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      Post Chained Memories: Night One (Mythology related, mild language, mild sexual conduct)

      Night One

      2 months prior
      August 19, 2008

      Never did I believe I would be stuck in the rain waiting for Calleah Dashkoff to pick me up for our first day of Senior Year.
      Calleah had been my best friend since pre-k and there was never a day that we had been separated. We had all of our firsts together.
      Well, almost all of our firsts.
      The one thing that differed between the two of us was our innocence.
      I was, unlike Calleah, a…virgin. I was as pure as the new-fallen snow. But, then again, when you thought every guy was your ‘soul mate’ things tended to…not work out.
      “Pandora,” Calleah screamed, calling out to me. “Pandora Avalon, get over here now!”
      She had her small, silver BMW parked alongside the side of my house and appeared to be in a good mood.
      “What Cal,” I groaned as she continually screamed my name. I couldn’t stand my name. “What is going on?”
      “There’s a new transfer!” she squealed. “He’s a senior, like us. From somewhere overseas, I think. He’s apparently really hot. He’s definitely hot enough to get the attention of every girl in Wellston.”
      Wellston, Ohio…what a disgustingly annoying place. I had grown up here my whole life but this old, forgotten mining town seemed to suck people in and hold onto them. I couldn’t wait to get away from it in May.
      May…eight more months and I would leave this God forsaken town.
      “At least now you won’t have to worry about him,” Calleah was saying.
      “Come again?”
      “Oh, with your name and all,” she said, pulling out of my drive way. “You know, since you’re named after the whole Greek box thing.”
      I shrugged.
      My parents had died when I was six and I had been shoved onto my aunt who had no life and was always drugged up on either some type of pills or vodka or, occasionally, both.
      And, oddly enough, my parents were mythology majors and named me after Pandora. And, as everyone knows, Pandora’s Box is what plagued mankind with every evil thing like greed and jealousy and blah, blah, blah.
      But, they didn’t name me because of her curiosity—I am the farthest thing from curious. She was considered a ‘strong woman’.
      Like that made any sense!
      Calleah pulled into the school and the screams pulled me from my thoughts.
      “He’s here already,” Calleah said excitedly. “Ohmigod, he’s actually here!”
      Which, leads to question number one: why on earth would someone come here?
      “So your name’s Helios?” a brunette with brown eyes was saying as we stepped out of Calleah’s BMW.
      “Ah, ah, ah,” an unfamiliar voice said tsking lightly. “It’s pronounced Hell-e-os, not Heel-e-os.”
      The brunette gave a small laugh and others joined in. The newcomer was completely out of view by the swath of females and, yes, a male or two.
      “Dang it,” Calleah sighed. “I won’t be able to penetrate that pile of girls if my life depended on it.”
      I let out a laugh.
      Calleah, all five feet six inches, wasn’t that tall among most of the others but I wasn’t one to talk. I was half an inch shorter than her.
      Her hair was dyed black and had silver bangs and tips that fell down to her shoulder blades. Her eyes were a contact-changed gray. Her skin was a flawless ivory.
      She was a vampire compared to my caramel brown, blue-eyed, black-haired looks. She even played the violin, cello, and piano whereas I played the saxophone.
      We were polar opposites but we were still best friends. As they say, opposites attract.
      “Maybe you’ll have a class or two with him,” I said hopefully. I could care less about the new guy but I knew Calleah would care immensely.
      She shrugged and we went to the office for our schedules.


      First period was a breeze. There was no sign of the new guy and it was Chemistry II so things flew smoothly.
      Second period hit a rough spot when he was in my class. The only thing that kept me from hiding when he walked in was Calleah holding onto the sleeve of my shirt.
      “Finally,” she said tiredly. “I didn’t have first with him and I couldn’t stop thinking about him!”
      Her voice edged on hysterical excitement and I heard her gasp as I looked down at my notebook.
      “Oh—my—God,” she breathed; gray eyes wide, perfect pink lips parted in either shock or awe.
      I looked up and I froze, stifling my own gasp. It definitely wasn’t either shock or awe. It was both.
      He was tall—nearly six foot—with a light caramel tan and spiky blond hair. He was clad in a loose-fitting white t-shirt that hinted at hidden muscles and a pair of faded blue denims that ended in black Converse.
      “Hello class,” our history teacher said lazily. “This is our newest student Helios Pendragon. Take a seat beside Miss Avalon over there.”
      “It’s Hell-e-os, sir,” the new kid said lightly. “And where is Miss Avalon?”
      I tensed and closed my mouth. Surely he must have seen me before now. Gaping girl doesn’t exactly scream ‘I’m not here’.
      “The black haired girl in the back. She’s wearing the white shirt and red tie combo.”
      My breathing stopped as Helios took his book from Mr. Keats and took his seat in the back of the room by me and Calleah.
      I grinded my teeth and looked forward as Mr. Keats began on our first topic of the year.
      We were doing Mythologies. Perfect.
      A note slid onto my desk and I looked over at Calleah who was urging me to open it.


      Do you want to change seats?

      I sent the reply back and her excited scrawl was on my desk before I could blink.


      Change with me tomorrow.

      “So, does everyone understand the assignment?” Mr. Keats was saying. “Allow me to pair you up.”
      Mr. Keats went down each row and my jaw dropped and countless whispers flitted through the air when Mr. Keats called the names of me and my partner.
      “Pandora Avalon and Helios Pendragon…your assignment…”
      Helios reached into a fish bowl and pulled out a slip of paper.
      “Pandora’s Box,” Mr. Keats said with a stifled laugh. “How…appropriate.”
      I glared at him as he moved onto Calleah, paring her up with some jock. They were doing the story of Zeus. His entire story.
      I didn’t even deign myself to look at Helios as I wrote a reply to Calleah.

      Looks like we won’t be change seats for this one.

