Susi & Vihreä 2

Chapter One

Vihreä paced nervously as Susi got dressed. He wanted her to stay home instead of going with him to check out more claims of necromancers. He feared for not only her, but their unborn child. She was already starting to show, the barely there bump bringing him a great deal of anxiety. “Stop stressing love or you’re heart might stop.” She said as she tugged on her knee high boots.

“I can’t help it Susi, what you are doing is dangerous.” He replied and ran his fingers through her hair. “I already have enough stress. You’re pregnant and people are talking about us not being married yet and you won’t stop following me on these trips.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him into a hug. He was shaking he was so scared.

“Everything will be fine. Just take a breath. Who cares what other’s say. We love each other and this child is a product of that love. We will get married when we have the time.”

“Then there is my father. He wants us to visit at some point, but I don’t want to spend five minutes in his presence. He reminds to much of how I was when we met.”

“Hush now love. Lets just get through this thing with the necromancers then we can take some time off and get married and visit your parents.”

He sighed, knowing she was right and there was no way he could stop her from following him. She was worried about him using the demon amulet again. He had come so close to being completely consumed the last time, but it was the only way he could sniff them out. He had asked Ig to accompany them in case he completely lost it and tried attacking Susi. The demon would be able to smell that she was pregnant.

“Come on, we have a two day ride to Korr and the weather is starting to turn snowy. I want to get as far as possible so you and Ig don’t freeze to death.”

“I took the liberty of paying for a carriage, but since no driver will take us for fear of he wild lands Ig and I will be taking turns driving.”

“Stupid cowards. I can take a turn too.” She grabbed her sword and he his bag as they headed out of the castle.

“No, I want you in the carriage unless you are needed. Just give me this one thing, please.”

“Alright, I’ll stay inside.”

“Thank you Susi.”

“why do you care what people say anyway?”

“I don’t know, I just love you and wish the world knew that.”

“I personally don’t care what the world knows or if they look down upon us conceiving a child before marriage. Marriage is a piece of paper and some rings. You can be just as committed and in love without that. It’s just a grand way to express your love and tells who you’re with you truly want them forever. I know you have every intention of marrying my but unlike the gossips who talk we have very busy lives. We are always helping people which is why we don’t have time for a wedding.” Vihreä smiled “You know just what to say”

“well I’m a woman. I know everything” Susi responded with a wink. “I love you”

“I love you two” Ig was waiting outside and told Vihreä he’d take over the reigns first. “Thanks”

“You’ll let me write about this adventure too wont you”

“I assumed you would when I invited you. How’d that last book sell?”

“It’s still selling very well. I made a lot.”

“That’s good to hear” Susi chimed in. Vihreä and Susi climbed inside while Ig situated himself at the reigns to set off. Vihreä held his wife close then they both began to just look out the window. Baby names were going through Susis mind. She was having a hard time decided what to name the baby. She didn’t have a single name for a boy or girl. She hoped Vihreä would have some ideas on the subject. This long trip was the perfect time to talk about it. “what baby names do you like Vihreä”

“I haven’t thought about it with the stress of everything else. Have you picked any?”

“No, that’s why I’m asking you”

“Hm, I’ll poke around in my head and see what I can think of”

“I’ll do the same and we’ll just blurt names until we can decide on one.”

“Sounds like a fun way to pass time. Can Ig help?”

“Sure” Vihreä yelled up to Ig “help us think of some baby names” Ig chuckled “Ok, I’ll tell you if I think of somthing but to be honest my mind will mainly be on what I’m going to write.”

“No problem” Susi said cheerfully.

“Does it feel like we slowed a little?” Susi asked.

“Now that you mention it, yes.” Vihreä pulled the open the flap that covered the window and leaned out. “Ig why are we slowing?”

“Sorry,” he replied, his speech muffled. He showed Vihreä that he was writing and holding the reigns between his teeth. He put his notebook down and took the reigns in his hands. “I had to get my thoughts down.”

Ig smiled and Vihreä frowned as he sat back down. “He was driving with his teeth.”

“That must have taken a lot of practice. Not even I can do that and I have been riding for as long as I can remember.”

“He seems to have an odd mix of skills.”

The road became bumpier, sometimes threatening to throw them from their seat. Susi had to grab onto Vihreä to stay where she was. He laughed and she shot him a death glare which made him smile adoringly at her. Her face grew hot and he leaned in, allowing his lips to brush lightly against hers. Her heart gave that familiar little stutter and she wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss.

“To bad we’re in here. I guess we’ll have wait until we make camp.” He said softly, his hands framing her face. she could see some that his anxiety had diminished a little.

“I guess you’ll just have to hold me then.” She replied and he leaned against the wall of the carriage, pulling her back against his chest and kissing the top of her head. Ig came to a stop around lunch time and they all ate before Vihreä took his turn behind the reigns. Ig sat a cross from Susi, his pencil scribbling across paper. She actually found the sound incredibly soothing.

“How are you feeling?” He asked, never taking his eyes off his notebook.

“I feel amazing actually. Vihreä is worried, but I have a lot of confidence in my ability to stay safe. I just wish he had the same confidence in me.”

He paused, his eyes jumping to her face. “He does not doubt your abilities Susi, he doubts his own. He is terrified right now because he knows he is going to have to use that necklace again.” He closed his notebook and slipped his pencil behind his ear. “Last time he went crazy, he was tearing people apart like a wild animal. he has doubts, what man wouldn’t after such an ordeal.”

“I see. Thank you for helping me understand.”

“You’re welcome. Thank you two for inviting me again. I know you needed help but it helps me a lot too writing about you guys.” Susi smiled then Ig went back to writing, leaving Susi to her thoughts. Susi liked the outside world better when everything was green and lively but still found beauty in the landscape how it was now. There were barely any leaves on the trees as the wind blew threw them, threatening to knock even more off the branches. Susi especially enjoyed seeing the animals when they came into view. Susi sighed, in a completely relaxed state. She couldn’t wait for it to be Igs turn again so Vihreä would hold her like he was before. Suddenly a small blue bird flew into the carriage and landed on the seat beside Susi.

It was enough to make Ig look up from his writing again. Susi held out her hand and it hopped towards her. It nestled into her palm and Susi smiled. “That’s amazing” Ig said looking at the small bird in her palm. “birds have always like me. I’ve always envied them. I wish i could fly”

“Flying is overrated. You can see everything up close staying here on the ground.” Susi smiled “I guess that’s one way to look at it.” The bird only stayed a few more moments before flying right back out. Now Ig seemed to be writing very fast. “wow, all that from a bird?”

“It gave me some ideas”

“does it bother you when I talk while you’re writing?”

“Not atall, somtimes I may not hear you though so make sure I am hearing what you say.”

“I’ll just quit talking if you seem to distracted.”

“Don’t force me to quit writing all together. What kind of companion would I be if I made you ride in silence when you wanted to speak? Talk to me when you want.”

