Zaylee ran with a heard of unicorns and pegasus, laughing and enjoying the wind pushing against her. As they approached a cliff the unicorns stopped but the pegasus as always just leapt right off. Zaylee quickly threw herself on top of one and allowed it to take her into the air. She laughed excitedly as the cool wind threw her hair all around her. This would never grow old no matter how many times she did it. Arrow was training his men and could feel how happy his wife was. A smile forced its way onto his face as he wondered what she was doing to make her so wholly happy.
One thing he loved about being married to Zaylee was how constantly happy she was. The only times he ever felt unhappiness from her was if she stumbled upon mistreatment of an animal. With the help of King Drake that had become almost non existent though and he was grateful for it. Some of Arrows men noticed his happy smile but had learned their lesson when it came to teasing him about it.
He put them through drill after drill, only having them pause if he needed to alter someone’s stance or show one of the younger recruits how to block properly. The one he was most proud of was Emeril. The young man had shown himself to be a natural with the sword and continued to improve every day. He never made mistakes and was good at keeping the others morale up. After this day, he was going to talk to Emery and Aideen about letting the boy train others. “Uncle Arrow.” Ealasaid waved to him as she crossed over the training yard.
“Hey sweetie, how are you today?”
She shrugged. “Fine I guess.”
She played with her hair. “How do you know if you love someone?”
“Uh…” he called for everyone to break then turned back to her. “Is this about Kindi?”
She nodded. “Yeah, how do you know?”
“Shouldn’t you be asking your mother?”
“You were the first person I saw, so how do you know?”
“Well, you just do, you just feel it in your heart.” He patted her head. “Why don’t you go find your mom and ask her, she’d be better at explaining.”
She sighed. “Okay, thank you Uncle Arrow.”
“You’re welcome sweetie, sorry I was no real help.”
Arrow Felt Zaylee get a rush of excitement again which cheered him up after not being able to help his niece. Explaining feelings would never be his strong suit. He was lucky to find a woman who didn’t need him to say romantic things often for her to know how much he cared about her. Now that they were married she could of course feel it but even all those years before they married she had never seemed bothered by the fact he wasn’t even adequate at describing his feelings. Zaylee was amazing to him in so many ways, many ways he somtimes wished he was better at saying.
Zaylee swung herself off the Pegasus “thank you for letting me go for a ride. It was great” It neighed and trotted off leaving Zaylee in a vast field so she could enjoy it’s beauty. As she walked she decided she needed to take up painting the places she went. She even mused about getting good enough to maybe sell some so it wouldn’t be only Arrow bringing in money. She also thought of what it might be like to paint with a child. She laid down in a group of flowers and began imagining laughing and playing around with a little one as they painted a place like this together. She wondered if Arrow was ready to have another. It had been many years since Breena came into the world so maybe he would be ready to have one with her.
When she was done with her daydreams her eyes slowly opened and she glanced at the sun. She had been trying to get better about not worrying Arrow by coming home too much after him. Despite her always safely returning and him having the ability to feel she was okay he still got wound up somtimes. It was somthing she couldn’t blame him for which was why she was trying to get better about not straying so far from home that she got home late. From the looks of the sun she knew she needed to start heading back.
“Emeril.” Arrow called to the young man as the other Knights were drinking water and wiping the sweat from their faces and necks.
“I have something I would like to ask you before I let you go home.”
“Would you like to teach?”
Emeril’s eyes lit up. “Yes, of course.”
“You would be training new recruits which can sometimes be a high stress job.”
“I can deal with stress. Would King Emery allow it?”
“I will be talking to him and Aideen tomorrow. I would like you to accompany me.”
“yes sir, how early in the morning should I meet you?”