      Calleah looked at the note and crumbled it up, throwing an envious look at me before returning to her ‘partner’. Both of us knew she was on her own.
      “So,” Helios said, trying to catch my attention. “How much do you know about Pandora’s Box?”
      His voice was serious but I refused to look at him, opting for taking notes on what I knew.
      “A little bit,” I said, scribbling down who Pandora was, what the box was about, how it was created, and why. “My parents were mythology majors.”
      “They died when I was six.”
      The subjected dropped there.
      “So,” he started, leaning towards the paper. “Is this all you know about it?”
      I shook my head.
      “I’ve got piles of books on it at home,” I said, trying not to breathe in Helios’s scent. He smelled of, if possible, darkness. “It shouldn’t be that hard to look up enough stuff to suffice.”
      He shrugged.
      “Can I come over tonight? To, you know, help with the assignment.” He paused. “Unless, you don’t want me to…”
      He trailed off and I let out an exasperated sigh. I turned and looked him straight in the eye.
      “You’re sex appeal and charm aren’t going to work on me,” I stated coldly. “So don’t even bother with all that crap.”
      The bell rang and I gathered my books in my arms and stalked out, not even waiting for Calleah.
      Third period was blissfully silent as was fourth. Then, he was in my CAD class fifth period. And, of course, Mr. Jameson sat him beside me.
      Fifth period was an hour long. We had B lunch so we were in this classroom for half an hour, went to lunch, and then came back for about half an hour.
      The torturous cycle of having to come back knowing what I was going to get into.
      “Here we are again,” he said smiling, fixing his paper in front of him. “Still angry with me?”
      I didn’t bother to acknowledge him.
      “Still mad,” he sighed.
      “Don’t flatter your self,” I laughed. “You’re about as appealing as a snake.”
      “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
      “Shut up.”
      I started working on my assignment and I was finished with it in record time. Unfortunately, as was Helios.
      His voice was silent, almost inaudible and he repeated him self as to make sure I was heard.
      “Yes,” I said, pushing away from my computer as it shut down. “Anything else that’s obvious?”
      “Where are you going?”
      “Do you really want to know?”
      He offered no reply.
      “I’ll take that as a no.”
      I asked Mr. Jameson for a hall pass and ran out of that room faster than I could blink. I didn’t stop until I was in the safe confines of the girl’s bathroom.
      The laughter of girl’s approaching had me fleeing to the farthest stall and locking the door, listening to their conversation.
      “Apparently he’s from some island,” someone was saying. “I don’t know though.”
      Gum popped and I immediately knew who it was. There was only one person who popped their gum in quite the same manner.
      Her name was Accea Montgomery. And, the other girl she was talking to was no doubt her little follower Lattice Alley. The second most oddly named girl in this school.
      I ranked first and I was laughed at and Lattice wasn’t because, well, she was with Accea.
      Accea Montgomery was a breast implanted, blonde ponytail all the time, cheerleader who wore too much make-up and slept with any and every guy.
      Accea Montgomery as in the school’s grade A slut. She’d stolen a multitude of Calleah’s boyfriends—just in this past year!—and managed to sleep with nearly every guy in Wellston—married or not.
      Then, there’s Lattice Alley as in the follower, hider, and overall fake. No one knew who Lattice Alley actually was. There were doubts to whether Lattice was her actual name.
      But, thanks to Accea, Lattice was at, nearly, the top of the school pyramid of popularity. But, Lattice wasn’t a grade A slut…yet.
      “What island was it…” a—most likely—perfectly manicured nail tapped sharply against the white porcelain sink. “Pampos…no…Pankos? Ponchos?”
      “I think it was Patmos,” Lattice said, offering a suggestion. “It’s a part of the Aegean Islands by…I think Greece. In the Mediterranean Sea.”
      The thrumming nails stopped and the sound of several zippers were evident and the smell of smoke filled the air.
      “I just don’t get why he won’t give into me,” Accea complained. “I mean, how hard is it to look away from a gorgeous girl throwing herself all over you? It’s just not possible.
      “I’ve seen grown men bow before me.”
      Lattice didn’t speak and several minutes later, the two left the bathroom laughing just as they had entered.
      Well, I knew that if a few guys where to find out about her smoking habit, her popularity would plummet.
      But, that was for another time and another place. Not here in the school hallways, looking for a fight.
      I stumbled out of the bathroom from the fumes of perfume masking the smoke.
      My name reached me and instantly I fell down. My name came again, followed by nearly silent footsteps and arms wrapping around me.
      “Are you alright?” Helios said breathlessly, holding onto me. “I saw you fall. Did I startle you?”
      “Stop touching me,” I coughed, pushing away. My voice was weaker than my will and the feeble push I gave him only made him that more concerned. “Let me go.”
      “I’m taking you to the nurse.”
      His voice left no room for argument. None even in the slightest.
      The bell rang for B lunch and I felt my cheeks enflame as a swarm of high school-ers started towards Helios, stopping, rooting in place, once they saw me in his arms.
      “Which way to the nurse’s office,” Helios asked a familiar brown-eyed brunette.
      “Through the office…take a…right.”
      Her voice was shaking, shocked, but rage boiled in her eyes. And, well, it wasn’t well hidden.
      “Helios,” Accea said coming up to him just as we were about to enter the office doors. “How odd of us to run into—what’s that?”
      No, not who’s that, what’s that. Apparently I didn’t even register on her radar. Apparently I was no threat.
      “This is Pandora,” he said coldly. It made me shudder. “She fell; I’m taking her to the nurse.”
      “I can be your nurse.”
      But he was already through the door and on the way to the nurse’s office.

