I leave DoJo sitting on the bed while I go and gather and chop wood. I decide to access the extra strength of a bear, enjoying my new abilities, and how much easier my chores are with them. The only problem being that I get done rather quickly, and now have to go back into the cramped space with the woman who makes me want to lose control, and keep from doing so. Talk about practicing self torture.
I return my muscles to normal and grab a pile of wood. I bring it in, put it down, and go back out for another load.
Just as I fill my arms I hear a grating voice yelling, "Alexander!"
Only one being calls me that. I don't want him anywhere near DoJo.
I drop the wood and run to Helios as fast as I can without accessing my new abilities, my gut says that would be a bad idea.
When I reach him he gives me the grin that always makes me feel uneasy. How can someone so unsettling be the powerful being that made, and rules Hunters I wonder, and not for the first time.
"I checked the traps you made." Helios informs me, "A few have been sprung, but one got my prey, I can smell her blood all over the area."
My eyebrow raises. "Smell? You mean they got away?"
Helios nods his head while glaring at me. "It would seem that your trap wasn't as good as you're known for being."
I laugh. "Maybe you didn't give me enough information to make the perfect trap, catching powerful creatures is all in the details." I state bitingly.
He snarls, "I told you what you needed to know."
"Obviously not." I snap, "Or you'd have your prey, lying dead in the trap they triggered."
"The Luna will be dead, or wishing she is, soon enough!" He bellows, "She can't avoid her fate forever!"
I shrug my shoulders. "Not my problem, I did the job I was paid for."
Helios turns and storms away.
I wait a few minutes before walking back slowly, making sure Helios, nor anyone else, is following me.
As I walk I think about everything Helios has told me about his prey. Obviously it's a female, and they get their strength from silver, they're powerful enough to need weakening, they got injured in one of my traps, but got free, and didn't he just call her Luna?
I stop in my tracks. It can't be. DoJo is his prey?
I pull the skills of a leopard forward. I sniff the air, nothing around worth worrying about, so I take off at a sprint, heading straight to the woman who drives me crazy and yet I can't be without.
I run into the small cabin, and stare at the woman building a fire. She looks up at me and smiles. I instantly fill with guilt and regret.
I return to normal, and rub my face before asking, "The silver on your leg, does that have to do with your blood?"
DoJo stands and nods her head. Then she explains, "I've got a high amount of silver in my blood, it comes in handy when fighting Demons. You'd be surprised how many of them have silver as a weakness."
I nod my head. I know this well from my studies.
I cross the room and pull her into my arms as my eyes fill with tears. "I didn't know." I assure her in a hoarse whisper.
"Know what?" She inquires sweetly as she raises a hand to my face.
I lean into her hand for a moment before I answer, "That it was you who Helios was trying to kill."
Her hand goes still. "Helios is the one who put me in this heat, and killed my mate." She informs me as sadness fills her eyes.
"He said he was taking down the enemy of all hunters." I explain, "It's the only reason I took the job of designing the traps."
She chuckles, it's dry and humorless. "Demons are great at almost telling the truth. I'm his enemy. And the enemy of those who follow him. Have been since I killed Selene."
"Demon?" I question, not hiding my surprise at all.
She looks into my eyes, and a grin spreads on her lips. "You mean you don't know that Helios is one of the most powerful Demons currently running free?"
I shake my head. "How did a demon make Hunters?" I ask as I hold her tighter.
DoJo laughs and then replies, "He didn't, God did. He just took credit, and used Hunters for his own purposes. Just like Selene did with werewolves."
I shake my head.
"That's why your specialty of demon hunting wasn't encouraged, or called on." She explains before lying her head on my chest.
I can't believe what a fool I've been.
She takes a deep breath. "If you designed the trap, you know what it is doing to me." DoJo points out.
I nod my head and explain, "The trap is laced with powdered pyrite."
"Fools gold?" She asks in shock.
I nod my head. "It contains sulfur, which attacks silver."
"Oh." She replies, "This is going to suck."
"What is?" I inquire as she slips out of my arms and makes her way back to the bed.
"I need a bucket." She states.
I get one out from under the sink and give it to her.
She looks at it like someone who is about to puke. "I'm trusting you." She whispers, still staring at the large bucket.
I stare at her, not sure what she's talking about, or how to respond.
She grimaces as she turns her nails into claws. Then I watch as silver pours out of all her claw nails, some of it dull from the sulfur that's destroying it, making it almost look like rust.
The bucket fills, and she looks weak. DoJo looks at me and manages to whisper, "Next bucket."
I run outside and get another large bucket, wondering how she can do it, drain herself like that. I run back inside with it and place it in front of her after removing the full one.
DoJo looks up at me and smiles weakly. "It's up to you to keep me safe."
I nod my head as the silver pours out again.
The bucket is just over half full when it slows to drips. A few moments later she slumps over. I rush to catch her before she hits the ground and place her gently in the bed. After I pull the blankets over her I turn and look at the buckets.
I suddenly realize that I need to eliminate the smell. I hurry to get lids, so I can seal them up. Then I put lots of cedar in the fire, and take the buckets away from the cabin to bury them, careful not to go so far that I won't be able to protect her if someone tries to attack.
As I step back in the cabin without incident I breathe a sigh of relief. Then I gaze at her and realize she never got mad at me for my part in hurting her, and still chose to trust me with her safety. "I'm not sure I could do the same if the roles were reversed." I admit, knowing she can't respond.