Voices in the dark.
One filled with anger, the other terror. Both too far away to understand
clearly. Pushing through the darkness, Brynn tried to find the voices. There
was something familiar about the one who was afraid. A female’s voice that
haunted his dreams, fleeting as a distance memory. Memories cloaked in
Brynn was no
stranger to darkness. He had slipped in and out of that darkness for many years,
trying to hide from the pain. Trying to forget…her. Unfortunately, the light
never lets the darkness rest, and he was forced to surface and remember that he
was not the only one who had lost someone vital to their existence. That he did
have something to live for. His children. Now he fought every day to stay in
the light. Some days it was harder than others, and some nights when the
nightmares haunted his dreams damn near impossible. Like tonight….
more must you suffer before you heed my wishes?”
ask for what is mine!”
yours? What you ask for has never been yours because it belongs to Aden
therefore I cannot give it to you!”
that she was so close slipped away as he realized it was her voice that was
fill with terror. Frowning, Brynn hurried closer. Who was Kara fighting with
that would fill her with so much fear? Only two people came to mind and he did
not want her near either one of them.
“Maybe I have been too lenient with you.
Maybe I should take a page from your past, from before I found you and you
begged me to save you from the bastards that abused you. Maybe I should and
give you to one of my garrisons for a few hours. Remind Aden how the touch of a
man, any man, fills you with hunger and lust. Then maybe he will see you for
the worthless whore you are and sever your bond as I have commanded!”
froze in his tracks. What was he talking about? He could mean what those words suggested. He
breathed. “Please, my lord. I beg of you. Don’t do this! We cannot give you
what you want.”
Shapes began to take form. Misty, watery,
showing Kara’s face full of terror as she pleaded for mercy before drifting
away. Another face, one he had never seen, old, scarred with age, twisted in
fury. The more Brynn tried to see the images the quicker they drifted away,
only to become suddenly crystal clear.
‘we’ in that sentence that displeases me,” the ancient man snarled slowly
rising off his throne, his eyes narrowed on Kara with rage. “There should be no
we!” He began descending the steps of the dais, one after one, his voice
raising as his rage did. “There should only be Aden and then you. You do not
belong to him. You belong to ME!” he roared.
The form slipped away into mist only to reform to the left of Brynn with
the ancient man’s lips close to Kara’s ears, his voice a hoarse whisper. Kara
stood, her body trembling, the color draining from her face, her lips quivering
as tears streamed down her cheeks.
bond, or so help me gods I will carry out my threat,” he hissed.
The movement was so slight that Brynn barely saw it, but the expression
on Kara’s face was enough. She would not obey this man’s command. She would not
break her bond with Aden.
well,” the man said coldly.
Brynn’s worst fears had come to life. That what he had learned six years
ago and refused to believe was true. That Kara did love Aden. Somehow it was
far worse than the horror the ancient man threatened to force on her.
Gasping for air, he tried to break the nightmare, but something outside
of himself would not let him go. Something…or someone, wanted him to see.
Desperately looking around the darkness for an escape, half formed images
danced before his eyes. Kara’s screams, men’s laughter, taunts, moans of
pleasure, the sharp sound of leather against skin, of skin against skin. The
sounds told a story the eyes refused to see and the mind refused to
Then there was silence.
His heart racing, Brynn realized he had fallen to his knees, his hands
over his ears trying to block what he was hearing. Even so, the sudden silence
left his ears ringing.
Before him, a picture appeared of a strange man on hands and knees
looking up with loathing at the ancient man who stood on the dais. Somehow he
knew the younger one was named Tanis and the older one was Caius.
bastard!” Tanis snarled.
a collective gasp throughout the room.
brother,” Caius, who Brynn realized must be the emperor Kara had talked about
no brother of mine,” Tanis sneered back, pushing himself to his knees and
swaying. “Not after what you did to her.”
shrugged. “I did what I had to do to win.”
never been a competition,” Tanis yelled pushing to his feet. Staggering a few
steps forward he caught himself on a nearby metal post.
been?” Caius asked, his anger leaking into this voice. “We awaken. We vie for
her affections and she chooses. Then the battle begins. It has always been
about competition. Who is the strongest, the most willing to fight for her, to
die for her.”
why we are still fighting,” Tanis hissed, wincing in pain. Gasping, he blinked
his eyes, as if to clear his vision. “She loves us both.”
and time again she chooses you because of a lie.”
lied to either of you,” Tanis snapped.
you never corrected it either,” Caius countered.
she chose you. Did you tell her the truth? All of it? Or did you only tell her
the parts that would draw her to you?” Tanis asked taking a step towards the
this,” Caius snapped, waving a hand in dismissal. “Finish what has been started
so we can finally end it.”
not allow you dig your claws into her any further,” Tanis swore standing his
already mine,” Caius snarled, slipping forward on his throne as if he wanted to
stand then thought better of it.
