What can be better than a nice time spent on a cruise ship with your loving girlfriend?
It's definitely not waking up in the hospital to find yourself hooked up to annoying machines and your family refusing to say how badly you've been hurt. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Chapter 09 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = The Cost of Life Eldon sighed as he sat back in the lounge chair. This was the life. He honestly couldn't think of anything better.
The sun sat low on the horizon as the cruise ship cut through the water on its way to some tropical destination. He didn't know where the ship was headed, but it didn't matter. The temperature was perfect, not too warm, and not too cold. In his hand rested an alcoholic drink that tasted sweet and fruity. All of that by itself would be wonderful, but there was more bringing a smile to his face.
Still in critical condition… "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself," Gloria smiled up at him and released his rounded phallus from her talented mouth. "We can come here any time you want. Now you just lie back, and let me see if I can get you off, again." She'd already swallowed two of his loads since coming up on deck, but he didn't show any signs of softening, or having any desires to have her stop.
Someone needs to stop that bleeding or we're going to lose him. Gloria used her left hand to fondle his scrotum, massaging the sensitive orbs as she sucked his thick head between her lips. She used her right hand to stroke the saliva slickened length of him, causing him to arch his back in delight.
"Mind if I help?" a voice asked. A slender female shape stepped between him and the sun, and he recognized the President of the United States, Martha Louise. He couldn't remember her being on this cruise, but suddenly it seemed as though she'd always been there. The sudden image of her bloody and unconscious while strapped into a seat flit through his mind, but he shoved it aside.
She was a lot more attractive in the skimpy white one piece swimsuit. The neckline of her outfit dropped below her belly button, giving him a great view of her abdomen and the valley between her decent sized breasts. Her dark nipples, visible through the thin light fabric, were already hard. Only three survivors. One is… "The more the merrier," Gloria smiled and returned to her task.
"Well, what if I sit here," Martha grinned and straddled his face. He had to set his drink down, but he didn't mind. He had a different chalice to drink from now. "And then I can lean forward and help. Let me see. Maybe I should move this to the side?" Martha reached down and slipped the damp crotch of her bathing suit out of his way. Eldon lifted his head the remaining distance and used his tongue to run the length of her slit.
He heard her moan before he felt another mouth on his twisted rod. I said we need to stop that bleeding from the stump! Damn it! If he loses any more blood he'll go into cardiac arrest! Eldon used the tip of his tongue to run around the mature woman's inner labia. She was already wet, but as he sucked in her petals, a fresh flow coated his lips, nose, and chin.
He brought his arms around her waist and gripped her rear, pulling her tighter into his mouth. With his strength, she wasn't going to be able to get away, and he attacked her clitoris with ferocious hunger. Martha jerked and squirmed as he nibbled on her sensitive nub, but couldn't escape. She moaned and twitched on top of him, making Eldon grin as he brought her closer to climax.
POTUS is stabilizing. We need to get her out of here. "Oh, yes! That… That feels great, Eldon. Oh, oh… I… Oh yeah. I'm gonna—" Before she could finish her sentence, Eldon felt her muscles go rigid and his mouth flooded with more of her sweet taste. He's in no condition to move. We need to stabilize that bar. It's punctured right through his… "Mmm, I don't think we're going to be able to finish him off with our mouths this time," Gloria's voice reached him.
Why don't you turn around, Martha, and we can slip this beast inside you?" "Oh, yeah! I can't wait to take that beast inside me," Martha replied. "I still can't believe how good it felt last time." Careful now. If we bump that metal while we lift him, it'll cause him to bleed some more. Damn it, I said be careful! Are you trying to kill the Ambassador's son?
I'll let you be the one to explain.… Eldon let Martha lift off him. She beamed at him as she met his eyes. Her fingers traced along his cheek and she brought her face close to his. "I'm going to have to make you a permanent fixture in my cabinet. How does the Minister of Really Damned Good Orgasms sound?" He didn't think the United States had ministers, but before he could reply, her tongue slipped between his lips and she kissed him.
Her juices were still on his face, but she didn't seem to mind as she through her leg over him. Gloria guided his twisted member to her hole. She grunted into his mouth as she slid back, taking the smallest percentage of him into her.
She shifted forward, then pressed back again, taking even more of him into her tight canal. Eldon moaned into her mouth at the pleasure her inner folds gave him.
She was tight, and there was an inner fire in her that was contagious. His moan rose in pitch as he felt Gloria's tongue bathe his scrotum. Martha picked up her rhythm, taking him deeper with each stroke. Her insides were aflame with her desire. The heat of their connection soaked into him from where they were joined, stoking his own flames and lusts. "Deeper," Martha panted, breaking the kiss. "I need you deeper." Eldon was too happy to comply, and started meeting her stroke for stroke.
He felt himself bump up against her womb, but she groaned, "Deeper!" and he thrust again. He lifted her chest up and latched onto one of her dark nipples. The stiff nub rubbed against his teeth as he sucked.
He dropped his hands down to her ass, only to find Gloria's already there. Her tongue was still pleasing his scrotum, but by the movements he felt, she was also fingering the President's bum. He decided to join his fingers to hers, stretching Martha's rectum and making her scream as she came. Her pelvis touched his, and he was shocked to find he was completely ensconced within her. His heartrate is spiking.
I need 10cc of.… "While I like how your fingers feel, I want that cock in my ass," Martha crooned and lifted off him. He left her with a wet sucking noise, and a groan from him at the loss of how great she felt. The loss was short lived as Gloria took him in her mouth, cleaning off Martha's cream. She turned around, putting her back to him and straddled his waist again. Gloria gripped him at the base, aiming him for their target. He felt a bit of pressure as Martha's gluts slipped past his tip.
The pressure increased until he felt her sphincter slip around his sensitive rim. "Shit, that cock feels bigger back there than it did in my pussy.
Give me a moment to get used to it," Martha panted as her hands rested on his chest. Eldon looked down at the gap between them, and saw Gloria grinning back at him. How did he ever get so lucky to have a woman like her care for him? "Don't ever leave me," he told her, meaning it.
Her eyes grew wide at his words, and for some reason he thought she looked sad. "Don't you dare leave me!" He was shocked at the emotion and vehemence with which she spoke.
