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Adventures in Fantasyland

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"Avengers? That sounds good, let's watch that. " She says heading back to the living room and sitting on the couch after hiding the pickle ornament. "They made movies of all of them? I must read all the books! You know how much of a nerd I am!"

 

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"Feels nice. You're good at that. Ready for our date?" He said getting up and grinning at her. "Lets go, I'll take you out to lunch after the museum."

 

 

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Craven was up and preening his feathers, keeping off his leg. "I'm fine woman... I can't sit still for long. Pegasi aren't known to keep still. Not in our blood."

 

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"It is very good," Damien agreed. "Superheroes, aliens, and lots of explosions. It's great," He said, grinning boyishly as he popped the DVD into the player and turned on the movie. "You really don't need any foreknowledge to watch this one, but we'll have to watch the individual superhero movies that come before this one sometime," He said. "There's also a TV show, but I haven't watched it. Not enough time, with the kids and such." He shrugged, settling back into the couch and pulling her into his chest. One arm was wrapped around her midsection in a protective embrace, the other resting on the armrest after he put up the footrest. "It's not very romantic, but those types of movies are so cliche," He gave an overly dramatic sigh. He quieted as the movie began, watching with interest even though he had seen the movie several times before.

 

~

 

"Of course I am, I'm a cat. Grooming is kinda my thing," Brienna said, grinning. She grabbed her room key and phone, stuffing them in her purse before turning towards him. "It's the butterfly museum, right? Is that the one you're talking about? Does it have a butterfly garden? I love butterflies." She grinned broadly, showing off slightly sharpened incisors. "Lead the way," She told Hunter, grabbing his hand and towing him out the door.

 

~

 

Luna rolled her eyes good-naturedly, putting the bowls down. "Honestly, you pegasi," She sighed, shaking her head in amusement. "Always having to be up to something. I'm not sure how I ever managed to keep up with you as a kid, with all the energy you had - plus your longer legs," She shrugged. "It still hasn't evened out," She said, pouting slightly. As a stallion, and a pegasi one at that, Craven was still larger than Luna by quite a bit, though Luna's personality more than made up for the size difference. "Would you rather finish the job tomorrow? Or can you just use your wings to sorta hover off the ground? I'm not completely sure how that works, since when I last saw you your flying looked like a baby bird trying to flap for the first time," She teased, eyes sparkling mischievously and showing that she meant no harm by the comment.

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She watched with interest. "I hate sappy movies.. okay, I have a few I like but only a few. Is that Chris Hemsworth? And Robert Downey Jr? That man is born to play iron man!" She squealed and giggled.

 

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"Yes, the butterfly one. No eating them! They are rare!" He said and took over towing her out of the hotel and down several blocks to the museum. He paid their entrance fee and went by the big dino Skelton to a door that lead to a insect section. "There's interactive things too! Check this out!" He ran over like a child and climbed up a jungle gym that's made to look like a spider web. "Spider-Man Spider-Man, dose whatever a spider can! Can't he swing from a web yes he can because he's a man, Spider-Man!" He sang.

 

 

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"I've been flying to do the roof, so I'm quite fine finishing it tonight. I want it done before the frost hits in two days and the ground gets hard. The mud would be useless then. I also need to fish some and gather food for winter. We'll finish up today, head to town tomorrow and get some flour and yeast to make bread, then you can quit your job and live here. During the summer I'll show you how to tan hides and when it snows I'll show you how to sew them in coats and hats so you can help me grow my profits. Oh, horse hair too is going at a good price, it's used for bow strings. Apparently centaur hair is high quality."

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Damien nodded. "It is indeed. I agree completely. I'm not sure where Tony ends and Robert begins!" He laughed, checking his watch. "Tuck should be home any minute now," He commented, mouthing along with the characters as they spoke. "You know, I think I watch this movie too much," He commented thoughtfully. "Though I'm just gonna blame Tuck."

"Blame me for what?" Tucker yelled as he opened the door. "I haven't touched the Oreos!"

"That's not what I meant," Damien sighed as Tucker walked into the living room, tossing his backpack on a chair as he went.

"Ugh, PDA alert! Look away!" The teenager shouted, wrinkling his nose.

"We are cuddling on the couch, Tucker, not making out," Damien said with a roll of his eyes. "We're watching The Avengers."

"Ohh, I love that movie!" Tucker exclaimed, plopping down in a recliner. "I don't have much homework tonight. What were Waylond, Rook, and Strange doing here?" His nostrils flared as he inhaled. "And someone else? I don't recognize their scent."

"I'll explain later, Tuck. Just had a... security crisis, I suppose you could say. It's all good now though," Damien said before shushing him. "Now be quiet so we can watch the movie."

 

~

 

"You're such a buzzkill sometimes, you know that?" Brienna said with a sigh. "Besides, I wasn't going to eat them," She told Hunter, screwing her nose up in distaste. "They taste horrible. I was just going to... bat them around a little bit. Though I suppose that's not allowed either..." She looked around in awe as he led her through. "This place is neat... and he's being embarrassing," She sighed, face palming. Several people had turned to look inquisitively at him. "Could you refrain from singing, please?" Brienna asked, though she looked amused as she scaled up the jungle gym, tucking her shirt in while holding haphazardly with one hand before swinging up to hang down by her knees. "I forgot how fun these are, I haven't been on one in ages!"

 

~

 

"Sounds like a plan," Luna agreed. "Since when did you become so responsible, anyways?" She peeked outside, where clouds were gathering. The air had a sting to it, and felt like snow. "We'd better hurry to finish, I think it's going to snow. Maybe we'll have a white Christmas this year," She said with an excited smile, pulling back into the warmth of the hut. "Centaur hair? Really? Huh." She swished her tail. "I'm assuming you mean the hair on our tails, right? Not our coats? Because I don't see how the hair on our coats would be long enough for a bow string."

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"Ohh... Sharp nose you got their tuck!" She giggled and got up weddging herself in the recliner pulling the werewolf child to her. "Snuggle with me little puppy!" She teased refusing to let go of him. "Oh my.... hush child, gorgeous Loki speaks!"

