When it rains it pours 2
Anya and Anastasia walked in and surrounded Amora. Anastasia put a gentle hand on Amora's stomach, enclosing the child with love, warmth, and acceptance. She tried to draw blood to the child without harming Amora, but she had to go by touch and it was very risky in that moment.
Gregori watched in awe as Anya easily drew the dark magic to her. He knew that the magic would change her body temporarily, just long enough for her to destroy the magic. He heard Dracul growl with displeasure seeing the augmentations go from the woman to his lifemate. Compared to the other times dark magic had touched Anya, though, this was nothing more than an inconvenience. The way the tendrils were tangled is what was so time-consuming. Drago certainly wanted the magic to stick and his inflated ego meant he thought no one could best him. Anya felt a little satisfied in showing the bastard up, even if he wasn't there to see it.
Gregori turned away from the miracle his daughters were performing and set about conjuring his own. He worked on her vital organs first, taking care of any internal bleeding. He then closed off every major wound, taking care to clean as he went to prevent infection. When he returned, he fed from Savannah. His work was far from over, but she would live.
"Kiam," he said, closing the wound on his lifemate's wrist. "Give her your blood. She will not die." He watched his girls return to their bodies. "But it will be up to her if she wakes up."
"Thank you," Kiam said.
"Her child is strong," said Anastasia. "You will make a wonderful father. For now, give her as much as you can spare."
"I want to take her back to her valley," he said.
"That is more difficult at this time," said Gregori. "We aided you, we ask the same in return."
"Of course," said Kiam.
"An old enemy has returned," Dragomir said. "With the prince visiting, he needs all the protection we can provide."
"I understand," Kiam nodded. "I will help. But Amora will need a place she feels free."
"There are caves near the ranch," said Dominic.
"Too risky," said Gregori. "She ran into the jungle, uncaring of the dangers. She will also need a place that is easily protected."
"Until you take her back," Anastasia said, "give her a small house at the ranch. One that will make her comfortable. When I am done talking to her, and if she decides to awake, then you can make plans to return her to her valley."
"Thank you," he said. "All of you. I am in your debt."
Before anyone could answer they heard a curdling gasp behind them as Amora shot up and cried out in pain , her fear shook the cave as she looked around but her human eyes only saw darkness
Kiam took hold of her as all other males shielded their women from falling rocks, and said, "It is alright, Amora. Close your eyes. Your nightmare is over and a new dream can begin." He held her so that she would only feel him. "You do not need to wake yet. Let your body rest and your mind heal. I will be with you at all times, protecting you, talking to you."
"It's not working, Kiam!" Gregori said.
Kiam ignored him and kept talking softly so only she could hear. "Your mother is waiting for you. None of us gave up hope in finding you. I never stopped looking. Your valley is pretty. But without you, it feels empty. Even the Earth Healer says so. I can take you back. But right now, you need to rest and heal."
"It's getting worse!" Dragomir said. "Whatever you do, hurry or she will sink the whole damn continent!"
"I failed you," he said. "I did not find you soon enough. I did not protect you when I found you. I wasn't fast enough to stop the blade from hurting you." He put her hand on his chest. "This, right here. This is yours. Moye serdtse - My heart. I will never fail you again. I swear it."
He could tell her mind was in shock, she was not registering what was going on. Her very soul was in shock from being so close to the tree and life and then brought back to the land of the living. She fought against him, the only sound coming from her was sounds of pain. A roar came from the entrance of the cave and the large male jaguar rushed in with lightning speed and he felt Amora reach for him " besi nat uk" she cried out in a language none of them knew. The ran up to her and used it's large paws to rip her away from kiam "besi nat uk....nat uk" she said hugging the cats neck as it shielded her from kiam. The shaking of the cave stopped. And the only sound was the sound of Amora crying into the large cats fur
Kiam looked at the male. He didn't take control of it's mind but used it to talk to Amora. He told her everything all over again. If this was the only way to communicate to her, he would do so for the time being. Amora, please. Give me a chance.
