Ruth & Chthon 3

Chapter One

In the telling of how Drea and Paul got together Chthon didn’t leave out going to Dreas dads to teach him a lesson and what he saw in the mans memories. Chthon had thought he arrived at the right choice by not telling her but his wifes reaction told him he hadn’t made the correct choice. He quickly told her the thoughts that ran through his own mind and what caused him to think that was best, hoping she wouldn’t be angry. She just seemed so upset by it that he was frightened. “Oh Chthon” was all she said and he frowned. Ruth kissed his cheek “don’t look sad. I can understand you having a hard time with that choice because you didn’t know if your judgment was being clouded by dislike of your grandson. All that matters is you tried to make the right choice. I would have told you to tell that girl though.”

Chthon pulled his wife into a hug “you see, I need you. I’m horrible at making choices without your input…I’m sorry….to look on the brightside though we wouldn’t have Charles and Sophie if Drea and Rowne would have gotten married. You love those two and their children so much. Soon we will have another grandbaby. Aren’t you excited to meet Stars and Thatchers baby?”

“I’m more nervous than excited, are you sure you can give that baby minotaur a human form within the womb so he doesn’t rip apart his mother when he comes out?”

“I’m absolutely confident. Old lady Humble would never lie to me Ruth. She made sure i knew each word and spoke it clearly. She made what Star is going to drink herself. I promise you Star and our newest grandchild will be absolutely healthy.”

“You need to tell Drea the truth Chthon, she deserves to know why the love of her life left her. Wouldn’t it kill you inside if I left you and you got no explanation? Wouldn’t it kill you if i went from warm and in love to cold and pushed you away?”

“Please don’t talk like that. Just hearing that breaks my heart.”

“Well Dreas heart was broken thanks to her father. It may still be wounded. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe she puts up with Paul because when Rowne left her she was unable to really love again just as you were when I died? That maybe she tolerates anything because she cant have who she’s really always wanted? That maybe she lost her adventurous spirit because her spirit itself was broken? That also certainly explains why she was so worried about Sophie breaking Charles heart. Imagine having her son fall in love with the daughter of the man that ripped her heart in two. I was confused by her telling me about that but now I understand why she’d be worried about Sophie hurting Charles even though Sophies an absolute sweetheart.”

“We were planning on going to the village today anyway to do the enchantment on Stars womb. Lets just go ahead and leave right now so that we can find Drea and talk to her first. If you say telling her now is the right thing I will do it Ruth. I’m sorry I made the wrong choice back then.”

“Don’t be sorry, you did your best and chose what you thought to be right. I love you Chthon”

“I love you too”

“Now quit being sad” Ruth said as she put a hand on his cheek. Chthon leaned into it “I made so many stupid choices without you Ruth”

“Like you said, atleast we ended up with Charles, Sophie and their wonderful children because of the wrong that was done…thats all we can think about I guess. You know honestly, I think the universe, in it’s own way was correcting that wrong with Charles and Sophie. Don’t you think?” Chthon smiled and kissed her “Probably, they did seem born for eachother” Chthon loved how Ruth saw things and was grateful she wasn’t angry that he made such a poor choice then. There wasn’t a bad choice he had admitted to her over these years that she hadn’t found someway to make him feel better about.

Chthon went to the kitchen and grabbed the vial of yellow liquid Humble had prepared then lifted Ruth into his arms and let Nigel know they were leaving and didn’t know when they would return. “Don’t worry, I’ll hold down the fort while you’re out. I have to reorganize the library anyway. Ever since you started letting people in there it has become messy.” Nigel said.

“Well aren’t you just the good little house wife.” Chthon teased and Nigel frowned. Ruth laughed and quickly covered her mouth to stifle the sound.

“Just go before I hit you with something.”

Chthon ran out of the castle and took to the air. Ruth buried her face in his shirt as the wind whistled around them. Normally she liked flying, but not when he went so fast she was on the verge of throwing up. She had taken to closing her eyes so as not to see the world zooming by at an alarmingly fast rate. Staring at the blur of blue and green and rainbow colors because of flowers and animals was disorienting and gave her motion sickness. When he finally landed she had to take a deep breath to keep her breakfast down. She opened her eyes and he smiled apologetically before setting her on her feet. He held her shoulders until her legs stopped wobbling and she felt steady again.

“Sorry, I guess I should fly slower next time.” He said and kissed her cheek.

“We have important things to do so don’t worry about it. I’ll get used to it some day.” She replied and grabbed his hand.

“I want us to talk to Drea away from Paul so you might have to use some of that grandmother power to get him to let her go. His temperament seems to only improve when you are around.”

“He won’t be a problem. He knows better than to back talk me. He knows I don’t take any sass from anyone.”

They walked into Tresnia and headed for Paul and Drea’s house. Chthon knocked on the door and Paul answered. “What do you want?” He asked in irritation then he noticed Ruth. “Oh uh I mean can I help you?”

“Where is Drea?” Chthon asked, trying to be patient.

“She went on a walk.”

