There were footsteps coming… coming up the stairs…
Three sets, he could hear them… That wasn’t good. Not good at all… He was small, and weak… He held his sister in his arms.. skinny arms, the muscles and tendons and bones clearly visible under the flesh.
They were speaking words. He couldn’t understand words, just knew people made noises with their lips, flapping their tongues and clacking their teeth together. The emaciated boy turned his eyes down toward his equally thin sister, his brilliant blue eyes sparkling with fear and apprehension out of sunken, hollowed eyes.
The tiny boy let out a shrill whistle, and a little purring, grunting sound out of his throat. The little girl in his arms snapped her fingers, and knocked twice on the ground, softly.. The voices were growing louder… and then the door to their little attic crawlspace crashed open.
Three men filed into the room. The first was short, greasy haired, with a ponderous pot belly. The grimy floorboards creaked under his massive weight, and the stench of gin floated around him. He had a comb over on the top of his bald head, straggling bits of thinning hair trying desperately to hide a shiny, liver spotted scalp.
The second man was thin and wiry, covered in tattoos and wearing sunglasses even in the dim room, which was only lit by a single naked bulb hanging from the center of the unfinished attic. He stank of sweat and gunpowder and blood. Both of these men were dressed in suits, but with the ties loose, jackets hanging open and stained with sweat under the armpits. The tattooed man had guns strapped to his sides, and smoked a cigarette.
The third figure was one the boy was familiar with… one he hated… Just seeing the man brought a snarl to his dirty face, showing his teeth and growling. His blue eyes were fixed on the hateful visage, staring through tangled long blond hair.. staring at his father.. A man who looked impeccable next to the other two, clean and smelling always of aftershave. His suit was pressed and polished, and he looked stone cold sober, though he smoked a fat cigar. The dark grey smoke burst out of his mouth and oozed from the tip of the stogie…
The fat man was speaking more words… words he could not understand, but this.. this was a dream… somewhere, somehow.. he knew what they meant..
“What’s this? You said there was a boy and girl.. which one is the boy?” Without a sound, his father indicated him with the smoking tip of the stogie. “THAT is the boy? Well, fuck me sideways… Here I was thinking he was the prettier of the two… But I don’t want to fuck a boy, I want a girl.. Make her stand up so I can get a look.”
The tattooed man crossed the small room and grabbed hold of the dark haired girl by the hair.. She was just as naked as the boy, but her body was covered in black markings like tattoos of her own. She shrieked as she was grabbed, flailing and trying to kick, but her slender limbs couldn’t hit the stronger man.
As his sister was wrenched from his arms, he let out a wordless scream and leaped at the tattooed man. He would not let them have her, no, take him instead, leave her alone, not today, it had been so calm all morning.. He slammed into the tattooed man and started striking him with fists, clawing at him with long dirty nails, but his efforts were useless. The man just laughed at him..
The fat man began to speak again. “Oh, that’s disgusting.. What IS she? You’re right, they look like little demons.. but look at the little boy fight.. He’s so spirited.. And he looks enough like a girl. Fine, give me him.. You can have the nasty one,” he nodded to the tattooed companion. The greasy fat man reached into his pocket and pulled out a stack of hundred dollar bills, handing it over to the twins’ father.
By now, the tattooed man had kneed the boy in the stomach, and he was lying on the ground, groaning, trying to curl himself around his tiny body. The girl continued to shriek and wail, reaching for her brother..
The fat man grabbed the boy by the ankle and dragged him away to one side of the room. He kicked the boy with one fat foot, knocking out his breath.. Only seconds passed before he found himself being forced face down, his cheek grinding into the floor, splinters digging into his chapped lips.. He could see his sister hanging in the arms of the tattooed man, who seemed to delight in swinging her about by the hair.. But at least he was leaving her alone.. He’s the one who’d been chosen, right? Just him, just him.. She was all right, she’d be okay.. He’d saved her..
The jingling of the man’s belt was far away as he stared at his sister… He tried to whistle to her, to reassure her, but he couldn’t form the shape with his lips.. She grunted at him, wailed at him.. she was afraid for him, but there was nothing she could do.. Nothing either of them could do..
And then there was pain… searing, blinding pain behind him.. His body was being invaded, torn, ripped apart.. it was the same as usual, the same as every day, but it never got any easier.. The man was rough, there was no lubrication except his own blood, his body was too tiny to fit a grown man.. And so it was forced to tear asunder.. He pounded his fists into the floor and tried to scramble away from the hard thrusting behind him.. but it was no use.. One of his fingernails snapped and broke in half, leaving a jagged edge that oozed blood.. He could hardly feel the pain, the rest of it was so all encompassing.. He felt himself being slapped, punched in the sides, his hair being pulled.. But it was all right, they’d left his sister alone..
His head was yanked up from the floor, his hair pulled so hard that a clump of it ripped free of his scalp.. His eyes fell upon the cold, deadpan eyes of his sister. She was bent in a similar fashion as he, and the tattooed man was on top of her.. Thrusting into her and grunting, laughing, still smoking that cigarette.. He was huge compared to her, she was so small, so young, so frail… Three days ago, they had planned together to defecate on the men who came to abuse them.. They had done it, made a mess, disgusted the clients.. They had gotten two days of whippings for their rebellion, and had not been fed solid food since then.. They were too weak now to fight back, too thin to do anything.. Three days ago, they had looked like six year olds.. Their bodies were eating themselves in an attempt to keep up the massive rate of growth..
