"That'll be 27 gold there hon."

Yphera groaned as she ruffled through her coin purse, counting the gold coins out and handing them over the arrow merchant. She smiled at her and gave the quiver back to the huntress, who took the bag, now full of sharpened enhanced arrows, and slung it over her shoulder. As she started her way back to the Inn, Sigma close at her heels, she stared back into her coin purse, noting how light it was starting to get.

"Sigma, these arrows are getting more and more expensive." She sighed out as she counted her remaining currency. The lion nudged her side, causing Yphera to smile at him. She closed the pouch and placed it back at her side before kneeling and giving Sigma a few firm strokes through his mane.

"You did a great job today. Bet you're happy we're finally out of Hellfire, eh?" The lion nodded in response, purring while she continued to pet him.

"Go rest now, you deserve it. We both do." She said as she waved him off and he padded off to the stable. The huntress stood herself up straight and groaned again, realizing how sore she was after today. Even the mail armor she was wearing was beginning to feel heavy on her. She rolled her shoulders and twisted her neck until she felt a satisfying crack before moving on, making her way to her room.

Well… Veldruk's room. But lately, only she had been using it.

Another sigh escaped her thin lips as the depression set in. She'd be entering that room again only to see that Veldruk wasn't home… again. The sheets on the bed had long lost his scent, making it harder to fall asleep there. Time and again she'd thought about just leaving the room and getting her own so that she didn't have to be reminded that she was alone but then she couldn't bear the thought of Veldruk returning and she not being there to welcome him. She had told Hasham to tell him she would wait and she was not about to break that promise.

Yphera slipped the key into the door lock and twisted, pushing the door to the room open. As she shut the door behind her and took a step forward, she paused. She sensed something… a presence in the room. It was dark so she couldn't see well but she could feel she wasn't alone. Instinct sent her hand to her dagger and she pulled the weapon out as she closed her eyes, feeling for where the intruder was.

Behind her.

Quickly she turned to lash out, only to have her weapon hand grasped and pushed back while another snaked quickly around her waist. Before she could react, lips crushed against hers, eyes widening as she collapsed against the intruder, suddenly taking in his scent.

Veldruk.

When he finally pulled back, he kissed her cheek, feeling moisture from her eyes. He smiled as he kissed more of her tears away. "That's no way to greet me." He whispered darkly.

All she could do was sniffle. She couldn't believe he was finally home. She felt even weaker now, her fingers letting the dagger fall to the ground as she leaned more into him, praying this was real, that he was really home.

"Not going to say anything?" Veldruk asked, his gloved hands running through her auburn hair.

Yphera shook her head, tightening her hold on him.

"Yphera, love… say something."

She sucked in her breath, trying to calm herself before finally whispering, "Don't… don't ever leave me again."

He chuckled quietly, keeping her close. He kissed her lightly on her forehead while she pulled him in tighter.

"I won't ever leave you."

"Promise?" she whimpered out softly. He looked down at her, her eyes glowing softly. She looked so innocent, so pure. He never thought anything pure could come in contact with him and remain that way. But somehow she did. And he couldn't help but love her completely for it.

"I promise." He replied, sealing his words with a kiss. He was about to pull away when he felt her hands snake up into his hair, keeping him in place. His lips formed a grin against the kiss as he allowed her to guide him back to their bed, sinister thoughts filling both their minds.


Yphera turned in the bed, arm stretching out as she woke from the night's slumber. As her hands caressed the silk sheets beside her, she couldn't help but grin, remembering how her lover had worn her out early in the night.

The grin was soon lost as she realized the sheets beside her were cool to her touch… and very empty.

Her eyes shot open and she sat up, looking around only to find that Veldruk was nowhere to be seen. Panic struck her heart hard, she could feel it racing as she flashed her eyes around the room for anything, any sign to assure that she hadn't gone insane, that Veldruk had truly come home to her.

It was then that she noticed that the sheets weren't entirely empty. The pillow next to her, which still had the indentation of someone who had slept in it, had a folded piece of parchment laying on it. She hesitated at first then took up the parchment, unfolding it and reading its contents.

Do not worry, my love. I haven't gone far, just outside to make sure Firnes is fed and well. By the way, get dressed and come meet me at the stables. I have a surprise for you.

Veldruk

She breathed a deep sigh of relief when she took in the words. She could still hardly believe that he was finally home, but here was more proof. She quickly threw on a plain tunic and breeches, not bothering with her armor as she made her way outside the Inn to the stables.

Her heart lightened when she saw him there, tending to his Netherdrake. By the gods, she felt so lucky. She quickly ran to him when he turned and gave her a devilish grin. He easily caught her, holding her tight and she wished for a brief moment that that could stay just like that forever, embraced.

Yphera nearly pouted when he pulled her away, but he made sure to keep his fingers entwined with hers as he walked her around his drake.

"I take it you read my note?" Another grin and she couldn't help but smile back.

"Mhm. So a surprise, huh?"

"Yes. See, you're in Outland now. You need a better image. Watching you ride around on a glorified chicken tends to look silly at times." He grunted as she playfully punched him for the teasing comment.

"You deny it?" He asked, nearly laughing.