“Where? I need to talk to her.”

“About what?”

“Paul, where is your wife?” Ruth asked and he swallowed, reflexively rubbing his ear.

“She normally goes to the meadow with the red and yellow flowers. She likes the way they smell”

“Thank you” They said and Chthon picked up Ruth and ran to the meadow. Chthon took in the air to gather Dreas scent. He found it and they began to walk at a fast pace towards it. Once Drea came into view Ruth screamed her name and Drea quickly turned around. When she came into view they could see she had been crying, no doubt another fight with Paul. Ruth hugged Drea “What’s wrong sweetheart?” Drea wiped at her face “I just frustrate Paul so much somtimes. I mess everything up, I always have” she tried not to cry any more but it came unwanted. Ruth rubbed her back ‘Paul can just be an ass. It’s not you Drea” Ruth knew the words wouldn’t really help but she offered them anyway.

Chthon stood behind feeling like an idiot. He had the power to change Dreas life back then but he didn’t say a word. Once Drea stopped crying Ruth sat down and patted the ground. Drea sat and Ruth grabbed her hand “My husband needs to talk to you about somthing really important Drea, I want you to listen to him all the way through before you speak ok?”

“ok” Chthon couldn’t look at Drea, he felt too much shame. Ruth nudged him when he just sat there in silence, looking at a small patch of ground. Chthon cleared his throat “do you remember when I took you and Paul on that trip, the one where you two started dating?”

“Of course I do”

“Well, you’re father was badly beaten up when you returned home, do you remember?”

“Yeah, someone from outside the village broke into our home” Chthon shook his head and began to explain everything, everything he had done and everything he saw in her fathers mind. When he was done with his story Chthon finally took his eyes off the grass he had been staring at. Dreas mouth was gaping while her eyes were filled with disbelief and even more pain than he had ever seen in them. She only moved when her bottom lip quivered and a loud smack echoed through the meadow. A red mark was left on Chthons cheek from how hard Drea had just slapped him.

Ruth tried to hug her but Drea shook her head violently and began to sob heavily. Every attempt Ruth made of comfort Drea batted away until Chthon lifted her into a hug and refused to let her go. Drea began to hit and electrocute Chthon but he didn’t relent in his hug. Ruth just stood there with a stream of tears running down her face. Eventually Drea qui fighting and hugged Chthon back. Ruth walked over and Chthon set Drea on her feet while still maintaining the hug. Ruth held her from behind and the three just stood there.

“I’m so sorry Drea, so so sorry. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know what to do.” He said softly as he stroked her hair. “I was in a bad way, constantly making bad decisions. Please forgive me.” He pulled back to look at her face. “He just wanted you safe and happy.”

“I was happy with him. Even when my dad hurt me. I still love him.” She buried her face back in his shirt and started crying again. “The universe is so cruel. I love Paul, but Rowne has always been my other half. I hate myself. I’ve lived every moment thinking he hated me, thinking that I did something wrong. It’s not fair. I hate my father so much.”

“I’m sorry.” He said again.

“I need to tell him I forgive him. He needs to know that I know. I hate that I doubted him and even worse, I doubted Sophie.”

“It’s okay sweetie. Just take a breath.” Ruth said softly.

“Paul is going to be so mad.”

“Don’t worry about Paul. He won’t do anything to you or Rowne. If you want to talk to Rowne then we’ll set up a time and place where no one can interfere. You two need to talk about this.” Chthon replied and kissed her cheek. “We’re heading over to see Thatcher and Star today, why don’t you accompany us?”

“What if Rowne is there? I can’t face him yet, I’m to sad and nervous. Just let me stay here a little while longer and compose myself.”

“Are you sure?” She nodded and he wiped away her tears. “If you need anything, you know where we’ll be.”

Drea hugged him again. “I forgive you, I really do. I’m sorry I hurt you.”

“I deserved it Drea, I really did for being an idiot.”

“It’s okay, I just need time.” They left her there and headed back into town. Chthon felt depressed, his heart aching for Drea and Rowne and even Paul and Kyra. Ruth took his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. He wondered if Charles and Sophie knew about Rowne’s love for Drea or if they had been kept in the dark.

“are you sure you’re ok after all that?” Chthon gave a small smile “Yeah, she didn’t really hurt me, hard as she tried. You know I only get tougher as I get older”

“don’t feel guilty Chthon, you made a dumb choice but you tried your best”

“I can’t help it Ruth”

“because you have a very big and good heart. It will all be ok” Ruth stopped to hug him so he wouldn’t look so glum when they entered Star and Thatchers house. Ruth knocked and was greeted bya  tight hug from her grandson “Oh thank goodness” They heard Star giggle behind him “he’s been pacing waiting on you guys.” They walked in and each hugged Star over her very large pregnant belly. They then noticed Charles, Sophie, Victoria & Enzo. Everybody else exchanged hugs and Charles told his son to breath. ‘How can anybody breath with her eight months pregnant? What if this doesn’t work and I lose her” Star walked over and kissed her husband “Have faith in Chthon, I do.” Thatcher kissed her again before taking a seat with her on the couch.