The large male laid down as she continued to cry in anguish, everyone felt her pain coming off of her, these were the tears she held in for a year, the pain she suffered alone, everyone could feel the animals in the surrounding animals were effected by her pain
Kiam seemed lost but Anastasia knew what was going on. Kiam, what does her posture say? She was made to be an object. I've been there. Even as she seeks comfort from the jaguar, she expects to feel pain soon. Her thoughts, actions, everything about her has been conditioned. Stefan rubbed Anastasia's shoulders as she shook. In her mind, she disobeyed.
Kiam nodded and made her look at him with a gentle hand and said, "You were a good girl, Amora. You got away from that evil man and survived where few would have. I am very proud of you."
She leaned into his hand only for a second before she flintched away from him " don't...touch me" she said in a scared tone there is darkness here....I won't be fooled. They took my peace....there was no pain...they took away even my death...I truly am nothing
The Jaguar stood up and Amora was on it's back laying down, her head rested on his neck as she laid on her stomach. The look in her eyes spoke to everyone there especially Anastasia, she has giving up " do with me what you will....I can't....fight anymore" she said as one lone tear fell from her eyes and she became unconscious
Solange bit her fist as Dominic hugged her to him. Julietta buried her face in Riordan's chest. Stefan carried Anastasia from the cave, who seemed to have gone faraway, into her dark memories. Gregori was like stone as Savannah followed her daughter. Dragomir put a hand on Anya's shoulder. Kiam ran his hand over her head a moment, showing the jaguar that he had no intention of hurting her. He picked her up and wrapped her in a soft blanket. He carried her from the cave.
Anastasia was outside, crying, "I will not leave her alone! Please understand, I can help her where no one else can!" She held herself but shook off any attempt to comfort her. "To be forced to live, to survive a certain way... it will never end. The nightmares, the memories, they stay." She looked at Stefan. "She and I are sisters. She will always see him in her nightmares, feel his hands on her, him inside her. Her child, they will be a constant reminder of what he did. She will be unable to escape. I am unable to escape."
"You have," Stefan said. "So has she."
"No, Anya killed Xavier," Anastasia said. "And her demon escaped. To be free is to destroy our monsters ourselves. Neither of us can do that. If we cannot face them and destroy them, they will always torment us."
"You never said..." Stafan said, sadness in his voice.
"I didn't want you to know," Anastasia said. "When we make love, it is magical, but when I wake up from it and feel the aftereffects, there are times my heart sinks and for a split second, I fear I'm still in his icy cave. But when I open my eyes, I am always elated to see that it was just a waking dream. You give me that gift, of knowing it is just a bad dream, a dark memory." She looked at Kiam. "Until she understands that there is hope, that he will never have her again, she will remain like this. She will come out of this on her own in time. Compared to her, I'm a weakling. Anya had to mend my mind enough to accept my own lifemate."
"You survived the only way you knew how," Stefan said, finally able to hold his mate. "I will always be proud of you. He never touched your soul or your heart. You remained pure."
"We are not pure," she said, shaking him off again. "You men, even our families, will never see that until you have lived it, and the thought of seeing you so broken..." She went up to Kiam. "Let me take her. Please."
He growled at her, causing Stefan to put her behind him. The two men stared each other down. Anastasia thumped Stefan's back.
"You are almost 50, Stefan," she said. "That is enough. You ran my sister off when you rescued me, passing blame to her. He is doing that to Solange here." Stefan hated when she brought that up but took a less defensive looking stance. "Kiam, I know you are scared and angry, and the need for vengeance and to claim your lifemate is strong. But I also know that you will hold on." She held out her arms. "Let me help her. You need time to learn how to be the lifemate she needs. She needs help to see the light in the darkness."
“The broken cannot help the broken” he said in a cold tone “do not use amora as a means to make yourself feel better about yourself because you still refuse to deal with your own trauma” he said looking at her like she was nothing but a child. Before she could answer they heard gregori growl as he picked up a dagger that was covered in blood off the ground “is this what he used to stab her?” He asked kiam
"Yes, but it appears to be a letter opener," said Kiam. "I wouldn't put it past him to disguise a ceremonial blade as a letter opener. Do you recognize the ruins on the blade?"
