Chapter 24

By: penquin53 & MidnightWriter2012

"Why is it glowing like that?" Kheiron asked, reaching out but pulling his hand back at the last minute. "Strange."

"How did you get that? Or better yet, when did you get that?" Alastor asked, taking the necklace from Angie to set it on the table.

"Meri it gave it to me for my birthday. It's been in her family for years."

"This has some strange energy coming from it," Haemon commented. "It reminds me of Jonah's magic shit he used on Meredith, only cleaner."

"What are you saying?" Angie snapped, coming to her friends defense. "Meri is not a shade."

"I agree with you," Haemon held up his hands. "I'm just saying, maybe we should consider that your friend is a witch."

"A witch," Angie replied dryly. "I think Meri would have mentioned that when I told her about the Reaper thing."

We don't have time for this. Drakon growled.

"I agree. If they're here for the necklace, we have to make sure they don't get it. Here's what we're going to do," Alastor took control. "Angie, you and Haemon and I will attack from the back. We want to divert their attention away from the farm. Galen, Drakon, and Kheiron will be in the front, hopefully picking them off if they turn toward Angie. Everyone agree?"

"Let's kick some shade ass," Haemon cracked his knuckles, his face turning fierce. Kheiron nodded, taking a deep breath to center himself. Drakon nodded.

"Where's Galen?" Angie asked.

Galen, it's show time. Where are you? Alastor asked.

"I'm here," Galen's voice had them turning toward him. He looked wild and supercharged. His eyes sparked with bright, sharp sparks of electricity and he was vibrating with intense energy.

"Is everything okay?"

"I got some juice," Galen muttered his voice cracking with static. Angie wanted to ask what that meant, but just then a loud growling noise sounded around them.

"They're getting antsy. Let's show them a good time," Haemon snarled. "Time to show these mother fuckers they messed with the wrong Reapers."

"Go. And be careful."

Drakon, Galen and Kheiron disappeared first. Angie grabbed the necklace off the table and quickly fastened it around her neck. A sense of calm flooded her and she took a deep breath.

Alastor and Haemon walked out the front door, using the advantage of the shield to both protect and distract the shades that were breaking through the barrier. Angie followed quickly behind them, watching as the barrier disintegrated beneath the force of magic pounding on it. The trio spread themselves out to cover more ground.

"Haemon, how long can you hold them in stasis?" Alastor asked.

Haemon shook his head. "Their age and numbers take it down to maybe a couple minutes, if we're lucky."

"We need that new power, Evangeline. Do you think you can make enough clones in those few minutes?"

"Ha. Without having practiced it, sure. Why not?" Angie shrugged. She could still feel a pulse of energy coming from the necklace that filled her with confidence and hope. On Alastor's command, Angie stepped back enough to get out of Haemon's line of fire. She watched his arms start to circle before she focused on the shade energy within her. She took a deep breath and focused on the dormant shade energy that slept at the pit of her stomach. The moment it felt her reaching, it came alive with fierce determination. It instantly filled her, and when it reached the power of the necklace, it grew in intensity. The hard part now was figuring out how to clone herself. She wasn't told exactly how to do it, just to do it.

Her head started to hurt, but she couldn't let up now. She had to keep focused and figure out the best way to control her new power. She opened her eyes and realized Haemon was sweating as he held time still for the few moments he could. It had only slowed the shades down, as they were moving sluggishly toward them. Alastor also took advantage of the slowed creatures and he slaughtered as many as he could. It renewed Angie. If the two of them could do it, then so could she.

I need more of me, she concentrated. Out of thin air, a wisp of purple smoke filled the air and another Angie was standing where she commanded. She was surprised, but continued forward. I need one over there! Pop! She could feel little strings attached to each clone that she made, like a puppeteer controlling his marionette. Through that connection, she commanded them to fight and strike at every dark energy they could get to. Understanding clicked and they surged forward.

The time energy had resumed and the shades moved forward with renewed purpose. Angie managed to create ten copies of herself that were now engaged with shades. She allowed her whip to fall into her hand, her energy wrapping around it. A large, black shade barreled toward her. Its body was fluid with a black muck that looked like oil. Its large, singular, yellow eye glowed as it zeroed in on her location. She was ready for it.

For hours, they fought an endless supply of shades. Many clones lost their battles and Angie had to keep making more. Everyone she created caused her to lose more and more strength. She tried to make enough for both groups as they fought endlessly. Sometimes it was distracting as she could feel their deaths and as if were happening to her. She tried to put a block on the clones from her conscious, but that caused them to freeze. She realized she'd have to just deal with the distraction and constant feeling of death.

The only way we are going to end this is if we find where they are coming from and stop them there, Kheiron said through the Reaper telepathic link.

