[Everything Changes] Who Watches the Watcher?

Aerian ensured Virra sat upon the make shift throne, taking the weight from her for the moment as she crouched before her, her eyes now looking over room. Domi beside them both with Harley opposite. Aerian stared as she searched out anyone she recognised.

“You know it’s been a weird couple of days, but it’s been worse for you because right now you’re wondering who you can trust, and why Harley is still here, everything Harley is, that’s because of me so I care for her, deeply, she is The Ever Present just as I have come to accept so am I,” Aerian stood now slowly “So I stand, and we take control, to correct a course that has gone horribly awry, The Ever Present was supposed to be the silent sword of justice and somehow that got screwed up,”

“You ran like a coward, so I heard, got tired of laying on your back and being a whore for all and everyone, so you ran away, according to my brother you were a great fuck but a lousy boss, too busy letting the head case fuck you senseless,” A woman called

“So we getting the sex parties back? Cause at least that’s why I joined, never got near a girl, they won’t put out,”

It was sudden but arrows slammed into the roof sending a shower of dust upon the group, as Aerian smiled darkly holding her bow “Yes I screwed everything with a pulse, but I am still the best thief in the realm, why do you think after I left those contracts came to me and not you?  I let an idea become the norm, and that ends now, because ultimately I have to be at peace with myself and well answer to my father,”

“Why who’s yer daddy Kane Elcarus?” Another voice drawled coldly “We are The Ever Present we do what the fuck we want to who we want,”

Aerian looked to him before sending an arrow at his feet “As a matter of fact that’s exactly who my father is, and my mother is Queen Ascondia, so you’d better make peace with that piece of information and make it quick, because if we don’t change they will send their forces to hunt you all down for crimes against the crown and trust me when I say there is no where you can hide, between the Dentarian Army trained by my father and Uncle Hades and the Elveran Forces also trained by my dad, they will cut you down and they won’t think twice about it,” Aerian breathed now feeling the cold rage burn in the pit of her stomach.

“Listen up, you ass holes. Listen good, it never bothered you before about whom who was related to them, why the hell does it matter now? Yes, Aerian left though now has returned to save your sorry asses. Protect her family, the Ever Present from the shit storm that would ensue. She came back.” Virra stated strongly, though looked at the first man that spoke. “You joined for sex and orgies. That was the wrong reason, now the Ever Present has a purpose. A future. You want to throw around names? My father was Bryant. I am the heir of his group. I don’t stand for that shit, which was a sex traffic trade and murderer for hire. You know what happened? He joined the wrong side for the wrong reasons. Don’t be an idiot.” Virra adjusted on the throne. “A joined front is better than a broken foundation. We are here to right the wrongs done to you and others. But mark my word if you are here for a fuck, then you are in the wrong place.”

“Shame,” He muttered now looking at the arrow driven into the rock before him before looking to Aerian “They say you ride like an animal in heat,” there was a leer in his eye that pushed Aerian, the crackle of power over her unmistakable.

“It doesn’t matter what was, but she is right if they send their forces we’re all dead, but you know what happens to these three? They walk away clean, and they will know they tried to save us, I have been to a bad place for a long time because I lost something I cared for more than anything else, Aerian she was my everything for a long time, but seeing her now, with Virra and Domi and the strength she draws from them and them from her, I found something, Aerian built that same thing into me, I didn’t believe in her I just have to believe in myself and I for one,”

“Oh shut up you crazy fucking whore!” The man started but before he finished Harley had cleared the ground landing square on his shoulders sending him to the ground her blade to his throat.

“HARLEY!” Aerian barked causing Harley to look back

“Wasn’t gonna hurt his pathetic ass, just remind who the fuck he’s dealing with,” She stood and stepped back not before driving her boot to the man’s ribs “You should walk away while you can,” She spun on her heel there flashed that’s self-same darkness she had when they first arrived “All of walk if you want, and The Ever Present will rise the stronger for it, but who here doesn’t have a Sheriff or law man hunting for them? Who can walk away and not have to watch their back at all times? You think so fucking small it’s pathetic, at least I know where I went wrong,” Again she kicked the downed member before making her way back to beside the throne.

Domi was quick on his feet to stand behind Harley but never one drew a blade, when she turned to return to Aerian and Virra is when he spoke. “Those words are disrespectful. I had a choice in the war…I made my decision and I don’t regret it. Now, those of you that walk away, turn your back on family and open yourselves up to whatever or whomever–Sheriff or whatever. But stay and take with the changes and the vision that Ever Present was meant to be. To say I was there. I was there when it started to become strong. Respect is standing from this point forward. This is new, a beginning from an end. Now who stands with us!?” Domi stood his words clean, sharp and with authority that was never present before. His dark eyes looking over every individual in the room.

The man glared at Aerian but didn’t move as did the woman, a soft smile curled Aerians lips as she watched none leave, “Interesting, he speaks sense, you all know that, I will reach out to old friends and restore connections that I had severed, our new arrangement is simple the work comes in and we get it done, we do not kill without checking every aspect first, the first to ignore this will be turned over to the authorities of the city they commit the crime, we are not the law, we never were but we are the balance when the law won’t act we will,” Aerian stated firmly now watching the group, “And just incase your wondering we three will conduct the background checks, no assassination contract is taken without us knowing and trust me we will know,”

She settled against the arm of the throne with a dark smile “You are The Ever Present, we are The Ever Present,”

“And Harley? Her crimes under your own rules are punishable,” The man snapped angrily.

“I thought you’d learned your place, you’re still here so you answer to our laws, Harley made her mistakes but I am as accountable as she is, care to question me on that choice? What do you think Virra? Domi? Should we make an example? Or should they just trust me when I say she will behave,”

Domi moved to lounge against the throne, as Virra leaned forward with elbows against her knees with a smirk upon her lips. Cruel. Dark. Sinister. “Hm. Is that what you think? Then ask if you have to be tried for your crimes…in all reality that would take too much time. Harley deserves a chance at redemption.”

“As do all of you.” Domi stated, folding his arms with a casual rest of his chin in the fold. “Changes start now, since none of you wish to leave. I do not think it wise to change the sexual orientation, you want to have a fuck fest. Have at it. Aerian went wrong in joining in. Keep it quiet and with only willing participants, if that will quell those that can’t get any. Do not ask nor EVER insinuate that me, Virra, Harley or Aerian will join. But that is not my decision to make. Aerian, my dark angel…what do you say?”

“It’s their choice, do what you will I’m not your mother, but we are in control,” Aerian replied softly “But you don’t touch Harley, as Domi said she is off limits, sexually or otherwise, and Virra is correct you are all getting a chance, not a second chance I don’t know you, you want my trust earn it. You want our respect, earn it,”

“I thought it’s our choice, does that not extend to Harley as well?” The woman spat her voice dripping in sarcasm now.

“It doesn’t, she has her own problems, and been a play thing to the group orgies isn’t going to help her, she needs to heal, I need Harley back not this broken woman I came to save The Ever Present and believe it or not it starts with her,” Aerian replied firmly “She is off limits plain and simple,”

Virra seemed pleased with this learning back in the throne, tension still in her shoulders, as it was clear to those that know her the pain she was in. “Now, that being said, is there anything else to discuss?”

Domi straightened now, scanning his eyes over the crowd.

“So she’s your fuck toy now?” The woman spat angrily as she shook her head softly “Fine, what about us being paid for a change, your head case pet project over there tends to keep 90 per cent of our contract fees, makes it hard to live sometimes,” She growled the words as she glared at Aerian now.

Aerian looked at Harley who in return, returned her gaze to the floor Aerian sighed softly before looking at the woman “It was always a 50 per cent split, unless you see something else in mind, but dont for a second think I’ll be handing over contract control, remember I don’t trust any of you right now and letting you run wild wouldn’t look good on The Ever Present,”

“Fucking favouritism,” She snapped angrily as she stormed from the room, Aerian laughed darkly before turning to Virra.

“Think I pissed her off,”

Virra smirked to Aerian at her words, though tipped her chin to Domi. He glanced to her and then left the room quickly after the retreating female. “Good, as Firefly said, fifty-fifty. That starts now, we will have to go over the paperwork on the shortage Harley has given to ALL of you to compensate. That in itself was thievery from family. This will not be tolerated from this point forward. We gather and accept, deligate to those capable and you get an even share. I show no favouritism, bring the outside point of view in negotiations. Harley will be NO ONE’S fuck toy. We are speaking of an individual. Yes, she made mistakes, so did Firefly. No one is perfect. Anything else?”

No one spoke as they looked to the new leaders, Aerian nodded and the group wandered off back to their daily lives, as Aerian breathed a sigh of relief now.

“I wonder how they think we paid for all those parties,” Harley sighed “There is no money, they have burned through most of it, what we have barely covers our operating costs right now, when the girls were sore or refused to put out, I just brought … well let’s say most of the men have probably paid for more sex than they’ve had with their counter parts,”

“It’s fine, I can handle it for now, until we run a few contracts, though I won’t be doing anything for a while,” She motioned to her stomach with a smile “Fat girls are not so stealthy,”

Virra leaned back on the throne, rubbing her hands in the arm rest, though looked to Harley. “With no sex parties arranged by us, they will have to dip into their own pockets. That is their half, spend it as they want. You’ll see they will take more contacts given. You please to a certain point, the rest well is up to them. We don’t hold their hand, nor open legs to them. That is where the respect had been lost.” Virra looked to the entrance of the room, taking a finger against the edge. Aerian knew that she was waiting for Domi to return.

“It is time The Ever Present grows up, I’m sure the parties will eventually die down when it stops been the big factor for people joining, for a secret organisation it puts a terrible target on us,” Aerian sighed softly.

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

Serah swept through the halls silent and angry as she passed by the infirmary followed by the kitchens and finally into the training room, angrily snapping blades from her hips into the training dummy beyond, there was a venom in every action she made.

As she ran out she walked to the dummy and plucked them from the wood looking at the placement, she shook her head and pulled the last one, before turning on her heel and stepping back to repeat the action.

Just then past the last dagger an arrow flew, lodging within the head of the wooden dummy. Turning Serah would see Domi learning casually against the wall with bow in hand. “You made a stand. Feel better about it, Hm? If I didn’t know any better you actually hold deep feelings for Harley. Much more than those around her.”

Serah chuckled darkly and waved him off with a hand “If you consider outright hatred a feeling then yes, Harley is nuts, and very good at getting people to do what she wants them to for her own amusement,” She looked Domi over slowly biting her lip gently “She pined after that fucking redhead for so long, threatened to have her beaten, raped, dragged back here and slit wide open, but she never did, we’ve had to live beneath the shadow of the untouchable fucking Aerian for as long as I remember, and then she waltzes in her and takes control like we’re all supposed to fall in line and be grateful?”

Serah walked to a table and sat on the edge her eyes never moving from Domi now “Harley is fucking nuts, and her redheaded lap dog is blind by this, between them they’re going to get us killed, but they know we can’t leave else we get ourselves killed and it fucking sucks,”

“You believe as you wish. Aerian, is your leader now. Not Harley, but I tell you what…I have something for you that you may just like. Don’t worry it’s not my dick, you don’t trust Harley. Neither do we. I need eyes and ears. You wish this to be handled, then listen to me. This is your chance to earn that respect for walking out on the meeting.

