Brooke finally reveals her past with Lyden.
Fallout from the rescue may tear the group apart, unless Lyden is able work through the betrayals of Lisa and AnnaBelle. With Brooke safe once again, will he be able to handle what she reveals about his past, or will the stress of the situation be more than he can bear?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Chapter 15
Making plans.


Okay, so that might not be the most dignified noise to make when waking up, but when you open your eyes and find five women staring intently at you, it can be a bit unnerving.

“You snore,” Areth comments offhandedly, as she flutters around Ondine’s head.

“You’re short,” I grouse back at her. Yeah, I know. I lost that exchange, but my mind is still a bit fuzzy from the rude wakeup.

Then I remember why I’d been asleep, and sit up to look at Brooke. She’s still sleeping under the covers, and it looks like it’s a peaceful sleep. I’m glad my original outburst when waking up didn’t startle her. By the folds in the blanket laid over her, I can tell that her tail has reverted back to two legs.

“She’ll live,” Angela says quietly next to me, placing her blonde head on my shoulder as her arm snakes around my waist. “Though there’s no telling what kind of mental damage she experienced under the torture.”

“What about her fingers and fins . . . er . . . feet?” I ask. Her tail fins had been cut off, and I’m not sure how that will translate to her feet.

“I haven’t checked her feet yet,” the succubus says. She is still in her sexy nurse persona, white smock, ruby red lips and all. “As far as her right hand. . . .” She trails off as she shakes her head. “The skin has healed over, but the bones didn’t grow back. She’s going to have to learn how to use her left hand for some things.”

“It was the oddest thing to watch,” Lisa says, stepping up to my other side, and wrapping her arm around me. “She was lying there, moaning, and all her cuts just went away.”

“You have a true gift,” AnnaBelle states grudgingly. I don’t know if she would still say that if she knew how exactly I’d helped heal the mermaid.

“Angela helped,” I reply, not wanting to take all the credit.

I feel the room bounce, and only then remember that I’m still in the Orange Bubble. Worried that we might be under attack, I rush to the driver’s seat, but sigh in relief as I see we’re just leaving the water. People on the beach stop and point at my Volkswagen Beatle as we pull through the sand. Their faces of incredulity tell me what I can’t hear coming from their mouths. Once again I wonder how we must appear to them, coming up out of the ocean like some sort of weird mechanical sea creature.

Thankfully we don’t get stuck on this beach, and we’re soon on the freeway, heading for home.

Brooke wakes up about half an hour later, and smiles dreamily at me, before she remembers everyone else in my car.

“How are you feeling?” I ask her.

“Better,” she whispers. She throws the covers off her, and then gasps as she realizes she’s still naked. The other women shoo me away, and they gather around the mermaid until she’s able to get dressed in the odd clothes from Areth’s wardrobe.

When they finally let me back around her, I have to stifle a laugh. She’s frowning down at a flowing, bright yellow dress. It fits her slight curves perfectly, until it reaches her hips, then flares out in ruffles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything like it before, and it clashes, even to my colorblind eyes, with her deep red hair.

I can see her right hand, and that effortlessly smothers my mirth. The last two fingers are completely missing from that hand, and her remaining fingers on the appendage are each missing the last knuckle. Something doesn’t look right about her feet, poking out of the bottom of her dress, and it takes me a moment to realize that there are no toenails.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t get to you sooner,” I tell her, feeling a lump form in my throat at the suffering she must have endured.

She examines her hand, frowning at it, and then looks at her feet. “The nails should grow back, but this is my sword hand.” Her voice is solid as she speaks, and for a moment I think she’s going to be alright despite her injuries. Then her eyes meet mine and her pain and sorrow wash over me. It takes all my willpower not to run to her and pull her into my arms. I can see that she’s trying to look strong, and I’m not going to take that from her.

I direct my car to pull over at a Burger King—with the distorted view of my windshield thanks to Areth’s magic, I don’t think I’ll be doing much manual driving—and everyone but Areth piles out. Areth wanted to join us, but she’s the only one that doesn’t look human. Even so, we get a few more stares as six people pile out of my little car, only Lisa and AnnaBelle are dressed normally.

Just as we’re about to walk in and order, I hear a bark. Turning, I see a small golden dog crawl out of my car. The door magically closes behind it, as the four-legged creature comes up to us. I could have sworn I’d closed the door behind me when I got out.

