Dream Walker

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Chapter 33 Aki

I stirred from a dreamless sleep to find the room in Paimon’s house, the doctor was gone and no one else was there but me. The room had a huge window that took up nearly an entire wall showing the forest beyond. The rest of the room was rather empty a desk and chair that looked like it belong in a castle like this was against the far wall. The armchair the doctor had been sitting in was still near the foot of the bed. A large bookshelf was near the door and a few paintings decorated the wall. I was surprised I had no idea a castle was this close to my own home, and wanting to look more outside I shifted my way out of the bed. The machines that had been keeping me alive while I slept were missing, which made me feel better as I tried to stand. I fell back on the bed the moment I tried to put weight on my legs. Panic filled me as I realized I wasn’t able to hold my own body weight. “It has been a few months since your body moved.”

I jerked my head up to see a man I didn’t recognize stepping into the room nearly taking up the entire door frame. He looked almost identical to Paimon in human form but the eyes were the same shade as Richelle. “Who are you?”

The man smiled. His hair unlike Richelle’s was straight as rain and pulled back in a ponytail that was flipped over his left shoulder ending about the middle of his pectoral muscle. “Asking so many questions. Father was right, you are a curious one.”

I froze, he had to be Pai’s son. Now that was a scary thought, this was a prince of hell. “What do you want?”

He lifted both hands showing they were empty. “Father said when you woke you’d likely be too weak to move right but as you are no longer hooked to the machine’s you might need help.”

He smirked. “ It’s a shame they left you in that ugly hospital gown… though if it’s like normal ones tied in the back I wouldn’t mind a peek.”

If it had been Leo or Brent I’d likely be blushing right now but I found myself actually insulted for some reason. “Look whoever you are. I’m taken and not interested, I can manage to get to a bathroom on my own without your help.”

He smirked and it was identical to Paimon.” Really? Prove it.”

I took a deep breath and focused on my legs, drawing magic from within me to focus it inside my legs. I felt the spell work in my legs start to wake. “Hermes.”

The stranger tilted his head and I grinned before standing. “So since this room has only one door I guess I find the bathroom out in the hall?”

He laughed and clapped. “Impressive! Spells that have been written into your body to help with physical movements. David’s idea?”

I blinked. “You know my dad?”

He nodded. “ Of course I do. Your father is very well known to my family. And to answer you no it’s not out in the hall.”

He moved to the wall to his right, pressing against the bookshelf it slid open like a sliding door and beyond I could glimpse a tiled room. “Enjoy. You’ll find your clothes, cleaned and waiting for you inside. But if you need a little help washing up I’d be happy to help.”

I glared at the man. “Who are you?”

He laughed. “Aki, Or Prince Aki if you prefer. You are a guest of my parents.”

I nodded slightly. “I thought you might be.”

He bowed fully at the hips one hand tucked against his belt line the other waving out to his side to make the move far more formal then it needed to be. “If you change your mind I’d be more than happy to treat you like a princess.”

His voice danced with laughter making me glare more. “No thank you, Aki. You can leave now.”

He sighed a hand moving over his heart. “Ouch… But I think I’ll wait here for you, don’t want you getting lost in the castle now do we?”

I opened my mouth then closed it to think about it. “What is it with this place anyway?”

He smirked. “A security system of course. Only members of the family can use the doorways properly. Others tend to get lost in the maze that is this castle. The rest of us can trigger the doorways to take us to any room we wish.”

I nodded. “ That’s pretty useful and smart. But what’s to keep me from just jumping out the window?”

Aki smirked and picked up a book from the shelf and threw it at the window so fast I couldn’t even blink. When the book struck the glass it only made a thunk before it hit the floor a shimmer of light danced across the glass before going back to normal. “Honestly, if you spelled the doorways you didn’t think we’d spell the windows?”

He was way too amused at me. “Point.”

He walked closer to me, putting me on edge. “I did tell you I wasn’t interested.”

Aki sent a wicked smirk my way. “ Oh, I know. Don’t worry. I’m one of those that prefer an invitation before putting my hands on a woman. This room has no chairs. I was going to sit on the bed and wait.”

