Sweat dripped from Ethan's chin as he guided the ball around the blocker and ran down the field. The other teamed converged on him trying to block his avenues of travel but that pulled them off Jake who was running down the other side of the field. Ethan passed the ball without looking to Jake just before one of the defender tried to steal the ball. Instead of hitting the ball which was no longer there the defenders cleat slammed into Ethan’s shin and with a curse they both went down in a heap. The screams of victory from the cheerleaders off to the side told Ethan that Jake had scored even before he extricated himself from the tangle of arms and legs. That was the final play and they had one seven to six. Ethan smiled as sweat poured down his face in the summer heat, this would be the final soccer game of the season and he was glad they won.
"You did awesome little brother," Sabina said rushing over and handing him a water bottle. He took her in as he gulped down the water and could understand why everyone doubted that they were related. She stood 5'5" and weighed maybe 110 and had long bark brown hair with reddish streaks running through it. Even though she spent a great deal of time outside with a lot of her skin exposed to the sun her coloring never darkened so she had the same milky pale skin she had been born with. The contrast between the dark hair and pale skin was striking but when combine with the milk chocolate brown of her eyes it was breath taking. Many guys had tried to date her over the years most had only gone on one date with her then never returned her phone calls. She didn't know of course that Ethan had 'spoken' to them and as pretty as she was they feared the promise of pain in his eyes when he warned them off more. She was dressed in the cheerleaders outfit with her hair pulled back into a ponytail behind her head. The blue and red of the skimpy outfit went well with her color and Ethan turned his head away and tried to keep indecent thoughts from entering his mind.
"Thanks," he said after finishing the bottle.
"Sabina," one of the other cheerleaders called and held up Sabina's phone which he could hear faintly over the noise around them. Sabina smiled at Ethan then ran toward her squad mate to retrieve her phone. Jake slammed into his back catching him unaware since he had been watching Sabina run back to the sideline. Jake wrapped his arms around Ethan’s chest and lifted him from his feet and squeezed before he let go and Ethan dropped back to his feet.
"Good job," Ethan said when he turned to face Jake.
"That was an awesome pass I thought they had you for a minute there," Jake said clapping Ethan on the back. A feeling in his gut caused Ethan to look over at Sabina just as his teammates surrounded him and then sight sent terror flooding through him like jumping into and ice cold pond. He shoved his way through his teammates who looked confused as he pushed them aside while they tried to congratulate him and Jake. He reached the edge of the group and broke into a sprint toward Sabina. She was on her knees and was curled around her arms which tightly held on to her middle as if she had a stomach wound. He couldn't see her face since it was only inches from the grass and facing down be he knew she was sobbing. The cheerleaders were formed in a semi-circle behind her with concern on their faces. The one who had called her with the phone was kneeling beside her talking to her urgently; Sabina didn't react as if she couldn't even hear the girl.
"Sabina," Ethan cried sliding to a halt and dropping to his knees beside her. He gripped her shoulders and forced her up straight check her stomach to make sure she wasn't injured. It was then that he saw it was the phone she was clutching to her middle. He plucked it from her unresisting hand while holding her up with his free hand. He sat back cross legged and pulled her into his lap and rested her head against his chest. Once he had her situated he took a deep breath and raised the phone to his ear.
"Sabina, Sabina are you there," his mother’s voice demanded.
"She is here Mom, but she kind of lost it. What is going on," he demanded.
"I just got a call from the police to inform me your father is dead," she said. He could hear the tears in her voice and her voice caught in her throat with a sob when she said 'dead'.
"We'll be home as soon as possible. I love you Mom," he said into the phone.
"I love you too sweetie," she replied and the line went dead. Ethan stood lifting Sabina into his arms with ease as he rose to his full height and headed toward his team. They were all still congratulating each other, unaware of his dire news. Tears burned in his eyes at that thought but he shoved down the emotion so he could function and get to his mother who would need his support now.
"Jake I need you to give me a ride home, now please," Ethan said and Jake seeing the serious look in his friends face nodded. They bypassed the locker room at a jog on the way to the parking lot and Jake shot Ethan a look out of the corner of his eye but said nothing. They got into Jake's old beaten up Cadillac with Jake behind the wheel and Ethan in the passenger seat with Sabina curled up like a child in his lap sobbing. He gently ran a hand down her back as they pulled out of the parking lot. Jake was silent for a few minutes but he finally asked the question that had to have been in his mind as soon as Ethan demanded a ride.
"What's going on man? Your sister looks like someone died," Jake asked.
"My Father," Ethan said. Jake's face scrunched up in confusion at that answered until it dawned on him what Ethan had meant and his face paled.
"That fucking sucks man! I am so sorry," Jake apologized and Ethan nodded his understanding. They sat the rest of the way to Ethan's house in silence and Ethan continued to offer silent comfort to Sabina. When they pulled up in front of the house Ethan climbed out of the car with Sabina in his arms again.
"You need me to do anything man," Jake asked, leaning across the seat, and when Ethan shook his head he pulled the passenger door closed and drove off. Ethan carried Sabina up to the house, a one story brick house with three bedrooms and black roofing tiles, and pressed the bell with an elbow and waited as the sound of running feet approached the door. Lily through open the door and her hand flew up to cover her mouth as she saw them and she moved aside quickly so he could enter. He took her to the living room and sat still cradling her quivering body to his chest as exhaustion began to overwhelm her.
"What happened," Lily asked sitting down beside them and putting a hand on Sabina's brow.
