One of the tools she used was drawing. She had always liked to draw, and now she did her best so sketch out a small imitation of some of the more horrifying things she'd been through on the moon. A knock on the door sent her jumping out of her skin.
Putting the sketchbook down, she went to open the door and her jaw dropped to see Adam there, with Gwen in his arms. "Hi, Elissa."
"Hi. .." she felt a little unsteady, though she wasn't certain if that was because of his stunning good looks or the shock she'd had while drawing. "Come on in."
The two of them came in, and Adam peered around at her. "So, um. . .how have you been?"
"Okay, I guess."
He nodded. "Gwen's missed you."
"I've missed her too!" Elissa picked Gwen out of Adam's arms and held her close. "Oh, did I miss you!"
Gwen giggled a little, then looked at her. "Hi, mommy!"
Elissa's eyes went very wide. "She's talking!"
Adam nodded. "She sort of started while you were gone." Elissa sighed, sitting down on the couch and cried. Adam sat next to her, and stiffened just a bit as she leaned against him and watched Gwen as she toddled about the room.
"What else did I miss..." Elissa wondered, not noticing him glancing over to see her sketch.
Adam nodded. "Rito became David, Tommy's twin brother."
"I was there when he changed, remember?" she reminded him. Adam nodded.
"I wasn't sure if you remembered that."
Elissa's eyes wandered over to the sketch. "There seems to be a lot that I now remember."
"I can see." Adam looked at the sketch, not wanting to ask about it. If she wanted to tell him, though, he wasn't going to stop her. His every sense appeared to be on fire as he stayed near her. He'd missed her so much. ..
Elissa sighed and got up. "Want something to drink?"
"Sure." Adam nodded and smiled when he brought him a can of soda. He noticed she was shaking, and wanted nothing more than to hold her forever. "Thanks."
She sat back down, deep in thought. "I am sorry, Adam. I didn't want any of this to happen."
"I know." Adam nodded. "It did anyway. We'll just have to deal with it now."
Elissa glanced down at the scars. "Along with everything else."
Adam nodded, and Elissa glanced at him. "Want to stay for dinner?"
"Sure." he had hoped she would ask. He watched as she picked up the sketchpad and glanced at it for a moment, then threw it towards the closed window. "You still draw like a dream."
"And I draw nightmares."
He took a long breath. "That are over."
She agreed. Sort of. "In real life, but now that I have those memories back, I have to deal with them. I wish I could have on New Kalakan."
"What was it like there?" Adam had wondered that for quite some time now.
"Beautiful. Peaceful." That world had never known war, and she hoped it never would. Something like that should never be touched by the horrors she knew.
Adam nodded. "I wish I could visit there someday."
She looked at him, something in her mind. "Adam, how can you still love me after what I did to you?"
"I just do."
Elissa looked at him. There was such simple love in his eyes, so complete and unquestioning, unchanging, unerring. She didn't know how he could have it for her, but he did. "I love you too." She did. She didn't know why, but she just did. He made her complete.
"I love you forever."
Saying that banished most of the fears she'd been having, and she leaned over to gently kiss him. "What do you say we put Gwen to bed early, and skip dinner?"
"Sounds good to me." He smiled at her, and Elissa went over to Gwen, who was poking through some magazines she had.
"Want to see your new room?" She'd decorated the entire apartment, but done a very good job on Gwen's, knowing Adam would be bringing her sometime soon. She picked up the little girl and carried her to the room.
The future werewolf glanced around, her tiny mind liking what she saw. "Nice room."
Elissa smiled. "I designed it myself. Why don't you get settled in, and come knock on Mommy's door when you're ready to go to sleep, okay?"
"Okay, mommy." Once Gwen had started talking, her mind and mouth and developed at a very alarming rate. Adam had worried about it, until he had learned that it was natural, since she did have wolven genetics, and wolves developed much faster than humans. She ran over and gave her mother a very tight hug. "I love you, Mommy."
Elissa hugged back. "I love you too. And I miss being with you."
"You'll be back one day." Gwen said firmly. "Daddy loves you."
Elissa smiled. "And I love him. Now scoot! Go get settled in." She closed the door gently behind her and went back to Adam, who was still seated politely on the couch. "Wanna see my room?"
