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Rippled Water 2


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. It just occurred to me that Dean seems to have superhero strength. Even though I’m not that big, five feet and one inch tall and 95 pounds, I was a shrimp for an eighth grader, but I was still enough to cause at least some strain to whoever was holding my weight. But Dean lifted me like I was a feather. Hm…. that’s odd.

Before I could ponder on the thought anymore, Dean had me on the ground, and I found out that it’s a lot harder to walk on solid ground after you’ve been flying for a while. I stumbled, and Dean caught me. He laughed.

“Hey.” I whined. “Why aren’t you all jelly in the legs like me?”

Dean totally side-stepped the question and asked me how I liked the ride.

Then it was like he was hypnotizing me with his great looks because I totally forgot all about my previous question. “Oh, yes! I totally liked the rainbow the most! It was beautiful!” I cried.

Dean guided me, with my still jelly legs, over to the water. We stared at it for a while.

“It’s gorgeous.” I whispered.

“It’s rippled water.” Dean said. I looked at him questioningly.

He told me “Every ripple in the water is so unique, each one different.” He looked at me. “Did you know that even though they are all different, somewhere in the water, two ripples, are the exact same?” He looked back out to the water, while he slid his arm around my waist. “Same angle, same length. They’re more like each other than anyone in the universe.”

I leaned my head against his shoulder. I was pretty sure that the last sentence he said, he wasn’t referring to ripples in the water anymore.

I hugged him around the waist, while he had his arms around me. I leaned my face up to his. “Has my ripple of water found its perfect match?” I whispered.

“Does this answer your question?” He leaned his head down and kissed me.

Gosh! I even knew it was coming and it still swept me away. I almost stumbled, but Dean held me up with his strong arms and I weaved my arms around his neck.

He kissed me again. “Matches are together, forever,” he whispered as he kissed me again. “And ever.”

I liked the sound of that. Dean and me, together, forever. We stood there on the beach for, I don’t know how long. It seemed like forever.

The next thing I know, we were lying next to each other on the sand, his arm around me and my head on his chest. We fell asleep like that, and the cool thing is, I didn’t even feel the cold; all I felt was Dean’s warm skin against me.



When I woke up to the bright sunlight in my eyes, I felt myself still on Dean. I quietly rose. Before I could pull myself all the way off him, I felt his arms pull me back to the sand. He kissed me gently on the cheek.

“Where are you going?” He whispered.

“I- I didn’t want to wake you.” I stammered. His kiss sent my heart beating, frantically.

Dean chuckled. “I was awake the whole time. But I didn’t mind having you in my arms.” He smiled at me.

Wow. He is SO gorgeous.

I laid there, in his arms for the next couple of minutes, and then, out of curiosity, I leaned my head up to look at him and asked “What are we going to do today?”

He smiled. “I figured you were going to say that.” He hesitated. “I’ve noticed how you love the ocean, and you love to investigate. I thought we would go exploring today. There is some majestic looking caves up there,” he pointed, “and don’t worry, I’ll preclude you from hurting yourself.” He gave me a tantalizing grin and pulled me to my feet.

I rolled my eyes, but I couldn’t help smiling back at him. He was too cute to be mad at, so, obstinately I acted like I was really mad at him and shoved my bottom lip into pout mode.

“Aw, come on, Mal!” He joked with me. “I was just kidding!” Then he whispered in an irresistible voice. “Please, forgive me?”

I hesitated before grinning. How could I even ACT mad at Dean…. Uh-oh. I forgot his last name already. What was it? Um… it was like hearty. No it was heartfeely. No…. HEARTFIELD! Yeah that was it. Who could stay mad at Dean Heartfield for even one second? Well not Mallory Swane that was for sure. I skipped over to him and entwined my fingers with his. I let him lead me to the ocean while explaining to me that this exploration could be pretty dangerous for me but no worries because he would keep me safe.

Psht! That very sad. I’ve only known Dean for around a week and he already knows that I’m clumsier than the normal person. Very sad indeed.

As we approached the rocky bluffs, I realized where we were going, and why this activity would be dangerous. Jeesh, this would even be dangerous for a normal human being. But I had the feeling I wasn’t dealing with a normal human being. Not that I had any problem with it, though.

As I warily glanced at the waves pounding on my possible grave, I meticulously stepped onto the first rock, letting Dean put his hand on my waist behind me. He, then, stepped onto a rock beside me, still holding onto me, he took the lead.

