It had been a year since Humble’s passing and now that she had cried all her tears, she was setting out to fulfill her adoptive mother’s last request. She was to find a man named Chthon, a demon Humble spoke highly of, and ask him to aid her in finding a demon who would inherit Humble’s ability to see the future. At first Scarlett had been jealous of this man, but when Humble had explained that he was the only one immune to the side effects of her gift, she had understood. Humble’s gift of sight had taken years off her life, prematurely aging her in the process.
Scarlett had finally made it to Chthon’s world and was now heading for the castle. Humble had given her specific directions and told her not to veer off of the path she had given her for anything, that if she did, what had to be done would never come to be. Scarlett refused to fail Humble for any reason. She kept her eyes forward, her steps deliberate. She knew she was close, Humble had said the castle was close to this portal. She kept that in mind and hummed a lullaby Humble had sang to her many times when she was a child, it brought her a measure of comfort and only further strengthened her resolve. The castle loomed up before her some time later, looking imposing, but she remembered that this demon was kind to those who were kind to him and his family and that he would only attack someone he saw as a threat. She practically ran up to the large double doors and banged on them, her heart hammering wildly against her chest.
The man who answered the door was not the one Humble had described, though he did have the same look about him, there were some differences. “Yes?” He said, arching an eyebrow.
“Please, I need to see Chthon, it is urgent, please.”
He looked her over and then stepped aside, letting her in. “Dad, you have a guest.” He yelled, staying by her side as they waited.
“Ilios, what is it?” The man who came walking up to them froze when he saw her and scented the air. “You know Humble.”
“Yes sir um, I’m sorry to inform you but…”
“She has finally passed.” A pained look crossed his face and tears filled his eyes. “Ilios, could you please go upstairs and get your mother.”
Chthon gave a heartbroken sigh. “I knew this day would come. May I ask who you are?”
“I am her adopted daughter, Scarlett. She sent me here to fulfill her last request. I need to find a man, I have his description and his name, I just need to find him. He is supposed to inherit her powers. Will you please help me find him, please?”
“For Humble, I will do anything.”
“Scarlett, Humble did more for my family and for the world than we probably even know. She was an amazing woman. You do no have to thank me for helping with her final errand. This man will be inheriting quite a bit of responsibility and power though. Makes me nervous but it was Humble after all. If she trusts him with it I’m sure he will do no harm with the gift”
“she thought the world of him.”
“You must be tired and hungry. I’ll have our servants cook somthing up for you” Chthon got one and asked for a meal to be made. It wasn’t long after arranging that that Ilios came back with his mother. The situation was explained to Ruth and she cried as her husband did. “are you in need of a drink or food Scarlett?” Ruth asked “Chthon has already asked a meal to be made. Thank you for your concern though” Ruth came closer “May I hug you?:’
oh, um, of course” Ruth hugged Scarlett “It’s a shame we never met while Humble lived”
“My mother was a very busy woman. It as a rare time where we werent doing somthing. She lived to make the world a better place. There wasn’t a distance she wouldn’t travel if she thought somthing needed to be changed”
They all sat in the dining room together, Ilios taking the seat next to Scarlett. He hated the sadness on her face, knowing that coming her and speaking about Humble had stirred up memories. “Hey, do you want to see something cool?” He asked softly and she looked into his eyes, making his heart skip a beat.
He held his finger up and a stream of fire flowed out of it and into the air. He manipulated it into the form of a small dragon, making it fly around the room and dip down towards the table to fly past them. He sent it flying back up to the chandelier that hung from the ceiling and light the candles with its wings. He brought it back down again and held out is hand so it landed in his palm. “Pretty neat huh?”
She smiled. “Yeah, it’s beautiful.”
“I can make a lot of things.” He made the dragon disappear. “When my brother Pagos still lived here, we would make steam clouds. It was a lot of fun.”
“I bet Humble would have loved to see that.”
Ilios grabbed her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. He wanted to tell her about the fact that they knew how to raise people from the dead, but he didn’t know if he should. He would talk to his father later about it. “Yeah, I bet she would have.”
