They walked towards the
woods at the back of the house. At first in
silence, neither believing the others was really so close.
''So, are you going to tell
me what happened or am I gonna have to beat it
out of you?''
Anubis was a bit taken aback
by what she said.
''You've been with the Ronins
too long I think.''
''You still didn't answer
''Where should I start?''
''How about after Talpa
was destroyed and Kayura and the others returned
to the Dynasty.''
''They were all still weak
from the battle. Once they found me, Kayura
asked the Warlords to pool what remained of their power to help her re-awaken
my spirit. When they questioned why, she told them I had unfinished business
and too much to live for. I learned later that in the few moments we merged
before my fall, she learned much about me. If I had lived through it, I
would have known about her too.''
''So they, um, woke you
''No. They brought me back
but they weren't strong enough to awaken me.
I wasn't either, for that matter. They brought me into the castle and
watched over me.''
''Wait. The Dark Warlords
watched over you while you slept?''
Anubis laughed. ''They're
a bit different now. Anyway, Kayura kept a
close eye on them.''
''How long were you asleep?''
''Two weeks. When I woke
up, Dais was sitting beside me. I panicked. I
moved to defend myself and the whole room began to spin. He pushed me back
down onto the bed and explained what had happened. He called the others in
and Lady Kayura asked to speak to me alone. She seemed to know my deepest
thoughts and feelings. She knew I'd been thinking of living in the mortal
world once the battle was over. She said she'd help me to do this if I
wished. If not, I was more than welcome to stay with them in the Dynasty.''
''So you told her you wanted
to come here.''
''Not right away. I had
a lot to think about. Things were different.
But it only took me a few days to decide. I agreed to stay with them for six
months to help with rebuilding, after that I wanted to come here.''
''I still don't understand
Mia had stopped walking.
She looked around and realized she didn't
really want to go much deeper into the forest. It was getting pretty late
and the sun had almost completely set.
''Perhaps we should start
back. We could go sit by your garden.''
''Yeah, um, the one you
used to meditate by. It's always reminded me of
you. I used to sit by it those first few months looking for the peace you
said the flowers brought you.''
''Did you find it?''
''I think maybe I have.
They walked over to the
garden and sat beside it. There was just enough
light from the back of he house for them to see eachother.
''So, why are you here?''
''Mia, do you remember the
time we spent here trying to find a way to help
Ryo and Rowen?''
''Of course I do.''
''Late one evening, after
Yuli went to bed, you and I stayed on the couch
''I remember that. I felt
so bad that I fell asleep.''
''There's no need. I was
watching you sleep, curled into a ball in the
corner of the couch. Before I knew what I was doing, you were stretched out
and I had your head in my lap.''
Mia gasped. ''You had your
fingers in my hair. All this time I thought I
had dreamt that.'' She smoothed her hair, remembering.
''I realized then the feelings
that I had been suppressing. I wanted more
from the relationship we had built. But the time wasn't right. We had a war
to win against the dynasty. But I swore to myself that if I survived I would
come back here to be with you.''
''But why did you wait so
''I knew you still had the
Ronins with you, that you were taking care of
them. All of you were rebuilding your lives. If I had come to you then, I
would have been a burden.''
''That is how I felt, though.
Nevertheless, I wanted to be stable. I had
to live on my own again. Kayura helped me with this. She had found the rooms
filled with the things we had before the dynasty. Talpa had hid them from us
thinking we would forget. But he wouldn't get rid of them since there were
many things of value. Kayura found many coins. Do you have any idea what a
300 year old gold coin is worth here?''
''Of, course! Remember
who you're talking to,'' Mia laughed.
Anubis turned to look at
her. He'd been staring at the ground trying to
control his train of thought. She looked absolutely beautiful here in the
moonlight. The war had aged her a big, but it was becoming to her.
''Of course,'' he replied.
''It was enough for me to set up a trust fund
for myself. I found an apartment in the city and my car. That was the one
thing I spoiled myself with. I promised Kayura I would be responsible. I
even found a job.''
''You're kidding! Where?''
''A small private dojo in
the city. I work part time teaching children
marshal arts. Most of them are very shy and they come from modest homes. It
isn't much but I really enjoy it.''
''You return to the mortal
world after hundreds of years and are able to
find a job doing what you love: leading and training. Do you have any idea
how lucky you are? I'm assuming you changed your name, too. Huh, Alex?''
It was Anubis'turn to laugh.
''I felt it would only be right. A new
name for a new beginning. And one that wouldn't have others looking at me
strangely. I wanted to keep the same initial. Kale was the one that
suggested it. He said I looked like an 'Alex'.''
''Alex. It does suit you.
He laughed again and extended
his hand. ''Alex Xavier Knight, m'lady.''
She took his hand and shook
it. ''Pleased to meet you, Alex Knight. Now
is that Alexander or just Alex?''
''It's whatever you wish
it to be.''
They were still holding
hands. He pulled her to him and brushed her lips
with his own. She returned his kiss without hesitation. As it deepened, he
gently pushed her back onto the ground.
''Hey, Cye, man, check it
Kento happened to look up
from the game and glance out the backyard.
''What're you two looking
at?'' Rowen asked.
''There, out the window.''
They all turned to look.
''I guess Bobby's history,''
''Really, Ryo. I thought
you'd be upset by this.''
''Yeah, right. Like I'm
really going to try to take on Anubis. Kento,
where are you going? Leave them alone.''
It was too late. Kento
was at the French door. He stepped out quietly
and the others followed, driven by teenage curiosity and the need to keep and
eye on Kento. They stood there quietly when all of a sudden Kento yelled...
''Woo-hoo! Way to go Anubis!''
Rowen followed with a whistle
and the others joined in cheering the
couple on. This had been a long time coming. Fate was gracious enough to
allow it to happen. The Ronins were overjoyed for their friends.
Back on the lawn, Anubis
looked down at Mia. Her face was flushed from
the embrace and from being watched.
''Should we go somewhere
'' No,'' she replied, and
lifted her head to kiss him again.