Sunday, September 25, 2016


 PAIGE DRIFTED IN and out of sleep, when she slept she dreamt of murky places, it was as if she was looking though water and when she woke, she found the men sitting watching over her. Angry with herself for not healing quick enough, Paige tried to sit up, she realized she would not be able to go after and trek that monster alone after all. Her strategy will have to change to allow her to join the commander and his men on their mission.
Finding Paige wake and finally trying to sit up, Alex moved over to assist her before Corvan had the chance to do so.
“How do you feel?” Alex asked with a concerned look in his eyes.
“I must have a fever as I keep on hallucinating, seeing strange images in my head.” Paige replied rubbing her eyes.
“What kind of images?” Alex asked curiously and looked over to Corvan.
“Images of strange murky places I know I have never seen before, it’s as if I’m in someone else’s head.” Paige said shivering as she pulled up her sleeping bag under her chin.
Corvan got up from where he was sitting and knelt down next to her. Taking his finger, he lifted up her chin to inspect her throat, then gently pulled her up to a sitting position and lifted her hair and looked over her neck and upper back not covered by her shirt only to find goose bumps.
“What are you looking for?” Alex asked watching the commander inspecting Paige carefully; all the while she sat very still wondering the same thing. Corvan lifted one arm then the other, Paige cringed in pain, finally he found what he was looking for, a bite mark.
“This.” Corvan pointed out. Alex pushed back Paige’s T-shirt sleeve to reveal a large bruise with four puncture marks as to where the creature teeth penetrated the skin.
“Oh my god, that thing bit me?” Paige cried out, now understanding why her arm felt so stiff.
“This is not a good thing.” Alex moved and sat back on his haunches with an unsettling look on his face.
“What will happen to her?” Neal asked as he and the others came closer to inspect the wound and find out what this all meant. They were put on this mission without too much information on what they would be apprehending and returning to base. All they knew it was a source and ancient creature from which they were created. Neal, AJ nor Eddie had ever seen or dealt with a Grigori before.
“This complicates matters a bit.” Corvan admitted with angst.
“A bit, what do you mean a bit?” Paige asked feeling very nauseous.
“Well what do you want to hear first, the good, the bad or the ugly?” Corvan asked, not thinking Paige would not find the quote funny.
“Is there a good side to this?” Paige asked instead.
“Yes, and that is you won’t die, but you will have a high fever and find the Grigori in your head amongst other things.” Corvan explained as he put the back of his hand on Paige’s forehead to feel her body temperature. Not that he needed to, but did it anyway.
“The what?” Paige shrieked.
“The Grigori is an ancient worrier, half dragon, half man.” Corvan started when Alex interrupted.
“It’s very similar to the mythology of the gargoyle, the creature the church used at one time to guard their faith and drive out people that were not worthy.” Alex explained.
“Except the Grigori does not only guard churches.” Corvan continued.
“Why do I have this sickening feeling I shouldn’t ask what else it guards?’ Paige asked buckling over, holding her mouth closed with her hands, feeling very nauseous and dry mouthed.
“We will need to tie her down.” Corvan commanded, “I have ropes in my pack.”
Paige looked up at the commander as fear hit her stomach, “Why?” Paige choked.
“It’s to protect us all, especially you.” Alex replied trying to sound reassuring and calm.
“Please don’t, please don’t restrain me.” Paige begged, tears filled her eyes as she looked up into Corvan’s eyes, she held him in her gaze, mesmerised, controlling. Then slowly moved over to Alex and the rest of the men, captivating them in her stare and plea. Paige knew these feelings where not her own, but whatever was taking over her body depressed her own emotions and functions, as if in a dream. This monster was taking over her mind and her body and she had neither a way of warning the men nor fight to keep it under control. It wasn’t Paige begging and staring them down, wanting them to surrender to her plea, if it was; she would want to be tied up. The feelings raging through her were dangerous, lustful and wanting.
Corvan could not move, he was taken aback by her plea, the sadness and fear in her eyes reflected back into his soul. He took pity on her. He had never felt sorry for anyone or anything before so this feeling took hold of him. He was told he had no heart, no feelings but Paige seemed to prove this wrong, how did she do this, he wondered?
Alex was the first to move closer to Paige, he took her hand finding it clammy and cold. Paige subliminal brain screamed for him to back off, while the Grigori made her smile seductively, inviting him closer. She tilted her head to one side and uncontrollably took Alex’s face in her hands and gently kissed him on the lips. Instead of closing her eyes to enjoy the moment, she looked up at Corvan to watch for his reaction. The Grigori was playing a very dangerous game and Paige’s body was the instrument, a weapon of choice and there was no way to stop it. Both men were taken aback by her kiss and flirty manner, before any more harm came to her, Corvan moved over to his pack and pulled out a rope and swiftly grabbed Paige out of Alex’s embrace and tied her wrists together. Her eyes where glossy and fully dilated indicating she was not herself.
Paige yelled in anger and twisted her body in an inhuman manner. Her ribs screamed in pain as she regained consciousness.
“What’s happening to me?” She asked softly as she found her wrists tied tightly and held down by Corvan and Alex. They looked at each other not trusting the situation.
“The Grigori is controlling you.” Corvan spat out.
“Please stop it, it’s hurting me.” Paige begged as her body twisted into another painful position.
