Sweet Escape | By: Betty Petite | | Category: Short Story - Women's Fiction Bookmark and Share

Sweet Escape


                                         

                                     

                             

          

                                                      SWEET

                    

                                                                  ESCAPE

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            ------------------ PROLOGUE ---------------

 

  "Catch him! Don't let him escape!"

  "Running is useless, you worthless slave!"

 David Kalas ran through the forest. His whole body was aching and numb, he could even taste his own blood in his mouth. His arm was broken, and his legs were moving without sensation like they were not attached to his body any more. He didn't know where he was heading. He just knew he had to run, run far away from his father's land or he would end up dead.

  Why does it matter anyway? He had nothing. No one wanted him alive.

 He didn't come up with a reason to live. But he couldn't think anymore. Right now, he let his instinct lead him. He had no more energy left; he ran mindless, ran with his body and his survival instinct.

 Suddenly, he lost his balance over the top of a hill. Holding his broken arm, he rolled on the steep slope. The sky and the earth spun. He heard the dogs barking, the men shouting at the other side of the hill, and some step foot approaching. He tried to move but every muscle of his protested.

  So, this is the end of me, he thought and everything turned black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   ----------------------- CHAPTER 1 ----------------------------

 

  It was a nice day; the sky was blue and clear. Brigitte, Marguerite, and Natalie were wandering to the hill.

  "Hey, you know the new theatre, Galaxy? There'll be a new movie this Sunday. I got a coupon for half price. Wanna go?" Marguerite asked, enthusiasm filled her voice and her eyes. Her black hair that was long to her shoulders embraced her round face.

  "Yeah, what movie is it?" Brigitte asked in excitement.

  "On The Beat, a romance-thriller."

  "Cool!' Natalie said and paused "Do you guys hear that?"

 They heard some dogs barking far away and someone grunting as if he was in pain. They rushed toward the hill where all the noises came from. They stopped, shocked in terror. A man was lying in blood, one of his arms seemed to be broken, his clothes were all ragged. They looked around and saw no one; they approached slowly.

  "Excuse me, sir?" Marguerite broke the silence.

 No response, no movement.

  "Is he dead?" Natalie shuddered at the sight.

 Brigitte touched him nervously. He didn't move. She checked his pulse; then assured her friends "No, he's just unconscious. His pulse is very weak, though. We need to do something. We have to stable his arm first and bring him to somewhere safe."

  "Ok, I'll go find some tree branches." Marguerite looked around.

  "I'll go find someone to help." Natalie ran off.

 Brigitte tore her shirt sleeve. Taking the tree branches from Marguerite, she began to stable his arm. As a nurse, she finished quickly.

  "Gals, I found this guy here who was taking a walk. He'll help us to carry him to the clinic."

 The man lifted the injured man up. The three girls struggled to support his weight. The man was heavy.

 

 They laid the injured man on a steel long table at the only clinic in this town. They thanked the helping guy and he left. A mid-thirties man with a long white blouse came in.

  "What do we have here? Where did you find this poor guy?" He asked.

  "We found him lying at the hill's foot, Alex." Brigitte answered.

  "He's all messed up but not fatal."  Alex put on his gloves and started working.

 Marguerite and Natalie waited outside while Brigitte helped Alex in the emergency room. An hour later, they came out.

  "Oh my God, you guys are still here?" Brigitte was surprised.

  "Of course, where else we would be? We have to help him 'til the end, you know, we don't save him and leave him like that. How's our guy doing?"

  "He needs a lot of rest to recover. He'd been whipped badly and I found dog bites all over him, but he'll be fine. I'll run a more throughout check on him." Alex sighed "We have a little problem here. I can't let him stay here. We don't have any vacant bed left. Beside, he doesn't have any paper. It's..."

  "I know, Alex. Let me think!" Brigitte frowned. "I lived alone, no boyfriend, no dog. I can let him stay at my house." Brigitte declared after considering for awhile.

  "Are you sure? We don't know a thing about him. He might be dangerous." Natalie worried.

  "Not in this condition. He's been hurt, badly. He wouldn't be able to hurt me. It's okay, really."

  "Call us if anything goes wrong." Marguerite insisted.

  "Definitely."

  "So, is the movie still on?"

  "Yes, I'll be there, at eight o'clock." Brigitte smiled.

  "And if that guy wants to join, welcome." Natalie said generously.

  "Hey, why don't you guys ask me?" Alex whined.

  "It's girls' night. He's different; he's alone in town. Be nice!" Natalie teased.

  "Yeah, right, I'm the one who fixed him. I doubt he's in any shape to go with you girls."

  "Ok, I owe you. I'll make it up later." Brigitte placated Alex

  "Fine, I'll drive you guys and him to your house." Alex sighed.

  "Thanks, you're the man. That's why you're the doctor." Brigitte grinned at him.

 

  David woke up in a strange place. He was lying in a blue bed. His broken arm had been dressed and laying on his bare chest. He was wearing a weird black pant. He tried to sit up but his body ached; he grunted as pain shook him.

  "Stay down, you need to rest." A feminine voice came from the door. A beautiful brunette came to him. She was at average height, very skinny and her skin was tanned at the lightest color. Her brown eyes shining with a tinge of fear; she offered him a gentle smile.

  Why am I here? I'm not dead yet? Who is she? Is she his father's people? Of course she is. No one wants him alive; why would a stranger help him? She is definitely carrying his father's order.

  "Who are you? Where am I? Are you trying to kill me? What are you waiting for? Just do it!" He said in a hostile tone.

  Kill him? "What are you talking about?" She asked, baffled by his questions.

  "You're one of the people to execute me, aren't you? Is this new kind of torture? Why don't you just finish me off instead of fixing me and punishing me more?" He looked away, braced himself for her answer.

  What on earth..? Was he a killer under a death warrant? Or did he have a concussion?

  "Look, I think you need some more rest. You start talking nonsense."

 He stared at her like she was some alien.

  "I bring you hot milk here. Drink it and go to sleep. We'll talk later."

  "Oh, stop that. Don't pretend to be nice, I can't stand it. Just kill me, damn you."

  "Excuse me, I happen to be the one who saved your life. Instead of saying thank you, you yelled at me. Thanks a lot."

  "Aren't you from Kalas? Don't you try to kill me?"

  "Kalas? Never heard of it. And no, I have no business with you. Maybe I should let you die there."

  "Maybe you should. I'm sorry; I thought you were my father's people. Please accept my deepest apologies." He looked straight to her eyes with sincerity.

  "You really did hit your head, didn't you? Don't worry about it. Here, drink some milk and get some rest." She soothed him, confusing at his reaction. Maybe he truly needed his head examined.

  "By the way, I'm Brigitte Winkle. What's your name?" She asked, taking the empty glass from him.

  "David Kalas. Thank you very much, Ms. Winkle."

  "Call me Brigitte. You must be tired, get some rest. Good night. I'll be nearby if you need anything."

  "Thanks again. I really don't know what to say or how to thank you. Uhm, good night, Brigitte."

 David watched her leaving the room. He tried to think of some explanation. Why did she save him? She even brought him home and took care of him. Yeah, right. He was having a coma or hallucination. Maybe he was already dead. As he tried to sort things out, exhaustion took over and he fell asleep.

 

 Brigitte let out a long sigh and went to her couch. She's been sleeping on the couch these two days because she only had one bed and she couldn't let an injured man sleep on a couch. She thought about their conversation earlier. She got lost in her confusion. What was he saying? There had been people trying to kill him? Why? Wait, his name was David Kalas. Kalas, wasn't it the name when he asked where she was from? She never heard of any country or region or anywhere with that name. Was that his real last name?

  Don't think too much. You need sleep. Brigitte drifted off to sleep.

 Brigitte woke up as she felt someone's hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes and saw David pulling the blanket up to her.

  "Sorry that I wake you." He said sheepishly.

  "It's okay. But aren't you supposed to stay in bed? You'd been hurt badly, how could you even move?" Brigitte was surprised.

  "I'm used to pain. I need to talk to you."

  "Okay, what do you want to talk about first?"

  "Where am I? Is it Kalas country?"

  "No, it's Pardi country, Dello town. And you're in my house."

  "How did I get here?"

  "I found you lying half dead at the hill's foot. I intended to give you over to the police but you were injured so badly and I couldn't find any paper on you. I decided to save you first and find out about you later."

  "Police? But why did you save me?"

  "Didn't I just explain to you? I wanted to treat your wound first. You were unconscious; I didn't wake you up to ask who you were. Beside, I checked with the police that no one was currently missing or someone was wanted."

  "You should have leaved me dead."

  "Sorry that I didn't let you commit suicide. Next time, you can write a 'Please-don't save-me' note to let me know because I can't just leave someone dying without doing anything." Brigitte became agitated. Was this what people get after saving someone?

  "I'm not sure how I get here but my father's people are out to kill me. I am wanted."

  "Your father?" Brigitte gasped. How could a father want his son dead? "Why do they want to kill you?"

  "It's a long story." He looked away.

  "Wait, you're not some murderer, are you?" She muttered. What if....

  "No, no, I just accidentally saw something that shouldn't be seen. And now they want me dead."

  "Really? That doesn't sound fair." Brigitte watched him with suspicion but she found no deception. Could she really trust him?

  "Life is never fair, especially not to me." David looked at her. She was petite and beautiful but she looked scared. No, he didn't want to scare her. She looked innocent and she had saved him. He shouldn't dump his bitterness on her. "Please, don't be afraid of me. I didn't hurt anyone and I won't harm you."

 Brigitte saw the sincerity in his eyes. "I can trust you?"

 David turned cold. He didn't need anyone to trust him. No one trusted him and he certainly wouldn't start begging now. He lived alone for a long time, for all his life. "I don't care whether you trust me or not."

  "Well, but you're staying in my house."

  "Then I should be leaving now. Sorry for bothering you." He started walking out of the door. At least he could move now. He didn't need anyone to help him or to trust him. He had stayed alive without all that; there was no reason he couldn't continue. The thing was she did save him and like it or not, he owed her. Damn it all, he didn't need to be saved, didn't want to. That was her decision. Now he would take care of himself and stayed away from Kalas and all hunters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             ------------------------------- CHAPTER 2 -----------------------------------

 

 Brigitte was angry. It was her who saved him. How could he tell her that? Note to self: this guy really needed his head examined very soon. She caught up with him and stopped him. How could he simply walk out like that? This was ridiculous; shouldn't he be the one with gratitude and not getting angry at her?

  "Are you crazy? You're badly injured. You maybe had a concussion also. I trust you, ok? Come back and rest."

  "What? You're not scared that I might kill you anymore?"

  "In your condition, I can kill you first." This guy was insane.

  "Why did you do that?'

  "Because you can barely walk and I don't want some policeman calls me to pick you up in the street."

  "We're not related." Even my relatives wouldn't care.

  "I appear to be the one who saved you and brought you home. Who do you think the police will call?"

 David was stunned. Nobody gave a damn about him, not even his mother. And this woman offered him comfort. She pushed him back to the house.

  "I'm going to make some pancakes. What do you want for breakfast?" She walked to the kitchen.

  "Same as you. And what's pancake?" David followed her.

  "What country are you from?"

  "Kalas. We don't know pancake, and I never have breakfast in that matter."

  "Yeah, I only have breakfast in week-ends. I didn't have time for breakfast either. I just drink some energy drink or something before I go to work. We're slaves of time; we work like crazy." Brigitte concurred.

 That was not exactly his case. He hadn't been allowed to have breakfast. His lunch and his dinner were always what were left after his family had eaten. Who cared if he was starving? He had to fight the other slaves to have his meal. This was the first time he had breakfast and didn't need to fight for it.

 Brigitte placed three pancakes in a plate, poured the syrup on top and sliced the plate to him. She watched him carefully eat his pancakes and make her own plate. She giggled at his gesture. He seemed very new on how to use a fork.

  "I know you're hungry. You don't need to keep your manner. Be comfortable. You're eating like a kitten."

 David put the whole pancake into his mouth. This was the best food ever. "It's delicious. I never tasted anything better."

  "What's your favorite food?"

  "I don't have one. My foods were tasteless or I was too tired to know after a fight."

  "Fight? You mean you have to fight before a meal?" That was weird; was this some kind of job?

 David cursed himself at his slip. "I have to fight other slaves in order to not be starved."

  "Slaves? What country still has slavery? Oh my God, I'm so sorry. That's terrible." Brigitte stared at him in disbelief. That explained his back's scars.

 David became silent. He didn't want to share who he was with her. But she saved him, he owed her his life. She wasn't his father's people. She could kill him many times if she intended to. Her eyes shone with kindness that he never knew. She touched his hand.

  "It's okay if you don't want to talk about it." His hand was callused. He was lean and tall, his muscles indicated how much and how hard he had to work. His short brown hair embraced his masculine face. His green eyes were painful, cold and yet gentle and craving for warmth. He was perfectly handsome.

  "I owe you my life." David began. He was also wanted and he was staying at her house. She deserved at least the truth from him. "I trust you; have you really wanted me dead, you hadn't saved me. Actually, I'm half slave, half prince."

  "How so?" How could he be such an impossible mix?

 David didn't want to go into it. But when he felt her comfort on his hand, he wanted someone to know him; he wanted to let someone to his heart. No, the moment that she insisted him to get some rest despite his anger and misunderstandings already took her closer to his heart. Maybe he could count his confession as an inability to think clearly due to injuries. Before he could stop himself, his words tumbled out of his mouth.

  "My mother is the queen. She slept with an ugliest slave in revenge for the unfaithful king. I'm her unwanted child. She hates me; she let me live only to remind the king of his faults. My true father didn't even know I exist. I doubt the king let him live after he learnt the truth. I worked and lived as a slave. No one ever wants me. Even the slaves hate me because I'm different; I'm practically half noble blooded."

  "Then why does your father, I mean the king, want to kill you now, after all these years?"

  "I accidentally saw the king's affair with my aunt. He wants me dead to keep his secret."

  "Your aunt, your mother's sister?" Brigitte was aghast." But your mother knew your king unfaithful for a long time."

