To the Ends of the Earth

Ava is constantly having the same nightmare, being dragged to hell. But every morning she wakes up next to her boyfriend Caiden and everything is okay. Being together is literal bliss; but in the back of Ava's mind she knows it is going to end. Caiden would do anything for Ava, but what he doesn't realize is that Ava has already done the unimaginable to keep him safe. On their eighth anniversary, Ava is taken from Caiden and dragged into the darkness of hell where she must fight for her own life and find her way back to earth alone, or so she thinks. As she struggles to escape she learns that the unimaginable exists and all the monsters under her bed were real. Because you see, she made a deal... A deal with a demon; and a deal with a demon is a deal for your soul. *note* there is foul language, some parts are a little scary and dark in nature. There are minor sexual occurrences, nothing to freak out about.*

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22. Back Into the Pit

Ava:

Through the threshold of Envy's door, Ava could see a house in the distance. She stepped forward slowly and flinched as the door slammed behind her. The grass was an exquisite shade of green, greener than anything Ava had seen before. She stepped forward and walked down the long sidewalk to the house. Before she made it to the door Ava could see in the windows. Sitting in the living room was Caiden and someone else. Stopping dead in her tracks Ava looked into the window and studied the people more closely. Caiden had his arm around this person and they were leaning their head against his shoulder.

Eventually the person stood and turned around, it was Cora. She had a huge grin on her face, and Ava could tell by his body language that Caiden was happy too. He stood up hugging her tight and kissing her forehead. Though Ava couldn't hear anything they were saying, she could tell that it was very intimate. Something burned inside Ava, it was the same feeling that burned inside her when she saw Cora at the airport. Hate.

"Do you feel jealous? She has everything you worked so hard to keep, everything you ever wanted." It was the same deep voice from before.

"It's not fair."

"She took advantage of your disappearance and made her move on Caiden and he accepted her graciously." The invisible man continued. "She is quite pretty, fit, and very intelligent. What's not to love?"

"Nothing. She has everything a person would want to have." Ava said bitterly.

"It looks like he really loves her." The man said.

"He really loved me..." She muttered. Ava didn't realize it, but her hands were balled into fists and she was moving towards the front door.

"Envy can make a person do surprising things. Anger or wrath takes over and you lose control." As the voice spoke Ava was knocking on the door to the house, hands still clenched. She could vaguely hear the sound of footsteps pattering on the hardwood floors.

The door inched open until the small blonde's face appeared, her hair a little tousled. The sight made Ava's skin crawl.

"Yes?" The woman asked.

"Who is it babe?" Caiden's low voice said from behind the door.

"I don't know. What is your name?"

The anger was building up inside of Ava and she was almost to the boiling point. The woman continued to star at Ava expectantly. She wanted to throw up her insides at the sight of the two. She hated this so much, but there was nothing she could do about it.

"I'm sorry miss, but if you don't leave we are going to call the police..." Caiden said hesitantly.

"I..." She started but cut herself off as she saw Cora's blue eyes looking back at her. Without thinking, Ava raised her first and punched the girl right in the face. Then she turned around and left. 

"What the hell man!" Cora screamed, following after her. In a few seconds, she felt two hands shove her on the ground. The next moment, the two women were in a brawl on the ground with Caiden trying to pry them apart. Ava pulled Cora's hair and punched her in the face over and over. Rage had consumed her and she lost all control. She hated that Cora had everything she wanted. She wanted her life, she wanted Caiden.

"Hey! Get the fuck off of her!" Caiden yelled. He yanked Ava from Cora and threw her to the ground. "I'm calling the police."  As he reached for his phone, Ava made a move to run, but before she could even stand Caiden had pulled her back to the ground.

Feeling helpless, Ava began to cry. This was not what she wanted for herself. Moments after Caiden had made the call, the police showed up. One officer dragged her to the car and shoved her into the back seat. In the driver's seat was Red Eyes.

"It is a sin to covet thy neighbor my dear." He was grinning wildly.

"You are enjoying this aren't you?"

"Yes because when you fail, like this, it means that I am one step closer to keeping you and making you my beautiful little demon spawn, literally." He stroked her cheek and lifted her face by the chin. Ava slapped his hand away and looked out the window.

"Tell me, did it feel good to let wrath and envy get the better of you at the same time?"

"Truthfully?" Ava muttered, from the corner of her eye she saw Red Eyes nod.

"No, I feel worse."

