Fire Emblem: Path to the Dawn

Chapter 18

"That's the final straw Ike!" Geoffrey shouted. "I will not let you brush me off anymore! Draw your blade now. We will settle this bad blood between us."

"Geoffrey are you insane?" Renning asked the man.

"This man has done nothing but undermine me at every turn. Hero or not he will respect Crimea's General." Geoffrey said.

"Even still what are you going to fight him with, your hands?" Renning asked pointing out the fact Geoffrey wasn't even carrying a lance.

"You really want to do this Geoffrey?" Ike asked. "If so when I win you leave me alone."

"Of course I want to do this you idiot. Meet me in the sparring yard in ten minutes." Geoffrey said running up the path back to the castle. He had completely forgotten the tipsy queen he had been worried about only seconds ago.

"Let's get the girls up to the castle." Matthew said walking over and lending his stability to Marcia. Sveta took Lucia the closest to her, Renning had Elincia, leaving Ike with Lethe. At first the Cat protested but let out a squeak when Ike wrapped his arm around her waist to keep her from falling over in her attempts to get away from him. She was too drunk to fully care that he was the one who was leading her back to the castle anyway.

"What did they drink Sveta?" Ike asked the beastgirl as they walked.

"They all had a little of something called Volcanic Glacier. Lethe had another three are here own and I do not know what the others had. How they could stomach the fruity smelling drinks I do not know." Sveta answered.

"Heh. Even when you party you stick to wine don't you Elincia?" Renning chuckled. "Next time you want to get drunk simply raid the royal stores Elincia we have plenty."

"But it was so much fun. No one knew I was Queen." Elincia told him.

"I'm more worried about Lethe here now." Ike said. "One of those things literally knocked me and Ranulf flat on our backs. How did Lethe manage to drink almost four?"

"Cause unlike you men we women take our time with our drinks." Marcia said as she leaned over looking like she was going to lose her dinner. Matthew thanked the gods that she didn't because she was aimed right at him.

"Lethe you remember the warning that came with the drink right?" Ike asked the girl leaning on him.

"Yeah yeah can it Ike." Was her reply. "Just go chase after another skirt why don't you?"

Ike was baffled by Lethe's answer. Finding out where that had come from would have to wait for later. "Lethe do you remember the warning or not?" he asked her again.

"Yeah don't transform for... well I don't remember how long I can't." Lethe answered him dismissively.

"Twenty-four hours Lethe. You hear me? You can't change for twenty-four hours." Ike reminded her in a stern voice.

"She has to wear those dingy clothes for twenty-four hours?" Marcia asked. "Glad I'm not a laguz then."

Those drunk erupted into giggles and stifled laughter while the sober ones hung their heads at Marcia's wordplay. Continuing up the street the guys question Sveta about what had been going on and why they were out here in the first place. She explained that it was to cheer Lethe up from her bad mood. Matthew and Renning wanted to know what the cause of said bad mood was but Ike already knew.

Reaching the open gates the soldiers looked away from the scene not wanting to see their queen in such a state. The guys and Sveta went to lead the women back into the castle and to the maids so they can be put to bed. That was the plan until Lucia spoke up.

"Sveta don't take me inside. I have to watch my brother to make sure he comes out fine." The True Blade told the girl.

Sveta turned to take Lucia towards the training grounds. She couldn't fault the older woman for wanting to watch out for her younger brother. It reminder her a little of Volechek and how he would always come and watch her training matches.

"OOOH! Matthew we can't miss that." Marcia said leaping onto Matthew's back. "Come on you blonde pegasus to the training grounds!"

Matthew looked at the others his face pleading for help. Matthew the son of two Warriors of Vale, powerful Venus Adept, a hero of Weyard, pretend pegasus to a drunken Seraph Knight. Ike, Renning, and Sveta were no help as they nodded their heads for him to get moving.

"I suppose you want to watch to?" Renning asked the Queen. Elincia just nodded her head and let Renning lead her towards the grounds.

"Of course I want to see you get your ass kicked" Lethe told Ike without him even asking if she wanted to come.

Everyone changed direction from taking the women to the maids to leading them towards the sparring ground where Geoffrey should be waiting. It was late enough that the only people out and about were the soldiers patrolling the grounds. Each carried a torch and had a sword or axe strapped to them. They walked right past the group of eight as if they weren't even there. It wasn't a soldier's duty to question what the royals or Hero did in their spare time.

