Charles & Sophie 5

Chapter One

Victoria was now 8 and her brother Thatcher was 5. Things had been really peaceful for a long time. Charles hardly ever left his family. They spent all their days playing and having fun together. In fact he pretty much only did things to keep his skills up incase something bad did happen and he was needed. The town had so much respect for him and his wife for all they had done for them in the past. Yesterday he left with an old lady to take her by carriage to visit some relatives in another village. He’d be back that night sometime and Sophie was excited. Victoria sat at the breakfast table and said “dads only been gone a day mommy.”

“I know sweetheart. I just need him around. You’ll have someone like that someday”

“Nope, I’m going to live alone forever. I dont need any man. The only men I like atall are Dad, Thatch & Enzo. Sophie laughed. Enzo was a bit older than her but she had a suspicion that in the future they’d be together, It was something she didn’t share with Charles. She was going to be daddys little girl forever to him. “How about we go out to that big meadow with the pond today to pass time until daddy gets home?” Thatch jumped up “yes! Yes please!” After breakfast they all got ready and went out.Philip, one of the men Charles would go hunting with had a cousin in town visiting him. He lived pretty far away so wasn’t familiar with anybody there.

He also decided to go to the meadow that morning. When he got there he saw Sophie watching the children play. He was amazed at how beautiful she was. Just then Philip woke up and realized his cousin was gone and asked his wife where he went. His cousin was there because he was a shameless flirt and had gotten himself in trouble at home. He didn’t want him starting something up here so bolted out the door to the meadow. Lucious walked up to Sophie and said “Hi, what’s your name?”

“Sophie, I know everybdy here why don’t I know you?”

“I’m here visiting family”

“That’s nice.” she looked away to watch her children. “You’re a very beautiful women. Why dont we get away from these kids and we could go alone somewhere.” She stood up “I’m a married women. That is very inappropriate. Those two children are mine and my husbands.”

“He isn’t here is he? What he wont know wont hurt him” Sophie scoffed and yelled to her children “We’re going home!” She moved away and he grabbed her pulling her close to him. Philip saw it and ran faster than he ever had before. Sophie electrocuted him and he yelped in pain letting her go. Philip caught up “I’m so sorry Sophie.”

“So you’re who this pig is visitng?”

“Yes mam, I’m very sorry”

“You didn’t make him act like a pig.It’s not somthing you need to appoligize for” Thatcher came up “Do we really have to go home?” He looked really sad. Philip said “I’ll watch them for you and you can go home. It’s the least I can do for letting him out of my sight.”

“Thanks” she stomped home very upset. “Of all the women Lucious. You are going to shit yourself when you see her husband. You better pray now he doesn’t kill you because I  highly doubt he wont find out about this.”

Charles saw Sophie walking out of the woods and down the road. He clicked his tongue at the horse and pulled up behind her. “Hey beautiful.” He said.

“Back for more you stupid idiot.” She turned, ready to zap Philip’s cousin again and was shocked to see it was Charles. She swallowed and just stared as he reigned in the horse and jumped down.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. I thought you were someone else.”

“Who exactly?” He pulled her into his arms and brushed her hair out of her face.

“Philip’s stupid cousin. He tried getting me to sleep with him.” She answered truthfully.

“Where is he?” He would gut the man if need be. No one talked to his wife like she was a piece of meat.

“Don’t Charles, I took care of it. Please, you’re home and you should enjoy being home.” She grabbed his face in her hands and made him look at her. She had really missed him and he was home early. “Philip is watching the kids in the meadow. I’m sure they want to see their daddy.”

They walked hand in hand to the meadow. Philip’s cousin was gone and she said a mental thank you. Philip waved at them and pointed to the kids playing by the pond. Sophie pressed a finger against her lips in a shushing motion so they could surprise the kids. He nodded and just went back to watching them. Charles snuck up behind his children and tickled the backs of their necks. They turned around and jumped into his arms. “Have you guys grown since I’ve been gone?” He asked with a smile.

“It’s only been a day.” Victoria said.

“I think you two have definitely grown. I mean look at your brother, he’s huge.”

“Really? Maybe you can measure us when we go home.” Thatcher grinned.

