl rumbling in his throat. “Very well and when you are beaten I will not kill you, but I will keep you alive to see what I do to your family.”

“Cavan.” Nina said and he turned and kissed her.

“Have faith in me my love.” He whispered in her ear. “The earth will be my strength, she’ll provide if I but ask.”

Nina nodded but still feared for her husband, children and people. Cavan and the large demon leader went outside followed by everyone else to watch. “respect your kings wishes and don’t intervene” Nina said though she’d have trouble herself not helping if Cavan started to lose. The demon laughed mockingly “lets get this over with so I can start having fun with my toys”

“they will never be your toys” Cavan seethed then started talking to the earth in hushed tones. “are you crazy little fairy king?” Cavan smiled but kept talking. The demon ran towards him, not wanting to play whatever game Cavan was trying. The great demon felt the earth shake but kept running. His running only ceased when the earth beneath him shot up like a geyser, flinging him up. The demon let out a pissed off and surprised yell. Cavan kept muttering, looking like a lunatic to anybody who didn’t understand fairies could talk to nature.

The demon came tumbling down as dirt scattered. He fell into the hole that was created from the dirt geyser. Just as the demon leader went to start trying to climb out a majority of the dirt that came out fell on top of him. He began to be smothered and panicked. If he had been able to keep a level head he may have gotten out but his panic was his undoing. Cavan knew the demon would be so stupid. Any demon the relied on that many underlings was.

When the earth was closed the other demons stood there is stunned silence. Cavan turned his gaze on them and they took a step backwards. They had never seen such power in a fairy before. Even though he was completely exhausted and his legs were ready to give out, Cavan stayed on his feet and looked angrily at the demons, daring them to challenge him. “Release their captives and lets go home.” He ordered and Asher and Silvermist took off inside and down to the dungeon. They quickly released the captives and guided them out.

None of the demons budged as the fairies walked away, too afraid to defy their king. Only when they were out of sight did Cavan finally collapse. Nina dropped down next to him and checked his pulse. He was pale and soaked with sweat. “You silly idiot.” She said softly and called two male fairies over. They lifted him off the ground and everyone took to the air, heading quickly home. When they finally got there Cavan was taken to the castle and Nina sent Maggie to get her grandfather so he could seal the portal connecting the two worlds. Nina set to stripping and wiping Cavan down, worrying about him the whole time.

Cavan jerked awake, feeling sick and exhausted. He looked around, happy to see he was home. Someone shifted next to him and he turned, smiling when he saw Nina curled up next to him. “Nina, wake up baby.” He said softly and her eyes fluttered open.

“Cavan?” She teared up and punched his chest. “Cavan you idiot.” She started to hit his chest again and he grabbed her wrist.

“Hey it’s okay.” She started crying and he pulled her into his arms.

“Two days, you were unconscious for two days. I was terrified.”

“I’m sorry baby. I love you so much, please don’t cry.”

“How can I not? We were all worried sick. You shouldn’t have done that to yourself. You were being proud. You aren’t invincible though you wish you were. Your people don’t expect you to be a god”

“It’s my job to protect you all. I failed you, my family, my people. I had to fix it”

“Never do that to yourself again Cavan, promise me”

“Honey”

“Cavan, I’m serious” Nina said as she wiped away tears for them only to be replaced with new ones. “if it will make you stop crying I promise.” he held his wife tightly. “where are the children?”

“sleeping, it’s night time. They are all still here though, even Maggie and Teasel”

“are they together yet?”

“Nope, it’s annoying. She needs to kiss that boy or he needs to gain some courage and ask her out.”

“Maybe I could talk to him”

“If you dont scare him yes’ Cavan chuckled “I wont baby. I’ll take him aside after breakfast if the children will spare me”

“I’m sure they will”

“Go back to sleep Nina” Cavan said softly. “are you going to sleep?”

“No, I’m just going to enjoy holding you. I’ve been sleeping for two days”

“alright, I dont want my eyes sore from crying anyway” Cavan kept Nina in his hold as she drifted back to sleep in the comforts of him finally being awake. Cavan laid there holding her until morning came and it was time for breakfast. He kissed his wife awake and she smiled “I’m glad I didn’t dream that”

“Lets get ready then eat with the children” They both went into their closet and dressed before heading to breakfast. Cavan was greeted with more tears and hugs from everyone. Maggie, Asher, Cavans parents and Amita scolding him as Nina had. He apologized to everyone then sat down to enjoy a meal with his family. His heart elated to see everyone he loved safe and sound at his table. When breakfast was done Cavan said seriously “I need to talk to Teasel alone. Come with me to my room” Teasel looked nervous as he got up from his chair while everyone but Nina looked confused.

“He’s a dead man.” Asher said.

“Be nice Asher.” Nina chastised and he closed his mouth.

“Did I do something wrong sir?” Teasel asked as they stepped into Cavan’s room.

“I’m afraid so and I have to say I’m a little disappointed in you. Is there something wrong with my little girl that you can’t tell her you love her?” Cavan replied.

“Sir?”

Cavan smiled. “We all know how you feel Teasel, we can see it on your face. You love my Maggie and are to shy to say anything.”

Teasel blushed. “Yes sir, it’s true, but I fear she would never have me. She’s so tough and beautiful, and the clan leader. She could have anyone so I doubt she would want a shy young man like me.”

“If you can kill demons for her then you can tell her you love her and even if she says no, at least you’ll know where you stand. So just tell her, for all you know she feels the same and like you she didn’t want to say anything for whatever reason.”

“Okay, I’ll try. Thank you sir.”

“It’s Cavan, my name is Cavan. I wish everyone would stop with the formalities. Anyway, talk to my daughter because if there is one man I would be proud to have as my son in law it would be you.”

Teasel smiled, his eyes lighting up at Cavan’s words of encouragement. They headed back to the dining room and Teasel took a deep breath before grabbing Maggie’s hand and pulling her out of her chair. “Hey wait, I’m still eating.” She said.

“You can eat in a minute. We have to talk now.”

“About what?” He pulled her into the library then closed and locked the door. He was so nervous he was shaking. “What’s wrong Teasel?” Maggie asked and he turned, pulling her against him and kissing her. He pulled back to look at her and she blushed. “What was that for?”

“I love you Maggie and I’ve always wanted to kiss you. How do you feel about me?”

“I love you too. I never thought you wanted me in this way”

“I didn’t think you did either”

“Is this what my dad needed to talk to you about?”

“Yeah, he told me to tell you how I felt” Maggie smiled then kissed Teasel again “I’m glad he did.” Teasel rested his forehead on Maggies “Me too” They stood there, just getting lost in holding eachother. Cavan and Nina left the castle to survey the damage to their world. They were amazed to find that their people had almost fully restored everything despite all the wounded. The ones that could had been working their hardest to bring their land back to it’s original beauty. Cavan felt proud to be the ruler of these people. He knew his kingdom was only as great as his people and Cavan felt he had the best people of any world.

When their survey was over with they went home to plan a celebration with all his people. It would awhile to prepare but he wanted to show his thanks to everyone for working together to protect their land. The planning and work weren’t hard atall. it was more like fun than work since he was doing it with his servants and family. The castles workers were practically family since they had been serving generation after generation with such a great relationship between them.