When they reached the area designated by Geoffrey they found him clad in his Silver Knight armor holding the Brave Lance. It was a bit better looking than the training area in the barracks near Begnion's Palace. The grounds were covered by a stone arch as a walkway for the castle stretched over the field. Ropes were laid out in circles creating rings for soldiers to train in. Benches lined the walls on one side for spectators. You could see it dawn on Geoffrey that he had left Elincia in the streets with the others. Ike led Lethe to a bench under the covered area and sat her down gently. The others did the same for those they supported or carried if you were Matthew. With a huff he let his "rider" off and fell onto the bench next to her. After training with Ike he was not ready to have supported a full grown woman on his back.

Ike took Ragnell of his back and stepped into the ring Geoffrey was standing in. One might think that Geoffrey would be at a disadvantage without a horse that came with the rank of Silver Knight. He was full of surprises though and had trained on and off his horse with equal vigor. With a horse Geoffrey was a Silver Knight. Off a horse he was a Sentinel that knew how to use a bow.

"You promise to let go of this grudge you have against me if I win?" Ike asked as he stood ready.

"I will win this match Ike. My honor is on the line here but fine. Should you win I will drop this grudge. However, should I win you will no longer undermine me." Geoffrey said clutching his lance and standing ready for Ike.

"Haven't done it on purpose Geoffrey." Ike told him. "If you listened to the wishes of the Queen you care so much about than we wouldn't have a problem."

Geoffrey let out a rage filled cry as he ran forward at Ike. The tip of the lance was aimed right at Ike's heart. Swatting away the lance with Ragnell Ike shoved his shoulder into Geoffrey knocking the man back. The fact Ike rammed his shoulder into the cold steel of Geoffrey's armor didn't show on the Vanguards face. Wanting to finish the fight as quickly as he could Ike followed up with an attack of his own.

Sparks flew off the blue armor of Crimea's General. The holy blade of Ragnell left a large gash in the armor. Had Geoffrey been any closer to the sword it would have met skin and drawn blood. With the extra speed from the Brave Lance its wielder lashed out in a series of swift jabs. Crimson drops fell from the blade of the lance. Geoffrey smiled as he landed a blow on Ike.

Trying to keep the momentum going Geoffrey launched another barrage. This time though Ike was ready and back flipped out of the way. Calm as ever Ike lashed out with Ragnell's magic attack. The dark energy sailed through the air and into Geoffrey. When hit with the attack the Silver Knight grew even angrier as most of his chest armor was being rendered useless.

Ike took charge on the field and closed the distance on his crazed opponent. Slash after slash Ike used his natural strength to overpower the lance wielder. Having already been used for so long cracks appeared in the shaft of the Brave Lance. With a roar Ike took a page out of the laguz's book of fighting and punched Geoffrey in the face. The unexpected blow knocked Geoffrey down to the ground.

Taking the opportunity to end the fight Ike knocked the lance out of the fallen general's hand with a quick flourish of his sword. Weaponless Geoffrey lay on the ground Ragnell's tip pointed at his broken chest plate.

"Do you yield?" Ike asked

"Yes" Geoffrey spat.

Ike took Ragnell's point away from Geoffrey and put it once again on his back. Not even offering to help Geoffrey up Ike turned and walked towards the benched observers. What happened next no one was prepared for. Geoffrey reached over for his lance. Everyone thought he was simply picking it up as he got up. As to not betray his intentions the Silver Knight was silent as he moved to stab the tip in Ike's back. Everyone who could see what was going to happen was to slow to react as the lance point pierced Ike's flesh. While it had only gotten his side the lance had torn a rather large chunk out of the Vanguard. Ike feel to his knees as he clutched his side as if he could stop the blood from flowing.

Elincia gasped and buried her head in her uncle's chest. Lucia stood horrified that her brother had sunk so low. Marcia looked surprised to as her commanding officer and friend did the worst thing a knight could. Months of traveling and fighting monsters allowed Matthew and Sveta to react to the situation better both racing over to check on Ike.

The one that really reacted to Geoffrey's betrayal was Lethe. The Cat hissed and the light of laguz transformation surrounded her. An orange cat raced past the Adepts and at the disgraced Silver Knight. Geoffrey caught sight of Lethe in time to put of the lance to block the fangs that were heading for him. With a powerful chomp though the already cracked lance snapped in two under the pressure.