“Play little rat? Not really my style hot stuff, and as for your dick, well as big and tempting as I’d like to believe that is, again not my style I didn’t come here to have my vagina stuffed by any guy who felt like it. I wanted to replace that wanna be hero Aerian, but crazy bitch wouldn’t let me close, and when she tried to stick her hands down my pants I broke her hand,” She shrugged softly “Though seeing her out on her ass, might not be so bad, or am I supposed to rat on Rian? Lola, Becka, Milo? Harley herself? What does would me selling my pride cost me hot stuff?”

“A chance to change things, instead of watch. I extend my hand in a formal peace to you. You seem more interested in jobs and hires. I wish everyone in Ever Present as it stands would follow your lead. We want to make it worthwhile again, don’t turn your back on Harley nor the others. See the benefit, one that is on display others will follow your example.” Domi chuckled with a straighten. “For the record I’m not interested in anything but the potential I see around me. I had hoped you would too. Think about it, I see you going places within.”

“I see so you say I should just fall in line at reds feet? What have you got over them? One guy and a pair of lesbians, one a thief the other a trafficker? And you?” There was an air Selah clearly had her defences up and trust for her was in this moment low on all fronts, “I like sex as, much as the next girl, I just don’t like people you can see my problem in all this right?”

“All I see is a scared girl, putting up a wall. Instead of climbing it and over coming. It is not, me. Nor Virra or Aerian, even Harley. You, have to learn the potential in all things. Granted you don’t trust, neither do I. But I have learned that Aerian and Virra are to be trusted. Pull the will from your eyes that is what blinds you.”

“I do see, you put an arrow through a girl for harming one of your own, you three will protect each other. Even at the cost of us, Harley cares for no one, except herself, can you really blame me? Red claims murder won’t be tolerated, but murder was her opening line,” Serah shifted now crossed her legs on the table as she looked to him “I will admit things need to change, I’m just not sure you and yours are the ones to do it, considering one of you already abandoned us,”

“Zia while I admit, had this all planned from the moment she came to us. She wanted to take over. Kill all of us, whom is to say she wouldn’t have turned on any of you? One life is far more to me to give peace, then a dozen or a thousand. None of you were there for the war. I saw men fall to defend the Everlands, while you all remained here. You are part of the world and I’d much rather see the Ever Present not be branded as murderers but that line of justice when things fail.”

“You do know we all believed Aerian to be a figment of Harley, she had us hunt 4 people down, Zia who it turns out was locked up in an Elcarus held prison. Kia, who my brother beat to death before that idiot and third target Kellan put a blade through I cut his throat before he knew what hit him and last Tayla,” She shrugged softly watching Domi as she smiled softly “Last we heard she was headed back here with intent to kill our mental doll Harley, should be here fairly soon, and she is sharp as a tack, couldn’t get close without a string of throwing stars coming my way, makes a girl shudder in thought at what she could do, so I came home and now I’m waiting and wondering if our leadership is due another change, tell ya what though hot stuff, I’ll play rat if you tell me how the hell you got to girls to drop their panties for ya, cos they really don’t look the type”

“I earned their trust. Through defence and held my pain asking side them in battle. Tayla, you say. Hm. Well I can guarantee, one thing, stand beside us and we will protect you and the Ever Present as family. Even family runs away at times, it takes guts to come back and fix your mistakes. As for Kellen, he had it coming from what Aerian said, you want further details, feel free to ask her, I’m sure she’d be more than willing to explain.” Domi chuckled. “Basically, we all make mistakes. It takes much more to face them than abandon them.” He pushed from his lean, to place a hand on her shoulder the turned to leave the room.

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[Everything Changes] Another World and New Rules

As Hades came through the other side into the back alley, he bent over, feeling his breath ripped from his lungs. It took a moment as his brain tried to clear the strange fuzziness it now had. Finally finding his centre he stood turning to see Ascondia, who simply shrugged with a smile, he quickly turned on his heel to find Jade.

Jade was found after looking for a moment hunched over a garbage can while attempting to breath, her chest rising and falling as though attempting to catch her breath.

Hades made an unsteady few steps toward her his hand resting on her back for a moment “Are you OK?” he breathed softly letting his hand run over her spine gently “Just let it pass, it’ll be OK”

When his hand moved over her spine, Hades felt her trembling beneath his touch. After a moment the gaping lessened, then she straightened and gave him a slow nod. But it was clear that she wasn’t ready to move just yet. “The world…is spinning…”

“The first time sucks the worst, even a few trips later it still sucks,” He smiled softly, “We can take a few minutes, take as long as you need,”

“Be patient, it takes a moment,” Ascondia added softly “We will need a place to stay, and money things aren’t exactly as they are at home, I trust we have something we can use?”

“Kane has kept a small string of contacts over the years. Dedicated to ensuring we can get a job done if needed, they are secretive, but once I know where we are I can do the rest,” Hades replied though his eyes didn’t leave Jade now.

Jade nodded to Ascondia’s words, though, challenging herself in taking a step forward and nearly crumbled. But then another and another until her steps were steadier. Finally she glanced to Hades and extended her hand for his. “Let’s get this started.”

He slid his hand into hers with a smile and nodded, “Alright let’s rock and roll,” He smiled as they made their way from the alleyway. The street was insanely busy as people went about their business, staring at phones or other such devices. Hades actually looked lost for once “I do prefer our way of life” he sighed softly.

“The street was chaotic, but the roads are what caught Hades’ attention, vehicles that came in all manner of variety as stared lost for some time, finally Ascondia shook her head and chuckled “Come on this way, and don’t go getting ideas, it was the dark ages when they took you, this is the future and their world, though they have updated since I left, seems cell phones have improved a whole lot,”

Hades nodded drawing Jade closer to him as they proceeded to follow Ascondia.

Jade stared her, completely stunned by the sights, sounds and smells. Her hand in his tightened, as a few people bumped into her without apology. Though, moved closer to him with confusion in her eyes. “Cell phones? Are those three brick looking things three people are holding?”

“Yup magical talking boxes” Ascondia chuckled softly, she paused by a window before looking within “Seems we’re in my home town, wonder why that crazy bitch chose here, makes it easier though,” They made way a little further along before she pulled something from her pocket, a passport she waved it at Hades the pointed to the bank “I’m gonna go in there, grab some stuff from my safety box that I left before I came back to the Everlands, so stay here OK”

Hades stared at her blankly but drew to him now “Be quick,” He snapped softly.

Jade was busy looking around at this concrete forest with moving vehicles, but then when Ascondia spoke and walked away, her eyes rested on Hades. “I guess besides waiting in her, this gives me a chance…My beloved…she revealed something to me and I want your opinion on it.” She paused ensuring that she had his attention, though looked down. “I guess I’m transparent enough…she told me that here we are human. This would be a place I could conceive. Offering protection when we travel through the portal back home. To let the realm catch up…I’m not sure. This is her way to right the wrong that she had done to me…”

“We’re not human, but everything that makes us, ourselves, it’s just deeply supressed, though if there was anything between you and I there that was preventing us having a child, she is correct it wouldn’t be present here,” Hades smiled softly as his hands rested on her shoulder “We could get pregnant and when we return the realm will rebalance itself, though it would be a little uncomfortable for a short while. Her information would be correct which is good news for us?”

Jade looked to him in silence, then thrust her arms to wrap around his neck in a tight embrace. “I can finally bare your child, Hades. I won’t be a disappointment.” She whispered, kissing his neck and then cheek and finally his lips. “You and Ascondia say it will be uncomfortable for a while…what do you mean?”

“It will be as the realm adjusts, when we get back the realm, will need to take our heritage and transfer that to our child, no harm to baby but you will feel like your head is being split wide open,” Hades kissed her gently as his hands rested against her “It sucks but someone has to bear the burden, something I remember all too well as the realm made me what I am, then Ceremon turned me into an Elcarus and that sucked even worse,”

He smiled softly “You will have the worst headache, and well effects unique to your kitsune that I couldn’t guess,” He smiled softly “This is the cost to bend the rules,”

She swallowed hard to the reveal from Hades, but he saw a spark of determination. A woman willing to do anything for another, smiling to him. “Then we will do it. I was rather enjoying the practicing.” She chuckled and curled her fingers at the nape of his neck to bring his lips down against hers in the deepest and most passionate kiss yet, as their fate was sealed and the prospect even more grand.

He returned the kiss with a moan caught out with the sheer passion that flowed from her now, “I like the practice too,” He chuckled softly, a woman was now staring at them as she saw the image before her. Hades looked to the woman in thought “Can I help you?”

“She is so young, why would you not chase someone your own age,” The woman snarled angrily as Hades for the first time was hating the fact he was unarmed.

“Mind your business lady, she’s probably just as old as him, and so much better looking,” Ascondia sighed as she exited the bank and made her way to them, the woman looked at her before she stormed off “Urgh always having to meddle, we should limit those we interact with, I have money, with interest it turns out so we can get hotel rooms,”

Jade furrowed her brow to the woman, though chuckled to Ascondia’s interruption, as the three of them took leave of the disgusted female. She nodded to Ascondia, while unwrapping herself from Hades but slipped a slender hand into his. “This is your home. Lead the way.”

They made through the city as Ascondia led, others would look as they passed by, and a few younger boys whistling to the two females would raise Hades’ ire for a moment before he returned his attention to Jade.

They finally arrived at the hotel as Ascondia slid up to the desk with a smile “Hey there, my friend over there screwed up and booked us at the wrong hotel for the convention this weekend, and I’d rather not have to walk ten blocks when I can walk three,” She threw Hades a wink then returned her attention to the clerk.

“I see miss, we have only one room left a double on the 4th floor but with the couch and the convention in town we can bend the rule to allow three in a single room,” She replied, Ascondia nodded and handed her payment as she received the key card, Ascondia smiled and then turned back to them, making their way to the elevator, as they stepped in she turned to face Hades and Jade “I will make myself scarce tonight, I have a friend who’s dad used to work in the police department, hopefully they may have a lead on Kara, I’m sure she’s gotten their attention by now,”

Jade blushed to the whistle by the boys, curling closer to Hades. When in the hotel it didn’t take a genius to catch in to her disappointment at sharing a room, but didn’t say much. A smile formed in her lips to Ascondia’s words with a nod, kissing Hades neck with a playful nip.

As they stepped out of the elevator Ascondia handed Hades the keycard, taking Jades hand from him for a moment before taking her aside leaning in to whisper “I’m glad you’re taking my information, I see that sparkle and I will make myself scarce for a little while, tell Hades not to worry I’ll be in touch,” She placed a cell phone in Jades hand then moved away and back into the elevator.

They made their way along the hall before he slid the card through the lock and the door opened “The room beyond was a luxurious, the view out over the city, Hades rounded on her almost immediately kissing her deeply for a moment before stepping back “I love you, more with every day that passes,”

She looked down curiously to the strange block that was very light in her hand then to Ascondia with a smile and nod. Though returned to slip her hand in Hades, walking down the hall with him to the room. Jade watched as he slipped the key in the slot, hearing a click with a green light flashing.

Jade inhaled deeply at the sight of the room with the city landscape beyond, though that moment was stolen away when his lips crashed against hers. Curling her arms around his shoulders to deepen the kiss just as he parted, a blush lifted to her cheeks. Her foot kicked the door closed while leaping up to curl her legs at his waist, pressing her lips against his eagerly.

Hades was lost as she leapt into his arms, his arms sliding around her pulling her tight into him as he returned the kiss deep and hungry, all the while he carried her through the room to the bed before turning to sit keeping her in his lap, his hands now moving to remove the kimono between him and her body.