He knew she cared for him, but perhaps he didn't know how much. "I would be an absolute fool to leave such perfection." He blew her a kiss and winked. We're losing him! "While you two are being all lovey-dovey, I need to get this monster buried in my tiny ass," Martha moaned and let her weight impale herself deeper onto his prick. Eldon saw Gloria blow a return kiss, then lifted her head up to lick Martha's wet and empty cunt.
The President gasped and slid further onto him. To Eldon, it felt as though a vise was slipping down his rod. That is, if vises were made of sexy Latina rear ends and felt like heaven. Martha ground her coochy against the succubus's hungry lips and worked herself further down Eldon's spiral-shaped pole at the same time.
She had to stop from time to time as her body was wracked with multiple orgasms. For Eldon's part, he had to stop himself from gripping her hips and slamming himself into her compressing colon.
The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her, and knew that with his size, that could be all too easy. Instead, he contented himself with reaching around her chest, and taking a breast in each hand, fingering her nipples and enjoying to her moans. Grab all the pieces. We'll attach whatever we can, but&hellip.
An animalistic groan escaped his lips when her cheeks finally touched his pelvis. Involuntarily, he thrust his hips up making them both cry out in ecstasy. Her colon gripped him, delivering pleasure along his length. He knew Martha was ready to truly begin when she turned to meet his eyes and said, "Now fuck me!
I want to feel your hot cum inside me. Oh, God, I think you're poking my heart. Fuck me!" Eldon was like a robot, ready to follow any commands that meant more pleasure for both of them. He gripped her hips and used his strength to lift her up a couple inches, then slammed her back down while thrusting up to meet her. He repeated the movement, their bodies making a steady slapping sound that filled the deck of the cruise ship. Martha muttered incoherently as Eldon pounded into her rear from below.
"I can't suck on her sweet cunny while you're pounding her brains out," Gloria said, suddenly next to his head. "Why don't you suck on my little kitty until you cum. I need you to cum, Eldon. Cum again for me." He's flat lining! Eldon was in heaven. A pussy on his lips, and a tight ass around his dick. Two women moaning from the pleasure he was giving them. Now this truly was the life! Martha started to shake and shudder as her body was overcome with an intense orgasm.
Her insides rippled around Eldon's girth, sending his gratification into overdrive. He felt his cock swell against its tight confines as he shot his load deep into her bowels. Gloria came a second later, soaking his face in a second coating of delicious cream. The world vanished around Eldon. He felt at once weightless and as though he were falling.
Soul devouring darkness pressed in on all sides of him. Somehow, some part of him understood that he was dying. His only regrets concerned how sad his family and Gloria were going to be. Clear! "I'm sorry, Gloria," he whispered into the emptiness.
"I didn't want to leave you." It's not enough. Turn the defibrillator up to 300J. Clear! A tear formed in his eye as he pictured his beautiful girlfriend, not as he'd seen her a moment ago, but as he'd seen her that first time, wearing a backpack and a ball cap.
She was beautiful! Damn it! 360J. I won't lose you! Clear! He didn't know how long he would fall, but he was certain that Death would meet him at the bottom. Even so, it shocked him when he finally stopped. * * * * A steady beeping noise poked into his awareness and soon became annoying. Beep. Beep. Beep. To Eldon it seemed as though the God of Annoyances was telling him, "Wake up, Asshole.
You've got stuff to do." He didn't want to wake up. He just wanted to rest. He was so tired. He tried to move away from the noise, but little threads tied his body in place, keeping him from going somewhere quiet.
"I think he's waking up," someone said nearby. Eldon tried to open his eyes, but they were gummed shut. He opened his mouth to speak, but it felt dry and filled with dust. What was wrong with him? Panic gripped him and he heard that annoying beep pick up its pace.
He no longer wanted to sleep so badly. Something was wrong, but he couldn't open his eyes to find out, and couldn't move either. "Shh, it's okay, Eldon," he heard Gloria's sweet voice fill his head. "You're going to be all right. Calm down. That's it. Take a deep breath. Good. Now another. Everything is going to be okay." As she spoke, he felt her power wash over him, calming him, and bringing peace to his mind as he obeyed.
The beeping slowed its relentless pace, but continued its annoying song. He'd been hurt. That much was obvious. That beeping noise must be a heart monitor, which meant he was in a hospital. He tried to think back over what might have hurt him. He remembered flying off in the helicopter with the President, then going into Gloria's Mens Mundi and… He felt his cheeks burn as he remembered what he'd done there.
The cruise ship must have been in the Mens Mundi as well. Something tickled his thoughts. He thought he recalled waking up at one point to a smoke-filled cabin and the ground rushing up to meet them. Someone tried to kill them. He didn't believe for a moment that it was a mechanical failure. "Everything is all right," Gloria's voice soothed him again when he became agitated and the heart rate monitor picked up its infernal beeping.
"Wake up, Asshole. You're still alive." He wished he could see her. Did he still have his eyes? Did he lose them in the attack? Something cool and wet pressed against his eyes, cleaning them. After a few seconds of this, he was able to open his eyes and look around. He wasn't prepared for all the people he saw. Gloria was leaning over him with a wet towel in her hands, tears of joy brimming in her beautiful eyes.
She looked tired. Eldon had never known a woman who could look so tired and still remain such a stunning beauty. "Flattery will get you everywhere," she beamed at him. Once again, she was reading his mind. It never seemed to bother him that he would never have any secrets from her. He wasn't the type to keep many secrets anyway.
"How do you feel?" Shelly asked next, coming to stand next to Gloria. "How long have I been out?" he asked instead of answering. "About a week," Jessica answered. What was she doing here? He thought she hated him. She opened her mouth to say something more, looked at Shelly, and shook her head instead. "Mom, Dad, and Becky are out in the waiting area," his sister told him. "Areth went to go get them when you started to wake." Eldon groaned at the sound of Areth's name.
Why did she have to be here? "Sheldon, honey, are you okay? Where does it hurt?" his mom burst into the already cramped room. She started fussing over him, making his cheeks burn in embarrassment.
