tagSci-Fi & FantasyInto The Fire

Into The Fire

byevadare©

They had drugged her and led her to the forest.

This was new. She had been an outcast in the village since her youth, her dark hair and olive complexion contrasting with the fair flaxen Nords. She knew the humiliation and shame of not being able to fit in.

As she awoke from the drugged stupor, she knew what had happened. It had been discussed all week in the village. The demon that had invaded their local forest and had scared most of the game away. If the demon continued to dwell there, the village would lose it's major source of fresh meat.

She blinked now, still fighting the residual effects the herb drugs and tried to stand, finding that she had been bound to the forest floor, staked out. She still wore the dress from the night before, the very skimpy dress that she was forced to wear as she worked the tavern, only one of several jobs she was obligated to do for the village that provided for her. Her shoes were gone and the chillness of the morning made her shiver.

She could still feel her necklace about her neck, one of the only things she contained of her previous unknown life.

She checked each bond, tugging the restraints and realized she was still able to turn her head. She slowly looked around the area.

A small stone ringed fire pit was near her, and she watched the flames flickering slowly, hypnotically. But then logic hit her, and she knew someone would have to be here to have fed the fire the night.

"Please...help me" she cried out, her voice scratchy from the night in the cool air. She listened intently for any sound, but only heard the soft crackling of the fire.

She turned her head back to the side, her hair falling her face, sobbing softly in her demise. T'wasn't her fault she was an outsider. Since a child, she knew that she was not part of this village, nor this country. But how she came to be here, she still had no clue.

A rustling sound behind her made her flip her head back, becoming frustrated when her hair still blocked her eye sight. Viciously flicking her head back and forth to shake the hair away, she was aware of a man sitting beside the fire, stroking it with a fallen branch.

"Please Sir..oh please...don't leave tianna here," she whimpered softly, looking at him with blatant pleading in her tone.

"Quiet, offering," The man didn't even turn to regard her but kept stoking the fire, watching the flames grow.

Offering. He didn't even use her name. She was nothing anymore.

She continued to watch him, realizing that she knew him not from the village. He was darker than most of them, nearer to her own coloring.

She decided to try once again, noting that he had tossed the branch to the fire.

"Please Sir...tianna won't tell that you released her, please just.." she stopped as he rose, grabbing a handful of fallen leaves as he walked to her and thrusting the sweet musty cracking leaves into her mouth.

"I said 'Quiet'," He said again, but didn't move away. He gazed down at her panting chest, her leaf fettered hair and smiled. "Such a beautiful offering. The Demon should be quite pleased."

She blinked up at him, trembling at his words. He wasn't going to release her. And then he walked away, she followed his steps with her eyes, until the veil of her hair fell over her sight again. When she shook it free, he was gone.

Damn the frustrating bastard. She spit leaves from her mouth. Ok..she wouldn't talk. But, sing..that was another story..true it wasn't being quiet, but..he wasn't here anymore.

Time of seasons past Time of seasons future How the trees do last In the forest proper

Her lilting voice raised above the trees, at least her song was uncaptured. She looked up to the canopy, spotting the shadows of sunlight. She continued with the song, ignorant that the man had returned and was sitting listening to her. As the last note rose to the forest he moved, sitting astride her waist, hands on her forearms, staring down at her frightened eyes.

"Where did you learn that song, little one?" He growled down at her.

Tianna swallowed a few times in fear, gazing up at his eyes. Such dark eyes..almost black, but flecks of dark blue. She stammered as she responded, "I've known it since i was a child, Sir."

The man threw his head back laughing."These local idiots have NO idea how appropriate their offering is. How wonderful! Since you were a child, hmm? You did not come from this village, did you?"

Tianna slowly shook her head, eyes still locked on his. "No Sir. Tianna's been told that all her life. She hasn't been told where she came from, nor her parentage, nor how she became to be here."