After the obi was removed, it was easy for Hades to peel back the fabric from her shoulder, every inch of skin slowly being revealed to him. The delicate material slipped from her shoulders, down her arms to cause the fabric to part only revealing the curves of her hidden bosom. The more the fabric slid down, the more was in display, until the kimono was dropped on the floor. Now, Jade wore nothing but the sea gifted collar, it was stunning in the light offered by the city scape.

Her hands lowered now to curl at his top, learning a slight to remove the fabric, as her hands marvelled over sculpt of his torso, as it had grown more muscular with the labour of their home. She learned down and praised his neck and chest with her lips.

He watched her intently as she revealed him to her, the leaner form of his body, as he smiled softly watching her “This is our best chance so I say we take full advantage of each other,”

He kissed her deeply, then down her jaw and neck over the collar, before reaching her shoulders, his hands sliding down over her spine and lower back, and then over her thighs.

She lifted her head to relish in the kiss, a hand lifted to rest upon his shoulders, the moment his tool plunged within her fingers bit into his shoulders. Jade lifted her hips with legs curling around his to tangle arms secure the position. She prayed from the kiss now pressing her cheek against his, while revealing to him in a subtle growl. “I want your child, my beloved. Don’t hold back.” That’s when he saw the yellow in her eyes and the fangs. Even though they were more human in this realm, together the suppressed essence of their being came to the surface.

There was a flash beneath those emerald eyes just for a moment as his demonic half flickered within, then it was gone as his hands forced her legs to his shoulders now once more driving down into her with a hungry force, his need to send his essence as deep in her as he could, while giving her just as much pleasure.

No sooner had the Kitsune surfaces did it return to the depths, yellow eyes returned to brown and canines sheathed. This new position offered a depth that feed his inner demon and desires, Jade was incredibly flexible while he bent her almost in half. A hand slithered between them, stimulating her pearl in such a way that her folds clamped upon him and began to bloom with the throbbing. She learned up to bite his shoulder, growling, until the fateful moment her body erupted in ecstasy and Jade squirted again and again. This was the point Hades knew she was beyond the point of no return, kneading her own bosom to pinch and pluck her buds.

He growled hungrily as the tightness of her pushed his body to the brink, his rhythm slowed as each thrust was now forceful driving as deep into her and driving her down into the bed, with each time he tore into her waiting gateway.

His body tensed forcing him deep as a growl ripped from his throat, his hands clamped against her buttocks his nails biting into the tender flesh, he held himself as deep in her as he could ensuring she was bent allowing him the depth to deliver him to her waiting womb within.

As he continued to pound her mercilessly and Jade’s own actions, a trickle of drool escaped her mouth with her eyes rolling into the back of her skull with the immense pleasure. It was not long lived, while his fleshy tube expanded, as it angrily thrashed against her pearly gates before exploding to release the wave of seed within her. She cried out as the heat poured into her womanly cradle, curling her hands at the back of his thighs, nails biting into the flesh. In the aftermath, she was panting with her flesh dusted in sweat and an attractive pink flush.

He collapsed beside her panting just as quickly, his hand already returning to continue teasing that tender pearl, far from done with her in that moment as he rolled to her kissing her deeply, and with a renewed hunger his fingers slipping into her coating them in a mix of their juices before returning to working her pearl.

Jade cried out in surprise and pleasure, as it appeared Hades wasn’t finished just yet. The instant his fingers focused upon her succulent pearl, her flower throbbed and body quivered. Unable to control herself, Jade reached down with her hand to grasp at his in order to pull way. But the slickness of her arousal showed otherwise, it seemed she still was over simulated.

He kissed her deeply and hungrily before nipping her lip gently “I love you” he breathed softly his hand now tucking stray strands behind her ear.

She cried out again as that hand remained with a steady purpose, Jade fell into the kiss. But to the draw back from the kiss, Jade lifted her brown eyes to his, glossy from passion and her release. She was a vision; dark hair spread beneath her like a dark halo, skin glistening with every rise and fall of her chest, even the subtle glowing flush from her skin. That collar, born from the sea and now the only possession upon her exposed form.

He smiled softly as he curled into her tightly, his arm pulling her close. Breathing in her scent, lost in the ecstasy of their encounter.

[Everything Changes] Secrets, Answers and Apologies

Hades stretched as he sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing his eyes and looking to Jade with a grin. They had spent the last days finishing the new cellar and smoke room, with the largest part of the work done, Hades planned to spend the day planning the wedding.

A rap on the door downstairs quickly diverted his attention as he shook his head and still barely dressed made his way to answer the door, looking through the window he saw the Elveran guard before making his way to open to door to Ascondia.

“You do know it’s the middle of the day?” She sighed softly though not avoiding her eyes looking him over “Get dressed we need to talk,”

Jade stirred, as Hades sat up. She was glorious in moments like this, deep in sleep. Wearing absolutely nothing except the beautiful collar around her neck. It wasn’t just the hard labour but the many nights tangled within the sheets. He had yet to utilize the playroom created in the basement. She was in her front with the entire bank piece of her tattoo revealed, the bold colours of that glorious phoenix.

When he left the sight behind him to another of Ascondia. Unknowing of the guest, she stirred and discovered Hades missing. Jade gathered the sheet to wrap around her to make her way downstairs, though at the foot of the stairs, she froze. Now seeing Ascondia, holding her hand at the gathered sheet, everything about the woman came crashing upon her. That look in her eyes upon his exposed torso caused the possessive Kitsune in her to growl.

“My beloved…?” She said, even to her the sound of her voice was foreign to her ears. The hair framed her face in a tangled mess of darkness.

Hades looked over his shoulder the sight of his wife to be mid form caused his heart to skip as he snapped his gaze to Ascondia “Stay there, I’ll be back” he closed the door and crossed the kitchen to her, his arms slipping around her waist to kiss her deeply.

“Seems we have company, though had I known it was our Queen I wouldn’t have answered the damn door,” There was an edge in his voice as he now felt the dull ache of the work they had done begin to catch on him “We should dress, I doubt this is a social call,” He kissed her once more before heading back to the bed room to dress.

She remained with her hand curled at the fabric of the sheet, eyes fixed on Ascondia but after a moment Jade followed Hades up to their room. She removed the sheet with a place in the bed, quietly dressing in a black and red kimono. Sitting in the vanity chair to brush her hair, watching Hades in the reflection of the mirror, but left her hair down. The Kitsune was growling possessively within her, as she then stood. “I’ll get the tea prepared…” Jade stated rising to escape the room before Hades could stop her, moving down the stairs to hear to the kitchen.

Hades sighed darkly as he pulled on his shirt, and then his pants, finally his boots, before a brush through his hair and then back down to the kitchen, he looked to Jade for a moment before making his way to the door, Ascondia looked irritated as she glared at him now.

“Finally, as I said we need to talk,” She stated firmly, Hades merely stepped aside and invited her.

“What’s so urgent Ascondia, and why the hell is the Queen of the Everlands on my door?” Hades sighed softly, the guards eyed him as he looked past her then simply closed the door.

“My apologies for the interruption Jade,” Ascondia stated, there was actually a tone genuine apology in her words “You and I will need to speak as well, I owe you a bigger apology in all this”

Jade glanced over her shoulder to Ascondia with a brief nod, though remaining silent while preparing the tea. She scooped the leaves within a small metal container and poured the streaming water within to slow it to seep. And then gathered some cups to place on the kitchen table before Hades and Ascondia, then the tea pot. Garnishing her own, to our out the tea to Hades and Ascondia then herself, the Kitsune in her settling on Hades lap to prove her claim upon her fiancé without words.

His arms slipped around her waist, his hand creeping between her thighs in a reminder she was all he wanted, he kissed her neck with a soft smile then to Ascondia “Start talking, why here and what is so damn urgent,”

“Kara Kilrin” Ascondia stated simply, Hades coughed before his look turned to a glare as he moved his hand back to her thighs now there was a darkness that suddenly seemed to surround him.

“You had better be screwing with me, I didn’t chase that bitch across the realm, twice for her to show up and screw up my life again, and she is dead, pretty damn hard to not notice her head getting removed from her shoulders!” There was force in his voice Jade had seldom seen now.

“Oh calm yourself,” Ascondia bit back with the tone becoming of a Queen in that moment “We did, or so we thought, though now we suspect she may have altered someone else, she is Elcarus which means she could make such a thing stick even in death, she isn’t coming after you she fled the realm, to the human one, and we three need to go and get her and bring her back before she causes us more of a headache,”

Jade seemed pleased to Hades actions between her thighs, though, sipping her tea, this quelled her Kitsune for the moment. Listening to Ascondia, but the instant Hades voice changed and the drained emerged the Kitsune came back to the surface fed by the demon in Hades. “So, Hades and Kane have a sister…all we know is she has fled. Do we know why? Or what purpose? For all we know it could be a trap. Something the Queen would not allow to go unnoticed and take action.”

“Oh she’s no sister of ours, she may have Elcarus blood, but that’s where the association ends, still Jade has a point,” Hades replied to his wife to be.

“I do not know, I do know we can’t leave her there, we have caused enough problems in the human realm as it stands and they fear us, if they are able to tap into your sisters magicks they can come here and it would be all out war between the two realms, you know we cannot allow that,” Ascondia replied “I have already been to your brother, but with the children so young, they do wish to leave them, though them staying here should allow us to maintain the balance of power, you’re half human, you can blend in, I can open the portal that takes us there and brings us back,”

She hesitated for a moment “And of course your fiancée goes where you do, and one more pair of eyes would be helpful,”

She quietly sipped her tea, watching Ascondia over the rim of her cup, selling to lean back and against Hades. “I have not been to any realm but our own. Yes, since it seems that Hades has tracked her down more than once. This Kara…I need to know if she had a scent like you or Kane, my beloved. I can still track as such. Though, one thing I demand is that someone tend to my garden whilst away. Hades can tend to my own.” She turned to ours her lips against his, openly a display with her Kitsune allowing Ascondia the showing off claim in a soft growl amidst the ours if their lips. But she leaned her forehead against his neck. “You are correct. Where he goes, I go.”

“It’s likely her scent will be close to ours,” He smirked at her comment about her own garden then shrugged innocently to Ascondia “I promise someone will watch over your garden my love,”

“We shouldn’t waste further time, she already has a head start,” Ascondia sighed darkly now as Hades quickly scribbled a note before kissing Jade deeply.

“Just need to hand this off then we can get going, realm hopping sucks, you know that right?” Hades chuckled to her, “I need to make a quick trip to the neighbours, is there chance you can avoid me having to explain why my wife killed the Queen of the Everlands in my absence?”

“I’m not here to fight Hades, this has to be done and you’re our best chance at getting it done quickly and painlessly, Kara needs to be brought back, and her damage limited it’s that simple,” Ascondia replied as she now turned her gaze to the window.

“I will be quick I promise,” Hades whispered his words against her ear letting his fingers press against her once more “At least in this, perhaps not so many other things,”

Jade stood, responding to his kiss, though settled down in Hades empty chair to sip on her tea in silence. It was clear that Jade had little to say to Ascondia from their last encounter alone. Soon enough, she stood gathering the cups and went upstairs to gather her katanas, this was an addition with Hades gift to her. Returning with the blades fixed to her hips, lounging against the kitchen counter.