When the planning was complete and both Cavan and Nina had double checked everything everyone was invited to come to the castle. They were all happy, chatting with each other and putting the attack behind them as they ate and drank their fill. Cavan grabbed Nina’s hand and pulled her onto his lap, making her blush since there were so many people around. He kissed her cheek then rested his head on her shoulder, enjoying th love and joy that spread through his home. He was even happier when he saw Maggie and Teasal talking quietly to each other. All he wanted for his children was the happiness he felt when he was with Nina. If they had a love like his he knew he would never have to worry. Now he just needed his son to open his eyes to the fact Silvermist was in love with him. He would wait for them, give them a little more time before he stepped in.

The celebration lasted three days and ended with their people’s bond being stronger than ever. They thanked their king even though he didn’t think he deserved it. He still felt like a failure, but he smiled and accepted their words graciously. He saw them all off, smiling as he took Nina’s hand and lead her up to their room. “I finally have you to myself.” He whispered as he kissed her, making her smile lovingly against his lips. He made love to her, letting himself get lost in her love and adoration for him. He had never known such happiness until he met her. When they were both spent he lay next to her and pulled her close, her smile coming back when she heard the loud thundering of his heart.

“I love you so much Cavan.”

“I am undeserving of someone like you, someone so bright and beautiful and incredibly brave.”

She propped herself up and kissed him. “You are my everything Cavan so please don’t say such things. You are such a loving and devoted husband and a very dedicated king. I am proud to be your wife. I know you think you failed us during the fight with those fiends, but you riksed your life protecting everyone. You were captured because you refused to let them take our people without a fight. You are so courageous and I love you so much.”

He smiled and pulled her head back down so it was pillowed once more on his chest. “Thank you my love for always standing by me. Without you I would be nothing.”

“Damn straight.” She replied and he laughed then tipped her head up and kissed her. They just lay there staring into each others eyes for the longest time, getting absolutely lost in the moment and not caring if they found their way out. They had each other, an amazing family, and a bond with their people that could ever be broken. It was all they could ask for and more and it had all started with a simple chance meeting, one they would forever be thankful for.

 

THE END

Devina & Euchoé

Devina sat outside just enjoying the feel of nature when her meditation was broken by a familiar voice “Devina! My love!” She smiled, opened her eyes then ran into his arms. They embraced tightly “I’m so glad you’re here. i was wondering when your next visit would be.”

“You could always visit me you know”

“Why when you just come here?” he smiled and kissed her cheek. “so I’ve decided somthing Devina. This trip is unlike any other.”

“How so?”

“I will not leave your side until you are my mate. I love you and only you. I know for a fact you love me so don’t deny it Devina. We’re perfect for eachother so this time I’m not just taking the no and leaving. I will be hanging around you as long as it takes” Devina giggled “I don’t want a mate”

“we’d be so happy Devina. You love me right?”

“Of course i do, you’re correct about that”

“In a romantic way right?”

“Yes”

“I’m crazy over you Devina. I want to be your mate and I have about a million things I’m going to try to change your mind” Devina shook her head “Alright, I like when you’re around anyway”

 

“I’d always be around if I were your mate” She laughed hardily “This is going to be entertaining”

“Maybe to you my love, but to me this is a serious matter. I will use whatever method it takes to make you see I am worth it.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, so prepare to be surprised.”

She shook her head. “Come, lets have lunch.”

“I will cook for you this time so just relax.” She smiled as he followed her inside then headed into the kitchen. She sat on the counter while he cooked, making him smile when she stared at him. “Someone thinks I’m sexy. It must be my amazing skill with a spatula.”

She giggled as he put the grilled cheese on plates. “It must be.”

“I hope sandwiches are okay, I felt like something easy today.”

“It’s fine, thank you.”

They sat together at the kitchen table, him not saying a word and her wondering what he had planned. After they were done eating he silently washed the dishes, making her more and more suspicious. When he turned around she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. He smiled against her lips and pushed her back. “Lets go on a walk.” He said.

“To where?”

“Doesn’t matter, I just want to spend time with you.”

Devina smiled “why don’t we walk to my son and his mates house”

“sure, you can gaze upon how happy thye are being mates and finally see the light” Devina laughed and he smiled, wishing she would take this more seriously. He knew it would be a struggle to make her want a serious, long lasting relationship but he was at his breaking point. He loved her with every bit of himself, had for so many years. He needed to be with her, to wake up in the mornings with Devina on his chest. He hated scenting other males in her home, a home that he near desperately wanted to live in with her. He wondered if she knew how serious he was about not leaving her side until she was his mate. If Devina didn’t love him that would be one thing but she did so it only made sense for them to be mates.

She was stubborn but he knew he was more so especially with his need for her and his undying love. Euchoe had tried not to love her, to be ok with being fuck buddies but his love for her was too strong to stamp its flame out. He came to truly realize this after he actually cried over her with another man. He had come to see her four months ago to find her in the arms of another. He felt his heart break in his chest and all he could do was run back home, crying the whole way with frustration and sadness. it was then he knew he had to end this foolish fuck buddy business and get her to be his mate.

Euchoe grabbed Devinas hand as they walked across the desert. She smiled, tightening the grasp. “what’re you planning?”

“It’s surprises my love” He kissed her hand then continued “Just be patient. I will however tell you everything right now if you’ll be my mate”

“I’ll be surprised”

When they got to Bishin and Olivia’s the two smiled happily at seeing Devina with Euchoe. “How have you been?” Olivia asked as she hugged him.

“Just fine, traveling.”

“We’re glad to see you again, we didn’t think you’d ever come back.”

“I have a reason to keep coming back for now.”

Both of them frowned and Devina’s heart gave a lurch in her chest. She was confused at the feeling of worry that suddenly surfaced in her. “Well we hope you will come see us more often. We enjoy your company.” Bishin said.

“I will, don’t worry about that. Anyway, we were just out for a walk and thought we’d drop by.”

“Okay, don’t be a stranger.” He smiled and they left, heading over the warm sand toward an oasis they had swimmed at many times. She wanted to asked him what he meant when he said for now. It made her heart race in fear just thinking about those words. He was smiling, seemingly enjoying her company, but there was a look an emotion in his eyes that she couldn’t quite put a name to. When they made it to the oasis Euchoe found a place under a tree and sat down in the shade then pulled her down to sit between his legs.

“What are we doing?” Devina asked.

“Spending real time together. We always end up having sex when I come over instead of doing things together.”

“Is there something wrong with that?”

“Yes so I won’t do it anymore. Not until you love me the way I love you.”

He heart gave another leap. “I do love you.”

“Not enough though. Tomorrow I want to take you somewhere.”

“Where?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see. It’s in another world and you’ll love it.”

“Ok, I have a question though?’

“yes?”

“What did you mean by for now earlier…you’ll stop seeing me one day?” Euchoe kissed Devinas cheek “I can’t be fuck buddies any longer Devina. I’m in love with you deeply. If I try the million things I’ve come up with to make you love me the same as i do you and you still don’t love me eventually I wont be able to come back…I hate to say that..I dont want to give you an ultimatium since this was all just going to be sweet and romantic but you ask so i’ll be truthful. I love you too much to come to your home and see you with another man. It hurts too much Devi, far too much. It hurts to be without you too but it hurts far worse to see you in another mans arms”

Euchoe held Devina tighter as if another male was nearby ready to snatch her up. Devinas heart sank, she hadn’t realized she had been hurting him. She knew he loved her but as a male demon she thought like any other just fucking was fine too. “Have you seen me with another man?”