 

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"Why, is my voice bad? I love singing. I howl to the moon, the lovely silver moon.~" He laughed and hung upside down in front of her and wiggled his eyebrow. "I would ask for a smooch but there's little eyes around..." he gave her another impish grin. "That'll be for later."

 

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"Don't know. A lot has changed since you last saw me. Let's finish this." He gets up and heads out. "Yes tail hair and your hair would fetch a price. They make really expensive dark hair bows for high class people." He took off started putting the thatch on the roof.

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"I'm a werewolf, it's what I do," Tucker said, looking slightly embarrassed. Damien chuckled in amusement as Galadriel slipped out of his grip to forcibly hug the young teenager. "Arg! What're you doing? Personal space! Not a hugger, let go!" He wriggled around, eventually groaning in defeat and perching as far over as the recliner would allow.

Tucker gave Damien a helpless look, to which the latter just shrugged. "What do you expect me to do?"

"Dad," Tucker whined. "This isn't cool."

"You're right," Damien agreed. "You look adorable."

"No..." Tucker groaned before being shushed be Galadriel. "Loki? More like Damien as a Marvel character. They're like the same person."

"Except for I'm more handsome," Damien interjected. "In the end," He said along with Loki, "you will always kneel." He smiled to himself. "Loki's monologues are the best. Well, those and his snide comments. Also great."

"Can you get off now?" Tucker squeaked, looking uncomfortable. "I'm sure Dad will snuggle with you."

 

~

 

"No, you're just - agh, never mind," Brienna sighed, rolling her eyes at Hunter. She jerked back in surprise as his face suddenly popped into her field of vision, the only thing that appeared upright in her upside down state. She stuck her tongue out at him, leaning close enough for their noses to touch. "Yeah, later," She said softly, smirking at him. Abruptly, Brienna pulled back and dropped from the bars, flipping in midair and landing lightly on her toes. "The best thing about cats? They always land on their feet!"

 

~

 

Luna rolled her eyes in a sarcastic manner. "Honestly, rich people. They just get more and more ridiculous. I would know, I was one," She said with a snort, fixing the places he had pointed out earlier as Craven thatched the roof. She stepped back, examining her work before nodding. "I think I got all the places you pointed out earlier, but perhaps you should come check. What should I do now?"

Edited by polaristar

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Maybe when I'm a few months along I'll have you dress as Loki for me Danni! You should've read the comics..." She giggled. "Oh come on Tucker, that's not how you treat your new mamma! I'm living here now and I gotta get some practice at being a mother so you be kind to me mister."she tapped his nose. "Otherwise I wouldn't let you help me make my super secret brownies that even your dad begged me for the recipe once! It's a family secret passed down to the first child, and I won't tell you if you keep wiggling away from me so sit still and snuggle with me. I don't bite that hard."

 

 

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He did the same. "Yeah, well training helps with that too missie. Let's go see the pretty butterflies now!" He skipped off to the door of the butterfly exhibit. He waited for her then headed inside, they got blasted with air and went through a second set of doors into the butterfly room.

 

 

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He finished the roof then landed checking out the wall then added handfuls here and there. "There. All done. Now let's wash up and you can help me untangle the fishing net then we're done for today." He said heading over to another shack, smaller than his home and pulled out a net.

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"A few months along?" Tucker echoed, giving Damien a look somewhere between bewilderment and disbelief. "Dad, please tell me you didn't - on second thought, I don't want to know."

"The baby isn't mine, Tucker, so you can get whatever image you just had out of your head," Damien said with a sigh, shaking his head. Tucker furrowed his brow, looking as if he was about to ask, but Damien shook his head. "I'll explain later, Tucker."

"I'm not a cuddler," The teenager protested, scowling. "Nor am I a huge sweet person. Now if you had a good steak recipe... then we'd be talking. And I'd bet you I bite harder."

"Tucker," Damien said sharply. "Be nice."

"Sorry," He mumbled, giving a deep sigh and allowing Galadriel to cuddle up against you. "Can I do this with other girls, Dad?"

"Absolutely not. You're too young for stuff like that," Damien said, shaking his head firmly.

"Ugh," Tucker groaned. "Fine. You're such a killjoy."

"I'm your dad, that's my job."

 

~

 

Brienna shoved away the urge to chase after the colorful flying insects, walking around with longing in her eyes as she watched the butterflies drift lazily past. "They're just begging to be chased," She groaned, pressing her forehead against Hunter's arm for a few moments in frustration before moving away to glance up at him. "You're sure chasing them around a bit is a against the rules? Oh, and we should go look at the saber tooth tiger exhibit once we're finished her, get a good laugh out of it," She suggested, grinning in amusement.

 

~

 

"Oh, that was quick," Luna exclaimed, trotting down to the lake to wash off the mud - though she was no where near as soaked as she had been before. "That didn't take as long as I thought it would." She trotted along behind him towards the smaller shack, surveying the tangled net with a calculating expression. "It's not too bad, all things considered. I'm pretty good at unraveling knots, so hopefully this won't take long - especially with the both of us working."

Edited by polaristar

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"It just so happens that I do. Makes it so tender it melts in your mouth. My dad was a cook at a fancy restaurant until the economy tanked and he was out of a job. He'd bring back leftovers sometimes. If my old house is still standing, I'm sure I can find it again. He had a secret hiding spot for pictures and recipes. There's also one for lamb too little wolf.." she grinned. "Yeah, you're much to young, besides I don't think that big zit on your forehead would get you a girl.. nor that oh so charming attitude. Your dad knows nothing about women. You better ask me for advice pup... Your father had a hard time getting dates when he was around your age." She giggled .

 

 

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The butterflies seemed to like Hunter for some reason. He had five on him. "Yeah.. I think so, and that was the plan.." He fell silent as one landed on his nose. "We....should leave... now..."He blew at the butterfly and shook himself, sending a bunch of butterflies flying away as he headed to the exit.