” in front of the castle an hour and a half before training normally starts. That way we have plenty of time to discuss things with them”
“yes sir, thank you so much”
“You deserve it, honestly so” Emeril was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to go home tonight and tell Breena. He hoped she would be proud of him that her father thought so highly of his skills. Zaylee was running the final stretch home when a gorgeous winged creature came out in front of her. She skidded to a halt and it looked into her eyes even as the she wolf landed. It was the yipping that pulled Zaylees attention away from those gorgeous blue eyes. She looked up to see a small, brown version of what was before her flying in circles and acting silly as any puppy might do until it finally landed beside it’s mother. She looked back at the massive wolf in front of her. On all four paws it’s head was almost to her chest. If the she wolf decided to stand on it’s hind legs she would be taller than Zaylee.
Zaylee was in aw of just how gorgeous the mother wolf was. She was mostly white but blue and black colored parts of her body and wings. Zaylee had never encountered or learned about a creature such as this, a wolf with wings was the best comparison. “You must want my attention, were you looking for me?” the large creature nodded and Zaylee smiled “I’m sorry that I don’t know what you are. Are you from this world beautiful?” she nodded again which made it even more surprising Zaylee hadn’t seen these before or heard of them. “are you private creatures then?” she nodded and that explained everything. “ah I see, you guys are good. I thought I knew about all the animals here. What is it you wanted me for” The wolf moved its head to the left and began softly roaring as a lion might. Since ti looked like a wolf that was surprising and exciting. Zaylee wanted to learn so much more about this creature. “Are you trying to tell me you want me to go that way?” Zaylee pointed.
The she wolf nodded and Zaylee said “It’s really late and my husband will worry if I don’t come home. He once went through somthing horrible and he loves me very much so it’s hard for him if he doesn’t know where I am at the end of the day. If you come home with me tonight I promise to follow you in the morning and go wherever it is you want me to go. Is that okay?” the creature looked a little disapointed but it nodded. Zaylee reached out and stroked her head before scratching her neck “Could I give you and your puppy names? That way i have somthing to call you since you can’t tell me your names” she nodded again so Zaylee said “you’ll be Kaiyah and your puppy will be Bates. You like those?”
The puppy yipped and Kaiyah made a sound that seemed like she was pleased so Zaylee decided they were okay with those names. “alright well lets go” Zaylee went to walk but Kaiyah stepped out in front of her then looked at its back “Oh wow, you’ll carry me?’ she nodded and Zaylee didn’t hesitate to get on. These were good creatures, she didn’t know of them but she could feel that they were good. Zaylee felt a thrill surge through her as they got up in the air. Until Kaiyah made a disgruntled noise she had completely forgotten she needed to tell her where to go. “sorry Kaiyah” she said then started telling her the way.
Arrow took a shower once he was home, wanting to be clean for Zaylee. He knew she wouldn’t care and would touch him regardless, but he liked being able to clean up for her after a long day of training. He stepped out of the shower, dried then dressed and headed into the kitchen. He felt like drinking some tea and just as he filled the pot, something landed in front of the house. It took him a moment to realize Zaylee was on its back. He sat the tea pot down and grabbed his sword, feeling wary of this strange creature as he pulled the front door open and stepped out.
Zaylee slid down from the she wolf’s back and ran excitedly up to Arrow, leaping into his arms and pressing her lips against him. “How was your day?” She asked after parting their lips.
“It was productive. What’s that?” He pointed at the winged wolf with his sword.
“Arrow, put that away, she’s not a threat.”
“What is she?”
“I have no idea, but she’s nice and she has a baby. Please put the sword away.”
He sighed and stabbed it into the ground. “Sorry, I’m not trying to be an ass, I’ve just never seen anything like her around here before.”
“Me neither, I’ve never even read about a creature like her and I thought I had studied every animal in our world. Its because their kind is normally private.” The wolf nodded and Zaylee continued “I named her Kaiyah, her baby who is playfully tumbling down is Bates” Arrow looked up to see the smaller animal flipping and zig zagging through the air. He smiled “Bates is cute” When the puppy landed they all went inside. Kaiyah and Bates went to the living room while Zaylee went into the kitchen with Arrow “they are staying the night so she can take me somwhere tomorrow”
“is it far?”
