Hand-fast?
Prompt: 096.) Writer's Choice
Author's Notes: This series will end at one hundred chapters, so... if you plan to follow it, hopefully you'll enjoy them all! Now, some chapters can be very short, because the major requirement for this is that they be at least 100 words. Comments are appreciated, and please, feel free to read all one hundred stories. This is for the Ultimate Fiction Challenge, and if you're interested in what that is, you should check it out! I have a C2 in my profile for it!

-The Story-

Her perfume was still thick and sultry in the air, and he'd be cursed if he still wasn't aching for her. His eyes closed tightly, trying to fight back the tears he knew were coming. It would be the first time she'd made him cry, although this wasn't the first fight they'd had. Blearily, he shuddered and rolled over on the bed, his fingers tangling in the sheets and closing tightly into fists. How many times did this make now? He'd stopped counting months ago.

Sobs wracked him, and he was shamed that he'd allowed himself to slip this far down. She'd not only hurt him, she'd made a complete and utter fool of him. And he was damned if he'd let her do it again.

Get out, Helen.

You can't throw me out, Darien. You need me.

Get out!

He pushed himself up to sit on the edge of the bed, rubbing his face with a palm lightly. He needed to shave, he noticed absently, and his brain filed it away, still reeling from what had happened. He couldn't forget the look of shock on her face as he'd walked in to see her rifling through his wallet. He couldn't forget the smile that had crossed her- He stopped himself, cursing aloud as he jumped to his feet to pace.

You need me.

He scowled, and he threw open the closet doors. He did not need her, and he was going to prove it right then. He snatched one of the dresses off of the hanger, and he hesitated, fingering the silky material. He'd bought it for her, he remembered vaguely. Rage tore through him, and he was shocked when he came to his senses: the dress was in shreds. He felt the first taste of fear in his mouth at the thought of him so completely out of control, and he was glad that she had left.

Then he threw the dress to the floor and began to pull all of her clothes off of the hangers, dropping them into a pile. He went through each room of the house, pulling down everything they had picked out together, everything she had brought. It all went onto the pile, and he dragged it all into the living room. He felt a cold moment of regret, regret for everything that they could have had together...

Then he was throwing everything out of the window. Her makeup bottles went first so that each one burst and was ruined, and then her clothes went so that they landed on the mess from the makeup. By the time he finished, the was very little left in the apartment, and he was shocked at the raw emotions surging through him.

Helen, why?

Surely you didn't think that I loved you.

He stumbled out the door, unable to stand the stench of her perfume for a moment more, unable to take the memories he had there with her. He made it down the street into a bar, and he stayed there. The bartender knew him, and Darien simply croaked out, "Helen," and the man's expression softened. He sat Darien there at the bar near him so that he could keep an eye on him, and he'd served alcohol until there was no more burn of shame, only the pleasant warmth of the drinks.

However, the bar was loud and noisy, and finally, Darien could stand the sounds no longer. The bartender helped him count out change to pay, and then Darien stumbled out the door, working to put one foot in front of the other to take him home. Stars swirled over head, barely visible behind the streetlight. He tottered precariously, struggling to stay balanced as he walked, although he didn't know where he was walking to really. Slowly, lights blinked in and out of existence, and he tripped in the dark, falling over into a messy, drunken heap; he passed out long before he hit the ground.

When he could finally open his eyes once more, he stared blankly at everything around him. Vividly green eyes met his, not two inches from his face. Sobering up quickly, he pushed himself back, and promptly fell from a chair that he'd been seated in. The eyes moved back, and he could focus on the face around them. Blond hair fell over those eyes, and he stared for a moment at the ears that were clearly visible. Elven? Like, out of my stories? He shook his head, closing his eyes. Delirious, he told himself silently. I'm imagining my own books, he realized. It was perfectly logical, of course.

When he opened his eyes again, the ears were still there, and the woman was staring at him just as confused. He took the chance to look around, shocked at everything he saw. It was like being thrown back in time, but everything looked strange. It was all clearly medieval, maybe older as Damien had never really paid much attention to history classes, but it was very luxurious. The strange thing was that it all seemed oddly foreign. The patterns on the plush carpet and tapestries were unusual, and they made his head spin more if he tried to look too closely at them. Finally getting sick from staring, he looked back at her.

"How did you find me here," she wondered aloud, tapping a single, long finger against her chin. "I thought... never mind. Those with needs always manage to find me, no matter where I am. So, what is your need?" She didn't seem to really expect an answer, so Darien kept his mouth closed, uncertain of what she was getting at.

She reached out with that long finger then, and she touched his forehead lightly. Immediately, he felt a pressure lifting, and then when he looked at her again, he was oddly aware that she knew everything about him. Uncomfortably, he shifted a bit on his spot on the floor. She smiled faintly. "Love problems. That always seems to grow mortal difficulties, doesn't it?" She considered for a moment. "Well, since you're human, I can't give you a permanent solution-"

"Since I'm human?" he finally asked, completely baffled by her. "What do you mean?"

"-but I can offer you something temporary; hand-fasting would be fine though, one year and a day time-span," she smoothly finished, as though he'd never said anything. She moved out of his line of vision, and when she returned, she was holding a small doll, no larger than her hand. It was a very poor doll, made of yarn and torn cloth. She tossed it up and down for a moment, then set it lightly on the floor in front of him. "Take care of Freya, would you? She's one of my favorites." Then the room fell away.

There wasn't an explanation for it; it just...happened. The walls disappeared first, then the woman, and then he lunged for the doll, something whispering in him that he needed it. However, it slipped through his fingers, and hung over his head, suspended by something that he couldn't see. He could hear street sounds, see lights from cars and such once more, but his eyes were locked on the doll that hung just over his head out of his reach.

It took off in a silver streak then, and he chased it for all that he was worth. Not that he could run very far, or very fast. Too many hours at the computer had taken away any fitness he'd once had, and within just a few meters, he was huffing and puffing. Still, he struggled to make his body comply, and he continued to chase it. It disappeared into a building, and he stared up at the stairs that would lead to his apartment.

When had he come back here? He frowned slightly, his brow furrowing as he gasped for breath. There was a stitch in his side, and he struggled up the stairs. Drunk, then chasing for a few blocks after a little doll; what had his life turned into? He stopped just outside of his door, panting still, clutching at his aching side.

He pushed his door open, annoyed to find that he hadn't locked it. When he walked in, he closed the door behind him slowly, leaning against it. Silence, aside from his gasping for breath, filled the apartment, and he finally looked up. A woman stood there, long brown hair curling gently around her heart-shaped face. There was a long silence as he studied her, amazed for a moment at the simple length of her hair since it reached almost to the backs of her knees. She had large eyes, then, looking closer, Darien corrected himself: her eyes weren't big, they were deep. He breathed in deeply, shocked to note that the smell of Helen's perfume was gone, replaced with the soothing scent of rain. He stared at the new woman, wondering if maybe she was a goddess or something similar.

Then he remembered everything that had happened just before she arrived, and he shivered. What had the Elf said her name was? "Freya?"