 

 

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He nodded and set to work as the light started to fade. He worked quickly on his section, getting it laid out in about ten minutes. "I'm going to start dinner okay?" He said kissing her cheek before heading inside.

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"Mmm..." Tucker said slowly, looking as if he was drooling at the very thought of it. His eyes quickly widened in surprise, however, as if he wasn't expecting such a response from Galadriel. "Rude," He muttered, looking distinctly red. "Dad, she's being rude."

"Gala, please refrain from bullying my son," Damien said, sounding distinctly amused, until his eyes also widened. "What? That's not true! I was quite popular among the girls, they just didn't want to admit it. Besides, I didn't have much time for dating anyways. I was too busy making sure my mother and I didn't starve," He said, rolling his eyes. "Besides, I managed to get you to fall in love with me, by some miracle. Still not sure how I was able to do that, you'll have to tell me sometime."

"Dad," Tucker said. "You're being gross."

"Admitting love is not gross, Tucker," Damien said. "You're making me sound like a middle aged man, you know. Don't you dare respond to that. Unless you want no TV for a week." Tucker quickly shut his mouth. "Yeah, that's what I thought. I'm going to go gray by thirty, at the rate I'm going," He sighed, shaking his head.

"It's your own fault if you do," Tucker said with a snort. "Though I blame Kai."

"You're just mad that he took your diary," Damien retorted.

"It's not a diary, it's a journal," Tucker emphasized. "I'm not some girl."

"Rose informed me that it is a dream journal."

"It's for school," Tucker argued, scowling at the look Damien sent him. "You're all so mean to me, ganging up on me like this."

"It's because you're easy to rile up. You know I love you," He chuckled, turning back to the movie. "Cuddle him to death, Gala."

"Why do you hate me so," Tucker said melodramatically, sighing as his attention too returned to the movie.

 

~

 

"They don't like me," Brienna pouted, watching as the butterflies ignored her in favor for Hunter. "Aw, they think you're a pretty flower!" She cooed, reaching to touch one. It fluttered away, the rest following as Hunter shook himself. "I was gonna get it!" She protested, trailing after him as he exited the garden. "It was right. There. You ruined it, Hunter. Thank you. You know what we should do? Find a meadow. Oh, but it's winter, there's not going to be any butterflies," She sighed, looking slightly crestfallen. "I know! We should go hunting instead! As animals, I mean. That would be fun. I haven't done that in a while. My dad and I used to go hunting - we brought down a twelve-point buck once. The meat was great."

 

~

 

Luna too worked rather quickly, untangling the net in silent concentration. She reddened as Craven kissed her cheek, and she nodded. "Alright, I'll only be a few more minutes," She told him. Her part of the net was almost finished, and she was content working in the peaceful silence, even with the temperature quickly dropping as the sun, hidden beneath the clouds, disappeared behind the mountains. After about five more minutes she was finished, and carefully putting it away to make sure it didn't tangle she trotted towards the hut, the cold beginning to go through her sweatshirt. She stopped for a moment outside the hut, surveying the faintly silhouetted mountains. Steam billowed out as she gave a deep sigh, completely at ease in the rural surroundings, and entered the warm hut. "Smells good," She complimented him, settling down near the fire to warm up. "The temperature drops really quickly out there. It might snow tonight. What are you making?" Luna asked as her stomach rumbled.

 

~

 

A figure was perched, completely still, on the top of a building that soared high into the clouded sky. The frigid air whipped around him, though he didn't seem to notice, wings furled behind him and tail curled around to the front of his muscular chest. He wore no shirt, only pants that stopped mid-calf, and no shoes. His breath billowed out as he exhaled the crisp air that felt of snow, the first of the season. He tilted his head, as if listening for something. Abruptly, he dropped off his perilous perch, swooping down towards the ground, wings flaring out as he landed almost silently in an alleyway. A woman was there, cornered by a mugger, though a blast of white-hot flame knocked the criminal away. The woman bolted, and the dragon-man tilted his head, watching the screaming criminal as he attempted to put out his clothes.

"Have mercy, Demon, have mercy!" The mugger cried.

"Why should I," Asked Hades slowly, tilting his head. His eyes currently glowed a bright red as he controlled the deadly flames. "when you have none?"

In an instant he was in the air again, high above most buildings as he returned to his previous perch. Something was clearly bothering him as he landed, and Hades tapped his heart curiously with a clawed finger. His breath billowed out again as flurries of snow began to fall, melting instantly as they made contact with his skin. "What is this... feeling?" He pondered to himself, tail winding uneasily behind him. His head tilted, now-golden eyes scanning the city below. "What is it, indeed?" He repeated, wings flaring as he took flight again, this time heading in a different direction, likely to take care of another prowler of the night.

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Lian waited outside a large fancy hotel that she stayed at within the city. Her father wasn't able to get the twenty second story pent house but was able to get two adjoining rooms on the floor beneath the pent house that had multiple bedrooms and the entire twentieth floor for his men, guards stylists and meeting rooms. Her father wanted her to stay there until he found suitable replacement for three of her best bodyguards. One had a wife who was currently having her firstborn in the hospital, another was out with food poisoning and the third was carrying out a errand for her father and wont be back for a week. The chafer rounded the corner of the garage and stopped in front of her.

 

"Lian!" Her father ran out calling to her as she opened the door. "Please, thirty more minuets I'll find someone, then you may go."

"But papa, I'll be late again. If I am, my grade would drop. I'll be carful papa. I'll message you when I get there." She reassured him before getting in to the small limo with her body guard. She's been taking night classes at the nearby college, studying the different lifestyles and dialects of unusual races of the world.

"Alright. As long as you message me when you arrive." He sighed knowing not to interfere with her perfect record, letting her go reluctantly. It should be a twenty minutes drive to the collage in the downtown part of the city.

 

After ten minuets on the freeway and ten more navigating the streets, the car stopped in a unfamiliar place near a abandoned warehouse district. One of the guards got out to talk to the driver who had locked the partition separating the back from the cab. The tinted windows and armored car made the argument that occurred between driver and guard. "What's going on?" Lian said looking at Kai, her closest guard who has been around her for many years (and was in fact the one who found her) for a answer.