“Arethusa,” I grumble, but I’m nearly bowled over as Lisa rushes over and picks up the transformed fairy.

“Oh, aren’t you just the cutest,” she says in high-pitched baby talk.

Rolling my eyes, I hold open the entrance door for the six women. I decide to pay for everyone, and we pile back into the Orange bubble to continue home.

Lisa gets disappointed when Areth changes back into her normal form, but that only makes the fairy laugh uproariously.

“We need to talk,” I say to everyone when we’re done eating. You can actually hear Areth’s wings flapping in the silence that follows. I grow uncomfortable as all six women regard me, but there is a lot that needs discussing.

We get seated in a general circle, as I look at each woman. “For some of you, life has taken a drastic change.” AnnaBelle, Lisa, Ondine, and even Arethusa nod their heads. “Your world has been turned upside down, but I want you to know that I’ll do whatever I can to help you through this.”

I stop and address Ondine, “Earth is not what you’re expecting. As long as everyone thinks you’re a human, no one will give you a second thought, but it’s going to take some time to get used to the way things are done here. Lisa, do you think Becky and yourself will be willing to show her the ropes?”

“I called Becky as soon as I had cell service,” she says, showing me her phone. I remember that mine had been in the pocket of my pants, and is now sitting at the bottom of the sea in the Shadow World. “We don’t have room for everyone though, unless Areth is willing to work her magic there?”

“I’m going to need a lot of rain to make a change like that, again,” the fairy says, and it’s only then I understand the fairy’s powers. She must be some kind of water fairy, drawing her power from falling rain or maybe it’s just moving water.

“I’ll have to check the forecast,” Lisa murmurs, then looks back at the rest of us. “We can take in one more, and even Areth, if she agrees to stay as a cute little dog. . . .” Lisa turns big hopeful eyes on the floating fairy, but she shakes her head emphatically. Lisa pouts, but turns back to the rest of us. “I’d be happy to take Ondine in. I could use some help at the dojo, and I have a feeling we could teach each other some fighting styles.”

“Good, now that that’s decided, we need to figure out the rest.” I take in a deep breath, but Lisa pipes up with some unexpected news.

“By the way, it’s Thursday afternoon. We’ve been gone for most of a week. How’s that possible?”

“Dang it!” I mutter. So far, every trip to the Shadow World had worked in my favor for time, but not this time. “Time works differently between the two worlds,” I explain. “Sometimes it’s faster there, and sometimes it’s slower. Has your dojo been okay without you?”

“Yeah, Becky called all my students, and made up some excuse,” the blonde says, frowning. I know she’s trying to understand just how time can act differently between the two worlds, and I wish her better luck than I had at trying to figure it out. Time is supposed to be a constant, right? Well, unless it’s warped by powerful gravity, but even then. . . . Ahh, forget! I’ll never figure it out.

I turn my attention to the maimed mermaid, and steel myself for the news I need to give her. “Our apartment complex burned down. Everything on our floor was lost.”

Brooke looks down at her lap for a moment, and I can tell she’s trying to get her breathing under control. When she does, she looks back up at me and asks, “How?”

“TanaVesta sent a fire ant after me. It attacked me in my apartment,” I tell her evenly.

“Fire ant?” she asks me, arching one delicate eyebrow, and I realize this is another term I’d made up. I tell her about the monster, and it’s Angela who gives us the fire ant’s true name.

“Myrmidons. Their king, Aeacus, is one of the Pillar of Fire’s staunchest supporters. When she can’t use Kobolds to do her errands, she sends in the Myrmidons.” The succubus’s eyes are wide as she looks wonderingly up at me.

“How did you defeat it?” Areth asks me, buzzing up to my face. “You’re too weak to fight it directly, and you don’t look burnt to a crisp.”

“A friend from work helped me,” I say defensively, waving away the little fairy.

Turning to AnnaBelle. My gaze goes hard, and I watch her fidget for a moment, before I speak. “Annabelle, I know when Lisa attacked me, she was being controlled. I could see it in her eyes. You weren’t.” I let that hang in the air for a moment, waiting for her reply. She remains silent, however, and I continue, “I understand that you thought you were talking to God, but we need to know we can trust you.”

She finally looks up, and meets my eyes. “There is nothing I can say to justify my actions. You mentioned that our world has changed. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I understand if you decide to drop me off somewhere.”

