[Everything Changes] The Husbands Crimes

Harley made her way through the streets, her eyes drinking in the town she had for so long avoided so much as setting foot within. The houses were thrown together in close succession which made breaking in fairly easy, she found the one owned by the named target and climbed slowly through some scaffolding to peer in the window.

She slid into a crack and looked down onto the street, on time a small thin woman made her way out shouting something back into the house then closing the door and heading off up the street, Harley slid from her hiding place, then to a window, she pulled her knife and eased open the window before tucking the knife away and slipping in to the house.

While Harley made her way through the town, Domi was not far. He kept to the roofs, dressed in dark clothing with soft-soled shoes to keep his silence, she had remained composed thus far and Domi was pleased with this. On the house across the street, he lay down on his stomach, fixed watching within the house.

Harley crept through the bedroom, easing open the door and peering out listening, the house seemed quiet. She made her way back and began peering through various drawers, she was careful as she picked through various items before replacing each where it had been before.

She was so caught up in her search she never heard him approach only realising when he grabbed her hair and dragged her back causing her to yelp.

“What the fuck are you doing in my house,” He barked angrily, dragging her back and pushing her toward the window, his other hand now reaching to further restrain her.

As he grabbed her wrist she spun throwing him clear over her shoulder, his path yanking a chunk of her hair from her head as he fell, as she followed him to the floor, pulling her knife as he hit the ground planting herself on his chest her knife now to his throat “You shouldn’t sneak up on heavily armed women, and on any other day I would have cut your throat, lucky for you those aren’t my instructions so considering you just grabbed a girl by the hair and tried to beat her,”

“You broke into my house? And I’m at fault?” He spat back struggling beneath her.

“Please don’t make me hurt you, because I will and then I have a whole lot of questions to answer, and I don’t want to disappoint Aerian,” Harley sighed darkly as her eyes found his now, there was a coldness within as she looked at him “But if you try anything stupid, I will kill you, but you don’t seem the stupid kind,”

Harley slid back and stood to offer her hand, as he took it he pulled her, causing her to stumble, her head snapping off the window frame and she passed out.

The actions that followed after Harley’s head struck the window frame were quick. Domi appeared in the open window, catching her before her body hit the ground. His dark eyes fixed on this man, while the squat jar and long black hair were pulled back. “We are not here to steal. Though, why we are you should be concerned.” He easily scooped Harley up in his strong arms to place upon the bed, turning to face this man. “We have been hired to investigate, infidelity. What do you have to say about such?”

“So my wife sent the cute redhead to see if I’d jump into bed with her?” The man shook his head with a cold chuckle “And then she pulls a knife? And yet I’m in the wrong here? How does that work? It’s my home and I defended myself against an armed intruder, I’m sure our lawmakers will see I have done no wrong? My wife is a stubborn woman, and I do apologise for harming your poor girlfriend, but my wife has no proof of any wrongdoing and simply wishes to take my children and my home from me, I am a faithful man good sir, but my wife seems to lack the desire in the bedroom so to speak, so on occasion I will pay to serve my needs,”

“On the contrary, we have not stolen or harmed you. She merely defended herself, after all, you are a very large man in comparison. Needless to say, why do things lack in the bedroom between you and your wife? Is that the reason she wants to take everything from you? Because you go to the bed of another when you should fix the issue at home instead?”

“She doesn’t like sex, it’s a chore to her, one to add to feeding and cooking and all the other things a woman does each day, while I tend to horses and ensure the horses get to the relevant stables, she does not enjoy the act and I am rather fond of it,” He shrugged in reply now as he stared at Harley and the river of blood that now soaked into her hair “So who did my wife hire to end my life? And why am I not dead if that was girls’ intent?”

Domi already had busied himself with trending to Harley’s injured head, cleaning it up with a cloth and binding it tightly to stop the bleeding. “We do not believe in straight killing. There is a side to every story, we investigate each. I do not understand a woman that does not enjoy sex. But to turn it around as she has, there is no wonder. She will not have expected us to investigate. Though I need something from you. I need the name of a woman that you have slept with and the name of the establishment. I assume this lady of the night knows the reason you sought them out.”

“They take the money, and they spread their legs, it’s a fairly simple concept so I believe she is aware of my reasons, but Amber of the Mouldy Shark should be able to inform you of our dealings,” He replied flatly.

Harley groaned as she stirred the world coming into focus as she mentally checked herself before looking to Domi “What, where did you come from? Holy crap what hit me?” she breathed sharply feeling the pain that splitting at her head “You’ve spent more time patching my sorry ass up than anyone else in our group,”

The man simply stared at her as he looked from her Domi his nerve now clearly shaken as he stepped back toward the door.

Domi chuckled looking to Harley, “that I have.” He moved over to support her in a ride, taking his time to allow Harley to gather her bearings. “We’ve gotten information, it is time to move on to the final part of our investigation. Time to go to the Mouldy Shark.”

Harley looked to the man with a dark smile “Don’t go running, I hate having to chase a kill, makes me all kinds of cranky, and this you get for free, but if we come for you, I won’t be so nice,” She leant into Domi as they made their way from the house.

 

Aerian leant in Virra kissing her cheek gently as they made their way into the tavern, the Mouldy Shark was dark and dingy, the smell of sweat and beer ran rampant enough to throw Aerians stomach as she swallowed down the feeling in her gut. Silently they made their way to corner table as they settled a thin wiry woman made her way toward them.

“I’m .. um that is to say my name .. are you my contact?”

Virra scooped Aerian to settle in her lap, while fingers idly traced the fiery woman’s abdomen. Together,h a silent reminder of their current state, she kissed Aerian’s neck with a nibble to her lobe just as the wiry woman arrived. Perching her chin on Aerian’s shoulder drinking her in with a gesture to the empty chair. “Yes. I have things to do. So let’s keep this short and to the point. You know your husband is cheating on you. Why? Why would he do such?”

“My husband has grown tired of our life, he seems to have acquired the thought a woman’s place is on her knees before him, a servant to his whim, and lately he goes out late spends the evening with a woman, I do not blame this woman he can be charming when he wants something but my husband has broken his vows. But should I try to take a more legal route he will take everything from me and I will be left with nothing, I cannot allow that, not to the likes of him,” The woman spoke quickly but there was uncertainty in her voice as she stared at the lovers.

“So he is simply with another woman and you do not wish to lose your home? Hiring a contract killer is a little overkill, but hiring us? That is another level of hatred you know that right. We don’t tend to play nice, your husband disappears into the wind and you have nothing left but the guilt of knowing you’re the reason he’s gone?” Aerian replied softly “But truthfully I do not see sufficient cause to intervene, there are plenty of contract killers that will do this for you, leave quite a mess to clean up but for us, I don’t see a reason,”

“Please miss, I wanted the best, my husband, his demands are I serve at all times, to drop my panties whenever he desires, an act that is for lovers not because one or the other merely seeks to get off, my children will be left with this man, my daughter will likely end up a slave or I fear worse,”

Virra watched her, while a hand snuck to cup one of Aerian’s mounds this was slow and deliberate to cause more unease to the woman. “Do you love him? Let me elaborate, did you love him ever in your marriage? Perhaps he has money and could provide.”

“I did for a long time, and he loved me, but time has taken its toll, I no longer find pleasure in sex and I think he resents me for that. It’s not easy to deal with him, but he has his ways now. He seems intent to ensure we bow to him, I am a slave to him, not a wife,” She sighed deeply “But I did love him, I do love him, just not as I should,”

“Then you cannot find fault in the fact that he searches out others to relieve his sexual tension. Much better than to force it upon you.” Virra said calmly, lowering her hand. “You speak of love as though it shouldn’t be. He is your husband, of course, there are things you may not wish to do but make him happy in doing so. Vice versa. This to me is no reason to put him to death. But we will meet with the others to see if the stories coincide and go from there.”

“I would agree we have no grounds to intervene, we don’t just kill because we are paid to do so, no matter the rumours about us, The Ever Present is the balance between the law and lawless, we step in when the law cannot act but the guilty must feel the bite of justice. I would like to help you truly I would, you could take your children and you can leave anytime you wish, based on what we know he cannot prevent you doing so, your fear is been homeless but that we can fix,”

The woman stared at Virra then Aerian “I would be an outcast, you know marriage in the Everlands is binding to break that I would be worth nothing, my children would be nameless and forgotten,”

“In almost every city in the Everlands yes, save a few, Dentarius being one, my father has never seen a family on the streets, he wouldn’t allow it, there would be work too, money to pay your own way and your husband would be an idiot to chase you,”

“Unless your father is Kane Elcarus then running to Dentarius would serve me about as well as remaining with my faithless husband,” She snapped coldly, frustration creeping into her words now.

Virra intervened before Aerian could speak further. “The choice is yours. We have given you options. It is not your place to question. So what will it be? The chance to start over or be condemned to a life of unhappiness? A fate that may doom your children.”

“And when he follows? To take my children?” The woman sighed softly

“He will have to answer to Dentarian Law, which thankfully is its own separate from the rule of the Everlands. Times are changing my mother has the crown to herself no more High Council placing the power with the wealthy or the self-serving, in time no one will need to fear their homes being taken because a marriage just doesn’t work. As for right now, I told you we are very good at making people disappear, and it won’t be long before I have the final information on your husband and we leave. You were to pay a small fortune to kill your husband now I’m offering you a better use for that money,” Aerian replied softly “The Ever Present is the balance between truth and justice, if your words are the truth then we will serve justice, you have a day to think,”

Aerian paused as she saw Domi and Harley enter the tavern, before looking to Virra and nodding to them, “Will you excuse us for a moment,”

When Aerian stood Virra patted her bottom and then joined the other two, kissing Domi. Though noticed the bandage on Harley’s head, incoming a brow but for the moment left it unmentioned. “What have you found?”

Domi shifted his weight looking to the table where the woman sat. “It seems both are unhappy in their marriage. He went to other means because his wife doesn’t enjoy sex. I see no reason to take a life.”

“Nor do we, seems like they are in different places and simply cannot find common ground, but what the hell happened to you?” Aerian stated looking to Harley

“Oh, nothing, I was looking through his stuff he jumped me, cracked my head open, left me unconscious, but he’s still alive, he said we’d find some girl called Amber who could vouch for his actions, which led Domi and me here,” Harley replied with a shrug “He’s a slimy bastard, and I wouldn’t trust him with a pet fish let alone a family, are you sure we shouldn’t kill him?”

Aerian didn’t reply simply looked to Domi “So we’ll keep the wife here, while you speak to this Amber chick? Then we can make a final decision?”

Domi nodded, glancing at Harley. “Come on, girl.” He said, catching her arm, guiding her to the bar, leaning over to tap the top to attain the tenders attention. “Looking for Amber.”

The barmaid looked up “She’s in room 4, up the stairs,”

Harley smiled and nodded before leading Domi off and up the stairs.