This was a cycle of redundancy as we stepped onto the rocks very carefully. Every couple minutes Dean would lean over a kiss me, which is very dangerous for me, because I could like, stop breathing and maybe fall over, or something. But he would always whisper to me, “Your doing great.” Or “just a few more minutes.”

But finally, we were off the death rocks and into…. A very deadly looking cave. I sighed.

Dean chuckled, like he could read my mind or something. “Just wait.” He whispered.

So I waited. For a couple seconds, he said nothing. “What?” I whispered right back to him.

He grinned, wickedly, at me. “This is where I’m going to slice you throat open!”

Chapter 8



He tried to say it ominously but I could tell he was trying not to crack up laughing. Instead, I took that job into my own hands, and fell to the stone floor laughing so hard my stomach muscles started to hurt.

After a while of just looking at me, with shock on his face, apparently not thinking it was that funny, he collapsed right beside me, laughing too.

After a couple minutes, Dean took a deep breath. “Would you like to explore the deep, dark caves now?” he offered his hand, to help me up.

“Will you come with me?” I asked, knowing he was.

Dean raised his eyebrows. “Uh, DUH. You would get yourself killed back there just by tripping over your own feet. No, you’re not leaving my sight.”

I smiled. For once in my life I was thankful for my clumsiness. It was an excuse to stay close to Dean.

He put his arm around my waist and I did the same to him. I could feel his torso muscles under his shirt. I felt like I was in a romance movie, even though we were walking into a dangerous, dark cave.

I later found out that it was more dangerous than I thought. Even more dangerous than Dean thought it would be.

As we continued down the dark tunnel, I checked out the cool stalagmites. I’ve never seen them in person. Most of them were protruding from the ground, but a few of them were hanging down in an unpalatable way. I liked the ones on the ground much more. Some of them were very tiny and thin and just looked like a stick that was stuck in the stone by some little kid. But a lot of them were pretty big as in half the size of me. A few of the stalagmites were even bigger than Dean and I put together. They were HUGE! These are what fascinated me the most.

But after we’ve travelled in silence for a few minutes we were deep in the cave and it didn’t look like it was about to stop suddenly. Right then, we heard male whispering. It sounded like there were five or six of them, and they were whispering urgently. We both froze in mid-step and looked at each other.

But then my curiosity got the best of me and I tip-toed to go see who it was. Dean tried to hold me back, but I was too quick.

When I peaked around a bend in the corner I was five very strong men wearing roguelares, like my English teacher back in Wisconsin calls them. But in my own words, I would call them long cloaks. They covered up some black pants and black shoes, but they didn’t have a shirt on, so I noticed how strong they were, and I was wondering what they were doing.

That’s when I noticed a statue of some dragon type animal thing, and it looked like they were worshiping it, because lighted candles were all around the weird statues.

The statue looked like a horse head, kind of, but it had slanted eyes, almost like a snake, it also had spikes on top of its head, where, normally, its mane would be. I also noticed its tongue was long and slender and sticking out of its mouth.

“It’s a Palmer.” Dean whispered, behind me. “They are the most evil creatures in Kanzano. You never want to cross one of their paths. Even though they are just a myth.”

“A myth?” Somehow, I found it hard to believe this Palmer creature was make-believe when these creepy men in robes were here worshiping it.

“Yeah,” He answered. “When I was a little kid, there were stories about Palmers. They were meant to scare us into staying in bed at night, but they made me and my friends curious, so we would sneak out to try and find them.” He chuckled, apparently remembering back to when he was a little kid. “We would wander around the forest yelling ‘here palmer, palmer, palmer!’”

I smiled, imagining him and his friends as cute little kids, wandering around a huge forest, calling for some ‘imaginary’ creatures. “Stories?” I asked, wondering what the stories were.

“Yeah, they were really cheesy actually. They were all about how don’t go into the woods at night or else the ‘Palmers’ will see you. Or make sure you don’t go near the ‘such and such’, especially at night. It was silly but it made us curious. We were about eight or nine.”

“You and who?” I asked. I didn’t see him hanging around anyone his age besides me.

His face became sad. “There was an accident. We were all messing around and-“

“What do you two think you’re doing in here?” A deep, thunderous voice boomed behind us.

Uh-oh. We both twirled around and found ourselves face to face with all five of the men. And if I thought they were strong before, I hadn’t imagined them up close. I could see every line of muscles in their stomachs.