“I am sorry, for how I was before, truly, Hades is the one person who deserves his share of happiness, and I have come to realise that perhaps my actions have done more harm than good, something I am trying to correct. He was my greatest ally before I knew about Kane he was the one that saw me right, the strength of my rule was built on his back,” Ascondia sighed softly “I don’t regret my time with him, nor would I want to be with him now, he is a good man and he has found the woman he truly loves in you, my actions were cold and selfish for that I can only apologise, each day if I must,”

Jade looked to her with those warm brown eyes, pushing from her lounge. “You just may have to. Because to me actions speak far stronger than words. I’m glad you see his happiness, because he makes me just as happy. It is a step in the right direction so do not think your words have fallen in deaf ears.”

“I wouldn’t blame you if they had, but I do have something you might find useful. There is a chance when we cross realms that your powers do not go with you, your strength and your brains will, but the kitsune essence will not, which means you would be as close to human in that realm as possible, Hades will also revert to his human side,” Ascondia placed a coin on the table with a smile “Forgive the language but if you can get him to fuck you while you are over there, your chances of giving him the one thing you want to give him more than anything are much higher, when we return the realm will do the rest, we will be there a while and certainly long enough to ensure the deed is done, just something to keep in mind,”

She blinked to Ascondia’s words, appearing stunned into silence, though looked to the coin. Tears lifting to moisten her eyes, then looked to Ascondia. “How…did you know…?”

“Aishani and Kane, my daughter and her lover, and you know your history it isn’t a stretch, I also remember telling you it would be foolish of me to be Queen and not be smart about knowing the people,” Asconida replied softly, there was a warmth to her voice as she spoke now, “Now tell me I am incorrect in my assumption? And tell me you haven’t be racking your brain trying to decide if there is a way for you to get pregnant to a half demon? And then tell me the one thing you desire more than being his wife, is bearing his child?”

Jade lifted her hand with deft fingers to touch the coin, remaining silent. “I do. But I don’t understand. If I become with child, will such not affect through a portal? I ask the lady of my line and I do wish a true conception. Not one conceived by not being out true selves…”

“It will be you, but without question, only how, the child will not be harmed coming back. And the realm will make its choice as to what they will be, sometimes Jade we have to circumvent the rules to get what we want, you may fall pregnant here with time, but if you do as I suggest then you will carry Hades’ child, and you will both get what you want,” Ascondia pushed the coin to her “I cannot tell you what you to do, but I can tell you paths others won’t, the choice of course will always be yours. You will still be you Jade, just as he will be him, the only difference will be your chances of having his baby are much higher,”

“The risk of cross realm travel is dangerous, going out of The Everlands is much more dangerous, hence we cannot take Aerian and Virra. But coming back I can protect you until we arrive back, after that it may get a little uncomfortable while the realm catches up to what we’ve done, but your baby will be fine and it will grow with you and then be born in our realm to parents who love that child,” She removed her finger from the coin leaving it before Jade “The coin is nothing special, only a reminder of my words,”

Jade stared down to the coin, while moistening her lips, but gathered it to set in her pocket. “We will just have to see.” She lifted a finger to remove a stay tear from her cheek. It was clear that Ascondia offered her something that she desired.

Ascondia nodded softly “As I said it’s your choice, and this isn’t some secret I’m telling you, I don’t expect you to keep it from Hades, that isn’t what this is about. You don’t trust me right now and I’m fine with that, but I do need you to trust me at some point Kara won’t come quietly. And your husband to be isn’t exactly known to play well with people he doesn’t like,” Ascondia smiled a she stood now walking back to look out of the window in thought “That means us pulling this off actually rests in your hands, because he listens to you. And I need him to not kill his sister, I will help you with this little bit of information and if you so choose Jade, you make sure I get her back alive so we can finally get to the bottom of who she is, and I can start making peace with the realm,”

“You’re wrong. It is not my choice, but ours, Hades and I. I do intend to speak upon this to him. Though, I do not pretend to understand. I do know however that this is crucial to the balance of the realm. I will do what must be done to maintain that. For the future of not only Xander and Terra but that of Aerian and Virra’s children.” She inhaled deeply now, beginning to pace. “What is taking him so long?”

“Everything will be as it is meant to be Jade,” Ascondia replied, as in that moment the door opened and Hades stepped in, unhooking his blades and placing them in a trunk, before turning to look at Jade and Ascondia.

“Everything OK?” He looked to Jade before to the trunk “We can’t go armed, it will make blending in very difficult, not a prospect I’m looking forward to but it is what it is, Ascondia you should ready yourself to open the divide, and try to land us somewhere close to where Kara is, it will make this easier,”

She looked to him, as Hades was all about business the instant he returned, then to Ascondia. “Uh…right.” Jade hesitated, then looked down at her kimono while moving over to place reach blade reluctantly within the chest. “Is my clothing okay?”

“I’m not happy about being unarmed either,” Hades smiled kissing her head gently “But you look great, the town will send someone to tend the garden, so for the moment everything is covered here,”

Ascondia dropped her blades in the trunk and Hades closed it, she nodded and made her way to the garden, as Hades drew Jade close kissing her deeply. “The next part sucks, when you get to the other side just breathe, take as much time as you need, it can feel off over there, let’s just hope it’s not the middle of winter” He smiled taking her hand then leading her to the garden. A moment later a flash left a portal hanging in the middle of their garden as Hades stared for a few moments, Ascondia nodded then vanished amid the swirling mass.

Hades led them to the edge, it was hard to ignore the energies that whipped and crackled within as he stood behind her kissing the back of her head with a smile “I’ll be right behind you”

“I just don’t want to stick out too much.” Jade said in response to the words and after the kiss, though laces her hand within his. She had never been through s portal and this made her anxious, Ascondia’s words rolling in her mind.

Now standing before the portal in the garden watching Ascondia walk through. Then to Hades words in a nod, gripping the coin tightly in her hand, she advanced and stepped into the swirling mist.

[Everything Changes] An Arrow to Save Them All

“There is a change in the air, and finally, The Ever Present are free of our leaders’ tyranny, free to be ourselves. As we should have been, when Aerian left leadership it should have fallen to me, Harley held us to ransom and perverted our cause. She made us hunted, hated, feared. Now we are free of her, or we will be soon enough,” Zia was stood before the throne as the members of The Ever Present now stood in the room before her.

“Oh, this I have to hear,” Aerian chuckled keeping the four of them hidden just inside the passageway.

“We will put Harley, Aerian and her two toys to the knife at dawn, the last of the old blood and send a message to the realm all in one, Aerian is Elcarus can you imagine the strike in the heart of the realm that will be?” Zia crowed now.

Aerian sighed and looked to Virra “Can I have some fun with her before you end her,”

Domi folded his arms over his chest watching the scene, while Virra was lightly tapping her strapped throwing knives. “Toys? Pfft.” Domi commented. 

To Aerian’s words, Virra cast her gaze to her. “Be quick.” was all she said.

Aerian stepped out “That would be really clever of your new leader,” It was instant but the room fell silent at Aerians appearance “Um before you do anything. You might want to listen to me, you see she’s right, doesn’t happen often but she is right, killing me would sting my family, but you’re assuming they’d just fall apart. They wouldn’t,”

“They would fear us, they wouldn’t dare strike back,” Zia snapped

“You stabbed my Uncle Hades and he damn near killed you without a second thought, they wouldn’t fear you, Zia, my dad would unleash the entire force of Dentarius against you, a hundred thousand pissed off Dentarians hunting you down, and then the entire force of Elvera at their heels, because my mother is Queen Ascondia herself, so there’s your next revelation, the combined force of the most powerful armies of The Everlands hunting down every last member of The Ever Present, that is your fate,”

The room was quiet now as they looked to Zia, before looking back to Aerian, she had their attention now.

“But you see Zia it doesn’t matter, because you pissed off the one person you absolutely shouldn’t have, even Harley had the good sense not to wind her up, you my traitorous little bitch have a date with my fiancée, Virra baby, she’s all yours,” Aerian stepped aside from the passageway now.

Virra stepped forward and grinned darkly, toying casually with a throwing knife, but in that next moment, her wrist flicked and sent the weapon flying through the air to Zai’s hand that was going for her weapon. Significantly plunging clean through to hilt, causing damage and blood to splatter and drip down her fingers. She didn’t stop now, flicking another wrist to send two more knives flying, one to her thigh and the other to balance out her fall forward to kneel. Her heels clicked in the silence of the hall as she walked to her, grabbing her hair and forcing her to look at Aerian with her cheek beside Zia and blade against her throat. “Kneel before, Aerian Elcarus. She founded the Ever Present, this is rightfully hers. You, blonde bitch, snivel, and cry. Plead for forgiveness, perhaps, you will get a chance to rest in peace yet.”

Zia looked to Virra the pain ripping at her as she coughed more blood, “I did what I had to, just like you are now,” she spluttered, words coming through gurgles and coughs “I won’t bow to an Elcarus, kill them all,” she squealed under the pain.

Aerian had her knives drawn the moment Zia uttered those words, just as Harley stepped beside her with her own weapons drawn “If you wish to wind up the same as Zia, feel free to challenge us, but if it’s my last act as your leader you will not harm Aerian, she is right my vision was clouded, I pushed you on a path that will get us killed,” Harley dropped her weapon and stepped to kneel before Aerian, a hushed whispered made its way through the room before the others followed suit,”

“Fucking traitors all of you, Zia managed to draw a knife and drive into Virras thigh as she screamed out in anger.

Just as the knife sunk into Virra’s thigh, an arrow screamed through the room and plunged directly centred in her chest. It was a deadly mark that didn’t miss the blonde’s dark heart, as Domi lowered his bow. Quickly moving from beside Aerian and Harley to rush to Virra’s side, cradling her before her leg gave out, and blood pooling from the wound at her thigh.

The arrow barely missed Aerian as she took off the moment she saw Zias hand move, she was at Virras side just as quick, her hands already ripping a strip of fabric from her tunic “I’m here, baby, I’m here,” as Domi reached her side she looked to him “She’ll be OK right? Domi help her!” Aerian could feel the blind panic ripping at her.

The chaos caused by Zias attack and death created a gap as two of the crowd drew their weapons heading for the three, as they raised their weapons blood erupted from them, a spray that coated Virra, Domi and Aerian before the two collapsed to the ground, Harley stood above them. Aerian felt the anger rise within her as she turned to Domi “Take care of her,”

She stood now turning to face those that remained, faces etched somewhere between panic and confusion “I’m done, that’s my girl lying on the ground because Zia chose to betray us, you’ve been afraid to stand up and do what you want to do because of Harley, and now as we deliver your freedom you chose to attack us, blind side us? Those will be the last to die or they will be first, make no mistake the three of us are in control now, The Ever Present will return to how it was before I left, we are the balance between those that take and those that are left in the dirt, if you don’t like walk away, but try to attack us again and you will all die here and today,” Aerians words were ice cold, and as sharp as the weapons at her sides in their meaning now, she rolled her shoulders and dropped back beside Virra.

Domi inspected the wound now as Aerian spoke with a nod. But Virra watched silently to Aerian’s words, splattered with blood from the steak that happened only moments ago. But smacked Domi’s hand away and began to stand with his help placing favour on her uninjured leg, to prove that she wasn’t going to be kept down. “Listen and listen good…as the daughter of Bryant and blood thick with you all. I give much more than my blade to Aerian’s cause. Unlike before, this will be a combined effort, things will change. Your purpose will be with blade and heart.”