Where is the necklace? Drakon growled as he severed the head off a particularly gruesome shade that was covered in boils that constantly popped and squirted pus into the air and onto the ground before more appeared on it's brown scaly skin.

I have it, Angie replied. I thought it would be safer around my neck.

A moving target, Alastor said. Angie could feel his ire at the thought that she was going to put herself in danger again. If we can get the shades to come directly to Evangeline, the rest of us can search for their escape.

Aerial view, Drakon growled. Without waiting for more instruction, Drakon transformed. His body elongated into the Eastern dragon. He aimed fireballs toward the shades in his immediate area and shot off into the air. His long body undulated over the field, shooting fireballs along his journey.

Well, while that stupid fucker is flying around, let's make a plan, Haemon said, swinging his swords to make contact with two shades at the same time.

I have an idea, Angie said. As soon as Drakon tells us where the location is, we shimmer there and cut it off.

Evangeline, Alastor growled.

Before Alastor could rebuke her idea, the shades suddenly stopped their movements and backed away from their quarry. The Reapers stood at attention ready for any sudden movements.

"What the fuck?" Haemon cursed out loud.

Angie looked around, her clones standing away from their enemy in confusion. They all looked at her in curiosity and she felt odd. She never thought having multiple copies of herself looking at her would be so unnerving.

Suddenly, a pulse of energy swept across the field pushing the Reapers to their knees. The shades screamed in various pitches of shrills, groans, and cries and reluctantly cleared a path. Angie looked up to see what the others were doing and gasped.

"Zerik," Alastor growled.

Stalking with pride and energy, a large, black man swung his arms with purpose, his eyes focusing on Angie. Erimentha's likeness did not do justice to the very air and personality this beast possessed. Malice rolled off of him in waves and the shades closest to him shrunk back in fear. Angie could feel his energy as she struggled to get up. His left hand was extended toward them, his power keeping them kneeling like slaves.

"That is where you belong, Chosen. On your knees in front of me, begging to save the lives of your friends."

Angie felt a growl of hatred fill her chest, the shade power surging through her veins stronger than before. She struggled against the power he was holding against her and found she could move under the intense weight. She needed to find her moment before she could strike him.

Evangeline, you need to know. Zerik's power is that of replication. If you get too close, he can acquire the powers you possess. Be careful.

"Do you like my army, boy?" Zerik laughed, turning to Alastor who was glaring with glowing green eyes.

Angie could feel his anger and hatred flow through him and connect to her through their Erastis link. His emotions were so strong, they gave more energy to her own power.

Zerik stepped closer to Alastor. "You stupid, stupid boy. The gods made you leader of the Reapers. Little did they know that I would surpass them and become a god myself. You are worthless."

"Set me free, Zerik, and I will show you what I'm made of."

"Come, boy. Let's finish what we started millennia ago." Suddenly, Alastor and Zerik vanished and the shades lurched forward as they resumed their attack.

Angie felt panic rise within her for the first time since the slaughter began. She couldn't sense Alastor at all, even through the Erastis. She also had an excess of shade power within her that felt like it was going to burst from her pores and shades descended upon her like bees from a hive. What am I going to do? Her confidence deflated and she looked at Haemon who was on his feet, his eyes wide. Suddenly, Kheiron and Galen shimmered nearby and slaughtered shades that were close to her. None of her clones had remained, the surge of her own power causing them to burst in purple lights.

"Galen," Haemon said. "Electric shield."

Galen nodded once and raised his hands above his head. Electricity shot from his fingers in tendrils of light and surrounded the four of them. The light connected in a web of electricity that fell to the ground and crackled as it made contact. The shades that were close enough to touch the net were instantly shocked and deterred from attempting to break it down.

"It's okay, Evangeline. He's fine," Kheiron said. "If we can plug the hole, and kill the shades left on this side, we can find Alastor and help him kill the prodotis."

I found the pit. Drakon's voice filtered through the telepathic link. Angie could see images of a large, black hole in the ground that looked like a meteor had slammed into the dirt. Drakon sent them the location.

"Shades are going to follow the necklace," Haemon said. "Once we pop over there, they will stop their assault on the house and search for the signal. This may be a much better outcome. The more we can get closer to the pit, the less we have to deal with when we close it."

They nodded in agreement and instantly shimmered to the pit's location. Angie attempted to let the shimmer overcome her, but she couldn't move. Panic again consumed her as she looked at the shades that were several feet from her. One could easily have swiped at her and ended her life. But they weren't moving. Their grueling snarls and gnashing teeth were frozen in mid-stride as they headed toward her.

"You progressed more than I anticipated Evangeline. Now I know what a proud papa feels like."