“Alright” Susi said as her concentration went back to the world slowly passing them by. She hoped another bird would fly in and sit with her. Susis mind sorted through all the names she knew, none seemed good or somthing she’d want to be saying the rest of her life. It was frustrating. She hadn’t really thought about kids and a family so unlike most women Susi didn’t have kids name picked out. She didn’t know how any woman managed naming their children.

Vihreä watched as birds flitted across the road, sunlight catching on their bright blue feathers. Susi loved birds and they loved her. There were times he would find her outside surrounded by them. They would perch on her shoulders and fingers, tweeting happily as she talked to them. When they would hear him coming they would fly off, leaving him feeling a little sad that he had spoiled her fun. He sighed and let his mind drift back to baby names. He really liked Lintu for a girl. It meant bird and he thought Susi would really like that. The sun began to fall,brimming the world around them. He found a place on the side of the road and reigned in the horses. He jumped down from the bench as Susi and Ig stepped out if the carriage.

“It’s colder than hell out here.” Ig said.

“It’s even colder on that mountain where Susi spends most of her time. It’s always winter up there.” Vihreä replied as he grabbed one of the tents and started setting it up. “She’s immuned to the cold which I find completely unfair.”

“Agreed.” Ig grabbed his tent and Susi collected firewood. She was glad it had not snowed yet. Wet wood was extremely hard to light. She made a fire as the men finished with the tents and cooked them a nice, warm stew.

“This should warm you two up.” She said as she filled bowls.

“Thank you sweety.” Vihreä kissed her cheek.

“So any names yet?” Ig asked and Susi shook her head while Vihreä nodded his.

“Really?” She said excitedly.

“Lintu, it means bird.” He answered and her smile widened. “I haven’t figured out any boy names yet, but I’ll get there.”

“I really like that, it sounds light and airy and musical. Absolutely beautiful.” Ig said and took another bite of stew.

After dinner they rinsed out their bowls and made sure the horses were tied and everything was closed. Ig went into his tent, the sound of his pencil the only sound coming from within. Susi pulled off her boots and lay down in their tent, feeling a little exhausted. She had a feeling it would get worse the bigger she got. She also knew by then that she would not be able to defy Vihreä and would have to take it easy.

“You feeling okay?” Vihreä asked as he lay down next to her.

“Just a little tired.” He frowned and pushed her shirt up.

“Stop making your mother tired. She has to be at full strength to fight necromancers.” He whispered to the baby, making her heart flutter. He rested his palm on her abdomen, his tumb brushing tenderly back and forth. “I bet you will inherit your mother’s ability to drive me crazy. I have my work cut out for me don’t I?”

Susi just looked at Vihreä and smiled. She adored when he talked to the baby like that. “You are going to be such a sweet dad”

“I’m going to try. I’m kind of an ass somtimes”

“I’ll just pop you on the head when you are and you’ll get it down”

“Like you do now?” Vihreä said with a smile making Susi laugh “yes, like now”

“Since I figured out the girl name you really should figure out the little boy name Susi”

“I’ll try, honestly with the girls name you picked I’d rather you name our son too.”

“You like it that much?” Vihreä said as he laid behind Susi and wrapped his arms around her warm body. “I love it! It’s perfect.”

“It suits you so well and our little girl if birds love her too.”

“I’m sure they will”

“well, she has my blood too so who knows. Animal nor man seem to like me very much.”

“It’s because of how you used to behave all the time. Once people start getting to know the new you they’ll like you better.”

“I’m still that guy somtimes”

“rarely now hush it and relax with me. I’m so tired” Vihreä kissed Susis cheek “goodnight sweetheart”

“Goodnight handsome” Susi was in a dead sleep before much longer leaving Vihreä up worrying and rubbing her stomach. He loved being able to hold Susi still but wished she was safe at home with their child. How could he forgive himself if the demon took over and hurt the only two people he loved. It would be by his hand even though the demon would have control. He kissed Susis shoulder then tried to relax, they were too far now for Susis to go home so there wasn’t any sense in all this anxiety. He closed his eyes and willed sleep to come but it wouldn’t because his mind was much too busy.

It took a few hours but he managed to rest for the coming day. Ig woke before them and broke down his tent and packed all but what they were using to sleep. He coudlnt’ bring himself to wake a pregnant woman so sat down and wrote some more. He really wanted to make a good sequel to the first book he wrote about these two. It had been one of his most profitable books so far which was part of the reason he now planned to come on every trip they’d allow him to go on. He also enjoyed their company very much. The two were very entertaining and he loved the change for the better in Vihreä that Susi caused.

Susi jerked awake as the sound of movement outside the tent. She couldn’t move because Vihreä was holding her tightly against him. “Hey, wake up sweety.” She said softly and brushed her fingers over his cheek. He smiled and opened his eyes, pressing his cheek into her palm.

“Good morning.” He said and pulled her into a kiss.

“I think Ig is up already.”

They got up and pulled their boots on then joined air outside. Vihreä broke down their tent while Susi read what Ig had written so far. It took his place at the front of the carriage and they were off. “So, how is his book coming?”

“It’s going to be amazing. I mean he adds all his extra detail and really brings the characters to life.”

“It’s a shame Shiro and Lily could not accompany us. They would have loved to read his manuscript.”

“Shiro had to visit his parents so Lily went with him.” A long silence stretched between them. “Are you scared?” She asked.

“What? Of course not.” He lied and rubbed his neck.

She knew he wasn’t being truthful, but let it go. He was trying to be brave for her. She sighed and went back to staring out the carriage window. When she had first met him, he had been so confident in his abilities as an exorcist. She faced him and grabbed his face in her hands. “You don’t have to lie to me. I know you are unsure of yourself.”

“Susi, I…” She brushed her thumbs over his cheeks and he sighed. “Yes, I am scared. I will have to use that stupid necklace again. The demon has grown stronger. He is going to be attracted to you because of the baby.”

“I’m not afraid of him and you don’t have to worry about him getting this baby. I know that if anything bad happens that you would get as far from me as possible.” She pulled him into a hug and he buried his nose in her hair.

Vihreä let the her scent relax him “I need to hold you” he said softly. He leaned against the side of the carriage and she leaned against him. Vihreä held her tightly as he was while she was sleeping. His nose was still deeply embedded in Susis soft hair. Susi held his arms and told him how much she loved him and how great their lives would be with their child. She then started talking about what they could do for a wedding once they found the time. Soon Vihreäs thoughts were consumed in their baby and a wedding. All his anxiety was gone, even for just these moments. Susi talked on until lunch when they stopped to eat.

After their meal Ig said “you’re looking in higher spirits than this morning. I heard you two discussing the wedding. I will be invited right?”

“Of course you will. How would there be a wedding without a best man?”

“are you serious?”

“I haven’t made many friends…any real ones besides you. I atleast consider you my friend.” Ig smiled at Vihreä “I would glady be your best man. I think of you as my friend aswell” Ig helped Susi into the carriage as Vihreä settled himself to drive. “I’m glad you helped him feel better Susi.”

“I hope it lasts, I hate he’s so worried.”

