You're right, it's been ages and I apologize for the wait! OK, guys finale-time! Last chapter of the story! Enjoy!
Torin held Iaso tight on his lap as they were talking with Ashlyn and Olivia in the entertainment room. Shocker but Maddox wasn't currently standing above his wife, so she was getting ready for a walk outside with Anya. Everyone had laughed when Torin had joked about not wanting to be the one to tell Maddox of Ashlyn's shopping trip with Anya. Which probably would be after he had torn the fortress apart…
"Don't be too late, Ok?" Torin said as Ashlyn was grabbing her bag and stepping to the door. "It's been a while since I was last gutted and I like it that way. And whatever you do, do NOT let Anya in at some kind of an arts' store!" he said half serious, half joking. Hey, give the guy a break, it's not that of a small deal having your friend's naughty goddess of a girlfriend hanging around…compromising pictures of you!
"I heard that!" the goddess-in-question said, as she tackled Torin from behind before grabbing Ashlyn's arm and going out. "And just for that you have earned yourself a whole-body portrait for the main hall. You should be so proud!". And with that, the women disappeared inside a black SUV, courtesy of Anya's…shopping, before hitting the road.
"I am so dead.." Torin said as he ran a palm down his face. He sensed Disease going crazy inside his head, before feeling warm, soft arms wound around his waist.
"Are you then?" Iaso asked as she moved in front of him to kiss him. Gods, those kisses of hers were enough to send a man straight to madness. And they were only his. His to enjoy, to take. He would kill before he allowed another to claim them or thought to take her from him. So, his and his alone. "Because I would use another word to describe me right now.." she moved seductively to bite his earlobe before whispering "Can you imagine what that is?"
He needed no more hint or encouragement for what she wanted. Before she had time to blink, he threw her on his shoulder, caveman-style and carried her to his-their- room.
"I have to admit that you are quick to catch the meanings behind the words.." Iaso said after several hours, as she lay lazily on Torin's muscular chest, his arms around her. I will never get enough of him, she thought with a smile on her lips. Good. He was everything she had ever dreamed, better that anything she had ever hoped for and she wanted to spend the rest of eternity with him. Of course I do, I love him, she said to herself feeling the dumbest person on earth, stating facts more obvious than the sun itself.
"Yeah, I've been told I have that ability.." he said sexily while running his fingers on her shoulder, making her shiver. She popped on one elbow and stared directly into those green oceans he had as eyes.
"I have an announcement for you.." she said after long moments, enjoying his puzzlement. Then, when her words left her mouth he grew dead serious and fitted himself in a sitting position before grabbing forcefully her arms,
"You are not leaving this place or me and that's just it, so get it out of your mind!" he all but yelled at her. Wait, he thought that she would leave? Silly man. That was the last thing she had in mind.
"That's not what I was going to tell you.." Iaso said. "You can release my arm and stop going all Boogey-man on me 'cause it's not working!" she informed him, her forefinger on his nose. He released her instantly, seeming even more confused than before. Suddenly his face wore the mask of shock, then terror, then shock again mixed with excitement.
"You're pregnant!" he yelled again, grabbing her arms once more. He gazed in her eyes, searching for signs of confirmation. In that moment, Iaso realized how much she wanted that with him and felt sad that she was about to crash his expectations now. That'll happen too, she thought growing familiar with the idea of a small copy of him.
"Nope, not that either but with your…skills I see it happening in a matter of weeks.." she joked. "And before you start guessing again, I was going to tell you that temporary-fortress-residence is not working anymore and I am applying for a full green card. So, who am I talking to, to get it?" she said.
His eyes widened a bit and his lips curled, as he said "So you're saying that.." he began but she cut him off. "That we are doing the long term thing, yes!" she finished for him. "And long as in eternity-long. And I want my engagement ring ASAP. And then we can pick a date, and spend hours wedding-shopping. Oh, and don't forget the honey-moon trip. And I'm still waiting for a kiss that shows all your gratitude and happiness and excitement of what I just said. I practically proposed to you!" Iaso said in one single breath, before realizing that Torin had froze staring at her, his eyes melting the smart-ass in her and he grabbed her in his arms, squeezing tight.
"I love you, I love you, I love you.." he kept whispering as he held her and she knew that whatever had happened in both their pasts had only brought them together. And she was so damn glad!
"As I love you!" she said as she hugged him back. After a couple of minutes she broke of his embrace. "Soooo,.. about that kiss.." she began but this time he was the one to cut her off, her favorite way, granting her request. When he trailed lower, clearly intending to do more than a simple kiss, they heard a door shutting..forcefully and a male voice yelling through the halls "Ashlyn!"
