Here is the second side story in this storyline. I went with Erin and Max because some people in the comments of the last story asked for this one the most and there were a ton of PM's also asking for it. As always, don't forget to rate and comment.
Part Two: Max, Erin
Six months. That was Erin's punishment. Six months exiled to some small little planet near the edge of a galaxy humans would probably never reach. Her crime was kidnapping; or so her father called it. In reality it hadn't really been kidnapping because Max, once he found out, hadn't been against it. On the contrary, he welcomed it. His powers had been taken away by Gabriella because Max's actions directly resulted in the deaths of many police officers and Erin had snuck into his parents house that night, as she was sure he didn't want to be around them when he came to. That was only the first time she had kidnapped him though.
The second time he wasn't even aware of it, so he couldn't very well give his consent. He had been dying from a wound he received trying to protect Erin. At the time he didn't have his powers and he acted stupidly. Erin could never bring herself to see it that way. In the back of her mind she knew she probably should have let him be with his mother and father as he died from loss of blood, but those three little words he said to her right before he passed out had sent Erin's world spiraling out of control.
She never knew an 'I love you' could have so much power on who she was as a person, and how could she? She had been in love with Max for a very long time but she always had a feeling that he would never feel the same way for her. When he finally did tell her just how he felt, a pool of crimson blood gathering around his limp body, she lost her mind. The man she was so utterly and hopelessly in love with was going to the one place she could never reach him. In a state of sheer panic, anger, helplessness, and with the idea in her head that Max would only belong to her she ran and took him with her.
After everything had settled and he had come back from the brink of death she began to understand that her reactions were wrong, but to be honest she was having a hard time feeling bad for it. She still clung to the belief that Max was hers and hers alone and that's probably a contributing factor to her current situation. Both parents and sisters, and even Max's mother and father, agreed that she needed to go somewhere far away for a while to reflect on her actions. To a young woman who had very nearly lost the one man she loved more than her own life only to have him come back to her, this punishment was worse than death itself. But there was nothing she could do about it. If she tried to fight against it then her older sister, Gabby, would do what needed to be done and Erin really didn't want that. Her power was on a whole other level.
So there the young blonde stood, ankle deep in some alien mud that seemed to cling to her at every chance, doing exercises and drills as Gabby watched on from a nearby hill to make sure Erin wasn't slacking. Of the six month stint on this rock the gods seemed to have forgotten, Erin was on her last night and she was looking forward to going back home. That is unless Gabriella had been serious in her threats about keeping her there and extra week for that little melt down four months back. And she really hoped that wasn't the case. She couldn't stand to be away from Max for one more moment.
The only solace Erin found were in the stories her sister Anna would bring with her when she visited; which was on a daily basis because she couldn't stand being apart from her wife, Gabby. Anna was the only link she had to Earth and she would press her with questions almost nonstop whenever she got the chance. So what if most of those questions had to do with Max. Okay, all of the questions had to do with Max. Erin really didn't see where the problem was.
An hour after finishing up some combat training and washing herself off in a nearby river, Erin finally collapsed on her bed roll in the small camp she and her sister had made. There was no real need for sleep as they never grew tired, but Gabriella had been a mortal girl at one point and hadn't been able to shake off the habit of sleeping at night. Having grown up with Gabby, Erin had also managed to pick up that habit as well. Plus, even if they didn't need it, sleep was still pretty nice and they even woke up the next morning with a sense of being refreshed. Erin really didn't think she was going to be able to sleep at all tonight though as the next morning was the one thing she had been looking forward to for so very long.
Before the small red sun had even begun to set a soft pop hissed through the small camp announcing Anna's arrival. It was hard to tell who was more excited to see the short and beautiful girl with spiky red hair, Erin or Anna's lover Gabby. Both girls jumped up from where they lay or sat and rushed the poor girl with squeals of delight, both for very different reasons.
'Oh my god, I missed you so much baby!' Gabriella cried out and jumped Anna savagely, planting a big wet kiss on her lips before latching onto her neck.
'I missed you too, Gabs,' Anna replied with a wide smirk and threw her own arms around her lover. Normally this sort of reaction would get on Erin's nerves because it didn't seem fair that they got to be like that when she didn't, but tonight it didn't. This was mostly due to the fact that in the morning she would be able to do the same thing herself to the man she loved.
'And please tell me you brought some chocolate!' Gabby asked with a small smile and caused Anna to laugh.
'I'm afraid not sweetie. You'll have to get that yourself.'
'Mom wants you to head back home for the night and I will stay and watch over our little jail bird.'
Gabby's happy smile suddenly soured and her lips created a hard line over her face as this news seemed to irk her. 'Why? I wanted to spend the night with you!'
'I know, I wanted that too. But she needs your help tonight so you better not let her down. Besides, it will only be for one night and then after that we won't ever have to be apart again!'
'What does mom need help with?' Erin asked and both girls quickly looked towards her with shocked looks on their faces, almost like they had totally forgotten she existed. This was a pretty common occurrence when these two hadn't seen one another since that morning though.
'Never you mind, Erin.' Anna answered and stuck her tongue out at her younger sibling. 'If you behave tonight though you might just find out tomorrow.'
Anna turned back to Gabby at that point and they both embraced once more, whispering into each other's ears quietly enough that Erin couldn't pick anything out. This continued for another ten minutes before Anna finally convinced Gabriella to get going before she got into trouble, and with a long and very sloppy kiss goodbye they parted and Gabby left with a soft pop.
With a gloomy expression, Anna turned to face the youngest of the family and motioned her right hand like she was telling Erin to bring it. And bring it she did. 'What's new?' the young girl asked quickly and her voice rose in pitch as her excitement bubbled quickly to the surface.
'I sparred against Michelle today, that was pretty entertaining. Also, your mom bought a new set of cake tins so you have lots of cake eating to look forward to when you get back home. Oh! I also forgot to mention that the book Alexander's father wrote is one of the best selling out there right now!'
'No!' Erin pouted, 'You know what I meant!'
Anna sighed and walked into the camp, settling down in front of a small green fire at the very center. The wood they found on this planet burned green for some reason and the smoke always smelled like some fancy perfume so they tried to keep one going at all times of the day, as a nice little bonus for the hell hole they were currently in.
'There's really not much to say, like every other time you have asked about him. He's still technically grounded for running away and spends most of his time either at home or training with Alexander. They are both still on the basics so it's really not even that interesting to watch them run around with wooden swords. However, he did go out today.'
'Why? And with who?'
'Janice's daughter asked for some help moving her room around so Max's mom volunteered him for that. Like I said, nothing much happened.'
'He was alone with Cassie, in her room? That big breasted bimbo?' Erin growled as her emotions once more got the better of her. She never use to have this problem and it was a real challenge trying to deal with them. In the past she didn't so much as care who Max was with or what they were doing. Actually, there was that one time she caught him in bed with her best friend and she ended up going into a rage and chucking his bed deep into the forest. Besides that there was nothing though.
'Calm down Erin,' her sister cautioned sternly, 'Cassie is only fifteen and I actually believe she is interested in Alex. And they weren't alone to begin with. Part of Max's punishment is that someone from the family has to be with him whenever he is out of the house, and this time it was me. All he did was move her bed and dresser and then headed straight home.'
'He better have! I don't trust Cassie!'
Anna sighed to herself and tossed a small log onto the fire as the flames quickly began to devour it. 'Has anyone told you that you might be just a little possessive when it comes to Maxy?'
