Max walked down the hall, filled with apprehension. It had been exactly one year since he had been to his world. Thinking about Jade he sped his footsteps. Pushing the large double doors open he beheld the bridge, now dark and unnused. Stepping up the dias to it he placed the necklace in the holder and stepped into the centre of the circle. Pushing the stone button on the back of the pedestal holding the necklace he felt his insides tighten, Lifting up slowly from the rock beneath his feet he felt as if he had just gotten on a roller coaster, his stomach seeming to fall into his legs. All of a sudden the room around him dissapeared and he found himself in space zooming past planets and stars, their gravitational pull tugging at him but never erring him from his course.Seeing earth in the distance he looked back and saw the planet he had come from as just a tiny speck, how he knew it was the planet he didnt know. looking forward he saw earth for an instant before stopping suddenly and feeling his feet being deposited on the stone floor in a large cave.
Looking up he saw Jade and Ben standing together stepping off the circle and retrieving his necklace his heart sank more than his stomach had before when he noticed Ben's hand over Jades shoulder, each wearing an identical necklace. He knew at that moment they were going out. Not letting the pain show he asked " Hey Ben what happened to your old girlfriend?" At that he knew Ben knew he didnt approve of the two. Ben replied "Mate, she was killed by those guys that tried to kill you. it happened right when Jade here arrived on my doorstep in the middle of the night. We got together six months ago."
Feeling a hot rage boil up in him he tried to let it dissipate through his body but was unable. Rather than be defeated by this he let himself feed off the rage. Walking up to the couple he hugged Ben like a brother and then turned to Jade and got on one knee, kissing her hand as if she was a princess.
As she blushed furiously he got back up and bowed as he had been trained to do of late. As Ben started walking ot Max caught up to him and asked if they had any normal clothes for him. As he said this Jade looked him up and down and said "Wow you really have changed. I dont think the clothes we have will fit you, you used to be so big, but never like this."
without letting the two see he flexed his muscle and a wave of nostalgia hit him hard, not long ago he had been overly fat, only enough muscle on him to pick himself up. now he had a big frame, that was unchangable from his old size, but it was covered in mostly muscle now.
Walking out the exit to the cave they got in the car that the two arrived in. Max in the back seat, was thrown some clothes by Jade and told to try them on. As he removed his shirt the two gawped at the matting of scars on both his chest and back. Hurriedly putting on his new shirt he felt the sleeves tighten and the chest constrict his breathing. "this will do for now, although i will need some new clothes very soon." At that the car drove off.
Reaching the town they headed for some remote place that Max had never seen before. As they arrived Max saw just what they had been reduced to, a small campsite held just three tents and a small fire, covered over with some tin sheeting. Walking over to the campsite, jade's parents looked up from the fire, a tear glistening a trail down the mothers cheeck at the sight of him. She had convinced them all to save his life and was often blamed for making the whole group have to live like this.
After dinner was had and Max had told a few of the nicer stories of his adventures the group went to bed, Ben and Max took first watch. Max on one side of the camp, Ben on the other. Max felt the rage boil to the surface again. Pulling out his small pack he found what he was looking for, he didnt know why he had packed it but he had and know there was nothing he could do about that. Pulling out the elven knife he stalked over to the opposite side of the camp. Cursing himself for being taught how to sneak like this he ended up right behind Ben.
Breathing in his ear he whispered "you've brought this upon yourself."
As the knife slid between his ribs in his back Ben would have screamed but couldnt. The knife had entered the kidney, creating a pain so intense it didnt allow him to make any noise at all.
Getting up he finfished the job, a slash to the throat and a quick kick in the face and he ran over to the middle of the camp and shouted running back over, making it look like he came from his post. Running off into the night he chased the imaginative elven agent off from the camp.
Walking into a grove in the nearby forest he cut along his forearm and put a gash along his ribs. Walking slowly back he slowly sat as everyone cried over the lifeless body.
The next morning he walked up to the group and parted them, picking up the body and walking out to a nearby field. stabbing the knife he had used in the ground he gave a short funeral. And buried the body. That evening he walked up to Jade and gave her a long hug, simply taking in the feel of her body against his as she cried into his strong arms.
When she finally pulled herself from him she noticed the cuts along his arms and chest and immediately tried to tend to them. When he gently pushed her away he explained that the knife used had a poison that would not allow the cuts to heal for a long time.
As the group sat down for dinner Jade went without and Max xould not stop shovveling more food in to his mouth. when he had his fill he went over to Jade, who was sitting right next to where Ben had died. Sitting on the opposite side of her Max put his hand on her shoulder. She didnt move.
As he tried to start talking she turned and put a finger on his lips, a tear about to fall from her eye. She started talking herself "When we sent you through, my house was vulnerable. It was pretty much destroyed. I went over to Bens house, i thought we would be safe there. As i knocked on his door one of the strangers went through the backdoor. Bens girlfriend was over, she was staying the night. She was the first to die, they enjoyed it, they hung her up from the roof and chopped her feet off. The blood gushing out of her ankles they were drinking, lapping it up from her ankles, making her scream. Loud. We came in and found them there. He fought like you did you know? he stabbed one and then i grabbed him and we ran. The screams echoed into the night for hours as we ran down the road. I thought that we were going to die. I brought us back to my parents and we started camping like this, moving every week." Max was startled at this, he thought he was the only person who had been through hard times.
As he looked up into her eyes they gained a hardness he had seen only before battles in the other world. She spoke again. "I inspected Bens body, the knife was elven, the cutting style was not. It was like a madman had cut away at him. Her voice started to take on a quality he had only seen in her eyes just now. It steeled beyond his comprehension "You, you killed him, i know you did you learned how to do it in that world and you killed him. Why?" As she said this she understood as the final peice clicked "You love me, dont you? you couldnt stand to see us happy together" her voice rose as she got more angry. "You couldnt just leave and never come back could you? YOU HAD TO FUCK THINGS UP! LIKE YOU ALWAYS HAVE DONE!" As he heard this he noticed her pulling out the very knife that had killed Ben from her sleeve.