"It's a two-fold spell," said Gregori. "To remove feelings that the caster believes to be a weakness and to find what is lost. To use an animal is for creatures in the illegal animal trade. But a person..."
"We get it!" Anastasia said, her fists shaking. "The head mage of this hideaway is bad! They are all bad!"
"Anastasia, that's not true and you know it," said Stefan.
"I can help her, Kiam," Anastasia said, ignoring her lifemate. "MaryAnn helped me by talking, sharing stories of other women abused like me. By actually living it, she will see hope like I did. If you want her to reach for you as Amora and not what he made her, you will allow me to help. Otherwise, you will only have the slave he made and not your lifemate." He growl shooke the trees and ruffled her hair. "Are you do postering? Because your lifemate is sinking deeper into the darkness, suffering, while you take your fear and anger out on others. If you had met me after my rescue, that would have scared me. Now, I'm a mother. Few things scare me anymore."
"Well," said Stefan, "she's not wrong. The kids seem to have their grandfather and aunt's panchent for trouble."
“Let me make something very clear, with one word I could shatter you, with one gesture I could end you, you are not healed you are pretending to be by lying to yourself and your lifemate and he is too blind to see it” he said taking a intimidating step towards her making Stephan move her back “you know nothing about me or amora, you are not the same, you are a coward where she is not, the day you actually stand up on your own two feet instead of relying on everyone else will be the day you can speak to me, until thenM carry on pretending like the child you are and if you ever get close to me or my lifemate again I will break you worse then Xavier ever did do I make myself clear!” He said and his voice boomed in the area and lightning cracked above.
Anastasia was about to say something when she heard a groan and looked at Amora. She looked at everyone and noticed how protective they, ready to leap between her and the unconscious woman. She took a step back.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I let my personal history cloud my judgment. I normally don't let the memories get so close when trying to aid others. Let's get her to someplace safe. Perhaps, when I have calmed down and can center myself again, we can talk this over. She does need you, Kiam. I never meant for it to come off as if you shouldn't be part of her healing. My only desire was to give her an understanding ear to talk to." She looked at everyone. "Let's get her back to the ranch. She can have the house we are staying in. I'm sure the natural garden will aid her healing."
The large male jaguar rubbed up against Kiam’s leg and looked up at Amora And gently rubbed his face on her fallen hands. After a moment he walked away and he knew that was his goodbye to them.
Solange watched the jaguar leave them her and Dominic vanished. Raphael stood next to gregori, it was clear the were speaking to each other on their mental link. Gregori’s face was like stone and Savannah and a ya and Dracul were no where to be seen.
“Amelia! Amelia! Where are you!?” A males voice was heard suddenly shout in the Forest “Amelia!” Said a female voice.
Gregori heard Amoras heartbeat start to quicken and her eyes slowly opened. Anastasia was the one standing in front of her , she saw her eyes were not normal. The green of her eyes were brighter almost as if they were glowing. She saw a mark starting to appear on Amora's arm, she knew that mark. A mage mark “Amelia! Come out now or master will be upset! I have your favorite here with me!” Said the man “if you come now I’ll give it too you!” Their foot steps were getting closer and everyone’s hairs stood up as the feel of magic grew around them, the stronger it got the more amoras eyes started to glow
"We can't let her go," Anastasia said. "He will kill her if she goes back, Please, get her out of her now before he finds her." Tears began to fall, and her own memories began to surface again. "Not again. Never again. I won't let him have her."
Stefan took hold of Ana. She was panicking, replacing their current enemy with Xavier because of that mark.
"We need to leave now, without alerting them that we are here," said Stefan. "I'll take Anastasia away. When she calms down, we will rejoin everyone. Kiam, get your mate out of her now. She is the target and the farther from the dark magic, the better."
Anastasia watched as Amoras eyes slowly looked to the right of the woods “Madam black please come! We need you! “ said a female voice and kiam felt her flitch at the name. Raphael put his hand on kiam shoulder “go back to the ranch me and gregori will handle this” he said in a stern yet soft tone.