Lethe wasted no time in pouncing on Geoffrey knocking on his back again. This time however instead of a sword tip hovering over his protected chest a large angry Cat stood on top of him. The claws of the enraged laguz tore into his remaining armor. It wasn't long before the claws broke through the metal and started ripping into flesh. Lethe's fangs found flesh and ripped a chunk out of Geoffrey's shoulder. The enraged Cat didn't stop there however as her claws and fangs found every inch of skin that wasn't protected by armor. A few times during her assault on him the leather bands of his armor broke allowing the Cat access to places previously protected. Throughout the entire time Geoffrey's screams echoed through the air.

"Sveta can you stop her?" Matthew asked the beastgirl his voice full of authority. No longer was he Matthew the seventeen year old boy. He was Matthew the leader of a group of teens, and Eoleo, who had put a stop to the Grave Eclipse.

"I can try." Sveta said before she transformed to match the sheer power and speed Lethe had.

By the time Matthew reached Ike the blue haired hero way on the ground. Kneeling next to him Matthew looked the wound over. It'd be a stretch if he could heal such a wound. Not wasting any time though in second thoughts Matthew cast the Revive Psynergy. Nothing happened which meant the Ike still had a good amount of time before the blood loss became life threatening. Next casting Potent Cure Matthew tried to help Ike's body heal on its own. His healing powers just weren't enough though. Turning to his next fastest option Matthew released the powers of Garland but the wound was too large even for the Djinn.

"Renning!" Matthew shouted. "Get Rief and Amiti down here as fast as you can! My Cures aren't working on Ike."

The older man nodded and gently but quickly moved Elincia off of him as he raced into the castle to grab the Mercury Adepts.

A large crash sounded near Matthew. He turned to see a large orange cat lying against a wall. Sveta in her Beastform dashed after the cat and picked her up in and jumped into the air. Energy collected around Sveta as she used her Psynergy Slam on the laguz. Knowing that Ike was fine enough for now Matthew moved over to Geoffrey.

Looking at the remains of the Silver Knight the young Venus Adept almost upchucked upon sight. He'd seen animals mauled by large cats and other predators before but never a human. There was an almost perfect circular hole in Geoffrey's armor that lead to the bloody mess that Lethe had left before Sveta had gotten to her. Matthew didn't even need to try using Cures or Revive. There was no longer any life in Geoffrey's eyes.

"Ivy help out Sveta!" Matthew yelled unleashing another Djinn.

Appearing above Matthew's head the Earth Elemental flew over to Lethe and stared directly into her eyes. Slowly starting from her paws the Cat laguz started to turn to stone. The effects of Ivy only lasted for so long but Matthew hoped it'd be enough for them to get help. Having two people fighting near an injured person was not the best healing environment.

Taking a break from her attacks Sveta returned to her human self. The power of her Djinn no longer aiding her she was panting hard. Matthew ran up next to her.

"Sveta Djinn swap now." He instructed. It wasn't an easy task as recovering Djinn preferred to reside in their Adepts. With a little coaxing though they had managed to switch all Sveta's recovering Djinn for Matthew's set Djinn. Now when Lethe returned to normal Sveta would be able to return to her full powered Beastform.

The sounds of running footsteps caught Matthew's attention. Renning had Rief thrown over his shoulder and Amiti not far behind him.

"We were already awake and on the way here." Rief said as Renning set him down. "It's hard to miss the energy release from Sveta's transformation and someone screaming bloody murder." Already the Angle was next to Ike glowing with the powers of Mercury.

"Renning didn't explain anything he just picked Rief up and told me to follow." Amiti said as he lent his weaker healing abilities to Rief.

"You'll get an explanation later." Matthew said from his spot next to Sveta. "Just be ready to have another patient in a bit. Renning you got a sword I can use?!"

The Gold Knight took his own sword off his hip and tossed the sheathed blade to Matthew. Catching it the Venus Adept drew the long sword out of its case and turned to face the statue known as Lethe. Renning then walked up to Ike and took the Ragnell off his back.

"Matthew Sveta don't worry about everyone I'll protect them. Just focus on taking Lethe down." Renning told the teens. In time with Renning's last word the powers of Ivy started to melt away as Lethe turned back to flesh.

"Sveta we have to knock her out. Remember when we were first told about laguz? They revert to human when knocked unconscious." Matthew reminded her as he got ready to cast the Growth Psynergy.

