Not Even Goodbye
By Tiffany

Chapter Seven

Mia was exhausted. It had been trying listening to Rowan, and tiresome arguing with him about the fact that she was going with them when they attacked Talpa, no matter what Ryo said, she WAS going to be there.
At her words Anubis had smile, as though he didn't believe her. What exactly was he going to do about it?
"This is really not fair." Mia sighed as she washed her face in preparation for bed. During her conversation with Rowan and Anubis Mia had discovered that Anubis was ALWAYS with her, he only slept when Mia was with the three warlords, Kayura, the Ronins and White Blaze, but then he only slept minimally.
He is there when I sleep? Mia's face was crestfallen. "This is really embarrassing."
Mia silently padded down the hallway in her slippers, and closed the door to her room. At the sight if another person in the room Mia shrieked.
"MIA!" Anubis called in suprise and leapt up, clamping a hand over her mouth. "Your going to give me away."
Mia shook her head her initial fear gone, and Anubis held her in place, and hand on her waist and over her mouth.
Heavy footsteps pounded down the hallway ,and Mia mashed the lock on her door.
"Mia, what's wrong?" Mia heard all of her houseguests at her door.
Mia pulled Anubis' hand away from her mouth, clutching at his wrist convulsively. "N…Nothing, I only saw a …mouse. It scared me, but it's gone now."
Mia saw the door handle rattled and saw her lock slip open again, her door opening a crack.
Mia slammed against the door, pulling Anubis with her, having at the opening of the door clutched his wrist even tighter. "Don't come in!" Mia nearly screamed.
"Why not?"
"oh…" Mia could hear the embarrassment in Sage's voice and sighed with relief as footsteps grew softer everyone leaving.
Mia noticed that Anubis was slightly pink, an that she clutched his hand. Blushing a bit she release his wrist.
"Changing?" He arched an eyebrow.
"It's the only reason that I could think of the slam the door in his face, although I don't think you should be in here when I chance, so why don't you go talk to Cye or something?" Mia looked to Anubis who immediately disappeared.
"You had better be gone." Mia called and changed into her pajamas in the link of an eye, diving under the safe haven of her covers, and forming a warm cocoon of covers for herself.
"Is it safe now?" A voice called out at her window, and he received a yea.
"Don't you ever get tired of watching me?"
Anubis settled into his chair before answering. "No."
"But all I do is sleep."
"Ad drool."
"WHAT?!?!?!?" Mia shrieked and then turned bright re. " I do not."
Anubis looked as though he were going to object, but then he nodded. "if you insist. My apologies."
"You don't believe me, do you?"
"I have seen it with my own eyes."
"Since when does guarding me involve watching me sleep? Should you be watching for the dynasty?"
"The evils of the dynasty are everywhere even in -"
"Liar." Mia growled cutting him off and threw her pillow at him, which he easily caught and handed back to her with a slight bow.
"Mia, are you alright, I heard a shriek." Cye's voice come through the door.
"I'm fine."
"Can I come in a minute?"
"Are you alone?"
"Come in then." Mia smiled as White Blaze entered too.
"Is your guardian giving you a hard time?"
Mia nodded ignoring her guardian.
"He insists that I drool when I sleep."
"Hmm." Cye grinned. "If I remember correctly, he said you were the picture of elegance…I don't see how that fits in a elegant."
Anubis turned red.
Mia smiled at his embarrassment then frowned. "Anubis, is that the same outfit you were wearing when you arrive here?"
He nodded.
"Cye, tomorrow we are getting him some new clothes."
Cye nodded in agreement. Tomorrow is the day that we attack Talpa.
"I'll go get some clothes for him now. I believe I have something that may fit him. While he changes I can guard you."
At Mia's nod Cye departed returning quickly with a pile of clothes. "These really aren't my style but I thought they might do for you."
Anubis paused before leaving but when Mia smiled and said "I'll be fine for a few minutes Anubis." He hurriedly left.
As soon as Anubis left Mia turned towards Cye. "Picture of elegance"
He nodded. "I know he use elegance, but his compliment was a lot smoother than mine."
"Really." Mia smiled but her smile faded into a frown as Cye inquired about her locket and bracelet, both sitting on her bedside table.
"Cye, I don't know what to do…I…don't want to encourage Sage, but I also don't want to insult him…I also don't want anymore gifts, and that goes for the BOTH of them."
Cye nodded, sitting down on the bed next to Mia. "I'm really not sure what to tell you. I know you don't feel for Sage what he feels for you, and I don't know how you should tell him. Do you like him?" Cye jerked his eyes towards the staff Anubis had left sitting in the room and Mia sighed, blushing.
"I don't know…I think I'm to overwhelmed at the moment to decide if I do -" Mia's voice trailed off as Anubis walked back into the room, wearing a slate gray pair of suit pants and a white dress short, the sleeves rolled up and the front partially open.
"Those were your clothes Cye?" She whispered her eyes wide.
He nodded, then confided in the barest of whispers.. "I never looked that good in them."
Mia smiled. "I doubt that. Your just as good looking as he is…" She leaned closer the Cye and then whispered even softer tan he had. "If not more so."
"You think so?"
"I know so."
Cye smiled. "I feel a lot better, now get some sleep."
Mia nodded and snuggled under the blankets of her full sized be. White Blaze lounged over most of it.
"Silly tiger…"Mia mumbled quickly falling asleep."