      “You should be fine,” the nurse mumbled returning to the piles of paperwork on her desk. “Just a fall—nothing too drastic—she’ll be fine.”
      I stole a glance at Helios and his face was flooded with relief for some unknown reason.
      Had he been worried about me? Afraid I’d fallen and hurt myself? Or…no, the answer was simple. With me out sick or hurt, he’d be subjected to work on his own until I was ‘better’.
      But, why had he looked sick when I fell?
      Then again, it led to him working alone. Lazy, narcissistic, attention-crazy psycho!
      Anger boiled inside of me as he escorted me out of the office and into the hallways.
      I froze, anger still seething, as I turned and faced him. It was almost complemented with a slap to his perfectly shaped face.
      “Why are you angry?” His brows were pulled together as he tried to understand. “Did I do something?”
      “You only cared about me when I fell for one reason,” I hissed. His muscles tensed and a smile curved my lips. “If not for me, you’d have no one to help you with this assignment.”
      His eyes grew wide and he did something I never expected.
      He laughed.
      “What’s so funny?” I demanded. “What was so funny in what I just said?”
      “I could do this project without you,” he laughed. “Don’t doubt that little fact. I just have a tendency for helping strong-headed women.”
      I was immediately offensive.
      “Very funny Helios,” I said turning and stalking away. “I get it. ‘Strong-headed’—ha ha, very funny. Well, that’s another to add to the list.”
      “What are you talking about?”
      He caught my wrist and spun me around, forcing me to look at him. Hidden muscles indeed.
      “What are you talking about,” he repeated.
      His eyes, I noticed for the first time, were a deep jasper color mixed with, oddly, hints of emerald slivers that made his eyes seemingly flash.
      Those gorgeous eyes burned for an answer.
      “I’ve been laughed at because of my name,” I replied hesitantly. “Pandora isn’t exactly a normal name. And there’s the history behind such a name.
      “But, you just learn to get over with it.”
      Helios’s eyes softened and I pulled out of his harsh embrace.
      I kept my head bowed and started to walk away before he caught my wrist and jerked me to him.
      The momentum threw my head back and my lips met perfectly with his.
      My mind registered nothing.
      His lips were soft and I tasted the same darkness that covered his scent only…it was deeper, more sinister. It seemed almost…heady.
      And I loved it.
      Helios was the first to pull away, his face neutral, real feelings hidden.
      The voice was, unmistakably, Accea Montgomery’s. If she had seen…I shuddered. I didn’t want to even imagine the Hell that would reign supreme.
      “You freak!” she screamed, well manicured nail jabbing in my direction. “You tried to force yourself on Helios! My God, everyone was right!”
      She continued, voice rising higher and higher, people coming out of their rooms to see what all the noise was.
      “Accea,” Lattice said, reaching for her ‘leader’. “What happened?”
      “Ohmigod Latty,” Accea said taking in a huge gulp of air. “That freak over there tried to force herself on Helios! Can you believe it?!”
      Murmurs started around the crowd we’d drawn and, despite my nervousness I did something I’d never done before.
      “It’s better than being a slut and a druggie Accea,” I said with a smirk, my hands on my hips. “I’d hate to find out how many people—married or not—you’ve slept with.”
      I paused and a chorus of ‘ew’ and ‘gross’ rang before I continued.
      “And I wonder if anyone knows about that little smoking habit you have. Where you, you know…”
      Another chorus of ‘what’ sounded before I continued again.
      “Smoke in the D hallway bathroom and cover it up with perfume.”
      Accea let out a growl and leap at me. I didn’t have time to blink before Helios had jerked me out of the way and took the hit like it was a feather hitting him.
      “Shut your mouth,” Helios hissed, helping me to my feet.
      “And let’s not forget your slut attempts on Helios here,” I said, standing. “What was it you said when we were entering the office? ‘I’ll be your nurse’? Was that it?”
      “Pandora,” Helios whispered. “You can’t push her further. She can’t take much more.”
      I nodded and followed Helios to CAD, falling into my chair with a harsh gasp as wails came from Accea in the hallway.
      The first thing I felt was relief. I had overcome what others thought of me.
      Others thought I was the shy girl, the one who preferred to be unnoticed, the one who wouldn’t—couldn’t—stand up for herself.
      I’d proved them wrong several folds.
      The second thing I felt was sadness with a twinge betrayal.
      Helios had kissed me. The question was…why? Why had he kissed me? What did that prove? No one was there to see it aside from…well…
      It made no sense at all.
      I made a mental note to talk to Calleah after school about it. Things would be solved then.