He nodded. "You've really done a great job on this place."
"Thanks." She smiled. "My last design project, that I didn't get paid to do!"
Adam giggled. "It's still beautiful."
As she led him back to the bedroom, she told him, "I quit my job."
"Why?" They had managed to convince everyone in Angel Grove that a distant relative of Elissa's had become suddenly sick, requiring her to fly out at once and deal with it, which was how they'd explained her unexpected absence. They knew they were going to have to do something about this sort of thing in the future, too. This was just starting to strike too close to home.
She sighed. "I loved it. But when I came back, I just felt uncomfortable there."
"Because you were gone so long?"
Elissa nodded, and he smiled warmly and comfortingly at her. "You'll find another job."
Elissa smiled. "Already have, sort of. Darian likes to write children's stories, and knows that I like to draw. So I'm illustrating his net one for him."
"Good." He was suddenly awestruck when she swung the door open and displayed a room almost identical to the one she used at her family's ranch. His jaw dropped. "This is beautiful!"
Elissa smiled. "Brings back some good memories."
She struck at him lightly. "Don't tell me you forgot! I designed this room to look like my room back at the ranch!"
"You did tell me, but I was sort of focusing on you, not the room." She blushed deeply, then kissed him. "I love you, Elissa."
She looked at him. "I. .I love you." She smiled just a touch. "I haven't said that very much since Finster did that to me. Hold me, Adam." Without a word, he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. She remembered other nights in his arms, nights that made anything she had had with Skull seem pale and distant in comparison. Tears spilled down her cheeks, to be kissed away by Adam. She looked up into his eyes. "Make love to me, please?"
He could never, and did not now, say no to her.
Afterwards, she cuddled into him, her mind at more peace than she could remember for some time. "Thank you."
"I love you." He said it simply and honestly. It was true.
She smiled. "I forgot what it was like to be with you."
"I hope I reminded you."
A blush stained her cheeks, and she stretched luxuriously. "Oh, you did."
Both of them looked up at a tiny knock on the door, and a small voice saying, "Mommy!"
"I think you're being paged." Adam grinned. He had had to put up with that for months, he was more than glad to have help again.
Elissa smiled as she reached for her housecoat. "I missed that too." Once she was properly covered, she swung the door open. "Yes, Gwen darling?"
"I'm ready to go to bed, Mommy." The little girl looked up at her with bright eyes. Elissa wondered what she had heard, and more. . .what she had understood.
Elissa took her hand. "Then let's!" she led Gwen back to her room and turned down the covers on the bed. "Hop on in!"
Her daughter did, curling up under the covers. "Night, mommy."
"Night, my little Gwen." Elissa kissed her, then tucked her in neatly. "If you need anything, you just knock, okay?"
Gwen nodded, and Elissa smiled. "Good night." She kissed her gently on the forehead again, then turned out the light and went back to the room. She saw Adam getting out of the bed, and raised one eyebrow. "Going somewhere?"
Adam looked a little ashamed, and embarrassed. "Well. .."
She smiled. "You're going back home, aren't you?" he nodded, as she came over and kissed him passionately. Slowly, he looked at her, stars in his eyes.
"You don't mind if I stay a little longer, do you?" he asked.
She couldn't help but laugh. "Not in the least." Slowly she ran her fingers down his back. He arched his back, his eyes wide and surprised.
"Whoa...wow...I missed that!" Elissa smiled for a moment, then backed away, remembering something. "Elissa?" he looked at her.
"I can't do it, Adam." she murmured. He looked confused, and she said. "I did the same thing with Skull."
She sighed. "I cheated on you. I love you so much, Adam, but those memories keep coming back! I want to be with you forever, but I don't know how!"
Adam took her hand gently. "Why don't we try and learn how?" There was too much love in his voice for her to deny him, and she wanted to anyway.
She took the first step. "Then I have to be honest with you about what happened up there before you got Evanthe out."
"What did happen?" Almost before the words were out of his mouth, his mind was overwhelmed with images of bondage, abuse, violence, pain. . ."Oh, Elissa. . ."
A tear fell down her cheek. "That's not the worst of it. I actually enjoyed some of what he did to me back then."