Angie knew that voice. She had come to loathe that condescending, arrogant tone that came with it. She turned her head to see Hermes floating around the monsters and toward her. He didn't look at them at all and kept his keen eyes on her.

"Let me go! I have to help!"

A smirk crossed his face, "What happened to the 'I don't know if I can do this' attitude?"

Angie felt the energy within her flare.

Hermes smiled instantly fell. He felt it too. "Who knew the Chosen would be so strong? I guess harboring all those souls makes one a powerful being."

Angie's brow furrowed in confusion. "What are you talking about? I don't have time for this!"

"Keep your panties on, little girl. You were born in Purgatory. An event foretold by the Sisters, one that no one thought would actually happen. See, you harbor the souls of all the Reapers that have come before you. They are inside you. They took root inside your body to give you a power to overcome the greatest disaster this world has ever known. And look! Here we are."

"How the HELL am I supposed to overcome this disaster if you have me stuck here?! I need to be with Alastor! I need to help him." Angie felt her feet leave the ground as her power pushed against gravity and levitated her a foot in the air. "Let me go!" She shouted that last part, her words booming around the frozen shades. The earth shaked with her power.

Hermes walked closer, a sudden compassion and empathy in his eyes. He seemed sad. "Evangeline. I have watched over you since your birth. I gave you your name and I have made sure that you are where you need to be when the Fates decided it. But this choice that you have to make, I cannot interfere with."

"Stop talking in riddles."

Hermes sighed. "I see in your mind. I see that you want to save Alastor from his fate. That you want to save him from Zerik. That desire is overshadowing the people of this realm that you are meant to save. You are going to have to choose between your Erastis and your people."

"Why? Why do I have to choose? Why can't I have both?"

"We can't have our cake and eat it too. It a fate thing."

"That's bullshit, Hermes. I'm going to save everyone I can." Angie's power surged again and her eyes glowed brightly.

Hermes knowing grin returned. "That's my girl."

Suddenly he was gone and she could move. But the god did not just restart her, but he restarted the shades as well. "Fuck!" she whispered. She was able to shimmer away before a shade sliced her in half.

She arrived at the crater, the carnage obvious as the land around the pit was starting to die. The other Reapers were bloodied and weary but continued to fight the shades that climbed out of the pit. This was not right. She should have been here to help them. She could have kept the bastards from climbing out of the pit. She glanced around and lost count of the number of creatures surrounding them. How were five of them supposed to overcome such an onslaught of creatures?

To her chagrin, Hermes' words came back to her. She harbored all the souls of the past Reapers. She had shade energy within her. It had been building and growing for the duration of the fight and here she was whining about whether they were going to win or not. She just had to take that power and harness it in a way that would destroy the shades surrounding them and the ones climbing out of the pit. Every negative emotion she could find, she grasped onto tightly. She could tell it wasn't enough. She wasn't going to be able to sustain the energy necessary to destroy the shades and prevent further destruction of the world.

She needed love. And she had it. Alastor was her love. She should have accepted it sooner. Yes she had been angry with him because they bonded without her realizing it. But her heart was glad they had. She was happy that their Erastis bond had been formed. She loved him and she would be damned if she was going to lose him.

Determination filled her. Love filled her and she felt more powerful than she had all day. Energy surged through her veins, touched every inch of her skin, steamed off her in waves. She was going to destroy these nasty shades. Now.

"Everybody, hold on!" Angie screamed, her voice sounding rough with the power crackling through her. The energy inside her grew until she felt like it was going to explode her body into five billion pieces. She brought the image of Alastor back into her mind and opened her eyes. The power grew until it felt like a mountain ready to burst from the land. Angie felt suspended in reality as it overcame her. Her arms folded in and she curled up into a ball, suspended in the air. Then her body spasmed and she threw her arms and legs back with a scream. A giant wave of energy erupted from her center in a wave of purple light. The purple light burst across the ground touching every Reaper and every shade within its wake. The Reapers only stumbled in their steps, but the shades felt the wrath of Evangeline Carter. Each shade touched by the wave was destroyed. Some melted into the ground, some burst into dust, and some exploded into a million pieces. The shades that were crawling out of the pit hissed and fell back into the swirling mist. A film of energy covered the hole and prevented other shades from exiting.

Angie held onto the wave as long as she could, trying to touch every shade. The energy left her in an instant and she collapsed to the ground. Tears fell from her eyes and she felt weak.

"Evangeline!" Kheiron called, rushing to her side.

She brushed him away, her hand shaking. She looked up to the edge of the pit, making sure her energy was still holding strong. "Alastor!" she cried attempting to climb to her feet. Kheiron helped her up and they moved closer to the edge, watching as Zerik and Alastor fought each other. The energy wave revealed their location and the battle ensuing between the two of them.