      The house was quiet. It was normal. If it was loud, then it meant my Aunt was home—drugged up.
      Helios would be coming over later so we could work on the Pandora project. I had yet to forgive him but, school work was unavoidable.
      A knock resonated through the room and I blew out a sigh. He was here, it seemed.
      “It’s open!” I yelled, turning to my copy of Crowell’s Handbook of Classical Mythology. Hopefully it would have what we needed and Helios could leave.
      “Hello Pandora,” someone said from the doorway to my room. “Still not bothering to open the door?”
      “Oh my God!” I gasped, dropping my book and falling off my bed. “What are you doing here?!”
      Epimetheus Pandion was my best friend next to Calleah.
      Our parents ad attended the same college, studied the same subject, and we became fast friends. His parents died in the car crash that killed my own.
      Epimetheus was tall, five eight, with blazing emerald eyes and strategically layered, shoulder length hair. His skin was a creamy caramel brown from his life in the tropics.
      Three years ago, he had moved to Florida with his grandparents and never looked back.
      “We’re back,” he said with a mischievous grin. “For quite a while I might add.”
      He crossed the room and gave me a gentle hug.
      “I’ve missed you Av,” he whispered. Av was my old nickname from when we were kids. The sound of it was comforting. “It’s been horrible without you.”
      I let out a sigh and stepped out of his embrace.
      “That ended three years ago Epim,” I whispered sadly. “You ended it yourself, remember?”
      I wrapped my arms around my stomach and felt my knees buckle when the doorbell rang.
      “Who’s that?”
      That question was one I wished not to answer at that moment. But, he’d find out sooner or later.
      “It’s open!” I yelled, surprised to find my voice calm instead of shaky.
      “Pandora?” a voice came from the living room. “Where are you?”
      “Who’s that?” Epimetheus asked, turning towards the door. “It sounds like a guy…”
      His gaze traveled back to me before returning to the door.
      “Who are you?”
      It was out Epimetheus’s mouth before I could speak and Helios stood defensively.
      “I am Helios Pendragon,” he answered coolly. “I’m working on a history project with Pandora.”
      “Is this true?” Epimetheus asked me. “’Cause, you know, if not, I can kick him out right now.”
      “He’s telling the truth. We’re doing a project on Pandora’s Box.”
      Epimetheus nodded slightly.
      “Well,” he said nervously. “I’d better be leaving. Gramps and Grams are expecting me. I’d told them I’d only be a few minutes.”
      I nodded and he left.
      “A relation of yours?” Helios asked, taking a seat beside me on my bed.
      “An old friend,” I said with a dismissive wave of my hand. “I met him through friends of my parents.”
      He nodded slightly.
      “Before we begin,” I started slowly. “Let’s lay down some ground rules.”
      He looked at me, confused, as I continued. Realization passing when I got to my point.
      “If you dare try to pull anything like you did at the school consider yourself missing. I won’t be having any of this crap interfering with my—”
      I jerked away from Helios and his ever nearing lips. His eyes narrowed like a cat’s, lips curved in a devilish smile.
      “Like this you mean?”
      I raised my hand and slapped him with all the force I could manage. Before I knew it I was standing.
      “I told you once, and I’ll tell you again,” I hissed. “Your pretty boy looks and charm won’t work on me.”
      “It seemed to affect you in the hallway,” he answered seriously. I was stunned for a moment. “You could barely speak.”
      “Yes,” I said hesitantly, my voice strengthening as I continued. “But that was in the school! That gave me reason to be embarrassed! And it wasn’t like I needed a pity kiss!”
      “A pity kiss,” I repeated. “You kissed me because I’m the outcast. You thought I wanted a little attention.
      “Sorry to burst your bubble but I would prefer it if you cut all the crap and allow me to get this project over with so I can stay away from you for good!”
      I let out a huff and snatched my Crowell’s Handbook before retreating to the living room.

      “Why are you so ticked off?” Calleah said as I slammed the car door shut and started walking towards the school.
      “Because of Helios,” I hissed, spitting out his name. “He came over yesterday. Just once would I kill to—”
      “Easy Pandora!” Calleah gasped, taking my books from me. “Don’t take it out on your books!”
      She let out a sigh then another gasp.
      “Or people!”
      She barely managed to pull me out of the way before I crashed into a freshman.
      “What n Earth could he have done to get you so…like this?”
      I took my books back from her and let out an angry sigh.
      “He tried to kiss me again,” I said angrily, nearly growling. “And it was specifically after I told him I wasn’t interested…Calleah?”
      She was rooted to the spot, mouth slightly open in disbelief.
      “It was you he kissed yesterday?!”
      I nodded.
      “He tried at my house and I slapped him.”
      If possible, it seemed as if her jaw dropped inhumanely lower.
      “You slapped him?!”
      I nodded again.
      “Let’s get to class,” I said as I grabbed her wrist and towed her forward.
      But she was already too late; we were immersed in the morning crowd.

      First period didn’t drag in the least and it seemed as if I’d just blinked and there was second period, Helios in his seat, swarmed by girls.
      Accea was in my seat very unsubtly throwing herself onto Helios. It sparked something and I quelled it instantly. I hated Helios. It didn’t matter what Accea did.
      “Get up,” I said slamming my books on my desk. “Before I get angry, that is.”
      Accea looked at me like I’d just slapped her but carefully got out of my seat. The others followed her lead—nearly running to get away from me.
      “Angry are we?” Helios’s playful voice said from beside me. “Or is it jealous?”
      “Shut up,” I hissed. “I’m refusing to talk to you.”
      He let out a laugh and I spared a glance at him. His hands were folded, elbows on the desk, as he gazed at me, his hands hiding those perfectly shaped lips.
      I jerked my gaze away. He was too good looking. It should have been illegal to be so beautiful.
      Sure, he was good looking but that didn’t him pardon.
      No, he was on the bottom of my favorite people to spend time with list.
      “How are we going to do our project if you won’t talk to me?”
      I scrawled down a response and slid it to him.

      Just like this.

      He looked at it and let out a laugh, replied and sent it back to me. His perfect cursive nearly heart stopping.

      Are you serious?

      I slipped him the reply and he let out a sigh.

      Damn right.

      We continued our assignment in the same way until the bell rang. I was out of the room before the bell stopped ringing.
      Unfortunately, Helios clouded my thoughts until I saw him again fifth period. Something pulsed inside of me when I saw him sitting at his computer going through today’s task.
      I took my seat and opened a new drawing page and started working.
      Both of us were done in record time.
      I was getting ready to shut my computer off when a message popped up onto my screen. It was an email from an unknown source.
      To: Avalon, Pandora
      From: Unknown
      Subject: None

      Dear Pandora,

      Hello dear friend. How good it is to speak with you again. I believe there is a matter in which we should discuss.
      I am coming to kill you, my sweet. Your blood will soon be on my hands. And, no, not even your Sun will be able to help you.