Dean immediately put his arms around me from behind, protectively.

“Um, we were just…” Dean began.

“Just WHAT?” The first guy demanded.

“Um…”

I think we were both so stunned about these guys’ strength that we couldn’t think straight.

“That’s what I thought.” The first guy said.

“Hey, aren’t you the little boy we took a couple years ago with your friends and you were the only survivor?”

I could feel Dean tense. Hm… so that’s what happened. I would ask him more about it later.

His arms wrapped around me more tightly. Very protectively. I clenched my teeth together, wondering what would happen now. Dean seemed scared, whether it was for me, or for himself, or both of us, I wasn’t sure, but I knew I should probably be scared too, but I couldn’t bring myself to be scared. I felt safe with Dean.

But at that point I knew I ‘spoke too soon’ even though I only said it in my head. Because right then, all of the men looked at me.


“Well, if it isn’t little Mallory Swane.” One of the men teased. How they knew my name, I had no idea but that’s when I started to get nervous.

“Um… Dean. I think we should leave now.” I said my voice barely above a whisper.

The men grinned. Dean started to pull me away, when the first man chuckled.

“Oh, Dean. Dean, Dean, Dean. You don’t think we will actually let you go? Did you?” He laughed again, and all the other creepy men joined in. “Not after you saw what we were doing?”

“RUN!” Dean grabbed my hand and pulled me along after him. My heart started racing even faster, and no doubt that if my heart was attached to my feet we would definitely get away. But, seeing how these men were big and strong, I should’ve figured that they were fast too. Because they were. We weren’t running for more than three seconds when I felt big, strong arms wrap around my stomach, catching my arms in between. Then I felt Dean’s hand pulled out from mine and a jumble of motion sent my heart into panic mode. I tried to struggle but it was useless.

Before I knew it the man’s arm was wrapped around my stomach, hugging me close to him and his other hand was squeezing my wrists together behind my back.

Once things settled down, and I could see what was happening I saw Dean, and three of the five men were holding him away. He looked enraged; there was no fear in his eyes. “Don’t touch her!” He spat at the guy holding me.

At that comment, the guy holding me just pulled me closer to him. I didn’t think we would ever get out. My eyes brimmed with unwanted tears.

“Please,” I begged, “we won’t tell anyone, anything.” I begged. Just talking sent the unwelcomed tears spilling over my cheeks. I was ashamed. “Just please let us go!” After that my tears wouldn’t stop. Apparently, my fear was attached to my tear ducts.

I looked at Dean through blurry eyes. Along with rage, I saw something else in his eyes as he looked at me. Pain. He didn’t like seeing me cry. I tried to quit. I should be strong, for Dean. I couldn’t though, they just kept coming. As soon as my tears started to recede, I heard the one man that wasn’t holding anyone, I’m guessing he was the leader. “We’ll take them to Queen Lamia. See what she says.” He said.

This triggered more fear. I managed to hold back the tears for a couple minutes. That is until my guy started pushing me along in front of him. He pushed me so hard once that I fell straight to the ground and skinned my knees and hands. The guy, I figured out later his name was Arson, pulled me back up and just started pushing me again, but without letting go of my wrists so I wouldn’t fall again. What confused me though was we were going deeper into the cave, not toward the entrance.

I heard Dean behind me, struggling to free himself, begging for them to let me go and just take him.

After ten minutes of being dragged along in this dark cave, I had no strength left. I kept stumbling, and Arson was getting impatient with me. I was pretty sure my wrists were bruised from his hands and my legs were bruised from tripping on all the rocks.

After a moment of silence I heard Dean. “Please. Please just let us rest for a while. I can tell Mallory is really exhausted.”

The men holding Dean told the leader, Carson, that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to rest some.

Carson accepted, so the men pushed us to the ground and then I saw Carson rummage in a bag that I never noticed he was carrying. I saw him get out some….rope. Oh no.

Carson tossed some to Arson, then tossed some to the other three men. They roughly tied our wrists behind are back and Arson simply said “Duct tape.” Carson gave him an amused look but took out a roll of duct tape for him. Once I realized he was going to tape my mouth shut I started begging him not to.

“Please! Please, no! Don’t-“

But he did. And once he did he blew our lantern out, Dean tried to protest, but all I heard we muffles so he must be duct taped, too.

