~CHAPTER SEVENTEEN~

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars."

-Shakespeare.

Sebastian POV:

The Deveron was pretty pissed off that Lester had broken pretty much all of the rules, bringing a group of valuable men down to one of the worst pits of Hell anyone has ever had the displeasure to encounter, to rescue me. I guess it could be because I've always been a pain it their butt. They also had suspicions on what else Lester had 'taken' other than The Crystal of Medina. The Crystal of Medina, I later found out that Lester didn't just take it because he wanted to hold something over the Deveron, its other use was completing the spell to make the doors of hell wider. This must have been the 'device' the demons were going to activate by bleeding me dry in case the spell wasn't going to plan, I also figured out that the demons must have wanted to possess me before they sent someone out to steal it. So basically, I had spent most of the time in hospital asking Lester for books to help me and discussing things with Lester to help me try and understand what was going on.

The Deveron also wanted to test me in case I still had traces of the demon still inside of me or something like that. Then, they decided they'd test everyone for the same thing just to be safe. Then, they placed even more defence mechanisms up against all of the entries to all corners of Hell, just in case news had spread and other demon species were getting ideas. They even placed more security around the corner of Hell we'd just been too, even though there was no one in there and those doors were shut for pretty much forever now.

I had told Lester about how the demon's looked different, how they had different facial features and skin tones. He replied with a thought that made me feel stupid, I never forget anything! Lester told me not to blame myself though, since I had been tortured for two weeks and probably wasn't in the best state of mind. They could shape-shift, they probably shape-shifted into different forms or changed their features around a bit just to trip me up.

And then, after the tests and some epic working out with Lester, there was even more treatment on me… But not just physically, which I had been overwhelmed with all the medication they were giving me. Although I didn't blame them for freaking out and putting me a variety of pills, which were enough to fill and entire ditch the size of the stables at my castle, because I had a gigantic hole-like-ting in my chest… But mentally, they told me that I would be seeing a psychiatrist every Tuesday and Thursday until things calmed down a bit. I had already been to one session, and it was as expected, horrible.

But Lucy was determined to make me go to every single session until I had 'sorted everything out'… What more was there to sort out? She had been there during every second that Lester and I were working together. She knew we had a majority of the things in order, I had everything sorted. Then I got yet another lecture from Lester, telling me about how I never cared enough for what happened to me and that maybe if I went to these 'sessions' that I'd be able to remember what they had tortured out of me, which was really the only reason I decided to attend. Oh, and Lucy begged me, of course.

Overall, we were all tired, extremely tired. Exhausted from everything that had happened in such a short span of time, things that kept clicking and that would keep clicking if I ever got even a little bit of my memory back. So I just planned to sit back and 'go with it'.

I just wanted everything to be over, completed and solved.

But knowing Lester, Lucy and my luck… This was just the end of the beginning…

~ONE MILLION BEAUTIES, ONE BEAST~

"So Sebastian, how do you feel about recent events? Has anything been bothering you? Has anything come back to you? How are you coping with everything that has happened?"

The questions seemed to never end, ever. It was like my psychiatrist, Ms Thorne, wanted to ask me the same questions every time so I would crack and spill everything. Didn't she know who I was? Not to sound too snobby or anything, but I was the best professional burier of emotions that she ever would meet. I would still never fail to answer, and the answers were always the same.

"Fine. No. No. Fine."

And then she must meet with Lucy and Lester in private and make them ask me similar questions, what kind of nasty person was she? Lucy and Lester already had enough things to deal with; there was absolutely no need to assign them homework for a class they weren't even in…

I knew I was underestimating Ms Thorne in calling her 'nasty' though, she wasn't just nasty. She was pure evil… She asked things nicely enough and was always polite and kind, but when that door shut and I was alone in a room with her, it was like she was possessed by a demon like I was. However, after I had everyone question my sanity further after I had checked if she was indeed possessed, the length of our 'sessions' (as she called them) together was extended by fifteen minutes…

Do you know how much I could get done in fifteen minutes?

Well, I bet it would be a whole lot more than sitting in a small room shaking or nodding my head every few seconds.

Every time that I left that room I would feel like the slimy snail demon was eating my chest again, I felt hollow, exhausted.

