The End??

Timeline: Evening, April 7-10th 2008

It was only an hour after the final battle with the rats that invaded Eldonwell. On his way out of the tunnels, Michael told Ariyah that after he rested, he would come up with a plan to deal with the traps left behind by the rats.

Michael went to his gun shop, and started making and putting in new pins for the ten grenades that were part of a trap that the rats had left. This task was long and painstakingly slow. So when Michael got done and looked up at the clock, three hours had past. Michael got up and stored the grenades in a safe spot, where they wouldn’t get moved around alot.

On his slow walk back to the house, Michael was deep in thought on his actions that seemed to upset everyone. Though when he and Ramiel drew on the power of the Abyss to do their magic, they didn’t know where the power had come from. All that they had felt was that drawing on the power felt good, and that it was easy to do.

Michael seemed to be on auto-pilot as he entered the house, first grabing something to eat from the kitchen. Then just heading up to his room, shutting and locking the door behind him as he entered. Later the next day, he couldn’t remember undressing and climbing into bed.

Due to his wounds that couldn’t be healed by Ariyah’s magic, Michael just slept for three days. Only coming out to get something to eat and just going back to his room.

On the fourth day, Michael got up around noon, showered and got ready for the day. He needed to find Selene, so that he could at least explain his side of things.

So Michael left his room, headed down to the kitchen to get something to eat.

After he ate, Michael headed out of the house, and walked into the woods to look for Selene.

Michael began his search in the areas that he found Selene before, hoping to come across her. Occasionally Michael would call out her name, hoping that she would come find him. Michael stopped after three hours of his search in a small clearing by a mountain stream to rest, and to figure out where to go next.

“What do you want, Michael.” Selene stood on the other side of the stream, refilling her canteen.

“I wish to talk to you about my actions that happened before the final battle with the rats. I am hoping you will hear me out, before passing final judgement on me.”

“I’m listening.”

Michael took a deep breath, letting it out slow before he started. Looking Selene in the eyes, Michael began, “I truly wish you were not involved in that final battle. The reason you were there is because of me, and you shouldn’t have been. For that I am truly sorry.

“Let me try and explain why I wished to continue with the fight, even though I was still wounded. My reasons are this, I fight so that others need not to. I fight to protect those that I love, and those that are innocent. And I will continue to fight my enemies till my dying breath.

“Even wounded, I was still mobile, and therefore able to continue with the fight. You may not understand or like my reasoning, but it is the way I feel about these types of situations. I did not go into that fight looking for glory, I went because I felt I could be of more assistance than a mere shield battery for everyone.”

Michael paused to take a drink from his canteen, then continued, “I am not sure on how to word this, so I am just going to say what I’m thinking. I feel that you were used, though it was by my actions that got you involved. I think it could have been handled in a different way. When I decided to go into that final fight, there were those that were angry at me for actions that I did earlier, which I will get into later. But what I am trying to get at is, that they came at me angry trying to talk me out of going into that final battle still wounded.

“I feel that they used you, they were angry, I had my stubborn pride, and you got caught in the middle. I feel that if they either sent you to talk to me, or just didn’t come at me angry and yelling I may have changed my mind, but that is hindsight, and I am trying to relax and let me anger go, after what happened in that final battle.”

“How do you think they used me?”

“This is just me thinking, and I could be wrong. But what I have been thinking is that when I made the choice to continue the fight, wounded I was still thinking that you would not be involved, and be in the house with Ramiel and the others. But since I was going to go, it was decided that you would be going as well. And I was told that I would be the one to shield and protect you.

“The way I feel you were used is that you were pulled in to it to make me feel added pressure, which they thought would change my mind, and keep me out of the fight.”

“Did you stop and think, for a single moment, about any of the important reasons why you should have stayed back like Ramiel and Rey did?”

“Are you asking, did I stop and think about losing you and our unborn child? Or, that if I went into this fight I could die, and never see you again?” Michael took a deep breath, letting it out, he said, “I think of those things every single day. Before I was told that you were going into the fight, as I was preparing to go, the thing that was at the front of my mind was, that I was going into that fight to help protect you, and the citizens of this town.” As Michael was speaking his tone of voice rose and his left fist was clenched tightly, till his knuckles were white.

“When you decided that you couldn’t stay behind, that you had to get into this fight, you endangered everyone, Michael.” Selene’s voice was cold. “If you had been killed, everyone your shield was protecting would have died. Then that stunt you pulled with that bomb in the old rat nest. What were you thinking? You would have gotten yourself, everyone with you, and half the town blown away. How is that protecting me and the people of Eldon Well?