Neal grabbed the knot that held Paige’s wrists together and held it above her head. Alex cut another piece of rope off, and tied her ankles together, while Corvan held her shoulders down. Her strength was not her own and it took all three men to restrain her. Hoping this may keep her still enough to not do any more harm to her body. AJ and Eddie found a couple of wooden stakes and drove them down into the sand and tied her arms and legs to them, stretching her out as if on a spit.  Paige moaned with the pain searing through her body, wishing for relief that did not come. Instead of crying out she found herself laughing uncontrollably, which made her cracked ribs stab into her. Paige tried to focus on Corvan saddling her, keeping her still. He noticed tears run down her temples, as she gurgled for air, blood slowly started to seep out of the corner of her mouth and nose. Her ribs dug deeper into her lungs filling them up with blood. She was about to drown in her own blood if they did not stop it. 
“She’s bleeding internally; the crack ribs must have splinted into her lungs” Alex yelled getting Corvan’s attention.
“What, do you think I’m blind not seeing the blood?’ Corvan shouted back.
“We need to do something.” Alex roared.
“Like what?” Corvan asked.
“She needs blood.” Neal suggested calmly.
“Who’s?” Alex asked looking back at the lieutenant.
“The oldest is best.” Neal looked over to the commander, who started to shake his head in disbelief; if he fed her more of his blood she would feel him inside of her forever. Not like the Grigori’s possession she is feeling now, but a deep unity that will make her feel she belongs to him. This is not what he was planning for her, as they do not have that kind of bond, well not yet and he was not planning to earn it like this either.
“Now, sooner than later.” Neal interrupted the commander’s thoughts with urgency.
“Alright, I’ve got this.” He yelled back, looking down at Paige that was still wrenching beneath him with her eye closed and her jaw clenched, “I’ve got this” he repeated in a whisper not quite sure if he did. Biting into his wrist again he slowly forced her mouth open and held his wrist to her lips and softly whispered.
She did without knowing what she was doing, she felt liquid running down her throat, slowly the pain eased and her mind drifted off to a dark place. Was she dreaming again? Paige was not sure what was reality and what was not, it all felt unfamiliar, but at least now she felt no pain and she could breath.
She was standing on a black rock above a pool of water. Everything around her was misty except for where she was standing. Across the pool Corvan stood, he was dressed in black leather armour and carrying a large cutlass sword, the hilt covered his hand, what looked like, silver wings. He looked majestic and strong, unexplained feelings of lust seared through her veins, finally pooling in her heart.  She could feel his strength, his anger inside of her, yet there was a hint of sadness and emptiness, an emptiness she so desperately wanted to fill. He wasn’t looking at her, so she followed his gaze, which ended up in the pool ahead of them. What reflected back was not her own image but of a women naked with majestic wings on her back spread wide, ready for flight, small horns peaked through her hair on her head and rapped around her legs was a dragon tail with an arrow tip. Paige gasped at the sight, not that she was ugly or frightening, on the contrary she looked beautiful, sexy and very powerful. Something Paige wanted to be all her life and worked very hard to achieve, but never had the body and the looks to achieve it. She looked back up at Corvan.
“Is that me?” she asked softly.
“Yes,” he said looking back at her with a blank undisclosed expression on his face.
As she could not tell what he was feeling,” she asked, “What are you going to do to me?”
“Nothing.” He replied and jumped over the pool and landed swiftly next to her, using his free hand to pull her closer by her hip and held her close. She could feel the leather on her bare skin, his hand now resting on the small of her back, just above her new tail. His lips skimmed hers gently, but did not kiss her, a kiss she desperately wanted. Paige could not move as his grip tightened around her, the pressure around her waist started to feel heavy, they were not standing any longer she was on her back with Corvan saddling her holding her shoulders down.
Paige eyes fluttered open as reality came back to her, arms and legs tied up, drenched in sweat and the taste of blood in her mouth.
Corvan noticed her eyes where back to normal, beautiful big green eyes looked up at him, completely captivating him. He straightened up letting go of her shoulders, but sat over her hips to make sure she was completely recovered.
“Can I have some water please?” Paige whispered finding her throat clogged with blood and dust.
“Most certainly” Alex replied and grabbed her canteen from her pack and lifted her head slightly to swallow.
Corvan moved off her at the same time and was about to untie her hands.
“No, don’t I can still feel her, inside of me.” Paige chocked in haste preventing the men from untying her.
“Her?” Corvan asked surprised
“Yes, the creature is female and she is here to retrieve something, something she had lost centuries ago.” Paige said surprised with the fact she knew this. How, was not clear to her, but she could feel it was the reason she was here, now she had to find out why the commander and his men were here and what their intentions were.
“You get some rest then and once your temperature comes down we’ll untie you.” Corvan replied. Once Paige settled down into a light sleep, which felt like forever, Corvan pulled his men aside to discuss their plan of action.
“If Paige was bitten by a female then we dealing with more than one” Corvan advised.
“So our mission has stepped up a notch,” Alex added finding a sense of urgency in his voice he looked over to Paige. The men followed his gaze and understood they do not have much time before all humanity will be at risk.
“What are we going to do with the human?” AJ asked now finding the situation a little less appealing.
“Human? You not referring to Paige as a human, now?” Corvan asked with an edge of anger in his voice. The men picked up on it and immediately recognized there was more to his irritation with her.
Alex cleared his throat, “And I sense there is more to her than what I first realized.” He added trying to mask the commander vulnerability.
“She may come in handy now that she has been bitten,” Neal advised.