'I don't see how that's a bad thing,' Erin argued and all Anna could do was sigh in frustration. 'Are you not possessive of Gabriella? We may not be forced to fall in love with one another anymore but that doesn't mean our love is any less powerful, Anna. So what if I am possessive, he and I are in love so where's the problem?'
'This is the very reason why you were exiled here. It's your over bearing love that caused you to take Max away from his family when he was dying. I'm not saying that being in love is a bad thing, just that you are a little loopy with it. You know what I mean?'
Before answering, Erin crossed back over to her bedroll and plopped down on it, her green eyes never leaving her sisters face. 'Again, where's the problem? Didn't Gabby do a similar thing when you died in the fight against Ares? If I remember the story correctly, she almost attacked mom and dad when they tried to touch your body and then she tried to commit suicide by attacking the demons home world. So I don't think you can lecture me on the ethics of love.'
'First of all, those were Gabby's actions and not mine!' Anna barked as it seemed her patience had finally run out. 'And there were some pretty big things behind her motivation! Like the fact that she had been kidnapped and warped by Ares into believing her family was the enemy! As for going off to kill herself, well I can't exactly deny that because that's precisely what she did and she has even admitted to it.'
Anna stood up from where she sat in front of the fire and crossed over until she was looking directly down at Erin, a hard look in her eyes that told the younger Immortal that she was in for yet another lecture. Erin had heard stories of when Anna and Gabby were younger and how they used to be so fun to be around, but all she ever knew were the two strict and upstanding women who made her life a living hell with all their lectures and other such nonsense. What she wouldn't give to have been born before them, that way she could have been the big dog in the family and gotten her way whenever she wanted.
'Look, I don't mean to come down on you hard or anything but I really think you need to reevaluate your relationship with Max. He is indeed in love with you and you should realize that with those feelings there is no way he would ever knowingly do something that would end up hurting you. Are you afraid he's going to cheat on you or something? Don't be! Like you said yourself, our love is a very powerful emotion and once we feel it there is no going back. There is no one else on this planet in his eyes besides you. There's no reason for you to be so jealous at the mention of a girl's name.'
'I'm not afraid of him cheating on me!' Erin yelled and sprung to her feet so she and her sister were nose to nose. 'I just don't like other girls looking at him like he doesn't even belong to me!'
'He doesn't belong to you though, Erin. Yes, you two love each other, but that does not make him your property. This problem was the main reason for you coming here, without him. Dad figured you needed some time away to get your head on straight, but it doesn't seem like it has worked.'
'So, what, are you going to keep me here for another six months?' Erin asked and tried to make her voice as hard as she could. The prospect of being trapped there for another six months was an absolutely horrifying idea to her but she couldn't let Anna see that weakness in her. She had to be strong or it could get even worse.
'No, I'm not that mean. I was separated from Gabby for only a few days back when she was taken by Ares, and those were the worst days of my life. You have been gone for six months and I think enough is enough. You have been punished for your crimes and now we just have to work on your over attachment. We need to get you to a place of being where you can be with Max but not be so controlling with those around him.'
'And how do you plan to accomplish that? How did Gabriella get over her over attachment to you?'
'She really didn't have a choice. Neither of us did. Shortly after she came back I died. And then when I came back we were so preoccupied with finding out what had happened to us that we didn't even have sex for close to a year. After the gods came back and we gave up most of our power we could finally settle down and be a real couple for the first time, but we also had help controlling ourselves taking care of both Lucy and your mother who were pregnant with you and Max. I think what you need is a hobby, or something else time consuming to keep your mind busy during the day.'
'Easier said than done.'
Anna placed both of her hands on Erin's shoulders and squeezed gently, seeing a look in the young girls eyes that told her she was lost on what to do. If there were any people on the planet that would know what she was going through it would definitely be her sisters, who had gone through similar times in their lives when they had thought they lost each other. It was just hard for Erin to listen to their words though, because her emotions were so strong they often ruled her now.
'You can do it, all you have to do is try. You just need to get your priorities in order. When you get home in the morning, just spend a little time with mom and dad and don't bring up Max for a few hours. Maybe if you set yourself a schedule, designate times when you can be with him and keep it simple at first. Go on dates, have a real relationship and above all else, observe the rules your parents give and take the time to understand these powerful feelings. Max isn't going anywhere sweetie.'
Erin nodded softly and her sister smiled at her before giving her a gentle hug and then turning back to the fire. She didn't know exactly how to feel about what she had been told, but she tried her best to listen to the message. Anna was probably right, if she just appeared back home and immediately clung to Max like she hadn't learned her lesson then she would probably be sent back to this squalid hell hole for another six months. And Erin didn't want that at all. So, when she got up the next morning and went back home she would try her hardest to make sure it looked like she was better. She doubted she could pull it off completely but she also had to think about what Max would think if she was still a little crazy when it came to him.
Would he still want her to be in love with him if she kept acting this way? Erin couldn't stand it if he ended up coming to hate her because she wouldn't let him breath. For almost her entire life she had always been seen by him as nothing more than a huge pain in his ass and she didn't want to go back to that spot. After everything that had happened, after almost losing him and then being forced to stay away from him for six months, her feelings had only grown. She would do whatever it took to be with him for the rest of time, even if that meant obeying her families rules and advice.
Pristine white snow swirled in large banks around the narrow roads and small paths leading to the numerous small homes that lined the quiet street of a small sleepy town in Northern Canada. It was Christmas Eve, a time of celebration, caroling, gift giving, and large feasts for most of the world over. This Christmas Eve, however, was a homecoming for Erin and she had been looking forward to this day for the last six months.
As she stood on the snowy walkway leading to the front door of her home, Erin's eyes were automatically drawn away to the left and four houses down where she spied the one house she really wanted to be in at the moment; Max's house. A feeling of desire welled up in the pit of her stomach but she suppressed that urge and took a heavy step forward as she willed her body on. She was going to do her best to follow what Anna had told her the previous night and greet her parents first before she ran into Max's arms. She also hadn't seen her mother or father and six months and she was feeling a little nervous.
She could have just as easily teleported directly into the house instead of outside on the sidewalk, but after being gone for so long she almost didn't feel welcome. Her home for the last six months had been a small bedroll on the hard ground of an alien planet and in front of a green sparkling fire. This two story home didn't feel like it belonged to her anymore.
A frosty wind ghosted through the narrow street and sent a chill up Erin's spine that had nothing to do with the cold. In fact she didn't even feel the chill in the air. As each tentative step she took towards the front door her soul began to feel heavier and heavier, like what awaited her on the other side was her doom. She knew that wasn't actually true, but she didn't know how she would be received by her parents after being gone for so long. She hadn't been expecting a big emotional welcome the moment she appeared on the street, but she had been hoping for her family to be standing there with open arms by an open door. What she got instead was a calm silence that ran through the street and an almost empty looking home staring her down.
After what felt like an hour, Erin finally stepped up the front door and held her hand high as she had been about to knock before she froze. She wasn't sure if she should knock and announce her return or perhaps just open the door and enter on her own. She might not have wanted to teleport directly into the house but no one from the family or their close friends knocked anymore. Her mind and heart were split on what to do and she really wished in that moment that Anna had come home with her so she would have someone to ask about what she should do. Instead Anna had gone off to meet up with Gabriella wherever she was at and left Erin to her own devices.