"Text your father, something is wrong." He replied drawing his gun. "Get ready to run." He said softly. She did as she was told and gathered her favorite lotus dress in her hands, ready to free her feet and flee.

 

Two very tense minuets passed, then gunfire sounded. Kai shoved open the door returning fire quickly. "Ambush! Run!" He shouted. Lian dived from the car and ducked, weaving away from the shoot out. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw men in Italian suits shooting out of the warehouse at the limo, the driver dead and her second bodyguard wounded speaking rapidly on his Bluetooth, possibly calling for back up.

 

Lian ran south, this place she wasn't unfamiliar with and was scared out of her mind. Snow started to drift down as she heard footsteps behind her. Panicked she darted into a old warehouse that held old furniture and slipped inside a ancient wardrobe. She covered her mouth when she heard two men speak Italian. She knew Italian. "She went in here, Boss said to get her alive." "You look that way I'll look over here" "Yes sir." They said as sound of footsteps echoed around the warehouse. She trembled, covering her mouth to not make a peep by accident.

 

 

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Galadrel got up to sit on Damian instead running her fingers threw his hair. "Hmmm... I think a touch of grey would make you look rather sexy, besides, this is better then cuddling with him. If he moves out of this room I wont tell him my stake recipe...." She grinned. "Yeah, lucky with me I'm the only girl that put up with your smart ass mouth. Don't tease the boy about his dream journal. I used to have one. Daddy would help me interpret them. Thats how I knew I was in love with you in grade school. It was those damned two colored eyes. I've always been a sucker to two colored eyes. I brought home hundreds of cats that had eyes like yours, and a husky one time too." She said kissing his cheek and curling up on his lap.

 

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" Aww, did i ruin the kitten's play time?Sure! Lets go now, its been a long time since I've hunted with someone. The forest is a cab ride away. I'll call one now.' He said getting on his phone and heading towards the exit. "Why look at a exhibit of a saber tooth when i got one i can study alive?" He laughed.

 

 

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"Potato and salmon chowder." He said adding herbs into the pot. "Freshly caught too. got it two days ago and it just got done smoking. Wouldn't be surprised if it did start snowing tonight. It's been cold enough." He said limping over to his fur rack and sat down to start sewing some more, letting the chowder cook. "Still working on a winter wardrobe for you. You might need a blanket too, unlike me, you don't have wings to cover most of your body. The warmer you are, the safer you and the baby would be."

 

 

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Hades was mid-flap when his chest clenched painfully, causing him to freefall for several seconds as he grabbed his chest painfully, pulling up sharply before he was impaled by a building. Fear - no, terror - pulsed through his veins, and Hades knew for a fact that it wasn't his own. Suddenly, it hit him, what was going on - his mate was in trouble, that's what he was sensing. It was rare for a preliminary bond to be so strong, but it was the only logical explanation. He shot through the air, allowing his instincts to guide him, eventually landing in the midst of an obvious gang war. The gunfire paused at his sudden appearance, enough time for tendrils of flame to begin to burn their expensive suits - Hades had a good idea of who was being attacked here, and while he generally didn't agree with gang or mob activity his mate was here, in danger. His wings were largely immune to gunfire, allowing him to shield the human parts of his body from harm.

Once Hades ensured that most of the men were to busy trying to put themselves out to fire at him, he slipped away, prowling through the streets until his ears picked up both conversation and a strong sense of fear. He narrowed his eyes - while not skilled with languages, he knew enough about tones to know who was in charge, and dropping down with a quiet whoosh grabbed both men by their expensive suits and tossed them harshly against the wall. Fire wreathed around him, disguising his features, and he growled lowly. "Tell the man in charge that the demon does not approve," He snarled, watching impassively as they shot off a few rounds. Well, they did, until he set their suits on fire. They fleed, leaving him alone in the warehouse. He scented the air, following the smell of fear to an old wardrobe. He paused for a moment before pulling open the door with a clawed finger. Hades stared down at her trembling form and stepped away. "You can come out now. I won't hurt you."

 

~

 

"Hmm, you think so?" Damien asked with a smirk. Tucker gave an exaggerated moan and covered his ears. Damien feigned hurt. "Fine, fine. I won't tease him... not now, at least." He raised an eyebrow. "Really? Just the eyes? That's it? Wow, I'm glad my personality wasn't part of that at all," He said.

Tucker snorted in amusement and got to his feet. "Bus is coming, I'm gonna go get them."

"Alright," Damien agreed, glancing down at Galadriel, who was curled in his lap. "Do you want to go meet them at the bus stop, or just stay here?"

 

~

 

"Just a bit, yeah," Brienna said with a grin. "We can go now! That's awesome. I'd say we should go camping but it's kinda cold outside. It doesn't bother me, of course, as an ice age animal, but I wouldn't want the puppy to get cold," She said with a smirk before smacking him on the back of the head. "Honestly, you just can't resist, can you?" She asked Hunter, shaking her head. "What is it with the jokes?" She said to herself rhetorically. "I just don't get it. They're not even that funny, yet everyone insists on making jokes," She continued, slight amusement in her tone.

 

~

 

"Oh, that sounds yummy," Luna said, watching his methodical actions as he sewed. "I'd say no hurry, but it is pretty cold outside... don't rush on the blanket though, it usually stays pretty warm in here anyways," She said. "Is it hot in here during the summer, or does it keep the heat out like it does with the cold?" She asked Craven, watching the chowder as it cooked. "I love snow. It's so fun. Cold, but fun."

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"I'd love to meet them at the bus stop." Galadrel said hopping up and stretching. she grabbed her jacket and slipped it on and headed outside. "So the two I haven't met yet is Kai and Rose correct?" She asked following Tucker down the lane. "Do you think they'll like me? As a you know... as their mom eventually? It seems you're quite close to them..... I feel like I'm butting in again." She muttered and sighed.