Shaking my head, I soften my tone. “I won’t just abandon you. You chose to come with us, to save someone you’d never met before, and didn’t owe anything to. Your moral compass, while sometimes irritating, has mostly still been good. All I ask is that from now on, you consider what you’re being asked to do.”

She nods, and I turn back to Brooke and Angela. “I don’t understand why the thing didn’t control you?”

“It tried,” Brooke says. “I could hear its voice in my head, telling me what to do, but I wouldn’t do it. I couldn’t hurt you.”

“It was the same for me,” Angela adds. “It kept talking to you, but you ignored it. When it got angry, and AnnaBelle failed to attack you, it ordered the rest of us to kill you, but I was able to refuse it.”

“I’m so sorry I was too weak to resist,” Lisa pipes up, her voice full of sorrow. “I didn’t want to fight you, but the voice was too strong.”

“It’s okay,” I tell the martial artist, hoping to never have an occasion where she tries to kick me in the head again. I think I understand what the difference was. Angela and Brooke have both professed their love for me, while Lisa only cares for me. There must be something in that kind of bond that allowed the other two to resist. “What I don’t understand is; why couldn’t I hear its voice?”

The four women that had been there during the attack exchange glances. None of them know why.

“Are you talking about a being of pure light?” Surprisingly it’s Ondine who asks. I nod, and she continues, “Its voice isn’t something heard, so much as sensed through the colors it throws off. The colors somehow communicate what it wants.”

“And you’re colorblind!” Brooke says excitedly. “That means you’re immune to its influence.” She stops, and turns to Ondine, horror suddenly thick in her voice. “How do you know about that thing?”

Ondine fidgets for a moment before answering. “Ever since you returned with Lord Varun, the thing has been having meetings with the Pillar of Water.”

“Shit!” I exclaim, and then cover my mouth. I hadn’t meant to use that word, but it is appropriate. Everyone looks at me, some more shocked than others, and I explain, “The same creature was giving orders to TanaVesta while she held me captive. I don’t know what those orders were, because I couldn’t understand it, but TanaVesta had been afraid of it. All I know for sure is that she planned to use me in an attempt to kill the other Pillars.”

“You escaped from the Pillar of Fire?” Areth asks excitedly. “You’re more interesting than I could have hoped for!”

I glare at the pixie, but it doesn’t affect her.

“If that thing is corrupting the Pillars, then we’re in some serious trouble,” Brooke says worriedly. “You said that TanaVesta was trying to kill the others, and it sounds like she succeeded with Fujin, the Pillar of Air. If that light also has control of Varun, and that’s what’s making him act so erratic, then. . . .”

“If too many more Pillars fall, Earth might be in danger, as will our world,” Angela finishes Brooke’s statement. The two look at each other, and I’m glad that they’re no longer at each other’s throats. I guess saving each other’s lives more than once is enough to start a friendship on.

“We still need to warn the other Pillars,” Angela adds, and I see Brooke shudder. The mermaid had tried that, and paid the price for it.

“Who can we trust, though?” I ask. “Any one of them could be corrupted.”

That brings silence. Looking around the inside of my car, I realize that not everyone understands the situation.

“Angela, would you mind explaining the Pillars and what’s happening to your Shadow World to Lisa and AnnaBelle?” When she nods, I turn to Brooke, and suck in a deep breath. “We need to talk privately.”

The maimed mermaid’s chin quivers for a second, but she nods. She has to know what this will be about. She stands and follows me back to the bed.

“Privately,” I repeat firmly, as I see Areth following us.

“Oh, you’re no fun!” the fairy pouts.

“Why didn’t you talk to me while you were in my mind?” Brooke asks, as soon as we’re out of earshot.

“Because I was more worried about your health at the time,” I tell her honestly. I reach out to grab her hands, but she pulls them away from me.

“You hate me, don’t you? What you said to me before was just a lie.” I can already see tears streaming down her cheeks and dripping off her chin as she looks down at her clasped hands. “Why did you even rescue me? Did you just heal me, only to hurt me worse?”

“Brooke, no,” I plead with her. “I meant what I said. I do love you. Your safety and health are my top priority, yes, but I didn’t lie to you.”

Confusion paints her features as she looks back up at me. Reaching out for her hands again, she doesn’t pull away from me this time.

