Dream Worlds Are Born

Story 620 ~ Dejen & Konstantin


#1

Konstantin checked the map he had acquired upon coming to this land, wanting to make sure he was still going in the right direction. He had come here looking for new stones, stones he had never seen before. A merchant passing through Protea during one of the festivals he attended with his family had marveled at his work and had traded information for a necklace. Now he was here, far across the sea and from home. He couldn’t wait to return and show his parents and siblings. The merchant had told him the story of a tower deep in the jungles of this place, had said it was rumored to be cursed, but there was supposedly a cavern beneath it full of the most beautiful stones. He was determined to find it.

Dejen stared out at the world from the top of the tower, at the beautiful jungle, at its promise of freedom and once again felt the pain of never again setting foot there. He was a prisoner here. He reached up and touched the collar around his neck, feeling the magic there that kept him just out of reach of the wilds. There was a barrier there and he had only tried crossing it once, but the collar had put him in such agonizing pain, that he had nearly died. It had been centuries of punishment and he knew it would be many more.


#2

So many mortals envied immortals like him but this was one of those situations it was more of a curse. A mortal would die and be freed of such torture eventually, he however, was truly stuck here for eternity, left to suffer even though he hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Time had long since been something he had lost track of and he wondered at times precisely how long he had been suffering like this. He knew boredom and depression could play tricks on the mind as far as time so even though he could clearly see the days coming and going he knew he couldn’t be sure. For all he knew the cohorts of the corrupt, cruel official he killed could be long gone and could have possibly long since even forgot they were doing this to him.

That or they joked about it, still getting joy over his wrongful misery. He closed his eyes and decided to find some peace again. He pictured himself as the beast within him. He reached into a memory of running through lush green grass on a warm, perfect day. His paws repeatedly hitting the ground as the wind rushed across his face. He would give anything to be able to run like that again.

A new scent pulled him out of that memory and he could tell his cat within didn’t like being back in reality. “a demon” he whispered to himself. He liked to say things out loud sometimes, just to prove to himself he could still talk. Besides, if someone did care to ever help him he had always wanted his voice to still be clear, not rough from lack of use. He wasn’t the first being to pass him by, non ever wanted to help but he tried as he always did. He had to try or truly have to live this misery until the end of time.


#3

Konstantin could feel the stones calling out to him as he tuned into the earth beneath him and pushed through the jungle overgrowth. He reached up and wiped at his face. It was much more humid here, so sweat dotted his skin even though he wasn’t even working that hard. He had been warned that the weather here had a mind of its own, that it would start raining at the most inopportune moments. At least it was warm, so he wouldn’t mind a little rain. He spotted the tip of the tower as he crested a hill and smiled. He was almost there and he couldn’t wait to see the stones. He couldn’t wait to make something for his parents and siblings. He had something special in mind for his twin baby brothers.

He felt something tingle over his skin when he finally made it to the tower and he quickly jumped back. Magic, there was a magical barrier here. His father had taught him and his brother to always be wary around unknown magic and even though he wanted to find those stones, he refused to go running headlong into potential danger. He held out his hand as he walked along the perimeter, feeling the spell. He let his sense expand out and the scent of feline filled his nose, but he ignored it. He had been told that big cats stalked the area and they weren’t something he was truly worried about.

Dejen spotted him as he came around to the side of the tower he was on. Even from where he was, he could tell the man was concentrating. Was he feeling out the barrier? If so, Dejen needed to tell him it wouldn’t hurt him, that it was made for only one person. He hopped up on the edge of the tower and jumped off, trusting the cat to help him land. Him landing caught the demon’s attention and he shifted into a fighting stance, his eyes immediately locking with Dejen’s.


#4

“I do not want to fight you demon. I’m hoping you’ll listen to me, please. My name is Dejen, did you know I’d be here?” Konstantin relaxed only a little “I was looking for stones. I’m told they are underneath this tower in a cave. What’s this magic I’m sensing?”

“It’s meant to cage me, it wont hurt you”

“why would you be caged?”

“Do you want the true story first or the one everyone is told?”