 

Amber was laid out on the bed as she stared at Harley and Domi entering “It’s extra for a threeway darlen, though the fellas kinda cute, or does he just wanna watch?” She rolled onto her side with a smile the dress that held every curve struggled to follow her movement as she looked at Harley “Or is it you that want’s to watch darlen? Either deal is fine with me but it’s an extra twenty per cent on whatever they told you downstairs,”

Domi closed the door behind him. “While you are a pretty thing, I’ll have to decline, my heart is to two stunning women. We here about a client of yours. Before you start with you can’t, his life lays at your feet.”

“I see, well that comes with a price as well, a lady shouldn’t kiss and tell, not good for business,” Amber replied softly watching Harley carefully.

“Andreas Whitewind” Harley stated firmly

“Slimy prick, likes to slap me around call me his wife’s name,” She smiled darkly “Lucky for me he doesn’t last very long,”

Domi considered Amber, removing a rolled up parchment and pencil. “Can you write an anonymous witness of character? Any other girls witness to this or just you? Compensation will be in order, do not worry, your name will never be brought up or any others. I can assure you.”

Amber sat slowly her eyes watching Domi calmly as she thought on his words before she took the parchment, “Every girl here has had dealings with him, after the last incident they sent him to me exclusively,” She smiled revealing the fangs beneath “We vampires can heal much quicker, Linnie was hurt pretty bad by his antics, broken arm, ribs, and bruising that took weeks to go down, we are a substitute in his words so he doesn’t harm his wife, he gets off on the pain,”

Harley shuddered as Amber spoke her eyes closed as she sighed softly “You’d almost believe he loved his wife in that case, though doesn’t excuse his behaviour women are property to him, to be used in whatever fashion he sees fit,”

“He talks about her, in a good way, she takes care of the house and the children but the bedroom that is a different story,” Amber replied softly “He only seeks to serve his needs, the women are irrelevant, though this is true of most men,”

“Most men. Not all.” Domi commented, hesitating for a moment. “I do realize, not all the women will speak to us. Could you pass this witness of his behaviour around for the women place their experiences? Yes, I agree. No one deserves such ill-treatment. Even if it is a profession. This is considered battery and assault.”

“Beginning to think I should have just killed him when he attacked me,” Harley muttered coldly before she smiled softly “We’ll be in the bar for a little while longer, once you have the information we will get it to the people it needs to be with, but I can promise he won’t be bothering you again,” She looked to Domi before she made her way to the door and then back out into the bar.

The girls had returned to the booth with the wife and were now in conversation as Harley made her way toward them.

Domi watched Harley carefully, though spoke nothing. Upon returning to the table, Domi spoke first. “It is best that you go into protective custody within Dentarius walls. You and the children.”

Virra looked from Harley to Domi. “Very well. What do you say?” She looked to the woman.

“I take it there was a development?” Aerian asked looking to Domi

“Yes,” Domi said calmly, as he settled down at the table. He looked to the wife for a moment, then to Aerian and Virra. “There has indeed. It is best that we get this woman and her children to safety. Her husband is a ticking time bomb.”

Aerian contemplated Domi’s words for a few minutes, as she settled back into Virra “I think we will need to have strong words with him, while assassination still isn’t required he needs to be warned going after them is a bad idea, and that we will be watching him from here on out.”

“We should kill him, he is a risk to any woman he comes into contact with, he is a danger Aerian he beat a girl half to death because he didn’t want to beat his wife,” Harley sighed softly as she stared at the woman before them.

“Oh he’s hurt me before now, while we were intimate he would get violent, then he would apologise and I would forgive him until I learned he wasn’t going to stop hurting me so I avoid sex when I can,” The woman replied softly.

“No. Harley, I’ve seen men like this. His crime is violence against women. This is punishable by death but in the means of the law. He is a loose cannon, our priority is the safety of his wife and children.” Domi stated. “We are gathering evidence from witnesses. This is all needed to incarcerate him.”

“Is it really? I hate to say this, but, I in terms agree with Harley. He won’t stop.” Virra commented.

“Need I remind you, we are the law when the law won’t step in? Now, that being said, the law hasn’t been made aware of his crimes. She wanted him dead because he was cheating not because of abuse.” Domi growled it was clear he was losing his cool, Aerian has never seen such.

“Fine. We need to get you to Dentarius. Leave anything you don’t need behind.” Virra responded to Domi’s frustration. “In the law or without. You need a new life.”

“We will arrange transport, be ready by noon tomorrow,” Aerian stated firmly watching the woman before she turned to Domi “We will take what evidence we have and turn it over to the authorities, but make sure we have a second copy sent to my father, I suspect he will follow her and when he does I want the evidence in my father’s hand to remove him from the picture as quickly as possible, but I’m sure another visit from us will perhaps stay his hand for now,”

“Thank you, truly,” The woman stated softly before moving from her seat and heading out of the door. Harley watched her leave before lowering her head “I see why you won’t act, but neither will the authorities here, as long as he doesn’t kill anyone they won’t care, and he’s been stupid but not reckless, even this place handed him off to vampire to ensure no one ends up dead.”

“And if he chooses to go after them we will act, my father, doesn’t settle for violence against women, or endangering a child, he will find the inside of a dentarian cell quicker than he can strike a woman, his crimes are horrid but they still don’t justify murder,” Aerian replied calmly though there was an edge in her words.

“So what he’d have to hit the damn kids before you act? This is what we are to become, we’ll steal and we’ll play the cards we have but hey beat a woman, rape your wife and we’ll sit idly by?” Harley growled angrily

“If he had harmed the children then we would act, but Harley, he is harming other women whom he sees as less because they are working girls, and he is harming them to avoid harming his wife, it’s a bad situation we don’t need to make worse if we kill him then she will suffer and so will the children, how is that better for them?” Aerian replied softly

Virra scooted Aerian off her lap, kissing each, Aerian and Domi. “I’ll keep watch over her this evening. Her husband will not take kindly to our known presence…I’m not willing to put her in danger, nor her children. You, Domi and Harley, stay would he return to raise his hand to another working girl. I’m the most stealthy to be a silent guard,”

“Just be careful baby please, the rest of us will prepare to have her moved and get our information into the right hands, we will see to her safety from him in the future,” Aerian added as she stood beside them.

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[Everything Changes] Leadership By Example

“Aerian!” Harley snapped as she shook Aerian, as Aerian stirred, she groaned seeing her eyes focus on the young redhead.

“What?” She murmured softly before beginning to untangle herself from Virra and Domi.

“There’s a messenger at the door, he has the new contracts, it is down to you now,” Harley replied softly. Aerian stared at Harley for a moment before her brain caught up she was still naked.

“Oh stop it!” She snapped softly climbing out of bed and retrieving her clothes as she dressed, Harleys eyes never left Aerian even from the back.

“I’ve missed you, every day since you left,” The tremor in her voice was evident as Aerian pulled on her tunic, followed by her pants and boots, strapping her boots and then straightening.

“Well I’m back now, so relax and keep your hands to yourself,” Aerian replied with a grin.

“I won’t.” Aerian felt the strong hands of Domi at her hips with a kiss to her neck and lobe. Domi chuckled for a moment but soon after released Aerian, moving to dress as well, those peppering of hickies on his giving question of his health.

“Just were the hell are you two going?” Virra’s cold voice chimed in, sitting on the edge with her bandaged thigh and that was all. “Domi help me get dressed. Whatever you all go I go.”

Domi moved to gather the skirt and top for her, while cane in hand, rising ready to join the group.Aerian slipped back to help dress Virra as well, kissing the back of her neck softly “The new contracts are here, and we need to decide who gets them, maybe this will help calm things down?”

“Keep minds occupied.” Virra nodded rising with her cane.

“I couldn’t agree more.” Domi said. “Well let’s do this.”

Aerian kissed her cheek with a smile then headed out of the door, as they walked down the hallway Harley had re-joined them with a parcel of files in hand, she handed them to Aerian and then made her way to the main room. Aerian tossed the pile on the desk and dragged a chair for Virra to sit.

Virra sat down, shifting in her chair while looking at the files. “Damn…that’s a lot.”

Aerian flicked through them quietly as she watched the rest of The Ever Present file in and wait on her, most were standard thievery contracts, she placed those aside as she glanced at another beneath a hired hit on a deceitful husband, Aerian stared before turning it to Virra and Domi “And this is where we start changing the opinion, he may be a deceitful prick but I see no reason for him to die?”

Domi glanced to the hired hit, considering it for a moment. “I see. There is usually a second story and it needs to be handled on both ends.”

Virra nodded to him. “I agree, he may be slime. But we won’t know for sure, we aren’t murderers. The change starts now. With this.” She tapped the paper. “Who we sending?”

“If this is going to be a hit then it should be us to follow up on it, leadership by example,” Aerian replied softly “If we handle it and deem it unworthy of our time, at least we know it won’t be carried out, if there’s a good enough reason I’m sure Domi can handle it at a distance?”

Virra looked to Domi then to Aerian with a nod. “Not entirely sure, I should be going on account if my leg…” There was a frustration in her voice now, which caused Domi to place a hand over hers.

“Don’t cut yourself down. You’re healing nicely, I should be able to remove those bandages tomorrow with it reapplying. The limp will need to be worked in but it won’t remain.” Domi assured her.

“We have this covered, we’re in no rush, and this may be the only one we can do on account of,” She waved a hand over her stomach with a smile “I’d just rather we know this one is handled right and sets the precedence moving forward,”

Aerian placed the rest of the contracts on a small stand before them with a smile tapping them “Lots of money to be made, plenty of small thievery jobs, grab one, do the job and report back, fifty per cent in the pot, 50 per cent to yourselves,” The group looked among each other before coming to grab the contracts, there was no rush or argument each took the one at the top and made their way off.

Harley looked at Virra then Aerian “What about me?”

Virra looked to Domi and Aerian. “We all can’t go. Someone needs to remain behind to stand charge. Who should that be?”

Domi shrugged. “You come with us, I want to see your control since you have a blood lust.”

Aerian remained quiet as she watched the group “Serah can watch over things, a sign of good faith that despite our earlier disagreements I have as much faith in her as anyone else,”

Serah looked up from her contract and nodded “Yea, sure, I guess, but someone will need to take care of this one,” she tossed the contract back on the pile “I’ll play boss and hold the fort, so long as you don’t take another decade or two for you to come back,”

“She won’t.” Virra stated casually, learning back in her seat.

Domi stood now, looking to Serah. “Trust us, give that a chance. You’ll see.” He posted her in the shoulder, then turned to assist Virra in standing.

Virra punched him hard in the shoulder. “Knock it off I’m not ivalid.” Then stood without use of the cane but faltered, holding a hand up to warn anyone from helping her. She then left the hall to return to the bedroom.

Domi sighed, as he rubbed his shoulder. “She’s still got it. I’ll gather the tools to remove the stitches. Then we will be on the way. She’s tough and doesn’t like to be put down or viewed as incapable. Thanks to her Pops.”