They all nodded in agreement, except for Corvan, he feared for her and knew his feelings would get in the way of this mission and needed to get her to safety, away from this cave, the dangers and most of all far away from him as possible.  Unfortunately, the team did not agree with him, they saw the potential in using her.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


WITHOUT A WORD she moved down deeper into the cave, adjusted her backpack on her hips and switched on the light that was attached to her hardhat.
“Stop, where do you think you’re going?” Corvan asked as he stood up to get his gear together. Paige turned around finding the men coming toward her, she shook her head not believing they were actually going to join her.
“We were kind enough to wait for you for two hours this morning, at least have the courtesy letting us know where you going?” Corvan asked irritated by her demeanour.
Realising they could have gone off into the caves without her and broke the deal they made last night, Paige replied; “follow me then.”
“I like a woman with few words.” Lieutenant Neal Samuel said grinning as he followed the feistiest woman he had ever met, deeper into the cave.
The air smelt of decaying vegetation and wet soil, it felt humid, yet cold. This made Paige’s backpack stick to her shoulders and hips already. The corridor they were following started to narrow down, she remembered further down she would have to take her backpack off. This would enable her to squeeze through into a larger section beyond and this was where she found the fragments of bone. Walking single file now her light reflected the walls forming a V, the floor of the corridor narrowed down, but the ceiling was at least eight-feet wide, which made it difficult to walk and hard to balance with weight on her back. Their path made a curve to the right where her light reflected onto boulders that fell over blocking the route, leaving a very small hole they had to squeezing through, the men behind her moaned at the sight of it. As they approached, Paige took off her backpack and crouched down to shine her light down the hole the boulders made, to find the path still clear. Pushing her backpack in front of her, she gone on hands and knees and disappeared into the hole.
“Do you think we’ll fit?” Alex asked Corvan as Paige moved out of sight.
Corvan bent down to take a look and found the opening not long but definitely tight, the hole had a diamond shape to it so keeping their large shoulders in the middle would be best. Paige found Neal, Eddie and AJ join her first as they were smaller than the other two, they watched in anticipation for Alex and Corvan to join them.  Alex came out first looking a little riled up.
 “Shit that was tight.” He moaned as he dusted himself off and then bent back down to see how his commander and best friend was doing.  Ducking down into the hole again he grabbed hold of Corvan’s backpack and pulled it out to give him some space to manoeuvre. Hearing a bone pop Paige yelped and ran over to Alex to find the commander mangled inside the hole.
“What the hell was that?” Paige panicked hearing the sound repeating in her head.
Alex fell onto his knees and shifted to the entrance and grabbed hold of Corvan’s arm and pulled him out. Paige gasped to find the commanders shoulder twisted unnaturally.
“What happened? Paige asked anxiously.
“He had to dislocate his shoulder to squeeze through.” Alex explained as he took Corvan’s arm and manipulated it so the shoulder could pop back into place. Paige screamed at the sound it made. Corvan laughed and stood up, dusting himself off and picking up his backpack with the arm that was dislocated a few moments ago. Paige stared at him in disbelief, this upset her more than expected, she felt her body shake, nausea hit her stomach and uncontrolled tears ran down her face.
The men stopped, not expecting her to react so profoundly. Corvan stepped up toward her finding her shaking and pale, he took his finger and wiped off a tear from her cheek, then smiled. “I’m okay,” he advised with a smug look in his eyes.
Paige stepped back a little not believing his arrogance and without warning slapped him across his face with all the frustration she had bottled up these last twelve hours, turned and walked back to her backpack feeling a lot better. This was short lived, as she bent down to opened her pack, Corvan whisked her up to face him. He looked fearful, his eyes dark and sunken, his face pale and his jaw muscles quivered with anger. Alex stood behind him looking rather concerned, but did not intervene, he knew better, he had been friends with Corvan for centuries and knew when to stay out of his way. This was one of those times, he disliked Corvan when he was in this state, especially with a woman, but Alex trusted Corvan to snap out of it before he lost it. Corvan did, he knew his features where enough to put Paige in her place.  He moved away leaving Alex to deal with her further.
“You certainly not a morning person are you?” Alex asked with a stern look on his face.
Paige turned away from him and bent down to her pack and retrieved her camera, a few unique looking lamps and a large bag. Still shaking, she nervously set up the lights around the perimeter she wanted to work in and unpacked the bag containing, a fold-up pic, hammer, spade, vinyl tape, tape measure, nylon string, stone chisels of various sizes, a magnifying glass, a notebook, pencil and various other little nifty gadgets needed for her mini excavation. Standing up she turned toward the men staring at her, not believing all that equipment she carried must have weighed a ton.
“Stay out of my way.” She warned as she sucked in a large amount of stale air into her lungs and made her way back to her pack to retrieve her water bottle and an energy bar. What a morning she thought to herself and no she wasn’t a morning person, not until she had that wonderful cup of caffeine to render her conscious for the day, which she did not get round to making for herself this morning.
Corvan stood watching Paige still riled up by her unannounced slap, it did not hurt, but it was the hate in her eyes when she did, that upset him. Corvan could not understand this feeling or connection he had for her, instead of putting it into good use he fought against it. Trying to shrug this urge to hold her, he caught his men’s attention and started to investigate the rest of the cave. They found many other corridors that led out this main cavern looking for any kind of disturbance, examining the ground and walls for clues. AJ was the first to find some kind of secretion on a rock jutting out of a corridor wall to the left of where Paige was working. She watched as they took a sample of what they found, Corvan took something out of his pack and carefully transferred what was on the rock into a container of some kind, then quickly put it back into his pack. They then as a group disappeared down the corridor, leaving Paige doing her thing.

