Leola cried into Acels arms. They had been living such a happy life in the new world they had run away to to be together. They had raised children, made friends and all but forgot the world they were from but now it was all over, they had to remember. Apparently soon after she ran away with Acel her parents were so furious at being embarrassed they had sent an assassin after her. They’d rather her be dead since she wouldn’t listen and marry the man she was matched to. It was mostly their pride and she knew that. They had never loved eachother and because of that they had never loved her. Their pride was truly all they had and she had wounded that pride by choosing to run away.
Acel had managed to kill the man to protect his wife but his dyeing words were “more will come, your parents…I’ve never seen so much resolve to have two people killed. While she had always been aware they had never been able to love her it still hurt all the same and she didn’t know what to do. The only thing she had to be happy for in this moment was that her kids had long since been grown and living their own lives. They hadn’t been here for some stranger to break in and try to kill them too.
“It’s going to be okay, Leola, I promise.” Acel said gently as he rubbed her back.
“H…how, they…they won’t stop. Why? Why?” She choked on her tears and he squeezed her to him.
“I’ll keep you safe no matter what, trust in that.” He leaned back, his hands framing her face. “I love you and nothing can take you from me.”
Acel held her tenderly in his arms as her tears continued to dampen his shirt. He didn’t know what to say to make this better because he didn’t know if this was over. He couldn’t imagine there was a way for them to know this man had died but what if they had already sent more after them. It had been so many years since they left that world. It made him question how many men it had taken being sent before one found them. He also wondered how they could be this ridiculous. Were they honestly THAT bitter that they couldn’t control who their daughter married?
“Come on baby, we need to gather some things and speak to the authorities.”
“What will they do? What if they send me back?”
“They won’t, we have a lot of friends here now. Maybe they can give us a safer place to stay.”
“But my parents will send the best and I’m sure Nester is in on it.”
He tucked some hair behind her ear and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I know baby, but we can’t sit here. If we do, we’ll be easy to find, but if we get help and get out of here, then we’ll have more time. I know you’re scared, I am too, but we can’t sit here.”
She nodded, wiping at her face. “I know, I know, I hate them so much. Why can’t they just let me be happy? They put me through so much because they hate each other and hate me.”
“They are mad because they can’t. We’ve lived amazing lives here. Our children grew up so happy and are now people I’m proud of. We’ll handle this with the help of the authorities here ten go right back to the life we’ve made for ourselves”
“I know we need to let our children know but can you call them? I…I don’t know if I can”
“I’ll talk to them after we deal with the police” The police were soon over collecting evidence of the attack and took long statements from each of them. “so you guys are fine with us temporarily moving you?”
“Yes, we’d like that”
“Good, I’ll make sure an officer stays with you at all times too. I know you’re magic is strong but I’d feel better with an officer. This kind of shit doesn’t fly here. What kind of bull is that, they don’t want you with Acel because he;s not attractive. God, I sure as hell wouldn’t have my wife in a world like that. You two get what you want and need from here and I’ll escort you to a safe place to wait this out”
“Are you sure it won’t be trouble? I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” Leola said.
“It’s our duty to protect, we’re not afraid of your parents or anyone they send our way, trust us.”
She nodded and Acel thanked him before moving her to their bedroom to begin packing. “You should call the kids, let me pack.”
“Will you be okay alone?”
“Yeah, I’ll yell if I need help.”
“Okay baby, I’ll be back in a moment.” He kissed her then left to contact their children.
Leola took a deep, shaky breath, doing her best not to cry again. She grabbed their suitcase and opened it up on the bed then pulled open their drawers and started removing clothes. She wasn’t sure how much they would need or even how long they would be gone, but she tried not to pack too much. If they had to run again, then she wanted their case to be light.
It was taking her so long to pick and choose Acel was off the phone with the kids and in the room with her before she was done “they want to see us before we are moved. The officer already said we can stop by both their houses.”
“Okay, I think a hug from each of them will help ease me a bit” When the bag was packed and they were back with the officer she asked “will it put them in danger to drop by?”
“I doubt they know you have kids. You don’t keep pictures on your walls and they have long since moved out so even if he was watching you guys a bit, if he saw your kids he might have thought they were friends unless you spend a lot of time talking outside. We’ve searched your house for bugs and we can’t find any”
“Okay, I just wanted to be sure”
“If we even think someone is watching them, we’ll have officers pick them up.”