“Yes…the last time i tried to visit you. I just went back home”

“I’m sorry”

“Don’t be. It’s whats given me this resolve to show you what having a real mate is like”

“We do spend time together though. i hate you feel we dont”

“I know we do. We just have sex more than we do things together is all i was really saying. I guess I was exaggerating a bit” Euchoe could tell Devina was sad “Hey, don’t get sad on me”

“I just didn’t realize i was hurting you and I feel terrible”

“I love you Devina, I love you because you’re a good person. you cna be oblivious at times but I was aware you didn’t realize the pain you were causing me. I barely realized it myself so how could you. I thought i was ok with fuck buddies until I saw you with that other demon”

“Euchoe I…”

“Lets not talk about it anymore, it makes me angry and sad.”

She closed her mouth and just sat there. Anger wasn’t something he had ever expressed, even when she rejected him. He would just say okay and leave. “How long are we going to be gone?” She finally asked.

“All day tomorrow.”

“What world?”

“Just know it’s close by and beautiful.”

He sounded a little sad and worried and she hated herself even more. “Maybe we should go back to my house.”

“If that’s what you want.” He let her go and they got to their feet. Even though he was sad he still held her hand, his thumb brushing over her palm in an affectionate manner.

“So where did you go when you left this time?”

“Protea, it’s beautiful there so I spent awhile enjoying the forest and people.”

“Is that where you are taking me?”

He shook his head. “The portal there is to far away, but maybe someday I’ll take you. Stop trying to get me to tell you where we’re going. I told you it’s a surprise and no matter wat you say I won’t tell you.”

“alright, I’ll stop.” When they arrived at her house they talked of his journeys since he was last there. Him going over every detail. This was normally pillow talk but she did actually enjoy just talking to him in her living room over coffee and cookies. He seemed to be feeling happier as he talked, happy like he always was. Since they were children she had never seen him express any other emotion but happiness and rarely sadness. She was yet to ever see him cry and doubted he ever had about anything. His name may as well be a synonym with happy since he was gleeful from the time he came into the world.

They kept talking through dinner. Afterwards Euchoe said “I’d like to still cuddle with you tonight”

‘Then please do” They went up to her room and he spoke again “please sleep with clothes on. I wont be able to resist you naked and i dont want to have sex”

“Ok, i will” Euchoe hugged Devina “did you enjoy today with me?”

“I loved it. I can’t wait for tomorrow”

“see how nice it can be to have a mate?” He said now pulling back to look into her eyes “I do have to admit it was nicer talking over coffee instead of in bed.” Euchoe smiled then kissed her. When he pulled back he grabbed her hand and placed it over his heart “I know you’ve never realized it Devina but from the time we were children my heart has belonged to you. You’ve always been…well, perfect in every way. Your laugh, that smile. I’m in love with it all Devina. I really am” Devina frowned again “I didn’t know that. You never told me you wanted to be my mate until six years ago.”

“I’ve always known how you felt about relationships…I know how your parents were and it painted a horrible picture of what being mates means but your parents didn’t belong together. They were poison to eachother and I hate thats how you grew up thinking mates were. I’m going to show you being mates can be a happy thing”

Her heart hurt thinking about how he had always been there for her, from the time they were children to when they were teenagers, he would hold her when she would cry and tell her jokes to make her smile again. He never complained, never asked for more. The first time they had had sex she had been sad and had clung to him like a piece of driftwood on the wildest of waves. He had let her, comforting her and telling her he would always be there if she needed him. Even when she was pregnant with her children, he had come by to help her when she needed it, had held her hair back when she threw up, and when they were born he had loved them like they were his own.

“I plan on loving you until you trust me with your heart Devina.” Euchoe said drowsily.

“Maybe I don’t have a heart.” She replied and he chuckled.

“Yes you do and it makes the most beautiful sound.” He fell asleep and she felt herself choke up. She wanted to cry, but she knew he would hear her and forced herself not to. She just lay there listening to his breathing for awhile, wondering why she had been so blind to his feelings. She wondered if every time he left he was doing so out of sorrow and catching her with another man must have been why he stayed away for so long this time. She had missed him and had tried to find comfort in others instead of looking for him. She swallowed the lump in her throat and closed her eyes, not wanting to be exhausted in the morning.

Euchoé woke the next morning before Devina and just enjoyed her being close. He always felt the happiest when he could hold her. She meant the world to him and he wished she understood how happy they’d be if she would be his mate. He would never hit her like her father had her mother, he would never cheat on her or treat her like she was any less. She had had a miserable childhood once her mother married. Before Devina and her mom were happy and carefree then her mother met a man. They were all happy until the day her mother became his mate. The man that was now her step father became an asshole, a completely different man than before he became mates with her mother. read more

Aurel & Diana 3

Aurel held Diana’s hand as they walked back from the beautiful oasis not far from their home. Diana was four months pregnant with their first child and Aurel was both terrified and excited. He feared upsetting or alienating his child, but Diana assured him that he would be a wonderful father and their child would love him unconditionally. As they stepped into the green grass just outside their home, a vaguely familiar scent hit his nose. It reminded him of honeysuckle sitting in the rays of the hot sun and burning wood.

“Stay here.” He said as he inhaled the scent.

“What’s wrong?” Diana asked worriedly, her hand flying protectively to her stomach.

“Someone is in our home.” He pushed open the door at the mouth of the cave that served as their abode and walked inside, unafraid of who or what may be waiting. The blond headed woman and black haired man standing at his bookshelf turned as he entered.

“Aurel how nice it is to see you.” The woman said.

“Mother, father. What are you doing here?”

“Well we have come to see you dear.” Calla replied.

“Yes, it’s been ages.” Liatris chimed in.

“And I was hoping to keep it that way. As you might know absense does not make the heart grow fonder. I wish for you to leave.”

“Always the loner dearest child. Let us make peace.”

“I don’t want peace. I want you to do what you do best and leave. I do not want or need you here.”

“Aurel is it safe?” Diana said as she cracked the door open.

“That depends are we talking physically safe or emotionally safe?” Diana stepped inside, still marveling at how Aurel had managed to make the inside of their cave look like a real home. She froze when she saw the man and woman standing in their living room. The woman had the longest blond hair and bright amber eyes. She was lean of build with a narrow face. She could tell right away that this was Aurel’s mother.

Aurel held out his hand and she took it, allowing him to pull her close. “You are Aurel’s parents.” She stated.

“Yes, this is my mother Calla and my father Liatris. This is my wife Diana.”

They both looked shocked and he tightened his hold on her a bit. “You got married and didn’t tell us?” Calla said.

“It’s hard to tell someone something when you don’t know where they are.” He wanted them to leave and never come back.

“Aurel love, please calm down.” Diana said softly.

“You have no idea what these so called parents did to me. They were to busy being a royal family to care about me. No love, no attention, I was a loner before I left home. The mighty Davos here to check on their baby boy. Well I’m doing just fine thank you and it was no thanks to you two. Why don’t you go back to Protea and leave me alone.”

“Aurel.” He looked down at Diana and realized he had raised his voice at her.

“I’m sorry my love, I didn’t mean to yell. Forgive me.”

“Of course I do, but these are your parents. Lets at least spend a few days with them. Maybe we can go to your homeland.”

“She would love Protea.” Liatris said hopefully. Diana gave Aurel her biggest, sweetest smile and he sighed. He had been keeping her close to home since she started to show and he knew she was becoming restless. His main concern with going home were the women he had slept with, mostly Peony. The others had been understanding, but Peony was a viper. He had pushed her away as soon as her lying, manipulative side had manifested itself. He sighed again.