"Oh Gods, here we go!" Torin said resting his forehead on hers. He got up, dressed and held his hand to her, all the while listening to Maddox opening and shutting doors. They stepped in the entertainment room, where they found Reyes and Danika, Olivia, William and Amun. Maddox was still breaking doors and yelling.
"Hey everyone!" Iaso said and a chorus of "hi's" replied. Before anyone could anything else, Maddox stepped inside and gestured at Torin. "Where is she?" he demanded.
"She went shopping with Anya." Torin said as a matter of fact. There easy, simple, he thought. Maddox's irises practically exploded, shining red and positioned for attack. "Come on, big boy, bring it," Torin said as he pushed Iaso behind his back. "How exactly are you going to do this?"
Just then Maddox, straightened his back and barked "Lucien!" several times. A couple of minutes later the demon of Death materialized in front them, with Aeron who immediately caught his angel in his arms. "I hope this is a matter of life or death otherwise you deserve a beating for scaring 10 years of my life!" stoic Lucien said as he watched Maddox breathing heavily.
"Lucien, go find your woman and bring mine to me like now!" Maddox was saying when the front door opened and Anya called "We're back from the hunt!". She and Ashlyn stepped inside the entertainment room, smiling, wearing sun-glasses, eating ice-cream and carrying several bags. Maddox rushed to his wife, took her bags and hugged her tight, burying his face in her neck.
"Hey love, are you ok?" she asked. Instead of answering he scooped her in his arms and pounded the stairs, leaving everyone staring at where they had just disappeared from.
"Well, end of the daily episode of "Where is my wife!" William said as he sat and opened the television and everyone followed. Torin sat and drew Iaso on his lap, hiding his face in her hair, inhaling her scent. Never had he been more content than he was at that moment, with his friends and his woman. His family.
"What's that?" someone asked –Aeron, he realized- watching the television and William increased the volume. "Seven hundred and twenty people lost their lives, this past week of the new flu, called 'Influenzavirus Pandemic' in Burgenstein, Germany. The new type of the disease has terrorized the citizens.."
"Who knows what on earth those Hunters plan again.." Lucien said and everyone noticed the infinity mark on the reporter's wrist. Those idiots marked themselves as if they needed a neon sign pointing; "Kill ME". Kind of silly when in war, if you asked Torin, but who was he to judge?..
"I do.." Iaso said, her voice a whisper and Torin struggled to even hear her. Just then she began levitating and her form grew blurry. Torin tried to control the panic that began rising in him like he was struggling to control Disease, who was screaming inside his head: "Protect, mine, Protect, mine."The creature had sensed that something was wrong with their woman..really wrong.
"Ok, darling nice trick but come down now" he said nearly breathless.
"Not a trick.." she said, looking like a ghost. "I don't have much time, so listen to me. There's a part of my powers that I have no control upon. When there's a word of illness, disease I am forced to go, whether I want to or not, no matter if I know where that is. I just disappear from where I stood and reappear where I am needed. I can, however, use in will my abilities when I get there." And with her last words she disappeared completely. Torin's scream echoed through the hill, down to the city of Budapest, where the people had no idea of the beast Iaso's loss had unleashed.
"Well, well.." Galen said looking at the beautiful, chained woman in front him. Right after she materialized, Stefano had chained her on a chair and carried her inside a cabin, in the forest near the german city, where they were currently spending the night. "The famous daughter of Asclepius, in person. Somebody call 'People'" his voice full of sarcasm. He touched her hair and she drew back, not in fear but in anger. Brave girl. "I'm sure you can guess why you're here. I would say I want your help, but I need none's help. So, I want your cooperation and we will do this as painless as possible. What do you say?" he asked as he sat on his desk opposite her.
"I would say I am dying to help, but then I really am not" Iaso said, full-using every bit of the smart –ass in her. "So, how about you rot in hell?" she replied and he slapped her. Hard enough to split her lip. Just for a second, before it healed itself.
"That ability of self-healing would be amazing if I decided to torture you, but I'm not." Galen said, having a sardonic smile on his face.
"How magnanimous of you!" she said. She could endure anything he threw at her. But he would not help him, assisting his cause against her beloved Torin. Even if she died she wouldn't have helped the enemy that sought to end him. So, bring it.
The door burst open and a man-Stefano- brought in another man, who was clearly injured. His ribs were out of his skin and there were two bullet holes, one in his leg and another in his shoulder, near a kill spot. The man was lucky to even breathe right now. He whimpered and his face flinched in pain. Or not.
"Will you not cure this man?" Galen said, the sadistic bastard was even smiling. "Look how much he is suffering. Will you be able to live with yourself if you let him die while you know you can save him?" he asked melodramatically, his lips to her ear. Stefano brought the man closer to her, so she could see his face. Dear gods, the man-boy- was no older than twenty, twenty-two years old. How can they stand doing this?, she wondered even more disgusted.
