He lowers his enormous bow and tosses it to the side, chest rising and falling. Ajax walks up to me, kneeling. His pale gaze stares down at me, the faint glow around his body almost hurting my eyes.
I shiver, he looks so different, larger than life. Powerful. Maybe I hit my head, and I see this creature that does not exist.
“Ajax,” I say, trying to sit up, pain everywhere.
He looks up as the ground starts to rumble.
Ajax saved me by cheating.
Our eyes lock, and I feel a wave of panic. “You should go before they get here,” I say desperately. “Leave!”
They can’t take him.
Worst case scenario has happened.
He smiles and slightly laughs, and my heart constricts. Ajax is still more prominent physically in his powerful Fey state, his fingers reach out to touch my cheek, his glowing hand feathering over my skin. I can almost feel electricity emitting off him. “I was almost too late,” he whispers. “I thought I’d find you dead.”
“You were not,” I say, feel an urgency to get him out. “You need to leave Ajax.”
He gives me a look like I am a silly child. “Red, I am not leaving you.”
I curse, trying to fight the impending pain sure to come. “Leon could not find the papers for the loophole?” I wince as I sit up entirely, I am in severe agony.
“I am afraid not yet,” He whispers and looks up, jaw clenching. “Get behind me.”
Ajax has a calm resolve like he already knew this would happen. As if he has accepted this fate, not caring in the least.
“Ajax!” I hear Leon’s voice.
He grabs me and pulls me up, making me gasp in pain. His hand steadies me as he glances up at Leon. Ajax’s body has stopped glowing in a split second and seems to be normal size, making me think I could have imagined the whole thing. My head does hurt, and I am incredibly dizzy, feeling like my skull is split open.
“I could not find the papers Ajax, they are coming for you,” I hear Leon’s voice, which makes my heart pound in fear.
“Let them then,” Ajax murmurs. “I hope you have the rest of the marriage documents?”
I look around as I hold onto Ajax and see cameras flying all around us. I know the entire world is watching this in stunned silence. What a dramatic show we are putting on for them, and I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot juicier. Grab some popcorn.
Ajax looks down at me, a softness in his eyes. “Can you stand?”
I look down at my bleeding leg and put pressure on it, it gives out, the white-hot pain making me cry out. Ajax instantly moves, and suddenly he cradles me in his arms, princess-style in mere moments. Ajax moves so fast sometimes he has me doubting my sanity.
“Ajax, you don’t have to carry me,” I say, loving the hard muscles surrounding me, protecting me. I could be in his arms forever and be happy; the feel of his heat makes my skin tingle. I lied; he does do have to carry me.
I feel his eyes on me, so I look up. Our faces are so close he could kiss me if he chooses, or I could lean in and smell his neck. “Red,” he whispers with a hint of a smile, “I do not do anything I do not have to,” he says with a wink. “After what I seen you go through, it’s the least I can do. And I do not mind carrying my wife who just got through putting her life in the line.”
I shiver at his intense expression, knowing he would do anything for me. That sexy smirk that pulls at his mouth still renders me breathless even now.
A real-life superhero is holding me, and he is sweet in the mists of destruction. Who also happens to be my husband, and we are about to be imprisoned for treason. I shiver, not wanting to think about what they will do to us. It seems this nightmare never ends.
I look around and could still see the zombies that I slew, still trying to crawl their way to us, making me want to gag. Their bloodies bodies contorting and gurgling. Imagines of me slashing them with Braveheart energy seems like a bad dream now that it’s over. I went from Stock trader to Zombie Slayer.
“We have but minutes until the army is here, Ajax,” Leon says and takes a breath, his eyes traveling to me in Ajax’s arms. “Red, that was a hell of a performance, you should be commended, not punished. They made this impossible to win. If anyone cheated, it was them.”
I feel Ajax stiffen. “What the hell is that?”
I crane my neck and look in the direction of the large door into the cavern. We hear a high-pitched screaming, followed by machine gun sounds.
“What the fu—” Ajax ’s voice cuts off as we see Flix burst into the massive cavern screaming, face a mask of fury.
My eyes widen, and my whole body tenses.