“Fine we will accompany you home, but when the week is up, we will be coming back here.”

“wonderful, we do want to spend time with you” Aurle had honestly attempted but couldn’t stop his eyes from rolling. His mother sighed but said nothing since she knew she and her husband deserved it. They hadn’t been very attentive parents and had just dissapeared on him one day without letting him know where they were or what they were doing. She felt lucky he would be around them atall and knew he only would because Diana wanted him to. Calla offered her hand to Diana “Nice to meet you”

“Nice to meet you too”

“How far are you along?”

“Four months”

“I’m glad my son found love. You already seem like a sweet girl”

“I love him very much” Aurel interjected “When are we going?”

“Pack your things and we’ll go now if you wish it”

“alright” he didn’t want to go atall but his wife wanted to go so he would. Aurel packed for both of thm even though Diana was perfectly capable. He looked angry as he packed and Diana hoped he would settle down. She hated how upset he seemed. She had no idea what it was like for him though, to have neglectful parents. Her parents had been wonderful so she knew there was no way for her to know his feelings.

“Come on then let’s go.” He said as he shouldered their bag. He lifted Diana off the ground and followed his parents outside.

“How are we getting there?” Diana asked.

“We made our own portal using our wedding bands as keys.” Liatris explained as he took Calla’s hand then placed the other on Aurel’s shoulder while Calla did the same to Diana.

“It might feel a little strange.” Calla warned. Their rings started glowing and together they said. “Take us to Protea.” Diana felt as if she were falling, her stomach seemingly being pushed up into her chest. She clung tighter to Aurel as her heart gave a leap of fear and squeezed her eyes shut. The sensation slowly dissipated and she opened her eyes, surprised to see them standing in a garden that had some of the same plants as Aurel’s. She looked around and realized they were actually in the center of a very large city.

“Welcome to Protea.” Liatris said as he gestured around them. It was an amazingly beautiful place, the entire ground was all gree grass with many colored flowers. Every building was made out of the same wood and stone in the forest around them, looking natural in the environment. From where they stood she could see three houses that stood out from the rest.

“What are those?” Diana asked.

“That over there belongs to the Hatvar’s, Peony’s family. The next one belongs to the Imshir’s and the last one belongs to our family, the Davo’s. Our three families settled here a very long time ago.” Calla explained. “Liatris’ father was the first Davo here.”

“That’s really cool” Diana said as she still marveled at the land. She didn’t know why Aurel wouldn’t want to live in such a gorgeous place. She thought all worlds should be as one with nature as this one was. Aurel wasn’t fascinated though he agreed this place was beautiful. His negative memories dampened the gorgeous landscape even though it should be breath taking since he hadn’t seen it in so long. He was also worried about Peony trying to do somthing to his beloved. He would quickly put the wench in her place if he caught her trying anything.

They walked ot the home that belonged to the Davos. Diana was surprised to find when they were inside it was even bigger than it appeared on the outside. She thought their home was almost as beautiful as the world itself and was glad she got Aurel to come back and see his family. Aurel took their bag to his old bedroom and set it down.

“This house is wonderful.” Diana said as she spun around.

“Thank you, would you like a tour?” Liatris offered.

“I think maybe I should let Aurel show me around.”

“Very well, please make yourself at home and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”

“Thank you.” Diana said as Aurel came back and Liatris left them alone. He pulled her into his arms and she wrapped hers around his neck. “Will you show me around?” She asked sweetly.

“Sure.”

“Aurel, if you don’t want to then you don’t have to. Your father offered to give me a tour.”

He sighed. “I’m sorry, I know I’m being overly negative, but you don’t understand what I went through with them. They ignored me and tried to set me up with Peony like some sort of arranged marriage would make me happy. I hardly remember anything good about this house. I was expected to be something I did not want to be.”

“I’m sorry my love, but they seem like they really miss you so please try to keep the peace for my sake if not their’s.”

“I will try for you and the baby.”

She smiled then gave him a kiss. He showed her around, letting himself feed off her joy. It soon filled him as he showed her room after room. When they were done his parents were already making lunch “can we do anything to help?” Diana asked and Calla said “No sweetheart but thank you for the offer. You and our son just need to relax.” Aurel didn’t have to be asked twice. He took his love by the hand and guided her to one of the most comfortable couches she had ever sat in. “you seem to be feeling better”

“I am because of you Diana. I could enjoy torture as long as i could also gaze upon wonderment or happiness in your face” She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek “i very much doubt you could be happy during torture”

“I’m doing it now aren’t I?”

“Aurel” She gave him a stern look “sorry” He responded. When the soup and sandwiches were prepared they ate together. Diana had never had whatever meat was on the sandwich nor had she tasted a soup like this. All she knew was that she enjoyed them both very much. Aurel parents were happy to see Aurels mate enjoying their meal so much. It was also a weight lifted off of them that Aurel seemed to be in a lighter mood.

“Why don’t we take her around the city after lunch?” Liatris said and took a bite of his sandwich.

“If she would like to go then sure. Would you like to see the city?”

“Yes, it looks so beautiful.”

“They’re preparing for the Flower Festival the day after tomorrow. All the houses get together and host a big celebration for the whole city. Perhaps Aurel could introduce you to our people.” Calla added and Diana’s eyes lit up. She turned to Aurel.

“Could we go?”

He didn’t really want to show her off to everyone, not because he wasn’t proud to have her, but because it meant introducing her Peony. Her excited face broke his resolve and he simply nodded. She kissed his cheek and started asking his parents about the celebation. The Flower Festival had been what started his love for plants. His room had been decorated with many different potted plants when he was young. They finished lunch and cleaned up then left the house. Aurel laced his fingers through Diana’s and tried to enjoy the fresh air. Many people looked at him, some recognizing him. He frowned when he heard some people whispering about his beautiful face.

Diana squeezed his hand and smiled up at him. She wanted him to enjoy being home even if they didn’t stay for long. She had told him time and time again that she loved the way he looked, that he was beautiful, but it was a good thing. He worried every day about their child and how he or she would look. “Thank you for bringing me here.” She said, her warm smile filling him with happiness.

“Yes, we’re happy she could see this place. I hope you’ll visit more.” Calla said.

“We’ll see.” Was all Aurel said, but at least this time it sounded a little more friendly.

Aurel began to tune people out and put all his concentration on Diana so he wouldn’t have to hear another murmur about his beauty. He came across as rude to a few people since he didn’t respond to their hellos. Diana squeezed his hand to wake him up “Why are you ignoring everybody”

“sorry, i was just so tuned into you”

“You see me every day. Enjoy your old home as best you can”

“ok” He paid more attention to the world around him but his attention was still primarily focused on Dianas soft brown hair, those gorgeous deep green eyes, and that ever sweet smile. He hung on her voice when she’d talk to people who approached them, loving it’s light, warm tone. He was falling in love with her yet again as they walked along but falling in love with her seemed to be a weekly occurance so this was nothing new. He was so glad he got Diana out of her shell and to fall in love with him.

Diana yawned and Aurel picked her up, making her laugh. “I’m fine Aurel.”

“You’re tired and pregnant. We should go back, you can see more tomorrow.” He looked at his mother and father. “Lets take her back.”

They turned back around, Diana with her head resting on his chest. She fell asleep before they got back and Aurel took her straight to his room. He laid her down then pulled off her shoes and covered her. He wanted to stay with her, but he knew if he did not try to spend time with his parents he may disappoint her. He kissed her forehead then left his room, finding his parents in the library. His father was reading while his mother played the piano. They both looked up at him when he walked in and stopped what they were doing. Aurel stood there in awkward silence until his mother said, “Come play with me.” He hesitated for a moment, but ultimately crossed the room and sat down next to her.

