tagNonHumanThe Gift She Gives Ch. 16

The Gift She Gives Ch. 16

bysinagainChris12©

Zheng had been in Los Angeles taking care of several business interests that he and his brothers had in the area when he'd gotten the urge to come to Canada and visit Vorhees Spa. Shu was still missing and he was hoping that someone at the spa knew where she might be, though he had been assured on the phone several times by Mr. Hughes that they had not heard from the female dragon since she'd left Minnesota. Something, though, had told him to come to Toronto and drive out to the spa even though it was late in the day. He figured it was partly due to the fact that he hadn't seen Vesper since she'd first come here almost nine months ago. He would check up on her, and then he would head to Zurich, where he had his next meetings already scheduled.

He had found Samir in the foyer talking to a young, pretty elf woman who looked at him with her huge, brown eyes, but remained quiet as the giant introduced the two of them. She did look somewhat familiar to him, and he thought that he might have seen her in Belarus, when they had rescued Alexandru. They had been about to head out to Vesper's home, something that he hadn't realized had been completed so quickly. They'd invited him to go with them, so that he could see Vesper, and he had agreed. It hadn't been until he was walking in between the two that he realized that there was a little girl clinging to the back of the elf. The woman's name was Natasha, he remembered suddenly as the little girl stared up at him with wonder in her eyes.

She wasn't fully elf, she had markings on her forehead that hinted at something else, something that he couldn't quite remember, though he knew he'd seen it before. But Zheng said nothing about her other than to ask her mother her name. Elarinya. They walked in easy conversation out of the spa and along the lit path through the woods towards the meadow that he knew existed beyond. When they saw the dark wood cedar siding of the little house nestled back against the trees, with a very quaint little child sized play house to the right of it, near a very tall snowman and several much smaller ones, he had to smile. This, of course, was where Vesper would live.

Looking in the large, front window, he saw a partially decorated Christmas tree with twinkling lights, and he could barely make out Vesper standing, her body facing towards the right, towards the closed front door. Natasha walked up to the door and opened it quietly, walking in with her daughter while Samir and Zheng followed behind her. Zheng looked towards Vesper and saw that Mr. Hughes was near her, very near her, and he could tell she was in pain, but she wasn't stepping away, and Mr. Hughes didn't seem willing to either. Neither the angel or the ayperi said anything about their entry, their eyes were glued to each other, and Zheng frowned as he watched Vesper shrug her shoulders, and her head tilted ever so slightly. Her arms raised up towards the angel and he was suddenly shoved forward, by what, Zheng wasn't sure, had she pulled him towards her? Natasha gasped as the two came together in a brilliant, explosive kiss.

A light filled the room, and everything went white and fuzzy as the four of them were pushed farther away, against the far wall of the hallway as whatever had hit the two winged creatures when they touched filled the room. The air sizzled and crackled and it took some time before the light filtered away and they were able to see what, if anything, was left of Vesper and Mr. Hughes. Zheng didn't see Vesper right away, but Mr. Hughes was standing, hunched over, trying to catch his breath as his body shook violently.

"Oh, my god. What did she just do?" Samir whispered in shock, stepping forward just as Zheng moved in the same direction.

"Arc?" Zheng probed gently, the angel looked in his direction. His face was red, tight, tear-stained, and he was breathing shallowly.

Mr. Hughes didn't respond, instead, he started tearing at his clothes as if they were on fire. They watched as his naked, tattooed chest was suddenly bare, and he was bent over again, tensed muscles telling them he must be in pain. Zheng saw the stumps of his wings on his back and frowned, he hadn't been aware that the angel had cut them off. No wonder Vesper had felt pain when she got near him. As he watched, the wings began to grow and slowly shift to their original shape. The tattoos seemed to be turning almost fiery red as they, too, came off, one by one. It must have stung because Mr. Hughes was trying to hold back groans as his body reacted to what he had just been put through.

Zheng looked behind him at the elf girl and saw that she'd taken her daughter down the hallway and was just walking back into the room and was walking right past both of them to the woman who was lying on the ground unmoving on Mr. Hughes' other side. She wasn't moving, Zheng frowned, sending Mr. Hughes a look as the man continued struggling with what was happening to his body.

