• Her face was pale, deathly pale. The bruises that shadowed her body were lit up in the moonlight. She panted as she staggered through the street, looking at the houses, looking for the house of her savior.
    As she approached the end of the street, she realized someone was waiting for her.
    “Leave.” The man told the woman in rags.
    “You…. Why are you here?” Her voice was quiet, but steady. Full of a hurt pride and honor.
    “I am here to make sure you don’t disturb him.” He looked at her black eyes, the innocence hidden behind the pain.
    “You believe that you can stop me, do you Carn. Well you’re wrong, so very wrong.” She stared right back at him, his green eyes.
    “You have grown week, Marin. I have and can only grow stronger.” He cackled at her face, which grew, if possible, more pale.
    “Carn, I need him. He is the only way I can continue to live. The order needs him as much as I do, and you as well, so please don’t make me kill you.” Carn looked startled at this.
    “This is not going to solve anything Marin; you know that the order is dying as it is. We can not do anything about it. And this boy can’t save anything.” She opened her eyes wider, and her breathing became louder. And a laugh escaped her throat.
    “You still think I am only looking for the boy, the girl, she is powerful, though unlike the boy she hasn’t found her chosen.” Her voice was full of knowing. “You don’t know what the Less has done to me, Carn; I know what he did to you. But he went out of his way for my torture. I am dying; if you love me let me pass.” Marin pleaded with Carn, her body swayed.
    “If you think that my love for you is still pure you’re wrong. It wavered when you left me, and completely dyed when you fell for Cam. What torture did you suffer.” He moved closer to her. His voice harsh. Until she was within a few steps away.
    “Images, dreams. Rape, whip, fire, water, wind, earth. Death a million times over.” She filled in the space between them.
    “Dreams? Of what, Cam dying.” He laughed as she winced. And he placed his arm around her to steady her.
    “No, you. I left on a mission; the cover was that I was with Cam. He showed me your face, when you thought I left, the crying, the screaming. And when she came and held you in a way I could never, I couldn’t stand it, I wanted to die.” Now tears were welling in her large eyes. And their conversation dyed as she fainted, her small body giving out to the curse embodying her soul. He was crying.
    “Marin, I can’t let you to him, or her. I’m so, so sorry. I love you. Die peacefully, don’t go to hell.” His voice wavered, and then he and she disappeared.

    “Is she going to be alright?” Morgan asked. She leaned over a girl, of about 18. The girl had long blond hair, a slender body; she had bruises covering her torso and legs. Her naked body was lain out over a table, and a man came in.
    “Yes, eventually. It may take months, years maybe.” He was a young looking handsome man, dark brown hair and a calm face. “She went through a lot, and the Less is not a forgiving being. She will recover physically, but mentally, her memories will never fade. And those she gained, they will haunt her for years.” His eyes were on her face, the color was abnormal, but he could tell that she was beautiful when it was normal.
    “Cam, I can take care of her, you’ve been with her for hours, you saved her, so let me take care of her for now. Get some rest.” Morgan laid her hand on Cam’s shoulder. He was a healer, and had studied for years, since a child, and had just celebrated his 20 birthday. Though he was young, he was the best of his profession. He only nodded, and looked at Morgan.
    “No, when she wakes, she needs to see someone she knows. And that could be at any moment.” He studied Morgan’s face.
    “You know her?” she said this slowly.
    “I did, a long time ago. She’ll recognize me. But brace yourself for a fight.” He sighed and looked at the girl again. “Where are her clothes, I can’t stand seeing her body.” His eyes closed. And Morgan picked them up from a chair beside the bed. She held her up and dressed her. And Cam turned around and faced the wall, so Morgan couldn’t see the tears fill his eyes. He cried silently, and fully.
    “Cam, she’s waking up.” Morgan sounded nervous. Cam wiped his face and turned back around.
    She had sat up and was rubbing her eyes. And when she opened them and looked around, she saw Cam. Her eyes widened then narrowed.
    “Cam….” Her voice was feeble, but fierce. He looked back at her like he was in pain.
    “Morgan, you might not want to stay.” And Morgan exited, looking at Cam in a scared way. And then Cam breathed.
    “Don’t even look at me, Damn why can’t I talk. What did you do to me.” She coughed and tried to stand. When she put wait on her legs she gasped and leaned back. As Cam leaned forward to help her. “Cam why are you here, no where am I.”
    “Lillie, you are at the order’s headquarters, and it wasn’t me, the Less took you and Marin.” He looked down, like he was unable to look her straight in the face. “Carn was only just able to get you back.” She looked at him.
    “Danny, we need to talk. No, I don’t want to talk to Cam. I want the old you. No one will know me Danny, I wasn’t trained like everyone else. But by Marin, after you left me, pregnant, she found me, with the dead baby in my arms."