He couldn't remember the last time Sheila Lance had acted like that. "Are the doctors taking care of you? Is there anything I can get you?" "He just woke up," the last person he expected to come to his rescue stated. Areth fluttered her golden wings and flew to the side of his face. "How would he know if the doctors are treating him well?" "Thanks, Areth," he said.
Two words he never expected to utter. "Besides," she added, and Eldon knew he was going to regret her next words, "I'm sure he's not happy with us waking him up. I'm sure he and Gloria were doing all sorts of perverted things in their dreams." The golden fairy spun on the succubus. "I still say you could have invited me.
I didn't have to join in, but I could have lent my spirit and watched. He would have healed faster. You didn't have to give so much of yourself." "Areth, enough," his dad said in a firm tone.
She huffed, but went to land on his shoulder. "Sheila, give the boy some room to breathe." All his life, his mother had obeyed his father without question or delay, but for just a moment, Eldon thought she was going to balk. She took a moment to brush his cheek with her hand, then went and stood by Lyden's side. "Yes, Master." Eldon was a bit surprised she stood and didn't kneel. He didn't have any problem with his mother's normal behavior with his dad.
He'd grown up watching the two play master and slave. He knew that it made her happy, even if he didn't understand the how or why of it. If nothing else, her hesitancy told him how serious his injuries were.
"How bad is it?" he asked. He took a moment to assess his body without looking at it. He couldn't feel his legs, and his left arm was immobilized in a cast. Wires and tubes poked into his right arm and it was strapped to the bed. He was afraid to lift his head and look at his body.
No one spoke. He looked around the room, noting that Becky was indeed with them. "How bad?" he repeated as the beeping machine increased its rate to match his rising heart rate. A man in light-blue scrubs entered and frowned at how crowded the room was. The fact that he didn't even take a second glance at Areth told Eldon that the man was used to seeing the four-inch fairy.
"I know you're all excited to see him wake up," the man said to those gathered, "but don't get him too riled up. He still needs his rest. For right now, if you'll limit it to immediate family, the rest of you can wait outside." He spoke with authority, as though used to being obeyed. Gloria stood to leave and gripped his hand. He wanted to tell her to stay, but she forestalled him. "I'll be right outside. Nurse Jake has taken good care of you so far. You can trust him, but don't let him take too many tissue samples.
That's my job." She winked and smiled at him. He knew that she'd read the nurse's mind and cleared him. Gloria nodded, and he felt a bit better. "You're going to be okay," Becky told him next, then followed Gloria out. Instead of making him feel better, that made him feel worse.
No one said that unless things were bad. Areth didn't leave. As far as Eldon knew, only his dad had any luck with commanding the fairy, and even that didn't happen often. "I'm Nurse Jake," the man told him as he lifted Eldon's eyelid and looked into his eyes. It was nothing romantic, but the sterilized look of a physician. "I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but for right now I want to take your vitals and see how your body is holding up.
Your physiology is human, though you heal a lot faster than any human I've ever heard of. I understand you have your girlfriend to thank for that. I wish we could harness that power ourselves. Can you imagine how much better medicine would become if all doctors could heal our patients that well?" Jake spoke with a soothing voice as he took Eldon's blood pressure and pulse, checked the machines, changed a couple settings, and verified that Eldon was indeed still alive.
"Well, I've got some notes to take. I'll just be outside. If you need anything, press this red button here and I'll come see what you need." Eldon nodded that he understood. He started to feel dizzy and a bit tired. He suspected that there was some pain killers in the I.V. going into his arm. Probably morphine, but there was no way for him to know for sure.
"How bad?" Eldon asked again, looking his mom in the eyes. She looked away. His dad wouldn't meet his gaze either, nor his sister. None of that scared him as much as his dad not willing to meet his gaze.
His father, the hero of the Chaos War and ambassador between two very different worlds, couldn't meet his son's glance. Was that shame, or fear? He looked to Areth next, though he suspected it was more because she was there, than because he hoped for an answer. Her golden eyes met his and didn't waiver. "How much do you remember of the attack?" his dad asked.
Eldon ground his teeth. His anger was dulled by the pain meds, but he didn't appreciate being ignored. Still, he was used to obeying his father and answered. "Not much. I remember crashing to the ground, then waking up here." He felt the blood drain from his face as he remembered who else had been in the helicopter with him. "Martha? Is she okay?" "Martha?" his mom asked with an arched eyebrow and moved back to Eldon's side. "Don't you mean the President?
I didn't realize my son was on a first-name basis with the most powerful woman in the western hemisphere." Eldon's cheeks burned. What would his mother think if she knew he was on better terms than that?
"The President is fine," Lyden came to his son's rescue. "She was hurt pretty bad, but she's recovering in the White House. Seems your girlfriend helped her as well as you." By the sparkle in his dad's eyes, Eldon suspected that his father knew how that help had cum… er, come.
Eldon felt his ire rise again.
They'd tell him how bad Martha was, but not him? He opened his mouth, but Areth leapt from Lyden's shoulder and flew over to a sink that was in the room.
"There's not enough flowing water around here and the air is so dry," she complained. "That's done on purpose, I suspect," Lyden said. "I'm not a doctor, but if I recall, bacteria thrives in humidity." "Well, I thrive on humidity, too," Areth informed them and struggled to lift the lever for the spout at the sink.
"And I can assure you, I'm not bacteria." "Are you sure?" Eldon heard his mother mutter, before she went back to fussing over him. The fairy got the water running a moment later, then dunked herself under the stream. "Brr, that's cold!" she shrieked and jumped out of the sink. Her yellow dress was plastered to her thin body and her nipples poked out, attesting to the frigidity of the water. She adjusted the lever some more, waited, then tested it again.
"Much better. I can work with this, though they could work on the water pressure in this place. I'll have to use some of my own reserves." "What are you talking about?" Shelly asked the precocious little woman.
Eldon realized that everyone was watching Areth and her antics. "Getting ready to make the pervert's perverted son better, of course!" she said with a half-smile before dunking herself under the stream again. "Though I won't use any perverted methods." She seemed disappointed by the last statement.