“And yet she wouldn’t take it from me,” Aerian muttered darkly before nodding to Serah and following after Virra, as she leant in the doorway of their bedroom she watched Virra for a few minutes before she spoke, “If I were in your place, you’d be giving me all kinds of hell about not trying to do it on my own, so the first sign I see your injury is a problem you’re getting help whether you want it or not, or I swear to the twelve I will tie your ass down until you’re fully healed,” there was a tease in her voice and yet a seriousness all in the same as she smiled softly.

Virra glanced over her shoulder sharply to Aerian, after laying out her clothing and weapons to wait for Domi. “Fuck that. You’ll have a fight in your hands, Firefly. I ask fine, yes…this limp is irritating. But I trust Domi that it will not remain forever. I’m just glad that it was me instead of you.”

“It was intended to hurt me just as much, she knew what she was doing,” Aerian replied softly, “We’re targets on behalf of each other, we know that, I’m just glad Domi reacted before I did, or worse she had chance to take a second swipe at you, but your my baby so that means I’m gonna wrap you all up and keep you safe til you’re better” Aerian smirked softly “Whether you want me to or not,”

Virra sighed, defeated to Aerian’s words, extending a hand to invite her close. Once she was, Virra popped Aerian into her lap, positioning the red head to face her. Pressing her lips firmly against her own in a deep passionate kiss.

Aerian sighed deeply into the kiss before her arms wrapped around Virra, her response just as deep and passionate, her hands massaging against the back of Virras head, before breaking for a moment long enough to whisper.

“You’re my strength, just as I’m yours, and with Domi we can do anything,” Before returning to depth of a passionate kiss.

Virra’s hands roamed up and down Aerian’s back, just as a throat was cleared in the doorway. Looking out was Domi holding a small metal plate with some medical tools. He was leaning on the frame watching them with a smirk. “I could watch this for hours.”

Aerian glanced up kissing Virra deeply once more before shifted a little “Shame we don’t have hours to show you then, she has promised to behave or I get to tie her up,” Aerian chuckled softly before she slid back from Virras lap to allow Domi in.

Domi chuckled entering the room and closing the door behind him, settling down to begin to work on the stitches. “Glad to hear it. Now hold still, my dark angel.” He worked carefully and with intent, the stitches removed.

“Ah. Feels so much better.” Virra sighed, leaning down to kiss him, then to Aerian. “Well let’s get ready to leave. Got work to do.”

Aerian made her way to the desk, pulling parchment and writing quickly, her eyes remained as she thought her words through, finally rolling it and sealing it with wax and The Ever Present seal. She smiled for a moment then made her way to the door and a guard.

“Take this to,” She pulled her contract to look at the name and show the guard “Tell her if she wants this contract to be carried out then she is to meet our groups representatives at the time and location contained within this document, it is for her eyes only, once you are done return here to aid Serah in maintaining order,”

The guard nodded and then taking the note headed out to carry his instructions, before Aerian turned to face Virra and Domi “A small tavern by the docks here, we can then discuss her reason while Harley goes and does the background check on the husband, this is our best approach right?”

Virra pulled Aerian into her lap, bubbling in her lobe. But Domi remained in contemplation for a moment, but soon his head. “I’m going to follow Harley, keep my distance. She has to know that she will be followed. This is her chance to prove that she isn’t a loose cannon. I will step in if needed. Besides, a woman and cheating husband, she would be more willing to open up to women.”

“Or kill the man simply if she suspected him,” Aerian replied leaning into Virra with a soft sigh of content, “She will be OK, I have faith in her even if others find it hard, we just have to keep her away from mindless murder,”

Domi seemed hesitant, though, nodded slowly after a moment. “We can only hope your trust is sound. Let’s begin then. Time to head to the tavern.”

Virra nudged Aerian from her lap with a brief kiss and playful pat to her bottom. Her cane was grabbed but she didn’t use it, as her limp was present but she fought against it. Perhaps with time she’s new white the impairment.

[Everything Changes] Karas Truths

The moment they exited the portal on the grounds of the cottage Ascondia and her guards closed in on Kara, Hades reached over the fence to draw a blade putting him between the guards, Kara and Jade.

“Hades what the hell are you doing?!” Barked Ascondia

“Jade didn’t call for help, nor is she harmed which makes me believe she has this under control, stand down or this gets very messy!” He replied calmly

Ascondia paced in frustration before she growled “Stand down!” The guards lowering their weapons backed up just a step. Hope was now stood off to the side as Hades looked across to Jade.

Jade held a forearm over her abdomen, as there was a hidden pain, but took Kara’s hand in hers. “She is an Elcarus. Look at her, she had the hair and eyes. I know who her father is. Before this was taken on by you Ascondia. This issue is more of the Elcarus family. I gave her my word she would not be harmed, don’t make me go back on my honour.” She gathered Hades’s hand. “We all go to Dentarius. It is time this issue is discussed and instead of drawing blades, resolved.”

Ascondia looked to Hades who just as confused as he shrugged quietly. Finally she looked at Hope then to her guards “We will leave her in your custody, I am required back in Elvera before my absence is noticed, when things are resolved ensure I am informed?” She spoke directly to Jade now once more placing her trust in the young woman “You are my eyes and ears on this, my trust in you complete”

Jade nodded to Ascondia, while giving Hades’s hand a squeeze, glancing to Kara but moving to guide her betrothed and now…niece into their home. Once within she leaned against the closed door with a deep sigh. “Have a seat at the kitchen table Kara. I will make tea, then the three of us will talk.”

Jades discomfort hadn’t gone unnoticed as he moved to her watching Kara sit before leaning to whisper “Everything alright my love? If the realm is having an effect then we can assume?” his words were soft and gentle against her ear.

She lifted the pot that was boiling, as Jade, calmly poured the water into the pot with the tea to seep. Jade looked to him, after his whisper. “I don’t know…let’s not jump to conclusions…just yet. I just feel off and ache that could be many reasons.” Jade mused to him sweetly in the passing, arranging the tray and seeing cups before everyone and offering their tea first followed by her own. Settling down on his lap watching Kara. “It was not my place to reveal whom your father was…it is yours, but Hades has a right to know.”

Kara stared at Hades who had not moved from Jades side, but she squared herself all the same “Haunted is my father, but he was married to Hel-ena at the time, it was a mistake and during the low point after you had all left Dentarius, before he became the leader everyone knew and loved, but to me he was always just dad, no hero, no long legacy of the realms saviours, it took me months before I found out about his death,”

Hades rested his chin on Jades head yet said nothing, his arms wrapped around her from behind, there was no malice in his presence now.

“I don’t care about being a hero, or what’s expected of our blood line, I just want to stop running,”

“Then maybe you should have brought this to us sooner?”

“I tried to tell you, and you broke my arm then tried to have the queen cut off my head, makes a girl a little afraid,” Kara replied softly “And incase you didn’t figure it out, it wasn’t me on the blocks, and the magic that held the glamour was my fathers, he kept me hidden for a while afterward, but the realm is a little out of balance right now and his magic slipped, and Elveran guard spotted me and I did the only thing I knew I ran,”

“Would explain why you jumped across realms, aside from Ascondia, Haunted was on of the very few able to do it, though it taxes our magic really bad, hence no portal hopping for Kane or I,”

“You’re not nearly as they make out you know, you’re actually oddly calm which is the very opposite of what the stories say about you,” Kara tried to smile but chose instead to return her gaze to the table “It’s a lot I know, and if prison is my future then I’ll accept that, but your wife is right hiding the truth is only causing me problems, so there you have it,”

“I keep hearing that lately, might have to go slaughter a village to ensure people don’t think I’m going soft,” Hades chuckled in reply “No in truth my priorities have changed of late, the realm adapts and your being born only means you were meant to be here, I’m sure given time the reason will show itself, right now we should prepare to head to Dentarius, seems we need to have a conversation with my brother, dead and alive,”

“As I told you, Kara. A lot has changed.” She smiled gently to her. “It doesn’t mean that he had lost his ferocity. Just…better managed.” Jade leaned down to kiss his neck finishing her tea. “Yes, it is time we return to Dentarius for a visit, I’d like to see Xander and Terra, plus Stacy.”

“I will send for a carriage, avoid the walk,” He smiled softly kissing her once more before disappearing back out of the door.

“So how it is our dear Queen seems to like you? She even seems tamer than I remember her to be” Kara stated as the door closed behind Hades.

“Ascondia? Well, she’s doing better, I suppose. In the start, acted like a spoiled brat. But she’s grown some, matured and listens to reason from others. Maybe with Hope now, she’ll be happy. There is no council, it is in the world to be formed with inclusion of areas of the realm.” She began to gather the empty tea cups. “Things are changing. For the good. I would like you to be there when it does. Regardless of wanting responsibility. You are an Elcarus by blood, family.”

“I am by blood, one could argue not by choice,” Kara replied softly “I’m not cut out to be a hero, I prefer to just live, I will do what is asked of me so long as I am able. I won’t make promises I cannot keep,”

“I get it. I really do. I’m not a hero, but engaged to Hades. Last of my kind, put a damper on things. That is what I am fighting for, Kara. Life is precious. It is never by choice in our parents. There is a reason that you were conceived with Elcarus blood. The realm doesn’t make those mistakes.”

“So my father keeps telling me,” Kara sighed softly. Hades opened the door and motioned for them to follow the carriage now outside their gate, Kara stood and quietly followed to him before climbing within the carriage, as Hades took Jades hand and locked the door before leading her in as well.

Jade inhaled with a nod, leaning her cheek against Hades shoulder after they situated themselves in the carriage. Very shortly after, she had fallen to sleep.

[Everything Changes] The Diplomacy of Truth

It was a short lived nap as Ascondia shot from the bedroom with a clatter of the door.

“Hades, Jade wake up, we know where she is,”

Hades stirred rolling to wrap his arm around Jade ensuring they didn’t fall from the couch, his eyes slowly focusing on Ascondia, Hope could be heard in the background talking, Hades guessed she was talking on the cell phone confirming details.

“She’s holed up in a motel not that far on the outskirts of town, but the feds are en route and we need to get there first, if she goes into federal custody who knows what will happen,”

Jade woke with a start, exchanging a glance to Hades. Their reason for being here was coming to a close, without thinking Jade stood. The sight of all the bruises upon her revealed to Ascondia. It was too late to hide beneath the sheet, moving quickly to her kimono by the kitchen table to dress.

Ascondia looked her over then chuckled as Hope wandered from the bedroom, her hand to her mouth to stifle the yelp of shock. Ascondia looked back to her with a frown.

“Oh and the bruise on my ass isn’t something?” Ascondia shook her head, before she looked to the fire then to Jade “Must have been a pain to be so quiet, surprised you didn’t hear our escapades, Hope can be a real squealer when you get her right,” There was a tease in her voice, as her eyes never left Jade in that moment.

Jade pulled in the fabric concealing the bruises on her body, fixing the omi in place them moved to gather Hades clothing. “No we heard everything. Oh, who said we were inside?” As she handed Hades his clothing.