Once Lethe was fully flesh again she moved to pounce on Matthew. Sveta transformed and Matthew called forth vines from the soil to tangle the Cat's paws. Feeling one of the Jupiter Djinn set itself Matthew immediately unleashed it. Vortex shot out of Matthew covered in fog slamming itself into Lethe. A bit of the fog hung around Lethe's head clouding her vision.

With her increased strength Sveta slammed a fist into Lethe's side. The Cat let out a growl as she tried to swipe at Sveta. The vines of Growth were still attached and slowed the movement enough for Sveta to retreat.

"This isn't as easy as I'd thought it'd be." Matthew said. "Alright here goes nothing."

Psynergy poured out of Matthew as he readied on of the more powerful Venus Psynergies. Ready to unleash a Mother Gaia in close quarters when a Jupiter Djinn set itself. At first Matthew was worried that he no longer had access to the Gaia strand of Psynergy but he could still feel his control over the earth below their feet.

With the release of his power the Apprentice cast Mother Gaia under Lethe. The ground opened up and gold earthen energy poured out and engulfed the Cat. Stone and rocks smashed into the feline's body. Matthew did his best to keep the Psynergy attack from hitting the stone walls of the castle but a few stray stones managed to bump into the walls chipping a bit off. Nothing was large enough to cause structural damage but someone was going to have to patch it up tomorrow morning.

Catching the Cat out of the air Sveta held her down against the ground. All fours sets of claws scratched at Sveta's arm. She howled in pain but still held fast. Ice crept up from the ground freezing the laguz to the dirt. Amiti appeared next to Matthew energy flowing out of him and into the Ice Queen Stone then out towards the ice.

"How's Ike?" Matthew asked

"Rief has him stabilized at the moment. The wound is rather large though and he will need a few days to rest and constant care of healers." Amiti informed Matthew never once breaking his concentration on incasing Lethe in an icy prison.

The problem with Amiti's tactic was that Lethe was very powerful and with her movements she was breaking the ice as fast as it was surrounding her. Matthew called on the powers of Growth once again and used the vines to wrap the front two legs together and did the same with Lethe's hind legs. Once tied up Amiti was able to incase Lethe even more in the ice of the Frostbite Psynergy.

Sveta let go and backed away before her arm had been trapped along with the laguz. Reverting back to her normal form her breath was labored and she was clutching her arm that had held Lethe down. Matthew was quick to cast a Potent Cure stitching the cuts and leaving no trace behind. Amiti was still casting Frostbite making sure the ice was solid enough to continue to hold Lethe.

"We're going to have to move her to a locked room quickly." Amiti said cutting of the Psynergy flow. "She won't be able to stay frozen for long without it causing harm."

"We'll take her to a cell then." Renning said. "She attacked and killed Crimea's general. Not only that there are no other rooms with a door strong enough to stand a continuous attack from a laguz."

Matthew nodded and with Renning's help they lifted the block of ice containing the Cat. Renning led the way towards the dungeons. Amiti followed opening up the doors Renning instructed him to. Never was Matthew more thankful that he wore gloves as he was at that moment. He could have gotten a case of frostbite from carrying the catsicle down to one of the cells.

The guards on duty rushed to open an empty cell, of which there were many, for the two carrying the ice block. Placing it on the ground and walked out of the cell one of the guards took out the keys and locked the door.

"Ok now how do we unfreeze her?" Renning asked

"Didn't think that far ahead" Amiti admitted.

"Oh for the love of god." Matthew murmured. "Spire"

The stone work under Lethe changed into a spike and shot up the side of the ice sending spider web like cracks over the surface. With the weakened prison Lethe had no troubles breaking out of the ice. The vines of Growth fell apart, the cold from being frozen weakening them, as she rolled over to stand on her legs. Lethe prowled her cage and lunged at the bars causing only injury to herself.

"I want to know the second she reverts back to her human form" Renning informed the guard standing with them carefully watching the new resident of the prison.

"Yes sir" the guard saluted.

"We better get back to the girls." Renning said walking out of the dungeon with purpose in his stride.

Matthew and Amiti almost had to jog to keep up with the long stride of the Gold Knight. Returning to the scene they had left Matthew noticed the abundance of more people standing around. Guards were holding back maids and servants from gazing upon the scene as Rief, a few of Crimea's own Bishops and Priests, and Rhys was gathered around Ike and Geoffrey.