“a man in love can’t help but worry. You are his all Susi”

“would you mind if I took a nap?”

“Of course not. I need to write anyway. Do you need my lap for a pillow?”

“No, Vihreä packed a small one for me”

“Of course he did” Ig said with a smile as Susi pulled it out along with a blanket. Susi dreamed of Vihreä playing with a little girl in their living room. They were so happy, laughter filling the entire room. The small girl ran to Susi “play with us mommy!” Vihreä smiled “yes play with us mommy” Susi almost cried in her sleep as she ran into the room and began playing with Vihreä and their daughter.

“Susi wake up.” She jerked up and looked into Ig’s concerned eyes. “You’re crying.” He handed her a handkerchief. She wiped her face.

“Sorry, I was having such an amazing dream.”

“Oh good. I was hoping it wasn’t a nightmare.”

She looked out the window as a cart past them. They must be getting closer to their destination since there was a person on the road. She could only imagine how distressed Vihreä must be. She wanted to be up front with him, but she had promised to stay inside. The sun started to fall and Vihreä snapped the horses into a run. He wanted desperately to get this whole thing over and done with. They made it to Korr as the moon rose over the horizon and found an inn. Susi watched Vihreä pace across the room as she pulled her clothes off. He looked stressed again.

“Please stop.” She said softly as she wrapped her arms around him from behind.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it. Tomorrow the hunt begins.”

“That’s why you need to rest. You will need all of your strength.”

He knew she was right and turned to hug her. “I love you Susi, with all of my heart.”

“I love you too. Now come to bed.” He undressed and crawled in next to her. She fell right to sleep, but he lay staring up at the ceiling. Tomorrow she would watch him go from man to beast again. He would putting her, his baby, and his best friend in danger. He shook his head. He was unwilling ing to do such a thing. He was going to sneak out and go alone. Even if Susi was mad later at least she would be safe.

The next morning he slipped slowly out of bed and dressed quietly. He grabbed the amulet out of his bag and kissed Susi gently on the forehead. “I hope you can forgive me love.” He said softly before exiting the room.

“I never took you as the sneaking type.” Ig said from behind him, making him jump.

“How did you…”

“It was the only predictable outcome. I even wrote it into my manuscript.”

“I have to go without her and you so just stay here.”

“She’s going to be angry.”

“I know, but I have no choice. Just stay with her.”

Ig huffed and crossed his arms. “Fine, but I won’t lie to her if she asks where you went.”

“I dont expect you to but try and make her stay here. I can’t risk her and our baby….I can’t. She’s a force to be reckoned with but I beg you to try.”

“You sure this is how you want it? You really want her angry at you?”

“It’s better to have her angry than harmed…especially by my own hand.”

“Go” Vihreä quickly dashed off and Ig went into his room. When Susi woke she stretched and felt the bed where Vihreä should be. It was so cool like he had been gone for a long time. She decided that he may be out getting her breakfast. Susi decided to grab a shower while he was out anyway. Susi turned on the water then washed her hair and body. Once she was done Susi let the water rush over her and relax her muscles. After about twenty minuets she thought it odd that the bed on his side was so cool and he still wasn’t back yet. She turned the water off then dried off before pulling her clothes on.

Susi brushed her hair then braided it before tugging her shoes on. She quickly walked to Igs room and knocked loudly. He answered “where is Vihreä?”

“he went to hunt them without you.”

“and you didn’t stop him!?”

“How was I supposed to Susi? He just wants to keep you and the baby safe.”

“I’m going Ig.” Ig grabbed Susis arm “please don’t Susi. You can’t even find him now. You don’t have anything to highten your senses.” Susis groaned “He really pisses me off damnit! He’s a liar! He said I could help!”

“Please calm down, stress is bad for the baby”

“Ig we have to find him and help him”

“we can’t”

‘we can!” Ig sighed “will you give me time to get dressed?”

“Fine but hurry please”

“i will Susi.” Ig closed the door as Susi tapped her foot impatiently. She couldn’t believe Vihreä would do this. She was beyond furious with him Susi was trying to find some calm. Ig hadn’t done anything so she knew she shoudln’t be so cross with him. When Ig came out he said “lead the way. I’ll follow”

“Thank you Ig. Sorry for yelling before.”

“I expected it Susi. I understand your anger.”

Vihreä followed the scent of the necromancers into the woods surrounded the small town. They had someone with them, a woman. She was afraid, it enticed the demon. He pushed down those thoughts, making the demon growl angrily at him. “Get over it beast.” He snapped and felt a sharp pain move through his chest that nearly brought him to his knees. He fought for control, forcing the demon to do as he was told. He made his way to a cave where the smell of death was strong. He licked his lips as he moved into the darkness.

“How are we going to find him?” Ig asked as they moved through the town.

“I’m going to track him.” There weren’t very many people out so it didn’t take her long to find his boot prints. She followed them quickly, moving into the dense woods. He had left her quite the trail in his haste. She was going to slap him so hard when she found him. Ig stayed close behind her, his hand resting on his whip. He as ready to defend her from anything.

The cave opened up into a candle lit altar room. There were four necromancers and they were draining some blood from a young woman. They chanted as the head necromancer painted the blood onto the altar. Vihreä was suddenly sitting cross legged on the altar, startling them. “What are you doing delicious little play things?” He asked. He reached out with lightning speed, gripping their leader by his throat. “Your fear is intoxicating.”

The screams sent a chill rushing through Susi. They were horrible gut wrenching sounds coming from a cave. She rushed in, uncaring of the danger. She pulled her sword from it’s sheath as she ran into the altar room, her heart nearly stopping. Vihreä had evicerated one of the necromancers and the man was still alive, gurgling noises escaping from his throat. She screamed his name and he turned his black gaze on her. He dropped the necromancer and moved toward her. Ig stepped in between them, his whip uncoiled.

“Does the little human think he can protect her?” Vihreä said and then laughed. He suddenly clutched his head. “Get her out of here now damn it. He’s to strong.” He screamed, clutching his head in agony. Susi tried to go to his side, but Ig would not let her.

“You need to fight my friend.” Ig said and the demon laughed. He rushed them, moving to fast even for Ig’s whip. He swatted the bigger man out of the way, sending him tumbling across the ground. He knocked Susi to the ground and pinned her down.

“You are the one he loves most.” He leaned down and inhaled her scent. “You smell delicious. You are carrying his child.” He reached under her shirt, his palm pressed against her abdomen. “I will take your body before killing you.”

She stared calmly up at him, unafraid. She reached up and stroked his cheek. “It’s okay love, you can come back now. You can fight him and come back to me.” She saw his eyes soften for a brief second before he threw himself off of her. He looked at his hands, confused by the blood. “Vihreä.” She said softly and reached for him.

“Stay away from me.” He growled. “Just, stay away.” He ran from her, heading out into the forest. He was disoriented and his head hurt. He collapsed to the ground. He could hear the demon’s laughter in his head.

“Ig get up.” Susi said and he groaned. “I need you to take care of the woman and the necromancers. I have to go after Vihreä.”

