Hi Everyone! Happy House of Hades! Wow, I can't believe I actually finished this story. And in a decent amount of time too! Now, I'm going to take a break and indulge in the new book. :D


Ajluv: I figured that Leyna was just unconventional in general, so it would only make sense...

Vans321: Thanks! After re-reading that chapter, I wanted to face-palm myself. I was like, how could I write something like that? Would that even happen? But you settled my doubts, so thank you.

GrimCreeper: When you say it like that... it sounds funny. :)

Clefspear: I know! At first I hoped Leyna would happen, but in the end, I'm okay with whatever Uncle Rick decides. Well... as long as he decides that no one dies and everyone finds someone to live happily ever after with. I guess the only thing I can do is finish the series. :(

Anyway, have a wonderful day, or week or year. Keep checking for updates, who knows, maybe I'll write something else soon. If you have any requests, feel free to review one or PM me. Otherwise, I'll just make stuff up. I'm good at that. :D

Chapter Fourteen

"And we got married, had a wonderful baby girl, yada yada yada. The end." The old man finished with a quick bow and grin.

His daughter laughed and gave her father a hug. "That was better than any of the silly bedtime stories you used to tell me as a kid. Like that one about your table…"

"Hey, that was a Buford classic!" He said indignantly, but he hugged her back anyway. With a sigh he said, "Mija. Thanks for listening."

"Papa!" She exclaimed, "Thanks for telling me."

"Bah! You're just saying that to make your old man feel better."

The young woman put her hands on her hips. Like her mother used to do, he reminisced. "Don't you dare. If I remember correctly, I asked you to tell me the story."

"I know, I know." He said, his mind wandering off. She looked so much like her mother. The straight black hair, the permanent frown in her brows. Oh Gods, he missed her so much.

The woman watched her father look off in the direction of the purple chaise longue. She remembered sitting in that chair, her mother behind her, braiding her hair. She remembered her mother sipping her hot chocolate cautiously, so as to not burn her tongue. She remembered her mother, after picking her up from school, collapsing on the chair, massaging her temples.

She knew her father missed her mother, but how could she reassure him? How could she make him feel better? Only one person knew how to do that, and she wasn't there anymore…

Suddenly her phone rang. A soft Latin tune came from her pocket, and the woman reached down and saw her fiancé's name pop up on the screen. She looked toward her father, but he still was still staring at the chair, deep in thought. Taking a breath, she picked up the phone.

"Hello?" She said softly.

"Hey, are you okay?" The woman smiled, imagining her fiancé's concerned face on the other end. "Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have shouted at you."

"No," She laughed weakly, "You were right. And I shouldn't have slapped you."

"It was a pretty dramatic exit, I have to admit. I was pretty shocked."

"Did you put some ice on it?"

"It wasn't that bad, I've been injured worse. I think you were holding back."

"Yeah, well, consider yourself lucky."

He chuckled on the other end, "So, where are you? Should I pick you up?"

"I'm with my dad. I think I'll keep him company for a while. He's not feeling well."

"Does he have a cold?" The young woman laughed. She didn't think her father had ever gotten a cold. "Why are you laughing?"

"Nothing." She answered quickly. "No, he's just missing mom."

"Oh. Then stay with him. Don't worry about it. I guess I'll see you later, okay?"


"Love you." Her heart warmed. With all the planning, in-laws and overall stress, she couldn't remember the last time they had said those words to each other. Smiling, she replied, "Love you too."

Slipping the phone back into her jean pocket, the woman went into the kitchen and came out with two more cups of coffee. "Have some coffee." She whispered, curling up next to him like she used to when she was a child, cupping the mug in her hands. Her father stared down at his cup forlornly.

"She had the prettiest eyes." He started, "You remember that, don't you? And when she was really angry, her nose would become red. And the only way to get her to forgive you was if you baked her brownies with jelly beans inside. If that didn't work, I used to just use pickup line after pickup line on her until she caved in. Not many knew it, but your mother had a great sense of humor.

And you know, when she laughs really hard, she snorts? Well, I remember this one time I told her a joke. It was actually pretty lame, coming from me. And she was drinking hot chocolate. She snorted some up her nose. Good thing it was cool, otherwise that would have hurt.

I remember that her elbows were pointy. And she had long nails, even when they were cut. And she couldn't cook to save her life. That's why you grew up on tacos and jellybeans. And she understands Spanish, but she never spoke because she had a terrible accent. I always told her that she should try, but she—"

"Dii boni! Don't tell me the two of you sat on that couch moping for the past five months!"

Another woman stood, leaning agains the door frame, a duffle bag in one hand and a rolling suitcase in the other. She was flanked by two metallic dogs. Her long black hair was beginning to grey, but she had a regal air about her.

"Reyna?" The old man asked incredulously, "What are you doing here?"

The young woman stood up and wrapped her arms around her mother. "You were going to stay with Aunt Hylla for another two months!"

"Well, I realized that I wasn't having much fun after a while, because I left my little girl and flammable husband at home." She said, arching her eyebrow, but keeping her arms around her daughter. The old man grinned at his wife and bounced up, filled with enough energy to set off a nuclear bomb. Rushing toward them, he nearly toppled his wife and daughter over with his embrace.

"I missed you so freaking much, you don't understand!" The man said, not letting go. "Don't leave me ever again. I don't care if I have to wear an orange jumpsuit with a collar, next time I am coming with you."

"Stop being such a drama queen, Leo. I'm going to make myself a cup of hot chocolate." She said, pulling her husband and daughter off of her. "Anyone want some?"

The older woman walked out of the room, knowing that they wouldn't. She stepped into the kitchen and took out her own mug. "I can't believe Valdez." She muttered as she pulled out some milk from the fridge. "Ridiculous. If no one knew better, they would think I was dead."

Turning on the gas, she shook her head.