Chthon pulled the vial out of his pocket and handed it to Star “Humble says it tastes terrible sweetheart but you must swallow every single drop”

“I can do that” Chthon handed it to her while Thatcher put his arms protectively around Stars body. She quickly threw it into the back of her throat and swallowed. She gagged and coughed but managed to swallow it all. Chthon began to chant as a red glow covered him and Stars stomach. Star made a face like she was in pain and panic covered Thatchers face. “It’s fighting the change Thatcher. Star and your son will be ok.”Ruth said. Star clung to Thatcher as he held her tight and soothed her the best he could. Once Chthon quit chanting Star breathed heavy with relief. “How do we know if it worked?” Star asked in a labored voice.

They all jumped when Humble spoke. She had come in without a soul noticing. “It worked my dear children: Thatcher wanted to hug them woman but he couldn’t let Star go. Everyone else in the room took a turn giving her a tight hug though. “Thank you” Star said with the best smile she had at the moment. “You’re welcome, I couldn’t let your little one take your life, not when you’re so important to Chthon. We became such good friends when he came to my world.”

“It’s good to see you Humble. You should stop scaring people though.” Chthon said with a warm smile.

“I need to talk to you and Ruth. It is important.”

“Okay, we’ll be back in a second.” Everyone nodded and Ruth and Chthon followed Humble outside. “Is this about Drea and Rowne?”

“Always the wise one Chthon, whether you believe it or not you are very smart just not in matters of the heart. I just wanted you to know that you did the right thing today. Even though Drea is upset, it is for the best. If she and Rowne do not clear the air then their future will be compromised. Make sure they talk.” Humble said softly.

“Yes ma’am. I will I promise.”

“Good, I must take my leave. More people to look after and tell the boy to breathe or he’s going to pass out. He has a tendency to hold his breath when he is nervous.” She departed and Chthon pulled Ruth back inside.

“Thatcher stop holding your breath.” He said as he enter the living room.

“How did you know?”

“I know all things.” He said in a creepy voice and Ruth elbowed him in the ribs. “Just kidding, Humble told me. She said you were going to pass out unless you breathed.”

“Thank you for coming today, Thatcher has been absolutely drowning in anxiety.” Star said as she rubbed her belly. “I’m so happy our son will be normal.” Thatcher kissed her cheek and placed his hand over hers, feeling their baby kick. “Would you two please stay and eat with us?”

“Of course we will. Ruth why don’t you spend some time with the kids, Charles and I can cook.”

“Alright, you two don’t burn the house down.” Ruth teased.

“Hey, we might be guys, but we can still cook.” Charles replied with a smile. He followed Chthon into the kitchen while Ruth sat down to visit.

“Where are you thinking of having the baby?” Ruth asked.

“Here since everything went well. I’m going to ask the midwife to come over and deliver the baby. Would you please come over when it’s time? Sophie is going to be here and I would like you here too. Grandma and great, well lots of great grandma.” Star said happily.

“I would love to be here. Thatcher are you going to help deliver the baby?”

“If the midwife lets me I’d like to catch him.”

“I’m sure she would be okay with that.”

They chatted happily until Charles and Chthon called them to come eat lunch. “Very good” Ruth said and everyone else nodded to be kind since they had been nice enough to cook. Star smiled “the baby is very excited about the food” Thatcher quickly put his hand on Stars stomach to feel making Sophie smile. She was really proud of her son for loving that baby the way he did. Even though it wasn’t his biological son Thatcher was just as excited and had just as much love for the little guy as if it were his. It meant a lot to Star too. When they had first gotten together she worried but Thatcher had shown her right away that he would love the life growing inside of her as if he had helped put it there.

After lunch Ruth asked Sophie “do you know where your dad is?”

“Last I saw him he was telling stories to some of the younger kids. They will listen to him talk all day and normally he’s more than happy to so you may be able to find him near the fountain in town surrounded by little people.” Ruth giggled “Thanks sweetheart, I have somthing I need to talk to him about if you all will excuse me.”

“I’ll go too Ruth” Charles laughed and Sophie gave her husband a look then said “like you can talk Charles, you’re attached to my hip too” Charles blushed and Victoria said “she has a point dad” Enzo lifted his wifes hand and kissed it “How can we help it when we all have such amazing women in our lives. We will see you two later grandma and grandpa” Ruth and Chthon said bye then left to hopefully find Rowne. “are you going to let him know what the meetings about so he doesnt get blown over when Drea speaks?”

“Rowne might actually be able to give me a good scar so I’m a little reluctant but I think I should so he isn’t in shock. They need to really talk and hug or kiss it out”

“You know how village costum is, it’s too late. They will both be scorned if they leave their spouses. There will probably be hugging but no kissing. They are far too old, it’s too late to rock the boat. They just need to know and to talk things out.”

“who cares what the village thinks?”