“I haven’t played in a long time.” He said as he ran his fingers over the keys.

“I’m sure you are still just as amazing as when you left.” She bumped him with her shoulder. “Lets play.”

She placed her fingers on the keys and started playing, he followed unable to help himself. When he was a child they had made him learn like it was some sort of requirement for being part of a royal family. He knew they simply wanted to impress others with his musical talent. It had never felt fun and lighthearted like now. He actually found himself smiling as he and his mother’s fingers swept quickly over the keys. A knock on the front door caught their attention and they stopped playing. “I’ll get it mother, no doubt it’s for me anyway.” He stood and left the library, hurrying to the front door and pulling it open to tell whoever it was to cut it out before they woke Diana. He was nearly knocked off his feet by Peony as she jumped into him, her arms going around his neck.

“Aurel, you’re finally back.” She said. “How could you leave me like that?”

He grabbed her arms and pried them from around his neck. “Peony, what a pleasant surprise.”

“No hello or I missed you or anything like that?”

“Peony I did not come here to see you. I came here to spend time with my parents. My wife, my mate asked me to.” Peony’s eyes widened at his words and filled with a myriad of emotion, none of which were good.

She huffed in an annoyed manner. “You went and got married! I thought you were just throwing a royal sized tantrum and you;d be back! We belong together Aurel! Where is she?” He looked at her with cold, serious eyes “You need to calm down. I told you I never wanted anything more to do with you. I wouldn’t be back here if my wife hadn’t wanted to get to know my parents. She is sleeping and you will not disturb her”

“What’s she doing sleeping?’

“She’s pregnant and tired”

“Oh is that why you married her? Just pay her off and come back to me” Aurel wanted to slap Peony but refrained. “We were married before she because pregnant. She is a truly amazing woman and I love her.” Calla came up behind Aurel “calm down you two. Don’t quarrel. Peony, you better come back another time. Aurel had a long day, please go” Peony glared and crossed her arms before leaving in a tiff.

“I knew it was only a matter of time.” Aurel said as he tried not to let his temper get the best of him.

“Don’t worry about her son, I’ll talk to her parents if I have to.”

He waved his hand, brushing the idea aside. “No, do not drag them into our drama. If she comes back I will handle her mother. She thought because we were lovers and our families thought it good for us to get married that we would be together forever. I made it clear before hand that that would not happen.”

“Why don’t you come help me make dinner and forget about her for now. I’m sure when Diana wakes she’ll be hungry.” He sighed and she frowned. “We don’t have to cook together if you don’t want to.”

“It’s fine mother, I don’t mind. It’s just hard getting used to you and father wanting to spend time with me.”

Her frowned deepened. “I’m sorry Aurel, really I am.”

“Lets just forget about it mother. If I allow myself to keep thinking about the past I will get angry and I told Diana I would make an effort to get along with you and father.” He and Calla went into the kitchen and started cooking, neither of them saying anything as they moved around the kitchen. Liatris came in and sat down on a stool, smiling as he watched them together. This is what they should have been doing when he was young, he told himself.

“So have you two thought of any baby names yet?” Liatris asked.

“She’s been throwing a few at me here and there, but none sound right. I feel like I am being to picky, but she tells me she understands, our child’s name must suit him or her.”

“She’s right.” Calla said with a smile. “This is almost done, why don’t you go wake Diana and bring her down.”

“alright” he walked out and Calla sighed sadly. Liatris got up and hugged her “there’s nothing we can do about the past. We can mend things with him.”

“I just feel so bad”

“Feeling bad wont help anything. Atleast Diana convinced him to give us a chance. We can do things right now”

“Doing things right now wont give him the parents he deserved growing up”

“shh” Aurel quietly went into his old bedroom. He felt all his tenseness fall away at the sight of his beautiful Diana sleeping. He crossed over to the bed and planted a gentle kiss on her slightly parted lips. Her eys fluttered open and she began to kiss back “feel better? Dinners almost ready”

“Yeah” Aurel lifted her again “you and carrying me since I became pregnant” He kissed her, needing Dianas taste “I just love you both so much, let me fuss”

“Haven’t I?” He smiled then walked to the table with her. Aurel sat his mate down in her chair then helped his mother finish serving. “how’re you feeling Diana?” Liatris asked “good, Aurels old bed is very comfortable”

“we bought him a new mattress since it had been so many years. I’m glad you’re comfortable on it” They ate in a semi awkward silence and Diana worried somthing may have happened while she was sleeping. After dinner Calla said “why don’t we show Diana how well you play piano Aurel?”

“would you like to hear?” Aurel asked. “Yes! of course” Diana answered excitedly. They moved into the library then Diana and Liatris took seats while Aurle and Calla sat at the piano. They soon filled the house with awe inspiring music that enraptured Diana.

Peony very much wanted to see the woman who had taken Aurel. She frowned when she found all the curtains drawn at the Davo house. She was sure they would be out and about tomorrow and even though she was impatient and irritated she would wait. “He’s good isn’t he?” Liatris asked and Diana nodded,

“I never knew he could play.” She replied.

“That’s probably our fault, we made him play when he was a child. He hated it.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Please don’t be unhappy Diana, we did a lot that we wish we could change. We are trying to fix things between us and thanks to you we have been given a second chance.”

Aurel and Calla played one more song before stopping. Aurel turned to Diana and she smiled warmly at him. The fact that she so enjoyed his playing made him want to take it up again. He got up and lifted her then sat where she had been and held her in his arms. “So Aurel tells us you haven’t found any names yet.” Calla said as she sat down on the other side of them.

“I’ve found plenty, but none that he liked.” Diana said with a laugh. “I guess we’ll know what to the baby when we see it.”

“We have a midwife here who could tell you the sex of the baby to help narrow the name hunt down.” Liatris said.

“Really?” Diana’s eyes lit up. “Aurel could we go see her tomorrow, please?”

“Of course my love, anything you want.”

Diana was excited for tomorrow and now just wanted to go to sleep so the sun would rise faster. Aurel could tell “we should get going to bed. Goodnight” He got up with Diana in his arms and she whispered “shouldn’t we hug them?” He made an odd, unsure movement with his mouth then set Diana down. They each hugged his parents then went to Aurels old room. It felt nice to hug their son. That even felt like a real hug which they hadn’t expected. Diana had given them yet another reason to be grateful for her. They had wanted a hug but didn’t feel like they could ask.

In the room they changed into sleep clothes then crawled in his bed “They bought a really nice matress for our visit”

“stop campaigning for them. I can see they are differen’t..it’s just a little hard to accept and let go of the anger I’ve felt for so long”

“I cna understand baby. I know I can’t but you know what I mean. I’m sorry they weren’t good parents then but I’m happy they are wanting to be good parents like mine now” Aurel kissed her ‘me too. Lets rest so we can go find out if we’re having a boy or girl” They fell asleep in sheer excitement and woke the same way. Aurel and Diana took a quick shower then changed into their clothes for the day before running downstairs. Calla was making peach oatmeal for breakfast so they just sat down with Liatris. “Morning” He said after he sipped his coffee. “Morning’ They responded.

Soon Calla had breakfast on the table and they began enjoying. As soon as they were done they all put on shoes then walked out to see the midwife. Diana was practicly moving at a skip. She wa sso happy she didn’t even feel Peonys angry gaze.