  "Not his affair with my aunt. The king married my mother for power. He didn't really love her and she knew it. My mother loves him but she grows possessive over him. And my father doesn't want to lose power after tasting it."

 This was a family tragedy. Nobody deserved a life like his because of his parents' faults. "I'm really sorry, David." Tears swelled in her eyes as she felt pain for him.

  "Don't be. You're the only one offering me comfort."

 She stood up and hugged him. That was so unfair; she didn't want him dead. "Stay here, Dave. Don't ever come back there. Start a new life here. You can share the house with me." That was a reasonable thing to do.

 He simply shook his head. "They'll find me here. I'll bring danger to you. That's the thing that I never want to happen. I don't want you to get hurt because of me or your kindness. You saved me and that was enough. You shouldn't get killed because of saving someone you shouldn't."

  "I'm not scared of it. You told me the truth because you don't want to put me in danger, proving you're a kind person. The world always needs more kind people, a little danger in my life would be worth saving you."

  "A little? Brigitte, I'm talking about a king with power who wants me dead. Don't be foolish. I'm not worth your life."

  "I don't mind if my life has a spice of adventure and danger. That would be thrilling." She stopped smiling when she saw his face. Then she said more firmly "I won't let you go out there, seeking death. I live alone long enough. It would be a nice change to have a kind person like you living with me."

  "You're not right, are you?" He stared at her in bewilderment.

  "Maybe. But endangering my life a little for someone is better than loneliness."

  "How can you be lonely? Do you have family? Friends?"
  "My family died in a fire. You know what the worst thing is? I denied their love and comfort back then. I was rebellious and stupid. I just wish I could go back and tell them how much I love them, how much they mean to me. And friends? I have best friends but they have their own lives also. It's the empty feeling when you go home at night and be alone." She couldn't stop her tears flowing. Damn it, she didn't want to cry. It sounded silly compared to his misery.

  "I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm sure your family knew that you loved them." David held her in his arms, trying to soothe her. He didn't know how to ease the past like she did when she hugged him. He never comforted anyone and no one showed him such thing. Until her. She offered him more than he could dream of: a warm place to stay, kindness, trust, and companionship. He liked her, a lot. Who wouldn't like her? What should he say to make her smile again? Seeing her hurt and crying twisted his gut. It felt strange and unfamiliar. He saw hatred and disgust but never hurt or gentleness. Simply holding her gave him an imaginable comfort. He hated the fact that she was crying but it felt good holding her. He didn't think about his past. The pain and the hatred in everyone's eyes vanished from his mind. All he could feel was her softness, her warmth, her hot tears. Her mint scent filled his nostrils and his head. A strange desire shot through him. He wanted to stay with her forever.

 Brigitte hated herself for her nervous breakdown and yet she found comfort in his arms. Here, she felt strangely safe, not so lonely now. Even though she just knew him, she felt herself attracted to him. Her pain somehow eased a lot when David wiped her tears. She wanted to be closer to him; she never had such an urge toward any man. Despite the danger they were in, she cared about him too much that the thought of him leaving hurt.

  "Please, stay here. I..." She sobbed.

  "Yes, Brigitte, I'll stay here with you; I have nowhere else to go. If you're not scared, I love to stay here. Actually, I want to stay with you forever or until you grow tired of me."

  "Well, that's when we need some thrill to spice things up, huh?"

 David smiled, a first true smile. She looked so fragile. He didn't care if the assassins kill him but if they hurt her, he'd kill them. Nobody harmed one of her hair as long as he breathed. He couldn't allow that; he would protect her with all he had. She was all he had. My precious one. David found the urge to touch her face. Unaware of what he was doing, he hovered his lips close to hers, imagining he was kissing her. He wouldn't dare, she was too good for him. He couldn't have anything, especially her, the woman he wanted for himself.

 Brigitte couldn't breathe as she felt his hot breath close to her. Her heart raced. She crossed the distance between their lips. He returned the kiss furiously, his tongue swirled with hers. He was sweet with a hint of woody scent.

 David couldn't think; he was lost as he tasted the syrup and tiny bit of mint. She pulled back and smiled at him. "We should go back to our cold pancakes" Her cheeks flushed. "Do you want to go to the movie with me and my girlfriends tonight?"

  "I'll go anywhere with you." What's the movie?  

 Her smile widened "Good, we have to do some shopping. You need clothes. I can show you the town too. We'll have lunch outside, come back here to prepare and we'll go see my friends at eight."

  "Ok, one question, what's the movie?" David chewed the pancake.

  "Oh, it's motion picture with sound and all. It's people acting out a story."

  "Is it like a play?"

  "Not quite. They filmed the movie and show it on a flat screen. You'll see tonight. It's cool. On that thought, you make me so curious about Kalas. What does it look like?"

  "In my point of view, it's surely worse than here, no pancake and no cool movie. There's castle, king and queen, horses and wagons. It's totally different."

  "Hm, sound like medieval time which is interesting." Brigitte started cleaning up. "Ok, get ready. Oh shit, you don't have any shoe or shirt."

  "I don't need them. I used to walk barefoot all the time, no big deal."

  "You can step on some nails or something. No, let me see, I have some big flip-flop for Alex or other guys some night before." She dug in her closet and took out a pair of funny looking green shoe.

  "Who's Alex?" Well, at least he had shoes.

  "The doctor who fixed you and is one of my best friends." She giggled at the sight of a tanned guy with a brace on his bare chest, and tight black sweatpants in a green flip-flop.

  "We can go now. I'm ready." David looked at her curiously.

 She resisted the urge to laugh or take his picture to share with the girls later. Instead, she changed to jeans and a T-shirt, took her purse and walked out with him beside her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             ----------------------------------- CHAPTER 3 --------------------------------------------

 

  David and Brigitte went through many shops. Every time Brigitte helped him try a top, her touch made him hardened. They had a lot of fun together. Oh, how he loved her laughter. They had hamburger for lunch, it was delicious. He never knew there was such simple and good food like that. They wandered through parks and streets. The town was beautiful and peaceful. But he couldn't be sure because he'd been busy watching her. She was so pretty, she was like an angel down to earth and she was with him. She was his angel.

 Brigitte liked David. A lot. He was shy to everyone but opened to her. He was simply comfortable to talk to. And he was gorgeous, even though she forced him to try silly clothes. She never spent so much money like that in one day and yet she didn't regret anything. David was kind and funny also, he was everything a woman wanted at a man, everything she wanted at a man.

"Where did you get that black pants for me?" David asked.

"From Alex. It didn't fit you, right?"

"No, it was a little tight. I figured it was better than being naked."

 Brigitte turned playfully at him "So you thought I was an assassin or something? Did I look that scary?"
"No, I thought it was a new kind of torture when a beautiful woman took care of me without intention of killing me. I couldn't believe that was possible. I thought I was captured by one of my father's people."

"Beautiful? No, I'm not." She laughed and blushed at his compliment but felt happy. No man ever found her attractive. "Come to think of it, how did you get out of Kalas?"

"I'm not sure. I thought I was still in Kalas. I think I somehow ran through the door of dimensions." David said thoughtfully.

"Door of dimension?"

"It's the gate to go from one dimension to another."

What? Brigitte felt like she got lost in some twilight zone. "I don't understand. What do you mean another dimension?"
David realized that she had no idea of the existence of another world. "There are different dimensions, different worlds existing parallel. You live here in Dello with TV, car, and theater while I live in Kalas with king, queen, and slavery at the same time. It's rare to go to another dimension. People usually don't know about another world and ordinary people can't cross the gate."

"What do you mean ordinary, are you not?"
"I'm different. I have magic since my mother is a sorceress."

"What? Magic? You're joking me, right?"

"Not a bit, I'm serious. I can manifest weapons, jump high and land without any damage."

Brigitte gaped as she realized that he was perfectly serious. Her eyes were almost bulged out in disbelief. A thought crossed her mind. "Wait, do you have psychic power also? Like mind reading, telepath..."

"No, I only have telekinesis. That's it."

"Lucky me, I don't want anyone to read my mind. It's a scary thought. I never think such a supernatural thing exists."

"Are you afraid of me now? I just tell you the truth, I..."

"No, fortunately, I read a lot of fictions. It doesn't really shock me; I just never thought I would meet one for real. But are you sure that are all your powers? I mean, you're not capable of poofing stuff, right?"

"I swear. That's all I can do. I'm not very powerful."

"Not? You're powerful. Nobody can do that, not in this world." Actually, she wasn't sure about this world anymore. "Not that I know of anyway."

"Not enough to escape the king. My mother is a strong sorceress; she shares her power with the king because she loves him."

"I guess you meant magical power and political power back when you told me that your father married your mother. But how could your mother share her magic to your king? And he's unfaithful even though your mother loves him that much? Oh, man are pigs and dogs."

"Uhm..."

"Oh, sorry, I didn't mean you."
"It's alright. My mother strengthened my father's power since he's a magician himself but he's weak. His capacity is stronger than before but never enough to defeat my mother who wants to possess him."

"Wow, that's a complicated tragedy."

"Now you know how much danger you can be in, do you want me to leave?" David's gaze floored to the ground. What if she says yes?

"No, do you?" Brigitte pulled his face up to meet her gaze.

"No." David smile, relieved. He shouldn't feel relieved, he should leave her alone but oddly relief was what he felt. "I think you'll have a good laugh with your friends when you tell them about me." He lightened up the mood.

"I won't tell them anything about that unless I want them to decide that I'm mental."

 David laughed then; he loved her humor.

"I'll introduce you as an ordinary person. You got hurt because you had been chased by some wild animals and you're staying with me until you become acquainted with the town."

"Good explanation."

"I know this is a personal question but I'm just curious. Why is your last name Kalas?"

"Because I don't have a last name. My mother hates me; she obviously didn't want me to have her last name. My biological father is a slave and slaves don't have last name. We never knew each other. I think it's best to take my country's name."

 Brigitte took his hand in hers. They walked side by side, hand in hand, feeling relaxing. Being together was wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  ---------------------------------------- CHAPTER 4 -------------------------------------------

 

  David and Brigitte were waiting in front of the theatre.

  David was elegant in a white silk shirt and black pants. Brigitte couldn't get the image of his lean front, his tawny packs out of her mind. She couldn't stop thinking about how good he felt under her hands. The man was handsome, a little animalistic and...yummy.

  David couldn't take his eyes off Brigitte. She was so lovely in her white dress. She looked more like an angel than ever, his angel. Sometimes, he caught her blushing as their eyes met.

"Brig!" Marguerite shouted.

 Brigitte turned to greet her friends. "Hey, Marge! Hi, Nat!"

 Natalie teased "We caught you guys staring at each other hungrily."

 David dropped his gaze to the ground, embarrassed by getting caught.

"So, you are the guy lying in blood." Marge said, offering her hand and searching his eyes.

"David Kalas. Thank you for saving me." He shook her hand and did the same with Natalie.

"Dave, this is Marguerite and this is Natalie." Brigitte introduced her friends. David just nodded.

"Nice to meet you. What happened to you back then?" Natalie asked.

"I was chased by some wild animal."

"What animal?" Marguerite asked.

David hesitated, looked at Brigitte briefly and answered. "A coyote."

"How?" Marguerite didn't give it up.

"I don't remember." David didn't know what to say, he gave Brigitte a meaningful look.

"Leave him alone, Marge. You're giving him a headache." Brigitte saved him from answering.

"You're acting weird. Don't you want to know? Where is he staying?" Marge raised a brow.

"With me, of course. He's not fully recovered yet and he's alone. He'll stay with me until he becomes familiar with the town." Brigitte shrugged nonchalantly.

"He's been recovering very fast then. Sound like someone caught a good-looking guy."

"Drop it, Marge." Brigitte snapped.

"You're blushing. So, where are you from, Dave? Do you have family?" Natalie mused.

"I don't have a family." David saddened.

"Stop interrogating him. We should come in before the movie ends." Brigitte cut off the conversation.

"Okay. Don't worry, Brig. He's all yours." Marge held her hands up in surrender and grinned at Brigitte.

   The movie was about a vampire falling in love with a human girl. The girls oohed and awed at the couple while David just smiled at them. Movie was amazing, sound and moving pictures telling a story in a very vivid way. After the movie, they went for ice-cream, another delicious food he'd ever tasted. The three girls chatted non-stop and laughed. David just nodded or said yes or no, no matter Marguerite and Natalie teased him mute trying to get his story. He enjoyed their company and seeing Brigitte laughing and blushing. Finally, they parted to go home.

"Did you have fun tonight?" Brigitte asked David when they got home.

"Yes, it's the first time I have fun. Thank you."

"First time?" She felt for him, a prince who never had fun. "So why were you so quiet the whole time? Actually, you barely spoke to everyone but me."

"Because I'm not used to interact with others. You're different, you know me, the real me, and it's comfortable to talk to you."

"Thanks, you too." Brigitte felt warm up inside. "You had a long day. Are you tired?"

"It's okay. This is the easiest day since I was born."

"Oh, but you're still injured and tired. I think you just set a record for fastest recovery."

"Anyone with magical power heals faster than normal. By tomorrow, my broken arm will be healed like it was never broken."

"Wow, that's handy." Brigitte pushed him to bed.

"Where do you sleep, Brig? I remembered waking up alone."
"On the couch. My house is small; it comes with an advantage that it takes not much time to clean up. You don't expect me to let an injured man sleep on the couch, do you?"

"How about we share the bed tonight?"

"No, you need space."

"I used to sleep on the floor. I don't need that much space."

"No. Come on, we're adults. You're hurt and you need a comfortable bed."

"Like you said, we're adults. Please."

"Are you sure?"

"Hey, it's your house. You sleep in the bed or I'll go to the couch."

"Fine, then."

  When they settled down, they realized it was a mistake. Brigitte couldn't breathe as their body touched each other. He was so warm, masculine and strong. Desire spread through her. This was awkward but she felt happy and safe inside.