Flix has a bandanna around his head, running through billows of smoke and fire as if he is Rambo. He is screaming some battle cry as he lowers his gun and starts shooting the crawling zombies, missing horribly, dirt flying up. He runs up to one and kicks one in the face with his shiny studded boot, doing little to no damage. Flix starts shooting again and sprays the ground in some waterfall of flinging bullets.
“Shit,” Ajax turns his body, “Duck!”
Leon dives to the left just missing stray bullets.
As soon as the fire stops, we all raise our heads and squint through the dust and dirt. I can hear Ajax curse, his expression confused. “The the fuck? Is that the water boy?”
“Flix!” I yell as Ajax gets a better hold o me, peering through the haze.
“Red?!” Flix yells back. “Holy shit you’re alive?!”
I frown as he comes running up to us, waving his skinny arm through the smog. He pauses as his eyes rest on me in Ajax’s arms. “Oh, what the fuck?! Ajax is already here?” his brown eyes grow round.
We all stare at Flix, his chest rising and falling as he puts a hand on his hip like he is pissed.
I fight a smile. “You came in here to save me?”
His mouth drops open. “Girl, why didn’t you say Ajax was already here saving you?!” he pauses and winces, “I think I pulled something in my ass.” He tosses the gun on the ground, and we all flinch, expecting it to go off. I can see F.G.I engrained on it, and I fight a grin. “I am going to kill Pierce; he lied to me.” Flix rolls his eyes and clenches his fist. “Oh yeah, I’m sure they are all laughing at me right now, playing that scene on replay.” He makes a face, ”Flix, better take a gun, you have to save Red, Flix. Flix, this is your time to shine, to show everyone what a badass you are. My fuckin’ ass,” he mutters.
“What is going on?” Ajax says and looks at Leon. “Did he hit his head?”
I can feel my cheeks flush as I try not to laugh. “We...became friends through the process.”
Ajax raises a brow and glances at Flix, studying him. “You’re the waterboy, the one that was pouring shots on the plane?”
Flix blushes and looks at me. “Yeah.”
Ajax glances at Leon. “Good thing I got here first,” he says under his breath.
Leon looks confused as well, “I think he might have hit one in the leg over there.”
Flix’s eyes widen in surprise. “Really?!”
Leon gives him a dry look. “No.”
Flix’s eyes narrow on Leon, Leon is dead to Flix.
“Company,” Ajax murmurs.
We all look with dread. Men in white armor enter, their guns raised, lasers point at us with dark intent. They pile in, in mass quantities making me close my eyes, digging my face into Ajax’s chest. I feel him hold me tighter.
I am not ready for this.
I can hear clapping from someone. “Bravo Ajax!”
I can hear Ajax say something under his breath. “Brother,” Ajax hisses.
“I bet you would love to be anywhere but here,” the man says.
I can’t help but look, and I see a tall, handsome man walking up to us with long white hair. His features resemble Ajax’s, but slightly less pretty and dark eyes. I don’t think anyone can match Ajax’s mysterious beauty. “I glad they let you out.”
“Well, they have to let me out I’m their new ruler. I mean, you made that possible, I am the next in line,” his smooth voice says and as he chuckles. His eyes rest on me as he tilts his head. “I can’t believe you married the Feno. I spit out my food out when I heard. I knew you were different, but this is full-on mutiny. Father is on his way in a very less than desirable mood. I think he said something like he wanted your head.”
“Sounds like him,” Ajax murmurs, walking over to a rock and setting me down. Our eyes lock, and he gives me a slight wink, “Are you okay to sit here?”
My heart is pounding as I see red laser dots on us. “Ajax, are they going to take you?”
“Most likely, but I still have my people looking into the hidden documents,” He whispers.
We hear laughing. “Sorry to break up your little pillow talk, but I am here to take you into custody. You will appear before the royal courts, and I am sure that it will not be pretty.” His brother continues as he walks up to us. “But damn, I thought she was going to die way before this, I lost a good amount of money.”
Ajax looks at him, and I can see the level of hatred. He is taller than his younger brother, and his sleek black suit makes him look ruthless, dangerous. “Watch it,” he whispers.