 

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"Wolves are built for snow and the cold. And I joke because that's how I roll. I've always teased you... why? Do you not like it?" His ears flattened as he got into the cab telling the driver to go to the forest and drop them off. "I'll stop then, I thought you didn't mind it. I didn't think others would be doing the same. I'm sorry." He remained quiet the entire car ride to the woods.

 

 

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"Not really. It gets stuffy so I sleep outside in the summer. I meant a horse blanket that you'd wear when outside. It would be stiffer then a normal blanket." Craven said stirring the chowder and then continuing his work. He fell in a calm, reflecting silence, focused on his work and cooking.

 

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Lian crouched down low cowering in a distant corner of the ancient furniture. Outside she heard a shout of fright, then gunshots. The acrid stench of burning silk and wool slipped under the lose base and curled into her nostrils making her sneeze.

 

She relaxed once she heard retreating shoes, the thick glossy leather complaining loudly as they where used in a way they weren't intended to be used. With a shaky sigh, she figured Kai had chased them off and walked her hands up the back of the wardrobe, pushing herself on her still trembling legs. When the scuff sounded outside the door she blindly reached out to push it open when it swung outward reviling… not kai. She froze in terror, looking like a doe in headlights, caught in the unearthly glow of this demon's eyes. It spoke in a deep low tone made her torn between pulling out her hair pin and stabbing this new (and more frightening) stranger or screaming and trying to claw out the back of the closet. Instead, she shocked herself when her body moved of its own accord, stepping out of the musty dark hole and pressing herself against the only part she could reach, his belly, then starting to sob. After a moment, her legs gave out and she found herself crying more into his shoulder trembling from both the cold and the ebbing adrenaline still going threw her.

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Damien followed after the two, slipping his suit jacket (which doubled as his selkie skin) back on. He walked a little behind them, tempted to interfere in the conversation but knowing that Galadriel needed time to bond with his adopted son.

"Yeah," Tucker nodded, not looking chilly in his long-sleeved shirt as they walked. "I'm sure they'll like you. Dad does a lot for us, but they're younger and need a mother," He said quietly before shrugging. "I mean, we're sorta close. I'm they're older brother so it's my job to watch over them, but that's hard to do when you go to different schools." He paused for a moment. "No, you're not butting in. I mean, I don't mind very much. I never had a mother."

Damien squeezed Tucker's shoulder. "Well, she's here for good, bud, so I suggest you get used to it."

Tucker smiled as they reached the bus stop, where the bright yellow vehicle was just pulling up to the stop. Three children (the smallest of which tripped down the steps) piled out, chattering excitedly about the final day of school and the impending holiday break. They scampered over to the trio, tackling Tucker and Damien with hugs. Tia hugged Galadriel eagerly.

"Kai, Rose, this is Galadriel. She's going to be staying with us from now on," Damien said.

"Is she your girlfriend?" Rose asked eagerly, staring up at Galadriel interestedly. "She's pretty."

Meanwhile, Kai was attempting to say Galadriel's name and failing epically. "Gadriel? Galadrile? Gala!" He finally settled on, and he grinned up at her, displaying a missing tooth. His words indicated a slight lisp, probably due to his missing tooth. "Is that why you weren't home last night, Daddy?"

Damien picked him up, ruffling his hair as they headed back to the house. "Sure is, little man! Isn't she pretty?" The young boy nodded, curls bouncing slightly. "Why don't you go walk with her?"

"Okay!" He said excitedly, wriggling out of Damien's grasp and grabbing Galadriel's hand. "Wanna know what I did in school today?"

 

~

 

"I don't mind, as long as it's you," Brienna assured him. "I was just ranting. I got teased sometimes, because I am literally the only one of my kind, but it wasn't too bad. It doesn't bother me," She said, kissing his cheek and squeezing his hand. "Seriously, no worries. Now stop looking like I just kicked your puppy, since I think we're here."

 

~

 

"That sounds nice," Luna said, smiling, before looking slightly embarrassed. "Oh, right. A horse blanket. I knew that. Yep, sure did," She said, nodding knowingly. She closed her eyes as she waited for the chowder to cook, enjoying the comfortable silence. Her stomach growled conspicuously, causing her to blush an open her eyes. "When will dinner be done?"

 

~

 

"Hey, it's okay," Hades said, rubbing her back comfortingly. "You're safe now." Abruptly he scooped her up into his arms, using his wings to shield her from the cold air, his body heat more than enough to keep his unnamed mate warm. He took her back to the limo he assumed was hers, senses alert for any more attackers, and he determined it was all clear, when he smelled the sharp tang of blood. Opening the door of the limo, he set her gently down inside. "I'll be right back, I'm going to check on your companion," He rumbled lowly, rounding to the other side of the limo. Her companion looked like he had been shot in the torso, but still seemed to be cautious. "The girl is safe," He said to the man, kneeling down to pull away the fabric of his shirt. "The bullet hole looks like it's still inside, you shouldn't move. You'll probably be alright, though. Who are you?"

Edited by polaristar

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((Actually she was talking to Damien but that works too))

 

"Hey sweetie!" She said kneeling to hug Tia. She took her hand and looked down at the mop of curly hair that was Kai. "Well of course! I'd love to! I can help you with projects too, you know I always wanted to be a grade school teacher and work with little lambs like the three of you. Now only your daddy can call me gala. You can call me GG. I think you can manage that. I see you lost some teeth! When did that happen?" She giggled and held Tia's and Kai's hand walking back to the house. "Now the tree need some more decorating so you can help with that. Okay?" She grinned. "Then tomorrow we can make brownies."

 

 

-------

 

"I'm the puppy you kicked! I'm fine, I'm just making you feel guilty." He argued paying and getting out. He leaped into the woods shifting and disappeared in the dark. He popped up biting the snow. "Come in let's hunt."

 

 

-------

 

Craven smiled handing her a full bowl. "Right now actually. It's okay if you didn't understand what I said. I'm concerned for your safety. To me a twisted ankle is nothing compared to carrying a new life inside you." He wrapped a fur around her. "Eat up dear. Okay?"

 

 

_______

 

 

"She's safe? Good.." He breathed. "Jobe... my name is jobe." He said it like Joe-be. Her guard." He says wincing.

