Jase jerked up with a scream that startled Humble into wakefulness. She pushed herself onto her knees when she saw his horrified gaze locked on the opposite wall. He hands framed his face and she forced him to look at her. “Jase, what’s wrong? What did you see?” He didn’t seem to see her at first, but his vision soon cleared and he gasped. “Jase?”
“Blood, so much it coated every surface, stained my hands. I heard their screams, his wails of pain as he watched them dying and he was saved for last.” He said, voice quavering, tears filling his eyes.
“Chthon and his family.”
“What? Are you sure?”
“A party to celebrate a new baby, beautiful pink ribbons, everyone so happy and then the door is broken down, they come in wielding powerful magic, those who fight fall first then he is restrained, his magic locked away by this darkness. They make him watch as they kill the women and children, Ruth they save for last because she will cause the most suffering. He is injured and unable to move, he screams and they laugh. They leave him to bleed out and he reaches for her, but he can’t get to her.”
“We have to go now, we have to help them counter this magic.”
They were both up, dressing quickly and not bothering to grab anything else. “Who comes for them?”
“Demon hunters with a woman hell bent on revenge. She was jealous of him, she did something that made him very angry, something to do with Ruth. Now she has learned more, more evil and she is returning with men who hunt demon kind.”
They hastily ran out of their home, traveling to Chthons world. When they hit the ground in his world they still spared no time. They continued running, they couldn’t afford to even be a second too late. This was Chthons family, one she nor Jase could stand to be wiped out. When they arrived at Chthons door Jase knocked urgently and Chthon himself quickly answered, letting them in. “You two seem frightened? What’s wrong?” Jase explained the dream and began to describe every detail of the women he saw in hopes Chthon would be able to remember her clearly. Chthon had lived so long at this point he knew it might be hard for him to remember a specific woman.
Chthon crossed his arms. “There is only one I can think of, she stayed here for a bit, but Ruth and I tossed her out when she switched bodies with her.”
“Switched bodies?” Jase said.
“With magic. She was jealous of Ruth and tried to keep her locked away. She wasn’t as smart as she thought she was.”
“Well she’s seeking revenge and she wants you to suffer. Who is pregnant in this castle? I saw a celebration.”
“Ava, she’s due soon.”
“The woman and the hunters come afterwards. I do not wish to distress her, but we need to move everyone who can’t fight to a safe place.” Jase fell silent for a moment and looked as if he was listening. “Her mate, Assaku must stay with her.”
“Come with me to talk to them. Assaku will understand. He knows well the times Humble has helped this family. We all know what you or Humble say must be followed in every detail. With you two here we know we have nothing to fear as long as he listen to your every word and obey your commands.” With Ava due soon she had been staying in the castle so even if she went into labor early everybody could be there. Chthon guided Jase and Humble to her room and knocked on the door. When Ava answered she could feel something was wrong “You two have bad news?” She was asking Jase, the new bearer of Humbles gift. “I’m sorry, I hate to upset a pregnant woman but we must talk to you two about what I saw”
“No, don’t be sorry, thank you for coming with the warning”
“The castle is going to be attacked and we’re going to be moving some of you for safety’s sake. You and Assaku must both go.”
“I can’t help?” Assaku asked as he hugged Ava from behind.
“Ava going into labor during the fight distracts you so you must stay with her.”
“I understand, I won’t argue when it comes to Ava and our child.”
“I know it’s not easy being told not to fight, but I appreciate you listening.”
“Who else will be leaving?” Chthon asked.
“Those who have no magical ability, Ruth must also go so as not to distract you, those women and men who are not good at fighting. I know magic runs strong in many here, but it will be easier if they leave.”
They had everyone who needed to leave gather outside, just infront of Chthon’s castle. Assaku carried Ava, not wanting his pregnant mate to push herself. They decided it was best if they all went to Bishin and Olivias. It was far away and it would be with someone they all knew well. Chthon wanted to take them but Ruth knew the way and Jase told Chthon he needed to start preparing with the people who were staying. Chthon gave Ruth a long kiss. “Go straight there baby and don’t come back until I come for you”
“Be safe Chthon, I need you, our children and grandchildren need you” He hugged her, needing more contact. He wasn’t used to being without his Ruth. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had been separated from her for more than an hour or two. Chthon stood outside until his family was long gone then went back in to prepare for the attack.
“Aurel, you’ve learned about chemical weapons, would you mind mixing something up?”
“Not at all, I have some new concoctions I would like to try out.”
“The ball room will be our battle ground, Aurel’s concoctions will slow them.” He let his mind work on forming a good plan of attack. “Pagos and Ilios, I want you two hiding above the front door with Mikhail and Konstantin. once our enemy is completely inside, I want you to ambush them and drive them forward into the ball room. Pagos, you and your brother use your steam to hide your presence.”