“Well, I remember this face.” The midwife said when she opened her door. “Aurel Davo, you have grown into quite the man.”

“Thank you Juney.” He said.

“Please come in all of you and introduce me to this beautiful young woman.” She stepped aside and they walked into her house.

“This is Diana, she’s my mate.”

“Well it’s very nice to meet you and you must be quite special to have been able to capture this one.” She took Diana’s hand in hers and smiled warmly. “Oh and you are pregnant, how exciting. Congratulations.”

“Thank you ma’am and that’s actually why we are here. I wanted to know if you could tell me the sex of the baby to make picking out names and clothes a little easier.” Diana replied with an excited and hopeful look on her face.

“Of course, of course. Please come take a seat.” She lead Diana over to a couch and they sat down together. Aurel sat on the other side, curious as to what she would do. Juney rubbed her hands together then placed one of Diana’s stomach and closed her eyes. She got a peculiar look on her face and moved her hand to the right side of Diana’s stomach.

“Is something wrong?” Aurel asked worriedly.

Juney opened her eyes and smiled. “It seems you are going to have to think doubly hard about names. You are going to be the father of twin boys.”

Aurels jaw dropped slightly and Calla covered her mouth in excitement. Diana could have lept for joy. She hugged Juney “Oh thank you for letting me know!”

“You’re welcome. Names will come to you two”

“Hopefully to him. I’ve found lots of names I’ve liked but he doesn’t like a one of them. I don’t mind though. I want him to be happy with whatever we name our boys” Peony was listening to everything from where she waited. The flames of her angering acting as if gasoline was spilled on them. She wondered how Diana had manipulated her Aurel away from her. How she used her feminine wiles to sway him. She probably took advantage when he was hungry for sex after pouting too long and then slinked into his heart like a snake.

She would get her out of the way and win Aurel back one way or another. She decided to go home and think of what to do. They talked excitedly with Juney until she informed them she had work to attend to. They left her and started touring Diana around town again. Dianas joy was infectious to Aurel, Calla and Liatres so they were all glowing with her. Aurel didn’t feel any of his anger and was now completely happy he brought his mate here.

“I can’t believe we’re having two babies.” Diana said as they stopped at a shop that had some of the most beautiful clothing she had ever seen. “Two beautiful little boys.”

“I kind of hope they are two normal looking boys.” Aurel replied as he picked up a pretty blue dress and held it up to her.

“So what if they are beautiful. It’ll be a good thing. I mean look at you.”

He sighed. “Did you forget the unwanted attention I got as a child?”

“Aurel, no one will hurt our boys and if they try I know you’ll be there to protect them. Plus, we live in the middle of the desert.”

“That’s true I guess.” They continued looking at clothes while Calla and Liatris talked to the shop owner about making baby clothes. She told them she wouldn’t be able to start on them after the festival, but was more than excited to make such a gift for their son.

“Your mother and I are going to go talk to a few people about making things for the babies. I hope it’s alright that we leave you two for awhile.” Liatris said.

“Of course, we’ll see you back at the house.” Diana replied and they all hugged before parting ways.

“Come on, I have something to show you now that we’re alone.” Aurel picked her up and carried her through town, nodding at those who said hello as they passed. Peony followed through the crowd, her eyes never leaving the happy couple. Aurel walked until they came to the outskirts of the city an jumped down a small embankment. She gasped when they came to the field of flowers. They were the ones she loved the most from his garden at home.

Aurel smiled at her facial expression ‘I wanted you to see a field of your most favored flowers” He set her down as she just looked at the far stretch of beautiful flowers. “thank you” She said in a near whisper. “thank you for being mine. I know at first and somtimes even now it’s not easy to love me. I can be selfish, yell at you when it’s not warranted and many other things but I never want you to forget that i love you and i try to be a better man every day for you” Diana hugged Aurel “You are far from the man I first went home with. I know you try and you don’t mean to be a jerk the rare times you are Aurel. I love you and always will and absolutely nothing could make me forget you love me”

“want to lay in the flowers with me?”

“oh yes, I’d love to be surrounded by their smell” Peony actually gagged a little at the exchange. She had very nearly ruined her tough, real man into some sort of pansy that she’d need to whip back into shape once she got him back. Diana had made work for her which pissed Peony off further. She didn’t understand why Diana would want a soft demon when she should crave a powerful and demanding one. Aurle and Diana laid in the sweet smelling flowers, holding gently to eachothers hands. They both felt so relaxed, sleepy even.

They both allowed themselves to fall asleep in the field, Diana knowing nothing would mess with them with Aurel there. He was just as well known as her grandfather for his powers and he was one of two who came close to being as powerful as Chthon. Peony wanted to be rid of Diana then and there, but knew Aurel would hear her if she got any closer. He had always been very alert even when he seemed to not be paying attention.

She would take her during the festival the next day when everyone was distracted and she could work her sleeping magic on the woman who had stolen Aurel away. She would take her off into the woods then kill her and make it look like something had attacked her. Diana seemed like the curious type so it wouldn’t be hard for everyone to believe she had just wandered off and gotten lost. Peony slunk off, knowing she would need someone to distract Aurel long enough for her to carry Diana away.

Aurel woke an hour later and smiled down at the beautiful Diana. She was smiling in her sleep and he wondered what she could be dreaming of to make her look so happy. He pressed his lips against hers, making her open her eyes and wrap her arms around his neck. He kissed down her neck as he slid his hands up her dress to her bottom. “Aurel, what if someone sees or hears us?”

“No one will, I promise.” He whispered. “I’ll hear anyone before they get close enough, trust me.” He slipped his hand into her panties, his fingers moving over and then in her. She blushed, feeling both embarassed and excited. She had never done anything like this before, even at home where they were in the middle of nowhere. He tipped back, pulling her into his lap. He unzipped his pants and pulled himself free of their confines then pushed her panties aside and speared her.

She gasped and moaned, her fingers gripping his shoulders as she rode him at a fast pace. He kissed her as she orgasmed, muffling her loud cry then moved so she was beneath him. “Hurry Aurel.” She said shakily. He quickly found his release and kissed her softly as he pulled out of her.

“I love you.”

She covered her face. “I love you too, but I can’t believe we just did that.”

“I needed you. You are far too beautiful and I would have known if someone was coming”  She smiled “I do trust you my love. That was amazing as always. Just embarrassing though nobody saw.” Aurel pulled Diana into his lap again but this time it was to hold her while they kissed. Their lips gently brushed eachothers for a time and then they decided to return to his parents home. Calla and Liatris were there waiting “Hey, we looked for you two and didn’t see you anywhere so we just came on home”

“Aurel took me to a field of my favorite flowers”

“That was sweet of him”

“Your son can be incredibly sweet”

‘he gets it from his father” calla responded. Aurel cooked dinner with his mother again that evening and they ate together. This meal was pleasant, almost as if nothing were wrong between Aurle and his parents but Diana knew that Aurel was still struggling to fully let the past go and move on in the future with the parents they were now. She was proud he was doing this well though. After dinner Aurel played more piano for Diana just to be the reason her face lit up. He played for her until it was time for everyone to rest for tomorrows festival.

Aurel kissed Diana’s head and tuned in to the sound of his sons heartbeats. He was surprised he had not noticed more than one, but they beat in perfect unison, easily hiding the fact there were two babies in there. He smiled even though he was scared out of his mind. He hoped his children had Diana’s patience and understanding. It would kill him if he ran them off and they avoided him like the plague like he had his parents. He pushed his troubled thoughts away, knowing he would get no sleep and Diana would worry. He closed his eyes, letting the sound of his families hearts carry him off.

