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This page conserves the character fiction forum of the Agora forums. The posts have been left unformatted to make it easier for users to copy them here and paste them into the new forums.

Oren Itanooren12/10/08 18:25View
Missy12/10/08 22:22View
The backstory of Vulpes.Vulpes12/11/08 01:46View
Erica KesselErica Kessel12/11/08 07:52View
Missy's Story.. a Do-over and another ChapterMissy12/11/08 22:38View
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UsrBinPerl12/14/08 22:07View
Missy's Story Continued..Part 3Missy12/16/08 08:43View
Missy's Story Part 4: Innocence ShatteredMissy12/16/08 18:34View
Missy's Story Part 5: Innocence AnnihilatedMissy12/18/08 17:16View
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The Shadow Stepper- Ziau the Enshadowed.Ziau02/01/09 07:26View
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ConfessionKit Ristow02/26/09 01:39View
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MissyWell at least I'm being productive somewhere >.>
Here is the fourth installment of Missy's background story. Enjoy! ;)

[b]Part 4: Innocence Shattered[/b]

Several weeks later...

Bruised, battered and bleeding, Missy slowly and painfully drags herself up the craggy rocks that lead to the small cottage deep in a hidden forest. Her hand trails along the rocky outcroppings and smears of blood mark her passage to the cabin. She concentrates on forcing one foot ahead of the other, not thinking of the attack that just happened, trying desperately to block out the majority of the pain until she can reach the safety of the building.

Stumbling, she loses her footing and she falls to the ground, narrowly missing dropping into a steep crevice that would plummet her hundreds of feet before splashing her into an icy cold river that moves sluggishly below. Missy grasps a nearby tree limb for support and she manages to find strength enough to haul herself to her feet once more. She walks a few more steps before the tree whose limb that was so helpful just seconds earlier trips her with its extensive roots. Falling to her knees, Missy lowers her head and tries to prevent the swirling blackness that floats at the edge of her vision from overwhelming her sight altogether. A harsh cry of pain slips from her lips despite her best efforts to stifle it. Her cry is heard by another.

A figure emerges from the mist. Missy struggles to find the strength to run away, but she cannot. She can’t even rise to her feet anymore...she scrambles backward as fast and as hard as she can, not paying attention to the danger of the yawning crevice at her back. The figure, recognizing the jeopardy Missy is in, cries out “Stop!” and he extends a hand out toward her...he crosses the ground between them in two broad leaps and grabs Missy’s shoulders just as her feet edge out over the lip of the abyss.

Crying and slapping ineffectually at her rescuer Missy frantically tries to escape...her mind is whirling, her heart pounds in her chest and all her brain hears is a voice inside telling her to as far and as fast as she can....but she is powerless to obey the command and her struggles only serve to weaken her further. Suddenly, all of Missy’s strength leaves her and she slumps forward, completely limp and unconscious.

Gathering the seemingly boneless and feather light figure in his arms, Kaden carries Missy to the cabin, needing better light to determine what has happened to her. Carrying her to the small rustic shelter, he lays her down on the rough bed near the fireplace. Gently, he starts to remove her ragged clothing. Kaden swiftly runs his hands over Missy’s limbs quickly determining that she is suffering from a broken left arm, numerous contusions and untold other trauma. He is a bit alarmed by the volume of blood that stains Missy’s clothes, but this could simply be the result of a gash on her forehead. “Alright” he mutters to himself, “this blood could just be from the scalp wound. They bleed like a son of a bitch after all” and he unconsciously raises a hand to his own forehead, pushing black locks off of it as he examines Missy, revealing a large shiny scar near the hairline, a souvenir from a long ago battle.

Just as Kaden reaches for Missy’s sweater to remove it, she startles awake. She takes a deep gasp of air. Eyes wild, she starts to struggle and appears ready to fight for her freedom yet again. Kaden, seeing her alarm, gathers her to his chest, heedless of the blood that smears across his chest...he murmurs her name over and over “Shhhh Missy… quiet now. It’s me. You’re safe” but little does he know how false those words are. Slowly, Missy’s struggles against Kaden quiet and still and her rapid respirations, although not calm, lose their desperate gasping edge.