“The village is like a family, I know from growing up in one. It would be just as you doing somthing that would make me hate you? Would you do it” Chthon sighed. “well we will see what happens when I tell him Drea knows and after they talk”

“And then the dragon swooped down, grabbing the knight. It roared, shaking the very earth. The princess screamed as the dragon bent its head, ready to eat the knight. But the knight, unwilling to give in drove his sword through the roof of the dragon’s mouth, slaying it.” Rowne said to the wide eyed children sitting at his feet.

“What happened next?” One little boy said.

“He pushed open the dragon’s hand and rushed to the princess, cutting her loose. She kissed her hero, thanking him for saving her. They traveled home and a celebration was held in the knight’s honor. The princess accepted his proposal of marriage without hesitation and they lived happily ever after.” The children clapped and he tusseled their hair. He looked up and noticed Chthon and Ruth standing there watching. “Alright, back to playing. I have stuff to do.” He stepped out of the group of children and smiled. “What brings you here?”

“I have to speak with you on an important matter.” Chthon said with a frown.

“Is everything okay?”

“It’s about Drea sweetie.” Ruth said with a half smile.

“Is she alright? Did Paul do something to her?”

“I told Drea why you broke up with her.” Chthon said and waited. Rowne’s emotions shifted from sadness to anger and back again.

“How did you find out?”

“I read her father’s memories.”

“You had no right.” He snapped and raised his fist. Ruth stepped between them and he pulled back an inch from her face. She looked up at him, her eyes sad and pleading. He dropped down on the edge of the fountain and held his face in his hands. “How could you?”

“You need to talk to her. She has already agreed to it. She spent years wondering what she did wrong and you spent years hating yourself. Just pick a time and place, please talk to her.”

“She will never forgive me and it is to late for us.”

Ruth dropped down in front of him and took his hands. “If you don’t it will burden your soul forever. Even if she hates, even of she can never forgive you, you must talk it out and tell her how you truly feel.”

Kyra will be visiting with her niece Amberlyn for a few more days. I know Paul is leaving to help with the hunt tomorrow so ask her to come to my house after breakfast. We can talk privately in there since nobody stays with us and it wont seem odd for her to be coming over alone since our children are betrothed. How did she react?”

“She slapped Chthon for not telling her and then she cried” Rownes heart hung heavy “I was only protecting her from being beaten every night”

“I know, Chthon explained the whole exchange. Drea knows that too. Let us find Drea and see if she’ll come when her husband leaves in the morning.” Rowne pulled Ruth into a hug “I will be going home now” was all he said before sulking off. It was still hard for Rowne to think on then. Leaving Drea was the hardest thing he ever did in his life but because he loved her he let her go. He hoped Drea truly understood that his choice was a hard one and made out of his deep love. He also planned to explain to her why Sophie had her name. He wanted her to know that was out of his undying love too. He had come to love Kyra but never loved her like he loved Drea. Drea was his true soul mate, they would have lived out their lives together if it weren’t for Maximus.

Rowne went home and straight to his room to sob into a pillow as his mind tortured him with the day he left her. With her hurt and sad expression. All Rowne ever wanted was Dreas happiness and now she was hurting again since she knew the truth. He was angry that Chthon told but at the same time he was grateful she now knew that it wasn’t any of her doing that made her leave. He would have to tell her tomorrow how much he still loved her and how much he wished he would have stopped her wedding to Paul. He had been thinking of her but he still should have said somthing.

Rowne was glad Kyra wasn’t home so they could have a private place to discuss all those years ago. Chthon hugged his wife “It was foolish to step in front of his fist”

“Even in his sixtys Rownes senses are sharp. I knew he could stop” Chthon kissed her head “I wish I could change the past for them”

“sh, what’s done is done Chthon”

They went back to the grove of flowers where Drea was laying, staring up at the sky. She sat up when they approached, relieved to see it was only them. “He wants you to go to his house after breakfast tomorrow since Paul will be gone.” Ruth said and she nodded.

“Is he okay?” Drea asked.

“He’s upset with me, but that’s to be expected.” Chthon answered and she nodded again.

“Tomorrow it is then. Thank you. Would you mind escorting me home? I think I need a nap after all this emotional stuff.”

“Sure.” Chthon helped her to her feet and walked with and arm draped over her shoulder. She still looked so sad, her eyes shining with un she’d tears. She took a deep breath as they neared her house, not wanting Paul to ask what was wrong.

“Thank you, I’ll be sure to tell you how it goes.”

“Remember, leave nothing unsaid. Get it all out.”

“I will.”

“We should see if Charles and Sophie will let us stay the night. I want us to be around if either of them needs comforting.” Ruth said after Drea went inside.

“Good idea.”

They headed back to Thatcher and Star’s house and knocked on the door. Charles and Sophie were happy to let them spend the night. They had wanted to spend more time with them anyway. Chthon promised to be at their house in time for dinner then scooped Ruth up and carried her out of town.

“Where are you taking me?” She asked.