Eldon saw his father's jaw tighten before he spoke. "You mean you could have healed him before now?" "Well, duh!" she stuck her tongue out at Lyden and giggled. "Then why didn't you?" Sheila demanded and approached the sink. Eldon rarely saw his mother this upset. The last time had been when he… He buried that memory, not willing to recall it.
That had started as a good day, which had ended in so much death. Lyden stepped between Sheila and the fairy, though Eldon could tell he was keeping his own anger in check. "Because then my awesomeness wouldn't have been as obvious," Areth grinned. If she could sense the anger in the room, she ignored it. "Besides, I needed him awake before I tried. If I made a mistake and he was still asleep, we wouldn't know until after he woke up—if he did—and then it would be too late.
Plus I need his permission." "Too late?" Eldon asked, not liking the sound of that. "Yeah," Areth replied with her voice full of sarcasm, as though his question was foolish. "Fairy healing isn't like other healing, duh! It's permanent." She stepped out of the water. Her nipples were no longer poking out, but her golden dress hugged every curve, leaving nothing to the imagination. Lyden pinched the bridge of his nose as he worked to keep himself calm.
"Areth, before I lose the last of my patience, please explain what you mean by 'permanent'." Eldon knew that tone of voice. Lyden Snow was about to lose his calm, and if he did it wouldn't be pretty. "Permanent, as in forever," Areth stated as though it should be obvious. "Areth…" Lyden growled. For once, Areth looked subdued as she looked at Eldon's father. She heaved a sigh and looked around the room.
"Okay… Well, sheesh, this is so obvious, even a human. Okay, okay!" Areth rushed on as Lyden took a step towards her. "You know how fairies are immortal? You could say we're eternal, or permanent. It's because once we're fully grown, we go through a ritual. When we do that, our bodies are locked forever in that state.
Even if we become injured, our bodies will revert back to when we became permanent. In other words, once I heal him, he will remain that way forever." "You'll do this ritual on me and I'll be immortal?" Eldon asked, liking the sound of that.
Areth giggled as though he'd made a joke. "Of course not, silly! You're not immortal now." "Then what do you mean?" Sheila asked. The anger was gone from her voice, but was replaced with a new worry. Areth rolled her eyes and shook her head. "I mean that his body will always be locked into his current age. He'll get older, but never look older.
If he were to get stabbed, or cut, the wound would heal almost immediately. But he won't be immortal." Eldon wasn't the smartest man around, but he was pretty sure that was one of the meanings of immortal. "If any injury repairs itself right away, and you did this to yourself when you came of age…" Lyden began, "then why didn't you heal when I… I mean, when we…" he glanced at the twins and Eldon saw his cheeks darken. "When you did perverted things to me, taking my maidenhead, and made me your perverted love slave?" Areth giggled.
She flew up and gave him a kiss on the nose. "Because, my lovely perverted hero, some magics can't be overcome and are stronger than faery magic. The loss of my maidenhead was one of them. It may not have bound me to you as we first thought, but it still tied me to you in other ways." "You could have healed Master before he fought the Outsiders, and he never would have had to die!" Eldon's mom spat.
"I could have," Areth admitted, though she seemed to have lost some of her glow. Eldon was certain his mother was going to kill the fairy, or at least try to, but his dad held her back again. "But if I had, then the Outsider would have won in the end.
That bullet wouldn't have killed him, destroying the Outsider also. There are… other reasons I didn't want to do it," she admitted with a frown. "It was the only way," Lyden said, touching his chest where the bullet had ripped through his heart, killing him and the Outsider before the twins were born.
"My body will become permanent?" Eldon interjected. They were all talking as though this wasn't about him, or that he wasn't in the room. "So I won't be able to change forms anymore?" That both appealed, and scared him. He wouldn't be able to become someone else, forever locked in this body with its twisted deformity. Of course, Gloria didn't seem to mind his malformation, and the President didn't either.
Maybe he was too hung up on it? Should he see it as a blessing, instead of the curse he always thought it was? But some of his forms were helpful, like the body builder, or the martial artist. He wouldn't be able to swim as a merman anymore either.
It would also mean that he couldn't make another terrible mistake and cause innocent deaths as he had that one time. "But Areth can change sizes," Shelly pointed out. "So maybe it wouldn't change that." "I can change sizes," Areth agreed, raising Eldon's hopes only to dash them a moment later.
"But it's still my body. I can't change forms. I don't know what it'll do to him. I've never heard of it happening on a mortal before now." They were all silent for a moment, absorbing this news.
"How bad am I?" Eldon asked one last time. No one met his eyes again, not even Areth. "Damn it!
Why won't anyone tell me?" "Language, son," Lyden told him, though there was no heat in the rebuke. "Fuck language, Dad!" he snapped and the heart rate monitor started to alarm as his chest hurt from his anger.
He was sick of everyone ignoring this question. "This is my body, and I want to know how bad I was hurt. I'm sick of everybody ignoring me. It will be my decision whether or not to let Areth heal me. It will be me who has to give up my abilities, but I want to know the facts before I decide." "You don't have to do this, son," his mom said.
"You could still live a normal life. There would just have to be a few… changes." "You're not answering my question, Mom. How. Bad. Am. I?" He stressed every word of the question. "They don't want to answer," Gloria said, reentering the small room, "because they don't want to admit it to themselves yet. They're afraid that by saying it, it'll make it real. Yes, I'll tell you and hope you don't hate me for it." Eldon almost told her he could never hate her, but she held up a hand, stopping him.
"I appreciate that thought, Eldon, but you might end up resenting the person who told you, even though it wasn't their fault. Add to that the fact that I'm unharmed, and you may resent me even more. I want you to know that if I could have stopped you from getting hurt, I would have. I also want you to know that no matter what your decision is, I'll stay with you. You've proven yourself to be a man of integrity, and worthy of…" she trailed off and looked around the room.
Her eyes landed on the heart monitor, still beeping rapidly. "I want you to take a deep breath and calm down before I tell you." Eldon wanted to snap at her to just tell him, but he stopped. He understood why everyone was tip-toeing around his injuries now, even if he didn't understand why they thought he'd actually hate them for telling him the truth. The ancient phrase, 'Don't shoot the messenger,' came to mind.