The scene jumped and Tanis was lying on top of Kara on the throne room
floor, a smile on his face. Above them Caius breathes, “It is done.”
When Kara’s eyes opened and locked with Tanis’s,
Brynn felt as if his soul was being ripped in two. Clutching his chest, he
doubled over, the pain radiating throughout his body excruciating. It was the
same feeling he had had six years ago when his entire world fell apart. When he
felt Kara’s presence violently ripped from him, leaving him gasping on the
floor in the fetal position feeling utterly empty.
The world had gone into darkness after that.
An entire year passed before Brynn was able to claw his way back into the
light. An entire year his children had been without either of their parents. All
this time he never knew why Kara had disappeared from him so completely. Part
of him feared she was dead. Now that he had the truth, Brynn was not so sure believing
she was dead was not easier.
“I did not realize watching this would still
affect you,” a voice said beside him. Brynn looked up to see Aden standing next
to him watching the scene before them, his own pain etched on his face. “It was
so long ago,” Aden whispered.
“Why are you here?” Brynn gasped still unable
to catch his breath. “Why are you showing me this?”
“Because six years ago I promised I would
come back and explain why Kara was taken from you,” Aden answered as he
continued to stare at the frozen scene before him.
“Is that the man Chris was talking about? The
one Kara was destined to be with?” Brynn asked as he staggered to his feet.
“One of them. Recently I found out it is far
more complicated. According to prophecy, Tanis is one-third of what keeps the
universe from spinning into chaos and ruin. Kara and the emperor, Caius, are
the other two. I,” he hesitated, the anger and pain once again written plainly
on his face. “I am either their salvation, or their doom.”
“What do you mean doom?” Brynn asked.
Aden explained the prophecy. When he was done,
Brynn was staring at the frozen scene before him as Tanis and Kara looked into
each other’s eyes as if no one else existed.
“I still don’t understand your part in this,”
Brynn said after a moment of digesting what Aden had told him. “You said you are
The Catalyst. What does that even mean?”
“To be honest, I’m not completely sure
myself,” Aden answered wearily. He looked at Brynn’s confused expression and
came up with no other answer to give him. He was so tired of all the pain, all
the unreasonable demands that he was expected to meet. Of being forced away
from Kara time and time again when his very soul was aching to touch her, to
finish the ritual. Closing his eyes, he swayed on his feet, just the thought of
what he and Kara had been long denied sweeping through his body, pulling at
what little strength he had left. He was a shell of the man he used to be both physically
and mentally. Kara was not much better, but then again she had Tanis to help
her. Caius… Gritting his teeth as he clenched his hands, Aden shoved the rage
that name conjured down where it did not cause anymore pain.
“Not even the emperor is who I thought he was,”
Aden whispered, his eyes still closed. “Everything I knew was a lie.” Looking
once more at the picture frozen before them. “Everything except her,” he whispered
with a desperation that puzzled Brynn.
“So your emperor, Caius, is connected to Kara
and this Tanis?” Brynn asked not wanting to delve any further into Aden’s
feeling for his wife.
Aden nodded. “They were created at the same
time and are all a part of each other. Kara is the Key. Tanis the light while
Caius is the dark. Even though legends say they compete for Kara’s affections,
the truth is they live in harmony together with one exception. There was a lie
put into place from the very beginning that Kara knows nothing about. They have
been able to keep it from her, but now that Caius has broken the one rule that
was never to be broken in order to keep the balance, everything is beginning to
“What rule? What lie?”
“The lie I don’t know. They keep it closely guarded.
The rule is that when one of the three dies, the others would soon follow.
Somehow, in the last reincarnation, Caius found a way to stay alive when Kara
and Tanis passed away. An outside influence that was not meant to be involved. Then
he waited two thousand years for them to return, gathering his strength,
learning the intricacies of the prophecy, and more important, what the Gods
were not telling them.
“Caius kept his searching for answers and any
sign of Kara or Tanis re-emerging secret as he started to methodically gain power
and take over one galaxy after another. Unfortunately, he was not careful
enough. A small time smuggler had started asking too many questions. We thought
we had eliminated her, but she survived a crash landing on a small backwards
planet that thought her to be a goddess because of all the technology at her
disposal. Once she had gained the title of Queen, Maura contacted one of her
most trusted friends and called in a favor. He was to find Kara before Caius did
and bring her back so Maura could use her power to take revenge on Caius.”
