Chapter 58 - Emmalyn
Emmalyn sat on the cold floor of the animal shelter and stroked the head of the puppy in her lap. He was a Border Collie and his fur was a mix of black and white. The first day she saw him she fell in love. When he looked at her from inside his tiny cage, it felt like his eyes stared right into her soul. She had adopted him that very day and he had been her shadow ever since. He helped in getting her through her loneliness.
It had been almost four months since Thane had pushed her through the portal, and she was miserable. For the first two months all she did was lay in bed and cry. She barely ate, she slept all the time, and she hardly ever showered. But as her baby bump grew, she came to realize if she did not take care of herself, the baby would suffer. That tiny bump meant the world to her. It was her only connection to Kell and the other world, and she had to keep it safe.
Getting up was one of the most difficult things she would ever have to do. If she had not been sent back to her own apartment, she would have never survived. And because Mathias always paid for each year ahead of time, the apartment was exactly how she had left it. Even the living room was still trashed. And the stash of money Mathias left in the closet was untouched. It would have been useless in Kell’s world, so Mathias had left it behind.
The first thing Emmalyn did was head to the shelter and beg for her job back. Thankfully, it was easy to explain her departure. Being pregnant and sporting a wedding ring pretty much said it all. Her pale complexion, the dried tears on her face, and the bags under her eyes told them the rest. They all assumed her husband had abandoned her, which was sort of the truth, anyway. Emmalyn had expected Kell to come for her at once, as Kiera had explained he had killed Connor. But he did not, and now four months later, she had her doubts he would come for her at all. It hurt.
Vicky, the head of the shelter, had reluctantly taken her back. The girl hated her, and she made that abundantly clear. Thankfully the animals had rebelled when she left, and Emmalyn was the only one that could settle them. The entire time she was gone they barked, they tore up the yard, and they even nipped two employees. But as soon as she stepped back through the door, all was well again. It felt like the entire shelter sighed in relief.
And she made a friend. There was a girl at the shelter named Beth, that she had talked to a few times before her departure. By no means were they close, but when Beth saw her again, she actually teared up. Apparently, Beth thought something bad had happened to her, and she had tried calling and stopping by several times. It was good to know at least one person had tried to find out where she went. Now she and Beth did dinner, the movies, and had a couple sleep overs. The girl even took her maternity shopping. She had truly become a wonderful friend.
One night while Beth drank wine and Emmalyn ate ice cream, Beth had begged her to explain all that had happened. Sobbing, Emmalyn had told her the entire story, leavening nothing out. To say Beth was in shock was an understatement. At first she didn’t believe her, and Emmalyn seriously considered leaving it at that. But she needed Beth to understand. She had no idea why, but it was important to her. Emmalyn had shown the girl the locket with her parents painted pictures. She had also shown her the antique ring she wore. Then she pulled the sword and outfit out of the closet that she had worn through the portal. Beth had finally come around, but it was clear the portal part was still up for debate. Emmalyn did not care. She had a friend, a friend that knew everything, and she was thankful.
“Emmalyn,” Vicky hissed, catching her attention. “Stop coddling that damn dog. There are others here that need your attention. How about if you clean the cages, they could use it.” Then she turned and headed to her office in the corner.
Emmalyn huffed as she awkwardly stood and placed her puppy in one of the empty cages. She hated to do that, but she refused to leave him at home by himself. When she turned to grab a mop, Beth already had it in her hand.
“I’ll help,” Beth smiled. “You should take it easy.”
Emmalyn had been to her old doctor and was now six months along. Being here for four months, and being almost two months pregnant when she left, meant she was getting big. Her little bump was growing quickly, and she loved it. Most hated being pregnant, but Emmalyn loved it. It wasn’t just that she was carrying a part of Kell, it was a relatively easy pregnancy. Except for being slightly tired, she hardly suffered any symptoms at all. Although being pregnant and alone gave her coworkers a lot of ammunition. They were beyond cruel in their teasing, and if it wasn’t for the animals and Beth, she would have left. Beth tried to defend her, but Emmalyn asked her to stop. She was worried about the girl losing her job.
They were halfway through the cages when Emmalyn heard a loud tornado like noise. The girls started screaming as a deafening crack sounded in the main wall, and the dogs began whimpering. Then the wall glowed as a large hole opened in the middle of it. Tears ran down Emmalyn’s eyes as she watched the man she really didn’t think she would ever see again step through. Both Thane and Behr followed him. She clutched her mop tightly while the girls continued to cower in terror. Kell’s eyes were darker than she had ever seen them as he turned her way. Then he was heading straight for her. Emmalyn was sobbing by the time he reached her.