He stood up with a kid on each hip and walked over to Sophie and Philip. His mind was still on the man who had messed with his wife. He didn’t like men like that. He lowered the kids to the ground and Thatcher wrapped his arms around Sophie’s leg. “Is it okay if I take Sophie and the kids home then come back and talk to you Philip?” He asked and Philip went pale.

“Of course.” He replied nervously. “As long as you aren’t planning on breaking anything, that is.”

He put a calming hand on the man’s shoulder. “You have done nothing wrong, I just want to talk.”

They all walked home together. Charles looked very serious. “It isn’t a big deal sweetheart. I took care of him.” Thatcher giggled “Yeah, after the jolt mommy gave that man I doubt he’ll ever grab her like that again.”

“lets not talk about it children.”

“You didn’t say he grabbed you Sophie.” He said growing a little more annoyed. “I just dont want you upset right when you get back and like Thatcher pointed out, the man actually whimpered a little when i electrocuted him. I would be surprised if he did it again.”

“Oh he wont regardless.”

“Atleast try not to scare Philip badly. I could hear him yelling at his cousin while I walked away and he was nice enough to stay with the kids for me.” He kissed Sophies head as they were arriving at their home. He hugged his two children and told them to be good. “Bye daddy!” they said together as he walked back tot he meadow.

Philip was pacing furiously through the grass. He was actually sweating. Charles wasn’t mad at him. He had known Philip for years. “Calm down Philip, I’m not going to hurt you.” Charles said and grabbed him by his shoulder.

“Sir, I’m so sorry about Lucious. I never throat he’d do something so stupid after last time.” He said quickly. “He has dishonored our family many times. We thought that bringing him here and keeping him safe would allow him to start over. Apparently we were wrong.”

“I do not blame you. You are a good man. Thank you for defending Sophie and taking care of my children. Honestly if he wasn’t your family I would kill him.”

“I know you would and I thank you for staying your hand. I will try too keep an eye on him until I can figure something else out. When some disrespects your family, especially Sophie and in front of the children, it’s the last straw.”

He thanked Philip again and headed home. Sophie would be cooking and after the day she had, he planned on helping as much as possible. He would put the kids to bed after dinner so she could relax. He knew how hard she worked. She was always running around healing the sick and helping with babies. Sjena had gotten too old to follow her constantly and his wounds had finally caught up with him. His limp had worsened so he stayed home most days. The poor old hound was over ten years old.

When he got home Victoria and Thatcher were petting Sjena and laughing about their day. Just like he thought his wife was in the kitchen cooking. He came up behind her and hugged her as he inhaled the smell of her hair. Her hair always smelled like flowers. “I missed you Sophie”

“I missed you too. I’m so glad you’re home.”

“Let me finish cooking for you. I can tell what you’re making.”

“You just got back it’s fine.” He turned her around “Please” She smiled “alright” she moved and he took over doing what she was. “How was the trip?”

“Interesting, she had a lot to talk about and thanked me atleast once an hour.” Sophie giggled, he had missed that sound so much. Any amount of time away from her felt like an eternity. That man was really lucky to be related to a friend of his. It would be hard to be civil twords him tomorrow. Once a year the whole town gets together in that big open meadow and has a celebration. It’s mainly to keep the close knit village close to eachother. Hopefully the man would have the sense not to talk to Sophie.

When dinner was done Sophie called the children and they ate. Sophie went to take the children to bed and Charles sat her back down. “Can I do that too please.” She just smiled at him as he picked up the kids and took them upstairs. She layed down on the couch and laid a hand on Sjena who was laying by it. After about 15 minuets she heard her husband coming back down the stairs. She got up and ran to him. He lifted Sophie in his arms and kissed her.

“How’s the old hound?” He asked as he put her down then sat on. The floor next to Sjena. He scratched the old wolf on the top of his head and he wagged his tail.

“I feel like he’s getting closer to leaving us, but it’s like he’s holding on for something. The kids are going to be so heartbroken when he’s gone.” She sat down on the couch and rubbed Charles’s neck.

“I will too. He’s been so faithful and I owe him so much.” He had grown very close with Sjena. They had hunted together many times. He had watched the wolf single handedly take down a bull moose. They had been able to share the meat with everyone. He lifted the wolf’s head and rested it on his lap. “You better tell us when you’re ready to go old boy.” Sjena wagged his tail and licked Charles’s fingers. They sat with the wolf for a little while longer before he got off the floor and carried Sophie upstairs.