"Shock, I think, hold her I am going to get her a blanket," he said and gently moved Sabina to Lily's lap and then had to pry her fingers from the death grip she had on his shirt. She whimpered when he moved away from her but she snuggled into her mother's chest when Lily's arms wrapped around her. Ethan came back with the blanket and wrapped it around them both snuggly then sat and wrapped an arm around his mother's shoulders.
"What happened," he asked.
"You know how the news has been reporting sightings of gods and mythical creatures," she asked and when he nodded she continued.
"Well Hades appeared in Time Square and killed everyone and your father was there, probably getting lunch like he usually does," she explained her final word coming out high pitched and strangled as tears began to run down her cheeks. A single tear tracked down Ethan’s face as hate and sadness welled up within him but he pushed the feelings down to be dealt with later.
"The funeral arrangements," Ethan asked.
"There were no bodies left only the clothes and a pile of ashes that blew away with the wind," she explained tears still streaming down her cheeks. She lowered her head and pressed her face into her daughter's hair and Ethan sat there silently lending what little comfort he could with his presence. He watched over them both until they fell asleep and then he carried them both one at a time into his sister's room and tucked them into the bed together. He figured his mother might not want to go to her own room and his sister could use the company. He then grabbed some clothes from his room and headed for the bathroom to take a shower. He turned the water all the way to hot because he was feeling kind of cold. He stepped into the shower and let the steaming water pour over his skin and tried to relax. The rising steam seemed to seep into his head and blanket his mind causing the world to shift under his feet. He sank to a sitting position under the fall of water before the dizziness caused him to fall. He drew his knees up to his chest and stared at the tiles of the wall his mind catching on small abstract details but not really taking anything in. Like a crack in the corner of one tile drew his gaze for several minutes but when his focus shifted else where he couldn't remember what was so interesting about the crack. He must have sat that way for some time before a hand on his shoulder jerked him back into reality and realized that the water was now cold. He looked up into Lily's worried eyes and tried to smile reassuringly but the muscles in his face didn't seem to want to work right.
"Sorry must have lost track of time," he said and shut off the water. Lily said nothing but held out a towel for him to stand up and wrap around himself. His lips were blue from cold and he shivered as she dried him off when she got to his face she wiped his face with her palm and it back wet after she had already dried it. It was only seeing the wetness on her hand that Ethan realized he was crying he turned his back to her and grabbed his clean boxers and slipped them on.
Hades returned to Olympus with a feeling of satisfaction at having struck down the mortals who showed him disrespect. The Fates were waiting for him in his rooms when he arrived and he waved a hand for them to speak.
"Today you have set the Twice Born on the path to your destruction. He will destroy you unless he is dealt with first," Clotho said.
"His name is Ethan and he has reached maturity and his abilities are beginning to awaken," Lachesis added.
"If you go and kill him yourself the world will be set on an unchangeable path towards destruction," Atropos finished.
"Whose son is he," Hades asked.
"Aphrodite," Lachesis answered. Hades began to laugh at that piece of information and Atropos shook her head at his arrogance.
"Do not under estimate him or he will be your downfall," Clotho said. Hades nodded his understanding and dismissed them as he pondered what to do about the situation.
"Hades knows who your son is and where he is," Clotho informed. Aphrodite paced in agitation at the news and she began to worry but Sophos. He was never far from her thought and she fought the temptation to go to him often as the years passed by.
"He wouldn't know if you hadn't told him," Aphrodite accused and summoned her high priestess.
"If you send a squad of warriors out he will be gone by the time they arrive at his home," Atropos informed her.
"You need not do anything he will come to your people on his own. If he survives that long," Lachesis continued. Aphrodite sat and waved the Fates a dismissal before letting her face fall into her hands.
The next day they sat around the house just staring off into space and sometimes Lily or Sabina would break into tears but Ethan's eyes remained dry. He often fantasized about having the god Hades under his power and what he would do to the murdering deity. The following day Lily immersed herself in her work even though she didn't need to thanks to John's life insurance. Ethan cajoled Sabina into going to school and she went back but didn't speak to anyone even though her friends tried to talk to her. Days passed and Lily became so immersed in her work she didn't notice as her daughter slowly slid into a deep depression. Sabina quit the cheerleading squad and started wearing all black baggy clothes that hid her form. Ethan tried to talk to her but she shrugged off his concerns or screamed insults at him. Ethan watched his mother become a workaholic to hide from the pain of her husband’s death and Sabina, losing the support of both her parents, started down a path of self-destruction. A month after the death of his father Ethan was walking down a hall at school trying to figure out what to do to help his mother and sister when he rounded a corner and froze. Sabina was kissing local druggy he had her pinned to the wall and his hand was down the front of her jeans. Ethan was frozen in shock for several moments because Sabina had made no secret about how she despised this guy in the past.
"Sabina," he called out loudly getting over his shock quickly. He stalked forward and pulled back his arm and punched the guy in the side of the head. The stumbled to the side and fell his eyes unfocused from the blow and Ethan stalked toward him. He grabbed the lanky punk by his greasy hair and pulled his head back.
"If you touch my sister again I'll cut your arm off and feed it to you. Do you understand," he hissed only inches front the other guys face. When he didn't get answer fast enough he shook the guy by the fist full of hair and the guy yelped in pain.