“All of this talk about the past is making me feel nostalgic. I want to go to where we first me.” He answered and she felt her heart flutter. “I think about how lucky I am to have you and realize that if it wasn’t for a series of certain events that I would not have you. Our past has effected our future in the most amazing and surprising ways. All it took was finding you crying alone in the woods to bring us together.”

Chthon bought some chocolate then went off into the woods. He sat down with Ruth in the precise spot he had found her crying those hundreds of years ago. “want to share it with me?” He said with a grin. Ruths face lit up and she hugged Chthon with a kiss on the cheek “I’d love to” Chthon opened the chocolate and they ate while talking about all that happened the day Chthon found her. “I’m just glad my boyfriend then was stupid”

“Me too, though I hated seeing you cry.”

“well it brought us together. If my dad had been home to comfort me through my pain we also wouldnt have met here”

“true, so much had to happen that day for us to meet. It’s scary to think that there were so many things that if they were different we wouldnt be here together.”

“well don’t think about stuff like that”

“It’s hard to when I’m why two people who were very much in love, are very much in love aren’t together”

“That was not you, it was Maximus. That evil monster”

“I guess, it still pains me but there is always the next life. I pray they find eachother then. When two people honestly fall in love their souls bond. They will seek out eachother when they are reborn.”

“really?”

“It’s what many demons believe.”

“If you believe it I do” Chthon smiled “It’s getting late my love. We promised we would be around for dinner.”

“Ok” Chthon stood with his wife and kissed her. A pressing together of lips that gave them both goosebumps. Chthon walked back to Charles & Sophies house. Sophie was already busy cooking in the kitchen. Ruth jumped out of Chthons arms to help her. Charles sat on the couch with Chthon “where did you two go?”

“To the spot Ruth and I met. I was feeling nostalgic” Charles smiled. “I’m trying to think of what I’m going to do for Sophies birthday.”

“Oh That’s right, Sophies birthday is in two weeks” Charles nodded and Sophie yelled from the kitchen “quit stressing, I’ve had many birthdays!”

“And they all are equally important” Charles yelled back and the women giggled.Chthon took comfort once again in Charles and Sophie. He nore Ruth could see their world without those two. Chthon also knew that Rowne and Drea loved eachother enough for their souls to have bonded. He knew one day they would find eachother and live the life they should have had together.

Chapter Two

“So, what do you think I should do for Sophie’s birthday? I want to surprise her with something extraordinary.”

“Why don’t you bring her to the castle and we’ll throw a big party there. We can have her favorite foods made and decorate with her favorite color. We’ll invite everyone.”

“That sounds amazing. Thank you.”

“It’s no problem.”

They chatted quietly about birthday plans and about Thatcher and Star’s baby. They still had not named him. Chthon figured it was because they wanted to wait to see the baby before deciding on anything. Ruth finally called them for dinner and they headed cheerfully into the dining room to eat the delicious smelling food.

“I wanted to tell you two something because I figured you deserved to know in case you notice anything off about your parents.” Chthon said.

“You can tell us anything.” Sophie said and reached across the table to grab his hand.

“Before you two were born, Rowne and Drea were a couple. They were in love.” They both just nodded. “Did you two know this already?”

“Well, not really. I guess we’ve always suspected.” Charles answered. “The way Rowne treats my mom is different than he treats other women.”

“Even my own mother. He loves her, but he doesn’t look at her like he looks at Drea.” Sophie added.

“Charles, your grandfather forced Rowne into a hard decision. He told Rowne that if he stayed with Drea that he would beat her to near death every day so he broke up with her to spare her the pain.”

Charles looked angry for a moment and Sophie grabbed his hand and squeezed it. “Maximus was a good for nothing drunk.” He said. “The only good thing that came out of this was Sophie and I. What’s going to happen now?”

“They are going to talk about what happened.” Ruth said and they both nodded again. “We want you two to just go on with life as usual, that’s why we wanted to warn you.”

“Thank you for telling us.” Sophie said with a smile. “Now let’s eat and talk about something happier.”

They excitedly talked about the birth of Stars and Thatchers baby and the fact that Victoria was fairly certain she was pregnant but wasn’t going to talk to Enzo about it until she saw one of the midwives and got tested to be sure. Victoria didn’t want Enzos hopes up just for them to come crashing down. That excited Chthon and Ruth who loved every time their family expanded. Rowne didn’t eat that night, he couldn’t manage it. Instead he just quickly fell asleep to make tomorrow come faster. This way he would wake up early to make sure he was showered and properly dressed for a visit from Drea. Drea just laid looking at the ceiling. Paul thought she was still upset about their fight. “Drea, I said I was sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you for somthing so small”

“I’m fine Paul”

“No you aren’t, you’re always mopey after I yell. Wont you go to sleep so I can?”

“sorry sweetheart, I will” Paul pulled Drea close and she closed her eyes to will sleep. About twenty minuets later it worked. The next thing she woke to was Paul asking her to go cook while he got ready. She hopped out of bed and got to work on breakfast.She was only just setting it on the table when Paul came down. He ate then hugged her before leaving. He never kissed her in the mornings if they fought the previous day. She never asked why so didn’t know why that was. Drea went upstairs and changed her clothes before brushing the knots out of her hair from sleep.

