A knock on the door stirred Wendy awake from her contorted sleeping position on the bed.

"Hey.. uuuh… you awake?" came Van's deep voice from the other side.

Rolling over on the bed, she propped her self up; stretching and giving a big yawn. "Yea, just woke up." she mumbled, rubbing her eyes tiredly.

"Can I come in?"

"O! Sure.. hold on!" Standing up, she straightened out her dress and hastily braided her sloppy tousled, orange hair.

Van quietly opened the door and stepped in. As she looked at him, she observed the dark circles that were traced underneath his glossy red eyes. He looked exhausted, but the sight of her brightened his face. Walking up to him she cupped the side of his face in her hand apprehensively.

"Van, you look exhausted! Did you even get any sleep?" she asked, her eyes quivering with worry.

Van gazed deep into the emerald gems in her eyes with love. Raising his hand he laid it on her own small creamy white one; which was gently caressing the scruff on his jawline.

"No, I stayed outside your door to make sure you got your rest and that no one disturbed you."

Wendy smiled wearily. "Well, I got my rest and now you need to get yours. Go lie down on my bed for right now, I'm fine." she assured, grabbing his hand to lead him over to her fluffy plush bed.

Van uttered some words of disagreement under his breath, but didn't resist. I am really tired. He admitted to himself. Climbing on the bed, he stretched out his long legs out and slid his arms in a comfortable position behind his head.

Wendy smiled in satisfaction and turned around to head out. Suddenly, her arm was gripped firmly by Van's strong, and steady hands. He pulled her back over to him not willing to release her arm.

"Where the hell do you think your goin' ?" he murmured with a hint of exhaustion; his hat tipped down casting a shadow over his face covering his facial expressions.

"Oh… I.. uh.." she blushed "I thought that I should leave you alone and let you sleep.." Wendy stated, shifting back and forth in her shoes.

"The only way I can get to sleep is if you are here next to me."


"Just shut up for once and lay down." he demanded, wrapping his arms around her waist and lifting her onto to bed next to him. Wendy's cheeks burned as Van's lanky, yet strong arms held her tight, as if she was a child's teddy bear. She giggled laid there nestled into Van's body. Listening to his abiding heart beats she slowly nodded back to sleep, Van drifting off right after.

While the two slept upstairs, Down stairs a blue hair woman was staring, distressed, out a large glass paned window. Her arms were positioned on her tight red pants as she stood in a worried pose. She released a sigh.

"Carmen, is something wrong?" Santo asked from behind her in his thick slurred accent. He silently walked up to her and nestled his tan face into her soft locks.

"I'm fine, it's just… I thought….." she pushed him away to look up into his sea of blue eyes which were full with concern. "I thought this guy was gone for good… We are supposed to get married Santo! I don't want to be involved with this again."

Santo nodded in agreement, brushing some hair out of her battering eyes. "We don't have to go through with this you know." he murmured, kissing her gently on the head.

"No… I need to help Yukkiko, I owe her…" she confided. "This man is crazy anyways… we need to get rid of him.. for good."

"This man you speak of, who is he exactly?" Santo asked, reaching and softly grabbing ahold of her wrists. "Is he truly a menace?"

"The Claw? He is the reason why those three are here right now! That scoundrel ripped away someone from each of their lives." Carmen shifted her gaze to the side of the room, her eyes shook as an old memory passed through her mind.

Suddenly Santo's grip tightened and his whole body tensed up. Turned her head back to his face, she gazed at him in suspicion.

"You are not over exaggerating are you? I mean, I think I've heard of him and the ideas he had weren't so bad." he concluded.

Carmen raised an eyebrow in astonishment. "You.. you think he had brilliant ideas?" she cried angrily.

"Well, I mean.. everyone deserves a chance." he shrugged in a persuasive manner.

Her eyes widened extensively. "ARE YOU JOKING ME!" she roared.

Santo looked at her in sorrow. "No." He freed her wrists from his grip and put one behind his neck, rubbing it shamefully. Taking her chin, he bent down and kissed her softly on the lips. Carmen's eyes were wide and full of confusion.

"I love you and always will." he whispered despondently. Turning slowly he sauntered toward the door that lead outside.

"Wha… Where the hell are you going?" Carmen cried out to him. Fury began to bubble into her system. What's going on? Why is he acting like this? she thought frantically.

He stopped but didn't turn around to face her. Santo's shoulders were slumped down and his head hung low. "I… I have to leave… I'm sorry Carmen…" he murmured in anguish. With that being his last words she watched him completely stunned as he quietly walked out the door.

"You… YOU SON OF A BITCH!" she bellowed, running toward where he left, with the idea in her mind of catching him. Whipping open the door, she wildly scanned outside to see where he had gone. Santo was gone, he had disappeared into thin air. She slammed the door and yelled out in indignation at the top of her lungs.

"Carmen?" came a soft, tranquil voice from behind her.

She slowly turned around, tears rimming the edges of her eyes. They were threatening to slide down the side of her face. "What do you want?" she growled, avoiding eye contact with the person while rubbing her eyes with her half slit, black leather gloves.

It was Joshua; his blond hair was mangled from sleep and his eyes were glassy and red. "I heard you yelling… I came down to make sure you were ok." His voice was full with concern.