She found some interesting fragments of newer bone scattered around, but nothing substantial or identifiable to say what animal they came from.  Time was not on her side and if she did not find something today or tomorrow she knew this expedition would be for nothing.  She knew funding would not be approved on a gut feeling. Her gut was telling her there was something sinister and very interesting in these caves, but she needed proof. Sitting back on her haunches she looked around where the lamps cast their light, maybe she was too hasty in speculating this area would be where she would find more bone fragments, just because she found them here over a decade before. Maybe just like all the other little pieces of bone that lay around came from a main source further away. Time was against her, animals may have disturbed this gravesite over time, she knew this, she also knew the earth moves things around over the years. Taking two lamps from their perches, one in each hand, she walked around the cavern looking for signs, for example, unexplained mounds of sand, soil disturbances and sand discoloration. Walking into the middle of the cavern she sat on her haunches again and shone the light along the sand where she found a suspicious mound of sand. If anything this is where she was going to start her dig, she smiled to herself. Before she stood up to transfer her gear over the mound she switched off the lights and sat in the dark and listened to the silence for a bit. Although silent, Paige could sense energy in the cavern, not that she could see or hear it, but she could smell and taste it. She put the lights back on and stood up quickly, making her way to her pack and retrieved her hunting knife. Paige knew she was alone but opening up her senses scared her, she felt something lurked in the darkness of the cave and knew she would feel much safer with the knife strapped to her leg. Shrugging the feeling off she got busy again by setting up her parameter, wrote down her co-ordinates, staked out a square to exact measurements and started to dig.  As her pic hit the mound she smelt a slight vile stench of sulphur, she stopped and sniffed the air, it did not come from the mound as she first thought, it was coming form the corridor the men disappeared into hours before. Where were they, what took them so long? Time eluded her and senses fogged, as she worked in the dark.  She stood up again and called out the men’s names, no answer. Paige looked at her watch it was past lunchtime, which subconsciously made her stomach growl, it was quite loud as it echo into the silence of the cave.

CORVAN AND HIS men made their way down the corridor finding traces of a gel like substance they suspect the Grigori left. They could smell it, trekking down the passage there senses heightened, moving slowly not to make a sound as they moved along until there flashlights hit a solid wall. The passage stopped abruptly, nowhere to go but back, until a drop of water fell on Alex’s head. He looked up and found an opening above them. He tapped the commander on his shoulder and pointed up, following the major’s finger; he found a hole in the roof big enough to climb through. Alex passed his backpack to AJ and adjusted his crossbow across his chest as he jumped, with vampire agility, up into the opening, loading and readying the weapon as he landed on the upper level. It was dark and quiet so he indicated for the rest of the squad to join him. AJ through up both backpacks and joined Alex, followed by the rest. Corvan was about to leap up when he heard Paige call out their names, it wasn’t in a tone that made him think she may be in danger but a feeling of dread ran up his spine, as he realized he left her behind defenceless.
“What is it?’ Alex asked as he looked down at Corvan.
“We left her alone without any protection.” Corvan replied looking back down the corridor.
The men snickered. “You’ve got to be kidding. She may be small, but she has a big ass attitude, nothing will come close to her, besides the Grigori is up here.” Alex advised, hopping to apprehend this creature and put it back where it belongs.
“Also, did you see that big ass knife to go with that attitude?”  Neal added with a sly smile, which drained away as soon as they heard a deathly scream echoed down the corridor. In a flash, all the men jumped back down and ran toward the main cave, where they had left Paige working earlier. Corvan was the first to reach her; she was lying in the center of the cavern, unconscious and bleeding from a head wound.
Swearing he knelt next to her limp body and dropped his backpack next to him to find water and a spare tank top to apply to her badly bleeding gash that ran from her forehead and disappeared into her hairline. Alex was the next to arrive and skidded to a halt watching the commander trying to stop the bleeding. Paige’s blood smelt rich, the aroma spread through the cave; it took a lot of effort not to drop his fangs. Corvan swallowed hard keeping his composure.
He looked up at Alex, “help me here will you, we need to stop the bleeding before she loses too much.”
“Sure.” Alex took the tank top from Corvan and lifted it up to see the damage; he too had to swallow to keep his cool.  He looked up to the rest of the men and ordered they back away.   Corvan took his canteen and gently poured the water over her forehead to wash off the blood and reveal the wound, it looked deep and nasty, whatever smashed her skull created a hairline crake along the bone. Paige moaned.
Before she gained consciousness, Corvan bite into his wrist and aimed his blood over her head wound, knowing their blood would heal human ailments quickly, but with a price. He hoped this would at least heal the fracture and skin. It took a few more dropped than anticipated but finally the gash started to seal, leaving a slight pink mark.
Paige felt a warm tingling sensation run along her forehead up into her head as she gained consciousness. She could sense she was in Corvan’s arms, she could feel him very close to her face; his breath was light and smelt slightly like lavender, which was soothing and peaceful. Before she opened her eyes she remembered the creature with glowing eyes, the image made her scream and lash out. Corvan held her tight against his chest to keep her from hurting herself any further, as he gently whispered, “Its okay, I’ve got you.”
Paige started to cry, fear crept up her spine as he held onto the commander as her life depended on it, she needed him to make her feel safe. Paige held him tighter and sobbed as she felt his breath on her neck, whispering in her ear to calm her down. She wanted to stay like this for eternity, it felt so right, yet something deep down, an alarm bell went off, that creature was the reason he and his men where here. They did not warn her or protect her against its wrath.
Paige pushed herself away from the commander’s embrace and scurried away from him to get some distance. “You fucking bastard you knew about that monster, that is why you’re here, aren’t you?” Paige yelled angrily and then cringed as her ribs sang with pain.
“You need to lie still, we haven’t checked for broken bones and you may have a concussion.” Alex advised in a gentle manner hoping to settle her down.
“Answer my bloody question.” She growled back.
“Yes,” Corvan replied irritated at the situation.
“Is that all you going to say, no explanation as to what that thing was?” Paige asked. She tried to stand up, but finding her head spin, she dropped down again.
“Yes and no,” Corvan replied as Alex moved over to Paige to help her steady herself.
“Ma’am we’ll explain as soon as you settle down, you have a bad knock on your head.” Alex replied as he grabbed her around her chest to keep her still, she yelped as pain seared through her.
“As I suspected cracked or broken ribs, can I take a look?” Alex asked as he gently laying her back down.
“I can’t believe my bloody luck.” Paige moaned through her teeth as she lay down on the soft sand of the now lit cavern. All she could remember was calling out to the men, then she remembers seeing these glowing eyes coming toward her, taking out the lights as it did. Next thing she was being flung around the cavern like a worthless toy, it made the airiest sounds as it did. Paige shivered.
“I need to lift your shirt up to see what we have.” Alex warned. Paige nodded. Slowly the major pulled her shirt out from her jeans and lifted it up revealing her bruised rib cage and bra covered breasts.
“Take an easy breath and hold it, it may hurt.” Alex warned. As she did what she was told, she slowly inhaled hopping nothing pricked her lungs. It did hurt, a lot. Wanting to release the air from her lungs, Alex coaxed her to hold on to it for a bit longer as he ran his fingers across each rib finding a few cracked ones. Not much can be done for cracked ribs except time to heal. That will mean taking it slow, but there was no way Paige was going to rest, now that she knew something prehistoric was actually still alive in these caves. The creature she remembered looked human, glowing eyes and large menacing teeth and wings attached to its back. Its skin took a strange glow, as if it was covered with phosphorus, the same glow the commander had coming from some of his tattoos. Paige looked up at the commander, finding him staring down at her, as Alex examined her chest. Still holding her breath, she could not tell him to put his eyes back into his skull so she looked at him with intent. He picked up on her vibe. He cleared his throat, as he turned around, a bit embarrassed at his impoliteness. He had seen woman’s breast before, but Paige had somehow allured him into wanting to hold hers, maybe even taste them, the thought of running his tongue over them made him shudder with desire. It was like a drug, he found he could not get enough of her. She had an exceptional body, strong stomach muscles, her breast filled a C-cup bra perfectly, and her skin glistened slightly with perspiration making him jealous of Alex, who was able to touch her there. He could feel his fingers go into a fist, trying to get his composure back, what was he thinking, who the hell does she think she is, driving him crazy like this. He growled.
“Well it looks like you need to take it very slow the next few days, so I suggest you call for help and get you off this mountain and into bed.” Alex advised.
Yes, finally we can get rid of her and carry on with catching that menace, Corvan smiled at the thought and turned around to find Paige shaking her head.
“No way, I want to know what attacked me and I’m going after it, with or without your help.”  She replied as she straightened up her shirt and tried to get up again, without success.
“No you not, look at you, you can’t hardly get up.” Corvan pointed out.
“Give me a few hours. I’ll be right at rain” she grunted as she eased back down onto her back, “or maybe in the morning.” Paige declared hoping she will be.
“You going back down in the morning, whether you like it or not.” Corvan ordered.

