There it was on her bare back, taunting her with its ancient lines and mythical lore that dated back for centuries, since the first hunters had slain the wicked. The midnight lines etched into her milky white flesh had been there for years, ever since she learned what had happened to her mother and sought to avenge that death, that painful loss.
There was so much beauty in the haunting mark on her left shoulder but every time he had seen it, seen her wear it proudly and Kaa allowing her to do so, he had wanted to cut it out of her flesh and make her his. Daemon was almost successful in this. With every blow of his fist to her body, she was closer to being his in ways that she had never been Kaa's. And he yearned for this far greater than one could ever comprehend.
The ancient dagger that he gripped in his right hand at his side was crawling with early magic, forged into the pure silver of the blade. He had had intent the instant he saw it the other night, but waited once she was stronger so she could put up more of a fight. Tonight would be the night Daemon would finally claim the hunter as his own, triumphantly winning over Kaa for once and for all.
"Get up," Daemon commanded, his voice a harsh growl. The hunter didn't even stir, ignoring his lethal command.
Hayley was in her usual filthy corner, facing away from him with her knees drawn tightly to her chest. It had been days since she had eaten anything but Suede had slipped her some water yesterday and he knew it. For the past month or so since Hayley had been his, Suede tried to keep her nourished without Daemon knowing. But he knew, of course he knew. He merely allowed it to continue so that the hunter would live longer and he could break her in, ultimately make the human his.
"I said get up!" he roared, swiftly appearing at her side to have his foot connect with her ribs. He heard one break and saw the painful expression across her face though she bite back any sound of suffering. She was always good at masking her weakness or any emotion that she did not want to anyone to see but it was slowly deteriorating as the beats grew longer and more frequent. Tonight was no different.
Daemon impatiently sheathed his dagger in the sheath around his thigh. Before he would make her his slave, Daemon would remind her just who he really was and who owned her.
It took little effort to drag her to her feet by her arm and she did not refuse. She went sprawling once more to the hard ground when he slapped her with his backhand, sparing her no mercy, wanting her to suffer, wanting her to feel his anger that rippled in his aura.
Towering over her, he gazed down at the grimy human, covered from head to toe in pure filth from the chamber. He could practically taste it on his lips.
"Stand up."
This time when he ordered her, she was compliant and slowly got to her feet, her eyes fixed on the ground. The first night she had learned what would happen if she would level her eyes with his. It took her three days to be able to swallow any food that Suede tried to make her consume.
With greedy hands, Daemon tore any morsel of clothing left on her body from her, letting it be flung somewhere behind him. Her face was pained since she knew what would follow and her head was hung more in shame than anything else.
Hitching her up against the wall, Daemon grazed her neck with his sharp, threatening fangs and she flinched in his embrace. His callous hands ran roughly up her from her legs, his body pressing her into the uneven wall that bit into her back. He felt scars inflicted by him upon her flesh and a bite mark just below her right breast where he had bit her savagely, making her pay for calling him a leech. There was another on her shoulder, the price for raising her hand against him. His fingers traced down to the inside of her thigh where more teeth marks could be outlined. That was his favorite one. It was fresh, a rosy pink and went deep. Now no man could touch her intimately without seeing that someone else had left his mark though it would not matter for the human would be his forever, and only his.
With some slight adjustments, Hayley waiting to feel himself once more inside her, Daemon had unzipped his pants and let them pool at his feet before stepping out of them. It happened like this every time and tonight would be no different she quickly realized through her hazy mind for Daemon struck her hard in the face. Her cheek felt like it was on fire.
There was a mark on her neck that he had strangely never noticed before. With a surprisingly gentle caress, his hand brushed away her hair and he gazed at the teeth imprinted into her flesh. They were not his teeth. The growl that rippled through the air sent fear across her fa├žade and she whimpered like a weak animal dying.
Kaa had bitten her: that Daemon would make her suffer for.
Daemon drove into her with so much force that no human could ever manage, that Hayley wrenched out a scream from her throat, causing a shrill and pleased chuckle to rise from Daemon. He had never done anything like this before. The leech pounded into her, overpowering her conscience and knocking her head back continuously into the stonewall. Her vision was dancing and he noticed when her head lolled forward that she was beginning to lose consciousness.