“Your truth first”

“I watched a city grow into a magnificent, wonderful place. The people respected me and I respected them. I took care of them and they took care of me until this one, terrible official came along. He was in the slave trade and I killed him for his crimes, to protect the people I had always protected but the trust I thought I had with them wasn’t as strong as I thought. Before I could shine light on who that man really was accused of cold blooded murder, beaten and caged in this tower. His cohorts destroyed what evidence there was so my story can’t be proven. I don’t even know how long ago that was, I’ve just been left to suffer for eternity since I’m immortal”

Dejen had been studying this man throughout his story, looking for the smallest sign of deception but he couldn’t find any. He still couldn’t know for certain this man was telling the truth but what he did know for sure was this all had to have happened generations ago. There was no city here any longer, it was but ruin and the story of him was now a ghost story, simply a lone tower in the woods, haunted. Konstantin told Dejen this, that there was no city and all anybody knew of his prison was that it was haunted.

“It’s really been that long?”

“I’m sorry, you seem innocent. My family is pretty skilled at reading people and I could see no deception”


#5

“I…I can’t believe it.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t imagine.” Konstantin took a step forward. “The barrier really won’t hurt me?”

“I swear, it’s meant only for me.” He touched his collar. “It’s connected to this so I can’t leave. If I try, the collar hurts me.”

“How cruel.” Konstantin stepped through the barrier and smiled at Dejen as he moved closer and held out his hand. “My name is Konstantin.”

Dejen actually froze. Now that Konstantin wasn’t standing so far away, he could actually see how beautiful he was. It was almost shocking. He blinked, shaking his head. “Sorry.” He shook Konstantin’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You as well and I’m used to the stares, don’t worry about it.”

“Maybe it’s just the fact I haven’t had anyone to talk to or look at for a really long time.”

“I don’t mind.” His smile had one tugging at Dejen’s lips. How long had it been since he had actually had cause to smile or even laugh? “If it’s not too much to ask, would you mind if I stayed here with you? I want to look for my stones, but maybe I can help you.”

“Help me? How?”

“My father taught my brother and I many things, maybe I could work on breaking the spell keeping you here.”

“You would do that? You don’t even know me.”

“I’m sure I’ll be here for awhile, so we’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other.”


#6

Dejens heart swelled with both pain and joy from the truth of how much time he had spent imprisoned and the joy of finally having someone want to help that actually, possibly could. “Thank you Konstantin”

“Hey, don’t even feel like you owe me anything alright. I’m going to get something too. I enjoy a challenge and on top of that I should find incredibly beautiful stones. Lets start with going into your tower so I can get a good look at your collar. It might take awhile for me even to get a good idea so you’ll want to sit” Dejen showed Konstantin in and they settled where he most often sat “could we talk or do you need silence?” Dejen asked, he has missed conversation immensely and he wanted to know more about this demon who would help him.

“talking wont be too distracting. If I need silence a few moments I’ll just tell you”

“did you have to travel far to get here?”

“Oh yes but no distance is too far for me when I want something”

“Does determination like that run in your family?”

“Oh yeah, from both sides” He answered with a chuckle then continued “My mom can be a little timid but she definitely has drive in her and my dad was thought to be a god by some beings for awhile”

“They were good parents?”

“yeah, in my family if you aren’t someones going to come kick your ass though my dads and my great grandpa Chthons are pretty hard to kick but then again, they are the two main ones in our family who started making their lineage kind and loving” He didn’t even know which story thread to follow. There seemed to be so much to talk about and it was a little overwhelming. Konstantin thought briefly to ask about Dejens family but they couldn’t have been close for him to end up alone here, suffering all these years. He knew his family wouldn’t have stodd for this. That city would of basically had a horde of beings here setting them straight.

After a few moments of silence Dejen went with “has anybody in your family ever had to be set straight when it came to parenting?”

“My Uncle Zeus, he was married to my Aunt Lucy. She’s my grandpas sister. He wasn’t abusive or anything but he neglected his children and made them feel unloved, by him at least. In his first life Zeus didn’t care about anybody except my Aunt Lucy. They knew their mother loved them immensely. He had a pretty rough childhood himself though. His dad actually was abusive, probably one of the most rotten kings this family has ever met. He killed many of his wives and only wanted Zeus because he was a male heir. God…his poor mother. She had many…many daughters before Zeus and she had to listen to their deaths every time they were born…just to give you some context to the kind of home Zeus was raised in.”

“How was his mother after all that and did you say in his first life?”

