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Chapter 3: Duty

  • Talia POV
  • I looked at the two, standing there looking at Tanner and Annie as their hands were pressed right above each other's hearts.
  • Slowly, I turned back around as my eyes fell down onto Tanner and Annie, and I couldn't help the smile that slowly showed itself on my face.
  • Closing the door, I turned back to Olivia and Lizzy as they led me to the backside where a large garden was.
  • We sat there on the patio chairs when a young female brought out some cold lemonade and cookies.
  • "She was crying?" Lizzy asked the moment we were left alone.
  • Pouring myself some fresh lemonade, I looked at Lizzy and said, “She was.”
  • Olivia placed her glass on the table, looking at me as she asked, “Will she be ok?”
  • I was silent for a moment, thinking about what came to me on the day of the baby shower.
  • ***
  • Walking away from Azrael, I could feel his eyes still following my every move as I couldn’t hold back the smile, seeing him spill his drink all over himself just because I teased him a little.
  • I reached to the other side, walking towards Olivia, Mandy, and Lizzy.
  • “What made you smile?” Mandy asked as she smiled at me, making Olivia and Lizzy turn their focus and look at me with curiosity clearly written over their faces.
  • I turned my head back and looked over at Azrael; I saw him wiping off his shirt, mumbling something that made Marcus laugh next to him, patting Azrael’s back as he was saying something to him.
  • Like he could feel my gaze on him, Azrael stopped drying off his shirt, and I saw his head look up as his eyes locked with my own.
  • I could feel the blush rise upon my cheeks, so I turned away fast but not fast enough as I saw him smirk at me, clearly noticing my red cheeks.
  • “That ass,” I mumbled to myself, completely forgetting that I was in the company of Olivia, Lizzy, and Mandy.
  • “Someone is shy,” Mandy said, teasing me.
  • Lizzy giggled, but thankfully Olivia wrapped her arm around my shoulder and said, “Ladies, please. So what if Talia is in denial about her feelings towards Azrael and we all can see how they look at each other, but let’s be nice and don’t tease her. I am sure she will admit it when she is ready to.” 
  • Mandy and Lizzy grinned the moment Olivia finished as I stood there shocked and speechless, mouth agape.
  • “It is ok, they won’t tease you anymore,” Olivia said, smiling widely at me as all I could do was look at her and blink.
  • ‘Was I really that obvious?’ I couldn’t help not to wonder to myself.
  • Time has passed as we were having fun.
  • We played games with Annie, trying to keep her spirit up, and it seemed it was working.
  • I couldn’t help not to notice how no matter where I would go, Azrael was always somewhere near me, not that I didn’t like that.
  • We stole glances a couple of times, thought the day. He even winked at me or just smirked whenever he would catch me looking his way.
  • The laughter was all around us as everyone was having fun.
  • Soon as the songs started, Marcus walked up to Olivia about to ask her for the dance only for Damon to snatch her hand, grinning at Marcus as he said, “Sorry buddy, but this is my jam. Come on, little firecracker.”
  • “Damon!! Stop calling me that already.” I heard Olivia say to him as they started to dance, only to get him to grin wide at her and say, “Hmm… nope, never happening. Sorry, little firecracker.”
  • Marcus shook his head next to me, laughing as he watched the two.
  • He said, “They will never change.”
  • I looked at him and I could see the amount of love he has for his mate and I know he lets Damon get away with these things only because of how close they got in the dark times.
  • “No, they will not,” I said, drinking my lemonade, smiling as we stood there and watched everyone enjoying their time.
  • Azrael walked towards us, offering Marcus a glass of drink as Marcus accepted it, asking him, “So, why don’t you take Talia to dance?”
  • Azrael looked at him, then me, and I could see he was thinking of an answer, but I beat him to it, “That would be a bad idea.”
  • Azrael frowned hearing my answer while Marcus looked at me with interest shining in his eyes, “Why is that?” he asked me.
  • Once again my cheeks reddened as I looked over at Azrael who was silent all along, so I said, “One time, a long time ago, we danced and I… well, let’s just say I don’t really know how to dance as I stomped on his feet all the time while we danced.”
  • Azrael, as he remembered that day, shook his head smiling, he said, “It was not that bad.”
  • Snorting, I answered, “I kicked you in the groin.”
  • Marcus burst out laughing while Azrael made a sour face, saying, “Ok, that was the only thing that was not so… nice.”
  • All three of us laughed as we turned our focus and watched at the crowd in front of us.
  • Damon was twirling Olivia as they both laughed, and it was obvious how much fun they were having.
  • I looked around, searching for Annie, finding her sitting down on one of the chairs as Tanner walked towards her, smiling as he said something to her.
  • I kept watching them and saw him helping her stand up as he led her closer to the dancing crowd and started to goof around her as he danced, making her smile at him as she watched him circling around her.
  • I could hear two males near from where I was standing, talking to each other as they had their eyes set on Tanner and Annie; “Seriously dude, just look at them. He has changed drastically. Since we returned from the Dark Lands, all he is doing is jumping in circles around her. Hell, she is not even his mate!”
  • The other male nodded his head, listening to the first one, saying, “I know, but it is his choice.”
  • The first one rolled his eyes, continuing on, “He doesn’t hang out anymore with us. Just yesterday I saw him deny Stacey as she stood half-naked in front of his room. Stacey dude. Who in the right mind would reject a night with her?”
  • Rolling my eyes as I didn’t want to hear more of their conversation, I looked once again towards Tanner and Annie, saying a silent thank you to the Goddess as I could see Annie was smiling and it was all thanks to him.
  • Looking up towards the clear sky, I watched at the birds flying far above when suddenly something catches my intention, making me look towards the bright, shiny light that was fast falling down from the sky.
  • Could it be a fallen star? I wondered.
  • But it was daytime, so that was not possible. Or was it?
  • The questions kept playing around my mind as I looked down back to the crowd when suddenly the sight before me changed and everything disappeared.
  • I could see a blanket spread down on the grass. A basket filled with food next to it as a female was sitting down and holding something in her arms.
  • I looked closer and could see that the female was no other but Annie.
  • She was holding a small baby, pressing it tightly into her chest. Having her eyes on her baby as she cooed at it.
  • Suddenly, a tall silhouette appeared and walked straight towards Annie and the baby.
  • I watched as her head looked up and smiled widely as the person sat down next to her, caressing the baby's cheek with his finger and I couldn’t help but to wonder who that person was.
  • Suddenly, like a veil was lifted, I could finally see clearly the person next to Annie, and to my surprise, I could see it was Tanner.
  • The three of them looked so happy, like a family, and before I could see anything more the picture disappeared making me blink my eyes, looking around feeling disoriented until I heard an unfamiliar voice reaching my ears. 
  • “You, my child, are serving your purpose and I have heard your plea and will grant your wish, and give the one, that has lost too early and had love and happiness, brutally ripped away from her, I will grant her another chance and gave her a new path that can lead her towards the life she should have had before, but your task is not stopping here as you will need to help her get up and fight off her pain for her to be able to move on and accept the gift I am giving her once again. Go and fulfill your duty and soon enough when the time is right I will reward you.”
  • ***