  David couldn't sleep as he felt her softness against his skin. He was bare chest and she was wearing a blue pajama. Her light scent wakened another part of him. Good thing he still had his pants on. No woman had touched him as a person. No one ever had regarded him as a person. And now, all he could think of was how would she look like naked. That wasn't right; he couldn't have someone too good like her. Still, he wanted her. For once, he wanted to claim her for himself. His breath labored as she put one hand on his arm. He turned to face her. She was already asleep. She looked peaceful and beautiful. Before he could think better, he wrapped his arm around her and cuddled her. Her breath was hot and easy. Yeah, he could lie like this forever. Holding her was heaven; her presence soothed him on an unimaginable level. Right now, no past haunted him, no death warrant worried him. All he saw was her angelic face, all he sensed was her fragile and soft body, and all he smelled was her mint scent. And all he felt inside was not pain, anger, or exhaustion but warmth and comfort.

 And love.

 Love? He barely knew her. That wasn't true, she knew him; she knew the truth of him and wasn't repelled by him. He knew her past and feelings too; he made her smile again when she cried. That counted, right? There was no denying what he felt about her. He cared about her and he would kill anyone who tried to hurt her like that vampire in the movie.

  This was his paradise. She was his paradise, his haven. He became selfish; he wouldn't want to let her go but he would damn himself if she ever got hurt because of him. But he stayed with her now, at least for awhile more. Hoping this awhile was long, preferably never ended, he drifted off to sleep, to his first undisturbed dream. 

 

"Beep, beep, beep!"

  David jerked off the bed, manifested a knife, ready to fight. He looked around and found no threat. The noise was from a small blue box on the night stand. Shit, is it some kind of signal to let the king know I'm here? I knew it, why would she help me? You stupid fuck, kill her now and then run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  ------------------------------------------ CHAPTER 5 ----------------------------------------------

 

  Brigitte turned off the clock lazily. She opened her eyes, still groggy. Until she saw David holding a knife over her. Shit!

"What are you doing? You're going to kill me now?" She asked, terrified.

"Maybe. Now, tell me the truth, where am I? When are you gonna give me to the king? What do you want with me?" His eyes were dead cold.

"What are you talking about? I thought we were clear on this. I just woke up, no just opened my eyes and saw you trying to cut my throat. The question is what do you want with me?"

"Stop lying to me, woman, you just sent some signal or something to the king about our location."

"Signal? Are you on crack?"
"How do you explain the noise?"
"What noise?" A pause then she realized what he meant. "Do you mean the alarm clock?"

"Alarm clock? This blue small box?" He asked, unfamiliar with the word.

"Yeah, and it's not a GPS so no signal to your king."

"Oh, I...I'm sorry." He felt embarrassed. The knife dissolved into thin air. He had intended to kill her.

"Yeah! Whatever!" Brigitte stomped into the bathroom. She was mad. Maybe she shouldn't let him live here after all. She slammed the bathroom door; she needed space to think clearly. She took a hot shower; water calmed her nerves and felt good on her skin. In the end, she knew she couldn't let him go, not like this, when he was still frightened and hurt. She would prove to him that not everyone meant him harm. She sighed, yeah, girl, you know how to get into troubles! And stepped out of the shower.

  David disgusted with himself. How could he doubt her? He even thought about killing her, her, his angel. He couldn't look at her now. He wanted to slip through a crack on the ground when she approached him. She hated him now, she should.

 Brigitte saw him sitting on the side of the bed; he looked lost and miserable. Good for him, he lived in my house and wanted to kill me! She hesitated before touching his shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Brigitte, I truly am. I never met anyone who doesn't hate me. I'm sorry, so sorry." He made it barely more than a whisper.

"Apology accepted." Brigitte shook his shoulder, wanting him to look at her. "It's okay; nothing happened. No blood, no foul."

 David finally looked up at her. She was so sincere and naïve. He lost words; he didn't know what to say. He choked back his tears. She was the first one ever looking at him as a person and he almost killed her for nothing.

Brigitte smiled. "Look, I have to go to work. You stay home; don't open the door for anyone. I give you the key of the house. You can wander around but don't go too far, you can get lost. Just remember to lock the door when you go out."

 David was shocked. "You're not mad at me. I, I put you in danger and you're gonna give me your house's key?"

 Brigitte shrugged. "I was mad. But I know you didn't want to kill me."

"I did think, I...oh, I'm terrible." David said hoarsely.

 Brigitte sighed. Shit, he did want to kill you, girl, you're out of your mind. "Look, lighten up, no harm done. Just forget about it. Don't make me fell ridiculous trying to convince my killer."

 David couldn't say a word. What could he say? He just nodded and promised himself never to doubt her ever again.

 "Foods are in the fridge. I'll cook something tonight. I gotta go now. I'm late. Enjoy the day and be careful. I want to see you when I get home."

"Don't worry; I'll be right here waiting for you."

 

  Brigitte got to the clinic late, again. Alex was grinning at her.

"How's your patient? Keep you busy?"

"He's okay. He's almost healed."

"Wow, that's fast. Impossible too, mind to tell me why?"

"Good genes?" That was an understatement.

"Can we examine him? It'll be fascinating, healing DNA."

"Alex!!! You have enough people to examine already."

"Okay, just a thought. Really promising though."

 Brigitte shot him a dirty look; Alex held up his hands. "Fine , but how is he, really? Don't tell he's all fine and warm bunny."

"I'll tell you at lunch. I owed you; now get to work."

"Sounds good. D5W for Mrs. Stone, MRI for Mr. Smith."

 Brigitte told Alex about David, of course, she left out the magic part and this morning accident. Alex was her best friend; if he knew David harmed her, he came fuming at him.

"Well, be careful then. If he treats you badly, he'll be on his way onto my steel table."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 --------------------------------------- CHAPTER 6 -----------------------------------------------

 

  David stayed at home. It was weird to have absolutely nothing to do. He took a walk, enjoying the sensation of the sunshine on his skin. He picked some best flowers he saw. When he got home, Brigitte was not home yet. A woman was working and a slave was doing nothing. It was so strange to grasp that concept. He found a broom in her closet and started cleaning her house.

 Brigitte knocked on her door. Note to self: need to tell him about the door bell. David opened the door and smiled at her boyishly. The house felt warm and right. David gave her a bouquet of wild flowers; he averted his eyes.

"I took a walk. I thought of you and these flowers reminded me of you. You deserve better but I didn't see anything else."

"It's beautiful, thank you." Brigitte cut his sentence.

 Nobody gave her flower before. Her friends did but it was not the same. He had made the bouquet himself, picked every single flower: orange, yellow, pink... colorful. She gave him a quick peek on his cheek.

 David froze; his eyes bulged out. His emotions choked him that he couldn't stop one tear sliding down his cheek. He looked her in the eyes and was surprised even more as Brig gave him a tight hug.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Brigitte. I'll never doubt you again."

"Stop saying sorry. Forgiven and forgotten. It's understandable that you didn't trust me."
"You did trust me."

"I still do. I didn't see as much bad things as you did."

"I don't deserve you."
"I'm not that good." Brigitte stopped abruptly when she smelled something burning.

 

 "Oh, shit...." Brigitte ran to the kitchen and hastily took the pan, which was now black, off the fire. David rushed in and covered the fire with a blanket to extinguish it.

"I'm sorry, I forgot the pan. God, I keep causing troubles."

"It's all right; we got it in time. Don't feel bad; I almost burned the house down myself hundred times."

 David raised an eyebrow. Brig waved her hand dismissively at his questioning gaze. "I'm clumsy, very clumsy. Err, quick question, why didn't you use the stove?"

 David looked at her, dumfounded. "The stove?"

 Of course he didn't know about the stove. That was why he made a fire out of woods and three bricks put together. Brig showed him calmly, suppressing the urge to laugh. It was funny looking at his glazed eyes and the three bricks next to the stove. "This is the stove. You put a pan on here; and you turn on the fire like this. You can lower the heat like this."

 Dave's jaw dropped. "Amazing, it's convenient and quick too."

"Yeah, great technology. I can't imagine to find some woods and struggle to ignite some rocks everyday. Ha, me doing it would be funny, I probably wouldn't get the fire going for the whole night."

 David felt relieved; she wasn't even mad. Man, if he made a small mistake back home, his stomach and his back would suffer. Brig turned to him. "Why didn't you wait for me to cook?"

"You work all day and I'm doing nothing. I'm trying to cook some soup for you."

"Aw, that's nice. Most men never think like you; they think it's our job to do everything, especially chores. You're something."

"Uhm..." She complimented him, after the incident this morning and the fire. Wow, she wasn't like anyone he'd ever known.

"Well, I'll cook spaghetti tonight, my best dish." She started taking tomatoes and ground beef out of the bags.

"I'll help. Tell me what to do."

 They cooked together and it was fun. Really, how many men would help their wives to clean the house, cook dinner and appreciate them for what they did? He's not most men, Brig, he didn't know. They set the table and started eating dinner together. Brig found Dave's look amusing when he stared at the dish and fork, ready to dig in by his bare hands.

"Here, let me show you." She came over him, picked a fork.

 David watched her delicate hand holding his, showing him how to twist and get the pasta. Up close, she smelled so good that he couldn't even smell the food. He took a mouthful of pasta. Oh, heaven, he'd never known such delicious food even existed. Lots of favors well mixed together singed his taste buds.

"How is it?" Brig asked.

"It's so good. It's heaven." He closed his eyes to savor the taste.

"Thank you, enjoy." He was the first one to ever find much pleasure in devouring her food. "So, how was your day?"

"The best ever, except for this morning. It's odd, to have absolutely nothing to do. How about you?"

"Better than most days," because of you, "same routine but at least I have someone sharing dinner with me."

 David felt his face heated. People can't even stand near him and she looked delighted to have dinner with him, and he heated down slow too. After dinner, he washed the dishes and she put away the left over.

"I'm gonna take a shower, after that I will indulge myself with chocolate ice-cream. Oh, yes, you should try it too. Chocolate!" Brig said happily

 She obviously loved chocolate. He wondered how it tasted, it couldn't be better than her. He heard the water running, and he started imagining water trimming down her naked body. He got so hot and hard just thinking about it. He needed a cold shower, a very long one.

 Brig stepped into his sight. God, she looked edible and smelled wonderful. "I need a shower too." A very cold one.

"Oh sure, feel free. I'll take out the ice-cream."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

---------------------------------------- CHAPTER 7 ------------------------------------------

 

  The cold shower didn't help much and it was all futile when he got out and saw her holding out a bowl to him. He took a spoonful into his mouth. It was cold and so sweet.

"Wow, it's good."

"Yes, they say chocolate feel as good as kisses. It can be substitute for sex." Oh, why did she mention it?

"Not nearly as good as you." He claimed his mouth shut.

"No need to flatter me. I'm sure you've had many women." Of course, looking yummy like him....

"I've had two. They offered themselves to me, more like demanded me. I...um...I wasn't into that. I was...um....angry and curious."

"Everyone is curious about that, most of all boys. I can see why they wanted you. You're gorgeous, even I...." Wait, why is she going down this road? Shut up, Brig!

"You what? You think I'm gorgeous?" Was she saying she wanted him too? He would never pass on the offer, because he wanted her too, badly.

"I think you are." She mindlessly dug into her ice-cream.

 David lifted her chin and touched his lips with hers. She opened her mouth for him and he kissed her hard. He put the bowl aside and held her face by both hands. She tasted sweet, with a drugging chocolate taste. He felt dizzy, the earth rocked beneath him. He dragged her closer to him. He heard her gasp. He stopped, lifted his face and saw her spoonful ice-cream running down her neck.

 Brigitte blushed; she put down her bowl and reached for some tissues.

 David dipped his head to her neck and caught the ice-cream then trailed back to her mouth by his tongue. He lifted her and pressed her body to his. "Tell me to stop and I will." He whispered.

"I don't want you to stop." She barely worked her voice. He moaned and carried her to bed. "I want you, Brigitte."

 He lowered her on the bed. He kissed her everywhere, her mouth, her cheeks, her neck, everywhere. Then, he licked her ears while tearing her clothes off her and his own.

  Brig felt like burning; she couldn't even see the room. All she saw was him raining kisses on her, and then she heard the fabric tore off. She suddenly felt nervous as cool air hit her. Dave noticed her shift of emotions. "Am I too heavy for you?"

 "No, I'm um...just...It's been a long time." She murmured it so low he almost couldn't catch it. He was stunned, how could no man want her? She was breathtaking; he was dying with wanting her.

 She became more self-conscious about her nudity. Her body stiffened even more. "Stop staring at me!"

"I can't take my eyes off you. You're beautiful, so beautiful." He gazed hungrily at her.

"Really?" But I have a 12 years old boy's body. I'm so plain.

"Yes, you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."

 That sounded so much like a lie, but it was nice too.

"You don't believe it?" He asked, surprised. He took her to the bathroom and made her look in the mirror. "Look, it's so obvious that I don't know why you can't see it. Your face is lovely and loving. Your breasts are perfect, not too big, perfect for me and they're making me wild. Your legs are long and lean. Your skin is so smooth and soft. To me, you're a goddess."

Oddly, she never saw it that way. Hearing him describing her, she felt beautiful.

Seeing her widened eyes, he was baffled by her blindness. How come she doesn't see it? "And your smile is like sunshine." Her smile widened, it felt great to have someone love and appreciate her body, even more than herself. Her mood lightened up. "Wow, I didn't know you know how to say cheesy lines."

" Cheesy? It's the truth." He frowned.

She pushed him back to the bed and kissed him passionately. He flipped her to her back and started trailing kisses down her body. When he stared at her core, his emotions choked him at the glistening sight of her. "You're so delicate." He kissed her there. He licked and sucked and devoured her. Yes....you're wet. She wants me too; I can split open right now, just by knowing it. She tasted like warm, sweet honey and so erotic. He growled at how good she tasted as he delved deeper into her.

 Brig couldn't get enough air to her lungs. All her senses whirled. She never could have imagined kissing alone could make her gone wild like this. He moaned in his throat, as if he loved it and couldn't get enough. She bucked; the room spun, and waves of pleasures radiated from there to all over her body. When she got her sight back, Dave hovered over her; his erection pressed against her core. She reached up, pulled him down and kissed him senseless. He groaned and swiftly thrust himself into her. She gasped at the sharp discomfort. He was still, and licked her ears and kissed her mouth, his hands massaging her breasts. "I'm sorry. Did it hurt?"