Another few minutes passed as she stood there rooted to the front step before she finally swung her hand and gently knocked on the door three times. A moment passed before Erin even heard someone in the house begin to move and another second later the door swung open slowly, a tall and strong looking young man with a noble face and rugged good looks stood in the entrance way, a neutral look on his face.
'Hi... dad,' Erin whispered and found she couldn't meet her father's eyes. 'It's been a while.'
Her father looked over her from head to toe silently, his face never showing an ounce of emotion. Erin's fear of feeling rejected in the face of her father was quickly welling up inside her heart and she stopped breathing as the moment of silence dragged on and threatened to drag her down with it. Suddenly, before she realized it, her father's lightning reflexes and immense speed had wrapped her up in a powerful hug that squeezed all the air out of her lungs and lifted her off her feet, the feeling of something wet touching her neck. The mighty, dignified, and eldest Immortal was weeping.
'It's been too long!' he breathed and his breath instantly dried the wet and cold tears that had been collecting on her neck. 'I've missed you so much!'
'Y... you're crushing me, father,' Erin breathed and after a moment her father released his embrace and placed her back on the ground. There were thick tears in his eyes and a wide smile on his face as he gazed upon his youngest daughter; the woman he called his baby girl until she was eighteen.
'Come in,' he motioned and together they entered the warm and loving home, the door closing shut behind their backs, 'I wasn't expecting you back so early. Otherwise I would have been waiting by the door like a worried dog.'
'Why didn't you expect me this early?' Erin asked as they walked through the hallway, hand in hand, and entered the large living room that hadn't changed one bit since the last time she had seen it. There was a large couch facing a wall with a mounted flat screen television and a very comfortable looking leather recliner. Pictures of every member of the family hung on the walls and a bottle of wine sat open on the glass coffee table. It looked like her mother had been up late again the night before.
'I figured your first stop would be to Francis's place, to visit Max.'
'I... I wanted to spend some time with you and mom first,' Erin answered against her will and was rewarded with a very warm smile as her father sat down on the couch and turned the television off. Erin sat down next to him and returned the smile half heartedly. It was apparent now that what Anna had told her the night before was true, her father was afraid she hadn't learned her lesson. She had to play it cool or she might not get the chance to see Max again. 'Where is mom?'
'She and your sisters are currently setting up a little surprise for this evening,' her father answered with a hint of pride hiding on the edges of his young looking eyes. Looking at this man no one would ever guess that he was born before the great Roman empire had even been an infant. In fact he looked to be the same age as Erin was and anyone who didn't know who or what they were often assumed they were brother and sister. It was strange growing up with such a young looking mother and father.
'Surprise? What's going on?'
'I thought Anna would have told you last night, it's Samantha's and Thomas' Eighteenth wedding anniversary tonight. We're throwing them a party in your mother's realm and they are currently remodeling it to fit everyone. The whole family and a lot of our friends are going to be there.'
'Oh, I see...' Erin sighed. She had totally forgotten about the other members of the family in her exile as most of her thoughts were dominated by Max. She really did have a problem, didn't she? In fact, she didn't even know what the state of the world was right now. When she had left on her six month trip it had been on the verge of chaos as the mortals were beginning to distrust them for what Eric had done. The UN had even made it illegal for the Immortals to have children unless they approved it. That was a pretty big deal. 'How are things with the UN going?' she asked numbly.
'We're not on the best terms,' her father answered and his eyes darkened around the edges. 'All of the Immortals that worked with them ended up leaving in the aftermath of the Eric incident, including Francis who had been the face of the UN. The restriction on our breeding still stands but when it was brought to the floor it wasn't an unanimous decision. Certain countries, like Canada, Australia, the UK, and a few others are refusing to enforce it. If we wish we can give birth to children in those countries with no problems.'
'That's good then,' Erin said and there must have been something gleaming in her eye because her father suddenly shook his head and sighed knowingly.
'If you get pregnant you will be in big trouble missy! Even if these countries will allow it because of the good standing between us it's still not a good idea right now. We need to win back their support right now, not antagonize them further. Please tell me that you will understand this.'
'Don't worry daddy, I don't plan on getting pregnant... yet,' Erin answered, the last word under her breath so her father didn't hear. She plastered a sweet smile to her face and snuggled into her father's side, just like she used to when she was younger and up past her bed time as she began to fall asleep on the couch.
There was a moment of awkward silence between them and Erin struggled to find something to say. It had been so long since she had a conversation with someone other than her sisters that she didn't really know where to start anymore. It didn't help that her thoughts kept going back to Max who was only a few houses down from her at that very moment. All it would take was a small jump through space and she would be able to embrace him, but right now she had her father to worry about. She had to make him believe she was reformed and understood that what she did was wrong.
'I really hate to bring this up,' her father started, slowly, 'but as your father I have to ask: have you learned your lesson?'
Erin took a deep breath before answering, clearing her head of all distractions as she gathered her words together. 'I'll be honest, it sucked. Big time. But I understand why you and mom had to do it. What I did wasn't right and the only excuse I have is that I was distraught at the time. I'm going to try my best to be a better person.'
Did that sound too rehearsed? She hoped not, even though she had spent the better part of the previous night formulating exactly what to say. Her father tilted his head slightly as he regarded her deeply but after a few seconds a small smile split his lips and he seemed to buy what she was saying. It took everything Erin had not to smile slyly back at him. She just had to hold out a little longer.
'I'm glad to hear that sweetheart. I really am. You may not believe this, but I know how you felt at that time. This isn't something I openly tell people, but back when I lost your mother in her first life, when she was known as Aglea, I took my own life in my grief. It was one of the stupidest things I ever did but I was so over come with sadness that I saw no other option. If I hadn't been reborn the very next moment I wouldn't be here right now. Over time though, I realized that my course of action was not right and I only hurt those closest to me. Our emotions sometimes rule us, but we have to become stronger than them or we will always be going in circles.'
Erin nodded slowly, hearing nothing more than what she had already heard from both her sisters before. She knew her father only meant well but it was still hard to separate her feelings from her mind like that. 'Thanks dad, I'll do my best so I don't hurt anyone again. I promise.'
'Good. Now I'd love nothing more than to sit here the rest of the day with you and talk but I need to go visit your mother and help her out before the party starts tonight. Why don't you go and say hi to your cousins for a while. They're all dying to see you again, especially Alexander. I'd stay away from Max's place though; he's still grounded until tomorrow. You'll see him again tonight at the party.'
Erin couldn't keep the groan from escaping her throat and for a moment she thought she had ruined all her work. Instead her father softly chuckled at her frustration and placed a gentle hand on the top of her head and petted her for a moment.
'I know sweetie, it hurts to not be able to see him. I believe you're strong enough to wait a little longer though. You are my daughter after all and we didn't name you Erin for nothing. She was the strongest willed person I ever knew and you really take after her. Now be a good girl and visit the family. I'll see you later.'
Her father planted a kiss on her forehead and a moment later teleported to go visit her mother and see if she needed any help. Erin sat on the couch, alone for the first time in six months and allowed to go anywhere she wanted. She could very well go visit Max but her father's words rang in her head. He believed in her. Believed that she was strong enough to not fall to the temptation and she didn't want to let him down. He was finally smiling at her again and it made her so happy. Besides, if she did go visit Max and his parents got mad he might be grounded longer because of it and she didn't want that at all.