“You heard her,” Aerian snapped as the rest lay their blades before them now “I didn’t want to kill Zia, ask Virra or Domi I’ve spent the whole damn trip defending her, I didn’t kill Harley even though I probably should have,” She looked to the other two and sighed softly “I don’t take betrayal well, but my blood family instilled in me long ago that family is everything, The Ever Present was first and always a family, a very screwed up one but family, those values got lost and now together, we need to find them again,”

Virra maintained her stance, subtly while Domi was at her side in support. “Anyone object now, draw your blades. We are sick of backstabbing assholes. Either you are with us or against us. No in between. We together will right the crooked path and be in a set line to the old values but with a new view.” Aerian saw Virra shake a slight, though, Domi supported her. “While Zia was a backstabbing bitch, she was family none-the-less and shall be given a burial, don’t you agree Aerian?”

Aerian looked up and nodded as she smiled softly before wrapping her arm around Virra “But first we get you patched up,”

“What about me Aerian?” Harley stated now standing to make her way beside them, Aerian turned her eyes staring at Harley for a moment.

“Clear the pit, as Virra said they’re family, every last one of them, they don’t deserve to be left like that,” There was a dark edge to her voice now as Harley merely nodded and made her way to complete her orders.

“Now come on let’s get you patched up,” Aerian smiled “Pretty sure Domi is dying to get you off that leg and laid down,” She guided them from the room and to what was now their chambers.

Virra leaned to kiss Aerian’s neck, as she grinned. “Nah, he’s just ready to stick that needle in me.” She glanced to Harley as the woman left.

Domi chuckled now while tickling Virra’s side. “That’s not all I want to do with my needle. But I’m hurt…it’s not THAT thin.” He winked.

“Leave it to you too be a pervert.” Virra rolled her eyes.

Once they were in their new chambers, Virra sat down and hissed as the straps of her throwing knives were removed and leathers peeled back. She smacked Domi on the back of the head. “Slowly!” Virra growled.

Domi glared at her but then laughed, inspecting the wound. “It’s pretty deep, Virra…” He said with concern.

“Of course it is, that bitch slammed a dagger in my leg!” She spat.

He gave Aerian instructions to gather clean water and something for her to bite, plus bandages.

Aerian stared at the wound before Domis words finally brought her back to reality, she nodded to his instructions and within moments was gone from the room. She was almost absent as she wandered toward the kitchens to retrieve the desired items, a few more minutes and she was back to their chambers.

“I have it all, here…” She stated softly placing the bowl and bandages on the table beside Domi before handing him the piece of rubber that would serve as something to bite upon “I, I should thank you, had you not put an arrow through Zia, I can’t entirely say what I was planning to do, I saw the knife and I knew she had to die,” She placed her hand on her stomach and walked to the back of the room “My concern was only for Virra, nothing else mattered, I’m sorry,”

“Oh, no you…OW! Fuck!” She smacked Domi again. “Hold on, mister. Firefly, get your ass back over here.” Virra said, extending her hand to Aerian, proving no was not a response.

“Oh, my dark angel, I had to act before more shit hit the wind. If that was you, I’d do the same. Virra’s wounds might be deep, but it is being repaired. It’ll just take the time to heal.” Domi looked to Aerian with a smile. “It was stressful, I think both of you acted like the leaders you are meant to be. So I won’t hear a sob story, get your sexy ass over here.”

Aerian smirked as she made her way over, her eyes tired as she crawled beside Virra “It’s not over, you know that right? I don’t even know how Zia turned them to her side so quickly, though I suspect my ass may have been the deal breaker for them, so now they are led by an Elcarus, that isn’t going to sit well, not just with them but others in the realm,” She smiled softly “Including dear old mom, so we have to make this work, together, and we can’t remain here indefinitely cos I‘ll be damned if I give birth anywhere but Dentarius,”

Domi was focused on his meticulous stitching, as Virra held Aerian’s hand, biting down on the rubber a few times. But afterwards, Domi cleaned the wound ones last time, this was definitely going to leave a scar. Beginning to bind it. “My sweet angel…there is little that we can do right now, other than rest.”

Virra removed the rubber from her mouth to kiss Aerian and adjust to lay her head in her lap. It was clear that she was in pain, but tried to mask it. “Can Harley be trusted? Now, that is. While I agree, we cannot leave at this moment or for a while, I wish to have our children in Dentarius, but we cannot be ghosts to them after all this.”

“I said we were taking control and we are, everything that The Ever Present does from here on out is our choice, together, as for Harley I don’t know, but I would like to believe this has maybe shown her something, but we got burned with Zia so we will have to keep our eyes on everyone until they prove otherwise. Harley does know being on our side is far better than being against us, so maybe it will be enough,” Aerian replied softly

Virra looked up to Aerian, though remained silent, curling closer to her, but soon she heard the even breathing if her fiancé. Virra was sleep on Aerian’s lap.

Domi stood to wash his hands, then moved over to take a seat in the bed beside Aerian, gathering her hand gently in his. Carefully, lovingly he removed the glove to inspect her hand. “How does it feel?”

“Still hurts, you’ve ended up stitching us both back together today Domi, thank you,” She smiled softly as she leant back keeping Virra in her lap but finding her own comfort “Seem to be apologising a lot today, but I am thankful for all you do for us, and more, she means everything to me but I was a breath away from putting our child at risk, you saved them both, you know that right?” There was tense edge in her voice that betrayed the anger she held for herself in that moment.

Domi cleaned her own wound and stitching very well, then wrapped her hand in bandage. “You two will be the end of me. Someone had to keep the level head with all the hormones flying.” He chuckled and kissed the bandage over her wound. “I’m at fault for not acting sooner. Virra wouldn’t have been stabbed. In either case, I promised your Pops, I’d take care of you. I mean to do just that.” Domi caressed the sleeping Virra’s crown for a moment. “She will put up a fight these coming weeks. Virra has to heal, else I fear the damaged muscles may give her a permanent limp. I’ll need your help on that. You saw how she was with the stitching…”

Aerian rubbed her ear with a smirk a reminder of how close Domis arrow had been “Not sure I could have pulled of that shot, I’m glad you did, though an arrow in the back of the head may have given me more to complain about,” She grinned and laid her hand on Virras side before urging Domi to hers, “She will behave, I don’t think having a limp would sit well with her, if not I’ll chain her ass to the bed and make her behave herself”

Domi curled a hand in Aerian’s, pulling her close with an arm around her shoulders, resting his cheek on her fiery crown. “Now that…I’d like to see.” He chuckled.

[To The Future] Hello Harley

The forest fell away as the seaside cove town of Evershore lay before them, the air was filedl with the scent of the sea as Aerian felt a chill run through her, Zia took the lead now as they made their way along the outskirts to a cliff area.

Finally finding an opening to a small cavern entrance “You sure you wanna do this Aery? Last chance to run like hell,” the moment she spoke the rock blocking the entrance vanished, stood was a young woman, dark blue eyes, dark red hair to her ass, her head was cocked to the side as she eyed the new group before, she was decked in dark leather, blades in the outfits many pockets. In many ways, she looked almost identical to Aerian, aside from the drawn face and dark aura.

Aerian felt her blood run cold at the sight, as she instinctively went for her blade the girls eyes followed her “Don’t,” She stated darkly, the moment she did and archers were seen to surround them, Aerian motioned the group to comply, the girl smiled wickedly then waved her hand “Take them,”

The moment one of the men touched Aerian she spun into the grasp drawing her blade and driving it through his jaw and up into his head, the ones about to grab them froze as Aerian pushed him away “Harley we need to talk, now I’ll play your games, I always have, but we are not going to be prisoners, not even for you,”

Harley clapped her hands as she spun and ran at Aerian leaping on her, Aerian felt the way and crumbled to the ground, Harley already had a blade to her throat as she hit the ground “You left me, and now you kill poor Damon for nothing? And then you make demands? No baby it doesn’t work that way. I have missed this fine body though, nights just aren’t the same without you, and these idiots are all so afraid of saving their own hides they won’t touch me? Is that fair?” Harley’s voice was sickly sweet as she spoke.

“I would take that blade off my throat if I were you,” Aerian replied as she spoke Harley increased the pressure feeling the blade bite her flesh, she squeaked in panic before Harley complied moving the blade away and licking the trace of blood, she spun around and stood before helping her up “So where’ve you been baby, and who’s the new cuties, well and Zia who still needs to fulfil her contract and kill that idiot hunter Hades.”

Virra went for her blade, though, Domi caught her hand with a subtle shake of his head, leaving his hands fingers within hers. She glared at him for a moment until returning her gaze forward, silent still showing for Aerian to introduce them. But her expression turned dark the moment Hades was mentioned and a sharp glance was spent too, Zia.

Aerian made her way to Virra sliding beside her “This pretty one here is Virra, she’s the reason I live and breathe, also the reason my head isn’t scrambled every time I get those damned visions, and this fine piece of manliness is Domi and father of my child, both are mine and are my life now,” Aerian was very measured in her words as she stepped behind Zia “Zia tried to take out Hades and it turns out, that anyone with half a brain knows going up against an Elcarus in the heart of Dentarius is a really fucking stupid, she got her ass kicked and locked away, I got her out and here she is,”

Harley watched Aerian as she spoke before she scratched her heads in thought “So you found recruits? Or” It was sudden as she cocked her head “You’re here to kill me?”

“No Harley, I’ve never raised a blade to you, and I won’t start now, but we do need to talk, and I need you to give me your word my family won’t be harmed, and nor will Zia,” Aerian replied gently.

“Family? You mean? Aerian what have you been doing while you’ve been away,” Harley made her way to Virra looking her over slowly before stepping behind her then looking over Domi. “They are pretty, I’ll give you that but I can’t have you all wandering my home, so you will have to stay in the dorms, or there will be trouble,”

“House arrest? That’s your solution? Tell me my room is at least still around we can stay there, put guards on the door for all I care, but I’m not staying in the dorms,” Aerian stated firmly.

Harley smiled and then turned on her heel, and waved her hand. Finally they made their way into the cavern, from wall to ceiling was trinkets and books, fires burned in fireplaces, and couches held other members of the group who would quickly engage in conversation as they passed by. They made their way to a door at the end of a long hall, as Harley opened it the room beyond lavish, a huge four poster carved bed, velvet sheets in dark reds, the shelves of the room were stacked with coin and books, Aerian stepped in and sighed deeply.

“Don’t go sneaking out Aerian, I will know,” Harley stated then taking her men disappeared leaving the four of them.

“Well…that was interesting…” Virra murmured, moving to look at the various shelves. “Wonder if she knows whom I am. I know I heard my Pops mention a Harley before.”

“Your Pops, held a lot of business, Virra. It is possible. Damn, Aerian, nice digs.” Domi mentioned moving to sit on the edge of the bed.

“So it seems, she had a suspicion as to a result of your presence, Firefly. Remember, we go where you go, end of story.” Virra commented though glanced to Zia.

“I know, and trust me she knows that too, we just have to tread carefully she seems to jump from one mind set to the next, but we got through the door and I only had to kill one person to get us in,” Aerian replied with a smile.

“You didn’t have to kill him Aerian, that was pissing contest and you know it,” Zia snapped darkly now looking to Aerian “It was murder how does that make you any different to her? She’s bat shit crazy and now you look just as fucking whacked!”