“Be careful Susi, he’s as dangerous as a rabid dog right now.”

Chapter Two

Vihreä won’t let it hurt me. He loves me too much to let it win and he should know that. Susi took off running in the direction she knew Vihreä went. She had to catch him before he hurt himself or anybody else. Susi knew she could keep him calm and bring him back but he had to allow himself to be near her for her to accomplish it. Susi ran hastily knowing the demon and Vihreä would stop eventually. Igs job was easy. the necromancers were so freaked out by what happened they only wanted to flee. Ig killed them without much effort since they were mainly concentrarted on getting away. When he was sure all were dead and wouldn’t be getting up to cause anything else he went over to the trembling woman and untied her.

Ig picked her up and said “we’re going to get you to a doctor. Try to calm down, nobody else will harm you.’ The woman wrapped her arms around Ig tightly then he walked out to get back to town. He was walking as fast as he could when he asked “would you like me to run?” The woman nodded against his chest and held on a little tighter. Ig quickly got himself in a run so he could get her to a doctor and somwhere she’d feel comfortable sooner. When he arrived at a doctors office he quickly went inside and tried to put her down but she refused to let him. “can’t you stay with me?” The woman sounded so pitiful Ig couldn’t refuse. He knew once Susi got Vihreä sain again they would just find him.

“I will stay”

“Thank you” They had to examine the woman in Igs arms since she refused to let go for even that. They had to stich up her arm but besides that she was unharmed aside from the mental damage of the event. Ig gave a nurse money to buy the girl clothes so he wouldn’t have to take her home naked. The nurse quickly returned and Ig asked “what’s your name?”

“Elizabeth”

“Well, I had a nurse buy you clothes. Could you let go of me long enough to put them on?” Elizabeth nodded and blushed before getting off of him and putting on the clothes he had bought. “there, They are sending someone to evaluate your mental state after that but then I will take you home.”

“are you staying until they evaluate me?”

“I’m sure my friends wouldn’t mind. They probably aren’t fit to travel tonight anyway.”

“That monster is your friend?”

“Vihreä is not normally like that. He has to use a demon to hunt down the necromancers. It took him over because of its power. His girlfriend is brining him back to reality though. Please don’t be afraid of him if he comes here. He’s a good man” Elizabeth sat beside Ig ‘if you say he’s fine I’m sure he is. Thank you so much”

“It’s not a problem”

When Susi finally found Vihreä he was curled up in a ball shivering. She approached him slowly and touched his shoulder. He swiped at her, growling, his face contorted in a mask of anger and fear. He rolled onto his hands and feet, looking ready to pounce. “It’s okay.” She untied her sword and dropped it in the grass then dropped down to her hands and knees so she was at eye level with him. She crawled slowly forward and he swiped at her again, barely missing her nose. He growled when she wouldn’t back away and jumped on her. His face was close to hers, his teeth bared so she could see his sharp canines. “You can’t have him demon, he belongs to me.”

“I will lock him away like he did to me. I will make him watch while I destroy everything he loves.”

“Vihreä, I know you can hear me. I know you can see me. Come back to me.” She tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled him down into a kiss. Her lips moved gently over his. She moved her hand down to the necklace and he grabbed her wrists. “We have to take it off baby. If you won’t let me do it, then you have to.” He started shaking as he reached for the amulet. The demon was fighting him hard, trying to dominate his consciousness.

Vihreä pushed back at the demon, unwilling to hurt the woman beneath him. She looked so trusting and understanding. She smiled up at him and he felt tears in his eyes. He clutched the amulet and ripped it from around his neck. He could hear the demon screaming his denial. Tears dripped off his nose and onto her face. He moved off of her and scooted a few feet away. He held his head and rocked back and forth as he cried harder than he ever had in his life.

“Shhhh it’s okay now.” Susi said as she moved closer to him and wrapped her arms around him.

“Why didn’t you run? I could have killed you.” He whispered.

“I knew you wouldn’t let him hurt me. Even when I was pinned beneath you, I knew. He threatened, but you would not let him act.

“I have to get rid of it. What if he manages to leave his taint on me?”

“If that is what you want then we will. I am sure there is someone who can seal it away somewhere safe. I will be right beside you the whole time.”

He raised his head and looked into her eyes. She was so devoted, never once blaming him even though he had willingly put the amulet around his neck. He cupped her cheek and she leaned into his touch. “Can we go back to the inn? I want to get this blood off of me and make sure Ig is okay. I hit him pretty hard.”

“Of course” They stood and Susi grabbed Vihreä’s hand making more tears tumble down his cheeks. “I love you so much Susi”

“I love you too.” They walked steadily back to the town and straight to their hotel room. “Want to shower first or talk to Ig?”

“Shower, I’d rather appologize when I’m cleaner”

“Alright, want me to join you or would you like to be alone?”

“I need you with me” Susi smiled then kissed him briefly. His lips quivered as they parted with hers. Vihreä went to start the water himself but Susi stopped him and told him she’d do it. Once the water was a comfortable temperature they both stripped and stepped in. Vihreä looked at Susi’s stomach then knelt down to kiss it. He kissed her stomach multiple times “I’m so sorry Lintu, so sorry”

“we don’t know if it’s a girl Vihreä”

“It’s a girl. I could tell when I was one with the demon”

“Lets get clean so we can relax sweetheart. Lintu doesn’t blame you either. She won’t even remember” Vihreä kissed Susis stomach one more time then stood to clean himself. He then grabbed Susis hand and gently guided her under the water so he could wash her body. He cleaned her very slow and tenderly. His eyes still apologizing to her. Once they were clean they quickly dried then pulled on some new clothes. Susi went for the door but Vihreä pulled her into a hug. “I need to hold you for a few moments first. I was so scared the demon would hurt you when you wouldn’t go away” Susi wrapped her arms around Vihreä “don’t dwell on it. You didn’t hurt me and you came back to me. We will get rid of this demon and we will track necromancers in other ways.”

“You’re so wonderful, thank you for being mine”

“Thank me by making our wedding spectacular” Vihreä was crying softly again as he held Susi. He soon let go and wiped at his face “I need to find Ig now.”

“lets go, hopefully he’s in his room” They walked over and knocked. They knocked louder and louder until they decided he wasn’t there. “Lets check at a hospital. Maybe he was hurt worse than we thought.” Vihreä held Susis hand tighter as she guided him down to the front desk “where’s the nearest doctors office or hospital?” The man explained how to get their then they were on their way. They walked into the docotrs office and asked where their friend was, giving his name and description. “He didn’t check in but he has been sitting with the woman he brought in. She’s currently having her pych evaluation from her ordeal. You two can wait in the waiting area for them to come out.

“Thank you.” Susi pulled him to the waiting and he sat, pulling her onto his lap and resting his forehead against her back. He seemed so exhausted and before she knew it he had fallen asleep. She smiled and shifted slowly so his head was resting on her chest. She stroked his hair and kissed the top of his head. When Ig finally came in Susi jumped up, startling Vihreä. She crossed the room and hugged him.