No one wanted to be the bearer of bad news. Just how bad off was he? Despite the morphine or whatever it was that was keeping his pain down, he started to hurt. His lower body felt like it was burning up and his left side started to itch with intensity. Unable to move to relieve himself, he nodded to his girlfriend—the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and even older embodiment of sin and lust, Lilith—and did as he was told.
He drew in a deep breath, trying to ignore how much that hurt, and let it out with a measured pace. He repeated the process, until his heart rate dropped below one-hundred.
She told him. At first he stared at her. He didn't want to believe what she'd said. His spine was shattered? But his legs burned! How could he be missing his left leg from the knee down? His left kidney was also failing after being punctured by debris in the crash. His left arm was shattered, and the doctors said he'd never have full use of it again.
That wasn't all. The debris that punched through his kidney came out through his crotch. He'd been neutered in the most horrific way possible. Areth could heal him. Heal it all. But that meant losing all his other forms. A thought struck him, and he acted before anyone could stop him. The martial artist was smaller than his normal form, and he tried to shift into it. Agony unlike anything he'd ever experienced poured through his body.
Fire raced along every nerve, molten pain filling every crevice and limb. His screams rent the air as his mind tried to shut down and flee the torment. It took some time for the pain to abate, even though Jake came in and pumped him full of morphine. He passed out for a time. When he awoke, only Gloria, his parents, and Areth were in the room. Becky had taken Shelly and Jessica to grab something to eat for lunch.
His sister was unable to handle seeing her brother in such torment. He was broken. He was no longer the man he once was. Hell, he was no longer a man. He could still make love to his girlfriend, but only in their minds. No, that wasn't completely true. Only in her mind. If he remained as he was, he would be stuck with her if he ever wanted to feel a woman's touch again.
He cared for her deeply, but his ego couldn't handle the loss of his manhood. He couldn't handle the thought of needing someone to care for him for the rest of his life. He saw himself as someone's pet, unable to survive on his own.
"Do it," he whispered to Areth. "I can't live like this." "But—" his mom tried to say. "Do it!" He shouted, but it turned into a groan. "I won't live dependent on someone else for the rest of my life." He saw Gloria flinch, but he didn't care. He couldn't live that way. He wouldn't! So what if he was locked into one body forever? At least it would be a life! "Wait," his father stopped Areth from approaching him. "If you could keep someone forever young and immune to injury all this time, why haven't you done it to me or anyone else for that matter?" For the first time in his life, Eldon saw a look of true sorrow on Areth's face.
"Oh, my sweet pervert," the fairy said in a melancholy voice. "I haven't done it because it can only be done once and the price was too high. I love you too much to do that to you. I love you too much to let you continue with the pain in your heart now. I love you, Lyden Snow, more than I love any other perverted thing in the world." Eldon saw his dad blink in confusion, but he didn't try to stop her again.
He felt Gloria grip his hand as Areth flew to within inches of his face. He glanced at his girlfriend and saw a tear slip from her eye and run down her cheek. "I'll be better soon," Eldon said, not understanding why Gloria would cry. She should be happy that he was going to be a man again. Gloria didn't look at him, but kept her eyes on the fairy. "Are you sure?" she asked. Eldon was about to answer, when Areth spoke. "Yes." She turned to face his dad, that same sad look on her face.
"You can feel his hurt and anguish, can't you?" Eldon was about to snap that he was right there, but realized she wasn't talking about him. "Yes. He loves his children very much. He would do anything for them." Gloria's eyes welled up more.
"And I love my pervert enough to not let him suffer that way." Eldon didn't know what they were talking about, but the mood was somber. His earlier anger seemed wrong for some reason he couldn't pin point. Were those tears in Areth's eyes? He'd never heard of a fairy crying.
What could be so bad that it would make a fairy shed tears? Areth turned back to him and spoke in soft tones. "This is going to hurt. A lot. If something feels wrong, I need you to let me know.
It's why I needed you awake for this." She had to stop and sniffle before she could continue. "Make sure you do lots of perverted things to this girlfriend of yours. I've only ever met one other succubus that would be willing to spend that much energy healing someone." She glanced at Lyden again, but her words made him wonder. She sounded like she was saying goodbye. "It must be something about your family line to make someone sacrifice so much." Areth's normal golden glow intensified until it became blinding.
His chest felt warm as the brilliant glow shifted. Golden light pulled away from the tiny figure hovering over him and slipped into his chest. The last thing he heard before the pain began was, "I love you, Lyden." Eldon tried to do as he'd been asked, but the pain was only slightly less intense than when he'd tried to change forms. He lost track of time. His entire world shrunk down to his nerves reconnecting, his bones reforming, and muscles knitting back together. He realized the glow was fading as the pain receded, though he had no way of knowing how much time had passed.
"Areth?" his father asked. "Areth!" he cried out in anguish a moment later. Eldon lifted his head in time to see a golden statue in the shape of Areth topple from his chest. "No, no, no, no, no, no," Lyden repeated as he rushed forward to scoop up the statue.
"She loved you more than anything else in the world," Gloria told him. If he heard, he gave no indication as he dropped to his knees, cradling the statue against his chest. "Dad," Eldon tried to speak past the lump forming in his throat. "Dad, I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I—" he cut off, no longer able to speak. His throat closed off with emotion as he tried to come to terms with what he saw.
Areth was… gone? But she couldn't be! She was a fairy. Hadn't she just told them that they were eternal? He felt Gloria's hand on his shoulder.
He understood the tears in her eyes now. "Why would she do this?" he demanded of her with a rough voice, then another thought struck him. "Why didn't you stop her? You knew what she was giving up. You could read it in her thoughts. Why didn't you stop her?" "You heard what she said." Gloria wiped at her eyes. "She did it for your father. You told her to do it." Eldon opened his mouth to argue with her, but he couldn't.
He had told her to do it. But he hadn't understood what the cost would be. Anger boiled up in him again and he wanted to lash out.
He wanted to be fixed, but not at this cost. Eldon's health for Areth's life? He wasn't dying. She didn't need to give up her carefree life for him. He had no one but himself to blame. It occurred to him that he would never see her smiling face again. Had he really thought she was annoying once? He regretted all the times he'd snapped at her. All those times he'd grown angry with her cavalier attitude and pranks, he wished he could take back.
