I ran through the darkened hallway. I had to find it, him. Otherwise I was going to die at the hands of the monsters who had murdered my father.
I took a right when I felt the air shift slightly, indicating a hallway. And ran into a dead-end. Damn it were had my father said to find it again, that stupid passage. I just hope he will wake up to fulfill his promise to protect us and that his curse won’t stop him.
My mind turned back automatically reviewing all I had learned that day so long ago. My father telling me about our guardian, the creature sworn to protect us, even though he would not awaken till he fulfilled his twin brother’s oath.
The curse the twin administered to his brother could not be lifted till the heir was found, the successor to both their guardian-ships. That meant someone who would be guarded by both sides of the family.
At first I thought this was bogus, but he started telling me about a passage that led to his sleeping form. Only the rightful born of each generation learned where it was so the guardian would stay safe to protect us when the rightful heir finally came.
Along with this knowledge, they also got the key to opening its resting place. The family crest was on a pure silver ring. The family crest was two wolves howling towards each other under the brightness of a pure full silver moon.
My father told me that the guardian probably won’t wake up, but to go there and shut myself in case of danger. Danger exactly like this, my father could see the future sometimes and he foresaw this.
But it was too late to save him, just me, the son who was the heir. I was not too much of a weakling and I took martial arts, but I am small. Instead of sixteen, I look like I’m almost, and that is stretching it, fourteen. I am short and underdeveloped at my age.
My father said that I was a true Bach, our family name. It means small in Welsh, though our first names are Celtic in origin.
On top of my height, I am as blind as a newborn pup. I was born this way and the hundreds of doctors my father had
checking me said there was no hope I would ever see.
But I don’t mind because I like being blind, I learn a lot of things because people think I don’t know what is going on around me. Oh, but I do, I know everything that goes on around me, even if I am not in the same room.
My hearing, sense of smell, and sense of touch are hundreds of times greater than the average humans. But that didn't save my family.
I had four brothers who were all older than me. But they died along with my father even though they won’t inherit the main family business. The main family rule is that the smallest and so far it has always been the youngest always inherits the family business.
Somewhere along the way the older and bigger children started building businesses for their children so they would have something to pass on to the children who are not born with the right to inherit.
The older children didn't resent the younger ones or the rule. They were given money to go through college so that they can get their own money. When they started building businesses for their kids, the family leaders started holding them for the younger kids.
My brothers had strong names all of them, yet they were the first to go. My second oldest brother was twenty-one and, before he died, engaged to the sweetest girl in the world.
If I survive I don’t know how I am going to tell her about his death. His name is Calhoun, which meant warrior. His name rings true because he was the last of my brothers to fall. Before they killed him, he took with him the ones who killed my father and two of my brothers.
The next was Crevan which meant fox. When everybody was little, I was just a baby so I don’t remember but everybody else does, he was always getting into trouble but never getting punished for it.
Our mother used to say he could talk his way out of anything. But that was before I was born, mama died having me. He was the second to last to go. He was twenty-seven.
As I was lost in my memories, my body automatically stopped twelve steps into the hallway. I had learned on the many trips here with my father to count steps so I could find the door. I thought about the rest of my brothers as I started searching for the indent marking the way in.
The oldest of my brothers was Conan. It meant wise. He was always helping people and giving out sound advice. He is the one I will probably miss the most because he didn't’t tease me about my size.
He knew what I was going through. When he was a child he was very small and sickly. My father had once thought he would be the heir but them I came along.
He was actually happy about not being the heir and helped me learn my duties. He was thirty. The last of my brothers was Cade. This meant pure. He was only seventeen when they got him.
He was the most innocent person on the planet. They enjoyed killing him because he cried out the most during his torture. He had hurt the most, but I will repay their deaths in full.
I came out of my memories with a start, I had to escape them first, I thought. My hand finally found the indent in the wall at the dead-end hall.
I took off my ring thanking the gods that my father had given it to me on my twelfth birthday instead of sixteenth otherwise I wouldn't’t be able to do what I am doing now.
And my family’s murders would be able to because they would have gotten the ring. The ring slid right into the indent and almost immediately I felt the warmth of the blue and silver glow of magic that illuminated it. My father had described it to me when he had taken me here first.
An otherwise invisible passageway opened under the ring. I could feel the vibrations as the door opened with only a small noise that only I could hear and a silent rush of air that brought the smell of magic with it.
I slid the ring out of the indent and on to my finger. Then I ducked into the passage with it already closing behind me the minute the ring left its place in the wall.
Sometimes I wished I could see the light around the ring, but at least I felt its warmth. It made me feel a little better. The passageway was dark but I wasn't’t worried I just waited till the doorway finished closing. Then I heard the rush of power as the silver and blue lights lit up the hallway.
Each one placed five feet apart and interchanging. They went all the way down the thirty feet of hallway. Then the path split into two different directions. The lights went down both hallways and continued on.
Then each hallway split again though this time it was three different pathways. And again the lights continued on down the pathways. But again I wasn't worried I knew which way to go even in the dark.