For the rest of the day Erin teleported from one part of the world to the next and visited with her family, talking to them and catching up as best she could. Her father had been right, everyone had seemed to miss her pretty badly. In her exile only Anna and Gabriella had been allowed to visit her, otherwise it wouldn't have been much of a punishment. It was nice to see everyone's faces again and for the first time in a long time she felt mostly whole again. 'Mostly whole' because a huge chunk of her heart was still missing from not being able to look upon Max's face yet.
The one who took up most of her time was Alexander, who was stuck at home alone still under house arrest for disobeying his mothers orders and tracking down Eric pretty much on his own. Both of his parents were off with other family members getting ready for the big day so he was left mostly to his own devices in the large home in Los Angeles his father had bought half a year ago. The young half Immortal teenager was a chatter box and droned on and on until Erin was sure her ears were going to start bleeding. It wasn't all bad though. If it hadn't been for the little guy Max would have died and Eric would probably be still wandering around the world killing people at random.
They chatted mostly about his life at school and how the backlash of living in a suddenly hostile country was affecting him. Apparently the kids at his school started to avoid him after the Immortals were blamed for all the destruction that happened in Eric's war path and he had been begging his mother to let him transfer to the school she and the other Immortals had attended when they were growing up in Canada. Sadly she told him to stick it out and show not only the other students but the world itself that they weren't going to back down and that they meant no one any harm.
After a few hours of talking with him she decided to get going as she was dying to have a real shower and some of her mother's cooking that she hoped was stocked in the fridge or freezer. She said a quick goodbye to the now pouting boy and teleported home, a sense of calm enveloping her the moment she smelled the light flowery fragrance of the spray her mother used to keep it smelling clean. It was amazing how a familiar environment could lift a person's spirits when all they wanted to do was curl up in a ball and let the world go on around them. It was hard being away from Max.
Erin took a long and very hot shower that seemed to clean her down to the very core and then spent the next two hours sitting in her room in front of a mirror going through a thousand different outfits trying to see what looked best on her. For the better part of six months she had lived, eaten, and slept in her armor so it was hard to nail down the perfect clothing to wear that night. She wanted to look as gorgeous as possible for when Max first laid eyes on her again, and in the end she settled on something both beautiful and mindful of the occasion. After having gone through a few dozen magazines she managed to find a nice dress that showed off a touch of cleavage, hung low in the back, and had slits up the sides of her legs to allow her a wider gait. Plus, it looked great in baby blue; a color that just happened to be Max's favorite.
By the time the bell on the clock downstairs tolled seven times to tell her the time, she had materialized the dress, fixed her hair, and added a slight smattering of make up in an attempt to get the best effect possible. A moment before she meant to teleport to the location of the party there was a soft knock on her bedroom door and then her mother entered a second later, her long red hair cascading down her back and wearing an almost similar dress to what Erin had chosen. It was easy to see where she had gotten her sense of style. It definitely wasn't from her father who still felt more at home in either sweat pants or an ancient Greek toga.
'Welcome home, dear,' her mother said softly and it sounded a little stiff. There was a smile on her face but Erin was having trouble deciding if it looked friendly or maybe just a little forced.
'Thanks. I was going to come say hi but I didn't want to get in the way of you and the others.'
'Was that really the reason? You didn't spend the entire day with Max?'
Erin tried not to let that question take her by surprise, but it was impossible. When Max was lying in her arms over six months ago, on the verge of dying, it had been her mother Amy who tried to get Erin to let him be with his mother and father. In that moment Erin had such a strong outburst that she was seriously contemplating lashing out at her mother and she still felt guilty about it to this day. She had hurt her mother just as bad as she had hurt Max's parents that night and she would probably be trying to make up for it for the rest of her life.
'I visited everyone but him,' Erin admitted with a small and sad sigh. 'Most of the day I was with Alex actually. He wouldn't stop talking long enough to breath.'
'He's been dying to talk to you, and I am very glad to hear you went and saw him today. Never forget just how much you owe him. And if what you are telling me is true, that you haven't seen Max yet today, then I am very proud of you. Come and give me a hug.'
Amy's icy exterior quickly melted and Erin rushed into her mother's warm and loving embrace, feeling most of her worries melt away. Gabriella was undoubtedly a daddy's girl, but to Erin there was no one better than her mother. She hated that she had hurt her mother. The two things she wanted in this world were Max by her side and a smiling mother who would always watch over her. If she could have both of those at the same time she would always be happy. Right up until the end of creation.
'I missed you so much!' Erin wailed and suddenly felt a few tears ruining her mascara. Her mother held her tighter and sighed deeply as they embraced for what felt like an hour.
'I missed you too, honey. Now let's fix up your makeup and get you to the party before the guests of honor arrive.'
Just like when Erin was younger, her mother helped her get ready, and with her superior skills, fixed all the little mistakes Erin had made when putting on her makeup. Before she knew it they were warping through space towards her mother's realm, their hands locked together. Erin felt like she was five years old again and she wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. She sort of missed those simpler times when her mother took care of everything for her and the only thing she had to worry about was Max picking on her. However, having him in her arms would be a lot more special to her.
Erin was totally shocked when they landed in the soft white sand of the small beach that made up her mother's private sanctuary. Unlike the last time she had been here, when it had been a tiny island with a handful of trees and only the large moon for light, it had now tripled in size and a little oasis had sprung up at the very center and was enclosed by more than two dozen very tall palm trees. Strung up along the tops of the trees were hundreds of twinkling white lights and tiki torches stood at regular intervals, creating a very pleasant and almost uplifting atmosphere like you would see in tropical resorts; only with an Immortal flair.
More than four dozen guests had already arrived on the small island and were currently huddled in small groups talking in excited voices as they sipped on expensive looking wines and imported beers. There were a smattering of teenagers and small children throughout the crowd and most of them had busied themselves at the food tables set up by the gorgeous oasis and stuffed their faces with some of the most expensive foods they would ever see. Every few minutes there would be a soft pop that rang through the air and one of her cousins would appear with a mortal guest before disappearing again like some kind of living taxi. Erin was glad she hadn't been settled with that duty for the night. In fact she was pretty surprised she hadn't been given any job that night.
Erin was able to take all of this in and at the very same time she was also scouring the crowd of faces for the one that really mattered to her in that moment. She saw most of her male cousins but sadly she couldn't pick out Max in the group of Immortals that mingled freely with the mortals. The more she looked the more her heart began to sink and she unconsciously squeezed her mother's hand.
'Don't worry, Erin, Lucy and Francis had to run a quick errand before coming and Max is with them. He'll be here soon,' her mother assured her softly and smiled sweetly at her. 'Let's go say hi to Janice and her husband.'
Erin let herself be dragged through the crowd by her mother and quickly found herself standing in front of Janice, Gabby's best friend from high school, and her banker husband who seemed to feel a little out of place among all these gorgeous Immortals walking around. Standing off to one side with a glass of wine in his hand was Janice's eldest son, Tim, who was in his first year at Harvard Medical School, and on the other side was their youngest child, Cassie, who seemed to be peering through the crowd just as hard as Erin had been a moment ago.
'It's good to see you back, Erin,' Janice smiled and they hugged briefly.
'You have no idea how good it is to be back. I'm sorry I didn't come see you earlier today when I first got back.'
'Oh it's alright, sweetie. Gabs has kept me up to date on how you were doing in your long absence. Besides, I didn't have much free time today. What with getting my husband into his suit and trying to get Cassie to calm down long enough to do what she needed to do.'