“You got yours, we had some fun of our own, so” Hades slid from under the cover to retrieve his clothes, keeping his back to Ascondia as he dressed “So how long do we have?”

“FBI will be there in an hour or less, gives us a little less than that,” Hope replied as Hades pulled on his shirt and fastened his boots.

“I hate having to do this unarmed, because I dare bet Kara isn’t” He mused darkly

“The report says she has a sword, quite adept with it from what they say too, and enough knives to supply a small thief’s guild if such a thing weren’t fiction of course,” Hope shrugged, as she shrugged Hades smiled.

“Good then I can take a weapon, well then,” He straightened finishing fastened the heavy belt of his pants.

Jade sighed softly. “I could have brought my katanas…Too late now, I have my skills. We have to get her when she least expects it. Do you think she is aware of me? I could be the distraction…don’t you dare say no, Hades. But we better leave, we can discuss it on the way.”

“Three people armed to the teeth would be hard to explain,” Hope stated softly “Not to mention I dread the encounter with Luke had he been armed, and losing limbs is even harder to explain, you needed to blend in it was the right choice,”

Jade nodded moving to gather Hades hand in hers, looking between him and Ascondia. Beginning to walk to the car. “Neither of you answered my question. Does she know of my relationship to Hades?”

“She bolted the moment she got the chance and has been isolated for some time, it is extremely unlikely she is aware of your relationship. You may indeed be our distraction,” Ascondia shrugged softly as she plucked a knife from the drawer before tucking it in her boot with a smile “It isn’t my sword but it’ll do in a pinch,”

“She has a few to spare, I’ll arm myself that way,” Hades added softly “But putting Jade in her line of sight,”

“Oh shut up Hades, she just went toe to toe with your evil side and came out just fine, in every sense of the word, if she can take you on in that frame she won’t struggle with your halfwit of a sister, stop treating like a fragile doll I’m sure you don’t fuck her like one,” There was an edge to Ascondias words a reminder she wouldn’t sit for Hades’ macho attempts and a reminder she was just as smart as he was. She knew Jade could handle things and they wouldn’t be far away for anything to go too wrong “We get there, we assess then we decide on the next course, easy as that,”

Hope pulled a gun from a safe hidden in the wall, checking the clip and smiling softly “I am a cop,” there was an innocence to her words.

Jade gave Hades hand a squeeze, tipping up to kiss him gently. “You are always surprised to learn new things about me, my beloved. I do not need a weapon for this.” She now stood by the car, waiting to get in.

They were in the car and on their way fairly soon afterwards, Hope drove, her eyes focused on the road, as she kept a glance to the panel on the dash, a combination of Sat Nav and the Police System that gave her up to date information.

Hades and Jade had opted for the back of the car, namely so Hades could remain close to Jade, Ascondia in the front as she was now sorting her hair, “Once we arrive let Hope take the lead, we have better odds if we let her lead, then Jade, you and I get to clean up this whole thing,”

“You’re assuming we’ll need to,” Hades replied in reference to Jades’ earlier words “Our best hope to do this quietly is to see if Jade can convince her to come quietly, and I am in no mood to get myself shot again, so the less mess the better,”

Jade leaned against Hades shoulder in the back seat, agreeing with him. “He’s right. Would she not know me the plan for me to go in would be best. I’d say give it  ten minutes. That should give me time.”

As they pulled to the now isolated motel, there was an eerie quiet, a police car further down the road had waved Hope through, as she pulled the car up she looked back and pointed to the room “Room 109, building has been cleared quietly but apparently she’s been cagey all day, if she’s one of you she may have an inkling as to what’s going on,”

“Take your time, she will likely know you’re from our group the moment you get close, but she will be unaware of your intent unless you tell her, use everything to your advantage and if you need us, just scream,” Ascondia smiled as she now opened the door, “Hades and I will be close by, and if needs be a distraction when the federal authorities arrive, we have about fifteen minutes,”

Jade nodded to Ascondia, inhaling deeply, giving Hades hand a squeeze and a kiss. “I’ll be fine…trust me.” She then left the squad car to make her way to the door if the room indicated.

As she knocked there was a noise within, before the door cracked open just a slither, a dark haired female peering through, slowly she eyed Jade before looking beyond to see if there were any others “You’re the bounty hunter? Come to cut my throat? Drag me back to an Elveran Prison? Or otherwise make my life miserable?” There was panic in her voice, and yet a strange air of confidence, her eyes held that unmistaken emerald that was present in all Elcarus’

“May I come in, please?” Jade offered her a smile. “I have no weapons, though, we do not have much time. The group called the FEDs are on the way.”

She stepped back opening the door, it was as Jade stepped through she would see the dagger behind the door “Jeez you beat up a couple of low lives and they want to put you in prison, should have stayed where I was, except the beatings and mistreatment sucked, still with a little back up I’m sure I’ll be fine, unless as I said you’re here to take me back?”

Jade caught the glint of the dagger, recognizing the threat. Now in the room and looked around, then to her placing a little distance between her and the woman. “I never said I was here to take you back. My intention is to warn you of the FEDs with our limited time. The issue stands that you have much explaining to do to the Elcarus family. They never knew if your existence and from what I understood you had your head separated from your shoulders. Instead of running and fighting, you know your wrongs and the only way to make right is to face them. I will do what I can to keep your head intact and your life just that. But you need to work with me.”

“Mmm I did lose my head, well some poor girl did, my father allowed the magic to stay long enough for them to be fooled, and I hid in the caverns for some time, at least until that damned war forced me to flee, I was hidden and I was safe, now I’m back to being hunted like an animal, you could of course let me go? Just as a matter curiosity who did they send after me? Kane? Or his daughter perhaps?” There was a calm in Karas voice, her hair covered most of her face, but she was relatively young, not much older than perhaps Aerian herself.

“I figured you had some poor girl beheaded instead. But right now, that’s neither here nor there. You are being hunted here, with all the technology…I’m even amazed at such. You would be caught, either way. I don’t know what they do in this realm but learning you are from another place…wouldn’t be good for you.” Jade settled in the bed watching her, shaking her head. “Kane has a family to tend to. As well as Aerian. The last war…was something. You are an Elcarus. I’m curious how is it you were not known? Come with me peacefully, please. I will do what I can to protect you from death. But you have to try, the Eclarus’ and Ascondia want answers…”

“So if not Kane or his daughter that leaves Hades,” A smiled curled her lip darkly “Ah that makes sense being the one responsible for me not being dead and all, but how is it you come to be able to guarantee I’m not separated from my head this time? I’m sure Hades is very upset I survived the last encounter with the axe man,” She crossed the room and placed herself on the bed beside Jade, she watched her a moment before taking her hand placing it over her breast, the beat beneath strong “They labour under misconception, I am not sister to Kane or Hades, nor am I am some product of Ceremon or that lunatic Hareavor, I am Elcarus by blood, but forced to hide my, heritage isn’t exactly clean, my mother was,” She paused as she sighed softly watching the clock for a moment “My mother was a tradeswoman, paid for her company and unlucky the realm had alternates to her own ideas, I have survived this long because despite his death my father tries to watch over me to ease his guilty conscience,”

Jade hissed with a snap of her teeth in her direction to the pinch of her sore bosom. “That was very uncalled for. I may not be able to guarantee I can make it happen, but I will fight to do so. I’ll take the bait. You said your mother was a trades woman…of what? Secondly who IS your father if not psycho Ceremon? They consider you their sister.”

“My mother was a comfort girl, or more commonly a whore, she spent the night with my father and well,” Kara shrugged softly her attention drawn by the sirens now growing ever closer as she looked to Jade in thought “My father is Haunted Elcarus, I am not their sister but their niece, but anything that would alter the image has long been denied no one knows who I truly am, hence the sister theory,”

She stood now walking to the window “He took care of me, on the quiet for some time but after his death I became forgotten, and then well you pretty much know the rest. I don’t want to die nor do I want to live a life where the realm expects of me, yes I’m and Elcarus but my life has far from been theirs,”

She glanced to the door at sound of the sirens. “Then you are family. That gives an advantage. Those sirens are for you, much has happened and changed. Leave with me, no fighting and we all can talk once back to Everlands. Clear up this mess. But running, hiding and brandishing your sword will solve nothing.” Jade took her hand and stood, looking to Kara.

There were the screech of tires as Hades and Ascondia bolted through the door, quickly followed by Hope who proceeded to close the door before looking to them “Whatever you’re going to do now is the time to do it,”

“Working on it,” Ascondia replied as with a flash and a roar the portal sprung to life, Hope stared at in sheer shock before Ascondia took her hand with a smile “Doesn’t hurt, but we got to go,” With that she dragged the young woman into the portal and they were gone, Hades stared at Kara before kissing Jade.

“We have got to go,” He stated above the roar of the portal.

Jade glanced to the door as it burst open, then to Hades as he neared her. Once the portal opened the hairs stood up on her neck, returning the brief kiss from her betrothed. Nodding, securing her grip on Kara’s hand to pull and push her through the portal. Gathering Hades’s hand to rush through before it closed.

[Everything Changes] Early Morning Riser

Hades stretched before groaning the position been sat while laid back had taken its toll as he shifted awkwardly. He shuddered feeling the cool air creep around him as she slowly stood feeling bones crack and pop in response to the awkward position. Quietly he made his way to the window peering out, it was still early and yet still dark outside.

His attention was drawn by sounds from the bedroom, as he strained to listen it wasn’t hard to work out what was going just beyond that door, he shook his head and continued to watch out of the window, “The sooner this is done the better,” He mused softly and keeping his voice low.

Initially Jade only stirred when Jades had stood, though, now he smelt the heavenly presence of cherry blossom behind him. Jade had moved to stand at his side, though glanced to the door. “I’m surprised, Ascondia goes both ways? Now I see where Aerian gets it. At least they could be a little quieter.” She sighed, curling a hand within his while shifting her gaze out the window. “Our time is limited here, my beloved…”

“Ascondia takes her comfort where she finds it,” He stated softly before drawing her close and resting his head upon her head his arms wrapping around her waist gently “Hopefully we will be done here quickly, once we get a lead on Kara we can go get her and take her home, though I won’t lie I would like to see who she really is, a sister we have no knowledge of how does that even happen, even in The Everlands,”

“I am not sure, but we were meant to be here. In this realm, perhaps…we should take advantage of it? Surely once isn’t enough…” Her hands lifted to caress over his forearms, it was more than clear to the implication in her words. The reflection in the mirror displayed the yellow glowing in her eyes, almost as though beckoning that demon to come forth.

“Well our dear queen is occupied” He teased in reply, it then it hit him as he took her hand and quietly led her from the cabin, closing the door quietly before leading her away the air was cool, and damp yet the scent of nature was around them, quietly he led her to the edge of the lake before turning her to him, his hands now caressing her jaw and cheek before he leant to kiss her deep and passionate.