"I got it man, hands off your sister or you'll fuck me up," he raised his free hand in a gesture of surrender the other covered the side of his face, were Ethan had struck him. Ethan released the guy’s hair and wiped his hand off on his jeans before he turned and seized Sabina, who was screeching obscenities at him, by the arm. She tried to struggle from his grip but he turned his head to look at her slowly like in a horror movie. He didn't know exactly what expression he wore on his face since his emotions were all jumbled but she stopped trying to pull away and passively followed after him. He put her in the passenger seat of his car, which had been his fathers, and got behind the wheel. He sped on the way home in silence with only the sound of the racing engine rumbling under their feet. He pulled into the garage and got out and leaned his forehead against the window of the car to try and regain his composure. Sabina got out of the car and unwisely took this opportunity to chastise him.
"You have no right to butt into my love life. My life isn't any of your business," Sabina exclaimed but that was all she managed to say before Ethan turned and stalked toward her. She backed away sensing his anger as he approached until her back hit the wall of the garage.
"Your life isn't my business," he screamed and she flinched back away from him but couldn't retreat. He bent forward until his eyes filled her field of vision and he gritted his teeth audibly as he hissed between his teeth.
"You are my sister and I love you even if I want to strangle you at the moment I understand how you feel but this isn't the way to deal with the pain," he gritted out.
"You aren't my father. You never even cried for Dad you’re an unfeeling monster how could you understand anything about my feelings," she yelled into his face and he jerked back and stumbled a step away from her like she had punched him. A look of pure agony flashed across his features and he lowered his head to hide his face from her.
"I'll tell you what I know about loss. In a single day I lost my entire family, my father was killed; my mother buried herself so deeply in her work that I haven’t seen her in days. And my sister who has always been by my side has rejected me in favor of some loser drug head. I lost everything that ever mattered to me so don't tell me about loss,” Ethan said and finally looked up to meet her eyes and her heart clenched at the pain she saw there, pain she had helped to put there with her self-centered childishness. Ethan turned to go into the house but she took a step toward him and called out.
"Ethan wait," she called.
"What," he snapped as he spun to face her. Her breathing stopped as his face was only centimeters from his and they both froze as their eyes met and she fell into the storm tossed sea green depth of his eyes. Suddenly she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his. His hands came up to push her away but she clung to him and ran her tongue over his bottom lip and his hands were suddenly crushing her to him. His mouth opened and his tongue flicked out to run along hers. He grabbed her hips and lifted and she wrapped her legs around his waist and he pulled her down grinding them together.
"We shouldn't be doing this," he suddenly said breaking the kiss but didn't let go of her hips nor stop the grinding motions.
"I've wanted this for so long," she moaned against his lips as she tried to capture them again.
"We can't come back from this, there is no way to undo it if you regret this later," he said trying one last time to let her stop this before it was too late.
"No more talking," she ordered and shoved her hand down the front of his cargo pants and gripped his cock. He groaned when he felt her hand wrap around him and squeeze, the angle was awkward but she managed to stroke his a couple times before he stopped her. He was panting as he tried to control himself and he swiftly carried her to his room and tossed her onto the bed. She laughed as she bounced once and looked at him smokily through a screen of her own dark hair that fallen forward to obscure her face. He jerked his shirt off over his head and then dropped his pants and boxers and stood before her completely nude. She ran her eyes over him from head to foot and her tongue darted out wetting her lips. Ethan's gaze locked on her pink tongue as it ran over the pale pink of her lips and his cock jerked and bobbed in reaction. She smiled at him and crooked a finger at him to step forward as she slid to a sitting position at the edge of the bed. He stepped forward as she bid until he realized what she was going to do and he paused. She frowned up at him in irritated confusion for the delay.
"I've never done this before," he said his eyes averted from hers in embarrassment.
"Me either," she said her face softening and reached out and grabbed his hips. She pulled him forward until his erection tapped against her closed lips. She looked up at Ethan through her lashes as she slowly slid her lips over him. He shuddered when her tongue ran over the head that added to the sensation of her warm wet mouth had him gritting his teeth to try and control himself. Seeing his distress she laughed and the vibrations sent shiver running up his spine and made his hips made a small involuntary thrust forward. She slowly pulled mouth off him sucking gently as she withdrew and the suction made a small pop when she fully withdrew.
"You’re so cute when you try and hold back, I have wanted to do that for years," she said and before he could respond she took him back into her mouth. This time she didn't tease him she bobbed her head on him taking him deeper each time. He wasn't humungous but he was between seven and eight inches long and she soon had him at the entrance to her throat. She pushed once and gagged a little but braced herself then pushed forward while swallowing to get him down her throat.
"Dear god," he whispered and his whole body vibrated from the effort of him willing himself not to cum. She held him buried to the hilt in her mouth, her nose touching his pubic hair and swallowed massaging him. He grunted with each contraction of her throat. When she sucked hard and pulled her head back until only the head remained in her mouth a cried out and came. The first blast coated her tongue and she found that she didn't mind the taste and loved the power she had over him. She had to swallow twice to keep his cum from spilling out of her mouth as he continued to cum. He had her head in his hands to hold her to him as he finally finished and nearly collapsed to his knees. He instead stumbled sideways and sat down on the bed beside her while she swallowed and ran her tongue over the inside of her mouth to get and lingering traces of his seed.
"Wow," Ethan said and she grinned at him before she stood up in front of him facing away from him. She reached over her head and, with a single graceful pull, removed her shirt. She wasn't wearing a bra and Ethan was staring at the smooth uninterrupted expanse of her pale smooth back. He reached out and ran a finger down her spine in a light caress and she shivered as goose bumps ran up and down her arms at the contact. She turned towards him with her hands cupping her breasts, playfully shielding them from his eyes. He reached out and gripped her hands tugging until they fell away revealing the satiny mounds tipped by two small pink nipples. He leaned in and flicked one with his tongue before gently drawing it into his mouth. Sabina moaned hugged his head to her chest and bucked her hips as his mouth pulled at her. She was so lost in the sensations of his mouth on her that she didn't notice that he had unbuttoned her pants until he began to push them down her hips. They fell to the ground revealing the fact that she wasn't wearing panties either.