"Damn it girl, stay awake!" he grumbled out, slowly down his pace.
With his demand, she opened her eyes as much as she could manage, mere slits of white visible. She had been used so many times like this that the pain inside of her was beyond unbearable. Her muscles were sore from consistent abuse and it seemed that every time Daemon took her hard up against the stonewall, her back scarping upon the uneven surface, leaving a pungent scent of her blood in the air, driving him mad, that he was more relentless each time.

Fear. He could smell it in on her. It was practically dripping off of her like juice from a succulent fruit ripe from harvest. The stench of it was so overwhelming and empowering yet he could not trail her using it as his guide. Her fear was everywhere, at every corner, at every turn. Just when he thought to go left the scent stopped dead midway down the corridor and then he would go right, only having the same thing occur.
It had been like this for days on end it seemed. By now, he had thoroughly searched and torn apart the North Wing and the East Wing. Tonight they had finished ransacking the West Wing. It was there that he had first sensed her presence near to him. Her fear was like liquid fire oozing out from the walls around him and up through the cracks of the stone floor. Kaa immediately stopped and sniffed the air, inhaling the poignant scent. Suede recognized the look that was plastered upon his face. He had caught the odor of his mate and was determined even more to find her.
Promptly, Kaa swiveled around on his heel and made his way down the corridor from where he just came from and rounded the left corner making his way towards the South Wing. Suede swallowed hard. This was not going to end well.
When the door of Hayley's chamber flung open, where the fear had emanated from like the sun's powerful rays, Kaa stopped dead when he saw Hayley practically limp in the leech's arms, a blade that he recognized as his own, at her innocent throat.
"Move and she dies," said Daemon with an even tone.
Kaa was deathly silent and impossibly still as he nearly gaped in horror at Hayley, his mate and his lover, at the enemy's disposal. Suede came abruptly behind Kaa, staring from Daemon to Kaa and then back to Daemon again.
"Darling, the chains."
Kaa frowned. He didn't know if he was talking to Suede who was breathless behind him or Hayley who was being held captive in his grasp. But when Suede moved past him with a sullen look on her beautiful face, Kaa understood. If Daemon thought that he was going to be chained willingly he was surely mistaken.
The honey gold eyes of Suede were hot on his flesh and Kaa suppressed a hiss for trusting her all along. Ultimately, she had led Kaa to his own demise with Hayley. She had watched them and told everything to Daemon who became greedy with want and finally took it upon himself to mark and break the one being that Kaa loved and cared for.
"I suggest you do it, Kaa," murmured Suede, level with his eyes, holding the chains that were bound into the wall.
Kaa looked reluctantly at the chains and thought of them for a moment. He had made this entire castle and briefly remembered making this one. This was one of the three cells that were meant to be hidden from the rest of the castle and meant to hold strong, unbroken humans or vampires. Those chains would take a long time to break, he realized. He was the one that put them in and tested them for himself. It took him an hour to finally break one and a half an hour to break the other. Though he supposed that he had more motive now to destroy them than he had had before.
"You need to think bout Hayley's death?" wondered Daemon, a mocking smirk on his face as his eyes stared at Kaa with amusement.
It took everything not to reach out and kill Daemon before he turned his wrath on Suede and then somehow finding Gabriel as well who had seemed to disappear completely from the fortress. His scent was long gone and Kaa had not seen him since he led Hayley away, making her believe that she was escaping with her old friend, a hunter.
As Suede locked the cuffs of the chains around his wrists, making sure that he could not break free, Kaa stood there never ripping his glare away from Daemon who had turned to face him with Hayley still barely conscious in his arms.
There was something in the air that Kaa had not noticed before that made him pause and dwell upon it before he promptly recognized it. The chamber reeked of not only fear but of sex, rape to be exact. He growled soundly and Daemon laughed at the bound vampire's thoughts.
"You dared to touch her."
"There's nothing you can do about it, Kaa. Hayley is going to be mine now. She's lost to you."
Kaa furiously tried to rip the chain links out of the stonewall but did not succeed. He tried again with more power and Suede instinctively backed away, fearful of the livid, vampire, staring daggers of death at Daemon for touching his mate.