“Thank you for helping me today. I know you have a lot to do, but I still appreciate it.” Sophie said as she rested her head on his chest.

“You do a lot around here. You help everyone and take care of the kids. You are so amazing. I wish I could do what you do.” He kissed her forehead and ran his fingers up and down her arm.

“Don’t sell yourself short. You are always right in the middle of the battle. You are so brave and strong.”

“Are you ready for the festival tomorrow?”

“I’m going be cooking a lot so I’ll be extremely busy. Are you going to help decorate?”

“I thought I’d take Thatcher and he could help me while Victoria stays with you and you show her how to make your pumpkin roll.”

Sophie had to laugh at that. Charles was always so ravenous with hunger. She kissed his chin and pulled the blanket up over them. She snuggled close and drifted happily off.

In the morning Sophie woke up first with Charlies arm wrapped around her. The kids weren’t up yet anyway so she didn’t move. He had the bad habit of not sleeping when he was away from her so she knew he was exhausted. About twenty minuets went by and Thatcher came running in “Mom! I’m hungry” It woke Charles up. “I’m coming Thatcher” Sophie said as she got out of bed. “Let mommy get her clothes on for the day.”

“Ok! We’ll be downstairs!” She started getting ready and so did Charles. She went to walk out and he said “wait a minuet. I want to carry you again.” He lifted her up while lovingly looking into her eyes. “I hope I make you as happy as you make me Sophie” Victoria was outside the door. “You two are so gross all the time.” They laughed and went downstairs. Sophie made them breakfast and then said bye to Charles and Thatcher so she could start cooking the things she promised to. Victoria learned quickly so it wasn’t hard for Sophie to teach her how to cook things.

“Remember Victoria not too much salt.” Sophie said as she watched her daughter season the big pot of stew.

“Wouldn’t more make it taste better?” Victoria asked.

Hold out your hand.” Victoria did and Sophie poured a good amount of salt into her palm. “Lick it.”

Victoria did and instantly started spitting. Sophie got her some water and she drank the whole cup. “Gross, that’s way too much. I get it now.” She sat the cup on the table. Sophie let her help make the mix for pumpkin rolls. She loved the time she could spend teaching her children.

Charles held Thatcher’s hand as they walked to the meadow. There were already people there and they immediately started helping. He lifted his son so he could hang paper lanterns in the trees. “Guess what Victoria said yesterday?” Thatcher said.

“Tell me.” Charles lowered his son so he could grab another lantern.

“That she wants to marry Enzo.”

Charles laughed and shook his head. His little princess already followed Enzo everywhere. It was odd thinking of her getting married some day. She always talked about how gross boys were and that she’d never kiss one. There were times he hoped she always felt that way. “I thought your sister hated boys.”

“Not me and Enzo and you. She told mom she only likes us. She also told me she’s glad you made me.” He tossed Thatcher in the air. He laughed and Charles caught him.

“You have a very good sister.”

“The best.” They hung more lanterns then Charles helped chop wood for the big fire. Thatcher stacked, strong for his age. “Is Enzo and his mommy coming?”

“They’re supposed to be here this afternoon.”

“I can’t wait to see them.”

A few hours passed and there was a knock at the door Victoria answer and Enzo lifted her into a hug. He set her down and his mother said “He’s been talking about how excited he was to come here and see you the whole trip.”

“Mom!” Sophie came in laughing. “She’s been excited too.”

“Can I help you Sophie?”

“We’re pretty much done. I think I’ll go see if Helen needs help.”

“Don’t we normally help Philips wife Becca?”

“It’s a long story but I dont think I should go over there.” Victoria whispered to Enzo “There’s a really rude man staying there.” Sophie, Victoria, Enzo and Enzos parents helped carry what Sophie made to the meadow. Charles saw her and ran up to get another kiss. “Are you staying here now?” He asked very hopefully. “No I thought I’d help Helen.”

“Aw ok.”

“Victoria & Enzo why don’t you two stay here and do what you can to help. I’ll be back if Helen doesn’t need anything.” Sophie & Enzos parents walked to Helens. She was almost done so they were back in no time. As Philip and his wife were getting ready to go Lucious said “can I come?”