      “What on Earth,” I gasped jerking back from the letter.
      “Pandora,” Helios said leaning over to look at the file. “What’s wrong?”
      He looked over at the file and his eyes hardened and he pulled away, looking straight at me.
      “Get out of here,” he said, more a command than a suggestion. “Before it makes it here.”
      “But Helios—”
      “Go,” he insisted. “Run as fast as you can—and don’t look back!”
      I grabbed my purse, pausing for a moment before running as fast as I could through the halls, ignoring the protests of teachers.
      I had no idea if Helios was telling the truth but there was something in his jade-flecked eyes that begged me to trust him. So, I had. I ran.
      No sooner was I in the cafeteria than I heard screams echoing from D hallway.
      A lunch was going on but everything hushed as soon as I had come tearing out of the hallway.
      “Calleah!” I screamed. “Calleah where are you?!”
      I found her at the farthest table, next to the music wing and ran to her, grabbing her wrist and screaming.
      “We have to get out of here!”
      “Pandora, what’s going on?” she said as I drug her out of the cafeteria, through the music wing, and out the doors there. “What’s happening?”
      “I don’t know,” I said as we shot through the doors and swept over the parking lot, adrenaline pumping through my veins. “But we have to get out of here!”
      We were running across the field when an explosion reverberated through the air.
      Calleah started to stop and I screamed at her to keep going.
      We made it to the edge of the field and, once we were in the shelter of the trees, I stopped and looked back, nearly screaming.
      The High School was engulfed by what looked like a giant human shadow; mouth opened showing very pointed white teeth, eyes just deep, empty sockets.
      The Shadow let out a roar and lifted somebody out of the school.
      “Where isss sssheee,” the Shadow hissed. “Where isss Pandoraaaa? Sssheee plansss to keep usss locked up in that damn boxxx.”
      “She’s not here!” the human caught in the Shadow’s hand yelled strongly. “She ran. She’s no longer here!”
      “Whaaaat?” the Shadow screamed. “Sssheee mussst be!”
      A dragon, yes a dragon, swooped down and snatched the human from the Shadow, cutting, if possible, through the Shadow’s hand.
      “Draco!” the human cried. “I told you to stay away! What is someone sees you?!”
      “Master Helius,” the dragon snorted. “You can’t carry this burden on your own. Where is the girl?”
      “Gone, hopefully,” Helius said. “Now to deal with the task at hand—Jealousy.”
      Their voices carried to me easily though they shouldn’t have but I heard every word with perfect clarity.
      “Sssheee isss here!” the Shadow hissed happily. “Sssheee isss here with usss now—in the woodsss!”
      “No,” Helius whispered. “Pandora run!!!”
      But he was too late, the Shadow jerked me out of the woods, knocking Calleah unconscious, and tossing me into the air like a rag doll.
      I let out a scream and wrapped my arms around my waist, bracing for the fall.
      I felt smooth muscle and a rough texture against me before I had even begun to fall. Warm arms enveloped me and a gentle voice consoled me.
      “It’s alright Pandora,” someone whispered. “You’re safe.”
      “Nooooo!!!!” the Shadow screamed. “That girl!!! Sssheee mussst die! Deatttthhh! Deatttthhh to sssheee!!!”
      I roar resounded and wind streaked past me and I caught glimpse of the Shadow.
      Its giant hand was coming down on us and Draco wasn’t fast enough to move out of the way.
      “GET DOWN!!!” I screamed.
      Power erupted from me and a scream tore from my throat, my vision blurred and I heard the Shadow scream.
      When my vision returned the Shadow was streaming towards me. It hit me and entered my body and I fell against Helius.
      “Helius,” Draco said as I started to slip away. “What are we to do about the girl?”
      “That’s a question for another day,” was the reply.
      “Calleah,” I whispered, trying to hold on. “In the woods…unconscious. Don’t leave her.”
      I fell away after that.