“Colin,” Brynn breathed.
Aden nodded. “A thief is a thief and Colin
ended up betraying Maura by keeping Kara for himself, hoping to use her for his
own gains. After years in his tender care, Colin decided to go back and use
Kara against Maura. By then Caius heard of Colin’s pet sorcerous who could bend
others to her will with the force of her mind, foresee the future, and the one
special trait that Colin repeatedly used against Kara. That she could never say
no to another’s touch. The time was right and there were too many similarities
for Caius to ignore.
“Taking Kara from Colin was not an issue. Reaching
him before he made it to his home planet was, because it was the same planet Caius
knew Tanis resided. If Kara met Tanis before he had control of her, then all
his careful planning, his sacrifices, would be for nothing. So he intercepted
them and took her. Then he proceeded to bind her to him.”
“Bind her to him?” Brynn asked. Aside from
the prophecy and who this Caius was, most of this was nothing new to him, but Kara
had never said anything about being bound to Caius. As he watched Aden try to figure
out a way to explain it, he could see the man was not happy about what Caius
“Do you remember the necklace I put on Kara
when I was here last?”
“It is a slaves’ necklace. Very powerful,
very old. Whoever puts it on you owns you, body and soul. They are also the
only one who can take it off.”
“But you put it on Kara. Wouldn’t that mean
she is yours?”
“Caius found a way around that small
obstacle. He figured out how to change its power so it only answered to him.
What it does is binds Kara with spells that are threaded throughout her body.
If she tries to use her powers against Caius or any of his people, her power
will rebound back onto her ten times over. If Tanis or…I try to hurt any of
them, she will pay the price in excruciating agony. Caius can also use the necklace’s
power to punish her. Sending different levels of pain throughout her body for
any length of time he wishes. Shortly after we arrived back on the ship, Caius
demanded that Kara break the bond between us. An impossibility he would not accept.
Because she refused she spent two weeks immersed in agony.”
Brynn did not like Aden’s tone. It was as if Kara’s
pain were his fault. Narrowing his eyes, Brynn asked the question he thought he
already knew the answer to. “Why so long?”
To his surprise Aden looked directly into his
eyes, but they were not defiant. On the contrary, there was so much anguish in
them Brynn had a hard time holding his gaze. With visible effort, Aden pulled
his emotions in, his face once again a mask of control.
“I tried to help her. I would go in to her
cell and give her an hour or two without pain so she could sleep. Our master
The screen once again came alive.
Aden was in a cell with Kara, holding her to
him, tears coursing down his face. Kara’s eyes were closed, her hands wrapped
tightly around his arms, whimpering. Suddenly she screamed with such agony Brynn
cringed, stepping back, away from the ear piercing sound. In the picture Aden
tried desperately to hold her as her back arched, her arms and legs tense.
“Stop! I’ll to anything you want,
just…please…stop this!” Aden yelled into the room.
Kara’s screams stopped and she fell limp in his
arms, gasping. He immediately pulled her to him, desperately holding her.
“You know what you must do,” a voice hissed
throughout the room.
Aden’s hold on Kara tightened as he buried
his face into her neck.
“I can’t. You know I can’t,” Aden agonized whispered
“Then it continues,” the emotionless voice
The screen went black. The only light came
from a single unseen source directly above them, shinning down in a large
circle. Everything outside that circle was complete and utter darkness.
“He bound my powers so I could not help her. I
don’t know how long I held her as she screamed, hours, days, before he dragged
me to my room and locked me in, but I still felt every second of her agony.
Knowing the entire time she was being punished because I dared to help her.
Because I dared to…love her,” Aden whispered the last as if was something so
precious, to speak it aloud was to commit blasphemy.
Brynn stiffened. He knew Aden had feelings
for his wife, but to have them voiced aloud and with such emotion. “If you love
her so much, why didn’t you let her go?” he ground out.
Aden looked at Brynn once again. “Because the
moment I looked into her eyes, our souls bound themselves to each other. I
could no more let her go than I could cut out my own heart, or hers. Caius
broke me that day. Then when he brought Tanis to the ship….”
“It felt as if your soul was being ripped
from you,” Brynn finished.
Aden nodded. “Caius already had Kara under
his control. Tanis was supposed to have been broken before he was brought to
the ship, but he proved to be more resistant.”
