Nelly woke , lifting her head up off the window she had been resting against. She was still on the this train with a terrible feeling in her stomach that nobody but her seemed to get. The first day she had woken confused but one of her fellow passengers explained they were all going home. The explanation had settled her at the time. It wasnâ€™t until this morning, four days later that it hit her â€śgoing home from where?â€ť She decided to ask â€śWhere have we been?â€ť another question hit her and she asked it right away â€śand where is home?â€ť The question seemed to perplex the man she asked.
Wolfric and Merle had been happily married twenty four years now and had their winery for fourteen. It had taken a long time to pick the perfect location, find a good staff, get equipment and a long list of other things they hadnâ€™t known about when they decided they wanted to do this. They hadnâ€™t stressed along the way though. Getting it going was part of their enjoyment. Merle already had more money than they could spend and even though they moved to live on location Wolfric had easily gotten his business going in the area, due in no small part to Merle practically over advertising his dentist office. The winery was just fun, something for them to do as a couple so accomplishing things took however long it took.
Late one night a knock sounded at the door of their home while Wolfric was cooking dinner and his mate, Merle was in their library reading. Wolfric turned the bruners all down to low then went to answer the door, knowing his mate would be too into the book to hear the sounds of knocking. They hadnâ€™t been expected company so he simply thought it was some sort of rush delivery Merle had ordered. Just the fact it was a nicely dressed young man with no package in his hadn startled Wolfric but then when he realized the young man had a strong resemblance to him his heart began racing with confusion â€śUmâ€¦helloâ€ť the man started nervously. He was the exact same height as wolfric at 5â€™11, he had his blue eyes and blond hair but at the same time he was starting to see Merle stance, his gaze.
Keoki could see the realization and panic start to set in â€śplease, let me speak. Iâ€™m Keoki and by the look on your face I can tell you notice I look a lot like you and your husband. Iâ€™m actually kind of glad because I need you to believe me. Iâ€™m in a hurry and when my technical mother finds out Iâ€™m goneâ€¦especially where I am sheâ€™s going to lock me up so listen, please, I had to meet you.â€ť Merle didnâ€™t hear much when he was reading but his mates heart going wild was something he would never miss. Just as Keoki realized Merle was there he was being hauled inside roughly â€śmerleâ€ť Wolfric started as Merle shoved him onto the couch â€śwhatâ€™re you doing at our home so late at nightâ€ť he growled but realization was starting to hit him too. â€ślisten to him Merleâ€ť Wolfirc said and Keoki began nervously speaking again.
â€śIâ€™mâ€¦Iâ€™m sure you heard my name is Keokiâ€¦Iâ€™m your kid and I know that doesnâ€™t make any sense. You see my creator has always wanted to make a breakthrough in the scientific community by making gay couples able to have their true own children, nobody else involved besides scientists. Youâ€¦youâ€™d have to question her to know how she made me because she wont even tell me all the details but I do know Iâ€™m her first truly successful experiment. All her other ones wont grow or die before tenâ€¦thereâ€™s a five and nine year old still there but Iâ€¦I didnâ€™t want to be slowed down. I wanted to meet my parents and tell anybody about usâ€¦sheâ€™s doing what sheâ€™s doing in secret because wellâ€¦I wasnâ€™t made in the traditional senseâ€¦I dont know what to say I am besides I was made from yours and Wolfircs DNA sirâ€ť
Merle was suddenly uncomfortably close, it caused Keoki to shake. Even as he asked â€ścan you shift?â€ť
â€śbecause youâ€™re an Amarok?â€ť Keoki asked, hoping he believed him. Last time he escaped she had convinced the people that found him he was crazy and managed to get him back into her care. â€śyesâ€ť
â€śNo, Iâ€™m sorry but please still believe meâ€¦she considers that her one failure with meâ€¦I cantâ€¦sheâ€™sâ€¦sheâ€™s tried different things to try and get me to be able toâ€¦donâ€™t make me go back. I know I look nice but sheâ€™sâ€¦â€ť Merle backed up and looked at Wolfric who said â€śI think I believe him Merleâ€ť Merle nodded â€śMe too, heâ€™s ours somehowâ€ť He looked back at Keoki who was still trembling a little. â€śIâ€™m glad you made it to us. Do you know how she got her hands on our DNA?â€ť
â€śWould you know how to get back where you came from?â€ť
â€śYes but she has strong magic. You wont believe me once we go. I didnâ€™t make it here last time and the people that found meâ€ť Merle interrupted him â€śshe isnâ€™t fooling anybody anymore. Weâ€™re getting the two other children. We wont leave them to be hurt or leave her to experiment any longer. Technically what shes doing could make a lot of beings happy but the way sheâ€™s doing it sounds cruel. I can tell sheâ€™s hurt you, I believe you, we both believe you Keokiâ€ť
â€śI just donâ€™t want either of you to get hurt.â€ť He looked down. â€śYou didnâ€™t ask for any of this, but I didnâ€™t know what else to do, who else to go to.â€ť
Wolfric sat down next to him and rested a hand on his shoulder. â€śItâ€™s going to be okay.â€ť He looked up at Merle. â€śMaybe we should call my parents.â€ť
Keoki raised his head. â€śYou mean Lombard and Fatima?â€ť
â€śYou know about them?â€ť Merle asked.
â€śYeah, the woman who made me, she said I was lucky to have their genes. She said it made meâ€¦special.â€ť
â€śI think youâ€™d be special regardless.â€ť Wolfric replied.
Keoki gave them a small smile. It looked so sad. â€śThanks.â€ť
â€śWhy donâ€™t you go and call them love while I talk toâ€¦well to our son.â€ť Merle suggested.
â€śAlright.â€ť He gave Keokiâ€™s shoulder a pat then got up, letting Merle take his spot.
â€śYou donâ€™t have to call me your son.â€ť Keoki said. â€śYou didnâ€™t technically have me or anything and Iâ€™m nineteen so, itâ€™s okay.â€ť
â€śIt doesnâ€™t matter. The wolf wouldnâ€™t have it any other way. Your ours, no matter the circumstances of your birth.â€ť
Merle could see how much those words meant to Keoki even before he spoke â€śIâ€™ve always wanted something normalâ€¦to not just be a means to make future experiments successfulâ€ť
â€śshe wont have you back, I promise.â€ť
â€śdo you think Iâ€™m a coward for leaving the younger ones?â€ť
â€śYou did what you had to to make it and theyâ€™ll be helped as well. Do you know if they are ours as well Keoki?â€ť
â€śThe five year old butâ€¦Iâ€¦I dont want to get your hopes up too high. She hasnâ€™t been doing too well. My creator is expecting her to die, she doesnâ€™t even teach her anymore. I think itâ€™s because sheâ€™s so frustrated. She used the last bit of DNA she had of you two on that girl. The nine year old is from a couple in another world. My creator is a traveler. Their names are Alvah and Daray. Heâ€™s a straightforward vampire and heâ€™s still doing well. She thinks he might be the second to actually live past ten. Sheâ€™s apparently been doing this an incredibly long time though I donâ€™t know precisely how long before I was her first success.â€ť
â€śdoes sh eonly try with male couples?â€ť
â€śNo, sheâ€™s taken some female DNA too but those creations tend to not live past four. If she knows why she hasnâ€™t said but shes determined to be successful in both arenasâ€ť
â€śwhats our little girls name?â€ť Keokis expression grew a little more sad again â€śNomaâ€ť
â€śwhat does she do with you guys when youâ€¦â€ť Merle couldnâ€™t say it. He had never met this little girl but his heart still hung heavy thinking she might die before he met her. Keoki gathered what he was asking â€śsheâ€™ll burn her body. She says she cant have people finding out until she has a strong success rate with making childrenâ€ť His voice cracked a little. â€śweâ€™re just experiments. She doesnâ€™t careâ€ť Guilt was starting to overwhelm Keoki â€śI shouldnâ€™t have left them.â€ť
Merle hugged his son â€śI bet you tried to take them last timeâ€ť
â€śso you didnâ€™t this time in better hopes of making itâ€ť
â€śwe love you Keoki, for me, donâ€™t guilt yourself. Youâ€™re not responsible for how your creator treats you all. You did what you had to to get hereâ€ť Wolfric walked by on the phone, going into the kitchen to continue the meal he had just remembered. He talked to his parents until the meal was ready then rejoined Merle and Keoki in the living room â€śthey should be here soon. Why donâ€™t you come eat Keoki. I was making dinner when you came to the doorâ€ť Keoki stood â€śthank youâ€ť
~ Back where Keoki came from ~
Mauli angrily handed Nephi his dinner â€śwait, what about Nomaâ€ť
â€śLook at her, its a waste of my food at this pointâ€ť
â€śbut you have to feed her. You donâ€™t know sheâ€™s going to die! Please momma!â€ť
â€śshe hasnâ€™t gotten up all dayâ€ť
â€śbecause shes hurtâ€ť
â€śshe comes from some of the best dna Iâ€™ve ever had. If she was going to live sheâ€™d be up and about by now. Sheâ€™s a failure, maybe Iâ€™d consider feeding her if you little shits hadnâ€™t let Keoki run out of here without telling me.â€ť
â€śsheâ€™s going to die. Its time you accept that. I was still taking care of her to keep Keoki cooperative but hes gone now. Maybe heâ€™ll think twice about leaving once I get him back when he learns the consequences. I let him off too easy last timeâ€ť Mauli walked away without another word, the familiar sound of multiple locks following. Nephi walked over to Noma and shook her â€śwake up Noma, pleaseâ€ť she opened her eyes â€śwhats upâ€ť
â€śshare this food with meâ€ť she glanced at the plate â€śtheres hardly anything there. You eatâ€ť
â€śNoma, I wont eat anything if you wont share this with meâ€ť
â€śsheâ€™s probably not going to give you the old portions for awhile. Youâ€™re going to be starving as it is and momma saysâ€ť
â€śNo, she doesnt just get to decide youâ€™re going to die. I need you to try, pleaseâ€¦I donâ€™t want to be aloneâ€ť he started to sob and it gave Noma the motivation she needed to sit up â€śokayâ€¦okay Nephi Iâ€™ll eatâ€ť Nephi hugged her and Noma hugged back as best she could. She ate enough to satisfy him, feeling guilty for taking his food since she wasnâ€™t sure she was going to make it. She felt tired all the time and she knew what that meant, Mauli said that was the first sign when there were signs she was going to lose one.
When they were done Nephi stood, holding out his hand to her â€śNephi Iâ€ť
â€ślets play, lets play anything you can manage. Iâ€¦I cant watch her take you to the burn pile Noma. If she doesnâ€™t see you moveâ€¦â€ť tears were falling again so she accepted his hand â€śOkay Nephiâ€ť
â€śDo you think Keokiâ€™s going to come back this time?â€ť Nephi asked. â€śI wouldnâ€™t blame him if he didnâ€™t.â€ť
â€śHe will, you know he wanted to take us.â€ť She was so exhausted. â€śHe wonâ€™t leave us here.â€ť She gave Nephi her best smile. â€śMauli said that our parents and grandparents were special, so theyâ€™ll definitely save us.â€ť
At Wolfric and Merleâ€™s:
â€śOh my god.â€ť Fatima said when she saw Keoki. â€śLombard look at him.â€ť
â€śMom, dad, this is our son.â€ť Wolfric said. â€śKeoki, these are your grandparents.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s nice to meet you.â€ť Keoki said nervously.
â€śWould it be alright if I hugged you?â€ť Fatima asked.
Fatima wrapped her arms around him and Keoki felt himself start to tear up, but he wouldnâ€™t cry, not in front of them. â€śWeâ€™re so happy to have you.â€ť
â€śThank you.â€ť Lombard too a turn giving him a hug then they all went to sit down.
â€śwhat do you guys want to do? We need to handle this quickly if the woman who created Keoki has other children there and is mistreating themâ€ť Lombard said seriously, becoming instantly protective. â€śhe says he can find his way back if weâ€™re all ready to go. I donâ€™t think we should get the law involved just yet. Keoki says she has strong magic to not only cover up what shes doing but to make beings think Keoki is making all this upâ€ť Fatima looked at Keoki â€śhe is definitely yours and Merles, there is absolutely no denying thatâ€ť
â€śLast time I hadnâ€™t made it to these two yet so there was nobody to compare me to but stillâ€¦Iâ€™m scared Iâ€ť he couldnâ€™t shake the worry theyâ€™d just give him back once she worked her spells. â€śYouâ€™re staying with us, I promiseâ€ť Wolfric assured him. Keoki nodded â€śwell lets go get Nephi and Nomaâ€ť They were soon all in his grandparents car, Lombard and Fatima in the front seat and him with his dads in the back. His thoughts were now with Noma. He hoped even if she wasnâ€™t going to make it sheâ€™d live long enough to know freedom, even if for a few hours. Merle was struggling with how sad keoki looked â€śwhatâ€™re you thinking aboutâ€ť he asked â€śNomaâ€ť
â€śsheâ€™s that bad offâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m just hoping she will be okay long enough to meet you all. Sheâ€™s at the point of lethargy Iâ€™ve never seen her creations get pastâ€ť
â€śthere has to be some way to help her. This woman is doing all this in the dark without other professionals to help her.â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t think she fears anything more than someone else finding out about her work and getting it right faster than she can. If she told someone they might beat her to all the money this could bring the being who perfects itâ€ť
â€śJust have faith in your sister Keoki. Have faith in her and this family because we will get her the help she needs, we wont lose herâ€ť Merle said with such surprising confidence. Keoki didnâ€™t know how he could think he could promise that. Fatima had a familiar question â€śso can you become a wolf?â€ť
â€śNo, she stills considers me a success though. Sheâ€™s hoping to find a way to make me able. She doesnâ€™t think customers will buy her creations if they cant do everything true biological children could doâ€ť
â€śhow does she know an Amarok could have a mixed child with a vampire and zombie and be able to shift. I mean, sometimes mixed breeding doesnâ€™t work out as well as others.â€ť
â€śEven if you never shift Keoki youâ€™re perfect to usâ€ť Merle said and Keoki had to fight off tears again. “Is she a shifter? Lombard asked â€śI donâ€™t think so, she doesnâ€™t talk about herself much thoughâ€ť
â€śif sheâ€™s not a shifter it might be her. Maybe if Merle tried to help you you couldâ€ť
â€śIâ€™d be happy to try to help youâ€ť Merle said and Keoki answered â€śokayâ€ť When it was obvious keoki was struggling to stay awake they found a hotel and checked in. He hadnâ€™t complained but they knew he had just been through a long journey.
~ Back with Nephi and Noma~
Nephi woke the next day by himself â€śNomaâ€ť he said softly then got up with a panic. he banged on the door â€śwhere is she? Please, just tell me shesâ€™ okay. She played yesterday! You had to have seen that!â€ť Maulis voice sounded irritated as she answered over the intercom in their living area â€śsheâ€™s with me, behaveâ€ť
â€śis she okayâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m a little busy, shut your mouth and let me work Nephiâ€ť Nephi walked over to the table and sat down â€śgood boy Nephi. I won be able to hear you for awhile so donâ€™t waste your breath. You caught me just in timeâ€ť
â€śplease be easy with her. Donâ€™t you want her to liveâ€ť Mauli didnâ€™t answer and he knew she was probably annoyed but Nephi didnâ€™t care. Noma was tried not to cry as she was fitted once again with an all too familiar training collar. â€śdont be a baby Noma.â€ť Mauli pulled her off the table and walked her out of the room they had been in. â€śwhatâ€™re we going to do?â€ť
â€śyouâ€™re going to shiftâ€ť
â€śBut even Keoki canâ€™tâ€ť
â€śno he cant but I can push you farther than I can push Keoki since you arenâ€™t going to last anyway. Youâ€™ll be part of history Noma. Youâ€™ll be another break through I need. Once I figure out how my future creations wont have to go through so much misery so not only will you be a part of something magnificent youâ€™ll save others pain. It can be the one thing you do for this world, itâ€™ll make you not so much of a wasteâ€ť
â€śI”mâ€¦Iâ€™m not going back to Nephi am Iâ€ť she was crying now â€śprobably not but hopefully. I donâ€™t want you to die Noma. Youâ€™ll either shift or youâ€™ll die with us tryingâ€ť
â€śYou could ahve let me say byeâ€ť
â€śNo because who knows what Nephi may have gotten up to. Besides, even if you die heâ€™ll be much easier to control if he thinks youâ€™re alive somewhere and his behavior effects youâ€ť she had never hated Mauli until today. She finally realized how much of a manipulative liar she really was. It scared Noma how little face Mauli was trying to keep right now. It made her feel like she definitely wasnâ€™t going to get to go back to Nephi. It made her glad Nephi had forced her to play yesterday because it may have been the last time.
Wolfric and Merle:
â€śWhat are you thinking love?â€ť Merle asked and Wolfric looked up from their son.
â€śI just donâ€™t understand how someone could do something so terrible. Heâ€™s so sweet and innocent, I just canâ€™t wrap my head around it.â€ť
Merle pulled Wolfric into his arms. â€śI know, but heâ€™s with us now and we will be able to give him, Noma, and Nephi a real life.â€ť
â€śWe have to find Nephiâ€™s parents too, they should know.â€ť
â€śWe will, I promise.â€ť
Nephi and Noma:
Noma was so exhausted she couldnâ€™t even scream anymore. She just laid there curled in a ball and shaking, trying to block out the sound of Mauliâ€™s angry, disappointed voice. â€śIf you would just shift, I would stop.â€ť Mauli snapped.
â€śI canâ€™t.â€ť Noma whimpered. â€śPlease, I canâ€™t.â€ť
Nephi paced back and forth in their room. He knew something bad was happening, he could feel it. He went over to the door and pressed his ear against it. He couldnâ€™t hear anything even with his superior senses, but he just knew Mauli was torturing Noma. He needed to get out and save her. He knew how Keoki had done it, but he wasnâ€™t sure if it would work again.
Wolfric and Merle:
Keoki jerking awake startled both of them into wakefulness and him jumping out of bed and suddenly running for the room door had Merle jumping up and grabbing his sonâ€™s arm. â€śWhere are you going?â€ť
â€śSomething happened, something bad.â€ť Keoki said, sounding panicked.
â€śWhat do you mean?â€ť Wolfric asked.
â€śWith one of the kids.â€ť
â€śHow do you know?â€ť
Keoki shook his head. â€śI donâ€™t know, itâ€™s like intuition, I just know.â€ť
â€śwell all go right now. Please donâ€™t try to go anywhere without us. We want to help and we definitely donâ€™t want to lose you now that we know you existâ€ť
â€śsorryâ€ť They were all back in the car in a manner of moments, only stopping now when they had to start going off road. Lombard and Fatima didnâ€™t care about ditching their car, like Merle and Wolfric they just cared about finding those kids.
Nephi and Noma:
A strong current from her collar finally woke Noma who sat up with a whine â€śIâ€™m sorryâ€ť
â€śeatâ€ť she wanted to argue her stomach felt too bad to eat but she knew Mauli didnâ€™t care. She ate slow, wanting the break anyway. Mauli was pacing, obviously thinking. Next thing Noma knew Mauli had brought in an IV â€śwhats going on now?â€ť
â€śIâ€™m clearing out your systemâ€ť she whined but didnâ€™t say anything. That meant more drugs, more misery. She hoped maybe the clearing of her system would help her feel better. Noma still took her time eating but she had to finish eventually. Once Noma was done Mauli pulled out syringe and injected her before dragging her back into a room and shutting the door. Noma didnâ€™t question being alone, she was grateful for it. Soon however Mauli came back with growling wolves â€śMauli?â€ť
â€śI told you Noma, youâ€™ll shift or die trying. I think you lack the proper motivation, you think and hold onto hope Iâ€™ll stop and you can rest. These wolves are going to kill you if you donâ€™t shift and fight back. You canâ€™t rely on any of your other powers Noma. You wont be able to use them. You have only the wolf to turn to nowâ€ť
â€śMauliâ€ť Mauli walked out and the wolves began walking toward her. She looked one of them in the eyes, hoping if there was a wolf in there it would help her â€śPlease, you donâ€™t want to be on her side. Please donâ€™t hurt meâ€ť She felt a connection but they still looked like they were considering hurting her â€śPleaseâ€ť her body began to tremble and she felt something rushing through her. She started pleading with herself to shift. Mauli watched on eagerly, desperate to get further with her work.
Noma tried to focus, focus on herself as a wolf like them. Just when she was expecting to be bitten one of the wolves licked her. The other nuzzled her â€śThank youâ€ť Mauli rushed in, completely outraged â€śyouâ€™re holding out on me!â€ť
â€śThey listened to you! You just want me to be a failure donâ€™t you Noma! I bet you can shift and youâ€™re just being a little shit. Youâ€™re faking it! I know it! You and Keoki!â€ť
â€śI promise, I was just trying. I didnâ€™t know theyâ€™d listenâ€ť suddenly the wolves were growling again but not at Noma, they were looking at Mauli who somehow looked even madder â€śwhatâ€™re you doing Nomaâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m not doing anythingâ€ť suddenly Noma felt the strongest surge she had felt in her life from the collar. She fell to the floor, screaming at the top of her lungs from the pain. Noma didnâ€™t know what was happening, she couldnâ€™t see or think. The only thing she could sense at all was pain until she felt adrenaline start to pump hard through her. Somehow in this moment she felt more alive than she ever had. She wanted to thank Nephi for never giving up on her, she wanted to see Keoki again one day, she wanted to be free of this place and this horrible woman, she wanted to shift. Next thing she knew she was a wolf and she howled in triumph.
She heard another howl and realized there was only one wolf left. Mauli had killed the one that had licked her face. Noma growled but Mauli just looked at her with wonder â€śyou finally did itâ€ť Maulis face became smug as she instructed â€śdonâ€™t even think of attacking me little girl. Youâ€™re still wearing that collar and youâ€™re not as big as you think you are.â€ť Noma took another angry step and Mauli pulled out a gun, shooting the other wolf in the shoulder. Noma wasnâ€™t sure if she missed or was just aiming to hurt it. â€śNoma, sitâ€ť the other wolf tried to bite Mauli and with a wave of her hand the wolf was sent flying into a nearby wall, knocked unconscious and bleeding badly.
Wolfric and Merle:
â€śWe have to hurry.â€ť Keoki said. â€śIt has to be Noma, sheâ€™s sick and Mauli wonâ€™t care to lose her.â€ť
â€śMerle, you should shift and run ahead, your paws are better for the terrain.â€ť Wolfric said.
â€śAre you sure?â€ť
â€śYes, weâ€™ll be right behind you.â€ť
â€śAlright my love.â€ť He came to a stop, quickly stripping down and shifting. Keokiâ€™s eyes widened at the sight of the big wolf. His father was truly amazing.
â€śCome on, Keoki.â€ť Wolfric said and they followed Merle who was moving quickly over the rough terrain.
Nephi and Noma:
Nephi gripped the edge of the ventilation cover, his fingers hurting as he pulled at it. He knew he could get out, even after Mauli had reinforced it. He had to get out. He had been told his fatherâ€™s were amazing, especially Alvah, he had been told that man was a terrifying force of nature. He gritted his teeth, letting out a growl of frustration. â€śOpen.â€ť He yelled. â€śOpen you stupid thing.â€ť He focused every ounce of strength he had on it and was so surprised when it actually bent that he let go and fell to the floor.
He crawled through and pleaded â€śPlease still be alive Nomaâ€ť Nephi used his senses like heâ€™d been taught to track Noma and Mauli, calling for Maulis attention when he was finally right behind them. Mauli turned with Noma in her arms. She was in human form again and the hell she had been through with their creator was evident all over her body. â€śwhat did you doâ€ť he was too angry to cry though his heart ached â€śI did what had to be done, she did it, she shifted but once she became a girl again she was goneâ€ť
â€śsheâ€™s not deadâ€ť
â€śshe may as well be but Iâ€™m happy to see your senses are that good. I didnâ€™t realize, I thought I could bluff. Iâ€™m so proud of you Nephi. I know how to make my creations shift now. It just has to be their only choice. Because of Noma I wont have to be so cruel againâ€ť
â€śYouâ€™re a monster Mauliâ€ť
â€śwhat happened to momma?â€ť
â€śI hate youâ€ť
â€śYour negotiation skills need work if sheâ€™s what youâ€™re after Nephiâ€ť
â€śwhy canâ€™t you just try harder.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ve long since learned its a waste of time and resources. Sheâ€™s been dead a long time Nephi. I just accepted it, I donâ€™t understand why you and Keoki refuse toâ€ť
â€śBecause sheâ€™s our sisterâ€ť
â€śshe isnâ€™t yours, sheâ€™s Keokiâ€™s but sheâ€™s never been yours.â€ť
â€śweâ€™ve grown up together. Iâ€™ve known her since I was four. I may not be that old butâ€¦sheâ€™s my sister. I love her Mauli and I donâ€™t understand how you can be so indifferentâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m done with her Nephi and done trying to deal with your attitude. When Keoki gets back you two will learn obedienceâ€ť
It was the first time Nephi felt his rage start to bubble over. After everything that had happened, it was unexpected, but it pushed his fear down. All that matter was Noma, it didnâ€™t matter what Mauli did to him, as long as she never touched Nephi again. He was surprised to find his legs carrying him forward, surprised to feel any sort of power moving through him after being so powerless. He wondered if this is what had helped Keoki escape. He knew he wasnâ€™t a strong fighter, but he would try and keep faith that Keoki was coming back.
Wolfric & Merle:
The scent Merle had picked up from his son became stronger and he let out a loud howl when the building came into view. He raced toward the front door, picking up speed when he saw it was made of metal. He twisted, letting out a loud grunt when slammed into it, nearly caving it in. He pulled back letting out a loud growl as he slammed into it again. Wolfric, Keoki, Lombard, and Fatima caught up with him and he shifted. Wolfric handed him his pants and he quickly pulled them on.