The families pain was evident on their faces as they ate. Afterwards Chthon spoke “You’ve undoubtedly traveled a long way. Please have a proper rest for today and enjoy anything in this castle. My son” he said looking at Ilios “will make sure you’re comfortable. We will leave after breakfast tomorrow”
“thank you Chthon”
“You do not have to thank me. If anybody deserves their last will granted it’s Humble. Forgive me while I take my wife so that we may have an important discussion”
Scarlett felt exhaustion settling in after she finished eating and knew it was not only from the long jourey, but also by her sadness over losing the woman who had raised her. Humble’s home had been filled with so much love and warmth, that you never wanted to leave. She had been powerful and fiercely protective. Sometimes seeing her riled up on behalf of another had made Scarlett laugh. It wasn’t something you would expect from a woman who looked as old as Humble had. She sighed and Ilios once more grabbed her hand, the warmth of his skin seeping into her, bringing her a measure of comfort.
“Let me show you to a room, you can get some rest.” He said, his voice gentle as he got to his feet and pulled her chair back. He held out his hand and she took it, letting him lead her out of the dining room. She turned and said a quick thank you to Chthon and Ruth, not wanting to be rude. “It’s okay, they know.”
“Do they now?”
“Yeah, they always know. It’s written all over your face.”
“Humble really loved your family. She said you were all special.” She felt a lump form in her throat that she tried to force down. She couldn’t cry now. She would find the man she had spoke of and make sure he did her power justice. Jase Charon, she repeated the name in her head over and over so she would remember it when they finally met.
“You can have this room.” Ilios said, making her head snap up.
“You can have this room. Mine is right next door in case you need anything tonight so don’t hesitate to wake me, I won’t get mad.”
“I’m going to go talk to my dad. If you need anything and can’t find me, just go back downstairs and to the library. You can’t miss it, so it’ll be easy to find. Sweet dreams Scarlett.”
“Yeah, sweet dreams.”
She swallowed down her sadness again and entered the room. She knew she had dirt, small amounts of blood and sweat on her from her journey here so she decided to take a shower despite the fact she’d be wearing the same dirty clothes tomorrow. She saw a dresser and decided to check inside for somthing to sleep in so her dirty clothes wouldn’t make a horrible mess of the bed in here. She smiled seeing clothes for males and females within the drawers. They were already showing themselves to be just as good hearted as Humble had told her.
She took one of the shirts for a male out, planning on sleeping in it and her underwear. The shower felt nice after forgoing one for so long. She lingered in it much longer than she needed to to be clean. When she finally got around to drying and slipping on clothes she set her original ones by the bed and slipped in for the night. Sleep in a place she knew she was safe was much welcomed and came quickly.
Ilios found his mother and father sitting out back in the garden. He could tell how sad they were as they approached, especially his dad. His mother sat in his lap, stroking her fingers through his hair. “Mom, dad?” He said once he was close and they both looked up at him.
“Hey sweetie, is everything okay with Scarlett?” Ruth asked.
“Yeah, I just needed to ask you something.”
“Then ask.” Chthon said.
“I was wondering if maybe after we find this guy for Scarlett if we could maybe bring Humble back. I mean she won’t have her power anymore so once the guy Scarlett is looking for takes it, we can resurrect her. She could be young again and actually have a life.”
Chthon let out a chuckle and shook his head. “I must be the biggest moron if I didn’t even think of that.” He laughed again and wiped at the dampness still on his cheeks.
“Grief often blinds us to the obvious.” Ruth said softly.
“So, is that a yes?” Ilios asked hopefully.
“Yes, we’ll bring Assaku with us and he and I will perform the ritual.”
“Should I tell Scarlett then?”
“Let her rest tonight, you can tell her later.”