Obviously, that was not the answer he had been wanting to hear. With a snap of his fingers he was gone. The room she was in now was dark, and there seemed to be nothing but black walls around her. The house was nowhere to be seen and there was no sign of Red Eyes. However, in her palm was a pink key, with the word Lust inscribed in cursive. Ava stomach churned as a large pink door appeared before her. The lock was in the shape of a heart. As she walked closer, it was as if she was being pulled to the door. Before she could even put the key into the lock it flung from her hand and turned into the door quickly with a small click. As the door opened she smelled floral scents and hear romantic music.

"Really?!" She shouted into the darkness.

"Just go." Red Eyes shouted from somewhere in the distance.

As she stepped through the doorway, the room seemed to illuminate itself. Once her eyes had adjusted she found herself in her old apartment, the one she had shared with Caiden. At the moment she was standing in their bedroom, looking down at herself she noticed that she was wearing only a tank top. She glanced at the clock on the nightstand, eight thirty. Where was Caiden?

'Gonna be home late, having beers with Brad.'

As she was reading the message images flashed into her mind.

"What?" But even as the question left her mouth she saw something, a memory. Or what was supposed to be one. She was driving home, and as she pulled onto the street, she thought she saw a car leaving the house. Her heart beat picked up and she felt her cheeks flush with immediate anger. As she pulled into the driveway she grabbed her purse and ran inside slamming the door behind her. Caiden's name was on the tip of her tongue, but she froze when she heard the shower running. Instead, she set her things down and walked silently around their home, checking every room. There was nothing out of the ordinary, until she finally came to the bathroom. She threw the door opened and saw that Caiden was alone.

"You scared the shit out of me!" He yelled. "Why the fuck would you do that?"

Ava shrugged, her eyes were focused on the floor. There was a a lacy thong on the floor, and it was not one of hers.

"What the fuck is this?!" She responded.

"It's yours, I got it today." Caiden said after a moment.

"Yeah fucking right. There is no tag!" She said in tears. Caiden stepped out of the shower, in all his glory and stepped toward her. She backed away and slammed the door in his face. She grabbed a pair of scissors, cutting them to bits and then threw them in the sink. Then grabbing a match she lit it and set them on fire.

"What the hell Ava! That was a gift." Caiden was now standing in the kitchen with a towel around his waist. "I spent money on that."

"You swear!"  Ava screamed. "Cause if you are fucking someone else I will kill you!"

"I can't believe you would say that!" Caiden shouted. "When you fucking calm down I will come home!"

He threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and left the room, slamming the front door behind him.

As the memory ended there was a gentle knock on the door.

Ava glanced at the clock and made her way to the door. She peered through the peephole and saw a nervous looking Azarias on the other end. Ava undid the latch and turned the knob. 

"Ava, a...are you alone?" His voice was shaky and slightly slurred. Ava gestured to let him in and he hesitated a moment to take a look around.

"Well don't just stand there."

"I don't want to intrude... especially if Caiden is home." He whispered.

"Oh." She had almost forgotten. "He is out, won't be home for awhile."

"Good." Az said, suddenly confident. "I wanted to talk to you about something. But, do you have anything to drink?"

"Uh, yeah sure."

She walked to the kitchen. Gears were turning quietly as she thought about what was going on. She had walked into Lust's door, and Az shows up. She wasn't sure she liked where this was going. She heard the floorboards creak and could feel Azarias looming over her. 

"He's always gone isn't he..." Az said softly. He wasn't looking at Ava, at least not really. He had a far off look in his eye as if he were in another place. In a flash the look was gone and he was smiling. "So what is there to drink?"

Ava opened the fridge and tried to fight the sinking feeling in her stomach. She looked around but there was only a couple items inside. Beer, wine, water, and what looked like month old milk.

"Gross," She muttered to herself. "Well it looks like we've got an array of beers, some wine, and water... I mean of course unless you would prefer curdled milk."

Az mimed throwing up and shook his head with a soft laugh. He stepped forward and peered into the fridge, his hand brushing Ava's.

"Uhm, just a beer. Any kind."

Once they had settled, Ava flipped on the TV and tried to ignore the look Az kept giving her. She didn't know how this would play out, and we was too afraid to fail.

"It's not right for him to leave you alone at night." Az said taking a gulp of his drink. "He doesn't take care of you."

