Because screwing with emotions is a hobby of mine... At least this one has some violence. Sorry this is SO long, wanted to wrap it up real good. You could just skip to the stuff beneath the ~*~*~*~ at the end, but you'll be hella confused.
Kai was three days old when an assassin came for him and his mother.
Aryess had fallen asleep with him in her arms. It was a habit now- he hardly ever left her arms, and never her sight. Aryess had gotten used to sleeping whenever she could, which meant she slept when Kai slept. That excluded when she had to carry him from plane to train to train, buy food, and worry about him and his sister both. One of Ary's first decisions upon their birth was that she would focus on getting her and her son home. Amara was with the Shadows, where she would thrive and learn to protect herself. But their mother had an impossible time shaking the thought that something horrible would happen as long as the twins were separated... as long as either of the was away from her.
The clacking of the train and rumbling of its engine had lulled Kai and his mother to sleep. Baby slept on his back, cheek pressed again Mother's chest. The white beanie pulled over his naked little head to keep him warm matched the long sleeved onesie with a polar bear stitched on it. The outfit had been a gift from her friend Gabriel, the only person who had known about Amara's twin before they were born. "To keep them warm in case they raised in the snow with the Shadows," he had joked half heartedly, tossing a beanie with bear ears to the "momma bear." The daughter has received a similar outfit with a blue beanie and a penguin.
Aryess was waken by footsteps too carefully placed to be natural. She slid off the pull down bed of the private room, careful not to wake the baby. The footsteps stopped outside of the room. Aryess slid the dagger from the sheath beneath her dress and held it at her side. A fist rapped agains the door, small and light enough to be a woman's. "Wine, miss," a voice called.
Aryess opened the door, enough to peek out at first, then all the way. "I didn't order any wine." The waitress opened her mouth to reply, but suddenly her eyes glossed over. Another voice replied, "It's a gift." The man appeared from the right and took the unopened bottle of wine from the waitress's hands. As he entered the room, the woman's body fell forward and lay still on the ground. The handle of a kitchen knife protruded from her back.
Aryess backpedalled as the man entered. He seemed not to notice as he closed the door. It was necessary to nudge the woman's feet aside slight so that she fit within the room and allow the door to shut. A long, black silk jacket, golden-threaded collar, buttons, and cuffs, and rings along his fingers suggested wealth. He was clean shaven. Features and wavy, lustrous hair led her to think he was of Indian origin, perhaps the capital, New Delhi. The assassin seemed uninterested in the mother, who was standing in front of her sleeping child protectively, as he opened the wine. Two glasses were poured. It was as dark a red as the blood seeping through the back of the waitress's blouse. The hiss of the bubbles filled the cabin and Aryess nearly imitated the noise as the man took a seat at the table. It was a common law among killers that patience was key. Right then, the mother was anything but patient.
"What do you want?" she demanded, keeping her voice from rising to a shrieking shout in fear of startling Kai awake.
"To celebrate the birth of your daughter," the man answered, raising the wine his lips, "Or rather, your son." The panic in Aryess's eyes must have been amusing, because the man laughed. "How stupid do you think we are? We assumed you would try to run with your child. When you disappeared and no child was delivered to us, they sent me. I've been following you since New Delhi." He set the flute glass down and ran a finger around the rim, the rings glinting in the sunlight streaming in from the windows. "I wondered why you ran when you seemed so ready to sacrifice your child. But then I figured... 'Where is the daughter you promised us, Angel?' 'Oh, what daughter? I haven't a daughter,' Because what daughter indeed when you gave birth to a son. It wouldn't be lying then, would it, you poor, innocent little thing... It's exactly something I would expect from a daughter of the Mistress."
Aryess stared at him. What he was saying sounded so ridiculous, but it was partially true. What alarmed her more was that they thought she had run off without handing over her daughter. But she had handed over her daughter. Where was her daughter? Who had Amara? Telling this assassin that Aryess had had twins and handed over the girl would only make him laugh. If he thought she was lying, he would take Kai and kill the mother. If he believed her, he would take Kai, kill her, and issue a search for Amara.