 She shook her head and held him closer. He stayed still and kept kissing and licking her for a long time. The pressure became more bearable and she could feel him long, thick and rigid within her. He filled her completely. The sensation was nice. She started moving. He took the hint and pumped into her slow and gentle. The feeling of him there and him holding her like she was fragile and precious to him was exquisite. They picked up pace; she moaned and writhed underneath him. The pressure built and built until she couldn't stand it anymore. Suddenly, she went over the edge, screaming as waves and waves of pleasures washed through her, released all her tension and she felt floated away. He thrust wildly into her, one, twice. He grunted and grunted and then he shouted as his body convulsed and he shuddered.

  They lay together, holding each other close, catching their breath. He was on her side and still inside her. Once she found her voice, she said. "That was amazing."

"Oh, that was crazy good. I've never felt that good in my life."

She sighed in satisfaction and then something hit her. "We didn't use protection."

"What?" He asked, confused, all the while running his hand up and down her arm.

"Condom. I mean, it's not a most romantic to say, but um... condom is used to prevent pregnancy and disease."

"Disease? I..." He withdrew from her, embarrassed. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't..."

"No, you got me wrong. There're sexual transmitted diseases. You don't have one; I know for sure since I checked you up back in the hospital."

"Oh. You don't have to worry about getting pregnant. I'm sterile." I'm so relieved to hear you don't mind a slave.

"What? Are you sure?"

"Yes, the king sterilizes me. I'm kinda hybrid of a most powerful sorceress and the lowly, disgusting slave and I'm the proof of anger and vengeance and...."

"Enough! You're you; that's all I care." She silenced him by putting her finger on his lips.

 He smiled and snuggled even closer to her. This had to be the best night of his life, the most special night, ever.

  Brigitte woke up with the wonderful feeling of being held. She turned to face him, realizing he was awake and another part of him was awake as well. "Good morning."

"You looked peaceful like an angel when you were asleep."

"Thanks, it's great to start a day with a nice compliment."

 He smiled. He looked extremely sexy with his crazy bed hair. "You're welcome. I can give you ton of compliments everyday if you want."

"No, I'll pass. I don't want you to flatter me every day."

"I'm not flattering. Uhm, Brig?"

"Yes?"

"Are you okay? Are you sore?"

"I'm fantastic." Even more when he asked her. "Thank you, last night was wonderful."

  Unbelievable, she's thanking me for last night!! She thanked me for being marked by a slave? He was overwhelmed with his emotions; he couldn't find words to tell her. He moved down her body and licked her thigh.

"Oh, Dave, you don't have to...." She was aroused again.

"I want to. And now, I will wash you."

 He carried her to the bathroom, turned on the shower and started to wash her. Her skin was so soft and all the water made her steaming sexy. He hardened even more; he wanted her again but he didn't want to hurt her so soon. He lowered his head to take her nipples into his mouth. The way she held on to him and her hands gripped his hair made him moaning. He straightened up, lifted her face and whispered. "Stay home with me."

 "Hmmm, wait, what?" She was purring.

"Stay home with me." He repeated, one hand trailing down her back to cup her bottom.

"Oh, no." She suddenly became alert. "What time is it? I forgot to set up the alarm. I'm late. God, you're so distracting, I almost forgot that I have to go to work."

 She started stepping out of the shower; he held her back. "Take a day off."

"No, I can't. I'm sorry, Dave. Alex is gonna be swamped by work and I have some works to finish too."

"Okay." He turned off the shower, reached a towel and dried her off.

 She brushed her teeth and ran to her closet. She yanked on her khaki and a blue blouse.  David put on his jean and a blue T-shirt. "Can I go with you?"

"To work? No, you'll be bored. I have to take care of clients all day." She was buttoning her blouse.

"Then I walk you to work then." He insisted.

"Okay, if you're going to town, try not to get lost. Alright, let's go."

"You don't have breakfast yet." He frowned.

"No time. It's too late. I'm always late." She took her purse and practically hauled him to the door.

 David chuckled, locked the door and strode with her. "This is not good. Are you always like that in the morning?"

"I don't like morning. I'm always late, especially today." She shot him a look.

"But you have that alarm clock."

"Yeah, a lot of time I snooze it off and lingered in the blanket a little longer. I just can't help it, old habit." She laughed

"Not a good one, no wonder you're so skinny." It's good that you're here, so you don't get hurt if you're late. "Everything will be ok if you're late?"

"Alex is gonna be pissed. Can't blame him, it's totally my fault." She sighed.

 They stopped in front of the clinic door. "Ok, I'm off to work. Have a nice day, sweetie." She hopped a kiss on his lips. He held her head fast and lingered on her lips. "I'll be waiting for you."

"Okay, see you, sweetie." Her smile brightened than the sun and she disappeared behind the door. He stayed there for awhile and then wandered to the town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 --------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 8 -----------------------------------------

 

  "You're late!" Alex shouted at Brigitte angrily.

"I know; I'm sorry. I got distracted this morning. I'm really sorry."

"You're always late. This is almost noon. I wouldn't be surprised if you showed up at closing time. What distracted you?"

"Not what, a who." Brig mumbled.

"The healing weirdo guy?"

"Who else is in my house? And he's not a weirdo."

"There's something weird in him and what happened now?"

"None of you business."

"You're late to my business. I want a good excuse. And you're my best friend. Spill it out, what trouble does he cause now?"

"Not trouble."

"Then what?"
"It's...it's private."

"Hmm, you're suspicious. Are you...you're falling for him, aren't you?"

"Maybe, so what? Can we concentrate on works now? I'll make it up in week-end for today, okay?"

"Wait, but that didn't explain why you're late. Unless....unless...."

"WHAT?" Brig irritated.

"Well, he's a new guy. So the only way he can distract you this late is either he's sleeping with you or burns your house down, which is unlikely."

"Well almost." Brig smiled, thinking about the three bricks and the black pan.

"He burned your house? And you're smiling?"

"Accident, Alex, and that was last night. My house is still fine."

"Then it's the other way."
 Her face turned red and Alex's eyes bulged. "Wow, finally, you got your eyes on a guy. Is he..."

"SHUT UP. Get to work. Man, you have a big mouth; I bet you gossip more than women."

"Hey, don't tell your boss to shut up after showing up late, lady."
"Right! Shouldn't we concentrate on works now rather than my personal life, boss?" She dragged on the last word.

"Ouch, icy, Brig. I'm your best friend too. You're always cranky in the morning, or noon." Alex just grinned at her.

 Brig glared at him and he just dismissed with his hand. "We're not done yet. Now, can you take the blood test for Mr. Jones?"

 

  David wandered to the hills on the east side of the town. This was probably where he had fallen off. The grass was green; wild flowers blossomed along the path. This is so beautiful. A forest was on the other side of the hills. Hmm, this town is almost closed off to the outside world. The door of dimensions probably located on top of the hill or in the forest. He jumped to the top of the hill and landed without a sound. The top was an open area but he could see the forest border farther away. He jumped and ran into there; then he slowed down, paying attention to the details of the forest. It looked perfectly normal. He walked around the forest, spreading his arms to feel any abnormal sign on the tree trunks. He didn't find anything and the day was gone by.

  The sun was setting; he was walking back toward the hill when his fingertip slightly brushed a small bolded line on a tree trunk. He stopped and looked closer. It was a black line, slightly bumped. It looked like a swollen burnt scar. Nothing could have caused this but a source of high heat finely cut it. It couldn't be fire; the line was so neat, there was not even a small gray point around it. He summoned his magic power, his senses heightened, he could see every leaf of the tree, he could heard a bird flapping its wings on the tenth tree farther down, he could smell the rusty earth, the trees. He strained his eyes, trying to see the outlines of a door in thin air but he detected nothing. He put his hands up, feeling the air right next to the tree's black scar. He spread his hands, circled his hands, trying to detect any kind of heat.

 Suddenly, the top of his pinkie glowed; he stopped. There, he concentrated on the thin air, staring at his hand few inches away from the tree trunk. The glowing point spread into a bright yellow straight horizontal line, cutting the tree at that exact same burnt scar. His palm glowed, brushing the bright horizontal line. Under his touch, the line opened up a luminescent light spreading until a rectangular pool of liquid light formed. Oh, yes, bright, look like a water mirror in a middle of nowhere but it was not liquid; the air was in a different state of physics, it moved in waves like flowing liquid. The energy was higher than the surrounding; this was where two worlds connected. Dello town and where? The world beyond the door could be Kalas or any other world. He didn't know how to direct the door. Can he even direct the door? Shit, this was the first time he tried to find a door, after all. Now what? Wait for it to close? Dumb, should have thought about what to do if he found the door. He was still staring at the door, contemplating what to do with it when someone passes through it and hit him down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------------- CHAPTER 9 ----------------------------------------------

 

   On the reflex, David flipped so he was on top of the man. The man was wearing a brown robe with the kind's symbol on the shoulder. He was middle-aged; his skin had a dark tone. He bared his yellow teeth. "Get off me, slave! So, you're hiding here. Another world, who could have guessed!"

 David manifested a knife, held it at the man's throat. "And you're dead. How did you get here?"

 "Same way you did." Duh, David smacked himself mentally. He saw a blade at his peripheral vision. The old man was raising a knife, and Dave quickly blasted it away. "Who sent you?"

"Don't you know? Why does it matter, slave? You'll die anyway. We'll get you, you can't run from us." The man laughed, enjoying the idea of seeing the stupid slave's blood pouring. His eyes widened; he gasped as Dave cut his throat.  "You die first."

 The door was closing. Dave saw two fingers out of the door. He threw the dead body through the door. The hand went upward and back behind the door out of sight. David threw his knife through the door as well, and then manifested two swords waiting for any fool peeking a head through the door.

"Close, close. It's a good time to close now, door!" He gritted his teeth. The door shrunk to the bright yellow horizontal line and slowly shortened to a point. "Come on, hurry!" The point glowed brighter and then disappeared. The warm air cooled down to blend with the surrounding. David dissolved his weapons; he lingered awhile, hoping like hell the door wouldn't open again. The night had fallen; it was late. He ran and jumped back to town. He ran to Brigitte's house and almost bumped into her.

"Are you okay?" He panted, holding her shoulders to steady himself.

"Yes, you run like being chased dead. I was about to go look for you. I thought you got lost." She touched his hand, concerned.

"I.....d..dangerous...I......door..." He panted, babbled.

"What are you talking about? Let's go inside first. Do you have the key? You locked the door this morning." She tucked his arm.

 He nodded and opened the door, held it for her and stepped in. They sat in the sofa. Silence stretched and he started talking.

"I found the door today."

"Huh? What door?"

"Door of dimensions. It's in the forest. And ....and the people in Kalas found it too. I....uhm....I killed one of them today."

"Killed?" She gaped, horrified at the idea.

"He meant to kill me, Brig. And I threw him back to Kalas, preventing others coming. But now that they found the door, and they know I'm here, they'll come back for me. You can be in danger."

"What are you suggesting? They're after you. I'm not in danger. You can stay in my house; they won't find out."

"They will, Brig. It's inevitable. I'm not powerful. I can't put you in danger."

"You're not leaving, David. I'm in this shit with you; I'm not gonna just leave you out there, facing death."

"They're cruel, Brig. They can and will kill you."

"So be it. We're in it together. Don't play the hero crap."
"Brigitte, be reasonable." He raised his voice. "You can move on with your life."

"Oh, you know me that well? You can even predict my future? So much talents!" She snapped.

"Brigitte!"

"David!" She mocked. "Look, they only need a dog, not magic, and they can track your scent here. Together, we might stand a chance. You know, more heads, more brains is better."

"You'll risk your life for me?" Do you love me? "It's not like in movie, no happy ending is guaranteed. You could be wasting your life for a slave."

"Enough with the slave attitude. You're you. And I," I love you. "I'm with you and if you're in danger. I'll be with you no matter what. I know what I'm getting myself into."

"I don't think so, you don't know what they're capable of."

"Are we in it or not? Or would you prefer me staying here alone to fight them off myself?"

"I'll stay, I can't let you be defenseless. You're so courageous."

"Or plain stupid. Well, do you want pizza?"

"Pizza?" He asked, not sure what she meant.

"Yeah, dinner. I'm not cooking. What do you want for toppings?"
"Same as you. I've never seen a pizza before so I don't know."

  She called someone to deliver a pizza and turned to take a shower.

David leaned back in the sofa, thinking how much peaceful time they have before people come looking for him. Damn, what did he get her into? He wanted to run away from her, to go face his fate alone and leave her life to turn back normal. But she had a point, what if they found her here without him? He had to let them see him first then draw them to him.

"You looked worn out. You want to take a shower too?" Brigitte asked, stepping into the living room, wearing a pink pajama.

"That's a good idea." David rose, and started to go pass her.

She stopped him, held his hand and looked up to him. "David, it'd be lame to say everything's gonna be ok. I don't know how it all turned out but I'm with you no matter what."

"I'll kill myself if I let you be hurt because of me." He leaned down and brushed her lips with his.

"We're not Clark and Loise, David. It's not about who saving whom, or who getting hurt because of whom. We're in it together. That's the point."

 David kissed her hard then left for the shower before his emotions choked him. God, no one has ever risk anything for him. She saved him and all he did was putting her in danger. He let the water wash away his worried thoughts. It was time to live for moments. He would enjoy every minute left with Brigitte before he had to draw those animals away from her.

  Brigitte opened the front door to take the pizza, paid the delivered guy some tips. Was it really what she wanted? Go against a magician's power? She only knew David for a short time. She  was gonna risk everything for him? Yes, that was the only answer. She loved him; it felt right. Although the time she took to know him and let him to her bed too was very short, she just knew that she felt happy, safe and cherished when she was with him. She felt electricity going through her every time they were in the same room and she could never ignore him. Yes, she lost people she loved; she wouldn't lose him too, not if she could help it. She felt his warm arms going around her waist. This felt so right; she inhaled his fresh scent and sighed contentedly, leaned back to him for a few minutes. Then her stomach growled; she blushed.