â€śHoly shit.â€ť Keoki said as he looked at the damage his father had done to the door. He couldnâ€™t believe it.
â€śHelp me break this thing down.â€ť Merle said and both Lombard and Fatima joined him in pushing at the door. They could feel the magic reinforcing it, but they werenâ€™t going to stop until they were inside.
Nephi & Noma:
Nephis fingernails had inexplicably extended into long, sharp points. He hadnâ€™t known he could do that so either the rage summoned an ability or it was just something that happened when he got mad. This was the first time he had felt like this so he didnâ€™t know. He knew Mauli was way out of his league and could easily get the upper hand so he did the only thing he thought would matter. He tightly held his fingers together and jumped, shoving them as hard as he could into her eyeballs. She dropped Noma as she screeched and Nephi wished he had been quick enough to catch her. She was so barely alive, so obviously frail and clinging to life that the last thing she needed was to slam into the ground like she did.
Nephi picked her up and ran, unsure of what else to do beyond keeping Noma out of Maulis grasp. He was sure the jostling wasnâ€™t helping Noma either but this was the only way he could protect her. Maulies eyes would regenerate and sheâ€™d be coming soon. Nephi thought about hiding as he ran â€śYou idiot, sheâ€™ll smell usâ€ť he grew slightly hopeful as a room came into view he knew locked from the inside. She didnâ€™t carry keys on her so it might not buy them much of it but it would buy them time. Nephi ran in, shut then locked the door before carefully laying Noma down.
â€śNomaâ€ť he said emotionally. If she could hear him she made no indication. Nephi decided to hide anyway, willing to do anything that might buy them even one more second. Mauli eyes were already mending as she walked angrily down the hall. Just as her eyes were fully working again she heard the alarm sound, the main door has been forced open. She groaned and with a wave of her hand she looked like a clean, well dressed human woman, would smell like one too. She had carefully crafted this face to be as innocent as possible. She abandoned searching for her rouge vampire and worthless pup for now, she needed to deal with whomever Keoki had brought back to her home.
She checked her pockets, happy to find the vials she had slipped into them the second she knew Keoki was missing. All she had to do was open them and her magic would waft through the air. Keoki would look like a liar yet again and she would be sure this time he wasnâ€™t going anywhere. It actually threw her off when she saw the beings he had brought back, how the hell had he figured out where they lived. She just hoped she was stronger than them as she reached into her pocket â€śdonâ€™t you dareâ€ť Merle seethed â€śdonâ€™t I what?â€ť she opened them and Merle chuckled, already knowing what it was â€śyou really think thats going to work, weâ€™re not going to be open to your suggestions on whats going on here. This is without a doubt my son and Iâ€™m here for the other twoâ€ť
â€śsir I donâ€™t know what heâ€™s told you but he hasnâ€™t been on hisâ€ť Merle didnâ€™t let her finish and tried to lunge at her but she was quick to counter, shifting right back into her true form â€śdamn it Iâ€ť she started again but he didnâ€™t care nor did he want to waste time. His daughter could be dieing. Every second it took to get to Noma was one less seconds the doctors he trusted could be helping her.
Wolfric & Merle:
Merle jumped at Mauli again, his sharp nails barely missing her and he let out a savage growl when she managed to evade him again. â€śKeoki, take your father and find the children, your grandparents and I will deal with this one.â€ť
â€śIs nothing, donâ€™t be afraid, take him okay?â€ť
â€śOkay.â€ť Keoki and Wolfric started the way Mauli had come from and when she tried to stop them, Merle shifted and snapped at her, driving her away from them.
She glared at him. â€śIâ€™m going to kill all of you and the harvest every last bit of you. You have such perfect DNA Merle, all of you do, if only you understood.â€ť
Keoki could smell blood and his heart hammered in his chest as he followed the scent to one of the rooms Mauli used for experiments. His fear only increased when he saw the two dead wolves and neither Noma or Nephi. They had both been in here, but not anymore. â€śCome on, they may be hiding Keoki.â€ť Wolfric said as he pulled his son out of the room.
â€śSheâ€¦she could haveâ€¦â€ť
â€śWe have to believe theyâ€™re okay.â€ť
They rushed on, eager when blood droplets lead them to another room, one she barely used but was still all too familiar to Keoki. He tried the door â€śthey have to be in there. Itâ€™s lockedâ€ť Keoki knocked gently on the door, his voice wouldnâ€™t carry through but he knew Nephi would realize such a soft knock wouldnâ€™t come from Mauli. Everything she did was demanding even when she was trying to put on a show. The sound initially made Nephi gasp and hold Noma tighter but then he realized it must be Keoki. Just incase he was wrong he left Noma where she was and cautiously approached the door, opening it slowly, relief flooding him when he was Keoki.
Keoki hugged him, relieved he was safe â€śwhereâ€™s Noma?â€ť Keoki asked with pain in his voice. Nephi moved to allow them in then pointed to where he had left her. Keoki went over, knowing he should rather than Wolfric. Keoki carefully picked her up and once Wolfric could really see her his heart trembled with emotion â€śwhat happened?â€ť He asked in disbelief as he took in his little girl. Nephi wiped at his face â€śI donâ€™t know but whatever Mauli put her through she shifted. I mean I didnâ€™t see her shift but Mauli says she did. Sheâ€™s ready to burn her, Noma gave her what she wanted so sheâ€™s ready to throw her awayâ€¦She tried to tell me she was already dead but she isnâ€™tâ€¦I can hear itâ€¦only a little but her hearts beatingâ€ť
â€ścan I hold her Keoki?â€ť Wolfric asked, trying not to cry too hard. She was so little, how could anybody leave her looking like that. Nephi looked a little concerned and Keoki assured him â€śthis is one of my dads. They want to help her. They wont let anybody hurt us again. We need to trust them Nephi. Noma doesnâ€™t stand a chance of growing up without themâ€ť Nephi nodded and Keoki carefully handed her over. â€śshould we wait here for Merle dad?â€ť Keoki asked and Wolfric shook his head â€śweâ€™re getting Noma out of here. Once Merle sees we have her heâ€™ll subdue Mauli and weâ€™ll leave, if he hasnâ€™t subdued her alreadyâ€ť
Wolfric had Mauli cornered. Lombard was guarding the exit and Fatima had her gun drawn and was ready to shoot in case she even thought of heading back down the hall. Merle stalked slowly towards her, teeth bared. â€śGive up.â€ť Fatima said. â€śYou canâ€™t force us to forget, especially Merle, the wolf wonâ€™t let him, so just give up or we will kill you.â€ť
â€śWhy canâ€™t you understand? Iâ€™ve given them children, Iâ€™ve done something no one else has done.â€ť
â€śIt doesnâ€™t matter if youâ€™ve cured some deadly disease, murdering innocent children is wrong.â€ť
Merle growled as he jumped on her and he clamped down on her arm as she brought it up to defend herself, angrily shaking his head and ripping her skin open so blood splattered all over the place. She pulled her hand away and his mouth was at her throat, his teeth pressing threateningly. It was a warning for her not to move or he would kill her. He could hear and smell Wolfric coming back and Fatima looked over her shoulder as her son came out cradling a small, beaten little girl.
â€śWe have her baby, you just get them out of here.â€ť She said.
â€śWhat are you going to do with all of herâ€¦research?â€ť Keoki asked.
â€śTurn it over to someone who will actually use it for good.â€ť
Keoki nodded and Lombard gave him the keys to the car. â€śGet her to the hospital, weâ€™ll call Rick for transportation.â€ť
â€śYou guys be careful.â€ť Wolfric said. â€śIâ€™ll see you at the hospital
It felt like an eternity to get back to their vehicle. Wolfric and the boys were terrified sheâ€™d quit clinging to life before they got her somewhere. When they finally arrived at the car Wolfric had Keoki get in the passenger seat then handed him Noma. Nephi had settled in the back and they were on the road again as quickly as possible. â€śfor future reference son do you know how to drive?â€ť
â€śshe taught me but you know the outside world better than I do so Iâ€™m glad youâ€™re drivingâ€ť It comforted Keoki how distressed Wolfric looked over Nomas state. It gave him more confidence his parents really did care about them and would let them live a real life. He hugged Noma to him as he hoped she would be a part of that life. â€śyouâ€™re so close Noma. Hang onâ€ť he whispered to her. Wolfric would have loved to take Noma back home but they were too many hours away, it was too risky so they drove to the nearest hospital. Once she was stable they could get picky about who was taking care of her.
They parked and rushed inside, Keoki holding tight to Noma while Wolfric hastily filled the woman at the desk in about the situation. There was a lot of beings there waiting to be seen but Noma was taken back quickly, Wolfric, Nephi and Keoki following since Wolfric had already told her theyâ€™d be coming. He knew Keoki and Nephi wouldnâ€™t have been able to handle letting strangers take her out of sight. He thought a lot of the fact they were able to trust anybody at all just based on what little he knew about them and their life.
The medical staff wanted to see if Keoki and Noma were truly Wolfrics since the story sounded so crazy. Even in todays world it was a bit mind blowing to think that you might not need two genders to create a baby. They drew blood from Wolfric and the kids, telling him theyâ€™d give him an answer for sure as soon as they could. â€śI know you two are ours Keokiâ€ť He looked over at Nephi â€śMerle and I are going to find your parents but youâ€™re welcome with us and even if you do end up being with them weâ€™ll make sure you see Noma and Keokiâ€ť
â€śHowâ€™re you going to find them. I know for a fact they arenâ€™t in this worldâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m sure somewhere in that building we took you from thereâ€™s information about whereâ€ť
â€śdo youâ€¦do you think theyâ€™ll want meâ€¦â€ť
â€śYes, Merle and I are overjoyed. I canâ€™t even imagine them not wanting youâ€ť
Merle moved back and let Lombard haul Mauli to her feet when Rick finally arrived. He had a shotgun slung over his shoulder and gave Fatima a smile. â€śWell dang, I missed a party.â€ť
â€śDid you bring the big truck?â€ť
â€śYes maâ€™am.â€ť He pulled a set of cuffs of his belt and some very special restraints.” He tossed them to her and Fatima locked them around Mauliâ€™s wrists. â€śI couldnâ€™t get it all the way up here, but itâ€™s close enough.â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s fine.â€ť Fatima patted Mauli down, pulling out a set of keys.
â€śMust be to her research.â€ť Lombard said.
â€śWeâ€™ll send people back, letâ€™s just get her locked up so we can check on the kids.â€ť
When Merle, Lombard and Fatima were done handling Mauli they went straight to the hospital Wolfric had told them he was at with her. They found Keoki alone with her and Noma still barely holding on to life. She had been cleaned up and bandaged so she looked better but her heartbeat was still so faint. While Merle asked Keoki where Wolfric was Fatima couldnâ€™t resist walking over to their new grandchild and gently caressing her face â€śWolfric is getting Nephi something to eat. Apparently when he woke Mauli already had taken Noma away and whatever she was doing with her caused her to not think about feeding Nephi todayâ€ť
â€śyou poor babiesâ€ť Fatima was still looking at Noma. Lombard asked â€śwhatâ€™re they saying about Noma?â€ť
â€śNot a lot yet beyond but they did confirm our DNA is from Merle and Wolfric. I mean they confirmed hisâ€ť
â€śI know youâ€™re both mine without any tests done hereâ€ť
â€śThats what Wolfric said but he humored themâ€ť
â€śHowâ€™s Nephi doing, emotionally, do you know?â€ť Fatima was now looking at Keoki â€śI think heâ€™s going to be okay. Wolfric assured him that even if he ends up living with his parents that heâ€™ll still see usâ€ť
â€śOf course, you all have to feel like siblingsâ€ť
â€śyeahâ€ť Fatima walked over and hugged Keoki who was slow to hug back but he did. He had just been surprised. â€śyou looked like you needed itâ€ť
â€śI just wish sheâ€™d wake up. Iâ€™ve seen her creations just shut down too many times andâ€¦I just love Noma so much and it will be especially cruel if she dies now, before she knows she was freed from Mauliâ€ť
When Wolfric finally returned, Merle immediately pulled him into a tight hug. Wolfric let out a sigh and relaxed into his mate. â€śIâ€™m so glad youâ€™re all safe.â€ť He pulled back. â€śDid you get her locked up?â€ť
â€śYeah, the kids are safe and sheâ€™ll never hurt anyone again.â€ť
â€śThank goodness.â€ť They went over and stood next to the bed. â€śSheâ€™s so weak, she has to make it Merle.â€ť
â€śShe will, Iâ€™ll spend every last penny I have before I let her slip away. Sheâ€™s our baby,â€ť he reached over and rested his hand on Keokiâ€™s shoulder, â€śyou both are.â€ť
â€śWhen do you think we could go look for my parents?â€ť Nephi asked.
â€śWhen youâ€™re ready.â€ť Wolfric answered.
â€śWeâ€™re going to have someone go through all of Mauliâ€™s research and see if they can find their exact location.â€ť Fatima added.
Noma was completely healed of her wounds two days later and the doctors there decided she could now be flown to any hospital Wolfric and Merle wanted so they had her moved close to their home. It was there Merle got into contact with the professionals he wanted working with Noma. He was willing to pay for anything to have her cared for and looked at by the best so whatever they wanted of him, weather it be an expensive hotel to stay at our ridiculous amounts of money he paid it and got her set up. They waited another seventeen days for one of her doctors to enter with a means of waking her up. â€śMerle, Wolfric, I canâ€™t promise this will do what Iâ€™m hoping it will but Iâ€™m very very sure. As sure as someone can be working in uncharted waters. I just need your permission to tryâ€ť he had the needle ready and as much as it scared them they allowed him to inject her. They watched eagerly and their hearts sank again when she still laid there.
It was a few hours later when she opened her eyes, first seeing Lombard who had come to visit again. She gasped and moved her head to look for Nephi or Keoki. They were there, Wolfric had gotten them from home just incase the doctors idea had worked. Nephi hurried over to her, climbing up on her bed â€śitâ€™s okay Noma. Keoki found your family.â€ť he pointed at Lombard â€śthatâ€™s your grandpaâ€ť he then showed her Fatima and then her parents. She seemed more taken in by Wolfric at first who just smiled gently at her. â€śhe does look a lot like Keoki huh?â€ť Nephi said and Noma nodded â€śso you know he found the right guys. This family loves you, us. Weâ€™re going to be safe now. You donâ€™t have to be scaredâ€ť
She lifted her hand â€śwhats this?â€ť
â€śitsâ€™ something theyâ€™ve been using to keep you healthy. Itâ€™s an IVâ€ť
â€śI donâ€™t like how it feels in my handâ€ť
â€śwell maybe they can take it out nowâ€ť she looked over at Merle who was already moving to the door. The same doctor came back â€śIâ€™m so happy to see you awake Noma. You have really pretty green eyesâ€ť
â€śdoes she still need this?â€ť Nephi pointed to the IV â€śI think we can do without it as long as sheâ€™s awakeâ€ť
â€śdoes this mean she can be home with us now?â€ť Wolfric asked and the doctor said â€śIâ€™d feel more comfortable with her being here atleast through tomorrow. Then she can go home but weâ€™ll still need to see her. I more treated a symptom, not the cause. Weâ€™re still reading through all of Maulis research and coming to understand Keoki, Nephi and Nomas bodies. I need time to figure out why some shut down while others, like Nephi and Keoki thrive.â€ť
â€śWe understand, thank you.â€ť
Wolfric turned back to Noma. â€śIâ€™m sorry you have to go through more treatments, but know we only want you better.â€ť
â€śI know, thank you.â€ť She snuggled into Nephi, her eyes filling with tears. â€śNephi, weâ€™re free, weâ€™re really free and they want us.â€ť
â€śOh baby, of course we do.â€ť Wolfric couldnâ€™t help but move to sit by her and Merle stood at his side, his hands resting gently on his shoulders. Wolfric took her hand and she squeezed it.
â€śYouâ€™re all going to have a real life now.â€ť Merle said.
Noma spent the rest of that day and the next in the hospital and everyone was happy that her color and energy had improved. They made sure to make another appointment for her and promised to make note of any changes in her. Wolfric and Merle got the kids moved in and Fatima and Lombard volunteered to locate Nephiâ€™s parents for him so Wolfric and Merle wouldnâ€™t have to leave them.
Their first night at home Wolfric woke in the night to find Merle gone. Wolfric got up and quietly walking to Nomas room, guessing he was there. Sure enough he was standing outside the door of her room. Wolfric smiled at him and Merle moved to hug Wolfric â€śIâ€™m just a little worried about herâ€ť
â€śsheâ€™s going to be okay, you were more sure of that than me when we were searching for herâ€ť
â€śI know, I just needed to check on her. I need the doctors to tell me I donâ€™t have to worry about her anymoreâ€ť
â€śLove is an amazing thing Merle. Maybe all she needed was parents who love her. Sheâ€™ll be okayâ€ť Merle held Wolfric a little tighter then kissed his head â€śwell lets get back to bed so we arenâ€™t tired when they wake upâ€ť
~ The End
“What do you mean he escaped?” Johnny asked, his voice shaking with fear and anger.
“Some of his lackeys attacked the transport van and busted him out.” Evander explained. “He’s sworn revenge on you for ruining him.”
Johnny’s heart was beating overly fast in his chest and he felt sick to his stomach. He couldn’t let this happen again, not to Bella. “What do we do?”
“We’re going to be moving you and Bella to a safe house. The whole precinct is behind you as well as the F.B.I. I promise we’ll keep you safe.” He placed a reassuring hand on Johnny’s shoulder. “I sent a couple of guys to pick up Bella and explain to her boss what’s going on. We’re going to have one of our officers go undercover as a teacher in case Hollins sends someone there.”
“Evander, I can’t lose Bella.”
“I know and you won’t.”
The front door opened and Bella walked in followed by two police officers. She went immediately to Johnny who crushed her to him. “Shh, it’s okay baby.”
“No it’s not, this is my fault.” His voice cracked and she rubbed his back.
She kissed his cheek then pulled back far enough to look at Evander. “What about Erin and Athena?”
“Your sister’s going to be staying with me. She didn’t take to kindly to me telling her she wasn’t going to be opening the dance studio until this blows over. I thought she was going to hit me.” He rubbed the back of his neck and cleared his throat. “Our mother is already on a plane heading for Montana where our uncle lives.”
“Good then we’ll get to packing.” Johnny looked upset the whole time they were throwing what they needed into a suitcase. Bella zipped the suitcase closed and grabbed his hands. “Please stop making that face, it’s breaking my heart.”
“I won’t let him have you Bella, I’ll kill him before he touches you.”
“I mean it Bella, I love you too much to lose you, I’ll die without you. There is no way I would ever be able to get back up if something happened to you.”
She hugged him. “Okay baby, I understand. Just know I’m right here if you need me.”
“I know, I love you.”
“I love you too, lets let Evander take us to the safehouse.”
He nodded and lifted their bag, tightly, almost painfully holding Bellas hand with fear. She wished he wouldn’t be so terrified but he could hardly be blamed for having so much worry. She was scared herself despite all the protection they would have. Not that Johnny wouldn’t protect her until his final breath but she didn’t want him to have to or go through loseing a loved one yet again. There was no way one mans heart could handle a blow like that twice. In the car Johnny had one arm around Bella with the other more gently holding her hand. It was easier to feel secure in a car for whatever reason.
The safe house was out of town, a cottage made of stone with a single loft bedroom and a small pond out back. If it had not been for the two black, unmarked cars parked out front and Johnny’s fear, Bella would have been able to enjoy it. They got out of Evander’s police cruiser and he escorted them inside. One of the agents who had been waiting outside stepped in behind them and they all three looked at him questioningly. “I was ordered to give you this.” He said and held out a cell phone.
Johnny took it from him. “What’s it for?”
“My number as well as the numbers of the other three agents outside are programmed into it as well your brother’s number. It would be best if you shut off your phones until we resolve this issue.”
“You think he might try tracking my phone?”
“It’s a possibility.”
“Alright.” He took out his cell and switched it off then opened the back and pulled out the battery. Bella did the same with hers and he put both of them in one of the drawers. “Anything else?”
“All the numbers are set to speed dial. One through four are us agents, five is your brother. If you need anything please tell us.”
“Where will you all be staying?” Bella asked.
“We have an RV set up in back.”
“Good, I guess I didn’t see it.”
“Don’t worry about it and my name is Matty. Jordan and Gerald both have blonde hair, but Jordan’s eyes are blue, Paul’s the last guy. If you can’t remember our names that’s fine, just come talk to me and I’ll get you what you need or help you if you need it.”
“Thank you.” He gave Bella a polite smile then left them alone.
“If you two find that they’ve become a pain in the ass then call me.” Evander said. “I’ll only be getting an earful from Erin about ordering her to come stay with me.”
“If she gives you too much trouble tell her I said it would kill me if anything happened to her and I gave you the okay to do whatever you had to too protect her. The guilt trip alone will help her cool off.”
“thanks, hopefully she’ll enjoy time with me eventually”
“you’re sweet, I’m sure she will” Evander gave his brother a brief hug “stay safe”
“we will” They went inside, finding it to be just as cute and comfortable as it was outside. “we should stay in a cottage somtime as something fun after all this” Bella suggested. Johnny pulled her into his arms “anything you want”
“it’s going to be okay” she said softly. He stood there silently holding her until she eventually said ‘I’m sorry but I am going to pee myself if you don’t let me go to the bathroom”
“sorry sweetheart” he said then let her go so she could find the bathroom. He wanted to follow but he knew smothering her constantly wasn’t going to do anything but annoy her.
He paced back and forth worrying constantly about Bella’s safety. He didn’t care if he died as long as she was safe. “Johnny.” He froze, his eyes jumping to Bella’s face.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize you had come back.”
She crossed over to him, her arms going around his neck. “It’s going to be okay.”
“Not if the same thing happens to you, I’ll die without you.”
“Hush, I’m not going anywhere.” She pulled him into a kiss and he crushed her to him.
“I love you, I love you so much.” He said, his voice cracking a little. He buried his face in her hair, let his lips brush her neck so her pulse quickened. “I don’t think I could keep myself from following you, they have to have me committed.”
“Johnny, don’t talk like that.”
“You saw me before, saw how broken I was.” She leaned back and kissed him again.
“Come upstairs with me and lets just forget about this for awhile. I want you to focus only on me and not worry so much, you’ll run yourself into the ground.”
“okay’ he said then allowed her to guide him to their room. She wasted no time once the door was closed. Bella stripped off her clothing then started helping Johnny with his, making sure to sensually rub him as she slipped off each piece. Once done she said “lay down and let me massage you” he laid on his stomach and she carefully worked each of his tightly wound muscles. “I knew you’d be tight from all this stress” she said then kissed between his shoulder blades. “I love you” he said again “I love you too” Bella answered then allowed her hands to move to his lower back. She worked him until her arms and hands started to ache then flipped him over.
No matter what was going on Bella didn’t know a man who could think while receiving a blow job. She started letting her warm tongue slide up him and over his sensitive tip. She teased and sucked until it became almost rock hard before sliding him down into her throat. “Bella” he moaned. She felt herself grow wet, always getting excited when he moaned her name. She worked his rod until he streamed poured down her throat as he found his climax. “Oh Bella” he said softly. She started raining kisses on his stomach, traveling up to his chest.
Her lips touched his and he flipped her beneath him, his hands on her knees, pushing her legs further open. His tongue dueled with hers, his teeth bit her lower lip then nibbled at her chin so she gave a little shiver of delight. He licked and bit down her body, pausing at her breasts before moving over her abdomen and between her legs. “Johnny.” Her voice trembling as he feasted on the sweetness between her thighs, making his shaft grow hard once more. His tongue probed deep, swirling around until her legs shook and her voice came out in a whimper. Her back arched off the bed, her cry more of a scream as her insides quivered with pleasure. “I need you Johnny, please hurry.” He sometimes hated to admit that he liked when she begged, the way her voice sounded and how lustfully she looked at him made him weak.
He raised up on his knees, his fingers gripping her hips as he speared her, a loud moan slipping past his lips when she clamped down around him. He pulled her legs over his shoulders as he leaned forward and captured her lips with his, wanting to catch her every little whimper and cry as he thrust into her. She gripped his arms, his every movement driving her wild as he found the spot that gave her the most pleasure and stayed there. Her nails dug into his biceps as she felt herself being driven closer to the edge. Their equal cries of ecstasy parted their lips as her insides danced around his shaft and he spilled his seed within her confines. He dropped her legs to the bed, raining kisses over her face and letting his fingers run lovingly through her hair.
“I love you Bella.” He said softly then pressed a kiss to her lips.
“I love you too baby, so much.”
He smiled and laid next to her, his heart still going a million miles an hour as he pulled her into his arms. He suddenly chuckled and she looked up at him inquiringly. “Sorry, it’s just you probably scared those agents. You were pretty loud.”
She blushed. “It’s your fault.” She bit his chest, making him jump. “Besides you muffled most of it.”
He kissed the top of her head. “Don’t be mad, I love your sounds.”
“You’ll just have to make up for being a butt head after we’ve caught our breath.”
He smiled. “Someone’s hungry.”
“Is it a crime?”
“If it is then it’s the best kind and I don’t mind breaking the law for it.”
Bella smiled back blissfully. She was glad she could so easily distract and relax him. If she had to have sex with him multiple times every day to keep him from stressing she had no problem with that, not when he always made her experience heaven. Catching their breath they melted into eachother, soaking up the warmth and love radiating from their bodies. Round two was just as passionate and a smidge more romantic. They drew eachother over the edge until they once again needed a breather from eachother passion. It was after the fourth time they couldn’t help but fall asleep.