They were loaded into a police cruiser and Leola stared at their house as they drove away. “We’ll be back.” Acel said as he pulled her into his arms.
“How do you know?”
“Because I’m not giving up our life here. If your parents think they’re going to get their way then they’re mistaken and if I have to go back to that place and tell them to their faces then I will.”
She hugged him tighter. “Please don’t, they’d kill you in an instant.”
“I was just saying, I would do anything to show them they won’t win.”
“I know, you’re the most amazing man in the universe. If they had any love for me they’d be happy I’m with you” Acel kissed her head and continued to hold her until they reached their daughters house. They spent a brief amount of time with her and then their two sons before heading to the safe house. They were guided inside and shown around. The officer staying with them said “I’ll be here but don’t mind me. Just be together as normal as you can be” Leola sighed “I just don’t know if this is going to help. I mean do we wait here forever? I mean it’s been so many decades since we ran, we’ve had children who are grown and living their own lives. It took an assassin that long to find us.”
“He could have sent word back of where you were before attacking so they might be able to easily send another”
So how do we stop them?”
“The safe house is like a bottleneck. I’m in here and there are other officers watching the perimeter, some of them discreetly. If another assassin comes, we close in on him and capture him, hopefully we’ll be able to find out how they stay in contact with him or if they have a designated period of time before sending another. All I ask is if you need to exit the house, you take me with you.”
“We understand.” Acel said. He lifted Leola into his arms and took her to their room, keeping her in his arms as he sat down. “How are you feeling baby?”
“Terrified, sick to my stomach.” She sighed. “I just wish they would understand. My father wanted to be with my aunt, I think he even loved her at one point, maybe he still does and that’s why my mom dislikes him. I wish he could see how insane this all is.”
“Bitterness will do terrible things to a person. Maybe once upon a time he was like us, but he didn’t stand up for what he wanted, he just let it go.”
“I wish I could feel bad for him, but how can I when he doesn’t care, when he made it a point to tell me how disappointing I was to my face. He even hit me, my own father.”
In truth he was just thinking of any way to make her feel better. It was his own fault for not standing up to be with his love like he had Leola. If he was jealous so what. Back to point one and on top of that people got jealous over things, it didn’t give you the right to try and kill your own daughter because you couldn’t force her to be miserable like you were. Her parents were both truly terrible, selfish people and no amount of their own givings in to peer pressure gave them any right to be such awful and bitter people, to treat their daughter the way they had growing up.
He didn’t pity them and he wouldn’t try any more to get her to since she obviously felt the same as him. Everyone has had bad things happen to them but we choose what we become. He held her close until she asked if they could shower “I don’t see why not.” he carried Leola into the bathroom, only setting her down to get the water adjusted.
Acel held her close once they were under the warm spray, letting his hands slide up and down her back, massaging tense muscles as a way to help her relax. He picked up the shampoo, squeezing some in his hand. He washed her hair, letting his fingers run over her scalp. She let out a little moan and he smiled, making her blush. “I can’t help it, you’re like magic.”
“There’s my girl, it’s good to see you again.”
She smiled and gave him a gentle kiss. “I really love you.”
“I love you too.” He let her rinse her hair then took his time washing her.
“Feeling better?” He asked once she was rinsed and he was washing himself.
“Yeah, thank you.”
When they were out and dry, they dressed then cuddled on the bed. Right now she just needed to be close to him, to feel his warmth and love. She needed to think of ways to keep her parents from hurting her family. She knew she couldn’t go back there, the very idea was terrifying. “Do you want me to make you something to eat?” Acel asked softly.
“I’m not really that hungry.”
“How about some fruit or we split a sandwich?”
“I guess see what they have here for sandwiches” Acel smiled before kissing her again and heading into the kitchen. While they were visiting their children they had another officer go grocery shopping so they’d have things to eat here. Acel easily found bread and found a variety of things for sandwiches inside. He decided to go with the premade chicken salad since Leola liked it so much. He was aware she just wanted to split a sandwich but he decided to make two just encase the thought of chicken salad enticed her hunger. If he only made one and split it he knew she wouldn’t have him go back in there and make another.
