The Rise

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Chapter Fifty-Four

“So, when we find her…” Samuel placed his forearms on the table and leaned over it. “ do we kill her?” One of the pups jumped up onto his lap and curled into his chest. Ashur’s mother placed a cup of coffee in front of him and blushed at me as I watched them. Samuel gazed up at her, smiling. “Thank you.”

With a polite nod, she reached for the pup in his lap. “Come on. Time for bed. Let the adults talk.”

The pup squirmed, not wanting to leave Samuel’s side. “Please, can I stay just a little longerrrr? Lucia is here still.”

Samuel patted his back. “I’ll take you and your mom out tomorrow. Would you like that?”

The pups eyes widened. “Yeah! Can we go into the city?”

“If you get that butt to bed.” Samuel ruffled the boy’s hair.

The boy saluted Samuel and followed his mom upstairs. Samuel watched them as they walked out of the room. I had an urge to ask him what he thought of her, but I shut my mouth, deciding that this wasn’t the time since everyone was here.

I gazed over at Valerio who was sitting on the couch with Lucia on his chest. His hand gently cupped her head, his fingers rubbing smooth circles on it. My heart leapt in my chest as I took in the scene in front of me. He was beyond amazing, beyond fatherly.

I brushed my fingers against Damon’s mark, so he could be here in this moment with us. Times like this made me enjoy Valerio even more. I had never seen the fatherly side of him, but here he was being vulnerable and loving with a baby that wasn’t even his.

Aaisha cleared her throat. “Yeah, I know you think he cute but Lucia is cuter.”

I blushed hard at her comment and directed my attention to Aaisha who had one hand on her hip and was raising a sharp eyebrow in my direction. “We gotta kill Luca to kill this goddess or not?”

I sat up in my seat. “Well, if we kill Luca she will just find another body to inhabit. So… we need to try something else.”

Samuel nodded. “Kill her soul.”

“Yes, but she’s Mother Nature. If we kill her off completely, we will be nothing. Everything--everything--will die. We are reliant upon her survival,” I said.

“Why don’t you just become Mother Nature too? Add that to your list of titles right after Weird Ass Daddy Kink,” Aaisha said, referring to Aeron. I kicked her under the table. She pressed her lips together. “Oh, you best not have just done what I think you done.”

Valerio stood and walked over to us, still rocking the baby. “Mae will not be adding another title to her running list of them. She is the Moon and the Night now, which was how it was in the very beginning. We don’t know what will happen to her if she does take up that third title, and I’m not willing to risk it.”

I nodded my head. My body was still adjusting to the darkness. I couldn’t put my whole species at risk like that. We needed to find someone else.

“Do you think a human could wield this power?” I asked. I had one person in mind who would be a good fit as Mother Nature.

The whole table stared at me with a blank face. I rubbed my hand over my face. “Thanks for the help,” I joked. “I’ll be right back.” I closed my eyes and teleported to my office to grab my journal.

I fingered through it, stopping at a page about magic.

Nobody shall absorb the powers of the Moon Goddess except the Moon Goddess herself. In a worst case scenario - when she has no offspring - then someone can try to absorb her powers to take over. I think…

People tried to absorb the darkness before Aeron, but were unsuccessful. I think he could absorb the magic because Selene put him under a spell prior to absorbing the powers. I believe it would be easier for someone who has had magic cursed upon them.

I took a deep breath. It could possibly work. The Woman on the Mountain was cursed by Aeron, cursed by his magic. Since I now had the darkness within me, I might be able to pull it off. I might be able to make her Mother Nature, if worse came to worst.

Well, we had a small chance of this working, but it was still a chance. I teleported back to the house. “We will visit the Woman on the Mountain tomorrow morning,” I said. “Samuel, you will come with Valerio and I.”

“Y’all just going to leave me out like that?” Aaisha asked.

“Aaisha,” I nodded to Lucia. “You’re not going.”

She grumbled, but I knew she knew that it was best. Her little girl needed to be taken care of. Lucia needed as much protection as any other pup.

“So, we will put her powers into the Woman on the Mountain,” Samuel said. “But how are we going to find Mother Nature?”

I pressed my lips together, knowing the only way to get her attention. “I will dissect one of her creations. She won’t be able to resist hunting me down for it."

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