"Is she alive?" Samir asked, worry filling his voice as Natasha squatted down beside her friend to feel for a pulse.

"She's alive." Natasha said immediately.

Samir stepped around his boss and picked up the ayperi. She was completely limp in his arms, but he could already see some changes to her from the contact with the angel. Her wings had become white and somewhere between a cross of the papery wings of a moth and the feathered wings of an angel. While he held her, she suddenly gasped loudly and long for air, her eyes jerking open, their now marbled gray depths wide, looking around her in shock. Zheng watched as she tried to raise her head, but wasn't quite able to.

"Vesper?" Samir whispered.

She didn't respond, her body began to shake and she lost consciousness again. He frowned as Samir laid her down on her back on the couch he was closest to.

"Look at her skin, Samir." Zheng had looked down at where her lower abdomen had been exposed as she'd been moved around.

Samir moved the shirt out of the way and they watched as wording similar in style to what had been on Mr. Hughes was burned into the skin of her chest and stomach. They couldn't tell what it said, but realized that Mr. Hughes had moved a little closer to them, and while he breathed in shallowly, hands on his thighs, still bent over as his body was healed, he leaned closer so that he could try to read what had been etched into the woman's skin.

"What does it say?" Zheng asked, knowing by the frown on the angel's face that he wasn't very pleased.

"Grigory...Aidan...Anya...Cynric...and Fezekial. Repeated over and over." His voice was filled with disgust.

"Why their names?" Zheng straightened as Vesper shifted again, but didn't come awake.

"They have all penetrated her in some way." Mr. Hughes frowned, closing his eyes tightly as he breathed through the pain. Feathers were starting to grow from his wings, but they weren't white, as Zheng had thought they would be. At least, not all of them.

"When she comes awake, what do you expect from her, Mr. Hughes? What is it that you desire most, as that is what it seems that she responds to?" Zheng watched as the strange elf girl sat on the couch and put Vesper's head in her lap. As he watched, he realized that there was something a little different about this particular elf.

She was putting her hands on Vesper's forehead, and the top of her scalp, and her face was very concentrated as she looked down at the unconscious form of the ayperi. She didn't seem concerned, not in the way that Mr. Hughes was concerned, or Samir, for that matter. Hell, even he was a little nervous about what would happen with Vesper finally came awake.

"If she takes on my traits that I've displayed here on earth, she'll want to fuck." Mr. Hughes frowned as he looked at the two men in the room.

"And the ones you had before, the ones from your true nature?" Samir asked, tensing at the thought of the woman they all knew to be a virgin having her first time in the midst of this situation.

"She'll want to kill."

His simple statement made Zheng's eyes widen as he looked down at the girl. Shaking his head, he refused to believe that that was what would happen to her. "Is that truly what you wanted, though, Mr. Hughes? To fuck and to kill?"

Mr. Hughes didn't answer, he'd started to shake again and had turned away from them and fallen to his knees. Natasha looked over and arched a brow in his direction, but didn't move away from Vesper. In fact, she wrapped her arms closer around the girl and put her cheek against the pale one below her, and started whispering in her ear.

"Did she pass out when Payton touched her?" Zheng asked Samir and got a quick head shake in return.

"No. Nothing like this." Samir frowned.

"Zheng." Natasha's soft voice rang out and he turned towards the wood elf and nodded.

"Yes?"

"You need to go outside and shift into your dragon self." She said as she rubbed a hand against Vesper's back in a circle.

"Why do I need to do that?"

"Because right now, you're the only one of us that can fly, and she's going to wake up any minute and want to do just that."

"Fly? Why? Where does she plan on going?" Samir asked.

Natasha widened her eyes a bit and lifted her face to look towards the ceiling. They all knew, however, that that was not what she was implying. Vesper was going to fly into the sky. Vesper was going to try to go to heaven, she was going to do what they had all figured Mr. Hughes had wanted for a very long time. She was going to go home.