She walked down the stairs and slipped her shoes on. Drea grew nervous and realized she hadn’t thought of what to say. She guessed she would just have to let her heart use her lips to let Rowne know how she felt. She mainly wanted to hear what he had to say anyways. This conversation probably couldn’t be planned out so she didn’t worry about it. Drea shut the door to her home and slowly walked to Rownes. Tears were already tugging at her eyes as she thought of the life they could have had together.

Drea nervously knocked on the door and Rowne answered instantly. After he had gotten ready he had just stood there waiting. His mind couldn’t be on anything else but talking things out with Drea. He opened the door and she came in “where are we going to talk?” Drea asked softly. “Right here in the living room if you’re comfortable”

“Of course” They both stood there in an awkward silence until Drea said “you should have told me and given me a choice too Rowne. You chose for me and it wasn’t fair.” Rowne wanted to brush his fingers over her cheek but didn’t know if she wanted him touching her. “I’m sorry Drea, I just couldn’t watch him beat you every day and know it was my fault”

“It wouldn’t have been your fault even then Rowne. It would still only be Maximus’s”

“I wanted to tell you, I burned to tell you. I was afraid of what he might do to you. He had already starved you and then he goes and gives me an ultimatum like that. I couldn’t let it go on, I wasn’t going to let you be punished over me. I loved you to much.” Tears slipped down his cheeks and he sat down, clasping his hands together. “I thought all I would have to do is wait until you grew up and could escape that bastard, but then you got with Paul and I couldn’t bring myself to destroy your happiness.”

“Rowne…”

“So I just stood by, I kept silent and I watched you slipping slowly away from me. I tried moving on, married Kyra, but it was never the same. I would see you forcing a smile and doubting my love for you. I deserved it, I had hurt you. Even now I still love you, my heart and soul cries out for yours and it’s to late.”

Drea felt that all to familiar fluttering in her chest at his words. She crossed the room and tipped his head up so he was looking at her. “I still love you too Rowne, with all my heart.” She finally let her tears spill over and sat down next to him, hugging him. They cried until both of their heads hurt and their muscles cramped from staying in the same position. Drea pulled back and he wiped the tears from her face.

“I named my daughter Sophie as a testament to our love. I wanted you to know how much I loved you even if we were not together, that I remembered your wish for a little girl.”

“Thank you. She’s grown into such an amazing woman. She is your daughter through and through. Spirited, stubborn, faithful. Our children are the only thing I don’t regret.”

“I feel the same. They love each other very much, I’m glad.” He pulled her into another hug then kissed her cheek. “I love you so much, I want you to always remember that no matter what happens. No matter what hardships await us.”

“I will I promise.”

Rowne looked into Dreas eyes and sighed “I really want to kiss you for real, like we used to but we’re both married now. I could never do that to Kyra and I know you couldn’t do it to Paul. Just know that if I could and it wouldn’t make me horrible I would kiss you” Drea managed a small smile and kissed Rownes cheek “I would too, thank you for not actually trying. I’m not sure I would have been strong enough to resist.” Rowne rubbed her cheek “you would have. Lets go join our families just to be sure neither one of us dishonors our vows in any way.”

“That’s a good idea” Drea said softly. When they stood they gave eachother another long hug. Drea let out a small laugh “you picked this place for a home because of me didn’t you?”

“Yes I did, I wanted to be near you in any way I could. I was glad there was empty land here.”

“I’m glad there was too. If you didn’t live so close, our children may not have become friends” They let eachother go and composed themselves before walking over to Sophie & Charles house to see if anybody was home. They were happy to see the bright eyed Victoria “Grandma! Grandpa!” she exclaimed and hugged them tightly. Charles and Sophie expertly acted as if everything was the same. They were very natural and Ruth was proud. She had been proud before that they had caught on to Rownes and Dreas love but it was plain to see. Just the way they looked at one another really was enough for anybody to tell that they still loved eachother.

Thatcher laid with Star in their bed. Her back had been really hurting these last few months. Now that the baby could come any day her back had especially been bothering her. “could we go on a walk baby?”

“You sure?” Thatcher asked witha  concerned face “yeah, I want to stretch my legs”

“Ok, I’ll rub them when we get back”

‘Thank you”

“Anything for you” He said sweetly then gave her a kiss before helping her up. They got their clothes on and walked out to enjoy the beautiful day outside. The wonderful thing about the world of Barense is that it only has two seasons, spring and fall. You have to go to other worlds to experience winter and summer.

Chthon and Ruth were happy to see that Rowne and Drea were on good terms. No matter what anyone said Chthon would still feel a little guilty for not bringing them back together after Maximus had torn them apart. Chthon often told himself how lucky Maximus was his liver had killed him before he had. It had taken all his self control not to snap the man’s neck. He sent a silent request out to the universe that these two would be reunited in another life.