My father had explained to me in very good detail about every aspect of this place. So it didn't matter that I was blind, I knew what was there at least. I loved this place; it made me feel at home.
I walked down the pathway, clean and free of cobwebs thanks to me and my father. We thought that since our very lives lived down here we should keep it clean. I got to the end and without stopping turned right at the flow of magic that only those with the ring could feel.
The hard steel ground cushioned by a thick soft carpet. The walls painted a glossy white. I bet it was beautiful, like heaven. Again I came to the end of the hall and again without stopping I chose the hall third from the right.
These halls were only about fifteen feet in length. So it only took me a few minutes to reach the door at the end. Unlike the other doors, walls, and floors; this door was of three-inch thick wood. The door had a door knob and a lock above it.
I took a silver chain from around my neck. On it was a silver key with a handle shaped like a howling wolf. I loved tracing it with my fingertips. This had been given to me the day of my birth.
After all with my mother dead trying to have me, I would be the last and the smallest of the group. My father would be happy; he was finally with my mother.
I took a deep breath, reached my hand out to the door and feeling along the edge till I hit the doorknob. I carefully fit the key into the keyhole and turned.
This would be the first time I was in this room. My father had saved this till my sixteenth birthday, today.
But, he’s gone now so it is just me. I opened the door and stepped in. The minute I opened the door, I heard lights flare. Then I heard the breathing, it was even and deep, signifying sleep.
I closed the door behind me and the minute it clicked shut, the breathing got quicker. It was awake, I thought hysterically! But father said it would be asleep. That it was under a curse.
Then I remembered what else he said.
“Listen, son The Guardian is a powerful thing with power matched only by its twin brother,” he had said softly, “But that brother also had to stop The Guardian from becoming all-powerful and protecting the wrong heirs, so he cursed it to a never-ending sleep till both sides of the line had a shared successor.”
I can’t be the successor, I can’t be. Then I laughed of course I am not that’s just the door sealing shut.
But as I continued on it didn't’t change in fact it grew louder each step I took closer. I stopped walking and it quickened even more. I hated my increased hearing for the first time.
Then a voice drifted through the darkness. “Why did you stop little one,” it said in a deep voice that was husky from disuse.
And for the first time I answered. I had never talked in my entire life, I hadn't’t needed to.
“Because I can’t see, the rest of the way,” but because of me never talking before it came out less than a whisper.
Somehow it heard me and answered, “There is plenty of light.”
“I am blind though."
It gave a little cough, and then burst into full-blown coughing.
I jumped and said "You're not supposed to be awake."
“Yes, I know,” it answered, “But you woke me up.”
There was a slight scraping noise from behind me that had dread seeping through my heart.
How had they gotten open the Guardian’s Lair? Did my father tell them, he wouldn't’t would he? No, my father barely told me about it let alone them. They must have found out some other way. But the question was, how?
“Shit, how the hell did they found out,” came out of my mouth without me meaning to.
“You can hear them?” it suddenly asked.
“Yes, remember I am blind; my other senses are hundreds of times stronger than normal humans.” I answered back in my underused voice, but with a little annoyance making it even more husky sounding.
“That explains it them,” it said almost to himself.
“Little one what is your name, your full name please,” it asked after a pause as they listened to the approaching people. My name, I thought, I haven’t been called by my real name in a while.
“My name…………,” I wondered out loud.
“Your real name,” it emphasized.
“Killian Damon,” I said in a whisper.
“It means blind demon.”
“Father used to call me Kane, a shortened version of my name.”
Then I turned and pulled a short stiletto out of its sheath at my side.
“Don’t,” it said softly. “That is my job.”
I turned my head toward its voice. It had sounded odd. Then he said something really strange.
“What is my name, Damon?”
I didn't’t hear his question at first; I was too caught up in being called by Damon. Every person who had ever known my true name, which had only been my mother, father and brothers, had always called me Killian, and that was when we were not in public.
Names had power they thought, so they never called me by my real name, guess they were right. But, they always called me blind and some had even laughed at the Demon, Damon part.
Then his question registered in my head. What was his name, how the hell was I supposed to know that?
“How would I know your name,” I asked bewildered.
“I have no name until you give me one,” it answered.
“You don’t have a name, you must have everyone has a name, I told you my real name,” I said.
“Each person I protect in your family gives me a different name and once they are dead, I forget that name and return to slumber waiting for the next joint heir.”
Then I felt a chill, they had opened the outside door and left it open. Then the noise got louder.
“Hurry, or else I won’t be able to save you, without a name I am powerless and cannot even break my chains or get off this godforsaken wall.”
“A name…………,” I pondered out loud.
I needed a name with power then if what he said was true. Remember, Dragoste, my mother used to say, saying something with love is more powerful than the greatest magical spell in the world. My mother was Romanian and the word Dragoste was in her original language Romanian.
Then it came to me, this is what I would call it. But wait, is it a male or female?
“What gender are you,” I asked it.
It was silent a moment and then gave a soft laugh.
“Yes, it would be a bit embarrassing to have a name meant for another gender, I am fully and completely male, “it answered.
