Chapter 1: Aftermath
Nick Gautier cradled the small child in his arms, as she convulsed against him. It was almost like she was in pain, no scratch that… she was in pain.
It all happened so fast; Nick didn’t know what happened exactly. One moment he was fighting Grim and the next, this blonde haired women pushed her injured daughter into his arms.
“Please get her somewhere safe,” the women said before the light faded from her eyes and she fell to the floor.
A mother’s love is what caused him to run through the streets, shouting for the one man he couldn’t stand. A friend who betrayed him.
Chapter 2: Chapter 1
What are you!
Azure eyes opened to see the blue colored light shining through the darkness and heard the soft music in the background as the pandora played through the Nightcore station. A station she turned on to listen to anime theme songs, theme songs from JRPGS, and to listen to the higher pitched songs that is Nightcore. Turning it one hoping that it will help her stay awake, while her boss went out and… well, at this point none was really sure what the dark hunters did.
When Haylee Parker was around eight years old the Dark hunters and Damions formed an uneasy truce — banding together to fight the gallu, Apollo, and Morgan le Fey and her followers.
Though over the last few years things began to change. Nick was slightly more distant to others around him, and at times it seemed like he only trusted the three celts and Jared at his back (even though the later was a stretch… they were opposite forces after all).
And there were days where he didn’t return home after sunrise, and he refused to answer his phone at times. Haylee knew that Nick could survive out on his own, but she still worried.
He was the closest thing to a brother she ever had, and he was basically the only family she had.
And according to the clock on her phone it was after five, he should be here soon… but he wasn’t going to come back. He would have sent a text earlier that he was on his way home. And she had no such message on her phone.
With a sigh, Haylee laid back down and closed her eyes. If he wasn’t going to be home for a while she might as well get a bit more sleep.
Someone shook her, trying to wake her up.
“Haylee… Haylee… Haylee,” a voice chanted in her ear.
“Hmmm… Vawn leave me alone… at least for fi-” she muttered as she shifted away from the person before trailing off to continue her light snoring. Only to have the person shake her harder.
“Hey! Wake up!” the voice called out, and because it was louder Haylee noticed something strange about it. It was deep and had an odd accent that Haylee thought was sexy- which she would never admit out loud because she hated his guts.
“Jared?” Haylee asked trying to coax her eyes open by rubbing them, wondering why he was here, “hmmm… where’s Nick?”
“I’ll take you over to him, right now you have to wake up… we need to get out of here, now!”
Though it sounded urgent she, still couldn’t open her eyes. She was too exhausted from staying up all night… that and the reoccurring nightmare didn’t help either. For once she was getting more than a few minutes of sleep, and Haylee refused to wake up.
“Doubtful,” Haylee muttered, “even if there was something coming to the protection…”
She trailed off, and the red-haired man heard her breathing change showing him that she already fell back asleep.
“Damnit woman,” He growled, trying to wake her up again but she refused to open her eyes, she refused to anything except roll away from him - or at least she tried to but the small couch didn’t give her the room to move away from him completely.
“Umm… Akri…” he heard Nim mutter from the doorway, “Grim and his demons are really getting angry and-”
He didn’t need to say more, because several blasts of energy hit the house, threatening to cause the house to fall apart completely. With them inside.
Jeez Nick what did you do to him? Insult his mother? Oh who was Jared kidding, Nick had a habit of pissing off those on the dark side. Defying his destiny really did anger a lot of people.Yes Nick was a strange creature indeed.
And because of that Nick endangered those closest to him, especially the young woman on the couch.
You have to protect her now too, Jared thought, but he still wasn’t happy about it. This girl was the bane of his existence, even with that thought in mind he picked the twenty-year-old up and cradled her close before flashing them out of the house.
Now it would have been easier if she was conscious, and saw how injured he was.
Luckily Nick and Ash helped him make sure that he didn’t fall and/or drop Haylee.
“Next time… you retrieve the girl.” he muttered.