Carmen sniffled, but gathered up enough strength to pull herself back up. "I'm fine." She managed to choke out. Standing up, she gave him a small smirk trying to guise her true emotions. Although, Joshua could tell by the sadness in her eyes; something was terribly wrong.

Before he could interject, she stated, "We should get going to get the El Dirado five."

He nodded his head, but a thought came up that he had to ask. "Carmen, it's ben ten years.. what if all of them are… dead?"

Carmen scoffed at his question. "You kidding me? They are attached to that armor they ride in! They aren't able to die until their armor dies. It's pretty much the same thing as Van and Dan." she pointed out.

Joshua smiled brightly. "Great! I guess I'll go wake up Van and Wendy so we can go!" he declared, gamboling back up the stairs.

Carmen depressively walked back into the kitchen to where Bruno was flipping through a cooking book.

"Miss Carmen!" he gasped, surprised to see her unexpected presence. Quickly slamming closed the book, he shoved it into a little shelve and ran over to her in excitement. He was a short hefty man. Thick curly black hair framed his rosy cheeks, that puffed out around his black eyes. A pencil thin mustache was grown above his lips and curled up on the sides of his face. He grinned up at her, revealing some yellow crooked teeth. "Would Miss Carmen like Bruno to make her something?" he asked in his thick foreign accent.

"No Bruno.." she sighed. "Your services are no longer needed here.. Santo is gone."

The chef bowed his head understandingly. "Li vaig dir que ella no estava d'acord." the man uttered underneath his breath. Shaking his head he sighed in dissatisfaction. "Bruno will leave now." he concluded, swiveling around and shuffling away.

Carmen was in the kitchen alone now. She grabbed a glass container full of sugar, and scrutinized the miniature crystals inside it. Every sugar, spice, and liquid was given to her by her Santo. Angrily she chucked the sugar on the floor. It broke, and shards of glass and sugar grains dispersed all over the floor. Carmen slumped to the ground, her palms faced up as if she was waiting to receive something.

"Damnit Santo!" she sobbed, burying her head between her knees and running her hands through her hair. Anger flowed through her body, she was going to find him and take revenge on that son of a bitch.

No one leaves me right before our wedding and get's away with it. Carmen cursed. She raised up and slammed her hand on the table. She would make sure she would find him… he'd rue the day he left her.

"Wendy! Are you up? We have to go!" Joshua called out from the other side of Wendy's room.

Van moaned at Joshua's load whiney voice. "Go back to bed Joshua!" he yelled. Looking down, he observed Wendy snoring softly in his arms. He slid her closer to his body, trying hard to not wake her up.

On the other side of the door, Joshua was in shock that he heard Van's voice in Wendy's room. "Uh... Van, we have to leave now, we need to start heading out to get the El Dirado five." he stammered.

Van rolled his eyes, "Ok, we will be there... now go away." He waited until he heard Joshua's soft footsteps tiptoe away.

Bending his head down, he bit softly on Wendy's ear.

"Wa.. huh?" Wendy startled, rolling over to face Van who was peering down at her.

"Hey.." he murmured, taking a piece of her hair and twirling it around his finger.

"Hey." she whispered back, yawning and curling up to his body while placing a hand on his bare chest.

Van's heart jumped slightly at the touch of soft hands. "We have to go, we are going to start leaving to retrieve the old geezers soon."

Wendy smiled. "That is great. Let's get up then."

"Ok, but hold on." Van leaned down and pressed his lips softly against Wendy's. She dug her fingers into his skin as he leaned his body into hers, their mouths moving up and down compassionately. Their actions began to spruce up when suddenly Van pulled off her lips and stopped everything.

"Wendy." he gasped for air.

Looking up at him in confusion, she raised her eyebrows to show she was attentive.


"Remember how I told you that people who are in love should get married, and when you are married then... then you can make love?" he stated, entwining out of their embrace, and off the bed.

She nodded.

"Well, I think we need to wait..."

Her eyes dropped. "Oh, yes I understand." she confirmed.

"Wendy." he lifted her chin up so she would look into his dark red eyes. "I love you and I do want to spend the rest of my life with you.. Will you marry me?"

Her eyes widened as he pulled out a black box from the inside of his jacket. Opening it up, he revealed a beautiful diamond ring.

" Van... It's beautiful."

"It was Elena's..." he whispered.

"Yes..." she affirmed, pushing her self up and sprang excitedly on Van. They rolled on the floor, kissing each other romantically. Tears of joy rolled down Wendy's cheeks as she accepted Van's warms soft lips and melted into his arms. Sitting up, he slid the perfectly fit ring onto Wendy's finger.

"Perfect" they both stated simultaneously.

"Hey, you two love birds coming down yet?" hollered Carmen's voice suddenly from downstairs. Apparently, Joshua had already informed Carmen about Van being in Wendy's room. It didn't matter though, they were getting married and that was what the two cared about.

"Let's go." Van gestured. Both lifting up off the floor, they interlocked their fingers together and headed off downstairs.

N/A: So I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while. Volleyball, school, basketball have consumed my life.. plus all the other stories I'm writing or trying to update. Hope you liked this chapter. Please review and comment and tell me what you like or what I need to improve on! Critiques are always great! CIAO!