Jade smiled, it was sly and mischievous. Without hesitation she allowed Hades to lead her from the cabin into the forest. Nothing was as important as him, her eyes fixed on him with the yellow flicker. She watched him as he watched her, though, responded to the kiss with as much depth. Her fingers working the fabric away from her until the kimono was shrugged off and pooled around her ankles. That collar catching the light just right to display the only article upon her.

Hades drank her in as that glow in his eyes returned the predator in him “Let’s make it fun,” His words were cold and drained of any emotion as he let his hand trace over her skin before moving away “Run!” it was clear his intent was to hunt her, another game for them.

Jade looked to him, while her eyes glowed yellow in response to the demon, his predator rising to the surface. Breathing growing deeper, at his words, Jade turned on her heel and darted into the forest with no location in mind. This was the times she savoured, his darkness.

Hades gave her a short start then took off into the forest himself, the demon in him easily able to track her on the wind, the race of his heart as the dark intent ran through every fibre of himself. Instinct led him through the trees and the scent of his lover drove him forward, it didn’t take long for him close the distance and even less time to end his hunt. He shot through the undergrowth his hand catching hers as he spun her into him before forcing her into the damp ground, one hand blocking the back of her head hitting the floor the other already crushing against the flesh of her breast, his eyes flickered dark now the usual emerald green all but disappeared among the darker hidden demon.

Jade was surprisingly fast, though, it appeared nothing could out run the determined demon that sought control. He was almost within a fraction of a second too late to grasp her hand but managed.

Now on her back his dark eyes meeting that of her yellow, growling and moaning to the grasp of her bosom, clear that he was determined to claim her. A fox like grin appeared on her lips with the glisten of her incisors. She nipped in his direction, while grasping his hand to silently demand for him to let the demon out without fear.

His eyes were locked upon hers as his leant to bite the flesh of her breast, it was hard as his nails now raked along her thigh, each move deliberate a need to inflict pain and yet provide pleasure. His other hand continued to kneed the flesh of her breast with force, the weight of his body now pinning her to the cold damp ground.

Jade shivered as the cold blanket of the ground was beneath her, pinned underneath his weight. Her pale flesh displayed the travel of his fingers in red lines. She growled in response to the bite at her tender and sensitive bosom, conflicted with the pain and pleasure. Her aura throbbed faintly with the sensual presence of the fox, her hands lifted to urge him to feast more upon her mound, pushing him to release all that the demon held.

He shifted his position now kicking out of the pants that prevented him from been closer, followed quickly by his shirt before pressing back against her, warmth of her flesh against his made him hungry, a flash in the skies above was quickly followed by rain causing him to growl as he returned to his assault, biting her flesh repeatedly her breasts and over her stomach and shoulders.

While not spoken it seemed that her body sighed at the physical contact, instead of the cold ground his body warmed her like a blanket. The force of his hunger caused marks upon her body, which would likely leave bruises against her skin. Now her hands rose to choose into his back with her nails, this only served to leave her own meals bit fed the demon in him. As her sounds increased, primal with the need to mate, the power that surged from her only have the instinct that he was in control of a powerful creature.

His hand wrapped against her throat with a dark look pressing against the collar and removing her air for a few moments as he restricted her ability to breath he positioned himself, releasing his grip on her and driving deep into her with force enough to shift them in the dirt.

Jade looked up to him, those stunning yellow eyes blazing now, as her sounds were muffled against the grip of her throat. A hand lifted to close against his own wrist, but not to remove the grasp, only to tighten it more. After he released she gasped to the fill of her lungs, growling in that guttural sound of pleasure as his tool sunk, unforgiving and demanding into her tight passage. His entry was easy due to the drooling flower that was already saturated by the rough housing.

Her hands returned to his back, which was nose growing raw, clawing his flesh and kneading with a kitten like precision at the back of his thigh. This gave him the mixture he desired of the pain and pleasure, while her silken folds tightened around him in such a way only Jade knew how.

There was nothing gentle in Hades now his hand wrapping into her hair and yanking it back as he drove into her with long violent thrusts, the demon in full control now as it was for pleasure and a hunger that drove his hips against hers the resounding slap echoing through the air around them, his mouth continuing to bite and nip her flesh now closing in on her nipple, nipping hard against the sensitive flesh.

Jade snarled to the pull of her hair, the passage tightening in reflex around his sunken tool in her treasure. A howl parted her lips to the bite at her bud, those glorious canines exposed now to the angle. Since she couldn’t move her head by the reigns, the aura of the Kitsune grew stronger until the orange was a transparent visage over her physical form, those yellow eyes now coming to life with a fire. Jade clawed at his back, Hades felt that blood rise in the warmth in his skin. Just then the thunder growled and the rain began to fall upon their bodies. Such heat was in contrast on their skin that it steam began to rise, the harder he bit the sweet essence of blood flooded his pallet.

The hunger drove him now as he withdrew from her biting the flesh of her thigh and then over her stomach before he pulled her up and pushed her over, now behind her his hand struck the flesh of her ass with a resounding clap, a crack of thunder seemingly in reply before he bit the flesh, then drove back into her with the same hungered force, his nails driven down over her back before returning the same violent strokes of before.

She gasped as the hair was free, though before Jade could react she was on her stomach. Bending up on her knees to display her dripping flower, holding as those teeth bit her flesh again. The red marks leaving trail in her back and a growl to the smack, while caused her bottom to juggle. The violence in the way he took her was greedy but animalistic. She bucked back against him, displaying her need and depth, that furious member bursting past her pearly gates into her womb. This nearly seemed too much, losing the support of her elbows and reaching behind to spread her cheeks to display his manhood plunging into her, each time was met with the splash of her saturated ground. The rain now came harder, as it appeared to react to her clamp on his tool and those glorious juices off her climax that took control.

As her release struck he growled plunging deep into her with a hungered force, his manhood swelling before unleashing his seed deep into her, a growl ripped from him so deep and raw, he held within her until every drop had been delivered, though remained just as hard, as looked her over the exposure of her hands separating herself for him suddenly sent a shudder through him, easing back from within her, as he eyed the hidden starlet his hand helping to reposition, before pushing against her now,.

She whimpered at the force of his release within her ground, her flower thriving against him greedily add her womb took the entire flood.

When the shift happened, the sweet pucker tighter than her own flower, she howled as no adjustment was found before the target was made. Now the sight of her dripping flower with the mixture and three way her body latched upon his was inviting.

His hand reached to slid his fingers against the wetness, the mixture of them was intoxicating before his hips edged back short shallow thrusts each time allowing him to penetrate her further until he was now deep within her, his fingers moved to pinch and flick against the swollen pearl for a moment before he straightened his hand taking hers and pushing it to her heated core, it was now he began to ease back a little.

Jade growled to the punch if his fingers upon her plump pearl this only created more juices to flow. This pain mixed with pleasure, she enjoyed greatly. Now with his guidance, she penetrated herself with a shudder. Hades could now feel the brush of her hidden fingers through the veil, maddeningly intoxicating fit both her and him.

As she adjusted to him his rhythm began to build, steadily growing quicker and more powerful with each thrust until he able to return to the same violent rhythm of before his hands now gripping her hips and each time he drove into her would force her back against driving him that little bit deeper.

She howled in delight, the feeling of her fingers grew more and more quick, that is when the speed if his own began to cause her legs to tremble and it appeared as though Jade was about to collapse. He heard and smelt the power of each release as it reflects in her back passage, it seemed that this double penetration was arousing her quite thoroughly. The sound she made were a mix of primal and pleasure, finally the hand left her flower to claw into the dirt, her muscles twitching as she fell forward with shoulder dig into the ground. But against each pound she thrust him deeper into she couldn’t keep up and howled his name. Again and again the rush flowed like a geyser.

As Jades release struck Hades drove into her with a guttural growl, his hands landing flat and hard against her hips as he again delivered his seed deep into her, his whole body shuddered with force against hers.

Jade lay now with her cheek against the ground, panting and crooning, he saw a faint bruise forming on her bottom and the light of the Kitsune fade. Her body was economic sound him now, hips the only part of her hoisted, torso and shoulders downward. The rain continued to fall, a light mist now that gave a halo around their bodies. Jades skin was blotched with patches of red as she was coming down from her high. Her shape was divine from this angle with wide hips and the skin was too her legs.

His hands slid up her inner thighs gently before he slowly removed himself from her to sit on the now rain soaked forest floor, the cool barely even notable within their bubble of warmth, he placed a kiss against her bare bottom before helping her to his lap, now kissing her once more.

The shift into his lap, revealed the bite marks that speckled her breasts, to the sides and one deep and dark on her bud. Some in her shoulders and even her stomach, she looked beaten but it didn’t seem to phase her. Jade lifted her head from his chest to lift a hand to cup and bring his lips down against hers in a tender and loving kiss. When parted her exotic brown almond slanted eyes were fixed in his with a softness and affection.

He returned the kiss, now content to remain with her as the rain fell upon them, before finally kissing her and helping her stand picking up his now soaked clothes he chuckled softly. They made their way back toward the cabin as he eased open the door and peered within. The kitchen and room still empty they crept in, he tossed his clothes by the fire and pulled a spare sheet around himself, Jades, kimono still on the table where they had begun.

She moved to cuddle with him beneath the blanket, shivering. Such could be because she was cold or the powerful moment, quite possibly both. Nuzzling into his neck followed by a yawn.

[Everything Changes] Triage and Love

There was a commotion that woke Aerian as she stretched and rolled out of bed, she made her way into the hall a group was closing in on Harely who was on the ground and looked to have taken a beating.

It was an instinct that saw Aerian draw her blade and slid beneath one of them about to drive his own sword through Harley, the blade deflected by Aerians in a shower of sparks. Aerian rolled and was crouched between the small group and Harley as she stood the group backed up.

“Did I not say she was off limits?” Aerian barked the flash of anger through her eyes.

“She deserves everything she has coming to her,” The guy from yesterday now snapped at Aerian, she didn’t blink as her right hand sent him to the ground.

“You’re not wrong, she probably does, but that’s not your choice unless you’d like your chance,” Aerian replied darkly “We do this the old way, my way, you and Harley if you win she’s out of here,”

“And if she wins,” He asked coldly

“That’s up to her,” Aerian replied as she turned offering her hand to Harley, the moment her back was turned she felt him move toward her, again on an instinct, she turned her blade blocking his attack as she turned past kicking the back of the knee with a crack sending him to the floor.

Aerian would have driven her own blade through him had Serah not caught her wrist “You said no more murder,”

Aerian flicked her blade in her palm and then with a flick of her wrist snapped it into the ground at her feet.

Domi was in the hallway now, rubbing his eyes, while Virra lounged against the door in just the large tunic with her bandaged thigh exposed.

“What the hell…?” Domi said, motioning for Harley to near their room. “What happened?”