"Sabina," he groaned when her completely bald pussy came into view. He pulled her forward and leaned down and ran a tongue through her slit. She gasped as lightning seemed to shoot through her body leaving pleasure in its wake and struggled to catch her breath. She pushed his face away from her and onto his back then straddled his hips and positioned herself above him.
"But I wanted to lick you," Ethan complained and she shuddered at the words.
"Next time, this time my first time I want to cum on your dick," Sabina replied and positioned the head at her entrance.
"Wait we need a condom," Ethan said feebly.
"Nope, birth control. I want to feel you fill me," she said just as the head slipped into her.
"Fuck," he cried out at the arousing feeling of her tight tunnel squeezing the head of him mixed with her spoken desire.
"We're already doing that," she said impishly and he laughed which turned to a moan as it caused him to move slightly inside her.
"Like that huh," she asked needlessly as she slid down until he was knocking at her barrier. Feeling the sensation Ethan struggled to focus and when his eyes met hers he smiled at her his eyes a color closer to blue then to green in that moment.
"Are you sure about this," he asked finally. She nodded without saying a word and then relaxed her legs causing her to drop fully onto him. She screamed in pain as their pelvises pressed together and a tear ran down her cheek.
"Sabina! Are you okay," Ethan asked franticly.
"I'll be fine just give me a moment," she said to him as she took deep breathes trying to work through the pain. He reached up and cupped her breasts and began kneading them gently and she sighed with pleasure.
"How big are they," he asked suddenly as he rolled her nipples between his thumbs and forefingers.
"What," she asked in confusion at the non-linear question.
"Your boobs, how big are they," he asked again and gently tugged on her nipples.
"32B," she said and bit her bottom lip. She looked down at his hands as he tormented her nipples and began to make small motions with her hips. When the sensation wasn't unbearable she gradually increased the range of movement until she was sliding up and down on him. She leaned forward, braced her palms on his chest, and began to move her hips in long smooth strokes that swiftly turned into a furious pounding rhythm as he began to thrust upwards into her. She let out little high pitched grunts every time he bottomed out inside her. When they got closer to release, her pace faltered, and her muscles quivered in anticipation. He wrapped his arms around her and rolled her under him. Ethan began to thrust hard as he could pinning her to the mattress, and her hands scrambled for something to hold on to. Finally she gripped fistfuls of the sheet and clung to it tightly as if afraid she would float away without an anchor. There was no slow build up to their release; it caught them both by surprise slamming into them like a truck going eighty miles an hour. With a final thrust Ethan slammed deep into Sabina and gripping her shoulders ground against her as he released himself into her. She screamed and her legs wrapped around his hips locking him in place as her back arched off the bed causing her spine to pop several times. After a minute of this they collapsed into a sweaty heap Ethan still buried inside of her and her legs still trapping him to her tightly.
"Wow," Ethan mumbled and Sabina barked out a laugh, her voice husky due to the raw feeling in her throat from her screaming. They drifted off to sleep clinging together without speaking another word and woke fifteen minutes before their mother was due home from work. Ethan leapt out of the bed and paused to look down at her beautiful body as she slept. She was curled on her side and he could see their combine juices and a little blood had leaked out and coated her thighs before drying there.
"Sabina wake up," Ethan said shaking her shoulder. She groggily opened her eyes and looked at him with a confused look on her face.
"Mom will be home soon you need to get in the shower," he said motioning down to her hips. She followed the motion down to her thighs and she stared at the mess for a moment then her memory must have kicked on because she giggled and then burst into laughter. Ethan stared down at her in confusion and worry not understanding what was funny about the situation.
"What's so funny," he asked her with a frown.
"Not funny I'm just so happy that we finally got to do that," she said and stood not embarrassed at all at her nakedness.
"Me too," Ethan said watching as she walked to his dresser and pulled out a pair of his boxers and one of his shirts. She smiled at him over her shoulder as she walked out of his room with his clothes in her hands. Ethan sat thought about the events of the day and hoped that what had transpired between Sabina and he would help her instead of cause them trouble. His mind then turned to his mother and he wondered how to pull her out of her job and back into their lives. An image of him thrusting between his mother’s thighs while his sister straddled her face flashed into his mind but he immediately pushed the though away and chastised himself for it. He pulled on some boxers and headed for the kitchen to make dinner and had just pulled an iron skillet from a cabinet when a crash from the living room caught is attention.
He walked into the room and froze in shock as he watched a strange woman roll around the floor wrapped in the curtain from the window which had been busted in. Glass lay all over the floor, but the woman didn't seem to notice as she fought to free herself from the curtain. Ethan was just going to step forward to help her when with a resounding tearing noise the curtain ripped apart. As the curtain fell away he realized that he was wrong and the woman wasn't a woman at all. Her head and torso were that of a woman he noticed her breasts hanging bare but his attention was focused more on her arms. Or more accurately the pair of wings where her arms should have been and her legs which looked vaguely like a chicken's. Ever since his father had been killed by Hades he had been reading as much Greek mythology as he could and he recognized the beast from the stories.
"Harpy," Ethan said and took a step backward away from it. The movement drew the creature’s attention and its head whipped around to stare at him.