Star grabbed her stomach, her other hand gripping tightly to Thatcher’s arm as pain moved through her. “Are you okay?” He asked and she nodded, breathing through the pain.

“I think so.” They stood there together for a few moments and her abdomen tightened again, the cramping sensation bringing tears to her eyes. “Thatcher, the baby is coming.”

“What? Oh no, not here. We have to get you home.” He lifted her in his arms and went as quickly as he could back home. He took her to their room and lay her gently down on their bed. “I’ll be right back okay, just breathe.”

“Okay, hurry please.”

He ran from the house at break neck speed, running to his parents house and banging on the door. Charles pulled the door open and Thatcher told him the baby was coming. “You go back to Star, I’ll get the midwife.” Thatcher didn’t have to be told twice and ran home. “The baby’s coming.” Charles yelled as he exited the house.

Everyone else hurried to Thatcher’s, Chthon stayed downstairs with Rowne while the women went up. “How did the talk go?” He asked.

“Good, a lot better than anticipated. I was terrified she would hate me, but she doesn’t.” Rowne answered. “I have so much regret and I still love her, but that time has passed.”

“We demons don’t believe life ends at death. The soul is eternal and tends to move from place to place.”

“Even if that is true, the chances of us meeting again are slim to none.”

“not when the souls are meant for eachother. I think yours are” Rowne smiled “They must be, lets just pray you’re correct and souls are eternal.” Rowne entertained thoughts in his head of a new life in the future or in another world with Drea. Through knowing Chthon he had discovered there were many other worlds besides Barense. He didn’t care what world they ended up in, he just wanted to be with the woman he truly loved and wanted to be with. Chthon could tell Rownes mind was wandering through pleasant thoughts so remained quite until they heard the cries of the newest edition to the family. They wanted to run up and greet the new baby but they remembered their first children, how they felt in that moment and decided to just let Thatcher and Star have their time. When Sophie,The midwife, Charles, Ruth, and Drea came down they were all smiling. Ruth hugged her husband “it went so well, Star and the baby are going to be fine”

Sophie jumped into her fathers arms and he happily hugged her. “Paul should be home soon. I’m going to wait on him so he can come meet his grandbaby” Rowne and Drea exchanged a glance and smile before she left. Nobody made mention of it and decided to go home aswell. The midwife was planning on staying incase she became needed for any aid since it was Stars first baby. “Thank you” Sophie said and the midwife smiled “it’s my job to tend to new mothers”

Thatcher and Star laid upstairs admiring the baby “he’s so handsome” Star said through her tears “he is” Thatcher could see how tired Star was from delivery and took the baby “rest now sweetheart. I have him until he’s hungry”

“Thank you Thatcher”

“He’s my baby too, go to sleep. He’ll need you in a little bit” Once Star was asleep Thatcher walked out of the room to talk to and sing to the baby downstairs. He saw the midwife “We’re fine, I’ll call my mother if we need help.”

‘Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’ve got things as long as there’s nothing else I should know.”

“Such a sweet father, good luck”

“Thanks” Thatcher walked around with their baby until the little guy was sleeping. The name Boaz came to mind as Thatcher looked at his son. He wondered if Star would be ok with that name. Thatcher walked back upstairs and sat in a chair by the bed. The baby woke crying about an hour later which woke Star. “I guess he’s hungry” Thatcher said with a smile. Star held out her arms and Thatcher gave her the baby. When the baby started eating Thatcher asked “can we name him Boaz? While I was looking at him before that name jumped at me. You did all the work so I want you to like his name too”

“What a beautiful name for a beautiful little boy.” She brushed her finger along Boaz’s cheek.

“Thank you for giving me such a gift.” Thatcher said softly as he crawled on the bed to set next Star. “I am the happiest man in the world right now.”

“I love you so much Thatcher.”

“I love you too.”

Chthon felt happier after the birth of the little boy. He kissed Ruth’s head as they walked hand on hand through town, just savoring the bliss of a new life being brought into the world. “I am so happy for Thatcher and Star. They have been through so much.” Ruth said as she rested her head on her husband’s shoulder.

“He is going to be an amazing father. That baby is going to grow up happy.”

“Did Humble tell you that?”

“No, I can just see it. Thatcher had amazing parents. He took care of Star when she was at her worst, stayed with her through nightmares and and insecurities. He is a man of honor and she is an angel. That baby is going to grow up in a loving home with devoted parents.”

“You are so amazing.”

He gave a sigh of content then stopped and pulled her into his arms. “I love you so much Ruth. You mean everything to me. In all the worlds you happened to be in mine and I will be forever thankful to whoever or whatever saw fit to bring us together. I promise to never let you go, not matter what.”

“I love you too my big hearted demon.” He kissed her softly then swept her up and headed to Charles and Sophie’s. They stayed another night and were up early the next morning so Chthon could see the baby. Boaz took and instant liking to him, cooing at him softly as Chthon talked to him. He kissed the little boy’s nose before handing him back to Star.