 

"Back away!" Came another voice. A large broad shouldered man with a head of silver hair and dark brown eyes. "Get away from the car! Where's Chio Lian? "

 

"Kai!" Lian ran out and hugged the man. She started speaking in Chinese to him shaking her head. The man lowered the weapon looking from her to the man and put his gun away walking towards him she went back to the car. "You scared off the Italians? Do you mind if I phone my boss, that's his daughter they were trying to kidnap. Usually we have more guards, but three are out tonight. Jobe, I got Vivi coming with Mr. Chio. You know that lady is good with wounds, she'll patch you up good. " He knelt down to look at his comrade.

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((Oh, my bad. I totally misinterpreted that xd.png I read the 'followed Tucker out' part and assumed she was talking to him. Sorry))

 

Damien chuckled as Galadriel cooed at his children, who seemed to take an immediate liking to her. Rose bounced up beside him, grabbing his hand. "Is she your girlfriend, Daddy? Braden at school wanted to be my boyfriend but I said no because his hair looks weird," She told him matter-of-factly.

"Yes, she's my girlfriend," Damien said, shaking his head. "And you're not allowed to have a boyfriend until you're at least forty! No, I take that back. Fifty."

"What? Daddy!" Rose whined. "That's not fair. GG isn't forty!"

"Yes, well, her situation is a bit different, Rosie," Damien said patiently. "But you're not allowed to date until you're fifty. And if you keep whining about it I'll make it sixty."

"Okay, fine," She said, pouting. "Boys have cooties anyways."

"You're exactly right," Damien nodded.

Meanwhile, Kai and Tia were attempting to talk over one another as they spoke of their school activities. "I'm learning the times tables!" Tia was saying, while Kai said, "We're learning about lizards! Teacher says they're called reptitles."

"Reptiles," Tia corrected the six year old. Kai stuck out his tongue at her, and Tia returned the gesture.

"Bit of a rowdy group, aren't they?" Damien asked with a chuckle. "Needless to say, I avoid taking them out in public."

"Yeah, well, that was only after the incident with the water fountain," Tucker interjected. "That was a nightmare."

Rose giggled, nose scrunching up and dark eyes lighting up. "It was funny."

 

~

 

"Right," Brienna said, following him out and shifting once the taxi driver had left, pulling a rough tongue up the side of his face gently. "I'm sorry," She told him, opening her mouth to snap at a snowflake. "I bet I can catch something first!" She said, springing off into the forest, prowling silently. She inhaled, the scent of rabbit touching her nose, and she crouched down, creeping up and making sure she was upwind. She froze as the rabbit looked up, angling its ears around as it listened for danger, before going back to nibbling at a green leaf it had managed to find. Abruptly, Brienna leaped forward, and the rabbit jerked upwards at the noise, a few seconds too late as she closed her jaws around it, killing it quickly. Her mouth watered at the scent of the fresh meat, and she trotted back with the rabbit secure in her jaws to find where Hunter had gone off to.

 

~

 

"Oh, yay!" Luna cheered, taking the bowl and eating eagerly. "This is good. I don't know why you think you're a bad cook - your food tastes fine to me." She told him, sighing as the warmth of the chowder spread from the pit of her belly. "But being with foal isn't an injury," She pointed out. "A twisted ankle is. Pregnancy is perfectly natural. It makes me more vulnerable, sure, but at least I have full use of all my limbs," She said with a grin. "How is your ankle feeling, by the way?"

 

~

 

"Guard?" Hades repeated, before leaping upwards, intent on dealing with the new threat before his mate tackled the unknown threat in a hug. In a show of surprising dexterity, he angled his wings upwards missing the two by mere inches and landing several yards behind the guard, whose name seemed to be Kai. His mate's name - was it Lian? That was what Kai had referred to her as. Hades made no objection to Kai's question, instead choosing to address Jobe's injuries. "He should be alright. No major organs were hit - I would know, the blood would smell different if the bullet had. However, it didn't go straight through, which means the bullet is still inside his torso, though it also prevents further serious blood loss if he stays stationary." He stared at Kai questioningly for a moment. "If I didn't know any better, I would say this was a gang war. However, I have personally met the mob boss who controls the crime in this city, and I have to say... though I don't approve, he's definitely not this forward," He paused. "So, I must ask: who are you affiliated with? Because I don't think it's the one that is in charge of basically all the crime around here."

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Galadriel went inside the house. "Oh no their not! You'd have to tell me about that later. Okay Kai, what else did you learn about lizards? We'll review your times tables while you help me with dinner okay Tia?" She said helping them out of their boots, coats and winter gear, hanging them up neatly. Keep talking to me as you help decorate the tree little lambs." She cooed and handed each one a ornament to hang up on the tree.

 

 

----

 

Hunter returned dragging a doe behind him and dropped it. "The fastest kill isn't always the best. " He says dropping the doe and tearing into its haunch.

 

 

----

 

"Better. Thank you." He said eating one helping before limping outside and washing it. He went back inside and laid down. "I just need some rest... been along day..."

 

-----

 

"Ling chio is the leader of the Di lung gang. He's here on business with the leader. The Italians had a bad investment in one of the bosses old workers. Gave them bad opium. Although the di lung don't deal drugs, they blame us and came from another city to kidnap ling chio's daughter. Lian, knows nothing of this. To her she's the daughter of a businessman who has lots of people trying to hurt him. Now, who are you? " Kai asked

 

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"It's quite a story, let me tell you," Damien said with a snort, watching with a smile as Galadriel interacted with the kids. The four followed her into the living room, where the movie was still playing, and Damien turned it off as Galadriel handed the three youngest ornaments to hang on the tree. Unfortunately, they were mostly all hung in the same general spot, but Damien had Tucker help him rearrange as they went. Rose was chattering eagerly about her art project, while Kai and Tia talked about their upcoming holiday party that would be held on the last day before break.

Tucker glanced at Damien. "What's for dinner?"

