I'm in a funk. I swear, I'm trying to get you an update for Chaos Reunition.

For now, here's another short story (I know. Please don't die of shock)

Not edited (I'm getting far too lazy)

The Other Side of the Coin

In another life, I agreed to give up being a Hunter for Leon. I took a different path, an easier path, of someone who didn't have to deal with death on a constant basis. I chose love over who I was.

Maybe it was the choice I should have made.

I bit my nails, pacing back and forth across the carpet of the room barefoot. I was nervous and couldn't get my heart to stop beating. What was I doing? Was it normal to feel so anxious? If I puke now, maybe I'll be too smelly that he'll say no.

Okay, that was stupid.

I ran my hands over my face, rubbing the tiredness from my eyes.

The door creaked open behind me and I glanced in the mirror, old skills coming into play as I spotted the person without fully turning around. Maiya was only in her robe, but her hair was done in perfect curls with a tiny bit of makeup lighting up her eyes.

She sighed and closed the door behind her.

"Why aren't you getting ready? You only have a few hours!" she reprimanded me, rushing over and shoving me into a chair.

"If I jump out the window, can you tell everyone I was carried off by pirates and not to look for me? Kay, thanks," I mumbled, rushing to stand up from the chair and burst through the window.

My little sister just tutted and pushed me back into my seat, "You aren't going to run off. You're nervous, that's natural. Think about the long life you and Leon are going to have together and it'll be alright."

Not the right words. Every time I thought about that I felt nauseous and wrong. This felt like it shouldn't be happening. Yes, I loved Leon. I loved him with every fiber of my being. But every moment felt like I was going against nature. I wasn't being true to myself because being me meant losing him.

I tried to imagine where I would be if I had told Leon no instead of giving in to him. No, I wasn't going to give up being a Hunter. No, I was going to be who I was meant to. Would I be happy? Or would I be dead? Would I be like Jack, bravely rushing into a fight with a Hidden, completely confident that I would win?

Hell, maybe I'd be closer to being one of them than I already was.

I don't know. In an alternate life, maybe I would be happy being a Hunter and fighting the good fight. Or I'd be miserable, knowing I gave up the best thing that had happened to me. Who knows?

I gave up that life. And I should be thrilled that I had someone who accepted me, despite the bad I only seemed to bring. Random shifts, too big of an appetite, magic going on the fritz everywhere I go. He loved me even though I was becoming a monster with each passing day.

I sighed and nodded, staring at my reflection in the mirror. I could do this.

"Alright, let's get this show on the road," I relented, trying to fight off a grin as Maiya hugged me tightly.

Today I was going to become Mrs. Viola Mitchell. Hmmm.

My gown wasn't completely white. I couldn't bring myself to do that. It was long and straight, no ruffles or hoops for me. I was short enough; I did not want to look like a cake topper. The top went straight across my chest with the straps falling off my shoulders; black beads lining the edges with embroidered flowers weaved through the soft fabric. A black ribbon wove around my waist and tied in the back.

Surprisingly, I didn't mind it. It hid all of my most prominent scars on my back and gave me some sort of figure. I left my hair down and simply pulled it back with two long braids, small white flowers twisted in.

I looked…well, better than I ever would.

Maiya was finishing up my makeup when a knock sounded on the door, heavy and loud. Not my Mom or Dad. That left one person.

Jack entered, dark sunglasses hiding his eyes and dressed only in a black short sleeved shirt and jeans. My stomach dropped and with a slight nod to the door, Maiya left us alone.

Standing, I tried to meet his eyes but was surprised at how embarrassed I felt. Hell, this was only Jack. My new brother-in-law and best friend. I shouldn't be feeling embarrassed about getting married, but god, if he didn't make me feel that way.

Even though I couldn't see his eyes, I could feel them looking over me and I stopped breathing for a moment. With a hesitant smile, I opened my hands and half twirled, "So? How do I look? So far it hasn't constricted me into stranglehold so I guess I'm good."

He nodded, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall, "You look alright."

"Alright? Really, Jack, you know how to make a girl blush."

Jack didn't smile, only stared at me.

I cleared my throat, chewing on my bottom lip and rocking on my bare feet, "Are you staying for the wedding?"


Wincing, I frowned at how he didn't even hesitate, "But its Leon….and me. I figured you would stay at least to support your brother."

Jack didn't take the bait; pose staying the same and voice monotone, "He knows how I feel about this whole thing. You both deserve people there that will be happy for you."

I felt like crying and that made me angry, "Don't. Don't make me feel more horrible about my decision than I already do. I chose Leon, I chose to be happy. Why can't you accept that, Jack? Huh?"