"Ethan Andrews," it hissed and lunged at him. He reacted instinctively and the iron skillet came up and slammed into the monster's head only inches from Ethan's face. The harpy crumpled to the ground in a feather pile and didn't rise again. A familiar voice screamed from outside not giving him a chance to think about what was happening. He ran to the front door and flung it open and was met with the sight of another harpy assaulting his mother while she tried to fend it off with her purse. He pulled back his arm and threw the skillet at the harpy's head but his aim was off and it hit the creature’s wing instead. With an audible snap the creature dropped to the ground and shrieked in pain and Ethan ran forward and grabbed his mother's arm and scooped up the skillet just as another harpy swooped down from the sky to block the way back into the house.
"Ethan Andrews must die, Lord Hades said so," the creature hissed at him. Ethan took a swing at the harpy with the skillet and it dodged to the side nimbly, clearing the way into the house. The harpy screeched in outrage as he slammed the door in its face. Ethan's mind was working full time and he already knew that they had to get out. If the creature’s word were true then Hades wanted him dead and his mother and sister would just be hostages used against him. He race into his room and threw on the rest of his clothes and grabbed his stash of cash and ran to Sabina's room and began throwing clothes into her backpack which he had emptied by dumping its contents on the floor. He wondered when the other harpy would try to get in the window the previous had broken through but he heard nothing. He duplicated the rapid packing routine in his own room and his mother's before running back into the living room where his mother was standing staring at the crumpled form of the first harpy he had clobbered. The form twitched and a moan issued forth just as he drop the bags at his mother’s feet. Ethan ran over and slammed the iron pot twice into the creature’s skull and when it remained immobile after that he ran into the bathroom with a pair Sabina's pants in hand. She was blow drying her hair wearing only his boxers and one of his shirts which fell down to mid-thigh on her.
"Mom is home, put this on, we have to go," he said and through the jeans at her she awkwardly caught them with astonishment on her face as he turned and ran from the room. She hurriedly dressed and swept her still damp hair back into a ponytail and hurried out after him. She found them in the living room him watching the shattered window with a skillet in his hands.
"What's going on," she asked.
"Harpies attacked, tried to killed Mom and me we have to get moving," Ethan said.
"Harpies," she asked him disbelievingly. He shot her an angry glare then walked over and kicked the downed harpy and it rolled on to its back still out cold from the repeated head blows. Sabina stare it dumbfounded for a moment then her eyes flicked from the growing bruise on the creatures face to the skillet in his hand.
"A skillet really," she asked him lifting a brow and he flushed and shrugged his shoulders.
"It's what I had in my hands when they attack," he said and grinned ruefully. The last harpy flew through the window and slammed into Ethan's back. It wrapped it's talons around his sides and gripped then its head whipped forward and it sunk its teeth into his shoulder. He screamed as its talons pierced his flesh and rose back to his feet as it bit into his shoulder. The harpy was surprisingly light, he figured they had hollow bones like a bird, and he slammed the skillet into the creature’s skull over his shoulder. The angle wasn't good for a hard swing but he repeatedly struck, each blow driving the harpy's sharp teeth deeper into the muscle of his shoulder. Sabina and Lily were screaming as he pummeled struggled to get the monster off of him. The creature weakened under the rain of blows and fell of dazedly on to its back. Ethan turned and slammed the skillet into the creatures face until he heard the crack of breaking bone. He swayed as he turned back to Sabina and his mother but regained his composure.
"Grab the bags we have to go, now," he ordered and they complied grabbing all three bags leaving him free to fight if need be. They threw the bags in the back seat and Sabina slid in next to them while Ethan hopped in the passenger seat and Lily got behind the wheel. Lily back to the road and spun the car and sped away toward the city at double the speed limit.
"Calm down Mom, they aren't following us," Sabina said watching out the back window and looking up at the sky to make sure. Ethan watched out the front window as New York got closer and wonder like he always did how this city hadn't be bombed during the war. Seeing a sign for a McDonalds of the highway he directed his mother there. They went through the drive through then he had her stop at a Walgreens and run into to get a first aid kit and some peroxide along with extra gauze. When she was back behind the wheel he had her check in to a motel by the side of the road they help him into the room. He was sweating profusely now from the pain and Sabina had to help him pull his shirt over his head. Lily and Sabina gasped as the blood covered cloth pulled back to reveal the four puncture wounds on each of his sides and the bite wound on his shoulder. The wounds looked red and angry and Ethan face turned a brilliant red when Lily poured the peroxide into each wound but he held his screams inside. Once she had the wounds cleaned she used butterfly bandages to hold the puncture wounds closed then wrapped gauze around his middle. After she finished with his sides she cleaned and bandaged his shoulder by taping a gauze pad over the bite.
"We should take you to the doctor. I think those side wound need stitches," Lily said.
"We can't Mom," Ethan said and she sighed but didn't argue the point. Ethan opened a bottle of aspirin and took four of them with a single swallow then stood and began to pace while thinking. He walked over to his bag and pulled his laptop out and set it up on the table. He connected to the motel's crappy Wi-Fi signal and started loading the site he wanted before he stood and started pacing again.
"Why are they after us," Sabina asked. Ethan stopped and shot her a guilty look even though he knew it wasn't his fault. He didn't make them try to come and kill him after all.
"They aren't after 'us', their after me. I couldn't leave you behind though because they would almost certainly have killed you trying to extract my location from you," he said and continued his pacing.
"Are you sure," Lily asked him. He cocked his head in confusion at that vague question.
"Am I sure they are after me, or am I sure that they would have killed you when I wasn't there for them to kill," he asked.