"Here, take a slice." She opened the box and gave him a plate.

He took a bite. "Wow, this is good." He used his mind to open the fridge and take out some orange juice.

 Brigitte gaped. "Er, next time you need to warn me. It's a little spooky like I'm having a ghost in my house or something."

David chuckled. "Love, you'll get used to it if you let me be around for awhile."

Did he call her love? "Fine, don't do it when we have guests or in public."

"I won't. At least no one will see it if I do." He grinned wickedly at her.

She shot him a dirty look and went to sit in front of the TV.

"Uhm, Dave, how did you kill the guy? I didn't think you carrying some weapons around."

"I manifested a knife. You forget I have that ability."

"Right, you're the one who keep saying that you're not powerful. I keep forgetting because you look ordinary to me."

"Ordinary?" He raised an eyebrow.

"Good-looking. But I didn't mean it that way." She scowled at his smug look. "I've always had an image of an old guy with long white beard to be capable of any magic."

He laughed out loud. "I'm glad I look better than that."

  They passed the evening talking about nothing in particular and just sat in each other arms, watching TV. They went to bed holding each other, praying tomorrow night and the next coming nights to be just like this.

 

  Around three o'clock in the morning, David jerked awake when he heard some dog's barking and people stomping near the house.

"Brigitte, wake up!"

"What is it?" She asked groggily, eyes closed.

"Brigitte! Wake up! I think they found us!" David shook her. Brigitte sat up, instantly alert. David already got off the bed, with two swords in each hand, and was standing next to the door. Brigitte opened her drawer of her night table and took out a pistol. She never thought she was gonna ever have to shoot someone. Well, it's called defense, Brig!

 David looked surprised. "What's that thing?"

"It's a gun. You pull the trigger here, aiming at someone and bam, that one's dead."

"Sound convenient. But why do you need such thing?"

"To protect myself in case of robbery or something. I've never used it though." She took a deep breath; the idea of shooting someone scared her.

"You could have kill me anytime before." David smiled.

"Yeah, just realize how lucky you are, eh?" She winked at him and stopped teasing when her front door broke apart from the wall and crashed onto the floor.

 

 

 

------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 11 ---------------------------------------------

 

  A group of men in a long gray robe, leaded by two huge dogs, barged into the house. They banged the bedroom door. David stabbed the first man in the chest and slit the German shepherd's throat.

  The second shepherd bit his leg, taken him aback. Three men charged in. Brigitte fired a shot at one of them but missed. The sound startled and unnerved her even more. Two more men ran in the room and went after Brigitte while the other three surrounded David.

  David buried the blade in the dog's head and dodged low as a sword swung past him. He kicked one man's legs, causing him to lose his balance. He threw a knife at the fallen man chest and sliced the other two's thighs in a swift motion with the sword in his other hand. Two more fire shots ran out before he heard Brigitte shrieked.

  He glanced at her quickly but manifested another sword and with one in each hand he struck the two men in their hearts. He turned toward Brigitte to see one man lying down on the floor, the other was holding her throat, and her gun was kicked to the bed's foot. He rushed over and stabbed the guy holding her and shoved him away from her. He dropped the guy to the floor and stepped over him to Brigitte. She was gasping and coughing.

"Are you okay?" He asked, pulling her into his arms and checking her throat.

"Y-yes" She coughed. "Are you?"

"I'm fine." He held her close. Relieved that she wasn't harm but he was darn too close of losing her. She could have gotten killed and all because of him. He destroyed her peaceful life and brought nothing but troubles and dangers to her.

 Brigitte held on to David, and then took a look around the room. Dead men everywhere, two dead dogs lying on the floor and all she could see were the horrible sight of blood. She trembled, Jesus, just what had she gotten herself into? And you killed one of the men too.

 David felt her trembling in his arms and cursed silently at himself. He tainted her, an angel who only knew to save people. He rocked her back and forth. He had to leave her, soon. When he made sure she was okay, he was going to leave, to step out of her life. He would be in the shadow and kill anyone before they could get to close to her. Yes, that was the way to go. This was too close; he couldn't risk her life like this. She would be fine without him. She never said that she loved him; she would move on with her life. Her life would return normal again.

"I'm going to take a hot shower." She said weakly.

  He nodded and waited for her to go to bathroom to start cleaning up. Where would he dispose all these bodies? He used his telekinesis to lift all the bodies up and made them float in the air to outside. He left them piled up outside and went back to mop all the blood. He disintegrated his weapons on the floor. He considered lifting the blood too but it would be better if he just cleaned the room altogether. He took several towels and let them absorb all the blood. Then, he directed them outside, added them to the pile of bodies.

 Well, nowhere better than the place they came from. Maybe his people would wake up and see what they were going to end up if they went over her. Yeah right, the king would most likely raise hell. But he couldn't risk anyone see body here. Sighing, he lifted the messy pile of bodies and bloody towels up again, and directed them toward the forest. He wished he had the power to open the door of dimension anywhere he wants. Well, good thing that this was the wee hours, the chance of someone seeing a gloating pile of bodies was low. He ran and jumped as fast as he could.

  He traced his fingers to find the light point and splayed his hands to open the door of dimension. He stepped aside and let the bloody pile fly through the door and willed for the door to close again. The door stood there for a few minutes before closing itself closely. Damn, sometimes he wished he could control the door but all he could do was opening, going through and waited for the door to close. He couldn't control how long the door stayed opened but could affect it, made it close sooner, when he was the only one using the door.

 

  Meanwhile, back in Brigitte's house, Brigitte stepped out of the bathroom to find David gone. Panic settled over her but when she looked around to see all the bodies and blood gone, she forced herself to calm down. The thought that he was in danger and alone terrified her more than her bed chamber full of blood and bodies. Strange but that was how she felt. Unable to just stand there and let all the what-ifs drive her crazy, she mopped the floor to get rid of the copper smell of blood.

 She wiped the floor again and again, trying to focus on the floor, not on the thoughts of what happened to David if someone came and took him away. She couldn't stand the thought of him dying, of her moving on without him. She knew that she couldn't move on alone; he had swept in her life and changed it forever. There was no turning back for her now. It was too late; she loved him with all her heart. Just when she could have gone nuts with her thoughts, big warm hands covered hers. She looked up to see David's concerned face; she couldn't help her tears filling her eyes and streaming down her cheeks. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly and sobbed.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." David whispered, soothing her.

"I was afraid someone came and took you. I was scared, I..." She broke into louder sobs.

"Shh..I won't let them harm you, Brigitte." He cradled her head to his neck, smoothing her hair.

"Don't leave me, David. Please." She breathed. This was the first time she begged anyone to stay. If their circumstances were different, he bet that he would be long run away from her. Everybody said that men hated or freaked out if their women became too attached to them. As it was, David just held her in silence while she clung onto him. He carried her to bed and rocked her slowly until she felt asleep.

  He tucked her into the blanket and watched her face. She looked exhausted and beautiful. David stared at her and touched her damp cheeks. He had to leave her before she woke up. If he waited to tell her good-bye, he never could resist her captivating eyes. He never could leave her side. This was the better way, the only way. This was better for her. Kalas was after him, not her. His fingers lingered on her face. She would never experience a night as horrible as tonight. David leaned in and kissed her lips, memorizing her smell and her softness.

 He intended to just leave her but he had to leave her something to let her know that he wasn't captured. He closed his eyes and concentrated on a gold ring with a set of wings caved into it. He only manifested weapons before but gold was also metal. He opened his magic mind and pictured a delicate gold ring. His palm tingled and a gold ring formed. He took a look closer at the shiny ring. He put it on her bed table and wrote down a note. What would he say? "Stay safe", "Forger me", or "Be happy"? That sounded stupid even to him. She would hate him for this but this was the best way he could think of. He jotted down the phrase and turned to look at her again. He would never forget her. In fact, he would watch over her, as long as he could stay alive anyway. He sat there and watched her, let all her features caved into his mind.

 Her breathing started to change; he jumped and ran out of her house. He stopped at the front and looked back one last time.

"Good bye Brigitte. I will always love you" He murmured and went hiding on the side of the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 12 ------------------------------------------

 

  Brigitte woke up and found herself alone. An emptiness and coldness settled around her.

"David?" She called and silence answered her.

 She rolled off the bed and went look for David but he was nowhere in sight. A fear was rising inside her. Maybe he went out jogging. He never had done that before so it would be unlikely. She went through her house two more times and came back to the bedroom. Her heart thundered in her ears. Where could he have been gone? A light caught her eye.

She turned and saw a gold ring on her bedside table. There was a note under it.

 "I'm sorry...." The note said. Anger boiled in her, she threw the ring against the wall and crumpled the note. "I'm sorry"? That was it and he left her? How could he? Was this because she begged him? Maybe you're delusional that he's ever loved you. Men want sex.

But he's different.

Well, not so different now that he left you. A sense of betrayal filled her.

"Damn you! I'm sorry you're an asshole too!" She shouted to the empty house.

 Maybe he had lied to her all along, maybe he was a wanted criminal. No, in her heart, she knew he hadn't lied. Where did he go now? He wouldn't come back to Kalas, right? Right? You're so pathetic. The man left you and you're worrying about him. She couldn't help it; she picked up the ring.

 There was a set of wings caved on it. What did he leave it for? To let you know he cared about you too. Yeah right, if he cared, why didn't he stay with her after she had begged him? She could hear her heart broken and her anguish cry came out. The phone rang.

"Hello?" She sniffed.

"Brigitte? Are you okay? I don't see you at work." A familiar male voice came.

 What time was it? It was noon. She slept the day away; well, she had a hard night.

"Brigitte?"

"Oh, sorry. I....forgot. I slept the day..."

"You forgot?" Alex scolded in the phone.

"I'm really sorry, Alex. I'll come right there." She sniffed again.

"What's wrong, Brig? Are you crying?"

"No, I..." she stiffed her nose again.

"Where's David? Did he do something to you?"

"No, he...he left." The truth choked her.

"Left? To where?"

"I don't know." She shouted in frustration.

"All right. Look, take a day off, Brig. I'll come by this evening."

"You don't need to."
"I want to. Did you tell the girls?"
"No, not yet...I....."

"I'll call them. We'll stop by your house and you'll better be there." Alex interrupted.

"Alex..."

"We'll come and bring a pizza. End of discussion." Alex snapped.

"Thanks, Alex." Brigitte smiled at his voice. Alex could be aggressive when he wanted to.

"Nonsense. We're best friends. Hold your cry until we'll come by. I gotta go now." He hung up.

  The best thing in life was to have best friends who were always being at your side. Alex, Marguerite, Natalie and she had been best friends since middle school. She treasured them greatly. She brushed her teeth, took out some chocolate ice cream and turned the TV on. Yes, chocolate, cheer me up! But she was still worry about David. She didn't pay attention to the TV. She fell asleep on the couch, kept wondering if David was okay now.

 The door bell woke her up. Sheesh, how long did she sleep? She opened the door groggily. Her three friends didn't wait for her to greet but came inside.

"What happened, Brig? You looked like shit." Alex asked. Natalie closed the door and turned her concerned look to Brig.

"Well, you know David is being chased by his father, right?"

"His mafia family? Yes, so what happened?" Marguerite asked.

"Some of them came to my house."
"Is that why you have a metallic door?" Natalie nodded her way to the door.

Brigitte gaped. She forgot that her old door was destroyed. David must have manifested a new door; he could control metal.

"Why are you so surprised?" Alex frowned.

"I forgot about the door; I didn't see it there. Anyway, we fought down the group and..."

"I didn't hear anything about it. The police didn't come?" Marguerite concerned.

"No, it was midnight. We fought them away." Or killed them all, to be exact. "And David was gone when I woke up."

"You two fought them? Is it just me or everybody else believes it too?" Natalie doubted.

 Brigitte sighed. Well, David left. They were her best friends. They surely would be totally quiet of this secret. She explained to them and told them the truth about David, about his country but left out the magic part. She couldn't be sure if they would believe all that at one time.

"Family tragedy." Natalie shook her head after Brigitte finished.

"Door of dimensions, huh?" Alex was still stunned.

"Let me get this straight. He's kinda half prince, half slave. More slave in his case, from another country?" Marguerite asked, still shocked.

"Pretty much. My jaw dropped like yours when he told me that too." Brig sighed.

"You're sure he's not some kind of wanted criminal?" Natalie doubted.

"Yes." Especially when he has magic. But there was a tiny doubt in her now that kept questioning why he ran away. She really did fall hard and fast for him. Either he was pretty good or she was so stupid if it all turned out lies.

"I don't get it. Why did he run away if he's been wanted in his country? I mean he would be safer here with you than staying in the street, waiting for assassins." Marge angered.

"Maybe for Brig's safety." Nate defended him.

"It's stupid. Beside, I asked, no, begged him to stay."
"You begged him?" Alex astounded.
"Kind of. I was frightened last night and even more terrified at the idea of him getting killed." Her heart clenched at the thought.

"You love him very much, do you?" Nate put a hand on her shoulder.

"I always doubt if it's even possible to fall for someone that hard in an incredibly short time but I did, without any reason."

"Love is unpredictable; true love is even more so." Alex sighed.

The three girls gasped at him. "What?" He asked indignantly.    

"You can be cheesy sometimes. Did you fall for some girl already?"

"I keep hoping to meet her."
"Good luck. Look at me! I can't even think." Brig said.

"You're not supposed to think that much in love." Nate smiled.

"Until he dumps you. I don't know, I haven't seen any good marriage or long last couple. I guess I can never be sure."

"We have never seen a good couple. I think all of us will always be unsure about love but there's always hope." Marge nodded.

"You're always the ultimate optimist, even after heartbreak." Brig smiled at her then sighed. "I hope he's okay."

"I hope he'll come back so we can give him a good lecture." Marge tapped her shoulder.

"Yeah, if he comes back at all."
"Oh, let's do something else. Forget this sappy thing for awhile. Here, have a pizza slice." Alex pushed the pizza box toward her.

 Natalie and Marge hugged her then started to talk about other things to cheer her up. "By the way, I'm staying tonight." Marge said and took a bite off the pizza.

"Me too." Natalie and Alex agreed in unison.