The sound of knocking woke them the next morning and Diana hopped excitedly out of bed after giving him a kiss. She answered the door, smiling at Calla and telling her they would be down for breakfast after they showered. Aurel grinned as she dug in their bag for clean clothes. “Come on lazy bones, lets go.” She said and he grabbed her as she passed the bed. He pulled her down and kissed her, making her giggle. “Come on, I want to see the festival.”

“I promise you you won’t miss a thing. Right now I guarantee my father is out there helping get things set up and my mother who I am sure has breakfast on the table, is cooking her delicious cookies. She makes a huge batch every year for the festival. She uses icing to put flowers on them.”

“All on her own?” He nodded. “Well that’s unacceptable, I’ll help her.”

He chuckled. “I bet you a kiss she will tell you no. You’re carrying her grandchildren and she won’t let you stay on your feet for so long. I’ll help her.”

“Alright, I guess I can live with that.” He smiled and kissed her once again then got up with her and followed her into the bathroom. He switched the water on while she pulled her nightgown off and he froze for a moment, just taking in her breathtaking beauty. “Aurel love, take off your pants so we can shower.”

He blinked, a smile crossing his face as he pulled his pants off and tossed them in the hamper. He lifted her into the tub and climbed in behind her, washing her and making her giggle as he kissed and touched her. He knew he was trying to be greedy with his time with her, but he couldn’t help it. She finally managed to coax him into getting out and they quickly dried and dressed then headed down for breakfast.

Aurel had called it. Liatris was gone and on the table sat muffins, bacon and scrambled eggs. Aurel grabbed a muffin “I’m going to help my mother. You eat up please” She smiled and sat down at one of the place settings that had been laid out. She took a little of everything and began to eat. Aurel walked into the kitchen “Can i help you mom?”

“”sure, thank you. Grab that yellow tube of iceing and make some flowers.” Aurel got right to work. They were nearly done when Diana finished breakfast. She cleared the plates then walked in the kitchen “what do you want me to do with the left over food?” She asked Calla. “Throw the eggs away and leave the bacon and muffins.” She did as she was told and moments later they were done with the cookies. They put them on large plates which Aurel and Calla carried. When they had the cookies where they were supposed to be the festival was still being set up so Aurel and Calla helped. Diana kept offering help but was refused everytime.

Diana got excited when everything was ready and started to get going. “I’m following you. I’ve been to this so we’re going to do what you want.” Aurel said and she smiled. She tugged him along, admiring everything, smiling and laughing. Calla searched the crowd for Diana and Aurel. She pulled along her now boy toy, previously Aurels friend. She had used dark magic on him to gan full control over what Cipher did. He was meant to be entertainment until Aurel came back but now she needed her toy to help her get rid of Diana.

She spotted them and smiled maliciously. She looked at her boy toy and whispered. Keep Aurels attention anyway you can and try to lead them off a bit so they aren’t surrounded by so many people. Did you make what i asked of you?” He handed her a cloth. “Good boy” She just had to put it over Dianas face and in a moment she would be consious but not able to move herself.

“Aurel.” A familiar voice said over the sound of music and loud chatter. Aurel’s eyes jumped to the face of a man he had not seen in a long time.

“Cipher?” He replied and shook the demon’s hand. A strange sensation moved up Aurel’s arm the moment his hand touched Cipher’s. “How are you doing?” He asked.

“Oh fine.” Cipher answered then rubbed his temple, a pained look crossing his face.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, sorry. I heard you got married.”

Aurel smiled and grabbed Diana’s hand, making her look away from the flowers that had caught her attention. He pulled her closer, smiling warmly down at her. “Diana this is Cipher an old play mate. Cipher this is my very beautiful wife Diana.”

“Nice to meet you.” Cipher held out his hand and Diana took it, nearly snatching it away when she felt the same odd sensation Aurel had. “So uh would it be alright if I joined you two?”

“I don’t see why not, we can catch up while Diana takes in the festival.”

They moved through the crowd, Diana running from booth to booth while Cipher kept Aurel’s attention away from her. They drifted further and further away from the crowd and Peony snuck up behind Diana and pressed the cloth to her face. Diana’s struggles didn’t last long and she was suddenly paralyzed. Cipher wanted to scream to Aurel to stop Peony, but he had no control over his words or his actions. He just smiled and talked as if nothing was happening, the whole time feeling guilty over what he had done.

Diana tried with all she had in her to fight but her body did nothing but lay limp in Peonys arms. It was scary how crazed this woman looked and she was afraid. Especially since Diana had no idea who she was or why she was carrying her off in a paralyzed state. Peony saw her eyes begging the question as to why but Peony offered her no speech of why or how. She wanted her to endure the further torment of not understanding her situation in the slightest. Ciphers mind was busy with trying to figure out a way to tell Aurel his wife was no longer happily exploring the festival but the spell woudln’t allow him to break Peonys wishes by any means.

He fought with all his strength. Cipher was tired of being used and abused by Peony but she was such a strong demon which made the curse she set upon him strong. Aurel noticed his distress “you ok friend?” Cipher groaned and Aurel turned to look at Diana who was gone “Diana? Diana!” He kept calling her name and walking around fast. Each time he yelled it sounding more frantic and catching the attention of the others in the crowd. Aurels family were royals so people took notice if one was yelling in panic.

Aurels parents ran over from what they were doing ‘what’s wrong son?”

“Dianas gone! i can’t find her”

“We’ll look too” They offered and Aurel turned to his friend “why aren’t you helping?”

“I can’t” he said in a labored voice. “what?”

He grabbed his head as pain spiked through him for exerting his will. He fell to his knees and forced out, “Peony…dark arts…can’t help it.”

Aurel dropped down in front of him and grabbed Cipher’s head in his hands, tipping it back so he could look into his eyes. Cipher was there, but not there. He was locked away, his body being used like a marionette. “I knew there was something wrong with you, I could feel it.”

“What’s going on son?” Calla asked.

“Peony has put a spell on Cipher, powerful and evil. She forced him to distract me. Do you know where they went Cipher?”

“Can’t say.” A look of anguish crossed his face.

“Just keep looking for Diana while I break this spell. Listen to me old friend, I need you to close your eyes and relax. You’re going to have to trust me.”

Cipher just nodded and did as he was told. Aurel closed his eyes and slipped into Cipher’s memories. He had to find the moment the spell was put on him to find out how to reverse it. He was horrified at the things he saw in Cipher’s head, the things Peony had made him do and the things she had done to him. He had been horribly victimized just like Reyna and Rika. He forced himself to ignore them, staying focused on his hunt. When he found what he was looking for he studied it, watching any movement Peony made and listening to every word she said. He pulled out, making Cipher gasp. The spell was strong, but not as strong as Aurel. He chanted and drew a symbol in the air, easily reversing the spell she had put on this poor man.

Cipher gasped again then he cried. The man Aurel knew before all these years of being a toy would have never cried which only impacted Aurel more of the suffering he had been through. “I’m sorry Aurel. She’s taking her into the west woods. I’ll help you”

“It wasn’t your fault friend. Thank you for fighting hard to tell me what you did” Aurel picked his old friend up and took to the air. He could fly much faster than he could run. Cipher was ashamed of himself for breaking down into tears and knowing that Aurel had seen his humiliation at Peonys hands. Aurel saw all the things he would have never told anybody happened to him. Aurel could feel his friends shame and wanted to offer comfort but knew as a proud male nothing would.