“I’m not sure, she wanted to take me today but I told her you were coming home so I needed to go home” Arrow frowned slightly “I’m sorry”
“It’s okay Arrow. You’ve never demanded I come home. I just feel how upset and scared you get”
“I’m still sorry I give you a curfew..even if it’s not somthing I do intentionally” she waved her hand and brought up what she had been thinking about. “I want to have a baby. Are you ready for another?” He stopped chopping carrots and looked at her “really?”
“yeah is that good with you?” He smiled and hugged her “I’d love that Zaylee. I’ve wanted one with you for awhile now”
“why didn’t you say anything?”
“You’re such a free spirit, like to just go anywhere at the drop of a hat. You could take our children but it wouldn’t be as easy for you so I wasn’t sure if that was somthing you wanted. Knowing you I knew that if you ever did want some you’d just tell me. In twenty seven years there hasn’t been a want or thought that has gone through your head that you didn’t tell me right away.”
“so children? As in multiple?”
“if you’d like that. I mean, Breena was an only child but I wanted more. I was just even less good at talking feelings back then. If you cant imagine that I’m sure Breena can explain what that was like for you. I honestly don’t know how I have such a good relationship with her”
“because we both know how loving you are. You show it and thats all we need and all our children will need” They went back to cooking and Zaylee asked “what’re you doing tomorrow?”
“recommending Emeril to teach.”
“wow, I bet he was excited”
“he was and he deserved it. He’s learned well. You should be proud of yourself Zaylee. Without your vigilant eye for animal safety we would have never known what he and his brother were going through”
“and now Breena and Ealasaid have boyfriends” Arrow chuckled at Zaylees statement “she actually just came up to me today about Kindi”
“they’ve been dating a long time, just without the title” Zaylee said and Arrow chuckled again.
“She asked me how you know when you love someone. I told her you just know, then I sent her to Aideen.”
Zaylee smiled and kissed his cheek. “It’s sweet of you to try. It’s not easy being a woman, especially a young woman who’s just coming into her own.”
He sighed. “Love can be confusing at times, but it’s truly the most magnificent thing in the world.” He stroked her cheek and she grabbed his hand and pressed his palm against her cheek. “God I love you Zaylee, you’re just so amazing.”
“Right back at you.”
Zaylee set the table while Arrow finished cooking. He then put food on their plates while Zaylee filled to glasses with milk and both of them sat down to enjoy another wonderful meal together. They talked about babies, names, expanding on their home and the excitement of telling their friends and families about bringing little ones into the world. They were both sure Breena would be exceptionally excited and would make an amazing big sister.
They had leftovers when they were done so Zaylee went into the living room to see if Kaiyah wanted any for herself and her baby. “want our leftovers Kaiyah?’ she shook her head “okay then, have a good night in the living room. If you see a pink and blue dog like creature that’s Starburst. She comes and goes as she pleases through the small opening in our door” Kaiyah glanced at it but seemed only minorly interested. Zaylee walked back into the dining room to find Arrow had already started cleaning. Though it was early for bed when they were done the two of them went into their bedroom to start on babies and get some cuddle time in before Arrows duties took him away tomorrow.
Their love making was loud and passionate, each going to the edge of their limits of pleasure. Sex had been wild enough before but now that they were married and could feel what the other was feeling it was phenomenal beyond reason. Arrow spent himself multiple times that night before just laying with Zaylee in his arms. Just before he fell asleep he requested “I’m sure such a private animal wouldn’t be coming to you unless it needed somthing. It was probably looking for an elf it could trust and stumbled upon you. Please promise me if it will put you in danger that you’ll come for me. I can never lose you Zaylee” Zaylee smiled, after all that his final thoughts before sleeping were only of her safety tomorrow “I promise baby”
Having that promise he was instantly able to shut down his mind for the night. Morning came unwelcome as most mornings did but Arrow got right up, readied himself then kissed Zaylees cheek before leaving to meet Emeril. Kaiyahs previously sleeping head lifted as Arrow passed her to get to the door. He looked at her and said “Please let her sleep as long as she needs before you head out” Kaiyah laid her head back down without indicating if she was going to or not but Arrow needed to leave so he walked out, hoping the beautiful creature would let his love sleep.
