Mind games and Lullabies

Erik had just broken the tree line when he heard her voice call for him "Erik!" Meghan cried. He turned just in time to catch her as she through herself in his arms with a cry

Erik held her to him and, knowing they were alone, he finally let everything he just did hit him. He fell to his knees, sickened by his actions.

"I'm... not the good man you have named me," was all he said.

She held him "thats not true....everyone is up set right now...but anyone would have done the same Erik....Im so sorry I left you alone....Rivers wards didnt allow me to reach you....I suffered the separation and they put me to sleep...your pain woke me up" She said stoking his hair "Im so sorry i failed you...I shouldnt have slept...I should have...."

"I tortured Anastasia with bamboo under the nails, electrocution, and death by silver," he said. "No, ma petite, you did not fail. I have."

She rocked him softly "you did what you thought was best...I know the stress of not being near you this whole time...i went to a dark place to...dont think....feel me....focus on me...let all the pain you have been holding go, im here and im never leaving you again i promise" She said and he felt her warmth fill him

He didn't have it in him to push her away. He didn't deserve her comfort, not with what he did.

"How can you still want to bring me peace knowing I nearly killed Anastasia?" he asked. "I was going to do it. Let the silver kill her and bring her back as many times as it took to do it over again until I learned everything. I thought... I thought she betrayed us and that I was going to lose you and the girls again." She felt him shaking as the fear began to leave him. "I hurt an innocent woman, and put her unborn child and lifemate, our prince, in danger because of my fears. I do not deserve your comfort."

"you deserve more then just my comfort Erik...if Ana was guilty what you were doing would have been justified, and look what Anthony did out of fear? can you not see you too have that in common, not just you two, everyone. Fear makes us go to dark places" She made him look at her "I went to a very dark place after you rescued me from the cave remember? My mind was so broken you feared you would never get me back..." She said in a sad tone "but you didnt give up on me, just like im will never give up on you, I love you with everything I am, you are a kind, honorable man who cares deeply for his people and his family, you fully believed she had hurt the people you loved, you did not do what you did to an innocent person Erik and thats what matters, if you knew she was innocent and still did the things you did then that would be a different story..." She said kissing each of his cheeks and then looked at him once more, her face changed into a more darker look "If I was in your place......If I thought someone had taken you from me....there would be nothing I would not do...I would tear out their very soul and make it feel like it was in hell if I had too" She said in a serious tone

Erik said, "But Meghan, the difference is you do not have it in your nature to kill. Even in such a state, you would not have gone so far. Fear or not, I should have never resorted to human torture methods to get what I wanted. There were other ways."

"I would kill for my family Erik make no mistake..." She said in a serious tone "please look at me...really look at me " when his eyes met hers she smiled "Anyone....including me would have done what you did....Ana knew...Ana knew you would be the one to find her and she knew how you would react, that why she asked me to keep her emotions numb....I told her that she should tell you and do you know what she said?"

"What did she say?" he asked, looking up at her with empty eyes.

"That she was sorry...that you were the only one she could trust with this burden and she was sorry for how it would effect you" She played a memory in his head, Ana had a sad look on her face he is a good man so this will hurt him deeply and im sorry for that, but i will make sure to protect you so you may be around to help him heal, if I dont survive tell him I am not angry and that im sorry for making him suffer, im will to suffer just as much as I know he will be willing to make those who hurt his family suffer... She said in a serious tone. She then looked up at meghan and erik could see remorse in Ana's face its not that I dont trust anyone....in fact I trust you all more then I feel I should...its new to me to relay on others but..I cant do much..not yet, im still new to this life and ive never had a family...or anyone I could relay on so now that I have it I want to protect it and I know you all want that too so, I will do my part SHe said in a determined tone and then she smirked erik i know your watching this memory so listen, no matter what happens im going to give it everything I got so you do the same after all it will take a lot to bring me down and I dont like to brag but I so a better fighter then you she said in a teasing tone and then her look became serious dont be sad, as long as this works im happy and if it doesnt...well then ill be honored to keep up the fight with you she said with a smile and the memory faded

Erik shook, looking at the ground, tears falling. "I've all but killed her, Meghan. Right now, she is suffering from the silver in her veins. I will never be able to make up for the pain I have caused her. She trusted me to know how to protect our people and I turned on her, even using dark magic. I have to make it up to her."

"Erik...." She said making him look up at her "you did protect her, ragnar was connected in her mind, what she knew he knew, if you did not do what you had, if you would have know her innocents then he would have too, She knew if it was anyone else they would have killed her on the spot, she trust you to keep her alive until he was trapped" She kissed him softly "lets go to her....lets help her through this..after all i have to return something" She said showing him a necklace, he knew it to be Anthony "this is how i was able to hide so well....Im not a hundred percent sure what it is but she said Anthony gave it to her to protect her, she made me promise to stay a live so I could return it" she said in a soft tone "she really is not the best with words sometimes..." SHe said in a teasing tone trying to make him smile

Erik nodded and said, "I have to do something. I nearly destroyed her mind, so ending her suffering is the least I can do."