“I’m so glad you two are alive.” He said with a smile. “How are you feeling Vihreä?”

“Ashamed.” He replied as he came to his feet. “I didn’t hurt you to bad did I?”

“Nah just a couple of bruises, nothing serious.”

“Is the girl okay?” Susi asked.

“Yes, I told her I needed a break from the stupid head doctor. All the questions were irritating me.” He flopped down in a chair and rubbed his face. “I’m hoping they let her up soon. She’s terrified.”

“Hopefully she is able to bounce back fairly fast. She may have nightmares, but that’s normal after going through such a trauma.”

“Well, I better get back to her. I’ll see you two in the morning.” They both hugged Ig and left the hospital. Susi held tightly to Vihreä’s hand, hating that he looked so sad and broken.

“Please smile for me.” She said softly as they made it back to their room.

“I don’t feel like I can right now. Even if I tried, it wouldn’t work. My heart hurts Susi.”

“No one is mad at you. Ig is fine, me and the baby are fine. So please stop beating yourself up over it.”

“Back in the cave, I almost…I wanted to tear off your clothes and…” He buried his face in his hands, crying again.

“No you didn’t, the demon did and you didn’t let him. Look at me.” She pulled his hands away from his face. “This is what he wants. He wants you to doubt yourself.” She wiped the tears from his face. “I trust you with everything, my heart and my body.”

“I don’t deserve you or our daughter.”

“Of course you do, especially when you fight so hard for us.”

He smiled down at her and her eyes lit up. He tangled his fingers in her hair and kissed her. She made him feel so much better with her words of love and encouragement.

When their lips parted Susi said “lets order you somthing to eat from room service then we will sleep” Susi picked up the phone and ordered them some sandwiches then cuddled with Vihreä until it arrived. She got up and sat with him as he forced himself to eat. Once he was done he said “lets get some sleep. All I want to do is rest and hold you”

“I’m tired too” Vihreä managed another small smile as Susi got comfortable in his arms. Once she was settled how she wanted to be he held tight to her. “I love you Susi and Lintu. I will always try my best to be what you two deserve”

“stop talking like that and get rest sweetheart” Vihreä sighed then kissed Susis head before slowly shutting his eyes and letting the exhaustion take over. Ig walked out holding Elizabeths hand. “I’ll follow your lead home” She nodded and started to guide him to her house. Once they were there she asked “Would you stay or do your friends need you?”

“If you want me to stay I’ll be happy to”

“Could I make you dinner?”

“Let me cook for you. You’ve been through so much and then those assholes made you answer questions for all that time. It really pissed me off”

“They just wanted to make sure I was mentally ok”

“I guess, why don’t you sit at the table while I make us a nice dinner” Elizabeth smiled then answered “Thank you Ig” He smiled back then walked with Elizabeth into the kitchen. She sat down and he looked through what she had that he could make her. He finally decided he could make Sour Cream Noodle Bake. Ig got to work as they talked about random subjects. He smiled every time Elizabeth would laugh at a joke he made. He was happy to see her alreayd lightening up and was considering taking her home with him then bringing her back if she felt like a nice trip. He’d ask what she wanted to do. He really just wanted to stay here but didn’t think he shoudl make Vihreä travel alone with his pregnant girlfriend. His nerves would be up even more with one less man to guard her and their unborn baby.

Blood, it was everywhere, covering his hands and face. He heard a whimpering sound and looked down. Laying at his feet in a pool of blood was Susi. There were tears in her eyes. He dropped down next to her, pulling her into his arms. “It’s okay…don’t blame you.” She whispered. “Remember I love you.” Her eyes were suddenly empty, the life having gone out of them.

“No, I’m sorry. Please don’t go.” He begged and kissed her, willing her to kiss him back.

“Honey wake up.” Vihreä’s eyes snapped open at her beautiful voice. He blinked, bringing her worried face into focus.

“It was just a dream.” He pulled her down on top of him, hugging her tightly.

“You’re shaking. Was it that bad?”

“It was terrible.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

She raised her head to look at him, her eyes full of concern. He stroked her cheek and she turned her head to kiss his fingers. “I killed you and you said you didn’t blame me. There was so much blood.” She teared up and he stroked her hair. “Please don’t cry for me.”

“I can’t help it. You looked like you were in so much pain when I woke you.” A tear rolled down her cheek and he wiped it away. “I would never blame you for hurting me because of that demon because I would know it wasn’t you. I love you so much, nothing could turn me away from you.”

“You are such a stubborn woman.” He said warmly.

“And beautiful, don’t forget that.”

He chuckled and kissed her nose. “So beautiful that you make it hard to think. You make me want to drop any task when you smile at me just so I can spend a few minutes with you. Nothing is more important than your happiness.”

“What about the happiness of our child?”

“The happiness of our child would in turn make you happy so I stand by my previous statement.”

She laughed and propped her head up in her hand. “I love that you are like this, all sweet and soft.”

“You make me that way. I’m only like this when I’m with you. I mean I’m nice to Ig and Shiro and Lily because we’re friends, but with you.  Am never grumpy or angry or cold towards others.” He tucked some of her hair behind her ear. “I have to warn you that when we visit my parents, I may not be so nice. I may be cold and uncaring in his presence. Will you hate me for it?”

“No, because I know who you truly are. I will love you no matter what.” He smiled and rolled her beneath him.

“You are truly the most amazing woman. I promise to always love and protect you.”

“you better” Susi said sofly as she looked up into Vihreä’s very loving eyes. He felt so blessed to have her. Vihreä hadn’t felt deserving of Susi for a second they had been together. She always loved and forgave him no matter what happened. It still worried him that one day he may do somthing she wouldn’t forgive. He didn’t know what would become of him if he lost Susi. The only thing he knew for certain is that life would be unbearable without her and their child. Vihreä seemed to be in his own world as he looked down at Susi. She spoke, making him jump back into the room and out of her deep, beautiful eyes. “what did you say?”

“I asked if we’re going back to sleep. It’s not morning yet”

“Of course, thanks for waking me from my dream”

“You’ve dealt with my nightmares plenty of times.”

“yeah….It’s a shame such a crappy exorcist was the one your father called on for help. You should have never gone through that my love.”

“It’s not something we can change but I’m grateful that you’re always there to comfort me when I need you.” Vihreä laid by Susis side and placed his arm around her. “goodnight, I hope not to wake you again.”

“It’ll be fine if you do. Are we leaving tomorrow?”

“We’ll see if we can pry Ig from that woman. He seemed awfully concerned about her.”

“I know, I think he has a crush.”

“Me too” Vihreä kissed Susis cheek “lets rest, you and our baby need it.” Susi fell back to sleep quickly. Vihreä lingered awake awhile longer but managed to get back to sleep. When Susi woke in the morning she craved choclate like it was some sort of drug she was having withdrawls from. She carefully got out of Vihreä’s arms to get dressed and buy some. As she was putting clothes on Vihreä cleared his throat “where are you going?”