Harley ducked past the small group as Serah shoved the guy away “Alistair doesn’t fucking listen,” she snapped angrily “You’re girl just gave him a chance to put it right, then he tried to jump her and likely got his knee broke for his trouble, had I not stopped her she would have ended his miserable existence,”

Aerian picked her blade up glaring at Alistair before she walked toward Harley and pushed her into their room “You need to accept we’re taking control, and ignoring the rules is not going to fly any longer, if you have a problem then you take it to the pit simple as that, and you fight until you can’t stand,”

“So we kill in the pit, just not in the halls?” Alistair spat in frustration.

“She never said kill,” Serah replied darkly “And breaking you’re knee probably just saved your ass the embarrassment of getting your ass kicked for the third time today,”

Virra straightened as Harley was pushed to the room, while Virra has been leaning with little weight put on her leg but a limp was noticeable, as small as it was. “I agree with Serah. The pit before was to sort out issues not a vice to kill. Come, Firefly and Serah. It’s time we talk. Domi, you deal with Alistair.”

Domi yawned but moved to point to another and himself to host him up. “Off to the infirmary.”

He walked while supporting Alistair, once back on the table, he inspected the damage. “Damn, she’s still got a kick.” Domi proceeded to give him a bottle, then began to work on a cast. “Everyone is so uptight. So why even bother, you know that things are changing, you’re pushing the envelope.”

“So she won’t kill but she has no problem breaking my leg? She really is good as they said she was, but all our problems started with Harley they should end with her death, she would have killed any of us just as easily,” Alistair sighed darkly, the pain now ripping at him from the knee “I just want her dead, to answer for all those we’ve lost to her recklessness or even her own hand, why is that so wrong?”

“Hm. Perhaps she had no problem breaking your leg to defend herself, which is easily repaired. But as for a life, that is not. This goes to prove that Aerian means to right the wrong. She could have killed you but did not. You speak as though it’s simple. We all know that a majority of you if not all, want Harley dead. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of no killing? No murder? Everyone has done something unforgivable, it takes a stronger person to give that individual a chance against all the odds to prove worth. After all, didn’t the Ever Present give all of you that same chance?” Domi said calmly.

“Serah is the reason she didn’t kill me, I don’t think your girlfriend planned to let me live, seems she says one and thing and does the other, an irrational mine field is that one” Alistair sighed softly “Though I probably shouldn’t have tried to blindside her,”

“Don’t pretend to know. The fact remains you are alive. Instead of using it for the negative put a foot forward instead of back. We are looking to the future, which means the past has to be left let to lay.” Domi finished up the cast and looked to him. “Yes, that was foolish. Never strike from the backside, which can be viewed as backstabbing. Metaphorically and physically.”

“I will just thank you for sorting my leg, and pray your girlfriend doesn’t hold a grudge,” Alistair replied blankly.

Domi moved to begin to clean the area. “Instead of hope, why not take initiative? Look we aren’t here to dictate or force anything. But a change was needed. I think you and everyone would be better off not fighting against it and see where it goes. She had her reasons for everything. But if I may make a suggestion, take the bull by the horns. Apologize for blind siding her. I’ll be there and she won’t kick your ass.”

“I think I’m just going to stay out of the way today doc, but I will make my peace in time,” He replied with a calm in his voice that was odd in its direction.

Domi nodded to Alistair, moving to place his hand on his shoulder. “Be safe, no more pushing it. Yeah?”

 

****************************************************************************

 

Aerian made her way to quickly check over Harley as she eyed the cuts and bruises, Serah stepped in and then closed the door “You were going to kill him after you set the terms, you would have killed him,” she stated firmly

“It was reaction, he attacked from behind he’s lucky I didn’t snap his neck,” Aerian replied “They are still not falling in line, but perhaps they know we’re not kidding around now,”

“Alistair riled them up, Harley was unlucky, this will teach them, Aerian you just need to keep your temper in check, there isn’t anyone here who can go against any of you three and come out intact, tensions are high but it will settle, if you’re willing to let it,” It was an odd turn for Serah but she was the voice of reason “You over reacted, and now he can’t settle this with Harley and that’s going to just piss him off more,”

Virra chuckled returning to sit in the bed. “Emotions in check. That is a challenge given our circumstances.” She patted her belly which now has formed a small bump.

Serah stared in though before looking at Aerian “Wait, both of you?” She then looked to Harley who was looking just as stunned by yet another revelation, “And she still kicked your ass?”

“Aerian always was kinda special” Harley replied softly “Not really the brightest choice, combat while pregnant? Even for you that seems reckless,”

“I’m fine, and I would never have put myself in a situation I couldn’t control, you know that. We have to ensure the future of The Ever Present, and my family, I can’t do that without support,” Aerian shrugged softly “We need to stop fighting among ourselves, past is past, but the future is what matters,”

“Perhaps not. But, we aren’t going to ignore the future. We need support while attempting to gain the strength that the Ever Present was. Now, it could be better than before. The fact remains, no murder and no killing. Look ahead and not behind. We do have Domi looking out for us, as well as each other. Now you know the truth of emptiness between her and me. We returned regardless of our situation and we aim to make this right and steer in the right direction.”

“I must admire your commitment, it’s hard for some of us to consider, and we’ve changed leadership twice in the last day, not hard to understand why we are little rattled?” Serah replied softly the cold edge of her voice now had dissolved “Your boy talks sense, asked I give this new direction a chance and so I will stand in support, but the choice should be theirs not because they have to but because they wish to?”

Aerian nodded softly “Anyone who wants to remain I said it before they can, things are not going back to what they were, and if that’s the reason then that will be their choice as well, we are here to lead not to dictate,”

“It will take time. Everlands wasn’t built in a day and we have had our fair share of bumps along the way. Much the same as Ever Present. She loves the group as a whole, which is why she came back. It takes a strong person to admit fault and go about correcting it. Right, Firefly?” Virra smirked, leaning back, extending her hand to Aerian. “Harley, you probably should get those scrapes looked at.”

Aerian slipped into Virra with a kiss to her neck “It will take time, but we will get to where we were once, we will lead by example, seems to work well for my dad,”

“Still can’t believe your dad is Kane Elcarus, that’s a lot to digest,” Serah replied, “Anyway if you’ll excuse me I need to go talk with a few people, I will return in a while and give the lay of how things are?”

“I’m Ok Aery, bruised pride more than a few scrapes, though I’m sure your doctor friend will check me all the same when he returns,” Harley added as she settled back by the fire now beginning to rebuild it.

“Sounds good, Serah.” Virra watched as the woman left, then returned a kiss to Aerian’s crown, shifting her gaze to Harley.

Just then the door opened and Domi entered, motioning for Harley to sit in a chair to inspect her. “Your injuries are superficial. You’ll be fine and Alistair definitely had a broken leg, Aerian. He may at one point come to apologize, though be wary of him, both of you. He regrets blind siding you.”

“I suspect he may try something else, I can’t expect everyone to play nice, but you treated him so they can’t say we are treating anyone any different, I think you’ve spent more time performing triage since we got here than we have had together,” Aerian smiled softly.

“Face hurts, ego hurts, but I’m still alive so that’s something,” Harley smiled softly before standing, “I think I’m going to go hide in my room for a while if I can help just send for me,”

Domi nodded to Harley, watching her leave the room and sighed. He moved over to Aerian and Virra, laying his head down in Aerian’s lap. Virra leaned to kiss and nibble at Aerian’s neck. “Yes, you’ve been a busy man.”

“I’m fine so long as I can do my part. It’s been tiring but there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to make this go smooth and keep my beautiful angels happy.”

“And there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do to keep you happy,” Aerian barely even though as her response came from her lips. As she felt Virras kissed she whimpered softly, “I would do anything for either of you,”

Domi caressed Aerian from her ankles to her thigh, turning his head to kiss her thigh with a playful nibble. “How are my beautiful mothers to be? Your hand Aerian? Your leg Virra?”

“It’s still sore, Domi, though I figure it will be as such for a while yet. My bosom is sore…” Virra whispered.

“Oh, well, I can’t wait to help when it’s swollen with milk. Each of you.” Domi teased with a wiggle if his brows.

“You’re such a pervert…” Virra sighed with a smirk.

“But he’s our pervert, so many girls around here and he doesn’t so much as take a look. It’s nice,” Aerian mused softly as she let her fingers wander gently over Virra before she shifted to kiss Virra deeply.

The shift was met with Virra wrapping her arms around Aerian, due to her injury her movements were limited. But Domi began to nibble and kiss their necks, taking his time on each, it was apparent his goal was to mark them with hickies.

Aerian moaned as she felt Domi against her neck before she sat back and peeled off her top her eyes now looking to Virra “I think he’s trying to mark his territory.”

Virra smirked while leaning to kiss, Aerian deeply, though turned her cheek to rest against her naked bosom with a brief lick. Before grabbing him by the shirt to pull him up. “I don’t like being marked.” Though in the next instant her lips were on Domi’s neck, suckling intently with a groan from Domi. It was clear that the tides were turned and she was determined to mark him.

Aerian joined her nipping at Domis flesh before suckling hard. Before she shifted her attention to Virra, her hands now sliding up over her sides and over her stomach and then up to caress her breasts.

When Aerian’s lips left Domi’s neck, he had a mark, but on Virra’s side there was the peppering of such upon his flesh. A moan left her lips as Aerian touched her bosom. The thin fabric of the tunic separating from flesh contact, Virra parted from his neck, while turning her lips against Aerian’s in a deep kiss. Her hands lifted to cup and massage the mounds. Domi was watching them but began to loosen Aerian’s pants and dip a finger down to tease her hidden pearl, doing the same to Virra though dipped his hands beneath her tunic.

Aerian felt his touch and sighed deeply, as she squirmed against him before kissing Virra once more, Aerian moaned against Domis touch and the kiss.

A smirk appeared in his lips, while Virra moaned and attempted to adjust. “Don’t move too much, Virra.” He warned, as his hand appeared to quicken beneath her tunic. But now before Aerian could react his mouth was fixed greedily upon her bosom, centering on the flesh with a whip of his slick muscle. His finger sorted lower and sunk into her waiting folds, struggling around add a thumb for added to focus in her plump pearl.

Aerian pushed back into him as her eyes closed sinking down onto her elbows laid with her head against Virra, “He doesn’t play fair,” she murmured softly.

Virra chuckled, tilting Aerian’s chin up to press her lips against hers, the kiss was deep and hungry, passionate. As the sound were fed into the kiss, she head the buckle of his pants released. Before she registered what happened, Domi had ripped her free of her pants and was flipped over on her knees. While Aerian was face to face with Virra’s dripping gate, a glorious sight. Without a moment’s hesitation, Domi plunged himself deep within her silken folds, strong hands reaching around to massage and pinch her buds.

Aerian let her tongue flick against those warm juices with a soft whimper, as Domi plunged into her she felt her body tense, a low growl escaping her, feeling him fill her deeply she moaned now moving to allow her fingers to dip into Virras wetness, her tongue searching for Virras already swollen pearl.