Amoras eyes met gregori’s and he felt a overwhelming sensation of white magic
Gregori patted her head a moment before heading towards the voices. Riordan watched his brother follow. He and Juliette had stayed to flank Kiam to add to Amora's protection.
"Hurry," Anastasia said, barely holding it together.. "Please. Get out. Don't go back." A shaky hand reached for Amora. "Stay with us. Don't go." Kiam held Amora closer to him. "Not real. He isn't real. We are. Look at us."
Stefan was practically dragging Anastasia away from Amora. The influence of the dark magic seemed to be hitting her harder than the rest of them. Anastasia needed to go where nature was bright again.
"We need to head to a spring," Stefan said. "It's on the way to the ranch. Let's have them feel nature and natural things for a few moments. A rest stop. That will help your woman sleep and make your trial easier. It will also help Anastasia center herself to aid you when needed. Do you agree to this?"
“Take her and go, do what you need to for your lifemate, we will stay here until gregori and Raphael say it’s safe to go” Juliette said to Stephan. With a nod her took Anastasia away and disappeared. A few moments later the voices stoped. It was silent as they waited for gregori and Raphael return. Kiam felt amora move and she looked up at him. She didn’t speak but her green eyes met his and he knew she recognized him
"It's alright," he said in a soft tone as he walked. "Let's get you out of here. Rest for now. You're safe."
She kept looking at him without saying anything, it seemed like time slowed for a moment and it was just them, after a moment her eyes closed and she went back to sleep.
He held her close, keeping the blanket around her for protection from the elements. He sat down and rocked her. When she shivered, he hugged her close and provided warmth. He noticed that, now that the threat was gone, the mage mark had vanished. That didn't mean it was safe to move her, but that the enemy was no longer focused on finding her. He wanted them to be back so that he could take her away. He wanted her in a house, safe and sound. What was taking Gregori and Rafael so long?
Ten minutes had past and still no sign of gregori or Raphael “something is not right...” Juliette said in a worried tone “they should have been back by now and if not they should have at least communicated with us by now” she said pacing slowly
We are on our way, said Gregori. The enemy escaped but it is clear he had intended to finish what he started. Kiam growled. However, he has fled the area. Gregori and Rafael appeared, both looking heavily wounded even as they stood stoically in the clearing. "We should leave now," Gregori said. "With his army defeated, he will need time to lick his wounds."
Riordan said, "Juliette and I will see if Solange and Dominic will help us monitor the area. With so many injured lifemates at the ranch, and so many enemies searching for them, this is the most excitement we have had in centuries."
They all began walking to the spring Stephan had talked about, the closer they got the more strange it became. A strong sweet smell filled the air around them, it reminded them of the wildflowers that grew in the Carpathian Mountains.
Kiam wanted to hurry, but he also wanted to savor that smell. His Amora. It wasn't soon enough, yet all too soon, that they came to the spring. Anastasia was lighting candles by hand. She seemed to be much calmer.
"Lay her in the waters," she said in a soft tone. "Let her float on its surface. The water flows through the rock to form a waterfall and has minerals in it that aid in the healing process. Mother Earth offers to heal her children here. She will feel most at ease. MaryAnn brought me here in the beginning... it is a place that heals more than just the body. It connects us to the earth and provides calm. Evil cannot set foot here." Kiam was unsure, after what had happened before. "If it makes you feel more at ease, lay her on the ground next to the pool, allowing a hand to touch the water."
He nodded and laid her on the soft moss. He put a hand in the crisp water. Where his hand dipped below the water's surface, he could feel the power there, as if it came from the Carpathian Mountains themselves.
The smell grew stronger to the point it was like they were all standing in a field of wild flowers back home. Amora stirred and groaned
Kiam cupped some water and ran it over her skin. He spoke softly to her, coaxing her awake. Anastasia used the water to help her father and Rafael, away from Amora and Kiam.
"Open your eyes, moy angel," he said softly. "We are in a place of healing you need to see."
She moaned again and slowly he saw her eyes open. He could tell it was hard for her
"Feel the purity around you?" he asked. "It is welcoming you. Let it seep into you, moy angel, and know you are safe."
i don’t belong here...... She said weakly in her head