Feeling Missy settle slowly in his arms, Kaden risks pulling back far enough to brush the wild tangle of hair out of her eyes. Missy looks up at him and this simple act of kindness after this day of torture and terror undoes her. Her eyes well with tears and she starts to sob against his chest. Her hands curl into fists and hot tears flood her face and scorch his bare skin...she is powerless to rein in this overwhelming torrent of is all she can do to ride it out. Harsh sobs tear at her damaged throat, causing her more physical pain but at this moment, the physical pain takes a back seat to the emotional maelstrom that rips through her. Kaden softly strokes her back...hushing her and holding her close as the worst of the tumult starts to pass.

Missy claws her way up Kaden’s chest until she is looking him in the eye and she whispers brokenly, “I need to be cleansed Kaden...they...they did things....things I need to wash away...please....please....don’t wait....I can’t stand their filth on me anymore....” Unable to continue, fresh tears spill down her cheeks and her eyes, usually limpid green pools that normally radiate serenity and peace are now turbulent and muddy with her grief and pain.

Kaden’s lips tighten, his eyes spark and seem to shoot fire with his outrage. He can only imagine what it is Missy alludes to and is unable to speak of yet. Whoever has done this will pay with his life. Shelving those thoughts for the moment however, Kaden knows he has much more urgent tasks to complete this night for this suffering creature clinging to him. Gently kissing Missy’s forehead, Kaden eases himself away “Shh… I’ll heat some water Missy. You just lie here and warm up by the fire.” He eases from her side, settling her on the bed, covering her with the fur pelt blankets, making sure the edges are tucked in around her trembling frame.

Understanding, Missy nods her head and carefully, she eases back against the bed. Her limbs continue to shake uncontrollably, but the heat of the nearby fire is slowly thawing the ice that seems to have replaced the blood in her veins in the last few hours. She cradles her broken arm against her chest and she tries to stem the tears that continually well and overflow her eyelids. Although she is unsuccessful, it at least gives her something to concentrate on...something to spare her from thinking about the atrocities that have been committed against her.

Moving swiftly and with purpose, Kaden hurriedly fills the two buckets in the cabin with water from the nearby lake, placing them over the fire to heat. He sets up the tub next to the fireplace, wanting Missy to be as warm as possible while he bathes her. He returns to her side and sits on the edge of the bed, his fingers smoothing over her forehead softly. He fights to quell the rising anger he can feel welling in him, anger he longs to unleash on the monsters responsible for Missy’s pain. Eyelids slide shut over violet tinted eyes, eyes that are dark with suppressed emotion. He inhales a rough breath in and tamps down the current of fury surging within and gazes on the frail girl before him. He strokes her face once more before rising from his seat and taking the now steaming buckets of water off of the fire and pours them into the tub. He adjusts the temperature only slightly with cold water from the lake, knowing that the warmer the water is, the looser Missy’s muscles will be and the easier his task later on will be.

Unable to sit without assistance, Missy lies against the bed. She tries not to struggle or flinch as she feels Kaden start to remove her clothing. She bites her lower lip and cannot meet his eyes as he removes the articles of clothing closest to her skin...she can sense his shock at the sight of the bruises that line her inner thighs. She can smell the scent of her attackers once again, now that all of her clothing has been removed and she almost gags from the rank overpowering stink. Sobbing once again...shaking from head to toe, she endures as best she can, wondering if Kaden will ever be able to see her as other than damaged. She wonders if she will ever think of herself as whole again too, and this new thought robs her of breath.

Gently, Kaden scoops Missy off of the bed and holds her naked form to his chest as he carries her to the tub. He lowers her slowly into the water, making sure her left arm is not bumped and making sure her head is supported above the water. Kneeling next to the edge of the tub, he dips his hands into the water and starts to wash away the blood from Missy’s face. He does not speak, his silence stemming from his tenuous hold on his temper. Missy is silent as well, her quietude arising from her overwhelming sense of shame. Tears slip steadily from her eyes, creating tracks down her blood stained and dirt-smeared face.