More scenes flashed before Brynn of various
means Caius had taken in an attempt to break Tanis. All of them causing Kara
“If he was supposed to love her as you say,
then why did he allow this to go on for so long? Why didn’t he give Caius what
he wanted to stop her suffering? Or try to escape?” Brynn asked, tears
streaming down his face as he watched his wife writhing in agony from some
unseen force while Tanis and Aden watched helpless to save her. This was the
least of the horrors that flashed before him. He turned to Aden and added
angrily, “Why didn’t you?”
Aden turned to him with haunted eyes. “We did
try to escape, and every time we were punished even more severely than the
last. But you must understand something. When Kara and Tanis became one, it was
for Good. Where there is Good there must also be Evil to balance it. Caius is that Evil. Or at least the demon he
invited into his soul is.
“A force far stronger than we are, and it
wants Kara so he can control us all. For that to happen he needs to bond with
Kara, but she kept that from happening when she reconnected our bond. Caius,
the real Caius, has been too afraid to finish his part of an age old ritual
because the demon may take advantage of the small window of opportunity to bond
with Kara itself.”
Shaking his head, Brynn turned and walked a
few steps away, his hands on his hips. “This is all too confusing,” he finally
said turning back to Aden. “Your bond with Kara was broken and she reconnected
Aden just looked at Brynn. It was a look that
left no words left between them.
“I don’t believe that once free of you, she would want to disrupt the natural order of the universe because of your feelings. I was married to her. With her every day until she was taken from me. I know Kara is an empath. That she feels what others feel, and sometimes she cannot differentiate between what she is feeling and what the one touching her is feeling. I also know she can control that part of her curse unless she is weakened down by someone who is stronger than her psychically. Like you were. No matter how you try to justify her feeling for you, according to your prophecy you were never a part of this…mess.” He said the last with a fair amount of disgust because that was exactly what it was. A colossal mess because some of the players could not abide by the rules. “And I don’t believe you are now.”
Aden’s smile was not friendly. “You are all
the same. Not wanting to see the truth when it slaps you in the face because it
is not what you want.” He stepped closer to Brynn, that rage that he had tamped
down early rising to the surface. “I am tired of sanctimonious bastards telling
me what I know is true in my heart,” he slapped his chest. “It is not my
feelings that Kara is responding to, but her own. She knows the truth. That I am
a part of this mess. That I am a part
“I am her husband…,” Brynn started, stepping
“That does not mean you own her!” Aden yelled
moving so he was close enough to that if he swung he would hit Brynn. “What you
three keep forgetting is that you do not own her, therefore you cannot tell her
what she should do, how she should feel. Kara is the key to everything. If anything, she owns us.”
The silence was filled with heavy breathing
as both males did their best to reign in their tempers. Aden was the first to
break the long silence.
“I did not come here to fight with you,” he
said as calmly as he could. Stepping back, he turned to the side, knowing that
looking at one of the males who would keep him from his heart would not help
keep his fragile control. “I came here to warn you.”
“What do you mean?” Brynn asked his anger
dimming at the possible new threat.
“First, you need to see more to understand.”
Waving his hand in front of the picture, it began to move forward, faster and
faster. As if Aden had hit fast forward on a movie. He continued his explanation
as the pictures flew by. “We would do our best to not give the demon cause to
hurt Kara, but it always seemed to find a reason to punish her for something either
I or Tanis did. It was not long after that Tanis finally shattered, and now the
demon controls four of the most power beings in the universe outside of the
Gods themselves. With that power, it is waging a war against all the known races,
and it is winning.”
The pictures slowed until they began to
switch from one battle to another. Brutal bloody wars being fought at places Brynn
had never seen before, races he never knew existed. Of the emperor standing with
Tanis and Kara slightly behind him to one side before thousands upon thousands
of soldiers, telling them of the worlds they would conquer. Of people on their
knees, heads pressed to floor before them chanting something Brynn could not
They stopped on a scene where Caius suddenly
pointed to someone, angrily shouting. While Aden and Tanis watched anxiously, Kara
stepped forward, raising her hand before her. The helpless man rose into the
air screaming in agony. Her face held no emotion as she tortured the man
floating before her. It was a few minutes before Caius motioned slightly with
his hand and Kara flung her arm to the side. The man flew across the room,
crashing into the stone wall with a sickening thud.
Brynn looked into Kara eyes, unwilling to
believe the woman he knew, no matter what changes Aden claimed she had gone
through, would willingly hurt someone like that. What he saw twisted his heart.