“Yes sir.” His boys said.
“I want to bottle neck them in the ballroom doorway so it’s harder for them to fight.”
“I will use my magic to counteract that woman’s.” Humble said.
“Delphine.” Jase said. “That’s her name.”
Chthon clenched his fists and growled. If she was a random female or maybe even an ex it wouldn’t piss him off so bad but he adn his wife had saved her from being a sex slave. They bled and fought for her, welcomed her into their castle to stay until she could find somewhere to live and not only does she try to switch bodies with his beloved to be in a relationship with him she comes back all this time later to murder him and his family. He shouldn’t have let her go, she should have never been allowed to live. This time he wouldn’t make that mistake. He obviously had to kill her to keep his family safe.
Ruth and the others hurried across the dessert. Aasaku hated how worried both Ruth and Ava looked. Though he could understand. Their all powerful Chthon Aponte had actually for the first time died in a vision. They always believed he’d pull through anything but in this situation they were terrified that Jase’s vision might still come true and they’d lose him.
Chthon and the others checked and double checked their traps, making sure every door was covered so no one would escape. He wanted them all dead. “How long until they get here?” Chthon asked Jase.
“It was during the celebration, a day after the baby was born. Ava will give birth soon.”
“I’m glad you made Ruth go with them, Assaku will be a mess.” He was trying to bring light into such a dark situation, but he felt a stirring of sadness that he himself might not make. “I need to know, will I die when they come?”
“No.” Jase said without hesitation.
“No or you don’t know?”
“No, you won’t because Humble and I won’t let you. I don’t think you understand how important you are, not just to those you have helped, not just to those who love you more than anything, but to those you will meet, to those only you can help. Your kindness and forgiveness, your drive to protect those weaker than yourself has created a ripple effect. You have to live.” He gave a small smile. “Plus Humble would be really upset if you all died and I can’t have that.”
Ava moaned loudly as Bishins came into view. Assaku looked down in alarm and Ruth said “we’re close Ava. Just keep the baby inside your womb until we’re at Bishins house” They hurried to his home, letting themselves in. “what’s wrong?” he asked quickly but looking at Ava, he had his answer. “Just put her on my bed. She should be comfortable” Assaku rushed her upstairs and laid Ava yelled for her grandmother. Ruth was almost instantly by her side “I’m here Ava”
“Oh god grandma, it already hurts so bad, How have you done this so many times” Ruth stroked her hair “You’ll forget all about this pain the second you’re looking at your baby” Ruth was proud of how well Assaku coached her granddaughter through and admired how sweet he was when he pulled their newborn baby out of her. He was looking at that child just like Chthon had looked at all of their own children.
“Look at her, Ava, she’s so beautiful.” Assaku gently handed their baby to her and Ava started crying as she held her child to her chest. Assaku took his place next to her, his fingers running softly through her hair. “Thank you so much, my love.” He kissed her cheek.
“I can’t believe she’s really here, my little angel.”
Jase saw a flash of the child in his mind, a little girl who would come to look much like her father. Images of her future flitted through his head and he even caught a glimpse of her future mate. “You seem far away my love.” Humble said as she took his hand. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, she was born not long ago, happy and healthy.”
“We should tell the others.”
“After this, we should talk about children.”
“Seeing our future too?”
“I always see our future, it dances in your eyes, all the possibilities. I don’t need my gift to know.”
Humble smiled and kissed him. She felt so happy and humbled he had waited on her all those years ago. Jase was a good man and he’d make a good father. When they told everyone the news it was unsurprising that Lucy cried. Zeus even seemed extremely happy but he was a much more loving person in this second chance at life he had been given. He had always been loving towards Lucy but if you hadn’t known the family as long as she had you would have no idea that in his first life he had not loved his children and had even often been jealous of them when Lucy would spend time with them. The change in his heart in this life had shown through brightly in how they had raised their children this time.
Madhava, Matalia, & Moses were such wonderful people. Even with Lispin, Zeus’s child with Cynthia. Once he became part of the family Zeus was warm and friendly, often doing things just them two to make him feel special. Zeus and Lucy had gone through so much and they had come out better because of it. HUmble and Jase had talked about what Zeus’s life could have been if Lucy hadn’t stumbled into his life. She had made such a huge impact when she chose to love him and when she chose to stand by him no matter how hard it was to do so. Though many people made huge impacts on the future without even realizing it. It was absolutely true that nearly no action is without an impact on the world around you.
“They’ll be here tomorrow when the celebration was supposed to be.” Jase explained.