“His mother was just a silent shell. I hear she was incredibly heart breaking to look at but she’s happy now. She’s married to a water spirit named Neme now who adores her and gives her all the love and care she should of had in her first marriage. He’s even given her two daughters, Shri and Suka, they are amazing women”

“Good, I’m so glad she got a happy ending”

“Us too, oh when my great grandpa found out how Zeus;s mom was treated he was livid and he made sure Zeus knew his daughter would never be treated that way but I dont think there was ever any danger of that. I mean you can say what you want about Zeus Delmar but you can’t deny how deeply he loves Aunt Lucy even after I tell you the story of how his first life ended” Dejen listened intently, actually tearing up when Konstantin was reaching the end “eventually Zeus lost out completely to the drugs. He killed his father first, then he killed Lucy’s brother Noah because he tried to protect her then finally…he killed Lucy, his father had pumped so many drugs into his he was absolutely mad, he shouldnt have even been able to regain his mind. Most would have been broken forever but his love for her woke him up…though…it was too late. He couldn’t live with what he had done so he apologized to her then took his own life”


#7

“That’s so heartbreaking.”

Konstantin paused and gave Dejen a smile as he reached up and wiped at the tears on his face. “It’s alright, everything turned out good in the end.”

“I know, I can’t even begin to imagine how he must have felt.”

“You have a really big heart, you wouldn’t have watched over an entire city otherwise.” He sighed. “And this collar is going to be more complicated than I anticipated.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get it off, I promise. I won’t leave this place until you’re free.”

“I feel like I’m troubling you.”

“Not at all, I’m already enjoying your company.” He studied Dejen and the jaguar’s heart jumped, the cat within perking up. “Did your tattoos hurt?”

“Huh? Oh, no, not really.” He pushed up the sleeve of his shirt. “A lot of my kind, at least back then, got them.”

“They’re beautiful.” Dejen smiled. “There we go, that’s better, I prefer you smiling to crying or being upset.”


#8

“Your family has quite the history”

“Thats not even the tip of the ice berg. I can think of happier stories though.”

“well as long as they end happy”

“Hes an amazing father now and we also brought Lucy back to life so their lives are perfect. I mean, if you want to I can introduce you to everyone one day. We’re all pretty close to one another. We can just house hop”

“You’re that sure you can get me free…you’re making plans”

“One way or another you’re getting out of here. Even if I end up having to go get my dad”

“It’ll be so nice to finally be free…to run like I used to”

“I’m sorry, anybody would suffer like this but I know it’s even harder for an animal shifter to go through what you’ve been going through.” Dejen heard Konstantins stomach growl “You’re hungry, why don’t you go find food.”

“what do you normally eat?”

“Just anything that gets close enough normally”

“I’ll go find something incredible then, you deserve a good meal and I can at least give that to you now”


#9

“Just be careful, I know you’re a demon, but there are more than a few predators out there.”

“I’ll be safe, just try and relax.”

Dejen could feel his jaguars irritation at Konstantin leaving and he shook his head. He had been alone for so long that it was effecting the cat. He decided while Konstantin was gone to make sure everything was picked up and the sheets on his bed were changed. He had been lucky the tower at least had a well, so he could wash things and even luckier that it rained all the time in the jungle, so it never dried up. He would give his guest his bed and hoped he wouldn’t make too much of a fuss over it.

Konstantin stalked the boar, moving quietly the way his father had taught him. He waited for the creature to turn around and then he was on it and killing it. He lifted it, slinging it over his shoulders and started back to the tower. He allowed his thoughts to drift to Dejen and the collar around his neck, about the magic he had felt on it. The spell was old, the magic powerful. It hadn’t worn off in all the time it had been around Dejen’s neck. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t gone insane from being alone. He found that he wanted the jaguar to be happy, he wanted to see him smile again, to give him a new home.


#10

Dejen was trying to get the bed perfect when Konstantins scent returned. His mouth almost instantly watered when he realized what he was carrying was boar. It had been such a long time since he had something that good. Even though Konstantin had been the one to do the hunting he insisted on preparing it for them “I just want to let you try a recipe my parents taught me”

“your father cooks too?”

“he was alone a long time and most the time he and mom cook together. They just love being together that much”

“do you want to tell me more about your family Konstantin? It’s so nice having conversation with someone again”

“sure, who would you like to know more about”

“How’d your parents meet?”

