WOW!!!! This is soooo overdue!!! And of course I missed my December 31st deadline. But it's finally finished after this. HAPPY 2009!!!
The three appeared back at the palace and Aisha was still in bewilderment about the proceeding moments.
"That visit was unusually short for you," Chase commented dryly. He still had Kiara on his left side while the baby tiger remained in his right hand.
"Chase...can you poof up a mirror or something really quickly?" Aisha asked.
"Why do you want a mirror in the middle of the hall?"
"Just do it please." Chase handed the tiger to Kiara and a full length mirror appeared next to them with a snap of his fingers.
"Now look in the mirror. And don't question me this time," Aisha said as she began to bite the nail on her thumb from anxiety.
He sighed as he turned to the mirror, 'What is wrong with that woman? She's getting herself all worked up for probably...nothing...'
Chase's thoughts paused as he looked at his reflection in the mirror. He had forgotten that he was still holding Kiara who was also in the reflection. The Heylin slowly turned back to Aisha with a slight look of disbelief on his face.
"Do you see what I see?" she asked him. Chase just looked back at the mirror. He saw himself, a powerful man in his early twenties; but he also saw himself, or at least someone who looked very similar to him, some fifteen years from the past.
The hair and eyes of the little girl next to him were the carbon copy of how Chase's were, back in his pre-Heylin years, which could still be recognized in his new form. However, he could see some of Aisha in Kiara along with some of himself.
"Kiara, go get ready for lunch," Chase told her as he put her on down on her feet. She nodded and walked off with Haidar in her arms.
"I don't understand it either," Aisha said once Kiara was out of sight.
"It doesn't make any sense," Chase started. "You said that you saved her from a burning house."
"And you didn't want anything to do with her which obviously means that you didn't know her...But you two look so much alike."
"The worst part is that I agree with you."
"How is that the worst part? The worst part is that we adopted a child that looks like she could be our real daughter!"
"Well what do you want me to do about it?"
"Oh I don't know," Aisha replied sarcastically, "maybe finding out 'why' would help!"
"You should be finding out what happened because you adopted her after you were 'pregnant' for 8 months!"
"Don't blame me for this! She looks like you too!"
"Now what?!" Chase yelled.
"It sounded like Kiara." And the two ran to the dining room. When they got to the doorway they both stopped short at the scene before them.
"Shit," Chase sighed dully. Kiara was frozen in fear, staring at an adolescent tiger that laid itself on the table and proceeded to eat the lunch spread as knocking plates and glasses over onto the floor.
"Why is he at the table?" Chase demanded.
"'You gave Kiara the tiger to hold right before I sent her here," Aisha replied.
"Dammit! You can't give him any food, it'll make him grow at a ridiculously fast rate!"
"Wait, that's Haidar?" Aisha asked.
"Yes," Chase replied with frustration as he gripped the tiger by his neck and started to pull him off the table. "Now I can't eat until this mess is cleaned up! Kiara, take him to your room."
LATER THAT NIGHT
Chase, Aisha, and Kiara were all sitting in the library. The huge, lit fireplace crackled as the wood burned. Kiara was on the soft, carpeted floor playing with Haidar, while Chase and Aisha were sharing a nearby sofa. Chase was reading a book with his feet up on an ottoman and Aisha's legs stretched over his lap. Aisha was sitting the length of the sofa reading a letter she received earlier that day. It was a slow, cozy kind of evening for them.
"Mamma really knows how to write a letter," Aisha smiled when she finished reading the message.
"How is your mother?" Chase asked not looking up from his book.
"From the looks of it, nothing's changed…I wonder what she's getting me for my birthday?" Aisha mused as she folded up the letter.
Chase looked at her, "Your birthday?"
"Yeah, you know, it's the celebration of the day that someone was born. Papi's is the day before mine, that's why I went to see him earlier today."
"So yours is tomorrow?"
"…Yeah, I guess it is tomorrow. But don't worry about getting me something. I never told you when my birthday was anyway."