Chapter 3: Chapter 2
“You said that you could handle it!” Laguerre screamed as Grim told them of his latest failure, “You said it would be easy to kill one woman! That after the last one being so easy…”
His ex-wife’s taunting voice pissed him off, and Grim met her anger with that of his own, “Ambrose caught onto her plan; he sent Jared to retrieve and hide her. But that’s not all; he managed to free another one. Dagon’s back, and if he finds a way to free Malphas and Xevikan, Nick will remember his past and tried to save his future! That he could stop us.”
“And we've doomed if that girl rewakens the dark moon,” Laguerre mumbled, “that means that we could be cornered by the Malachai and his allies.”
“I know what will happen,” Grim said, “I’ll either kill that girl or make sure she doesn’t get to the soul catcher.”
Chapter 4: chapter 3
She had these visions…
She saw destruction and hope.
Gods, mortals, and even nature itself pushed on the brink of extinction. The very thing the dark gods were after… a future she had wanted. But then it happened, the death of Braith’s beloved son.
And Apollymi was born, and her mistress had no more love for her siblings. The ones who tricked her son, siblings that should have been allies and servants to her son. And Noir and Azura thought to control him- the very ones Braith protected. And how did they repay her for that kindness- they caused the destruction of the ones she loved.
Her Beloved Monkribos and Kissare.
But it’s what got her to bury the hatchet with her brother Rezar, an unlikely ally.
But what about her, the dark goddess who had visions of what will come to pass. The one who wanted the world to burn?
The servant of Apollymi.
The goddess of the moon and death.
Braith had named her Neona, gave her a lantern of souls and a scythe.
Called her the Soul Catcher.
A dark goddess who loved and suffered because of it.
She was the first Atlanteans to fall… but not to Apollymi’s anger
Haylee splashed water on her face, allowing the cold water to force her eyes open and allowing the water to wash away another nightmare. Nightmares that she couldn’t understand, because some of them didn’t make sense, but it all ended the same. Ended with the beautiful gray-skin woman losing her head.
Haylee didn’t know who that woman was or why she appeared in Haylee’s dreams. But she was the only detail that Haylee could remember, only she remembered this woman. The Oneroi that tried to help her didn’t see what was going on and they couldn’t do anything to protect her.
Normally Nick was there to pull her out and calm her down, but then he started to distance himself. So for weeks, Haylee was plagued with her nightmares. She slept less and less only passing out when her body forced her too. And every day it seemed like the death of the gray skin woman was closer; meaning that each day Haylee got closer to the woman.
First all she was the mist. Then a figure who was cut in two. Next came the woman. Then her features which oddly enough looked similar to Haylee’s. Each day Haylee got closer and closer. Which brings her to the dream she had tonight, she was right in front of the woman now, saw the horror and black tears streaming down her face as her neck was cut.
Haylee woke up screaming while clawing at her neck; almost like she was afraid that her head fell off.
It took a half hour until she calmed down enough to go into the bathroom. And she began to splash water on her face hoping it would wake her up. But it didn’t wash away the dread that was still weighing her down, and she was scared and paranoid that the women in her dream were going to duck and that Haylee will be the one who would die in the next dream or the one after.
And the bang that ran through her room didn’t help either, especially the noises that followed. Then again it almost sounded like wings flapping, along with something continuing to bang on the walls.
“Haylee!” a voice called out as someone started to knock on the door, which didn’t help with the nose that began to cause her mind to hurt. Her fear grew as something flew into the bathroom, and a raven landed on her feet as Fang and Amiee threw open her door.
“Where did that come from?” they asked after running into her bathroom seeing her face wet with both the cold water from the sink and her own salty tears… and seeing the injured raven at her feet.
Though there was something odd about it… it was a demon. Though she wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she did know one thing Fang didn’t react to it at all like he usually did. Or he got better at hiding it so he wouldn’t worry his wife.
“I don’t know how it got here…” Haylee muttered as she picked up the bird
Where’s nick… she heard in the back of her mind. Only the voice didn’t sound like hers.