Against her own will, Erin found herself glaring almost angrily at the fifteen year old girl who was still peering around as if she was looking for someone important. The conversation Erin had had with Anna about Max being with her in her room flashed through her mind and an almost uncontrollable urge to push the girl washed over her. Thankfully she was still holding hands with her mother and the warmth she felt coming from that hand was enough to push that thought away. It didn't mean that she didn't want to still though.
'You don't happen to know where Alex is, do you?' Cassie asked suddenly, coming to face Erin and her mother as a hopeful look crossed her girlish features. It looked like Anna had been telling the truth, Cassie did have a crush on Alex. All the better.
'He'll be arriving with his parents in a little bit. Still no progress on that front?' Erin's mother asked with a knowing smile and Janice couldn't help but giggle at that.
'No! It's almost like he's avoiding me. I tried calling him last night, like Max said I should, but it went straight to voicemail.'
'You asked Max for advice on Alexander?' Erin asked before she could stop herself. Her voice wasn't angry or even jealous, actually it was almost scheming.
'That's why I asked him to come over yesterday. I didn't need my room rearranged but I did want some advice, and Max seems to know him the best. He told me I should just be honest with him and hope for the best.'
Janice softly swatted her daughter on the arm and giggled some more while her husband buried himself in the glass of wine in his hand and turned to talk to his eldest son who was also looking a little out of place. Then again, he should feel that way. Michelle was wandering around here somewhere and Tim must be a little gun shy being around her. A few years back he had confessed his love to the Immortal doctor only to be gently shot down the very next second. It was hard to watch but Michelle had admitted that she didn't hate him or anything, just that she wanted to focus on her career for a while. That's also probably the reason Tim dedicated himself to becoming a doctor and getting into one of the best schools in the country for it.
'Max's advice, while sweet, is probably not the best way to go. Just ask your brother,' Janice laughed loudly and even Erin's mom joined in. 'Just be yourself around him darling, if he doesn't fall for you than he's an idiot.'
'That might not be such a good idea either,' Erin found herself speaking while a plan was forming in her head. 'Alexander is an idiot. How about this Cassie; when Alex gets here come and find me and I will do whatever I can to get you two together. He's pretty shy around the girls.'
'That's a great idea,' her mother smiled and squeezed her hand gently.
'Yeah, great idea,' Janice sighed. 'If you do start dating him you better make sure you don't do anything bad before you're eighteen! I've heard some of Gabby's stories about how hard it is for Immortals to control their lust!'
There was a moment of awkward silence for a moment but it was quickly broken up by loud laughter as both Erin's mother and Janice broke into a fit they couldn't seem to control. All Cassie could do was try not to blush and stop making eye contact with everyone gathered. She did quietly thank Erin for her help though. If only she knew the real reason why she was getting this help.
They talked to Janice and her family for a few more minutes but then Erin excused herself and walked over to the table with all the booze on it and made herself a large glass of wine. Even if she couldn't feel the alcohol like mortals could, she still liked the taste and it felt good to have something in her hands so she wasn't just wringing them waiting for Max to arrive. Her cousin Michelle ended up finding her by the table as she refilled her own glass and the quickly began to chat back and forth.
Most of the conversation was about how nice they each looked and how happy they were for Sam and Tom for their special day, even though it was just an eighteenth anniversary and not a more prestigious one like the twentieth. However it didn't take long for them to get to the real meat of the conversation and Erin started it when she noticed that Michelle kept glancing over at Janice and her family. She was too easy to read some times.
'Just go talk to him,' Erin said, causing Michelle to blush slightly and snap her attention back to her younger cousin.
'Go and talk to Tim! You keep staring at him. You're not even very sneaky about it either!'
Michelle blushed even deeper now and her eyes shifted away from Erin's as the embarrassment struck her. Erin was going to have to make meddling in other people's love lives a habit, because it was working really well on taking her mind off of Max. Well, her mind wasn't exactly off of him, she was just able to endure his absence with a little less pain.
'He told me he liked me years ago...' Michelle began and her voice was really low. 'He probably doesn't even remember it.'
'Get a grip will you? You're supposed to be older than me, remember? You're an Immortal woman, and a pretty hot one at that. And he is a young mortal man who, for most of his life, was surrounded by you and our female cousins. He confessed to you though. Not to anyone else. He's obviously still in love with you as I'm sure you've noticed how fidgety he is being right now. Hell, he is even trying to become a doctor. Do you think he just wants to save lives? I think he's also doing it to get closer to you.'
'Yeah but I turned him down,' Michelle argued but Erin just smiled.
'Because you said you wanted to focus on being a good doctor. We're back to why he wants to become one. Look, just go over there and strike up a conversation with him. Just make it about his studies and give him a little advice. You'll see that he's still in love with you. Mentor him in your field a little, show him what it's like to be what you are.'
'Mentor him, huh?' Michelle mused and a small smile spread across her face. 'That might not be a bad idea. I still want to focus on my job but having a man in my life wouldn't kill me right? Besides, he is pretty sweet and I kind of like the dynamic of a student and his mentor together. Feels kinda naughty.'
'Whatever floats your boat,' Erin groaned. That was more than she ever needed to know about Michelle and she was already looking for an easy exit.
Thankfully she didn't have to wait long for one to show up as a few moments later, as Michelle continued to blush and giggle like some perverted old woman, a soft pop broke through the bubbling chatter and Erin felt her heart almost leap out of her chest as, through the crowd of people, she spied the most gorgeous face that had ever walked this earth. Max's short perfectly cut black hair, his deep brown eyes that sparkled in the twinkling lights, and that powerful jaw line that had haunted her dreams for the past six months.
Before she even realized what she was doing, Erin was rushing across the island kicking up a storm of sand behind her, and leaping high into the air. In a flurry of motion and a few shocked gasps that were lost in Erin's lust filled mind, she was in his arms and her lips locked firmly against his. For a moment he seemed surprised by this sudden greeting but as she wrapped her arms around the back of his head he wrapped his own around her waist and lifted her off the ground, grounding his lips against hers as his own passion took over.
Nothing else in the world mattered in that moment besides the two of them. Their lips parted quickly and their strong tongues began to swirl back and forth as Erin practically latched onto Max with all her limbs. She was totally lost in her own little world of pleasure and her hands were already gripping at the collar of his white dress shirt, threatening to tear it off. She wanted nothing more in that moment than for him to push her roughly up against a tree and take her. It had been so long since they had had sex that it wasn't even funny anymore. In fact, they had only had sex once before and he had been mortal then. She wanted him to ravage her right now.
It just wasn't meant to be.
'Erin!' a growling voice hissed through her mind and she realized that Gabby was using telepathy. 'Get a hold of yourself and take a look around for just one second before you try to rape someone!'
Begrudgingly Erin pulled away from the kiss at the same time Max had. He had probably received a similar warning from Gabriella as well as his face looked a little crestfallen. Doing like she had been told, Erin looked around at her surroundings and noticed that most of the people gathered for the party were staring at them with wide eyes. That wasn't even the worst of it though. Standing right next to Max were two faces that Erin did not want watching her as she molested him; her grandparents from her mother's side.
'Hi, Grangran, Grandad.' she breathed and tried her best to force a sincere smile on her face, all the while in the back of her mind she was cursing them for having to be there right now.
'Erin,' her grandfather said stiffly and eyed her hard, 'I'm glad you're okay.'
'Come on sweetheart,' her grandmother said and elbowed the elderly man tenderly in the ribs, 'Max did his job and brought us safely here so let's give him a little breathing space and catch up with his girlfriend.'