He could see his father, standing behind his sister and the tattooed man against the wall.. His eyes were like blazing lumps of coal, staring impassively at the sight before him.. The sight of his children being viciously raped by his own associates.. And he looked positively gleeful. His sister looked like she had gone somewhere else in her head, disappeared to another world. She was no longer present.. but he saw it all.. watched it all… watched as the man put his cigarette out on her back.. He could hardly feel his backside any more, it was so painful he could barely breathe.. He tried to scream, but it was choked off..
Choked off because his father had approached.. With that damnable cigar… Had reached out and stuffed the lit end into his boy’s mouth, even as the fat man pounded him from behind.. The hot cherry burned into his tongue and he felt it being thrust farther, farther, until it started to sizzle the back of his throat.. Rough fingers crammed the stub of the stogie all the way into his throat, hard hands grabbed him by the throat and forced him to swallow the smoldering object..
And then it was over.. He was tossed to the ground like a sack of potatoes, and the floor creaked as the fat man started walking for the door, buckling his pants back up.. A moment later, his sister was tossed to the floor as well. The tattooed man tossed his stub of cigarette onto her body and said something nasty.. it didn’t matter, they were just words, words meant nothing, he could understand nothing, he had never been taught to talk..
The door slammed, and dust settled… They were left alone… alone again, just the two of them.. he crawled across the floor, leaving behind an oozing trail of blood and mucous.. He did not cry.. what use were tears? He had failed her again.. would he ever be strong enough to protect her? He reached his sister, and she was cool to the touch.. she did not move.. but he pulled her into his arms anyway, and lay next to her on the floor, cradling her thin nude body to his own.. After a few minutes, she curled her hands against his chest, clawing him.. but he did not mind. What was a little more pain..? He held her, and rocked her.. they could sleep, they could forget….
The dreamscape shifted.
He was strong, powerful.. He could do anything, command anything, kill anything.. He was flush with strength, with vigor.. He was master of the Hells, master of the worlds, master of the universes.. With Wyrm’s help he was conquering everything, even the Heavens… He would do the Wyrm’s bidding, because it came with such great rewards, he would do it because he had to, no because he LOVED IT he loved it he was strong he was power he was rage incarnate he was fire he was turmoil he was DESTRUCTION…
Even in the dream, his thoughts are not his own.. they are thrust into his head by the Wyrm.. by the absolute control over him.. He can hear words echoing out around him.. He can see a woman before him, but he cannot recognize her.. she is prey, he will tear her to shreds, eat her insides, if only the Wyrm will command him to do so.. He wants to do it, he’s dying to do it, all his urges are roaring for it..
And then the command, and he leaps upon her.. His body transformed, brilliant with flame and fire and death, resplendent in his Crinos shape.. He is hard, and he can take her, fuck her, impale her, destroy her.. His master ordered him to do it, and it feels so good, he’s inside her, can hardly fit, she’s so tiny under him so small he’s burning her he can smell her flesh and it smells so good and he wants to take a bite out of her and he’s cumming he’s cumming it’s so delicious …..
The control is gone… He rockets back into his mind, and he sees the twisted, screaming, tortured face beneath him.. blisters bubbling on her skin… and it is his fallen angel… his nephilim, his love, his mate… he still feels so good, so satisfied, and it disgusts him. He flings himself away, and sees what he’s done to her body, the claw marks, the ravaged, burnt form.. the tears falling like crystals from her impossible blue eyes…
Loathing fills him, hatred, fear, panic.. what had he done… after all he’d been through, and he’d just done it to someone else.. to the only woman he’d ever loved, he’d raped her, tortured her in the most dangerous of war forms.. he had broken her..
And the dreamscape shifted.
The scene repeated itself… in all its gruesome detail, except this time… this time, the eyes were not blue.. the face was not that of an angel, but of a demon.. Dark brown pools stared up at him with abjet horror, terror… it was not Jayden’s face, this was not the past… this was the future.. this was what he would do to her.. In her fear of fire, he would destroy her, burn her to a crisp.. he would break her as he had broken and failed everyone else… He had doomed her.. doomed her to his Curse, to the tortured life of a Nyxarian’s mate..
Havoc snapped awake in a cold sweat, a scream on his lips. He flailed in the bed, feeling choked by the covers… And he hit a warm body. There was a soft moan.. And his sister rolled against him, snuggling against his side. She was still asleep… they had been so drunk last night, they’d both passed out in a pile on his bed, after laughing themselves silly.
He was panting, breathing hard, panicked.. His mind was racing.. He could still see Irena’s eyes, boring into him, accusing, hateful.. He couldn’t lie here anymore. He carefully untangled himself from Harmony and got out of the bed.
He had to be free. If he didn’t break his leash.. He would destroy Irena… He would destroy everyone, and everything… Ruin everything he loved..
He strapped armor onto his body, preparing himself for war.. If he must take over all ten thousand of the Yumi Hells to take the Jade Throne, he would do so… He would do anything to keep her safe… Anything to keep her pure…
He would do anything to salvage the last piece of his soul that was still pure.