His brother looks hurt, his dark eyes going round. “I didn’t mean anything wrong by it, Ajax. You know how I love pretty things. I will say that I was a bit jealous that you were fucking probably the hottest female human in the realm,” his eyes land on me, and I feel violated. “She does have amazing tits.”
Ajax looks down and nods, smiling.
His fist to his brother’s face makes a small impact; I could almost feel the shockwave from it. Everything happened so fast after that, Ajax is restrained, and his little brother’s taunting laughter echoes off the walls.
Blood spilled from his nose, and he peels himself off the ground, the Fey are surrounding him, helping him contain the mess. “You are dumber than I thought! For that, I will take care of your precious Red when you are chained up and rotting in the fucking dungeon,” he threatens. “I have a fun idea. Maybe I will film me having my way with her and make you watch it, over and over.”
Ajax’s eyes are glowing now.
This family is f-ed up.
The sea of guards part and I can hear gasps. Fear grips me when I realize this has to be Ajax’s father. I have seen him from a distance, but not this close up. He is a tall, elegant man with long silver hair and dressed in silver robes. Ajax definitely gets his height from this man, but Ajax’s features are softer in a beauty sense.
I am not calling Ajax’s attractiveness feminine, but he possesses such male perfection; some women would be jealous. His image should be made into a statue, for all to see and remember. I take a wild guess and say that he gets his looks from his mother, who has to be stunning.
“Ajax, tell me my eldest son, in line to the throne of Thuia, did not marry a Feno,” his voice is low and threatening.
Ajax’s silver stare bore into his father’s dark gaze. “I wonder if you felt this way when they told you the shame our mother would bring. Myrrh, having the rare dark coloring, a sign of tainted blood. But you married her anyway. You are a fucking hypocrite, like the rest of the Fey.”
His father’s gaze flickers. “They were right; look at you. the dark coloring and you are going against everything our race stands for.”
“It’s time for a change,” Ajax hisses.
His Father looks to me, and I can see the amount of anger in them. His dark gaze travels over my battered body. “What did you think was going to happen, Ajax? To marry a human is forbidden!”
“She is a Feno. She has Fey blood,” Ajax raises his chin as they secure his hands behind his back.
His father looks to the Fey behind him, and they are talking. His father shoots a look at Ajax. “That is ridiculous. You are a fool, your mother’s child. A Feno is still a violation; the blood is not pure. You will be sentenced to life in prison for this Ajax. I feel pity for your soul.”
Flix gasps and covers his mouth. “O.M.G. I am so sorry, I was so lost in the drama that I forgot that I had this,” Flix says and reddens.
Theodluin frowns as he looks at Flix. “Who the hell are you?!”
Lasers point at Flix.
His eyes go round as he holds up his hands. “Easy, easy.” He slowly reaches into his pants and pulls out a paper that was seemingly stuck in his butt.
I make a face along with everyone else.
“Sorry, yoga pants have no pockets,” Flix says and holds out the warm paper to Leon. “Here.”
Leon expels a breath. “Waterboy, this better be good.” He grabs the paper with is pointer finger and thumb.
Theodluin nods to one of his men. “Get him something to sanitize his hands.”
Leon nods at him. “Thank you.”
Flix put his hands on his hips. “Really?! I showered.”
Ajax frowns as he watches Leon. “What is it?”
“Holy shit,” Leon whispers. He looks at Flix with a mystified expression. “Where did you get this?”
Flix grinned. “I know someone in high places. I’m a big deal.”
My eyes widen, and shock explodes inside of me.
Pierce did it.
Holy shit, is right.
Leon looks at Theodliom and laughs, his laughter ringing loud and contagious. Leon then points to Ajax’s brother. “I feel sorry for you.” He glances at Ajax’s father. “Theodluin, I suggest you unhand Ajax Leocaryn, and maybe he will show you all mercy.”
Theodluin eyes are now glowing a faint blue as he walks up to Leon, ripping the paper out of his hands. Everyone waits as his dark gaze traces over the contents of the ancient writing. His hands start to shake, and he glances behind him. “Rok, is this an official document?” he barely says, rage emitting off of him.