Erin's grandparents didn't get the chance to move on and mingle with the crowd at hand as a moment later there was another pop and suddenly Max's parents arrived just behind him, another set of elderly people in tow. The two newcomers were Erin's other grandparents, the foster couple who took care of Erin's father when he was growing up in the same town as her mother. Erin wanted to say hello to them but suddenly realized she was still draped around Max and his parents were eying them evilly. Actually it was just his mother, Lucy, who was giving her the stink eye. Francis, his father, looked a little amused and had a goofy grin on his face.
'Why the hell did you take off ahead of us?' his mother breathed angrily and Max helped Erin back to her feet as he sighed heavily and looked at his shoes. 'This is exactly the reason why I wanted us all to arrive at the same time!'
'Sorry...' Max responded lamely and his father laughed softly to himself.
A moment later both of Erin's parents and her sisters arrived, greeting everyone warmly but keeping a close eye on Max and Erin as they stood there feeling a little ashamed of themselves. It was taking everything she had to be this close to Max and not jump on him again, and she actually found herself wanting some kind of distraction so she could compose herself once more. Sadly, her mother turned briskly towards her and stared her down.
'Well,' her Grangran said to remind everyone they were, indeed, there, 'how about us older folks go and get a drink and let the young ones sort all this out. Looks like a family discussion is needed.'
'We are family, dear,' her grandfather from her mother's side said but was quickly hushed as the four of them left together. No sooner had they gotten out of earshot then Lucy turned back to the group and seethed visibly.
'What happened?' she asked but neither Max nor Erin answered.
'Everyone here almost got a public sex show,' Anna giggled but was quickly quieted by Gabby who wrapped her arm around her lovers waist. 'Sorry.'
'Calm down, everyone. To be honest I kind of expected this sort of thing to happen,' Francis spoke and it surprised Erin to hear him talk about it like this. She was sure he would be just as upset about his son being with Erin after everything that had happened when he lie unconscious in an operating room. 'They haven't seen one another for half a year so a little zeal is to be expected. Imagine if one of us had to be separated from our loved one for that amount of time.'
'I was away from Anna for years and I almost raped her right in front of Erin in my old room,' Gabriella answered and Erin realized she was talking about her deceased aunt for whom she was named. 'I think we should just be lucky they are still wearing their clothes, and as far as I could tell, there was no inappropriate touching.'
'That's beside the point!' Lucy growled and a small wave of power washed over the group as she flexed her power slightly.
'It's okay Lucy,' Erin's mother spoke and moved next to her close friend, 'nothing too serious happened and it was probably a mistake to make their first meeting after so long in such a private place like a party. But I do think we need to talk about this. James?'
Erin's father looked deep in thought for a moment and took a small sip from the beer he held in his large hand. He looked from his daughter to Max and then back again like he was trying to think of something to say but nothing seemed to come to mind. Francis seemed to be in the same situation as he as well found solace in looking back and forth between the two young children.
'Okay, here's how it's going to go down,' her father spoke finally, 'first of all, this is a public party and you two are not the only ones in the world. Remember why we are all here today, for Samantha and her husband. So let's keep everything PG. Keep a respectable distance between you two at all times and keep in mind that Max is still grounded for another few hours. Holding hands and hugging is fine as long as one of us is nearby to keep an eye on you and make sure nothing besides that happens.'
'That sounds fair,' Francis smiled and avoided looking at his angry wife.
'And what about at midnight, when we said Max was free to use his powers at his discretion again?' Lucy asked.
'What do you mean, 'use his powers at his discretion?'' Erin asked but Max shook his head telling her to just leave it alone right now.
'Lucy, baby, Max is a grown adult and he deserves the chance to live his own life. Both he and Erin have done their time and should be allowed a little freedom. Try to remember what it was like when we first started dating.'
'Actually I think Lucy brings up a good point,' Erin's mother agreed and suddenly Erin had the strong urge for another, more powerful drink. It would probably take all the alcohol at this party just to make her feel even a little tipsy and she was seriously thinking about testing that theory. 'I think they need a set of rules to keep them in line for the next little while.'
'Like what?' Anna asked and everyone shrug their shoulders. 'Maybe they can't pursue a relationship if they both don't have other things to occupy their daily lives. That way they don't end up spending every second of every day together.'
'That's not a bad idea, babe,' Gabby smiled and suddenly Erin felt a chill run the length of her spine. There was a gleam in her eye that said she was up to something sneaky and underhanded here. 'You've been thinking about making Erin enroll at a University, haven't you dad?'
James' eyes lit up suddenly and a big smile crossed his face as he realized what his daughter was up to. Even Francis was now wearing that same smile and it was almost like the two best friends were sharing one mind instead of having two separate ones. Whatever the two fathers were cooking up was bound to be no good for their children, but they didn't really have a say in the matter. They might be done their punishment but there was still bound to be parole waiting for them on the other side.
'That's perfect, Gabby,' her father breathed happily and kissed Gabby gently on the cheek as she smiled on and squealed a little under her breath at the praise. Sometimes Gabby was really weird. 'Erin, if you and Max want to date each other then we are going to do this like a mortal family would. First of all, if you want to see one another then first you have to agree to go to a University, that way you have something to do besides sit around in bed together. Is that something you can agree to?'
'Yes!' Erin answered without hesitation. For the last few years her father had been hounding her about going to school and pursuing a degree in whatever field she wanted, but at the time she had been too wound up about other things to even give it a thought. But now, if it meant she was allowed to see Max whenever she wanted, she would willingly do it.
'Same goes for you, Max,' Francis said and Max nodded his head almost as quickly as Erin had said yes. 'Good. I'm sure the two of you will end up going to the same school, so no fooling around when you are there. You both will have curfews and if either one of you is not back before that time there will be a penalty. You will also have chores at home every day that need to be done before you can even leave the house. Oh, and one more thing: NO pregnancy's!'
'DAD!'Max practically screamed. Suddenly both he and Erin had turned a bright red and were trying their hardest not to meet anyone's eyes.
'That's a serious rule,' Erin's mother said and she herself had suddenly turned a light shade of pink in the cheeks. 'For the first two weeks I don't think either of you should be having sex either. So all your dates will be chaperoned until that time is over. And I don't want to hear any talk about marriage for at least a year, is that understood?'
'Yes,' both Erin and Max said in unison.
'Is everyone satisfied with the rules?' her father asked and everyone but Lucy nodded. Her husband gently took her hand and squeezed it though and she finally, albeit begrudgingly, nodded her head. 'Very good. I'm glad we got that sorted out. Now, for both of you keeping your promises and sticking with your punishments I think a little reward is in order. Max gets off his grounding at midnight, so that gives you both plenty of time to join the party and make the rounds before Sam gets here. After the speeches and everything else is done why don't the two of you take some time to catch up. Alone.'
Erin turned to her father and looked him dead in the eye, her heart pounding in hope as she tried to see if he was just messing with her. She was met with a very sweet and sincere smile with no trace of a lie in his eyes. Before she knew it she was jumping into his arms and hugging him tightly, planting small kisses all over his cheeks. Her father just laughed and hugged her tightly before letting her back down so she could turn to see Max once more.
'Mom?' Max asked and was focused solely on Lucy. For a minute the two of them just stared each other down, Max hopeful and Lucy angrily. After a few more moments Lucy finally nodded her head once more and Max pulled her into a big hug that would hurt even an Immortal's rib cage.