"Oh good," Chase started turning a page in his book, "because I had something for you but I can't remember where I put it."
"You have something for me? But you didn't even know when my birthday was."
"Had. And yes, I thought you deserved something nice. But I've misplaced it, it's no big deal."
"What was it?" Aisha asked excitedly as she sat up and leaned towards him.
"I'm not going to tell you."
"What if I find it and want to give it to you? Then you won't be surprised."
"I'll act surprised to whatever you give me."
"Then I'll know that you're just acting surprised and I won't get any satisfaction if you use fake emotions."
Aisha fell back with a frustrated huff, "Fine. I don't want to know what it was anymore."
"That's my Su Yun," Chase said returning to his book.
"…You know what?"
"I don't have a nickname for you."
"I don't mind. I don't really want one."
"Too bad, you're gettin' one now."
"As long as it isn't anything stupid or (God-forbid)…cute."
"But you're mine, and I will give my Chase whatever nickname I see fit."
"Alright, but I'm not going to respond to it if I don't like it."
"Do you look like a Sweetheart?"
"I better not."
"Darling...? No, I don't like the way it sounds. It makes me sound infatuated with you."
"But are you not?"
"I mean I love you but it's not like I'm under some obsessive, trance-like spell."
"Good, because if you were, I'd probably have to kill you."
"…That's good to know…What about Cupcake? Or better yet, my dearest Sugar Plum?!"
"Are you being serious?" Chase asked with a skeptical look while she laughed. "Why not Lover, it's alright with me."
"I thought about that, but it sounds kinda scandalous."
"I don't mind."
"I don't know. Let me go through the rest of the options first." Aisha replied, "What about My Knight. Oh, or My Prince?"
"Hmm, it's not horrible."
"I like it!" She wrapped her arms around Chase's neck and whispered into his ear with a smile, "Chase, my Prince."
A sly smile formed on Chase's lips as he heard his new nickname in his ear. It sounded so powerful, so esteemed…
"Yes," Aisha continued, this time with a slight Spanish accent, "Chase is my big bad Prince of Darkness."
…and now, so sinister.
"And that's why Aries is the Greek god of war," Aisha finished as she tucked Kiara into bed.
"Wow, this time you've managed to bore her to sleep," Chase said monotonously from the door way.
"Ha-ha," Aisha replied sarcastically and started to walk from the room.
"You make teasing you so easy," Chase smiled.
"I only keep it that way to please you," Aisha mocked.
"And how do you know what pleases me and what doesn't?" Chase asked as he opened their bedroom door for her.
"Well, when you're pleased, you're much more relaxed and calm...Well, you're almost always calm, but when you're pleased, you smile a little. Usually it's your smirk, but it's still a smile."
"You must think you know me pretty well."
"Not really, there's still so much that I don't know about you. Like where were you born?" Aisha remarked as she scratched her back.
"In Korea," he answered and began to pull back the blankets and got into bed. "Anything else?"
Aisha was still struggling to reach that sudden itch on her back. "...Not at the moment...This itch is horrible!"
"Don't think about it, it should go away."
"But it's so itchy!"
"Ignore it." Aisha let out a frustrated sigh and climbed into bed next to Chase.
"Good night," she said and gave him a light kiss on his cheek before resting her head on his chest.
Chase wrapped his arm around her and gave her a slight squeeze before kissing the top of her head, "Good night." And the two quickly fell asleep.
However, Aisha's sleep didn't last long. A couple of hours later she found herself awake and staring into the darkness of the room. The first thing she noticed was that she back wasn't itching any more, but it felt wet. Then she realized how warm the room was...actually, she felt like she was in an oven.
Aisha quickly sat up and threw the blankets off of her in a fit of panic.
"What? What's the matter?" Chase asked waking from his deep sleep. He rubbed his eyes and went to wrap an arm around Aisha.
"No! Don't touch me!" she shouted and hugged her knees to her chest. She suddenly wasn't feeling too well.
"Are you alright?" Aisha shook her head. Chase placed the back his hand on her shoulder, "You're shivering, but you're burning up."
