A:n/ Hey Guys, sorry it's taking so long. Have a lot to concentrate on now and want to wrap up this story soon. I do love how it's panned out though, I think there is something very beautiful about Zutara love. This chapter is a little longer and so hopefully you'll all like it! 3 Kaelan xx

3rd Person POV

Zhao and Katara. Prison Room. Fire Nation:

'Zuko!' The scream, hoarse in her throat now. Katara rested her head wearily against the frozen steel of her prison. Zhao, stood triumphant and merciless above her.

'Have you had enough, little Waterbender?' He taunted her, he could still savour her shriek cries and writhing turns beneath the scorching heat of his flames.

'Yes….yes….' Katara wept gently, all she focused on was Zuko. Only he could save her from this madness.

Zhao lifted his head to motion to his guard, within moment – a pair of heavily escorted bodyguards dragged in a limp bundle. Zuko.

'So, young Prince. Do we have an agreement?' Zhao proposed for the 2nd time that week. Zuko barely lifted his head, he had lost all strength.

'No.'

'Your feeble love will not last much longer…' Zhao stated menacingly, running his crooked finger underneath Katara's trembling chin. Katara felt a fresh rush of hatred

for Zhao. He would not get away with this, he would not survive this.

'You leave her alone!' Zuko strained against his bounds, life kicking in to him once more.

'Then give me what I want – give me your alliance, Prince. And I will set her free.' Zhao shouted back, losing his temper finally.

Zuko glared helplessly at Zhao, then at Katara who was still quietly crying. Zuko felt a wave of empathy, a wave of love afresh for Katara.

'I'm so sorry.' He whispered to her, hoping she would somehow understand.

'Fine.' Zhao had had enough, he had given them plenty of chances, plenty of opportunities and yet they had snubbed and rebuffed him. Well, he would show them. He

would show them both.

Picking up his sharpest, most wicked dagger – he aimed straight for Katara's heart.

'Let's try again shall we?'

Fire Nation: Southern Wing Prison:

'Great. Zuko's got us in a mess – again. Remind me why we have to like this guy?'

'He loves your sister. And Katara loves him.' Aang said bluntly.

Sokka nodded in defeat.

Despite the light hearted tones, they both knew what was happening. Nothing they did could knock out the screams. Her screams.

'I hate the Fire Nation, I hate what they've done to us.' Sokka said bluntly. Aang nodded, he didn't have to voice his agreement – he felt it too. The despair, the grief inflicted by the Fire Nation.

'That's a shame.' A familiar voice echoed from the darkness. The jovial, bearded man stepped into the light – revealing himself.

'Iroh. General Iroh. What are you doing here?' Aang leapt to his feet in surprise.

'Avatar…-'

'Aang.' Aang nodded but there was a steely mistrust in his eyes. He couldn't be too careful around any of the Fire Nation.

'Aang, you must listen to me – we need to get out of here and rescue the Prince and the Waterbender. It is vital that she remains alive – do you hear me? She is needed.' The man, Iroh spoke in hushed urgent tones.

'Um hum, what about me?' Sokka interrupted.

Iroh turned to the glaring youth.

'What about you? Who even are you?' Iroh frowned, not wanting to waste any more time than necessary.

Sokka glared even more, sticking out his lip.

'Only Katara's brother.'

Iroh waved his disapproval off with a single flick of his hand. He turned back to Aang.

'Avatar, we need to get moving.' He motioned for the duo to move as he incinerated the bars with a powerful fiery blast.

Aang nodded, he too knew the cost of staying too long.

'Why is Katara so important?' He asked the old General. But Iroh shook his head impatiently.

'All will become clear, young one. Soon. But she is the answer to our prayers.'

'She is.' A beautiful yet somewhat aged woman stepped into the prison, her golden eyes glinting with tears.

'And you are?' Sokka raised an eyebrow.

'I am Ursa. I'm Zuko's mother.'