While sweet dreams brought on by the throws of love filled Bellas head only nightmares found Johnny. Bella woke to him sobbing, drenched in sweat. “baby” she said and held him in return. “Nightmares” was about all she could make out and that word was all she needed to understand to know why he was so upset “it’s all going to be okay Johnny”
She did her best to take his mind off his worst fear with her warm kisses and gentle touch, but it stayed there in the back of his mind, getting worse by the minute. By the time sunlight filtered through the window, he was exhausted. Bella had fallen back asleep and he felt bad for keeping her up so late. She had been such an angel, always there when he was kept awake by his nightmares. He kissed the top of her head, deciding to cook her breakfast so she could just rest. He slipped slowly out from under her and pulled the covers up to her chin. “Love you.” He whispered and pulled a pair of shorts out of their suitcase. He tugged them on the headed downstairs, rummaging through the pantry until he found coffee. He was going to need it. He put on a pot then went through the fridge, seeing that the F.B.I. had managed to stock up on the food they liked. No doubt Evander had had a hand in that since he wanted them to be as comfortable as possible.
He pulled out bacon and eggs, getting them going in separate skillets then making himself a cup of coffee. He took a sip, feeling more awake. The smell of food and being alone woke Bella. She blinked to clear her vision then slowly sat up and stretched. She smiled as she got out of bed and pulled a baggy t-shirt and shorts on. Johnny was concentrating so hard on his worry that he didn’t know Bella was there until she touched his shoulder. He jumped nearly dropping his coffee and she gave a little giggle. “Sorry baby, are you okay?” She said as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Yeah, sorry I’m so jumpy.”
“It’s okay love, I understand.” She kissed him. “You should have woke me.”
“You took care of me enough, it’s my turn now.”
He pulled out a chair for her then made her a cup of coffee before finishing with breakfast. “this is so sweet” she said with a smile as he put her plate down then took the chair nearest to her. “you have to be tired because of me.”
“not because of you. Its that monsters fault. You have nightmares for a reason”
“I know but not every woman could deal with someone as damaged as me…I just..you know I like to make sure you know I appreciate it Bella” Bella leaned over and kissed his cheek “because you’re a sweet man.” she took a bite of her food and smiled at him. He gave a tense smile in return but it was still a smile so it made her happy. She hoped that maybe she could get him to take a nap a little later. When she was done they both took care of the dishes then Bella stated “I want to try the shower here. Come on”
“Okay” he said following her to the bathroom.
Johnny couldn’t help but stare as the warm water sluiced over her. She was always so beautiful no matter what she did. She could be covered in mud and he would still think her the most gorgeous creature in the world. She gave a contented little sigh and he wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, giving her a kiss on the neck. She gave a little laugh, the sound musical and making his heart flutter. “How are you feeling?” He asked softly.
“A little sore, but other than that I’m fine, I feel amazing.”
“Don’t be, I’m happy.”
“I wish I could get over this fear for you.”
She turned in his arms and slipped her own around his neck. “Johnny, I love you scars and all. I know there will be times when you can’t help but cling to me and follow me around, I know you’re afraid I’ll disappear one day or that you’ll wake to find yourself alone, I understand and accept those worries because I love you more than anything. Just know that I’ll never leave you, that I’ll be there for you forever, that there is nothing that will keep me from you.”
He hugged her tighter, his forehead pressing against hers. “You are such a miracle.” She kissed his lips then pulled away to grab the soap, squeezing some into her hand then lovingly washing him. She talked about lighter things, engaging him in conversations from buying a place like this for camping trips to having children. Even through his worry she could see the idea of children made him happy. He took his turn washing her then they rinsed and got out. He seemed lost in his thoughts as he dried them both, his fear being pushed aside by more important things it seemed.
whats got your mind so wrapped?” She asked as she tugged up a pair of panties “Kids”
“I think four is a good number” Bella said and Johnny smiled “Me too”
“not too early to start” she said with a hint of suggestion in her tone. “really?”
“If you want, we can start right now. Truly we started last night” His smile widened “when your girlfriend has an insatiable appetite for you” he teased “uh huh” she said then hooked her bra. He stopped her as she was about to pull jeans on “let me look at how beautiful you are just a bit longer” she kissed his cheek and dropped her pants “the bra and panty set can come off again too if you like”
“see, insatiable” his smile was smug, hansome, she loved it.
After another wild love making and a quick rinse off, they both dressed and stepped outside. They both nearly jumped out of their skin when they caught an agent standing next to the door out of the corner of their eye and he apologized for startling them. “You must be Jordan.” Bella said and he nodded with a smile.
“Yes, nice to meet you.”
“You and the others were okay out here last night right?”
“Good, um I was wondering if maybe Johnny and I could go for a walk?”
“Hold on just a second.” She could see he had an earpiece and giggled as she compared him to agents you’d see on TV. He looked back at her. “Matty says he’ll accompany you if that’s okay.”
“Of course, whatever keeps us safe.” Bella would agree with anything as long as it gave Johnny peace of mind. Matty showed up a couple of minutes later, smiling warmly at them both. Both of them were glad to have gotten such good natured bodyguards.
Matty gave them all the space he could as he watched them on their walk. Johnny and Bella noticed and felt lucky yet again they had such thoughtful body guards. “the air out is so nice today isn’t it?” Bella asked after taking some in. “yeah, its good you suggested this. We probably wont be out atall by my own suggestion” Bella squeezed his hand “I know, try not to give yourself grey hairs”
“Gray hair makes men look hotter”
“well you’ll look hot even bald”
“baldness does not run in my family thank god” Bella laughed at his response. They kept talking until Matty said “I’m sorry guys but I cant let you two go further. We need to head back. You dont have to go in though. If you want to go back then start over I’m fine with that”
“Oh no, we’ll just go in. Thank you”
The walk back was just as enjoyable as the walk out and they thanked Matty as they stepped inside the cottage and closed the door. The phone Johnny had been given went off and he quickly fished it out of his pocket and slid his finger across the screen to unlock it when he saw his brother’s name. “Hello?”
“So there you are.”
He froze at the voice, his heart seeming to stop.”Baby who is it?” Bella asked, seeing his sudden fear.
“Is that your wife Jonathan? Should I do to her what I did to that other little slut?”
“Worried about the little brother? Perhaps this will comfort you.” He heard movement and then heavy breathing.
“Evander?” Johnny said in a cracked voice.
“Don’t worry, Erin’s not here, sorry I was too weak.” His brother screamed then coughed.
“I think that kick broke his ribs.”
“What do you want?” Johnny asked angrily.
“I want to destroy you Jonathan, I want you crawling on hands and knees like a dog, I want you begging for mercy, I want to drive you insane. Come to me and I might just let your brother live, refuse to comply and I’ll let my men play with him before cutting him into pieces and sending them to your mother.”
“Where it all began.” Evander’s phone hung up and Johnny stood there with his held to his ear, rage bubbling up inside him.
“Johnny?” Bella grabbed his face and he looked down at her.
“They have Evander.”
Her hands went to her mouth. “Oh my god, is Erin…?”
“Not there, he must have sent her away.”
“What are we going to do?”
“He wants me. I need to talk to Matty.”
“I can’t leave Evander, you know that love. You’d want to go if it was Erin” Bella nodded and Johnny took Bellas hand to tug her to Matty with him. Even though he knew that bastard wasn’t here he still didn’t want Bella alone. He could have easily sent someone that was just waiting on the opportunity to snatch her up. Matty could easily see the couple was upset “whats wrong? Whats happened?”
“he called the cellphone you gave me. He has Evander”
“what did he say?”
“That he wants me to go back to where this all began. He’ll kill my brother if I dont go”
“You know what will happen if you go there.”
“He’ll make me watch him kill Evander, then he’ll find my mother, Erin, and then finally Bella. That’s why I need your help.”
Matty sighed. “What do you need?”
“I want you and that Jordan guy to come with me. You can save my brother while I distract them.They’ll be so focused on me that they won’t see you coming.”
“But what about you?” Bella asked, her fingers gripping his shirt.
“I’ll be fine baby.”
“They’ll hurt you.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I know, but you’ll just have to trust that I’ll come back to you. Besides, as soon as they have Evander, they can call in the cavalry.”
She gripped tightly to his shirt, terrified for his safety. “You always talk about what would happen if you lost me, but you have to know I would be lost without you. I love and need you very much.”
“I know baby and I promise not to die.”
Bella let out a shakey breath as she fought with stress and tears. She knew this had to be done and she feared for Evander but it didn’t help with her sky high stress levels. “Is there any gingerale in the fridge?’ she asked since it helped her calm down for whatever reason. “yes, Evander made sure we bought some for your nerves”
“why don’t you go grab one while we talk about whats going to happen okay” Jonathan said and Bella agreed it would be hard to listen to what danger he was about to be in and the state of Evander. She walked in, grabbed a soda can then chugged down some ginger ale “everybody’s going to be okay” she told herself. She had to keep telling herself that to cope.
When she came back Matty was helping Johnny put an ear bud in and explaining how it worked. He told him they should have a safe word so Johnny would know when they had Evander. “Make it Bella then.” Johnny said and Bella’s cheeks warmed. He always seemed to be thinking of her, even in such a dire situation.
“Are you sure about this?” Bella asked him and he pulled her into his arms.
“Very sure.” He stroked her cheek and kissed her lips. “Just don’t be surprised if I come back a little bruised.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be comforting me?”
“I would never lie to you about something so dangerous, you have the right to know what might happen to me as well as what I’m going to face.”
“Hewlin Childress is sadistic. He has no morals and will do whatever it takes to get a job done. He gets off on inflicting pain and watching his subordinates inflict pain. He’s going to have me beat up, but as soon as Evander is safe and Matty’s back up has arrived, I’ll fight back.” She hugged herself to him and he stroked her back. “I promise to come home baby, we have to get started on our family.”
She gave a little laugh. “You have such a one track mind, pervert.”
“Sorry, but it’s good to see even a little bit of a smile.”
“We should get going.” Matty said. “Jacob’s waiting in the car.”
“Okay.” He kissed her lips. “Stay here and stay safe, don’t go anywhere without one of the other agents.”
“I love you so much”
“I love you too John” She stood there until she couldn’t see the car anylonger then went inside. She asked an agent “are there any books?’
“yes, follow me” he took her to a small bookshelf then sat down in the nearby chair. Bella read the backs until she found one that she hoped would atleast semi keep her mind from worry. She sighed and sat in the rocking chair that wasn’t far atall from the agent she guessed wasn’t leaving her side. She began the thriller she had selected while Johnny both nervously and angrily headed to the source of his nightmares. He wasn’t going to have his brother or his Bella. This bastard was dieing or going back to jail where he belonged.
The warehouse where the worst trauma of his life had taken place, looked even more ominous now after being abandoned. No one had wanted to touch the place after finding out what the previous owner had done here. “This is close enough.” He said to Matty. “You two should get out and make your way around the back.”
“Why don’t you take my back up gun.” Jacob said.
Johnny shook his head. “They’ll pat me down, that’s also why I refused the vest.”
Matty sighed. “Well then don’t die in there, I would hate to have to tell that beautiful wife of yours that you went and got yourself killed.”
“She’s not my wife yet, but after this, she will be.”
Matty and Jacob got out of the car and Johnny climbed into the driver seat. He pulled up to the front of the warehouse, taking a deep breath as he switched off the ignition and got out. He left the keys in the driver seat then walked up to the front door. It opened before he could knock and two men pulled him in, pressing their guns into his back as they escorted him to the large area where they used to hang meat. There sitting in a chair, was the man who haunted his every nightmare. The icy blue eyes stared back at him, seeming to penetrate to the very core of his being. “How nice to see yo again Jonathan.”
“I can’t say the same Hewlin.”
“Search him boys, we don’t need him starting any trouble.”
“Where’s my brother?” Johnny asked as the two men patted him down.
“Oh would you like to see him. Very well. Boys, take him up to the office to see little Evander then bring him back here.” The two goons gave an obedient yes sir then forced him to the back of the warehouse and up a flight of stairs. When they opened the door, his heart slammed in his chest. Evander lay unconscious on the floor, his hands bound behind him, his face covered in blood and bruises. Johnny rushed to his side, dropping down on his knees and checking that he was still breathing and had a pulse.
“Evander, wake up.” His brother groaned and opened the eye that wasn’t swollen shut, giving Johnny a little smile.
“Knew you’d come…idiot.” He said, his voice raspy and full of pain. “Hurts to breathe…broke my ribs.”
“I know, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s nothing compared to the ass kicking I’ll give you…” he gritted his teeth as pain shot through his sides “damn…tell you later.”
“Just relax okay, everything’s going to be fine.” The two guards pulled him out of the room, slamming the door then hauling him back downstairs where his worst enemy was waiting.
“happy now?” Hewlin asked tauntingly as he wore a smug grin. “you fucking bastard” Johnny seethed. “There hasn’t been any fucking yet but who knows? Might just nab that sexy girlfriend of yours. That last woman I took from you had such a tight, amazing pussy. I bet Bellas is too. I bet she tastes amazing and has the most exciting screams. Maybe she even screams better than Lina. I’m getting hard just thinking about it” Johnnys heart raced with fury as he glared at Hewlin. It was silence until Hewlin said “what? No retorts?”
“I’ve got nothing to say to you…you sick fuck”
“really? I’d always imagined you’d have lots to say”
“you spent your prison time thinking about me?”
“you, that bitch and your new bitch”
“What waste, I never thought about you at all.” One of the men hit him in the stomach and Hewlin approached him with a little chuckle. He grabbed a handful of Johnny’s hair and made him look at him.
“I’m sure that’s not true. I could see the look in your eye when I talked about doing to Bella what I did to Lina. You thought about me every day. Did you suffer, did you wake up screaming?” He gripped Johnny’s chin. “You know, maybe I’ll have some of my men do to your brother what I did to your woman, what I’m going to do to sweet little Bella. Maybe I’ll let Evander live with the shame.”
“Fuck you.” He spit in Hewlin’s face.
Hewlin wiped his face. “Teach him a lesson.”
Hewlin went back to his seat while the two men proceeded to beat him, pulling a cell out of his pocket and calling someone. From the content of the conversation, it sounded like he was bringing more men in. Johnny curled up, protecting his head from their blows. A flash of black caught his attention and it only took him a moment to see that it was Matty and Jacob heading up to the office to save Evander. As soon as they had his brother clear of this place, he was going to beat Hewlin’s goons into the ground.
Bella got tired of her book and put it back on the bookshelf, beginning to pace as she worried. “Would you like me to get you something to drink ma’am?” Gerald asked.
“No, I’m fine, just worried.”
“It’s understandable. Maybe I could make you some tea.”
She chuckled. “Persistent aren’t you?”
“Sorry, I just know that stressing about a situation never makes it any better.”
She smiled. “Some tea would be great.”
He got up from his seat and went into the kitchen while she continued her pacing. He came out of the kitchen with two cups and just as he went to hand her one, the window shattered. He dropped the cups, tackling her to the floor and calling for Paul over his earpiece. He pulled a gun from the holster beneath his jacket then another from his ankle. “Go to the bathroom, lock the door and wait for me to come for you. Looks like that bastard sent some men after all.”
“How’d they find us?”
“Probably tracked Johnny’s phone when Hewlin called him.” He peeked over the window sill then ducked back down. “Go and hide in the bathroom.” He handed her the second gun. “Just pull back the hammer and it’s ready to fire.”
“Don’t you or Paul dare die for me, you understand.”
He smiled and winked. “We’re agents, we can handle a few gun toting morons.”
With that Bella did as she was told and bolted for the bathroom. She slammed and locked the door before sitting on the edge of the tub, nervously holding the gun. She had been to the shooting range a few times with Johnny but she didn’t feel ready for this. To use the gun or take a life to defend hers. Worry that she might misfire and end up shooting one of the men protecting her due to her lack of experience plagued her as she sat. If she survived this she wanted to be better with a gun. Bella planned on going much more frequently to the shooting range if Johnny would take her.
She heard shots fire in the cottage but since she couldnt see out there she didn’t know who shot who or if any shots actually landed. Next she heard fighting and grunts, causing her heart to go into overdrive “please don’t die” she started repeating in her heads. Those kind men undoubtedly had families, families that would never be the same without them. She heard someone approaching the door and gripped the gun tightly. It was the agents or the bastards and until she asked who was there there was no way of knowing which.
There was a tap on the door and she moved further back, pulling back on the hammer and pointed the gun at the door. “It…it’s me Bella.” She gave a sigh of relief at the familiar voice and pulled the door open. She was shocked to see him clutching his side and blood staining his shirt. “Oh my god Gerarld, are you okay?” She pulled his arm over her shoulders and helped him over to the couch. There was a man laying unconscious on top of the now broken coffee table. She helped him sit then ran to the bathroom and grabbed a rag. “Move your hand.” She ordered softly and he did so she could press the rag to his wound. “Where’s Paul?”
“Outside calling for back up.”
“Thank god. Have you heard anything back from the others?”
“No, but that’s not uncommon if they’re in the thick of things.” He grabbed the gun from her hand, making it to where it wouldn’t fire.
Johnny’s stomach, back and ribs hurt and he was glad that at least none of them felt broken. He had watched Matty and Jacob take Evander downstairs, had managed not to utter a word of joy at the fact that his brother was safe. “So Jonathan, I sent some of my men for your sweet Bella. They should be on their way back.” His heart skipped a beat.
“Johnny, whatever you’re going to do, do it now. Backup is on the way.” Matty’s voice said in his ear. He kicked one of the men in the knee then grabbed the ankle of the other. They both fell and he punched the first one in the face, grabbed his gun and took off running through the warehouse.
He heard Hewlin roar angrily as he and his men gave chase “get the fuck back here!” Hewlin cursed so loud John was sure he would damage his vocal cords. He wasn’t fully sure where he was running but he was out numbered and wanted to buy a little more time before he confronted them. He couldn’t risk dieing, not with Bella waiting him. Especially not now, not when he hadn’t told her he loved her so much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He found a stack of boxes to hide behind and slid there. When they passed he’d shoot and aim for the kill shot.
“Here Jonathan, be a good boy and come out. Don’t make us get little Evander.” Hewlin said.
“Jokes on you, Evander’s gone.” He yelled back, knowing it wouldn’t be enough to give away his precise location. He heard Hewlin order one of his men to go check on Evander.
“No matter if he’s gone or not, we’ll still have your precious little Bella to play with.”
He had to keep his cool, he knew if he lost it and stepped out, he could die in a hail of bullets. He heard the footsteps moving closer and his hands tightened on the gun. Hewlin’s goon was the first to come into view and Johnny shot him in the back of the head then took off running as Hewlin turned and fired at him. The bullet missed him, ricocheting off the floor. He sped around a conveyor belt, another bullet whizzed past him and he stayed low.
“You little bastard, do you have any idea what I’m going to do to you?”
“Why don’t you explain in detail, help me burn some time.”
He slid under the conveyor belt and moved in a crouched position down to the other end of the assembly line. He peeked over the edge, not seeing anyone so he ran across the room to another stack of boxes. He kept his ears open, knowing he might not get anther word from Hewlin and that he still had the other guy with him. He had to keep himself from worrying about Bella, had to have faith in the abilities of the agents guarding her. He couldn’t afford to be distracted.
As hard as Johnny had been listening Hewlin still took him by surprise when he kicked over the boxes Johnny was sitting behind. With cat like reflexes he quickly got up from under them and without hesitation blew off the other goons head and pointed his gun at Hewlin. His training was paying off and he was grateful for it. Now as they stood there with guns pointed at one another John didn’t think he would get to kill Hewlin this time. He might have to settle for the ass going back to jail but jail was better than him running free, ruining more lives and plaguing his own. “I hope you’re getting ass raped in prison” John said angrily and Hewlin laughed. “Nobody would dare touch me”
“I dont know, maybe thats why you escaped”
“shut up and get on your knees”
“Like hell I am”
“do it John”
“we’re gun to gun, you cant make me do anything” sure enough the FBI agents began to pour into the house. He didn’t get his revenge but Bella was unharmed and Evander was on his way to a hospital. He would be grateful for that outcome and not sulk over not getting the kill. Hewlin cursed and promised to escape again as he was shoved in the car. A female FBI agent came over to assure him “he’s going to a much higher security prison this time Johnny. He wont be coming for your family again” Johnny nodded, silently praying Hewlin was killed whereever he was going or made to be someones bitch so he’d know what rape felt like.
They took Johnny back to the cottage with Bella. He hadn’t known he wanted to cry until he had her in his arms and the tears stater pouring “Oh Johnny” Bella said and rubbed his back. John and Bella wanted to see Evander but the hospital wouldnt let him have visitors until the next day so the FBI agents just took them home after giving Bella and Johnny the hospital name and Evanders room number so they could go first thing tomorrow. John couldn’t sleep since he hadn’t gotten to see his brother yet so he just held Bella protectively, kissing her as softly as possible so not to wake her. He was grateful beyond measure that she had been unharmed in all this.
The next morning they took a shower, dressed then headed out the door. They planned to go to Hardees and buy biscuits to avoid the mess of cooking and save time. Once they were at the hospital they went straight for Evanders room, a little disappointed he was sleeping but they were both equally happy to see him breathing and being taken care of. They sat there for a few hours before Bella asked “can we go see my sister John? We can come back later. He’s probably just really drugged up still”
“Okay” he said then pushed himself out of the chair. They spent a few hours with Erin before returning to the hospital to see if Evander was awake. To their excitement he was. Bella rushed over to hug him but paused “oh, I’ll probably hurt you” Evander smiled “No, I’d like a hug. Just be gentle” Bella gave him what symbolized a hug since she was scared then Johnny did the same “how do you feel might be a stupid question but I’m going to ask it anyway”
“Honestly I cant feel much. It hurts like hell if somthing touches my ribs too hard but they have me on a decent amount of pain killers so in general I’m not feeling much”
“Good, can we get you anything?’
“Honestly they said they need to keep me for at least two more days. I have a DVD player in here so I’d appreciate it if you’d go home and get my folder of DVDs. TV sucks”
“I could go grab it while you visit Evander if you wouldn’t be too worried John” John thought about it a few moments then said “he’s back in jail. Just please hurry” Bella kissed him then went off. “I’m so glad to see her okay.” Evander said then John answered “Me too”
“she’s really amazing, so is her sister” John smiled at Evanders comment “yeah, dont tell but I’m going to be proposing to Bella soon”
“so you do have a brain, good”
“Shut up before I smack you.”
“Come on, don’t make me tell Bella you’re threatening an injured man. Oh and speaking of injured, I should injure you for bringing your dumb ass to that warehouse.”
Johnny grabbed Evander’s ear and yanked on it so he yelped. “Well maybe if you had been better at not getting caught, I wouldn’t have had to.”
“You’re such a jerk.”
“Shouldn’t you be saying something like, thanks Johnny for pulling my ass out of the fire, I would have been dead without you.”
Evander couldn’t help but laugh, ignoring the pain it brought and grabbing his brother’s hand. “Thank you Johnny, I couldn’t have asked for a better brother.”
“Same here and thank you for keeping Erin safe, I wouldn’t want to see Bella’s heart broken. How did you manage to keep her away?”
“I sent her a text asking her to buy me something from the store that doesn’t exist, I’m sure she spent quite a bit of time searching for what I wanted. She hasn’t come to see me yet, probably going to yell at me about risking my life.” He chuckled again. “At least I’ll be getting an earful from a beautiful woman.”
Bella was back a few minutes later with Evander’s DVDs and a bag of gummy bears. “I got you something soft to chew on.”
“Thank you Bella, you’re an angel.”
“want me to put one in?”
“Sure and you two get going. Looking at me isn’t going to make me any better and I’m not much of a host at the moment” Bella looked at Johnny “yeah, lets go. See you later punk” Evander told Bella what he wanted to watch then she put it in before leaving with her boyfriend. Johnny looked for the perfect time to propose to Bella over the following weeks until one day while they were having dinner with Evander and Erin Johnny just felt the best time to do it was right there with their siblings around. He pulled her chair out from the table then got down on one knee in front of her.
“Belle, you pulled me out of a really dark place I never thought I’d get out of. You’ve supported me through my nightmares and struggles and didn’t even leave me after a mad man came after us. I love you and I want to spend forever loving you. Please marry me” Belle teared up “yes, of course yes” John slid the ring on her finger and they embraced eachother. Erin fanned her face as she teared up and Evander clapped. Johnny just smiled, everything was back to normal and they were about to start a new and amazing chapter in their lives.
~ The End ~
Leola didn’t even try to look happy as she was fitted for her wedding dress. Her mother was tired of her sulking so snapped “stop acting like a child! Nester is a very handsome man with amazing abilities. You should be thrilled he is your chosen mate. Nester was overjoyed when he was told he was getting you. He’s even still happy after finding out how ungrateful you are for the pairing”
“Ungrateful mother? How am I supposed to be grateful to anybody? I want Acel”
“You will shut your mouth about him this instant. He is not good enough for you. You are beautiful and hes an ugly toad”
“God you and the rest of our race that is beautiful are so fucking full of yourselves and stuck up” Leola had more to say but her mother gave her a sharp slap “you will not raise your voice to me Leola. This has been the way of our world since the dawn of our time. The beautiful get paired with the beautiful to keep our race as pretty as possible. Its why the majority of us look so good. The uglies have it made really, they get to choose amongst themselves. You have a responsibility as I had and all the generations before. I didn’t choose your father but I like him a lot now”
“But I want love”
“grow up Leola. You are marrying Nester. Acel knows his place. I doubt being with you had even crossed his mind. Besides, I see how he flirts with Megan”
“He does not”
“I’ve seen it”
“Dont be a liar you heartless bitch” Leola received another cruel slap “I am your mother”
“yeah, a crappy mother who cant even find it in herself to care atall about how unhappy this makes me. You and father dont love eachother and you dont love me because of it. I’ll quit talking but nothing you do or say will make me pretend to be happy”
“The elders will get cross with you for upsetting the order. If you keep running your mouth you might taint other minds. This is whats best for our people!”