Emeril was pacing in front of the castle when Arrow arrived. He looked a little nervous and Arrow knew it was out of fear of being rejected. He came to a stop when he spotted Arrow and ran his fingers through his hair. “You ready?”
Arrow slapped him on the back. “Don’t be, you’ve come a long way so I know they will agree that you deserve a promotion.”
“It’s not about that sir, I’m very confident in my abilities, especially since you are the one who trained me. It’s about Breena.”
“Did something happen?”
“No, everything between us is fine. It’s just I’ve been thinking about the two of us and I wanted to ask you if maybe it would be okay if…well you know if I asked her to marry me?” He rubbed his neck when Arrow just stared at him. “I know I’m not much and I didn’t come from a very good family, but I really love her so I wanted to ask your permission before I asked for her hand.”
Arrow smiled and tussled his hair. “I would be honored to call you my son.”
Relief rushed through him “thank you Arrow”
“You make her happy and that’s all I could want for my daughter. Who you were born to and the circumstance doesn’t matter in any regard. You’re a fine young man. Lets go inside and get you that promotion” Emeril turned and walked side by side with Arrow to see the king and queen. Kaiyah waited as Arrow had requested but her pup Bates, being the playfully puppy he was knocked over a piece of furniture that had glass decorations on top. Bates yelped and let his wings carry him over the debri. Zaylee jumped up and out of bed to check on the noise. Bates turned to her and whimpered. Zaylee opened her arms “it’s just things Bates, come here”
He flew into her and she showed him affection until Kaiyah pushed her head against Zaylees back. Zaylee turned and set Bates down “he’s fine, I’ll get this cleaned up and we’ll head right out. I’m not really hungry. Are you two?” Kaiyah nodded then looked at the door. Zaylee unlocked it then pushed it open “want to hunt somthing while I pick this up?” Kaiyah walked out and Bates just laid down in the living room. Zaylee decided to leave the door open so Kaiyah could just walk right back in.
Kaiyah was back shortly after Zaylee was done sweeping up and throwing away glass. She roared somthing and her puppy went running outside. Zaylee smiled and went to grab a few healing remedies and bandages incase she ran into trouble. She didn’t know where Kaiyah was taking her and even though she promised Arrow she’d get him if it was somthing dangerous there was no guarantee she’d be able to get away from whatever Kaiyah took her to. Last thing Zaylee grabbed was her sword before locking up.
Arrow and Emeril stood in the throne room, both of their backs straight and hands held behind them. Aideen just smiled, always amused by Arrow’s seriousness and even more amused by the fact it had rubbed off on Emeril. “Arrow, you do realize if you find someone suitable for a position that you don’t have to ask us?”
“You know every decision I make regarding the kingdom will always be ran by its ruler first.”
Both she and Emery chuckled. “Uncle Arrow, you have no need to ask our permission, we trust you and Emeril, you certainly deserve such a position if you feel you are up to the task. Arrow has kept us updated on your progress and you have learned very quickly. Would you like to teach?”
“Yes ma’am and it would only add to my happiness. Arrow has give me his blessing to marry Breena, a promotion would be the icing on the cake.”
“Congratulations.” Emery said with a smile.
“We’re very happy for you Emeril and you are granted your promotion.”
He bowed quickly “thank you so much” Arrow patted his back “lets get you to your men son” Emeril smiled and followed Arrow out. Aideen giggled “He may not be as serious as Arrow but Arrow is certainly making a second version of himself” Emery chuckled “Our kingdom could use many more Arrows. He’s a good man”
Zaylees hair thrashed in the wind as she enjoyed the view. She was surprised how far Kaiyah was taking her from home. It wasn’t until about one in the afternoon that Kaiyah started to descend. The second Kaiyahs paws touched the ground Zaylee slid off her powerful back. “we there?” Kaiyah shook her head and looked back at her pup who was panting “Oh, Bates is tired” she nodded. “Can’t he ride on your back?” she shook her head. It was confusing to Zaylee but the mom must have her reasons. “are we atleast close Kaiyah?” Kaiyah nodded and Zaylee felt relief. Zaylee knew this far away there was no way she was getting home when Arrow was done being captain of the guard but atleast they were close to what they needed to do.