~*~*~*~

For a period of her life on earth, Vesper had lived with her mother in eastern Kent. One of the things that she had enjoyed while living there were the walks that she took along the cliffs that overlooked the channel. She had always felt very much at peace on those walks, except when it would start to rain. She'd always had a fear that she would somehow be struck by lighting and thrown to the ground. This fear was always compounded by the fact that she wasn't quite the normal looking human, and were she to actually be electrocuted, some passerby could come upon her and find her out. So whenever there had been the slightest notion of rain, she would stay away from the cliffs and simply stare out at them from the small bedroom of the apartment in which she lived at the time.

This, this felt an awful lot like being electrocuted, and it had happened in her home, in the middle of her living room. She had forced Mr. Hughes into her embrace and she had kissed him, just for a split second only, for as soon as their lips had touched all hell had broken lose within her body and she had felt like she had caught on fire. Her ears burned with sound, voices surrounded her and she felt like they were chanting. It wasn't Gregorian, or Buddhist, or even Mozarabic. She wasn't quite sure, but some of the sounds were similar to the song that she'd heard Mr. Hughes sing several months ago on the roof. She certainly didn't feel the desire to touch herself this time, however. Pleasure was the absolute furthest thing from her mind as she fell to the floor and succumbed to the darkness that poured over her body from all directions.

Vesper didn't think she was asleep, but she knew she wasn't awake either. Everything was black, and when she felt her chest burning and her body starting to ache, she realized that she wasn't breathing and sucked in a much needed breath. Her eyes opened, filled with terror over what had just happened, and she looked up to see that Samir was holding her. Her body was beginning to shake and none of her muscles seemed to want to respond to what she wanted them to do. It wasn't long before everything was black again.

She knew she'd been lowered to something softer than the floor, and while she knew there was talking going on around her, all she could hear were the voices, the chanting. Who was chanting? Why? Couldn't they tell that whatever was happening inside of her body was more than she could handle right now? She wanted to throw up, she wanted to run away, she wanted to crawl into a ball in a corner and weep. Oh God, she moaned, shivers overtaking her body for a moment, she wanted the damn chanting to stop.

Then she felt something different, a soothing something against her forehead and brushing through her hair. 'Vesper, his wings are growing back. Wait till you see them, they're white, but with splotches of dark brown here and there, it's definitely more masculine, I think. And his tattoos, they are fading away, my dear. No longer will you have to look upon him and see the names of those he has been with.'

She shivered again, it was Natasha, pushing into her mind, trying to help her sort through what was going on. Mr. Hughes was changing, he was healing. Good. That was good.

'Samir is scared that you're going to need to have sex with someone, and he worries that Mr. Hughes will push for it, that he will want to take your virginity in a way that you shouldn't lose it. As if there is a right or wrong way, it doesn't matter. If it is with Mr. Hughes, it would be right no matter what.' She could almost sense the wood elf's chuckle.

'Zheng is concerned, but not like Samir. He just wants you safe. For a dragon, he seems rather...collected, don't you think? Oh, you kissed him, how fascinating. Wake up, Vesper, and you can tell me how that happened.'

Vesper groaned again and turned in towards her friend. She knew that Natasha had started talking to the men in the room, but she couldn't understand what they were saying, she couldn't understand anything over the pounding echo of the chanting voices in her head, couldn't Natasha hear them? They reverberated in her ears and drowned out her own thoughts.

The blackness she was trapped in was overwhelming, and Vesper felt as if every nerve ending in her body was being repeatedly fired in random, uncontrollable patterns.

'I think when you touched Mr. Hughes it made you go a little out of rhythm, Vesper. I'm going to do something to see if I can get you back.' Natasha's voice was there, as it had been before, barely audible in the corners of her mind and Vesper felt herself groan again.

Vesper felt Natasha's hands move to rest one on her scalp and the other over her heart, was her shirt raised? Why did it burn so much? The thought left her as soon as it came, as the chants were overwhelming her senses. But then a warmth seeped through her skin and she felt a funny popping sound inside before everything finally went silent. She felt Natasha's hands slowly slip away, and her heart could be felt beating within her chest, a chest that rose and fell more easily with every breath she took. Whatever the wood elf hybrid had done to her, it had stopped all the noise. Vesper had never been so grateful for Natasha as she was in that moment.