She slowly slid from the bed and stood, even though the room was still dark, she could feel it tilting ever so slightly as she made her way to the bathroom. She managed to find the basin full of water and splashed some on her face. The cold water helped a little.
Chase cursed under his breath and walked into the bathroom, "Are you feeling better?"
"Yeah, yeah, don't worry," Aisha nodded. "Go back to sleep, I'll be there soon."
"You want me to leave a light on for you?"
"No, I'll be fine," she lied and she listened to hear Chase get back into bed before closing the door to the bathroom. She still felt sick to her stomach and icky as she put her head into the basin of water. The cold must have done something, because now, as she pulled her head out of the water, she was so thirsty.
Aisha searched blindly for a towel in the dark and dried off her face. She, not wanting to wake Chase, walked out of the bathroom through a new door that joined the bathroom to her new dressing room. She lit a few lights and began to look for something to wear. The young woman knew that the water didn't satisfy her thirst and she knew exactly what would...
Chase reawaked a couple of hours later and felt the spot next to him to see if Aisha came back to bed; but of course, she didn't. The warlord snapped his fingers and sat up as the lights turned on. The other side of the bed was indeed empty except for a blood stain that ran a few inches long from the bottom of the bottom of Aisha's pillows.
'Where the hell is she?' Chase's mind hissed and headed for the bathroom. "Aisha?" he called and opened the door. The lights turned on with another snap of his fingers to reveal an empty bathroom. The door to the adjoining room was left open and Chase went in. Aisha's dressing room was also empty except for a few articles of clothing left around on the floor.
Chase growled and went to check Kiara's room. Only the little girl and her pet tiger were asleep in the room. He silently made his way to her bathroom to find it empty. He quickly moved on to the dining room and asked the night guards whether or not they saw Aisha; they all answered in the negative. That was exactly what Chase didn't want to hear. He quickly ordered for a few groups formed to go scout out the surrounding towns in search of Aisha, he had a good feeling about what she was up to...
It took a while, but a team of Chase's warriors located the ever elusive Aisha in a nearby town called Kyon just outside the mountain range. Chase had been, by the minute, growing more and more agitated as the night progressed. But this was Aisha he was dealing with, he should have expected this.
"You should start keeping a few humans around so she won't run off to hunt at weird hours of the night," Chase's 'best friend' noted with a sinister chuckle.
'Lovely, you're back,' Chase thought as he made his way into the night air to find Aisha.
"I never left. I've just been sittin' here, enjoying the view, and taking a little break from guiding you into evil deeds. But I'm bored now. Since we're out, what do you say to beheading a few people for fun, eh?"
'I already have one bloodthirsty being on the loose and I honestly don't feel like joining in her "fun".'
"You always were such a party-pooper," and the voice fell completely silently.
Chase sighed in the relief when the demon inside of him shut up and also at the fact that he just found Aisha. She was in a room of the second floor in an inn called 'The Bloodlust Cavern'.
"How ironic," Chase mused to himself as he went to the room. He found her sitting on the bed licking the blood off her fingers; she just finished her most recent victim and threw him onto the floor with the other dozen corpses. "So is it safe to guess that you're feeling better?"
"Hmm...I think one more should do the trick," Aisha replied as she got up to head for the door.
Chase was in front of the door in a split second, "I think you've had enough tonight."
She was dressed in a black, revealing sari with sliver trimming. Both of the sides of her skirt had slits that ran the entire length of her legs and her top was strapless and tied in the front; she left the outfit in the original state that it was given to her. The silver bangles on her wrists chimed against each other as she laughed and flashed her dangerously sharp teeth.
"But Chase, my Prince, I'm going to need at least another twenty bodies before I'm full," Aisha replied in a very sweet, yet very sinister voice. The accent she was using reminded Chase of the time when she found his room of souls; her bloodlust side was in control...this could get bad.
"No. You're coming with me." And with that stated simply, Chase grabbed her wrist and the two disappeared from the room.