"No? That's your final answer? Fine!" Galen motioned to Stefano and he slashed the injured man with a knife Iaso hadn't known he was holding. She screamed and they laughed. "You will change your mind, goddess. We have many injured people here…" he promised as he motioned and the door opened again. Gods help her..Torin, hurry.
Torin was lying on his bed staring at the ceiling. Right after Iaso had disappeared he had gone into one-Maddox-killing rage and yelled at mortals and immortals, angels and demons, gods and demigods to bring him back his woman. He couldn't stand the thought of being away from. Gideon and Scarlet were on their way to Burgenstein to search where the Hunters could have taken Iaso. Torin cursed his luck that he hadn't put a tracking devise on her. He was going to spank her when he got her back. How could she have …forgotten to mention something like that to him. He should know all of her weaknesses. And he would-spank her- but after he had loved the breath out of her. It's been three days since she was gone. Where was she damn it? Just then he remembered something that could be the key to find her
Iaso was resting on his chest, drawing lazily with her hand. He could feel her heartbeat, the very sound that kept him going from now on. Gods, how he loved her! She heard a voice from the dove she currently had in a cage and she got up to let it out. The bird bit her finger lovingly before spreading it's wings and flying away until it was a dot on the sky.
Torin wound his arms around her and she threw her head back, on his chest. "What's so special about this bird?" he asked.
"I've already told you how Doves are my father's sacred animal along with the snake. That dove is a part of me. It will always find me no matter how far I am. He has been my companion from the very beginning and we are connected. Also I can only shift into a dove when he is around." She sighed and smiled sleepily.
"So, it's immortal like you?" he asked, kissing her neck.
"No, Ilas dies but somehow when he does his body instantly catches fire and he is reborn from his ashes, like a phoenix." She said. "Come, let's go find the others"
"Later.." Torin said as he carried her back on the bed, her laughter echoing to the sky.
"That's it!" Torin shouted as he jumped from the bed and rushed to Ilas's cage. "Go find her, buddy.." he said and opened the cage. "Find her and come back with her." And with that he let the bird unfold it's wings and fly to bring his heart back to him.
Close to midnight, Torin was walking restlessly on his balcony all the while watching at the sky. His friends were beside him, whispering to each other.
"Look at him." He heard Ashlyn's soft voice saying. "He hasn't eaten, hasn't talked to anyone other than asking for news. It's heart-breaking.." Torin was sure, even though he wasn't looking that Maddox was now hugging his wife, soothing her.
"Willy, after everything turns out ok we will go Hunter-hunting, as I promised!" .Anya. Nothing stopped that girl. But Torin couldn't agree more know with her. His palms were itching to kill as many Hunters he could for abducting his woman. Where was she? Could she be… NO, no, no, that was out of the question. She was alive and that was just it!
Before anyone could reply, Torin saw two white figures in the air flying towards him. His heart stopped and the breath caught in his lungs. Let it be her, please gods let it be her. The birds flew and landed in the center of the room and Torin pushed everyone out of the way. The smaller one's shape became blurry, ghostly even, and Iaso's form appeared on the floor, breathing heavily. Torin scooped her in his arms and held her so tight, he feared he would crash her. His mind couldn't comprehend anything other than she was at last with him. He felt his friends leaving and let Iaso on the bed, staring at her. He kissed her hard and demanding and she sighed as she returned his kiss. He broke it first and searched her for injuries. She seemed unharmed but she was very pale.
"What happened? What was done to you? I promise, no I swear to the gods, that when I find Galen and his kin I will return the favor a thousand times more.. Tell me!" he demanded.
"I am OK. But I can't say the same for all those people.. Oh, Torin you can't imagine. He brought ill, injured people to me to force me to cure them and when I didn't he killed them. It was terrible! I had to remind myself that they were bed, wanting to kill you and the others but still.. it went against everything I know.." she began crying, sobbing violently. Torin held her through them, hating what she had endured because of him, of the Hunters' hatred for him.
"I'm sorry, baby. I am sorry for everything you went through, but I promise that I will protect you even if it's the last thing I will do. I love you, Iaso. So much it pains me.."
"I love you, too. And I'm sorry I didn't tell you about it earlier. It would have saved us all the trouble.." she said between hiccups. "I'm so proud you remembered to send Ilas. I feared you wouldn't and I couldn't see of another way out.." she said and buried her head in the hollow of his neck. Torin kissed her again and lay her on her back.
"I will always find you, anywhere you go I will find you.." he said as he began unbuttoning her shirt. "Now however, I need you. I missed you for so long, and I need you. I love you…" he said staring at her.
"As I love you.." Iaso said, seeing the future in the green oceans of his eyes.