They were covered in blood, and Angie couldn't tell whose blood it was. Her thoughts and wishes went out to her love, boosting him with what strength she had left. She saw him gain the upper hand for a moment as he busted Zerik in the face with his sword. Blood gushed from Zerik's nose and the man's eyes flooded with menace and loathing. He jerked back, missing Alastor's next blow as he swiped the blood off his nose with the back of his hand. Just as suddenly as it started flowing, it stopped. They stood motionless for a moment before rushing each other.

Their weapons sparked as they collided. Alastor swung heavy blows that Zerik easily blocked or avoided. They were moving so fast Angie couldn't tell who had the upper hand. Angie wanted to look away, but couldn't tear her eyes from the scene. Zerik stabbed at Alastor with the end of his spear and Alastor blocked it. Zerik sneered but Angie couldn't hear his words over the clash of metal. Alastor's face filled with rage as he swung his sword recklessly toward Zerik. Zerik laughed, the sound echoing loud enough through the empty field that it reached her ears. Ice creeped down her spine as Zerik slid his leg forward and knocked Alastor to the ground. He stood above Alastor, holding the spear in the air for a mere second before slamming it down into Alastor's chest. Angie screamed, her heart splitting in two and her soul feeling like it was being ripped apart. Then Alastor rolled to the side, the sword passing through him as if he was a ghost.

His power. Of course. She laid a hand over her heart.

Angie felt so weak and helpless. There had to be something she could do to help him, but she could barely keep her feet under her and was using Kheiron for support. She had to admit, both of the warriors knew what they were doing and anticipated each other's moves well. Alastor knew when Zerik was going to strike and Zerik could read when Alastor was going to use his weight in a blow.

The two danced along the edge of pit, screams of shades beneath them providing rhythm. The others moved toward them, desperate to help but knowing that this battle was between Alastor and Zerik. Angie, on the other hand, was not going to stand by and allow Zerik to continue his tirade. If he managed to overcome Alastor and break the force field, she didn't know if she could build the energy in time to destroy what would remain.

Alastor! What can I do to help you? Angie projected.

Don't! he growled. This is my fight! I don't want you to get hurt.

Angie shook her head and found the strength to push Kheiron away and stumble toward the chasm. The energy started to surge within her once again. It came easier this time. She didn't feel angry, but determined. She found she could call on the energy without trouble and strength filled her veins. Her feet carried her to the hill that led up to the edge of the pit. That's when she started to climb. Digging her fingers into the rotting soil, Angie clawed her way to the top.

What the fuck are you doing, Evangeline? Alastor's voice questioned.

Angie didn't answer, but kept climbing. She could feel Alastor and the closer she got to him, her own energy intensified. She just hoped she wasn't draining him like she did when the shade energy first revealed itself. She lifted her hand, the ground sinking beneath her fingers as she finally made her way to the top. Just as she got to her feet, she saw Zerik swing toward Alastor and knock his sword from his hand.

"No!" she screamed.

In a movement so swift Angie almost didn't catch it, Zerik had Alastor on his knees with the spear pointed directly at his throat. Alastor looked defeated, his eyes shifted to Angie's and she read sorrow. It's okay, Evangeline. You must defeat him.

"Zerik!" she screamed, ignoring the exhaustion in Alastor's voice.

Zerik turned his head in her direction. A smirk graced the corner of his lips. "Ah, the Chosen. Come to defeat me have you, little one? Come to rescue your lover? Listen closely," his voice deepened, the darkness seeping through the timber. "I've waited for you for a very long time. You are the key to me ruling over both the living and the dead. Join me and I will only imprison Alastor instead of taking his head and mounting it on my wall."

In that moment, Angie's mind cleared and she realized what she had to do. Alastor, I can kill him! But you have to get away from him.

Evangeline, he whispered. Please don't.

Trust me, she begged, her eyes catching his.

A brief moment of understanding passed between them.

Her eyes moved to Zerik, who was now waiting patiently for her answer. "I will never join you Zerik. Ever." She gathered every bit of energy she could into her hands, imagining balls of purple energy pooling into her palms. She sent the okay to Alastor who elbowed Zerik in the knee, breaking it in half and rolling away. Zerik swung, but Alastor used his power once again and the spear only passed through him. Zerik snarled an inhuman sound and his gaze spun back toward Angie. She smirked at him and breathed a sigh of relief. Alastor was safe. Taking a deep breath, Angie sent the energy blast toward Zerik and nailed him directly in the center of his chest. Zerik attempted to use Alastor's power, but it was no use. Even though things could now easily pass through him, Angie's shade energy was no mortal weapon. The energy exploded around him and consumed his body and he screamed in agony. He clawed at Alastor as he lost his balance and fell toward the pit. In the last moment, his hand wrapped around Alastor's leg and dragged him toward the chasm.

