I'm sorry for the delay, taking care of a child is finicky at best, and under the circumstances I thought it best for us to leave town. We're secure in a new location at the moment, so I can finish this.
Shortly after we closed the door, Sam started to get pulled away. This happened every time we met up, but this time I was not going to just let it happen. I wrapped my chain around Sam and held on with everything I had. For a few terrifying moments, I was afraid I was just going to injure him further, because he sounded like he was in a great deal of pain, but then we both were moved.
Where we woke up next... well, it looked vaguely like the apartment we'd been in, but it was... twisted, somehow. There were stains on the walls and floor that looked like they might have been blood, the paintings on the wall had become horrifying scenes of torture and violence, and there was something standing over the bed, staring at us. It looked like nothing so much as a giant mass of shadow, and yet I'm certain that there was more to it that I just couldn't see.
It never moved while we were looking, but we were pretty sure that it could and might if we did the wrong thing. We froze, moving nothing but our lips to speak to each other in frightened whispers.
"What is that thing?"
"I'm not sure. Don't move, you'll get it's attention."
"It's okay, I've got you."
"Oh, Lysander, I'm so sorry I've gotten you into this."
"Shh. I wouldn't have left you here. You're suffering. I promise to do whatever it takes to get you out."
"You should go, it's not safe and what if you get hurt?"
The quiet conversation probably would've lasted longer if it weren't for Sam being jerked away again. Last time giant bruises bloomed on his skin, presumably marks where the invisible force was grabbing him and pulling. This time, however, his muscles started twitching and jerking painfully, all of them being tugged backward at once and forcing him into increasingly uncomfortable contortions. There was nothing I could do but hold him close and hope that it would be over soon.
Soon enough, we got jerked away again, this time ending up in a dusty looking abandoned factory. Instead of a bed we were on a filthy looking mattress on the floor. It took Sam a bit to come to, I guess this was hard on him. It was hard on both of us, but at least I hadn't been jerked around by invisible forces.
"Sam, are you alright?"
"I'm okay. I'll be fine, really."
"You don't look fine. That sounded like it hurt."
"I... well, it did, but I'm okay now."
"Yeah. I am." He cuddled into me and we'd just started kissing when something grabbed me around my waist and hauled me back, pulling us apart and slipping the chain from around Sam where I'd wrapped it. The monster was not pleased to find me here, I think, considering the force with which it threw me across the room. Sam rushed to my side to try to defend me, but got smacked unceremoniously aside.
I pulled my staff, which dream logic quickly turned into a sword-a real one, not a blunted practice sword like I'd always used in the past. Properly armed, I proceeded to have a very strange swordfight with the monster, it using it's tentacles as 'swords', I suppose. Dream logic further prevailed in that I managed to get a clean slice right through it's torso and it fell over, oozing azoth from the wound and no longer moving. If only it were that easy to defeat in real life.
I rushed over to Sam, who was carefully sitting up and groaning in pain.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, it's just a bump. What about you? That looked nasty."
"No, I'm okay. Really."
He beamed up at me. "Your mother would be proud of you."
My heart sank. Annalee was right after all. "My mom?"
"Yeah, I know you don't like talking about her, but she'd be proud of you from what you've told me."
I've never met my mother, a fact that Sam should have known. My father is the one who would've been proud, the one who would've been a tender subject, ever since he died a few years back. He's the one who made sure I knew how to defend myself, and the one who made certain that I knew to use it to defend others as well. It was almost for the best that my chain yanked me away from him at that point, dragging me back into the floor.
When I woke up, there was a little girl shaking me awake and looking terrified. She doesn't speak, I've discovered, but she doesn't really need to to get her point across. There was blood and fur splattered near where I was sleeping, which is what caused her such a panic. Jill... Well, I can only imagine that since the fur matches hers, the blood is probably hers too. There was far too much of it on the ground for any dog to survive. My poor Jill died protecting me.
For some reason, I now have a seven year old girl taking care of me instead.