“This probably isn’t the best time, but I need to get this out. I know you were there when my parents were killed. I just want to get your side of the story.” I make sure to keep my voice free of accusation.

Aaaaand again she pulls her hands away from me. One step forward, two steps back.

“I-I can’t,” she stutters. “You really will hate me then.”

“Brooke,” I say softly, reaching out and placing my hand under her chin, “I’ve already figured out a few things, but I want to know the truth. I can’t stop caring for you. You need to know that, but I really need to know what happened. Who were my parents? What were they?”

She turns away from me, but after a moment, she starts talking.

“I was only an apprentice assassin at the time.” Her voice is soft, and I have to strain my ears to hear her. “Your parents were hiding from Lord Varun. They’d already been caught in an illicit affair. They escaped his guards and fled to Earth, where you were born.” As she speaks, her voice becomes firmer, as if letting out this secret she’s kept bottled up all these years is a great relief. “I was sent as part of a two person unit to kill your parent’s and you, when they were found. At the time I didn’t know who the target was. It was to be my initiation into full assassin status. All my commander told me was that criminals on Earth needed to be taken out, and because one of them belonged to our realm, it was our responsibility.”

Tears are flowing freely once again, but I refuse to interrupt her now that she’s finally talking. “I grew up with your mother. We were dear friends. She vanished a few years before the mission, and at the time I didn’t know why. I understood when I saw them sitting in the boat. When the time came, I couldn’t kill her or your father. My commander told me that if I wanted to be an assassin, I had to kill at least one of them.”

She turns to face me, and I can see that the worst is about to be said, by the fearful look in her eyes.

“I chose to kill you. I-I couldn’t do it with my blade, and so I chose to drown you. Your mom pleaded with me to spare you, beseeching me to protect her child. As her dearest friend growing up, she begged me, but there was no hope for it. My commander would have killed everyone there, including me, if I failed.”

Her body shakes with sobs, and I think I can figure out the rest. “You tried to drown me in that lake, but I didn’t drown,” I say softly. That must be where I really got my ability to breathe underwater then, from my mother, and not from Brooke. Which would also explain why I couldn’t transform my legs into a tail. . . .

She nods. “I told my commander that you were dead at the bottom of the lake, as he finished cleaning your parent’s blood from his sword. He had been wounded, but refused to let me tend to it. In truth, I didn’t want to. I felt sick over what had happened. We went back to my world, and I was promoted to full assassin. As soon as the ceremony was over, I rushed back to you, but the difference in time. . . . It had already been two days. I feared the worst. What child can survive underwater for two days?” The mermaid hunches over as she sobs, and I place my hand on her back. How old is she? I wonder for the first time. For some reason I never seemed to notice that she doesn’t really age as I get older. I guess she’s always just been a permanent spot in my life.

As soon as she feels my hand, she pulls away again. “Don’t touch me,” she says loud enough for everyone else in my car to turn and look. Everyone but Areth turn back away immediately in embarrassment. The fairy watches avidly. “I don’t deserve you,” Brooke continues, her tone only barely softening. “I don’t deserve to even be around you. You were my best friend’s son, and I couldn’t save her. I decided to abandon being an assassin. It was all I’d ever wanted in life, but when I looked into your gray eyes . . . all I could see was her screaming at me to save her baby. You were all she cared about. I vowed to protect you, should anyone ever come for you again.”

Without warning, she sits upright and turns to me, this time gripping my hands in a painful embrace. Her eyes are red and raw from crying, and tears stain her cheeks, but her voice grows fervent. “Hate me, Lyden, because I know I deserve it, but please let me protect you. Don’t send me away! I—“

I cut her off with a kiss. It feels like the only thing to do at the moment. She hadn’t killed my parents. She had even saved my life, though she hadn’t realized she was doing it at first. I can’t hate her, for she truly had been my protector through my entire life.

“I love you,” I whisper, as I pull back a little.

“But . . . but why?” she demands.

“Because. . . .” I stop to think, and give the only answer I can come up with that fits. “Because I do.”

She tackles me to the bed in a fierce hug. You’d never know that just a few hours ago, she had been weak and grievously wounded, with the strength of her embrace.

“Would you two like to get a room?” Lisa asks with a smirk, but when I look at her, I can see pain in her eyes too. Somehow I know she’s worried about me leaving her behind for the mermaid and the succubus. I can’t say that her fear isn’t entirely justified either. I’ve admitted to loving the two women from the Shadow world, but not her.