"Kneel down," ordered Daemon softly into Hayley's ear.
There was more compliance in her movements than Kaa was willing to observe and accept. On her knees before Kaa, her back to Daemon, Hayley kept her jasmine eyes on the floor as Kaa took in her once stunningly beautiful appearance that was more stunning now in violence than beauty. He swore beneath his breath at the scars upon her flesh, the lacerations on her bare arms and legs. It was only until now that he realized her whole body was bare. Her soiled clothes were forsaken in some distant corner behind Daemon. Kaa glowered at the bite marks on her once untainted skin.
"Beautiful, isn't she?" remarked Daemon, his hand resting on the top of Hayley's filthy, almost black, once golden blonde hair.
"I'll kill you for this."
"I doubt that."
"Bend forward."
Hayley's arms stretched forward, her chest resting on her knees, her face hidden from everyone's. Her back was stretched out, the skin taunt and then Kaa's eyes flickered over to Suede who was on her knees in the corner, eyes closed, mumbling something in ancient Egyptian that Kaa would have sworn on his life was a prayer. When his eyes glanced back at his broken lover before him, he noticed the sheath around Daemon's thigh did not hold the dagger. It was still in Daemon's right hand and suddenly Kaa understood why he was chained other than the obvious. When Daemon said that he was going to make Hayley finally his, he meant that he was going to steal the last remains of her humanity and essence, her sense of self, from her and that remnant was tattooed into her flesh on her left shoulder.
The tattoo on her left shoulder, symbolizing her Hunter status, was of her own dagger, her choice of weapon. It had a pure onyx handle with an ivory teardrop in the middle. The teardrop was a symbol of her loss as a child. There were words twining around the blade and up the handle, growing like ivy. They were the immortal words of the first fleet of hunters, erected in Europe centuries ago, which spoke the Latin tongue of their mothers and fathers. They were bred originally for their stealth and cleverness as well as their social status as an outcast. But now, the laws were different for a hunter. One did not have to be bred into it like the Firsts, or be an outcast though detachment from society and family members was highly advised. The Latin words were spoken in Kaa's mind. He knew them well. He had killed his fair share of hunters in his time and each one of them had whispered the prayer written on the shoulder, each the same for every hunter no matter the nobility. They were beautiful and written with sorrow in them from the start. Translated they read: With every swift drawl of a tongue, a hand, armed, shall strike threefold. And in those waking moments of pain, one shall gaze down upon defeated, and twist thy weapon of forged silver into depths of darkness to end corruption. To those who accept the fate of a kind, ye must yield thy hand no more.
And with the very last words in his mind, Kaa stared in repulsion as Daemon's blade sliced into virgin flesh. Had he not seen worse things in his life though this had to be one of the top three that mortified him and made him sick to his stomach, Kaa would have spewed the contents of his stomach onto the rotten floor of the chamber. Her whimpers were growing louder, her control less reachable for her. The pain in her face, in her eyes when her head whipped up and met his, made Kaa growl at Daemon. As Daemon neatly cut into her flesh, trying to take away her visible status of a hunter, Kaa stood and tried to rip out the chains from the walls with all of his power. To Suede's dismay, they began to slowly come out of the wall, though not enough for Kaa to break free. It was tiring for the vampire and weariness did not come easily. He was using his mind and physical strength to break free of chains bound into walls, fused with ancient magic.
Hayley's screams were unbearable even after Daemon had finished. He got up and laid the piece of flesh, ink tattooed into it, at Kaa's feet. But Kaa's eyes never trailed down to it, far too disgusted to take his eyes off of Daemon with a smug smirk on his face. What Kaa had not noticed was that her shoulder was not bleeding any more. Her milky white skin had neatly knitted itself back together as if nothing had sliced it open, minus her tattoo. Kaa nearly broken down right there. There was vampiric blood lining her veins that was a mix of his own and Daemon's.
"Jesus Christ," grasped Kaa, still, as he watched his beloved sit up, eyes on her tattoo, on her skin. There were tears flooding her eyes and he knew that she still felt physical pain in her shoulder as well as emotional pain in her heart.