Virra cried out with the dip of Aerian’s fingers, the slick tool focused on her pearl, tilting her head back with her hands lifted to tend to her own bosom.

Domi began to thrust into Aerian, while plucking and punching her buds, the speed increasing with the shrewd clapping of his hips against her bottom. A smack was heard, as one hand left a red mark but massaged the cheek apologetically, only to continue with the process.

Aerian growled as his hand struck her but felt her body tense, and yet felt herself only get wetter, as she probed Virra deeply with her fingers, her tongue flicking against the tender pearl. As he struck her again she pushed back into his has increasing the impact and causing her to whimper.

Virra was releasing those beautiful sounds, it was clear she was attempting to rest her leg. Her folds throbbed around the constantly delving digits, she was building to her release, and then it happened. A rush of juices was spent from her honey pot, causing her tremble and the more Aerian continued the more of her sweet nectar flowed.

To Aerian’s buck back, Domi massaged her half-moons then latched to her hips, pulling her back into the thrusting. The sound and smells in the room were carnal heaven. Just then Aerian felt his monstrous tool grow, inflating and stretching her passage. Suddenly twitching and exploding, filling her with gob after gob of his molten seed.

Aerian moaned deeply as Virras release struck, as Domi quickened her pace, she removed her fingers from Virra curling them into the bed, her own body heated causing her cry against the thrusts, as she felt him release with her she ground back against him before her body tensed, her muscles clamping against Domi milking every drop deep within her a low growl was lost the sheets beneath her.

Domi continued to rock within her, slowly, leaning forward to press her lips in a flutter along her spine a steady hand massaging Aerian’s shoulder tenderly. But he leaned to lick her ear. “I love you, Aerian.”

He removed himself with that articulate plop and swept the fiery haired woman in his arms. Shifting her to his right, while settling between the two woman with an arm curling around each. It was a tender moment, as he shifted his lips in gentle kisses between the two, recovering from the passionate moments and savouring this time before sleep stole them away.

Aerian shuddered against the kisses, as she slid into his lap and returned the kiss, her hand now reaching trail over Virra softly, before nestling into Domi and stretching her legs out and over Virra.

Virra glanced to Aerian with a smirk, learning against her and Domi. “Seems your plan to mark us backfired.” She mused, looking at his neck that was peppered with little hickies and one side with others but larger.

Aerian chuckled to her words with a grin before placing his hand on her stomach “I think he just likes it when we retaliate,” her words were soft, as she leant to kiss his neck softly.

[Everything Changes] The Human and the Gifted

Hades had lost track of how long they had been in this metal contraption Ascondia referred to as a car, between the ache in his side and bruising of his ribs he was finding it hard to focus. The gun had gone off at point blank range against his lower abdomen the very thing he had been afraid of in this encounter. He was, however, grateful it had been him and not Jade.

The car turned off the road and onto a dirt road, the bump causing him growl this time the pain all too clear, as Ascondia looked round to them “Is he OK? Hades what the fuck happened out there,”

“I told you, he got lucky,” Hades bit back

“How is he even conscious right now, you know he got shot, right? I’ve seen guys try to hide gunshots a thousand times before and there is no way Luke missed,” There was a tone of fear in her voice in that moment as they finally came to a halt, the wooden cabin just ahead, it was run down and even from the outside looked dirty. Hades sighed softly, much like Jade he wished in that moment he was home.

Jade looked to him now, as Ascondia’s words were more than clear. She smacked Hadess hands away from the cradle of his abdomen. Eyes widening at the sight of his clothing saturated in blood, then up to him. “Damn, you…” Was all she said. “Hurry, we have to get him inside I can’t focus in this metal box on wheels.” Jade left her side of the car, reaching to the strange handle and pulling to open the door, leaning down to gather his arm in a gentle pull to drape over her shoulder. Then urged Ascondia to do the same, in order to lead him to the cabin. Jade was frightened she didn’t know how to mend a sound from such a strange weapon.

Hades was still on his feet though took the help, as instinct made him search the area on their way in, Hope turned off the engine and climbed out before joining them, it was dingy within though Hope lit one of the gasoline lamps to spread out some light “The generator is out so we have no power until that’s fixed,”

Hades nodded as he sank onto a couch with a groan, Ascondia looked at him before she looked at Jade, there was a part of her that knew this would be the outcome “He’ll be OK, you know I wouldn’t have put him at risk if I wasn’t sure of that,”

Hope was quickly pulling things out of a cupboard tossing bottles to Ascondia “Water from the well, I have a camping stove here we can boil it before she uses it, though it would just make more sense to take him to a hospital, Connie what is going on, how does someone survive a gunshot wound like that,”

“Happens all the time, but we can’t take him to a hospital, he isn’t exactly,” She breathed in thought looking to Hades as if help he simply shrugged and began working the blood soaked shirt out of his way.

“I’ll be fine, just have to stem the bleeding,” He smiled weakly

“Bullet has to come out first,” Ascondia replied blankly before gathering the bottle and exiting the cabin.

Jade sat beside him, assisting on pulling off his shirt, looking to Hope and requesting a bottle of liquor. When this was presented Jade washed her hands in the beverage and then offered Hades the bottle. Now with her hands cleaned, Jade began to inspect the skin and the depth of the wound with a fingertip, then up to him. “It’s…deep…” She muttered, accepting a towel from Hope. “I need something to grasp the item and pull out with a bowl, plus a needle and thick thread to stitch him…this isn’t going to be easy, beloved. It’s near an organ…next time, we do this together. Two eyes are better than one…Don’t you dare think I’m going to hear your lip, you are going to be a father and we ARE going to be married. Got that?” Her eyes began to glow that yellow but kept out of Hope’s view to not frighten her.

Hades smiled softly as he watched her before he spoke “Don’t waste time stitching, hot knife, I can’t afford to be thinking about stitches if we go after Kara,” He breathed softly

“How is he even conscious,” Hope stated softly before she handed Jade a towel and pair of long nose pliers “I’m sorry but we’re not exactly an ER here, gotta make do with what we have, I’m gonna go make sure Connie is OK,” she was quickly gone

“I think I’m making her nervous, though I suppose people don’t tend to walk around after they get shot here, seems demon side is still intact, just not as frontal as he would be at home, I’m Ok I promise I just needed her to get her act together so we could leave, though I have probably complicated our job more than we need,” Hades let his hand slide over hers gently “Just pull the bullet and then seal it few hours of rest and I’ll be good,”

Jade watched as Hope left the room, then looked up to Hades as his hand was set on her own. Those yellow eyes fixed on him while Jade sighed softly. “You are in no position to tell me what to do.” She growled to him, exposing her incisors, then snagged the bottle of liquor from him to wash off the pliers, giving him back the bottle. “No, you are right. Stitches aren’t needed, because, I will be healing you to speed up the process. This is going to hurt, take a swig or two.” Jade stated while looking at the wound and working the pliers within the open wound, working around for a few moments then wiggling the bullet free. Each movement she made was calculated and expert. Once the bullet was free, she pressed the towel hard upon the wound. “Keep the pressure, while I do my work,” Jade said softly.

She closed her eyes as Hades felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, electricity was in the room. Any remaining from the lines to the electric were utilized. He then saw the form of the kitsune aura present itself around her, then her hand was placed against his skin. That is when he felt the stinging pain of his ribs, adjusting and being pulled together followed by the punch of pain to his abdomen. Then the burning itch extending from within him outwards, the very fibres of his flesh, veins and beginning to meld and heal. Just as it was about to reach the surface, there was a light bulb that blew.

Everything happened very slowly, as the aura of her kitsune faded and Jade fell back with her eyes closed. Hand holding the pliers released causing the bloody bullet to fall from the grasp and Jade had fainted. She was still barely breathing now, as the dark threads spilled around her head with the exposure of her sea gifted collar.

Hades was on the ground beside her the moment she fell back, his hand catching the back of her head, he scooped her up to lay her where he was, throwing his jacket beneath her to avoid laying her in his blood.

“Well this is going to be awkward to explain,” Ascondia chuckled as she now stood with Hope looking as if she’d seen a ghost “Glad you’re OK though, I know we can’t do this without you,”

“Getting shot sucks, you know that right?” Hades bit back with a smirk and she nodded before closing the door and pushing Hope to sit down opposite Hades.

“OK, so you’re not going to buy the she’s a nurse deal now, so listen carefully. All those myths and legends are usually based on some kind of fact, based on some story of some encounter from another time,” Ascondia sighed softly as she made her way to sit beside Jade resting her hand on her forehead “She’s warm, but hopefully in saving your ass, the worst is over now, let her rest, we’ll be safe here,”

“So what’s the plan now, moving through the city isn’t going to be easy while they are looking for me,” Hades replied

“They won’t be, Hope is going to make those reports vanish, and once we have Kara, if she chooses she can come with us, don’t start Hades,” Ascondia held her hand at him before he had a chance to argue “She can’t stay here Luke will end up killing her, and she’s already seen too much, also apparently I can’t use my memory magicks here anymore or just on her unsure which, so our options are limited. So here’s the deal you’re right he’s not normal he’s half human part demon, and a sprinkle of vampire and by vampire yes I mean the bite your neck and drink your blood kind, though not quite what you think, they’re as alive as you or I, and can be shot, and hurt and killed just easily, no silver or garlic,”

“You know how this sounds?” Hope stated as she stared now at the three opposite her and what about her blowing out bulbs?”

“She’s Kitsune, a fox of sorts with more power than even I’m sure of, she is harmless to you and is here with her husband to be, she had to tap into a lot of power to access that level of power here our natural powers get dulled in this realm,”

“Our …” Hope stated “As in? You aren’t?”

“Human?” Ascondia chuckled softly “God no, I’m an angel and I mean that in the literal sense, big feathered wings and all, though I lost my wings when I was young because I made some wrong choices, got kicked out of what you would deem as heaven and fell into my home The Everlands which over the centuries has had limited contact here hence the myths and legends, it’s a lot I know but Hope we’re on borrowed time chasing down a fugitive from our own realm and this girl is ten shades to wind of bat shit crazy. She kills without concern, and I suspect is hiding somewhere I need to know if there’s anything logged recently that doesn’t quite make sense, that’s why we came to you, I need to take her back and I need your help to do it,”

Jade remained still, while her breathing grew more and more steady, head laying on Hade’s lap with the dark halo of her hair pooling in and over his legs. She appeared content, while in her slumbering state beads of sweat glistened on her forehead now, displaying the fever that had taken her from absorbing the power in that moment. Stunning and beautiful, even in this moment. She had sped up the healing within Hades, even now, he continued to feel the throbbing remnants of her focused mend. Meaning in just an hour, he would be as good as new, no scar only the bullet on the floor.

Hades stayed with her head in his lap his hand working gently through her hair as he watched Hope try to process the information dropped on her by her former best friend.

“So twelve years ago, when everyone thought you’d been taken, and after your daughter disappeared? Where have you been?” Hope stated her mind racing over what she was being told now.