"I don't know, I haven't made it yet!" Damien said with a sigh. "Go get a snack if you want, and get started on your homework. I think I can handle things here." Tucker nodded, walking out of the room and grabbing his backpack as he went. "He's going to do his homework," Damien explained, rearranging another ornament. "Though he's probably just going to do it in the kitchen. Rose, the ornament goes on the tree. It's a decoration, not a toy." The girl grinned sheepishly, hanging the ornament on the tree. "Look at that, we're almost done!"

 

~

 

"Speak for yourself," Brienna said, settling down near him. "I love rabbit. I think I'll try to catch myself another one. I would have let a squirrel go, they're too stringy for my tastes. Not a lot of meat on them anyways," She said, taking a bite out of the still-warm rabbit. "There more deer around? I didn't scent any fresh signs where I went."

 

~

 

Luna nodded as she finished a second helping, fully saying her hunger. "I'm glad it's feeling better." She draped the fur over her coat before going outside to wash out her own bowl, working quickly as her hands quickly became cold in the icy water. She realized it was beginning to snow, and took a few moments to catch a snowflake on her tongue before going back into the hut. "It's snowing," She told Craven excitedly, laying down beside him. "You mind if I stay with you tonight? There's no bedding in the new room yet."

 

~

 

Hades nodded in understanding. For a cop - and even for a vigilante - he didn't tend to have the ambition to go after more powerful targets. Probably because he didn't want to get involved. Besides, he and Damien Johnson had an... understanding, of sorts. Their relationship was a difficult one to explain. "Bad luck for you, considering you weren't even involved," Hades said, worried for his oblivious mate. "I'm the city's vigilante. They call me the Demon of the Night. You can call me Hades." He walked around the limo, so his mate was back in his line of sight. "Would you prefer me to stay until your backup arrives, Kai? Because you're all but sitting ducks out here."

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She handed the last few ornaments to the children and rearranging a couple before grinning. "There. Now all we need is the star. Kai I believe you had the honors this year." She hands the star to the little boy. She shifted into an owl and easily picked up the small child flying to the top so he can place the star on top of the Christmas tree. Once it was done she set him down and shifted back. "Alright, I believe you all have homework to do, lets go do it. Now which one of you had that art protect? I'd like to see what that is all about." She clapped her hands looking at the little ones.

 

 

_____------

 

"Yeah, you just gotta know where to look. It was a bit of a travel, thats why it took me so long. It's the trees, the deer nibble the needles off so it's best if you know how to spot the tender ones. Then there's bound to be a deer nearby, or a moose, or elk." He took another chunk from his meal. "This is better than dinner plans."

 

-------

 

Craven was already asleep by the time she came in again. He snored lightly.

 

 

---

 

"Stay here until Vivi comes in and takes him away. Then we'll go to the hotel where her father is. She'll be safe there." Kai said looking around wearily.

 

 

Lian studied him carefully. "You....are what is called a dragonkin yes? Your features are similar to the pictures in class. How... did you know I was in that wardrobe? Your appearance is intimidating however I am not frightened of you but.... comforted by your presence. It is.. strange...." She spoke softly curling a strand of her hair around her finger. Her voice was beautiful with a soft Chinese accent although she spoke perfect English.

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Kai squealed in delight as he was lifted to the top of the tree to place the star, placing it down slightly crooked before being taken back to the floor. "Again!" He said excitedly.

"You can't do it again, the star is already up there!" Rose said, rolling her eyes. "I had the art project. It's almost done, you wanna see?" She ran to pull out a piece of cardstock paper from her backpack, which was decorated with a mostly finished picture of a polar bear.

"She's very good at art," Damien said. "I'm pretty sure she's the art teacher's favorite student. Tia, you said you have times tables?"

"Yes, but I can do it myself!" Tia exclaimed, pulling out her own homework. "It's easy."

"I'm sure it is," Damien chuckled. "What do you have, Kai?"

"Lizards!" The boy said, fishing out a slightly rumpled worksheet from his bag on reptiles. "Can you help?"

"Sure, let me sit down and let's get this done," Damien said, sitting down next to Kai and working with him on the simple worksheet. Tia was nibbling on the pencil's eraser, staring down at the sheet thoughtfully. "You need help, Tia?"

"No," She said, writing something down decisively. "I can do this."

Meanwhile, Rose had pulled out her colored pencils and was showing them to Galadriel, talking about how they were learning about primary and secondary colors, and how she was going to go to school to be the best artist ever. "And once I'm finished my picture, the teacher is going to hang it up in the hallway bulletin board for everyone to see!"

 

~

 

"Oh, okay," Brienna said as she finished the rabbit. "I'll keep that in mind. Can I have a bite?" She asked Hunter, sitting down beside him. "I can't decide if I want to catch a deer or not. But this is definitely better than dinner plans. Those are always so stuffy," She told him.

 

~

 

Luna realized that Craven had fallen asleep, and deciding that he probably wouldn't mind, settled down beside him and quickly dozed off to sleep.

 

~

 

"I can do that," Hades said with an affirmative nod, glancing towards Lian. "Yes, I am a dragonkin. More dragon than man, however. How did I know you were in the wardrobe? I have a very acute sense of smell. I could smell your fear. It is what led me to the wardrobe." Hades had never heard much about the mates of dragonkin being able to almost sense the bond - they were uncommon in these parts, usually found farther north or south depending on their ancestry. The comfort you feel are your instincts telling you that you are safe with me - I find instincts to be wise things to listen to," He said slowly, trying to figure out the best way to respond to her statement that wouldn't get him shot. "If you don't understand, I will explain more later, when we are not in the open." Spotting a fire escape that would give him a full view of the street, he scaled it, perching himself precariously on the railing. "How long until the others arrive, Kai?"

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"Really? That's really cool! I bet you'll be an amazing artist when you get bigger. " She looked over at Tia's work. "Well let me correct it, see if there's any wrong answers... nine times tables let's see. Nine times two. " She held up her hands and put down her ring finger on her left hand. "One before eight. That's eighteen, that's correct, nine times three." She lowered her middle finger. "Two before seven twenty seven. Good that's correct. You're doing good so far.. nine times four..." pointer finger this time. "Three before six, so thirty six. My my you're a clever girl I'm sure you'll get the other ones in no time!" She grinned and winks turning back to rose.