Her eyes were dead. As if there was no joy left in a world. He had seen this
look many years before, when Colin had beaten her down so far she had almost
given up on living. He watched as Kara returned to her place next to Tanis,
staring out over the crowd’s heads as if they were not there. Tanis looked at
her with a small frown, yet his eyes were just as dead Kara’s. Just as empty.
“We hate going to these assemblies,” Aden
said breaking into Brynn’s thoughts. Brynn looked at Aden as he watched Kara
with an unreadable expression on his face. “When we return to the ship, Kara
cries herself to sleep.”
“How would you know this?” Brynn asked his
“Like you once could, I can feel her pain,” Aden
answered his voice and eyes far away, as if his mind was on some distant
memory. He closed his eyes, his hands going to his face, rubbing it. He then
shook his head as if he was trying to shake a memory away and focused back on
Brynn, his expression once again empty. “The pain of having her soul ripped
from me almost killed me. Not being able to finish the ritual is slowly killing
“What ritual?” Brynn asked suspiciously.
“You know which one,” Aden said, his eyes
blazing with anger for a moment before returning to their emptiness.
Yes, Brynn did know. He was not sure how he
knew, but deep down in that place that knew everything Aden had told him about
the prophecy was true knew exactly what Aden was talking about.
“Caius and Tanis have kept us apart, or at least
has never allowed us to be alone these last six years. One is too jealous, the
other fearful of what would happen once we do finish it. What it would mean.
All it has done is weaken us further and allowed the demon to dig it’s claws in
to Kara deeper.”
“On this I can agree with them,” Brynn muttered
angrily. “I have told you time and time again, Kara does not belong to you.”
Aden’s eyes flashed dangerously. “What you
all seem to keep forgetting is when I was lying on the floor, shattered,
utterly alone and empty, it was Kara who reached out to me. That she was the
one who reestablished our connection, bound us far more tightly together than
even I thought possible.”
Brynn stared at Aden, not wanting to hear his
words. Kara did not love this dark man before him. She couldn’t. “You told me
the prophecy spoke of a mate that she had children with, me, and the two she is
bound to for eternity, which are Caius and Tanis. You have never mentioned a
“That’s not quite true. There was nothing
about a fourth,” Aden corrected. “As I told you early, I have been reading some
of the scrolls Caius has collected over the years. Obscure writings that tell
of a fourth, a catalyst that will bring about a new beginning or the universe’s
doom. It is a key point in time that must happen in at a certain place and
time. That time is coming and the demon inside Caius grew restless because he
had yet been able to bond with Kara. We have all fought him, managed to keep
one step ahead of him, until now.”
Rubbing his face with his hands, Brynn turned
away from Aden. Everything he was telling him was becoming too much. Locking
his fingers on the stop of his head, he knew none of this mattered to him
except that Kara was suffering and there did not seem to be anything he could do
to stop it. He turned to face Aden, again.
“I’ve already asked you this once. Now I need
an answer. Why are you here? Why are you telling me all this?” his frustration
and pain showing through his anger.
“Because Kara will be coming back to this
place, but she will not be coming back to you,” Aden answered, his voice once
Whatever the reason Kara was coming home, it
did not please Aden.
“I don’t understand,” Brynn frowned.
“Seven months ago, the demon sent Tanis and I
on a scouting trip. The trip would take ten days. Four days there, two days to
scout then the trip home. In addition, the distance would take a toll on all of
us. We cannot be apart from Kara for any length of time or we weaken and it’s
physically painful for all of us. The demon said he was separating us because we
needed to be reminded of our place in his world. There was nothing we had done,
but we couldn’t argue with him or the punishment would be far worse. On the
sixth day, Tanis collapsed and I felt a wrenching so deep it brought me to my
knees. Something was happening to Kara, and whatever it was it was not good.” Aden
words cut off as if he was being strangled. Abruptly he turned away from Brynn.
“What happened?” Brynn demanded. It seemed
like eternity before Aden spoke again.
“When we returned and we found out what he
had done, I went to Caius intent on killing him. Instead, he decided I needed
to know every detail, every horror mentally and physically Kara went through
when we were not there to stop it.” He waved his hand over the blackness that
was before them. “As a result, I have a detailed description of what he did to
her. I will not show all of it to you. I don’t want you to suffer as I have
with these images, and Kara would not want you to know the horrors she suffered.”
picture started out fuzzy then cleared to show a sparsely decorated bedroom. In
the middle of the bed lay Kara sleeping peacefully. The door slid open and
three men burst into the room, tearing her from her bed. They dragged her down
the hall into another bedroom throwing her to her hands and knees on the floor.
where you belong,” a deep masculine voice purred. “On your knees before me.”