Finally, he pushed off the wall and marched towards me, forcing me to back up until my legs hit the vanity. An arm on each side of me, he growled into my face, "Because you know who you are and what's inside of you, Vi. You think that part of you is going to go away over night? No, it's going to tear you apart until you become so fucking desperate for a fight that you jump at the first thing that pisses you off. You were born a Hunter, you didn't choose it.

"You weren't supposed to fail me. You were supposed to be the best I ever taught. All that bullshit you fed me about never being helpless, about saving someone from the same position you had been in means nothing because you took the easy way out. And that is why I can't bear to see you walk down that isle and destroy yourself. I can't, not even when it's my little brother standing at the end of it. I have too much love and respect for you to see you do this. I love Leon, but if he loved you as much as I do he wouldn't ask you to give up who you are. If I was brave enough, I'd take you away right now and save you, but I'm not. Don't fucking ask me to watch you die a second time."

I was shaking, staring into his shoulder and feeling hot tears roll down my cheek. He was hot from angry, muscles taunt and almost breaking the wood of the vanity from how hard he was gripping it.

Almost as if he were deflating, he let out a ragged sight and leaned his forehead into my neck, breathing hard. I let out a choked sob, but didn't allow myself to break down, resting my own head against his and wrapping my arms about his shoulders. He did the same, crushing my body to his and holding me.

I didn't realize how much I had relied on Jack to be my strength, to approve of me and live up to his expectations. Even if my Dad had said those same words, it wouldn't have hurt as much. Jack was my other half, my brother, best friend, partner, protector, and mentor. I'm not sure I wanted a future without him. No. I knew I didn't want a life without him.

He kissed my cheek and rubbed the tears away before kissing me on my forehead, "You look gorgeous."

That only made me want to cry more.

Glasses blocking out those gray irises I had come to associate with my two loves, he put his mask back on and let me go, distancing himself from me, "When you need me, call me."

And with that, he left.

Not quite the happy day I had wanted.

By the time Maiya and Mom came back in to finish helping me dress, I'd laid on enough makeup to hide the fact that I had been crying and had plastered on a fake smile.

Jack had made me doubt my whole damn decision and if I knew him, it was on purpose.

The wedding was taking place on the far North side of Lubbock, an area which used to be nothing but plain. Over the recent years as the forest sprouted up from the magic influx, people had started to take care of it and turned it into a sort of oversized garden, even building a cathedral for occasions like this.

Chewing on my lip, I slipped into my shoes and finally declared myself done.

Mom was dressed in a beautiful black and red dress that made me wonder why I couldn't have grown up looking like her. Even in her older age, she was stunning. She smiled at me with tears in her eyes then broke into a grin, "My baby's getting married. Oh, I thought this would never happen."

Geez, thanks.

Maiya laughed and hugged me tightly, resting her head on my shoulder, "And it's to a decent guy as well! Who would have thought?"

My family…sigh.

"Uh, don't we have to get going? It's a twenty minute drive there," I grumbled, glancing at the clock. I hadn't had much of a hand in planning this thing. If anything, Mrs. Mitchell and Mom had taken over. I would have been happy going to the court house but noooo. We had to have a big wedding.

Both women went into a frenzy, gathering everything and pushing me out my- well, mine and Leon's- room and into the limo waiting for us. Penn, Ronin's little brother and second oldest of the Brothers, was waiting in a tux and a stupid chauffer's hat. He broke into a huge grin when he saw me; making catcalls and making me roll my eyes.

I smacked the hat off his head and got inside while he chased after it.

Mom and Maiya chatted my ears off on the ride to the ceremony while I stared out the window, mulling over Jack's words. He was right. He had always been right. Over the years, I'd had this conversation over and over again in my head but it had never truly sunk in. I had wrapped myself in a happy bubble where Leon was all that mattered.

Now, without a doubt, I knew I had taken the easy way out. And it made me feel worse because at that moment I had asked him to train me, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and had vowed to stick with it. The whole reason I had chosen to be a Hunter was to save someone else who didn't have the same luck I did. I had failed Jack, myself, and any person who was dead because I quit.

Was having Leon worth it? Why was the only one who had to sacrifice to be in this relationship?

The door opened and Trysta's smiling face popped into view, shattering my thoughts, "Holy shit, you didn't jump out the window!"

"Trysta, language!" My mom berated her, giving her a stern look. Trysta shrunk, turning into a child all over again, and muttered an apology. Everyone seemed to be in a happier mood than I was on my own wedding day.

