Savant had taken to teaching Acastus everything he knew when it came to healing, his vast knowledge on wildlife and different beings that lived across the worlds. They were once again spending a day huddled over books while they worked on different things Acastus could make with what Savant had on hand. It was about time for their normal break so Barbarah was just pouring lemonade when she heard an explosion and Savant groan loudly, very obviously suppressing a yell. It startled her into dropping the glass pitcher but that wasn’t her concern. She ran to them even as the glass shattered on the floor. She next heard her son ask if Savant was okay, followed by another painful groan.
“get away from it now” he commanded sternly “but” Acastus was only protesting because he wanted to help Savant stand but Savant cut him off “go now son” he tried to say it as kindly as possible but he was in massive pain and didn’t want him getting hurt and upsetting his mother. She burst in just as Savant got to his feet. She could see the blood and melting skin, it look like acid was covering his back. She gasped and looked at her son who only had a minor burn on his face. “leave with your mother right now” his tone was strained and while it still held anger Barbarah could tell he was trying not to yell at Acastus, whatever happened she could sense it was his fault. “it’s covering the floor dad”
“and I must stop it before it eats the castle” he growled, wishing he could keep his control but it was also eating at him. “just come sweetie” Barbarah rushed her son out. She took him to a bathroom and pulled ahealing vial out of the cabinet to help his face “what happened?” she asked her shame faced son. “I don’t want to make dad any more upset with me.”
“how’s telling me what happened going to make him madder?”
“well he wasn’t working with me”
“what do you mean” he was silent, deeply frowning but knew his mother would pry so he got closer and said quietly “he’s been working on a surprise for you the past couple days. While he’s doing that I practice things he’s already taught me. That way I’m still learning and he can work without you knowing….i just…I just thought I had found a more effective way of making somthing so I changed some ingredients and…well that happened. It smelled funny and before I knew it dad was covering me and that thing exploded and covered him. He..I’m sorry. He’s hurt really bad and it really is my fault…he has told me time and time again not to change anything without clearing it with him…I’m really sorry mom but don’t tell dad you know he wasn’t working directly with me”
“Oh baby, I won’t and he’ll be okay.” She hugged her son and he cried, his heart breaking for the pain he had caused. “Why don’t you help me clean up the mess I made then I’ll check on your father.”
“Okay mom.” He wiped his face and followed her into the kitchen where he helped her clean up the lemonade and glass. She made him a sandwich and kissed him on his head then grabbed a couple of healing vials and left him to check on Savant. She tapped on the library door and when he didn’t answer she pushed it open. He was sitting in a chair, his face buried in his hands, his back exposed. She winced at the sight of his missing flesh, but was glad he had managed to dispose of the acidic liquid.
“My love?” She said softly as she moved across the room and he held up his hand as if to stop her, his body quivering from pain and anger. She grabbed his hand and moved closer and he wrapped his arms around her. “I brought you something to help speed healing.”
“Thank you.” She opened the vials and he leaned forward a bit, letting her pour the liquid on his wounds. He gritted his teeth, a hissing sound escaping from between them.
“Sorry baby.” She sat the vials down and he held onto her even tighter.
“It could have been so much worse.”
“I know and he knows too, he’s heartbroken.”
“He needs to understand how dangerous changing even one ingredient can be if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“He does, he’s sorry, he really is.”
Savant sighed. “I blame myself, I should have been watching him.”
She stroked his hair. “Accidents happen, I’m just glad you were here for this one, though I wish you had not been harmed in the process.”
“Better me than him. Just give me some time to calm down and I’ll talk to him.”
“Thank you for not yelling at him. He looks up to you so much and as heartbroken as he is now, it would have shattered him.”
“from the start I blamed myself. I am the teacher and while I have warned him on many occasions that he needs to ask me if he wants to try somthing new he is a teenager and a brilliant one at that. His mind is always coming up with new ideas. It truly is amazing Barbarah. Teenagers love nothing more than to experiment so I should be right at his side when I’m allowing him to create things in here. He only made the mistake he did because what he added were materials I’ve only just started teaching him about.”
“it’s neither of your faults my love.” she kissed his head and it brought him small comfort in his massive amount of pain. Not only did his injuries hurt but it hurt to regrow muscle like he was having to do. In the end he was honestly just grateful he was fast enough to keep that stuff off of Acastus. As most demons Acastus could heal himself but what he had created could have killed him way faster than his body could fix the damage. Savant knew he was only alive because his body healed at such an exponential rate. He hadn’t wanted to teach Acastus how to make such things yet but he knew during his talk he’d have to talk to his son about what he had made.
