As Zu walked down the hallway carrying a tray of tea to Lorry’s room, he almost burst out in hysterical laughter at the heart stopping fear that was rising up within him. He had faced a ambush at the Science Lab two days ago, then had taken a team into another ambush at the Council meeting location at the Beacon Hill Theater House, and then he had lead an assault on a enemy held training camp, but it was now that he wanted to run in fear.
The day that Lorry and her friends Tam and Angel had shown up had been a confusing and weird day, which had ended in an attempted shooting at the Science Lab and him spending the night in a sorority house. Despite the shooting the scariest thing about that night had been when he had kissed Lorry and the look on her face afterwards. Zu had almost lost himself in that kiss, but then he had seen the shock in her face and fear had gripped his heart to the point that he had fled to his own bed, but their parting words had seemed to bridge the space between them before they slipped off to sleep.
Even though his world was in chaos and Zu was suppose to be leading the efforts to defend the Mages of the city, he had a hard time not letting his thoughts linger on Lorry. Zu knew he had been distracted when they had went into the Theater House and he blamed himself for not seeing the attack sooner, but when the ambush had sprung everyone had acted to the best of their ability. He and Lorry had fought their way deep into the Theater and were doing well until the flaming hand Banisher had shown up out of nowhere and attacked him. Being hit with flames from some guy’s hands had been scary enough but when he had tried to teleport himself and Zu out of the Theater Zu had known he was in trouble, but then Lorry had thrown her will at the Banisher stopping his spell cold. By the look on her face full of fear and concern, Zu knew just how close he had come and he realized as he looked upon Lorry that he didn’t fear the Banisher, but not seeing Lorry again. Then the lightening had come down with the words of “Sorry for this bud” in Lucian’s voice and then darkness.
When Zu awoke, he found that he was lying in Lorry’s arms just inside the woman’s bathroom where he had fallen as she stroked his hair with concern still bright in her eyes. A deep part of Zu had wanted to stay there on the woman’s bathroom floor forever, but he knew that the world he knew was falling down around him and he had to get up to face it head on and help his fellow Mages. After a quick regrouping and assessment, Zu contacted the Council who moved the meeting to the second closed location and with that they were headed to the Downtown Museum. The meeting was a long drawn out process with every member getting their say, but in the end decisions were finally made and Zu was tasked with taking out the group of Witch Hunters that was being manipulated by the Seer of the Thrown sect. The Council had recommend that he take the group of Arrows from Seattle and not the newcomers, but Zu had argued against this and won his argument mostly do to the fact that he was the only one going on this mission. Zu knew that he could trust Lorry, Tam, and Angel with his life even though he had only known them for a few days, but what he didn’t know was how much of that trust was based off of his feelings for Lorry or on how much he had come to know about the group as a whole.
Before leaving on the assault mission, Zu and the rest of the group needed to get patched up and were told by the Council to use the aid of Sister Rosalyn at St. Margret’s Hospital. Zu had only meet the Sister Rosalyn once before, she was much like Lucian, an outsider in the Mage community but still a part of it. When they had gotten to the Sister’s office Zu was surprised by her friendly demeanor which was opposite of the rumors he had heard about her, but she freely offered her aid and words of advice and encouragement. When Sister Rosalyn had been healing Zu’s hurts she had asked him if he was scared of what he was about to face or what stood in front of him. Zu had been confused by her question and asked her what she meant and the Sister had just smiled at him and answered, “Well child I know that giving your heart away to your true love can be scary and in your case when she will go where you can’t follow it is even more so, but have faith for true love is a special and rare thing that does not falter easily. Just as she is, child, and I wish you luck with her and pray for you safety.” and with that the Sister stood and moved on to care for Tam.
Two hours later they were staring at the island where the Witch Hunters camp was located which was a dark menacing thing that scared the bay waters as they sailed into the crudely made dock. Zu couldn’t stop thinking about what Sister Rosalyn that said to him as they made up the side of the hill and deeper into the island, and he almost tripped several times as he keep looking at Lorry. When the group got near the camp, Tam silently took care of the guard in a rudely built guard tower before they split into two groups on Tam’s guidance, Zu and Lorry in one group with Tam and Angel in the other. Zu and Lorry made their way around the edge of the camp trying to move around to cover the backside as Tam and Angel lead the assault, but they were stopped before getting into position when a shot rang out from the other guard tower which took Zu high in the left arm.