He stroked her cheek slowly with one finger, eyes on her, smile still tugging at his lips. "Tianna is it? Lovely pet. I should have know you were of Anna."

She gasped deeply, blinking, looking up..taking in what he had just said. "You know me? You know my parentage? Please Sir, release me, take me there."

His response was to chuckle deeply. "In due time, pet. In due time." He continued to stroke her cheek, flicking the hair away from her eyes. "In the mean time, you are to be an offering. Would you like to know what that means?"

"Yes Sir, please," she sighed deeply from her soul, knowing her defeat. She gazed up into his eyes. He wasn't that poor looking. It was the situation that made him appear sinister.

He spoke in low tones, continuing to stroke her cheek. "The villagers wish to reclaim 'their' forest, as if it was ever theirs to begin with. The Demon that inhabits here wishes for two things. One..solace and Two..a mate. And which will you provide, little one?"

She cringed against the ground, away from his hand. A demon! How does once console a demon?

"Now now, pet. No need to cause yourself panic. For it will be the demon that decides how he will use the offering." The man caressed her cheek, pulling her eyes to his again. "And in the meantime, we wait. Are you hungry, pet?"

"Yes Sir," well at least she didn't have to make the choice.

Of all the villagers that couldn't find game, this man had. She watched as he deftly skinned a hare and then placed it on the fire. With a hand on the bottom, he opened a pouch, grasping something from it and sprinkling it lightly on the hare, making the fire spit in protest.

Within a short time the hare was crisped to perfection. The man, however, did not deem it necessary for her bounds to be released, but hand fed her, piece by piece, waiting patiently as she chewed the tender yet gamey meat down.

She ate, but she continued to review her situation. She knew now that she was not going to get out of the situation any time soon, and as he paused, cutting another hunk of meat, she ventured to speak.

"How long will you be with tianna?" She trembled as she spoke.

His dark eyes looked up, drawing from her own eyes. He saw the fear, the excitement, the unknown there and lowered his eyes before he spoke.

"I will be with you until you are claimed."

He held another piece of hare to her mouth, the juice dripping and as she opened her mouth to receive it, her tongue flicked out against his fingers, licking. His eyes flared as he sharply inhaled.

"Do not tempt me, offering." He stood and walked away, back to the fire, stroking the flames once more.

She stared after him in disbelief. What did she do? Hardly anything compared to the way they actually expected her to behave at the tavern. There they were always telling her to pull her skirt higher, her top lower, wink more, toss her hair teasingly. To be a wench ripe for the picking. And she had received a fair share of pinches on her bottom from roving fingers.

Not to say she didn't enjoy it at times, the lascivious looks, the sideways glances that spoke volumes. But there was no respect for her.

She shrugged as best as she could in the ropes and turned away. If anything, she could sleep. Despite the gentle crackling of the fire, the forest was so serene, so soft..so

The man looked back at the girl, his own thoughts troubled. He had been away for so long. For ten years he had searched, and had given up looking. When he had come to the forest, it was not his intention to stay, but the quietness had soothed him and his rampages. The animals had not run off, as the villagers claimed, but had learned to hide better, run faster than the local idiots had credited them with.

And now..they were impleading him to leave. He guffawed softly and turned his attention back to the fire. Even if he left, the animals would retain the knowledge..and what use would that be? As it was..the hunting was sufficient. Just enough to feed, but these human animals hunted for sport as well.

And that was one thing he could not abide.

He glanced back at the dark haired girl and watched as her body moved slowly, rising and falling in the telltale signs of sleep.

She was a beauty. There was no doubting that..and if her name was correct and she was Anna's daughter. He stopped stroking the fire, allowing the branch to fall and wandered back over to her.

With slow fingers he stroked against her skin, so vibrantly warm compared to the chill he felt. He gently picked leaves from her hair smoothing it down, careful not to wake her. Not yet.