Calla & Liatris caught Dianas scent. it had been hard since so many people were out and about today but they finally found it and took off. They couldn’t let anything happen to their daughter in law or grandbabies. They couldn’t see how it would destroy their son. They could see in just the short time they had been visiting how deeply he loved his mate. Peony was enjoying mentally torturing Diana as she used a blade to make small cuts in her skin. Diana was covered from head to toe in small stinging cuts that slowly bled unto the ground.

Diana did her best to keep her tears from the pain back. She wouldn’t cry for Peony, wouldn’t let her see the agony she was inflicting. “How do you want to die bitch?” Peony asked then started naming all the ways she could end Dianas life.

“I could always cut your child out of you and let you slowly bleed to death.” Her heart gave a leap of fear and Peony laughed. “Then that’s what I’ll do.” She lifted Diana’s shirt and ran the knife over her abdomen, taunting her. “These children should be mine.” Peony hissed and Diana felt her press the blade harder into her stomach so it broke the skin. Diana let out an involuntary whimper and Peony laughed.

“Aurel, there.” Cipher said, pointing at the ground. Aurel saw Peony and dropped from the sky. He let Cipher go when they were close enough and tackled Peony away from Diana with an angry growl. They rolled across the ground and Aurel came to his feet, standing between her and his wife.

“Aurel, love, why would you stop me. She’s standing between us, she needs to disappear.” Peony said with a sweet smile.

“If you do not stay away I will kill you Peony. I don’t care if you’re a woman or not.”

Cipher stepped out of the trees and Peony turned her evil gaze to him. “Help me Cipher, now.” He shook his head and she growled.

“He’s no longer your toy Peony.” Her eyes jumped back to him and she smiled, looking like the viper she was.

“Oh Aurel, my beautiful golden prince, you belong with me. You need a mate who lets you be who you are meant to be, cold, angry, lustful. You need me.” She moved her hand through the air as she spoke, trying to use her words to distract him from the spell she was trying to weave. She moved closer to him and he just stared at her. Cipher wanted to yell that this was what she had done to him, but before he could say a word Aurel had her by her throat.

“Your magic doesn’t work on me Peony, I’m immune to your charm and your dark magic.”

She struggled but he gripped tighter. He spoke in a seething tone “don’t you dare even think of hurting my mate again you sick bitch! i saw what you did to Cipher! How demented are you to force him into your slave. I will take you to my parents and they will see to it you get punished properly.” He walked over to Cipher and his wife. He handed peony over “Grip her tightly’ Ciphers face said he woudl gladly. Aurel realeased Diana from her imprisonment then picked her up “i’m so sorry baby” Aurels parents broke through the trees and stared wide eyed at Diana. “good, now we don’t have to take the nicth anywhere. Mother, father, Peony did this to Diana and she comitted haneous acts against Cipher. I trust you’ll have her dealt with while i take Diana to a healer.” Calla looked angrily over at peony “we will’

With that assurance Aurel took off into the air. His heart beat fearfully for Diana. He landed in front of Meldys house and banged on the door. She didn’t alway attend the festival so he had hope she was home. She didn’t say a word when she opened her door but steped out of the way. Aurel hurried inside “please help her” Meldy put her healing hands on Diana and soon her every cut was closed. “Now let me check your babies sweetheart” She said and then closed her eyes as she felt Dianas stomach “they are fine.” They both thanked her and Aurel left to take Diana back to his parents house.

He held tightly to her and she to him. He went straight to his bedroom and sat on his old bed with Diana in his lap, wrapped in his tight arms. “I was so scared for our babies” Diana said. “I was scared for all three of you” Aurels voice low, a mixture of anger and sadness. Diana could hear in his voice that he was dissappointed in himself for allowing another monster to carry her off.

“This is all my fault.” He continued and she tipped his head up so he was looking at her.

“I don’t blame you Aurel, not for a second. It’s not like she was some woman whose heart you played with.”

“If I had not given in to lust then she never would have become infatuated with me.”

“You don’t know that.”

He sighed. “Even though you don’t blame me it is because of me that both you and Cipher were harmed. I am truly sorry for the pain both of you went through.”

“What did she do to him?”

He closed his eyes, a pained expression crossing his face as he shook his head. When he opened his eyes again they were full of sorrow. “I dare not tell you the things I saw in his head. He has been traumatized, but is to proud to speak of what happened. I know he won’t sek help, it’s not in his nature and he fears what others will say.”

Diana frowned. “I don’t understand why most male demons think they have to be untouchable. Bad things happen and it wasn’t his fault she was more powerful.”

He rested his head on her shoulder. “I know, but he’ll blame himself anyway.” He brushed a kiss onto her neck. “I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“Me too and I knew you would come for me even though I was terrified. You never let me down and I promise you I’ll be fine.”

They sat there until there was a knock on their bedroom door and Aurel sat Diana on the bed to answer. It was Cipher. “I just wanted to tell you Peony’s powers have been stripped and she has been exhiled. She is to be sent to another world for two hundred years in hopes she will learn a lesson.” Cipher frowned, his eyes full of unexpressed worry.

“Cipher?” Diana said as she got to her feet and crossed the room, having an idea of how to help him.

“Yes.”

“I know you went through a lot and can only imagine what must be going on in your head, but I know two people who have been through what you have been through and if you come with us when we leave, we can take a ship there so you can talk to them. I know you are proud and a man, but I think you would greatly benefit in talking to them. It’s just a suggestion and maybe you should think about it.”

“I will think on it. How long will you two be staying?”

“Until Wednesday”

“I will tell you my choice by then. I’m really sorry Diana”

“I don’t blame you. It isn’t your fault atall” his eyes dropped from hers. “I will see you two later. I want to go home now”

“alright, I really hope you come back with us” She wanted to insist but didn’t for the sake of not being pushy. He had obviously been pushed around long enough and needed to have the freedom of thinking it over. He left and Dianas heart went out to him. She returned to Aurel then said “I hope he comes back with us. He needs to talk about it with people who understand.”

“I hope he does too.” Tuesday came and they feared Cipher wouldn’t be coming but to their surprise he showed up as dinner was being prepared. Liatris welcomed him in and asked him to stay for dinner which he accepted. Diana looked over at him with hope in her eyes. He returned her gaze with one still wrought with shame “I would like to go back with you and Aurel…she’s..shes plaguing my night terrors.’ He admitted, somhow more shame coming over him that he as a man would have nightmares “that is great to hear!” She got up and hugged him. “I am packed for the journey. I’ll just go home after dinner and meet you two when you want me to meet you tomorrow’

Aurel spoke “we’ll leave after lunch. I’m sure my paretns wont mind you coming over and eating with us before we leave”

“that’s a generous offer but I want to go eat with my parents..I havent spent the time with them I should”

“alright, don’t rush. Just come on over when you’ve had your meal with them” The next day Cipher met them around two ‘sorry guys”

“we said don’t rush.’ Diana answered. He smiled in return and they walked to the portal and went home. They’d prepare to go visit Chthons castle then take their friend to get the help he so needed. Aurel was grateful to his wife for making him come home. He now had the parents he had wanted growing up and he saved his freind from enduring any more torture by the hands of peony.

~ The End ~

Lispin & Rika 2

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.”

“I understand.”

“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”

“wow”

“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.”

“Okay.”

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”

“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 ~