Adam wrapped her arms around her and held her gently. "Elissa. .." she cried into him, and he held her. Sometimes he wondered if his shoulder ever got soggy. But he wouldn't mind, not if he was needed. And he was. "Elissa, I love you. Nothing can change that. Nothing."
"I love you, too. And it's you I want, forever."
He looked at her calmly. "You're the only one I've ever wanted, forever."
Elissa pulled him onto the bed, nibbling on his neck, and accidentally got a touch too playful, biting his neck. "Careful there!"
"Sowwy." she smiled at him. She didn't really like giving or taking pain all that much, though a touch of it in fun wasn't that bad.
Adam kissed at her, nibbling on his own. "It's okay."
She paused for a moment, looking at him. "It looks like you're staying the night!"
"Looks like it." He smiled, then reached for her. Once they were done, she lay in his arms, almost afraid to sleep again, for fear the nightmares would return. The fear was banished when he kissed her gently on the forehead. Slowly she fell to sleep, murmuring one single word before then.
"The female werewolf, Elissa Park." Goldar grunted. He knew better than to push his main reason for returning, to claim what was rightfully his. She would belong to him in time. He just had to be patient, and keep playing Vile like he was a musical instrument. Vile got his revenge: Goldar got his reward.
"She will pay for that." Vile said determinedly. No one harmed his child and got away with it.
"How do you plan on doing that?" Goldar wanted to know. Vile laughed coldly.
"She killed Rita, therefore she will die." Vile stated firmly.
Goldar lifted an eyebrow. "Very slowly?"
"Unbelievably slowly!" Vile declared. He was going to make it last a thousand lifetimes, a thousand thousand lifetimes!
The warrior chuckled. "It'll be fun to see her suffer."
"Yes, it will." Vile agreed. "Now, I believe you also mentioned someone else you wanted?"
"Evanthe." Goldar's voice almost caressed the name with longing and lust. "She was taken from me. She was to be my reward, mine and Rito's."
Vile frowned on all of his faces. "Where is Rito, anyway?" that was one part of the tale that Goldar hadn't yet said.
"It appears that he was turned back to his human self." Goldar said, stepping quickly and carefully back away from his new master. Vile turned to him, his eyes burning with unasked questions. "He showed kindness to her. .."
The sorcerer nodded. "And that broke my spell." At Goldar's nod, Vile decided something. "She'll pay for that."
"But first the werewolf?"
"Yes." Vile agreed. "Once that's been taken care of, then we'll deal with the vampire."
Goldar smiled. "What do you wish me to do?"
"Wait until she's asleep," Vile said. "Then take her captive, and leave this." He handed a note to Goldar, then pulled out a long-bladed silver knife. "She will die. ..slowly."
"Oh, Purple Ranger!" she heard a very familiar voice behind her, and turned to see Goldar with an unconscious Elissa in his arms.
Evanthe glared, hate welling up in her eyes. "Let her go!"
"I cannot." Goldar chuckled as a table appeared, Finster's table, and he put her on it. "She must pay for her crimes." A silver knife appeared in his hand.
"Leave her alone!" Evanthe ran over, wanting to help her friend for once.
Goldar ran the blade down Elissa's arm, and she screamed in pain. "Maybe Finster would like to have some. . .fun.
I'll kill you, all of you, leave Elissa alone, she's been through more than enough because of you!" Evanthe tried hitting Goldar, only to watch as her hands went straight through him.
He smiled coldly. "This will be the end of it. She will soon be out of her misery!"
"NO!! Stop this!"
Goldar turned to look at her, evil and desire in his eyes. "And when she is, I'm coming back for my reward!"
"No!" Evanthe howled. "Stay away from us all!"
Goldar laughed and vanished, leaving a bleeding Elissa behind him. Evanthe stared at the body for a few moments, then began to scream, thrashing around with all her might.
"Elissa's in danger." She said, getting out of bed and reaching for her clothes.
"What are you talking about?" Billy asked, dressing. He had never seen her that disturbed, even after a nightmare, and she'd had plenty of those. Quickly she told him of the dream she'd had, but deleted the portion of where Goldar had called her his reward again. Billy sighed. "I hope they don't try anything tonight. Gwen is staying with her."
"That's why I'm going to find out if she's okay. I'd hate to wake her up, but I'd rather do that have her be there and not go and have her be gone!"