"Slumber party?" Brig was touched by their support.

"You bet. Have the Wii on, I have to revenge after last time."
"Bring it on." She smiled. Yes, having best friends was the best thing in the world.

 

  David saw Brigitte's three friends coming in with a pizza box. Brigitte must be in bad shape, and it was all because of him. He longed to go in there, apologize to her and hold her but he couldn't, he wouldn't be able to leave afterward. He leaned against the wall, breathed the chilly night air in. By now, the king would have known all his sent assassins were dead. Going back to Kalas would be suicidal and stupid; he wouldn't have a chance to survive. But he needed to make sure that no one would danger Brigitte. It would be best to be captured by them, so he could be sure no group would go look for her. Now, he had to wait for them to come and capture him. Where were all these chasers when you needed them? Ironic, running away only to have to be captured again. But for Brigitte, yes, he would do it.

 

  The next morning, Brigitte was coming to work with Alex. She hugged good-bye to the girls.

"I'll see you, sweetie. He'll come back and we'll shave his head off."

"Yes, we'll shave his head, make him remember how stupid he was for a long time."

"Maybe he's just not that into me. I just move on with my life now." Brigitte smiled at her friends. "I can't wait for a possible someone forever."
"We're here anytime you want to ramble."
"Thank you; you know how much I love you right? You guys rock."

"Let's get going." Alex opened his car door for her.

 Brigitte got in, waved at her friends and for a second, she thought she was David leaning against the wall. But there was no one there. Great, just one day and already I'm hallucinating.

 

  A normal day went by with a lot less work than usual. Alex was trying not to let her do all the works and make mistakes. She needed to get herself together to go on with her life. Damn him, she barely could focus on her work. It was scary, one small mistake and the patient would take consequences. She stayed up late to finish the paper works; it took longer than she expected. Just as well, there was nothing but an empty house waiting for her. She was the last one to leave work.

  She walked mindlessly, intending to grab a hamburger but somehow she got lost in a weird and dark alley; she had never been here before. She was trying to look around to find her way when someone grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and pulled her backward. She heard a voice calling her name and saw a shadow that looked like David before she passed out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------ CHAPTER 13 ----------------------------------------

 

  David widened his eyes and shouted to alert Brigitte as someone came through the door of dimensions and pulled Brigitte back to the other world. He saw a flash of a black leaf in a circle symbol on the man's cloak before they disappeared. A magician of the king's side. That was why the door was opened and closed so fast.

 He had been following Brigitte. She looked exhausted; her eyes were swollen, no doubt she had been crying all night. He hated himself for it. She took off work late and she had been wandering with her eyes unfocused on the road. She looked completely lost. He had been struggled with debate of coming to her. Now, it's too late, you asshole, she's been abducted by your people. Your fault! He cursed himself. He should have stayed with her. His calculation had been wrong.

 His heart pounding with fear for her, he jumped and ran at dead speed to the forest and opened the door of dimensions, thinking of her and Kalas. Please, take me to Kalas, better yet, lead me straight to her! He stepped through the door, and manifested immediately a short sword in each hand. There was no one but trees. This brought him back to where he was running before he escaped Kalas. With no time to waste, he started running back to the castle; his hell and worse things would be waiting for him but Brigitte was there too. Hold on, Brigitte! I'm coming!

 

  Brigitte woke up as someone dumped a can of iced water on her. She opened her eyes to see that she was lying on a stoned floor, a huge black shadow looming in front of her.

"So, you're awake." A deep voice broke the silence.

 The memory of being kidnapped from behind crashed down to her. "Where am I?" Her voice shook with fear.

"Kalas, you've heard about it, I'm sure, from some wanted criminal." He spat.

 She looked up to see a huge man wearing a long black robe. His face was handsome but his eyes were cold and full of hatred. His hands were at his side, covered in black gloves with a black leaf in a circle images. She bet that the leaf in a circle was his symbol but she couldn't be sure what color of the leaf would be in a colored picture. Brown? Purple? Something dark. A guard yanked her hair to turn her face up. She yelped.

"Where is he?" The man in black robe asked.

"I don't know what you're talking about." She denied. So they didn't get him.

"You damn sure do. Two of the assassins saw you at the last face before they got killed and one of them had a small metal ball inside his heart. David could no way embed it in him. You killed him." He spoke in anger but no compassion for the dead men.

"They broke into my house. I only defended myself." There was no need to deny that. Just how did he know they saw her? They were totally dead at the time. More magic?

"And you know where the man they were looking for is?"

"No, I don't." Which was true; David left her.

"Liar! Tell me where is he!" He demanded.

"I told you. I don't know." She yelled in frustration and earned a slap on her face. She tasted blood running from her nose. Her face stung.

"Protective of him, you like him, huh?" He shook his head, chuckling. "What a pity! That man is a criminal and a slave."
"He's not a criminal. He saw your dirty business."
"Are you sure that he's not the one who did the deed and got caught red handed by me?" He stared at her, his eyes were pit black and out cold.

"That was his aunt." She pointed out.

"Same reason that he is wanted. What an ungrateful slave!"

"You're lying. You want him dead to not reveal your secret."

"Did that slave fuck you so good you're gone blind from the truth." He tsked at her.

"I know." She said firmly, feeling not so encouraged inside.

"How? Because he told you so? Or better yet, maybe he put a spell on you."

"He can't control my mind." She shouted at the possibility. No, she felt like herself all the time.

"You don't know that. You've only seen him like what, a week? Take it from someone who knows him for longer time. Tell me where he is, once he's turned in, you and your mind can be free."
"You're the one kidnapped me."

"I'm not. I just ordered to capture the bitch who killed my men. Now, quit playing, where is he?" He raised his voice.

"I don't know." She glared at him.

"Maybe you need some lessons or should I say stimulation." He signaled to two guards to tie her up and another to whip her. She screamed at the first hit. She felt her skin burnt at the contact and tore off, blood running cross her chest.

"Where is he?" He demanded.

"I don't know." She said weakly.

 He waved his hand and two more whips came at her back; she screamed and felt herself slipping. She had been exhausted from lack of sleep, of dinner and from crying. The pain was wearing her out more. Good, she wouldn't hold up much longer.

"Where is he? Or I'll take off your clothes and whip you raw."
"I told you, I don't know." She breathed.

 One whip came at her back and she passes out. She heard her cloths being torn before darkness consumed her.

"Stupid bitch, and how did he manage to not be captured even now?" The king bellowed.

"Do you want her to be whipped more, my king?" A guard bowed.

"No, throw her to a cell. She's no good passing out. And I want that slave found, either dead or alive. Understand?"

"Yes, my king." Several guards said in unison and bowed, taking the naked girl with them, leaving a trail of blood on the floor. Some servants came in silently to clean up the mess.

"Leave the bloody clothes. That bastard will come back to find the whore. He could have her dirty clothes." The king spat.

The servants bowed lower and scurried out of the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------ CHAPTER 14 ----------------------------------------------

 

A crowd centered a merchant in the market. David hid his face behind a black mask and stood up. A purse was raised in the merchant's hand. Brigitte's purse! The merchant was selling it in the auction.

"Sold to the lovely lady here." He shouted, ending the biddings.

 David needed a plan to get in the castle but he didn't know where they keep Brigitte. His heart thumped with fear. The purse's new owner separated herself from the crowd and walked toward a gold carriage. A royal carriage. She couldn't be his mother, who never liked to venture in a market with normal people. David couldn't see her face. No matter, she was a royal, she had to go to the castle; he could pry information from her. He leaped onto the carriage, put a hand to cover the servant girl's mouth and seated himself next to her, trying to arrange himself so that people couldn't see him at a side glance.

 The door opened. The lady came in, smiled at the widened eyed servant.

"Look what I got." She said in excitement.

 His aunt! His recognition hit him. He lunged forward to cover her mouth and showed her a knife in his hand. "One alarmed word and I slit your throat. Your servant's too."
"What do you want?" She gasped.

"Where do you want to go, my lady?" The driver asked.
"To the castle." He ordered.

"To the castle." She transferred the order to the driver.

"Where's the girl?" He asked between gritted teeth.

"What girl? I came to the market this morning and didn't hear any news from the castle." She babbled.

"The girl whose purse you just bought." He indicated the purse.

"This is called a purse? All I know that it's from another world and it looks cute." She clutched the purse.

 David lay back in the seat, watching the two women. They didn't know anything. His aunt looked out to the window and sometimes glanced back at him nervously.

"What are you looking at, Zira?" He agitated.

"How did you...?" She murmured.

"Still alive? Well, you better pray nothing happen to the girl or I'll let you suffer worse than whatever that girl had."

"You cared about her?" She asked in surprise.

 He didn't want to answer her. There was no need to let them know how much Brigitte meant to him.

"That girl accepted you?" She asked in disgust and disbelief.

 Faster than she could blink, David had a knife at her throat. "Be careful, Zira. I won't even hesitate to cut your pretty face if you disrespect her again." Zira gasped and turned away.

 His aunt maybe beautiful with voluptuous curves and all that but she didn't have compassion or real love for anyone but herself. The king was a fool to believe that she was crazy for him. The carriage was approaching the gate. Brigitte, please be okay!

 

  Brigitte woke up again to find herself sprawling on a filthy cold stoned floor. She pushed herself up and her body protested, aching everywhere. She was covered by only a black robe. Damn, they stripped her clothes, everything. Good thing she hadn't been able to witness it or she would have die of humiliation. Something ran over her feet and she jumped. A rat! She pushed her knees up and wrapped her arms around them, sitting in a corner. This was a cell. The bar door was locked. Of course, what did she expect? There were cobwebs, mice, and small pile of straw in the corner opposite her. That was probably the bed. This was eerie and stunk too. She was terrified of mice and spiders and everything else here. She had to get out of here. But how?

"So you're awake." A deep voice drawled behind the bars.

 She jumped; last time she heard that sentence, it was a nightmare. But this voice was warmer than and not as deep as the man in black who she assumed to be the king.

"My, are you mute? I heard you had quite an argument with the king not long ago. Can't think why you're mute now."

"Who are you?" She asked shakily. The cell was so dark that all she could make out was his outline figure. The man was so broad that she almost doubted he shadowed all the light.

"Your prison's guard who is incredibly bored apparently."
"Please release me." She begged in a small voice, close to crying.

"And get myself killed? I'm not that stupid. What do you have to barter?"

Brigitte was so panicked; she couldn't guess any emotion from the man's tone.

"I don't have anything, even clothes. The only piece covering me is a robe." She looked down at herself, tears sliding down her cheeks.

"I know, I was the one put it on you."
"You did?" She was even more horrified.

"What do you think? I can't be distracted at my duty and woman body, a naked one is always distracting." He snorted.

"Did you...?" She cried.

"No, you were out cold and I don't want a corpse. None of the soldiers had time to do anything either. They were rushing to find your infamous David. Now, come closer here. Woman, and offer me you body, I'll let you leave."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 15 -------------------------------------------

 

  "My..b..body?" Brigitte couldn't believe her ears.

"Do you have anything else to barter?" The guard asked in a bored impatient tone.

 She sat there, trembling and crying. She had to sell her body to get her freedom. Oh, talk about drama! But the soldiers would come back and sooner or later the king would have her dead. At least she had the chance now to run than to wait in here for death. Forcing herself to move, she crawled to the door. The guard was leaning against the wall.

 Up close, he was even bigger and taller. He took one step toward the door and she went ramrod stiff in panic. No, she couldn't do it. He reached the door by the time she slammed herself at the door, holding the bars together, refusing to let him in. He stared down at her in surprise.

"Change your mind?"

"I...uhm....I....can't." She panted.

"Why not? Prefer to wait for death?"

"I...uhm..." She fumbled for words; the insides of her were battling. One screamed that this was the only chance while the other denied all the way. "I....I'm....I like girls." She blurted out.

"What?" He stopped in shock and bemusement.

"I'm only interested in girls." Clutching the bars, she said firmly; her face turned red hot. He laughed out loud, sounding warm, not at all cold-hearted.

 He put the key in and turned the lock. She froze and braced herself.

"Go, woman!" He chuckled, still shaking his head.

"You let me go?" His action totally bewildered her.

"I was bored and you amused me. Get out of here! You don't want out of here? Stop clutching the bars. Stand up and get out!"

 She loosened her grip and straightened up. She couldn't believe her luck. A part of her still doubted that something was wrong. It couldn't be that easy, that simple. She still didn't get over her shock when the door opened and the man stepped back.

"Are you going to go or just stare at me?" He drawled.

"What about you?" She asked, feeling worry for him.

"What about me? Don't think too much, woman. Now go before I change my mind."

 Brigitte ran out of the cell and a few steps more, and then looked back at the man who was still leaning against the wall so casually as if he never went against his duty. "Are you sure you want to stay here and wait for them?"
"My, women are so complicated. Get out of here, save yourself first. Now run!"

  She didn't have to hear the second time. She said in gratitude. "Thank you. Please be careful."

 

  She ran up the stairs and along the hall. She stopped at a door to catch her breath. The door suddenly opened and a strong hand pulled her in. She was so out of breath to mutter a sound. She gasped and the door closed.

 

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 16 ----------------------------------------

 

  "What a surprise! A wanted slave comes to his death willingly." The king mused.

"Where's Brigitte?" David gritted, holding a knife at Zira's throat.

"Who? I never heard of that name."

"Brigitte Winkle, the girl with me. Release her now or I'll split this woman's throat!" David snarled at the man sitting on the throne, his hand tightened on Zira's shoulder.

"That girl! So that's her name. She passed out before she could introduce her name. And it's funny because she said she didn't know where you were neither did she admit she was with you. Are you sure that she's 'the girl'?"

"Stop talking and release her, now!"

"Why would I? She could be some use."

 David pressed the blade to Zira's neck; a trickle of blood ran down her throat. She went frantic. "Stop playing game, Sabur! Show him that damn bitch!"

 A flash of anger was in the king's eyes and gone. His lips curved into a cruel smile. "Guard, bring the girl!"

 

  David and Sabur stared at each other; Zira wiped her blood and glared at Sabur.

 The guards came back, alone. "My king, there was no girl to be found in the cell."