Zaylee was disappointed not to find anything to eat nearby but had brought somthing to snack on. She pulled it out and finished it with plenty of time to stretch since the puppy was napping.
Arrow tried to stay completely focused on training, but his mind constantly drifted to Zaylee. He wondered where she was and what she was doing, his mind and body on alert in case he felt any kind of negative emotion come from her. He wasn’t sure how he would find her if something happened, but he knew nothing would keep him from her. He took a deep breath and brought his attention back to his men and running them through their drills. He called for a break around lunch time and flopped down on the ground, tipping his head back and closing his eyes and enjoying the warmth of the sun.
“Hey Uncle Arrow.” He opened his eyes.
“Ealasaid, how are you?” She twisted her fingers in his hair and he gave a little chuckle. “Alright, sit.”
“Sit down, let’s talk.” She took a seat in the grass and he patted her head. “This is what you need to do about Kindi, just ask him how he feels.”
“What if he says he doesn’t like me like that?”
“Silly girl, would I tell you to do something if there was going to be a negative outcome. Ask him how he feels and tell him how you feel and everything will be alright.”
“Alright, I’ll trust you.” She kissed his cheek. “Thank you Uncle Arrow.”
“You’re welcome and next time talk to your mother, I’m really no good at this sort of thing.”
“Okay, love you.”
“Love you too sweetie.” He patted her head again and she got up, heading back inside the castle.
When her puppy was ready to fly again Zaylee climbed up on Kaiyahs back and allowed her to take her back up in the sky. When they landed Zaylee was surprised to see the pup just land instead of playing around. Kaiyah seemed tense and serious now too. She had been serious before but now it seemed to intensify. It was Zaylee nervous as she thought about what they were guiding her to. When they finally reached where Zaiyah was taking her the beautiful creature didn’t have to do anything to indicate it. Zaylee covered her mouth and felt both appalled and heartbroken as she saw the countless corpses. They were all creatures like her but their wings had been cut off, their paws removed and some had their stomachs cut open.
Zaylee could only handle the sight so long before she had to throw up. She looked at Kaiyah who was crying “I’m so sorry Kaiyah. Is this your whole pack?” Kaiyah shook her head. “good, I…oh my god. I wish you could speak to me. Damnit I should have brought an elf that understands animals better.” feeling a bit naseous still Zaylee said ‘I’m going to name things. Just nod if I say what did this to them” Kaiyah nodded her understanding “other animals?” it was a dumb question but she didn’t know these existed, what else could she not know lived in this world? Kaiyah shook her head “Humans?” she hoped, it would break her heart further if it were elves. Kaiyah shook her head again and Zaylee fearfully asked “Elves?” she felt relief but confusion that she was still saying no. Zaylee named race after race, all the ones she had ever learned about and she feared she’d run about before Kaiyah finally gave her a yes. “Cucubuth’s?” Kaiyah nodded profusely.
Cucubuth’s could be incredibly dangerous and she knew she had promised to get Arrow if it was needed, but she worried about them killing more creatures. “Listen Kaiyah, you have my scent, I need you to go and get my husband. I’ll track the Cucubuth’s.” Kaiyah shook her head and made a whining sound. “He needs to be here and you’ll go faster without me on your back. So go and get him, I promise not to do anything stupid, I just want to know where they are and where they’re going.” Kaiyah huffed again, but nodded in agreement, letting her wings push her off the ground and into the air. Zaylee stood there and watched as she and Bates flew away then turned back to the carnage to pick up the Cucubuth’s trail.