Angie lunged forward, reaching for Alastor, her heart pounding in her chest. Blood rushed to her ears and all she could hear floating in her head were the words "I love you" over and over as Alastor chanted them to her.

"No!" she cried as her fingers closed around his wrist. With her other hand, she dug into the dirt and skidded with the two toward the pit. Just as she thought they weren't going to stop, she felt a hand around her wrist and her ankles. She looked up briefly to see Drakon firmly planted next to her. Solid like a rock, he pulled her toward him and she looked back at Alastor.

His own hand was clasped in hers, a grip so tight, she couldn't feel her fingers. But she didn't care. She would lose all her fingers if she could just pull him free. But he was heavy and Zerik wasn't completely unconscious. He was holding fast to Alastor's leg and wiggling trying to gain a foothold to climb back up.

You have to let me go, Evangeline, Alastor commanded firmly. Zerik has to die. I'm too weak to use my power and Zerik is draining it from me. I can't knock him off.

Angie shook her head, tears streaming down her face. I can't, Alastor. Please don't let go of me. I need you.

Angie, Drakon's voice growled. Transfer your energy through him. Knock that bastard into the abyss.

Angie nodded her head. Hold on tight! She drew the energy within her again and focused it into her arm. Purple light flowed down her arm, twisting and turning in small tendril like a snake and touched Alastor's skin where they were connected. As if it were fire that instantly touched kindling, it shot down Alastor's body and straight to Zerik, where it pulsed against him, shooting currents through his body. His hand tightened before it released and Zerik fell down into the pit of waiting shades. The shades grabbed him and pulled him into the center of them. He cried and screamed as they tore at his flesh. He disappeared into the muck and the shades retreated further into the hell they had clawed their way out of.

With the help of Drakon, Angie pulled Alastor out of the edge of the pit and rolled him on top of her, breathing heavily from the exertion. He instantly wrapped his arms around her, pulling her body into his so that they practically molded together. She sobbed into his chest, the thought of losing another person that she loved plowing through her exhausted body. She couldn't lose him. He was the last thing she had.

Angie felt a shimmer fall over both their bodies, but knew she did not initiate it. She also knew from the heavy weight Alastor was pressing down upon her, he didn't do it either. She looked up into the ice blue eyes of Drakon, who only nodded and disappeared. They were back in the main room of Katharsi, lying in the middle of the floor, their arms wrapped tightly around each other.

Angie was glad for the weight of him. It was reassurance that he was still with her and that she hadn't lost someone else she loved. Despite the stone floor digging into her back, she snuggled further into him and lost consciousness.

Alastor awoke some time later feeling sore and confused. It took several minutes before he was able to realize he was not on the battlefield anymore, but in his bed with his arms wrapped around Evangeline. He blinked a few times before he realized she looked very different. He didn't want to pull away from her, but he had to get a better look at her.

She was glowing a slight hue of purple. Her skin looked like it was on fire with the haze. Her hair also had a darker quality to it that shimmered purple when she moved. His eyes moved down her slightly bruised, worn out face and to her slender neck that Meredith's charm was still wrapped around. He carefully lifted his hand toward the necklace and fingered it carefully. It pulsed slightly under his movement but didn't do anything to him. It was a familiar trinket, but he couldn't quite place it. Other memories assaulted him, however, of Evangeline climbing the edge of the pit to get to him.

He'd tried to keep the Erastis link blocked so she wouldn't receive the after effects of the battle with Zerik. Her face showed signs that his efforts hadn't worked as well as he'd hoped. He remembered feeling her presence and trying to keep her away. But her determination and power broke through the block and right into his head. He remembered chanting how much he loved her, but his throat choked on the words now. Could he say them outloud to her? Could he whisper the words filled with the feelings he so desperately felt?

He drew her tight against him and Angie moaned against his chest. Alastor loosened his grip and her head turned up to him.

"Hi," she whispered, her voice raw and rough.

"Hi," he said back.

"Are you doing okay?" she asked, lifting a hand from his chest to his face.

"Yes. I am much improved. Evangeline, I want to tell you something," Alastor swallowed.

Her brow furrowed with confusion and wonder.

"I love you with every part of myself. I know I messed up with the Erastis link, forming that bond without telling you exactly what it was and what it would do. But I love you and I want to spend the rest of this existence that the gods have given to me to be with you, protect you, and love you. Please let me be with you."

The desperation in his eyes broke her heart. Angie gently rubbed her thumb along his cheek, his eyes slowly glowing brighter under the motion. "I thought that I lost you when you fell into that pit. I thought that I had lost the last link to love I had left. First Mom and Dad, then Meri... then you. Alastor, I was going to save you or die with you, there was… is no option to live without you. I love you."