Areth's death was his fault. "I'm sorry," Gloria told him and squeezed his shoulder. He tried to flinch away from her, but he was still strapped down and locked in his cast.
He didn't want to be touched and comforted. He wasn't worthy of it. The fairy said the price was too high, and she was right. Now Eldon had to live with that for the rest of his life.
He struggled against his bonds, sending the heart monitor to chirping again. "Get me out of this," he demanded as his vision blurred with unshed tears. His body was still locked in its cast, and the bandages were tight and becoming painful on his left leg and groin. "Eldon…" Gloria began, but Eldon glared at her. "You knew what she was going to do. Did you really think I would be happy with that? Did you think that I wanted her death?" Her slap against his cheek was hard and fierce.
For a moment he wondered if she'd snapped his neck as his head jerked to the side with enough force to pop. The pain vanished almost immediately, though, and he turned back to glare at her. "Yes, I knew what she was about to do, but I also know what she was feeling, what your father was feeling, and what you were feeling, Eldon Lance. I felt their love for one another, and their love for you. I also felt how much you hated what you were suffering.
Your thoughts were easy to read." There was power in her voice as she spoke, though Eldon knew she wasn't trying to control him. He remembered that she was an all-powerful goddess and almost regretted his outburst. Almost. "Your father hurt to see his oldest son torn apart, knowing that he would be that way for the rest of his life. You couldn't even deal with the fact that you'd lost your manhood.
And Areth?" At the fairy's name, Lyden wailed where he knelt cradling the golden jewel that had once been one of his lovers. Sheila tried to comfort him, but Eldon could see that she was having no effect. "She loved all of you more than I think any fairy has ever loved. I've never seen a fairy perform self-sacrifice. It's not in their nature. But I've never known a fairy to be interested in something for longer than a couple minutes either. That she not only stayed with your father, but loved him and the rest of you as well?" She shook her head as the tears continued to spill from her eyes.
"She did what she did out of love. Do you really think that I, as who I am, could stop such an action?" Eldon's mouth hung open as the anger leached out of him. She was a love goddess. Of course she couldn't stop any acts performed for love.
Eldon's heart wrenched within him. He wished he could roll over and die. That was impossible now. If what Areth had said was true, he wasn't immortal, exactly, but the next closest thing. Forever young, unable to get hurt, or sick. Never growing old and infirm. He would stay exactly as he was until the day he died. Gloria must have sensed the change in him, as she started unstrapping his arms.
"Can I let this man in yet?" a female voice Eldon dreaded, asked. It was a voice that haunted his deepest nightmares. Eldon lifted his head, then fell back and groaned as a cold sweat broke out over his newly healed body. Her?!
Why did it have to be her?, he thought as flashbacks assaulted him. People screaming, running in terror, not from him, but from their loved ones. People crying in the streets. Anger, riots, and people out of control. And it had been his fault. "That's what happened?" Gloria asked in shock as she stared between Eldon and the newcomer.
"I must say, Eldon," the woman said, "your girlfriend is pretty fucking hot!
Of course, you always did have great taste in women." She paused and looked around the room. "Sheesh! You'd think someone died in here. Why's everyone so somber?" Eldon realized he was shaking. Why was she here?
What possible reason could she have to be here, now? Her timing was terrible. She must have been in the waiting room all this time, but why was she here? Nurse Jake used her distraction to slip past and he rushed to Eldon's side. "What the hell did they do to you? How—" he cut off as he looked at Eldon's left leg. "What?" He became apoplectic as he ran to the machines and started pushing buttons.
"This is impossible. I knew magic could do some crazy things, but this?" "Oh, shit! I'm so sorry," the new woman said. Apparently Eldon's mom had filled her in to what had transpired. His dad seemed to have calmed down some, though he still held the statuette close to his heart. "Why are you here, Mandy?" he tried to ask. At least, those were the words he thought he said.
They may not have come out in that order from the confused look she gave him. That was the problem with her. He could never be sure of what he was saying when she was in the room. "Gaia sent me to help figure out who killed Varun," she said as she approached his side. He tried to turn away from her, but his body was still half-locked in its cast. "She figured your dad had the best chance of figuring that out, and my skills should help." Jake was still fumbling about with the machines as he mumbled that Eldon's recovery was impossible.
"I take it you're not happy to see me?" There was pain in her voice, but Eldon didn't care. He knew it wasn't her fault, what had happened years ago when they were both teenagers and dating. They were young and dumb back then. Back before the incident.
Her arrival now, so soon after his recovery and the horrible cost that recovery had caused was too much. "Your being here scares the shit out of me." The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Not that he could have stopped them once he intended to speak something that wasn't true. Not with her in the room. No one could hide any secrets once Mandy entered an area. Truth flowed from lips like sweet wine. Or perhaps it was more like raw sewage.
No matter how horrible the truth was, if Mandy was around, it was spoken. No one could lie in her presence. She was a politician's worst nightmare, and a pious man's dream. Truth be told, she was a dream to behold also. With her blonde hair and blue eyes, she had a face that was only second to Gloria. At first glance, it was easy to mistake her for being chubby, but that was only when she was hiding her second set of arms.
If memory served—and he was all-too afraid his memories from that time were spot on—she knew how to use all four of her hands with exceptional skill. "You still haven't gotten over that, have you?" she asked with a hint of challenge to her voice. "As if I could get over so many deaths that were my fault." He turned to face her. Turned to face those blue eyes that sent terror through his soul. "If I may interrupt," Jake broke in, and continued before anyone responded.
"You seem to be in perfect health, Eldon. I don't understand how, but I'm going to recommend some scientists dissect you and see what we can learn from your body." Jake's eyes grew wide as he realized what he was saying, but he couldn't stop now. "If we knew how you regrew your leg, we could save millions of lives.
Your death wouldn't matter when weighed against that…" he trailed off as he ran from the room. Eldon understood what he was going through.
"My guess is that we'd better get you out of those casts before he can make good on that," Gloria said with a frown. Eldon knew that she could read his memories and know what Mandy was capable of. Of course, it also meant that she fully understood what he'd done years before. "Mr. Snow, I know you're grieving right now, and you have every reason to be, but I think we need to get your son down to your car." Eldon saw his father look up, his gray eyes red and puffy. He didn't speak, but nodded.