"Never mind don't answer that. I am sure they were after me because two of them said my name and one said it was Hades who sent them. As for am I sure they would have killed you," he said and instead of finishing the last sentence he simply pointed at his bandages.
"For some unknown reason they've got orders to kill me," he said scratching the center of his bare chest where a birthmark sat right above his heart.
"What are we going to do," Sabina asked hopelessly. Lily didn't say anything not knowing what to do in this situation but Ethan didn't seem to notice as he answered the question instead.
"Tomorrow we will go to the bank and Mom will withdraw everything we have saved up and we'll run. First we'll head for Wyoming, after that we'll just have to see where things take us," he said as he walked back and forth. Sabina shot a look at her mother but Lily just shrugged not understanding any better than Sabina.
"Why Wyoming," she asked and he jerked as if he had forgotten they were in the room with him.
"In Wyoming near the base of the Rocky Mountains there have been new reports of mythical creatures being spotted fighting with people. Also they have found carcasses matching the description of those harpies. That means that someone else is killing them and this other person might know where to find Hades," he explained.
"Why would you want to find Hades," Lily asked suspiciously leveling a glare at Ethan.
"So we can avoid him at all costs obviously," Ethan said but his eyes shifted to the left not meeting her gaze.
"Isn't that kind of a weak reason to go across the country," Sabina asked trying to forestall the approaching argument. She could tell he was lying as easily as Lily could, he'd always been a horrible liar, but she also knew he wouldn't be dissuaded from his course of action. Lily glared at her but sagged in sullen silence when Sabina just looked at her.
"Well we have nowhere else to go, and there is as good as anywhere. Plus it offers up a slim chance for more information which could prove useful," he said and returned to pacing. Lily and Sabina lay down to sleep while Ethan continued to wait for the website to load. When the news website loaded he searched through the articles until he found one that mentioned the town’s name and he laughed. Sabina sat up and looked at him while Lily didn't even stir from sleep.
"What is it," Sabina asked him.
"The name of the town we're heading to is called Sanctuary," he said turning to look at her. He winced as the motion caused his bandages to bite in to his side wound. He stood and walked into the bathroom not bothering to close the door and began to unwind the bandages, some of which had spots where the blood had soaked through while he was at the computer. Sabina quietly came into the bathroom and nudged the door closed until it was only open a crack. She helped him unwind the bandages on winced as they pulled free from his wounds. They were bleeding anymore but when she whiled away the blood the edges of the holes were red and puffy and he winced if she even breathed on them. By the time she finished cleaning the wounds and bandaging him sweat was trickling down his face and his eyes were shiny with the wetness of suppressed tears of pain. She tilted her head back and kissed his chin and gently wrapped her arms around him being careful not to squeeze his injuries. He winced in pain anyway but hugged her back tightly and kissed her. She returned the kissed and pulled back then washed his face with a damp wash cloth before they crawled into bed together. Neither saw the watching eyes of their mother in the dark.
Ethan woke the next morning before even the sun rose and headed out to get breakfast. When he came back the smell of coffee and sausage, egg, and cheese Mcmuffins entice the other two from their beds. They ate and then while the others shared the shower Ethan stood looking out the window at the new dawn. The shape he saw in the sky looked like a bird at first but soon it drew close enough that he could see it fully and tension coiled in his stomach. He waited until the harpy had flown passed without stopping and prayed that it was smart enough to recognize their car. He rushed over to the door and banged on it with a fist then rushed around the room repacking what little there was to put back into the bags. He stuffed the directions he has written down into his pocket and rushed outside and loaded their things into the car. He just got back into the room when the bathroom door popped open and Lily stuck her head out.
"Time to go, I just saw a harpy," he told her. Her head disappeared back into the bathroom and five minutes later they both came out of the bathroom fully dressed with wet hair hanging down their backs. Ethan got behind the wheel and his mother rode in the passenger seat with Sabina once again in the back.
"Why can't I drive," Sabina whined.
"Because you drive like a girl," Ethan shot back automatically needling her. His mother cleared her throat and looked at him with an eyebrow raise but he just grinned at her. The stop at the bank took only twenty minutes and his mother was back in the car with forty-thousand dollars in her purse. He drove for hours focused on staying in between the lines of the highway. He taped the directions to the dash so he wouldn't lose them. The first sign he notice that something was wrong was when he stopped for gas, while he pumped the gas the numbers on the pump kept blurring together. But he felt fine and it went away almost immediately so he chalked it up to stress and being tired. An hour later the edges of his vision began to blur and the road seemed to tilt under the car. He pulled carefully pulled over and shook Lily awake.
"Mom, wake up," he said shaking her.
"What is it honey," she asked groggily and sat up straight.
"I need you to drive I am falling asleep at the wheel," he replied. They switched spots and he quickly fell asleep leaning against the far door. Lily looked at the clock and realized he had been driving for nearly five hours and was surprised that she and Sabina had slept that long after a full night’s sleep already. Her eyes flicked to the rearview mirror where she could see Sabina sprawl across the back seat. Then a memory of the previous night popped into her head. She had woken and gotten up to go to the bathroom when she noticed the door was mostly closed. She moved toward the door when she heard them moving around and she could see them in the reflection from the mirror. Sabina was helping Ethan with cleaning his wounds and changing his bandages. Lily paused outside the door unsure of why she didn't go forward except that atmosphere was wrong. Sabina was only helping him with his injuries but her posture was possessive and the small unnecessary touches where she caressed him here or comforted there as she worked seemed intimate. Lily shook her head and told herself she was being silly, that is until they kissed each other. The hug wasn't brotherly or sisterly but the kiss was not and couldn't even be mistaken for such. Lily backed away from the bathroom door and climbed back into her bed moments before they vacated the bathroom and climbed into bed together. She had half wondered if they would start having sex right next to her. She expected to be awake a long time after that but she quickly faded back to sleep until the smell of coffee woke her.