"You can't have my son. He's not fit to be trained," she lied, "He's very sick. Might not even last the week."
"Then perhaps I'll take you back too. If the little one dies, we'll build a pyre, a tiny pile of wood, and set his tiny corps afire as per custom. Afterward... Our leaders still expect their promised repayment. Whoever your bastard son's father is, there are plenty of other strong, capable men willing to carry on the line of your rebellious, pain in the ass family."
"You mean killers," Aryess spat. Her son whimpered from the bed, his small fists waving in the air as if to ward away the angry noise. She picked him up before he could start crying and attract someone more to the scene to put in danger as well. The assassin finished off his wine and stood. "Cute," he commented, "Now, hand over the child so that I have assurance that you will follow."
The blonde took a step back in response, her eyes flittering around for some other help than the small dagger in her free hand. The man from New Delhi tsked and raised a revolver. Aryess was about to comment on what an odd weapon it was for a silent killer before another knock came at the door. She also would have made a smart remark about another "gift" if her heart hadn't been in her throat. The assassin opened the door and laughed.
Standing in the doorway was a woman Aryess recognized from the cabin her children had been born in. She was the same short, rustic haired nurse who had taken Amara from the room and delivered her to the Shadows. Or at least, that was what she was supposed to do. Aryess saw now that the nurse had only completed half her mission, as there was a bundle in her arms similar to the one the mother herself was holding.
She didn't even think about it. One moment Aryess was standing behind the assassin, hardly breathing in her terror, and the next she was standing over his body, panting as if she had just ran a marathon. The man was on the ground beside the dead waitress he had killed, a short dagger in his throat. A knife in the trachea killed even faster than one in the spinal column.
Six days later, Lady Liberty came into view off the port side of a trans-atlantic cruise ship. Aryess was sitting on the bow to see it. It had turned out Kai, while soothed by the thump-thumping of the train, was less than fond of ships. He had started crying once they had left the bay, and not even changing him into his favorite polar bear onesie and matching beanie had calmed him down. Of course, once one twin started crying, the other harmonized. Assuming it was sea sickness, Aryess had dressed both children warmly and taken them to the benches on the bow. The boy had soon calmed along with his sister. There she sat with them everyday until late at night, after Kai and Amara were both fast asleep.
The nurse who had taken Amara, then brought her back, was named Charmeine, after the angel. Fitting. Her own mother had hid her from the Shadows, giving the girl a choice later of wether or not she would go back to the Shadows. Charmeine's mother was one of many who had been influenced by Aryess's mother's decision to run from the Shadows to protect her children. Of course, the assassins had hunted down almost all those who had run away at one point or another, but Char's mother had already died after giving birth to Charmeine's younger sister, who, unlike Char, had never gone back to the order of killers. The nurse said she had felt she owed Aryess for her mother's deeds that saved her and her sister's free will. That's why she had taken Amara to safety, then hunted down Aryess to reunite the girl with her mother and brother. Aryess had been upset about the danger that had come with the secret plan, but the anger had been fleeting when she held both her children in her arms again.
Char and Aryess had gone their separate ways after the train. They both agreed it was safer that way. Charmeine had brought enough money with her to make a new life for herself. She wanted to start an organization to help children who had a hard time finding good homes or who were placed with unfit foster families. Ary herself had taken a ship to Sri Lanka, then Malaysia where she caught the cruise. Finally, after nearly four months away, she was back to the place she had called home for the majority of her life. Maybe she should have gone somewhere to start anew, one of the Carolinas or Florida, maybe even California. Yet Aryess couldn't help but want nothing more than just be near her family. She was never giving any of them up again.
I be done messing with these babies and their kids. McL and I were going to switch the kids so that the Shadows had Kai since we've been talking about Amara 5ever... But I got really attached to the twins, so yay, they get to be together again!