      “NO!!!” I screamed shooting up from what was, apparently, a bed.
      I was gasping and covered in a cold sweat. Warm arms enveloped me and I screamed again.
      “Let me go!” I screamed, fighting against my attacker. “Let me go! Let the go of me!!!”
      “Pandora,” a voice said, arms tightening to keep me restrained. “It’s all right. It’s me. It’s—”
      “Helios,” I gasped out, all attempts at fighting melted away. “What the Hell happened earlier?!”
      “Last night,” he corrected. “What the Hell happened last night.”
      “What ever!” I hissed. “What happened?!”
      “You were attacked by Jealousy,” he said calmly. “Pandora, you are the reincarnation of Pandora from Greek Myth. Your body is the box.”
      “What the Hell?!”
      I jerked back, getting as far away from him as I possibly could.
      “Where am I?” I asked hesitantly. “And what do you mean by ‘my body is the box’? What’s going on?!”
      “Pandora,” Helios said, taking my hand. “Yesterday, at the school, Jealousy pinpointed your location and came to hunt you down.
      “Pandora’s box is your body. Mythology has it wrong. Zeus gave the gifts—the meaning of your name being ‘gifts’—of all evils to Pandora and gave them to her not in a jar or a box, but in her body.
      “Being what the Greeks believed to be the first woman, Zeus let her reign supreme for a time but, after a lover betrayed her to her husband, she unleashed several evils and they bridged an opening for the others to escape as well.
      “In the end, Pandora became an emotionless, empty shell and was sent back to Hephaestus—the one who crafted her—by her husband Epimetheus in hopes he could restore her.
      “But, unfortunately, someone stole her body and her ashes were left on Hephaestus’s doorstep the next morning. But, she had one daughter who had a daughter and was killed and that daughter had a daughter before she was killed and so on.
      “Each time, the daughter would have a daughter then be slain by one of the evils.
      “And, each time, Helius would make sure she would have a child, a daughter, so Pandora would never die.”
      “Wait,” I interrupted. “So if your not Helius, who are you?”
      “I am Helius,” he said with a sigh. “I change the spelling of my name ever few centuries to not draw attention to myself.”
      “So you’re supposed to get me pregnant?” I said, slightly confused. “But…I’m only seventeen!”
      “Back then,” he said, memory in his voice. “You’d have been plenty old enough to have a child, if not several. Many of your wedding nights where when you were under the age of fifteen.”
      “Sorry,” I said, slipping from the bed. “But this is the 21st Century, not A.D. B.C. something or another. People just don’t get married and have kids at seventeen. Unless, of course, you’re a slut.”
      Helios grabbed my wrist and pinned me to the bed, his eyes boring into mine.
      “Don’t make me hurt you,” he said softly. “I have never had to before. But, you don’t have much longer before one of the evils claim you.
      “One way or another you must have a daughter.”
      “What if I have a son?” I challenged.
      “The reincarnations of Pandora have never once had sons,” he said coldly. “There is no chance you’ll have anything but a daughter.”
      I stiffened and tried to break his hold.
      “Let me go,” I said seriously. “Helios…let go of me. I saw what I did to the Shadow. I could do it to you.”
      “You wouldn’t,” he said with a smile. “You love me. Even though this life has no recollection of it, you begged me to love you, to take you, many times before.
      “Either me or Epimetheus.”
      Again, his name. Why? He was my best friend. Sure we had a thing way back when but that was forever ago. Was Helios my only option?
      No! He was crazy. Reincarnation wasn’t real and Pandora was just mythology! He was insane! But…why did I believe him?
      He closed his lips over mine and I relaxed in the familiar position, though it shouldn’t have been familiar in the slightest.
      My wrists were freed and I wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him closer as my other hand curled into his silky hair.
      “Helios,” I murmured against his lips. “Stop…I can’t…”
      He trailed kisses down my jaw and to my neck and slowly to my collar bone.
      Before I knew it, his shirt was off and I was tugging mine off so we could be pressed closer together, though, overall, the clothes were a poor barrier.
      I couldn’t help the moan that escaped my lips as Helios pulled me closer and palmed my breast with well knowing ease.
      “Helios,” I said, as I tried to swim out of my thoughts. When I realized what was happening I jerked away from him and pushed him off me. “Dammit, what’d you do to me?”
      He let out a sigh and looked over at a chair in the corner of the room.
      “You can leave Eros,” he said tiredly. “It didn’t work in the end. Same as before.”
      A man materialized in the chair—silver hair over matching silver eyes and pale skin—and looked at Helios with a grimace.
      “It was worth a try was it not?” Eros said sadly. “I’m afraid I will not be able to help you…again.”
      Eros dematerialized and I faced Helios again.
      “What on Earth were you planning to do?!” I hissed, tugging my shirt back on, forgetting my bra completely.
      “Impregnate you,” he said bluntly.
      I slapped him with as much force as I could manage and kicked him, knocking him off the bed altogether.
      “You…pedophile!” I growled, leaping from the bed and making a run to the other side of the door. “I should have them arrest you!”
      He caught me and pinned me against the door way, a smile on his lips.
      “Sorry Pandora,” he said, that stupid smile still on his face. “But I’m not going to be letting you go anytime soon.”
      “You’re under house arrest until you have a child. We can’t have another evil finding you and killing you before another Pandora is born.”
      “Is that all I am?” I said, fighting his hold. “A breeding machine to create more Pandoras?”
      He paused at that, completely surprised.
      “Were the others just useful to create more Pandoras? After that did you even bother to try to protect them? I bet you just handed them over to the evils so you wouldn’t have to bother with them anymore!”
      A hand came across my face and I blinked, gently touching it, looking at him shocked.
      “I loved Pandora!” he hissed, tears in his eyes. “In 1492, I loved her. She was one of the first to set foot onto the New World’s soil along with me.
      “She meant the world to me! I saved her from an abusive husband and brought her to the New World. She had a daughter who she named after herself like all the others who I helped create.
      “I loved her,” he whispered, tears just being with held. “So don’t you dare say I let them die. Every one after her is painful to give up because I know they never remember me, that they don’t remember how I felt before she was lost to Greed.”
      The tears fell, but not from him—from me. I couldn’t help it. They just…fell.
      “I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I was angry and scared and…I’m so sorry.”
      His arms enveloped me and, though I couldn’t see, I knew his own tears were hidden.
      “It’s not a problem,” he said, his voice thick. “Each time you’ve not fallen for me I’ve been through this…argument.
      “This isn’t the first time.”
      “Hey,” I started, pulling back to look him in they eyes. “What did I ride yesterday?”
      He gave me a glamorous smile and pulled me forward, eyes light but brilliant with those glistening tears brimming them.
      “Draco,” he said as we walked through the house.
      I hadn’t bothered looking around my room but the house was beautifully done.
      It had a Gothic flare with high ceilings and several chandeliers—ones with candles ones without—and looked as if it had been pulled straight out of a history book then filled with newer, 21st Century items.
      Those new items looked wrong in the beautiful Gothic home. But there was something else about this place that seemed off, like I’d been here several times before, admired it in quite a similar way.
      “Helios?” I said as he led me through a series of narrow hallways that lead downward. “Have I been here before?”
      He stopped so suddenly that I nearly fell back to avoid colliding into him.
      “You remember?” he whispered, his voice nearly inaudible. “You remember this place?”
      “It’s like somewhere I was before but can’t place it,” I explained carefully. “It’s like somewhere I was when I was little but the memory is fuzzy.”
      He continued walking and I followed suit without hesitation.
      “We’re here,” Helios said a time later.
      We stood in front of a set of iron doors, claw marks gouged into them. Claw marks very similar to certain phantoms I had seen.
      Helios pushed the door open and I let out a gasp.
      The room was like a giant landing pad filled with hundreds of large pillows and jewels of different assortments.
      On the far side of the room was a larger, cavern-like opening. Large, slim, cat-colored yellow eyes illuminated the opening slightly.
      “What is that?” I whispered, trying to move away as Helios held me in place.
      “He doesn’t bite,” Helios said with a smile. “Unless you’re an enemy.”
      My eyes widened even further as a dragon slinked out of the cavern’s opening and made its way around the room, stopping within four feet from me, its large head, bowed.
      “Mistress Pandora,” it said softly. “A pleasure to meet you. I expect all is well?”
      “Uh…yes?” I said hesitantly. “And you?”
      The dragon let out what sounded like a laugh and raised its giant head.
      “I am perfectly fine Mistress,” it said with that same dragon-laugh. “Master Helios, to what do I owe the visit? It is rare for you to venture to my home.”
      “I am just answering Pandora’s questions,” Helios said, releasing me. I took little notice as I assessed the dragon. “She was wondering what she rose on yesterday.”
      “I see,” the dragon said.
      The two continued in conversation for some time as I took in the dragon.
      It was huge, its head alone nearly seventy feet high. It’s tail was, at the shortest, ninety feet long. The dragon’s neck was strong and had several sharp points.
      The eyes were large and took up a slim portion of its large head and were yellow and cat-like. Its scales were a green-blue, more-so a deep green than a shiny turquoise-like blue, that seemed to be like a mirror.
