Epilogue

He watched her all day.

The day was bright and alert, a high definition screen for Victor's observant eyes to survey. She was still living in the farmhouse, but wages from Stryker's controversial job had obviously given her the ability to polish up the place.

Poppy was in large paddock, the sun was still hidden behind the globed mountain backdrop when he watched her leading a huge Shire horse through the wooden, weather worn gates. Holding onto the horse's neck Poppy easily flicked lightly onto the animal's back and lightly trot forward. Keen eyes watched her smile widely as she bounded forward, ignoring the occasional excited buck that had no effect on her balance.

Victor was proud of the position he'd picked out. At the top of an ancient oak tree he knelt, squatted like a hunter on the thick tree branch. The outer boundary tree was perfectly placed, it was far enough away for him to remain hidden but close enough to see everything. The enhanced eyesight he had even allowed him to pick up Poppy's frame as she passed by every window that faced him.

Talons on Victor's hand began to pick apart the bark at his side; the fragments of wood came away easily underneath the sharpness. Harshly he sighed, bouncing a little to allow some feeling to come back to his legs which were beginning to grow numb under the pressure of Victor's weight. Quickly he rearranged his body so his back rested against the tree trunk and extending his legs fully.

The bark wasn't much of a cushion but he fell asleep under the warm sun easily.

Waking up for a normal person would have probably caused them to fall to the ground; Victor was in exactly the same position when his eyes flickered back open to the world again. Poppy's back was facing him, she was bent over – Victor couldn't help the images that flickered into his head, it was good seeing his Poppy again, it had been too long. As Poppy moved to her full height again Victor's eyes grew wide.

There was a child in her arms, a little boy with a youth rounded, chubby face framed by thick brown curly hair. The child had moisture over his cheeks and his mouth was in a deep sour from, antithesising the smile Poppy had on her face as she bounced him on her side in one hand. Her other hand wiped away his tears and trickle from his nose, working in unison with her puckered mouth that soothed him.

Victor scowled; angrily he dropped down from the high branch. He didn't need to see anymore, Poppy had ignored him and run off with some random man. 'Probably a human' He thought, the sharp nails of his hand dug deep into his hand drawing blood as Victor clenched his fists tightly.

The stupid girl didn't even have the nerve to tell him at the carnival site. Did she deliberately do it so he would have to come and find out for himself? Then he'd go on his way?

Even Poppy couldn't be that stupid to think he would just turn around and walk away from her. 'That's what you're doing though' A voice inside his head taunted him after his feet carried him ten minutes away from the farm. That halted him. Victor wasn't going to let this lie.

Propelling himself around Victor fell to the ground as he embraced his instincts and started to run forward on all fours, 'Should kill her and the kid for good measure. No! Kill the kid and leave her! That'll teach her who she belongs to – there'll be a boyfriend as well – kill him too!'

Inside his head Victor argued with himself, he skid to a halt and the voices stopped suddenly though; a figure was in front of him, after falling from a branch above him. Victor stood up and exaggeratedly snarled at her.

Poppy breathily laughed at him, but it contained no humour.

"Moved on from leaving without a goodbye have you? Now it's a visit without a hello?" said Poppy, she made to walk forward but spotting the length of his claws and the sharp, large, black pupils that overtook his eyes made her stop.

"Don't even think about it Vic" Poppy warned him, she deduced what he was thinking and her own claws unsheathed in response. Victor began to stalk forward, speaking slowly as he moved his feet, "Cute kid"

He drew level with her and Poppy lashed out her arm and held him from moving to the house,

"You're not thinking straight. Use your head and think" Poppy begged earning a rumble of a growl for a response. "What can you smell? Me and the boy – there's no entwining scents, just mine and his"

Victor inhaled deeply, she was right; there was the scent which captivated and held him; a mixture of blood oranges and freshness, untainted. Then there was a separate scent; naïve and powdery, the boys.

There was no possible way the pair were related.

Victor curled his lip over his teeth and Poppy relaxed her grip but still held onto him. Poppy shrugged and cast her eyes down with a small sigh, "He's not yours?" Victor asked despite the fact the scents had already proved it.

Poppy shook her head, she was glad to have him back again.

Victor inclined towards her but paused when a barking caught his attention, Bear was bounding towards them and Poppy smiled and knelt down to scratch behind his ears cast a hand over his thick fur.

"You still dote on the damn dog more than me" Victor said shortly, but a smirk covered his face when Poppy stood up and put a hand on his cheek affectionately. His own hand engulfed Poppy's little one and held it in place.

"I'm always going to come back" said Victor, happily accepting Poppy's lips when she pushed them onto his own, smiling into the kiss before leaning back and staring him directly in the eyes.

"Just don't pretend that I don't own you, as much as you own me" She said with a triumphant smirk and chuckled when Victor exhaled roughly through his nose and pulled Poppy into him. Like the first time they met Victor placed her over his shoulder and like the caveman he was, carried her back down towards the house with Bear trotting obediently behind them.

This was the final step, Poppy had walked to and from the edge of the unknown, but she accepted everything that had happened between them. Having a lot of time to think things through, Poppy loved the excitement and unexpectedness that came with Victor.

She couldn't die, this was what she wanted.

Smiling, Poppy jumped.