There have been a few hours. Alexus got up, wondering where he was. He sat up, trying to see what had happened. Bright sunny lights appeared from the sky, showing off its beautiful, warm sun rays that tickled Alexus’s cheeks.
The others were awake, moving through the debris. None of them said anything, just pulling themselves out of the rubbles.
Alexus wasn’t sure how to feel. He felt….confused with a big headache. He could feel something wrong with him as the pulsating headache stirred up his heart.
“You fool.” A voice spoke in his head.
Alexus looked around, trying to find the source, but no other voice spoke. So, with a sigh, he went to assist the others.
They gathered around their half-beaten camp for the next few hours, picking themselves up. The death toll had taken two-thirds of the remaining alive Ouroboros; no words were spoken. It was a miracle that there were any others lefts.
Marcus, Gerald, Timothy, Jones, and Crystal were the rare few who were up, helping out anyone as the number of injured outclassed what they could handle.
They quickly wrapped them up, putting them in the car as they sent them off into the van back to the seventh sanctum. This went on for hours and the day blurred together without many words.
Crystal sat waiting for Alexus. Then, leaning back on the half-broken bench that only two people could sit down on.
Alexus had arrived as he was done washing up from the gunk of the fight he had gone through with Gluttony. It was a hard fight. Honestly, it was terrible for his own mental and physical health. He enjoyed it too much, killing a powerful, deadly sin. Yet, a feeling of pure bliss washed over his very soul that he could not explain.
To be able to have the power of Gluttony at his disposal. He shivered.
Alexus gazed up and saw Crystal sitting relaxed. There was a beauty about her that he couldn’t quite put the finger on. She had grown much more beautifully in the waves of stress, power, survival, and destruction, like a desert flower in dry sand.
Her eyes were just as lively as he remembered her. There was a natural draw. He couldn’t help but watch her.
There were too many times of constant threat that was going on that he didn’t quite have the time to take a moment to really get to enjoy her presence. So this was one of those moments that he gladly accepted.
“Hey, Alexus.” Crystal said with a bit of a sigh in her voice. She had her head back, letting her hair roll down her head.
“Crystal, are you alright?” Alexus came over, sitting next to her.
“Yea, just a bit tired.” Crystal replied. She took another deep sigh. “There have been too many things going on since the arrival of the Seventh Sanctum.”
“I agree. There have been a lot of changes.”
“Yea, I didn’t expect to live so far into the future. I honestly thought the future was much nearer than I thought, but it wasn’t. We were just asleep for that long.”
“We were, but we are still alive today.”
“Yes, we are.” Crystal gently placed her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes.
Alexus froze, his cheeks slightly getting warmer.
“Sloth slain. Even Gluttony is two out of the seven.” Crystal said with a bit of enthusiasm.
“Sure, two down and four more to go, and it would be all over,” Alexus replied. He felt a terrible itch coming from the back of his shoulder, where her head was leaning on. The thought of making her move made him feel bad, but he was itchy!
Alexus cursed at himself for being itchy at this time. He scooted down slowly, trying to get to his itch. When he was low enough, he started to rub his back a few times, which shook Crystal.
“What are you doing?” Crystal asked, looking up at him with her doe-like eyes.
“I got a bad itch at a bad time.”
“Ah, I understand.” Crystal nodded her head.
“Give me a moment,” Alexus quickly scratched his back, cursing at himself for being an idiot. When it came to girls, he wasn’t very good at it. Finally, with the itch relieved, he settled down. “You can get comfortable.” He quickly said.
“Thanks,” Crystal took his offer. She rested her head on his shoulder, getting super comfortable as she settled down and wrapped her arms around his. A bubbling feeling of emotions erupted, a small smile slowly creeping up his face.
They sat in silence for a moment, enjoying the slightly breezy summer night. It was a welcoming change to have such weather grace them in this heat.
“You know, I never thought I would live this long,” Crystal spoke up. “I always thought my days would end by now.”
“Why do you say that? Just because time has passed doesn’t mean our time will end so quickly?”
“Well, as a child, I never thought I would live past my twenties. As a kid, I always had health complications, and they would get worse over time. I had asthma, allergies, weak physical health, and everything else under the sun that would have made people wonder how I’m not living in a bubble at that time. I would be in and out of the hospital once every week, fighting for my life. So many times, I had come close to death and escaped it by a hair’s breadth.”
“What about now?” Alexus asked; he never had such terrible complications with his physical body, so he couldn’t quite state how it felt. The terrible low times he had in his life were nothing compared to what Crystal had gone through.