“Okay, goodnight then” Ilios walked away happy that he could make Scarletts and his families pain stop. They would transfer Humbles power and she would live a much deserved normal life. Scarlett was surprised by how late she had slept in when she woke the next day. She hurriedly changed into her clothing from yesterday and went next door to Ilios’s room. He wasn’t there so she went to the library like he told her to, happy to find him with his parents “Oh good you’re awake now. We’ll get breakfast going”
“we were supposed to leave much earlier. I’m sorry. I haven’t been in a bed in a long time”
“We were the ones who decided to let you sleep as long as you needed. It’s okay.” Ilios left to get the kitchen started on brunch. “we have good news once Ilios comes back. It was him who brought it up so we’re going to let him tell you” Chthon said with a smile. ‘You’re doing somthing else on top of helping me?”
“yes” she gave a small bow “you and your wife are far too charitable. Thank you”
“says the daughter of a woman who did nothing but give her whole life” When Ilios returned Ruth promtped “tell her what we talked about last night son” Ilios smiled as Scarlett’s attention came to him. “Assaku taught us how to raise the dead so after we get your mothers powers transferred we are going to resurrect her.”
Scarlett swallowed the unexpected lump that formed in her throat, her eyes staring at off into space as she thought of what he had just said. She didn’t know what to say, afraid if she opened her mouth, she would cry. Ilios rested his hand on her shoulder and she looked at him, taking in his gentle smile. “You alright?” He asked and she managed to nod, swallowing again. “It’s alright, you’re welcome.”
“I just…thank you.” She took a deep breath then blew it out slowly. Their food soon came and they chatted as they ate, Scarlett telling them a few stories about how she had helped Humble. She had enjoyed traveling and had learned so much. When they were finished eating, they each made sure they had what they needed, not knowing how long they would be gone or when they would make it to a friendly village or city.
“You ready?” Ilios asked.
“Yeah.” She smiled. “I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my chest. Will I really get to see her again?”
“Of course.” Assaku said as he shouldered his bag. “Works every time.” He tapped the strap of his bag. “Got everything I need here.”
Ava added “My family has resurrected quite a few people now, they know what they are doing.” Scarlett nodded, incredibly grateful to the Aponte family. They walked out of Chthons castle and headed towards the portal to the world Humble said he could be found in. Ilios walked close beside Scarlett while the two couples walked hand in hand. “could you tell another story about Humble?” he asked and she smiled “Of course” another story began and everyones heads filled with pictures of what she was describing. Scarlette had eighteen years of storys about her mom and she’d be more than happy to share each one
“So what kind of person are we searching for?” Ilios asked after Scarlett finished her last story.
“He’s a saytr named Jase Charon and Humble always spoke fondly of him. I think she loved him maybe. She said he was sweet and gentle. I guess she hasn’t seen him in years, probably because of her power. If they were close then I doubt she would have wanted to burden him with worry over her extreme aging and short life. When she found out that he was immune to her powers, she decided he would be the only one responsible enough to have it. There are many people who still need help, she said, and I won’t risk your health so you need to find Jase.”
“I wonder how she’ll react to being brought back.”
“I’m sure she’ll be happy. It’s not like she wanted to die, it’s just that she knew her time was coming and she accepted it. I don’t know if I could have been as calm as she was.”
Ilios touched her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Give yourself some credit Scarlett, your strength is just one of the things that makes you beautiful. If I ever lost my parents, I don’t think I’d be able to get up in the morning.”
Ilios blushed and pulled his hand away. “So how far to uh Jase’s world?”
Both Chthon and Ruth smiled as they held back their laughter. “Not far since there’s a useable portal near”
“ah good, I’m glad” he said nervously. He was embarrassed he had said out loud she was beautiful, especially in front of other people. The day was vibrant and alive when traveling the day before the world had seemed so dull. The trees were so green, the sands such a nice color brown, the sky an amazing blue and all the animal sounds were a joy to hear. She enjoyed it while she thought of what she needed to do and bringing her mother back. Humble living a normal life with her was almost too amazing for Scarlett to believe.
They made it to the portal and listened to her as she told them how to get to the proper world. All touching to make sure nobody got lost they passed through. Everybody came out the other side well and together so they took off again. Scarlett looked around, searching for landmarks that Humble had used to guide her to her long time friend.