Lucia and Elincia were both kneeling next to Geoffrey looking at the damage that had ended his life. Both of them had tears falling down unhindered as they mourned the loss of a brother. Marcia was over with Ike talking with the healers to find out his exact condition.

"Matthew" Sveta's voice called to him.

Standing off on her own the beastgirl looked lost as to what she should be doing. Pain was reflected in her eyes. Matthew could tell that watching Lucia loss her brother brought Volechek's death to Sveta's mind. Reaching out to the girl Matthew held her close and started stroking her hair calming her down.

"Matthew I think I should..." Sveta started to say before Matthew cut her off.

"If you have the strength left do it Sveta." He told her reassuringly. "I know you wish you had the chance to do so for yourself. If you don't do it for Lucia and Elincia you'd only regret it later." He stroked her hair a little more before he let her go to the two sobbing women.

Sveta approached Lucia and gently tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention. The blue haired woman turned her eyes red from crying. Sveta crouched down and offered her hand out to the True Blade with a sad smile on her face.

"I cannot bring him back to you Lucia but I can share his last thoughts with you if you wish." She offered.

"You can do that?" Lucia asked forgetting about Sveta's Spirit Sense ability.

"I can use my Spirit Sense to read what went through his mind at the end. If you take my hand you will be able to hear what I hear. It is your choice but the thoughts are best read as close to death as possible. They become muddled with time." Sveta told her.

"Thank you Sveta." Lucia said taking the girls padded hand.

"Lucia would it be alright if I listened to?" Elincia asked. "I can understand if you don't want me to though."

"No Elincia it's fine. He was your brother in all but blood." Lucia said wiping a few tears away with her free hand.

Sveta held out her other hand to the Queen who took it with her own shaky hand. Closing her hands around theirs Sveta closed her eyes and dived into her Psynergy pool. Extending her senses out she found the mind of the dead man before them. Calling to the remaining spirit of Geoffrey Sveta learned what his last thoughts were as he passed away from this world.

Elincia what have I done? All I wanted to do was prove that I can be your hero just as much as Ike. The pain of seeing you light up around him was too much to bear. Lucia sister I guess this leaves you in charge of protecting our Queen. I know she is in good hands. I wish that I had realized sooner that nothing good was to come of this grudge against Sir Ike. He never wished me harm and he was right. I should have paid more attention to what Elincia wanted rather than what I thought she need. Now I will never be able to let them know that I have seen the error of my ways. Elincia, Lucia, Ike. Forgive me.

The thoughts stopped flowing into Sveta so she cut the connection off. Elincia and Lucia let go of Sveta's hand. Both women threw their arms around the young girl fresh tears falling down their faces. Even though she had helped them Sveta wasn't sure what to do anymore. She chose to simply let the two women hold her and let them cry the remaining amount of tears out. Renning came up and took Elincia from her spot attached to Sveta.

"Uncle." Elincia sobbed. "Even as he died his thoughts were of me and making sure I was safe. How could I have let this happen to him?"

"You didn't let it happen to him Elincia. No one could have seen this coming." Renning told her. "Come on it is best if you get to bed now. You will have a long day tomorrow and let's not forget the headache that will come."

Elincia let Renning lead her away from the body of Geoffrey and to her room. A few Priests that had been hanging back letting the loved ones mourn quietly walked up. One of them tapped Lucia on her shoulder.

"Lady Lucia. If it is alright we need to move Sir Geoffrey's body now so we can clean him up." The Priest said in a soft caring voice.

Lucia stood up and nodded her head letting them know it was alright for them to move Geoffrey. Two of the Priests produced a stretcher and lifter Geoffrey onto and carried him away. Lucia followed after them silently a small amount of her normal calm returned to her.

"Who taught you idiots how to move a body?!" Rief's voice echoed through the yard.

Next to Ike another set of Priests were attempting to move Ike onto another stretcher. Rief was red faced as he glared at the white clad men.

"You don't just flop him onto it! I don't care how heavy he is you lower him down gently!" the Mercury Adept instructed loudly. "I just finished putting those bandages on and I'd rather not have to replace them due to your inability to simply move a person!"

Rief may normally be the calm scholarly type that didn't really get aggressive. But once he had a patient you stayed out of his way and did exactly as he instructed. Rief's temper when he was in healer mode made even Karis cringe in fear.