Acel could barely stock the shelves in the shop he owned his heart was aching so bad. He had begged and begged to be paired with Leola since she wasn’t allowed to choose for herself but all that had brought was laughter and cruel jabs from the rulers of their world. He had bragged about everything he had to brag about but nothing he said convinced them he was worthy of her. It stung even more he was convinced she loved him to. It was in the way she looked at him, how she lingered in hugs. He knew she felt the same and the heartless people that governed them wouldn’t allow them to be happy. They were far too vain for that.
He was too ugly for her hand in marriage and he knew unless they escaped their world there would be heavy consequences if he married her anyway. For one their rulers wouldnt acknowledge the marriage, two it was against the law to live with the opposite sex unless you were married or related, three they might face severe physical punishment. She could be hurt and that would be worse than being without her.
“You’re making that face again Acel.” Megan said as she counted the money for him. She often came by to help at the end of the day so he could get out faster. “Is it Leola?”
He sighed. “I can’t take it anymore Megan, you know I love her more than life itself. I need her.” His heart felt like it was being squeezed. “I can’t live without her, I hate this world. We need to escape or she’ll have to marry that…that idiot.”
“And she’ll be forced to produce an heir.”
“I can’t let that happen. I have enough money to help us get by for awhile, all we need is a way out.”
Megan finished with the money and walked over to help him finish with the cans. “I’ll help you and Leola, she’s been nothing but an angel and she deserves someone like you who actually loves her.”
“We’re friends, we’re supposed to help each other.”
Leola sat in her room and stared out the window, happy that her mother and the woman who had been working on her dress had left. She stared out over their world, wishing she could see the beauty in it, but unable to. She craved freedom with Acel, wished for it with all her heart and soul and would pay any price to get it. She buried her face in her hands as tears welled up in her eyes and wept, wishing she could grow wings and fly away from this prison.
When she heard her mothers call for dinner Leola wiped the tears away and braced for the glares and tension she would receive from her fathers side of the table. Her mother may not give a damn how she felt but the way her father had been was much harder to deal with. When he told her he wouldn’t speak to her until she “accepted her fate and stopped being a brat for the good of their race” he had meant it. Truthfully what he had to say to her he had been saying without words anyway. He was only in the same room as her when they ate and even then he wouldn’t utter a word, just glare and make her as uncomfortable as he could with his rage.
Tonight when she came to the table he did somthing he didn’t normally do. Vachel lifted his plate and walked towords their living room. She thought she would be spared his angry eyes but he looked at her quickly, groaned and shook his head before walking angrily out. When she sat down Leola asked ‘where is going?”
“I told him about your little tantrum concerning that disgusting looking man who owns the shop. I have half a mind to stop talking to you too. You are such a disappointment. We’re absolutely ashamed you’re our daughter. We should have never let you hangout with his kind. Our friends warned us about you associating with the underlings. Your father will be eating in the living room until you’re living with your husband. He says being in the same room even for meals is too much to take now”
“I don’t care anymore mom. I’m glad you hate me so much, it makes the sting of betrayal not hurt so much.”
“You will watch your mouth.”
In truth she wished her parents loved her, she wished her mother was someone she could confide in and she wished her father accepted everything about her. She felt cursed having such an unloving family and there had been times she had wanted to scar herself in hopes she would be seen as ugly and then her parents would disown her, but Acel had told her that hurting herself wouldn’t help. She wanted to run from this place, but knew she would be captured before she even made it out of the castle courtyard. She ate slowly, picking at her food, feeling more and more depressed with each passing moment.
When she was done she went straight to the room she had been given to stay in. Even the guest portion of the castle was breathtaking but she barely noticed or even cared she was going to be married to a future ruler. She just wanted a life with Acel but their looks had put them both on a different path in this world and the rulers would keep them apart, especially now that she was engaged to Nester. She had been in her room almost an hour when she heard knocking on her door. “Yes?” she said in a sullen tone. “are you decent?” Nesters voice asked. “Yes” she answered truthfully, he would have waited for her to dress anyway so may aswell not prolong him entering.
He stepped in, wearing his finest clothes and bearing flowers along with a new sun dress. The man didn’t even care that dresses urked her. “I collected these from the garden for you” he said as he walked over and handed them to her. She took the flowers and he saw she had been crying again. He sighed and held up her dress “I thought this would be pretty on you. Wear it for our party tomorrow. I’m also having some jewelry finished up tonight for you.” when she didn’t take it from him he walked over to her closet and hung it up.
He walked back to her and took Leolas hands to have her stand in front of him. “Leola, the seamstress told me of yours and your mothers fight. I understand you grew up as friends with Acel and you’ve grown attached to him but you are going to be my wife and the sooner you let go of your feelings for him the sooner you can be happy. You are going to be very happy as my bride. I can give you anything and I’m going to let you in on a little secret but you cant tell anybody. Even if you do my parents, myself and the other lords will deny it.”
“what is it?” she asked barely interested. He smiled and pulled her into a hug that she tensed in, especially when he moved so his lips were by her ear “I chose you” she shoved him away “but nobody chooses”
“The rulers get to. We just dont let the public know that. Unlike the other attractive members of our race who are matched on the likelyhood of breeding more beautiful babies we get to choose whoever we want and i’ve wanted you since I met you. I told my father the first day we hung around eachother I wanted him to give you to me but thats good for you. You will have a husband who wants you, want to know who your father wanted?”
‘it wasn’t your mother”
“it was her sister, your Aunt Sonna. When your parents were paired he asked to get Sonna instead but the rulers turned him down. Its hilarious watching him be so hypocritical with you. He didn’t want to marry someone he didn’t want to either but you have more of a will than him. He gave up pretty easily. Anyways, nobody but us gets who they want so be happy you’ll be with a man who actually wants you”
‘Acel wants me”
“Has he said it?”
“No but he doesn’t have to say it. I can feel it” Nester chuckled “Leola, don’t be stupid. he knows his place. He hasn’t even contested your pairing”
“He knows he’d be laughed at no doubt and it would do nothing. He’d fight for me if he knew he had the chance”
“How do you know all this without words?”
“I just do” Nester tried to close the distance but Leola started to back up. “Leola, you are going to be royalty. Most women would do anything to be you.”
“Then find someone else because I don’t want you and I will never love you. It’s not like you love me, people don’t make the ones they love unhappy so just go away.”
“Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
“You are just like all the rest, beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside. You and my parents are rotten inside.” She shoved him away. “I will not come to you willingly Nester, I’d rather die than be some breeder.”
He gave her a polite smile and straightened his shirt. “We will be married Leola so I suggest you get used to the idea of being my wife and everything that entails.”
He turned away, heading for the door. “I won’t be wearing that dress, I’m not your doll.” He opened the door and left and she flopped back down on her bed. She felt tears welling up in her eyes again and before she knew it she was crying.
Acel watched as the guards made their rotations. He had been studying their pattern and it always remained the same. He waited for the gap between the first and second pair then ran for the wall. It was old, with many cracks in it so it made it easy to climb. He hauled himself over the side, did a quick dash across the walkway and then dropped down on the other side. He knew this was dangerous, knew if he was caught sneaking into the castle to see Leola he would be in a lot of trouble, but he had to see her and tell her he was working on a plane to help her escape. Above all else he wanted her happiness and would gladly sacrifice himself for it.
Acel managed to get all the way to her door without detection. Security was far more lax than in other worlds since theirs never experienced war due to the whole thing being governed by one group of rulers. He silently pushed it open, glad it didn’t creak on him. It still caused Leola to quickly sit up and look at the door. She worried it would be Nester again but lit up when she saw it was Acel with a finger over his mouth. He shut the door and locked it behind him before running over to her “what’re you doing here?” she whispered. He smiled and cupped her cheek, letting his thumb slide over it “I’d rather say this more romantically but I cant stay here long. I love you Leola and I’ve thought for a long time that you love me too, am I right?”
Her bottom lip trembled with her heart “yes, tremendously.
“Meagan and I are working on a plan for you and I to escape this world. I have the money since my shop does well. You know if we stay here we can never be together, too many believe in our rulers horrible ways. We’ll be outed and horrible things will happen to us. I don’t know enough to tell you details now but I swear to you we’re leaving this world. We’ll be together no matter what I have to do Leola. I love you so much”
She kissed him briefly. He wished she hadn’t done that because now he wanted more but at least he had finally gotten the kiss he had wanted for so long. He would get more once he got her away from Nester and the rest of this horrible world. “You should go, you know my parents are staying here too”
“Unfortunately, but I had to see you, I had to let you know how much you mean to me and that I will set you free.” He took her hand and pressed it to his chest. “As long as this heart beats, I swear I will not give up until you are safe and happy.”
“Oh Acel, I love you.” She kissed him again, this time letting it linger for a bit. She wanted him to stay, but knew if he was caught in her room he would be severely punished. “Now go my love, I don’t want you to get hurt.” She said softly when she parted their lips.
“You stay safe and don’t give up, I will be back for you as soon as my plan has been set in motion. Pack a small bag and stash it away.”
“I will, now please go.”
He kissed her forehead and left as silently as he had come. She sat there staring at the bedroom door for a few minutes, wishing she could go with him now. She didn’t think she was going to be able to get back to sleep, so she decided to go ahead and pack her bag. She moved silently around her room, making sure to pack light. She grabbed a couple of pieces of her most expensive jewelry and put them in the bag too. Acel had said he had enough money for them, but she thought they should have a little extra just in case. She took the back and stuffed it under her bead then climbed back under the covers and stared at the moon.
As she had expected she was stuck awake all night thinking of Acel and dreading the day to come with Nester, luckily she didn’t have to see him until lunch. She skipped breakfast since she didn’t want her parents to see the hope in her that Acel had instilled the previous night. She wouldn’t be drained and furious at everything about this world until she was forced to spend more time with her husband to be. Her heart sank a little and she hoped Acel would be able to get her away before her wedding day.
Even if it was temporary she didn’t want to marry that self centered moron. It irked her the rulers were actually choosing who they got to be with while everyone else had to marry the person determined they’d have the highest chance of beautiful children with. The worst part is she knew even if she did try to tell the rulers would deny it and the people would be stupid enough to believe their rulers over her. Not when all the ugly hearted people liked being superior and walking all over the people not born with physical beauty.
Acel jumped up from his kitchen table when someone knocked on his door. He had been unable to sleep the previous night after seeing Leola and was still wired. He ripped the door open, surprising Megan. “Sorry, please come in.” He moved aside and she hurried into his house. He closed the door and they both sat down at the kitchen table. “Would you like something to eat or drink?”
“No, I’m fine. So, how is she?”
“She hates being there, but she’s ready to go when we are.”
“Good, I bring news.”
Megan smiled. “Yes, very good. I have found you a way out. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be hard to track you. There is a water dragon who lives in the forest who does favors for people for pretty things. He told me that if you bring him a gift he will gladly guide you through the tunnels beneath the river. He says there are many winding branches so it would be very hard for someone to catch up to you once you have disappeared below. He said he has to prepare supplies and can be ready the day before Leola’s wedding.”
He jumped up excited, rounded the table and hugged her. “Oh thank you so much, you are truly the greatest friend a person could ask for.” He pulled back to look at her. “Please tell him we will be there and that he must be ready to go the moment we arrive.”
“I will, I’m going to miss you two immeasurably but I’ll be happy knowing you guys are finally happy.” Acel frowned “You could run with us” Megan wore a small smile “I’d miss my family far too much. The system here sucks but unlike you I havent fallen in love with an attractive man and none have fallen for me so the system doesn’t effect me. I’ve always hated it for you two that you’ve never known a loving family like I have. It’s been nice to think about you two running and making your own family so you can finally experience how much joy a good family can bring. Promise me you two will protect your life together and never come back to see me. I’d never want you two to risk being torn apart, you have too much love between you”
Acel hugged her again “we can understand that. We’ll never forget our years of friendship with you or your help in giving us a life together Megan. My store is yours if you want it”
“yep, you help me all the time with it anyways”
“Please, it’s the least I can do and if you ever meet a handsome man who loves you in return feel free to come find Leola and I”
“You know i would. I’ll get going though and talk to the dragon so he knows to be waiting on you. Tell Leola I love her and that she’ll be missed if I dont get to talk to her before you run”
“I swear I will”
Leola sat in the corner of the room, not wishing to talk to any of the people who had gathered there. She didn’t care for any of them, wasn’t enjoying this stupid party. Her mother had forced her to wear Nester’s dress and jewelry and she hated it. “Leola, get up and mingle with our guests.” It was her mother, obviously tired of her sulking.
“I don’t want to.”
“Get up before I make you.”
She sighed, pushing to her feet and walking through the group. She forced herself to stop and chat with some of these people, faking a smile to please her mother. “You look beautiful.” A voice said in her ear and she shuddered as she spun around.
“Please keep your distance.” She said just loud enough he would hear.
He grabbed her hand. “Come now Leola, this will be a lot better if you don’t fight. I’m going to take care of you and give you all your heart desires.”
She snatched her hand away. “I desire to be away from this place.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Then you are a liar.”
“Leola.” It was her father. He had her arm in his grip and was pulling her away from the party before she could say another word.
“What do you want father, I thought we weren’t on speaking terms.”
“You will stop this nonsense, you will marry Nester, and you will learn to love him.”
“You mean the way you learned to love mom?” He raised his hand hit her and she screamed, “You loved Aunt Sonna.”
He froze. “Who told you?”
“Does it matter?” She swallowed the lump in her throat. “You are nothing but a hypocrite and a coward. I…I hate you.” She turned away and headed back to the party, knowing she couldn’t just walk out.
After her father got over the shock he seemed to revert right back into a glaring, silent asshole. He obviously didn’t care he was being a hypocrite or that he was a coward and gave up on who he loved when he was told he couldn’t have her.Even though she was leaving she wished he’d even be the father he was before they were told she was to marry Nester. Her parents had never merited parents of the year but it was better than how they were right now. She’d get a hug every now and then or maybe they’d actually spend some time with her as long as her grades were good and she wasn’t disappointing them in any other way but now she stayed in a constant state of making them angry and this time she couldn’t change for them, she loved Acel and no amount of glaring, yelling or hitting was going to make her give up on the man she loved, she would die before casting aside her love for him.
She could tell some of the guests thought horribly of her aswell but she didn’t care, she just wanted this party to be over and hoped after Nester would just leave her alone. Until they were married he had been giving her space in the wing they had given her family but she didn’t know how much longer her luck with that was going to last.
She felt disgusted when Nester put his arm around her waist. He whispered “behave and allow me to do this or I promise you’ll regret it later” She wasn’t sure what that meant but as long as his hands didn’t travel and he didn’t try to kiss her she could tolerate his repulsive touch to avoid whatever that meant since it could mean him punishing Acel instead of her.
Nester kept her by his side for the rest of the party, introduced her several people she didn’t know and didn’t care to know. It was excruciating, a disgusting display of his control. She would have found joy in the last guest leaving, but Nester insisted on walking her to her room. Her heart gave a leap of fear as he pulled her along. “Nester, I can walk by myself, besides my mother and father are going the same way so I don’t need an escort.”
“It’s not a problem Leola, I want to walk you.”
She swallowed down her worry, happy when they finally made it to her room. “Uh, thanks then.” He backed her up against her door and she planted her hands firmly against his chest. “Don’t.”
“Tomorrow is our rehearsal day Leola and I expect you to be on your best behavior. I want you to dress in something beautiful, the green dress is one of my favorites.”
“I told you I’m not a doll and I don’t love you. No matter what I will not give in to your demands. I only wore this monstrosity because my mother threw a fit and it was the only way to get her to stop yelling.”
“I’ve been patient my sweet, but if you keep pushing me I will punish you.” He stroked her cheek. “Do as you’re told and we’ll get along just fine.”
She glared at him as she jerked her face away. “Fine.” She found the door knob and pushed the door open, stepping back away from him. “Goodnight.” She shut the door and pressed her back against it, relieved when he didn’t try to come in.
Acel checked the time. He had to go and see her tonight, to let her know that it was nearly time and they would finally be free. He worried for her every second he was away from her, worried that Nester might hurt her since she was so strong willed. He grabbed his cloak and threw it around his shoulders then pulled the hood up. He ran into Megan when he opened his door, both of them looking surprised. “What is it?” He said under his breath.
“I just came to give you directions to the dragon’s lair.” She held out a piece of paper. “Are you off to see her?”
“Yes, to let her know to be ready.”
“Be safe Acel.”
Megan watched him run away nervously. “Don’t let him be caught” she said to the air. When he arrived at the castle he was just as stealthy and patient to get to her as last time. He needed to know she was alright but not at the cost of him getting caught and everything being ruined. His heart beat just a little easier when he arrived at her door and pushed it open. This time she didn’t wake so he quietly walked over and covered her mouth before whispering “Leola” She jumped but she didn’t scream like he expected he might. He took his hand from her mouth “sorry my love, I couldn’t risk you screaming”
Leola hugged him tightly “I understand Acel. I’m so glad you’re here again” he kissed her head then whispered “I just needed you to know tomorrow I’ll be getting you out of here but you need to be ready for me the second I come for you. A dragon is going to help us. I only have to give him somthing pretty”
“I’ve already packed. I could go even tonight”
“The dragon isnt ready for us or I’d take you right now. How was today? Has he done anything to you?” His face filled with concern as he asked “Not really but as much as I hate it you need to leave before you’re caught. We’re close to never being apart again or I wouldn’t rush you out” He smiled and softly kissed her “I love you and I’ll be back for you the second I can”
“I love you too Acel, deeply”
“Megan says she loves you and she’s going to miss you”
“I’m going to miss her too, tell her for me?”
She brought their lips together again and he almost didn’t have the strength to pull away. He wanted to feel the weight of her body next to his, to hear her soft breathing as she slept. He parted their lips and pressed his forehead against hers for just a moment before pulling away and leaving her room. He had to be patient, they were so close he wouldn’t ruin that by being selfish. His heart was beating harder than it ever had as he slipped out of the castle. He was so distracted by her that he almost didn’t notice the guards taking a break next to the wall and wound up having to walk further down. He knew tomorrow they would have to be quick, that Nester would be wanting to be with his bride to be, that her parents would be paying closer attention. She was defiant, the would be expecting her to do something.
“I don’t pray much, but please give us the speed and stamina and darkness we need to make our escape. I know they will more than likely be hot on out heels, but please let us get to the dragon and his tunnels.”
Leola stood staring out her window, watching the castle wall. She thought for a moment that she saw a dark shadow move swiftly along the wall and then make its way over. She breathed a sigh of relief, knowing he was safe. She went back to bed, pulling the blanket over her head and allowing herself to fall asleep to thoughts of her beloved.
Acel actually had energy in him as he opened his shop for the day. Tonight she would finally be his and it didn’t matter what the rulers of this world had to say about it. When Megan walked through the door he told her what Leola had said, causing her to smile. “so is there anything I should know about the store?”
“No, you’ve helped with everything at one point or another. What’re you doing here today?” She walked over and whispered “well you’re running tonight and I wanted a full day of practice here with you before the store is mine”
“Oh okay, there are still some things in the back that need to be stocked if you’d do that. Ask me if you can’t find somthing” she smiled and went into the back. Leola dressed as she cursed Nester under her breath. He had summoned her to his part of the castle to have breakfast with him and when she said no the guards who had come to get her informed her it wasn’t a request. She knew her magic and fighting skills were good but she knew any who were hired as guards were only the top. One of her friends had tried to take the two day long test to be a guard had failed miserably in the first hours of the test. So, fighting them wasn’t an option but she wouldn’t make herself pleasant to be around.
“Good morning my beautiful bride to be.” Nester said as he got to his feet when she entered the room. He took her hand and brought it to his lips. She frowned, but forced herself not to pull away. “Come now, smile for me.”
“I’d rather just eat.”
He shrugged. “Very well.” He sat down at the small table and she sat across from him. This was far to intimate for her liking. “You know if you keep making that face, it’ll get stuck that way.”
“Hopefully that will make me less attractive for you then.”
“I am sure what’s beneath that dress would more than make up for it.”
Her heart skipped a beat, but she glared at him in hopes he wouldn’t see her fear. She picked up her fork and took a bite of her food. She would stab him if he tried anything, she wasn’t afraid of the consequences. “So you had your dogs come for me for something other than breakfast I presume?”
“Ah yes.” He smiled. “I would like you to stay in my room tonight, we’ll be married tomorrow so I thought why not let you get used to sleeping with me.”
“Don’t make me force you.”
“Try it and I’ll kill anyone who touches me. I’m not your wife, I’m not your doll, and I am not your plaything. You’ve already forced me here, you threatened me last night, I’ve had enough. I will be sleeping in my room. If you try to sneak in I will assume you are a rapist and I will cause great damage to thing you value most. Besides, I would rather spend my last night of freedom alone before I am forced to marry you.” She took another bite of food. “Now I suggest you eat up dearest, we have a long and grueling day ahead of us.”
He groaned “you are beyond annoying but fine, tonight you may stay alone since we aren’t married yet but when we are you will be sharing a bedroom with me and if you keep this up I’ll bring it up with the other rulers. Our world has worked this way forever and you’re the first person to raise such a fucking fuss.”
“I cant help the attractive elves of our world are full of themselves or the people you dont deem attractive dont want to revolt against you. The way things are run are fucked up, especially since you rulers get to choose while everyone else goes with who the computer system says they should be with. Somthing crossed my mind while i was changing, I’ve been of marrying age for quite a few years now. If you chose me when I was sixteen why did you wait until now to claim me?”
“If we rulers took who we wanted the second they come of age the people would catch on you simple minded woman. The computer system somtimes takes ten or more years to match a person with their perfect breeding partner. If we all got someone on their coming of age celebration I think the people would start putting two and two together.”
“don’t call me stupid”
“I just dont see how you didn’t think of that”
“well I’ve kind of had being stuck here with a man I dont want taking up most of my brain” He sighed, obviously reaching his limit of patience with her “Just tell me somthing Leola. How on earth could you be attracted to Acel? I mean theres okay uglies and then theres him. Those ears for one but then he just looks horrible in general because his line has been among the uglies for so long”
“Because he’s kind and sweet and has a big heart. He’s the most beautiful person in any world.”
He rolled his eyes. “He’s nothing but a pathetic little loser whose ass I could easily whip and you are a fool for thinking anything of such a weakling.” He waved a dismissive hand. “You need to forget about him.”
“That will never happen.”
He glared at her, but she ignored him and finished her breakfast. Afterwards they went downstairs together since they were expected to give their final okay on the decorations and the food they wanted. Leola smiled at the cook and decorators, knowing she couldn’t blame them for her unhappiness. They were very good at their jobs and she gave them genuine thanks for their hard work. She hated it was going to go to waste and only wished she was marrying Acel now. “It’s pretty sad you won’t smile for me like that.” Nester said in an irritated tone.
“I hate you, I don’t hate them.” She retorted. “I’m going to go and read until the rehearsal. Have someone come for me around noon.”
“fine, I remind you again you wont get away with acting like this once we’re married”
“I heard you the first time” she said as she walked away. He growled, hating how her behavior would look publicly if she didn’t stop. Leola was summoned again far too soon for her liking but went without causing the servant trouble. Leola forced herself through everything except for the kiss after their vows. “I want our first kiss to be on our wedding day” they had an audience so she knew he had to accept that or look bad and if she knew anything about him she knew he cared about publicity.
His forced smile looked almost painful “okay, I can wait” Her smirk was almost taunting and she hadn’t even intended it to be. It was her facial muscles natural reaction. If her mother or father could reach her she knew she would have gotten a painful slap for that. As punishment he made her stay at his side and spend time with him until evening where he also walked her to her bedroom. “this is the last night you annoying little brat. Tomorrow night you’ll be in my bedroom even if I have to chain you to the bed”
She was tempted to spit in his face but Acel was coming soon. She could contain herself for him. “I’ll see you tomorrow then you bastard” he smiled triumphantly “good, much better” It took every ounce of willpower to force herself in her room without hurting him or cussing him out. Even inside she had to keep picture Acel to keep herself from chasing that brat down.
A knock sounded at her door “leave me alone!” she yelled, thinking it was Nester. Her father flung open the door, jerked her from the bed and punched her. “Your mother and I are going back home after the wedding and we never want to see you again you ungrateful little brat. Hopefully in a few hundred years people will forget you are mine and Manette’s. The way you acted today was ridiculous and I pity him for being paired with you. Yeah i didn’t want your mother but I sucked it up like a man and now we like eachother and thats fine. its whats best for the race. You are just to selfish to think about the good of our people. I’m seriously done with you, don’t you ever try to talk to us once we leave this castle”
Without giving her a chance to speak he stormed out. She just held her face, he hadn’t been angry enough to punch her since she was a teenager. It made it easier to leave though. it sucked her parents were so horrible but at least they were making leaving this world easier.
Acel was impatient to get to Leola and ran as quickly as he could down the streets of the city, his bag slung over his shoulder. He came to a stop when he was close enough to the castle walls and waited for the guards to make their rounds. He took off at a sprint and quickly climbed up the side and over. He sneaked quietly inside, keeping his eyes and ears open. When he made it to Leola’s room he quickly, but quietly pushed the door opened and then closed it. When he turned around she was jumping into his arms. “I’m so happy to see you.” She said softly.
“Get your bag baby, we have to go.”
Leola ran over and pulled her bag out from under her bed. He took her hand then opened the door and peeked into the hall. When he didn’t see anyone he pulled her out and held his finger up to his lips to tell her to be as quiet as possible. They made to the end of the hall and to the steps when they heard a voice yell her name from behind them. Both of their heads snapped around and they saw her mother standing in the middle of the hall. They ran, ignoring her screeching which roused Leola’s father. She gripped tighter to Acel’s hand as he pulled her to the wall. “Get on my back.” She climbed on without hesitation and he climbed up, surprising the guards. They were over the other side before they were grabbed and running away from the castle.