How did I deal with this before everything started happening, like someone had flipped the switch that said 'go' on my life?

Gallop. I would ride Gallop.

Maybe then I could finally escape this horrid cycle of boring repetition. Maybe then I would feel more like myself than I have in a long time.

~ONE MILLION BEAUTIES, ONE BEAST~

Fresh air, the sound of hooves as loud as thunder. These were the best two things I could think of at the moment. I had learned more on this ride than I would ever learn in Ms Thorne's 'sessions'. The harshness of the wind had me thinking that this was how wood must feel after being sand-papered. I couldn't bring myself to worry about Lester or Lucy and what they were doing, I just needed to focus on the wind ripping past me and the steady rhythm of Gallop's hooves on the ground beneath me, I needed to not think.

Sometimes thinking is hard and results in not thinking at all, while other times thinking is bad and it's hard not to think. Distracting yourself with temporary things to help you not think seems to be the only way to get out of thinking these days. I had Gallop and reading before Lucy came, when things were hard to handle, to distract me. Now, I was confused at if being distracted was really the right thing or not…

Before I knew it, it was dark, and I was wondering around aimlessly on Gallop. We were both exhausted. I reluctantly slid off Gallop and tied him to the nearest tree. I wondered around for a while, stretching my limbs and trying not to bring my reasonable self out who would want me to go back now… I didn't want to.

The forest that skirted around the back of the Deveron almost reached my castle without any clearings, it was magnificent, but not exactly smart of the Deveron. Anyone could escape through them, although they seemed to know this and put up guards (currently on their break) every few metres or so… What if they were hiding something in here?

I shook my head, why would they? They have massive prison and other kinds of chambers down underneath the Deveron, mainly for all of the doors to Hell, etc. But I couldn't bring myself to understand why the Deveron would even think about putting guards up around the forest, if anything they should have no guards what-so-ever, to prove themselves the mightiest force or whatever they kept on saying.

I was paranoid, I was looking into things too much… That would explain everything… Yes…

I turned back to Gallop who was slyly eating an apple out of the bag I had dropped. I walked over and crouched down to where his head was, he looked up at me and ate the apple in my face, which was twisted into a scowl. He was right, he did deserve the food. I had ridden him a bit too hard today, although he was used to it, he just hadn't done it in a while.

I whispered soothing apologies to him and rubbed the side of his head gently.

"What would I do without you?" I asked, he shook his head and munched on the remaining bits of apple.

His eyes looked behind me suddenly and he started whining. I jumped up, pulled my sword out of his saddle where it was safely hanging and spun around, all within one second.

Nothing, there was nothing. As I turned around to scold Gallop for making me worry, which he never did, an arrow whizzed past me. On instinct, I threw my sword around and the weight of it swung me to face the direction the arrow had come at. I saw three men retreating and immediately started sprinting after them.

The men were fast, but not fast enough. I caught up to them within a matter of seconds and pulled a dagger out of my belt, not even bothering to aim. The dagger flew at one of the fleeing men, it skimmed his leg and made him fall over, a tree root stopped his face from hitting the muddy ground but it knocked him out cold.

One of the other men pivoted, his bow and arrow aiming directly at my face. As I ran past unconscious man on the ground I yanked my dagger out of his pants and flung it at the guy about to let his arrow loose. It knocked his bow out of his hands and sent an arrow flying a few metres in the wrong direction. He hesitated, his mind comprehending what had happened, that was long enough for me to pick up my dagger and knock him out with its hilt.

The last man seemed like he was about to fall over at any second, I could hear his ragged breaths from a metre or two behind him. He stopped suddenly and threw his hands in the air in surrender.

I stopped also, pointing my sword at the man's chest.

"Who are you? What do you want from me?" I asked, catching my breath.

The man held up his hand, gesturing at me to give him a second to catch his as well. I lowered my sword a bit to see if he needed any medical attention. But he didn't, he was smart and was waiting for me to let down my guard for even a few seconds.

He swung at me blindly, which told me he wasn't that smart. I cut across his knuckles with my dagger and then shoved it quickly back in my belt and swung my leg around and clipping the guy in the head with the heel of my boot.

The man stumbled backwards, holding the side of his head.

"Curse you!" He yelled and then started running again.

