I have decided to write a story that I hope will be much darker and with more adult type themes than my other stories. I am giving this one an 'M' rating, which I may bring down to 'T' if it seems like a good idea later on. Please read an review.

The darkness that binds us.

Davian Droverson, clutching his infant daughter close to his chest with one arm, the one bloodied from the sword, scrambled up over the ledge with the other arm. He prayed to his god that the blood which marked the child's face was no her own, but knew that he had not the time to pause to look the baby over. Cursing loudly and viciously, he pulled himself over the top of the ledge. He let the baby fall to the ground with a dull thump, as his badly injured arm gave way, and he quickly moved to bundle the startled child in her blankets. The baby had not yet had the time to fuss, and now bundled, she simply returned to her sleep. He pulled the delicately made pendent from his pocket, and once again studied the round, flat disk, which had been inscribed with the image of a dragon. The pendent was made of gold, as was it's long chain. He shoved it quick back into his pocket, and pulled off his filthy, once white shirt. He threw it onto the ground, and gasped at the amount of blood that covered his arm. The stream that flowed beside him would serve as a clean source of water. He filled his water container, and began to wash away the blood. The moon shone overhead in the otherwise pitch black night sky. Davian's arm bled as fast as he could wash the blood away, and he knew that he could bleed to death within hours. He knew that the swordsman who attacked him in the woods below, must have cut a major artery to his fingertips, and he felt himself loosing strength rapidly. He cursed the husband of his sister for daring to love a human. If he had not courted her... and loved her... and married her, he would not be in his mess at the current moment. He would have imagined in his life, being on the run from an elven village in the middle of the night. Let the drow have that village if my dear sister was not there, he thought to himself as he tied the waistband of his shirt around his arm. The baby awoke, and began to pout softly. He held the bottle of water to her mouth, and she took a few small sips. Davian washed the blood from her face and felt relief to see that it was not her blood. The child was unharmed and looked around in the darkness. Davian lifted her back into his arms, and found his strength to keep going. He had to get back to the elven village to warn them to run. He prayed again to his god. This time begging that the drow did not know his shortcut across the woods, and over the cliff. He was a ranger, and hoped he knew the woods as well as he should have, in the dark. Rocks slipped beneath him, and he nearly went down to the ground several times, as he used far less caution then he should have, in his mad haste. Please let me be in time to warn the elves, he prayed in his mind, as he fell over a rock, and went face down to the ground, the infant flying from his arms. Please don't let that drow ranger tell the others where I was when he tried to kill me.

"Too late, I am afraid," the female voice cut though his thoughts, as the drow cleric bent to left the shrieking baby into her arms. She rocked the child slowly back and forth, supporting her with one arm, while she held her longsword with the other.

"You... you read my thoughts," Davian accused, struggling to stand, but failing, when his arm could not left him. "Please... give me my child."

"I would, but you see, I am quite fond of this baby," the drow said. She sat herself gracefully down on the ground, by folding her legs under her body, and lowering her body to the rocks. Davian was impressed by her grace, in spite of it all.

"These raids become so tedious after awhile," she went on. "I lead the parties, and I fight by their sides, but what do I ever gain. Why do I do this time and time again. Why do any of us. We never achieve anything really. We kill the elves, but we can never kill every one. There will always be some of them, and as long as there are, they can just keep the race going." The drow brushed her hand over the baby's soft, pale blond hair.

"Tell me, human," she said. "where is the mother of this lovely child."

"Dead," Davian said in the same sadness of the last year. "She died in childbirth, leaving me to raise our daughter alone."

"I see," said the drow cleric, her red eyes glowing in the darkness. "And you were out in the woods with an infant."

"Yes. I bring her out with me all the time."

"Wonderful. All you have done was interfere with a raid. That ranger should have killed you then and there, when he fought with you." She let loose a sarcastic chuckle. "Too bad he could not hit the broad side of a mountain most of the time. I am impressed that he even managed to get you in the arm. He is only a male after all. What are any of them good for really."

Davian looked up at the moon, and wondered how long the village would still stand for now. He thought of his sister, and his brother in law, and all the people he had come to know since joining his sister after his wife had passed away.

"I see that you love your sister, and those elves dearly," said the drow, reading his thoughts again, and Davian nodded. He was beginning to slowly transcend into a state of detachment from the world, as more blood drained from his body. He fought to retain awareness of the drow, and the infant. He wanted to know what was happening, and he could see in the dim light of sunrise, that the drow held a bottle in her hand. She quickly shoved it in her pocket, and closed the bag from which it must have come.

"What would be in it for me, if I ordered the fighter back, and spared the elven village," she asked, as Davian began to fall backward from weakness.

"What do you want," Davian asked weakly, his hand reaching for the pendent in his pocket. He pulled it out, and let the drow woman see the shining metal.

"An heirloom perhaps," said the drow, "but nothing I really want."

"What do you want," asked Davian again, becoming weaker. He wanted only to get his daughter to safety before he died, for by now he knew that death was close at hand.

"I haven't giving that much thought," said the drow, as a younger male came from the woods beyond Davian's vision, and knelt beside the cleric.

"Let's see," the cleric said slowly with a laugh. "How about you promise me your daughter as a wife for my son." She laughed at her own twisted humor, and chuckled in the face of the dying human before her, fighting to stay sitting up, as he stared at his baby in the drow's arms.

The cleric had, of course meant the request as her idea of a sick joke, but Davian looked at his daughter deciding weather he had the strength in his heart to grant her to young drow man. The cleric, realizing that the human thought that she meant it, and she made up her mind to except the child. Her son, who knelt beside her, looked at her with satisfaction. The dying human would never know of the private joke between mother and son, about him wanting a human wife.

"Fine," said Davian. "I will promise the boy my daughter's hand in marriage."

"Done," said the drow cleric. "When she is thirteen, she will marry Mavash and live in the place of his choosing."

"Sixteen," Davian said weakly. "Thirteen is too young to be a bride."

"Fifteen then," said the cleric, and Davian nodded his agreement. He knew not what else to do. His daughter was all he had to offer this woman to spare the village.

"I suppose I should heal you before I can my raiding party home," said the cleric. "you were good enough to bargain with me, and it is really not much trouble at all to heal you." She lay the baby on the ground, and set to work making the human well.

The raiders set off back to there world of darkness, as Davian looked up at the sunrise. His mind reeling from the promise he had made. He told himself that no matter what, he would hold true to that bargain.