“Only if you promise not to speak to or even look at Sophie. You’d be wise to stay away from Charles too.”

“I’ll be good, I dont want to stay in here.”

Charles helped the men set out the long tables and wipe them down. Sophie was back and carrying an arm full of linen. Helen made new table cloths every year for the celebration. This time they were a deep blue embroidered with wolves howling at the moon. She had used the most beautiful silver thread. Helen shooed Charles away when he tried to help put them on the tables. “You never get them straight.” She said. He lifted Thatcher on his shoulders and Sophie smiled at him. He loved that smile. She walked over and hugged him.

“Well everything’s ready. All we’re waiting for is for everyone to bring their food.” Sophie said. She spotted Philip, Becca and Lucious. She wasn’t happy he had come, but she didn’t have the heart to tell Philip to get rid of him.

“Is that him?” Charles asked.

“Don’t make a scene, just let it go please.”

“I would never ruin this night for anyone, but if he bothers you please tell me.”

“I will, I promise.”

Lucious saw Sophie glaring at him and standing next to her was a tall, broad shouldered man with shoulder length hair. He guessed this was her husband. He didn’t see anything special about the man. He was probably more of a brute with no brains anyway. He would have to find a way to get Sophie away from her husband. He needed to pay her back for shocking him. He looked away and followed Philip. He would find a way.

Chapter Two

Everybody came and was having a great time. This night was always a happy time no matter what was going on. Charles looked over at Enzo and Victoria. They looked so happy and like they were having a good time. He was glad that if his daughter was going to like anybody that it was Enzo. Remembering him and Sophie when they were kids he could tell Enzo felt the same Lucious had been staring at Sophie and it didn’t go unnoticed by Charles. He was trying to keep calm though to not ruin the evening.

Sophie loved him so all that man could do is look. Helen came up to Sophie upset as she was dancing with Thatcher “I left stuff for the fireworks at home. I was in charge of half of them.”

“I’ll help you get it.” She set Thatcher down and walked off with Helen. Lucious noticed them leave and followed. Charles had gotten distracted talking to his friends so he didn’t notice Lucious had followed the girls. When they were almost to Helens he ran up to them and scared Helen. He said “You didn’t have to shock me earlier.” Sophie grunted “Well you obviously weren’t understanding I had a husband and didn’t want to have sex with you.” Helen looked shocked “How could you talk so disrespectfully to Sophie! Her and her husband do a lot for this village and it’s sickening regardless to propose a married woman.”

“Shut up I’m talking to Sophie.” Suddenly they heard a loud roar above the village. Everything went silent as the people at the party saw somthing big coming in the distance and a dragon overhead.  The beast walking was huge. It had horns on it’s shoulders and multiple rows of teeth. Each hand had long sharpened claws. The elders and healers started running children into their homes. All the magicians and swordsmen readied themselves. Charles looked around for his wife but didn’t see her.

Helen took off back to the meadow and when Sophie tried to follow Lucious grabbed her arm. “Let me go or I’ll do a lot worse than shock you.” She snapped.

He pulled her back and held her against him. He tried kissing her and she jerked her head away. “Come on, that husband of yours can give you what you want. I can. Give me a kiss, Sophie.” He gripped her hair and forced her to kiss him. She struggled against him then bit him hard so he jerked back. He slapped her and she screamed. They heard growling and both looked over to see Sjena standing there, his hair standing on end. His teeth were bared and he had a crazed look in his eyes. Lucious threw her down and pulled out the small dagger he had at his belt. Sophie ran and grabbed the fireworks then headed toward the meadow. She didn’t want to leave Sjena alone with this man, but she had no choice. She had to help the others.

The dragon closed in on Charles and the others. The magicians threw spells at the beast while the warriors attacked, stabbing and slashing. They barely made a mark on the dragon’s hide. It spit fire and they all jumped and rolled put of the way or threw up barriers to shield themselves. Charles had not seen a dragon like this in years. He rushed the monster and its tail whipped out catching him across the chest and propelling him backward. He heard screaming and saw that the dragon had grabbed Victoria and Thatcher. They must have come back. He was on his feet in an instant. Sophie came running holding the fireworks. She screamed at him to distract the dragon for her.