Aisha gaped in shock and offense when they reappeared back at Chase's citadel. "Are you serious!" she shouted.
"I'm very serious. And stop yelling!"
"So you're gonna make me sit here and dry up? I need blood and I doubt that you just happen to have a ton of it lying around in a barrel somewhere!" she whispered harshly.
"Well actually..." Chase stared thoughtfully.
"I had some use for all of this blood, but I honestly can't remember what it was," Chase stated as a few of his cats dragged out two large barrels to them. They were now down in the dungeons of Chase's lair. A cold and wet place made of pure stone. "It can always be replaced later."
"Wow, you lucked out tonight. I didn't have to throw the terrorizing fit I wanted," Aisha commented as she opened the top of one of the barrels.
"Maybe next time."
"Maybe," she replied and sniffed at the red liquid in the container. "This is good stuff; it just needs to be stirred a little."
Chase kissed her cheek, "I'm glad that I can be of some help. Just don't make too much of a mess and come up soon."
"Mmhm. Good night."
THE NEXT DAY
Aisha slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times when she first woke up. She saw Kiara looking down at her with a huge smile on her face.
"Happy Birthday Mommy!" Kiara exclaimed before wrapping her arms around her.
"Happy what?" Aisha replied, still disoriented by sleep.
"It's not your birthday?" Kiara asked.
"...Oh! Right, today is my birthday," Aisha realized. "Aww, thank you Kiara. How long have I been asleep?"
"It's just after sunset now," Chase replied as he sat on the side of the bed.
"Mommy, look at what we got you!" Kiara said excitedly. Aisha sat up to see what was in front of her. First, there was a bundle of royal purple cloth held together by a bright red ribbon. She untied the ribbon and found that the cloth was actually a new sari with intricate black embroidery.
"It's beautiful! Thank you hija!" Aisha smiled and gave her daughter a tight squeeze.
"And this one is from Chase," Kiara continued and handed Aisha a little folded square of black silk.
Chase let out and exasperated sigh, "Unfold it." And Aisha complied with a silent 'Oh, right'.
From the fabric she pulled out a thin gold chain attached to a (100-carat) pear-shaped red diamond pendant. Aisha was speechless as she held it. It was the most beautiful piece of jewelry she'd ever seen.
"...Chase! Where did you get this? It's gorgeous!"
He smirked at her reaction, "I have my ways."
"Did your 'ways' include having to kill more than two people?"
"Possibly." Aisha just rolled her eyes as she tried to fasten the necklace around her neck. The diamond weighed close to nothing and sat just below her collar bones. "Now hurry up and get dressed. We've wasted more than half the day waiting for you to wake up and there's still much to do."
"We're going somewhere?"
"Yes," Chase sighed as he got up to leave. "And where something nice. You have thirty minutes."
"Give me an hour!" Aisha shouted at the closed door.
"Thirty minutes!" Chase called back from the hall.
THIRTY MINUTES LATER
Aisha emerged from her dressing room in a red sari with gold trimming and embroidery. Kiara followed her wearing an orange sari.
"Don't you have clothes in any other color than black?" Aisha asked with a sigh when she saw Chase. He wore a black Ao' dai with gold and green trimmings and his initials embroidered on his back in green.
He rolled his eyes at her comment and kissed her hand, "You look lovely as always. Are you ready to go?"
"...Yeah, especially since you just completely ignored my question."
"Good." And all three of them vanished from the hall.
They reappeared in an amphitheatre, already settled in the stone seats of the front row, with hundreds of thousands of spectators around them.
"Where are we?" Aisha asked with slight alarm.
"Calm down, we're in the Coliseum," Chase replied.
"The Coliseum?" she asked with suspicion. "As in, the one in Rome?"
"Yes, now close it, the show is starting."
Aisha squealed in delight and wrapped her arms around Chase in a tight squeeze. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" She then relaxed and watched the play, called Mercator (The Merchant), unfold.
Cheers and clapping roared from the stadium into the deep, navy blue sky when the play was over.