A man so
handsome he could be called beautiful walked into the room from a side door.
His shoulder length black hair, tan skin, chiseled features, well-toned muscles
radiated power. Brynn amended that thought. Radiated power and sex. Who he
realized with a start was Caius wore an open black silk robe with matching
pants. A true God in human form. Maybe that was why his voice sounded as if it
echoed. As if there was another voice over laying the first. Brynn remembered
what Aden and said and knew it was not a god that stood before Kara, but a
stabbed through Brynn as he looked over at Kara who was still on her knees but
sitting up, her thin negligee doing nothing to hide her body. Brynn gasped at
the difference in her. Her features were regal, her auburn hair and pale skin practically
glowed, but as Brynn looked closer he could see lines etched around her eyes
and mouth. Even though she hid it well, she was in a lot of pain. Brynn
realized that she would not lower herself show weakness in front of Caius, even
though he could see it cost her dearly. As she sat there, her expression was
hell,” Kara spat.
there, done that,” the demon said nonchalantly as he walked over to pour himself
a drink at a nearby table. “And believe me when I say it’s highly overrated. However,
I didn’t invite you to talk about vacation destinations. I have something much
more…pleasurable to discuss with you.”
stiffened. “I have told you. I have no interest in lying in your bed, demon.”
“No? I beg
to differ,” the demon said moving to stand in front of her. Kara refused to
look up at him. Instead she looked to the side, her eyes fixed on something
Brynn could not see. What he could see was the pain being replaced with fear. “You’re
weak without your lovers, in constant pain.” He squatted down in front of her.
“I want to only give you a few hours of peace.” Gently he cupped her cheek
turning her eyes to his. As soon as they locked Kara’s body visibly relaxed.
“Now, isn’t that better?” the demon whispered his eyes moving to her lips.
not all you want from me,” she whispered the fear still in her voice, “and I
will not freely give it to you.”
suppose not. But it is not your soul I am after today. It is your body.”
tightly closed her eyes as she struggled against some unseen force. The demon
put his other hand on the other side of her face holding her in place, his eyes
never leaving her face, his concentration deepening.
of my head,” she gritted through her teeth.
cannot fight me forever, Kara. Give in to what you know you crave. Give in to
she hissed. “You may hold Caius prison, wear his image as your own, but I know
who you are. What you are. I will never give you what you want, Malphas,” she growled,
opening her eyes to glare at him. It was a mistake. Very briefly Caius’s eyes
flashed red and another image superimposed itself over his. Hissing not unlike
a cat hisses at something that frightens it, Kara broke free of the demon’s
grip, falling backwards.
you know my name,” he hissed. Kara refused to answer, instead glaring defiantly
at Malphas, careful to not make eye contact. “Nevermind how you know,” Malphas said
waving his hand in dismissal. “It will not change what will happen today. They
thwarted me once. I will not allow them to do it again. Not when I am so close
you talking about?” Kara gasped pushing herself unsteadily to her feet.
that has been waging long before this universe was created. A decision that has
hundreds of thousands of chances to be made but had never been given. Of gods
and goddesses playing with the very fabric of life as if it were some trivial
toy. Of lies and deceit and callousness. I plan to end it all and bring peace
from chaos one last time with the making of a single soul. With our child’s
have no clue what you are talking about.” Clearly Malphas had lost his mind.
Then two words registered, and Kara’s eyes widen in horror. “Our child? We
don’t have a child. Even if I wanted to, the body you inhabit and I could never
have children. It is forbidden.”
as he slowly walked forward as Kara walked backwards until she hit the wall.
“My dear naïve Kara. There is much you do not know. A whole other prophecy has
been played out before and must be played out again.” His eyes flashed red,
telling Kara that the next words were not from the male she knew, but from some
ancient being thought long banish, “And this time, I will win.”
her to the wall with his body, Caius caressed her cheek with the back of his
fingers, gazing into her frighten eyes. “In the next five days, I will take you
in ways you have never dreamed of. The pleasure of my love making will
be…excruciating. Only when you are with child will I cease, after which I will
hide you away until our child is born. You will remain hidden where the others who
wish to harm us cannot touch either of you. When he is of age, when he has been
properly trained and can defend himself from the Gods, we will bring him into
the light and end the endless cycle of truth and lies.”
he was savagely kissing her. Kara tried to fight him, but he was too strong.