"What?" A pause; then the king barked. "Richard Bradley!"

 

 A tall man with broad shoulders, dressed in black suit with a sword at his waist came in and bowed in front of the king.

"At your call, my king."
 "Where's that girl?"

"Which girl are you mentioning, my king? There's more than one girl in the..."

"The bloody naked girl and you know damn well who I'm talking about. Where is she now?"

"Oh, that girl. Unfortunately, she ran off, my king."

"Ran off? What do you mean she ran off?" The king bellowed. "You guarded her. I knew I should have killed you before now, you useless dog."

Richard stood unflinching at the king's rage. "I'm afraid that it's too late now because I'm still breathing, my king. As for the girl, I meant that she ran away, out of the cell and to where I do not know."

"Search for the girl! And you..." The king shouted.

"Do you mean this girl, father?" A warm voice interrupted the king. Everyone turned to see a man dress in a dark blue robe holding a person in black robe. The man pulled the hood of the black robe down, revealed Brigitte Winkle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 17 -----------------------------------------

 

  David's heart clenched at the sight of Brigitte. She looked pale, her face was bruised, her eyes glazed. "Release her!" He said.

"Now, little girl, see him holding a knife at his lover's throat? I told you, that it was his affair. How do you think he could find her that fast without knowing where her chamber is? And now he would kill his woman in cold blood."

"His woman? I'm pretty sure you're the one sleeping with me; so it's more like this dog putting your woman in danger." Zira spat.

"Foolish woman." The king chuckled and waved his hand. Zira widened her eyes in shock as she walked herself into the blade at her neck. "What makes you think you can hole that whore against me, slave?"

"Release Brigitte and I give myself in." David said between clenched teeth.

"Or what?"

"Or I shouted to the queen, spilling your dirty secret."
"Oh yeah? And she will believe you?"

"She will, Sabur. I sent her a message and she can test the truth for herself. Did you forget, Sabur? Lydia is more powerful and she has all the truth portion in stock."

"I can capture both of you now."
"Call the force in. I'll fight them off; such attention will attract the queen here, don't you think?"

  Sabur shot up in frustration, a wave of his anger hit everyone in the room. The huge door to the hall slammed closed at the sight of guards outside dropping on their knees. Richard grunted, dropped to one knee and stood up again. David felt his knees wobbled but straightened his spine, forced himself not to get down.

 Brigitte staggered but the man holding her steadied her. Sabur moved to stand in front of David so fast that Brig thought he blurred there.

"I let this girl go and you turn yourself in silently."
 "No, David. He'll kill you." Brigitte voiced sharply for the first time.

"Yes, let her go and I'm at your dispose." David sighed, looked at Brigitte longingly, wanting to say a lot to her and wishing her to understand that there was no other way.

Tears streamed down her face as she shook her head, telling him no.

"Fine." A tape came across David's mouth, sealed his lips shut and David suddenly dropped to his knees. Sabur yanked his hair, kept David's eyes fixed on Brigitte and motioned for Richard to take out his sword and point at David. "Release her then. After she's dead." Sabur ordered, smiling cruelly.

 

  David's eyes bulged, the tape muffled his voice. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. He tried to move but Sabur and Richard pinned him down. He looked frantically and helplessly at Brigitte's face. She seemed unaware of her death sentence; she just stared at him with sadness and tears running down her cheeks.

"Allow me, father." The man who was holding her hostage split Brigitte's throat. The black fabric around her neck turned even darker as she slumped to the ground.

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 18 -----------------------------------------

 

  "Stupid slave, did you really think I would let her gone alive?"

David's heart stopped. He couldn't hear or see anything else as Brigitte fell to the floor and stayed unmoving. A scream built inside his chest; tension clenched his heart and he exploded. Brigitte's dead!

 Dave ripped the tape from his mouth, manifested two swords and went for the king whose eyes bulged out in surprise. Richard let go off him and went to Brigitte. Sabur blocked David's blade with a magic shield. Dave lunged at Richard, trying to reach Brigitte first. The man in dark blue drew out a sword and came at him. David raised his sword, ready for the man's blade but the man charged the king.

 Sabur couldn't be more stunned. A rebellion? He threw up his shield and blasted the two men. The slave flew to the corner and flipped right back up and came forward again. That fucking slave could fight. And why wasn't the other man what-his-name affected by his magic as he should be? That man looked familiar. The stupid slave swung his sword. Fucking dog, did he really think he could get at him? He was a king with power and that dog was a lowest slave. Sabur blasted the sword out of David's hand, kicked it out of his reach and pinned him against the wall at the throat. His other hand threw up a stronger shield to keep the man in blue robe at bay. To Sabur's amaze, the man put up a magical wall and pushed at his shield.

  David's hands came up to Sabur's arm and tried to pry his fingers away.

"Guards!" Sabur roared. The door to the hall wouldn't open at the thunderous bumping from outside. So the looking familiar man blocked the door too. Sabur's shield suddenly dropped and he felt depleted completely of his power as he realized having a necklace at his neck.

  

   David choked and tried to kick Sabur back and get his hand off his throat. At the corner of his eyes, two shadows emerged from the small door to the court room. Richard put something over Sabur's head and Sabur's shield at the man who had killed Brigitte was dropped immediately while his hand at Dave's neck loosened.

 Dave folded Sabur's arm and punched him on the face. Sabur staggered back, Dave came on his feet and manifested a sword. The man dropped his magical wall and came to Richard who fell on the floor panting. Dave pierced Sabur's heart and watched the life left his wide shocked eyes. But Brigitte couldn't be back. He twisted the blade and felt unsatisfied and useless. He let the blade embedded in Sabur's chest and looked up to meet familiar brown eyes.

  Shuddering, Dave reached out to that familiar face with his trembling hand. She ran to him and hugged him tightly. Warm, not cold at all. He clutched her closer to himself and breathed in that lovely scent mixed with blood smell and mumbled "Brigitte!"

 She was shaken in his arms and he still clutched her tighter and murmured. "Please don't go, don't disappear. Please. Pull me to afterlife with you but please don't leave me. Please!"  He didn't care if she was a ghost or illusion; he had to keep her here, with him, in his arms.

"You're not having an I-see-dead-people moment. Isn't she felt real to you?" Richard snorted, straightening his shaky legs.

 

   The hall door flew open and a woman in a gorgeous white dress stomped in. She was beautiful as a fairy stepped in real life except for her angry green eyes. She stopped at Sabur's body and crouched down. "No, Sabur!" She shook him but he was dead cold. She looked up and lunged at David.

  The man in blue robe stepped in between her and Dave who was still holding Brigitte tight and covered Brigitte with his back. He stopped the beautiful woman. "He betrayed you, mother."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 19 ---------------------------------------

 

  David glanced at the queen.

"He killed your father. Why are you protecting him? Get out of my way, Gille."

"Sabur betrayed you, mother. He was having affair with Zira when David saw him. He hunted David down and kidnapped Dave's girl instead. And he just killed Zira." Gille explained.

"Zira...." The queen looked over Zira's body. "Zira and Sabur? They..."

Gille hugged her. "I'm sorry, mother."

"Am I that hard to love?" She asked, sobbed openly now.

"I love you, mother."

"Why? I always forgave him in the past. I gave him whatever he wished. And I would have given him more and all he wanted if he just loved me with his heart."
"I'm sorry, mother."

"My queen, I'm awaiting for your command in regard of the situation at hand." Richard inserted formally.

"Ask my son, then. He's the king now."

"Mother!" Gille protested.

"Gilly, you're the king. I have long been tired of the power. Look what it got me: death of people I love. You're the right king for this kingdom. You're my son and the only person I love left. Please, take it son. It's all I have for you."
"Mother, I really don't know how to be a king. I can't...."

"Let your heart guide you, son. You know what's right for our people and I know you do what best for the country. I'll be here if you ever need me for anything." She smiled adoringly at Gille.

"My queen,..." Richard started.

"Lydia. You're royal now, Richard Bradley. You have always been my son's best friend. And the king's brother in arm is of course belongs to royalty."

"My honor, my queen. My king..." Richard began.

"Cut it out, Rick. You NEVER call me king. I'm Gille to you."

"Well, since you insist, Gille, what do we do now with these bodies?"

"They will be buried properly and we have one month of mourning before I ascend." Gille sighed.

"You know where to find me, son." The queen retreated through the small door that Richard and Brigitte had come in.

"I take it that I can command the guards to clean this up now." Richard drawled.

Gille gave him a duh look. "Guards, prepare the bodies to be buried properly." Rick barked.

 The bodies were taken away. "Prepare a royal funeral and a mourning ceremony." Gille said and waved his hands at his cleaning servants, dismissing them. "Leave us in privacy."

 The servants immediately abandoned the bloody floor and scurried away, closing the doors behind them.

"Well, what's the verdict, king?" David sneered at the title, crossing his arms over his chest and standing between Gille and Brigitte.

"You're my brother, David. You're royal too."

"Yeah right. I'm a slave, king. A slave doesn't have brother or family whatsoever."

"I'm sorry for what have been done to you but I'm not Sabur, David. I'm Gille Pov..., Gille Kalas, your half brother in blood and in heart." Gille continued before Dave could snort at his words. "And you, my brother, are going to help me and Richard rein."

"You and I rein?" Richard bemused. "Wow, me reining? Even I could see the risks."

"Risks for women and their angry husbands. And yes, you will help me in this too. Now, can I refocus the conversation with my brother?"

"Are you blind, king? You're asking a slave to help you rule?" Dave was stunned.

"I'm asking my brother, David. I always see you as my brother. The king, Sabur," Gille took a deep breath and shook his head. "He never regarded as a son; he didn't even care what my name is."

"Tragic, I wasn't known to have a name." Dave mocked.

"Stop whining boys! It's all in the past. We're all calling you David now, so you do have a name and I think you should be jumping in joy for leaving a slave past behind." Richard snapped.

"David, don't hold that against me. I tried twice to come to you but the circumstances didn't allow. I tried my best to help you when I heard the news of Brigitte being bought here."

"David, he helped me. Richard let me escape the prison and Gille kept me safe and saved me again in the court room." Brigitte put a hand on Dave's arm, tugging him.

"He cut your throat, I saw it." David glared at Gille.

"Faked blood, Dave. If he didn't take me to his room and told me his plan and if he wasn't the one to kill me, I sure would be a ghost by now."

"His plan?" Dave confused.

"Saving you both. He suspected something amiss when you were suddenly hunted. I supposed to let the girl out of the cell and take her pretended dead body to Sabur's study room to steal the stoned bottle necklace. Without it, you would be dead. So would I but instead I'm only exhausted." Richard explained.

"The stoned bottle necklace?" Dave asked.

"Yes, the necklace Rick put on Sabur's neck. The stoned little bottle was meant to capture Sabur's magic power. It could capture all magic power whoever wearing it." Gille nodded. "I knew it was always in Sabur's study room. I wanted Rich and Brigitte go get it when the guards were being distracted. That room had always been guarded strictly."

"You saved us." Dave breathed, disbelieved at the fact that his unknown brother was at his side all along.

"What do you think? Sabur suddenly depleted his power because he had his hand on your neck and I couldn't stand on my feet because I lifted a normal necklace and put it on him?" Richard rant.

"I still don't understand why you became exhausted?" Dave looked at Rick curiously.

"Sabur was building his defense shield. Richard doesn't have magical power, Dave." Gille explained. "He just gets used to magic a lot but he's still an ordinary man. For him to step through the shield and put the necklace on Sabur took a lot of energy. Especially the minute the necklace was on Sabur's neck, it immediately captured all magical power and hence the shield immediately was pushed through Rick to the necklace which wore him out."

"You were supposed to let me go in the beginning?" Brigitte raised her eyebrow at Rick in question.
"Yeah but I knew you weren't gonna believe me if I said so; so I had to make up some stupid bargain or something." Richard ginned. "And I was surprised, no I was shocked. Let's see, you said you were lesbian and yet you seemed pretty attracted to David." Rick's grin impossibly grew wider.

"You're a lesbian?" Dave whirled to face Brigitte, widened his eyes.

"No, that was the only excuse I had to think of when he bartered my...sleeping with him for my freedom." Brigitte gave Dave a duh stare and turned to look at Rick accusingly.

"You bargained for sex?" Gille asked in surprise while David turned a murdered look at Richard.

"She had only that to barter. Beside, what's better than sex to get from a woman?" Richard shrugged nonchalantly. "It wasn't like I was going to do it in the dirty cell. I was just going to open the door and let her go."

"You should have said so to her." Gille tried to hold back from laughing.

"And miss the amazing response from her? Like I said, she wasn't going to believe me if I told her the truth. But damn, I would do it again even if she believed me; her reactions surprised and amused the hell out of me. Women always jump me; do you think she will come back to me for more if we really carry on the bargain?"

"No." Gille laughed out loud while Dave growled and lunged at Rick.

Rick side stepped Dave, bashed his hand away and smiled smugly. "Relax, she's all yours. I have enough women to keep me busy."

"Hello, I'm right here." Brigitte's face was bright red.

"You're mine." David kissed her hard and held her tightly.

"We'll talk about that." Brigitte broke the kiss.

"Ooh, I smell troubles. You always can come to me, lady." Rick mused.

"No, thank you. I shouldn't keep women waiting for you." Brig answered in an irritated tone.

"Knock it off, Rick. So, David, will you stay here?" Gille asked.

"No, I wanted to come back to Dello. It's where I call home." David squeezed his hand on Brigitte's and smiled at Gille. "But I will come here often. Don't say I didn't warn you first but I know nothing about ruling a country, I was busy working."

"You and Rick are the only ones I can trust and three brains are always better than one."

"Then I'll come here everyday as my job. It's kinda unfit in Dello for jobs."

"Helping me, brother, not job. Money is not the issue, you're royal now."
"I know, brother. I'll be here whenever you need me. I owe you my life and my heart." Dave glanced at Brigitte indicating.

"Well, I guess you guys could have honeymoon for one month. I don't think there will be much to do in this mourning time." Richard remarked.

"We're not getting married." Brigitte declared.