“Exactly” Aerian replied with a smirk as she crawled upon the bed “I won’t lie I have missed this bed,” she crawled along the bed and then curled up on it, “I had to make her realise I’m just as dangerous as she is, especially after she tried to cut my throat or did we miss that bit? Harley has always responded to strength, why the hell do you think she stayed with me for so long?” Suddenly Aerian sat her eyes flashed coldly “Besides I still owed that prick, you remember the Elcon job, the one I slipped broke my arm? Damon claimed I slipped, had he not, he knew Harley would have slit him from stomach to stern, thing is I didn’t slip Zia, I was pushed by that clown trying to get into Harleys pants, but I backed his story and told him I would square the score one day, now he knows I wasn’t lying, so call it murder if you like, but I call it closing a contract,”

“He was always a prick, got real nasty because Harley stopped putting out after you left, heard she fractured his jaw cause he tried to force her,” Zia almost laughed in her words as Aerian now lay back upon the bed.

Virra chuckled at Zia’s words, turning to look at the bed and Aerian with a smirk. “Sounds like he had that and the dagger coming to him.”

Domi adjusted in the bed to lean against the headrest and pull Aerian to settle between his open legs in a rest of her cheek to his chest. “Finally does. So now what is the plan? She will have time for hers, now we have time to work on our own. I’m not sure talking will be on her mind.”

“We let her lead, Harley has a thing for control, and I was the chaos which is why we worked so well, though it’s a strange contradiction when you consider her affliction for murder without purpose,” Aerian stated softly “We will be OK as long as we don’t directly provoke her,” Aerian ran a hand over the nick on her neck “Though she puts a knife to my throat again and I may just let Virra end her ass,”

“Wouldn’t that defy your, I’m not gonna hurt her,” Zia stated as she stood now by the bookshelf.

“I did say unless I had to, besides I said I wouldn’t, I made no mention of Virra did I?” There was a dark smile on Aerians lips now.

Virra winked to Zia at Aerian’s words, moving to crawl into the bed resting her cheek against Domi’s shoulder. He lifted an arm to wrap around her a grin on his lips. “Not me.”

“Oh I’d let you kill her too,” Aerian chuckled as she curled into Domi her hand now resting on Virra “We just need to..” There was a knock cutting off Aerians words as Aerian looked to Zia who had moved to answer the door.

The other side saw a man, dark blonde cropped hair and in green garb that barely kept him covered “Lady Harley asks you join her in the main hall, she also states that you may come alone or with the others, so long as you come unarmed,”

“She’s not as dumb as we thought,” Zia mused softly

“You are to remain here Zia until we determine your crime and a suitable punishment, you are to answer to the court in due time,” The man replied to Zia, who shrugged and walked back to the bookcase.

“Fine!” She spat coldly

“Well least she didn’t execute you on sight, be grateful, we got this. Tell Harley we’ll be there in a few minutes, I just want to get changed,”  Aerian nodded and the door closed as she sat and pulled herself from the bed “And thus the game begins,” She sighed now opening a wardrobe and digging within, as she peeled out of her top and pulled on the dark leather one from within, this much like the one worn by Harley only without the knifes, as she pulled out holders that would hold blades strapping them to her thighs. She pulled her hair back tying it off before tossing her weapons into the wardrobe.

“Oh, goodie…” Domi said as Aerian stood from the bed and smacked her bottom and then swept Virra in his arms, kissing her deeply before letting her go.

“I don’t like being unarmed,” Virra muttered after, taking Domi’s nose and removed the throwing knives upon straps at her thighs and at her hips, boots and lower back and upper back, tossing them with Aerian’s. Domi inclined a brow and Virra looked to him. “What? A girl has to be prepared.”

He simply chuckled and shook his head, removing his weapons to join with his two lovers. “Let’s get this done.” But abruptly drew Aerian close to whisper in her ear. “Virra still has the mechanism of a blade in the sole each boot.”

“Good,” Aerian replied softly, a sharp click was heard showing him the blade hidden under the sleeve of the garment she now wore “Not dumb enough to in unarmed, dragon bone ribbing, on the top hides the blade hidden within, just in case Harley tries to be cute in any way,” She flicked her wrist and the blade retracted as she turned to face Zia “Lock the door, don’t need you ending up dead all over my nice room,” Aerian swept past her and out of the door, quickly flanked by several guards they made their way to the large open room.

Harley was propped on a large chair that was clearly meant to represent a throne as Aerian rolled her eyes and walked down the few short steps.

“Holy, yummy I’ve missed that view walking down those stairs Aerian,” She looked past Aerian to see Domi and Virra with a smile “And they follow, I must admit I wondered if they would,”

Virra was on Aerian’s left and Domi on the right. “You knew we would.” She stared calmly, there was a darker edge to her words.

“True, you are correct I knew you would, it’s clear you are a package, a family, we were once too, Aerian and I, we reigned chaos on this world, well no we didn’t but we did have fun, though I admit I was the lost puppy back then and now I am what she was,” Harley smiled softly “I’ve become you Aerian, right down to the hair,” she tossed her hair in a mock motion with a grin “Still the hottest girl I ever did see though, you’ve grown baby, I have missed you so much and all these ingrates they just want me to curl up and die so they can take over my empire, even you’re little pet Zia she tried to blow me up you know, led me to a cavern filled with dynamite and boom!! Just like that, the blast knocked me into a mining shaft and well I got lucky on the water bath landing, so mean of her right?”

She slid up from her seat as she made her way to Virra rising on her tip toes to try and stand over her but remained a few inch too short “Wow you’re tall! And pretty and smart, and sexy and everything to her I used to be, that makes me sad,”

Virra adjusted with an inclined brow, though appeared passive, whatever she felt internal was not revealed. “Is that so? There is much you don’t know about me, bug.”

“I know your father used to run the slave trade, we would take down rogue girls for him from time to time, you always looked so sad at his side, I suspected one day you’d get away though admittedly wish you would have come work for us, same with this one, always looked so miserable, but never far from your side,” She grinned watching Domi then Virra “Even now he fiercely protects you without ever revealing he is, last I heard your daddy ran afoul of Kane and his family, went and got himself all dead, Ceremon has fled to the outskirts after his grand plan to take over fell flat on its face,” She shook her head with a chuckle “Again, and you place yourself in the heart of my baby and simply cast me aside as if I meant nothing to her all those years, is that fair? Should I just be ignored because I wanted to be so much like her, strong and a killer and fierce and loyal and I never ever let her down, and one night she just ups and leaves, no note, no word, no message just vanishes into the wind,” Harley actually sounded hurt as she spoke, before she stepped back “She broke my heart, but I get it, she was afraid of me, afraid I’d become every bit as good as her, she never did love herself though, so I get it,”

Aerian recognized that flash of fury in Virra’s dark eyes when her father was spoken of, though tilted her head calmly. Domi remained just add calm, composed. “You done? Yes, I can understand bring hurt. But did you really stop and think as to the real reason she left?” Domi spoke.

“They whisper, and talk as if I don’t hear,” Her words were louder now as she turned around motioning to those around her “They say I’m crazy and out of control, that I kill because I love to, that I drove her away,” Harley sighed as she made her way back to her throne “And they may be right, maybe my baby did leave me because I’m crazy, but if I’m so crazy why are they still standing? I mean most of them have slept with Aerian, or me, or both and no craziness from me, I like to kill because it reminds me how fragile life is,”

“No Harley you kill because it gets you wet, then you come back here expecting them to service whatever sick desire you have, but in reply to your question not all of them are here, my closest friends now lay in a grave because they were an issue for you, where’s Kia or Kellan? You drove Zia out because she is scared witless, they are afraid of you Zia,” Aerian cut her off as she turned and sat she smiled softly.

“Because I am the leader, and a leader needs to be feared or they take liberties, Kellan tried to hurt me, so he had to go,” Harley began.

“Kellan wouldn’t harm you, he was loyal, he is the only reason I didn’t cut you in half myself, you killed them because they were a threat, Kia wouldn’t harm a fly she was a thief through and through, she liked the shadows and to take and to give herself, you’re a scared child Harley controlling them through fear,” Aerian kept her voice level but the anger was there as they spoke now.

“Not as much as they’re afraid of you, you come to my home armed to the teeth, with your pretty man and your pretty girl, and the traitor,” She eyed Virra “Tell me something is she here to cut my throat and take back The Ever Present? And you three will lead, with me out of the way?”

Virra looked to Harley for a moment, stepping forward. “Is that what you want? Because we did not have such a plot, it’s amusing that you think so, Harley. Unless you truly are paranoid as the whispers say. You loved her once, take that and listen to her. She wants to help you.”

“Not once, still do, always will,” Harley replied darkly “But she left, left me to these heathens and betrayers,”

“You’re wrong. The family, is that what you think of them? Just a bunch of betrayers? Think. What did you used to find them as? You have lost a part of you and that can be traumatic. If what you’re doing is true, you are no better than her.” Virra stated.

Harley looked to Virra before rolling her hips to return to being sat as she eyed Aerian “And what about you Aerian? Just why are you here, with your two pretties?”

“Because you need help Harley, Virra is right you lost part of yourself, and if I’m honest I am afraid that one day you will come looking for me and I will have no choice but to end this twisted game once and for all,”

“And kill me?” Harley clapped with a glint of joy in her eyes, Aerian remained quiet her previous words more than clear in their intent, Harley slumped back now the glimmer gone as she sighed heavily “I don’t want to fight with you Aerian, let’s be honest I couldn’t take you in a one on one fight and even if I got lucky those two would cut me down before your dead body hit the ground, which does leave us with a pickle,”

“They would, probably before you had the chance to finish me off, so either way doesn’t work out well for you, and honestly Harley you dead is the very opposite of what I want, I’m here I’m unarmed, and I’m already risking losing my family because they didn’t know about you until Zia showed up and opened up this wound I was ignoring,” Aerian had while talking made her way closer to Harley, as she got closer Harley sat then sprung clear across onto Aerian again pinning her to ground.

“Now, now, there’ll be no sneaking up on me,” Aerian had been well prepared for the move jamming her hand between the blade and her throat as it bit through the flesh of her palm she snapped her hand into Harleys hair yanking her off of her chest, rolling back and landing on her feet, as Harley made her way to her feet to rush Aerian, Aerian caught her clean on the side of the head sending her to the floor.

“Damnit Harley I’m trying to fucking help you, but I swear to god you raise a blade to me one more fucking time and I will end your crazy ass!” Aerian snapped her hand in frustration sending blood to spatter into the ground.

Domi neared Aerian. To gather the injured hand in an inspection, going into a pocket to remove some cloth and wrap it around her wound though he never spoke, not a single word.

Virra on the other hand kept her dark gaze on Harley. “Do you even want help?” She came back, extending a hand. “You don’t bite the hand that had nurtured and fed you, when you needed it. Counterproductive, if you think about it.”

Aerian let Domi dress her wounds before looking to Harley “We’re done for now, I can’t deal with you while you’re so damn irrational, when you’re ready to talk like an adult you know where we are,” Aerian took Virras in her now bandaged hand and Domis with the other leading her out to the bedroom they occupied before.

Once they entered the bedroom, Virra turned Aerian’s hand over and removed the bandage. Guiding her to sit on the bed. “You know. That blade could have been poisoned. Be more careful. Domi get the health pack from my bag, we need to clean this up and stitch it.”

He nodded moving to search her bag.

 

[ To The Future] Who’s Game Are We Playing

It had been a week as they had travelled, the time had passed mostly without incident and for the most part Zia had kept herself out of Virras cross hairs. The group had set down for the evening and camp was as ever made. The fire burned as Aerian sat watching the flames.