In a few hours he was calm and healed enough to talk to Acastus. He gave Barbarah a long kiss then went to his sons room. “Acastus?’ he asked at the door and his son answered quickly, still looking just as sad and ashamed “can I come in?” Savant asked and his son moved out of the way. Acastus hid what pain he had left as he moved to the bed and sat. Acastus grabbed his desk chair and sat in front of his father. “I’m sorry” Acastus said, now looking on the verge of tears “son, it wasn’t your fault.”
“I disobeyed you. I’m never supposed to change things without an okay from you..I really thought I could make it better…and..I just wanted to make you proud” Savant hated seeing Acastus so disheartened. “You’re young and brilliant and were using some things I’ve only recently started teaching you about. I am your teacher and your father. When you are actually creating things my job is to be by your side instructing you and making sure you’re safe. In the end accidents happen and I’m just glad you’re okay. What you made is very deadly, even to demons. It will devour flesh, even taking the bone when it runs out of meat. I didn’t want you delving into this type of stuff yet but you do need to know about what you created and how so that type of accident doesn’t occur a second time”
Savant explained everything about it then patted his sons shoulder since a hug from him would still hurt “I love you and you make me proud every day, especially when I’m teaching you. You don’t have to try to make things better to gain approval from me. Furthermore, I don’t want you to view this as a punishment because I promise on your mother it isn’t. While I’m finishing the surprise for your mother and can’t look at you work I want you to continue you’re reading. Theres many books you still need to read through. That way you’re still learning and I can still finish up for your mom”
Acastus nodded and Savant asked ‘you know that’s not me punishing you right?’
“yes sir, you wouldn’t promise anything on mom unless you meant it”
“is it safe for me to go grab the last book you gave me to read?”
“Oh yes, all of that is disposed of. Maybe next I should teach you how to destroy that matter”
Savant stood, giving a little wince of pain. He really hated how volatile that stuff was, but it could come in handy if one was surrounded or being pursued. He decided as he left Acastus’s room that it was about time to teach his son how to weaponize certain chemicals. “How is he?” Barbarah asked when he came into the living room and sat down.
“Fine, now that he realizes I’m not disappointed or angry.” He rested his forearms on his knees, keeping his back from touching the couch.
“It looks better. When will it be completely healed?” He smiled at her and pulled her close.
“Don’t look so worried, I’m fine.”
“I don’t like seeing you in pain.”
He stroked her cheek then kissed her. “It’ll be healed before you know it.”
“I can’t until it’s healed. I’d probably just throw it up.”
“where’s our son?”
“he’s getting the last book I gave him to read and I guess will be in his room” she smiled “he loves learning from you so much”
“and I love teaching him. I’ve decided to shift my lesson plan though”
“when he finishes that book I’m going to have him start reading a different collection of books I have because I’m going to start teaching him how to make things like he made today so he can use them to defend himself if he’s out numbered or facing a demon far stronger than he is” her face filled with deeper concern and Savant comforted her “don’t worry, if he would have made that stuff outright it wouldn’t have exploded. I’ll keep him safe, you know that. I’d let anything happen to me before I let him get hurt”
“I don’t want you hurt either though”
“I always heal, there isn’t much out there that can wound me”
“you’re going to teach him about that stuff too?”
“In time, he needs to acquire a few more skills first but at the rate he picks up things he could easily be that far before his seventeenth year is up. I’ve taught him far more than I anticipated already because he’s so quick and intelligent.” Acastus cleared his throat and they looked at him. He was obviously brimming with joy at Savants praise “Yes son?” Barbarah asked “I noticed it messed up the floor a little and I was going to ask if dad wanted me to fix it. I really want to since it’s only messed up because I didn’t follow directions and I know you hurt too much to do it dad”
“what were you saying about me learning new things?”
“As soon as you finish that book I’m going to teach you how to properly make things like you made today so if you find yourself at a disadvantage you can level the field” his eyes were wide with excitement, his heart thumping “really dad”
“yep, i was going to hold that off until you learned a few other things but today has made me realize it’s time so finish up with that book and I’ll give you the next thing I need you to read”
“yes sir! Right after I fix the floor!” Acastus ran off absolutely thrilled and more anxious than ever to read.
“He’s like a kid in a candy store.” Barbarah said with a smile.
“What kid doesn’t like learning to blow things up.”
“I hope that’s not all you plan on teaching him.”
“Of course not, but us boys must have our fun. He’ll be learning about noxious gases and stuff like that as well.”
He lifted her onto his lap and rested his head on her shoulder, giving a little sigh. “Are you alright?”
“Better than alright, I have the most beautiful woman in the world sitting in my lap. It helps dull the pain.”