      But, its best feature was its large, outstretched wings that were pulled in tightly against its back. The outstretched scales were the same as the others but the membrane was a silky, blue-tinted white that resembled spider web cracks.
      “Mistress?” the dragon said, drawing my attention to its eyes. “Are you alright? You look sick.”
      It took a step towards me and I felt my stomach roll.
      Its feet ended in four toes—four in the front and one on the side like a thumb. Each of those toes ended in large, sharp-ending, pointed, creamy white-tinted-blue claws.
      “Stay away Draco,” Helios said immediately. “Give her a minute.”
      “It’s a dragon,” I said breathlessly. “A bona fide giant lizard.”
      “We prefer creature,” Draco corrected. “We are much wiser than those insolent pests.”
      “And it talks,” I continued. “Animals don’t talk! It’s just not normal! And dragons just don’t exist!”
      “No,” I said jerking away from Helios, looking at him. “And reincarnation isn’t real either. I’m not some reincarnated woman who is being hunted by evils. There’s no such thing as giant Shadows coming to kill people!”
      I pushed past Helios and ran, faster than I had yesterday, searching for an exit.
      When I saw a door, light illuminating the bottom of it, I burst through it, thankful to see the sunlight.
      Then I screamed when I saw the Shadow hovering just above me.
      “Greed!” Helios gasped, jerking me back. “Stay away from her!”
      “Sssheee isss here!” the Shadow said excitedly. “It’sss true! Jealoussssyyy wasssn’t lying! Sssheee isss alive!”
      “Get inside the house!” Helios yelled, urging me towards the door.
      “Liessss!” the Shadow yelled. “Come! Sssheee isss here! Greed hasss ssspokennn the truth. Before he disssappeared, he relayed it to usss, sssaying that sssheee was ssstill alive! He ssspoke the truth!”
      Another Shadow appeared beside the first and I saw Helios noticeably tense.
      “By the boy!” the first Shadow laughed to the newcomer. “There sssheee isss!”
      “Get inside Pandora!”
      But he was too late. The Shadows advanced and Draco burst from his cavern, moving us out of the way just in time.
      Greed, I took the Shadow to be, swatted down at us and suddenly Helios was no longer beside me.
      His cry resounded as the Greed squeezed him and laughed.
      “HELIOS!!!” I screamed, turning around. “NO!!!”
      “Mistress Pandora,” Draco said lifted me onto his back and taking flight. “We can’t stop.”
      “But Helios—”
      “Will be fine,” the dragon said flying away. “He’s been in worse situations.”
      “But Greed will kill him!” I gasped, holding onto one of the points layering Draco’s back. “We have to turn back!”
      “If we turn back you will die,” the dragon hissed. “And the world will die! Do you think Helios would want that? Or that you would want that?”
      “Turn around or I’ll throw myself off!”
      I pushed off of Draco and was caught before I could blink as he turned and we returned to the Shadow’s and Helios.
      What I saw there was unbelievable.
      The Shadows were fighting to enter Helios’s body as he laid on the ground, unconscious, his blood everywhere.
      “Oh God,” I gasped, leaping off Draco as we landed. “Helios!”
      Greed paused and looked at me and lost its chance at entering Helios. So, in its place, as Greed lost its attention, Lies entered Helios and silence passed for a few brief moments.
      “Helios?” I whispered, reaching to brush a strand of hair from his bloodied face. “Helios?”
      His eyes opened and all the color was leeched from them. His once warm, golden, jade-flecked eyes were a cold, dead brown.
      “Pandora,” he coughed, a small smile on his lips. “I thought I told you to run.”
      “Pandora!” Draco cried out. “Get away from him!”
      But he was too late in his attempt to save me.
      Helios’s lips met mine and my eyes widened.
      The Shadow used the kiss as a bridge to enter my body in hopes of controlling me.
      When I made an attempt to pull away the Shadow followed me until I was pinned to the ground, Lies entering me effortlessly.
      Tears began to brim my eyes as I tried to fight through the pain. It was as if my blood had been filled with gasoline then set on fire.
      The pain subsided when Lies broke the kiss. But, by then, he was completely inside of me.
      ‘He lies to you’ something said inside my head. ‘He wants to use you to create more Pandora’s.
      ‘You’re a tool, nothing more to him. After all, you’ll just die after you have another Pandora.
      ‘There’s no reason why you should believe him. He’s been forcing you to give birth to Pandoras before you even knew the truth.’
      ‘What truth?’ I asked mentally.
      I could feel myself screaming but that seemed so far away at the moment. I was in a bubble. A safe, protected bubble where no one could hurt me.
      ‘He only wanted you so he could have his way with you,’ the voice said with a smile. ‘Why else would he follow you through the centuries? Why else would he give you a daughter through the centuries?’
      Somewhere in my mind I could feel Helios trying to wake me up but I didn’t want to wake up.
      ‘You don’t have to wake up.’
      ‘You don’t have to wake up,’ the voice replied. ‘If you stay here you’ll be safe and warm. Here no one can hurt you. Here you’ll be happy.’
      ‘Yes,’ the voice said. ‘Happy. With your parents. You’ll all be together again.’
      An image of a gorgeous meadow filled with endless dandelions entered my mind and I was wandering through it.
      Before long I came across a bridge. My parents were standing on the opposite side.
      I took a step towards them and stopped.
      Going over there meant I would have to leave Calleah and Helios. But it also meant I wouldn’t have to worry about the thing I was or what I now knew.
      ‘Yes,’ the voice said materializing. It looked like me. ‘With Mom and Dad. Here I’ll never have to worry about any silly things like school or drama. Here I can be an equal and I get to be with my parents.’
      The other me crossed the bridge and walked into the opening arms of my parents, smiling as they hugged her.
      ‘It’s so much easier over here. There’s no problems and I can do what I want. I have no responsibility and I get to live forever. It’s the best!’
      I looked at them enviously and started walking again.
      No responsibilities. No one relying on me. No problems. And I got to be with my parents again. What was wrong with that?
      “Pandora,” someone said behind me.
      “Mom?” I whispered turning around. “But you’re—”
      “Pandora,” she started again, my father materializing beside her. “You know what’s right, honey. You know what the right thing to do is.”
      “Trust your judgment,” my father said, wrapping his arms around my mother’s waist. “You know what’s right.”
      “What am I supposed to do?” I whispered quietly. “I don’t want any of this. It’s not fair.”
      “Life itself is unfair,” my mother whispered, breaking away from my father to pull me into her arms. “I knew of what I was since I was eight years old. I had you when I turned twenty-three.
      “I grew up knowing I was going to die young. I had a child knowing I wasn’t going to be able to watch her grow up. It is something you’ll have to deal with, something you’ll have to accept.
      “My life was taken because of Lies. You mustn’t die the same way. Trust Helios, he truly loves you.”
      “But Mom—”
      “Do what you believe is right,” she said with smile.
      And then she was gone and the voice was inside of my head again, my other self in front of me, my parents plastered into the background.
      ‘They lie!’ he voice hissed. ‘It’s Helios lying to you! He’s trying to convince you to come back so you can be a breeding machine like all the rest! Do you really want that?
      ‘Or, do you want your parents? It’s only a few steps and then you can be with them forever. That’s what you’ve wanted all this time right? To escape your drug-addict of an Aunt right?’
      “Your wrong,” I whispered, head bent.
      I jerked my head up.
      “You’re wrong,” I repeated. “True I want to see my parents more than anything else but I have something more important to do now.
      “The world isn’t about me. It never has been and never will be.”
      I threw a punch at the other me but narrowly missed, my nails slicing across my doppelganger’s arm.
      It hissed out in both pain and fury and the regular shadow I normally saw resurfaced.
      ‘H-How? How were you able to break my control?!’ Lies croaked, holding onto its wounded arm. ‘You’re just a human!’
      “No,” I said slowly. My voice got prouder as I continued. “I am Pandora. And my body is the Box!”
      Lies let out a guttural roar and threw its figure at me, I nodded just narrowly avoiding it.
      Now was my chance to show Helios what I could do. I had to beat Lies. It was my moment. It was the time I could show everyone that I wasn’t some weak human girl.
      Where the determination had come from was anyone’s guess. My guess was that it was the Pandora’s before me channeling into me how much they wanted to destroy one of the evils. And, who could blame them?
      After all, hadn’t one of the evils killed them?
      Lies let out a screech and charged me and I missed the chance to escape so I threw up my arms to shield myself.
      I was sent flying into the air and let out a scream.
      Lies let out a scream of its own when my arms were thrown forward by the momentum.
      Power flew from my fingertips and I looked at the electrical residue on my hands. It was a silvery blue mixed with a green—similar to Draco’s scales.
      Lies swirled into a black ball of mist and shot into my body.
      In the next moment, I was looking at Helios, his eyes closed, tears streaming down his face.
      Trust Helios, he loves you.
      I blinked and pushed the thought from my mind as I lifted my hand to Helios’s face and brushed a tear-stained cheek.
      “Pandora,” he whispered looking at me. “Pandora you’re…”
      I let out a small laugh.
      “You can’t kill me…that easily,” I teased lightly, nearly breathless. “I am…Pandora…after all.”
      “You idiot!” he hissed, pulling me to his chest. “You could’ve died! I thought you were dead!”
      “Helios,” I whispered, slightly shocked. He hardly knew me yet…I pushed the thought aside. “Take me into the house.”
      “To the house,” I whispered. “Take me inside, take me…to the house.”
      He lifted me, bridal-style, into his arms and carried me back to the house, a faint smile on his lips the entire way there.