Sophie grabbed some rope and tied the fireworks together. She knew the dragon had her children but she couldn’t let herself panic. She called on the wind so they were pushed up into the air. She shot fire at the fuses and screamed at the dragon. It turned its gaze on her, opening its large mouth to breath fire. She pushed the fireworks at it so they flew into his mouth and exploded. It released her children and she used wind to stop them from hitting the ground. The dragon roared and then fell to the ground, smoke pouring out of its mouth. She ran to her children and wrapped them in a hug. Charles was right there and held them all. She suddenly remembered Sjena and told Charles to stay with the kids as she ran.

He wanted to follow but the monster that had been walking in the distance under the dragon was almost upon them. The healers had come back trying to save all the wounded. Victoria had come back because Enzo wasn’t with the other children. Thatcher came because he was always with his sister. Enzo layed on the ground burnt as a healer was helping him. “Is Enzo going to be ok?” She said with a few tears. “Victoria, you’re too pretty to cry and I’m fine. I wanted to help so i stayed. I’m getting really good at my magic.” He held her hand ot comfort her.

The healer told them to go with the others and they ran off together. Sophie was almost back to where Lucious attacked her and she saw them both laying on the ground covered in blood. They were both dead. Sophie cried “No, no Sjena please wake up. You can’t be dead! Not because of this man!” A healer saw Sophie and ran up “What happend?”

“Lucious was forcing me to kiss him and Sjena saw it and tried to portect me. He killed my Sjena, That bastard killed him.

“Atleast Sjena took him down aswell.” She held Sophie trying to comfort her.

Charles faced down the monster. It swung at him and he jumped on its arm, slicing with his sword. It grabbed him with its other hand and squeezed him. The magicians shot fire and ice at it, trying to get it to let go of him. None of them had the power too stop it. One of the elders ordered someone to get Sophie. Charles tried managed to get one arm free along with his dagger. He stabbed the monster over and over and it only squeezed him harder. He was sure one of his ribs snapped.

Sophie rocked back and forth as she cradled Sjena and cried. She couldn’t believe the wolf was gone. She wished this was all a dream and that soon she would wake up and Sjena would be whining to be let out. The kids would be devastated, Charles would be heartbroken. She heard someone screaming her name and she looked up to see a young man running toward her. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

“The monster is killing Charles, you have to hurry.” He said.

She kissed Sjena on the top of his head and lay him down. She ran as fast as she could back to the meadow. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw her husband in the grasp of the hideous beast. She felt so angry, so upset. She let that rage move through her, giving her strength. She called fire, pulling it from the air. She charged the ball forming in front of her with lightening. She threw it at the monster and it slammed into its chest, knocking it back and forcing it to drop Charles. One of the healers ran to him and dragged him away. The creature got back up and Sophie actually grabbed Charles’s sword. She held it up, drawing lightening down into it. The beast roared and swiped at her. She sliced its arm off and buried the blade in its chest. She shoved it back with a burst of wind so it wouldn’t fall on her. She dropped to her hands and knees, to weak to stand.

His sword was much heavier than he made it look plus her sadness, anger and all the energy it takes to do magic like that. The beast was dead and they all looked at her in amazement. Philip came over to help her stand “Would you like me to carry you to your husband Sophie?”

“Yes please” He lifted her “This is ok right? You’re not uncomfortable.” She let out a slight laugh “I promise you I’d tell you if you did somthing wrong now take me to Charles please” He set off with her and the rest of the villagers started tending the wounded. They’d clean up when they knew everybody was ok. Philip took Sophie to Charles who was having his bones mended. He was clenching his teeth. Philip said “You’d be so proud fo your wife. She finished taking it down on her own.”

Philips wife came and was obviously paniced. She waved at him to come over. She leaned against him whispering in his ear “Some of the children are missing. The children that were left said trolls came and took the away into the woods.” Philip sighed and got angry. he knew all the years of peace were too good to be true. He didn’t understand why tonight everything had to go crazy. What was with this big attack on their little village. Charles and Sophie were the go to people for stuff like this but they were both so worn.

Sophie let Charles rest his head in her lap while she stroked his hair. She couldn’t tell him about Sjena yet. She wanted to wait until he was better. Philip came over and told them that some if the children were missing and that Victoria, Enzo, and Thatcher had been among them. “We will get them back.” Charles said and sat up when the healer finished.