Angie pushed up toward him and kissed his lips gently, but Alastor felt a beast roar within him with pride that this woman in his arms was his forever. He wasn't going to allow her to get away with just a small, chaste kiss. His body instantly reacted to her and he rolled them so she was laying flush on top of him.

He ran his hands up under her shirt and leaned up to capture her lips with his. His hands touched bare skin that seemed to pulse under his ministrations. He felt that pulse slide through his fingers until his very soul ached to be closer to Angie, to devour her. His hands slid down her back and cupped her ass, forcing her to grind against him. He let her pull away from his kiss as she moaned and sat up. Her thighs straddled his hips as she ground against him.

"You're so beautiful," Alastor whispered. Angie yanked off her shirt and quickly removed her bra. Alastor moved his hands from her ass to cup her breasts in his hands. He leaned up and took one of her nipples into his mouth. The passion she felt and the love she had for him flooded his mind until it almost overpowered him.

"You better hold back, love, or I'll be finished before we even get started," Alastor groaned, rocking his hips up into her. He could feel her heat through their clothes and his cock twitched in anticipation. Angie smiled at him and pushed his chest down from her, back onto the bed. She slid further down his body until her thighs straddled his calves. She unbuttoned his pants and slid them down his legs as he wiggled. His cock stood erect and swollen. A drop of moisture seeped out and Angie's tongue came out to taste it. Alastor thought he was going to come right then.

Suddenly his entire dick was in her mouth and she was sucking hard. He groaned loudly and let his head slam into the bed. He didn't want this. That's a lie. He did, but he wanted to savor her, love her, show her how much he appreciated her.

Alastor allowed her to taste him for a moment longer before he fisted her hair in his hands and lifted her to him. He kissed her hard, tasting himself on her tongue. His hands moved down to her hips and he clawed at her pants. "I need to be inside you now," he growled desperately.

Her eyes were glowing bright violet and she grinned. He could read through their link that she wanted that just as much as he did. They managed to strip each other of all their clothes, but Angie refused to give him the chance to turn her over and take her. He would satisfy her for now.

Angie moved so her pussy rested on his thigh. She rocked against him, tilting her head back in a moan as his leg pushed against her clit. She bit her lip, trying to keep from moaning aloud. He grabbed her hair and jerked her face to look at him. She moved faster, riding his leg, her juices dripping from her pussy onto his leg making her slide more easily against him. Alastor growled and kissed her hard. Angie bit his lip and he groaned against her mouth. She tilted her head back, breaking away and he kissed down her throat. Angie felt herself growing close and cupped her breast with one hand. Alastor leaned back and watched her play with her nipple. He moaned again. "Fuck." She grabbed his thickness and stroked him a couple times, abandoning her breast. She could feel his pulse in the veins that ran down the sides of his cock and traced her finger along one. She moved until she straddled his hips before she rubbed him against her clit. She let out a sigh of relief as her own wetness coated his tip, hopefully making it easier to allow his size to enter her without discomfort. She lifted just enough to position him at her entrance and slowly rotated her hips as he rested at the edge of her opening.

"Enough!" he growled, grabbing her hips and pulling her down toward him. She let out a scream that was a mix of pleasure and pain. Her body protested his rapid entrance, but her mind rejoiced at finally being filled with him once more. She breathed heavily, sweat dripping down her neck and between her breasts as they adjusted to each other's heat. Just as Alastor thought he was going to lose his mind, she began to rock slowly against him. Their pelvises ground together as Angie continued to tease him.

Alastor lifted his hips enough that she was forced further up on her knees, giving him the leverage he needed to pound into her the best he could. He started out slow before gaining speed and intensity. She met him thrust for thrust. As he moved up, she pushed down and the friction caused them both to moan in pleasure.

Angie looked down and noticed that where Alastor's hands connected with the skin of her hips, he was absorbing the purple shade energy that was emitting from her. The electricity zipped through her and into him, connecting them in a deeper way. The Erastis link was deepening and there was no going back.

Alastor suddenly sat up and wrapped his arm around Angie's waist, shifting them so she was beneath him and he could get a better angle. He lifted her legs so her hips were angled up and plowed as deeply into her as he could.

"Yes. Yes. Yes," she chanted. "Right there. Fuck me right there," she begged.

He leaned down and kissed the sensitive skin on her neck. She wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders and drew him as close as she could. They felt like one person. Their skin touched and they couldn't distinguish themselves from the other person. He grabbed her ankles and pushed her feet back toward her head until her knees were almost beside her head. The position made it easier for him to sink deeper in her. Angie thought her mind would explode at the new position and at first she didn't think she could handle it.