“But instead of streamers, they’ll be getting acid bombs.” Aurel said as he lifted one of the glass orbs off the single table. They were meant to burst on impact and cover the enemy in a highly corrosive substance. “Just don’t squeeze them too hard.”
“We’ve put our own blessings and spells on the castle.” Humble added. “They should counter act the magic she uses to take your power.” She placed a hand on Chthon’s shoulder. “No matter what she does, you must not hesitate to kill her.”
“I swear she will not be getting another chance. She forfeit her life the moment she decided to target my loved ones a second time.”
“None of the hunters with her will surrender either, they’ve trained to hunt demons. There can be no mercy this time around.”
“We understand, no holding back.”
Jase went to his and Humbles room to try and see different outcomes so that if there was a better way to do things he could let them know. Meanwhile Chthon and everyone else who remained in the castle did all they could to prepare for the battle tomorrow. “Chthon” Humble interrupted as he talked to one of his friends. “yes?”
“rest a little, none have worked near as hard as you”
“How can I rest?”
“Rest for Ruth, you know she’d tell you to if she were here Chthon”
“My family, I need them’
“so rest so you’re at your best self tomorrow Chthon”
“Oh, I will be. I am going to actually be me and rip Delphine apart” Humble knew what he meant. He wasn’t going to hide behind the pretty human disguise he normally wore. He was going to be in his true form and be the demon he kept so tame. Chthon said goodnight then went to his room. He really did try to sleep but his seething anger that she’d come back kept him awake. People could be forgiven for a lot of things but not for hurting his family and if you were lucky enough to get a second chance you were not getting three.
He fell asleep in the early morning hours and dreams of Ruth kept him company. He was woke by someone knocking on his door and he sat up as Jase pushed the door open. “What time is it?” He asked as he stood.
“Ten, they’ll be here at noon. I thought you might wish to eat beforehand.”
“Humble told you to make me.”
Jase smiled. “She’s always looking out for the health of those she cares about.” They headed downstairs and Chthon was happy to see everyone getting into position. Lucy handed him his plate and he sat down and quickly ate. When he was done, he hurriedly carried his plate to the kitchen then did a final walk of his home.
At Bishin’s house in the dessert Ava sat down on Ruths bed, waking her grandmother who had been up and down all night, unable to sleep with her mate and her family in danger “Grandma?”
“yeah? Is the baby okay? Do you need help?”
“She’s fine, Assaku has her. He loves that little girl so much already” Ruth sat up and made a small attempt to straighten her hair. She pulled her granddaughter into her arms “Your parents and grandpa and everyone else will be okay baby”
“says the woman who didn’t sleep much last night. Assaku and I heard you”
“I can’t help it. I have faith in their abilities but…it’s hard. Chthon will be so happy when he gets back and gets to meet the newest addition to the family”
“I can’t wait to show everyone”
“How’re you feeling?”
“Okay I guess, I still hurt but I’m assuming that’s normal”
“Yeah, at least you’re a demon. You’ll be good as new tomorrow if not tonight”
“That little girl is worth any amount of pain. She’s so beautiful grandma”
“see, I told you, once you have the baby the pain doesn’t matter to you anymore. You can handle anything”
“We decided to name her after Assaku’s mother.”
“What is it?”
“Promise not to tell anyone else until we have everyone together.”
“It’s beautiful sweetie.”
“I really like it too. It fits her so perfectly.”
Around noon, Chthon and the others were waiting and ready. He could hear the front door being broken open, the splintering of wood loud in the silence. Footsteps sounded on the stone floor of the entrance and he shifted to his true form, letting his human appearance melt away. The others did the same and they waited. Steam began to seep beneath the ballroom door and he knew his boys were doing their part. There was the sound of confusion and screams and the ballroom door burst open as hunters, lead by Delphine, pushed their way in.
Chthon charged directly at Delphine. He was lost in his fury, almost feeling eager to kill her. He had never been one that enjoyed killing but today it might just be a first. Delphine was surprised to see Chthon once again in this form. When she lived with them after he and Ruth offered their home he had learned fast Chthon didn’t like this form. He hated not being the good looking human man he could make himself into with just a whim. He was so powerful it barely took effort at all to switch back and forth. She enjoyed knowing he was this pissed though, getting pissed meant he was scared and she still felt he should be. If she couldn’t have him she would make sure nobody else could and wipe out the family he had built with that pathetic Ruth woman from the nearby village.
Chthon could feel her magic moving over his skin, but Humble and Jase’s blessing held against it, rendering them useless. Delphine must have realized her plan was failing because she desperately started casting magic at him then screamed for the hunters when nothing seemed to effect Chthon. Those who tried to intercede were killed in an instant, not even having time to raise their weapons before their blood was spraying through the air. His fingers slipped around her throat and her eyes widened in terror. “Please, I’m sorr…” He snapped her neck before another world left her lips and let her body drop to the floor. He turned to help his family with the remaining hunters, trying to keep the carnage contained in one room. He was shaking when the last of them fell and he had to breathe through the red haze.