“You should stay here love in case something else goes wrong.” Sophie said softly. “Besides I need you to do something for me.”

“What?”

“Build a pyre and give Sjena a warriors burial.”

He looked at her in shocked disbelief. Tears slipped down his cheeks. “I can’t let you go alone.” He said.

“I won’t be, I’ll take a couple if the warriors and magicians with me. Please stay and protect out home.” She wiped his face and kissed him. “I’ll get them back.” She ran off to gather supplies. She quickly packed a bag and slung it over her shoulder. Philip insisted on coming and had asked a few others to join them.

“I have to do this for your family, please let me go.” He said.

“Alright, we have to go now.” They went in the direction the trolls had ran off with the children in. They had left a nice trail as they crashed through the woods. Even though she was exhausted she still managed to keep pace with the men. They kept looking at her and whispering. She knew they were concerned. Philip finally offered to carry her and she politely turned him down. She reassured him she was fine.

She had too much adrenaline pumping to be carried. Too much had gone on this evening and she was getting her babies back along with everyone elses children. As they ran she felt like they’d never catch up. She assured herself trolls weren’t very fast creatures so even if they were running with the children they’d catch up. They could finally hear little screams and Sophie sped up. The men doing the same.

The trolls noticed them and the only two not holding children stopped so the ones holding children could keep going. In a heavily wooded forest it was dangerous to use fire even though it worked best on trolls. Lightning couldn’t come from the sky with how dense it was so she’d have to actually be touching them and let it surge through her like she did when that pig grabbed onto her. The men got scared when she ran directly up to one and touched it but in the very next moment it was laying on the ground. It was a bit blackened from all the electricity.

Philip and Bernard atacked the other taking it down easily and they began running again. Sophie was mad at herself for over killing the beast. She was just so angry and it was in her way of getting back her babies. She also was in knots about having to explain to her husband why Sjena was even fighting with Lucious. Tonight was a real test of her strength and she was determined not to let anybody down.

Charles lifted Sjena into his arms. The poor wolf had stab wounds all over its side. There was a man laying next to him. Charles used the tip of his boot to roll the man’s head so he could see who it was. Anger washed through him when he saw it was Lucious. Sjena had defended his family with all the strength he had left. He carried the dog into the woods and lay him down. He made a clearing then built a pyre. He lay the wolf gently on top of the wood and gave him one last scratch on his large greyed head. He set a fire and sat there watching it burn. He mourned the death of his companion. A loud howling filled the forest, the sound of mourning wolves.

Sophie caught up with the other trolls. She was afraid to use electricity while the troll held the children so she kicked it in the back of the knee. It dropped to one knee and the men were on top of it. Philip passed her and attacked the last troll. She found her children and Enzo and looked them over. They had a few scratches and bruises, but other than that they looked fine.

They all hugged her and the men managed to get the other trolls to drop the kids. “Sophie run home with them! We can take care of these.” She nodded and told the kids to run as fast as they could. She didn’t want anything else to attack. The trip back didn’t feel half as long as trying to reach her little ones. They had to quit running before they got back to the village because the children couldn’t do it any longer.

When they reached home they seemed to get a second wind and ran to find their mothers. Sophie hadn’t noticed it before but when she turned to Enzo and Victoria they were holding hands. She smiled and the two children blushed. Thatcher asked to get on his mothers back so she knelt down so he could climb on. “Lets find your parents Enzo.” They found them sitting in the grass. Enzos mom was crying. When she saw her little boy walking twords her she cried harder and excitedly hugged him “Thank you Sophie, this is the second time in his life you’ve saved him.”

“It’s not a problem. Thatcher lets go find your daddy. Sophie you can stay with them if you want.” She knew her daughter would probably want to stay with Enzo. Thatcher giggled as they walked away “Enzo and Victoria are really crushing hard on eachother.”

“I can see that. Maybe I can get his parents to move here so they don’t have to live so far apart.”

“That would be awesome. He’s a fun friend.”

Sophie asked where Charles had gone and one of the healers pointed out the smoke rising out of the forest. She ran quickly into the woods, finding a very distraught Charles. She put Thatcher down and he ran over to his dad and hugged him. Sophie dropped down in front of him and wrapped her arms around his neck. “What’s wrong daddy?” Thatcher asked.