She kissed his forehead and he pressed one into her neck, his breath against her neck making her giggle. “You can’t eat so how about some water, could you keep that down?”
He tightened his hold on her. “I’m fine my love, as soon as this is healed I promise to eat and drink.”
“will it take much longer? This is weird since you normally close right up”
“and you see why I was in such a panic initially to get over our son. I might could have avoided such a bad injury if I could think clearly but when I smelled what was about to happen all I could think about was your face if this had gotten all over Acastus. It’s why hes learning about these things now, he needs to know so I know he wont accidentally hurt himself beyond repair since he cant heal like me”
“I love you” was all she could say. His arms somehow held her even tighter “would you have hated me?”
“Dont even ask that. You would never let him die or even get hurt if you could stop it. You love us both too much”
“still, I’m sorry I wasn’t watching him”
“we’ve already established it was really neither of your faults. His a teen, you give him his space from time to time, I get it” Savant kissed her neck again then nuzzled his face on her shoulder. They sat like this for so long it cause Barbarah to jump slightly when he suddenly stood “where are we going?”
“our bed” he totted her to his room and laid her down before laying on her, his head comfortable on her chest “am I squishing you?”
“You know you never do” she said with a smile, wishing she could hold him back but didn’t want to hurt him. They both fell asleep and were surprised when Acastus woke them for dinner “I made Spaghetti” he said. It was one of the very few things he could cook. Any time he had to learn anything he used it to soak up all he could from Savant. Even if it was just reading from the books that Savant wanted him to he just wanted to learn it all as fast as he could.
“We’re coming.” Savant said back and moved up to kiss Barbarah. “You make me feel so much better.”
“How’s your back?”
“Feels better, more like it’s badly bruised.”
“Let me see.” He pushed off of her and turned around and she reached out, running her fingers over his skin. He flinched away and she pressed a kiss against the back of his neck. “Sorry, it looks badly bruised, your back is black and blue.”
“Once the muscle is all back in place, the skin in easy, but it still hurts like hell.”
“I’m glad you’re feeling better, we should go eat before the spaghetti has time to cool.”
“Perhaps I should have Acastus read a cook book so he knows how to make other things. If he decides to move out one day, he shouldn’t have to survive off of spaghetti alone.”
“He still has plenty of time learn, let him focus on his studies.”
“If that’s what you wish.”
“he’s only sixteen and currently you have him brimming with joy about learning how to make things boom”
“okay, after a few successful creations then. I just don’t want him to be helpless when it comes to tending a home.” They walked to the table where Savant made sure there was space between his back and the back of the chair. The next day Savant was able to teach his son again so as always they disappeared and Barbarah tidied the castle. “moms present?”
“I know you’re dyeing to try somthing so I’ll skip today”
“No dad it’s okay. As you said, I have a lot of reading to do. I want you to work on moms present”
“yeah, go on”
“do you want to see?”
“mr secretive will let me?”
“just please son, keep this one secret if I show you. I love you dearly but you’ve always been bad about telling your mother when I’m trying to surprise her”
“I wont tell her what it is. I figured thats why you wouldn’t let me see” He took his son to where he had been working and lifted a slightly large, dark brown box. Acastus gave him a confused look and Savant opened it. “Oh my god…those are beautiful” In the box laid the most gorgeous earrings, necklace and almost completed ring he had ever seen. He then noticed the very same diamonds that rested in these were in large and small pieces all around this area. “holy shit dad” Acastus said after another long pause. Savant closed the box “I just need to finish her diamond. When we went to that last wedding at Chthons all your mom could talk about was how beautiful it was and the ring and well, you live with her too”
“It made me want to give her a wedding too. I’m hoping she’ll want to wear the necklace and earrings in the wedding too. They are perfect with her ring if she’ll even like that.”
“they are stunning dad. Now I really want you to finish. Get to work and I’ll read. You better hurry and finish this”
“I want mom to be happy and this will make her super happy. You get to work, I’ll read in the library, no chemical experimentation until you’re done.”
Acastus took off running, waving to his father as he vanished from sight. Savant chuckled and sat down, getting to work on the last stone. He couldn’t wait to give them to Barbarah and he hoped she would love them. Barbarah noticed Acastus running through the castle as she opened the windows open to let in the fresh air. “Acastus, where’s your father?”
“He asked me to grab some books. He wants me to research all the uses of the chemicals I put in that acid yesterday.”
“alright, hurry up” she winked and he smiled. He may have spilled the beans about her surprise but he was determined he wouldn’t tell her what it actually was. Though his father was right about him always revealing it to his mother when he knew about anything Savant was trying to surprise her with it wasn’t like he intended to. They had spent a large portion of his life on the run and just trying to survive together. When you go through somthing like that with a person, especially your mother, you can read eachother like a book. She’d ask just the right question or he’d just be so excited talking to her it would simply slip out. This would be different, no matter what she wasn’t going to know what he was up to.