Kaiyah flew as fast as she could with her pup in toe. When she was close enough she knew her baby could find Zaylee and Arrows home again she told Bates to go back to their house and stay there until she came for him. Bates didn’t want to leave her but listened to his mother and started towards Zaylees home. She didn’t like not having her baby in sight after everything but his wings just weren’t strong enough yet for all this. She then amped up her speed, landing hard so dust flew when she landed in the midst of the men and women Arrow had command over. They were all amazed but held their gasps as the large wolf looked at Arrow “where is Zaylee?” he asked fearfully. Kaiyah looked at her back and Arrow got the message loud and clear.
He looked at his guard “I don’t know what my wife has stumbled into but its obviously bad. Tell Emery and Aideen we need their help and find us. I’m going now, I trust you all wont disappoint me” Without a word more he jumped on Kaiyahs back and allowed her to take him up. Questionless he rode on her back. The whole of his body and spirit were far too busy feeling Zaylee so he’d know how she was doing. All he felt from her was concern for now but he didnt know if it was concern for somthing else or her own safety.
The trail the Cucubuth’s left had lead her into the forest and onto an old deer path. They had not bothered to hide their tracks and even the bushes and trees were smeared with blood. Since Kaiyah and her kind kept to themselves, the demons had slaughtered them easily, thinking no one would find out. Zaylee was sure this was the case. She felt sadness creeping in again as images of those beautiful creatures flashed in her mind. So many had been slaughtered and for nothing. It sickened her to the point of loathing the demons who had dared to do such a thing. She felt warmth sweep through her, the feeling adoration with a hint of worry and knew it was Arrow. His emotions helped clear away her sorrow and she focused on the task of tracking down the group of Cucubuth’s. If she could find them, she could bring Arrow to them and if she could bring Arrow to them then she could bring them to justice.
Night was falling by the time the sound of voices filled her ears and the flicker of firelight caught her eye. She got down low, staying in the trees to mask her presence and she crept closer. She stopped when she could make them out, demons of varying colors with varying lengths of horns and teeth sat around a fire eating what she guessed was meat from Kaiyah’s kind. They talked about how much they could get for the paws and wings of the creatures they had slaughtered since they were so rare and it brought tears to Zaylee’s eyes. Anger bubbled to the surface, quickly turning into all out rage and it took everything she had not to jump out and attack them.
When Kaiyah landed and walked Arrow to the same scene she had taken Zaylee to he covered his mouth a moment then looked at her. “I’m sure my wife has already figured out what sick fucks have done this and I promise Kaiyah, if I am able they will see justice for this massacre. My men should be coming. When they do and this is settled we wont leave them like this okay? We’ll help you bury what’s left of your family. For now I need you to sniff out Zaylee before she gets hurt.” Kaiyah began to run and Arrow followed closely behind. By Arrows emotions Zaylee knew he had seen that horrific sight and was almost to her as she continued to watch the group of Cucubuths.
Their disgusting chatter had mostly died down as some of them laid to rest. Since they were demons it was a little surprising she could watch them like this without a one noticing up to this point but they had seemed engrossed in plans and enjoying the meat of the animals they so brutally killed. She wondered what sort of people would actually buy the wings and paws of such a rare creature. They had to know they were encouraging it’s slaughter.
“One such as you should not be here.” The voice startled her and spun around, coming to her feet with weapon in hand. The demon was leaning against a tree, his arms crossed over his chest, his eyes staring unblinking at her. An orb of soft yellow light floated next to him, revealing his skin to be a deep red. She was surprised she had not heard him.
“You’re one of them.”
“I am .”
He just kept staring at her. “Leave before you get hurt little elf. They will not show you mercy and I am too young and weak to protect you. So go, don’t get yourself killed.” He walked past her then stopped. “I did not take part in their slaughter, it was senseless.”
“but you didn’t stop them”
“I couldnt or I would have. Please, i don’t want to watch any more senseless killing.”
“I wont let their deaths go unanswered for. Kaiyah and Bates are hurting because of them”
“Kaiyah and Bates?”