“There, that’s the tree.” Scarlett said as she moved on ahead. Ilios grabbed her hand, not wanting her to get too far ahead of him or the rest of their group. She looked at their clasped hands then at his face which made him blush, but he didn’t let go. Her own heart did a little flip and she quickly focused ahead as they moved past the singular bare tree. Humble had told her that was where she had first met Jase and it was an important place.
“I wouldn’t want to lose you, you’d just run right off if I let you.” Ilios said.
“Probably true, but it’s not like I’m weak or anything.”
“I never said you were, I just think we should stick together.” Ilios cleared his throat. “So, where next?”
“There should be a river. She said to head upstream until I come to a small bridge than runs over the water. I guess Jase built it. She said to cross it and head up a trail.”
“He lives alone then?”
“She said he had a dog the last time she saw him.”
“We should get a dog for the castle.” Ilios said as he looked over his shoulder.
“You’re an adult sweetie, you can have as many dogs as you like as long as they are taken care of.” Ruth replied.
Scarlett smiled “dogs are wonderful creatures. I’ll have to visit frequently” He smiled back. They found land mark after landmark in this magnificent world they had come to. Scarletts memory was impeccable, it was most of how she had been any help to Humble on their journeys. Her memory had come in handy more times than the two of them could count. They finally made it to what should be Jase’s home. “I hope he’s there” she said nervously. Ilios gave her hand a reassuring squeeze “if he’s not we can wait” she nodded and kissed his cheek “you really are helping a lot. I kind of need your encouragement. I can’t fail my mother in this” Ruth, Chthon, Ava and Assaku all smiled, feeling warm at how cute the two were.
Scarlett approached the door and knocked. It was a cautious knock so it didn’t make much sound but she trusted he’d be able to hear it anyway if he was there. She was just getting worried she had been right to worry about him being home or not when he finally answered the door. He looked confused but the emotion grew in his eyes “you smell of Humble young lady” his eyes were on Scarlett but it would have been obvious regardless who he was talking to.
“she adopted me and raised me as her own.”
“but she’s not with you”
“No, she…she died, but…” Sorrow filled his eyes and he swallowed, his hand covering his mouth in a show of shock. “Please, it’s going to be alright, these people can bring her back.”
He shook his head. “Not with that gift.”
She reached out slowly and grabbed his shoulder. “That’s why I’m here, she sent me to get you.” His cat like eyes stared straight into hers, unblinking as he waited for her to continue. “May we please come inside?”
“Yes of course, forgive my rudeness.” He moved out of the way and gestured for them to enter. “Please, make yourselves at home.” They all took seats, Ilios taking the spot on the couch next to Scarlett. He still held her hand. “It’s a bit of a shock to get the news that the woman you love is dead, but she can be brought back just like that.”
“Don’t apologize, it’s understandable.”
Jase sat down in his favorite chair, his eyes moving over each of his guests before settling back on Scarlett. “What does she ask of me?”
“She told me that you are immune to the effects of her gift, that it wouldn’t do to you what it did to her. She wants you to take it from her.”
He smiled and shook his head. “I hope that’s something she just found out. If she sat on that for as long as she did and didn’t let me take on the burden, then I might have to have a talk with her.”
“I’m sure she wouldn’t have hid it, she’s better than that.”
“She’s also a selfless individual. She would have given every penny she had if someone needed it. She would have never wanted someone else to suffer.”
“Did you hate her gift?”
“No, I was proud, but it broke my heart when she left me. She didn’t want to force me to watch her life being drained. I tried to get her to stay, but once her mind is made up, it’s hard to change it. For you to come all the way here, her stubborness must have rubbed off on you.”
“It did. So will you come then?”
He nodded. “Of course, I would never keep my lady love waiting. Let me pack and then you can lead the way…uh…”
“Sorry, I’m Scarlett, this is Ilios, his parents Chthon and Ruth…um…Assaku…” Assaku smiled and nodded, “and his mate Ava right?”
“Yes, that’s right.” Ava said with a big smile.
“Nice to meet you all. Incase it hasn’t been said I’m Jase. I know you are bringing her back but I’m a bit too shaken to recall one hundred percent if I or anybody has said my name” He gathered only a small bag of things. He wasn’t a man who required to have much on his person then set off with them. Jase took up the side of Scarlett Ilios wasn’t walking on and asked “have you always known about me Scarlett?”