He was in pain, and he was pissed- mainly at his older brother who pushed him out of the hellhole that they’ve been imprisoned in for gods knows how long. Not to mention that he was trying to find his friend and master, but he ended up here.
Stuck in the form of a bird, severely injured, and in some women’s room. Then again she had dark hair and similar eyes to Nick… please didn’t tell me that he had a kid.
Then again something about her was odd, almost like she wasn’t human, almost like a god trapped in human skin, like Acheron.
Who was this woman who carried him now… what was she?
Though those thoughts were at the forefront of his mind but then he realized he had to do something else.
Caleb needed to heal, get at least a human body, and find Nick. He needed to free his Brother, and he needed to prevent the end of the world. Nick could be losing it or manipulated to the point that he will help birth the destruction of the world.
Chapter 5: Chapter 4
Haylee didn’t know what to do with the crow that was constantly perched on her shoulder, almost like how Wren’s monkey when he came into Sanctuary. Though unlike Marvin, the Crow stayed still and didn’t really like people. In fact, Haylee was pretty sure it didn’t like her much either, especially since the bird would peck her from time to time.
Now that she thought about it, the crow seemed to peck at her as she walked past some of the more… strange patrons.
“Ow!” Haylee hissed after she set a plate of Appetizers down by Kyle and Eros as they played poker. Gods, this bird was pissing me off! Haylee thought as she rubbed her head- while making sure she wasn’t bleeding because of the sharp beak.
“You okay?” Psyche asked.
“Yeah,” Haylee said, “but I’m about ready to drop kick this bird out of the restaurant and let it rot. It won’t stop pecking at me!.”
“What happened to it?” the goddess asked.
“I honestly don’t know it just appeared in the room I was staying in… I think its wing is broken.”
“Here’s another problem with it,” Eros said, not looking up from his cards, “it’s a demon that’s suck in a bird form. He’s probably just as angry as you. And no I can’t do anything about your current predicament Malphas.”
That last part, Eros was talking to the bird, which caused everyone to raise an eyebrow at him.
“What?” Eros asked, “He used to play with us until he disappeared a few years back. He was the dark-haired demon who almost killed you a couple of times and tended to compare you with a guy he was roped into protecting.”
“Wait… hold on,” Haylee said, “if it is a demon, then why it- he suddenly appear in my room?”
Eros shrugged, “that I don’t know… until he’s able to transform, you won’t know the answer to that. And to answer your next question, no, I don’t have the power to force into transforming. But I know someone who could. A son of Hecate, probably can’t get him to come here but I think I have a way to contact him…”
“Did Dagon actually give you his phone number,” psyche asked, “I thought he hated you?”
“No,” Eros muttered, “the crazed Celtic god knows where to find him.”
“You mean Aeron?” Haylee asked, and the mention of that name the cr- the demon cawed and flapped its wings a little.
“That’s the one,” Eros said, “he’s usually around once the bar closed for the humans. Usually with two demons. Or at times it’s him and Thorn.”
And maybe I can leave the demon with Aeron, Haylee thought, and it will be out of my life.
Oh, I wouldn’t count on that…
There was a sharp pain that went through Nick’s skull. He didn’t know why his head was hurting or why he had these flashes of familiar faces that were only clear for a second before fading into darkness.
“Nick...Nick…” he could hear a girl's voice saying his name a few times before it like the imagines in his head of people he didn’t know disappeared from his head.
“Hey, you okay over there?” a voice asked, but nick knew that they weren’t sincere about that. In fact, Ethon could care less about him. He just wanted to make sure Nick wasn’t going Malachai on them all- that almost all of the dark hunters thought that there was no way of saving him.
Nick was born to destroy the world, and there was no way he could stop that.
But there was something about the girl he took in all those years ago, Haylee, that made him believe that he wasn’t an evil creature. He didn’t have to end the world, and the people he saw- the ones he couldn’t remember could help. He was sure of it.
And Haylee could be the key to that. He didn’t know why or how but the aura she had given him hope.