Finally he backed away, allowing her to breathe.
of my head, demon from hell!” she gritted out once again, tightly closing her
eyes as if in pain.
“We can do
this the hard way or the easy way, Kara. Let me in and these next few days will
be far more pleasant for you.”
Malphas took a step backwards. “Have it your way.”
In a flash
Kara was lying on the king size bed with her hands tied above her head.
have been many nights I dreamed of taking you in front of Tanis while he was
helpless to stop me. Regretted not doing it more the day Selene interfered. Now
you are too weak to fight me, and he is thousands of miles away unable to help
you.” Allowing his robe to slide down his arms to pool on the floor, he climbed
onto the bed until he was on all fours above her. “You are so beautiful,” he whispered,
his eyes traveling down her body.
a difference in his voice. A gentleness that did not belong to the demon who
had been there a moment before.
Kara whispered hopefully.
that moved to stare into hers will filled with regret. “I am sorry,” Caius
whispered. “For everything I have done, all the pain I have caused you because
of my selfish desire never to see you die in our arms again. All the pain I
will cause because I am not strong enough to stop him. I was never strong
head bowed, his back arched, teeth gritting, body tense, fighting some unseen
force. With great effort, he looked back into Kara’s eyes and breathed, “I love
his head back, the demon’s voice echoed around the room as it roared in rage.
When he looked down at Kara, his teeth bared, his eyes were glowing red, she
hissed. “She is MINE!”
Brynn stared in horror, unable to take his
eyes off the screen in front of him as Malphas spent the next five days raping Kara.
Some of the things he did to her, he used on her, would haunt Brynn for the rest
of his life, and Aden said he was not going to show him the worst of it. Brynn
could not imagine it anything viler than what was playing before his eyes. Although
the worst for Brynn was that even though she fought him with everything she
had, in the end Kara was begging the demon not to stop.
When Tanis and Aden finally returned they
found Kara unconscious and chained on the bed naked, bruised and bloody. Once
they returned to the safety of her and Tanis’s room, Aden went to find Caius to
kill him only to be brought to his knees and forced to relive everything Kara
had gone through in the last five days, over and over until he lay huddled on
the floor, tears streaming down his face, a broken man.
Mercifully the screen when black.
Brynn found himself on his knees again,
gasping for air.
“I want you to remember Kara fought the demon
for as long as she could before he finally broke through her defenses. Kara
wanting the pain, wanting Malphas was a product of his feelings. She just could
not differentiate her revulsion from his lust.”
“Is she,” Brynn swallowed hard, the need to
vomit strong, “is she…?”
“Pregnant? Yes. Did demon bond with her? No.
It seems he has decided on a new course to reach his goal.”
Brynn looked up at Aden. The way he had said
yes. There had been no emotion, yet there was a strain that spoke volumes. Aden
was beyond furious at what happened, at the result, but there was nothing
anyone could do about it. Malphas wanted a child and that is what he got. Now
he would do anything to protect it. The no was said with such relief it grated
down Brynn’s spine. What right did this man have to put a claim on his wife?
“Thankfully Kara has little or no memory of
what happened to her. She thinks the child belongs to Tanis. To keep her sanity
in tack we have fostered this idea. If she knew the truth,” Aden swallowed hard
before whispering, “she would not survive the guilt. Caius broke the rules in
an attempt to end a cycle that has been in play for far longer than even we
realize. Now we must deal with the consequences and try to figure out how to live
with the outcome. Since the demon wants this child and is willing to do
anything to assure it birth, we were able to convince it to allow Kara to finish
her last trimester somewhere away from the tension in the ship and where his
enemies would not find her. So Malphas is hiding her here.”
Brynn’s heart beat faster at the thought of Kara
coming home. He had never thought to see her again. Worried about their
children growing up without knowing their mother. Now, maybe there was a chance.
She could see how big Jamie had become; see what her powers have developed
into. See the bright young man Chris had grown to be.
As Brynn looked up at Aden, his smile slowly
slid from this face. Aden’s expression was sad and regretful. Then Brynn
remembered what he had told him. Kara was a different person. She belonged to a
fate she had no control over and her past life, past loves, were a distant
memory to her. The thought of having her so close but inaccessible would be
torture, for both of them.
“Why here?” Brynn asked climbing to his feet.
“There must be hundreds of other places he could put her that would not be so
painful for all of us.”