Paige bit her tongue, arguing hurt and she needed all her strength later when she decided to sneak out when the men fell asleep. Instead she asked for them to help her pack up, which they did, they started a fire and found some food in her pack to make her supper. Luckily she had some painkillers, which she took for the pain.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


FINDING AN APPLE and an old chart of the caves layout she made herself comfortable on her now stretched out sleeping bag. The commander watched her carefully when Paige bit into the apple to free both hands and opened some kind of map. Where the hell did she get those? Knowing these caves where out of bounds for centuries for anyone to make any kind of assessments never mind maps, the Corporation saw to that. Paige looked up to find the men rather quiet, all she could hear was her gnawing on her apple, which sounded very loud all of a sudden.

Finding them staring at her again, “What now?” she asked irritated with their presence and unnerving manner.
“I think we should introduce ourselves, after all we are sharing the cave tonight.” The major replied and made his way toward Paige.
Putting her apple down and getting up to meet the major half way, she accepted his hand, but instead of shaking it he took her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles gently.
“Major Alexander Robson, but call me Alex, at your service ma’am.” Alex smiled.
“Paige Thornton,” Paige greeted taken aback by his manner.
“So Miss Thornton, this as you may not know is Commander Corvan Steel,” Alex introduced and was acknowledged by just a nod. “This is Lieutenant Neal Samuels.”

Neal walked forward and politely shook Paige’s hand, the same gesture was made by Corporal Edward Smyth, known as Eddie and Corporal Arnold Jenkins, known as AJ. Once all formalities where taken care of, Paige asked them to use her name and not Mrs. Thornton as it reminded her of her ex. They laughed and agreed. About to settle down again Alex and Neal joined her at the fire and suggested Eddie and AJ get more firewood, now that the rain had stopped.
Paige sat back down at her map and finished her apple when she realised the three men left in the cave had made themselves comfortable around the fire and was drinking out of large flasks watching her again.
“So now that you found my cave, what are you planning to do here?” Paige asked as she started to fold up her map.
The Commander started shifting irritated with her question, but decided to say nothing just in case he may say something he would regret later. Instead he looked over at the Major, who replied in a very serious tone. “If we tell you, we will have to kill you.” The Major smiled. The Commander quickly looked over to Paige to see how she would react to that comment. If he had said it, he was sure she would stab that knife into his heart, but because it was the Major, she laughed.
“Ditto” she replied before they asked her the same question.
“Ah, so you on a secret mission too then?” The Major asked taking another sip from his flask.
“Something like that.” Paige smiled slyly.
“So what makes these caves yours?” The commander could not resist asking, making the Major clear his throat. Paige noticed the two men’s why of communicating. She now realised the Major and his charm would get far more information from her than the Commander, she smiled at the interaction.
“Its mine because I have permission to be here.” Paige tried to say politely but failed as her mouth twisted into a sneer.
“Why do you think we don’t have permission?” The commander scoffed.
“Well if you had, you would have had the co-ordinates to find them, but instead you had no idea where they were.” Paige replied and stood up in frustration, looking down at the men, “Commander these caves have sensitive and historical data buried deep inside its cavities and I do not want you and your men entering these caves and upsetting or destroying evidence before I had a chance in retrieving it. I don’t know what you are after and to be honest I don’t really care, but what I do care about are these caves and the dig.” Paige advised finding her temper boiling again.
The Major stood up and joined her, “Ma’am I understand your frustration and I do sympathise with you, however, our presence here is classified and very necessary.” The Major explained in an even voice.
Paige looked at the three men now all standing anticipating a showdown, when she backed up a little and picked up her backpack angrily and threw it down again. “Okay, I’m not going to get into a pissing match with you, so I am willing to compromise.” She said, taking a deep breath to even her temper a little and then added, “I am willing to work with you, if you respect my space and I will respect yours.  I understand you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t necessary and I get that, but please respect my place and the ground you tread on. Deal?”
The Major looked over to the Commander and the Lieutenant, they nodded. “Deal” the Major replied. Walking over to where he placed his backpack took out his bedroll, lay it out and sat on it. Using his backpack as a backrest, and settled in for the night.