“Aurel came to visit Chthon and fell in love with my mom. Aurel and Chthon had been friends when they were young. He says he knew the moment he laid eyes on her. It was hard to get my mom to come around because of how intensely shy she used to be but dad says it was worth every bit of patience and effort…I want to find the kind of love they had…I just keep reminding myself of how old my dad was when he finally found mom”

“I’m sure you will, you’re incredibly kind and beautiful”

“Thank you, I’m surprised you were single when this happened to you” his jaguar purred which made him blush. He internally told his cat to stop that. “protecting the city took all my time”


#11

“Well, once I get you out of here, you’re going to meet all sorts of people. My parents, siblings, and I travel to Protea every year for a huge festival they put on there. Protea is where my father grew up and it’s beautiful.”

“I haven’t been to a festival in a long time.”

“I sell my jewelry there, you could help me if you like.”

“Is that why you want the stones?”

Konstantin nodded. “I was told they are extraordinary.”

“I can show you after dinner.”

Konstantin’s smile had the jaguar urging Dejen closer, but he stayed planted, holding the animal back. “I would really like that, thank you.”

“It’s the least I can do, you’re doing so much for me.”

“I’d do it anyway.”

Konstantin soon had the tower filled with the delicious smell of whatever he was cooking and Dejen’s stomach growled. He hadn’t realized how truly hungry he was. Konstantin chuckled when he leaned in closer to get a better smell and let Dejen taste a little bit of it. “That’s amazing.”

“Does it need anymore salt or anything?”

“No, it’s perfect.”


#12

Once they were truly eating together it was all Dejen could do to keep any semblance of composure. He didn’t want to embarrass himself by eating like a hog or small child who hadn’t learned anything about manners yet. Konstantin found himself feeling almost blissful in the moment. It was almost surprising how much happiness it brought him to make this jaguar happy. It was obvious how much he appreciated and needed a good meal like this. Dejen made a conscious effort not to over stuff himself, he needed to be a guide. All it took was reminding himself this wouldn’t be the last time he ate something that tasted this good.

“You ready to go see the stones?”

“you have to be stuffed, we can wait a bit”

“I’m fine, I want you to see them”

“alright, I’ll just get these left overs put away then.” Dejen helped and soon they were headed for the cavern. It had been awhile since Dejen had stepped foot or paw in it. The wide open spaces of the jungle had been what he was craving. “I know most demons can see in the dark but of course not all. Do we need to figure out a light source for you Konstantin?”

“I’ll be able to see”


#13

“Watch your footing, sometimes the rocks get slick in places.”

“You can hold my hand if it’ll make you worry less.”

“I apologize, I would just hate for you to be hurt.”

“I don’t mind.” He took Dejen’s hand. “Lead the way.”

Dejen’s heart sounded overly loud in the silence of the cavern and he glanced at Konstantin, knowing he had to hear it. The jaguar grumbled in irritation at his inaction, but Dejen refused to follow his animal instincts. He feared it was simply loneliness driving the beast.

“This place is amazing.” Konstantin said, eyes marveling at the stones and crystals he was able to see.

“There are many buried here too.”

“I know, I can feel them.”

“How?”

“It’s my gift.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

“I love it, I could spend forever here.”


#14

“Then at least I know you’ll truly be happy here even if it takes a long time to set me free” This cave turned out to be everything Konstantin had been hoping for. He spent this first evening just marveling at the beauty surrounding him. He was also just trying to get a good idea of which ones he was taking home since he couldn’t take everything this cave held. There were however a few he had to collect right now since he knew without a doubt they’d be coming home with him.

They took them back to Konstantins bag and they looked even more gorgeous in the light of the. The first one he had picked up had dark blue crystals in the center with a snow white circle surrounding it. It went on this way though the shades of blue and white changed. The second one was almost a neon pink with canary yellow. The rest were different opals and he put them all safely into a container.


#15

“You’re really amazing at that.” Dejen said as they got ready for bed.

“You’ll have to come out with me every time then when I take you home.”

“I’d really like that.”

“You should also pick out a stone you like so I can make you something out of it.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“I know, but I want to.” He looked around the tower’s room. “Are you sure you want me to take the bed?”

“Yeah, you’re my guest, so please.”

“Alright, but if you get uncomfortable, you can lay with me, I’m sure I can make some room.”