"No, but it still wasn't very nice to tell him that all this time, I've looked silly riding around on, what did you call it? A glorified chicken?" She sneered at him, but her eyes told him she was still playing.

"Yes well… I thought I might improve your image a bit. So I hope you like him."

"Him?" She asked curiously. The warlock merely pointed in response.

In the direction he guided her stood a beautiful white wolf, adorned with silver armor and a leather saddle. Yphera looked at Veldruk then back at the wolf. She was simply dumbstruck as she took tentative steps towards the wolf. The mount reared its head back when it sensed Yphera was near. He beared his teeth for moment then immediately calmed, sensing that the huntress was not a threat. She gazed at it for a moment, raising her hand slightly, her way of asking the wolf's permission if she could touch him. The wolf conceded, lowering its head as she pet its muzzle.

"Give him a name so he knows that you'll be his mistress." Veldruk stated behind her. She glanced up at her lover for a moment then back to the wolf as she thought. After a few moments, she smiled, giving the wolf another firm pat.

"Socathe. Socathe is your name now." The wolf nuzzled her in response and she couldn't help herself, giving the huge wolf a hug.

"Always good with animals." Veldruk said quietly only to be tackled into another hug from Yphera.

"Hey, I tamed you, didn't I?"

"Touche. So do you like him? I'd say he's a fast improvement over a riding chicken."

Yphera laughed out loud. "Yes, yes, I love him. Almost as much as I love you."

"Uh-huh… well, before we go out on a ride, I seemed to have forgotten something in our room. Could you do me a favor and get it for me? Firnes still needs some attention. It's in the closet, you can't miss it."

"Can't miss what? What exactly am I getting for you?" Yphera asked as she pulled away from him.

"You ask too many questions, just go." Veldruk grinned. The huntress tilted her head but he turned away and went back to his drake. She opened her mouth to say something but decided against it as she shook her head and walked back into the Inn.


"How in Azeroth does he expect me to know what he forgot? I'm not a mind reader, I'm a huntress." Yphera mumbled to herself as she walked into their room. She wasn't really complaining, she was more than happy to just have him here. Even if sometimes he managed to pull of some strange things. Or ask strange requests. Like bringing him something but not telling her what it was.

She sighed as she walked over the closet and opened it.

Yphera stood stark still at what was inside the closet.

Well, the male was right, she couldn't miss it. It was the only thing in the closet, although she had a strong feeling it wasn't necessarily for him.

The only thing that hung in the closet before her was a shimmering white dress. She swallowed hard when she stared at the fabric, reaching out as she stroked the material. It was extraordinarily soft and she could see the glow on her fingertips when she touched the garment. As she looked closer, she noted the gold embroidery throughout the fabric. Every inch of the dress was carefully detailed. Yphera had never seen a piece of clothing so beautiful.

"So I think I got your size right."

Her head snapped to the side to see Veldruk standing at the doorway. Another hard swallow as she felt her throat go dry. "What is this?" She asked quietly.

He took a few steps toward. "I thought it'd be fairly obvious. It's a dress."

"It's not just any dress… it's… it's a wedding dress."

"It is."

"So what… is this a proposal? I thought that it's usually done with a ring." She teased quietly as she turned away from him, eyeing the garment.

"I'm a tailor, not a jewel crafter. Besides, are you really complaining?" He shrugged as he stood an arm's length behind her.

Yphera turned to look at him. "Well?"

She only got silence in return. She stared at him, at his facial features. What she didn't know is that this admission, just like the one where he admitted his love for her, was very difficult. Veldruk had never been the type to need anyone but himself. Until he found this lowly huntress in the middle of Barrens.

Finally he spoke. "Yphera… I can't tell you how much I need you. I never thought I'd even feel this way for any one person. But I feel it for you. And I can't live without you."

She could feel the tears welling in her eyes when he dropped down to one knee. This especially was difficult for him. The act of kneeling before her meant that he was in complete submission to her. She didn't realize how true her words before had been; she had truly tamed him. He reached out for her hand and pulled it to his lips as he placed a feather's touch of a kiss upon her fingers.

"Yphera, will you marry me?" He asked softly, bowing his head before her.

Yphera knelt down in front of him and lifted his head with her hands. She pressed a deep kiss into his lips before pulling back.

"Yes." She grinned and his eyes glowed in response as he pulled her in close and kissed her hard.

For months Yphera had lived without him. Both of them had endured much during those months away from each other, but through it all, they survived and were able to return to one another. Yphera had lived and survived alone. Embraced by Veldruk, she now knew that she would never live that way again.

FIN


ZOMG the end! Well not quite heh. Still have some questions that need to be addressed which means... SEQUEL.

Preview wise though... the next story, Yphera will be through training in Outland and will be on equal standing with Veldruk. And Vel finally decides to go meet with Illidan. Plus I'll be introducing Orthae and Kylaras. Time setting, it's still prior to Northrend behing exposed, but during the time period of "Reclaiming the Sunwell."

Thank you all for everyone who reads this, much appreciation. Please please PLEASE leave me some lovin reviews? If you come to read my story, LET ME KNOW! Hehe. And let me know if I made any grammar mistakes, etc, so I can not look so stupid and go back and fix.

LOVE YOU ALL!