I was going to run after him but something stopped me dead in my tracks. Like the other two men, this man's whole body was covered with clothing (including his face) except for his arms, which were bare. On the man's arm was a tattoo, a tattoo that looked remarkably similar to the family crest of one Prince Lucien Reural of Fertilya.

In the distance I heard broken whines coming from Gallop.

~ONE MILLION BEAUTIES, ONE BEAST~

As I bolted back to where I had left Gallop I noticed that the men that I had knocked out weren't there anymore. Somebody had might have moved them, or they had done the impossible and woken up… I was pretty sure I hit them hard enough to keep them out for an hour at most.

When I reached my previous place of resting the first thing I saw was blood. A lot of blood.

As I kept looking I saw Gallop still tied to the tree. But there was something different about the last time I had seen him, this time he had an arrow in him. And next to where the arrow was, someone had carved "With Regards" into him.

My heart stopped and all I could see was red, and in that red haze two words stood out, the two words that were engraved into my dying horse.

I don't know how or when I could feel my legs again, but they had somehow gotten to Gallop's side in an instant. He was falling down, and somehow I knew that he wouldn't be getting back up. And it hurt.

I grabbed his reigns and turned his head a bit so he was looking me in the eyes.

"You're gonna be fine okay? Can you do that for me? Just one more favour Gallop, just-"

He whined and tried to move his head towards me but I could see it hurt him to do it, so I awkwardly moved closer. I had no idea what to do, what could I do?

"Help!" I screamed with everything I had, "LESTER!"

Then I broke.

"You're okay," My voice faltered, "You're fine, you're gonna be fine, Lester is going to get here and you'll be fine because he'll fix you, okay?"

I nodded along with every word I said, trying to convince myself.

I could hear shouts coming from somewhere far away so I screamed for help some more, tears pouring out of my eyes.

I looked at my hands, the hands that were covered with Gallop's blood.

Gallop made some noise that didn't sound good and I looked back up at him, I was shaking so hard I was sure he could feel it.

"Gallop, you can't leave me – d-don't leave me, please, oh god," I grabbed either side of his head with my hands and tried my best to memorise his eyes, I was afraid that this was the last time I would ever see them again.

"Sebastian! Where are you?" I heard a familiar voice call from far away.

This time I couldn't find words to respond. Gallop looked at me and I could tell he was close to dying, I could read all of the apologies in his eyes, all of the memories he was seeing and I watched them with him whilst muttering that it wasn't his fault and that I was sorry and I loved him.

His eyes showed me every time I had taken him out because I was upset, trying to escape, and how much he enjoyed cheering me up that way. How much he loved me too and how I needed to be okay for him, so he didn't die for nothing. So that every time he had let me ride him into oblivion wasn't wasted.

And then he died. I don't know how else to put it but he died. And I couldn't deal with it.

So I did what I should have been doing with him. I escaped.

I ran, stumbling over roots and trying to think about how he felt every time I would take my unhappiness out on him. I ran even though my legs were going to collapse any second. I ran because I couldn't think of any way else to punish myself. I always did and always would blame myself no matter how much it wasn't my fault.

I ran until I ran into Lester.

He was running towards me and I didn't notice him at first but when he caught me after my legs finally gave in. I took full advantage of his presence and stood back up, dragging him back to where Gallop was, maybe there was still a way to save him.

And that's how I knew that I couldn't be good again, I was insane.

"You need to help him, you need to save him, you have to hurry –"

"Sebastian, I saw him," Lester pulled me back into his arms and injected something into my arm, "There's nothing I can do, I'm so sorry."

I pushed away from him.

"But how – No! You need to save him! Lester you –"

My eyelids closed and a let out a deep breath before standing completely still and waiting for whatever he injected into me knock me out. Hopefully forever.

"Wha- Sebastian, what are you doing?" He asked, warily inching closer.

"You injected something into me. I-it should have worked by now," I rushed out my words, "It needs to work – I don't want to – I can't deal with it Lester – I won't be able to – I need to make it stop!"

"It's okay Sebastian, you're in shock, it's going to be fine, you'll sleep soon," He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me a bit, trying to get the words to sink in.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to get rid of everything, trying not to think about it. Maybe if I did that it means that it didn't happen. He was fine. He got back up and Lester would help him somehow. He needed to be fine.