“We’ll talk about it later little man.” He said and squeezed his son’s arm. “Where’s Victoria?”

“With Enzo and his parents. She’ll be fine.” Sophie said and wiped the tears off of his cheeks.

“We should go home, I’m tired.”

“Okay sweety.”

Charles lifted Thatcher in his arms and settled him on his hip so he could hold Sophie’s hand. It had been a rough day. The sun had already set. When Victoria saw them she ran to Charles and he stooped down to hug her. He hated he would have to tell them Sjena was gone. They went home and Sophie wiped the kids down before putting them to bed. Charles carried her to their room and sat her on the bed. He crawled in next to her and wrapped his arm around her waist. They fell asleep quickly. The next morning they woke to someone banging on their door. They both rushed down the stairs and Charles pulled the door open and glared. It was Philip and he took a step back.

“Sorry, I know it’s early, but I have something for you.” He had a blanket in his arms and unwrapped it. Inside, sleeping peacefully was a little wolf pup. “I found her while we were cleaning up the meadow. Her mother died and I thought that since Lucious had killed Sjena, you two might want her. I’m so sorry about that. Everyone loved that hound.” Sophie held out her arms and Philip handed her the pup.

“Thank you so much Philip.” Charles said and smiled.

They went back inside and sat with the pup. Sophie said “What should we name her?”

“We should probably let the kids name this one when they wake up.” She looked at Charles who still looked so worn down and depressed. They took the pup upstairs and laid it on a blanket by the foot of the bed. She grabbed her husbands hand making him get on the bed. He layed down and she layed on top of him stroking his face. He pulled her down to kiss him. He did it really quickly and hard. When he let her go he said “Sorry, I needed it so badly. Your kiss makes everything easier. He pulled her into him and held her tightly.

Charles started crying again “I don’t think you know how much I need you Sophie. Last night was terrible. An attack on our village hasn’t happend in so long and I was terrified for you and our children. When you had to leave without me I couldn’t stand it. Even with my men around you I was afraid somthing would happen and you’d be gone. I’ve needed you since the first time I layed eyes on you. It was a dream come true when I asked you to marry me and you accepted.” He continued to speak but she couldn’t understand any more because he was crying so badly. She cried a little too. His words were so sweet.

She hugged him, only stopping to rub his head every now and then. The could hear the kids get up but he didn’t release her. “Come on Charles lets show them the new pup. They’ll be so happy.” He sat up still holding onto her. She kissed him and he kissed back. She felt so much love in it. She had no idea why he loved her so much but she was glad because nothing made her happier than him. When the kiss stopped he let her go get the children.

Victoria and Thatcher bawled when they told them Senja had died. Charles and Sophie held their kids and comforted them. After they stopped crying Charles went upstairs and brout the new puppy down. Their eyes lit up and they rubbed the little pup’s head. “What do you guys want to name her?” Sophie asked.

“How about Grá?” Victoria said.

“I like that, it’s beautiful.” Thatcher said with a smile.

“That’s a different name.” Charles laughed.

“Enzo says it means love. He said his parents put it on his grandma’s headstone.”

“Grá it is then.” Charles sat the puppy down on the floor and the kids played with her. She was a wiley little thing. They watched the kids and thought about how crazy it was they had been given such a gift after losing Sjena. They thought the old wolf would like the pup. Sophie took Charles and washed them both down then pulled on clean clothes. She made breakfast while Charles sat on the floor with the kids and played with Grá. He looked like he was feeling a little happier. She was just as heartbroken, but she wanted to be strong for him. He and Sjena had been so close, like brothers. They had hunted and played together even though Charles had not been sure aout the wolf at first. She smiled as she remembered all the amazing times they had and how Sjena helped Charles rescue her. She called them all to the table and the kids came running with the pup on their heels.

Gra came up to Sophie rubbing her head on Sophies leg. She smiled and rubbed her little head. They all ate breakfast and soon the room became light and happy. When they were done Sophie got up and said I want to find Enzos parents and ask them about something. She got up and left to look for them. She found out they spent the night at Helens. They welcomed her in and they thought it was a wonderful idea for them to live there. Enzos eyes lit up when they said they would move.

She went back home. Charles asked “what did you need to talk to them about?”

“They are going to move here so our children can hangout together more.” She winked at Charles.

~The End~

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