I felt a blush take over my face.” Fine.”

I hurried past him into the bathroom, turning to the open doorway I noticed a small handle on the back of the shelf and pulled the door closed.

Now that I was alone once more I felt better. The bathroom was stiles in black and white tiles, a little more modern than I would have expected for the rest of the building, but the kitchen had been as well.

I didn’t think getting down in a bath was a good idea, A quick shower would work after nature’s call was taken care of. When I was washed, dressed, and thankfully having found an unopened toothbrush set out for me, teeth brushed I ended up in front of the bathroom mirror brushing out my hair I fluffed out my hair, tugged down my shirt slightly then frowned looking closer into the mirror. I yanked the neck of the shirt down and let out a breath. Leo’s bonding mark was still on my chest, all nine points perfect but where Brent had marked me the skin was healed. I dashed to the bathroom door and slid it open so fast a few of the items fell off. Aki was up, startled by my actions. “What’s wrong?!”

I stormed out of the bathroom. “What the hell happened? Why is my Shifter Mate mark gone!?”

Aki blinked at me a moment then let out a breath then laughed. “ Oh that. I thought something was wrong.”

I growled. “It is wrong! My mark is gone! What the hell happened?”

Aki shrugged. “ You can ask the mutt yourself when you go home. Now, are you ready? Father has been waiting months for you to wake.”

I opened my mouth then closed it, bitting back my anger. “ Fine.”

Aki led the way through the door frame and we found ourselves in the Grand Library. Paimon was sitting alone in the same sitting area as before but now the collection of books around him were more. All open and it looked as if he was researching something glancing up as we came near. “ Ah good! Finally, you are up and awake.”

I ended up in the same chair and Aki sat down on a free couch off to the side kicking his feet up on the edge of the table. “So now what?”

Pai chuckled. “Don’t worry I will send you home soon. First, what is the quest you were given?”

I frowned at him.” I have a certain amount of time to hunt down those that killed off the Dream Walkers and hand them to the Goddess. I also have to learn the ritual to summon her properly and respectfully.”

He nodded. “ I like it, very similar to what I wished of you. But the ritual will not be easy to learn. The Dream Walkers kept it to themselves.”

Aki spoke up. “ Why not find a soul of a dead Dream Walker to teach her?”

Paimon waved a hand. “ Dream Walkers are different when they die, their souls return to their Mother Goddess and into her care normally.”

Pai sat back thinking. “ Seems we will have to trust you with a secret Sarah.”

Aki sat up. “Father..”

Paimon sent a look to him. “She will not share it with any but her Great Mother if she asks. Will you Srah?”

I swallowed. “What secret?”

Paimon smiled. “Swear you shall speak of this to no one outside of my family or your Great Goddess until I say otherwise.”

Aki did not seem amused at all for his entire face was frowning. Paimon seemed to be enjoying this moment, however. I didn’t like keeping secrets from Leo either.” Leo is in my head at times I can’t…. Wait why don’t I feel Leo?”

I touched the mark on my chest and nothing passed through it, no energy at all. “Ah, that.” Pai sighed. “When he blocked the mark and you were trapped in another Realm the mark was locked. Technically the inside of my house is still another realm. You can not reconnect the mark here. You will have to be in the same Realm as Leo for it to connect again. When you do tell him to never block it again.”

I nodded feeling better. “What about my Mate mark from the Shifter?”

Pai lifted a brow slightly.” I like how Leo’s mark was more important to you.” He chuckled. “ Your Mutt has well... Hmmm how best to put it.”

I frowned sitting forward in the chair. “What?”

Pai sighed. “ Not really a good way to say it. When everything happened and no one could find you, feel you, the Mutt went into a depressed rage. His family after the second month forced him to take on a new mate to make him stable enough to support his pack.”

I sat back in the chair, shock on my face. “But… I’m alive…”

Pai sighed. “ They had some help from their shifter magic users to place a new mate mark over your mark on him.”

Aki cleared his throat. “Since you are already dealing with the shock of this news you should know his new mate is pregnant.”

My head jerked to Aki if I hadn’t been shocked before I was now, pain racking through my body.”What?”