In her dreams, Tianna danced a duet with flames, darting in and out of a fire, raging, yet the burning sensation came from within, not from the flames themselves. She saw herself, seducing the fire, teasing her body to it. Each strip of clothing falling away from her as if burned from her skin, until as the flames died, she lay, panting, arching to the passion.

She turned and twisted in her dreams, a lazy smile posessing her face.

As her eyes flickered open, the dusk was falling and the fire had been built higher. The man was, of course, missing once more.

She felt at the bonds, and tried once again to free herself, but instead of giving at all, they felt as if they had been tightened during her rest. She heaved a deep sigh and watched the moon rise into the dark shadows of night.

A sound near to her and she bit her lip, looking again to the fire. The snap of a whip lashed out and she cringed. Nothing was there..she blinked open her eyes more fully yet heard the sound once more, feeling the tickle of leather against her hand as the binding was sliced through.

"Did they really think you would run away?" The low voice, so very masculine came to her.

"Aye, or they would not have drugged me so," she replied nervously. Still no man came into view, but the insistent whistling of the whip being nervously wielded was ever present.

"But this is a homecoming..," He appeared suddenly at her side, and covered her mouth with his when her scream pierced the night. His lips to her were ice to fire, calming her. As she struggled beneath him, his whip like tail wrapped around them, holding her close.

He was not an ordinary demon, but a demon half breed, this much was obvious. Rather than human legs, they appendages were covered in dark fur, coming to cloven feet. The before mentioned tail was a regular feature of demons, to the girl's limited knowledge, but it crackled and whipped about as if it had a mind of it's own. He was bare chested, with human features above his waist, in exception were the two small protruding horns seemingly lost in the mass of flowing dark hair from his head. She stopped taking inventory to take a deep breath and look into his eyes. No Satanic fire burned there. These were human eyes, dark oh so dark with blue specks...no, not the..

Her confusion crossed her face, then the recognition and he lowered his mouth to hers once more, kissing her more deeply, more urgently, seeding his need deeply into her.

"But you're.. you're..a man, not a.." Her first faltering whispers as he finally ended the passionate kiss, caused him to chuckle deeply.

"Ah but am I?" He stood once more before her, tail flickering out to dispose of the rest of the bindings. The tail paused, caressing her cheek, before viciously slicing her clothes away.

She gasped, and held her hands closed over her body, feeling the tingling numbness as she realized, not only was she free, but naked before a...

"Your day of birth approaches, you must return to your home. Perhaps then the tale will be explained to you. For now, and for ever, you are mine. You were promised to me once. That promise has never been released." He walked forward and reached out to her. As she cringed away, he caught at the necklace and twisted it tightly. "THIS is MINE. YOU are MINE. UNDERSTAND this."

The necklace's chain bit into her skin, making her cry out in pain. She heard the many words he spoke: hearing him say that she was his; that she would go home; confused her more than she realized.

The demon looked upwards toward the moon and his hair fell about his broad shoulders. The plaintitive wail that was released delved deep in her soul.

"My time as this form draws to an end. I have claimed you as mate. I will not bind you once more. When I return, we will go home." He released the necklace from his grasp and turned away from her striding quickly into the shadows of the forest.

As he left, a shivering chill overcame her and she crawled to be closer to the fire. The warmth soothed her as her mind reeled. Time passed quickly, and a new dawn came, yet she had not moved from the spot, still pondering the revelations.

The man returned quietly, once more in human form. He stood watching her but then a twig gave way to his presence and her eyes darted to his.

Her eyes..the many emotions that flickered there could feed a artist for weeks. Fear, joy, sadness, excitement..all in a parade, each changing her delicate face.

"Home..." He held out his arm to her and she shakily rose to her feet. Still covering herself with her arms in embarassment, his smile made the red deepen in her cheeks.

The scream that followed as he led her INTO the fire made a party of birds flee the area. As quickly as the scream started it stopped. And within this realm, nothing remained of Tianna, but the clothes that she wore, and the bindings that had held her, lying in ribbons by a now dead fire.

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