"Did Elissa ever tell you that you're a worrywart?" Billy said dryly.
Evanthe nodded. "Yes, she did. And that saved her life three times before we ever met you."
"Elissa!?" he stared where she had been for a moment, then heard a fierce knocking on the door. Seeing a note next to him, he grabbed it, a towel that he wrapped around himself, and ran to the door. "We've got a problem." Was the first thing he said when he saw Evanthe and Billy there.
Evanthe sighed. "Elissa's gone?" the two words were half question, half statement, and all worried. Adam nodded as he read the note, then went whiter than Evanthe. he almost dropped the note, which was caught by Evanthe. As she read it, she looked almost ready to faint, and Billy swore violently as he read it over her shoulder.
"Mommy?" they all looked up to see Gwen toddling in, as worried as they were.
"Did we wake you up, Gwen?" Adam asked, picking his daughter up. Gwen nodded.
Adam thought quickly. "Mommy had a little accident, but she's going to be okay. We're going to take care of everything now."
Gwen blinked a little. "Did big gold monkey take her?"
Adam nodded. "Yes, and we are going to get her back." He wasn't surprised; Gwen and Elissa had been connected to each other since before her birth. Possibly before her conception.
"She scared." Gwen blinked again.
"Do you know where she is?"
Gwen shook her head as she leaned against Adam, and he sighed. "We'll get her back."
Billy nodded. "Let's get to the Command Center." Adam nestled Gwen a little closer, then they all vanished, heading towards their base.
Once there, Evanthe repeated the dream to Alpha and Zordon and the other Rangers, who were contacted at once and arrived in varying forms of undress. Adam glanced at Alpha, repeating words he hoped that he would never have to say again. "Alpha, any luck finding her?"
"Nothing, yet, but I'm working on it."
Adam held Gwen a little closer, trying to comfort her as she began to cry a little. "Shhh..it's going to be okay."
Evanthe was blaming herself. "If I'd just moved a little faster, we could've gotten there in time!"
Liana shook her head. "Vampires can only move so fast. Her apartment is too far from where you live, there was no way to get there in time."
"I should've teleported. .." Evanthe murmured, not really listening to her. "Why did I even have that dream? I've never dreamed of her being in danger before."
Zordon had some idea of why, but wasn't going to say anything just yet. There had been anomalies in Evanthe's bio-readings since the day he had met her, but nothing he could pin down, and nothing he would say to her of. Yet. "I wish I knew what to tell you, Evanthe." he said honestly.
"There's got to be a reason. And we've got to get Elissa back."
Liana suggested, "Maybe it's because you and she have become so close these past one hundred years."
"I guess." Evanthe shrugged as Tommy looked to Adam
"Can you try and contact her?"
"I'll try." The Black Ranger said quietly, as Gwen began to cry for her mommy. "We're going to get her back."
He took a deep breath and began to concentrate. Elissa?
Elissa, where are you, what have they done to you!?
I don't know.. .help me, Adam..they're trying to kill me slowly...they've already cut my arm...with a silver blade!!
Do you have any idea where you're at? The palace?
No. Adam..I feel so weak...
We'll find you, Elissa!
I found you again only to..to...
"Elissa!" Adam howled. "Elissa!"
Gwen cried softly as Adam held her, and Tommy looked at them. "What is it?"
Adam told them quietly what she had told him. Liana glanced at Evanthe. "Just like your dream."
"I want Elissa back, and I want to know why that dream was so accurate." Evanthe shivered just a little. The very thought of it was terrifying to her.
Adam nodded. "You're not the only one. I want my wife back."
Evanthe lifted an eyebrow. "Um, if this is none of my business tell me, but are you and Elissa. ..together again?"
The Black Ranger smiled momentarily. "We're working on it."
"Ah, Finster." Vile smiled darkly. "I have someone here who I'd like you to meet. Again." He chuckled as Finster's eyes glowed a dark evil red at the very sight of Elissa. "Ah, I see you remember her."
The scientist nodded. "I never did get to finish that one experiment!"
"Would you like to?"
Finster rubbed his hands together wickedly. "Oh, yes!"
"No. . ." Elissa whispered, her eyes opening just to see Finster there. Her heart nearly exploded with fear. "No!"