Barbarah was curious as to what Savant and Acastus were hiding, but she decided for the sake of them both, she would pretend like she didn’t know they were up to something. She knew it couldn’t be dangerous, whatever it was, they would never keep something like that from her. She continued down the hall, opening windows until she came to a pair of balcony doors. She threw them open and stepped out into the fresh air. She wondered how long it had been since she had flown last and climbed onto the railing. She held her arms out, smiling as she allowed herself to fall forward. She let herself drop then spread her wings and pulled herself back up. She laughed, her heart doing an excited flip.
Acastus glanced out the window as he read, doing a double take when he saw his mother flying. He jumped up, going into a bit of a panic. What if she spotted Savant working on her gift, then the surprise would be ruined. He ran to the library window and threw it open. “Mom.” He yelled and he saw her turn her attention to him. “Come here please.”
Barbarah flew to the library window, grabbing onto the windowsill and planting her feet against the castle wall. “What is it sweetie, did something happen in there again?”
“Uh no…it’s just…uh…” he racked his brain “oh I was wondering if maybe you would like to teach me how to cook those snack bars you always make for dad and I when we get too lost in my studies.”
“You want to learn how to cook something?”
“Yes, please, I would really appreciate it.”
She smiled. “Alright.” She hauled herself through the window and heard his exhalation of relief. It made her smile that he was trying so hard for Savant.
She patiently taught him, explaining while letting him do most of it to help the lesson sink in. When they were done and cooled Acastus said “I’ll take them to dad”
“Okay honey” He hurried away and she decided to prep what she could for dinner so it would be easier to get it on the table. She was still prepping when she heard a furious knock on the door. She set down what she was doing and wiped her hands off on her clothes as she walked to answer. When she did she was surprised to see Loren “honey”
“can I come in” she sounded angry “of course sweetie, where are your parents. You’ve never come alone” Loren came in and Barbarah followed her to the couch “I hate my dad somtimes”
“why? Last time I saw you two you guys were still close as ever”
“well, about five months ago I met this guy and he asked me out but dad wont let me go anywhere alone with him. We have to be in the house or somebody has to go with us wherever and it’s not fair, I’m eighteen. He drives me crazy”
“I know it’s not what you want to hear but he just loves you and probably worries because of his own past as a man”
“It’s not Nathans fault or mine and he needs to let me be an adult” Barbarah sighed “do they know you’re here”
“where do they think you are?”
“they dont know unless they try to track me..I..” now Loren sighed “Nathan said if he couldn’t be alone with me ever I wasn’t worth dating and he left me” Barbarah saw her eyes dampen “I really liked him and dad ruined it… I…I told him I hated him and that I;m eighteen and I was running away and not coming back and if they came after me I’d just hate him more and would run away as many times as I had to for them to leave me alone”
“Loren” she started to cry and spoke as Barbarah held her “I changed my mind but I’m too angry to go back so I just came here. Kieran didn’t like him either and I didnt want to hear anything from him so thats why i came all this way instead of going to Acenaths”
“why didn’t Kieran like him?”
“said he had a bad aura and that my dad was right. They’re both idiots”
“can I at least let your parents know you’re okay and here…your parents love you and I know for a fact if they arent looking for you they’re heartbroken and worrying over you” Acastus came in. He smelled her in the castle and there was no scent that would catch his nose faster than Lorens “whats wrong?” he asked with concern and worry practically oozing from him. Loren finding a boyfriend and being upset over him wasn’t somthing she wanted her son to hear because Barbarah, unlike Loren, knew how her son felt about her. “boy troubles” Barbarah said.
“Did someone hurt you?” He took Loren’s hand. “I’ll kill them if they did.”
Loren let out a laugh then sniffed. “It’s okay, I’m fine.”
“Want to talk about it, you know I’ll always listen.”
“Oh, dad just won’t let me be alone with boys.”
“You know he just cares about you, you’re his daughter.”
Barbarah sighed, wishing her son would say something to Loren. It was obvious to everyone how much he cared about her and Thorn trusted him. “I’m going to go let Thorn and Gloria know that she’s safe.”
“Okay mom, stay safe.”
“I think I’ll have your father accompany me.”
“Ah, stay here. Loren just wait for me in the living room.” He hurried off to get Savant, not wanting his mother to see the gift.
Savant was just coming through the front door as Acastus was going out and they ran into each other. Savant nearly knocked him over and Acastus was surprised when Savant didn’t budge. “Slow down there bud.”