Back in the present she looked over at her son and tried to understand. It was true is she hadn't been there at his birth she would never have believed he was her child. John and she were both dark haired and brown eyed like Sabina. Ethan's hair was the gold of sunlight and he had those stunning shifting colored eyes. His was tall like John probably close to six feet tall and was well muscled from his training for the soccer team. He had a strong jaw with a boyish quality to the rest of his features. Lily could easily see girls falling for him but Sabina was his sister, she fretted inside her head and debated on whether or not to bring up what she had seen or not. She had come to no decision an hour later when Sabina woke and stretched out her arms and legs, as much as the car would allow. They chatted for an hour or so then stopped for food, they tried to wake Ethan but he waved them on telling them that he wasn't hungry and he didn't feel well. They hopped back in the car and took turns driving and letting Ethan sleep since he wasn't feeling well. Since both felt desire to out distance the danger behind them drove most of the way over the speed limit only slowing when they approached high population areas. They followed the directions Ethan had printed out exactly only stopping for food and gas, and that is how twenty-hours after Ethan went to sleep they arrived in Sanctuary in the foot hills of the Rockies.
"Ethan wake up, we're here," he groggily sat up and looked around through blurry vision.
"I think I'm sick," he mumbled.
"I think so to honey you've been out for almost a full day now and you haven't eaten or drunk anything," she said. She reached out a hand and placed it on his forehead and alarm shot through her as she felt the heat rolling off his skin.
"Shit," she cursed as drove into town. Sabina was silent but she watched Ethan with worry in her eyes as Lily pulled into a gas station in the middle of the small town. She threw the car into to park and with a last worried glance at Ethan, who was already asleep again, she hurried inside. The air here was much cooler then it the weather in New York so she was a little under dressed in her t-shirt and shorts but it wasn't unbearable. Dark clouds were beginning to roll in and were rapidly filling the sky. The gas station was just and average gas station with a teenage guy sitting behind the counter reading a magazine.
"Excuse me," Lily said when she walked in.
"Bathrooms over there," the teen said, pointing toward the back of the store without looking up.
"I don't need the bathroom. I need directions to a doctor," she said. The teen's eyes rose from his magazine but snagged somewhere south of her face. She looked down to see what he was ogling since this t-shirt didn't show any cleavage even though she hadn't had time to put on a bra when they left the last motel in such a hurry. It was then that she noticed that the cooler weather outside had harden her nipples and they were noticeable under her shirt. She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled at the boy, who realizing he'd be caught flush a brilliant crimson.
"H-h-how can I help you, ma'am," he stuttered out. Her face softened at his obvious embarrassment but she didn't uncross her arms.
"I need directions to the closest doctor," she asked again. After listen to the boy twice she repeated the directions to him and when she had them right she thanked him and ran back out to the car. She knew immediately that something was wrong when she slid behind the wheel of the car.
"What is," she asked Sabina. Ethan was leaning against the door breathing heavily with sweat beading on his skin.
"Ethan, he started moaning in pain. He kept saying it hurts, it hurts," Sabina explained with tears in her eyes.
"Is that all," Lily asked. That was cause for worry but that wouldn't put the panic in Sabina's eyes that she saw there.
"No then there is this," she said and pulled the bandage on Ethan's arm back so Lily could see. Bile rose in her throat but she swallowed it down and the car swerved once as she tried to compose herself. The bite on Ethan’s shoulder was black around the edges. The veins under the skin radiating outward from the bite were also black. He was shivering and sweating at the same time and making little pained moans in his throat as she drove faster.
"Shit," she said loudly and Sabina silently agree with her. Ten minutes later they screeched to a halt in front of a clinic where an overweight, elderly man was just locking the doors for the night and the sign said closed.
"Excuse me are you Dr. Jones," Lily asked jumping out of the car.
"Yes, but we're closed now. Come back tomorrow," he said gruffly through his white beard and turned to study Lily with pale blue eyes.
"Please, it can't wait till tomorrow my son is very sick," she pleaded and motioned towards the car. The man harrumphed but grudgingly moved towards the car and peered into the passenger seat. Sabina pulled back the bandage on Ethan's shoulder to reveal the blackened wound. The man's eyes widened and he flicked a nervous glance upward and scanned the skies, which Lily found suspicious but she refrained from saying anything. The man stood up and looked around
"I can't help him but I know someone who might be able to," Dr. Jones said looking over at Lily.
"Alright it is a bit of drive so stay close," he told her his eyes still scanning the sky.
"Okay," she answered and climbed back into the car.
"I get the feeling he know exactly what bit Ethan," Sabina said from the back seat and Lily nodded in agreement. She followed close behind Dr. Jones as he pulled out headed toward the looming mountains. Half an hour they pulled to a stop at the bottom of a foot path up into the mountain and it began it drizzle.
"There is a cave, about five minutes, up this path, they will meet us there," Dr. Jones told Lily and turned to head up the trail.
"Who are they," Lily demanded grabbing his arm to keep him from walking away. Sabine didn't bother she got out and opened Ethan's door and knelt in front of him.
"The person I think can help is there," Dr. Jones said and pulled his arm free and started up the trail not bothering to wait for them. Sabina put a hand on his arm and shook him and notice that his shirt was plastered to his body with sweat.