"Ok we will help but first" she said kissing him deeply pulling him close I've missed you so much...it was so hard...i was so scared I wanted to come to you so many times.. he could here her voice breaking and felt her tears on her face. With how bad he was feeling about ana he didn't realize how much she was suffering and how she was? holding it in to comfort him
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River was unsure of what to do, she had refused to hold their son since Meghan brought him to them. Dradian was in the other room putting him asleep while she was in the study looking into the fire pit, lost in thought. She wanted to hold him, with everything in her she did, but when she got near him, fear consumed her and she couldn't do it.

Draiden walked in and said, "He wants his mother as much as his mother wants him." He wrapped his arms around her. "I can tell you are afraid. He is so fragile, but he is strong, like you. You should come see him. I will not force you to hold him, but you can still play with him and bond with him. I know, when it is time, you will be able to get close to him. Just start off slow."

River didnt look at him "im...not ready...let him sleep for now" She said still looking at the fire. But he felt her lean into him

"It is fine," he said. "Tomorrow, we will work with you being in the same room as him. We still need a name for him. Why don't you come up with a name that fits him?"

"i want to get to know him first so i can choose properly....but......what use am i as a mother when I cant even walk.." She said in a low tone. River still was suffering from the recent memory f her waking up and not being able to move from the waist down, and things got even worse after that with everything that had happen

"We will get your spine fixed," Draiden promised. "I don't care what I have to do to return their use back to you. I do not care to see you like this. You look defeated, and my woman can't be defeated." He made her look at him. "This is temporary. For now, let us focus on happy things. Your tormentor is trapped inside of a doll, and there are still things you can do. All hope is not lost and you are not useless to us."

"what if this is never fixed....I cant give you.....I cant lay with you....I cant bring you pleasure...I cant fight......I cant walk into the other room when my own child cries for me.." She forced her chin out of his hand and looked away from him but he felt tear drops fall on his arm "I am defeated....."

"You are not," he said. "Erik and his family have a book detailing the dark spells Gregori, their ancestor, researched and performed. We can ask Erik to either perform one such spell, or as Anya about it when she visits tomorrow. You are not defeated. You will have the use of your legs once more."

"I will not have anyone taint their soul for me...magic is a heavy price...if I cant heal from this naturally then maybe its what I deserve after everything I have done" She said in a low tone

"You had to survive things no other could understand," he said. "A hell that few could fathom. And if it takes me tainting my soul to give you back your legs so you can be happy once more, then so be it. There is no price too great when it comes to you. I will gladly pay it ten fold."

"ive had enough of sacrifices....just be safe and happy thats all i want" she said in a low tone

"How can I be happy when you are not?" Draiden asked. "I always envisioned you running with our son, teaching him to fly and fight. I know you wanted it as well. I will find a way to give that to you." He made her look at him again and kissed her. "I do not consider it a sacrifice, though that is the word I used. I consider it a gift from me to you. Can you accept that?"

"you have already given me so much I dont need anything else, just give me a little more time...Ill work harder.."

"You should not have to," he said. "I'm going to see if Anya can come this night. I do not like hearing you talk like this when your tormentor has finally been defeated. We will heal your legs."

Before she could stop him, he sent out the call.

"what are you doing?" she growled and he could instantly feel what a mistake he had just made. She didn't trust Anya and didn't want anyone here. I was her biggest thing that they kept heir home secret. She pushed him away with another growl "get out...."
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Suzi and Dante did the best they could to fix her mind while the healer did her best for her body. But Ana was fighting all of them Anthony she is fighting us...we cant heal her properly if she continues to do so, come back and i will look for the herbs, you need to talk some sense into her, she keeps pushing us out, including the healer

Antony returned and dropped a large bundle of strange herbs, saying, "No need. I have it here. You continue to work, I will talk to her." He took Anastasia's hand as he knelt next to her. "Anastasia, please, allow these people to help you. You are the only reason I still draw breath, a precious treasure to me and our children. There is no replacing you, no way to live without you in our lives." He looked as Suzi. "I pass the mantel of prince to you, Suzi. God knows, you would make a better leader than I ever could. Anastasia, the twins, and I will leave, go someplace so that we all can heal and live in peace."

"You can't!" Dante said. "That's not...!"

"I will not argue over it," said Antony. "I will go to the Cave of the Ancients and ask them to do it. Anastasia is more important than being the prince. My family needs me, and I am doing a poor job of being a lifemate and father. I have yet to meet my children. It is time to stop kidding ourselves and give the mantel to someone more worthy to lead than I."

"now is not the time to be discuss things like this" Suzi said in a stern tone .

Ana suddenly cried out and Anthony saw the veins on her neck turn black from the silver

Antony took a bundle of the herbs and began chewing on them as he cut a vein before the silver had reached the spot. He placed part of the wad in his mouth in the wound and began to move to other spots. The herbs acted as a magnet for the silver, drawing it to them.