Mia awoke around ten to a silent house. Hmm, this is odd. Even Anubis was nowhere in sight. Mia stood, slipping her feet inside of her slippers an entered the hallway. All of the guys rooms were empty.
"They didn't!" Mia rushed to the stairs and place her foot on the top step when a voice startled her.
She whirled around and her foot slipped, sending her flying down the stairs. In the blink of an eye Anubis rushed down the hallway and grabbed Mia's waist, stopping her fall. He pulled her against him as he steppe away from the stairs, and he could feel Mia trembling.
"That was close…" Her voice was muffled against his shoulder. Ma felt she should move away, but she could stop shaking, or seem to force her breathes to come in anything more than frightened gasps.
"You should be more careful Mia." Anubis' voice was soft.
"Its not my fault you startled me." She refused to look up at him, and somewhere in the back of her mind she wondered where Yuli was. " How would you have explained it to the guys?"
"Explained what?" Anubis sounded extremely puzzled and finally Mia looked up to him, his piercing gaze locking with hers, but it was gentle too, not intimidating as it had once been.
"How I has succumbed to my death by the evil dynasty staircase." Mia could help but smile, and Anubis laughed. She could hear his laugh rumble in his chest long before it reached his mouth.
"I would have brought you back from the dead, m'lady, so you could explain it to them yourself. But, Mia, you would not have died, for I would not allow it. I would trade my life for yours, if it would keep you alive." His voice turned from gentle and gravely to impassioned and gravely, and Mia's eyes were wide.
"You, would…do that for me?" Mia's knees were weak, and she almost fell, but Anubis still had a firm hold on her, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist.
"That I would Mia, in an instant. That is one of the reasons that I was chosen to protect you."
"What is the other?"
"It is a secret."
"A secret?"
Anubis nodded laughter in his eyes as he heard stirring from the boys room. Once Yuli had asked him to stay with him and Mia, but he was unsure if he would be as welcome now.
"Go to the boy, I shall be here as always…"
"Mia…" Yuli rubbed his eyes sleepily.
"Yes Yuli?" Mia smiled at the boy, Anubis, as always disappearing in the blink of an eye.
"I had a bad dream."
"Well come here and tell me about it." Mia held her arms out to Yuli, who rushed into them, burying his head under her chin, his arms clasped around her neck.
"I dreamed that my mom and my dad were never coming back.'
"Yuli, you know that snot true." She couldn't keep the tinge of sadness form her voice. "They will come back." They have to.

Getting into the dynasty was the easy part, with three ex warlords and Kayura on your side, so the Ronins had no trouble entering Talpa's realm, but finding the evil emperor once there was another matter entirely.
"This is odd Talpa never leaves his castle." Cale frowned.
"What's this?" Cye picked up a piece of paper.

Troublesome Ronins, unfaithful warlords, and that ungrateful creature named Kayura, by the time you read this not, it shall be to late. I shall have the girl AND her guardian. Long have I awaited this moment, the completion of my revenge against the Ancient, the conquest of the mortal real, and the destruction of that infernal traitor Anubis…

The Ronins were silent that is Sage, Kento and Ryo were silent.
"Anubis?" Sage's voice was low. "We left Mia with Anubis?"
"We've done it before." Ryo's voice was calm he had no reason to doubt Anubis, who had been, and still was a invaluable ally.
I have to compete with Anubis? It can't be that hard, can it?
"Does Mia know?"
Cye smiled at Kento's question. "Since last night."
"Well lets go save Mia!"
The group rallied at Kento's cry, but out of nowhere hundreds upon hundreds of dynasty soldiers appeared.
"You cannot leave Master Talpa expects you to be here upon his return…"

Mia couldn't shake the eerie feeling she had as she quickly dried off from her bath.
Mia shivered as Talpa's voice invaded her senses.
With a frenzied urgency she dressed, and in her min she heard the Ancient's voice. Conceal your staff Mia you shall need it later…
The floor began to swirl and Mia screamed as she slowly sank into her floor. She could barely suppress her terror as she heard Anubis's anguished roar.
"It's Talpa, he's here…" Mia called out, sinking farther and farther into her floor. "He's going to capture me."
The bathroom door shattered and an enraged Anubis stood before Mia. "Grab onto my staff." He held it out to Mia, who clung to it, but she still sank deeper and deeper into the swirling blackness.
She couldn't keep the fear from her eyes as she gazed up to Anubis, and as the blackness completely covered her she was aware only of the fact that Anubis came with her, for he could not let her go alone into the corruption of the dynasty.