“Such a handsome little man.” Chthon said with a warm smile.

“He really is” Ruth said softly then gave the baby a kiss of her own. Boaz cooed again making Ruth and Star smile. Chthon could tell that Ruth was going to want another child by how she was looking at little Boaz. He was about to ponder when Abraxas and Adette would show when he heard a knock at the door and could tell it was Abraxas and his fiance. Chthon answered and was given a hug by each of them “You two are such hogs. It’s not fair I only found out from Drea today that the little guy was born. What’s his name?”

“Boaz”

“Boaz, I like it” Abraxas said happily. Adette and Abraxas went upstairs, anxious for their turn with the baby. When Adette got her turn her first reaction was “he is too freaking cute” Star and Thatcher smiled happily. Adette could see that Abraxas was aching for a turn so she handed the baby over. “Humbles stuff really worked”

“Yeah, I’m very grateful to her” Thatcher answered. They talked and visited until Chthon thought he should get Nigel, Zeus, Lucy, Lisanna, and Nero so they could meet the baby too. Abraxas and Adette said their byes, not wanting the house to get too crowded with a new baby. “we’ll be right back” Ruth told her children. “alright, I’ll try to get a nap until you return?” Star answered. “are you done with company, they can visit tomorrow” Ruth asked concerned. “Oh no grandma, I’m just going to try and catch a short nap now. I want everybody to meet Boaz.” Chthon kissed Stars head before lifting Ruth and running out.

When they arrived at the castle Zeus and Lucy weren’t around and they had no idea where they had gone. Ruth and Chthon were able to find Nigel, Nero & Lisanna though. They were all very excited about the newest addition and quickly followed them back to Star and Thatchers house. When they came back Thatcher old them to wait on the couch a moment because Star was feeding Boaz again. “I guess the little guy didn’t think mommy needed sleep” Lisanna joked and everyone else smiled.

“Nero was the same way. All he wanted to do was eat and eat and eat. Chthon used to joke that he was going to be our fat baby.” Ruth said, making her son blush and everyone else laugh. Thatcher heard Star yell his name and hurried up the stairs. He lifted Boaz into his arms and kissed his cheek.

“Go ahead and take the baby down. I’m going to take a quick shower.”

“Yell if you need anything.”

He took Boaz down and everyone jumped to their feet. He handed him to Nero who turned to instant mush at the sight of the little baby. He blushed when he noticed everyone watching him and handed Boaz to Lisanna who spent a few minutes doting over the little boy before passing him to Nigel. There was a knock on the front door and Chthon went and answered it. He smiled when he saw Zeus and Lucy.

“When we got back one of the maids said something about a baby so we figured he meant Thatcher and Star’s baby.” Zeus said and Chthon stepped aside to let them in.

“Let me see that gorgeous little boy.” Lucy said, holding out her arms. Nigel slowly handed her the baby. “You are so cute. What’s his name?”

“Boaz.” Thatcher answered proudly. Star called his name again and he ran upstairs, helping her get dressed and carrying her down to see their family.

There was another knock and this time it was Paul and Drea. The latter had a lightness to her step that they had not seen in a long time. It made Ruth and Chthon smile.

“I can’t believe so many people are here.” Star said softly. Lucy smiled over at her “who could miss meeting this little guy. I love the name”

“Thatcher picked it” Thatcher smiled and kissed her head. Zeus felt guilty again as he watched his wife hand the baby to Drea. She looked sad and he knew it was because she missed her daughters. The very same daughter he chased off. Chthon cleared his throat looking at Zeus and Zeus put his smile back on so Chthon wouldn’t give him a lecture again. If their daughters were alive they would reunite one day and he could appologize for not being the father he should have been to them. Everybody talked and enjoyed the baby until Boaz fell asleep. Everybody decided to go since a full house was very likely to wake the little guy. When Chthon hugged Thatcher and Star he told them they were going back to his castle but to send a bird or Abraxas if anything was needed. They nodded and everybody left the house.

Ruth grabbed Abraxas before he could start in his way home “You two shut ins need to come see us more. I miss you two”

“Sorry” Adette said and Abraxas rubbed the back of his head “We just get so caught up in eachother the days fly. I promise we’ll visit soon mom”

“You better” Chthon added. Adette giggled “we will” Victoria cleared her throat “I have a surprise for everyone except my mom who I couldn’t wait to tell and told earlier today.” All attention turned to her and she said “I’m pregnant with our first baby. I just wanted to wait until everybody spent some time with Boaz to let you all know.” Everyone was happy for them but nobody came near the happiness they could see on Enzos face. Ruth was excited she would be blessed with another grandchild.

Ruth was near tears as Chthon carried her home from all the wonderful things that happened. Drea now knew why Rowne left and they had sorted things out, they had a wonderful new grandson, Victoria was going to have a baby. It was all so wonderful and all started with a few tears in the woods. One chance meeting in the woods had lead to about a million amazing moments over their life time.

~ The End ~

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