“Only if you promise to join us,” I tell the martial artist, and that seems to lessen the pain in her eyes, as she smiles and shakes her head.

“You knew my mom?” I ask, turning back to Brooke. “I assume she was a mermaid, then?”

Brooke smiles wistfully, and it looks good on her face. Her eyes are still haunted, however, and I wonder if that will ever go away. “She was my greatest friend, and arch nemesis. We competed at everything. She was a faster swimmer, but I was more agile. I had been shocked when she chose not to become an assassin, but looking back now, I know her heart was too gentle.”

“What of my father? Did you know him?” I ask hopefully. My memories are so few of the two of them. I can’t even remember their faces anymore.

Her face gives away the answer before her words do. “I never saw him before that day. I don’t even know who or what he was.” She must be able to sense my depression at this news. “I know he was very powerful, whatever he was. My commander had been wounded while killing them, and he was the best swordsman I ever knew.”

Well, that’s something, at least.

“Lyden,” Angela asks carefully, coming up to us, “I hate to interrupt, but there is more we need to talk about.”

Brooke hurriedly turns away, wiping her eyes clear, and we head back up to the middle of my car.

“They catch you up to speed?” I ask Lisa and AnnaBelle.

“Yeah,” Lisa says as the older woman nods. “Basically, if we don’t find a way to stop that light monster, we’re fucked.”

I flinch at her terminology, but that pretty well sums it up.

The rest of the drive is spent trying to come up with a plan to stop the light creature. The only thing we can all agree on is that we need to warn the other Pillars.

I use Lisa’s phone to check my voicemail, and groan as I listen to the messages. The police want to talk to me again, and aren’t very happy I’m not returning their calls. Sheila lance also left a few mixed messages. The first one, she chews me out and fires me. The second she calls up to make sure I’m okay, and the last message makes me wonder if she’s bipolar, as she simultaneously demands I call her back, and tells me my vacation is over, and I need to be back to work on Monday morning.

“AnnaBelle,” I call to the older woman, “I’ve got three messages from Sheila. Have you called her yet?”

She looks at me, her eyes sunken slightly, and I truly feel bad for her. The mature woman’s entire life had been built on a foundation of faith that had always seemed rock solid, but after the events underwater, her foundation is crumbling.

“I called in before we left, and told her that I had a sick friend I needed to take care of,” AnnaBelle informs me. “I didn’t know how long we would be gone.”

At first I’m shocked that she would lie like that, until I realize that it wasn’t so much of a lie after all, just not the whole truth. At least I haven’t lost the woman her job.

The sun is just setting when we pull into Lisa and Becky’s driveway. Annabelle’s SUV is there, driven here by Becky, and she gives quiet goodbyes, before driving away in her large vehicle. I really hope she’s going to be okay.

Becky isn’t home, but Lisa sends her a text, and the short woman arrives within a few minutes. She hugs Lisa furiously, before turning and pulling me into a tight hug, her head resting against my sternum.

“I was so worried about all of you,” she exclaims, wiping tears of joy from her eyes. Then she seems to notice the other women, and blushes prettily. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I guess I didn’t notice you.”

“Becky,” I start, placing my hand between her shoulder blades, “this is Angela, you already know her.”

“The succubus? But I thought she was a . . . well, a punk girl,” she states, confused.

Angela laughs easily, and as she walks forward, her body shortens along with her hair, the hair changing from blonde to blue, and her makeup changing as well.

“Would you quit doing that!” the succubus exclaims, though she ruins it by laughing. “As you can see, I can take the form of whatever Lyden wants.”

“Whatever. . .?” Becky’s eyes turn to me, and I wish Angela hadn't worded it that way. “Should I dye my hair too, Lyden?”

“Umm, no. I like you the way you are,” I tell her, before sending another image at Angela. “This is what she looked like when she was still human.”

This time Angela doesn’t laugh, but instead glares at me. What did I do?

“Please, don’t,” she tells me through clenched teeth. “In this world I was a slave, and I’m not comfortable looking like this here.”

“You should be proud of who you are,” I tell her. But still. . . . A moment later, she is standing back in her punk form. This had been the way I’d seen her first, and still strikes me as the most her version of the succubus.

“And this is Brooke, the woman we went to rescue,” I continue the introductions. “I think you met her once before?”

“It’s very nice to meet you,” the redhead says, stepping forward.