“two that escaped”
“ah yes, I was glad to see them get away. They only did because the pups father sacrificed himself to distract my family enough so the big one had time to get herself and the puppy away. He was a valiant beast, that pup should be proud of the father he had”
“Kaiyah had a mate..” Zaylee said sadly. “I assumed he was. He looked a lot like the puppy and seemed awfully concerned about them being spared” Tears shimmered down Zaylees face “how can you stay around these monsters”
“they are my family and its generally the way of demons. I have no taste for it but I understand I’m odd”
“there are plenty of demons who aren’t cruel” he sighed “please go, too much more talking and they’ll find you. I don’t want you to die little one”
“I’m waiting on my husband”
“Oh jesus, you elves don’t know what you’re up against. We’re Cucubuths”
“I knew that when I followed”
“You knew that and still followed? You saw what they did obviously”
“Kaiyah, Bates and their family deserve sombody to stick up for them.” He walked back to her “then I’ll stay with you and try my best to protect you if my family notices you’re here”
“I don’t like what they do, I believe I’ve already said that. Maybe it is time I stood up to them”
“thank you” he shrugged “don’t thank me, I’ve just watched them do countless despicable things” Killian cast a spell so that his family wouldn’t be able to detect her as long as she didn’t move. She kept herself still up until her husband and Kaiyah came into view. She got up and ran to him, He lifted her off her feet in a hug “finally” he whispered into her hair. He relaxed until he saw Killian stand. He shoved his wife behind him and drew his blade angrily “stop Arrow” the commotion finally alerted the Cucubuths to the fact their were elves and more of those creatures around.
Arrow and Zaylee went back to back as the demons surrounded them, their weapons up and ready. Killian stayed to their side, his eyes watching the faces of his family. “Killian, what do you think you are doing?” His father asked.
“Helping the elves stop you. I’m tired of the killing, of watching innocent people and creatures suffer because of you.”
“You weak fool.” His older sister snapped. “Father should have killed you at birth. We could smell the weakness on you.”
“I don’t care what you say, I won’t be a part of your family anymore.”
They all attacked, no longer caring that one of their own flesh and blood stood before them. Arrow and Zayless’s swords slashed at the demons, Kaiyah’s roar and sharp teeth drove them back and Killian though not strong was amazingly agile and quick at using his magic. He had the focus of a predator and Zaylee knew the reason he thought he was weak was because his family told him he was.
They managed to kill off an impressive number by the time the Cucubuths retreated considering it was only the three of them and Kaiyah. It was especially impressive considering none of them had been seriously injured. “Just like the cowards” Killian spat. “we need to chase them Arrow” Zaylee out of breath as she spoke. Arrow set a hand on her shoulder “we were wearing out. The guard is coming to help and we’ll take care of the rest of the group. With them here we can actually make arrests and force these assholes to sit in prison for their crimes” Arrow offered his hand to Killian who seemed confused “it’s a handshake” Arrow said as he took his hand. “Oh, why?’
“Thank you for helping. I know it must have been hard”
“Honestly I’ve never been close to any of them. I’m sure the bond is better among elves but among demons it typically isn’t as bad as you think. They truly are awful” Kaiyah growled and Killian frowned “It’s okay if you never forgive me girl. I’m sorry I didn’t try to stop them before” Zaylee rubbed Kaiyahs coat “you should forgive him Kaiyah. He was scared and underestimated himself.” she stopped showing her fangs but still seemed unhappy. Zaylee looked at Killian “I’m sure when she’s had more time she’ll come around”
Killian nodded, wondering if it would help or be insulting to the wolf iuf he gave his condolences about her mates death. “allow me to find food for you guys. Please rest” Killian said then ran off. When he was gone Zaylee sat down “Kaiyah, will you come here?” Kaiyah came to her and Zaylee patted her lap “rest beautiful” Kaiyah sat down and rested her head in Zaylees lap so Zaylee could stroke her soft fur “Killian told me your mate died making sure you and Bates got away. I’m really sorry girl.” she whined and Zaylee bent down to hug her. ‘I’m sorry” she whispered.