"I don't feel well Sabina," Ethan complained when he woke.
"I know you don't Ethan. We are taking you to someone who can help you but we need you to walk for a while," she explained.
"I don't want to, it hurts," he said closing his eyes.
"I'm sorry, please get up and walk a little? For me," she pleaded. Lily watched with worry as Ethan levered himself to his feet beside the car. Sabine took his hand and began leading him up the trail and had to help support him because he kept stumbling over the uneven ground. The walk up the trail probably would have taken five minutes like the doctor had said if Ethan could walk normally or they could have carried him. But he was too heavy for them and he could just barely place one foot in front of the other following Sabina's lead. He seemed to have lost all depth perception because he kept tripping over stones sticking out of the ground instead of stepping over them. Fifteen minutes after embarking on the trail they stumbled into the cave with one of Ethan's arms over each of their shoulders and soaked to the bone. With each step his weight had grown as he grew increasingly weak and unable to stand on his own. Dr. Jones was talking at a woman who looked to be in her late forties to early fifty. Behind the woman stood two large men that looked even to Lily's untrained eye like bodyguards. Lily and Sabina lowered Ethan to the ground to lean against a stalagmite before Lily stood and looked at their surroundings. The cave was only fifty feet deep at most and only thirty wide but the most striking feature was the stalagmites and stalactites. It looked like someone had tried to melt the stone of ceiling and it dripped down to form stony spikes before hardening again. Ethan was propped against the first stalagmite, closest to the cave entrance. Sabine lifted his head back to check his temperature his temperature with a hand to his forehead but jerked her hand away with a gasp of shock and fear.
"What is it," Lily said turning away from her inspection of the room at the sound. When Sabina just crouched in front of Ethan without answering she hurried over only to also freeze with fear when she looked at his face. The blackness had spread through his veins and up his neck to his face. They could see the black tracery of veins under his skin and watch the blackness slowly progress through them. His eyes were open and staring unseeingly at the ceiling but his chest was rising and falling to prove he wasn't dead yet. The most shocking system though was his right eye. The blackness had reached and, while the iris color was the same sea green as always, consumed all of the white area surrounding the iris. It looked like an ebony marble with a sea green ring painted on it. The girls' obvious distress drew the doctor and the woman, the guards stayed close to the woman. When they got to Ethan, Dr. Jones and the woman, they knelt and examined his face. The two big men placed themselves between the opening of the cave less than ten feet away and stood staring into the falling rain.
"How long since he was bitten," the woman asked Lily. Lily sat there staring at the blackness as it crept over Ethan’s face and despair filled her. She had already lost John and now she would lose Ethan, the world seemed to be coated in a shimmering haze as tears filled her eyes.
"A little over a day," Sabina answered when she realized Lily wouldn't. The woman's head jerked around to stare at her in disbelief and Sabina just shrugged.
"That is impossible," the moan said staring at Sabina as if looking for hints she was lying. Sabina bristle at the woman's implications and she straighten her spine and her face reddened in anger.
"He was bitten yesterday about five or six hours after we got out of school so that would make it between nine o'clock and ten o'clock last night. Now it is past ten tonight plus he was bitten in New York which is a twenty hour drive from here. If you follow the speed limits," she said muttering the last statement with a guilty look at her mother but Lily didn't notice.
"I don't understand how he is still alive let alone how he managed to walk up to this cave," she said and shot a baleful glare at Dr. Jones with her last comment. He cringed under her gaze but said nothing to defend himself.
"I would say it is too late because no one survives more than two to three hours with Underworld Essence flowing in their veins. However if he's only this far along after just over twenty-four hours we might be able to save him," The woman offered. A relieved smile split Sabina's face but instantly morphed to horror and she let out a shrill shriek of terror. A harpy rocketed into the cave at a glide and slammed into one the big men and latched onto him like the one that had clung to Ethan. Its talons punched into the man's sides causing him to cry out in pain. He scrambled for a gun in the waist band of his pants but only managed to pull it out before his scream of pain ended with a gurgle as the harpy bit into his throat. His hand spasmed and the gun dropped from his fingers to the floor of the cavern with a clatter. The other guard had dragged the woman and Dr. Jones back farther into the cave and when the harpy casually tossed the guards body aside he fire twice into the harpies chest. He pulled the trigger a third time but the gun jammed and the harpy grinned at him displaying it's sharply pointed teeth for all of them to see. It took two steps before the crack of gun fire echoed through the cave and the harpies head exploded in a spray of blood and chunky bits. Surprised the three looked over to see Sabina crouched over Ethan holding the downed guards' gun awkwardly in her hands. They shared a look and then rushed back over Ethan’s prone form.
"We have to get into the city. Dr. Jones thank you for bringing them here you must go now," the woman said. Dr. Jones nodded his understanding and then hurried out of the cave and into the downpour all the while squinting up at the sky.
"Bernard you carry the boy you two follow closely," she said and Sabina and Lily nodded. The big man picked Ethan up like a child and held him with an ease that said more for his strength then his bulging muscles did. The woman led them back into the cave until they reached the far and between two pillars formed by stalactites and stalagmites meeting and forming together she stopped. She drew a symbol and the wall with a hand and the rock vanished exposing a tunnel behind it. They all stepped into the tunnel and the rock reappeared behind them and as the continued onward down the tunnel, rock filled in the tunnel behind them. They walked in a silence broken only by Ethan's moans and whimpers of pain and him softly calling Sabina's name over and over again. Sabina trudged after the guard tears filling her eyes, but not falling as she tried to push the possibly of losing Ethan from her mind.