“This is a demon we are talking about. A
being that thrives on chaos, on pain. It knows no other way. Besides, can you
think of no better place to put Kara so she can bear his bastard child? This
was her home, a place where she felt safe from outside harm, and it is where
you are. I don’t care what the prophecy says, I don’t believe she has forgotten
about you or her life here. Not completely. Having you and her children around
her with Tanis at her side will bring her pain knowing she was betraying
someone she loves. To the demon’s way of thinking, this is the perfect place.
She will be at ease being home, yet tortured because she is at home.”
Brynn turned away as he took deep breaths
trying to calm himself down. Hands on his hips, he closed his eyes and tilted
his head back. How as he going to explain this to everyone? People would ask
questions, spread rumors, and he had no idea how to explain why his wife, who
had been missing for over six years, had come back with another man and pregnant.
Brynn pushed out the images he has seen of
what Malphas had forced on her. It made him sick to think she went through
something that horrendous. The one question he did not know the answer too was how
he should deal with Tanis. Tanis was a different than the others. Kara and Brynn
had been soul mates up until he had come into the picture, and Brynn was having
a hard time coming to terms with the fact Tanis resided in his place in Kara’s heart.
He held an unbreakable bond with her that had lasted eons. And the connection
she seemed to have with Aden. A connection that should not be there. This
entire nightmare must be tearing her apart.
“Your master is truly evil,” Brynn said
quietly not turning to face Aden but instead staring out into the blackness.
“You have no idea,” Aden agreed just as
quietly. “This child will be made of evil, born from an evil act. I believe Malphas
will hide them until the child is old enough so that he can possess the child
much like he possesses Caius. Until then, they will be staying at a farm within
the wards Caius had set up previously in order to protect her from those still
searching for her,” he finished.
Brynn turned to him in surprise. “There was
just a farm sold and renovated a few months ago not far…from…here,” his voice
trailed off as he now realized how close Kara would really be. Aden nodded his
“I will leave it up to you whether or not to
contact her, but I think it will be difficult not to see her when she cannot
leave the confines of this region. Then there is the pull that will be there
between the two of you. That will never go away. There is one thing I want you
to keep in mind. No matter what you feel, what you think she still feels for
you, Kara is no longer only yours. She also belongs to Tanis, and me.”
“Yours? She was never yours, Aden,” Brynn growled coming nose to nose with him. “She was…is
my wife. You took advantage of the situation she was in for your own selfish
Aden’s anger rose for a moment before it
evaporated back into the numb mindless state he had been living in for months. What
had happened while they were unable to protect Kara from Malphas had finally
killed what little spirit had been left in Aden, and no amount of assurance
from Kara that there was nothing he could have done to stop it could ease his
guilt. The few times he managed to be alone with her before the others found
them, he had just held her as she cried, vowing he would do his best never to
be the one that made her cry again.
Being so close to her and unable to finish
the ritual that would finalize their binding, unable to help her as he would
like because there were two very jealous demi-gods constantly in his way had
been very difficult. She was the only light in his dark world, and yes, he
needed her. But what the others failed to recognize was she needed him too. For
whatever reason, the heavens have deemed him a part of what is to come. The
only uncertainty is whether or not Tanis and Caius or the would be a part of
The prophecy laid out what their roles would
be in the coming days, but this was not Brynn’s concern and Aden was taking too
much time with him. Already he could feel Malphas searching for him. Malphas. That
name sent chills down the spine of the strongest of them. Finding his true name
had cost many lives, and Aden feared there would be many more to pay. Until
then he needed to be careful. Knowing if he stayed hidden much longer the demon
would start to become suspicious, he turned back to Brynn for one last thing.
“There is one thing I wanted to ask of you.
The wards are still active, but that does not mean Colin will not try to break
through. For some reason Jamie can tell when he is near. I want you to ask him
to inform Tanis if he senses him anywhere near here. Tanis will then contact me
and I will take care of the bastard once and for all.”
“He’s still alive?”
“Over the years he has had an uncanny knack
of finding Kara and trying to take her. When he fails, he somehow disappears
without a trace. None of us want him near Kara. If he tries to take her here, hopefully
we can destroy him once and for all.”
Brynn nodded he would do as Aden asked.
Aden’s eyes grew far away, as if he was
listening to something Brynn could not hear “I must go. My master impatiently awaits
my return so he can bring Tanis and Kara here.” He began to fade from Brynn’s
vision as did the light from above. “Remember what you have seen tonight. Tell
the others what you think they need to know. Brace yourself for what you will
feel when you finally realize you have lost her.”
Brynn woke with a start, the covers flying as he sat up in bed. His eyes darted around the room in the dawn light to find himself alone.
Copyright © 2019 Heidi Barnes