“Sorry dad, mom wanted you to go with her to Gloria and Thorn’s, but I didn’t want her to see what you were working on.”
“what’s going on?”
“I don’t know the whole story yet but Lorenas here and upset and it’s about some boy”
“Okay, I’ll have your mom fill me in on the rest on the way. I’d say take care of Loren but I know you will”
“dad” he said in a whisper “what?”
“I told you when I told you I love her, girls dont like boys that are younger than them…she wont want me because she’s two years older. Every romance book I’ve read the guy is always older”
“Life is not a book son” Savant said then walked away to find his mate. Just before leaving Barbarah said “you know this boy couldn’t cook to save his life but hes good at following direction in the kitchen, he showed me today. You two can make whatever you want for dinner and don’t do it all yourself. He just needs you to guide him through it”
“thank you” Loren said then wiped her face again. “you’re welcome, you know you are welcome here for as long as you like but your father loves you so much and you can’t mean that you hate him. Since the day you were born you were a daddies girl and to him you’re the apple of his eye. He was only trying to protect you from what he perceived as a threat” Loren sniffed and wiper her face “Maybe I don’t hate him but I do know I havent been able to stand him these past few months”
Knowing she needed time to breath and their son would easily get her calm Savant and Barbarah left. As the door shut Loren turned to Acastus “will you just hold me a second” without a second wasted he pulled her into his arms “I’ll hold you as much as you want”
“So what exactly happened?” Savant asked as he laced his fingers through Barbarah’s.
“Well apparently Loren met a young man and Thorn wouldn’t let them go anywhere alone together. Kieran also didn’t like him, said he had a bad aura.”
“With the past Thorn has, I am sure he can spot the bad in people. I doubt he would do something like without reason.”
“I know, but I didn’t want to side with him and have her leave. She needs to cool off.”
“Besides, Thorn trust Acastus to be alone with her. They’ve spent plenty of time alone together.”
“She’s just young and lets her emotions lead her. Once she has time to really think, she’ll understand why Thorn is so protective.”
“Maybe Acastus will actually get around to saying something to her. He seems to think that just because they’re two years apart, she won’t be able to love him. He’s been reading too many books on romance.”
“what does a two year age difference matter?”
“He says girls always like guys who are older”
“Oh goodness, I mean, yeah that seems to happen naturally but there are plenty of occasions where women end up with men who are younger than them. He’s certainly not out of the running for two years”
“Well, we know that, hopefully he realizes that”
“I’m glad you have so many books for him though. You teaching him to read was one of the best things you ever did for him”
“I hope to eventually teach him everything I know. Even when he leaves home I know he will come just to visit but I also hope he’ll still come for lessons if I havent passed on everything to him yet”
“with his hunger for knowledge I’m sure he will”
while preparing dinner Acastus managed to get Lauren smiling and laughing, doing all he could think of to get her to stop crying. As they ate though she told him everything that had been going on and he sighed angrily, angry that any man that had her would throw her away for any reason. “If you ask me he’s an idiot for leaving you just because you couldn’t be alone together.”
“Because you’re amazing and if he couldn’t see that it’s his loss. Any man with a brain would have gladly put up with someone tailing them all the time if it meant being with you” Lauren smiled “you always know just what to say…thanks for being so sweet Acastus”
“thank me by not wasting any more tears on such a moron”
“okay” When Savant and Barbarah made it to Thorn and Glorias a day later they knocked and were soon answered by Gloria who looked like she probably hadn’t done much sleeping since her daughter left “come in” she said and they stepped inside. “where is Thorn?”
“Thorn!” Gloria called and he walked in, somhow looking even more of a heartbroken mess than his wife. They knew it had to destroy him when his little girl uttered the words I hate you. “we just came to let you know Loren came to our place. We told her she could stay as long as she wanted. I figured it would be better than nobody knowing where she is” Relief filled Glorias voice “Oh thank you, it’s so good to know she isn’t with Nathan. Please tell us he didn’t end up there with her.”
“she came alone”
“are you sure?” Thorn asked “what do you mean are we sure?”
“He can make himself invisible. Pissed him off when he realized you had to be invited in to enter our home when he tried to sneak in here. It’s why I quit letting Lauren go anywhere alone at all because she isn’t sensitive enough to detect him, Gloria cant either. I know how much she has grown to despise me but I’m just trying to protect her..I dont know whats wrong with him but I know hes bad news. I don’t mean I think he has a bad past, I feel in my gut if I let him be alone with her somthing bad would happen and I’d rather have her hate me and safe than love me and go through whatever he’d end up doing with her. Lauren doesn’t believe he tries to stalk her invisibly. She said I was making it up to try and make her not like him…..I havent slept at all since she left..shes an adult and nothing short of chaining her down would seem to keep her here so we had to let her go”
“do you think I would have known he was there if he came with her?” Savant asked. “I dont know, you’re pretty powerful yourself but I don’t know”
“If you dont trust him I dont want him in my castle. We are all going back and if she tries to run away we will just have to make her see reason.”