Acel was faster than Leola and hated practically dragging her but he knew she understood and wanted to be free with him just as badly as he wanted to be free with her. He would make up for this later, even if she wasn’t upset that he didn’t slow fully to her speed. Acel was glad he had prepared himself and studied the way he needed to go all day. Megan wanted to learn anyway so he took advantage of her wanting to do things so he could study and not have to look at a map while they were being chased. It was a long way but their adrenaline kept them running until they reached the dragon.
Acel took out a small bag the second they had his attention. “these are the most beautiful things I have. I wasn’t sure what you would want but please take the whole thing if it means we can go now” Its voice sounded in their head “I understand your situation. We’ll discuss this once I have you safely away from your pursuers. As friends of Megans I trust you brought somthing for me. Get on my back so I may get you to the tunnels”
They quickly obeyed and he took them to the nearby river before diving down. When they could breath once again they were panting since they had gone from running to temporarily holding their breath. They jumped off and Acel handed him the bag again ‘take it all”
“I required one thing. Open it for me and I’ll tell you what I wish for” Acel did and was happy when he chose quickly and left him the bag, this would mean more money for him and Leola to start in another world.”thank you” Leola said, still a little breathless “run, they have good trackers among them. I don’t want Megan saddened by your capture.” They nodded and Acel took her hand again, now going a little slower but still running hastily. When they felt they could take a small rest Acel hugged Leola before they sat down and took eachothers hands “I’m sorry I drug you the way I did Leola” she kissed his cheek “don’t be silly you ridiculously sweet man. We needed to be fast, you just kept me at my absolute fastest. How could that upset me?”
“I just felt bad”
“well dont and just relax with me so we can get going” He put his arms around her and pulled Leola close “they will never take you from me now, never”
“we’ll kill anybody who tries.” He smiled, just cuddling with her until they felt ready to go again. Eventually they came to an opening just as he had been told he would and a little beyond that was a portal “whats that?’
“I believe it’s the portal to our new home”
‘are you sure” he brought her hand to his lips “I’m sure, you ready?” their hands now at their side. “I’m ready” they ran for the portal and soon found themselves under a whole new sky and in a landscape that was tottaly different from their own world. Leola gasped “where are we?”
‘that i wasn’t told but we can figure it out together..we have forever now” his voice became happier with each word. Leola hugged him “No matter where we are it’s amazing because i can be with you” His heart trembled as happy tears threatened to come out. He felt so blessed there wasn’t words he could say to her to express it. When she broke the hug he pressed their lips together again before he said “I’m going to make you happy Leola, happier than you’ve ever been”
“I already am, lets lay down under these beautiful stars and sleep. We both need it.”
“we have no idea how close to a town we are unless Megan gave you information on that too”
“sadly no, she knows nothing of this place”
“then cuddle with me, I’ve wanted it for so long and theres no way those men are going to go the precise way we did since we had a map and a headstart” They laid down and tangled in eachother. “Leola” his voice broke as he said her name “whats wrong?”
“Nothing, I just cant believe I’m really holding you and that it’s okay and allowed here. I’m…I’m so ugly and you’re so beautiful”
“Acel, don’t talk like that. Don’t ever let those heartless people make you feel like you dont deserve to be with me because you are the most amazing man in the world with the biggest heart. You are a million times more beautiful than any of those assholes could ever be and I feel lucky you love me like I love you. Don’t you dare ever say you’re ugly Acel” he held her tighter. “sorry sweetheart” he whispered. “Just get some sleep now so we can get going. I’m going to set my mental clock to get up in a few hours” he smiled “thank goodness you have that skill since we have no alarms”
“yep, I’ll get myself up then wake you with a kiss” Tingles moved through his veins “I can’t wait” he whispered happily then slowly allowed himself to sleep. This was finally happening and as his mind shut down all he could think about was the amazing future that was in front of him as long as Leola remained his.
~ The End ~
“Troian, I have to go back now or my father might find out.” Strauss protested as the demon pressed kisses onto his neck.
“Stay with me tonight.”
He sighed and tangled his fingers in Troian’s hair, pulling until he lifted his head. Those intense silver eyes made him freeze and he almost couldn’t speak. “I can’t, you know that. Please understand, please.”
Troian frowned and sighed. “Fine, let me take you back.” They both got to their feet, leaving the soft grass beneath them.
Strauss hated doing this to him, knew it was selfish to stay in a relationship with Troian, but he couldn’t let him go. He had been drawn to him from the first moment he had seen him. “Troian, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” He squatted down. “Get on my back.”
Strauss hopped on his back and Troian took off running. Strauss felt his heart wrench in his chest and hated himself all the more. He clung to him, staying silent the whole way home. Troian took him to the back of the house and climbed up to his balcony where he deposited him safely on his feet. “Troian I…”
Troian kissed him, silencing him. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.” He said when he parted their lips. “Get some rest.”
He jumped off the balcony and was gone before Strauss could issue a protest. He swallowed the lump forming in his throat and went quietly inside, flopping down on his bed and staring up at the ceiling. He wanted to be with Troian always, wanted to wake up to him every morning, to let the beautiful demon make love to him. He blushed at the thought. They had not gone that far yet and Troian had not pushed the issue, but Strauss feared sooner or later he would simply get tired of waiting and leave. He turned over and buried his face in his pillow, his eyes filling with tears at the thought of losing his love.
Troian went back to the spot he always took Strauss and laid down in the grass. He knew he had been short with him and had not meant to be. It was hard to say what was on his mind, how he felt, and how much Strauss meant to him. He tried to physically express what he could not say, but he wasn’t sure it was getting through to Strauss. He had never been good with relationships and the few he had had before had ended in disaster. Everyone thought he was cold and distant when really he was just not much for words. He closed his eyes and allowed what lingered of Strauss’ scent to wash over him and lull him to sleep.
In the morning Strauss was woken as always to have breakfast with his father. He dressed then hurried down though his dad was the last person on the planet he liked spending any time with. What made matters worse was that yet again there was a young woman sitting at the table. If he didn’t know this woman had no idea he was gay and his dad was being an ass he would have sighed frustratedly and stormed out. He wouldn’t hurt this girl like that though, not when she had no idea what his father had drug her into.
“Morning” he said delibritly sitting so there was a seat between him and the young woman. “Morning, I’m Emily” she said with a smile. “I’m Strauss. What has brought you here?”
“Your father says you are looking for a wife and I’ve always found you amazing”
“Always?” he said in his head. These girls were the only always. They acted as if they knew him atall. Strauss could fele his fathers anger already that he wasn’t showing interest in her. Strauss wouldn’t be rude but his heart belonged to Troian. Even if Troian didn’t exist he was gay and always would be no matter how much his father tried to pray the gay away.
“Well everyone says you’re a good man and that you’ll make a fine baron. I also used to come to the parties your father would throw so I saw you around.”
“Milia’s parents come from an outstanding line.”
“I’m sure they do father.”
His father frowned and he tried not to notice as he ate. “I was wondering if maybe you would like to go on a walk with me after breakfast?”
He could feel his father staring at him. “Sure, that would be great.” Milia’s eyes lit up and they chatted lightly while they finished breakfast. When they were done he got up and pulled Milia’s seat back they left his father’s house and walked down the path that lead to town. He hated having to be fake for the women his father brought around and at first it had hurt when his father had so readily condemned him for being attracted to men.
“So what kind of woman do you want?” Milia asked nervously.
“What kind of woman do you want to be?”
“Does that even matter?”
“Listen Milia, you’re sweet, but you should always think for yourself and love who you want to love. No one should tell you who you are. You’re beautiful and you seem smart enough so don’t waste your time doing what your parents think is right for you.”
She frowned. “You aren’t looking for a wife are you?”
He sighed. “No, my father is looking for one for me because he’s an ass.” She laughed and he smiled. “You’re incredibly likable so find someone who is perfect for you.” He felt like he was being watched and he froze, looking around him. He didn’t see anyone, but he knew that feeling. Troian was close. His heart stuttered in his chest and he almost called out to him.
“Are you okay Strauss?”
“Yes, lets go get some candy or something. I feel like something sweet.”
“I won’t tell your father you rejected me.”
He smiled. “Thank you for that, but he’ll know anyway.”
Troian watched jealously as Strauss walked into town with that female human. He wanted badly to be with him always but had to settle with just a few hours nightly. Even when he promised Strauss to get him in before the maids woke him if he would just spend the night letting him hold him but Strauss would never agree to it. He was too afraid they would get caught. It wasn’t fair women could be by his side but not him. It had crossed his mind many times to just run away with Strauss but he wasn’t sure the man he loved would be willing.
He followed until they were too close to town for him to be safe from the peoples wrath. He went back into the woods to wait until nightfall when he’d finally get time with his world again. Strauss bought them both taffy from a local candy shop then headed outside to sit and enjoy them with her. “How am i to find a husband if I’m just me?”
“Who says you need a husband” The young woman honestly looked like that had never crossed her mind for even a second which Strauss hated. The women around here were all raised to believe they had to get married. If you didn’t there was somthing wrong with you and it wasn’t right.
“So what should I do, what should I aspire to be?”
“Well what are you good at?” He asked as they got up and continued their walk.
“Not much I guess.”
“Well try new things until you find something you’re good at. Why don’t you try art and see how you feel about that.”
She smiled. “You’re so easy to talk to and it’s nice to not have someone look down on me because of my sex.”
They spent the rest of the day getting to know each other and after dinner he walked her home. He sighed as he made his way back up the path that lead home, wondering if Troian was okay. He still felt bad for leaving him the night before. When he walked through the front door, his father was standing there waiting for him. “Well?”
“She good enough, beautiful, obedient, the perfect woman to bear children.”
“I don’t know why you even bother asking anymore, I told her I didn’t want to marry her.”
Before he could say another word his father backhanded him then grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. “You will find a woman and you will get married or so help me I will beat you until you can’t move. Do you understand me?” Strauss just glared at him. “You sicken me, get out of my sight.” He shoved him toward the stairs and Strauss hurried up, his face red and bruising. He slammed and and locked his door then went out to the balcony to wait for Troian.
Troian could tell Strauss was angry when he stepped out of the shadows and climbed up the back of the house to his balcony. “Are you okay?” He asked as he hopped over the railing.
“No never at you.” He wrapped his arms around Troian’s waist. “I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” Troian grabbed his chin and tipped his head up and that’s when he saw the bruise forming on his cheek. “Did he fucking hit you?” He asked angrily.
“Please don’t dwell on it, lets just get away from the house for awhile.” Troian sighed and let Strauss hop on his back he jumped off the balcony. He ran until he came to their place and lowered him to the ground. He turned and pulled Strauss into his arms, kissing him hungrily. He pushed him down into the grass, making Strauss’ heart race. “Troian.”
“I know you’re not ready to have sex yet, I just want to touch and kiss you.”
“What if someone hears, we could get in trouble.”
“Please, I want so badly to touch and kiss you” Strauss wanted it badly aswell and it was hard to resist the look Troian was giving him. “ok” Troian smiled then ran his hand through Strauss’s hair. If he was good with words he would have expressed adoration but he just had to hope Strauss could see it in his eyes and feel it as he touched and kissed him. Troians hungry kiss resumed causing Strauss’s body to cover in goosebumps. Troian nearly smiled against his lovers lips as his hands began to travel across his excited skin.
When Troian broke the kiss his lips traveled down Strauss’s cheek , down his neck, over his shoulder, down his arm until he was pressing kisses into the palm of his hand. Strauss’s heart remained in a flutter as Troian showed his affection. Most would see this and find it sexual but there was somthing about the was Troian kissed and touched him that made him feel overwhelmingly loved.Strauss could tell sexual desire was there but the love in his touch outweighed the hunger for passion which was saying a lot since demons were such sexual creatures.
When Troian felt his love and adoration was made clear, or atleast he hoped and felt confident Troian took Strauss into his arms to hold him. With a blush Strauss said “you rarely let me do the kissing and touching”
“Because our time is so limited. I get more from doing it myself. Thats not to say I dont love your kisses too. Theres also the problem of when you do it I get hard and I fear doing somthing stupid. Just let me hold you” Strauss kissed Troians cheek and he inturn kissed the bruise that he wanted to give right back to the baron. He wanted to beat that man to a pulp but refrained for his mate. Troian was in no way ready for the words “I need to go home” when they came out of Strauss’s mouth awhile later. “No Strauss, stay with me tonight. Sleep right here and I’ll have you home before daybreak. They wont know. You never stay. Can’t you do this just once for me. I..I dont get you that long”
Strauss hugged Troian a little tighter. “Please don’t look so heartbroken, I hate when you make that face.”
“Stay and I won’t make it anymore.”
Strauss nodded and Troian gave him a joyful kiss. “Thank you.” They settled into the grass, Strauss resting his head on Troian’s chest. The sound of his heart was very comforting. He suddenly remembered something and raised his head.
“Why were you following me and Milia today?”
“Because I’m an idiot.”
“What do you mean?”
He pulled Strauss back down. “I got jealous seeing you with her. You looked so happy and relaxed.”
“She’s a really nice girl, just been put in the same position as me. I told her to make her own choices. You shouldn’t be jealous of others, I don’t want anyone but you.”
“I told you I was being an idiot.”
Strauss kissed his cheek. “Well, at least you’re my idiot.” Troian laughed, the sound making Strauss smile. They both relaxed, Strauss letting his worries go at least for tonight so he could enjoy being with Troian. He knew they might not get another night like this.
Troian only felt happiness near this when Strauss had agreed to be with him. It was incredible having Strauss resting on his chest. He knew most couples took this kind of intimacy for granted but when you had to hide your relationship somthing like this was amazing. Troian hated time when he knew the night would be turning to day in but a few hours. He could keep Strauss a little longer but he didn’t want to push things since this was the first time he convinced his love to sleep outside with him. Troian would hate himself if he got them caught the first time because he didn’t want to give him up.
With absolute ease Troian got himself standing and cradling Strauss without disturbing his slumber in the slightest. Troians heart stuttered as he looked down at his mates peaceful face. He couldn’t resist giving him a gentle kiss on the forehead. He walked Strauss back to his castle and even got him all the way to his room without waking him.
He laid Strauss on his bed, afraid to take his shoes off so he just left them on and covered him. Troian frowned knowing he had to leave. This wasn’t fair and he hated Strauss’s father. He forced himself out though before his mate suffered more physical or verbal abuse because of him.
Strauss woke not long after he left when something felt off. He opened his eyes and felt his heart wrench in his chest when he realized he was in his room. He got out of bed and tugged his shoes off before stepping out onto his balcony. He wanted to protect Troian, but he wanted to stay with him at the same time. He sat down and rested his elbows on the railing, just staring off into space, no longer tired. When the sun began to push above the horizon he went and took a quick shower then pulled on clean clothes. A knock sounded on his bedroom door and he pulled it open. “Yes?”
“Your father is waiting for you.” The maid answered.
“With a woman?”
He sighed. “I’ll be down shortly.” He closed his door and tugged his shoes on the went down to the dining room. He sat down in a chair across from the woman his father had brought this time. She was beautiful, but obviously thought she was getting somewhere with wearing the low cut dress. “Who is this?”
“Her name is Xandra, she’s the daughter of Lady Hilum.”
He sighed, he was tired of this. “Father, I refuse. Xandra I am sorry, but I do not wish to marry you. Please excuse me.” He got up from the table and his father followed.
“Do you remember what I said to you?”
“I’m not doing it anymore.” His father hit him so hard he fell.
“Trennan.” His father yelled and their butler came running. “Take this brat to the dungeon. I’ll be down at the end of the day after you have had some time to think on your words.” Trennan helped him to his feet then guided him downstairs where he put him in a cell. It was freezing cold and he regretted not eating before opening his mouth. The day seemed to crawl by at a sluggish pace and he sat in the same spot just staring at the cell door. When night came it was pitch black and dead quiet, the strange silence gave him the creeps. He heard footsteps and watched as the hall began to light up. It was his father and Trennan. Strauss got to his feet as his father opened the cell door. “Have you changed your mind?”
“No, I refuse to marry anyone you bring me.” His father grabbed him by his throat and dragged him out of his cell and down the hall. He started to fight back when he realized his father was taking him to the torture room. Trennan opened the door and his father forced him inside.
“I’ve tried being patient boy, I’m done.” He shackled his son to the wall facing away then ripped his shirt open. “You are nothing but a little disgrace, a defective child your bitch of a mother left to me.” He grabbed the whip off of the table and allowed it to uncoil. He hit him with it and Strauss screamed. “I’ll beat you until you agree to stop this nonsense.” He hit him over and over again, his back feeling like it was on fire. He was dangling by his arms by the time his father stopped and crying harder than he had ever cried. His father unlocked the shackles and he fell to the ground. “Trennan take him up to his room, I think he’s learned his lesson.”
Strauss could barely stand he was in so much pain. Trennan was having to support Strauss all the way back to his bedroom. “you should shower before laying down. Do you need help?”
“Please just get the water running” Trennan quickly got the water going then left. Tears still streamed down Strauss’s cheeks as he walked hunched over into the bathroom. The water hurt but he didn’t want the blood to remain on his back. He was still taking shuddering breaths and letting the water rinse him when Trion showed up on his balcony. Trions heart nearly stopped when his nose filled with the strong scent of Strauss’s spilled blood. he walked towards it angrily, not bothering to knock before entering the bathroom. He pulled back Strauss’s curtain and instantly filled with intense fury. Strauss turned his head, barely even thinking about the fact Troin was seeing him fully naked for the first time. “baby”
“dont tell me to calm down!” he yelled in a growl. He didn’t mean to or want to yell at Strauss but he couldn’t be more furious in this moment.
“Don’t raise your voice, especially not to me.” He moved to switch off the water and let out a groan. Troian switched it off for him and helped him out of the tub. “I can do it myself.”
“Just let me help.” Strauss looked away from him, angry at being abused and angry that Troian would yell at him. He understood he was angry, but he hadn’t been the one to take a beating. Troian grabbed a towel and gently patted Strauss down. “Why did he do this to you?”
“Because I told him I wasn’t interested in marrying a woman. I don’t know how long he beat me.”
“He can’t just get away with this.”
“Of course he can, there’s no law against it.”
“Strauss, this is not okay.”
“I never said it was did I? Do you think I actually wanted this?” Troian went to help him walk into his room and Strauss slapped his hand away. “Just leave me alone if you can’t lower your voice.”
Troian sighed. “I’m sorry. Let me help you get dressed.”
“Fine.” Troian pulled clothes out of Strauss’ drawers and helped him into them. Strauss hissed in pain when his shirt touched his back.
“I should have been here, I should have come earlier and this wouldn’t have happened.”
“You couldn’t have known.” There was a knocking on his door and they both froze.
“Strauss who the hell are you talking to.” It was his father.
“You have to get out now Troian.”
“There is no way I’m leaving you with that bastard another minute.”
Strauss’ father pushed the door open and stopped in his tracks when he saw the demon standing there. He had his sword in his hand in an instant. “So this is why you’ve been the way you are.”
“Leave him alone dad.” Strauss pushed himself between Troian and his father.
“Shut up and get out of the way brat.”
“Strauss is coming with me.” Troian yelled.
“The hell he is.” Strauss’ father attacked them and Troian grabbed the bed with his tail and flung it at the baron before lifting Strauss and running out to the balcony. He jumped over the railing and Strauss looked over his shoulder to see his father pushing the bed off of him.
It hurt to have Troian holding him but Strauss couldn’t help but feel relief who he loved was out in the open and he was out of that house and away from his heartless father. Troian ran with a determined look on his face. The baron wasn’t touching him one more time. He would kill the man before he hurt his mate again. The baron woke the entire staff with his fury, demanding somone be sent after them right away. He decided to have his staff fetch a woman named Faigi since he had heard she was amazing and made quick work of bringing criminals to justice. He didn’t want the embarrassment of the world knowing his son was gay so he would tell her that demon was kidnapping him.
troian could tell how much he was hurting Strauss so stopped ‘want to ride on my back so I’m not touching yours baby?”
“I’m so sorry. I was angry, scared even. i didn’t want him hurting you so i was trying to get us away” Strauss hopped on “I know, just dont yell at me again”
“That I am the most sorry for. You didn’t need that after being beaten”
“So where are we going?”
“Back to my world, you’ll be safer there.”
“I finally get to meet your sister. How long will it take to get to the portal?”
“We have to pass through another world to get there so it might take a few days.” He jumped over a fallen tree and Strauss let out a whimper. “As soon as we’re far enough away I’ll make you something to close those wounds. I’m sorry I don’t have any healing powers.”
“It’s okay.” He ran until they came to a river then lowered him slowly to the ground.
“You stay here, I have to gather a few things.”
“Should I make a fire?”
“Just sit still, you’re in pain.”
Strauss just nodded and Troian disappeared into the woods to collects herbs and wood. When he came back Strauss tried to get up, but his back hurt to much so he just fell back to the ground. “It’s scary out here when you’re not around.”
“I’m sorry, I’m back now so don’t worry.” He got a fire started then sat some of the herbs on a rock next to the flames to dry them. He plucked had plucked a large leaf off of one of the trees and smashed the berries he had in it. Once the herbs were dry he crumbled them up and mixed them in. “Eat this.”
Strauss took the leaf and ate the berry and herb mash. It tasted weird with everything mixed together like that, but the fact that the stinging in his back faded away helped him ignore it. “Thank you.” He tossed the leaf to the side and Troian pulled him closer.
“Let me check your back.” He pulled his shirt off and examined his skin. There were very faint scars left behind since he didn’t have the things he needed to make them disappear completely. He leaned in and kissed Strauss’ back, making him shiver. “I’m never going to let anyone hurt you again.”
“I should have run away with you sooner. I should have known my father would never accept me.”
“I should have mentioned it. I’ve thought about taking you away so many times”
‘we’re gone now and I’ll never go back” Troin kissed his back again “you tell me if you need anymore of that. I’ll make you as much as you need”
“I’d do anything right now for healing powers”
“You’re doing more than enough”
“Lets rest and we’ll continue on in the morning. Humans can’t catch up to us tonight with how far I’ve gone”
“Can I lay my head on your chest?”
“It would make me happy” Troin laid down and let Strauss get comfortable. “I want to put my arms around you. Please tell me to let go if I hurt you”
“I should be fine” Troian gently wrapped his arms arounf Strauss, relieved when he didn’t react in pain. His demon senses were sharp and would have detected it if he felt even the smallest amount of pain.
Strauss was so exhausted by the events of the day that he fell asleep almost instantly once the warmth of Troian’s body washed over him. Troian always made him feel so secure and he knew he could trust him to keep danger at bay. The next morning Troian woke and was relieved to find that taking Strauss away from his father had not been a dream. He pressed his lips into Strauss’ and moved so he was above him. “Troian?” Strauss said sleepily as he kissed his way down Strauss’ neck.
“Who else would it be?” He asked.
“What are you doing?”
“This is our first morning together and I just want to enjoy it for a moment.” He could tell Strauss was nervous and pulled back to look at him. “You have to learn to trust that I won’t do anything you don’t like. I know you’ve never had sex before and I won’t do anything that might scare you away.”
“Hey, don’t apologize, I want to take my time with you anyway and it’s really hard to do that when you’re running for your life.”
“I’d do anything for you Troian, anything at all, I’m just nervous and I don’t want to disappoint you.” Troian moved off of him and grabbed Strauss’ shirt off the ground and handed it to him. Strauss pulled it on, feeling a little upset for letting his insecurities get in the way again. He felt like he was letting Troian down. “I love you Troian, I really do.”
“I know and I hope you know I feel the same way about you. I know I don’t say it nearly as much as you do, but I really do.” Strauss felt a knot forming in his throat and Troian pulled him into his arms. “Don’t be upset.”
“You never say it.” He buried his face in Troian’s shirt.
“I’m sorry.” He tipped his head up. “I promise to say it more then, I love you.”
“why havent you said it much before?” Troian sighed “I’ve never been very good with words. I just, I dont know. They just dont come to m I guess. I try to show you physically to make up for the fact I’m not very good at expressing how I feel. Can’t you feel it in how I kiss and youch you?” Strauss nodded “yeah, I always have” Troian smiled “I’m glad”
“But I do need to hear it too”
“I know, you mean everything to me and I’m not going to mess things up with you. You just need to tell me. If I start getting really bad just say look here you asshole” Strauss gave a small smile “I really love you” Troian kissed his forehead “I really love you too. I’ll get us somthing to eat and then we’ll move on”
“we have time?’
“Hm, maybe we should go just incase they traveled all night. We can go on until I need food for energy. Right now I’m still good if you are”
“I’m good, you’re going to carry me anyway. I’m sorry I can’t run as fast as you”
“You’re human. It wouldn’t make sense for you to be able to run as fast as me”
Troian lifted Strauss and gave him the most loving, adoring smile. It made him blush and cover his face. He usually rode piggy back so being in a position where he would be able to constantly see Troian’s face was a bit embarrassing. “Have I ever told you you look cute when you blush?”
“I’m a man, I’m not supposed to be cute.”
“But you are and sexy.” He said as he ran through the woods.
“Not as sexy as you, I mean you’re just so…so unfairly hot.”
“Shut up Troian, I’m not joking. I’ve seen you shirtless and you’re way better looking than me.”
Troian chuckled and kissed Strauss’ cheek. “You make me weak in the knees Strauss. If I were a weaker man I’d have taken you already.”
He turned a deep crimson. “Should I be fearing for my life?”
“Maybe just your virtue.”
Strauss’ heart hammered against his chest, beating so fast he feared it might explode. “You’re so bad and a pervert.”
“Only for you.”