"Did you enjoy the play?" Chase asked as he stood up from his seat.
"Yeah, it was hilarious!" Aisha answered and continued clapping.
"Good, now we have to hurry or else we won't be able to get out of here."
"You're really impatient today. Where are we going now?"
"I hope I won't hate it," Aisha mumbled in response as she placed Kiara on her hip and followed Chase out of the crowded amphitheatre,
It took them all of half an hour to get out and then another ten minutes to reach their next destination. When they arrived at the villa, the guards at the entrance were surprised to see them come.
"I know we're a little late, but Theodoric won't mind," Chase said to them.
"He was actually getting quite anxious. He's impatient, but since you two are so close, he's managed to not get too upset."
"This should be quite interesting."
"You have friends?" Aisha whispered into Chase's ear as they were led through the large villa.
"Oh," she replied as she looked around the hall. There were mythological murals hanging on the walls and magnificent marble statues. One of them she recognized as possibly being Julius Caesar's and a bust of as Alexander.
They reached a curtained doorway when they stopped and Aisha was told to enter first.
"Happy Birthday!" the people in the triclinium shouted. Everyone was seated on klinai around a low square table that was covered in traditional Roman food.
Aisha was completely awestruck, although she didn't know some of the people in the room, she did know a few. She saw her aunt, a pale woman with bright green eyes and pitch black hair braided around her head. Her uncle was also there, equally as pale as his twin sister with his brown hair cut short and close to his head. They both smiled at her as she entered.
"Hija!" Aisha turned to see her mother dressed in a violet colored Roman stola. "Happy birthday Hija!" she exclaimed as she went to hug her daughter.
"Mamma!" Aisha said and hugged her. "This is such a surprise! Chase, you really out did yourself."
"And who is this little darling?" Melisifant asked as she turned to Kiara.
"Oh, this is Kiara, my adopted daughter," Aisha replied proudly. "Kiara, this is your grandmother. Mamma, this is your new granddaughter, Kiara."
Melisifant was filled with so much excitement that she could hardly contain herself. "I'm a grandmother! I'm an abuela! I never thought how strange it would sound to hear someone call me abuela...Hmm. Well my little Kiara, would it be too much trouble for you to call me 'Isa'?" Kiara shook her head. "Muy bien! I shall call you my little Nieta and you shall call me Isa! Bienvendidos a la familia Nieta! Welcome to the family!"
And Isabella took Kiara from Aisha's arms and gave her a tight squeeze. "Oh, I'm so excited! There is so much I must teach you and so much for you to learn! And...oh my! Hija, she looks just like you. Hija, why does she look like you?"
"Oh yeah...Um, we don't exactly know why. Can we talk about this later?"
"Of course! Today is your birthday; we're supposed to be celebrating you tonight!" And with that, Chase, Aisha, and Kiara took their seats on the klinai and everyone ate and had a good time. Aisha found out that her uncle was to be married soon to the young woman sitting next to him.
"I hope you know what you're getting yourself into," Aisha smiled at her. "You know what they say; the tenth time's the charm." Her uncle Alvarez flashed a dangerous glare, but Aisha just laughed at her little inside joke. Her uncle was only a few years older than her Isabella, which made him a little over 300 years old.
The party went well and everyone was enjoying themselves and conversing with one another. Chase and Emperor Theodoric were conversing for awhile in low voices, but Aisha didn't care. At one point the two disappeared without anyone noticing until they returned.
"Lady Aisha, would it be alright if I presented my gift to you?" Theodoric asked her.
"Of course." And Aisha allowed Theodoric to lead her out of the dining room and into the main room. There was a tall figure covered with a large red cloth.
"Are you ready?" he asked and Aisha nodded her head. Theodoric pulled on the red cloth to reveal a marble statue of a young woman.
"Is this supposed to be me?" Aisha asked in awe. The emperor nodded and Aisha went to touch the statue. It looked just like her, from her wavy hair to the ruby on her forehead, even the jewelry were carved into the places that she usually wore them. The stone sari was even trimmed with delicately carved embroidery. "She's gorgeous."