'One more kiss, but then say goodbye to Erin for a little while so we can go and greet everyone,' she said and Max quickly put her down. He slowly turned to Erin and reached out his arms before pulling her closer to his body.
Standing on the tips of her toes she met his lips in a more subdued kiss, but one that still had a million pounds of passion behind it. Erin wrapped her arms around Max's neck and pressed her body as close to his as humanly possible as their lips moved together in almost perfect unison. She was well aware of all their parents and siblings watching them closely but she did her best to push them out of her mind. She just wanted one moment where she could have what she wanted; just one perfect moment.
Lucy must have figured that it had been long enough because she cleared her throat quickly and Max and Erin were forced to break their kiss and take a step away from one another. Her face felt hot and she was sure she was smiling stupidly, but she didn't care in that moment. That feeling didn't last forever though as Max quickly whispered that he loved her and then was dragged off by his overbearing mother to go see the rest of the family, leaving her there alone with her own parents and sisters, who both were staring at her with raised eyebrows.
'Erin, I expect you to send out some University applications during the new year,' her father said after clearing his throat and gaining her attention. 'For now though, give me a hug and join your sisters with the party.'
Erin gave her dad as big of a hug as she could muster and then took Gabby's outstretched hand and allowed herself to be pulled back into the crowd of people as most of them tried to ignore the fact that she had been all over Max only a few minutes ago.
Her sisters pulled her from one person to the next, saying hello and asking how their lives were going while making sure to keep Erin as far from Max and his parents as they could at all times. She could always see him out of the corner of her eyes but she did her best to focus on what she was doing in the moment, so she didn't end up tearing down everything that had been laid out for her by their parents. After everything that had happened they had been given a golden opportunity to be together finally and she didn't want to ruin that for anything. Even if they were considered adults by law, it meant nothing to the Immortals who lived eternally. They were still seen as the babies of the family.
Erin was glad to see that Michelle had moved towards Janice's son and was currently talking to him with a smile on her face, hopefully taking her advice and keeping things simple. Out of all the Immortals that deserved a good man in their lives, Michelle was definitely at the top of that list. Everything that had happened to her in the last war and her focus on saving as many lives as she could by being a doctor she didn't seem to have much time for being social. Tim was a good guy, as far as Erin could tell, and hopefully they would be happy with whatever they chose to do with each other.
A long and arduous half an hour later fanfare rushed through the crowd as suddenly Alexander arrived, dressed in a nice suit that surprisingly fit him, and announced that his parents were coming in a moment. Everyone gathered together around where Alex had appeared and awaited the guests of honor who arrived a moment later to raucous cheers and clapping. The celestial island was alive with noise and joy as Samantha and her husband waved to everyone, their faces crimson from all the attention.
Erin's father and Francis, the two leaders of the Immortals, stepped forward and handed the happy couple two glass's of champagne and everyone help up their own glass's in a toast. After everyone took a sip, Samantha hugged Francis, who she considered an older brother, and James who had been like a father to her when her own parents had died during the first war. Another cheer chorused through the crowd and people began to surge forward to congratulate the couple on making it this far and still being in love.
Before Erin got the chance to go and talk to them, Samantha's husband was standing on a rock and tapping his fingers against his glass in order to get everyone attention. At first only the Immortals were able to hear it but finally Francis cleared his throat louder than a mortal could and everyone fell into silence as they noticed the mortal man standing above everyone else with a smiling face.
'First, I would like to thank everyone for coming out and spending this night with my family and I. It really means a lot for all our friends and family to be here. Secondly I would like to extend a very heartfelt thanks to James, Amy, and the rest of his family for setting up this amazing event in one of the most amazing places I have ever laid eyes on. Samantha and I are very touched by everything you have done and I couldn't be happier than to consider you my family as well. If it hadn't been for James and Amy I probably never would have gotten the chance to meet Samantha and I don't even want to think about what my life would have been like without her or my wonderful son, Alexander.
'I'm not sure if many of you know, but for the longest time I feared that Samantha would never look at me like I really wanted her to. You see, when I first met her it felt like the entire world was crumbling around me and she was the most amazing and beautiful woman I had ever seen. This of course could have been caused by the fact that the world was literally ending. I was sixteen and trapped in Seattle during the last invasion, and was just trying not to die as demons scoured the city. It was then that I saw Samantha run through the streets, protecting anyone she found and cutting down any demon in her way. I knew in that moment, as she saved my life and took me to the safety of a military camp, that I fell in love with her. However, she didn't even seem to notice that I existed. And who could blame her? I was just a gangly teen covered in blood and dust.
'But I didn't give up. When information on who these remarkable people hit the news I knew I had to meet her again. It was a year before I got the chance though. I learned that she and the rest of her family were going to be in Germany on the first anniversary so I took all the money I had saved up and followed her there, just hoping to thank her for what she did for me. And can you believe it, I actually got the chance when I ran into her in a small little cafe where she was getting something to drink; even though she didn't need to drink. Being a budding writer and more brains then sense, I approached her about writing a feature on her family for a newspaper, even though I was still just a high school student and had no way of actually getting an article published in a newspaper. I think Sam knew that as well, but she didn't say so to my face.
'In fact, she didn't say anything. She just smiled and disappeared like she hadn't been there in the first place. I still refused to give up though. I probably chased her half way across the world before I got another chance to see her, and this time I refused to take no for an answer. I suppose I probably came off like a stalker, but I was dead set on getting to know this gorgeous creature more. And finally, after two months of letters and begging every time I saw her in person, I finally managed to get her to have lunch with me. It turned out that was all I needed as from that day onward we never looked back. Twenty four years later, a dazzling wife, and one of the smartest and strongest sons a man could ever ask for, and all I can think about is how great the future is going to be. I am truly blessed and I would just like to thank my lucky stars for having the chance to sit down for a quiet lunch with the woman of my dreams. Samantha, I may not be around forever, but I promise that even after I am no longer by your side, you will always remember just how much I love you!'
As Tom stepped down from the rock and pulled his blushing wife into his arms, planting a large kiss on her lips, everyone in the crowd raised their drinks one more time and yelled out 'Cheer's' in unison. After that the party went back to the way it had been before they had arrived and everyone talked amongst themselves as Samantha and Tom went through the crowd, personally thanking everyone who had come to see them with Alexander in tow. After a few long minutes they finally came up to Erin and her sisters and they all hugged and congratulated them before they broke into little chats about life and such.
'Sam,' Erin said trying to get the older Immortals attention for a moment, 'do you think I can borrow Alexander for a few minutes? There's something he and I need to talk about.'
'As long as it's not something dangerous again,' came the answer and Sam smiled at her showing she was only half serious. When it came to her son, Samantha could be very aggressive if he was to be put in danger. But after he showed he could handle himself in the show down with Eric, she had been a little more willing to let him grow up and join the family. Well, besides the fact that he and Max had been dropped down so they could only train with wooden swords like they had when they were all young kids trying to get used to their powers.
'Oh, it's nothing dangerous,' Erin laughed and then turned to her sisters, 'I am still with someone from the family, and I really need to talk to Alex alone. Is that a problem?'
Both of her sisters looked at each other for a moment and then slowly shook their heads. Erin didn't wait around for them to think on it anymore and grabbed Alex roughly by the wrist and led him through the bustling crowd of noisy people while he kept asking her what was so important. When she finally reached a fairly open spot near the food table she let him go and rounded on him, a serious look on her face.