Acastus was reading when Loren came into the library and he looked up, smiling brightly at her. “You feel better today?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
He sat his book down. “Do you really think your dad would do something without reason? He’s one of the nicest guys I know and he loves you more than anything. Besides, it’s not like he’s mean to everyone who looks at you. You and I spend a lot of time together.”
“I guess, how do you not go crazy being told what to do all the time?”
“Savant only tells me what to do to protect me. He’s been a great father, teaching me so many amazing things and he buys me any book I want, but if he says not to do something or he tells me something is dangerous then I listen. I seriously injured him a couple of days ago and if he had not been there, I could have been killed by one mistake. You should be glad that Thorn wants to protect you, your his little girl.”
“what happened with you and Savant?”
“I was practicing somthing he taught me and I started thinking about some new plants and powders he had taught me about a few days before. From what he told me I wondered why he didn’t add them to that because it seemed like it would make it even better. Instead of following the rules and asking him before changing anything I just did it because based on my knowledge I thought I knew what I was doing. I made some sort of acid and if he hadn’t covered me and taken it himself because he heals so fast I would be dead. Our fathers know so much more than we know and I dont want you to hate me for saying this but I really think you should listen to your dad because he loves you and because hes older he’s smarter. Just because we as young demons dont see the danger doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Please learn from my mistake and trust your dad. I don’t want to have to kill a man because he hurts you”
Loren looked away, honestly feeling a little embarrassed. Acastus waited for her to say somthing, worried that she was angry at him now too but he loved her too much not to tell her what he just did. She sighed “maybe I have been a brat” Loren said sadly and Acastus tried hugging her, glad when she let him. “you aren’t being a brat. We’re just young and I’m sure we’re not the first teens to think we’re smarter than our parents.”
“You should have seen my dads face when I said I hated him…it was mean of me to say…I didnt mean it”
“just tell him you’re sorry when you see him. He’ll understand”
‘I’m kind of embarrassed now”
“why? You never have to be with me. Besides, you just heard my story right?”
“Thank you but at no point were you a brat. I ran off, called my dad a liar and told him I hated him. I was hardly better than a toddler throwing a tantrum”
He gave her a little squeeze. “He loves you and he won’t be mad, all you have to do is apologize and everything will be fine.”
“How did you become so smart.”
He chuckled as he pulled back to look at her. “I just know that good parents never hold anything like that over their child’s head and Thorn is a good dad.” She rested her head on his shoulder and he let his hand run up and down her back. “How about we go outside for a little bit, I can teach you about some of the plants.”
“Okay, sounds good.”
Savant, Barbarah, Gloria and Thorn ran as quickly as they could, wanting to get back to the castle as soon as possible. It was a day at a walk, but they shaved some time off by sprinting. Savant knew that if anything happened, Acastus would defend Loren with his life. He also knew his son would use that acid if he had too. It was a volatile compound, but if Nathan attacked them, it would definitely make the demon think twice. He could tell the others were extremely worried, even he himself was, but he put his faith in Acastus and his love for Loren.
After he had taught her awhile they prepared a picnic and were now just enjoying it under the comforting heat of the sun. Acastus grew brave enough to ask “so, you only say you liked him when you talk about Nathan. You didn’t fall in love?”
“No, I mean he was hot but he spent most the time just grumbling about not getting to be alone with me so I didnt get to know him well enough to love him”
“what would make you love a guy.” he asked a little awkwardly. Lauren gave him a puzzled look, for the first time in her life catching a hint Acastus might see her as more than a good friend “why Acastus” he shrugged so she said “nobody asks a question without reason”
“can’t you just answer it?”
“well I could easily fall in love with you” she said making his eyes widened and his face go almost instantly from looking away to looking at her “what?”
“I dont know, just the way you asked me that and got weird made me think you were asking that because you want me to love you”
“you..you could love me”
“I already love you like I love my family. I’d kick some chicks ass who hurt you just as you’d kick a mans ass for me. I just never thought about us. I mean you’re an amazing guy and all. The thought of us being more just hadn’t occurred to me”
“so you think that could turn into a more romantic love like how I love you” Lorens face softened. Hearing I love you from him sounded so heartfelt and sincere that it melted her heart as it flowed into her ears. She set her food down and crawled over to Acastus, kissing him before his over heated brain from blushing could make out what was happening. It was a long, closed mouthed kiss. She pulled back, smiling so it shown in her eyes “Say that you love me again. It feels so good to hear it from you”
“I..I I…I..lo love you” she giggled, he was absolutely feverish and stuttering like the sweetheart she had always known him to be “how didn’t I notice sooner you adorable man you”
“dont tease me”
“I’m not trying to”
She rubbed her nose against his and he gave a soft sigh. “You sound relieved.”