“Drop the goddamned mop sweetheart,” he growled as he took in what she was holding. Without a word she did as he demanded, and it clattered to the floor.
“I did not think I would ever see you again,” Emmalyn sobbed as she took him in.
Kell looked fierce, and a bit terrifying. He was dressed in his battle gear, his hair was longer, and he sported a full beard and moustache. He looked more like the Elemental Prince than he ever had. Then she thought about that. If he had indeed killed Connor, he was now a King. Kell’s eyes shifted to her stomach, and his whole boy locked.
“Kell,” she whispered, bringing his attention back to her face. Then he was reaching for her, but before he could, Beth stepped in his way.
“I think not,” Beth growled up at him fiercely. “First you need to explain why you left my girl here for so long. She’s been miserable and you’re to blame.”
Kell’s brow rose and Emmalyn had to bite back a smile. “I was scouring the lands, slicing down everyone that had anything to do with her attacks. I have killed every last one of them. There are no more threats and it is now safe for her to return.”
“You killed them all?” Emmalyn questioned in shock as she peeked around Beth.
“I would not bring you home without doing so my wee warrior,” Kell huffed. “I came right here after taking the last ones head.”
“You killed people?” one of the girls questioned shakily. “Who are you?”
Kell turned the girls way and she visibly paled.
“He is Kell Hawthorne,” Emmalyn answered proudly as her tears continued to fall. “He is a warrior and the Elemental King. He is also my husband and the father of my babe.”
Kell growled and she faced him again. “I have been separated from you for too long. It is time you came to me.”
Emmalyn couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face. “And if I don’t?”
“My sweetheart, always pushing,” Kell smirked.
Then he took the last few steps separating them and lifted her. Immediately she wrapped her arms and legs around him, mindful of the baby bump.
“You do not understand how hard it was to leave you here. I love you, and I promise you we will never be separated again.”
Then Kell placed his large hand on the back of her head and pulled her in for a searing kiss. It lasted forever and was absolute perfection. When he pulled back, she was dazed.
“It is time to return home my love,” Kell grunted. “You and the babe do not belong in this world.”
“Wait,” Vicky shouted angrily from the corner. “What the hell is going on here?” Kell placed Emmalyn on her feet and turned to face her boss.
“You have treated my bride like the dirt on the bottom of my boot. She has fought by my side. She has killed to protect me. And, she has become the most important person in my life,” Kell grunted.
Thane stepped forward then. “She is kind, she is forgiving, and she is loved,” he snarled.
Next it was Behr’s turn. “She is loyal. She puts others before herself, and she is a true Queen.”
Emmalyn moved out of Kell’s arm and hurried over to Behr. He accepted her hug with a smile, then let her go so she could move to Thane. Thane grinned as he opened his arms. She hurried to him and wrapped herself around him.
“I am glad you are okay. You worried me,” Emmalyn whispered. Thane pulled back and looked down at her.
“I had to live to give Kell the names of everyone working with Connor. I vowed to keep you safe, I had to follow through,” Thane smirked. “Plus there was a wee fairy I wanted to spend more time with.”
“Kiera, is she still there?” Emmalyn questioned with excitement.
“She has returned to her home world,” Thane imparted almost wistfully.
“Emmalyn,” Kell grunted. “It is time to return home.”
Emmalyn smiled at him as she moved to Beth. Beth had removed her puppy from his cage and was holding him. Emmalyn took him from her arms, then gave the girl a fierce hug. The puppy licked them both as she did. When she pulled back, Emmalyn had her keys in her hand.
“I have grown to care about you very much,” Emmalyn whispered. “Thank you for your friendship. I would have been lost without you.” Then she handed the girl her keys. “My apartment is paid for, for the next few months. Everything inside is yours to keep or to sell.” Then Emmalyn leaned forward and whispered in her ear. “Check the closet in Mathias’ room. There is a box in there that you will be extremely happy with.”
Then with a parting grin, Emmalyn hurried back to Kell. “I am ready to go home.”
Kell eyed the dog and shook his head. Then he scooped the two of them up and stepped into the portal. Behr and Thane followed. Emmalyn leaned her head against Kell and closed her eyes, finally at peace.