As the Commander and the Lieutenant was doing the same, Eddie and AJ returned with enough wood to last two nights. Finding the men settling in, Paige packed a few logs onto the fire and settled in too. Not falling asleep straight away, she watched the reflection of the flames dance on the ceiling of the cave, as the wood crackled and the rain started to come down again, she realised she may have found herself in a very precarious situation. Darkness fell over the mountains prompting the night creatures began to waken, a couple of owls hooted in the distant trees, while Coyotes howled and yelped excitedly as they hunted. Paige snuggled up closer to the fire for protection and heat. The cave was silent, she could not hear the men at all, they did not snore or move in their sleep, in fact they were so quiet she had to use her flashlight to see if they were still there. This was the first time she had to share sleeping quarters with men without a sound coming from them, which was rather chilling.
The men did not sleep, instead they watched Paige settle down and lay on her back watching the ceiling for a bit then shivered by the sounds of the night and move her bedroll closer to the fire. Finding her shine her flashlight over them, they pretending to be asleep. As Paige settled down again, Corvan watched her most of the night trying to fall asleep and finally when she did he found she did not rest easily. He had a suspicion this agreement with them sharing this cave and its secrets will reveal many other personal ones that may not be easy to explain. The first and largest secret of all was what he and his men where and what they were after, this secret may cost her, her life. Not knowing why he was so attracted to her, but he had to ensure at all cost that she would remain innocent throughout this mission and not compromise their secrets. Now how was he supposed to do this, he was not certain but he had to try. He watched as the fire gave her skin an orange glow, it gave her an aura of power and mystery that surprisingly aroused him.
WAKING UP THE next morning was just as surprising, Paige moaned and stretched as she started to wake up, stiff from sleeping on the ground, Paige gently lifted herself up to find the men dressed and ready for the day. The sun had not made its way over the mountain yet and so a thick fog hung like a heavy curtain over the caves entrance. Not concerned about the outside of the cave, Paige got up without a word and took out a can of beans and opened it, then placed it on some hot coals. While that was warming up as breakfast she took out her toothbrush and paste to brush her teeth, then brushed her hair, tied it back and then took out a deodorant stick, lifted her t-shirt and ran it under each arm. Corvan watched her every move from the corner of his eye as he made as if he was reading something. Quietly he watched and studied her as she carefully removed the hot can of beans off the fire and gently forked its contents into her mouth. Finishing it off she put the can in the same container she had her apple core the night before and put it to one side. How meticulous she was, everything had a purpose and a reason. Finally, a half an hour later, she was geared up and ready to explore the caves.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


TWO WEEKS LATER, Paige decided to take some time off and return to a place she forgot about until recently. Paige found this place quite by chance, she was young and adventurous and on one of her hikes up Edge Peak, she came across hidden caves, where she found some bones. Not knowing if they were animal or human the find was quite intriguing. She carefully removed a few fragments and took them back home with her; this discovery triggered her interest in archaeology. Paige tried to get into the caves again a few months later, but when she returned she found authorities had denied access by erecting a six-foot barbwire fence, claiming the caves dangerous, unsafe and trespasses would be persecuted. When a conservation officer found her lurking about the fence she found herself explaining the reason being there to the officer and her parents, she wasn’t about to climb over and trespass, she was just inquisitive. The incident terrified her and so kept the find in a box, until she decided to move back to where she grew up, and came across the fragments a few weeks ago when she finally decided to unpack that last box in her old hometown of Maple Ridge, Canada. Curiosity took the bones into her lab the next morning to start some tests of her own.

Her first stop was a colleague and friend of three years, Dr. Robyn Abraham’s laboratory. They had become good friends the day Robyn started working in the Radiocarbon Laboratory, which happened to be next to Paige’s office. Walking into the lab, Paige was welcomed immediately;

 “Good morning Paige.” Robyn greeted from behind her microscope.

“Morning Robyn, busy?” Paige asked anxiously.

“Not particularly, why, what’s up?” Robyn asked moving away from the scope and monitors to take a closer look at what Paige held in her hands.

“I have some bones here that needs dating, if you have some time?” Paige replied as she handed the box over to her friend, without letting it go. “This is a personal favour to me not the companies.” Page added.

“Very well. When do you need the results back by?” Robyn asked as she took full possession of the box and set it carefully down on one of the tables.

“Yesterday,” Paige grinned hopping to have it back by the end of the day.

Robyn smiled opening the box and looked at the contents, “Well, it looks like you a have very old human metatarsal fragment and a couple of phalanx of the foot here, do you have anything bigger?”

“No, the foot fragments where the only ones I found.” Paige replied, “Once I have them dated, I’ll be able to warrant an application for a dig.”

“Leave them with me and I’ll see what I can do for you today.” Robyn replied lifting the box and its contents and started working on them.

Paige thanked her and returned to her office, finding the day excruciating long. Toward the end, just as Paige was going to give up to her patience, Robyn called her back to her lab.

“The report is inconclusive.” Robyn frowned.

“How can carbon dating be inconclusive?” Paige asked suspiciously.

“Well lets put it this way the carbon 14 dating evidences the bones over forty thousand years old or even later, but some parts of the same bone is less then five years old.”