“I am, I finally got to tell you how I feel, I no longer feel like I’m going to explode.” She kissed him again, this one briefer than the last then sat back down and continued eating while Acastus just stared at her all dreamy eyed.
“We should take a short break.” Savant said as he slowed to a stop.
“What about that boy, he could be there hurting them.” Gloria replied.
“Listen, he’s right. We should catch our breath and then continue.” Thorn said and flopped down on the ground. “Just a few minutes Gloria and then we’ll be on our way.”
She sighed and sat down next to him. “Alright, but not too long.”
Savant dropped down. “Acastus will not let anything happen to Loren. He loves her far too much for that.”
“I know, I can see that, it’s just hard thinking that little bastard may have stalked her to your home.” Gloria replied.
“He just started learning about making weapons out of various chemicals so if magic does not work, then he’ll make something that will. He’s smart and never forgets a recipe.”
“I just hope that if shes fine she doesn’t react too badly to us..she left so upset” Thorns serious face turned into a sad one again as for the millionth time he could hear his daughter telling him she hated him. Gloria hugged him while resting her head on his shoulder “you know she loves you Thorn. She’s a hormone filled teenager who said somthing in the fury of the moment. She’ll be daddies little girl again eventually” He rested his head on hers wordlessly. To all their relief when they reached Savant and Barbarahs there was no sign of Nathan. He must have really left and quit bothering with her since he couldn’t get her alone with him.
They went in and Savant said “even though you don’t smell him I want to do a walk through with you to be sure” Thorn nodded and Barbarah asked Gloria “why dont we find the kids”
“Okay” When they stumbled upon Acastus and Loren they were cuddling as he made different things happen with magic in front of her. They hated to break up the moment but by the time they saw them Loren noticed them right back. She blushed seeing her mother and got out of Acastus’s arms “hey mom”
“checking the castle with Savant. We came back in a rush to be sure Nathan didn’t follow you”
‘because he can be invisible?”
“You believe that now?” Loren nodded “Acastus talked some sense into me…I’m really sorry mom and I know the person I need to apologize most to is dad which is why I wanted to know where he was” Gloria hugged her daughter “it’s okay baby”
“I didnt mean anything I said when I left”
“I know, I was young once too honey. Let your dad finish checking around and then you can make his day.” Gloria pulled back from the hug to look at her daughter “You are your fathers world. Always know no matter what he does he’s doing what he thinks is best for you. He’d protect you with his life”
“I know, I hate I was so stupid…”
“Not stupid, you just let your emotions hinder your thinking. You’re a very smart girl, especially now that I see you so chummy with Acastus.” Loren smiled “yeah, we’re dating now.”
“that is also going to make your father happy. He actually likes him” They waited in the living room for the men who eventually entered, Thorn not sure what to do with himself now that he was in the same room as his daughter again. Luckily for him she got up and crossed over to hug him. He pressed her hard into him “I’m sorry dad, I’m so sorry for being such a brat”
“It’s okay baby girl”
“I didn’t mean it when I said I hated you, I could never hate you”
“You’re going to come home then?”
“well, I kind of want to visit here a bit. Acastus and I are dating now’ He pulled back with a smile and obviously forcing back relieved tears “I’m happy for you to stay then. Excellent choice this time”
“I think so too. He’s so sweet” Thorn nodded and looked at his friends “its fine if we all stay a bit?”
“Of course” Savant answered with a smile.
They sat in the living room and talked for awhile until Savant said he needed to work on something. He was nearly done with Barbarah’s ring and wanted to give it to her soon. He headed out to his workplace, taking a seat and grabbing his tools to work the stone into the perfect size and shape. It was as he carved away at the stone that he felt that something wasn’t right. He froze, opening his senses up. The sound of footsteps alerted him to the sound of someone passing by his work space. They sounded determined and moved past the area without pause. Whoever they belonged to was neither his friends nor his family. He put his tools away and came silently to his feet, inhaling the air. There was a scent there, completely unfamiliar.
