It took me nearly three hours to add the deity-trappers to every weapon Amelia’s friends owned. Why didn’t I think of this before? It could’ve saved Jade’s life… Not that the trapper was designed to work on the Fallen anyway.
I mean, a poor chance at survival is better than no chance. Amelia still refused my offer to put the symbols on anything she owned—she didn’t even like the idea of her friends getting them but reluctantly allowed it anyway. She wouldn’t risk anything like the Fallen again.
I still felt kind bad hiding the fact that I could revive Jade from them—that is if I took the throne. It’d take just one inquiry with the universe. Something in my gut didn’t feel right about abusing it that way—assuming if it accepted my request.
Amelia didn’t ask anyone from her family to try bringing Jade back from the land of dead. She’d be missed but remain dead. That was the reality of things.
After we sent her friends off, Amelia and I finally headed to bed. A real bed. I could actually sleep.
The goddess wasn’t going to let it be that simple. Her nightgown for some reason seemed to be extra provocative. Maybe that was just me. Looking at her simply reminds me of the beauty of a goddess. Maybe how lucky I am. Sometimes I wondered what would life be like if I never lost those eight years. Sure, time that small meant jack shit to deities, but for me, a half breed, I still felt like I lost a lot.
“Epex,” Amelia said after a minute of silence. The TV was off, so I almost closed my eyes.
“Yeah?” I looked into eyes of pure green.
“Promise you won’t leave me again,” she said.
The words wouldn’t leave my mouth. As much as I loved Amelia, I was a realist. The elite six were powerful, but not the most powerful in Paradise Realm. What if the corrupted judges somehow convinced the knights to destroy me? There wasn’t a power in the Realm that could save me, besides Conus himself. Fortunately, the knights didn’t take orders from the House. “Promise me.”
“Amelia, you know I can’t—”
She hugged me tight. “It hurt so much when you were gone. Suffering in the depths. I’ve never felt so much…anger in my life. You…who’ve done nothing to deserve that. When I felt your presence emerge in the city…nothing was going to stop me from seeing for myself. Not even my own strained body. If…it wasn’t for your healing wave, I would’ve collapsed.” Tears rolled down her cheek. “We tried so hard to stop them, to save those people. I thought hope was lost. No one came. But then you appeared out of nowhere. How?”
“It’s thanks to Sin’s father,” I said.
Amelia’s eyes widened. “Demon King Ghost?”
“That was some nickname given to him as a coverup.”
“Coverup? What are you talking about?”
“He’s actually Dante,” I said. “Dante the famous poet. He’s not a bad guy. Intimidating as hell, but not bad. Being in the wrong place, at the wrong time got him stuck with the grand duty of keeping a really dangerous book contained in the depths. Fortunately, the King built him a dimension that’s identical to this world. Once he finds a way to destroy the book, Dante’s duty would finally end.”
The goddess took a few seconds to process all of that then nodded.
“Did he revive you?”
“His dimension did actually,” I said. “Either that or the King.”
Amelia’s caress started with my shoulder then moved to arms. With her being super close, I took in the scent, warmth, and even essence. My other head grew energetic.
Amelia grinned, happy to tease my poor hormones again.
“Is that a flashlight or are you just happy to see me,” she said with chuckle, before making a very noticeable grab. Within seconds, we were making out heavily. “Make love to me, right now. I’m not waiting anymore.”
Some of my braincells were fortunately still active at the moment. In fact, one of the clever cells sprung a tiny idea into my head. It wouldn’t hurt to try. I manifested a condom. Amelia glared at me. It burst into heatless flames for a second then turned into ash. Here came the stumbling stone that kept us fucking abstinent. Normally, I’d let this pass and just wag one out when I thought she was asleep. Anger boiled into me this. She flinched, my eye glow surprising her.
“You know now is not the time for that,” I said, barely containing my voice, forcing it to stay even. Amelia didn’t restrict hers.
“Why not? Epex, I’m really sick of waiting. It’s almost hurting my pride.”
“Amelia, be reasonable,” I said, voice still even. “With all of this bullshit going on, do you really think now is the time to bring a kid into this? You know it’s not over—”
“I don’t care,” she said stubbornly. “It’s not…just about the baby. I want to feel closer to you. Closer than ever, yet…”
“Then why not use the condom?”
“No,” Amelia said. “You know what we’ve been taught—”
“Fuck what we’ve been taught,” I snarled. “Look where it’s gotten me. Sure, it’s fine for you but the only place I got is—”
“Hell is not the place for you,” Amelia snarled, eyes watering. “Or have you forgotten already that I will always be here for you.” She turned, folding her arms.
I sighed, letting the anger drain out. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Amelia froze for a second then turned back to me.
“What’s holding you back, Epex? Besides thinking at any moment you’re going to be killed.”
I looked at her, thoughtful for a second then responded. “We’re just too young.”
She nodded. “Finally being honest about that, I see but…time for us is different. Don’t forget that.”
“I know,” I said softly, “but I refuse to let a kid into this. Let me resolve this situation first, Amelia. Let’s also wait until we turn twenty-five.”
“Are those supposed to be human social norms?” she said, amusement in her voice.
“I don’t know.”
“I…won’t wait,” Amelia said, stubbornness returning. “I grow tired of waiting. You’re rude to keep a woman waiting.”
“It’s not like I’m trying to remain a dorky virgin until twenty-five,” I said, “but it’s either the condom or no go. I’m serious, Amelia.”
“Don’t get cowardly on me, Epex Helios,” she said then sat up. “I’m obviously a virgin too but you don’t see me complaining.”
I sat up, tired of this futile obstacle. Sometimes it was hilarious when we didn’t agree on everything—but this subject. This lacked the humor.
“I’ll sleep on the couch tonight,” I said but before I could get up, she grabbed my arm.
“I’m not going to change my mind,” I told her then stormed off to the living room.
The couch I chose was nice and wide. A minute or two later after I closed my eyes, I felt my blankets lift and someone laid next to me. I felt the sensation of warm breasts, arms holding me, and the scent that I always loved. That night, Amelia and I slept on the couch.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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