He tucked Areth's statue under his shirt. "It's still warm," Eldon heard him mumble as he came to the bed. "That's because you held her next to your heart, Master," Sheila said in a respectful tone. Eldon knew his girlfriend was strong enough to carry him on her own, but didn't want to appear that way to anyone who saw them.
She needed to keep up the appearance of a normal human woman when in this world. Eldon's face burned with embarrassment as he was carried from the room. The others followed as they headed for the elevator. "You can't leave yet," Jake tried to stop them. "Forms have to be signed before you can be discharged and I haven't been able to get in touch with anyone about studying your body." He covered his mouth, muffling whatever else he'd been about to reveal.
"My son is going home," Lyden stated with such finality that Jake actually squeaked and fled. Eldon couldn't be certain, but he suspected that the nurse wet himself as he ran.
What would it be like to face the hero of the Chaos War when he was that angry? They made it to the Orange Bubble without any further incident.
They had to work together to fit him through the doors, and then carried him back to the bed. Lyden moved to the fountain and pulled the statue of Areth out, setting her on the edge. "Areth always loved this fountain," Lyden's voice carried through the large interior of the car. "I told her not to put it in, but she did it while I was passed out one time.
You know… I don't think I ever saw her unhappy. Not truly unhappy, anyway." Eldon's chest hurt as he listened to his dad grieve. If he had stopped and asked what Areth had meant by the price being too high… He could have lived that way.
He could have… He could have… He didn't know what he could have done, but anything was better than the little fairy giving up her life for his health.
"Give me a moment and I'll have you out of these casts," Gloria told Eldon. "I'll help," Mandy piped up and pulled her extra set of arms out of hiding. Eldon knew the car had an extensive first-aid kit, but he doubted it had anything to remove the hardened shell encompassing most of his body. They tried cutting through it with daggers and a sword, but it was taking too long for Eldon.
"Damn it!" he shouted louder than he needed to, but his nerves were raw and his patience was shot. "Just crush it. You're both strong enough to pulverize the fucking thing. It's not like you're going to hurt me.
Not now, anyway." He expected them to listen to him, or maybe even flinch away from his tirade. What he didn't expect was his mother's response. Sheila Lance stood from where she was kneeling at her master's side and stormed over to him.
Her hand was hard and fast as it slapped his cheek. "I know I raised you better than to speak like that, young man." She brought her hand up and struck his other cheek. The pain was intense, but vanished within seconds. "Do you think you're the only one hurting? Do you think talking like some back-alley gutter trash is going to make a difference? You know how your father feels about such language.
Do you really think he wants to hear his oldest son talking with a filthy mouth in his time of pain?" Bringing up Lyden's loss was a low blow to Eldon.
By the shock in his mother's eyes, he could see that she hadn't meant to say it, but with Mandy around, it couldn't have been stopped without effort.
His eyes blurred with renewed tears as he looked to where his father wept in front of Areth's golden body. "No, Mom," he said as she continued to glare at him. His cheeks burned as he realized he'd just been chastised by his mother in front of his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend. "I—I'll watch my language. I promise." With Mandy around, there was no doubt that he meant what he'd said. She huffed once, before turning and heading back to her master. The other two women watched her go, before Gloria turned to face Mandy.
"If I'd have had a few more priestesses like her back in Greece, I daresay even Zeus would have fallen in line, instead of marrying me off to Hephaestus." Eldon lurched as he heard that and tried to sit up, but failed. "You're married!?" he demanded. He wished he knew his Greek mythology better.
Even being raised in a world filled with magic and wonder, there was a lot he didn't know. Finding out that his girlfriend was married seemed like icing to the cake on this horrible day. Gloria grimaced as Mandy looked at her with speculation. Of course, Mandy didn't know who she really was.
If Gloria wanted to keep that a secret, she would have to do her best to avoid speaking anywhere near that subject. It wasn't possible to lie when Mandy was around, but it was possible not to speak everything. Unless you tried to lie, as Nurse Jake found out. Attempt a lie, and everything came spilling forth. Gloria heaved a sigh before answering. "It took a couple centuries, but I've been divorced since before the Shadow World was created. My ugly ex didn't want to let me go, but I was able to convince Zeus." By her lopsided grin, Eldon knew he didn't want to inquire into how she'd convinced the old god.
"If we start bashing this cast, I'm afraid that it'll still hurt you a lot." Mandy looked to Eldon, though he saw her eyes dart to Gloria a couple times. "I'm surprised you don't want to hurt me after the way I ended things," he said before he could stop himself. Her chuckle was rye as she shook her head.
"I did at first, but that was a long time ago. You hurt me, Eldon, but I'm a big girl. I don't live in the past. Just be glad my dad never found you. He was pissed that you broke his daughter's heart. Of course, he was even more pissed when he found out what had caused you to leave me. He didn't like the fact that someone had deflowered his little girl." Eldon grimaced. He didn't blame her for telling her father about what happened. She couldn't stop herself. She wasn't immune to her own ability.
"I was sorry to hear about his death. He was a good man, though I know he hated me." "He only hated you because you weren't human. I think my mother and me were the only non-humans he loved. The only reason I knew he loved my mom was because he accidently said it when we were all in the room together." Mandy chuckled and tucked her blonde hair behind one slightly pointed ear.
"I don't know who was more shocked, him for having admitted it, or my mom when she said it back. That was the last time I saw them together. After that, they were careful never to be together in the same room as me. I don't know how the Knights found him." Eldon knew she suffered from her ability. People often thought that they wanted the truth all the time, but the truth could cause a lot of pain.
It was often easier to tell yourself and your loved ones little lies, than be completely honest. "That's why you don't have a problem with me knowing all your thoughts," Gloria piped in. "After you two dated, you were used to having all your secrets out in the open." Eldon hadn't thought about it before, but he realized she was correct.
There wasn't much difference between dating someone who you couldn't lie to and someone who could read every thought. "Eldon here is one of a kind," Mandy agreed as she patted him on his uncovered arm. "I've tried seeing other men, but they can't handle being around me for too long." She stopped and swallowed.