Gasping at the sting of the water against her wounds, Missy clutches Kaden’s forearm with her right hand. Slowly she peels her fingers away as the sting of the initial touch of the water eases and starts to relax her aching muscles instead. Gradually, the heat from the water in the tub works its way into Missy’s limbs....draining away the worst of the ache and the pain. The water washes away the filth, grime and blood from Missy’s skin. She drinks in the comfort provided by the water deeply, as though she had been wandering in a desert seared by a merciless sun for countless days and suddenly stumbles upon an unknown oasis.

Kaden washes Missy’s hair, untangling the worst of the knots with his fingers. He removes bits of leaves and twigs and finds dirt and blood smeared almost everywhere around her face. He notices bluish black bruises start to shimmer to the surface of her alabaster skin and her lips visibly swell before his gaze. Her knees are scraped raw; as are the palms of her hands, but these wounds could merely be the result of her climb among the rocks. He shakes his head, it doesn’t really matter how she was injured, the mere fact she was infuriates him and his blood sings for revenge on her behalf. He takes a deep breath again and he fights to calm himself.

Seeing Kaden’s struggle for control, Missy misinterprets his anger and her heart plummets to her toes. Her eyes again overflow with tears only recently quelled and she turns her head, trying to move away from Kaden’s touch. She reaches up to her hair awkwardly with her right hand and shakily tries to finish washing it herself.

Kaden’s eyes narrow at this, and he firmly moves Missy’s hand away...trapping it at the bottom of the tub next to her side. He looks deep into her eyes “What the hell do you think you are doing?” he asks an edge cutting through the deep velvet tone of his voice.

Scarcely able to meet his gaze, Missy whispers “I.. I.. can manage the rest… I.. I’m fine” she stammers.

Kaden snorts and not so gently this time, he resumes cleaning her hair and bathing her skin. “Don’t be so stupid” he growls. “For one thing, you are not fine and for two, I’m not repulsed by you or angry with you...but whoever attacked you has a few things to be concerned about.”

Still not certain, Missy uneasily lies back and she stiffly submits to Kaden’s ministrations. “I don’t suppose you are ready to tell me what happened yet?” Kaden asks, his voice a gruff growl. Missy shakes her head keeping her gaze locked on a point over Kaden’s shoulder...she’s not sure she will ever be ready to tell anyone what happened to her. Her lower lip quivers with her attempt to stem the ever present tears from overflowing her lids. Kaden sighs and finishes cleansing her. “OK, we are finished with this part of patching you back together. Now it’s time for the not so pleasant part.” Kaden grabs one of the fur blankets off of the bed and scoops Missy into it. He holds her on his lap as though she was a small child and he rubs her dry, being careful to avoid the worst of her injuries. Missy examines the rough wood floor at her feet, still unable to meet Kaden’s eyes, still feeling so ashamed and sullied despite the bath. She wonders how many baths it will take before she feels halfway clean again. Her eyes well up yet again at the contemplation. She refuses to let the tears fall this time and she swallows hard against the lump that blocks her throat.

Kaden carries her back to the across the room and lays her on the bed. He starts his examination at her head, making sure each cut and bruise he comes across is not too deep or too serious. Missy tries not to flinch as his fingers explore her injuries and for the most part she is successful until Kaden gets to the deeper gash on her forehead. As Kaden’s fingers explore the cut, he determines that stitches aren’t needed... thank goodness... putting in stitches is something he is neither skilled at and besides that, they simply aren’t equipped for it. Missy cries out as his fingers probe her cut and sting her particularly harshly...Kaden lowers his lips to a spot near the cut and he presses them to it...almost as though he is apologizing for the hurt.

Feeling Kaden’s lips against her forehead, Missy forgets to breathe for a moment. She was so sure Kaden would only want to touch her in a clinical way from now on, or not at all unless he had to, that this small act of affection causes her heart to stutter with repressed hope. The lips serve their purpose, the sting in her head is forgotten and Missy is quiet as she mulls over the possible meaning of the innocent kiss.