After a while, I sensed Arson very close. I felt his breath on my neck. My neck? Then I felt something warm on my neck. When I figured out what it was I whimpered. This couldn’t POSSIBLY get any worse.

The warm thing on my neck was his lips, and they were slow and careful at first. Then they weren’t so careful, and they were curious and eager.

I whimpered again, and I could hear Dean trying to ask what was wrong.

“Arson? How ‘bout it?” I heard Carson say.

“Whatever.” Arson answered quickly, and then soon got back to his exploration. He was really low on my neck right now, and kept getting lower every second.

I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I soon found out. Carson was asking if he could join him!

I soon felt Carson on my other side exploring the other side of my neck.

I whimpered. These guys were horrible. I could tell that Dean was very alarmed right now, and he was trying to find me, but I’m guessing those guys were preventing him.

I felt one hand pull up my shirt and under. A hand from the other side followed their lead.

I started crying and whimpering. I didn’t know what they were going to do. This wasn’t at all great. It was scary, and I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

We stayed that whole night I’m guessing and once Carson left and he was replaced with a whole different pair of hands and lips.

That continued the whole night and I never got any sleep. I couldn’t. They were using me, and I didn’t know how far they would go. I was scared out of my wits. I was crying the whole night, as the huge, rough hands, went below my belly button to above my rib cage.

When it was time to go in the morning, the lantern was lit and I could see that these strange men no longer had their robes on, just their black pants. They were still shirtless, and that really crept me out.

They ripped the tape off our mouths and I could see Dean glaring at Arson. His nostrils flared and I could tell he was ticked. Then he looked at me, worried. I was still crying. I looked down at my body. It looked the same as it did yesterday, except my bruised, bloody and dirty legs. It felt all different though. I could feel their hands still on me, I could feel their touch.

When Arson wrapped his arm around my stomach, I tensed up. He picked me up and dragged me instead of pushing me. I honestly didn’t think I could walk even if I was forced to. I had no energy at all. After only a couple seconds I fell unconscious, so exhausted.

When I woke up I was in a dirty cell, but the only way I could tell it was a cell because it had one small bed, a small sink, and a very dirty mirror. The whole room was concrete except for a door and a very tiny window in the corner. The window couldn’t off been larger than my hand.

I tried to stand up, and as I did, I realized I had a thick chain clamped around my ankle. I followed the chain with my gaze and it lead across the room and was cemented to the ground. Any chance I thought I had at escape before was completely gone now.

I looked around the room. No one was here, so I just let the tears come. I fell to the floor, my hair limply falling around my face, the chain attached to me loudly clanking to the ground. I felt my hot tears flow steadily down my face.

I wondered where Dean was, and if they did anything to him. Then I remembered what they did to ME, and that started a fresh wave of tears.

I fell asleep on that dirty cement floor, thinking of what I would say to my mom if I ever got back home.

Chapter 9


I heard a clamoring of voices behind my closed lids, and I thought I better open my eyes. But I couldn’t. I felt like I was drugged or something or maybe paralyzed. But then I heard a familiar voice yelling to get away from her. I’m guessing that ‘her’ is me and somebody coming close to me. My eyelids flew open in panic.

I was lying on the ground. The first thing I saw was the dirty cement ceiling. It looked just like a floor would. I could even see people standing up their. I saw a huge throne and the bare legs of a woman. I saw the guards from last night. They were holding Dean. All but one. One was walking toward a girl, lying on the floor. Her hair hung limply hanging behind her and her eyes looked so scared, but curious. It upset me to see this girl look so scared. It upset me even more when I realized this girl was me!

Was I dead? Did I die in my sleep? No, if that was the case, the girl’s eyes wouldn’t be open. Or, my eyes, I mean.

I groggily lifted my head of cement and looked around. So did the girl on the floor. But then I realized what I’m looking at isn’t the floor at all. It’s a mirror ceiling! So I’m looking at everything around me!

But then, realizing that my eyes really did look that scared, I was disturbed. Why was I so scared? Did I look scared all the time?

I saw a man kneeling in front of the thrown. “Your Majesty, we found these interlopers on our Supplication Territory.” He said. “One of them is Dean, the boy who got away.” He added.

“And the girl?” A very cold, harsh female voice rasped.

The man merely shrugged. “But she is very pretty.”

“SILENCE!” The woman shrieked, while banging some sort of staff on the floor.