“yeah, she loved you too Jase.”
“I knew, she left out of love honestly. It wish I could have made her understand I was incapable of loving anybody but her so she would have stayed. It makes me happy she spoke of me though”
“so no girlfriends?”
“None, since she won my heart nobody else has been able to claim it. I’ve heard a few things she has done since she left. When others hear stories they come tell me. I didn’t hear of you though. How old are you?”
“Strange no one spoke of you.”
“Well most people talk to Humble when she saves them or tells them something important, no time for the red headed girl in the back.”
He laughed. “Humble was always good with people. Her smile and warmth drew them in, though if you messed with those she saw as family, she would tear into you. I’ve seen grown men crumble under her words.”
“Oh yes and that stare, like she was seeing right into your soul and into your mind to every bad thing you had ever done.”
“That does sound like her. Fiercely protective.”
He sighed. “So, how about you, any boyfriends or a mate?”
She glanced at Ilios. “Well not really, I was always busy helping Humble. I have friends, but I never got to spend much time with them.”
“What about Ilios?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well he hasn’t let go of your hand since you walked in my door. Is that just for support?”
Both Scarlett and Ilios blushed, the latter not realizing he was still holding her hand. It had felt so natural that he had not let go. He pulled his hand away and ran his fingers through his hair. “Sorry.” He said and became even more embarrassed when he heard his father and Assaku laughing. Both Ruth and Ava elbowed them in their ribs, making them stop.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Though, you do look adorable together.”
“Nu..no it’s okay” Scarlett said. While Scarlett wished he hadn’t let go she was just as embarrassed. She hadn’t really thought of having a boyfriend before but the idea seemed nice if it was with Ilios. He was undeniably handsome and being Chthon and Ruths son odds were he was a good person. Chthon wasn’t a man to put up with or look over people being cruel. When they arrived back at the portal Ilios had an excuse to take back her hand and he did, once again keeping it despite the embarrassment of before. Scarlett couldn’t help but wear a large smile. She could definitely be happy with being with him if that was somthing he wanted to try aswell.
“How far from Chthon’s home to where Humble is buried?” Jase asked.
“A couple of days.” Scarlett answered.
“How about we walk until we’re hungry or tired then.” Chthon said.
“Sounds like a plan.” Ilios agreed and they continued to follow Scarlett. They walked on through lunch, chatting happily with one another. Jase smiled as Scarlett told him about her life with Humble and how amazing it had truly been. She could tell he had missed her dearly and couldn’t wait to bring her back so they could be together. If anyone deserved happiness, it was Humble. She had given so much. When it was nearly dinner time, they stopped and Chthon and Assaku disappeared into the forest to hunt. Jase and Ilios gathered wood for a fire, while Scarlett sat with Ruth and Ava.
“So, do you like my son?” Ruth suddenly asked, keeping her voice as quiet as she could.
Scarlett blushed and glanced at Ilios. “Yes, I really do. He’s incredibly sweet.”
Ruth and Avan both smiled. “So why don’t you tell him?” Ava said.
“Well, we only just met.”
Ava rolled her eyes and Ruth gave a soft laugh. “Love at first sight is a real thing you know.”
Ilios and Jase came back over once they had enough wood and Scarlett’s cheeks burned as she wondered if he had heard anything. She watched as he piled the wood then used his fire to set it alight. He flopped down next to her and took her hand, making her heart give a little leap. “If it bothers you, I’ll stop holding your hand.” He said and looked at her.
“Why would it?”
“Your heart is beating really fast.”
“Oh, it’s fine, really. It’s nice.”
“then why is it making you so nervous?” He asked hoping it was attraction to him. She glanced over at his mother and niece who seemed to be cheering her on silently. They werent doing a thing but she could see the motions in their eyes. “I think you’re handsome” she said to his lap, having trouble meeting his gaze. He blushed, his own heart picking up the pace “it’s good to hear, I think you’re beautiful”
“Do you want to date me?”