“How is that possible?” Paige asked confused

“That’s the point, its not. Come take a look at this.” Robyn moved her microscope over toward Paige. Bending over and adjusting the scope to focus, Paige found cells within the bone expanding and contracting as if they were breathing.

“Another oddity, these bones are human, but the cells you are looking at, are not.” 

“What are they then?” 

“Have no clue, that’s inconclusive too.” Robyn sighed and sat back down on her lab chair. “It’s alien.”

“As in out of space alien?” Paige started to panic.

“It could be, as it’s not in our database to relate to be earthbound. May I ask where you found them?” Robyn asked nervously.

“I can only if you promise to keep this between us for now?” Paige asked.

“I promise for now, but you will have to relay this find to Steve,” Robyn whispered.

After long negotiations and keeping her find a secret until she found larger bone fragments, Dr. Stephan Renny used his authority with the corporation to get Paige back into those forgotten caves and revive its hidden secrets. These caves were in her own back yard and for years she watched the sun reflect its pink glow over the snow capped peaks and always wondered what if, now she had her backpack packed with a few days food, gear and on a new secret mission. 

JEN DROPPED PAIGE off at the west canyon parking lot of the Golden Ears Provincial Park that morning and made arrangements to pick her up a few days later. Paige hiked past Alder Flats camp, which was a few kilometres from the parking lot early that first morning and headed to the emergency shelter on the ridge below the peaks. She had to get there before nightfall otherwise she would have to set up camp in the dark, which would not be the best idea being alone with predators lurking about. Paige had packed bear mace, and her favourite hunting knife she obtained when she was camping out on a dig back in Kenya, it was large enough to scare anything away.  Paige knew how to use it in case of any emergency like, chop, cut and even kill, it had come in handy many times before. Excavation of artefacts never seemed to be found in safe places, so she had to learn how to survive and this knife was her best defence.

The backpack was heavy and very uncomfortable, so by the time Paige got to her first overnight stop she was drenched in sweat and too tied to eat. She through out her bedroll and made a fire to keep the night creatures at bay. Fire logs where provided by the B.C. Provincial Park, but knew her next stop, she would not be so lucky. Hitting the sleeping bag early she was up before the sun the next morning. Making up good time, she ate energy bars as she walked.  Finding the trail she was on thinning out, as not many hikers came this way, the trail up to the peak veered left. However, the caves she was looking for took her off the beaten track, so taking a deer path turning her toward the caves came with many unwanted obstacles, this gave her the opportunity to use her big ass knife. Slamming through overgrown bush up a very steep embankment Paige broke through onto a clearing. Shrugging off her backpack and leaning it against her leg she took out a water bottle and her state of the art satellite phone. Taking a sip of the water, she was able to get her co-ordinates, to the left was the caves and right was the parks warden shelter, both less than a half a day’s hike. Wasting no time she made her way toward overgrown forest, which sheltered the cliff face, hiding the caves from sight. Picking up her backpack and hoisting it up onto her shoulders again she stopped to listen. Voices, of men arguing. Not sure which direction it was coming from she decided to move along and make her way to her destination. Hoping not to come across the men, she had no time to find out why men would be up so high, hunting season was over, so if it wasn’t park officials or other hikers then she would be in trouble, making them poachers. Taking out her mace and hunting knife that hung off her hip, she made her way back into the forest following her GPS reading on her phone toward the caves. Unexpectedly walking straight into a group of five large men dressed in unidentifiable black camouflage uniforms, hunched over their GPS unit.

“Are you lost?” Paige asked startled at the discovery in finding military men up in this part of the forest. Each man had an emblem and rank marked on their sleeves.

The man closest to her had his back to her; he stood up and turned around.

“You!” they exclaimed in unison, recognising each other from the club, but this time the man was dressed in a uniform, a crossbow hanging over his shoulder and surrounded by four other large scary looking men with knives strapped onto their legs and crossbows in their hands.  Paige was drenched in sweat, dirty, carrying mace in one hand and a large hunting knife in the other, staring back at them.

“Commander, you know this lovely lady,” a man from the left asked as he passed, the commander, and made his way toward Paige. Backing up a little and raising her knife for protection, Paige cursed.

“Major, I think you safer back here.” The commander said sarcastically shaking his head not believing what was standing in front of him.

Taking a deep breath Paige sidestepped, keeping her eyes on the men as she tied to move back onto the path she was taking.

“To answer your question Ma’am, yes, we may be lost.” The major replied trying to cut the tension between the beautiful woman and his superior officer.

Paige started to giggle then moved to a laugh, then finally not holding back, dropped her backpack off her shoulders and held her stomach, as she laughed so hard it hurt. Looking back at the five men through tearing eyes she noticed everyone except the Commander laughing with her.

Trying to settle down she asked what they were after; the major explained they were looking for caves not marked on their map or GPS.

“No bloody way,” Paige gasped not finding the situation funny anymore. They wanting to go to the same place she was heading and there was no way these military men would tread their large unskilled feet onto “her” historical site.

“What are you doing out here, alone?” the major asked.

“That’s my business,” Paige replied putting her backpack back on and adjusting it as she clipped it securely around her hips.

“Well I think it has to do with these caves we looking for.” the commander challenged.

“You need permission to enter those caves, do you have that?” Paige asked slyly watching the men gathering closer to her. There was the Commander, the Major and three other large men now all standing getting a good look at this young, sassy lady being a bit rebellious and arrogant.

“We don’t need permission.” The commander announced irritated with her presence. She was the last person to see out here, although he did plan to eventually see her again, but not in these circumstances. He and his unit were on a mission that did not involve a fiery red head that will be in grave danger if she stayed up in these mountains. “You being alone out here is dangerous and suggest you go back the way you came,” the commander added.

“Why would you think I couldn’t look after myself?” Paige asked.

The men laughed. “Well, look at you” the commander replied.