He followed the footsteps, staying quiet as he did so, not wanting to alert the intruder that he was sure was Nathan. They went straight up to the front door and it swung open, pulled by an invisible hand. Savant darted in after him and jumped on him, causing the younger demon to become visible in his shock. They rolled across the floor, the noise bringing the others to the foyer where Savant fought with Nathan. Savant slammed him face down onto the floor, wrenching his arm behind his back with one hand while the other held the back of his neck. “What did you think you were doing you little shit?” He asked angrily. “Did you think you could just sneak in?”
“I came for Loren.”
Acastus moved so he was between Loren and Nathan. “You have no right to come here uninvited.” Savant continued. “And Loren is no longer your girlfriend, she’s with Acastus now therefore she is none of your concern.” He forced Nathan to his feet. “A coward like you does not deserve a woman like Loren.”
“Coward? I am no fucking coward”
“You came here invisibly”
“Using my abilities doesn’t make me a coward”
“I dont give a fuck what you think but you’re getting out of my home and never coming back again you little creep”
‘But I changed my mind Lauren! Run away with me! Surely I’m better than this punk ass kid.”
“He’s better than you could ever be” Nathan scoffed “Little whore, i just left you yesterday and now you’re with another man” With everyone thoroughly pissed Savant literally threw Nathan out. “You come back into my home you die. Now get before I let her father rip out your throat for calling Lauren a whore” Nathan just ran and Gloria offered “let me protect your home as I do mine. The spell is easy. Just make sure to remember to invite people in so they can enter.”
“No problem, I’ll make an exception for family and close friends”
“I’l get back to work now” Savant said, still sounding pissed that Nathan had dared to sneak in. Acastus was annoyed, wanting to beat his face in for causing Loren to cry and then coming here calling her a whore when that was just absurd, she was still a virgin and hadn’t even loved him anyway so of course it was easy for her to move on. Lauren kissed his cheek “he didn’t offend me.”
“still, to disrespect you like that”
“Only made it clearer my father was right and I’m right now for being with you”
“It just makes me so mad when men speak that way to women and the fact he thinks he’s not a coward is more than laughable. Only a coward walks away from someone like you and then uses his powers to sneak around instead of just knocking on the door.”
She grabbed his hand so he looked at her and she kissed him, making his face grow hot and making his heart melt. “There, now just be happy.”
“Alright, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Now all you two have to do is get married.” Thorn said and draped an arm over each of their shoulders, making Acastus blush and Loren giggle.
“Daddy, we’ve only just started dating.”
“How about next month or this fall.” He teased and she laughed harder.
“Thorn I’ll do it, someday, I swear.” Acastus said, meaning it, his words touching Loren.
“No rush, I was only messing with you. I’m just happy you two are finally together. I know you’ll take care of her.”
After everyone went to sleep that night Savant completed his presents for Barbarah. He felt a little selfish waking her up but he absolutely couldn’t wait to give them to her now. He gently shook her then kissed her cheek “wake up my sweet”
“is somthing wrong?” she asked sleepily. “No, everythings perfect. I have somthing waiting on our dresser for you”
“would you bring it here” he smiled “but i need you to be standing” she was thoroughly confused but got out of bed anyway. She walked over to the beautifull made box as Savant switched on the light. “Savant” she gasped, covering her mouth with both hands. It took one glance of the contents to fully wake her. “they’re pretty enough?”
“they are…they….they’re beyond pretty enough. Wh…how long have you been working on this?”
“That isn’t of importance” he took the ring out and knelt “would you do me the honor of marrying me Barbarah? You’ve given me more happiness than I thought was ever possible. I sat here day after day thinking I’d be alone forever because i was too hideous to love but then you and that amazing little boy came stumbling into my life and you somehow found it in you to look past how ugly I am and love who’s inside. Every day when I wake up next to such a gorgeous woman I wonder how I’ve managed to keep such a creature for six years. I hope to keep you for the rest of our lives, please Barbarah”
Tears ran down her cheeks. She attempted talking a few times but each time only made her cry worse so she nodded. Savants eyes danced with happiness as he slid her ring on then stood to hug her “That necklace and those earrings are for our wedding. I was hoping you’d wear them”
“I’d also like more children with you when our son moves out” she pulled back and wiped at her face “why after he moves out?”
“I’ve been thinking about more children for awhile but I wanted Acastus to have you to himself for the remainder of his childhood. I mean, yes he’s a man now but after you two spending years doing nothing but surviving I thought he deserved what remained of his youth having a peaceful life with all his mothers attention. ”
“I’d love more children but now he has a girlfriend he’ll want to be with so I think we can start now” Savant chuckled “now it is then” he said suggestively then flung her on the bed. She laughed and they soon began making very passionate and sweet love to one another.When his soon to be wife was back to sleep Savant just laid there, feeling like the luckiest man that ever lived.
~ The End