“I need chocolate.”

“You need it?” Vihreä said with a smile. “Yes I do.” He got up and hugged Susis before kissing her. “Lay back down please. I want to go buy it for you. I will hurry. Please rest for me”

“I guess but hurry. I’m like a heroine addict right now.” Vihreä chuckled then kissed her again. He threw on his clothes then bolted out the door. He was happy to be able to do somthing for her. He bought the largest bar of chocolate he could find and then ran back to the Inn. He almost fell through the door in his rish. Susis giggled “thank you sweetheart”

“anything for my girls”

She went to take it from him and he held it just out of reach. “Hey, give it.”

“I want to feed you.”

She blushed as he unwrapped the chocolate and broke off a piece. He held it up to her lips and she took it. She moaned, the sound arousing him. He told himself he was going to be good until she finished her chocolate. She smiled at him knowingly as he gave her another bite. She bit his finger and he inhaled sharply. “Stop being bad Susi.”

“Me?” She ran her hand over his groin and he swallowed. “Seems like you are being just as bad.”

“I can’t help it. The sounds you are making are driving me crazy.”

“You have no idea what it means to me that you can restrain yourself.”

“I love you and I would go the rest of my life without sex if it made you happy.” He fed her chocolate until there wasn’t any left. He sucked off what little bit had got on his fingers and she giggled. “What’s so funny?”

“You’re really good at that.” It took him a minute to understand what she was talking about. He pushed her over and pinned her to the bed.

“Are you implying that I go around sucking on things?” He asked and she laughed even harder. “I have never slept with a man, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it’s never been my thing. Besides, I have a very beautiful woman that I get to sleep with every night.”

“I know, I was just teasing.”

“I think you deserve to be punished for that kind of teasing.” He pushed himself back, taking her with him. He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her across his lap. He smacked her hard on her butt and she yelped.

“Ah, no Vihreä let me go.” He smacked her again and she tried squirming off of his lap.

“I don’t think you were spanked enough as a child. I bet you got away with everything.” He tipped her back onto the bed and kissed her, his tongue dancing with hers. He stood for a moment to pull his clothes off then he was back on top of her. He ran his hands over her skin so it grew hot. “You are so beautiful.” He whispered as he laced his fingers with hers and thrust into her. Her eyes widened, her loud cry filling the room. “I want to stay like this forever. You are my safe haven.” He made love to her slowly, enjoying her whimpers and pleas. She looked up at him with so much love and trust in her eyes that it sent him over the edge, making him shake as he spilled himself into her. “No one but you makes me feel this complete.” He whispered and kissed her before moving to her side. He wanted to hold her a little longer before going to tell Ig they would be leaving today.

They laid with eachother in complete bliss as time passed by. The only thing that stirred them was when lunch came and their baby demanded her mother ate somthing. “why don’t I get you a nice soup from a restaurant not far?”

“That would be really nice Vihreä, thank you”

“well you’re busy making Lintu. The least I can do is help you feed her.” Vihreä left quickly to hurry up and get to the place he saw some really good sounding soups advertised on a small sign outside. Susi just laid in the bed, cuddling with the blanket as she waited for Vihreä to return. She really didn’t think he’d become cold around his father when eh visited. Angry maybe but not cold. Vihreä always seemed to doubt himself though. For a man who seemed so high on himself when they first met he didn’t seem to have a whole lot of confidence in his abilities.

Susi sat up quickly when Vihreä came back in the room “sorry, there was a line”

“Don’t be sorry. I didn’t think you were taking your time or anything sweetheart.” Vihreä handed Susi her bowl then began to eat his own soup. Once their bowls were empty Vihreä asked “want to go inform Ig we’re leaving today?”

“Yeah, I’m interested to see what he says. I bet you he’s taking her home or he’s staying here.”

“I have that same suspicion.” They got dressed then walked out of their room to Elizabeths house. Today was still chilly but not too bad. Especially not for Susi. The two walked slowly, hand in hand just taking in the day. They weren’t in a huge rush to leave since they didn’t have any plans when they returned home besides seeing Vihreäs parents. He hoped to see his brother too while they were in his hometown. Vihreä was sure Susi would be willing to go if he asked. Vihreä planned on staying there if his father got too rude to Susi.

After that he would actually have somthing to look forward to, finally marrying Susi. He wanted it to be her dream wedding. He didn’t care if she put him in a pink tuxedo as long as Susi was happy and his wife. It would be nice to have all the gossips shut their traps too. He hoped their daughter didn’t find out they weren’t married before concieving her even though Susi didn’t seem to care in the slightest about it. Anything anybody said just rolled right off of her. He envied how she could do that.

“Come on open up.” Susi said as she knocked on Elizabeth’s door.

Ig pulled the door open looking exhausted. “Sorry, I’m sore so it took me longer than expected to get to the door. Please come in.” He stepped aside and they entered the beautifully decorated house.

“Where’s your girlfriend?”

“She’s not my girlfriend, at least not yet, and she upstairs taking a bath.” He said quickly, his face turning red. He flopped down on the couch, groaning in pain.

“Did you sleep on her couch?” Vihreä asked as they sat next to him.

“Well I wasn’t going to sleep in her bed, geeze.”

“I didn’t meant it like that. It’s just that you were injured and sleeping on the couch is probably why you are so sore.”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to snap.”

“You are such a weird guy Ig.” Susi said as she tussled his hair. “It’s why we love you.”

They waited patiently for Elizabeth to finish her bath. When she came downstairs she was a little surprised to see them. Her eyes jumped to Vihreä and he smiled at her. “Sorry to intrude, but we came to tell Ig we are leaving today.” He said.

“Oh.” She looked sad.

Susi jumped up and draped an arm over her shoulders. “Why don’t you come with us? It might be good to get away from this place for awhile after what happened. You can hang out with Shannon here and come to mine and Vihreä’s wedding.”

“Shannon?”

“That’s Ig’s real first name.”

“I guess a trip would be nice. I haven’t been away from here in a long time.”

“Then it’s settled. Pack what you need and we’ll be back around in an hour.”

Ig was a little embarrassed that she had learned his first name. He rubbed his neck and smiled at her as best as he could. “I’m glad you want to go back with us.” He said nervously.

“Me too. Is it okay if I call you by your real name?” She blushed.

“Sure.”

Chapter Three

“alright lover boy, help her get ready and we’ll check out of the rooms. Give us your key and we’ll gather your things too.”

“More like I will Susi. You’re just going to watch me and look pretty.”

“I will do no such thing. I wont hurt myself gathering Igs clothes and papers.” Susis turned to Ig “Is your writing stuff in the bag?”

“It’s all packed, you’ll just need to grab the bag out of the room.”

“alright bye!” Susi and Vihreä walked back to the Inn. “that wasn’t very nice of you to tell Elizabeth Igs real name.”