He got up and slowly moved to me.” His new mate became pregnant last week.”

I stared at Aki as he crouched next to me. “You should know now.”

Pai spoke up. “ Sadly my son is right. Better to tell you now. When you feel a little more stable I can introduce you to the other remaining Dream Walkers.”

My head jerked over to look at Pai. “What!?”

He smiled. “When the factions of the witches first came into being I happened to acquire a few of each bloodline and keep them contained think of it like Noah’s ark. Two of each. They have a rather limited bloodline but they have all the original histories of their factions.”

I felt totally overwhelmed. “ How long have you been planning this?”

He shrugged. “ Honestly it was a safety measure. I have breeding pairs of every animal within history as well but we were talking witches.”

I blinked. “What the hell are you some sort of collector?”

Aki laughed and Pai joined him. “Well yes. What else would you call this?” Paimon motioned to the grand library around us.

“Good point.”

Both men laughed a little. I felt a little better, distracting myself with what was around me. The fact I was

not the only living Dream Walker. “When do I get to meet them?”

Pai tapped his chin. “I would prefer now but I think Leo has been searching for you long enough.”

I felt a rush of joy go through me. “I can see him?”

Aki smiled. “ I can fetch him, Father.”

Pai shook his head. “ No need. I will summon him.”

Motioning to the fireplace Paimon mumbled words under his breath similar to the original binding spell Leo had taught me. As I watched the flames danced up until they formed a ring, a shimmering form of Leo within its center. “Leo, I summon you home.”

I heard Leo’s voice for the first time in forever. “I have told you father I must find Sarah! I can not do your bidding now.”

Pai smirked but before he could say more I pushed out of the chair. ’“ Leo!?”

In the next moment, Leo’s voice was behind me. “ Sarah?”

I spun around my heart in my throat. “Leo.”

Tears streamed down my face as I looked at my Demon. He closed the distance between us grabbing me up into his arms and kissing me with such a fierceness I stopped breathing. The mark we shared flared to life as we kissed sending power into us both, the beat of our hearts and the drawing of each breath becoming the same until all I could think, feel, and know was Leo. I don’t know how long we stayed like that but a clearing of some one’s throat had Leo finally breaking our kiss. Holding me tightly to him he looked over my head at Paimon.

“As I was trying to tell you months ago Leo. Sarah is here.”

Leo growled and it wasn’t a human sound. “You took her from me.”

Pai sighed. “Yes and no. You cut off your bond to her. I didn’t intend for you to do that, otherwise, you’d have been with her during all this. “

Leo tightened his hold on me. “I will never make that mistake again.”

Pai smiled. “ Good. Now there is much to catch you up on my son. You and your lovely princess. So sit and let’s talk. Aki, see if your mother has snacks ready, tell her Leo is home.”

I blinked still in Leo’s arms as Aki popped out just like Leo does.

“Son?” I turned to look up at Leo’s face, a still rather unhappy face.

“Sarah. This is my father Paimon. “ Aki and Richelle both entered the room. “ My mother Richelle, and my younger Brother Aki.”

My mouth fell open slightly. “Wh..”

Pai chuckled. “ Sarah. Leondris is my Eldest son. A crowned Prince of Hell.”

Richelle made an almost squee sound as she looked at me and Leo then rushed over and hugged us both. “Welcome home Leo mo grá! Oh, and Sarah, welcome to the family m’iníon.”

Pai translated for me. “Mo grá is my love, m’iníon is my daughter. And my Wife is very much right. Welcome to the family Sarah.”

Aki was grinning. “ The princess part from before.. was an inside joke.”

I looked at all of them as Leo still held me tight, Richelle had pulled back to beam at us both. I was bonded to a prince of hell and adopted into his demon family. I was seriously fucked.

Pai grinned wider and I remembered he could read my mind. “You don’t have to call me Dad unless you want to.”

My eyes went wider. Sending the king laughing, Aki joined him. Leo was not as amused and Richelle seemed to have missed the joke. “ Oh! And of course you don’t have to call me mom but I’d love it if you call me El and maybe Mama El someday!”

She sounded way too excited. “I… I’ll think about it.”

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