Zia was on the outskirts sat in the entranceway to her own tent, as she had spent each day simply watching the group. Though today she was working a brush through the tangled mess of her hair.

Domi was cooking food with a pan of the freshly caught rabbit to make a stew, while focused on such to feed the hungry party.

Virra sat to Aerian’s left and was running her daggers over the whetstone. But her eyes periodically were watching Aerian. “She’s just going to sit there and watch? Firefly, can we truly trust her?” She asked in a low voice.

Aerian glanced over to Zia, her own mind elsewhere in that moment as she leant her head to Virras shoulder “Wish I knew, the longer she’s around the more unnerved I get, I trusted her without condition all those years ago, but things have changed, something is off, I just can’t figure what and it’s really starting to bother me,”

Zia had silently begun to sharpen her own blade, her yet never moving from the stone as her blade as it made its way down the stone. She hadn’t so much as spoken in the last day.

Aerian shuddered as she sighed softly “We just as always need to be careful, as long as we have each other’s back, it doesn’t matter what she has planned, we’ll deal with it like always,” She said softly “That or she’s just pissed I haven’t tried to screw her since I let her out,” There was a tone of amusement in her voice now, that ever clear attempt to deflect her awkward train of thought with humour.

Virra rolled a shoulder a moment while considering Aerian then returned to the sharpening if her blades. Domi, who had heard the conversation casually stirred the pot. “I understand. I feel as though, this is a trap. But to what end?” He spoke softly.

“That part is obvious, she wants me. It’s want me dead or alive which seems to be the bigger question,” Aerian replied softly “She lured me away from Dentarius, obviously wasn’t aware you and Domi would be with me, now she is likely trying to figure out how to separate us, knowing that killing you will remove any willingness on my part to co-operate, so she continues with her plan of having us deal with Harley while she figures out what she intends to do next,” She shrugged softly “But then she could be everything she’s claimed to be, and is merely sulking,”

“From what I’ve understood, it’d be safer to be wary. Maybe we can break through that barrier and get her to second guess her plan, whatever that may be.” Virra commented softly, accepting a bowl that Domi dishes out, while he offered the other to Aerian.

“I’m not sleeping with her,” Domi stated simply with a grin.

“Damn, there goes that plan.” Virra chuckled with a roll of her eyes, then looked to Zia. “Hey blonde, get over here and stop being so damn antisocial,” Virra shouted to her, as Domi lifted up the bowl.

Zia looked up to Virras words, before placing her knife in her boot and standing, making her way to accept the bowl “Thank you,” She stated simply and sat opposite them as she stared at the liquid for a few moments.

Aerian smiled to Domi “Thanks, it’s been a long day,” She took the bowl and immediately began eating, the warmth of the liquid moved through her causing her smile “How did we ever do without your cooking before you got here,”

“Pitifully. I’m sure.” Domi winked to Aerian, settling down next to her with his own bowl and began to eat.

“It’s not poison, Zia. Eat up. It’s delicious.” Virra chuckled beginning to dive in making passing sounds to the flavour. After eating and getting a second helping she settled next to Zia. “Cat got your tongue? You’ve been silent all day.”

“It’s nothing, I’m just keeping myself out of your way it will be better for us all, you have your little family and I could not be part of that, I prefer my own company and we have a lot ahead of us,” Zia replied as she began to eat.

“So you go from trying to get into our pants to avoiding us on a cross realm journey? Zia if I didn’t know better I’d begin to wonder if there is something else going on, and you’re track record isn’t my biggest leap of faith with you,” Aerian snapped sharply “Out with it,”

“I haven’t been back to Evershore in a while, that’s all, I took my contracts through the network, and sent my payments back the same way, so much like you I don’t know what waits for me when I get back there, like you I don’t like uncertainty it makes my life more complex than it needs to be,” Zia replied in a very measured tone now. The moment Zia finished speaking Aerian felt a prickle run through her as she instinctively moved closer to Virra.

Virra glanced to Aerian chewing thoughtfully but wrapping an arm around her. “Zia being antisocial makes it seem you are purposefully trying to not get involved. It makes me wonder. We want to trust you but that only goes so far. Be honest, you may not know what awaits but you have an idea and from what I gathered it is not good.”

“I’m the last of the original guard, Harley, Aerian, Kallan, Kia and myself. Kallan had an accident while attempting a break in,” Zia stated softly though the way she worded accident would make it seem more “Kia I think was executed by Harley, so there’s only my left,”

Aerian looked to Zia “We know this, but you’re not dead yet, and we are here. So why not come for me too because this is starting to look really suspicious and you know I’ve never failed to escape a trap I’ve willingly walked into,”

“You’re Harleys beloved golden girl, even now she thinks you’ll be back, I told her you wouldn’t, told her she’d driven you away but she wouldn’t have it, so that’s why she never came for you, she thought you’d come back,” Zia replied flatly “No matter what we did, we just couldn’t be you to her, everything became punishable just because she was having a bad day, or you looked at the crazy bitch wrong, any wonder I’m afraid for my life? I don’t want to die Aerian, I actually like living,”

“Oh drop the dramatics it doesn’t help your case,” Aerian snapped in frustration.

“Fight to live, in other words. You believe bringing Aerian back to Harley on a silver platter will right wrongs. But you didn’t intend on us coming, isn’t that right? We are the wrench in the gears so to speak.” Domi stated breaking his silence.

“It seems that way,” Zia replied “You go in and kill Harley, I’m happy, Harley kills you then me, and it won’t matter either way,”

“Well aren’t you just a happy ray of fucking sunshine,” Aerian sighed darkly “You do know, if she is half as paranoid as you claim her to be then it is very high probability Harley already knows we’re coming, in which case why aren’t you dead already? Because if you were bringing me, my girl, back and I was a fraction as paranoid, you’d be dead the moment you entered Evershore,”

“That’s it isn’t it, Zia? You know that Harley is aware. She will kill you.” Virra said, tightening her hold protectively around Aerian. “We are at least a day away from Evershore. You are bringing Aerian in to save your own ass.”

“The only problem is you know when I figure this out, I’m going to kill you,” Aerian replied flatly her hand now resting on her own blade “So now you’re stuck, and conflicted, take me in and hope Harley doesn’t kill you, or tell the truth and know I WILL kill you for landing my family in the middle of all this, because above all else you know I will kill to protect my own,”

Domi was quick to place himself between Virra and Aerian with Zia on the other side. “You are really lost, it doesn’t matter because no one will hurt MY family. So be cautious of your words…Aerian one was one of the Ever Present. Circumstances being as they do not place idle threat upon my angels. Instead of brooding, combine with us and we all will resolve this.”

Aerians eyes flashed dangerously as she looked to Virra “I wonder what Harley would do if I turned her over instead?” It was a half joke and yet in the same, she was deadly seriously.

“That won’t solve shit, you know it. She isn’t much better than you leaving.” Virra spat.

“And there in lays the difference, I wouldn’t pull such a cowardly act and she knows it,” Aerian replied calmly now “You can walk away Zia, no one will think less of you, but you know as well as I do, we were called Ever Present for a reason, because we were everywhere, and we knew all we needed at a given time, now I’m going to assume most of those contacts are either gone or thinned somewhat based on Harleys affinity for punishment on a whim, but she will know we’re coming, which means my family is in danger, you can make sure we get in unharmed, what happens beyond on that, as usual, we’ll figure it out as we go, we can do this, providing you trust me,”

“I was never big on the whole unconditional trust thing Aerian you know that,” Zia replied

“And look where it got you, time to get off your high horse,” Aerian replied with a  shrug “I’m not going to play the damsel in distress, never have before, not about to start,”

“That is the problem, Zia. You trust no one but yourself. Look at where that has gotten you, fearful for your life. Us, three, stand as a front with trust in each other. Far stronger than your wall, build it up with us. I cannot guarantee safety but I can guarantee that you will have s cause worth fighting for. We carry unborn children. That is worth fighting for. Life.” Virra said, placing a hand on Domi’s shoulder.

“I did love you once Aerian, but you had her and the rest of us were play things,” Zia began before she fell silent.

“Yea, but that was a whole other life to me, Zia, I was like you once, out only for myself, angry at the world for letting me down, but when it all came tumbling down and I had nowhere to go, my Dad was the one there to pick up the pieces, and now Virra and Domi have finally put them all together again, so here I stand ready. And walking into the whirlwind that is my past, maybe this is your start to setting things right,” Aerian smiled softly as she settled in to Virra, taking Domis hand “The Ever Present were family once, a happy fuck anything that moves, kinda family but family no less, and as a result we had free run of the realm, the vision got screwed up, but it can be repaired and we can set it right,”

“You still love her. Don’t deny it, you can’t just up and say the opposite. Because a small part of you will cherish it. She trusts us, you can too if you let that happen.” Domi said giving Aerian’s hand a squeeze with a lift and kiss.

“Look, let’s all make this right. There is time, nothing is ever set in stone. It’s only the rock that won’t move. You and I don’t see eye to eye, but one thing we can agree on is to protect our loved ones. You call the Ever Present family, Aerian is my heart and family as is Domi. Don’t fight the current. Flow with it. See where it takes you in the end but that means getting to that point.” Virra stated, kissing Aerian’s neck.

Aerian squeezed Domis hand in reply as she whimpered to Virras kiss, yet her eyes didn’t move from Zia “This is going to end one way or another, so in the interest of being open and honest, I sent word back to Dentarius of my intent, if they don’t hear from us in a week then they come looking and they bring the full force of Dentarius with them,” her words were soft “But if you think I’m going to just up and murder Harley then know I’m not, not unless I have to, and if it comes to it then we will get it done, everyone deserves a chance Zia, and if she’s lost then we remove her,”

“She is lost Aerian, putting her down is a kindness, trust me on that,” Zia replied flatly

“We do not take a life without just cause. Isn’t that what the Ever Present, used to do? This had nothing to do with trust, as Aerian said everyone deserves a chance, especially family. You were given a chance, Zia. Don’t let me or Domi regret it.” Virra stated, placing a hand unconsciously upon her abdomen.

“She may be lost, but I may be her one chance to find her way back” Aerian replied softly “I’m not about to create a power grab with The Ever Present, we’re taking control and I need you to make sure the rest fall in line,”

“Is it that easy in your mind Aery? You walk back in and we just fall in line?” Zia replied as she smiled darkly “Lady Elcarus walks in takes her throne and we just fall at her feet?”

“I could just turn our asses around and let Harley finish the job? Zia stop playing like this isn’t what you want, you want me back with The Ever Present and I may be knocked up, but you know damn well I can still hold my own against anyone, and failing that you know The Ever Present wouldn’t survive and all out witch hunt by my father, I mean you’ve met my step mother, pretty sure she’d have no trouble ripping out your spine and every other one of Ever Present, now stop making me threaten you, admit I’m right and this is how it should be, and we can get on with getting the job done,”

“You do make me wet when you get all angry,” Zia chuckled softly “OK fine, I’ll let you deal with Harley as you see fit and as promised I’ll keep the rest out of our little game,”

Domi stood now, while gathering the pot with a cloth, splitting the remaining between Virra and Aerian. “Good that settles things. Now eat up. We all need our strength.”

Virra kept her gaze on Zia for a moment longer. “You haven’t seen me or Domi angry, so just keep too your part and we will keep to ours.”

“I’ve seen Aerian angry, that’s enough to remind me of my place,” Zia replied with a nod.