“more than you know” Ava and Ruth squealed. Jase sat there smiling. Ilios wanted to kiss Scarlett but not infront of his mom and niece. He would save it until they got a chance to be alone. Once they were alone nothing short of her telling him no would stop him. Ruth was quick to inform Chthon when the two men came back. He smiled at them, obviously very much approving of the couple. They ate and gave themselves a little longer to rest before heading out again. This time they wouldn’t stop until near dinner and with a good place to rest for the coming night.
They walked well past dark since it got dark earlier in this world. It didn’t matter to anybody but Jase since the demons could all see clearly in the dark. Ruth took his hand to make sure he didn’t get hurt in the pitch dark.
They stopped once Chthon found a safe place for them to all rest and Ilios made another fire. They each took their place around the flickering flames, Ilios laying as close to Scarlett as he dared. He wasn’t sure how she would react to being cuddled so early in their relationship. “Would it be alright if you held me?” Scarlett asked as she turned over and looked at him. “It’s a little chilly.”
“Of course.” He felt embarrassed at how excited he was, but moved onto his back and pulled her into his arms. She rested her head on his chest and he gave a contented sigh. His entire body warmed and he kissed the top of her head. “Sweet dreams.”
“You too.” She rubbed her cheek against his chest then let out a little sigh before relaxing into him. He stayed awake until she fell asleep then let his own eyes fall closed. He wasn’t sure how long they slept, only that it didn’t seem like more than a few seconds before his father was shaking him. His eyes snapped open, the jerking of his body waking Scarlett.
“Time to get up son.”
“What time is it?”
“Early, your mother’s making breakfast.”
“Okay” he said then let out a small yawn as Scarlett sat up “thank you for holding me last night.” her face was red again and he kissed her cheek, hoping it would be alright. “I enjoyed doing it” they both smiled and Ruth looked at her husband to make sure he wasn’t going to be chuckling at them. Young love was certainly adorable though. Ruth wondered if her and Chthon would have seemed so cute to others. She knew not to her scathingly racist parents if they would have ever found out what her husband was but they hadn’t known so maybe. Regardless she couldn’t imagine anybody but her finding her husband cute.
“are you sure I can’t help grandma?” Ava asked and Ruth shook her head “no but thank you for the second offer’ Ruth brought her concentration back to everyones meal, soon getting it finished so they could eat and travel on. Assaku put the fire out and they got on their way. With Chthon at their side the rest of the journey to Humbles grave was peaceful. No doubt that could have been one of the reasons why Humble wanted her to get Chthon and his family.
They all stood around Humble’s grave in silence for a few moments, none of them wanting to disturb her resting place. Chthon took a deep breath and waved a hand, make the dirt move. Jase dropped into the hole, followed by Scarlett then Chthon and Assaku. Jase moved to his knees and leaned down, pressing his forehead against Humble’s. “I think we need to have a talk when you come back my love, a real talk about not risking your health.” He placed a hand on her chest, over where her heart no longer beat. “I’ll take it from you, but don’t think I’ll be giving it back. I need you alive and well.” As if his words acted as some sort of signal, Humble’s power was stirred up and her body took on a soft glow. It collected at her brow where their skin touched and washed over Jase, making him give a little gasp.
Scarlett just stared in wonder, amazed by the transfer of energy. Her mother had been so strong, even locking away her gift before passing so Jase could take it. She watched as Jase jerked back, a dazed expression on his face as his mind and body adjusted to the new power that flowed through him. “Are you alright?” She asked.
“Of course.” He said with a smile. “She’s just amazing.”
“If you two would take a step back, Assaku and I will wake her.” Chthon said.
“Will she still be my mother?” Scarlett asked as she gave them some room.
“Of course, she’ll have all her memories and everything, though she will look young again, probably the same as when Jase last saw her.”