“she would’ve found out eventually anyways. He seems to be crushing hard” They got back to the Inn and quickly gathered their things out of the room before checking out and fetching their horse and carriage. Getting the horses and everything took longer than checking out but they expected that which is why they said an hour. When Elizabeths bag was packed she looked at Ig and said “why do you have writing stuff?”

“I write books, I go along with those two on their journeys and write about it. I write about other things too but they are one series I ahve started”

“That’s really interesting. I’d love to read some of your books”

“well I have a copy of all of my books at my home when you get there.”

“I can’t be rude and read.”

“We can take turns reading to eachother.” Elizabeth blushed which Ig found incredibly cute. He leaned down and in one gentle but quick motion kissed her cheek which had Elizabeth at the reddest he had seen her. “was that ok?” he asked as she just stared at him. Elizabeth nodded then smiled at Ig. “You’re a very sweet man Shannon.”

“well you’re a very wonderful woman from what I’ve seen so far. I really am very happy you’ll be coming home with me”

“I’m glad I’m welcome to come” Elizabeth said softly. Her cheeks still tinted in red. Before they could make it down the stairs Susi and Vihreä were knocking. They opened the door and exited. “I’ll drive first since I’m sure you’re not comfortable with me.” Vihreä said with a shamed look on his face. “I’m not scared of you. Shannon explained what happened. I know you wont hurt me”

“Good, I’ll still drive first.” Ig opened the carriage door for Elizabeth then got in behind her. They both sat really close together. Soon the three of them were talking non stop. Susi got Elizabeth laughing with some funny stories about Ig which had him embarrassed and wishing he could shut Susi up. He wanted Elizabeth to like him, not think he was some idiot. He did enjoy the sound of Elizabeths giggling though. Elizabeth eventually said ‘don’t frown Shannon. These stories are cute” He couldn’t help but smile.

At noon Vihreä pulled over so they could take a quick lunch. Ig took his turn driving and Vihreä sat in back reading while Susi and Elizabeth talked. He crossed his legs as he became engrossed in the story. “I like your boots.” Elizabeth said and it took Vihreä a moment to realize she was talking to him.

“Oh uh, thanks.” He replied, looking at the doe skin boots he had always worn. They had a small heel that made it easier to ride on horseback. To him they were nothing special.

“Did I say something wrong?”

“No, not at all. I’ve just never had anyone compliment me on my clothes before.”

She gave a small laugh then went back to talking to Susi. Ig pulled off the road as the sun began to fall and Vihreä helped him set up the tents while Elizabeth helped Susi cook dinner. They ate happily, filling up on stew and bread. “Bundle up guys, there will be snow tonight.” Susi said as she rinsed bowls.

“How do you know that?” Elizabeth asked.

“I live on a mountain where it always snows. I can feel the change in the air. It’s hard to describe.” She replied with a warm smile.

“Susi’s always right about the weather.” Ig said as he put his notebook away.

“So, can I cuddle with you tonight?” Elizabeth asked and blushed.

He looked surprised. “Sure, if you’re okay with that.” She nodded and he felt ecstatic. They went into his tent after saying goodnight and quickly got under the blankets. He pulled her into his arms and she rested her head on his chest. Susi smiled as she put away the bowls. Snow started to fall around her and Vihreä hugged her from behind.

“You look like some sort of beautiful winter spirit when the snow falls on you.” He said softly.

“Thank you.” She grabbed a couple of blankets off the back of the carriage and covered the horses before allowing him to pull her into their tent. They pulled their boots off then lay down. He kissed her forehead and sighed with contentment. He was so happy to still have Susi with him. He was still worried about her meeting his father. He was sure the man would put on his mask of false civility simply because he was talking to the princess. Being married to her meant more popularity for his father. He didn’t want Susi to see him slip back into his old self. “I love you Vihreä.”

“I love you too Susi.”

“Morning came and Susi actually woke before everybody even though she was the pregnant one. She tried to get out of Vihreäs arms without disturbing him but he woke anyway. “we can just enjoy the snow for a bit right?”

“we’ll make a small fire so i dont freeze my butt off then we can relax until Ig and Elizabeth get up” Vihreä got the fire going as Susi stood with her eyes closed just enjoying the snow flakes that fell all over her body. When Vihreä had a fire he held Susi from behind. “I wonder if our daughter will love the snow like you do.”

“I hope she will. If not oh well, you don’t like the snow as I do either.”

“I enjoy anywhere when I get to hold you Susi.” Vihreä stood there as long as he could stand then sat by the fire again. Before too much longer Elizabeth lifted her head and Ig immediately followed. Vihreä guessed since Ig was always the first to get up he had actually been awake and not moving because he wanted to keep holding Elizabeth. When they both came out Ig and Vihreä broke down everything and packed while the girls began talking again. Ig actually had woken very early due to the chill but hadn’t moved a muscle to keep Elizabeth on his chest and in his arms. He wondered if this meant she’d sleep with him in his bed at home. He certainly hoped last night is what that meant. Once everybody had eaten a bit of fruit and the stuff was in the carriage Vihreä situated himself for his turn to drive.

This time Ig put his arm around Elizabeth and she laid into him. He smiled down at her making Susi smile “you two are just adorable” Elizabeth was blushing once again. “You and Vihreä seem really happy”

“we are, especially about our baby. We’re naming her Lintu”

“That’s a nice name. I really like it.”

“well good because you and Shannon will be the god parents. Assuming you two will be a couple soon.” Elizabeth was blood red and Susi giggled while Ig waited nervously for Elizabeth to say somthing. “would you like to be my boyfriend Shannon?”

“I’d love that.” Elizabeth turned back to Susi “well then we’re a couple” Susi smiled, she was glad her small nudge made the two official. Ig kissed Elizabeths head and somehow managed to look happier than he did seconds ago. Susi knew he had to be pretty happy with how little he was writing. He wrote almost constantly but with Elizabeth here he was barely writing atall.

Since the snow had become heavier and the air was extremely cold, the last leg of the journey was spent with Susi driving. She made Vihreä get into the carriage and warm up even though he didn’t want to. She didn’t need him getting sick because he was being stubborn. She was twice as stubborn as he was so their argument didn’t last long. “Ig,” she yelled over the sound of hooves, “would you and Elizabeth like to stay at the castle tonight?”

“Sure, if you don’t mind.” Ig replied.

“The castle?” Elizabeth asked.

“Susi is the princess, her brother is the king. She’s also his First Knight.” Ig explained, her eyes widening more and more.

“Wow, she must lead such an amazing life. I bet she gets to go on all kinds of adventures.”

“She only uses her title of princess when she must. She enjoys being treated like a normal person.” Vihreä said. “She worked very hard to earn the title of First Knight and even harder getting people to see her as just another person. I didn’t even know who she was when we first met, but then again I had never seen her before then. She has done a very good job keeping out of the publics eye. Of course she won’t be able to do that for much longer. We plan on getting married soon and she is pregnant.”

“Do you think she’ll be okay with revealing herself?” Ig asked.

“Yes I believe so. She is extremely stubborn and can work through anything. To her this will be nothing, but a test of her patience.”