Once they were done he checked for soda which he also happily found. It wasn’t what either of them preferred but it wasn’t like they hated coke so it would do. “You made two” she pointed out when Acel walked in with the plate “yes but it was only just encase chicken salad made you want your own”
“Chicken salad” she said it with a little excitement which made him feel a little better.
“But if you’re really not hungry, I could eat both.”
“Don’t you dare.”
She took one of the halves and bit into it, making him smile. “See, I knew you were hungry, you can’t fool me.”
“Oh hush.” She wiped her mouth and kissed his cheek. “Thank you for being such an amazing husband, I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’m incredibly lucky.”
“I’m the lucky one. To have such a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate wife, I never thought I’d get the chance so I’m lucky and I plan on staying lucky.”
She smiled then let out a little sigh. “So what are we going to do if we can’t stop them?”
“Keep trying and if worse comes to worse, we get help and we go face them.”
“I’d hate for it to come to that. They are my parents no matter what they do or how cold they were but if it comes to that it comes to that and I wont hate you if you have to do anything to them to protect our family. I don’t want them ever trying to hurt our children in some sick way to punish us” he was glad to hear that because he would do anything it took to protect her and his children.
She ate an entire sandwich as he expected then he took the plate to the sink. The officer got up and Acel looked at him questioningly. “I’m going to wash that. I don’t have much to do so I may aswell. Comfort her, you both have been through a lot”
“if you two have any requests for food let us know. We’ll even run out for fast food”
“In the morning then can you grab her something from Gnaws. Its her favorite breakfast place”
He wasn’t surprised to see her laying down and half asleep when he came back. It had been a long day and he didn’t blame her for being tired. He climbed in behind her, slipping an arm around her waist and holding her as close as he could. He trusted the officers to keep watch over the house, but he knew if anything happened he would wake immediately for Leola. He didn’t want her suffering anymore trauma. The next morning they were woke by someone knocking on their bedroom door. It startled Leola and Acel had to hold onto her so she wouldn’t fall off the bed. “Who is it?” He called out.
“Just me, I brought breakfast as requested. It’s waiting on the table.”
Acel kissed Leola’s temple then got up and opened the door. “Thanks, we’ll be out in a bit.”
“Could I talk to you afterwards, it’s important.”
“Did something happen?” Leola asked as she got up and came over to stand by her husband. “Did something happen to our children?”
“No ma’am, your children are safe, I promise.”
They still hurried getting ready. With what was going on they could only think all the worst things. Once they were seated and had begun eating the officer said “As much as I don’t want to concern you we found another lurking around your home already. We’ve taken him into the station but he isn’t talking. We’ll get the information we need though okay? Because there was another so fast the chief sent officers to check on your children. They are fine aswell but if he doesn’t give us anything by lunch, just to play it absolutely safe we might have officers go to their homes as civilians and stay with them. That way they have protection but attention isn’t drawn to them. If your parents don’t know you have children with Acel”
“They shouldn’t, not unless they sent someone to stalk us.” Leola replied.
“And the first assassin didn’t say anything about our kids, he didn’t even seem to have an inkling they existed.”
“I’ll let the chief know, but I’m sure he’s still going to make sure your children stay safe just in case. Assassins don’t always divulge everything, even in death.”
“Should one of us try speaking to the assassin? Do you think maybe seeing us would make him say anything?”
“I don’t know, but I’ll run it by the chief. He’s not going to want to put you in harms way. Assassins are on his don’t screw around list, so if he gives it the okay, I’ll take you in.”
“Thank you for checking. I just want this over with”
“Another thing he’s considering is halting travel to this world until everythings settled. We don’t want you guys hurt or any of our other people. “I’d hate to ruin things for everybody. What if they have family wanting to come visit?”
“Like I said, the chief doesnt mess around with assassins. He’s just thinking of everyones safety. Hopefully it wont come to that. Hopefully we can get some information out of this man” After breakfast their officer called his boss and discussed Leola and Acel talking to him. Leola was staring when he hungup “he says tomorrow if he hasn’t learned anything yet”
“I know, I’m sorry. Theres some board and card games in the closet back in your bedroom if you want something to keep your mind off things”
Leola nodded, sighing and Acel thanked him. They both knew it couldn’t be helped and it wasn’t his fault. Leola took a seat on the couch and Acel retrieved the games. He hated how upset she was. She hadn’t looked this sad in a very long time. He really wanted to go back and tell her parents off. They started with Quelf and talked their bodyguard into playing since they thought it would be more fun with three players. Leola laughing every time they had to do something embarrassing made him feel much better. He always wanted to see her happy, always wanted to find reasons to make her smile and he hoped once they found a way to stop her parents, she would put it all behind her.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so red in my life.” She said as she wiped tears from her eyes and their bodyguard, who had revealed his name to be Bradley, blushed an even deeper shade of red.