Scarlett smiled “you can really even do that for her” Assaku nodded “Ruth is a living testament to that” Scarlett wanted to ask all about that but she knew the men had work to do and talking would be distracting. Ilios held her close as she watched them perform the ceremony. Before she knew it there her mother was, taking her first breaths. Jase helped her stand, meeting their lips the second Humble was straight. . When they parted he smiled at her and touched their foreheads “welcome back beautiful”
“you took my gift”
“yes and you’re not getting it back.” Humble smiled and looked for her daughter, smiling even bigger when she saw her in the arms of one of Chthons sons. “Scarlett” she said in that same loving way she always had when she was alive. Scarlett left her boyfriends arms and clung to her mother. “Oh mom”
“I knew you’d succeed in this. I’ve always been able to count on you”
“You look so beautiful mom” Humble could feel the difference in her body. Not feeling a single ache or pain she used to suffer and looked to Chthon “you two made me young?”
“you didn’t know we were going to?”
“near the end I struggled to see too far. Alll of me grew weak with my deteriorating body”
“You look stunning Humble” Ava added and Humble chuckled “don’t you all fuss now. Thank you Chthon, thank you Assaku”
“Don’t fuss, like that’s going happen.” Jase said as he pulled her back into his arms. “All these years all I’ve done is fuss and that’s not going to change.”
“Oh Jase, I’m sorry, but you know I had too.”
He shook his head. “You could have stayed, you could have let me take care of you, let me be there for you.” He sighed. “I shouldn’t be bringing this up now, you just woke up and I’m being selfish.”
Her arms went around his waist, her head resting on his shoulder. “It’s not selfish, I’m sorry for making you worry and for hurting you.”
“Hush now, let’s just get you home okay?”
“Why don’t you come back to our place and get cleaned up and rested. We have clothes you can borrow Humble and we’d love to have you over for dinner.” Chthon said and Humble smiled.
“You have the biggest heart Chthon Aponte and I’d love dinner with you and your family.”
“I’m carrying you back Humble, no arguing. I want you close.” Jase said and she cracked a smile.
“Alright, no arguing.”
They traveled back to the castle, Jase babying Humble determinatly so she eventually stopped trying to get him to stop. Humble was used to doing the helping and she didn’t feel she deserved it from him after leaving like she did. It didn’t matter to her how noble her intentions were, it was somthing she felt bad about. Jase took Humble to rest after they ate so Scarlett took the opportunity to talk to Ruth “I didn’t know you died at one point. Mom never told me”
“During my first go at life I was a human, I don’t know if you can tell or not. I refused to let my husband change me into a demon. I thought I wanted to just live my human life span and be done but I realized how foolish I had been after it was too late to change me. I hurt my family so horribly and for so many years… it was probably the worst decision I had ever made. Thankfully Assaku came into our lives and here I am” Assaku chuckled but it wasn’t a humorous one “don’t act like I was doing somthing noble. I helped bring you back to life to be in the sex trade.. I never wanted to do it but I did it anyway.’ Ava kissed his cheek “but he’s a good man, a wonderful man who has helped this family do so many good things”
“I’m glad you’re alive again Ruth and I’m so thankful you all gave my mother back to me” Ruth smiled “Ilios you take care of her tonight. Remember you are both adults and your father and I don’t care if you end up sharing a room”
“Mom, come on.” His cheeks burned and his mother laughed. Chthon lifted her into his arms and kissed her cheek, making her smile brightly.
“Come on love, stop teasing the boy before he dies of embarrassment.”
“You know I can’t help it when he looks so cute.” She looked down at Scarlett and Ilios. “Good night you two.”
“Good night and thank you again.” Scarlett said and Ilios mumbled his own good night. Scarlett looked at him, smiling at how embarrassed he looked. “So, you and me, we should get to bed.” She felt her own cheeks getting warm.
He glanced at her. “Wo…would you like to sleep with me?” He turned a deep shade of red. “That sounded bad, I didn’t mean anything…I mean like that, not unless you want to.”
Her hand slid over his cheek and she turned his head so he had to look into her eyes. “You are so damn cute.”
“Not you too.” He groaned.
“It’s the truth and don’t you think I’m just as nervous. You’re so charming and sweet and handsome, it makes me feel all giddy.”
“You don’t seem like it.”
“Well I am.” He took his hand and pressed it to her chest, making his eyes widen in surprise. “See, it’s beating a million miles an hour.”