“And I’ve had a few years since then, so you may want to rethink that,” Aerian replied as she awkwardly made her way to her feet, “I need to um …” she stated before making her way into the forest.

[To The Future] Covering all Bases

Kane was sat on the edge of his desk as the messenger appeared, knocking upon the already open door.

“My Lord, a letter from Lord Hades, delivered direct to your hands as instructed,” He stated handing over the letter, Kane turned the envelope over in his hand to see the seal, before nodding.

“Thank you,” he stated softly, the messenger nodded handing another pile of mail and then leaving Kane to his own thoughts, as Kane turned the letter over and stared at the instructions upon the front.

‘To be delivered direct to Lord Kane Elcarus, and no other’

“A little over dramatic don’t you think Hades?” Kane sighed softly.

Aishani appeared within the room with their children, one in each hip and the nanny with her. “What is over dramatic?” She asked nearing him with a kiss to his cheek, Xander and Terra looking around this new room with wide curious eyes.

Kane showed her the letter and the missive it be delivered directly to him, as he shook his head and with a short blade proceeded to open it.

‘Kane,

It seems your daughter harbours more secrets than we were aware of, as of yesterday morning she passed through our home to collect supplies before heading out to Evershore, as I’m sure you’re aware the suspected home of The Ever Present.

While we never had conclusive proof of this I have reason to believe there is truth in this, it also seems that their leadership has become unstable, again something we suspected based on certain actions. You know this was always a personal interest to me, them being the ones responsible for Ravens death. However Kane it seems this choice by Aerian is no accident, I was told by her that she was the original founder, and now seeks to re-stabilise the group, while I am unsure of her course of action, she did ask we did not intervene.

I should probably have sent this a day ago, but the fact is I was a little harsh upon Aerian and so sought to buy her a little time before choosing to clue you in on current events, I also suspect despite her request we should have a failsafe in case things, as is the luck of our little family, go sideways and she is unable to correct the situation. She is pregnant and being led by Zia whom we both know regardless of Aerians faith cannot be trusted.

She is your daughter, so what you chose to do with this information is your choice, just remember she is pregnant and without access to her higher level power, if you need me and Jade and you know where we are, whatever you decide as ever my blade is yours.

Hades’

Kane frowned at the note before passing it along to Aishani “Wonder what he’d do if he knew I already knew half of this ….” His voice trailed off.

Aishani handed Tera to Kane and Xander to the nanny, gathering the letter. Her golden eyes going over the written words, she remained silent and then set it on the desk. She gathered Xander from the nanny and dismissed her for the moment.

Tera gurgled and smiled up to her father.

“What do you mean to do? Anything?” She asked watching Kane

Kane chuckled as he tickled Terra causing the infant to squeak with laughter, a soft smile as he watched her “Seems your sister is out to get herself in trouble again, now what do we do about it?” He grinned as she reached for him and then proceeded giggle, he stood walking to the nanny look to Xander “What about you, what do you think we should do?” Xander cooed in reply.

Finally he turned to shrug lightly “She wants us to keep out, she has Virra and Domi with her, I get why Hades wishes to go after them but if we do, we may only make a bad situation worse, if she needs us she will find a way to send for us, for once she isn’t trying to do this alone and for that I can be thankful my love,” He looked to her and smiled “Unless you believe otherwise?”

Xander gurgled in Aishani’s arms add though talking in a language that was not understood. Aishani looked down then up to Kane. “I will send Shadow to trail them. I’m sure that she can be of use eventually. I do believe we stay out, until we are called for. I know how emotions can run during pregnancy, so we can only hope that Domi can keep both women under control.”

“Not an easy task, though having said that, we did stop you killing Ascondia so I can’t be that bad at it,” Kane chuckled in reply “We should probably ensure Aerian doesn’t see Shadow for the moment, then if needs be Shadow can come for us, and we will go kick down the door as it were, Hades is correct on one point, I hope Aerian has her eye on Zia she cannot be trusted”

He tickled Terra once more before kissing Aishanis cheek “We finally have most of the trade agreements back in place, so things are as they should be easier for us, this rest period has been quite a break, and most welcome”

There was a knock at the door as Elsa now stood, now decked in her usual array of colourful clothes she smiled “Pardon the interruption but I was wondering, seeing how we have now made peace with so many other beings in our lovely realm, my dear Aishani would it perhaps be possible that our new found spider friends could see fit to perhaps part with a little spider silk, most useful for strengthening garbs such as those you use for combat, wickedly strong is that stuff and well supplies have been hard to come by in the Everlands for some time”

Aishani nodded to Kane watching him with Tera with a smile, but glanced to the entrance of Elsa. Turning to face her, chuckling in that rolling purr. “I’m going to speak to Shadow. Join me and I can ask. Though I don’t see it as an issue. It may be delayed due to our need for her at the moment but I’m sure she can pay with some before leaving.”

“Oh there’s no rush my dear, there has been a lack of need for combat gear these last weeks, but it never hurts to be ahead of the game,” Elsa replied with a grin, as she bowed slightly allowing Aishani past before following after her.

“So how is motherhood suiting you and our dear Lord? Well I would hope? And of course remember I always willing to send more childrens clothes at short notice they grow so quick,” Elsa chuckled softly as she continued to stay in stride with Aishani.

Aishani kept Xander with her, while showing Kane time alone with Tera. It seemed as though the infant girl adored him. But Aishani looked to Elsa as she walked. “It’s trying. Sleep is something that I have little of, though it is rewarding. Oh, yes. Thank you for the offer of clothing, it will be much needed.”

She led Elsa out to the courtyard and the forest beyond, as Xander was constantly looking around at the changing world. But soon the trees rustled and the large, pony sized spider appeared. Aishani moved over to kneel, as Shadow moved cautiously over. But lifted one leg and Xander just stared at the spider, then chortled and gasped the leg. Aishani seemed focused in Shadow for a time, then stood and turned to Elsa. “She said that she would be honoured to provide such. But currently she is going to Aerian, then will gladly provide as much silk as needed.”

Shadow lowered the leg, scurrying away into the dense forest. This caused Xander to cry, Aishani cradled and crooned to the baby, soon the crying ceasing.

Elsa bowed to Shadow shortly before she scurried off, there was a soft smile as she watch the spider depart. “There is no rush, as I said though my supplies are low, I do still have some if required, and thankfully the need is less after the war.” Her voice was soft as she ruffled Xanders hair gently “And I hear there will be more children to add to your family?”

Kane remained in his office, as he signed off various deeds and contracts, as well as organising further supply routes and trade agreements, ensuring that Dentarius would thrive as well as its people. All the while he kept Terra on his knee “One day little one this will be yours and your brothers to rule over, though I don’t plan to go anywhere for some time, all that we do now, is for the future and that is the greatest lesson we can teach, everything we do is for the greater good,” Terra gurgled in reply waving her hands before her, Kane smiled watching the action “If I didn’t know better I’d swear you were telling me to be quiet”

Aishani chuckled, while Xander was distracted enough by Elsa looking to her with wide curious golden eyes. Though, she began to lead Elsa back to the mansion. “Yes, it seems Aerian and Virra have been busy with Domi. I don’t right care for the threesome as such. But it seems to make them happy, that I’m all for. Aerian deserves it.” She stepped foot in the mansion grounds and made her way to the office.

Tera smiled up to Kane at his comment. Grasping her foot to bring to her mouth, after a moment stopping to look at the door. Just then Aishani stopped before such and adjusting Xander with an embrace to Elsa.

Elsa returned the embrace with a grin “I shall leave you to it, I have some work to be doing and I really should be getting myself home and start upon Jades dress,” She kissed Aishanis cheek with a smile, before making her way to Kane giving him and embrace.

“Be careful Elsa, and take care,” Kane smiled in reply. She nodded and proceeded to leave the office.

“Shadow on her way to watch Aerian and hers?” He asked softly

“Mhm.” Aishani said moving to stand at Kane’s side behind the desk, as their children looked to one another and gurgled as though speaking with periods of bubbly laughter. “It seems news gets around. Elsa already knows about Aerian and Virra.”

“Considering the size of this place, it’s hard to keep such news quiet, though I should probably inform Ascondia before the rumour mill reaches her,” Kane sighed softly “I suspect if left to Aerian, Ascondia would be left in the dark, yet another conversation I do not relish”

Kane stood now scooping Terra into his arms as he led them to main hall and the area they used for living, there was a large penned area that would allow the children a freedom to play in safety as Kane sat beside placing Terra within.

Aishani sighed. “While I hate to admit it. You are right.” She followed him to the main hall, while slipping to settle in his lap and tipped her lips up to kiss his neck. Watching as Terra and Xander were playing with each other, crawling around and gurgling to each other. “They are growing so fast, almost unnaturally fast. Each have learned how to crawl…” Her hand lowered to curl within Kane’s.

Kane wrapped his arms around her waist as she took her seat in his lap, his fingers entwining hers as he smiled softly “It would not serve anyone to not tell her, it would probably be wise to inform her of things as it relates to The Ever present omitting of course Aerian is or was at one point involved, they have been a headache for half the realm since the original dragon wars,”

“I do not feel safe travelling just yet with our children. Have her summoned here, then we will discuss this. Besides, she can meet the children, not that she would be interested. Though, how do you mean the Ever Present have been an issue? I understand that they are a loose cannon. Perhaps in the end, Aerian can recover the organization to work not just for her but our own benefit.”

“They weren’t always an issue in the beginning they dealt with retrieval of artefacts and things, but once they shifted to assassination, kidnapping that sort of thing , almost every city has a warrant for their arrest, their morals are often questionable assassinations occur in plain sight making them more murder than assassination, and no one has seen their leader in quite some time, not since Aerian left the group,” Kane replied “The issue is they became for more about shock factor than the shadows,”

He kissed her shoulder gently “I will send for our Queen, we likely need discuss other aspects as the High Council are no longer a consideration, our need for the treaty of Dentarius is slightly less, though I would prefer to maintain our independence”

She glanced back to him with a nod, adjusting to lay her legs over his thigh, planning his hands with hers upon her leg. “I think…this is possible. Considered this, we hold Dentarius. Jade and Hades hold another part. Plus I hold the Emerald City. Why not have clear representatives to each portion?”

“It would make sense to not try to rule everything, perhaps she will see the merit in this,” Kane replied his hand now running up her thigh gently “As long as the realm is stable and safe that is what we should be aiming for, together”

“Agreed. All of us are stronger together. Besides, it would be a boost of morale to the people. Lord knows we need something. I’d like to work with the dwarves and Dark Elves to be able to open those trade routes. It would be beneficial to all.” She fell silent for a moment watching as Xander and Terra play. “I’m going to have to return to my city, it can’t be good to be not return after the win.”

“We should return to Emerald City and try to uncomplicated things, we should begin bringing them back into the Everlands, there is no reason they need hide any longer, the rest of realm need learn we stand united or risk falling” Kane replied kissing her shoulder gently “Its time old grievances are left behind for the future of the realm, and our children”

“We have the ear of the realm, I believe it is time we used it for the sake of the future, though not until our children are strong enough to travel, and I’ve had a nice period away from playing politician and can be husband and father first”

“I couldn’t agree more.” She said while content to be this close to Kane, leaving her cheek against his chest. Watching Xander and Terra attempt to put blocks in their mouth but discovering it was far too large, the fascination kept the twins going at it. They gurgled to each other, laughing and smiling. The intelligence in their large eyes was far more advanced than a normal child, one born without the vampire and werewolf in their blood.