A Love That Wants to Live

Chapter 25

Cassius eyed the girl in front of him, dubiously. Obviously the people who had come to save her were mages, he had witnesses three of them using their magic, but he doubted that she could do anything. After all, if she could magic, then why didn't she use it before now? Right now he was wishing that he had the rest of his crew with him, but he had thought this job would be an easy one and, until the mages showed up, it had been. The girl he could easily put out with his magic, but there was no way the three men there would fall for it. Though it looked like the only one he would have any real trouble with was the guy using Lightening.

The green-haired guy used some type of Rune Magic, which he knew how to combat if he needed to and the other guy's magic had to be pretty weak if he couldn't even use it against the locks. He quickly dismissed those two, turning toward the lightening guy. He would have to take care of him first if he wanted any chance of getting out of here.

"I take it you're Cassius," The big blonde rumbled, looking down at the purple-haired man.

Cassius wondered if he was at all related to the busty blonde he had captured earlier. That would, of course, explain why he was so quick to arrive and why he looked so angry now. Of course, all of the mages looked angry.

Lucy placed a hand on Laxus's chest.

"Get Freed to help Virgo get the girls out of here. I got this," She said softly, looking up at him determinedly.

"Lucy," He whispered.

She shook her head, "Let me handle him. I've seen what he's done to these women. I know what he can do and I want to take care of it, Lax."

He nodded, stepping back and gesturing for Freed to go with Virgo and the women. Lucy wouldn't admit it, but she was worried that the Rune Mage wouldn't be able to do much against Cassius, but he could protect the girls. Adaline shot her a look of worry before leaving and Lucy made a mental note to see her before they left.

"What can you do, little girl?" He sneered as Lucy drew her keys.

"More than you know," She replied with a wink, summoning back Loke.

He smiled at her, "Hello Lucy, my love. Want me to kick this guy's ass?"

"You got it," She replied, grinning.

Cassius looked on in amazement as the orange-haired man appeared. He'd snagged a Celestial Spirit Mage. He had one right there and now she was trying to escape. His boss would be furious if he did, so he turned back and pulled out his pipe, blowing a soft low note into it.

Lucy and Evergreen both blinked, their eyes going blank as he played another note.

"Loke, go home," The blonde said softly before crumpling to the ground with the brunette, the orange-haired man disappearing with an angry scowl directed at Cassius.

Cassius grinned. Now he only had two wizards to defeat. To bad his magic didn't work on them.

Laxus watched as his girlfriend's eyes went blank and she crumpled to the ground. Growling, he turned back to this strange man.

"What did you do to Lucy?" He demanded, feeling the rage boiling from within.

"Lucy," Cassius looked down at the blonde. "I'll have to remember that when I take her for myself."

Laxus roared in rage before unleashing his lightening on the man. Not taking any chances he charged in, swinging at him as well. Cassius dodged the first punch only to have the second one hit him square in the ribs. He wheezed out, surprised by the power of it, before Laxus kicked him in the knee, causing him to go down as another lightning bolt struck him.

Laxus didn't even notice, he just kept hitting the guy until Lucy put a hand on his arm.

"Laxus, I think he might be dead," She whispered softly.

He turned and felt his rage melt away, seeing her okay.

"Lucy," He gathered her into his arms, breathing in the scent of strawberries and wild flowers that she always gave off.

She smiled up at him as Evergreen and Bickslow slowly approached the figure sprawled on the ground. Bickslow kicked him gently with one boot to hear a satisfying moan.

"Not dead," He called. "Probably should be taken in to the proper authorities then."

Laxus nodded, keeping his arm around Lucy.

Evergreen huffed as she tied him up, "At least I get to do something. I really wanted a chance to kick his ass too, but the jerk knocked me out."

Lucy nodded, "Break that pipe in his pocket, Evergreen. Then he can't use it to hurt anyone anymore."

Evergreen grinned, pulling it out and smashing it into pieces. Lucy was surprised at the girl's behavior, she seemed to be angry with the pipe for some reason.

"Not as satisfying as hurting the idiot who hurt my friend, but it will do," She sighed as they made their way to the village.

"You're friend?" Lucy asked in surprise.

"Of course, we don't just go and rescue anyone, you know," Bickslow called back to them as he kept his hands firmly on the injured man in front of him. "You're just special that way."

Lucy blushed, looking down. She was thankful that they already considered her a friend.

"Next time though, let's all go on a mission where Lucy and I can do some real damage," Bickslow added, winking at the blonde.

Laxus was thankful when they reached the village a few moments later and handed the Piper over to the authorities before heading over to the mayor's. Which they reached in no time, only to be greeted by a blonde with sparkling green eyes. Laxus would have tried bedding the girl right there if it wasn't for his own beautiful blonde that he kept tucked under his arm.

"Hello," She whispered, allowing them in. "I'll let the Master know you are here. I'm sure him and the Mistress will be so happy to see you."

"Adaline?" Lucy whispered, touching the girl's arm.

"Hi, Lucy. It's good to see you," She grinned before rushing off.

Laxus raised an eyebrow at Lucy.

"Friend of yours?"

"From the caves. She mentioned that she was baker, she didn't say that she baked for the mayor."

Marketh ran down the stairs, greeting them all the way down and thanking them profusely.

"My girls arrived about twenty minutes ago with that green-haired friend of yours. He said that you were taking care of the mage and would along shortly. I can't thank you enough for helping me," He said, shaking each of their hands in turn.

"Amrine is resting now, but she sends her thanks as well. Adaline told us all how wonderful you were to her," He said, turning to Lucy. "She's like a daughter to us and we cannot thank you enough for keeping her safe from that creep."

He quickly handed over the money to her, smiling the whole time.

"I trust this is in good hands," He said. "I'm sorry, but I must go. My wife -"

"Of course," Laxus cut in, smiling down at Lucy. "We understand perfectly. We'll just get a night's rest at the hotel and head out in the morning."

"Thank you again," Marketh called as they walked out the door and down the street.

"What a friendly town," A familiar voice said from behind them. "And I see you got Lucy back, which is good because Master was worried."

They turned as one to see Mira and Erza glowering down at them.

Lucy looked at the two confused, "What are you two doing here?"

"Master sent us along to find you when Evergreen told us you had gone missing. Natsu and Gray really wanted to come along, but were forced to stay home. Needless to say the guild is beside itself with worry," Mira answered, smiling at the blonde, before turning her glare back on the rest.

"You told us she was missing," Erza said, pointing her sword at Laxus, who swallowed.

"She was. We found her," He answered.

"How could you have let her go missing? At least when she was with us that never happened."

"No, instead she just got injured all the time. The mage who was doing this had a spell that compelled girls to go to him. Lucy fell victim, but as you can see, was uninjured."

"How dare you!"

Lucy interjected herself between Laxus and Erza, who were inches away from each other, still yelling.

"Guys, it's okay. I'm okay, see. Nothing to worry about," She told them shakily.

The two backed off, looking at the girl about whom they'd been fighting. Laxus was surprised to realize how easily people cared for Lucy. At least they could all agree that it was her they were concerned about.

"Lucy, when we get back, you are going to learn to fight as well as use magic. I know you can use your whip and you have your 'Lucy Kick' but I'm going to teach you hand-to-hand combat. No way you're going out with us again until you learn it," He said, looking down at her.

She nodded, "Okay, just please stop fighting with Erza."

He chuckled at that, pulling her close and meeting the red-head's eyes as he replied, "Okay."

Erza nodded back in understanding.

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