Kaden moves down Missy’s body until he gets to her broken left arm. He frowns. It doesn’t appear to be a complex fracture, but it will definitely need to be set and he’s not sure how to do it without causing Missy more pain. He considers making her a sleeping infusion made from some nearby datura plants he'd spotted earlier to knock her out for what will otherwise be a painful ordeal, but the head injury bears consideration as well. A sleeping draught could have a much more permanent effect on her than he desires.

Sighing, he takes Missy’s good right hand in his own and he bends close to her face. Leaning over her, the fingers of his free hand smoothing away the hairs on her forehead, he whispers “I have to set your arm Missy and I can’t let you sleep through it. It will hurt. A lot.” He explains why she needs to be conscious for this and Missy, being a healer herself, completely understands. She nods her head and bites her lower lip. Her eyes darken with apprehension and she steels herself for what she knows is coming.

Kaden gathers the supplies he will need, making a rough splint from planks of wood he rips from one of the windows. He gathers the hides he has cured and saved from his hunts, ripping them into smaller strips to use as wrappings to immobilize her arm. Missy takes deep breaths, trying to slow her racing heart. Grasping the side of the bed with her right hand until her knuckles whiten with the strain she slowly straightens out her left and lays it palm side up along her side.

“You want something to bite down on?” Kaden asks, but she shakes her head... she is as ready as she is going to get. Grasping Missy’s arm with both of his own, one hand on her forearm above the break, the other hand just below it, Kaden starts a slow count to three... “Ready? Here we go… on the count of three… one… two…” but before he reaches three, he quickly pulls the broken ends of bone apart and moves them so they lie flush against one another as they were intended to do. The ends of the bones rasp slightly against one another, the muscles of Missy’s arm protesting the movement, tensing in automatic reaction.

Unprepared, Missy has little time to react but the pain is immense anyway. She screams as the shock wave of it rolls over her...her vision starts to dim and grays at the periphery. Beads of sweat erupt along Missy’s forehead and dot her upper lip. Kaden’s motions are quick however and the task is soon over. Gasping for breath, Missy moans and rolls her head from side to side on the bed.

Working quickly, Kaden uses the splint and the fur strips to immobilize Missy’s arm. She struggles not to cry, her body trembling on the bed, shaking the frame of it with her tremors. “Ohhh Missy” Kaden murmurs quietly, showing a level of tenderness and compassion unusual for him, his heart twisting at the sight of her suffering. He leans down and rests his head next to hers, gently smoothing his fingers over her face, waiting for her breathing and heart rate to slow and calm. Missy’s head feels so heavy and her eyelids struggle to stay open and find Kaden’s clear gaze. “I.. I’m sor…sorry” she whispers brokenly just before waves of exhaustion and anguish take her under their tumultuous surface.

Head bowed, Kaden regards the slumbering figure before him. Her rest is not easy yet and won’t be for some time. He knows there are questions that need to be asked and answers that despite their inherent pain need to be given. Just as an infected boil needs to be lanced, Kaden knows this injury of Missy’s will need be drained or it will fester in her soul. He wonders if he is up to the task of coping with it, and realizes in the same moment that ready or not, he must assist her. Knowing Missy as he come to over these past days and weeks, he knows that when she wakes she will likely want to bury this day in the deepest depths of her memory, blotting it from her consciousness altogether. He is equally certain that to allow her to do so will harm her far more than forcing her to relive it. He sighs deeply and runs a tired hand over his face. He pulls up the single rickety chair in the cabin next to the bed and covers Missy with the soft fur lined blankets. He knows sleep will not find him tonight. Tonight he will stand guard over her, preventing the demons that stalked her and found her today from returning to her in her dreams as best he can. He sinks into the chair and takes Missy’s uninjured hand in his, softly stroking the top of her hand with his thumb. Missy sighs and shifts closer to Kaden seeming to recognize his presence even while submerged in a deep well of unconsciousness and she takes comfort from him now.

(To be continued...)
12/16/08 18:34
UsrBinPerl*picks jaw up off floor*12/16/08 23:34
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