With strength you wouldn't think Rief had he helped pick Ike up and lower him onto the stretcher. Happy with how it went this time Rief called over two guards to pick the stretcher up not trusting the strength of the weak Priests anymore. Rhys stood dumbfounded next to the Angel wondering where the calm little teenager he knew a moment ago went. Rief pushed up his glass and followed after the soldiers to the castle's infirmary. Rhys clutched his Mend staff and ran off after what he had thought was his patient.

Matthew placed his arm around Sveta's waist as they watched their friends leave the area. She leaned her head on his shoulder as they both stood there collecting their thoughts. With nothing left to look at the crowd of people diminished and headed back to their rooms. The death of Geoffrey and the fight with Lethe had left them both physically and mentally exhausted. Matthew no longer wore the mask of a leader but was back to his normal self.

"Matthew would it be alright if I could sleep with you tonight? I do not think I could stand being alone after all this." Sveta asked as she looked up at him.

"Of course Sveta." He said giving her a little squeeze. "I don't think any of us should really be alone tonight."

Matthew thought of Lucia alone with no one but the Priests to comfort her while she stood with the corpse of her brother. He thought of Lethe pacing in her cell still transformed no doubt she would be confused once she returned to her senses. Thoughts of Elincia alone in her room as she cried herself to sleep over the man who had been like a brother to her. No tonight was not a night to spend alone. It was one to spend with those you loved and hold them close.

Sveta felt Matthew take her hand as he led them to his room. As they walked through the halls of Castle Crimea neither of them spoke a word. When they reached his room Matthew opened the door and let her enter first. Even though Matthew had probably only spent a few hours in the room at most Sveta could smell his scent in the room. It was as if he had been pacing and the smell flowed out and covered the rest of the room.

The bed that sat in his room was certainly big enough to hold them both quite comfortably. Sveta heard the sounds of cloth on cloth and turned to see Matthew taking off his gloves and tossing them on a nearby chair. Next came his jacket and the sword he had forgotten to return to Renning. He sat down in the chair and took his boots off and placed them underneath the chair out of the way. Standing up Matthew's cheeks started to turn a light shade of red.

"Uh is it alright if I don't have a shirt?" he asked carefully.

Sveta's ears pricked up and she remembered their time camping before the attack on the Begnion fort. From what Tyrell had said Matthew generally slept in nothing or quite close to nothing at least. Her own cheeks turned crimson as her bestial nature thought of what it'd be like to be in a bed with an unclothed Matthew.

"That is fine Matthew. I have helped Rief stich you up a few times after all." She told him in a voice much calmer than she felt.

Matthew took the shirt off and Sveta stared at the muscled frame of her mate. Small white scars could be found over his chest and back. They were proof that Matthew had led them on a journey fighting monsters to the point where they couldn't waste Psynergy healing every wound. Sveta felt even more blood rush to her face as she looked him over. She clearly hadn't thought how good he would look by simply taking his shirt off.

"Alright well we should get to bed then." Matthew said

Sveta nodded and went over and lay on the soft bed. She pulled the covers up over her and waited for Matthew to get into the bed with her. Instead the Venus Adept smiled and grabbed one of the pillows off the bed and went over and sat in the chair he had laid all his clothing next to. He propped the pillow up behind his head and curled up in the chair ready to go to sleep.

"Matthew what are you doing?" Sveta asked him.

"Trying to go to sleep, what's it look like" he said as he shifted trying to get comfortable in the chair.

"But why in the chair?"

"I... I..." Matthew said as he stumbled for a reason. "It's the proper thing to do."

"Well you can be proper tomorrow. Tonight I want to sleep next to you Matthew. As I told you before I do not want to spend the night alone." Sveta said with conviction. "And do not tell me I am not alone with you over there." She added preempting a chance at an escape route for the Venus Adept.

Sveta watched Matthew sit there trying to think of what he could say to not climb into the bed. He was putting more effort into it than she liked. Her faced scrunched up a little in anger and that was enough to send the teenage boy out of his chair and into the spot next to her on the bed. She smiled at him letting him know she was happy with him once again.

Wrapping her arms around him Sveta buried her head into his chest. She felt him wrap his stronger arms around her and hold her close. Lying with him like that under the covers of their shared bed Sveta felt safer than she had in a long time. There was a simple comfort in simply laying there while the one you loved held you close. Sveta soon unwrapped her arms and rolled over so her back was against Matthew's chest and together they drifted off to sleep.

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