Faigi could tell the story wasn’t a whole truth but as far as she knew a human man had been kidnapped by a demon and that was never good. With a description and Strauss’s scent she began her hunt, hoping the human man wouldn’t have to suffer too much before she found him and got him home safely. Strauss’s father smiled triumphantly when the filthy demon woman ran off to take care of them. He hoped she’d beat the hell out of that even more revolting gay demon.
Many hours had passed when Strauss heard Troians stomach growl “hey! How long have you been hungry” Troian gave a sheepsih grin and stopped “I’m sorry, I just don’t even want to deal with someone catching up to us and trying to take you from me. I’ll stop now. Don’t be mad”
“I just don’t want you pushing yourself too hard. Eating doesnt take all that long if we dont talk while we eat.”
“But I like talking to you.”
“Come on go get us something then we can talk while you carry me.”
“You mean now that you’re not blushing and calling me a pervert?”
“Exactly, now go find food. The last thing I need is you starving.”
Troian kissed him quickly then ran off to find food. Fruit would have to do for now since he didn’t want to sit still long enough to cook something. He found some berries and collected enough for both of them. He hurried back and was glad to see Strauss waiting there. “Nothing bothered you did it?” He asked as he sat down and dumped the berries out of his shirt.
“A butterfly, but I doubt it meant any harm unless you thing flying lazily is dangerous.”
“There could be evil butterflies, who knows.”
Strauss laughed as he scarfed down half of the berries. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until then and suddenly remembered his father had locked him up without anything to eat and after that all he had had was that paste Troian made which wasn’t much. He leaned over and pressed his lips into Troian’s. “Thank you for being so great.”
“I can do nothing else.”
“So you said we had to pass through some other world before we get to yours, what’s it like?”
Troian shrugged. “There’s a castle surrounded by cherry trees, that’s all I know about it. We’re not stopping there though, we’re going to stick to the woods and keep going.”
“How long until we reach the portal to that world?”
“We’ll get to that portal in the morning if I run all through the night and then after that it’s three days to my world and then we’ll be free.”
“It’s like a dream.”
“It’s not dream, I promise.”
“Can we find a place to bathe after you’re done eating, just for a quick rinse?”
Troian finished his food then lifted Strauss back into his arms. It took up most of an hour to find a slow moving river they could wash in but they were glad to have found somewhere. “are you going to take your clothes off?” Troian asked in a hopeful voice. “Troian” Strauss said as he looked away with a blush. Troian chuckled “I know, quick rinse” He set Strauss down and they both went into the surprisingly cold water. They hadn’t expected warm water but this river seemed much more cold than it ought to be.
They rinsed as Strauss had wanted then went on their way again. “you’re not going to tire out?’
“You are yet to experience the full extent of my stamina” Troian said in a seductive voice. “why are you so much more perverted than before?” Troian chuckled “I’m not as scared of you leaving me”
“I’m not good at expressing myself and I fear thats going to chase you away”
“I know you love me, I’ll always know. I’m glad to finally hear it though”
“I do love you. I’m really going to try my best for you Strauss.” Troian honestly flabbergasted Strauss when night came and he ran all the way through without seeming to be worn down atall. They had only stopped one more time to eat so he had pretty much ran a whole day and night to get distance between them and their pursuers. “This is going to feel weird and if you throw up don’t feel embarrassed. It happens to many people their first couple times and some never get over it. When we get through I’m going to need a long sleep. I doubt who your father sends will know how to travel between worlds so me getting a long sleep shouldn’t be a problem”
“The creators know you’ve earned it. I’m sure they’ll help keep our enemies away at the least.” Troian smiled “I love you” he said, loving when Strauss smiled and answered in return “I love you too”
“as ready as I can be I suppose” Troian said somthing in a language Strauss didn’t understand but he barely had time to process it before he felt weird and was suddenly in this place he knew nothing about. He would have been terrified if he hadn’t been holding tightly to Troians hand. When they landed on the other side Strauss felt a little nauseous but not so bad he had to throw up. “you good?’
“Great, lets find a place for me to get a long rest.”
They found a place away from the castle so they would not be spotted. Troia took him into a field of beautiful while flowers and they curled up next to each other in them so Troia was spooning Strauss. “If you need anything, please wake me.” He said then kissed the back of Strauss’ neck.
“Just rest my love, you need it.” Strauss replied.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Strauss wasn’t nearly as tired as Troian was and laid there awake for a time, staying alert for predators and people. He turned slowly over so he was facing Troian and studied his sleeping face. He had never met anyone quite like him. The first time he had seen him he had been terrified. He had heard many nasty rumors about demons, especially the males, and didn’t know what would happen to him, but Troian’s first concern had been if he had been injured in anyway. He didn’t hurt him or ask for payment of any kind. Instead he had started visiting him at night and slowly over time, Strauss had fallen madly in love with him. Troian had done so much for him and he wanted to give something back.
Faigi stayed on the scent, refusing to rest so she wouldn’t lose in time. If the boy was being harmed, she wanted to stop his torment as soon as possible. The young man’s scent lead her straight to a portal and she used the pendant around her neck to open it. “Strauss, wake up.” Troian said softly and Strauss opened his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” He hadn’t remembered falling asleep.
“We should get going.”
“Are you well rested?
“Extremely.” He kissed his lips. “If you like you can sleep while I carry you.”
“with all that wind?” Troian smiled “well, if you can sleep I don’t mind” They didn’t make it very much further atall before Faigi had them in her sights “Demon!” she called Troian halted “what?”
“I’ll be needing the boy returned to his father. This is the only time I’ll ask nicely” Strauss’s heart sank. Troian held Strauss tighter “No, I will not let you take him” Faigi had always been observant so she noticed straight away that Strauss wasn’t looking at her in hope but in fear he’d be taken back. She sighed, seeing her suspicions about this job were correct ‘calm down, explain why you’ve kidnapped him”
“I didn’t, Strauss’s father abuses him and beat him with a whip the night we ran off. He doesn’t like Strauss is gay and wants to be with a demon. He tries to beat, scold and pray the gay away. Strauss wanted to run away with me”
“I did, everything he says is true. Please don’t take me back. I’m finally free to be with him”
“He’s pissed and I know he’ll send others. Give me a second to think of what we can do” Faigi paused there only a few moments “Give me that ring on your finger Strauss. I will tell your father that is all that was left of you. The demon decided if he couldn’t have you that nobody would so he ate you”
“Perfect, thank you” Troian said as Strauss removed his ring. She walked over and accepted it “I’m sorry your dad is an ass.”
“I’m just glad he sent someone like you. Thank you for doing this” Strauss said gratefully. “I’m a lesbian, I know how it feels. Go be happy, I need some rest before I keel” Troian ran off before this kind demon changed her mind. Even though she was going to pretend Strauss was dead he was still eager to put more distance between them and the baron. Just before the portal to Troians world they rested again and had a nice meal together. “my world will be so different from yours I want us to be well rested and fed before you experience it” Troian said as he cooked their dinner.
“You said it’s always night there right?”
“yes, um….for you to see clearly and all….I might should make you a demon before we go..I know the ceremony, I’ve seen it done and I’ve honestly studied it since we started dating”
“You can turn me into a demon?”
“Yes, I want you to live forever and I’m not sure if your human eyes will be able to see in my world very well”
“Is it going to hurt?”
“Yes but I’ll be right here with you. I’ll hold you and do my best to make you feel better. I made your back feel better right?”
“There’s nothing I want more than forever with you Troian. I’m so glad you want that with me”
“well, I love you intensely Strauss”
“We should give your food time to digest first so you dont lose it”
“when then?” Troian smiled “late tonight. We’ll have dinner, I’ll make somthing for the pain then we’ll just wing it on how long we wait after dinner. I’m sure we can entertain ourselves awhile” Troian said with a wink that had Strauss blushing again. Troian chuckled ‘i love you so much”
Strauss finished his food, feeling nervous and excited at the same time. He never imagined in his wildest dreams that he would get forever with the one he loved. Troian noticed the expression on his face and leaned in to kiss him. The feel of his lips made Strauss’ heart go faster and his face and body grow hot. “It’s not fair how excited you make me by just kissing me.” Strauss said when Troian pulled back.
“It’s my secret weapon so anytime you think of getting mad at me I’ll kiss you until you can’t think straight.” Strauss blushed and Troian chuckled as he pulled him into his arms. “I’m sorry, I’ll stop before you blush yourself into a fever.”
“So what other powers will I have besides night vision?”
“You’ll be stronger and faster, but other than that I really don’t know. As you know I don’t really have many powers. They kind of skipped me and went straight to my sister. That doesn’t mean you won’t get any though.”
“I guess we’ll see then.”
“Will I look like you when I’m changed?”
“No, you’ll still be you, just with added perks.” They sat together for a time, Troian holding Strauss to him as they talked softly. “Are you ready for the change?” Troian asked.
“Yeah, I’m a little scared though.”
“It’s okay, I’ll be here for you.” He moved Strauss so he was straddling him and pressed their palms together, lacing his fingers through his so Strauss couldn’t jerk his hand away. He pulled his dagger out of his boot and gave Strauss a gentle kiss. “I’m sorry for the pain you’ll feel.”
“It’s okay, if it’s for you I can deal with anything.”
Strauss closed mouth screamed as the dagger pierced through their hands. It stung Troians heart but he continued on, trying his best not to let his mates pain get to him. He said the words carefully and slower than he could say them because he didn’t want his mate to go through this pain only for him to say a word wrong and have to try again another time. When Strauss had wailed and jerked himself into a limp unconscious form in Troians arms he softly cried ‘I’m so sorry Strauss” He couldn’t help but feel horrible even though he had just given his mate eternal life.
He had promised not to let him get hurt again and here he was hurting him. When Strauss opened his eyes the next morning he saw how distraught Troian looked so he smiled to assure him everything was alright “I’m fine” Troian held Strauss tighter “I never wanted to hurt you”
“It was worth it. i get to be with you forever”
“Are you hungry?”
“Not after all that”
“Will you try to eat if I find some eggs?”
“Good, I’ll carry you with me. I don’t want anything coming and hurting you while you are so weak”
“Okay.” Strauss rested his head on Troian’s shoulder, his whole body exhausted and feeling like one massive bruise. “After breakfast will you rub me down?” He asked softly.
“Of course, I’ll do anything you want.”
It didn’t take long for Troian to find some grouse eggs and had had Strauss hold them as he headed back to camp. He sat his love gently in the grass and kissed his forehead before taking the eggs and cooking them. Strauss really wasn’t hungry and the smell of food was making him feel sick, but the look on Troian’s face made him want to try. He looked more upset than he had ever seen him. Troian scooted closer to Strauss when the eggs were done and fed him.
“Thank you.” Strauss said and Troian smiled lovingly at him. Once they were finished eating Troian took his time rubbing Strauss down, loosening his cramped muscles and easing the pain in his body.
“Yes thank you.” He was hot from Troian’s touch.
“We’re close to home Strauss.” He lifted him off the ground and started walking. It began to rain and Strauss thanked heavens for it as it cooled his hot skin and helped calm him.
“You know I always loved the rain.” Troian said, a smile on his face as he turned it toward the sky. “It’s so cleansing and full of life. On rainy nights when we couldn’t be together I would sit at our spot and let it wash away my sadness.”
“I’m sorry, I should have let you stay with me those nights. I was just so afraid of getting caught and losing you. I was such a coward.”
“I understood, especially after your father beat you.”
“We’ll never be apart again Troian, I promise.”
They had an easy, stress free journey the rest of the way to Troians world. Thanks to that kind demoness nobody would come after them and they could just be happy together for the rest of their days. If they ever met her again they both agreed they would have to find a way to thank her for lieing to the baron and granting them freedom without fear of people coming for them. Once in Troians world he showed Strauss everything and took him to all his favorite places. Most importantly Troian was happy to finally get to proudly introduce Strauss to his sister. She welcomed him warmly to their world, ecstatic for her brother and hopeful this wouldn’t end badly like his previous relationships. Troin noticed her look of worry and assured her that this time he was doing things right. Nobody had ever meant anything near what Strauss meant to him and he was worth putting in the effort to try and verbally express his love more.
~ The End ~
A new king had finally taken over and rebuilt the castle in Holvincora. It was known the queens body was never found so he sent ten of his followers to scavenge the land for Queen Reyna. He wanted another trophy and he couldn’t think of a better one than having the previous kings woman to pleasure him. Over the years Reyna had been slowly building her confidence and her magic to what it used to be. She still wasn’t half as strong as she was when Jeremiah broke her but she was getting there.
She vowed to never let a man own her again. She caught wind of the men searching and was doing her best to keep out of their reach. One night as she lay resting she heard snarls. She sat up quickly, surrounded by the kings knights “we’ve finally got you Reyna” One said menacingly. “No you don’t!” She caught fire to them. She knew it wouldn’t kill them but it was painful and distracting.
She got away and ran as fast as she could. She cursed herself for her senses being so dull that she didn’t wake sooner. She hoped they could get back to how they were before she let Jeremiah break her. She cursed herself for not trying harder but she had gone hundreds of years without using any of her demon senses. It was a miracle she was getting them back atall. The only reason she was able to start refining her senses and gaining power again was because she was so determined. She used the rage she held for her departed husband to fuel her when she trained herself.
A weak woman would be a victim again and she wasn’t willing to let this new king get a hold of her. She heard the demons chasing her and didn’t know what to do. Her mind raced as she ran away from them. It then dawned on her that these demons couldn’t swim. She started heading for a lake she knew was nearby. They were almost close enough to grab her by the time she dove in.
Reyna held her breath even as the icy water bit into her skin. They fired arrows into the water and once cut her arm open. She clutched the bleeding wound and fought not to go up for air. “Just stay calm, I will protect you.” The voice sounded close to her ear, but she saw no one. She suddenly found the water pushed away from her so she sat safely on the muddy lake floor. She could see the water flowing around her and if she reached out she could have touched it. A face darted into view on the other side of the water and startled her. She briefly glimpsed green eyes and then it was gone.
Neme manipulated the water into spiraling tendrils that he shot out of the lake at the demons. The water was moving so fast that it sliced easily through them. He wrapped others in large balls of water, drowning them. They had spilled blood in his lake and harmed a woman. He could tell by their attire that they were knights and thought perhaps the woman had escaped from the king. She was beautiful and would have been used as a play thing and breeder. He slaughtered the demons without mercy then drifted back down to the terrified woman. He studied her for a few moments, admiring her. She started shivering and he wrapped her in an air filled bubble and pushed her to the surface.
Reyna stepped out of the bubble and turned around. He suddenly appeared in the water, blond hair flowing around him and his unique green and blue eyes staring at her. He walked out of the water and she immediately averted her gaze. He was completely nude and very handsome. She had never seen anything like him. “Are you alright?” He asked and she could only nod. He grabbed her chin and turned her head. “Your arm is bleeding. May I fix it?”
“I can heal it.” She replied and placed her hand on her wound. She healed the cut and showed him. “Thank you for helping me. I’m Reyna.” She felt nervous being so close to him, but found herself unable to move.
“I am Neme, this is my lake, my home.”
“Oh, you’re a water spirit.”
“Spirit or elemental. They are one and the same. Please tell me why those men were after you.”
“I…I was King Jeramiahs Queen…..the new king wants me as a trophy…he wants to use me like….like that monster…” Reyna felt tears burning her eyes but she held them in. Saying Jeramiahs name was still hard. It always brought her such pain and fear. It was frustrating that he still tormented her from the grave. What hurt the most was the nightmares. She never dreamed of him abusing her but she had frequent nightmares of all the times she birthed a daughter only to have the baby ripped from her arms and killed. Most she never even got to hold. He would just kill them the second he knew it wasn’t a boy. The rape and beatings were nothing compared to how badly it hurt to watch her little girls die. She couldn’t even cry, if she dared cry over them it would mean a sever beating.
Neme could feel her sorrow at the remembrance of the late king but he knew of their cruelty and how the royal line had treated their brides. He just wanted to hug her but could see she wasn’t even comfortable with him. He had to ask “you look like you need a hug. Could I hug you?” Reyna had instant distrust for any man that approached her but this one did save her life. He was speaking so kindly to her and he had killed all the demons the new king sent. Her heart said yes but her head was telling her no. He oculd have bad intentions too.
Neme waited silently for an answer. “yes” Reyna answer and Neme wrapped her in a gentle hug. His skin felt so cold but she guessed it was because he had just moments ago been water “thank you again. I appreciate it”
“Do you have a home I could take you to so that I know you got there safely?” Reyna shook her head “I have to be on the run too much for a home. I don’t know the first thing about making one anyway. I just sleep in trees or a soft patch of grass.”
“That won’t do at all, it gets very cold and dangerous at night. Let me take you somewhere warmer.” He could tell she was nervous, scared even and could see the faded scars on her wrists from being tied down. He wondered what the old king had done to her. It infuriated him beyond words. “On my honor, I swear I will do nothing to harm you. Please come with me.”
She couldn’t help but be drawn in by his sincerity. He seemed so kind and genuine. “Okay, I’ll go.” She held out her hand, giving him her trust and hoping he didn’t hurt her. He took her hand gently in his and brushed his thumb over the scars on her wrist. He wished he could make them disappear.
He pulled her slowly through the woods, lifting her over fallen trees. She did her best to keep her eyes off his naked form, feeling her face grow hotter by the minute. “Are you feeling alright?” He asked as he stopped to feel her forehead. “You’re burning up.”
“I’m sorry, it’s the whole nude thing.”
He looked down then back up and laughed. “I must apologize, I often forget that I’m naked since I spend most of my time as water. I have clothes where I’m taking you. I could carry you so you won’t see anything.”
“That would be nice.” He laughed again and lifted her into his arms. Her heart rate increased and she suddenly felt very scared. He was bigger than her and could easily take advantage of her if he chose to. She felt guilty thinking such things of her savior and mentally shook herself. They came to a cave that was lit up inside with lanterns. At the very back she was surprised to see a cottage setting next to a hot spring. It was incredibly warm thanks to the heat coming off the water.
“This is my home.” Neme said softly as he sat he lowered her feet to the ground and opened the door. “I want you to know you can come and go as you please. This door will always remain unlocked. I only have one room, but I can sleep on the floor or in the water, whichever makes you more comfortable.”
“You can sleep as water?” Neme smiled “Yes I can and will. It’s how I frequently sleep. I wont mind Reyna. You seem so scared of me. I’m afraid inside I might startle you somehow. I want you to be comfortable.”
“I’m very grateful for your help Neme. I…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be afraid of you atall” Neme wanted to point out that she obviosuly had reason to be afraid of men because of the scars on her wrist. He knew this woman was a demon, for a demon to scar like that she would have had to be tied down overly tight for a very long period of time. The king had obviously tortured her quite a bit. He didn’t even want to imagine why he had kept her tied down so much. “I will sleep as water tonight. Let me just grab clothes so I can dress before entering the house in the morning.”
Reyna hugged Neme “thank you for everything. I know I’ve already thanked you but my worst fear is returning to that castle….to be someones toy again.” Her voice seemed near breaking but she kept it steady. He didn’t mention it and just hugged her. They went inside where he grabbed clothes and made sure she knew where everything was in the hosue. “just come outside if you need me Reyna”
“Night, please sleep well. In the morning I’ll come in the kitchen to cook for you. Please dont be afraid if you hear noise in the kitchen”
“Ok” Reyna was taken back by how sweet Neme was. He was the nicest man she had ever encountered. Then again, she felt her father was the greatest man alive until he just handed her over to the king without a care. He saw how she was treated and it didn’t even phase him. She thought her father loved her but in the end he didn’t seem to care about her atall. She sighed, knwoing she was tired and needed to rest before her thoughts went into it any further. This man was giving her a place to stay, saved her and was being very kind. He didn’t deserve her suspicion. Chthon was a good male demon, there had to be more.
Neme sat the clothes just out side the house then dove into the warm water. He allowed himself to mingle with it, become it. He would not be sleeping this night, but would stand vigil and make sure no demons found their way to her. She trusted him and he would do anything to keep it. Reyna pulled off her wet clothes and grabbed one of Neme’s shirts. She hoped he wouldn’t mind. She pulled it on and crawled into bed, pulling the covers up to her chin and making sure she was facing the door. She immediately succumbed to exhaustion, falling into a restless, nightmare filled sleep.
It was the screams that alerted him that something was wrong. He jumped out of the water and ran into the house, expecting to find Reyna fighting off a pack of demons. Instead he found her tossing and turning, her fingers gripping the blankets and sweat covering her skin. Tears slid down her cheeks as she begged for the life of someone. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her, his heart going into overdrive. “Reyna wake up please.” He felt his heart breaking for her and pulled her into his arms. He stroked her hair, whispering to her to calm down. He didn’t want to slap her awake, especially not after her abuse. “Hush now, it’s okay, everything’s okay.” He crawled in next to her and held her tightly to him, rubbing her back. She finally calmed down and lay completely still on top of him, tears on her face.
He knew he should leave, but she was on top of him and he was afraid if he moved she would wake up. He was also afraid of being accused of trying to rape her and he hoped she would see that this was completely innocent. He wouldn’t dream of harming her. “Please don’t be scared tomorrow. I just want you to sleep soundly.” He whispered.
Neme laid awake, terrified of how she may react when she woke in the morning. He barely knew this woman but it would kill him if she feared him and ran away. He didn’t want her out there alone where somthing could hurt her. He had this overwhelming desire to be with her and keep her from harm. His fears only deepend when he noticed it was becoming morning. After awhile of the sun being up Reyna stirred and pushed against his chest and backed up against the wall. Just as it happened his heart began to slam “Please Reyna this is innocent. Don’t be scared. You were screaming, you didn’t want someone to kill someone else. I was just trying to calm you down and you ended up on top of me. I didn’t want to leave and wake you. Please don’t be scared. I was only trying to comfort you.” The words pouring out of his mouth faster than anything before. Reyna looked at him only a few seconds then gave him a hug “thank you again…I knwo you’re a good man so I believe you. It was nice of you to comfort me. I hope you got enough sleep”
“You’re ok?” Reyna nodded “are you hungry?”
“Then let me go cook.” Neme got out of the bed and Reyna saw he was naked. He looked so good, perfect even. If sex wasn’t so petrifying for her she would desire him but Jeremiah had been her first. All she knew of sex was torture. Sex had always just been about his pleasure. They did whatever he wanted for as long as he wanted and if she spoke against it they would just do it longer. Her thoughts went to the dream. Jeremiah was killing their first daughter. Reyna had named her Jesse when she got to hold her in her arms. She was so adorable and Reyna for the first time since becoming Jeremiahs bride was happy. That happiness was shattered when Jeremiah stormed in angrily and ripped Jeese away “How dare you give me a daughter! You’ve failed you stupid bitch!” Jeremiah then killed her right there. Her Jesse was gone in less than an hour after she met her.
Reyna made Nemes bed and put on her now dry clothing. She walked out nervously. “I have bad dreams a lot. I’m sorry I woke you. I wont sleep here anymore. I’ll just keep you up”
“Nonsense, I want you to stay Reyna. Would you like to talk about your dream?”
She sat down, tearing up. “Jeremiah was killing our first daughter, my first child. Jesse, her name was Jesse and she was so beautiful.” Her tears slipped down her cheeks and he hugged her. “He murdered her right in front of me and made the maid get rid of her like she was garbage.” She sobbed into his chest and he stroked her hair. “We had so many little girls. He killed them all and then would rape me again and again until I was pregnant.”
Neme wished he could kill Jeremiah again. He wanted to rip him apart for what he had done. “I’m so sorry.”
“He tied me down a lot, sometimes for days. I was always in pain.”
“As long as you are with me you will never be in pain again. I promise.” He tightened the hug then pulled back and brushed her tears away. “Let me get dressed and make you something.” He opened the door and grabbed the clothes he had set out then pulled them on. He made her a bowl of fruit salad and handed it to her.
“Thank you.” He made himself a bowl then sat down next to her. They ate in silence, her face sad.
“Please don’t be sad. Smile for me, I bet you have a beautiful smile.”
She looked up at him, her eyes meeting his. She wanted to smile, but didn’t think she could muster one. She felt bad, wanting to give him at least one thing. “I’m sorry.” She said sadly.
“Don’t be, it’s okay. I understand, really.”
“I want to, I really do.”
He reached out and brushed his fingers along her cheek. His touch gave her goosebumps and made her heart nearly leap into her throat. She actually found herself leaning into it. She blushed and pulled away. “Sorry, I guess I shouldn’t be so forward.” He said.
“It’s okay, you’re very sweet. I’ve never had a man be this good to me, this gentle. It’s all new to me so I’m scared. Thank you for being patient.”
“Please don’t leave, I like having you here.”
“I’ll stay for awhile, but there is someone I wish to find. My son Zeus. He is dead and it has been many years, but a friend took him and my daughter in law away to be buried. I would like to find a way into Chthon’s world to see their graves.”
“I know of this demon. He is an honorable man and. I have been to his homeland. I will take you as soon as you have regained your strength.”
“Really? Thank you so much. I wish their was something I could do for you.”
“Just try to be happy.” He took another bite of fruit. “Oh, if you want a bath feel free to use the hot spring. I’ll stay inside.”
“thank you” She finished eating then went outside. Neme sighed sadly. He knew Jeremiah was a monster but he couldn’t believe he had murdered all his daughters when they were born, worse, he did it right in front of Reyna. It sickened him and he would love the chance to torture this man, to make him feel even an ounce of the pain he put such a wonderful seeming woman through. He was glad he knew Chthon so that he knew where to take Reyna to see her son. He was happy there was somthing he could actually do for her. Reyna slipped off her clothes and looked around for any demons lurking. She noticed none and slowly slipped into the water. It felt good on her cramped muscles. The only muscle in her body that hurt was her heart. She remembered the faces of every baby girl she lost. She knew no matter how long she lived she could never forget those sweet faces.