"She's mine now," claimed Daemon after ordering her stand. He licked the blade of his knife clean.
Kaa couldn't believe that that had just happened right before his eyes and he had not be able to do anything to stop it. How was she ever going to be able to forgive him? he wondered.
"I can't let you do it," murmured Suede from the corner that she had never left though now she was on her feet.
"What are you talking about, love?" asked Daemon, whirling around to face Suede, who had a knife of her own in her hand.
"This was not supposed to happen like this, Daemon. You told me you would leave her here for Kaa to find after you had broken her in."
"There was a change of plans."
"He's not going to let you get away with this. And nor am I."
"What have I done to you?"
In this time, Kaa was fighting with the chains and at last, they both gave in, making a loud clinking noise when the bolts hit the ground. Both of the vampires stopped bickering and faced Kaa. He stood there on the verge of killing something, anything in plausible sight or distant, with the cuffs of the chains still around his wrists. Someone was going to die and pay for what had happened to his mate.
Hayley had shrunk back into her corner where she was usually found in the past month or so, when Daemon told her to move out of the way. Everyone knew that this was going to end in a fight and with someone dying.
Without warning, Kaa lashed out with the chain connected to his wrist and it wrapped tightly around Daemon's neck, the thick links biting into his flesh. Kaa pulled him closer by it and then let his free hand, compete with the structure of Daemons' face in the form of a fist. Daemons' jaw breaking as well as his cheekbone could be heard and Hayley let out a whimper from her corner.
"I should keep you locked up until she gets well enough to torture you to death."
"Would you honestly be willing to take that risk, Kaa?" choked out Daemon.
The leech had a point. It could potentially take months maybe even years for Hayley to get well and in that time, Daemon could easily escape or have them killed by an insider. No, Kaa was not willing to take such a risk.
"Then I guess I'll just have to kill you right now."
"I'd like to see you try."
Reluctantly, Kaa let the chain around Daemon's neck fall slack to the ground but did not allow Daemon any time to recuperate. Kaa leaped at him and took him hard to the ground, unsheathing the dagger that was his from Daemon's sheath. The blade was threatening to slice him open when Kaa asked, "Any last words, Daemon?"
There was a foreign mumble in the corner coming from Hayley, her prayer in Latin, that distracted Kaa only momentarily but that was enough for Daemon to push Kaa off of him and back into the stonewall, breaking a couple of discs in Kaa's back. They healed instantly, only a slight discomfort.
Kaa still gripped his knife in his hand, the one that Daemon had stolen from him years, probably centuries, before. This time when Daemon lunged at Kaa, Kaa delivered his final, fatal blow to Daemon. The knife plunged into Daemon's heart and Kaa knew well enough to twist the knife, killing Daemon almost instantly. Pulling back, Kaa wiped the blade clean of blood and them then kicked the corpse in the head, breaking its neck. Suede looked away and swallowed. She did not want to know her fate.
"Suede, I suggest that you leave us before I think twice about letting you live," offered Kaa, turning his attention to Hayley.
With that said, Suede disappeared and left the two of them alone.
Kaa had managed to relieve himself of the chains, letting them fall to the floor. Silently, he collected Hayley in his arms, brought her out of the chamber that had been her mortal Hell and into his heart once more, vowing to never leave her side again.

A/N: Sighs. There you have it folks. That is THE FINAL chapter of Asphyxiated. I can't believe I am done! Muahahahahahaha. Yeah, I assure you that that laugh was very necessary. Thank you so much everybody for the reviews. You guys are awesome. Thank you so much Cassie for your ideas about he final chapter and leading me out of the darkness that is writer's block and into the light that is the end of my story. I cannot believe that it's done. Watch out, I might have an epilogue. Doubt it. I like this ending so I might just delete the other ending and keep this one. I'm sorry for all the people (Xen) who really wanted Daemon to win. Wait, or was that Cassie? Anywho, SOMEONE wanted Daemon to win and Kaa to well, die, but I like it this way. There is probably going to be a sequel soon, which I already started to write a chapter or three of in the summer, back when I wasn't even done the story. So there you have it.
Claire.