After that things started happening so fast, Tam fired his TNT loaded arrow into a truck then Lorry set it off blowing up the truck and causing a large distraction. He and Lorry moved around the back of the camp taking fire from the guard tower until they made it inside a house looking building. Inside they found a wounded woman who they tied up before moving to the other door; it was then that Lorry exchanged fire with a man near the other side of the camp. When Lorry cried out in pain from a shot she took to her side, Zu’s heart almost stopped as he ran to shoot at her attacker then pulling her back into the building. As he looked over her wound, she looked more concerned for him than for herself. Then Tam and Angel had called for the rest of the TNT, Zu had stood up getting ready to run to them as they backed up a tuck to the building before he left though Lorry reached out for his hand, “Stay safe for me please,” and with a nod Zu ran out and jumped into the back of the truck which Angel drove straight into the warehouse so Tam could through the TNT into it a the rest of the Witch Hunters. The ensuing explosion took the fight out of the survivors and ended the fight.
Their had been some discussion on how to handle the surviving Witch Hunters, but Lorry had voiced the most just option. They had left all but the woman there for the police to deal with taking the woman who had been apart of the University shooting back with them to turn her over personally to the police when they got back. Before leaving they gathered up as much of the Witch Hunters weapons and equipment as they could find, and it had been while they were loading this stuff onto the yacht when they felt the shockwaves of what felt like a earthquake then they saw the cloud erupt from the north and start to head in their direction. Afterward they had moved quickly to get back to Seattle and safety and they almost made it but before they reached the Downtown stronghold ash started falling like snow onto the city covering everything and making it hard to see much less drive, but they all made it to the stronghold safe and sound.
It was now here in the safety of the stronghold that Zu was starting to face his deepest fear as he walked into the room that had been assigned to Lorry for their stay here. Lorry had just stepped out of a shower and was wearing a thin grey shirt with her sorority’s crest on it and black shorts, but she had taken her pink ribbon that she had been wearing since she had arrived to the city out of her hair and it was now tied around her right wrist. Lorry was not wearing stylish clothes like she had during the sorority party and her hair was hanging unkempt down around her face, but Zu’s heart skipped a beat as heat rushed through his body just looking at her.
Zu set the tea down before turning to Lorry who was looking at him with a strange look on her face and not moving from her spot, and it was then that he realized that she scared too. For some reason that made Zu feel better and worse at the same moment and in a deep desire to soothe her fear he took several steps forward until he was at arms length in front on her. There was several moments of silence where both of them tried to say something, but only managing to move their mouths in wordless speak. Finally Zu closed his eyes and said, “Lorry you scare me, you scare me because I have never felt this way about anyone and even though I know you have to leave as you have said I can’t let you go, not without saying this. My heart had chosen you and now belongs to you as do I. I guess what I’m trying to say it that I have fallen in love with you.”
Zu opened his eyes after a few second when he didn’t get any kind of response to see Lorry’s face full of tears as she untied her pink ribbon from her wrist. She stepped closer to him breaking an unseen barrier with her body’s closeness as she reached down and took his left arm in her hands, and then looking into his eyes for the first time she answered him. “Zu, I never imagined to find you here or to feel the way I do, but I know now that I have finally found what my heart has always been searching for. I want you to have something from me, this ribbon was given to me by my sister Harmony for luck and with love and I want you to have it now.” With that she tied the pink ribbon onto his left wrist with a bow that all girls seem to know natural how to do and as she finished she spoke up once more, “I am yours as you are mine.”
Zu closed that final space between them in more ways than just physical as he embraced Lorry and looked deep into her eyes. Her eyes were still sparkling with the tears she had been shedding, but it was love behind those tears and Zu knew that his soul would never be the same as it now and would for ever belong to the beautiful woman that stood before him and with that thought he kissed her with tenderness and passion that he somehow knew would last for ages.