He wasn’t a monster, and he was going to prove it.
Chapter 6: Chapter 5
“Malphas is free,” a woman exclaimed, which caused the too men by her to look over in surprise. Mostly because Nashira was a quiet creature who preferred to be left alone with her husband, especially that day… Nashira felt like she failed Nick and his mother. None of Nick’s generals was able to help them. Nashira wasn’t fast enough, Areon and his demons got caught up in their own battles, one of Dagon’s sisters attacked him, and Caleb and Xev were imprisoned. Simi had to protect her Akri. And they no longer had Nekoda… but then again, one could say that because of Simi, she will be reborn in this world.
Not all of it was due to the fact that Simi had freed Kody’s mother. The major reason was that there couldn’t be two Sephiroth and Nick could only have on anchor.
Still… Nashira had failed to protect Cherise along with the rest of them. Even Simi had tried near the end…
But when she felt Caleb’s power on the mortal plan again, he was freed, he can help them all. Maybe they didn’t have to bring the teenage annoyance that was Nick into this time to talk with himself. Even though that’s what Ambrose was doing now, with Nashira’s and Takeshi's help. He believed that a demon gave him the power to travel threw time… but it was them. He needed to stay on this path even though everyone was against it.
Especially Savitar, knowing nick he could mess up everything they were working towards. But it needed to be done and hopefully, this time around Nick wouldn’t do something stupid. And doom them all.
Four hours later and she still couldn’t get rid of the demon on her shoulder. And even though there was a way to help Maphas- even though said help hasn’t shown up at sanctuary and Haylee wasn’t able to find the Celtic god either. Then again, she wasn’t really allowed to leave the bar to do so… at least not until she found a way to escape.
So here she was enjoying her freedom while looking for a god, hopefully, before the bears and wolves find her missing.
“Would you please stop that!” She snapped at her unwanted companion as he kept cawing in her ear and turning its head occasionally hitting her with the side of his beak. Almost like he was trying to get her attention or looking around.
The joggers that were out in the early morning hours gave her weird looks because of the bird perched on her shoulder and because she was talking to it — or hissing in anger at it because Malphas refused to behave.
“What is your problem now?” She growled under her breath.
Would you like a list of all my problems? And you think I like being stuck like this? A voice asked, surprising Haylee.
Did the bird … she thought before shaking her head, and she must be hearing things. Because there was no way, the bird can talk. But remember he is a demon, so maybe he is talking to you. Come on Haylee you live in a world of gods and monsters, so a bird talking into your head is plausible.
Wait a second… why didn’t that last thought come first?
“Was… was that you Malphas?” She asked.
Yes, She heard the voice sigh, I’m surprised you never heard me before now . I’ve been screaming at you for a while now, but you ignored me.
“So that gives you the right to peck at me and caw loudly into my ear?”
Oh, please, you would do the same if you were in my shoes. You try being imprisoned for gods know how many years. Then end up in the form of an animal, and unable to turn back. Not knowing what stupid things Nic- oh nevermind you wouldn’t understand mortal.
“Do you know,” Haylee trailed off wondering if the name that just popped into her head was the one Malphas started to talk about. Haylee cleared her throat before she finished her question, a question she needed to ask, “Do you know Nick Gautier?”
How do you know him?!?!?!
“I’m his squire,” Haylee said, “and he’s almost like an older brother to me. Ash allowed me to become his official squire when… well, he said that I was around the same age as Nick was when he became a squire to Kyrian.”
Nick became a dark hunter, Haylee could both hear, and the fell the crow’s sadness, that means she’s gone too…
Haylee had a feeling who she was… the blonde women in some of the pictures around his house. His mother.
Haylee looked down at her feet, not knowing what to say after that.
“Haylee!” a male voice called out, causing her to snap her head up, only a few feet away was a red-haired man who looked so angry.
She gulped, they found out about Haylee sneaking away.
Jared? The bird asked, making the anger of Jared’s face turn into shock.
“Caleb?” He asked.