"You're lucky to have him." Eldon saw a tremble to her lips as she spoke. He wanted to hug her and apologize for abandoning her, but he only had one good hand, and Gloria was on that side.
Gloria glanced between them. Eldon felt guilty about having such thoughts about his ex while his girlfriend was in the room. He remembered how he'd treated her after… "I'm so sorry for what I said to you earlier," he said, knowing how lame that sounded, but not having an idea of what else to say. "He's a good man," Gloria said to Mandy instead of facing him.
He felt her grip his hand, though, and hoped it meant he was forgiven. "So, um… Not to break up this wonderful praise of my awesomeness, but can we get me out of this cast yet?
I have a terrible itch forming on my left nut that's about to drive me crazy!" He hadn't meant to admit that last part. "You haven't changed much," Mandy chuckled.
"A bit more hair on your chin, but still the same old Eldon." She looked him up and down and her grin grew wider. "I'll bet you're naked under all this plaster. Does that mean I'll finally be able to see the real Eldon's Lance?" "That joke's already been played," Eldon grimaced. When they'd fooled around as teenagers he'd never let her see him naked in his true form, too embarrassed about his deformity. He'd told her why, because she'd asked and he couldn't lie, and she'd told him she didn't care.
He knew she meant it, but he still hid it from her. "You haven't seen it?" Gloria grinned. "It's the most glorious piece of man-flesh I've ever seen. It's curved and nice and thick, filling up every crevice. Then it also has these bumps that always get me wet just thinking about how good they feel when he thrusts into me." Not only could the truth be painful, but as Gloria was proving, it could also be mortifying.
Eldon hoped his parents weren't listening. She was probably saying more than she meant to, and tried not to be upset with her. "Oh, no. I'm saying exactly what I mean to, Lover," Gloria's eyes gleamed wickedly.
"Consider this payback for earlier." Eldon opened his mouth to protest, but knew that he didn't have an honest argument to give. "Oh, I do like her," Mandy laughed as she looked at Eldon. "Make sure you don't lose her, Eldon. Hmm. You know. Now that I look at him, I think the easiest way to get him out of this cast is to cut off his limbs. One quick chop each. He'll regrow them, right?" "That would be the easiest," Gloria agreed. Eldon would have thought they were just joking if Mandy hadn't been there.
Every word they spoke was truth, at least as they saw it. Somehow he never thought it was a good idea when your girlfriend and your ex both agreed on something. It couldn't end well for him. Gloria lifted the short sword over her head and licked her lips. "I think three quick strikes, and he should be free in all his glory." "Now, hold on," Eldon tried to stop her. "I understand getting revenge, but don't you think that's a little too far?
You don't need to cut off my—Eek!" Gloria's arms came down fast and hard on his right hip, striking the plaster. She moved faster than his eyes could follow, had his eyes been open and not tightly closed. With each blow, pain blossomed from the strikes. They hurt worse than the slaps he'd received, and the pain lingered longer, but by the time she was done, his hip stopped throbbing.
Somehow, he expected getting a limb chopped off and regenerating to hurt a lot more. When he stopped feeling the impacts, he cracked one eye open. Both women were leaning over him, examining the handiwork.
"See?" Gloria asked. "Wow," was Mandy's only response. Eldon realized that she'd only broken the casts, and hadn't lopped off his appendages. His limbs were finally free and he covered up, or tried to. Gloria was faster and gripped him at his base. He froze, afraid of what her next move would be. "Is that what it looks like hard? And what is that tube sticking out?" Mandy asked. "Hard?" Gloria chuckled again.
"By the Pillars, what would make him hard right now? The man is mortified." She glanced to the fountain and his dad and mom. "If circumstances were different, I'd show you what this magnificent thing looks like in all its glory.
As for this tube… It's a catheter. Want the pleasure of pulling it out?" Catheter? He thought. Isn't that what they shove up your pee-hole and goes straight to the bladder? "Waa-aah!" he wailed as Mandy gripped the tube and pulled. The sensation was indescribable. It really hurt, as he felt every inch pull from his body. "Hmm," Gloria muttered. "I forgot about that balloon at the top.
I think they usually deflate that first." "You think?" Eldon wanted to cry. At least she let him go and he was able to roll onto his side and cover up a little. "Well, his ass is better looking than I remember," Mandy stated. "I'm not a piece of meat, da—er, dang it!" There was still dust on him from the remains of his cast, but he waddled over to the wardrobe and pulled out some clothes.
He was able to censor himself because he wasn't trying to lie. As long as he remained honest, he could say whatever he needed to in his ex-girlfriend's presence. "He smelled better back then, though," she continued as though he hadn't spoken. "He was in that cast for a week," Gloria replied. "I don't blame him for being a bit sour." Eldon shoved their nattering to the back of his mind as he dressed.
His left leg was pink and hairless, but whole. His left arm had pink splotches where the new skin had formed, but it felt and functioned fine.
His crotch was completely hairless, and even though he was flaccid, it looked bigger. Probably because there wasn't any hair, instead of because he'd grown in any way. The sound of a phone ringing drew his attention back to the car. He figured his phone was destroyed in the crash. He'd have to get a new one when there was time.
Something told him that wouldn't be for a while. He needed to find out who had killed Varun and get to the bottom of the attacks on the President before they finally succeeded. Then there was all the work to keep humans safe in the Shadow World, or Lydonese surviving on Earth.
Gloria's sudden intake of breath warned him that something wasn't right. His mom's face draining of color was his second clue. "Mom? What's wrong?" he asked as she hung up the phone. "They've got Shelly," she said as she stared off into space.
"What?" Eldon asked at the same time Lyden demanded, "Who has her?" Sheila's lips moved, but she couldn't seem to get the words out. Gloria must have picked up the answer from her mind. "The Paladonic Knights have Becky, Shelly, and Jessica. They want your father to turn himself in for supposed crimes against humanity, or they'll kill them." Lyden Snow exploded with rage. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ From the Author: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I know many of you will be upset with Areth's "Death".
I've already received a number of messages from my blog. All I will say, is keep reading.