Paige swallowed back the insult and swung her knife, striking down a branch that blocked her path and moved along. She wasn’t wasting any more time on insulting, chauvinistic men.

“Hold on, where do you think you’re going?” The major asked, surprised at the young woman’s boldness. 

“I’m on a schedule and need to get to the shelter before that storm hits these mountains.” Paige replied pointing west toward the large dark grey clouds building up and blowing toward them. “And by the way your caves, they’re that way.” She added pointing the opposite direction to where she was going.

“Thanks,” the major replied and turned to join his unit.

“No problem.” Paige replied smiling slyly to herself as she chopped a path toward the caves.   An hour later she arrived at the barbwire fence. Unclipping and dropping the backpack off her shoulders again she found the key for the padlock that was given to her to open the gate, when she noticed a big gaping hole in the fence a few meters away. On closer inspection she realized the fence was not cut as the edges where jagged, it was as if something or someone ripped it open.  Retrieving her backpack she made her way through the opening and climbed up the steep embankment towards the cliffs where the caves where.  No fresh prints or disturbance were found on her way up, which was a relief.  The wind was blowing harder and bringing the rain in a little faster than first anticipated. Feeling a drop here and there Paige hassled as she prepared to climb up the steep ten-foot cliff face to get to the caves. She picked, chipped and pulled herself up slowly and meticulously as the rain fell down harder making the last few meters very slippery to climb.  Concentrating not to fall she finally reached the caves ledge, then began hoisting her backpack up by the rope she tied it onto. Soaked to the bone she finally made her way to the caves entrance, finding it dry and breezy. The wind gusted through it, whipping up dead leaves and sand as it howled threw the crevasse.

Walking in deeper, Paige found a small circle of rocks, in one sheltered corner of the cave. It had no charcoal or debris left in it evidencing it not been in use for a very long time.  It looked like the way she remembered it except for the small circle of rocks, which must have been put together by some trespasser to make a sheltered fire pit between then and now.  Putting her backpack down, untied and twisting the rope up between her hand and elbow and neatly putting it back in the bag she stored it in, all the while looking around her new surroundings. Deciding to start a fire before she got out of her wet clothing and shoes.

Gathering old tree twigs and leaves lying around in the cave she neatly stacked it into a starter pile in the fire pit. Then venturing out the cave, back into the rain, where she found larger branches and pine cones. Adding them to the pile she finally got the fire started and added larger branches until it became quite a large and warming fire.

Shivering with cold Paige took out her bedroll and zip lock plastic bags containing various pieces of dry clothing, she started to undress.  First taking her hiking boots and socks off and lay them close to the fire to dry, then replaced her wet pants and underwear with dry and clean ones. Finally she pulled her T-shirt and sports bra off over her head when she heard rocks grinding under someone’s feet at the entrance of the cave.  She turned around to find five drenched men staring back at her with a not too happy look on their faces. Paige yelped as she hugged the wet T-shirt closer to her bare breasts.

“Oh my god, what the hell are you doing here?” Paige asked nervously.

“Deception does not sit very well with me, Miss Thornton.” The commander sneered, finding himself very irritated, yet drawn to the beauty of the woman standing half naked in front of him.

“Oh please.” Paige scorned “you trained for all sorts of weather and circumstances, I’m sure.” She replied, shivering as she tucked the T-shirt under her armpits to make sure nothing stuck out.

“Hold on a minute, how well do you know each other?” the major interrupted realising his commander knew the young ladies last name.

“Not at all,” Paige replied immediately, “Although I’m curious how your commander knew my last name?” she added.  The commander just shook his head not believing the situation he found himself in. They stared at each other for a bit, realizing the commander wasn’t going to reply to her questions.

“Do you mind turning around so that I can finish dressing here?” Paige asked.

“Go ahead, don’t mind us as we get out of these wet clothes.” The commander said and walked further into the cave and dropped his backpack and crossbow onto the ground, followed by his men. Without warning started to strip off their wet uniforms, starting with their shirts revealing black tank tops and tattoos, many interesting tattoos. Paige stared in disbelieve at their gesture and then gapped as she did not recognised any of the symbols on the commander’s arms, she thought to be some kind of ancient hieroglyphics but could not be sure. These may have meaning that disturbed, but yet fascinated her. Taken back by the way she stared at him, the commander decided to take his undressing a bit further to see how far he would get before she turned away. 

“Wow” she moaned as he pulled off his tank top revealing the most wonderful symbols she had never seen before. Not realizing she had made her way over to him and was about to touch his skin when the commander abruptly grabbed her wrist to stop her. Paige gasped not realizing she had made her way to the other side of the cave, in some kind of trance. An unexpected current ran down her arm into her gut, jolting her brain back to the moment.

There was confusion in his eyes, “Don’t.” He said angrily.

Paige swallowed hard before she had the courage to ask, “Where did you get these?” she asked, finding her voice soft yet rattled. Unexpectedly she was quite absorbed by them, they seemed to glisten in the dark as if the tattoos where drawn with incandescent ink.

“I think you need to get to know the commander first, Ma’am,” The major laughed.

Paige looked back at the major sitting on a rock taking his boots off, and the rest of the men in various stages of undress. Embarrassed by her rudeness in starring at all the men’s naked muscular chests all ripped into different immensity and hardness, she made her way back to her corner of the cave.

The men that surrounded her did not care or acknowledge her half naked presence so she, decided to finish dressing. Picking up the plastic bag with a clean bra and T-shirt, she ripped it open with her teeth keeping the wet T-shirt in place until she got the bra out, turned her back to the men she clipped the bra in place and then snuggled into her clean T-shirt. Turning around she found the men not minding her at all, relieved she sat on a rock closest to the fire and dragged her backpack closer to find something to eat and rearrange the content, still a bit rattled not sure if it was their presence or the commanders touch.