As he spoke Ava saw flashes in her mind. Flashes of sleeping alone, calling Caiden and leaving messages. Feelings of suspicion began to rise in her chest. Images of Caiden walking in way after midnight, his clothes a mess. Ava pushed the thoughts aside and looked at Azarias.

"We are okay, he takes care of me." She muttered. She sipped at her new beer and looked away.

"How can you say that, you almost caught him tonight."

"I don't know what I caught... He said it was a gift for me, that he bought."

"Why would there be no tag?"

"I don't know."

"Well it seems suspicious to me." Az said scooting closer. "It's okay though, I am here for you."

Suddenly, Ava became aware how frustrated she was sexually. In this time line she and Caiden weren't very affectionate. They rarely touched on another, aside from brushing up against each other in the hallway or a soft kiss now and again. So Azarias' body being so close was alarming her. She was aware of his muscles, his sparkling eyes, and the natural musk to him. His hand brushed her hair gently and he smiled.

"You are gorgeous, and he doesn't deserve a girl like you if he is going behind your back. You deserve better than that, you deserve someone who is going to treat you right."

"I am going to trust Caiden... I think. I just hope it doesn't backfire."

"He doesn't deserve you. You need someone who is going to be a man, and take care of you, love you." Az scooted closer and planted a soft kiss on her forehead, then on her cheek and moved his way toward her neck. The soft cool touch of his moist lips on her body sent chills through her spine and she sighed involuntarily.

"I'll take care of you." Az said softly in her ear. His breath was warm, and it smelled slightly like beer, but Ava didn't mind. Gently, Az took her face in his hands and made her face him. His eyes were closed and he was leaning ever closer.

Ava's body was tingling with anticipation. She hadn't been touched in even the slightest, for so long. Her lips hadn't been kissed passionately for even longer. Az was willing to love her in a way Caiden hadn't, it was tempting.

"Az," She said as his lips met hers. She gasped, which was a rookie mistake. Azarias' tongue slipped between her parted lips and played around with her tongue.

'This isn't right...' Ava told herself. Azarias has Nina.

"What about Nina.." She muttered standing up. Az looked at her strangely, as if he had no idea what she was talking about. "You have a girlfriend, one you love very much."

"I haven't dated anyone since high school." Az said. He kept his arm around her shoulder and shifted closer. "Are you sure you are okay?"

"I don't know." Ava stood up and walked back into the kitchen and cracked open another bottle. Az crept up behind her wrapping his arms around her waist. His breath was warm on her neck, and his voice was gentle. 

"There isn't anyone else I'd imagine being with." He muttered as he gently spun her around to face him. "I can tell that you want this too, I can feel it."

Ava closed her eyes a moment and just thought about what was happening; although it was difficult because Az kept kissing her neck and moving his hands up her arm in a gentle caress.

"I will take care of you." He placed his index finger under her chin and gently forced Ava to look up at him.  She lost it then and Az made a move to kiss her. He pressed up against her, pushing Ava to the wall. His arm slid around to her back and he pulled her in close. Ava found her arms around his neck and her legs wrapped around him. Although Ava didn't think that it was possible, Az pulled her even closer to him. He stumbled down the hall to find her bedroom.

"Ava," He muttered between kisses. "I've waited for this, I've hoped that you'd feel the same way."

She was flat on her back on the bed and Az was above her. But as he spoke those words he faded away and Ava found herself outside in her old neighborhood.

"I can't believe this is happening." Caiden was standing beside her, it was late in the summer. He took her hand and pulled her into a huge hug. "I've waited for this, I've hoped you would feel the same way. I have liked you for years."

"Why didn't you say anything?" Ava whispered. "I've felt the same for so long." 

Caiden picked her up and spun her around a couple of times and just took in the sight of her in his arms. 

That was a real memory, when they first started dating. Ava looked around and found herself in her apartment and Az still leaning over her expectantly. 

"Hey, are you okay?" He placed a hand on her arm.

"Yeah, I am fine I just I don't think that this is a good idea right now."

"Hey, we can slow it down."

Ava found herself in another familiar memory. She and Caiden were sitting in his car outside her house. Ava felt tears on her face. 

"I just I can't, I'm not ready." They had been talking about moving in together. It had been an ongoing argument for a while, but tonight Ava had broken.

"It's okay, we can just slow things down."

"When I am ready I will let you know. Because I would love to live with you, its just right now I can't do it."

"I promise, I will respect your wish." He kissed her on the cheek and then opened his door and walked her to the house.