"Stop. Alastor," she begged. He was in her mind, he knew what this made her feel.

"Take it," he commanded.

Angie's breathing picked up and her muscles clenched. She could feel something gathering inside of her as Alastor pumped inside of her so hard her body jerked with each thrust. Her legs started shaking and she knew she was close. Now her mantra turned into something different.

"Please don't stop," she breathed in his ear. "Don't stop!"

He could feel her tightening around him. He could sense her skin tightening and his balls drew closer to his body. He moved faster, willing them to come together at once. Just as he felt the shudders begin in her body, his own reacted and he released with her. She inhaled sharply and held her breath as the tremors wracked her body and she contracted around him like a snake around its prey. He pumped a few more times, spilling his seed inside her willing body and stilling on top of her.

"Don't move," she begged as her body attempted to move closer to him.

"Never, Evangeline. Never." He kissed her hairline and rested in her arms, feeling at peace for the first time in centuries.

When Angie woke, she felt thoroughly satisfied in every way. She was sore in the most delicious places and she felt at home. She didn't lose Alastor. They were bonded for eternity and he belonged to her. She turned over in the bed, wanted to look at the amazing man that found her at the craziest time in her life and felt emptiness consume her. He was gone. She sat up slowly and looked around the room, the glow stones sensing her wakefulness and brightening gradually to give her light.

"Alastor," she croaked. Her voice was still hoarse and raw.

I'm in the Great Hall, Evangeline. Join me when you are ready, his voice entered her head.

She relaxed enough to swing her legs over the edge of the bed. She looked around the floor for signs of clothing and found a large shirt draped over a nearby chair. She grabbed it and headed to get cleaned up after last night made her feel a little sticky. After a quick shower, she pulled it over her head and the smell of Alastor assaulted her senses. Peace fill her. She decided to not find any pants, as the shirt currently reached her knees. Carefully, she made her way down the stone steps to Alastor's bedroom door and navigated her way to the Great Hall.

All of the Reapers were there surrounding Haemon who was sitting on a large couch. His fierce expression warned the others to back off, but they ignored his body language. Galen was sitting in his chair, typing away at modified keyboards, his eyes flashing to several screens in front of him. Alastor and Kheiron were standing above Haemon, their arms crossed over their chests. Drakon, as usual, was nowhere to be found.

"What's going on?" Angie asked as she emerged from the hall and headed straight for Alastor.

His arms relaxed and opened to allow her access to his broad chest. He curled his arms around her and drew her into him.

"This is bullshit," Haemon cursed.

"You lost her. You have to go get her," Kheiron said.

Angie's anxiety shot to the roof and she knew instantly who they were talking about. Alastor's arms squeezed her tighter in an attempt to calm her. She turned and looked at Haemon who was scowling at her. "Do we know where she is?" she finally asked.

Alastor pulled away from her so she could hear more than the rumble in his chest. "We have an idea of where she is located. We cannot be sure until we go searching for her."

Angie pulled away and looked up at him. "Where is she? I'll go get her!"

Alastor shook his head. "You cannot. Because of the limits of your birth, you are only allowed to travel to Purgatory. You cannot go into the deepest parts of Hades. One of us has to go get her."

Angie turned to Haemon, his cold grey eyes trained upon her, a mix of hatred and sadness swirling in their depths. "Haemon. Please find Meri. She is my only friend and really the only family I have left in this world. I need her."

"Not to mention she is a live Innocent trapped in Hades," Kheiron added.

Haemon scoffed and turned his head. "I should have never fucking agreed to watch over her in the first place." Several moments of silence passed between the group, only the sound of Galen's keyboard clicking and whirring of machinery filled the room. "But I'll find her. If it's the last fucking thing I do, I'll find her."

Upon excitable impulse, Angie pulled from Alastor's arms and launched herself at Haemon. She wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him with as much strength as she could without hurting him. "Thank you thank you thank you!" she exclaimed.

Haemon smiled widely, looking up at Alastor who looked like he was about to murder him. "Honey, you keep wiggling that bare ass of yours in my lap, you're going to be thanking me with more than a hug."

Angie shot out of his lap and backed up to Alastor. "Sorry," she apologized, blush over taking her face.

"Get going, Haemon. Take the gear with you," Alastor growled.

Haemon winked and disappeared in an instant, his sour mood seemingly forgotten.

"Now," Alastor whispered in Angie's ear. "I would like us to get the Erastis ceremony done right now."

Angie turned in his arms and pressed her hands against his chest. "I can't wait to be completely one with you Alastor, but I want to wait."

He cocked his head but did not respond.