Otherwise I would never be.

And with that I fell back and Lester caught me again as I went under again.

~ONE MILLION BEAUTIES, ONE BEAST~

I was screaming again, I hated it, the world and every ounce of my being. It was wrong, everything was wrong and I couldn't stand it anymore.

"MAKE IT STOP!" I half screamed-half sobbed.

"We need to calm him down! He'll break everything in the room if we don't!" Someone yelled.

"Then sedate him you idiot!"

"He's been sedated continuously for too long! He needs to wake up and calm down!"

"Sure! Why not? What could possibly go wrong? EVERYTHING! That's what! We need to put him under again and make a plan for next time he throws a bloody fit!"

"No that's not right-"

"It's not like he wants to wake up!"

There was a pause to the fighting and then someone else spoke, I think it was Lester.

"Why don't you two sort whatever other problems you've got out and I'll deal with this?" He said, clearly sick of the fighting as well, he also sounded worried.

"Fine," One of the men said, he then spoke over the top of the other's protests, "How are you going to deal with it first of all… You're not a Doctor…"

"The same way I always do, before you two start your little feud, why don't you fetch Lucy for me."

There was a shuffling of feet and then when the men were further away I could hear their voices rising.

I still thrashed around a bit, but I was starting to calm down at Lester's voice, telling me it was going to be okay and that Lucy would be here soon.

"You just need to hold on a few more minutes, okay?" He said, dabbing my forehead with a damp cloth, "She'll be here soon."

"No," I grumbled, pushing him away from me.

I didn't want this anymore, I didn't want one bit of it. And there was a possible chance that Lucy would pull me out of this and help me… Which will probably lead to more pain. Instead of looking at Gallop's corpse, someday I could be looking at hers. I didn't want that for her, or for me.

I just wanted everything to end. I had lost far too much and I wasn't prepared to lose anything else.

"Sebastian?" A soft voice came from above me and I knew I would be okay.

"Damn you Lester," I croaked.

They both chuckled but with a hint of worry.

"Please open your eyes," She said.

I shook my head and gently pulled my hands from hers. Then I tried to roll over, but Lester was on the other side of me and pushed me back.

"It's not fair," I said, not meaning to.

"I know, but Sebastian you need to –Sebastian open your eyes for God's sake," She said with a frustrated sigh.

I blinked them open slowly and saw that I wasn't in the infirmary like I had thought… Lester must have bargained my freedom! I was at home, in my bed.

Lucy was sitting on the bed next to me and Lester was in a chair beside the bed, ready to stand up again if need be.

Lucy shuffled closer to me and placed her warm hand on the side of my face.

"I know that you hear lies all the time so for a change I'll tell you the truth." There was a stiffness to her voice, was she okay? What had happened while I went crazy?

"Are you –"

"I'm fine but you didn't let me finish," She cut me off, "I'm going to tell you that you aren't going to be fine. You've lost so much and you deserve to be able to lose it. You have every single right to go crazy over this because I know that Gallop was the only thing tying you to the world and-"

"That's not true," I whispered, looking down at her hand, trying not to look too ashamed of myself.

"Sebastian, there's no need to be embarrassed about this. If you were any other man you would have broken down so much longer ago. You are a rock Sebastian. Nothing gets to you unless you blame yourself for it and I'm going to help you to stop blaming yourself," She said, taking a deep breath, "You deserve everything and more because you've lost everything and more. Okay?"

I stared at her for a while, wondering when she became this beautifully strong only to realise she was exactly that all along and I was in love with her for it.

"Whatever, just make sure I don't have to go back to Ms Thorne ever again," I shook my head clear of the bad thoughts and tried to joke it off.

I got a slap in the arm and a shake of the head from Lester. Then they both grew serious.

"That's one of the weirdest things about everything that's happened… Sebastian," Lucy looked down at our intertwined hands.

Lester caught my eye and delivered the news, "She's dead. It wasn't exactly a normal death either…"

I can't even begin to say how sorry I am… So I won't, because we both know I'm a horrible person… :D

But here it is and I really hope you guys like it… Please leave a review or favourite this or something please :D

xoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxox

asheepiage.