“Any injured?” He finally managed to ask.
“Just scratches.” Aurel answered.
“Good.” Chthon was tired. He knew he shouldn’t be, he had more strength and stamina than that, but between worrying about his family and preparing for an attack, he was ready to get Ruth home and rest. He knew he couldn’t yet, he wasn’t going to let his loved ones come home to blood and death. They needed to make repairs as well as prepare a party for the new baby.
“we need to clean. If any of you aren’t up to it that’s okay but I will start now” Jase rested a hand on Chthon “are you sure you don’t need another moment?”
“I need Ruth and I need to see my new grandbaby but I can’t go and bring them home with the place like this.” Humble knew he wouldn’t be talked into sitting down so they all began cleaning so the others could come home. Once everything was back as it was Chthon, Jase and Humble left to see the others at Bishin’s. Chthon hadn’t changed back to his normal form but he was still so charged with emotion they didn’t bring it up. It wasn’t like it mattered, Ruth loved him, this way and the way he liked to be.
Ruth startled near everyone in the room when she jumped up suddenly and started running for the door “He’s coming” Her voice was pure excitement and joy. When Chthon saw Ruth running he took off aswell “Those two” Humble said sweetly. “They are a sweet couple. I know nobody ships them harder than you my sweet Humble” Humble laughed. “what?”
“People in our world don’t use that term baby”
“so?” Jase said and Humble shook her head. Chthon lifted Ruth into a tight hug “Chthon” Ruth said as she clung to him. “Oh my Ruth”
“I missed you.” She said as she pulled back and kissed him. Her touch calmed him and he was able to revert back to his human form.
“How I love you.” He said softly.
“I love you too, so much.” She gave him another kiss then turned to Jase and Humble as they joined them, giving them both tight hugs. “Thank you for watching over them.”
“You’re family, you never have to thank us.” Humble said with a warm smile. “You should take Chthon to see that baby, I’m sure he’d like to see something wonderful after what we went through.”
“You two come as well.”
“We’re right behind you.” Jase took Humble’s hand, pulling her to him and leaning down to kiss her. Now that everything was back to normal, he wanted to stay close to her. “What was that for?” She asked.
“I just needed it, it feels like we prepared for a years worth of battles.”
“My sweet mate, you bear such a troubling gift.” She rested her hand against his cheek and he grabbed it, holding it there.
“It’s no trouble when I can have you in return.” He turned his head, pressing a kiss to her palm. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
He laced their fingers and they started toward the house. “Besides, it’s not all bad, I saw the baby’s future and it’s going to be amazing. I even saw her mate and he’s definitely going to need her.”
Humble laughed happily “The Aponte’s are a wonderful group” They hungout at Bishins for the remainder of that day then Jase and Humble followed Chthon and his family back to Chthons castle where they stayed to celebrate Pele’s life. When the two were ready to leave, as always, nobody wanted to see them go but they all knew they had to. Humble and Jase probably did the most important work in the universe and it would be beyond selfish to keep them there. “we should visit my daughter soon” Humble suggested as they walked home “sounds good to me but first, I’d like a little time at home with you. Is that selfish?”
“No baby, it’s fine, she’s been so happy with her mate I know she’s not worried about me”
“Of course she is”
“It’s both young and new love baby”
“so, you are too amazing not to think about” Humble laughed, actually blushing a little.
Jase was happy when they finally made it home and scooped Humble up, making her laugh as he carried her inside and straight their room. “We need to bathe baby.” She said as he laid her down and pulled her boots off.
“Later, let me have you, please.”
“It’s not fair when you pout.”
“I can’t help it, I need you more than life.” He slowly undressed her, letting his fingers and lips trace her body. He couldn’t help but take his time with her, wanting to make up for every moment they were apart. He pushed into her quivering heat and settled into a slow pace. He wanted her to know with every touch how much she meant to him. Humble clung tightly to him, her loud moans mingling with his as he brought her to another earth shattering orgasm before allowing himself his release. He kissed her, pouring all his love and adoration into it and she felt herself tearing up. “I love you, Humble.”
“I love you too.”
They laid there a few moments, wrapped in eachothers warmth. When Jase could finally force himself to get up he ran them a bath, having her sit in front of him when they got in so he could hold her again “You are the sweetest Jase” He kissed the back of her head “always for you” They talked happily about their lives and visiting her daughter. Humble loved times like these. The times when they were just mates enjoying a normal life together. She was happy the two of them could do so much good for the world but sometimes it was nice just to be them.
~ The End