Vile chuckled. "Be my guest. But first, an agreement?"
"What kind of agreement?" Finster was eager to get back to the work that he loved so much: causing pain to living beings.
"You work for me, making anything I want, doing whatever I want, and she's yours."
"Agreed!" the twisted scientist shouted. Vile swung the cell door open and handed him something.
"These should make things quite interesting." the evil overlord said with a grin. Finster checked them out and laughed, heading in to her.
Elissa backed away in fright, wishing she had been wearing her communicator. "Leave me alone. ." she rasped, her throat in pain. She vaguely recognized the fact that she had been cut across there. ..not enough to kill, but enough to hurt. . .badly.
"Oh, I don't think so!" Finster laughed as he began to feel in places that he had no real business feeling. Elissa felt waves of weakness washing over her, and realized that the gloves he had were coasted with silver dust. Finster laughed at her harshly. "Now just where did we leave off that last experiment at? Right about...here I think!" he was about to do something fairly vile, when Elissa screamed, eyes shutting just as she vanished in a sparkle of light.
Vile growled; he'd been enjoying the show! "We will get her back! And then you can finish." With a blaze in his eyes, he turned and stormed out of the room, leaving Finster pouting in fury and frustration.
"No!" Adam groaned as Alpha started to treat them. Gwen came over to her.
"Mommy. . hurt inside." she said quietly.
Adam looked at his child. "Do you know what happened to her?" Gwen shook her head, and Liana glanced the wounds.
"Could some of the silver have gotten into her blood? If so, that vial Vincent gave you could come in handy."
Evanthe ran for it. "I'll get it."
"Hurry, it is in her!" Alpha told her. Evanthe was back quickly, and gave it to him. As he started to treat her, he looked up. "Now we can only wait."
Adam sat down by Elissa, taking her hand. "Elissa, please. ..come back to me. .."
Gwen looked over at Evanthe. "Mommy and Daddy in love again." Gwen looked worried. "Auntie? Mommy be okay?"
"She will be." Evanthe reassured her. I hope.
Tommy had a question. "Adam, can you hear her thoughts?"
Elissa? Adam shook his head in response. Elissa, please, come back to me...
"Daddy?" Gwen was crying suddenly, and Adam picked her up. "She's so weak. .."
Adam nodded. "Can you hear her?"
"I know." Gwen said softly.
"Do you know how to help her?" Adam wondered. He wouldn't be surprised. Gwen, however, shook her head quietly.
Evanthe paced up and down, her eyes full of tears. "There's got to be something we can do."
"Right now, all we can do is wait." Tommy said. Adam held Elissa's hand, staring at her.
"I guess" Evanthe sighed. Elissa uttered one scream, then went back into her coma. Adam stared at her.
Elissa, it's me, Adam. You're at the Command Center, you're safe! Elissa, you're safe..
His heart jumped when a tear rolled down one cheek, then she opened her eyes slightly. "Elissa."
"You're safe," he held her hand. She shook her head.
"He tried again..." her voice held a soft whisper, and Adam growled. He was going to do things that defied description to Finster if he could.
Hold me. ..
I love you.
Stay with me...
It is you I want. Not Skull.
You're the only one I've ever wanted.
You're safe, I love you. ..
Elissa screamed out Adam's name suddenly, feeling her heart slowing down beat by beat. Gwen was still crying, both of them could sense something very bad was about to happen.
"Elissa. .." Adam stared, not sure what was going on, but not liking it.
"Good-bye Adam..." she whispered, her eyes going blank suddenly. Evanthe was a statue, her eyes pinned on her best friend. In her mind was a headless image of Finster.
"No, Elissa, no, please no!" Adam cried. "Don't you dare leave me! Noooo!!"
No one noticed Liana vanishing, until she reappeared with Vincent. Evanthe looked over at her friend. "Vincent, can you help her? She's dying!"
The vampire king said nothing, only went over and closed Elissa's eyes quietly. He pulled something out of the small bag he always carried with him, putting it on her forehead, then went to hold Liana. Evanthe looked from him to Elissa quietly, hearing Adam's tears and agonized wail Slowly, she whispered, "Vile, Finster, and Goldar are all going to die."