"I want Meri to be there. This is your custom, and it seems a lot like a wedding ceremony. Meri and I have talked about our weddings to each other for ages. It is a dream for both of us to share that moment with each other. Please, I want to wait until Haemon brings Meri back."

"As you wish, my love," he responded placing a kiss on her forehead.

"Awe, how sweet," a voice interrupted them.

"Hermes!" the brothers said in unison, instantly dropping to their knees in admiration.

Alastor didn't bother.

"Now, now. No need to prostrate yourself. We're all friends here."

Alastor growled. "Friend is not the word I would use, Hermes."
Hermes cocked his head and lifted his hands to his tie. He adjusted it and smirked. "Well, I see when I'm not wanted. But unfortunately for you, I have a message."

Alastor scoffed. "An unfortunate message? We don't accept."

"Alastor!" Kheiron whispered through his teeth.

"My dear, dear Evangeline. The child pulled from the edge of death to save all life. You have done such a splendid job. Better than many have betted upon. I've come to give you a choice. This is a very rare thing for the Fates to completely leave one's future up to an individual. In all honesty, I'm not sure why they are having such a time deciding your life line for you. Like they don't already know," he laughed. He looked at the others who were not laughing at the inside joke he was telling himself. "Anyway. Your choice is this. You can return to the life you once knew and adored. Become the Evangeline that you lived most of your years. Or, you can stay here in Katharsi, become a semi-reaper as you are now. Saving the lives of those threatened by shades, blah, blah. And honestly, darling, if I had the choice, I'd leave this hellish dump and move back topside."

Angie sighed. "I'm not you Hermes," she said carefully. "This place is not a dump. This place is my home. These guys are my family. Alastor," she looked up at him, "Alastor is mine. He is my Erastis and I wouldn't trade that for a million earth lives."

Hermes' face darkened. "You know what this means Evangeline. You can never go back to the human life you once led. Even if you change your mind down the road. You cannot just one day decide this Reaper stuff isn't for you."

"I understand. This is what I want."

Hermes puffed his chest out slowly, like a proud father watching his child branch out for the first time. "So be it, child. Then there is something I need to give you. Please hold out your hand."

Angie eyed him warily.

"Well, come on child! I don't have all day."

She slowly reached her hand to him, her palm up. Hermes wrapped his long fingers around her wrist and pulled her toward him. "By the power of the gods of Mount Olympus and with the blessing of the Fates, I bestow to you Evangeline the powers of a Reaper. May you fulfill your duties with pride and be rewarded by your deeds." Hermes produced a black stone with a lightning bolt on top from his vest pocket and gently blew on it. Angie remembered viewing that same stone in Alastor's memory he'd shown her when he became a Reaper. She knew what to expect and tried to brace herself. He turned it over and over before pressing it against the palm of her hand.

Angie gasped and released the stone, just as Alastor had done. She glanced down and saw a pink outline of a heart fade into her skin. "Good luck to you in your new endeavor, Evangeline. Keep these guys straight. I'll be watching." He winked and grabbed her hand once more, forcing her to hold on a bit longer as power flowed from the stone into her and her body felt like it was on fire. Then he disappeared in a pop of pink light as if he'd never been there. It took a moment for Angie to breathe normal as the pain fled her body and she was able to straighten. She hadn't even realized that she'd dropped to her knees until Alastor reached down to help her to her feet.

"This is a never ending battle, Evangeline," Alastor lamented. "There is no such thing as not being on call."

Angie looked up at Alastor and reached to caress his cheek. "I know. But I realize despite not knowing what my life was going to be like several month ago, I have never felt more at home as I do here. I belong in Katharsi. I belong as a Reaper. And I belong with you. That is never going to change. The only hole in my heart right now is the one that Meri has left. I want my whole family to be together."

"We will, Evangeline. I promise, we will."

Everything ached. It wasn't the good kind of ache either. It was an ache that seeped through every pore and touched every bone in the body and the spirit. Meri wasn't sure if she could even feel anything besides the ache. Her senses were dulled for a moment and she felt like she had been turned inside out to dry and then right side in again. Her sense of smell was the first sense to return and she instantly regretted taking a huge breath. She had never smelled death before, but she remembered a time when she and Angie found a dead possum in her parent's backyard. This stench was five million times more putrid than any dead animal could produce.

Angie! Her eyes snapped open. There was a reddish haze hovering above her. The sky, or at least what she thought was the sky, was covered in clouds of fire licking down toward her. She screamed and stood, ignoring the searing pain that shot through every inch of her skin. Then she stopped. The red melted into everything: the soil, the mountains, the rocks beneath her feet. But it was the row of writhing, exploding bodies that surrounded her that sent terror straight to her toes.

Meri could only open her mouth and scream the terror coursing through her.