"STAR SWORD SCREAM!" Kayura relished the fact that she had her won armor back, she was not relying on someone else to protect her. Her armor was light, and meant purely for protection.
Having combined their powers, a huge gap was blasted into the column of dynasty soldiers, but was filled as quickly as it had appeared.
"Guys, this is useless!" Kento growled his frustration as he took out a couple more soldiers. "Any one of them we take out s replaced by another."
Everyone nodded, back to back, surrounded.
"Guys, I have an idea." Rowan smiled. "Just follow my lead."

Mia moaned as she picked herself up off of the ground. As she looked around she frowned. She was in a locked room, with two pallets on the floor, and no conceivable door. She was also on a pallet, but she could not see Talpa, placing her on the pallet, so she had to assume that Anubis had move her there.
"Where are we?" Mia looked to Anubis, who sat meditating his staff nowhere in sight.
"One of Talpa's holding cells." Anubis sounded weary, exhaust, and as he looked at her, his eyes were haggard, and they held…fear.
"What is he going to do with us?" Mia couldn't keep the trembling note from her voice as she stood and winced in pain.
"Mia, are you alright?" Anubis looked questioningly to his fellow captive and charge. Who shook her head, sinking back down onto the pallet.
"Somehow I injured my knee, see my jeans are even torn."
Anubis frowned, noticing that Mia's knee also bled. "We should bandage that….it probably happened when we fell through your floor and came rather ungracefully through the ceiling of this holding cell."
Mia nodded. "Anubis, are we going to be able to get out of here?" Mia pitched her voice low, her eyes shimmering with fright.
"I don't know." He motioned for her to sit on the edge of the pallet. Having obeyed his order Mia's foot was place in Anubis's lap as he sat cross-legged in front of her. "I'm going to have to rip your pants a little more."
"It's alright, I can always change into another pair. If we get out of here.
Anubis didn't look up to Mia as he ripped the knee of her pants open, then ripped two strips of cloth from the plentiful sleeves of his dress shirt. One to wipe away the blood and attempt to cleanse the wound, the other to bandage it.
He looked up to her the grave tone of her voice chilling him to the bone.
"Yes Mia." Anubis tried not to show his fear or worry, but Mia could see it reflected in his eyes.
"If we cant escape, I'm going to die, aren't I?"
"Your not going to die." Anubis looked sternly at Mia. "Remember what I told you? I shall not allow you to die. Talpa will have to kill me first, and that shall not happen."
Mia's mind flashed back the acquisition of the Jewel of Life. "But you cant be sure of that Anubis, he could separate us, and then by the time you escape I could be dead, and Talpa would have what he wants.
Mia place a hand on Anubis's cheek, trying the banish the look of anguish which had appeared on his face.
"I wont let you die Mia, I swear t." Anubis spoke so quietly that Mia almost doubted he spoke at all. "I cannot let you die." Anubis gently lay his cheek on the knee he had just bandaged.
"I hope your right, Anubis. And I trust you to protect me."
"Which I shall."
"How touching." Talpa sneered as he appeared in the room, walking trough a non existent door. "The Warlord of Cruelty has gone soft." Talpa laughed. "Of all the girls you could have fallen for Anubis, why pick this mouse, whom I shall kill with great pleasure."
"You shall not kill her Talpa." Anubis stepped protectively in front of Mia, in an attempt to shield her from the evil emperor.
Mia shivered as the felt the malignant aura which radiated around the room, announcing Talpa's presence. Mia could feel her staff calling to her, but she did not call it, the time was not yet right. Anubis on the other hand, used his staff to bar Talpa's foreword progress. A dim light shone from it, glowing brighter and brighter the farther foreword Talpa advanced.
"You shall not have her." Anubis repeated, and Talpa sneered as 'loyalty' flared brightly on Anubis's forehead.
"You really did give your heart to her, didn't you."
"Who I give my heart to is none of your concern, Talpa. But in this instance, I gave my loyalty freely, without corruption and deception."
"You are truly pitiful Anubis."
"And you Talpa, shall die." Anubis's eyes narrowed and the staff flared brightly, blowing the walls and the ceiling of the room they were captured in into particles of dust. Then while Talpa was blinded Anubis turned, grabbed Mia by the shoulders and under her knee's, and clutching his staff disappeared into the dark recesses of Talpa's castle.