Becky just stares for a moment, before uttering, “You’re beautiful.” Lisa lightly slaps the short woman’s shoulder, and she blinks, her cheeks going bright red.

Brooke just smiles, before saying, “Thank you.”

“She’s a mermaid,” I hear Lisa say, and am surprised that Becky only nods her head. “This is Ondine,” Lisa continues the introductions. “She’ll be staying with us for a bit. She’s also a mermaid.”

“Thank you for your hospitality,” the one-time guard states formally.

“Ooh, ooh, is it finally my turn?” Areth comes zooming out, and Becky gasps as she sees the fairy. “I’m Arethusa, but you can call me Areth.”

“A fairy,” Becky says slowly in awe.

“Sorry,” I tell the short brunette, trying to hide my smile, “I couldn’t find the fly swatter, and we couldn’t convince her to go back outside.”

The golden colored fairy zips over to huff in front of my face, fists balled up on her petite hips, but everyone else laughs.

Becky then looks around the room, until her eyes stop on me, and I can almost see the gears turning in her head. “With all these supernatural beings around, and the way you helped heal Angela, what does that make me, Lyden?”

“I’ll explain everything,” Lisa tells her.

Lisa catches Becky up on the situation, and I watch as the brunette’s eyes grow larger as the story unfolds.

“Will we be safe here?” She asks when they’re done talking.

“As paranoid as Varun has been, he isn’t like TanaVesta,” Ondine says. “He’ll wait and analyze the situation before acting.”

“Has he really gotten that bad?” Brooke asks.

“Look what he did to you, and you saved him from the Pillar of Fire,” the other mermaid replies.

Brooke looks at her maimed right hand, and then closes her eyes, saddened.

“So, it sounds like there is only one Pillar to go see,” Becky says, and we all look at her. “You’re afraid that the Pillar of Light may be the creature you went up against, or at least one of his minions. The Pillar of Darkness is obviously out, as being too dangerous. The Pillar of Earth is the last one.”

“That wasn’t Light or one of his minions,” Angela carefully says, “but I agree with your point on the rest.”

“But what if Gaia has succumbed to the light creature’s influence?” I ask worried, but seeing her logic. She always has been a smart woman.

“I’m not sure she would be,” Angela says quietly. “You’ve heard people talk about when someone is well grounded in something, or down to Earth? Those phrases came about because of how level-headed Gaia is.” She stops and turns to the two mermaids before continuing, “Forgive me, but we all know how wild the sea can be, and fires burning out of control are common enough.”

“What about earthquakes and landslides?” I ask, seeing a flaw in her logic.

“Those can be predicted, to some degree,” Angela replies easily. “I’ve dealt with her numerous times, that’s where my home is . . . was.” She stops and closes her eyes before continuing, “I guess I can’t stay there anymore. It’s too close to TanaVesta’s borders.” She takes another deep breath to settle herself. “I think we’re safe with her. Besides, I don’t think that creature began messing with Varun until after TanaVesta attacked him. You said she planned on killing him. If they’d been working together, I don’t think the Pillar of Fire would have acted so rashly.”

“Tomorrow, you can go see her,” Becky says. “I think you all need to get a good night’s rest, before going to see this other Pillar.”

“The police want to talk to me,” I add to the conversation. “We can go talk to them, before heading out to see Gaia tomorrow, after getting some rest.”

There’s a moment of uncomfortable silence, as four sets of beautiful eyes regard me. Areth’s tittering laughter at the tense situation doesn’t help.

Where am I going to sleep? Becky and Lisa are still technically my girlfriends, but I’m also with Angela and Brooke.

“This is so much fun!” Areth announces, clapping her hands, and we all glare at her, even Ondine.

“I think I’d better—“ I start, but Becky cuts me off.

“We’re all adults here,” she says, “and if that prophecy you talked about is true, we can’t really keep you to ourselves anyway.” Her dark brown eyes meet mine, before she continues, “I can’t say I particularly like it, even though I’ve been sharing you with my best friend, it sounds like your being this generator thing is important for saving both worlds. And, since part of being a generator means getting stronger through sex . . . well, I know one or two woman aren’t going to be able to give you that.”

Her words say one thing, but her tone, and the fact that she immediately turns and goes to her room tells a different story.

“Go to her, you dolt!” Areth says, and I turn to tell her to but out, but I don’t get the chance.