A soft moan broke through the deathly silence of the Command Center. Adam stared. "E...Elissa."
Elissa. ..you're safe.
I can't wake up.
Please, try to. You have to.
Please..I need you ...Gwen needs you.
I'm trying. .but I can't!
Adam looked at the others, tears falling down his face. "She says she can't wake up!"
Vincent's eyes widened. "It worked!?" surprise rang out from him. Adam shrugged.
"I guess, but she still says that she can't wake up!"
"It's working slower than usual." Vincent said, coming back over to them. "Ask her to think of both you and Gwen. I want to try something."
Think of me and Gwen, Elissa. Vincent's going to be trying to help you.
Okay. Adam watched as Vincent put more of the whatever it was on her forehead. Elissa's eyes flickered briefly, but didn't open all the way.
Elissa, remember when Gwen was born?
She laughed mentally. I kept blaming it on you. Her eyes opened just a little more.
And when we first met?
I almost lost you. She was looking up now, through squinting eyes.
You saved me twice. First from the snow, then from Rito and Goldar later. Elissa stared at him, then cried, her eyes wide open. "Elissa! You're awake!"
Hold me! As his arms came around her, she asked, Go back to the apartment.
Yes, if you want to go. When she nodded, he looked at Gwen. "Come on, we're going home."
Adam and Elissa both nodded, and Adam held them both. "I love you. Both of you."
She smiled, then something hit her mind with the force of a brick wall. Adam. ..I....
"What is it?"
I can't feel my legs.
Adam's eyes widened, and he touched one leg gently. "Can you feel that?" She shook her head, and he sighed. "Oh, Elissa. Try and walk."
I can't move them.
"Elissa. .." he hoped it was just a passing thing. ..
Adam, I can't walk. I can't move my legs. She looked scared. What's happening to me, why can't I?
He shook his head. "I don't know."
Something occurred to her. Adam, look at my back. Did Finster touch me there? There should be burn marks.
She leaned forward, and he checked. Five burns were on her back, directly over her spine. They had been treated by Alpha, but it was obvious there was some damage he hadn't detected. "Yes."
I'm scared. She leaned against him, trembling.
We'll find some way to fix this.
Will you stay here with me?
Adam, that's not what I meant. Stay at the apartment.
If you want me to.
She smiled. I need you to. She reached out and picked up a sketchpad that was nearby and drew a quick sketch, turning it to Adam a few moments later. He felt nauseous at the sight of Goldar with the silver knife coming at her, and wrapped his arms around her.
"He won't come near you again."
I can't protect myself now.
So I'll protect you.
I love you.
As he prepared for bed again, she sketched on something she'd done some time earlier. New Kalakan. She showed him a beautiful valley with a city in the center that had a fresh, unspoiled look to it.
"Ohh, that's beautiful!"
That it is.
Adam glanced at her curiously, something on his mind. "Elissa, why aren't you saying anything. Really saying anything I mean?"
She glanced away. I. .I don't...her throat burned at the very thought of speech. He sighed.
"You don't want to talk, do you?" When she shook her head, he took her hand. You don't have to.
Whenever you're ready.
Vile had went directly to Goldar, screaming as loudly as he could. "I do not believe this is happening!"
"We'll have her back." Goldar declared. Vile glared at him.
"You'd better believe it. She'll pay for killing my daughter." Vile cared very little about what happened to Zedd. "But let her rest for now. Let her think we've forgotten about her. Get her and those Rangers off their guard where she's concerned."
Goldar nodded; he'd been watching Elissa. "She can't walk; Finster made her paralyzed!"
Vile laughed. "She will be such easy prey!"
"And she no longer has her powers: practically giving herself to us!"
His master smiled. "Yes, but as I said we will leave her be for now. To let the Rangers think we've forgotten her. And I want time to think over a few more things to do to her."
Goldar bowed. "Yes, my lord. What is your wish of me now?"
An evil smile touched all of Vile's faces. "You get your reward."
"Thank you, Master Vile." Goldar hissed. This was one reward he intended to enjoy again and again, until the very end of time. After all, Girard had placed no time limit on how long she would be his reward. He took that to mean forever.
"I do hope you enjoy yourself." Vile laughed. Goldar glanced down to Earth.
"Oh, I will. I will."