“That’s the thing after I became an Ouroborous, I got lucky. Everything inside my body started to heal and change. Half of the problems I have are gone, except a few things here and there like allergies, but it’s now all gone.”
“Then wouldn’t that mean that you had a longer chance of living?”
Crystal shook her head, “if it wasn’t the health issue, it was the visions. The visions would get so intense at night that I would see how the world would play out. So many possibilities, so many changes, getting worse and worse. The only solemnity I had was in the work I did as it would drown out the noise in my mind.”
“That is a difficult problem to deal with.”
Alexus reached over with his hand and patted her hand a few times. “Were there any other solutions that you have found to lessen the vision?”
“None so far.”
“I see,” Alexus was deep in contemplation, wondering how he could assist her. There were many things that she had gone through.
“But, I’m just glad that there is a moment of silence in my mind right now.” Crystal stated softly; she was getting super comfortable around his presence.
“I’m glad,” Alexus replied. Then, without realizing it, their fingers were entwined. Even he could not help but gently lean in on her as they balanced each other out.
Alexus closed his eyes, enjoying the present. He wished that today would be paused, allowing both of them to stay in this space.
There were many things they had gone through and the tough times. But, they had blown through the impossible and made it out alive. It was truly a celebration that he had personally been glad to be over with.
“We’ll live through this,” Alexus replied, more confidently than he thought he would like. “We have to.”
There was no going back but forward. Whatever the future persisted, there was only one way. Move.
Alexus knew if he stayed sitting in one spot for too long that the demons would catch them and possibly kill them. So it was to be hunted or hunted.
“I like you.”
“I like you too.”
The words unconsciously spilled out like water without thought. It didn’t hit Alexus until he blurted out what he had said a few seconds later. Not only that, he was dazed by what she had said as well.
“You do?” Crystal pulled away, looking up at him. Her eyes were big, and her smile was wide.
“Yes,” Alexus replied. His throat felt a bit dry, but he blew it off as best as possible to cover up his nervousness. After that, there was no going back.
“Since when?” Crystal asked.
“The first moment I met you.”
“Yep, the first time I saw you was when I was getting physical with you.”
Crystal pulled back, her mouth dropping. “What made you like me?”
“Your presence and everything about you.”
“That’s a bit of a different answer.”
“What did you expect to hear?”
“Well,” Crystal coughed, hiding away her embarrassment. “I thought you would have said my beauty.”
“That’s already part of it.” Alexus didn’t deny that she was beautiful in his eyes. There was nobody else that he could see that would outshine her.
“Ah.” Crystal nodded slowly.
Alexus reached over, pulling her into a hug. A tickle of lemon and sweetgrass washed over his nose. He breathed in softly, allowing himself to take in all of her.
Alexus’ mind was racing. He couldn’t decide. Should he go in and kiss her? He punts his insecurities out the window. Pulling back, he took a moment to look into her eyes. She stared back at him with so much intensity that he couldn’t help but fall deeper into her gaze.
Slowly, leaning forward, he took a gentle kiss. Their lips mingled together with a nibble that wetted his lips. Followed by a swish of a tongue that electrified him to his core.
As they momentarily detached, his hand scooped her up, pulling her into his lap. Crystal had to position herself comfortably as she would have fallen out. Instead, her hand reached around his neck while his hand grabbed her by the waist and slowly trailed down. His fingers gently caressed her back, twiddling around her back and down her waist to her butt.
Even Crystal’s fingers entangled around his neck and hair, kissing him on his cheeks gently a few times and back up to his lips. The passionate fire between the two kept growing, becoming stronger.
Eventually, they let go of interlocking lips as Crystal wrapped her arms around his neck. She leaned forward, tucking her head in his shoulder.
“Thank you for being alive, Alexus.” Crystal replied softly in his ears.
For the first time in a long time, a jolting blossom of happiness erupted in my heart.
“You as well, Crystal,” Alexus replied back, pulling her close, Never wanting to let her go.
Marcus was sitting in a dim light that blinked a few times. He was busy looking over some notes that he wanted to get done with.
“Well. Well.” A voice spoke up from behind him.
Marcus snapped around, but he was too late. A black sword jutted out of his chest as he was stabbed from the back.
“Who-” His throat gurgles, unable to breathe correctly.
“Someone who is going to devour you.” The voice was low, chuckling evilly. Red eyes stared from behind as his pale white fingers gripped Marcus’ throat.
From the darkness, Naz appeared out of the background like a ghost. “And you can’t say no.”
Marcus squinted; even though he was slowly dying, he pulled back and spat in Naz’s face. Then, Marcus attacked with every ounce of muscle that he could muster.
End of Volume 2