“You were in surgery for four hours, and all that work John did is for nothing. You’re just as bad off as you were before. How is that helping protect me? Were you trying to prove how strong you are, how much of a man you are? Trying to prove you’d be a good mate for me? A truly strong man, a truly strong mate, would have set his own personal desires, his pride, aside and done what was best for the group. Like Ramiel. He is a hunter, unable to sit by when there is danger, but what did he do? He did his part, and then remained behind so as not to increase the danger to others.

“And Rey. Little Rey, who ended up having to be sedated when she tried to answer Ironclaw’s call. She did what she could and then agreed to remain behind despite how badly she wanted to go and defend our territory. Do you think less of her, less of them, because they did not go wading into the fight?” Her eyes narrowed as she watched him closely.

Michael stared at Selene, his eyes cold, one could also see his jaw clench hearing his teeth grinding. Then without warning Michael threw a punch at a nearby tree with his left fist. Michael put all his strength into that punch, and the hit was hard enough that you could hear something go crunch.

With his body facing away from Selene, Michael hung his head and mumbled something under his breath. And as he stood there for a moment, with his hand still in contact with the tree, blood started to drip from his hand as well as drip down his forearm and drop from his elbow. Selene stayed where she was, watching.

Michael took a deep breath, letting it out slowly to a count of ten. As he pulled his hand away from the tree, you could see the small pointed end of where a branch would have started growing if it hadn’t been broken away at some point. Not even looking at his hand, Michael let it fall to his side as he stood tall, and faced Selene.

“I am a fool, to match wits with you,” Michael said as a small smile played at the corner of his mouth.

Michael’s voice was more calm than before as he continued, “I can’t explain myself, other than to say that my pride overrode my common sense. In regards to dealing with that bomb, if I didn’t deal with it then, I would be dealing with it now.

“Do I think less of Rey and Ramiel because they were not in the fight? No, I do not think less of either of them because they were not there. I don’t see Rey as a combatant, and Ramiel…. Well I had to drag Ramiel out of the sewer, after going in to get him back from the rat that took off with him. I did the quick patch up on Ramiel before the doc got to him, so I know how wounded he was. And I didn’t see him doing much for a while, til he got his strength back.

“And as far as me going into that fight to prove something. I didn’t go into the fight to prove anything, not to be macho, not to prove myself as a strong mate for you. I…,” Michael broke off what he was about to say, and stood there for a brief moment thinking.

Michael finaly said, “I guess I wasn’t thinking. I guess I was so focused on what I needed to do for the fight. And what was going to go on during the fight, that is all I was worried about. And when someone was telling me I couldn’t go, it made me more stubborn and set on going anyway.”

“And what excuse do you have for tapping into the Abyss to power your magic?” Selene’s posture was relaxed, but her eyes blazed. “You were told not to do it, warned not to do it, yet you did anyway. You corrupted yourself.” She didn’t bother to hide the disgust in her voice.

Michael looked back at Selene calmly, feeling the blood slowly run down his fingers to drip onto the ground. He knew that he may have broken something, but didn’t care as he felt his hand start to swell up. Michael answered Selene with, “I don’t have any excuses. Other than to say I didn’t know what I was doing the first time it happened. And for the record, NO ONE told me anything about the Abyss till after I used it in my magic. Since that warning, I haven’t tapped into the Abyss or used much magic of any sort.”

“That may be, but it doesn’t change what happened. You let your pride, your need to be involved in the fight no matter what the cost, override your common sense.” Selene’s voice was cool but neutral. “You’re trying to be an army of one, and there’s no place for someone like that in my life.”

“What would you like me to say? What would you like me to do? Because I just don’t know what to do anymore.”

Michael paused, and looked at his hand. Flexing his fingers and feeling the pain shooting up his hand into his arm. Letting his hand drop down to his side, he looked back at Selene. “My feelings for you have never changed. But it seems that my recent actions have put that in doubt, at least from your perspective. And from what you have just said, I have no place in your life. I truely hope that is not so, but will except that if you truly wish it.

“I wish things would have happened differently. I wish I could go back and change the things I have done wrong, and set things right. But I can’t so I will have to live with what has happened. And hope that the one’s I love and call friend, can someday forgive me for the wrongs I have done them, and move past this.”

“I don’t doubt that you love me, Michael, and my feelings for you haven’t changed. Someday, you might regain my trust, but right now, you’re too dangerous to us.” Selene shook her head. “But until then, there can’t be anything other than friendship between us.”

Michael nodded his head, then said, “Ok, I can live with that.”

Michael paused as if in thought, then said, “I would still like to be with you, as you go through this pregnancy. If you are willing to let me be by your side as you bring our child into this world.”

“We’ll see,” Selene said softly. “I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep.”

“Ok, that’s fair enough,” Michael said. “I would like to be there, but will leave the choice up to you.”

Michael looked at his hand again, then said with a slight smile, “If you will excuse me. I need to go see the Doctor about and injury.”

“Take care of yourself,” Selene said, her voice earnest as she disappeared back into the trees.

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