Good, then the name I picked would be fine.
“Then your name will be…… Dragoste, do you want a second name, a surname?” I asked after trying out his new name.
“No surname, but what does Dragoste mean, I know it is not English, it sounds like it is a killing word,” he asked with only a slight hesitation before asking.
“Maybe someday I will tell you what it means, but for now you only need to know that it means something very important to me and no it is not even close to a killing word, though many have tried to say it was this thing’s fault."
There was a crash outside the door, and I swung my head towards the door as the flow of magic ceased because the barrier broke.
“Damon, repeat after me,” he said in a rush.
“I release thee unto my command; my pet, my lover and, my guardian, Dragoste the Protector. I release thee from the chains that once bound thee to thy wall of forgetfulness. With the key my heart and my love your burden I release thee to do my bidding. Come and be free with thee heart chained to thy heart.”
I stood there for about ten seconds just dumbfounded completely. Then he told to me repeat it and to hurry. So, I just closed my eyes and wished it was over.
I do have to say I think I am going to change the release spell, big time; my ancestors must have been into guys. So I said the words and the minute the last word was out of my mouth there was a loud banging behind me. The intruders had finally breached this sacred place.
All of a sudden something pushed me against the back wall; at least I think it was the back wall. A strange thing happened then, for a few seconds, the time it took to push me back, I could see.
It was a bit dark and fuzzy around the edges. But there were enough lights to help me see in front of me. I saw for the first time in my entire life. The person in front of me who I had set free, the Guardian was the first, the only thing I saw.
He was beautiful, at least I think so. The people who had killed my family seemed horrified by him and started screaming monster. He had long silver hair with black locks in front of his ears.
I hope those were his ears, they did not look human. They were tall and they looked like a cat’s and were white with black tips.
His face was gorgeous with claw like markings on his cheeks from his ears going under his eyes and stopping at the end of his eye almost to his nose. There was one down the center of his forehead that ended between his eyes. And one that came up his chin and ended under his mouth. The markings were a metallic blue.
There was another marking, different from the others but the same color on his naked chest. Wait naked chest, oh shit, he’s butt naked. That is when I noticed that he was really tall, well at least to me he was about six feet probably more.
But my eyesight was fading already because he wasn't touching me anymore. Soon it was dark in my world again. Dragoste, I said in my mind trying out my pet’s new name. He is actually protecting me, someone other than my father and brothers wanted to protect me.
He had even stopped me from pulling the Death’s Divinity, the sword my father gave e and taught me how to use when I was merely eight.
And it is a sword; it merely is heavy to carry all the time and annoyingly it seems that you’re not allowed to carry around weapons like that without a permit.
So my father had a spell put on it by a witch who spell-bound weapons. She made it shrink when I am not using it to a dagger.
Or if I can’t even bring the dagger in, my father's money does not always work, I have a spell put on my hand that I can carry death’s divinity there and if I need it I just say the releasing spell.
Otherwise I would just carry around the dagger. Its scabbard keeps its powers in check and I am the only one who can wield it. It was created to protect me. And I am very good at it; I have done it for eight years.
Something grabbed me and wrenched me against them, shaking my out of my thoughts. I felt something cold and metallic press against my right temple.
“Stop or you won’t have anything left to protect,” Said a rather pathetic voice trying to sound menacing from behind me.
All of a sudden everything was quiet, the fighting had stopped. I stood still testing the air around me with my nose.
I stopped because I recognized the scent of the person who held me.
“Snyder………,” I said in the most menacing voice anybody had ever heard. This was the first time I had ever talked in front of them. I could feel everybody staring at me.
“So, the favorite can talk, surprise, surprise,” He said in a mocking voice.
“To bad, now I am going to have to kill you because you know too much.”
“That is what you think,” came from my right, it was Dragoste.
“No, he’s mine,” I told him.
“What…?” he started but I didn't’ let him finish.
The idiot holding me didn't think to hold both my arms he was to busy pointing a gun to my head. I pulled Death’s Divinity from its scabbard and said one sentence.
“Let their Deaths be Divine.”
Divinity got warm and then became its true form. Snyder let go of me in surprise as I swung it around.
Then he yelled at his group to leave Dragoste and come after me.
“No, I protect you, don’t put yourself in danger idiot,” Dragoste yelled at me.
I ignored him and closed my sightless eyes. This was going to be easy.
“Death, become my eyes, see what I will never be able to see,” I started chanting, “See and then kill what is harming me, as is your duty to protect me from all who harm me.”
I finished and suddenly I was moving my eyes still closed. I felt every blow as it landed.
They couldn't keep up with me; the sword had possessed me as it always does. It wouldn't stop till all threats had been eliminated. But, there were only four guys, so it was over fast.
As I came to a rest in my original position, I fainted because my sword drains all my energy afterwords and I immediately fall asleep. The last thing I saw, yes saw was Dragoste.
He was touching me by carrying me. He was smiling slightly down at me and before I succumbed to the darkness, he said something to me.
Then I was out like a light.
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