“I had to go home, and my daughter is fine, after the fire I had no choice but to send her home ahead of me she was becoming dangerous, it was the best place for her, please is there anything you can do to help us track Kara?” Ascondia replied softly. Hope sat now looking at Ascondia, the bruising on her face had subsided a little as she thought on her words.

While everyone was intent in conversation, Jade’s eyes had opened, silently watching everyone. As Hope paused to consider Ascondia’s words, Jade felt her stomach cramp, this broke her silence now, as a whimper escaped her lips and she curled over with her hands over her abdomen. But when Hades made the concerned move, she simply held a hand up to stop him. “Just a reflection of your pain…I’m fine now. Just really tired. Please, Hope…this Kara is far more dangerous than Luke. Unstable and doesn’t belong here. She will cause more damage than good. We need your help to find her.”

“I can’t exactly walk into the precinct looking like this, but I can make a few calls, at least throw them off with Luke, and see if anything weird … er has happened the last few days,” Hope replied her head already thudding inside her own skull.

“Just be quick Hope, we’re on borrowed time with her, lives are at risk,” Ascondia replied now.

Jade looked to Hope while considering her. “Ascondia, boil some water for tea. She needs something to relax.” She adjusted a slight offering her a small cloth bag. After Ascondia was busy, she looked up to Hades, lifting a hand to caress his cheek. “Better now?”

“Sore, but I’m OK,” Hades replied softly “But I’m not concerned about me, how are you?”

Ascondia took the bag and made her way to the small camping stove, a flicker of the flame as she ignited it before placing a pan upon it. Quietly she poured the water into the pan and watched as it began to heat up.

“I’ll be fine. Just took a little out of me. I’m not used to the electrical charge of this realm. Seems it is more powerful then I realized. As long as you are safe and feel better, I’m good.” Jade smiled up at him taking his hands in hers to kiss his palm.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips in a soft kiss “Good, and yea the electricity is a little temperamental here, in our realm we can control it, here it tends to do as it wants, no more tapping into it again unless you need to,”

Hope had disappeared into the back bedroom and could be heard pacing and talking in a lowered tone, Ascondia was keeping herself close just in case Hope decided they were worth more betraying than helping.

She adjusted to sit up, eyeing him. “No more doing stupid shit, without me. You know we are stronger together.” Though, Jade leaned against him while watching Ascondia silently with Hope pacing in the other room. “Is she trustworthy? That man may have scrambled her noggin,”

“With my life,” Ascondia replied with a soft smile “But it’s been 12 years, mostly she has been asking questions, doing her job. She hasn’t told on us yet, which means she is considering my offer, which also means it was real bad,”

Hades drew her closer “Wasn’t planning to get shot,”

Ascondia raised a brow in thought then returned her attention to the door,

“OK maybe I knew he might be armed, it’s why it had to me,”

Jade adjusted to slip into his lap, learning her cheek against his chest, leaving a hand within his. “It’s why it had to be you? What do you mean?” She sided watching Ascondia from her lean.

“I knew I could take the bullet, I also knew you’d keep my dumb ass alive,” He smiled kissing her neck gently, “I knew you’d have my back,”

“He knew you’d talk him out of it and we needed the distraction,” Ascondia watched them for a moment before moving away from the door as Hope re-emerged.

Jade lifted her head offering Hope a smile while waiting for the tea. “What is the update, Hope?”

“Girl kicked the ever living crap out of 4 guys who tried to have their way with her, two of them are badly beaten, one got his spine shattered and the other,” She grimaced darkly “Got his head crushed,”

Ascondia sighed darkly as she heard the news “And do they know where she is?” She was now looking out over the lake.

“Not yet, but a friend will call if they have anything else, I also told them I was taking a few days after Luke attacked me and some nice guy put him on his ass, it won’t hold but it buys time” Hope sighed as sank down on the couch opposite them now.

Jade listened silently, looking to Hope, but kissed Hades on the cheek. Rising slowly but steadily to kneel before Hope. “It’s hard. You are strong. You don’t need to be alone in this. Believe me, I….know. See I was forced to until the slave caravan was stopped. I was meant to serve…every twisted fantasy with any man. It was not a good life. It wasn’t a life, circumstances…may be different, between me and you. Even world. But I found my rock, you will find yours. You feel like…you can’t hide. Perhaps, hiding is…not the answer. A new life. A new home…Ascondia. A little help here.”

“She is trying to tell you we have your back, I had to leave to go home, I want to help you, but I can’t until we bring in Kara,” She smiled to Jade “He’s already taken a bullet to get you out, she let her fiancée get shot to help you,” Ascondia paused “OK let is probably bending the narrative, still we have already put time into saving you now I need your help,”

“I have no more, all we can do is wait unless you know how to track her,”  Hope replied softly

“Well…let’s think about it like this. Start from the first attack? Maybe there is some kind of money or tavern type trail? I don’t know how those things work here.” Jade said, returning to Hades side.

“That’s the problem, this was a single attack, four men and her, they didn’t come out of it so well, they are tracking her movements via cameras through the city but it’s taking time, Connie the world has changed a lot since you left. We will find her but how do you stop her? How do you stop someone who can take out 4 guys?” There was a panic in Hope now that she was having a hard time dealing with everything she had seen.

Ascondia smiled and pointed to Hades and Jade “That’s how, in our realm he is a bounty hunter, or he was before he became a family man, but we did just stop a war, tangle with dragons, giant spiders, Unicorns,” She smiled “Yup those are real too, I know how it sounds, but how do you think I was able to tell you all those stories at our slumber parties? I didn’t make most of them up, they were real events, I just need you to trust me, just like always,”

“I thought you were dead, but it’s a lot Connie even for me, but then I have nothing left here, my dad was killed a few years ago, mom died last year, I guess starting again wouldn’t be so bad, I’m going to see if I can get that generator running, it’s going to get cold out here tonight and we will need to stay put for tonight,” She smiled softly and made her way out of the house.

“She OK?” Hades repeated quietly as he watched Ascondia now beginning to prepare the tea.

“A lot to take in, humans aren’t built to be exposed to our world so fast, look at their history and what happens when they are, she just needs to deal and we keep our eyes on her, she will lead us to Kara that we can count on,” Ascondia replied

Jade rose still a little weak to help Hades with the tea, one it was done, she poured it into four mugs and offered them to Ascondia and Hope. “What is…these cameras?”

Ascondia chuckled softly pulling her cell phone for a moment before the loud click she spun the screen to show Jade the picture she had taken of Jade “Kinda like memories, but so people can watch or see,”

“You don’t have technology in your world?” Hope looked almost disturbed by Ascondias implication now.

“We lead a far simpler life, more like your medieval period only less violence and more magick,” Hades shrugged in reply “Which is about when I was born here,” he added with a shake of his head.

Jade blinked at the way Ascondia held the phone and a click was heard. Curious, she learned forward to pet at the picture, within faintly was an orange glare. “Hm. Not very good at it. I don’t know it seems like…weird. Do people have privacy? I mean if what you say is true about moving pictures like this one…”

“We have video too,” Ascondia smiled and again aimed the camera at Jade for a few minutes before showing her the replay “Privacy in this world, kinda hard, hell some even record things just for fun, some for memory, some for revenge, the human realm is strange that’s for sure,”

“Really no phones, no video, what do you people do for fun,” Hope replied now wondering what she was getting herself into.

“Usually each other in wild sex parties,” Ascondia smiled before shaking her head softly “Our lives are simpler, well most, I am Queen so little hard for me to relax, his brother has a whole realm to watch over and twins, my daughter is apparently a mercenary for hire so life is never dull I promise you that,”

“His brother? Isn’t he the father of your daughter? It’s a lot to process Connie, I think I’m going to go lay down, there’s nothing to do now but wait, unless you can somehow fix my face,” Hope sighed softly as she walked past Ascondia she placed her hand on her shoulder “You coming?”

Ascondia placed her hand over Hopes for a moment before she nodded “I just need a minute,”

Jade moved over to Hope. “I can try. Your face wounds are not as life threatening as Hades. That is…if you’d allow me to. It will sting initially as I speed the body’s natural healing process.” She offered the woman a small smile.

Hope looked confused but nodded now, as she halted in her approach toward the bedroom “OK, I guess,”

“Did you get that generator working Hope?” Ascondia asked as she moved toward her

“Y.. Yea it just needs fuel and I couldn’t see straight, just pour it in the tank and hit the green button, should fire straight up,” Hope replied

“I got it,” Hades replied and headed off out of the door, a few minutes later and the generator was heard coughing and spluttering before the last bulb flickered to life, the cabin now becoming a little brighter.

Jade glanced to Ascondia as Hades left. “We should do so in the bedroom, she will want to sleep.” She then moved past Hope into the bedroom, while settling in the edge of the bed and instructing her to lay down. Jade waited and then when Hope was in position, she moved to settle at her side. “I need to know if there is any more injury on you.”

Hades made his way back inside as Jade was taking Hope to the bedroom, he had already scouted to ensure there were no surprises “Any chance you can throw up something to alert us of unwelcome guests?” His words to Ascondia

“I can but it won’t be able to tell the difference between animal and person, power isn’t as accurate as I’d want and to be honest I’m saving as much of my energy as I can to deal with Kara and take us home,” Ascondia replied

“Give us ten metres in all direction, if it’s closer than that then there’s good chance it isn’t dinner,” Ascondia nodded and made her way to window as Hades now leant in the doorway of the bedroom watching Jade.

“No just bumps and bruises, he was always careful enough not to break bones, otherwise he’d have the rest of my squad to deal with, guess I should have told them sooner this is the first time he ever really made a mess where it could be seen, he..” She started

“Don’t say he was a good man, before or he wasn’t like this until, he is what he is, you can’t change that and one day it’s going to get you killed,” Hades stated darkly, Hope looked to Jade and fell silent.

Jade glanced over her shoulder to Hades, inhaling deeply. She shifted her hands to place very gently against Hope’s face. “Take a deep breath. Trust me.” She said to Hope, add her eyes began to grow yellow and those canines appeared. In the next moment, Hope felt the sting at her face as the damage done began to mend itself and lower the inflammation, until it returned normal upon Hope’s face. The swelling going down, while the woman’s beauty was revealed and Jade lowered her hands with a soft smile. “I’ve been where you are…get out now, while you have this support.”

“Thank you, so much” Hope threw her arms around Jade sobbing deeply. Hades smiled softly as he watched her for a moment, as Hope lay back down she was asleep within a few minutes. Ascondia slipped past Hades and crawled in bed beside her

“I’ll keep an eye on her, thank you Jade,”

Jade was taken by surprise by the embrace from Hope, even more so by the tears. She simply held the woman, before guiding her down to watch her. When Ascondia returned, Jade simply nodded while rising from the bed and leaving the room to settle on the couch.

Hades drew and blanket over her then settled to sit on the floor beside resting his head against her, it wasn’t long before he too was asleep.