Under the Surface.

We saw the Hessian snatch Mary Van Tassel up and disappear through the Gateway with her, but what becomes of them afterward? Mary/Hessian. I had yet to see a story addressing this.

The first thing that floated to the surface of her consciousness was anger. How dare that little rat Masbeth whack her in the head with something? Then, there was the intense pain throbbing through the back of her scull. She groaned slightly, rubbing her face. Looking around, she realized that she was too high off the ground to be laying in the bed of dead leaves.


Her gaze suddenly locked with a pair of electric blue eyes and her blood froze in her veins.

The Hessian!

It chilled her all the way through. She had gotten so used to seeing him without his head; she had gotten so used to being spared from looking into those icy eyes.

He smiled coldly, the pale lips spreading to reveal the savage animal-like pointed teeth. His face was rapidly descending on hers. She tried to pull away, but her scream of disgust was swallowed up by his mouth. Those razor-sharp teeth broke through her own smooth lips and blood gushed forth. She felt his tongue lap away some of the blood, savoring the salty metallic taste of it.

"YAH!" he yelled, spurring the ghostly horse forward. The roots of the tree spread open to admit them. Ichabod, Katrina, and Jonathan watched as they disappeared through the gateway.

Of course she fought him. Squirming violently, she tried to reach back through the gateway only to have her hand caught in the tree bark. She was nearly jarred out of the Hessian's grasp. Daredevil stopped suddenly and one thick arm slammed into her stomach, pulling her back into his lap. The Hessian's large hand closed over her small, slender wrist and yanked it loose. She was not without injury, however. The edges of tree bark had lacerated her hand badly and blood began to flow. She shuddered when she felt his breath become ragged. Was he getting aroused by this? Disgusting…

It was dark, so she could hardly see. She guessed they were descending into an underground tunnel. The further down they got, the more she could see a red glow up ahead. Frightened, she noticed that the glow was caused by flames.

"YAH!" The Hessian shouted again. Daredevil burst through the flames, seeming to have no ill effects. Mary cringed away from the wave of blistering heat, then cringed away from the black leather armor. She hadn't meant to, but she'd actually pressed her face into his chest. He seemed to be paying no mind to her at the moment. His unusually bright blue eyes were looking into the distance at something. Curiosity temporarily overcame fear and she turned to look as well.

What appeared to be a castle wall loomed up ahead. The gate was dark and ominous. They were still bathed in red light. The heavy metal gate groaned and lurched its way up as if someone from the inside were cranking it. Mary nearly jumped out of her skin as it slammed shut behind them. Neither Daredevil nor the Hessian reacted; they must have been used to it by now.

Daredevil walked down the long stone hallway, the clopping of his hooves echoing eerily. They emerged in a dimly lit stable area. An eerie dragon-like creature emerged from the shadows. Mary screamed at its sudden appearance, but it only sneered, breathing steam from its nostrils.

"I've heard a lot about you, my lady," it hissed, "so nice of you to join ussss."

She let out a startled shriek as the Hessian shifted her around and lowered her to the stone floor. He said something in German to the strange creature and it seized her around the waist.

"Let me go, you revolting lizard!" she snarled.

"Wish I could," his hissing voice said in her ear, "but my friend saysss that I am to hold onto you. We can't have you getting loosssssse, now can we?"

She had to endure the creature's cold, clammy touch until the Hessian had removed the saddle and bridle from his ghostly horse. Content to have his saddle off, the horse casually sauntered into his stall. The Hessian said something else, not a word of which Mary understood. The dragon-thing released her and she pulled away from him, brushing off her dress.

"The two of you have no manners or concern for others!" she growled. The Hessian and the dragon glanced at each other and laughed. She was vaguely surprised when the Hessian finally addressed her directly.

"It would seem, Frau, that you have it backwards."

She stared at him, eyes burning with fury. He seemed to enjoy her anger.

"She might like living here in Hell," commented the dragon creature, "she hassss the personality. I don't suppose you've told her of the arrangement yet?"

"No. We only just arrived," the Hessian informed him, "you are dismissed, Flamebreath. Make sure that your little "friends" keep away from my house. I would hate to have to slice their heads off again."

"I will tell them," Flamebreath said, sounding slightly disappointed. He slithered away, leaving the two of them standing there.

"Come with me," the Hessian said, walking towards the door.

"What makes you think I'm going ANYWHERE with you?" Mary snapped.

The Hessian turned back towards her.

"Flamebreath will come back eventually," he informed her, "and he has a fondness for human women. His friends do as well…they don't mind sharing you if they get their claws on you."

With a shudder, she stumbled after him. After trying to navigate a hallway that had very little light, she had gotten used to following the tinkling sound of his spurs. The sound of a lock clicking followed by the rusty creak of a door filled the hallway with light. He let her in first, then closed the door behind him. It appeared that they were in some sort of kitchen. He motioned to a chair nearby.


Grudgingly, she did as she was asked.

"I want to go home NOW!" she snarled. She was surprised when a gloved finger paused her lips.

"You are finished giving me orders," he said firmly, "now it is my turn. You cost me my life. You cost me my family. You cost me everything. I was Hell-bound even before you came along, but that does not matter. I missed the birth of my son because of you. In a moment of selfishness, you took what was not yours to take. I know of the deal you made with Lucifer. You cannot go home. If you do, they will hang you and you will be trapped here just the same—it is useless. I am saving you the trip."

"If I can't go home, what then?"

She had a feeling she was not going to like the answer.

"You will stay here. Since you deprived me of so many things, you will pay your debt back to me and I might let you go afterwards. You have two choices, Frau. Consider carefully."

Seeing that she wasn't interrupting, he continued.

"Option number one—you can try to run away and get captured and tortured by the many, many demons that live here. I wouldn't recommend that one; they're very creative and very vicious. You won't die, but you will beg them to kill you before long. Your other choice is that you can marry me and be my wife."

She stared at him in shock. Some of her blood still lingered on his lips. His tongue slid over the dried blood. He was enjoying her discomfort entirely too much.

"You mean I would have to…" she trailed off.

"That is part of it."

She wanted to smack her forehead.

And I thought being married to Baltus was a nightmare…I'm sure it's nothing compared to this. This is Hell after all…

"Would I still be alive after this?" she asked.

"You will have aged some, but yes, you will live," he told her.

"How long do you intend to keep me here?" she asked.

He shrugged.

"As long as I want you."

She sighed. Ten years? Twenty? Fifty? It appeared that he wasn't going to tell her anytime soon.

"Fine. I'll do it. But don't expect me to fall in love with you or anything."

He chuckled.

"The idea of you loving anyone is laughable. I won't."

She folded her hands in her lap, wondering just how much control over her own life she had signed away.