He blushed so much his body felt feverish. “so..you’re coming to bed withe me?”
“yeah” She let go of his hand and they got up from the dinner table, both nervously going to his room. She let her eyes travel once he let her in. The room was simple but it had a homey feel to it. “how much of this room did you decide on yourself?” He looked around “the paint, and my bedding. My twin and I used to share this room so he chose the rest”
“where is he?”
“he lives with his mate Duryn. He’s been with her a long time now but we visit eachother and write.”
“it’s good you guys keep in touch” He chuckled nervously, obviously jut wanting to fill the air with something other than silence. She took his hand and kissed his cheek again “it’s just like us sleeping together before”
“I know, I’ve never had a girlfriend before so I’m just a wreck. I hope you don’t think I’m pathetic”
“that would be stupid of me. I think you’re sweet”
“do…do you want to change for bed or are you going to wear your clothes?”
“yeah, I’ll go next door and find somthing”
“Okay, I’ll get ready then in here so knock when you come back..I dont want to flash you” She smiled, loving how sweet he was “Oh god you do think I’m pathetic”
“I swear that I like how sweet you are. I haven’t had a boyfriend either, you felt I nervous I am. I might not be willing to sleep in here if you were like a lot of other male demons. I’ll be right back” When she left him alone he rubed his face with his hands “silently telling himself to get it together” He quickly changed and settled into his bed. He took calming breaths so he would be more normal when she came back to him. Scarlett soon knocked and he told her she could come in.
She was wearing a pair of shorts that showed off her long, shapely legs and a tight tank top that had him blushing as he realized she didn’t haven anything on underneath. He looked at his hands, every muscle in his body tense with nervousness. Even though they had slept outside together, they hadn’t been alone. “You look like you might have a heart attack.” She said and he looked up at her. She was so beautiful, her hair like fire fell around her shoulders and her eyes were like two deep emerald pools he could drown in.
She crossed over to the bed and he noticed that she looked just as nervous. It helped ease the tension in his body as she lifted the covers and climbed in. She moved closer to him and he slipped his arms around her, letting out a little sigh of happiness when her head rested on his chest, her hand settling over his heart. He slipped his own over hers, letting his thumb brush her soft skin. He noticed she had callouses on the inside of her index and second finger. “What’s this from?” He asked softly.
“Arrows. I have some on the underside too. It’s from firing my bow.”
She laughed under her breath. “People who fight with swords have callouses too. Anyone who uses their hands a lot. Do you not like them?”
“I didn’t mean to imply that. I think all of you is beautiful.” He lifted her hand and pressed a kiss to the underside of her fingers. It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for her and it melted her on the spot. “Goodnight Scarlett, I…I love you.”
“Yeah, I hope that’s okay. I know it’s really soon to be thinking that, but I can feel it.”
“Me too, I love you.”
They got lost blissfully staring at eachother until they remembered it was late and they needed rest. HUmble and Jase remained guests at Ruth and Chthons for a few weeks until Jase saw somthing he talked over with Humble and they decided they absolutely had to change it. Scarlett decided to remain at the castle with her new mate and allow her mother to enjoy being with her own alone. Before she left Humble and Scarlett exchanged a long, crushingly tight hug “You have always made me so proud Scarlett. You’ve even done so in your choice of mate. Chthon and Ruth raise good boys, you’re going to be happy”
“I better see you a lot mom. If I have to hunt you down I will” Humble kissed her cheek “I can’t live without my sweet Scarlett”
“bye sweetheart” Humble waved bye to everyone else and left with Jase. Scarlett couldn’t help but tear up a bit with her mom leaving but Ilios was right there to catch her in his arms “Jase loves her and anytime you really miss her we’ll hunt them down” she nodded and wiped her face “I’m so glad she’s happy”
“she seems to feel the same about you” Scarlett laughed “yeah” Scarletts tears were a mixture of happy and sad. Her mother was leaviung but she was just a normal demon now. As normal as demons go anyway. Along with that they both had amazing mates and Scarlett couldn’t wait to see her life unfold with Ilios.
~ The End