"Just like you," Chase commented. Aisha turned to smile at him.
"Thank you so much Emperor," she said as she bowed to him. She then went to stand beside Chase and linked her arm with his.
"Do not worry about it," Theodoric replied with a warm smile. "Any friend of Chase is a friend of mine and deserves nothing but the best."
"Oh, it must be time for my present then," Isabella stated and grabbed her daughter's free arm along with Kiara's. She pulled Aisha, Kiara, and Chase towards the font door. "To the roof everyone!"
Once outside, the guests ascended a flight of stone steps that led to a platform level with the roof of the villa.
"Now just keep your eyes to the sky and you'll see my gift."
After a few minutes, everyone's excitement died down and they began to wonder what was going on.
"Hmm, I think I was a little too early," Isabella mused. But just after she said that, there was a loud boom and explosion of red in the black, night sky. Everyone 'ooo-ed' and 'ahh-ed' at the sight of even more exploding colors. The fire works continued for another half hour, alternating in color and in shape. The final set was red and in huge letters spelled out 'Feliz Cumplianos Aisha!' and fizzled out after a few seconds.
"Ta-da!" Isabella exclaimed at the end of the fireworks show. She turned to see Aisha on the floor laughing.
"That reminded me...of my eighth birthday...when I...when I set... Papi on fire!" she managed in between her laughter.
"Oh right! Your poor father couldn't sit for weeks." Isabella remembered with a smile. "He still hasn't forgiven me for giving you those fireworks."
Everyone said their goodbyes and goodnights, and each guest went home. When Aisha, Chase, and Kiara returned to Chase's, Aisha wrapped her arms around Chase.
"That was the best birthday ever!" she exclaimed. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"I think that you deserved it."
"You are so good to me," she stated and kissed his lips. "And you my little hija," Aisha started as she turned to Kiara, "are so good to me, too. You must be so tired after all of that excitement."
Kiara nodded her head sleepily and reached up for Aisha.
"Okay then, time for bed." Aisha said as she picked up Kiara. "I'll be back in a few minutes," she told Chase and went to tuck in Kiara.
Chase watched her go and then made his nightly rounds throughout the palace. He reflected on his day; like when he first woke up this morning and found Aisha asleep right on top of him. Both of her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck and her face was pressed against his ear. Chase almost panicked when thought of her drinking his blood came to mind, but then he realized that right now she was asleep and not on some bloodlust rampage.
And he found an unexpected comfort in this knowledge; a comfort in knowing that Aisha was there with him because she wanted to. He smirked a little when he realized this and wrapped his arms around her back. She still had on the same sari from the night before.
He ran his fingers along the "birthmark" on her bare back and noticed that there were five lines of Sanskrit engraved instead of the four he had counted earlier that week. Ever since he was told of it, he made a note to translate the message and track its progression.
The next thing Chase noticed was her heartbeat; it was the only thing that he could hear besides her breathing. Both were at steady pace that his sensitive ears enjoyed to hear and almost admired; for his heart hasn't given a single beat in over a year. But it wasn't something that he particularly missed, it just made him appreciate Aisha even more. For if he couldn't hear her heart, he would've been convinced that she was dead from the way she looks when she's asleep...
"Did you enjoy your birthday, Love?" Chase asked Aisha as he entered his bedroom. She was just getting into bed when he walked in.
"How could I not?" she answered and patted a spot in front of her on the bed. "Come sit."
He complied and crossed the room to her, "Yes?"
"You are so good to me that sometimes I forget that you're Heylin," she stated as she wrapped her arms around him and pressed her face against his neck.
"Something like that isn't safe to forget," Chase replied almost coldly and pulled her across his lap.
"I know but sometimes you make it so hard for me to remember," she sighed.
"So you want me to slap you around every chance I get to help you remember?" he asked and pinched her bare leg.
Aisha laughed and swatted away his hand, "Ow! No, I'm just saying that you aren't as evil as you seem."