'Whoa, you're kinda scaring me,' Alex whimpered and backed away a few steps. 'We better not be about to do something that's going to get me in trouble again. I'll be lucky if my mom lets me wear my armor again before I am fifty.'
'Do you have a girlfriend?' she asked and the look on his face shifted from guarded to puzzled.
'A girlfriend? Look, I know you've been gone for a long time but keep in mind that I've also been grounded for a while now too. You've also got a crazy look in your eyes right now and it's really starting to freak me out.'
Realizing she was starting to over obsess about fix him up with Cassie in an attempt to get Max off her mind and keep Cassie away from him, Erin took a deep breath and forcibly released the tension in her muscles. It wouldn't do well if she scared him off now. She still had close to an hour before she was allowed to leave with Max and she needed to keep her mind on something else. This was the only thing available.
'Sorry,' she apologized meekly, 'It's just been a hard day.'
'I can understand that,' Alex replied and took a step closer now, a small smile on his face. 'You've been away from him for half a year and it must really hurt. I heard your mom talking to my mom about what they are making you two go through just to hang out. If you ever need someone to talk to stop by any time, I'm usually pretty free now a days.'
'Wow, you've really grown up Alex,' she breathed a sigh of relief and really took his words to heart. Although she kind of missed the little goofball he used to be, it was to be expected that he had changed to much after he had killed Eric. 'No wonder she really likes you.'
'Who?' he cried out and a pink tinge touched his ears as his interest was now fully on what she had to say. Erin couldn't help but giggle at his reaction. It seemed he hadn't grown up fully yet. Just mention someone liking him and he acted like a ten year old brat.
'Cassie. She's been asking people for advice on how to get closer to you.'
'Oh, I see,' the boy answered and his eyes dropped at the name. 'Let me guess, she asked you to set us up?'
'Actually no, I offered to do it on my own. What's wrong? You don't seem too excited about it...'
Alex sighed and picked up a cracker from the table, shoving the whole thing into his mouth. 'Mfffph ummph...' he began to say but his words made no sense.
'Swallow first,' Erin offered and giggled again as he struggled to swallow the dry cracker almost whole.
'She's not interested in me... just that I'm an Immortal. Or half of one anyways. I've known she's liked me for a while now but every time we talk it's always about my powers or what the rest of the family can do. If the only reason she wants to be with me is because I'm some kind of cool and rare prize, then I really don't want to have anything to do with her.'
'Well I'm glad you aren't taking after Max in that respect,' Erin said softly and they both chuckled a little, 'but I don't think you have anything to worry about.'
'What do you mean?'
'You're too hard on yourself some times. A mortal falling for one of us is not uncommon, actually it's pretty damn common and all you have to do is look at Max's track record to see the evidence. But do you know what the difference is between your situation and that?' she asked and he shook his head, 'When Max was done with a girl he would ditch her and they would end up hating him, whereas you keep pushing Cassie away and she remains interested. You being part of this family and having the powers you have is what first interested her, but who you are as an individual is what keeps her interested.'
'Did she tell you that?' Alex asked and wasn't buying what she was selling him.
'No, she didn't have to. You're a good guy, and everyone knows that.'
'What if that isn't enough? Have you seen Richard and the other guys in our family? They are better looking and easily twice as strong as I am. Mortals don't love like we do. What if one day Cassie moves on to someone better because she thinks I am weak?'
'Stop that!' Gabby growled and slammed her fist into the palm tree she was standing next to. 'You are not weak! If anything you are on the same level as Gabby, Anna, and my dad! While the three strongest of us were scratching their heads trying to figure out a way to find Eric you had already pinned him down! If it wasn't for you things would have gone horribly wrong. You saved Max's life, twice! You also saved my life when you killed Eric when no one else saw him trying to run us through!'
After her little speech, Erin stopped talking and they fell into an uncomfortable silence as Alexander's eyes grew hard. He was undoubtedly remembering the moment when he took Eric's life and she didn't realize it had affected him this much. How could it not though? Alexander was just a teenager and he had to do something no one should ever have to do; kill another living person. Even if it was horrible though, he had saved both hers and Max's lives and she would always owe him for that. To her, Alexander really was one of the strongest in the group because of what he did.
'I was just lucky,' he whispered and his eyes were planted firmly on the sand at his feet. Erin wanted to tell him that wasn't true but she didn't get the chance as a large hand gently patted him on the shoulder from behind. Both Erin and Alex turned to see Max standing there with a large smile on his face, a nervous looking Cassie hiding behind his back and peering out at the guy she liked.
'She's right, Alex. You saved not only us, but everyone else too. And it wasn't luck. Because of you millions of lives were saved and you will always have everyone's respect. I personally was as good as dead, but because of your quick thinking I was able to come back from the brink. You'll always be my best friend.'
'Really?' Alex asked and his voice was barely a whisper as his Immortal emotions started to get the better of him. There were tears at the edges of his eyes and he quickly blinked them away and then wiped his hand across them for good measure.
'Really. You're a real hero and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Right, Cassie?'
The timid looking girl peeked her head out further and smiled weakly at Alex. 'Right! And by the way, I couldn't care less if you're Immortal or half Immortal. Even without your powers I'd still want to go out with you.'
Alexander opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out so he quickly closed it a moment later. Erin wrapped her arm around his shoulder and nudged him gently, flashing him a reassuring smile. She just hoped he believed their words, especially Cassie's. Erin really needed to get that big chested teenager away from her man.
'Now that we've got all that sorted, who wants some late night ice cream? I've got all our parents' permission to leave the party and have some fun on our own. Who's in?' Max beamed and Alexander instantly lit up. Ice cream was his favorite food in the whole world and even if he was stuffed to the gills he would find some way to make room for it.
'What about what our parents said? I thought your grounding wasn't over for another hour.'
'As long as you and I are accompanied by someone in the family we are allowed to hang out right now. That means little Alex here get's to be the chaperone.'
'Really?' Alex asked and Max nodded, 'Sweet! Alright you two! No kissing or disappearing on me or there will be big trouble! Also, you are so paying Max!'
Without even thinking it over the three Immortals and one mortal quickly leapt through space and escaped the suffocating party. Together, the two budding couples quickly found themselves in a little all night diner and sat down at an open table, ordering more ice cream than was needed. They spent the next few hours just enjoying one another's company, talking and laughing in a carefree way only young people could do.
Erin didn't even realize when the time for her private time with Max had come and passed. Right now she was just enjoying being with her friends again and holding hands with the man she loved under the table so 'Papa Alexander' couldn't see. If she could keep this moment going for the rest of eternity she would willingly give anything it took and she began to see what her sisters had been trying to tell her. She could have a normal and caring relationship with Max and not get over obsessive about every little thing. She was still a long way off from doing it comfortably, but she had the whole of eternity to work out the bugs.
That's not to say that later that night, after she and Max had dropped Alex and Cassie off at their respective homes, that they didn't rush off to the one place on the planet they could be totally alone. But that was something only she and he would ever know about.
Okay, so there wasn't any sex in this story. I had originally wanted to write a homecoming type of story that was mostly full of sex as they couldn't control their lust, but I realized that the way I left it off there was a bigger situation to deal with. Because of Erin's actions she kind of thrust herself into a hard spot and I felt I had to deal with it.
As I continue to write I became more interested in Erin's progression and I felt adding sex would only take away from that. So sorry if you had been looking forward to that but there will be more sex in the next one. Promise.
Don't forget to rate and comment on your way out and I hoped you enjoyed this.