She hoped Chthon had given Zeus a nice grave despite him killing Lucy. He had to know Zeus didn’t do it of his own free will. One thing Reyna was happy to see was how unlike his father Zeus was. Zeus treated Lucy with love. She didn’t like how he treated his daughters but she was happy to see he had a heart atall. She wondered again about how those two turned out. They left just before Zeus snapped. They were alive adn well in Chthons world somewhere. She wondered if they would like to meet her. She had been so dead inside when they lived in the castle she knew they didn’t have any fun memories with her. As Jeremiahs wife she had lost the spirit or want to do anything.
When she felt clean she got our, realizing she had nothing to dry with she just stood there. She didn’t want to go in naked. She didn’t want Neme to see the few scars she had from being beaten. Normally when Jeremiah whipped her he was careful not to leave permanent damage but a few times he lost control and she had long scars from the whip digging deep into her skin. She was getting goosebumps from the cold and really wanted to be dry. Reyna looked back to the water. It was clear so even if she got back in he could see her body. She took a deep breath, knowing she could trust Neme. She actually found herself hoping he wouldn’t find her ugly because of the scars.
Neme was reading when she walked in. He looked up from the book, his smiling face replaced by a shocked one. He actually looked her up and down before finally tearing his eyes away. His heart slammed hard in his chest and he felt guilty for staring. “Sorry, I…” He wasn’t sure what to be sorry for. He had wanted to look at her. She was breathtakingly beautiful.
“I forgot a towel, I’m sorry.” She moved across the living room and he grabbed her wrist. She froze, her heart racing.
“Reyna, doing that is very dangerous. It fills my head with things that shouldn’t be there. You are very, very beautiful and I don’t want you to regret being here.” He still wasn’t looking at her, but she could tell he wasn’t angry. When he finally allowed his eyes to meet hers she gasped at the lust burning there. She actually felt afraid. She knew he could tell because his eyes filled with sadness. “Never think I would take you against your will. I am not that monster.” He let her go and stood, going outside and pulling off his clothes. He jumped into the water and sank to the bottom, his heart aching.
Reyna ran and grabbed a towel, quickly drying then pulling on one of his shirts and getting in bed. She pulled the covers over her head and cried. She had hurt his feelings after he had been so kind to her. She hated that for a brief moment she had compared him to her ex husband. She cried harder, her head hurting as she sobbed violently into his pillow. She wanted to go to him, to apologize but couldn’t find the strength. She cried herself into exhaustion and finally fell asleep.
Neme finally pulled himself out of the water and went inside. He dried and dressed then went into his room where Reyna was sleeping. He could tell she had been crying and gently shook her. Her eyes fluttered open and she started to speak. He pressed a finger to her lips, stopping her. “Don’t apologize to me. I should be apologizing for ogling you and scaring you. Forgive me.”
Reyna sat up quickly and hugged him “I know you wont hurt me..It’s just hard not to be scared” Her voice was a bit hoarse from how hard she cried. “Could I kiss your cheek?” Neme felt a strong urge to but didn’t dare without her permission. “I’d like that” Reyna answered so he gave her a brief kiss. The way his lips touched her cheek was enough to make her cry again. That kiss was filled with such love and care. It wasn’t one that was hungry for her, it was concerned and comforting. She actually wanted to kiss him. She had kissed men before Jeremiah so knew that could be enjoyable. She suddenly pressed her lips into his. Needing his security and love. Neme was shocked at first but then began to kiss her back. He pictured her naked body again but quickly pushed it out of his head. She was obviously nowhere near ready for him so he couldn’t let himself get excited at the thought of her.
Reyna pulled back and looked into Nemes eyes. This time they were burning with love and happiness. “The way you look at me….I love it”
“I’m glad, thank you for kissing me. I didn’t deserve it after upsetting you so much. You were brave enough to be naked in front of me and I go and make it into somthing….you are just so beautiful and I’m trying to be careful…your naked body is breath taking Reyna”
“I’m glad you think I’m beautiful. I was..I was hoping you would. My scars make me feel ugly”
“They make you look strong to me” Neme said, wanting to kiss her again. Reyna could tell “please, kiss me when you want. I like how it feels when you kiss me.” Neme smiled, touched that she felt so comfortable. “normally only boyfriends or husbands can kiss a woman when they want. Does that make you my girlfriend Reyna?”
“You want me to be?” Reyna asked surprised. “Of course, let me love you. Let me do everything I can to give you a happier future Reyna. I’ll do anything to make you happy” Reyna looked away “but..I’m not sure if I’ll be able to have sex with you without getting afraid” Neme grabbed her chin to get her to look at him “that can wait as long as it needs to. I cant stop myself from desiring it but I wont try anything unless you want me to.” Reyna began kissing him again. When she pulled back she said “I want to be your girlfriend”
“then may I hold you? I’ll hold you lightly so you don’t feel like I’m trapping you” Reyna nodded and Neme laid down with her. He pulled Reyna close and held her gently as he said he would. Reyna was surprised by how secure and warm she felt in his arms. “this is actually nice” Reyna said trying not to sound as surprised as she was. Neme heard the surprise in her voice but didn’t take offense this time. “I’m glad” They spent the next few days just getting to know eachother. They mainly talked about Nemes life since Reyna had very few happy memories. She had all the ones before Jeremiah but there still wasn’t many.
Reyna was starting to look healthier already. On the fourth day Reyna asked ‘can we find my son now?”
“Of course, I think you are healthy enough to travel between worlds”
Reyna was both sad and excited. Even after all these years, she still mourned the passing of her son and Lucy. Even though she had never been allowed to say it, she had loved them both very much. “How are we going to get back?”
“I generally take the water, but I don’t want you getting cold so we’ll take the longer route.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m very sure Reyna, let me take care of you.”
She gave him a small smile and he lifted her into his arms and carried her from the cave. He was very warm after days of sleeping and swimming in the hotspring. It was amazing to her that his body would hold the temperature of the water he had become part of. He could still cool down or warm up like a normal human or demon, but it was still so neat. Thunder sounded above them, the sound rolling across the sky and vibrating through them.
“Don’t worry about the rain, I can keep it off of us.”
“You are so much more amazing than me. I’m not very powerful at all. I used to be, but not anymore.”
“Don’t say such things. You are very amazing and very powerful. You hold all the power in this relationship Reyna.”
“Of course you do. I will do nothing without consulting you first dearest love.”
It began to rain as Neme walked but it fell around them instead of on them which Reyna found amazing. It was interesting to see, nearly as amazing as when he protected her in the air bubble under the water. Neme enjoyed her wonderment at what he was doing. Running and snarls caught Nemes ears. The king had sent more men to collect Reyna. He must have discovered the other men had been slain. They had not been able to find them in Nemes cave but now that Reyna was out in the open again they caught her scent. All the comfort and security Reyna had been feeling with Neme rushed out of her body. Neme quickly put Reyna down and concentrated the rain on the demons. It hit them with the force of a waterfall so it slammed them to the ground. The bones in their bodies breaking as it continued to pour down on them and press them into the earth.
Neme didn’t stop until they drowned. They weren’t even able to breath between the dirt and water. Neme found it insulting he didn’t send stronger demons but then again the new king probably didn’t know who had slain the previous men he sent. He picked Reyna up again “are you ok? You looked so scared. I promise I wont let anyone have you. I will keep you safe from anything Reyna” Reyna kissed his cheek “sorry I didn’t have absolute faith in you…going back to the castle is my worst fear..”
“I understand Reyna.” They continued at a faster pace. neme didn’t want another interruption like that to happen. Once they were in Chthons world he would feel a lot better. Reyna got comfortable again and just laid her head on Nemes shoulder. She felt lucky that she had run into him. She wanted to be strong on her own again though. She would get back to trying to unlock her abilities after seeing her sons and Lucys graves. She wished their was any demon alive who would undo what Jeremiah did but only demons with the power to lock away powers could undo it. She knew no demons with that power that would be willing.
When they finally made it where they could go between worlds Neme breathed easier. I want you to hold tight to me. If anything challenges our passage you are to just hold onto me. If we get separated I don’t know how long it will take me to find you.”
“Ok” Neme hated speaking commandingly but Reyna could end up anywhere if they were separated here. Neme got a firmer grip on Reyna and they crossed through. Reyna closed her eyes and didn’t open them until she felt the air of another world. She coudlnt’ tell how it was different but the air was different here. “that was easy” Neme smiled “it normally is, things dont tend to bother the passage of powerful beings” Reyna gave him another kiss “do you know where to find Chthon here?”
“Oh yes, I’ve been to his castle a few times.”
“How long will it take us to get there?”
“A day at most.”
“Thank you for bringing me here.” He smiled and kissed her forehead before walking again. Reyna’s stomach growled around noon and Neme stopped and sat her down to go get food. He found some fruit trees and brought some back. He sat down across from her and found himself watching her eat. Some juice ran down her chin and he leaned over and licked it off, making her blush.
“Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”
“No, it’s okay. You’ve been very good to me, it must be frustrating.”
“Frustrating? Haven’t I made it clear that sex isn’t important? I’m not going to leave you or get mad at you. I really love you.”
“Why? I’m scared all the time and obviously not good for your health.”
“You are very good for my health, you make me happy.” They finished eating and Neme lifted her off the ground. She didn’t know how she was going to pay him back for all of this. Without him she would probably be dead or chained up in a dungeon. Night started to fall and Neme knew they were getting closer. He decided not to stop until they got there. He wanted Reyna safe inside Chthon’s castle. Reyna fell asleep in his arms and he allowed himself to get lost in her soft breathing. What he wouldn’t give to make love to her and show her it could be a sweet and beautiful thing. He kissed the top of her head, willing to give her as much time as she needed. When they made it to the castle he was tired from not having any water. He gently shook her and she jerked awake, looking up at the huge building in front of them.
“Are you ready?” He asked.
“Yes, as ready as I’ll ever be.”Â He banged on the front door and took her hand, giving her his full support.
Though Reyna didn’t know it everyone was at the castle for Oliva and Bishins wedding. It was going to be set up outside the day after tomorrow. Everyone had been there the past few weeks getting things ready and visiting. It was Ava who answered the door and her jaw dropped as she instantly recognized her grandmother “grandma?” Ava asked in disbelief. She felt as if she might pass out. Reynas lip quivered “My Ava” They wrapped eachother in a hug. Reme smiled, happy she was greeted by someone she knew. “Ava, this is my boyfriend Neme. He’s how I was able to come here” Ava hugged him “thank you” Neme hugged back “It wasn’t any trouble”
“It was so” Reyna said then suddenly she heard the voice of Ruth. “Ava honey who’s there?” Ruths eyes suddenly grew wide as she ran and exclaimed “Reyna!” Chthon who wasn’t far behind saw Reyna too and went to fetch Zeus, Lucy, Olivia and Bishin. There were many people in the castle but the important people for her to see was them. “come in, please come sit with us” They walked into the dining room. Neme feeling happy but at the same time worse and worse with need of water. Zeus practically ran into the dining room doors to see his mother. He startled her by coming into the room so fast so she stood and then suddenly fell back from the shock of seeing Zeus alive and a very alive Lucy behind him. Neme panicked, forgetting his need for water as Zeus came over. “I’m such an idiot. I just got so excited to see her”Lucy grabbed his arm “well pick your mother up and take her to the room beside ours.”
“No I have her” Neme said and picked her up. His tone a little angry at Zeus for scaring her. “who are you?” Zeus asked and Ava answered “Moms boyfriend, dad. He has a tone because it was stupid to run in here. She thought you were dead.”
“I was thinking, sorry, what is your name?”
‘Neme, she’s had it really hard and I’ll get everyone up to speed after she is laying down.”
“don’t you need water?” Chthon asked, knowing it was a long trip here. “I do but I will take care of her first.” Chthon, Zeus and Lucy guided Neme to where he could lay Reyna down. He tucked her under the covers and wanted to stay but Chthon urged him. Knowing Neme could die or get very sick if he let himself go too long without being one with water. They went down to the hot spring “get well and re-hydrated then come explain to us. We’ll leave you alone for now” As soon as they were gone Neme became water. He let go of his frustration at Zeus, of course a son would be excited to reunite with his mother. He hadn’t known at first the man rushing in was her son but then he heard one of her grandaughters call him dad. Neme was glad her son and his wife were living. He just wondered how Chthon managed it.
Neme climbed out of the water, feeling refreshed. A towel had been left for him so he quickly dried before pulling his clothes back on. Chthon was waiting for him and took him up to the library where everyone was waiting. They grew silent when he entered, Zeus gripping Lucy’s hand. “How did you find her?” Zeus asked.
“She dove into my lake while running away from some of the new kings guards. From what I gathered, the new kings wants her as a trophy. I could not allow this to happen. I took her home where she could regain her strength. She was filthy and underfed after spending so much time alone in the wild.”
“How is she mentally?”
“Since I do not know how bad she was before I met her I cannot say, but she smiles often. She has nightmares and gets scared even of me at times, but she is strong.”
“Smiling is a good sign. She never smiled before or spoke for that matter.” Zeus choked up, squeezing his eyes shut in hopes of stopping the tears. Lucy rubbed his back and kissed his cheek.
“She was nothing but an empty shell when I met her.” Lucy said. “I can only imagine the atrocities Jeremiah commited against her.”
“He did horrible things to her.” Zeus finally managed to say. “He’s the reason I am an only child. What about her magic?”
“She can’t use very much, she can heal herself and start small fires, but other than that it is almost nonexistant.”
“I can fix that.” Chthon chimed in. “I’ll do it after she’s had time to reconnect with everyone.”
“Thank you daddy.” Lucy said.
Chthon smiled at his daughter then turned his attention back to Neme. “You should go up to her old friend. She’ll probably want to see you first when she wakes. I’m sure she’ll be in quite a state of shock.”
“Thank you, I will bring her down when she’s ready.”
“Thank you for taking care of her. I’m glad the two of you have found happiness with eachother.” Zeus chimed in “yes, I’m glad you’ve gottne her talking and smiling. Thank you so much for treating my mother how she deserves to be treated….my father was such a monster. I should have killed him long before I actually did.”
“and that I want to thank you for. I would love to kill the bastard myself but I’m glad someone had the sense to to free that wonderful women. I love your mother very much, that I swear” Zeus smiled “just keep making her happy please. I really didn’t mean to scare her. I was just so excited when I heard shge was here. I’ve missed her. I can’t wait to see my mother smile and talk. It’ll be nice to see her just be her without fear of my father hitting her.”
“Let me go up to her now before she wakes alone. I’m happy to meet you all and that you are all here. Before I go I do have one more question though.”
“What is it?” Chthon asked. “Does everyone live here with you?”
“No, they are here for Olivia and Bishins wedding the day after tomorrow. They’ve been here a few weeks visiting and preparing. You brought her at the perfect time.”
“I am glad she’ll get to see one of her grandaughters get married. Maybe that’ll give her ideas about me” Neme said slightly embarrassed to be saying that to her children, grandchildren, Chthon and Ruth. It inspired smiles throughout the room as Neme left to be with Reyna. He quickly found the room he left her in and got in bed with her. Neme hoped she wouldn’t wake startled since he normally slept in the water. He just wanted to hold her and rest from the fatigue it causes to go so long without water. Â Bishins sisters and mother had a million questions for Olivia when they could get her alone since they had heard the commotion of Reyna and Neme entering. She was so young when she left the castle that she couldn’t answer much. “Let me ask my sister Lucy if she thinks Zeus is up to questions about his mother. If not Lucy can answer more than I can”
They found Lucy who asked Zeus. He was actually excited and happy. It was rejuvinating to him to hear his mother was actually happy and with a man that loved her, that wanted to marry her even. He answered all their questions. Some dulling his shine as he recounted the horrible things Jeremiah would do to her. She was treated as if she had absolutely no worth besides pleasuring him. Assaku felt a great sadness too remember his fathers and grandfathers work, all the woman they sold to men who treated them just like Jeremiah treated Reyna. Ava noticed Assakus sadness and grabbed his hand to reassure him. He slightly smiled at her. No matter how sad he got Ava could always make him smile. He had been falling in love with her since she came to visit with Olivia, Bishin, Zeus, Lucy and Bishins family.
Reyna woke feeling confused and very warm. She opened her eyes and found herself staring up at a ceiling she didn’t recognize. She tried setting up and felt an arm tighten around her waist. She only panicked for a moment then she realized it was only Neme. She smiled then the memory of her son’s face flashed in her head. She shook him and he jerked awake. “Are you okay?” He asked.
“My son, I saw him right? It wasn’t an illusion?”
“He and his wife are alive and excited to speak to you.”
She started crying without wanting to. Her emotions overwhelmed her and she buried her face in Neme’s shirt. He just held her and whispered how much he loved her. She couldn’t believe her son and Lucy were alive, it was impossible. His face had seemed so excited and full of love. She cried harder and Neme pulled back to wipe her tears away. She took a deep, shuddering breath and was finally able to calm herself.
“Would you like to see them?” He asked softly.
“Yes, please take me to my son and Lucy. I have to know I’m not crazy.”
He kissed her softly on the lips then pulled back to look into her eyes. “Even if you were crazy, I would still love you.” He got up and lifted her into his arms. He carried her downstairs, following the voices of her family to the library. Zeus came to his feet when he saw his mother and Neme put her on her feet, placing his hands on her shoulders in case she fainted again. Zeus crossed the room and wrapped his mother in a tight hug. Both of them started crying and fell to their knees on the floor.
“My boy, my beautiful boy. It really is you.” She said through her tears. “How is this possible?”
“Assaku helped resurrect us. He’s an ex slaver.” He pointed to the demon he spoke of.
“Please don’t be afraid mother, he wasn’t like the others. He didn’t like what he was doing. He’s a good man, he cares for Ava and this family.” Reyna touched his face and smiled. “I’m real mom.”
AssakuÂ blushed at Zeus specifically mentioning his care for Ava but it wasn’t like he was hiding it. He fully intended to ask her to be with him before she left. They held hands a few times, spent most the visit witheachotherÂ and exchanged glances. He felt she wanted him to, he just needed to ask. When Reyna broke away from her son she hugged Lucy tightly “It’s so good to see youÂ aswell. I loved you so much. Sorry I could never say it”
“It wasn’t your fault mom, we knew how you felt and that Jeremiah just wouldn’t let you tell us” Reyna hugged Olivia and Ava too. She nervously approached Bishin “You don’t have to hug me. You look afraid.” Reyna hugged him anyway “If Olivia would marry you and Chthon would let you in his home I know I can trust you.” She even more cautiously approached Assaku which made his heart hang heavy. He understood her hesitation now that she knew his family line and that he had briefly participated in the sex trade. She hugged him for a shorter time than the others but still hugged him. She quickly returned to Nemes side and held his hand. “so is Assaku your boyfriend Ava?” Ava smiled “if he wants to be. He looks at me all dreamy eyed and holds my hand but hasn’t asked me out. He’s a mouse in a demons body it would appear.” Chthon, Olivia, and Ruth laughed. Assaku smiled “Then yes, I am her boyfriend”
“Then congratulations to you both. I’m glad my beautiful grandaughters have love. You two were so young the last time I saw you. You’ve grown into such beautiful women.” Zeus loved hearing his mother talk and ask questions. He couldn’t resist getting up and hugging his mother again. He pulled Neme into the hug aswell “Thank you so much Neme for taking care of her.” They all sat down and talked in the library until dinner time. After dinner Chthon said “are you ready for me to unlock the power that Jeremiah sealed up in you”
“I’m more than ready, I don’t want to be helpless ever again. I want all my power back and I’ll never let another demon take it away”
“Come with me to your bedroom so you can rest with Neme after I’m done. In the morning we will test you out to make sure you can do everything. I don’t think I could fail but I’d feel better being assured” Reyna nodded and the three walked out. In the room Chthon asked Reyna to sit on the bed. He stood in front of her and put his hands on her shoulder. “Just relax Reyna. It will take only moments” She smiled at Chthon and he closed his eyes. Reyna felt a surge burst through her body and took a deep, startled breath. “did you feel it?”
‘I thin so” Chthon smiled “then I will see you in the morning. Right after breakfast I want you to try everything you remember doing.” Reyna got up and wrapped Chthon in a tight hug “thank you so much”
“rest with your boyfriend. also, you don’t have to make your decision tonight but you are welcome to make my castle your home. It’s very big and has plenty rooms if this one doesnt suit you. Your world will be dangerous for you to stay in. You will always be wanted due to your marriage to Jeremiah. Here nobody knows you. Just consider leaving that world and living here. I’m sure neme would live here, wouldn’t you old friend?”
“If it meant her safety of course. I would keep her safe there but I’d rather her not be under constant attack”
“then think on it. Give me your answer after the wedding Reyna” Reyna nodded and Chthon left the room. Late that night Assaku went to Avas room. She answered and smiled at him as he picked her up. “I am not a mouse” was all he said in his lustful tone and burning eyes. She wrapped her legs around him and they began kissing. Their lips moving against eachother in a way that was indicitive of just how badly they each had wanted to kiss the other. He sat on their bed and began to kiss, nibble and lick her neck. Ava moaned and dug her fingers into his back. “I want to make passionate love to you”
“than do it, or are you still my mouse?” Assaku smiled. He ripped off her clothes and his, throwing the ripped up pieces on the floor. It only intensified how excited Ava was to finally be with him in her room. He bit down all over her. Each time leaving marks and a wet spot where his tongue played even as his teeth sunk into her soft flesh. He only stopped when Ava moaned deeply “take me Assaku, I need you inside of me” He thrust hard inside of her. His pace reamined fast and rough as he began kissing her again. Her loud cries couldn’t even be muffled by his kiss which made him smile. Their moans mingled until he seeded deep inside of her. “You are no mouse” Ava said breathlessly.
“How are you feeling?” Neme asked.
“I don’t know there is so much going on in my head that it’s spinning.”
He propped his head up and looked down at her. She was so beautiful and a lot happier than she was when he had first met her. She smiled up at him and he couldn’t help but kiss her. He felt himself getting excited, his skin warming and his heart rate spiking. He stopped and pressed his forehead against hers. “I need to leave.” He whispered.
“Why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, but if I stay something might happen and I don’t want to scare you. I love you to much.”
“I want you to stay, please don’t leave me here alone. What if I have a nightmare?”
She looked near tears and it crushed his resolve. “Okay calm down, I’ll stay.” He stroked her cheek, loving the softness of her skin. “Can I just touch you, I won’t do anything else.”
Reyna swallowed nervously. She knew he wouldn’t hurt her or take advantage of her, but in the very back of her mind she was screaming. She took a deep breath, trying to block it out. He had been so patient and sweet, he never forced her or made her feel inadequate. “Yes, but I am very nervous and I don’t think I can take my clothes off.”
“Trust me okay?” She nodded and he pulled her clothes off slowly, giving her plenty of time to change her mind. Goosebumps covered her skin and a small tremor ran through her body. He ran his fingers over her cheek and down her neck to her chest. He ran his fingertips over and between her breasts, making her gasp. “Still okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” She said in a breathy tone.
“Just tell me to stop and I will.” He ran his finger down to her abdomen, tracing one of the scars. “These scars are beautiful. They make you look like a real warrior. Can I kiss them?”
“If you really want to.” He leaned on and traced the white line with his lips, being so gentle that she nearly cried. “I really love you Neme, with all my heart.” He kissed his way slowly up to her lips and kissed her softly. The loud, panicked screaming in her head had stopped.
“I love you Reyna and I’ll do anything to make you happy. You are my everything, every cell in my body yearns for you. I’m completely addicted to you. If you let me, I’ll try to replace your bad memories with good ones. I’ll sleep with you every night and make love to you until you no longer have nightmares. I know I can’t erase everything, but I can give you happiness and gentleness. Stay with me forever…marry me.”
Reynas tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks. Neme worried she was afraid “we’ll put your clothes back on. Please don’t cry” He whispered and reached for her clothes. She grabbed his arm “it’s not that, you’re just so sweet and wonderful. I want to marry you too and tonight…tonight I’d like you to make love to me..” Neme kissed her again “we dont have to make love to get married Reyna”
“I know, I want you to. You touch me and kiss me so sweetly. I want to feel what it’s like when you’re making love to me” Neme wanted to cry himself. He wiped away Reynas tears and kissed the trails where the water had been. He laid her down slowly as he studied her face. He worried about scaring her even though his whole being celebrated that she truly just said yes to marrying him and was letting him physicly express how much he loved her. He made slow, very tender love to Reyna. Enjoying her every movement and gasp of pleasure. She seemed to truly enjoy being with him this way. A few tears escaped his eyes as he moved in and out of her while he rained kisses on her face and chest.
He whispered that he loved her as he enjaculated. He rolled ot her side and held her close “did you enjoy it Reyna?”
“I didn’t know sex could be so sweet and make me feel so beautiful and cherished. I” her words stopped as she cried into his chest. He just held her close. Knowing all she needed right now was to be held. When she quit crying she said “I love you Neme”
“I love you too. It’s very late and we should sleep my love” They fell asleep intertwined and both in a state of disblief. She was in shock at just how worshiped Neme had made her feel when they made love while he couldn’t believe that this night had really happened. When morning came they announced to the family they were now engaged. Everyone was estatic about the news. They would start planning as soon as Bishin and Olivia were off on their honeymoon. Reyna and Neme also decided to take Chthons offer. Neme didn’t really have belongings aside from clothes which he didn’t need to fetch since Chthon offered to buy him more.The castle was filled with happiness and celebration as Chthons family got a little bit bigger and Zeus’s family finally felt complete.