"And what makes you say that?"
"Well, me and Kiara are still alive for one thing."
"And you have a heart. No one who is 110 percent, purely demonic evil has a heart. That's why I can't drink demon blood, they don't have a heart."
"Aisha...I haven't had a heart in over a year," Chase told her.
"Yes you do, I can hear it," she replied as she placed her hands and ear against Chase's chest. "Yep...that's a heartbeat alright. It's really faint, but its there."
'Well shit, the damn bean couldn't even turn me evil correctly,' Chase thought.
"But there are lots of reasons why you still have a heart. For one thing, you were human trying to turn without full knowledge of what you were doing. And then you were never supposed to be evil in the first place."
"What do you mean that I was 'never supposed to be evil'?"
Aisha yawned and tucked herself even more into Chase's embrace. This age old story had always put her to sleep as a child. "You know the prophecy that told you that you were to be the greatest warrior in the world? Well did you ever think about what would happen after it was fulfilled?"
"My ideas have changed a little since I first heard about it. But I am obviously going to rule the world for the rest of eternity," Chase answered.
"...Wrong. If you hadn't turned Heylin, you and I were supposed to live happily ever after. La di da di da. But you had to go and be greedy and screw it all up!" she explained and pinned him on his back to the bed.
"Would you like for me to apologize?" he asked nonchalantly.
"Apologize? Now? What good is that gonna do? The damage is already done!"
"Then what do you want me to do?"
"I want you to not mess this up anymore than it already is."
"Well if you love me, you shouldn't have to worry about me messing us up."
"...You do love me back, right?"
"You are so delectable when you are angry."
"Answer the question Chase."
"You're alive aren't you?"
"Chase," she warned.
"Yes. Even though I was positive that I could never love in this new life, you've found a way to fix that," he replied as he slid a strand of her hair behind her ear with a smile.
"That's only because we're destined for each other."
"So are you happy now?"
"Very," Aisha smiled as she got off of him. "Goodnight." And with that she slid under the blankets and fell asleep.
Chase heard a small tapping at the door that managed to wake him up. The room was still dark, so morning was still a few hours away. If only he wasn't so damn tired, he probably would have slain the visitor right there at the door.
He opened the door to find Kiara standing there with a pillow in her arms.
"Is something the matter?" he asked, crouching to her level.
Kiara cautiously held out her hand a touched Chase's. At that moment, everything seemed so much clearer to him, all was deafeningly silent except for a small voice that his mind heard very easily.
"I feel as though...as though I won't ever see her again," the voice said. Chase looked at Kiara, completely amazed at her talent. She was gazing past him and at the dark figure of Aisha, asleep.
"And what makes you feel this way?" Chase asked her.
"I don't know...But something doesn't feel right. I haven't felt this way since right before the fire..." and the voice fell completely silent.
He was curious about what Kiara meant, especially because it was quite obvious that she had a gift of premonition. He had to admit that the little girl had grown on him and had a lot of potential. Even though almost every time she looked at him there was fear in her eyes, Chase could tell that she had a very intelligent mind.
"Would you like to stay in here with us tonight?" he asked. Kiara hugged her pillow tighter and nodded. Chase stepped aside to her let her into the room and closed the door.
She crawled into the bed on the left side of Aisha and placed her head on he chest. Chase resumed his spot on the right side of Aisha and thought.
What concerned him was what Kiara was talking about. It obviously had something to do with Aisha, probably something bad...
THE NEXT MORNING (chase's POV)
I awoke again, this time it was morning and by the sound of someone calling my name. I opened my eyes to see Kiara staring at me with an alarmed look.
"What is it?" I asked her and she shoved a sheet of paper in my face. The words on it blurred for a second and then they cleared. It was a note from Aisha, something or another about not wanting to wake us up; Deja's coming; she has to go see her father; and there was nothing to worry about.
Every time the words "there's nothing to worry about" came from her mouth, there was definitely something to worry about. I swiftly slid out of the bed and went straight for the dinning room with Kiara right behind me.