"You're getting a month vacation too, Rick." Gille said before Dave could reply to Brig.

"Hmm, vacation. I want to go to see Dello too; there're probably more interesting women like Brig, eh?"

"You can have the traveling necklace. Consider it's a gift, Rick." Gille answered.

"My,my, you know you're giving me a tool to conquer women in every world, right?" Rick mused.

"Or you will meet your match before you totally destroy society's morality." Gille retorted.

"You just want to get rid of me for the sake of Kalas."

"Ha, and I thought you already corrupted this country." Gille laughed.

"Of course I did. You can't get that necklace back even if you change your mind, Gil." Rick said indignantly.

"It's a gift."

"Or a reward of a successful rebellion." Rick winked at Gille.

Gill just tsked at Rick when David remembered. "Where's the stoned bottle necklace?"

"I have it; I retrieved it from Sabur's neck after you stabbed him." Gille showed the necklace. It looked like any ordinary silver necklace with a small stoned bottle. Who could have guessed that tiny bottle could actually capture something powerful?

"Well, when you boys done fussing over jewelry, can I get back home now? I'm not exactly in good shape." Brigitte reminded the others.

"Come, I'll show you the door." Gille offered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

----------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 20 -----------------------------------------

 

   Gille lead them out of the court room through the small door, up the stairs, after a few turns, into a small dark room. The room had no light at all, no window, no furniture, nothing except for empty space. Gille held out his palm and a bright yellow light emanated from his hand to quickly form a bright liquidized clear pool. The door of dimensions.

"Wow, it's magnificent." Brigitte blinked, still adjusting her eyes to the bright light after stepping into darkness.

"It's the room where we want to go to another world. It's easier to control here because the castle is full of magic or people with magical power and is bound by mother's power. I can channel pretty well of the where to go in here." Gille explained.

"I just remember that you told me that only people with magic can go through. How did I get to Kalas in the first place?" Brigitte asked David.

 Gille answered, seeing Dave's troubled look. "When you go with magical people. A powerful one only needs to hold your hand, a weak one has to embrace you or cover you with his or her body to get you through. In some very rare case, ordinary people can pass too due to the whims of the door."

"The whims of the door? But it's an object." Brigitte was fascinated.

"The door held a lot of magic that sometimes even the most powerful wizard or sorcerer can't control. The door is the border between dimensions. And each world has its own magic, so in a sense, a door has its own mind." Gille explained calmly.

"The man took her..." David began.

"I don't know who. There're a lot people follow Sabur. I know few of them, not all. And we can't be sure if they followed him willingly." Gille sighed. The road ahead would be long and rocky for him.

"I'm with you, brother. If you ever need anything, send a message." David clasped Gille's shoulder.

"I will." Gille touched his brother's hand.

"How do you send a message across dimensions?" Brigitte asked.

"Either I send a messenger or a pigeon with letter. It was one of few animals can cross the door. But in case of danger, you will sense it because I'm giving you this royal ring. It has my blood on it so you know if I'm in grave danger." Gille handed one to David. The ring was gold banded with a small ruby on it. At least it looked like a red ruby.

"Wow, it's beautiful. It doesn't seem bloody." Brig stared at the ring. David slided it to his middle finger and turned to let Brigitte see it more clearly. The ruby looked clear and there was a long phrase encrypted on the band.

"The ruby contained my blood. It's only a few drops, so it won't be bloody." Gille bemused.

"What does it say?" Brig touched the band.

"It's ritual spell for the person who wears it to sense if I'm in grave danger. It roughly means 'trusted in blood'"

"You always carry bunch of these around to give people?" Dave asked skeptically.

"No, no. There were only two. I made this long time ago, waiting for a chance to give you. I knew today was that chance."

"Does Richard have one too?" Dave questioned.

"Of course. I've had it since I was little. Not that I went to another dimension without him. Just in case he wanted to interrupt me while I was servicing some beauty." Rick flashed his ring at Dave.

"More like while you were servicing your cock." Gille retorted.

"All right, we better get going. Thank you for your help, Gille. Take care. I'll be back. Now, Brig, you should hug me tight when I walk through us through the door." David took Brig's hand.

Gille laughed. "You can just hold her hand, Dave. You're not weak. Mother's the most powerful sorceress in Kalas. You have her blood so you're not that weak."

"I prefer to embrace her anyway." David shot him a you-broke-my-plan look.

"No, it's awkward. Just take my hand." Brig slapped at Dave's arms and took his hand. They stepped through the door. One minute later, David went back again.

"Brigitte's purse. Zira left it in her carriage." David explained.

"I'll bring it to you when I'll go there." Richard said.

"Thanks." Dave nodded and passed through the door.

 

  Gille let out a long sigh. Richard put a hand on his shoulder in sympathy. "I'm sorry, Gil. But it'll get better and you're not alone."

Gille turned and gave him a full hug. "Thanks, Rick. I'm so glad to have you."

"Now, now, don't turn all womanly on me. No offense, you're not attractive in that field." Rick joked.

 Gille laughed and smacked Rick on the shoulder, and then he sobered. "When will you go?"

"After a day or two and after you give me that necklace. You keep giving me all these jewels. Next thing I know, you'll get me earrings and I'll turn woman."

"Oh, p-please, you'll be the ugliest woman I've ever seen and I'll go blind from it."

"Just be careful, Gil. The Black Leaf members won't be happy with this news." Rick concerned.

"Oh, I'm touched." Gille smiled, put his hand over his heart. Richard rolled his eyes at Gille. "Yes, I will." Gille said.

 

  The door took Brigitte and David down the road of Brig's house. They walked back to find Alex, Marguerite and Natalie sitting in front of Brig's door. Natalie gasped when she saw them while Marguerite and Alex turned furious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------ CHAPTER 21 ----------------------------------------

 

  "Oh my God, Brigitte, are you okay? What happened to you?" Natalie ran to Brigitte's side.

"You bastard, you hit her and walking her home now, huh? How romantic!" Marguerite yanked Brigitte away from David.

"I should have leaved you rotten when they brought you in. How could you?" Alex pushed Dave away.

"I didn't..." Dave protested but Alex punched him on the face.

"Alex, guys, calm down. It's not him. I got kidnapped" Brigitte yelled.

"You what?" Marguerite shouted.

"Can we get inside before the police come and take us all to the station?" Brigitte pleaded.

"You better tell us in details and you," Alex pointed at David, "better not involved in her injury."

"I didn't." David said and came to unlock the door.

"Where's your key, Brig?" Marguerite asked.
"In my purse which was lost somewhere. I was kidnapped, remember?" Brigitte gestured toward the house.

"Well?" Marguerite prompted while the others sat down.

 Brigitte told them the story, leaving out all the magical details except for the door of dimensions. It was the only way to get back.

"You go to the clinic and let me run a total check up now." Alex ordered.

"No, I'm really tired and I'm fine, no bone broken, just bruises." Brigitte protested.

"Fine, get in the bedroom and I'll check." Alex was already pushing Brig toward the room.

 

  The bedroom door closed, leaving David under the scrutiny of the two girls. Worrying for Brigitte, he averted his gaze from the two girls and concentrated on the sounds coming from the room, feeling a jealousy streak at the knowledge of another man touching her.

"Why did you leave her?" Marguerite studied him intensely.

"I was afraid people would come to harm her. I intended to draw people away from her. I didn't mean to..."

"The result is still the same. Your people hurt her anyway and you, you hurt her the most."

"I'm so sorry. I wished I could redo everything. I'm really sorry. I never want to see her harmed." David put his face in his hands, trembling.

"Do you love her?" Natalie asked quietly.

"Yes, with everything I am and ever will be."

"We prefer she stays away from you but she's happy with you. This is all over, and you better make sure it'll never happen again."

"I won't let her to be taken again."

"We still don't like the fact that you hurt her but we forgive you. But if you ever hurt her again, we never want to see your face or hear your name again." Marge sighed.

"I swear I'll never hurt her or let anyone to."
 "We meant leaving her without goodbye. You can never guarantee that no one else will hurt her or you."

"Nothing can push me away from her again. I can't bear it even for one minute." David promised hoarsely.

"You bore it pretty well last time." Alex said from behind.

"Stop giving him a hard time, guys." Brigitte smiled at her friends.
"So, is she okay?" Marguerite ignored her.

"Nothing broken, But she's been whipped." Alex turned angrily at David.

"What? Being whipped?" Marge and Natalie ran to Brig.
"I'm fine." Brigitte said patiently.

"I bandaged her back and front and gave her medicine. She'll be fine." Alex reassured everyone. "But I still don't like it. Whip a woman bare, what kind of country is that?"

 David remained silent, one tear slid down his cheek. He looked longingly and agonizingly at Brigitte.
"Enough, guys. I'm tired, I need to rest and I need to talk to David." Brigitte held Dave's gaze.

"We'll come back tomorrow. Get plenty of rest." Marge hugged Brig and started for the door.
"I'll come back tomorrow with soups too. Don't worry of cooking." Nat went after Marge.

"You're off work until I say otherwise." Alex glared at David and walked out. "Take care, Brig. I'll come back to check on you again."

 Brigitte walked her friends to her door and hugged them goodbyes.

 

  David came to Brigitte shyly, afraid of hurting her. "Are you feeling okay? Do you need anything?"

"Why did you leave me, David? I asked, no begged for you to stay with me. You agreed and yet you left the next morning. With no goodbye, no explanation." Brigitte asked tiredly. "Seriously, Dave, if you don't want to be with me, fine, just say so. No need to.."

"I do want to be with you." David cut off her sentence. "I was so scared that people would come to kill you, Brig. Can you imagine how I felt when I saw these men came at you? That was too close, Brig, I was so close to losing you. I just wanted to draw people away from you. I never, ever wanted to leave you, ever."

"Why didn't you stay with me and we faced danger together?"
"I couldn't bear seeing you in danger, Brig. But I know I was wrong. I freaked out even more when you got captured and faced them alone. I had always been with you, in the shadows but I didn't get to you fast enough. I was wrong, Brig, I'm sorry. I'll never leave you again, not because I'm afraid someone comes to get you but because I don't want to be away from you, ever again."

 Brigitte just stared at him, tears in her eyes. David held her hands and looked straight to her eyes.

"The minute I thought you were dead; I couldn't stand it. I was broken; I wanted to destroy everything and die. That moment I knew I couldn't leave you again, I couldn't be away from you for one more minute. If you still want me back and accept all the dangers ahead, please be with me. Please forgive me and let me stay by your side, Brigitte."

 Brig broke into sobs and cried. "I...I want to be with you. I was afraid you got captured. But then I saw your stupid note and I knew you left me willingly. I... I couldn't stand it. It hurt. You made me feel like I was important to you and then you just left."
 David held her and rocked her back and forth, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I hurt you. It'll never happen again. I swear." Then he lifted her face to see him levelly. "And you are the most important person to me. I love you, Brigitte."

 "I..." Brigitte leaned her face on his shoulder and sighed in sobs. "I...love...you...too..."

 Thank God! She said she loved me! David carried her to bed and soothed her until she fell asleep. He snuggled closer to her. It felt so right and he wondered how he ever found the courage to leave her. He inhaled her scent and drifted to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------------------------- EPILOGUE ----------------------------------------

 

  Brigitte fingered the gold ring that David left her, leaning into his warmth. "What's with the wings?"

"I meant to say you're my angel, Brigitte." David smiled.

"Well, I couldn't guess all this meaning. I thought it meant payment for shelter and food."
"Really? Come to think of it, how much do you charge, lady?"

 Brig smacked him playfully and he laughed. "A super expensive price such as your life bound to here forever."
"I'm more than willing to pay, my lady. Will you marry me, Brigitte?"
 Brigitte gaped and then walked to sit across from him. "I...I don't know, Dave. I'm not sure about these marriage things. All I've ever seen in my life is bad marriage. I..."

"Shh," David shushed her and came to her. "As long as you're with me, it's perfect. We can think about marriage later. I'll never leave you, that is final. I'll always love you and I'll prove it everyday."

"Sound exactly like in the movie, you can be actor." Brigitte teased.

"I'm only able to say these cheesy lines to you. And I already have a job. It can be, it will be dangerous, Brig."
"I told you. A little adventure is fun in a boring life."

"You're not boring. Don't escape my embrace." He caught her and held her tighter.

"I'm surprised that you didn't see the door opened when you tumbled to this world."

"Well, I was busy outrunning chasers..." The door bell rang interrupted Dave. He opened the door. "Richard, what are you doing here?'

  Richard stepped in, dangling Brigitte's purse in front of Dave. "To return it. Did I interrupt something?"

"No, Richard, what do you need?" Brig took back her purse. Good, she didn't have to go to all the troubles to remake an ID.

"Vacation. Of course, if you want to continue the bargain, it can be included in my time, dear." Richard grinned at her.

 David glared at Rick murderously. "Try and you'll be an eunuch."

 "Relax, man. I still want to maintain a womanizer reputation."
 Brigitte snorted. "Womanizer?"

"Yes, I am. Can't you see my charm? Sheesh, Dave, I'm joking and I'm practically seeing smokes out of your ears already. So, do you know where I can stay?"

"Not here. Find a woman and stay in her bed." Dave retorted.

"You can stay in hotel. Do you have money?" Brig smiled.

"Of course I do. What hotel do you recommend?"

"Omni hotel. Marguerite works there. No, you won't get to her. But she's my friend so we know when to go rescue you."
"This Marguerite is your friend, right?" Brig glared at him. "Okay, fine, how can I contact you?"

"Here's our phone number. Call us when you get into troubles." Brig jotted down her phone number and handed it to Rick.

"Thanks. I'm off. You guys are on honeymoon yet?"

"None of your business. Have a good time, try to stay out of troubles." David shoved him toward the door.

"I just won't stay away from wo..." Dave slammed the door at his face and turned to Brig. "I have a feeling that he will get into troubles real soon."

 Brig giggled. "Good. Our life won't be boring, then."
David kissed her tenderly. "No, I'll entertain you if you're feeling bored."

"I love you, David." Brigitte kissed him back.

"You have my heart and soul." And life couldn't get any sweeter if David hadn't escaped to the forest that day.

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