Tomorrow came and the assassin hadn’t spoke so much as one word, not even to go to the bathroom so the body guard was instructed to bring Leola and Acel in to talk to him if they really wanted to. They sat in front of the man who didn’t even acknowledge they were in the room until Leola said “Look at me” he grinned, neither knew why and he slowly, almost creepily moved his head to look at her. “My target” it was such an odd tone of voice. Acel hoped that wasn’t his normal speaking voice. “I’m not just a target, I’m a person. What reason did they give you?”
“You’re a spoiled brat”
“Spoiled? I was never spoiled. I was treated like crap and my only crime in that world was marrying someone they deemed to ugly for me. I will never apologize for loving Acel. He is a good man and I’d pick his heart over the handsomest man in the universe.”
“Am I supposed to care?”
“Yes damn it”
“You talked to your parents this way?”
“Yes” His smile was still off setting but it was a tid bit warmer. “I have to admit. I like you a little and I don’t like many people. You’re not crying, begging or acting like a little bitch. You’re just telling me how it is”
“How did you know where to find us?” He was silent again, his eyes looking too overly pleased.
She stood, leaning over the table and slapping him. He looked shocked for just a moment. “People like you make me sick, you’re nothing but a coward, just like my parents. Keep your secrets, I don’t need them.”
“Come on baby, we don’t need him.” Acel said as he wrapped his arms around her shoulders. “If he wants to pathetically follow your parents orders for a few coins then let him.”
She looked defiantly into the assassin’s eyes for another moment, wanting him to know she wasn’t intimidated by him, then turned and started for the door. “He had a beacon.” She paused when the assassin spoke and turned.
“It tracked him and monitored his vitals, we just followed.”
“How did he find me?”
He grinned. “You were spotted.”
“are there a lot more besides you?”
“Not really, most end up quitting. They got tired of looking for you. As I understand it your parents hold a grudge pretty hard and pretty long. I’ve never seen such persistently petty people but to each their own. People who hire us don’t tend to be one’s of much dignity”
“Can’t you just go back and pretend I’m dead so they’ll quit sending people?”
“They require proof”
“Pictures of your dead bodies” Leola felt sick to her stomach. Her own parents wanted pictures of her dead body. The assassin seemed to get off on her facial expression so she looked away angrily. “are you saying you’re willing to pretend you killed us?” Acel asked.
“I’ll be getting paid either way, but it has to be convincing. I wonder what you’d look like?”
“Watch how you speak to my wife or I’ll rip your tongue out.” Acel snapped.
“Oh how terrifying.”
Leola grabbed him when he started back across the room. Even though he was restrained, she knew he was still dangerous. “We’ll talk to the police chief.” She said as she pulled Acel out of the room.
“That bastard and your parents too, how sick are they?”
“It’s okay Acel.”
She hugged him. “I love you so please calm down.”
He held her tightly as he tried to calm down. When he could let her go without storming in there and beating him senseless he did and they talked to the chief. “That might be the best way to get this all over with. If they think you’re dead we don’t have to worry about you or the other people here” A few people from CSI and some artists were called in and the scene was staged. The crime scene photographer took pictures as if they had just found the bodies then they printed them for the assassin. “You take these and you don’t come back here”
“Not a problem for me” Some officers escorted the assassin to the portal while others waited for Leola and Acel to finish showering so they could get their stuff from the safe house. Stuff collected they called their children and met them back at their own home. Leola and Acel deeply needed time with them after all that emotional turmoil.
They were all just glad their parents were safe and wouldn’t have to worry about Leola’s parents any longer. “I’m happier than ever we never met them” their daughter said as she held her mother in a hug. “I’m glad you didn’t have to. That we managed to get so far away” They sent more time together than they had in a long time, their kids just grateful they still had parents. They knew everything would be normal again but it would take awhile. Acel just hoped her parents believed the pictures and that this was the last time they could hurt his wife.
~ The End ~