"Polar bears are cool. I always liked arctic animals. All three of my forms are from the arctic."

 

 

 

---!-

 

"Course you can." He snorted and moved aside for her to eat and he licked her lips. "We both aren't indoor people. It's more romantic, feasting beneath the stars with my one and only." He rubbed his cheek on her chest affectionately.

 

----

 

(I'm skipping craven for now))

 

A van pulled up, it had a Chinese Dragon mural on the side. "That's her. " Kai said as it pulled up behind them. Out of it came a ancient looking woman and another driver for the limo. The woman moved to the back waving Kai over and pulled out a gerny from the back. Wheeling it over to Jobe, she strapped him on and took him back to the van before pulling away. "Mr. Chio wants to thank you in person. Meet us at the lotus hotel. " He told Hades and got in the limo, driving away.

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Kai's worksheet was a simple one, and it only took Damien a few minutes to help him finish that. Damien made sure Tucker didn't need any help, watching Galadriel fondly as she helped his girls. He saw that Tia was getting close to finishing, and Rose was carefully coloring in a part of her picture. "What would you guys like for dinner?" He asked, leaning casually against the countertop. "Galadriel, you have any preferences?"

 

~

 

"Well, I don't think I'll need anything after this," Brienna purred, quickly finishing the rest of the deer. "And I don't disagree. The outdoors is much more fun. Look how hard it's snowing now!" The snow was now swirling down quickly and beginning to stick on the ground. "I didn't know it was supposed to snow. Then again, I don't watch the weather channel very much. I like being surprised." She batted at the snowflakes, nuzzling his shoulder affectionately. "What would you like to do now?"

 

~

 

Hades looked slightly hesitant before nodding. "Very well. I will shadow you from above," He said, leaping into the air and flying several yards above them. With the snow swirling down and the wind gusty, didn't want to lose sight of them accidentally. Several minutes later, the lino rolled to a stop in front of a hotel and Hades landed nearby, scattering away the few pedestrians still on the sidewalks. "Lead the way," He said, following them inside. He toyed with asking what to expect, but decided against it. He was not concerned - he had dealt with powerful, dangerous men before and had left unscathed - he doubted this time would be any different.

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Honestly you can make artichoke hearts and grilled sardeens and i'd still eat it." She said watching tia and rose work. " So its up to the kids. I can eat just about anything and be just fine.. except sourdough... its probably best if we avoid that for a while." What's your favorite color rose?" She asked.

 

-----

 

Hunter yawned. "Sleepy now. Lets go back to the hotel and sleep. Lets head back or do you want to take a walk through the woods for a little before we head back?" He rubbed against her licking behind her ear. " Or do you want to play?" He head butted her shoulder to try to push her into the snow.

 

-----

 

Lian kept quiet the entire time to the elevators and the ride up to the top floors where her father was. He stood in the corridor, a tall man with slicked back salt and pepper hair, clean shaven and in a expensive tailored suit. He opened his arms as his daughter darted from the elevator as soon as it opened to him. Her jade hair pin got caught on Hades' wing and dropped to his feet, her hair unwinding and fell dragging two feet behind her. He hugged her tightly. Mr. Chio nodded to the dragonkin as he consoled his little girl and lead her to her room making sure it was safe before leaving to speak with the vigilante.

 

"You the one who found her?" He asked.

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"Ew, gross!" Yelled Rose, Tia, and Kai in unison, wrinkling up their noses in horror.

"How about Mac 'N Cheese, pork, and green beans?" Damien asked with a chuckle. The general consensus was positive, other than whining about vegetables, and Damien set to work cooking.

"My favorute Colorado is blue," Rose said. "Like the sky."

"I like pink," Tia said.

"Orange! Like traffic cones," Kai said.

"Dinner should be ready in about an hour," Damien said after several minutes of preparation. "Would you like to play a game until then?"

"Candyland!" The three youngest shouted.

Tucker groaned. "Not again!" But he trudged into the living room anyways, reemerging with the game in his hands. "I'm not playing, I've still got homework. Besides, Rose cheats."

"I do not!" Rose said indignantly. "You want to play, GG?"

 

~

 

"I'd rather sleep," Brienna said. "I'm tired. Rawr!" She shoved back. "I hats changing back when it's cold though. My arctic durability does not transfer," She sighed dramatically, padding out of the woods. "Let's run home. Best of both worlds, right?" She asked rhetorically.

~

 

Hades was surprised at how long Lian's hair was - it looked shorter when she had it up. He picked the pin from off the floor, twirling it between his fingers methodically. He looked up at her father's question. "Yes, I found her, and ran off the Italians attacking her and the guards. My name is Hades." He inclined his head slightly, watching the polished mafia boss with slight interest. He always found such interactions to be fascinating - such bosses weren't the average man, after all. Hades had had enough interaction with these men to know when something was wanted out of him. "With all due respect, is there something you want from me? Apart from your daughter's hair pin, that is."

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"Oh no hon, I'm better at shoots and ladders, but I don't suppose you know what that is. How about you Tucker, what's your favorite color?" She looked at the oldest boy. It didn't surprise her how all three little ones said their favorite colors right away. She watched as they started to play the game.

 

 

---

 

"I don't mind it as much. Course that's my training. Had to get used to cold and heat. Alright. Last one there is a zombie!" He darted ahead, keeping a steady pace.

 

 

----

 

"My guards are running low. Ones I can trust with my child. If you do not mind, I'd like you to escort her to and from the college where she takes her night classes. She's very estudious, and loves to learn more about the world. I will pay you handsomely, and this is for only a few more days. Winter break is coming up. We will be heading home for the holidays in China. You may visit if you wish, us Chinese have high respect for the Dragon. They were our teachers and graciously gifted us with our language. If it wasn't the year of the rooster, but of Dragon, you'd have a feast on your honor. "

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