"When it gets to the size of a silver dollar," he said, holding Anastasia lovingly but also to keep her from moving, "cut it out. Do what I did and continue to draw the silver out. With how advanced the silver is, this will hurt greatly. In an hour, the silver will have moved out of her heart, but it is a slow process and will bring her closer to the edge of madness. Dante, Suzi, you keep her from going insane. Healer, you continue the treatment. The Lycans say this method hurts worse than the Moarta de argint and only used in dire circumstances."

"Anthony her mind is barely there as it is...." Suzi said "I think he did more then just the silver to her...I didnt want to say this but...he has had her for three days" she said in a worried tone

Now that he thought about it the only memories he couldnt see where when she was with erik "if i am to heal her properly i need to know all thats been done..." Said the healer in a apologetic tone

Antony said, "Suzi, I need you to find Erik, question him extensively. If necessary, force your way into his mind. We will not stoop to his level and use barbaric means to get answers, but we do need them. Find out what he did."

"he should be with meghan now..i know what he did was wrong but you have done things wrong out of fear too Anthony, give him time to be with his lifemate, Search her mind we will help" Suzi said in a calm tone

"I do not need reminded of my failings," said Antony. "This is not about his fear, Suzi, or even mine. This is about saving two lives right now. This is why I did not say to hurt him when you entered his mind, only that you get the information." He looked at her. "Unless you would rather go to his torture chamber and tell us what all devices were used along with death by silver." He looked back at Anastasia. "I will take over healing her mind and finding the memories at the same time. You choose which one you do, but I know what I am going to do."

"The chamber will be harder to face, but you can do it," said Dante. "Even I say give the man time to come to terms with what he has done. In his place, I would have done the same, as anyone of us would have."

Antony ignored them and began to search for the memories. It took some time, but he managed to find the memories and put them together. It was more than bamboo and electricity and silver that had been done to her. Erik seemed to travel through all known human memory, using various methods from the dawn of human torture to get Anastasia to talk. He felt her need to call to him so many times that a knot formed in his stomach. There had been times where he had nearly woken up due to her pain and her chanting his name in her mind, but Suzi had kept him asleep, unknowing of what torment was going on in the adjacent room.

When he watched him break into the room, he found himself out of her mind. He couldn't speak and gave the healer the information she needed through pictures. He felt sick.

"Anastasia, please, stay with me," he said. "I am here, it is over. Please, come back to me."

Suzi came back looking pale and sick "I....I went through everything....I found these and thought maybe they could be...put back in" She said putting something in Anthony's hand, when he opened them he saw they were Ana's fangs. Suzi went over to were dante was and surprised him by grabbing his hand though she didnt look at him

"Im so sorry Anthony....I should have" Suzi looked like she was having trouble with her words

Antony said, "No. You had no reason to trust I knew what I was doing, and I had not given you a reason to. My decisions as of late gave you pause, and who else could our people turn to but my second in command? Right now, we must heal her and minimize the pain she will feel in the future. Most of the silver is out, but there are flecks still in her bones, fussed to them, and they will burn, but if we can get as much out now, it will stop her mind shattering over and over. This pain, I have felt it, before she turned me back into a Carpathian. It is mind numbing at best, and can destroy even the strongest of men. We must help her. Healer, do you think you can do this? Minimize the pain of the silver?"

"Ive never felt anything like this before...when I try to take on the pain its even to much for me to bare, I still dont know how the child has survived and seems perfectly healthy and untouched by the silver, I will do my best but..."

Ana suddenly opened her eyes, red ears formed in the and her mouth opened like she want to scream but no sound came out, her hands gripped the table she was on and she looked like she was having trouble breathing "thats in possible.....how is she awake?" the healer said in a confused and worried tone

"She is the strongest person I know," Antony said, gripping Anastasia's hand. "She can do amazing things. Anastasia, it will be over soon. We managed to fix your arms, remove the bamboo, and even heal deep set wounds. We can't get rid of the silver, but I will be by your side, finding a way to get rid of it completely or helping you manage the pain. Allow us to help the savior and protector of our people. Please."

She gasped and her back arched in pain, they could feel her mind shattering and going blank as the pain consumed her. She cried out in a broken tone, the cuts with the herb in it started to bleed as her heart started to race, but in the blood was the silver the herbs were collecting. She flipped onto her side and curled up into a ball Ana breath....listen to my voice dont lose yourself, remember what you are fighting for, im sorry for this, it will make the pain even worse but I gave you my word River said into her head, Suddenly Ana's memories came crashing in, one by one, her mind started to be put back together and she had to relive each one for it to happen. She cried out, screaming like she was being tortured all over again and grabbed her head, everyone had been shut out of her mind not knowing what was happening. When Anthony went to grab her she grabbed him instead and tackled him to the ground, she gripped his shirt and buried her head into his chest "Make it stop....please....it hurts make it stop" She begged

"We are trying, Anastasia," said Antony. "I wish we could do more, but we are trying. The herbs are drawing out the silver as we speak. I do not know any other way of getting it out. Let me into your mind so that I can aid you more."

He felt her grow weak against his chest and she went limp ontop of him "tell them to get out....only you" she said in a weak tone

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