      Please reply. I apologize in advance for any incorrect phrasing or wording. ****It is copied directly from the microsoft word document so font variations have been canceled out****

    2. #2
      Frigid Academic Achievements:
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      Lost in pages.
      Interesting story. Though I personally am not a big fan of teen/high school drama, this is nevertheless much better than typical real-world-going-on-fantasy stories I have read.

      The plot is fairly engaging thus far (great use of Greek mythology), and the beginning hooks on nicely. Physical details throughout the story are described very well. The main protagonist also has an intriguing persona.

      There are a few minor typos, though the story makes up for it. I look forward to the conclusion.

    3. #3
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      I greatly appreciate the comment, Aristaeus. I love when people comment on my work. I have the entire book finished and plan to post the second chapter on Monday, hopefully. I do apologize for the typos, though (_ _lll)

      Oh, but saying, "Though I personally am not a big fan of teen/high school drama, this is nevertheless much better than typical real-world-going-on-fantasy stories I have read." is actually something that occurs a lot with me. People who've read my things tell me that my stories, even if they hate the type, are very intriguing and take very well.

      (Apparently it is good since 50 people have viewed it. So, yeah, I'm very happy about this.)

      I hope you'll continually enjoy this story because I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. And thank you for the use of Greek mythology comment. If I ruin it in any way, please tell me and I'll correct it!

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