"Thank you."

Now she found herself sitting up at the edge of the bed and Az to her left. He still had an arm around her and kissed her forehead gently. This reminded her of another memory.

"It's alright Ava," Az stepped scooted forward and gestured to himself. "It's me, Az."

This was her first night back in the real world. This was the real Az, he and Nina.

"I'll got get some tea warm." Nina said rushing from the room. Ava looked around and took in her surroundings. She was in the small guest room in Azarias' house. She slumped over a bit and started to cry. She heard Az scoot in her direction and put his arms around her. He practically scooped her up into his lap and cradled her softly. 
"It's alright, just a dream." He whispered into her ear. He kissed the top of her forehead and just repeated those words over and over.
"It felt so real." She muttered eventually.
"I know," he replied. "This bastard must have been awful. If he ever appears, I'll kill him."
"I know." Ava whispered.

That flash back was enough to make her stand up and walk Az to the door. 

"You have to understand, you are my friend and I love you. But, I know there is someone much better out there for you."

He only nodded and left the room quietly, planting one last kiss on her forehead. Ava locked the door after he had gone and leaned against it and just took a moment to breathe. She picked up the beers and threw them in the trash then she proceeded to clean the rest of the apartment. After awhile she began to wonder why the scenery hadn't changed, had she not passed the test?

As if to answer her question, there was a knock on the door. Ava walked over slowly and looked through the peep hole, part of her thought it might be Azarias again. But to her surprise there was a woman standing in the hall. Anger slowly boiled as she unlocked the door and opened it. The girl seemed as equally confused as Ava felt.

"Uhm, who are you?" The girl asked. Ava recognized the girl as Cora, from the previous door.

"I'm Ava." She responded. "What are you doing here Cora?" 

This clearly took Cora for a spin because it took a moment for her to respond. When she did, she pushed past Ava and began to look around the apartment. 

"I don't know how you know who I am, but I know who you are and you need to stop stalking Caiden. He left you months ago and you need to get over it."

Ava laughed too loud, she was trying to mask the anger that she felt. Part of her knew that this was part of the test, revisiting wrath, and still she wanted to sock this girl right in the mouth. Instead she walked to the fridge and pulled out an open bottle of wine and poured two glasses. 

"That's what he told you." She laughed again, tears falling down her face. "Well he told me that your panties were a gift. But here if you help me pack I will leave right now."

The other woman looked as if she was going to be sick, but she nodded her head and followed Ava to her bedroom.

"That was unexpected." It was a new voice this time, and when Ava turned around she saw that Cora had disappeared and in her place was Red Eyes.

"You are disgusting." Ava spat. Slowly the scenery began to change again and now she found herself in the place that they began, the dark hole she was thrown into. But now she could see around her. There were doors everywhere. Each of them simultaneously caught fire, all but oneThis door was unmarked and left ajar.

"What is this? Another test?" Ava shouted. "I am sick of this. I am done with your stupid tricks."

Red Eyes appeared in front of her once more, a wide grin across his face. At the same time Jeremy appeared to her left, a somber look on his face. 

"You want to give up now when you are so close?" He hissed. "Unfortunately for me you pasted all my tests. I thought I had you at envy."

"I... I thought I failed." Ava said recalling the situation.

"Because you admitted that you felt worse and reflected upon that sin, you were granted forgiveness." Jeremy said in a low tone. "You however," he said addressing Red Eyes, "You will not be forgiven."

"I wouldn't dream of it." Red Eyes spun around and his arms rested on Ava's shoulders. "Now my sweet, are you giving up so soon. Your soul only lies beyond that door." As he gestured that way as horrid noise erupted from within the open door. A sound that reminded her of Purgatory.

"I said you had to retrieve it, and that you must."

"Ava, don't loose faith."

"I won't. Not again." She responded standing tall.

"Ah, it is entertaining to see a young human willing to risk everything just to save the life of their lover." Red Eyes said with a cruel smile and fire in his eyes. 

"This isn't for Caiden anymore. This is for my life, for me." With that Ava walked toward the door in front of her. She paused in the threshold and looked behind her. Both Blue Eyes and her demon were gone. When she spun back around, she found that the door itself had disappeared and she was back in the familiar wood of Purgatory. 

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Alright, seems like movellas has sorta died, or no one likes this story. But I do want to finish it so here is another chapter. I hope it doesn't disappoint. 

-Mary

 

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