Now that the chanting was gone and the nerves in her body were all operating as they should, Vesper slowly came aware of something else. What she wanted came to her at the same time as her eyes shot back open and she pulled herself to a sitting position. Mr. Hughes was the first person she saw, and she frowned. His wings were back, but they weren't like what she had thought they would be, they weren't completely white, they were more like a hen harrier hawk. That was weird. The wings made him look more maddeningly masculine, but the color was certainly not angelic. And they were massive. Taller than him as he stood facing her, shoulders drooped, eyes filled with worry, and he looked like he was having trouble breathing.

"Vesper." His voice was the voice of a man with a deep dark pain inside, and that didn't make sense, she had cured him.

"Get out of my way." She found her voice somehow as she pushed up onto her feet, feet that were very unsteady.

"Vesper-." He began again and she expelled a frustrated breath and pushed past him, knocking him over easily as he, too, was not quite ready to be moving about.

She had no choice, she was being called and Vesper knew she couldn't ignore it. Samir said her name, but she didn't hear Natasha say a word. Her friend already knew what she needed. Biting her lip, she pushed her front door open, surprised suddenly to realize that her house was still in one piece. Outside, she stopped, frowning when she saw the massive black dragon with yellow and gold scales mixed in sitting on its haunches, as if he was just waiting for her to appear, like he had known to expect her.

"You're not going to stop me." Vesper glared at Zheng, knowing who it was that had transformed.

A large black head shook slowly side to side, the large round eyes focused onto her as she spread her wings and began to flap them to bring herself off of the ground.

"Vesper, don't-." She heard Mr. Hughes say as she flew away from the house and upwards into the sky.

For a while, Vesper flew on her own, knowing the point in the sky that she felt the urge to get to, knowing what she would find when she got there. Eventually, she peered down and behind her and spotted the dark dragon flying, rather lazily, a short distance away. He was keeping tabs on her ascent, but he was not trying to stop it. Good, she had no intention of being stopped. She had to get where she was going.

What she hadn't expected to see was Mr. Hughes gaining on the both of them, and even at this distance, she could sense his anger, and his fear, about what she was doing. Turning back to look where she was going, she doubled her efforts and flew closer and closer to that particular spot in the sky. The chanting was back, slowly growing louder and louder until she felt a stinging heat surround her, and just as a light flashed and she felt herself sucked into some sort of vortex, Vesper closed her eyes and felt an immense feeling of relief fill her from top to bottom, and then she opened them, and was looking directly into the eyes of her mother.

~*~*~*~

When Vesper disappeared in the sky in front of him, Mr. Hughes cried out in desperation, screaming her name repeatedly as he tried to follow her through the opening that had been created for her. He had lost her, he began to shake as he tried to follow the receding heat and the chant that they had sung for her, but he couldn't get through. He had lost her. His eyes filled with tears. She had gone to where the angels lived, to a place that she thought she might never get to, and may well never leave.

He felt the sobs tear out of his throat as he hovered in the area where she had disappeared, completely ignoring the dragon that was doing the same a short distance away. He knew he'd started screaming, he couldn't help it, she was gone. All of his fears about her wanting to have sex if they should touch had been unfounded, as had the fear that she would die from any contact between them. He had thought that if she had survived, they would have had to deal with a dominant sexual compulsion or a need to kill a nonhuman, as that had seemed to be what his entire existence had centered around. He had not expected this. He had not expected her to fly high into the sky and be called back to a place that had betrayed him so very long ago. A place that he had, at one time, wanted to return to. And now he had lost her to it.

Mr. Hughes felt his body go rigid as his muscles tightened and his voice filled the air with all of the heart ache and anguish of losing the person that he loved. Dear God, he had lost her, and he had no idea how he was going to learn to live without her. How did one go on in this world after having had their heart ripped out? He looked over at the dragon who was watching him quietly and shook his head. It didn't seem fair. Of all of the people he called friend, he had been the only one to never get attached to anyone. Zheng had loved and he had lost countless times over. As had Alexandru and Samir and even Anya. Though it had been a while since he'd been able to think of her as a friend, for she had yet to forgive him for not choosing her.

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