Susi finally made it to the castle and everyone quickly unloaded, stretching cramped limbs. “Ig you know how it goes, just find a room and go to sleep.” Susi said as they walked through the front door and yawned.

“Yes ma’am, we’ll see you two in the morning.” She waved at them since she was yawning again and Vihreä lifted her into his arms.

“You exhausted yourself.” He said softly.

“Being pregnant seems to be making me extra tired, but I guess it’s an okay trade off for vomiting.” He kissed her cheek and took her up to her room where he lay her gently down and removed her boots and pants. “It feels so good to be back.” She said as she stretched her legs.

“Yes it does.” He pulled his own clothes off and climbed in next to her.

“Have you thought about how we are going to get rid of the amulet?”

“Yes and I decided we can’t. The call of its power might be to much for someone else. Even the most powerful of exorcists can be tempted. I think what I need to do is practice exerting my dominance. I believe that’s what I am lacking. Since I met you! I have wanted to be nothing but loving and warm. I let my dominant and cold side go so I would not hurt you. If I can tap into that part of myself, I may be able to control the demon in the necklace.”

“Do you think you can do that without becoming a jerk all the time again?”

“I may have trouble at first but for you and my little girl I could. This is somthing I need to do so this amulet wont fall into the wrong hands.”

“I understand, I have faith in you that you wont start mistreating us.” Vihreä kissed Susi “thank you for all the unwavering faith you give me Susi. “You deserve it.” Vihreä kisses Susi again before pulling her close and falling asleep in her warmth. When morning came Susi was stiff from head to toe. She shook Vihreä and said “please massage me” He smiled then told her to sit up. He worked all of her back muscles then did her legs “feel better?”

“Thank you”

“It’s never a problem. Ready for breakfast?”

‘Yeah, I’ll cook some grits and sasage.”

“I’ll help, maybe the smell will draw Ig and Elizabeth out of whatever room they took”

“Knowing Ig he’s up writing. He probably has a lot to do” Vihreä and Susi got dressed then made their way to the kitchen. Breakfast was nearly ready when Ig came down with Elizabeth. They chatted happily until Vihreä and Susi came out with the plates. “were you two comfortable last night?” Susi asked as she sat down. “Yes, thanks for letting us stay.”

“Shannon is a very good friend and I already like you a lot.” Elizabeth smiled then Ig said “we’ll leave after lunch. I thought it would be nice to hangout around here for awhile before hitting the road again.”

“How’re your injuries Ig?” Vihreä asked with shame in his tone again. “Just bruises and they are fine. Stop worrying about it Vihreä” They ate and then decided to relax by the fire place in a very large room nearby. Susi decided to tease Ig and said “are you going to ever complete a book again now that you have Elizabeth?”

“Of course I will, just much slower since I have somthing far more important to pour my time into.” Elizabeth smiled shyly as Ig kissed her head. “Your readers are going to be bside themselves”

“Let them, there’s other authors to occupy their time until I’m done” Before they knew it lunch time came. This time Vihreä convinced Susi to let some of the workers in the castle cook for them. Susi wondered what work was keeping her brother so busy that he wasn’t at meals. As king he often had to go places but he normally told her beforehand. After their lunch plates were cleared Ig went to the room he had taken with Elizabeth to make sure they had all their belongings before saying their goodbyes. Once he had everythign gathered they all exchanged hugs and promises to see eachother soon.

“Excuse me,” Susi said as a maid moved past them, “have you seen my brother?”

“Yes, he’s in the throne room. He’s meeting with some people I have never seen before.” She answered.

“Thank you.” She grabbed Vihreä’s hand and headed for the throne room. As First Knight she should be with Aurelius when strangers entered the castle. He always informed her of anything important. She hoped he wasn’t doing anything illegal.

“You don’t look happy love.” Vihreä said.

“I’m not.” She shoved the throne room doors open, startling her brother, the guards and the two unfamiliar occupants of the room.

“Ah, sister dear. When did you get back?” Aurelius asked, looking like he had just been caught stealing.

“Last night. What is all this about? Why have you been skipping breakfast?”

“Oh no, I’m sorry I lost track of time again. This was supposed to be a surprise, but I guess you got worried.” He stood and walked over to the first stranger. He was about the same height as her brother with a round belly and long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. He was dressed in earthy colors, save for the red sash about his waist. “This is Johann. He is an architect and carpenter.” He moved to the second stranger, a woman with bright blonde curls and emerald green eyes that twinkled with hidden amusement. “This is Octavia. She is a wedding planner. You have both been so busy lately and have been looking so tired that I wished to help. I figured since I know what all of your favorite things are that I could easily get Octavia to put your wedding together.”

She smiled at him and crossed the room, hugging him. “Thank you so much. I’m sorry I got worried. I need to stop treating you like a baby.”

“It’s your job to act like an older sister.”

“So why is Johann here? Not for wedding plans I suspect.”

“I was going to have him knock out the wall between your room and the room next door to make room for the baby. I am also having a crib built. I hope that’s okay.”

“You are always thinking of me. Thank you Aurelius, you are truly the best brother in the world.” She kissed his cheek and he gave her his brightest smile. “You do know you get to walk me down the isle right?”

“Really? That makes me very happy.”

“who else could walk me down little brother?” Aurelius smiled then said “You go rest with your soon to be husband while I continue talking to your wedding planner.”

“Thank you” Susi left with Vihreä and went to grab Vihreäs jacket so they could sit on the large swing outside. Once Vihreä had his jacket on they sat, just enjoying the view. Susi put her head on Vihreäs shoulder. “do you want to test the amulet?” Vihreä looked ta Susi like she had said the most outlandish thing ever. “Not until after the baby is born. I’ll need your help if I let the demon get out of control and I don’t want my daughter inside of you while you help me. There’s many more exorcists than I. I will not take any more jobs until after Lintu arrives. I stand firm on that. Once we can get someone else to watch our little girl we will practice me dominating the demon.”

“That sounds good, I don’t think you’d let it hurt our baby but I understand Vihreä” Vihreä kissed Susis head “I’m so glad your brother is handling wedding details so you don’t have to be in any stress”

“are you suyre your coldness is still in there?” Vihreä laughed “sadly yes, my father implanted it pretty deep in my soul.  I hope to be a much better father than he was and I will always treat you a million times better than he treated my mother. Well treats my mother since she still stays no matter what he does.” Vihreäs tone was angry. Susi rubbed his arm “calm down love” he sighed “I just hate that man so much”

“You can never truly hate your parents”

“Lets not get so unhappy, if you aren’t tired lets help your brother with the wedding plans”

“I’d love that” They walked back to the throne room “I dont need rest, could I help?”

“It’s your wedding. We’re talking about the trellis”

“I’ve got so many ideas for that. I hope you guys can just help me narrow it down!” Vihreä and Aurelius smiled at Susis enthusiasm. They spent the rest of the day planning out their wedding. Every face smiling and looking towards the very bright future for Susi, Vihreä and their soon to be little girl Lintu.

~ The End ~

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