Wedding. Hm, a few years back, this would have been a foreign concept to me. I hadn't ever planned on getting married. Life was too crazy for that kind of stuff. Even as a kid, getting married wasn't something I dreamed about.

Yet, it had been the logical next step. After giving it all up, I'd had to find something to do with my life. Leon and I moved in together. He went to school for Architecture and I continued to work at the Brother's Garage. After a bit, I started helping Trysta with the Police Department and their Hidden Databases. Research, no field work. Life was normal.

Then Leon proposed and I couldn't see a valid reason to say no. God knows I paused long enough to think of one. My mind went blank and "Yes" popped out before I could stop it.

Everything had snowballed.

I was standing in front of the cathedral, wondering where the years had gone and if this was how it was going to be forever.

"You ready?" Trysta looped her arm through mine; long black bride's maid gown looking better on her than it would ever had me. Maiya took my other arm and both of them grinned at me.

No. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to do this. Everything was screaming at me not to, that I was betraying myself. I was not made for marriage and life in a white picket fence with two point five children. Fuck, what the hell did the point five even stand for?! How do you have half of a kid? Shouldn't I know this before I choose to get married?

Music was playing and I realized we'd gone inside, Maiya giving me a smile as she started to walk down the aisle with Abraham, who did not look comfortable seeing one of his training buddies in a dress. I wondered if Jack had gotten to him too. Mom was already gone to stand at the front and only Dad was left as Trysta began to march off with Ronin.

Until that moment, no one had noticed that the anxiety and panic I was suffering wasn't normal. Dad looked at me and it was as if he could read my mind. Long hair pulled back, his one blue eye that wasn't covered by hair stared straight into me and he frowned.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong and don't lie to me?" he took my hand gently and I noticed there was a bouquet of white and red roses clenched in my fist.

Tears hit me hard and I struggled to swallow them back, "Tell me I'm doing the right thing. Tell me that everything will be alright because I found a man that loves me and will be happy. Please."

The band started up and my heart jumped into my throat, choking me.

Dad kissed my forehead and the memory of Jack doing the same think shook me to the bone.

"Whatever you choose, you have people that love you and will always love you. Through sickness and through health, even after death. If he loves you, it doesn't matter what you choose, but be true to yourself," he whispered into my hair and pulled back. The light caught his eyes, making them almost glow and I was filled with warmth.

I swallowed thickly and looked out where everyone was seated as the doors opened. There stood Leon, hair neatly trimmed above his shoulders and arms nervously folded in front of him. Ronin was his best man instead of Jack, which had hurt him as much as it had hurt me. It didn't show though.

Leon lit up, even if only I noticed, and I found myself nodding to Dad.

Dad held my hand the entire time I walked down that aisle, squeezing it every time we took a step. Everyone was smiling or was crying and I couldn't fathom how many people were there. Mrs. Mitchell sat in the front, grinning at me, the seat empty next to her. Mr. Mitchell had declined unsurprisingly. He hadn't liked the fact I had corrupted both of his boys and cut all ties with Leon period.

Mom was already bringing out the handkerchief, dabbing at her eyes elegantly.

In a single blink, Dad had kissed my hand and handed me off to Leon who finally gave me a small outward smile. I smiled back, running my hand along his cheek.

My thoughts were racing as the ceremony continued. In that time, another life ran through my mind.

I was a Hunter. I lived in Dallas in a broken down house with Jack in some forest. My friends were a Pack of Therianthropes, I was associated with a Vampire with emerald green eyes, and my life was unstable. But…I was happy.

This life, full of chaos and death, felt right.

In another life, I agreed to give up being a Hunter for Leon. I took a different path, an easier path, of someone who didn't have to deal with death on a constant basis. I chose love over who I was.

Maybe it was the choice I should have made.

"I do," Leon said easily, running his thumb in circles over my palm.

I snapped back to attention as the priest started up my vows, "And do you, Viola Huntington, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?"

Maybe the choice didn't matter at all.

"No," the word spilled from my lips and my body hummed in approval, "I can't deny what I am any more. I'm sorry."

Eventually, I'll end up right where I need to be.

Fuck regret.

I let my hand slip from his and ran down the aisle. Passed the astonished faces of guests. Passed the rose bouquets and the white ribbon draped everywhere. I ran away from it all, only stopping when I reached the limo.

Reaching inside, I grabbed the phone Penn had left in there and dialed the one number that was engraved into my brain.

"Jack, I need you."

I'd chosen right.

This came from a lot of thinking and watching a little bit too much TLC.

Viola originally was going to say yes.

In the end, we both made the right choice.

(I already have the next short story in my head)

Please, Review.