"What is going on?" I demanded of her when I entered the room. She had just finished her breakfast and was already dressed and ready to go. "Did you honestly think that you could sneak out of here before I found out and without protection?"
"Chase, I'm just going to see Papi. And this time Déjà will be with me."
"Why don't you ever worry about yourself? Hannibal is out of the Yin-Yang World with Wuya. Just the two of you won't be enough."
"Chase, Papi needs me and I don't think that sending an army of tigers with me to see him will help whatever is going on down there. I know how to protect myself. I'll be alright."
"At least let me come with you."
"My father already doesn't like you. I think that he feels that seeing you once a year is enough." I noticed that the way she spoke was very unlike her, it was near emotionless.
She walked past me and into the hall. "Aisha, is there something wrong?"
She was hiding something from me, something important. She ignored me and continued walking. Once I caught up with her, I grabbed her arm and turned her around, "What is wrong?"
"...I don't know," she sighed. "This is why I'm in such a rush."
"Mommy don't go!" Kiara shouted from behind me and ran into Aisha's outstretched arms. "Please don't go Mommy. Just stay here...please."
"Oh hija, you're turning into Chase; always worrying. I will be just fine," Aisha told her with a hug. Then she came to me and placed her hands in mine. Her eyes were intent, but I could definitely sense the fear behind them. "I should be back in no more than four days. If I'm not back by the fifth day with no message about me staying longer, come find me. But I doubt it'll have to come to that."
I just continued to stare at her as blankly as possible.
"Chase, don't you trust me? I will be alright." She placed her forehead against mine and wrapped her arms around my neck. "Alright, send someone at midnight."
"Noon." I refused to hug her back, her decision made me angry and I was not going to pretend that it didn't bother me.
"It's almost noon now," she smiled. "Give me 8 hours."
Kiara suddenly ducked behind me as Déjà appeared ahead of us.
"Are you ready to go yet?" her human form asked. "We need to leave now if we want to be there before sunset."
"I was, but Chase won't let me go," Aisha replied.
"Chase, we'll be fine. And she really needs to go see her father. I just got back from there, he looks pretty bad."
"All I am requesting is that I come with you or at least that you go with a guard. Is that really too much to ask for?"
"You're just being paranoid and overprotective. I will be fine," Aisha continued to insist. She gave me and Kiara quick kisses and stepped as a far away from us as possible.
"Um...who is that little girl?" Déjà asked.
"How is keeping you out of Hannibal's reach being paranoid and overprotective?" I demanded of Aisha; she was really beginning to test my patience.
"Wait, Hannibal's out of the Yin-Yang World?" Déjà asked.
"I can't believe that I'm still here arguing with you on this," Aisha said exasperatedly and turned to leave. "Déjà, we're going now."
"Wait a minute. We have to figure out this Hannibal thing."
"I don't care! I just want to see my father!" she shouted as she rumaged through her bag. "If you want to stay here Deja, then fine; I'll just go by myself."
"Oh God, Aisha wait-" Deja started and took a few steps towards her.
"Just have some patience Aisha, we will figure something out," I told her as calmly as I could and also stepped toward her. I could sense that something bad was about to happen; and so could Kiara and Deja.
"Look, I'll be fine. You'll send someone after me anyway. It's no big - Found it!" Aisha retorted and pulled out a small glass vial.
And then everything happened at once: Deja was first to sprint to Aisha.
There was a great flash of light followed by an explosive force of energy.
I fell back.
The light faded.
All was silent.
Déjà and Aisha were gone.
*sniffle-sniffle* I can't believe that its finally finished. I've been working on this for more than 2 years...and its finally finished....I just want to thank all of my lovely readers and reviewers both anonymous and not. You guys really helped me get through the last 3 years, 2 months and 18 days of this story...its been great!!
And once again I'm sorry for the magnificently long delay. Forgive me please!
and P.S.: WATCH OUT FOR THE SEQUEL!! The Past is Back