“I will and if you need anything, let me know and I’ll try to make you more comfortable.”

Konstantin smiled and couldn’t help but to reach out and take Dejen’s hand. He could hear the cat’s heart thumping in his chest. Was he nervous? He didn’t blame him, after being alone for so long he was probably unsure of the contact. “Tomorrow, we’ll get back to working on your collar, so try and rest.”

“I will thank you.” Dejen laid down on the bed he had made on the floor while Konstantin settled into bed. The demon was soon sleeping, but Dejen himself couldn’t fall asleep. The jaguar was even more restless than usual, wanting Dejen close to Konstantin, wanting to rub up against him and mark him. He wound up getting up, moving as silently as possible so as not to disturb Konstantin, and heading to the top of the tower. The tower was already filled with his guest’s scent and he thought maybe a little fresh air would help.


#16

Dejen gazed up at the sky, taking a few deep intakes of air and pushing the air back out at first before breathing normally. The sky was as gorgeous as it had always been but while it offered some distraction his cat still urged him closer to Konstantin. It crossed his mind the demon had said he was welcome to share the bed but he wasn’t sure it was a good idea to give in at all. They hadn’t known eachother twenty four hours yet and Dejen knew the Jaguar may become more persistent. It was probably best to leave more room for loss of willpower so he’d save actually joining him in bed at night until he absolutely couldn’t fight it any longer.


#17

Konstantin woke the next day alone, with Dejen nowhere in sight. He got up, feeling concerned that something had happened to him until he heard the sound of someone moving around above him. He moved over to the tower window and started to poke his head out when Dejen came swinging down. “Good morning.” Konstantin said with a laugh. The look of shock on Dejen’s face was far too adorable, almost like he had been caught stealing. The fact that he was just frozen there only added to it.

“Good morning, sorry.”

“What were you doing?”

“Coming back inside.”

Konstantin nodded and moved back so Dejen could slip through the window. The jaguar looked embarrassed as he straightened his shirt and adjusted the collar around his neck. “What were you doing outside?”

“I fell asleep on the roof last night.”

Konstantin moved closer his hands taking Dejen’s face in his hands as he looked him over. “Is everything alright?”

“Uh…” his heart leaped, “yeah, I just…I couldn’t sleep so I went outside and I guess I fell asleep.”

Konstantin frowned. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

“You were sleeping.” And the jaguar was far too interested. He thought to himself. “I didn’t want to be rude.”


#18

“I don’t really need a lot of sleep. I mean of course after awhile it catches up but I’m enjoying getting to know you. It would have made me happy to spend more time with you”

'alright…I’ll remember that next time"

“Now that I’m well rested let me get another look at that collar” Dejen and Konstantin sat down together and Konstantin began messing with it again. After awhile Konstantin stated “I’m starting to think they’ve put something inside this collar but it’s made out of an incredibly strong substance and I dont want to harm you”

“I can take any pain I need to”

“this things attached to your neck Dejen. Let me look and mess with it some more before we make any final decisions. I really am shocked at how sophisticated this thing is”

“why?”

“I just cant imagine beings wanting you to suffer for eternity THIS badly. They wanted to be sure you’d truly be stuck for eternity”


#19

“I just want it off, I want to be free, even if it hurts.”

“It’s okay,” Konstantin hated the look on his face and gently caressed his cheek, “everything’s going to be okay.”

Dejen found himself leaning into Konstantin’s touch. “I want to go home with you.”

“I want that too.” He pulled Dejen into a hug. “But we need to be patient.”

“But what if you have to leave me to get help?” Now that he had Konstantin, he wasn’t sure how he would deal with being alone again.

“You know I wouldn’t want to.” Dejen nodded and Konstantin pulled back to look at him. “I won’t abandon you, Dejen.”

“I know, sorry.”


#20

“don’t be sorry, how you feel is completely understandable. I don’t know how you’re even sane. Nobody was made to be alone. Even people who prefer being alone, they do need people now and again. To me, you’re doing amazing emotionally considering what you’ve been suffering through.” Dejen asked the question without thinking it over “then would you understand if I needed you just to hug me a little while?” Konstantin gave Dejen a gentle smile “yeah, I’d be happy to Dejen” He pulled the jaguar into his arms and held him in a tight embrace. When embarrassment finally took hold of Dejen he gently pushed out of Konstantins arms. “thank you”