~ The End ~
When Maril left in the morning to sharpen her sword for tomorrows lesson Blake and his parents met with Marils parents. “Before we start a negotiation of price I want it to be laid on the table she’s defective. I don’t know why my son wants some woman who can’t speak but he would like her to be promised to him when they are adults. We’re willing to pay two hundred gold for her. That price is barely bendable but we are willing to talk it out. Our son has insisted she’s who he wants and she keeps spurning his advances. I don’t see how she feels she has options since my family is among the few who bothers to speak to mutes. You already knew this from yesterdays talk so I’m sorry to bring it up again. It just pisses me off she wont give my son a chance. She wouldn’t take the easy way so I’m glad you two agreed to arrange a marriage since it’s your right to do so. What do you say to two hundred gold?”
Marils father spoke “that’s more than generous. We don’t want to keep her forever. Especially not after that elder came into town and taught us all about how mute, deaf and children of any abnormality are curses and bring bad luck on a home. No doubt she’s why we’ve had so many struggles. I’m glad someone pointed out to us why. I’d say we’re taking advantage at two hundred since she’ll bring bad luck on your son. We plan to give the money to our own son as penance for how we forced him to play with her and tend to her growing up. We didn’t realize she was just a curse laid upon us.”
“we have it with us” Blakes dad said then set the bag on the table. “Blake, get an elder to make this sale and promise of marriage official” Blake got up and ran. Zem laid upstairs listening in his room. He couldn’t wait for that brat to be gone and was glad he knew when she would be. Since she was only sixteen there was still five years until she would be gone but there was atleast aÂ deadline in sight. He was glad his parents were giving him the money for having to give up so much of his own time because little Maril didn’t have any friends. It would also help make up for the embarrassment of being related to a mute.
Mikel ran across the desert sands to find Ava and Olivias home. He had finally become strong enough to travel through portals alone and was now on the hunt for Maril. When he had been returned to his Aunt he told her about Maril and how he wanted to mvoe closer to her. His Aunt panicked and told him the humans would kill the both of them if they were to be friends. They fought and fought about it until his Aunt decided it was for Mikels own good to move into a different world. You had to have a certain amount of strength to even enter a portal by yourself so she knew Mikel would have years to realize how stupid it was for a demon to want a future with a human. Mikel was now seventeen and was finally able to make it all the way through the portal to Tresnia on his own. His Aunt had been extra clever and went to a world where portals had age requirements. He wasn’t able to come back until today, his seventeenth birthday.
Mikels Aunt had raised him with kindness and love. She truly did what she did because she thought it was in Mikels best interest but he could never forget Maril. Mikel hadn’t even tried to. He knew she would look a little different as a woman but he could still see those eyes, her long beautiful hair and the sweet way she smiled perfectly. As he grew older he realized what that feeling was he had back then. He realized he had fallen in love with her while they were both prisoners. He practiced his sign language every day growing up so he wouldn’t be rusty when he finally saw her again. His only concern now was if she woudl remember and actually want him in her life. He planned to take it slow but there was a chance the humans had brainwashed her into thinking all demons were bad. He was mentally preparing himself as best he could for his Maril to be afraid.
Maril practiced with her sword, slashing at a twig on a tree to test its sharpness. She smiled when it cut easily through instead of just snapping it off. She heard approaching footsteps and turned, frowning when she saw Blake. ‘What are you doing here?’ she signed. ‘Go away.’
“I don’t have to go away if I don’t want to Maril.” He said cooly back and dug in his satchel. “You are promised to me now.”
She snatched the paper from his hand and looked at it in open horror. She threw it on the ground and took of running back to her home, bursting through the door and startling her parents. ‘Why?’ she signed frantically. ‘Why would you give me away? I said no, I hate him.’
“Because no one else wants you.” Zem answered before their parents could make up some stupid lie.
She felt herself tear up. ‘Is this true, do you hate me that much? He is not for me, I don’t want to be his. I hate him.’
“We had no choice Maril.” Her father said.
‘I refuse, I would rather die.’ She signed angrily. She ra to her room and slammed her door then locked it. She knew why Blake had showed her the paper, to rub it in her face, to taunt and torment her. She flopped down on her bed and cried. She didn’t want Blake. There was only one man for her, she dreamed about him every night. She cied herself to sleep and woke to the sound of knocking around dinner time. She grabbed a book and threw it angrily at the door, wishing she could scream at whoever it was to go away.
She wasn’t going to stay there. She refused to be sold like a piece of property, law be damned. She got silently out of bed and started packing a bag. She was going to run and she wouldn’t stop until they killed her or she got far enough away that their laws could not touch her. When they were asleep she would make a break for it and would fight anyone who pursued her.
She cried in her room, deeply hurt by her family. She knew they had grown to loathe her since that elder came and told them she was a curse but she hadn’t expected them to sell her to a man she hated. Blake was an ass and preferred women to be seen not heard which was why he wanted her. She was aware that he actually liked she was mute so he wouldn’t have to hear her speak. If he didn’t pay attention to her hands he didn’t have to know what she was saying atall. They had once loved her, atleast her parents did. She couldn’t believe how one man had made them hate her and treat her as if she was a burden.
Not even Mikel seemed to be coming back for her. Sh ehad waited and waited, he promised he’d come back but he hadn’t showed. She wouldn’t give up though, she needed to see him again. Over dinner, not feeling even the smallest tinge of guilt her parents finalized the sale with an elder. Blake smiled smugly, he couldn’t wait for them to be adults. he had found the perfect bride. He could treat her anyway he wanted and demand anything of her and nobody would care because she was a curse. He could rape, beat and cheat on her. get his way in anything because she was a mute. Plus she had an amazing body to look at. She didn’t have a voice but her body made up for that even if it were a flaw to him. He thought all women should be born mute.
Mikel finally arrived at the houe he remembered in the desert and knocked. Bishin answered the door, recognising him right away even though he was gronw now “wow, Mikel!?”
‘yes? Please, where’s Maril?” Bishin smiled and went to get Olivia. She hugged him excitedly “hey!” she knew him right away aswell. He asked her just as he asked Bishin “where’s Maril?”
“It’s a two day trip, you want to rest first or go as soon as we’re ready?”
“I want to go now. Please”
Maril waited patiently for everyone in her house to fall asleep. She knew her brother stayed up later than everyone else so she couldn’t go until it was almost two in the morning. She pushed her window and jumped down, taking off at a sprint the moment her feet touched the ground. Her heart hurt so bad and she felt sick to her stomach at the betrayal. She felt tears in her eyes again and quickly dashed them away. She knew by morning they would realize she had fled and would get the dogs out to track her. She would do her best to cover her tracks. She headed into the desert, letting the silence and shadows envelope her.
She ran until her legs began to tire and she was out of breath. She didn’t want to stop, but she knew if she didn’t she would collapse and she needed her energy to evade her pursuers. She found some berry bushes and sat down to eat. The fruit would help revive her. When she had her breath back she got to her feet and started again.
Mikel impatiently ran across the sand, wishing he was already with Maril. He could still remember the look of sadness on her face when they parted ways. It had broke a part of him seeing her like that. He had wished she had had no family to go back to so she could have stayed with him. When he saw her again he was going to promise never to leave again. He wanted her by his side forever. When Olivia called for them to stop and rest he wanted to tell her no. The longer they ran, the closer he got to the love of his life. Instead he did as he was told. He owed Olivia a great deal and wouldn’t argue with her. They drank some water and ate an apple each then once they were breathing normally they took off again.
“What is she like now?” Mikel asked.
“Beautiful, smart, tough.” Olivia answered. “She’s become very proficient with a sword.”
“I can’t wait to see her.”
“she’ll be thrilled to see you. The whole village has turned against her..even her own family. They believe she is a curse and they are cruel to her aside from her mentor who actually loves her.”
“stupid assholes” Mikel cursed in anger. He would make up for everything she endured. He planned on changing her so he would have eternity to make her feel loved and just as amazing as she was. That was, if she remembered who he was and wanted to be with him. “we wanted to get her Mikel but we were afraid if we tried they’d think she was attracting demons and they would hurt her”
“I know you would have gotten her if you could. Her life wasn’t worth the risk. Between the three of us we can get her. Do you think she remembers me?”
“I know she does, I’ve talked to her outside the village a few times. She’s been dreaming of your return Mikel.” Mikels heart gave a happy leap and it surged him with energy. He was so glad that didn’t have to be a worry any longer. She remembered him, wanted him and wouldn’t be afraid. “I’m so glad to hear that”
“You two can live with us if you’d like”
“we love you two so it’s no problem”
“where’s Ava by the way?”
“She has a boyfriend now and is living in Chthons castle”
“good for her. You and Bishin seem like Mates. i get that vibe from you two”
“Yeah, we have been for quite awhile now”
“I’m glad, now I just need my mate. Will you two help me change her into a demon”
“I will be forever grateful.” Maril only stopped when her legs simply refused to go any longer. She fell to the ground panting. Her legs cramped badly and she knew she absolutly had to stop incase somthing attacked her. It wasn’t long after she stopped that morning glazed the horizon. This morning her parents decided to force her to eat so her buyers wouldn’t get upset if she wasnt a healthy weight to carry a baby for their son. Her father knocked on the door and when she didn’t answer he opened it.
He was shocked to find the room empty and the window open. He yelled for his wife and son and they came running. “What are we going to do?” His wife asked.
“Zem go to Blakes house and alert him, get him to rouse the dog man. If we don’t find her then there will be hell to pay.”
“Yes sir.” Zem took off running, angry at his sister for threatening their livelihood.
Maril pushed herself to her feet and started again, this time at a walk. She needed to find some water. She walked until a small oasis came into view and dropped down on her knees next to the water. She scooped some up and drank, her dry throat feeling so much better. She looked out over the desert, unsure of which way to go. She took her canteen out of her bag and filled it, not sure when she would find another place like this. She chose to head West and got to her feet. Blake was enraged when he found out Maril had ran away. He should have demanded she stay in his house where she could have been chained up.
He met the dog man along with Zem, Maril’s father and two more men on the outskirts of town. They climbed onto the backs of their horses as the dog man let his hounds smell one of Maril’s shirts. He climbed onto his own horse and gave the dogs the order to hunt. When he found Maril he was going to beat her until she couldn’t move and tie her down until she learned her place. She was nothing, but a cursed mute who should feel lucky a man actually wanted her.
Mikel was happy when their first day of running ended and this time he was less angry about taking a break. He was closer to Maril so he didn’t feel as impatient. “What are you going to say when you see her?” Bishin asked.
“I don’t know to be honest. I guess that I love her and I’m sorry for taking so long to get back to her.” He answered, feeling a little embarrassed.
“You’re too cute Mikel and I’m sure whatever happens she’ll be overjoyed just to see your face.” Olivia said with a big smile.
“I pray so, oh how i pray so. i wish my Aunt hadn’t forced me into a world I couldn’t leave until I was seventeen”
“so thats what took you?”
“Yeah, I honestly couldn’t get to her. I would have come long ago”
“You’re here now and thats what matters” They rested and were drawing ever nearer to Maril. Since they were both running towards eachother it wouldn’t take two days to meet. Unlike Mikel, Bishin and Olivia. Maril had nothing to be excited over. She didn’t know they were coming so had no idea what she was going to do with herself since she could never live in a village again. She was glad she was so good with her sword so could defend herself now that she would be in the wild forever. What saddened her was that even if Mikel did come back now he would have no way of finding her.
She made herself feel better by deciding to stop at Olivia and Bishins so they would know to tell Mikel if he stopped by. She knew they would offer to let her stay but she wouldn’t bring that on them. She didn’t want humans ruining their peaceful home. Blake only grew more infuriated the longer the had to hunt for Maril. He kept playing in his head all the things he would do to punish her and make sure she never tried escaping again. he especially couldn’t wait to finally take her. He had been imagining screwing her since the day his eyes traveled her body.
Sadly for Maril, on horse back the men were gaining fast. Sh eknew they’d use horses which was why she was pushing herself so hard to keep moving. She was asking of her body as much as it could give her. The sun beating down on Maril was starting to take a toll aswell. Unlike demons she didn’t have resistance to heat which made all this running even harder on her body.
Mikel, Olivia, and Bishin moved at a more leisurely pace since they would be there some time in the night. Mikel ran things through his head that he thought might sound good to say to Maril. Anything he thought of sounded stupid and cheap to him. There were no words to express how much he loved her or how sorry he was she had been waiting for so long. His heart had yearned for her, he had dreamed only of her. Other women had stood no chance and walked away disappointed when he ignored their advances. He needed her, he craved her, being without her had been a worse nightmare than being the captive of a hungry demon.
“He really looks lost in thought.” Bishin whispered.
“I guess we should make sure he doesn’t trip and hurt himself since he has his head in the clouds.” They both smiled as they walked hand in hand. They hoped Mikel and Maril had a love like their’s. They both deserved happiness after being seperated.
Maril started crying when her legs gave out. It wasn’t fair she was so weak. She crawled into a clump of bushes, needing the shade they provided. She pulled out her canteen and took a sip of water while she willed herself to stop crying. She wondered how close her pursuers were and struggled to her feet. Her legs shook uncontrollably, but she forced herself to walk on. She would get to Bishin and Olivia’s and take a real rest. She knew they would find a way to cover her scent so no one would find her then she would search everywhere for Mikel. She had had to suffer her nightmares alone without him after returning home. Every moment with her family had been terrible and she often prayed she would wake to find him standing over her, that he would pull her into his arms and carry her away, but every morning she was disappointed.
Marils mentor Shad her tale of Maril being promised to that horrible young man and how she ran away because of it. He was angry her parents would do that to her. Even if they were going to sell her, they could have atleast given her to a decent boy. He hoped they wouldn’t punish the poor girl to severely for running away. She was breaking a contract with Blake even though she didnt make it herself and he would have the right to punish his wife to be as he saw fit. It urked and pissed Shad off. If Maril was forced back to the village he decided he would abide by this no more. If they made her come back he would steal her away and make a run himself. It could end with him getting banished from the village but he just couldn’t watch the always sweet Maril be victimized by Blake.
The men had bene cruel to their horses and didn’t allow them to stop. Because of this they finally got Maril in their sights. She heard the horses and looked back in absolute horror. She kept running even though she knew it was futile. As if her parents hadn’t pushed the dagger deep enough into her heart it was her father who jerked her up and held her on his horse to take her back. Blake threw him rope and he tied her up. Maril cried but nobody cared about her tears. her father whose heart had turned to stone for her since the day that elder came didn’t even care, It didn’t even crack the cement on his heart.
She wnated to sign “did you ever love me truly?” but knew her father wouldn’t be paying her any attention. He was wroth with her, she could see it on his face and feel it with how creuly tight he held her. She tried not to look at Blakes triumphant face. She closed her eyes and pictured Mikel, her true and only love. She woudl picture his face always and never give up praying he would save her.
“We should make camp back at the oasis, she won’t be going anywhere.” Her father said.
“Fine, but once we are off these horses she is mine.” Blake replied angrily. They kicked their horses into a run and Maril cried silent tears of agony.
The sound of baying hounds brought Mikel, Olivia, and Bishin to a halt. They ducked behind a bunch of bushes and waited. The sound of hoof beats sounded in the silence and through the branches they could see a group of men and hounds racing across the sand. The horses were obviously in pain, their every breath agonizing as they were pushed to their limit. The wind whipped around them and a familiar scent hit their noses. “Maril?” Mikel said and stood. “They have Maril.” He was excited and confused. He had not seen her on one of the horses. His heart sank as he wondered if she was a captive. “We have to go to her.”
“Mikel you have to calm down. Lets just follow them from a distance and see what they are up to.” Olivia said softly, trying to keep the young demon from racing after the men.
Maril’s heart nearly stopped when the horses finally came to a halt. She was so scared, but kept her eyes closed and held on tightly to the memory of her dearest love. She didn’t know what Blake would do to her, but whatever it was she would not let it break her. He would have to kill her before he made her into some mindless toy. Her father swung off of his horse then pulled her down and immediately handed her over to Blake. “Did you really think you could escape me bitch?” He said in her ear and she spit in his face. He punched her in her stomach then pulled her upright by her hair. He dragged her over to a tree and untied her hands then retied them in front of her. He tossed the rope over a branch and pulled until her arms were above her head before tying it off. “Open your eyes.” He ordered and she shook her head. He punched her again and she had never been so glad to be mute. “Open your fucking eyes.”
Mikel growled, Bishin clenched his fists and jaw while Olivia covered her mouth at their cruelty. Especially since her father was sitting right there and didn’t seem to care atall. Bishin who was no longer afraid to turn full demon in front of his wife whispered “I’ll go full demon and then we’ll attack and save her” Bishin said in a low voice. Blake was still yelling at Maril so the men couldn’t hear them whisper. Mikel nodded angrily and Bishin shifted into his full demon form. Olivia whispered “I’ll grab Maril if you’ll cut her down Bishin.” He nodded then they slinked closer, trying not to let them be aware until they were right on top of them.
When they were close the three attacked. Bishin sliced at Marils roped first then Olivia grabbed her. Maril made a soundless gasp as she saw Mikel. He was older but there wasn’t any way she wouldn’t be able to recognise him. When Olivia got a little bit away Bishin threw up walls in the direction they were going so the humans couldn’t follow. Blake screamed in rage and pain. Vishin had sliced into his head while he freed Maril. Bishi had made no attempt to spare the bastard who was hitting her.
They killed the other two village man and wounded the dog keeper really badly by the time they decided retreat was the only answer. Mikel tried to follow but Bishin grabbed him “no, they are retreating. If they become a threat again I dont mind but they are retreating now and we can protect Maril. They’ll just think random demons attacked and that we’re going to eat her. She’s free Mikel and she looked excited to see you. Did you see her face?’
He warred with himself, wanting very much to catch the pathetic bastards and rip them apart, but needing to be with Maril and know she was okay. He forced himself to turn his back on them and run with Bishin to catch up with Olivia and Maril. Olivia held Maril while she cried and they waited for Mikel and Bishin. When the two male demons came into view Maril pulled herself away from Olivia and ran straight for Mikel. He opened his arms and she jumped into them, her tears dripping on to his shoulder. “Oh Maril please don’t cry, you’re safe now.” He said softly and she pulled back to lok at him.
‘I’m just so relieved and happy to see you. Please tell me you’re real and not a dream.’ She signed.
“I’m really here baby, I promise.” He replied and more tears fell down her cheeks.
‘What took you so long?’
He frowned. “I wasn’t allowed to leave my world until I was seventeen. I missed you so much, but I had to stay away. Can you forgive me?” She nodded and rested her head back on his shoulder. She couldn’t believe her dreams had come true. All of her pain and sadness slipped away as he held her safely in his arms. She was so exhausted from the running and heat that she fell asleep while they still stood there.
“Poor girl, she looks so tired.” Olivia said as Mikel lifted Maril into his arms.
“Lets get her home, you two can stay in Zeus and Lucy’s house since they’re at the castle.” Bishin said as they walked across the desert. Mikel couldn’t keep his eyes off of Maril’s beautiful face. She had truly grown into the most gorgeous creature he had ever seen. It took his breath away and he brushed a light kiss on her forehead.
Walking made the return longer but they didn’t want to wake Maril and had no reason to rush now that she was in Mikels arms. When she woke she smiled happily. She was glad to see Mikels handsome face instead of Blakes evil one. She truly hoped her village would believe her dead and she woudl never have to see a one of them. The only friendly face she knew from Bista was her mentor and it was probably best if he didn’t know where she was anyway. He could get in trouble himself for consorting with demons. She had never even told her mentor Mikel was a demon.
Mikel leaned down to give Marila a sweet kiss on the head then they dcided to run to get her in a nice comfortable house sooner rather than outside in this heat. They went basically non stop until they were finally back to the houses “why don’t you two relax in your new house while Bishin and I make dinner at ours? We’ll come get you when it’s ready”
“Thank you, is that good with you Maril” He said looking at her. She signed yes then they went into their new home. Mikel set Maril down “lets explore it together. I’ve never been in here” They walked around and admired Bishins handy work. He was a true artist when it came to working with wood. When they had seen everything upstairs Maril realized they ddin’t grab her bag. She signed ‘Oh no, I don’t have any clothes” he smiled “I can make you clothes. I’m realy good at it. I have to make me some too. I didn’t bring myself anything. I’ll get to work on it tomorrow but maybe in the meantime Bishin and Olivia will lend us clothes.”
‘Can you go ask while I shower? I know I look terrible.’ She signed.
He smiled and brushed his knuckles lovingly over her cheek. “You are always beautiful to me.” He said and she blushed as he turned and went next door. It wasn’t fair how attractive he was, especially when she was such a disheveled mess. She went into the bathroom and switched on the water, testing its temperature before pulling off her dirty clothes and tossing them in the corner. She stepped under the water, feeling instantly better.
Mikel knocked lightly on Olivia and Bishin’s door. Bishin pulled it open with a smile. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, could Maril and I borrow some clothes?”
“Of course, come in.” He stepped inside and waited patiently in the living room. Bishin came back with a couple of changes of clothes and pajamas for both of them.
“Thank you, I’ll return them once I have us something made.”
“Don’t worry about it. We have plenty of clothes. Do you two still want to eat with us?”
“Alright, if you need anything else don’t be afraid to ask.”
“thank you so much” Mikel went back to his home with Maril and walked up stairs. He heard she was still in the shower so gently knocked on the door. He said loudly to make sure she heard “Keep the curtain closed. I’m going to set your pajamas on the toilet” He walked in and set her clothes down. “I’m so glad I finally have you back Maril.” He wanted to end it with an I love you but wanted to tell her that to her face, not through a shower curtain. Maril pulled the curtain back enough to show her hands “I’m glad you found me. I was going to find you myself before I’d let them force me to marry Blake”
“is that why they were so angry?”
“Yeah, my parents promised me to him so I ran away. I only wanted to be with you” Mikel blushed and so did she. “I’m walking out now ok”
“ok’ he was so happy that he practiced daily while waiting to see her. He was having no problem atall reading her hand signs. When Maril came out she gave him a shy smile then a hug “I missed your hugs Maril” he said as he held her close. She pulled back “I missed yours too” Mikel went into the bathroom and quickly cleaned. He had only just gotten out when Bishin knocked on the door to invite them to dinner. Mikel yelled to tell him they would be right over. Maril took his hand, not wanting Mikel to be any further away than he had to be.
“How’re you feeling?” Olivia asked as they sat down. “good” she signed and Mikel translated. Since everyone was tired they didn’t stay very long after dinner. Olivia had them take drinks home incase they needed one for the night. Mikel put them in then signed “are you going to sleep with me so I know you’re safe?”
“I’d like that a lot” She responded.
He grabbed her hand and pulled her to the bedroom and she became really shy, looking at her feet. “Hey, I can take the couch if you don’t want to sleep with me.”
‘It’s okay.’ She signed with her head still down. He tipped her head up and smiled sweetly at her.
“I’m serious, you can have the bed to yourself if it’ll make you more comfortable.” She shook her head, wanting to be closer to him. She climbed under the covers and patted the spot next to her. He chuckled and slid in next to her, pulling her into his arms and her head down onto his chest. “Is this okay?”
She nodded. She wished she could talk so she wouldn’t have to sign every time he asked her something. He rubbed her arm, his gentle touch helping to calm her racing heart. She had missed him so much, his smile, his way of putting her at ease. She had clung to him so hard when they had been kidnapped that letting him go only to be given to a family who hated her had nearly shut her down. She ran her fingers lightly over his chest and he gave a small sigh of joy.
“I really love you Maril.” He said softly and her heart stuttered. She sat up and looked down at him.
‘I love you too, very much.” She signed. ‘I always have. Please never leave me again, no matter what.’
“I promise, I’ll stay right here.” He cupped her cheek and she leaned into his touch with a happy smile. “May I kiss you Maril?” He asked and her face grew hot against his palm. She nodded and his heart leapt with joy. He tangled his fingers in her soft hair and pressed his lips gently into hers. He nearly moaned at how wonderful it felt to taste the sweetness of her lips and deepened the kiss, becoming excited and slipping his hands slowly up the back of her shirt to trail his fingers over her soft skin. He promised himself that no matter how good it felt to touch her, he wouldn’t do anything else without her permission.
The kiss grew deeper and passionate until Maril pulled back. Mikel just looked at her as if he had been given a heavy sedative. She signed shakily “Do you want to make love to me? I’ve never done it before because I only wanted to do that with you.” she was nervous about his answer and deeply blushed. “I want to if you’ll do somthing for me Maril” she looked at him “will you become a demon for me so you can live forever and we will never have to part?” She frowned and he worried the idea upset her “I wasn’t serious, I will still make love to you. I just had to ask. I’m sorry” Maril began to sign “I’m not upset, I’m happy. I’ve been told all my life I’m a burden and a curse. now here you are and you think I’m wonderful enough to be with forever” Mikel hugged her “I never stopped loving you or thinking about you Maril. You’ll change for me?” She pulled back enough to sign that she would.
They embraced for a short amount of time longer before Mikel put his hands in her shirt again. He lifted it over her head then unsnapped her bra to let her breasts hang freely. Maril was once again too shy to look at him. He turned her head “please look at me so you can see in my face how gorgeous you are. You grew up prettier than I thought you’d be my love” She smiled and he bgan to take off his pants. She took hers off too and then her underwear. She lookd at his eyes, they were studying her like she was a million gold painting. He looked absolutley entranced by her beauty. A part of him was animalistic though. She coudln’t quite put her finger on it but his eyes also had an animals lust to them. She guessed it was natural for demons to seem that way.
Mikel pushed her down on the bed and he made her feel passion and pleasure unlike anything she could have imagined. If she had a voice Bishin and Olivia may have heard her but since she didn’t it was silent aside from his moans and words to her. They were both breathing heavily as they got under the covers. “that was amazing” he said wishing he could have heard her to know if she enjoyed it as much as he did. She nodded and then they just relaxed under the stars. It was so peacful being in eachothers arms and looking up at the night sky since the roof was made of glass. They looked forward to many more nights like this, especially since they had plans to change Maril so they truly would be together forever.
~ The End ~