Arrow sat down next her, his arm going over her shoulders and pulling her in to kiss her temple. He did not doubt her abilities and knew she was tough, but anytime she was in danger he worried he might lose her. “Don’t worry Arrow, I’m safe.” She said as she looked into his eyes, giving him a small smile.
“I’m sorry you had to see something so horrible.” He replied, not wanting to reprimand her for going ahead of him to track the Cucubuth.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I wish it was all just a nightmare you’d wake me up from.”
He pressed a kiss against her lips and a tear slid its way down her cheek. “Oh baby don’t cry.” He swept it away with his thumb and hugged her a little tighter.
“Sorry, just seeing how cruel Killian’s family was was horrible. To kill so many is sick. I mean how did he survive living with such monsters?”
“I guess because he was family, as little as that apparently means to them” Arrow held Zaylee until Killian cam back and prepared their meal. “Thank you Killian” Zaylee said as she took her share of the food “you’re welcome” he said then sat down silently to eat his own. It was the next morning by the time Arrows guard, King Emery and Breena came. Arrow smiled proudly to see his daughter there, a happiness that only increased when he saw a ring on her finger. “lets track them” he said then let Kaiyah and Killian guide. The Cucubuths cursed and threatened them as they saw the elves coming back for more.
This time the demons were greatly outnmbered so their inflated egos were practically laughable. They assumed because they were of the demon race they were better than elves but they had numbers and somthing they’d never have, hearts and souls. They arrested what was left of the Cucubuths and begun their journey back to the castle so Emery and Aideen could decide together what was to become of them. As they walked back Zaylee wished she could ask Kaiyah where Bates was but judging by the fact Kaiyah wasn’t upset Zaylee felt assured he was safe somwhere.
When they arrived at the castle Kaiyah flew off and Arrow asked ‘where is she going?”
“probably to check on her pup”
“ah yes, he isn’t here. I was preoccupied with you” Zaylee kissed his cheek causing eye rolls from the demons. Aideen and Emery needed no time to decide all these demons would face life in their prisons for the horrible things they had done. While nothing could be punishment enough it was somthing for all the creatures they had wronged.
Arrow excused himself once the demons were locked away scooped Zaylee up, wanting to take her home. As they walked through the courtyard, they found Killian sitting on one of the benches looking a bit lost. He looked up when he heard them and gave them a small smile. “Is it okay if I’m here?” He asked when they stopped to check on him.
“Of course, why wouldn’t it be?” Zaylee replied.
“I didn’t help them, but I didn’t stop them either. I am just as guilty.”
“You looked out for my wife, that in itself speaks volumes.” Arrow said. “If you wish for a place then join the guard. My son in law will be your trainer.”
“Are you sure, won’t the other’s be wary of me?”
“If Arrow says you are to be let into the guard, then none of the other knights will question him.”
“What of the king and queen?”
“You’re a good person Killian and that’s all that matters to them, I promise.”
He nodded. “I would like to learn to fight better, I’ll give it a try.” They smiled and he suddenly looked past them. “Who are those two?”
Both Arrow and Zaylee looked behind them, grinning when they saw Ealasaid and Kindi walking hand in hand through one of the breezeways. “She took my advice, I guess I am good at more than being a knight.” Arrow said. “That is the princess Ealasaid and her boyfriend Kindi, you’ll get along with them.”
Arrow carried Zaylee home, both delighted to see Kaiyah and Bates resting in their living room with Starburst. Arrow took her straight to their room and sat holding her as he leaned against their wall “you and dangerous situations” he said and she giggled “hey, the last time was when we got married.”
“true, I’d just prefer never” he tucked a few strands of white hair behind her ear “you are truly precious to me” she held his hand like she had done the previous morning “I know, the best part about being married is feeling it” she said as she slowly moved to kiss him. By the end of her sentence they were kissing and lost in eachother bliss. Once again danger had come and gone and once again they stood together triumphant.
~ The End