“For once, I agree with the fairy,” Brooke puts in her two cents. Had it been anyone else, I might have hesitated, but since it is the more reserved Brooke that says it, I decide to go for it.

After making sure Areth doesn’t follow, of course.

“Becky?” I ask, knocking on her bedroom door. I can hear her shuffling around inside for a bit before she cracks the door open.

“I’m sorry I took off like that,” she says, but doesn’t open the door any wider. “I just forgot . . . something.”

“Sure you did,” I reply, not believing it for a second. “Can I come in? I think we need to talk.”

“There’s nothing to talk about,” she says, not unkindly. “I know where I sit. You’ve got a whole harem out there. Don’t worry about my feelings. I’m a big girl.”

“Dang it, Becky,” I swear. “You don’t know where you sit. If you did, you wouldn’t be acting like this.”

Angrily, she opens the door wide, and glares up at me.

“I don’t?” she demands. “For almost a week, I’ve been here, trying to act as if life was normal, while my boyfriend and my best friend were off gallivanting with a succubus. When you both didn’t come back after a couple days, I assumed the worst, but didn’t want to believe it.” Her hands are on her hips now. “Then, you finally come back, and not only with the woman you went to save, a woman that is absolutely gorgeous, but you come back with two other beautiful women as well.” She starts poking me in the chest, trying to drive her point home. “Lyden, you surround yourself with beautiful women, and I can’t blame them for wanting to be with you, but it’s obvious you don’t need me dragging you down.”

“Are you done?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. I don’t wait for an answer, before continuing in a moderate tone, “I’m not going to lie to you, and say that Brooke and Angela don’t mean a lot to me, but I’m not going to stand here, and pretend that you don’t mean anything to me either. Ondine is just another person we saved, that also happens to be a woman. As far as Arethusa, heck, if I could get rid of her, I would! Yes, I saved her from the demon, and I did it by having sex with her, but that doesn’t mean I want to add her to my so called harem.”

I start to take a breath, but rush to continue when it looks like Becky is going to start talking again. “Maybe I’m being selfish. No, scratch that. I am being selfish. I care deeply for you, Becky, but I care for Lisa, Angela, and Brooke as well.” I start to rub my temples, feeling a headache coming on. “I don’t expect you to put up with my behavior, but I wanted you to know how I truly feel. I don’t want you thinking you mean nothing to me.”

Turning away, I’m about to take a step, but her hand on my arm stops me.

“Lyden?” Her voice is soft, and I can’t deny I like the way my name sounds on her lips. “Stop.” I don’t turn around, and I hear her sigh heavily. “I don’t like this. I don’t see how you could want to be with me, when there are so many beautiful women out there that obviously want to be with you. I’m short, not nearly as attractive. . . .”

I spin around to argue that she is beautiful too, but she places a finger against my lips before I get the chance.

“I know what you’re going to say. That night in the club when we met, you made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, and you’ve made me feel that way ever since, until tonight. No, I know it wasn’t your fault, and quite frankly I need to realize that it was a great fantasy, but it’s over now. I—“

This time it’s my finger over her lips, as I cut her off. “Not another word about how you’re not good enough, understand?” My voice is full of steel, as I try to make sure she’s listening.

“Really? You have two mermaids, that both know how to fight. You have a succubus that can become whatever you dream her up to be. You have a fairy, that is apparently quite powerful magically, and even Lisa can kick some serious ass.” She stares me in the eyes for a second, her deep brown meeting my steely gray. “Tell me what I have that even comes close.”

Her certainty waivers as I smile at her. The answer is so easy, that it’s almost ironic she of all people doesn’t see it.

“Your mind,” I tell her, my grin widening. “Of all of us, you are the one best at using your mind. I’ve seen how smart you are, time and again. Heck, you’re going to school full-time, and yet I’ve never once seen you do any homework. Lisa has to do hers while at her dojo.” I drop my voice to a whisper, and lean closer to her. “Did you know she’s incredibly jealous of just how smart you are?”

“If I’m so smart, why do I have to go to school?” She jumps as I start laughing out loud.

“I guess I wasn’t very clear in what I meant. I know you have a lot of book smarts, but one of the best things about you, is that you know how to think. Yes, Angela knows a lot about the other world, and seems to have a lot of contacts, and Lisa, Ondine, and Brooke are all great fighters, but we need someone who knows how to think, and how to plan, if we’re going to defeat that light monster.”