“But, of course, not as gorgeous as you, Queen Lamia.” The man stammered.

Oh, so this woman right in front of me was the evil Queen Lamia. I couldn’t actually see her, but I could hear everything she was saying. I have to tell you, I was a little freaked out. I kept hearing her say things like ‘Oh, he didn’t mean that.’ Or ‘calm down, my pretties.’ This totally sounds like the evil queen in the movie ‘Snow White’.

I didn’t know what to make of it, especially when I kept hearing a sound like air being let out of a balloon. It was a soft, quiet, hissing sound. Sometimes, though, it got louder.

“Bring the girl HERE!” the ruthless voice commanded.

This sent Dean into frenzy. “Don’t you DARE! You stay away from her!” He looked at me. “Run, Mal! Run!”

I hesitated. I wasn’t leaving without Dean! I shook my head at him. He seemed to read my mind, because he shouted “Mallory! Don’t worry about me just RUN!” He looked panicked, and when Dean looked panicky, it wasn’t a good sign, so I turned toward the door and ran as fast as I could. The guards must’ve been in shock or something, because I would’ve thought that they would’ve caught up with me already.

A normal girl would’ve gotten to the door in a couple seconds. But I was running so fast, and, well, you know me. I stumbled a few times, but always balanced myself before completely falling. When I got to the door I went down the first hallway I saw.

It was a long hallway, with no door ways so I just kept running. Once, twice, maybe three times I fell and bruised my hands and knees. Ok, it was like ten times but still.

After, what felt like, forever I heard heavy footsteps behind me. I forced my legs to go even faster. I was freaking out. I had no idea what was going to happen.

Then, I don’t know what my foot got caught on, but I went sprawling. My elbows and knees hit the ground hard and my breath caught in my lungs. I was having hard time breathing when my pursuer caught up with me. I realized I was crying.

The person grabbed my shoulders with strong arms and I struggled to free myself. I lashed out at the person, twisting and turning trying to get him away from me in any way possible. But he was too strong. Although, I realized his arms were going around me and pulling me close to him. It felt familiar. I looked up, and gave a sigh of relief. It was Dean.

I collapsed right there on the floor, sobbing my eyes out lying in his arms. I was so scared. After a few minutes I pulled away from him and stood up. He stood up too.

I gave him an accusing glare. “Why did you do that?”

He looked at me, confused. “What did I do?”

“You should’ve called out my name or something! I was so scared! I thought it was those guards! I was panicking!”

He gave me another confused look. “Mallory. I was. I was shouting your name the whole time.”

I gave him a startled look and strained my brain to remember. No. No, I didn’t hear my name at all. Confused and exhausted, I started to cry again.

Dean put his arm around my waist. “Come on. Let’s get outta here.”

I liked the sound of that and silently agreed. As soon as we started to walk, I heard footsteps and then a deep voice.

“Yeah, I don’t think so.”

I sighed. Not again!

“Run.” Dean whispered to me. He grabbed my hand, and without looking back started to run. Fortunately, this time, I didn’t stumble, but unfortunately, those men behind us were very fast runners. They were upon us in less than five seconds, and I could feel them pulling Dean away from me. I tried to keep a good hold of his hand, but it was useless. And, plus, those men were grabbing me and pulling my hair. I soon realized that I had a knife to my neck and it was already puncturing my skin. I froze.

“Hey, Sweetheart, I’m sorry but Queen Lamia still requests to see ya.” The man with the knife to my throat chuckled. All the other men backed off when they saw I calmed down. “Walk.” The man ordered. When I didn’t he pressed the knife into my neck. “This would go a lot more smoothly if you would just LISTEN!” The man growled.

“Where is Dean?” I demanded a lot more confidently than I actually felt.

The man chuckled again, pressed the knife point painfully into my neck, and pushed me forward. The knife almost was shoved completely through my throat, so I decide to walk.

As we enter the room I just fled from a couple minutes ago the first thing I see is Dean, chained to a wall. Then I saw the golden throne, where Queen Lamia was sitting. Again, all I could see was her legs. Her foot was dressed up in pink high heels, ones that I didn’t see in a land like this one, and it was tapping impatiently.

I looked at Dean. His eyes were full of fear, for me. I looked away as I was shoved in front of the thrown. I fell down on my knees, and when I looked up I saw Queen Lamia. That’s when I finally realized what that hissing sound was. And why Dean was so scared



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