A short man walks up and takes the paper.
Ajax’s father is seething, shaking. He looks at Flix and bares his teeth. “Where the fuck did you get that?!”
Flix jumps and lifts his chin. “I’m sorry, I only answer to the KING.”
Ajax’s eyes widen and glances at Leon. “Tell me,” he whispers.
Leon smiles at him. “The loophole.”
The short man shines a blue light over the paper and glances up at Ajax’s father. “This is, in fact, an official document, my lord.”
Theodluin gasps and looks at Ajax and me. “Fuck.”
“You never told me how Pierce did it?” I say, laying in a beautiful hospital room fit for a queen, my wounds almost healed. It’s been four long days, and I was in rough shape. I was out, slept most of the time.
I have two days left here.
I can’t believe it.
Oh, and I am the Queen of Thunia.
Flix lays next to me on the massive bed. “Girl, he almost did not get it, but I guess Pierce got into an altercation at the hearing. He persuaded the judges to rule in his favor because there was, in fact, a clause with a loophole. It was destroyed long ago, but there was once one. So, it was hard for them not to rule on his behalf.”
Without F.G.I. this could never be possible.
Which, I guess that’s why they are in business, without them things would crash and burn. “When is Ajax coming back?”
I have not seen him since I was rushed to the medical facility, then flown back to Thunia. He has been so busy that he has been unable to see me. I feel like it’s been forever since I have seen him. There was a massive backlash, and Ajax had to deal with it, the news rocking the entire world.
“I think he returns tonight. Which is the night you have to tell him the truth. Everyone dreads this part of the journey.” Flix says. “But you are almost there; you just have to play it off that you’re an agent. No biggie. Now lets bone.”
“There will be no boning, I am sure. Ajax will probably kick me out of his room.” I bite my lip. “He returns tonight?” I feel a flash of nerves and excitement.
Right in front of us Pierce materializes making me gasp.
“Pierce,” I breathe, sitting up.
He has his hands in the pockets of his crisp pinstriped suit. “Red, that was close. But I think we did it.” He makes a whistling sound. “Man, the Fey are having the biggest fit right now, but that should die down after a year or so.”
“Right,” I say.
“This is your last briefing before the official extraction from this world. If the mighty Ajax comes for you, everyone gets to stay who chooses to. If not, then it will be a mission failed,” he says carefully. “Red and I must say. This experience has done wonders for your personality. I think you will thrive here.”
“Thanks, I think,” I say, feeling anxious. “I don’t think Ajax will believe me when I tell him, thinking I suffered from head damage.”
Ajax’s wife sadly drifts off into madness.
“Well, I was getting to that part. You are an official Fairy Gomother Inc. Darling. Darlings are the winners of missions. We hold this honor very highly. It takes grit to be a Darling, only the strongest of women.” He stands up and pulls out a glittering heart necklace. The ruby stone sparkles like fire on a dark night and framed with twinkling diamonds.
My eyes widen, never seeing something so beautiful. “What is that?”
“This is your Darling necklace. We make these to match our Darlings, and it’s done with great care. These are instructable. This necklace will always be a way to communicate with us because we love to keep in touch with all of our girls. We are family at F.G.I.”
I nod as he hands me the priceless necklace.
“Once Ajax touches this, he will know everything and never doubt what you say to be true,” Pierce says and eyes me. “I wish you the best of luck. You have been through a lot, more than most Darlings.”
I swallow. “Will this convince Ajax to accept who I am?”
“No,” Pierce sighs. “But he will not doubt you. The convincing part is all up to you, and you alone.”
“Shit,” I say.
“Well,” Pierce smiles. “I will make you a killer dress, and that will help.”
I fight a grin and look up at him. “I bet you will.”
“I want this to work just as much as you,” he continues, “At F.G.I., we throw a killer Christmas party that you don’t want to miss out on. It’s a great chance to reconnect and sing karaoke.”
Flix looks at me. “It’s legit.”
Pierce winks at me. “You will knock in dead, Red. He never stood a chance against you. That will never change.”
Tonight will be my last test.