“I-I didn’t even realize you wanted my help,” she says, her eyes wide in shock. “You never said, and I just assumed—“

“I guess I just thought that you knew I’d want your help. I’m an idiot for not asking first. Don’t get me wrong, it will be dangerous, and if I didn’t think we needed you, I wouldn’t ask, but—“ I don’t get the chance to finish that sentence, as she cuts me off by passionately pulling my head down and mashing her lips to mine. Apparently all I’d had to do to cheer her up, was ask for her help.

Her tongue presses against my lips, and I open up to let it in. Mine meets hers, as they swirl around one another, dancing to their own music.

“God, I’ve missed you,” she gasps, needing air. I smile at her, glad to see the old Becky. She looks around my chest behind me, then grabs the front of the hideous blue robe I’m still wearing, and pulls me into her room. “They can do without you for a bit longer. Right now I need you.”

She pulls me to her bed, shoves me back, which makes me tip over backwards. She wastes no time in pulling up and off her shirt, and a moment later, her bra joins her top. I’m still having a hard time reconciling this horny woman in front of me, with the upset one just a few minutes ago, but my cock seems to be following along just fine, as it tents the front of my robe.

I love the way her large areolas cover her smaller breasts, as she gives them a quick rub. She literally leaps on top of me, ripping the robe to the side, and smiling as she beholds my rather stiff rod.

“Oh, I’ve missed you!” she says to my cockhead, and then drops her mouth to it, sucking in the first two inches. She picks up a fervent pace, making me moan as her hand grips me, and she uses her saliva to lube up my length.

She only spends a couple seconds doing this, however, before she stands back up, and drops her pants. “No more time for foreplay,” she informs me. “I want that in me now.”

Words are no longer necessary, as she straddles my hips, and begins to rock back and forth. She moans in frustration, that I’m not already in her, and I drop my hips, wait for the right moment, then stab upwards, penetrating her tight twat. She cries out in ecstasy, and I have no doubt the other occupants in the house can hear, but her demanding attitude has me so turned on, I don’t even care.

Her left hand goes to her breasts, as she starts to play with a large nipple, and her other hand goes to where we’re connected. I know the second she finds her clitoris, as her entire vagina suddenly grips my cock. Even though my member has conformed to her inner walls, when she cums, her vagina nearly strangles my rod and her pleasure washes through me.

Reaching up, I grab her face, and pull her down into a kiss. This time the kiss isn’t only passionate, but demanding, filling a need in her that has been too long denied.

I roll us onto her back, so that I can seriously start to pound into this hot minx, but don’t let go of her face. Our eyes lock, and words can’t describe the emotions I see behind her beautiful brown orbs. They almost glow with wonton lust and desire.

“Fuck me,” she whispers, her face serious. I pull out all except for the tip, then drive back into her for all I’m worth. She slides a couple inches up on the bed from the force of it, but I don’t relent, and I stab her pussy again and again. “Oh, god, I’m—oh! Ungh!” she gasps, and I feel the bliss of her orgasm wash over me. A portion of her soul becomes mine, and I know that we will always be close, no matter what happens.

I still don’t stop pounding her little cunt, using the energy I’ve gotten from her two orgasms to keep pumping into her, extending my own stamina.

“No more,” she gasps, as she comes down from her fourth orgasm. “I can’t. . . . Oh god! Oh fuck. Oh, yes!” our eyes are still locked, and as her last orgasm hits, I finally let loose with my own, not wanting to drain her too much, before I return the favor.

My whole body locks up, as our pelvises are pressed hard against each other, and my seed shoots deep into her grasping pussy. She swivels her hips around as I ejaculate, even locking her legs behind me, driving my own pleasure higher and I keep shooting into her. My fluids flood her canal, and start squelching out of her, but I still don’t stop.

What’s going on? I wonder, my dopamine fuzzed brain trying to grasp why I can’t stop cumming.

Then I see it in her eyes. Her beautiful brown eyes. Eyes that just a bit ago had been filled with lust and desire, have an unmistakable sparkling, multi-hued glow to them.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Big thanks to Garbonzo607 for the awesome edits, ideas, and advice. Without his help, this story would have been a LOT more lackluster and confusing.

Can’t wait until chapter 16? Go read it on my blog now! You can find the address to my blog at:

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