One Hundred and Twenty-Six…

One Hundred and Twenty-Six: A Time to Heal

His voice reverberated inside her head.

“It’s okay now. Wake up, Azura.”

Her eyes fluttered open.

“I stopped the bleeding,” he softly said. “I was able to heal you.”


“Yeah. I’m here.” He paused. “Why did you do it, Azura? Why didn’t you tell me or Lauren you were pregnant? Why go to this extreme?”

“You wouldn’t have understood. I couldn’t understand it myself. I didn’t want Brent’s baby. I couldn’t see any other way out of it. Are you mad at me?”

“Sweetheart, of course I’m not mad at you. I’m just glad you’re okay.” His thumb stroked her chin. “I only wish you would’ve told me. I would’ve helped you.”

“Ezra found you bleeding,” he added. “Thank God he called me instead of Cody. I had no idea Cody hired Ezra to watch you. Maybe it turned out to be a good thing.”

“I guess,” she replied. “I was so scared. I was afraid if I had this baby, it would turn out evil like Brent. I couldn’t handle that.”

“It’s partly my fault,” Reznik admitted. “I let you see Brent because he told us about Garland.” He shook his head.

“No. It’s not your fault.”

A door opened. “Is she alright?” Ezra asked.

“Yeah. She’ll be fine. She’s just tired.”

Jeez, Azura thought. Dad’s right. I’ve never been so sleepy in my life.

The door snapped shut.

Rez held her right hand, kissed her cheek. “You’ll always be my little girl. Always.”

She swallowed back tears.

“There’s something else we need to talk about,” he said.

“I’m not a doctor. I’m not a miracle worker. I’m only a warlock. Either way, I don’t know if you’ll be able to have kids later. I don’t know how bad the damage was to your insides. Do you understand?”

She looked at him. “You mean I might not be able to have a baby because I hurt my… body.”

He nodded. “I’m sorry.”

“Azura, you have to make sure you use protection every single time. Every time.”

“Doesn’t matter if I can’t get pregnant.”

“Yes it does matter. I don’t know whether or not you can still get pregnant. But if you can, you’d be in the very same predicament.”

“Do us all a favor and use protection from now on. Okay? At least until you’re ready to try for a baby later?”

“Okay. I will.”

Suddenly she got woozy.

Azura went over to the bed.

“Are you going to stay here or come home?” Rez asked.

“I don’t know. I wanted to go home. Now I think I’ll stay here for a while longer. Ezra isn’t so bad.” In fact, he seems like a great guy. I couldn’t see it before.

“Okay. I want you to call me or your mom if you need anything at all, or if you get in that dark place again. You know what I mean.”


He stayed until she fell asleep.

Eight weeks passed.

Since he couldn’t get along with Justin, Tristan went to live with his sister Ashton.

It was better that way. Sadly.

Hunter took the skull back to Esha.

It’d taken all that time to make his decision.

“I believe this thing is yours,” he said.

“But first I want you to give me your word. Give me your word that you won’t give this skull back to Justin. I also don’t want Cody to have it.”

“Don’t worry. I plan to keep it all to myself this time.”

He handed it over.

“You’re too kind,” she said.

“Yeah. See ya.” Hunter glanced at her familiar…

Crazy shit.

As he left, a feeling of apprehension confronted him.

Why? He did the right thing. Didn’t he?

However, something occurred with the skull after he left.

Something very strange.

Like a penis, it grew humongous.

“Are you fuckin’ crazy?” Cody bitched a few days later. “Tristan told me you gave that skull back to Esha!”

“What’s your problem?” Hunter asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Don’t you have any idea what she’s going to use it for? Esha’s going to use that skull to curse Shadowvale! She plans to do this in a few months.”

“I had no idea. None.” Hunter shot a look at Justin. “Did you know about this?”

Justin shook his head, shrugged.

“What are we gonna do about this?” Cody shouted. “We have to get it back from Esha. We have to do something!”

Kat turned away from them.

“We’ll have to see Reznik.”

“Then let’s go. Right now.”

Hunter told Justin to stay with Kat.

“Sure. I’ll stay.”

Hunter and Cody left.

Kat started whimpering, crying.

Shockingly, Justin comforted her.

“Uh, it’s okay Mom. Really.”

Her shoulders shook.

“No it won’t,” she sobbed. “This shit never, ever ends.”

“I know it.”

Most of the family attended the meeting.

“When does she plan to use the skull?”

“In about six more months I think,” Tristan answered for his father.

“We can’t really rely on that,” Cody said. “Esha’s unpredictable. She might start tomorrow. Or she might start a year from now.”

“Well that doesn’t really help me.” He clapped his palm to his forehead. “I should kill her. That would solve everything.”

“Actually you can’t kill her,” Hunter said. “Cody already looked for her yesterday and she was gone. All her magic shit was gone too.”

“What about Brent? Doesn’t he know Esha?” Rez questioned.

“Yeah, but Cody already asked him where Esha was. Brent claimed he didn’t know.”

“Then we’ll track her down. I’ll get some underlings to help. I’ll also look at some spell books, try to figure out an immunity for all of us. Just the immediate family.”

Most of them nodded.

“So… are we all screwed or what?” Lance asked.

“No. Not without a fight. That bitch doesn’t know who she’s fucking with.”

Furious, Reznik held in various atrocious thoughts regarding the witch.

Like this: if I ever find you, I’m gonna slit your throat. I’ll wait a while before hacking off your head. I wanna watch you bleed.

Reznik regarded Cody. “Esha told you the only ones immune would be those who are pregnant, those under 13, those with powers stronger than hers, and Brent Novak. Right?”


Lucifer stared off into space. Deeply lost in thought about something.

Lance shot him a weird look.

Only for a moment, Rez wondered what was going on between them.

“We have to start fixing this,” Rez muttered. “I’ll contact the underlings, and tonight I’ll study some spells.”

“We can’t let this thing start getting out of control.”

Meanwhile, a friendship bloomed a short distance away.

Just like that gorgeous full moon and ocean as its companion.

Azura Haas grinned.

Ah yeah, she thought. It’s nice to be back to my old, immature self again.

She slipped the whoopee thing beneath the cushion.

The only thing I miss is… Pebbles. I wish he were here. My precious rabbit bear.


She called Ezra into the room.

She tried to look as innocent as possible when he started to sit.

Pttttttt went the cushion.

Ezra bolted up, a horrible look on his face.

Azura laughed.

He sat back down, trying to pretend nothing happened.

She went over and sank next to him.

“You know I’m the one who put that there, right?” she said snickering.

“Nooo. You don’t say?”

Sarcasm. She liked it.

She felt his yellow eyes on her. Azura tried to keep from smiling.

Ezra got up and turned on the antique music player.

“Care to dance?” He asked smiling.


He made the most hilarious face. She burst out laughing.

Then he spun her around, adding more fuel to her laughter.

She’d never had so much fun.

They stopped. She rested her head against him. His enticing scent reminded of Old Spice. An aftershave her father sometimes used.

“You make me feel safe,” she breathed.

“I love you, Ezra.”

He chuckled.

* * * *

Slow dance poses: