“Babe; no liquor talk, I can barely focus on the idea of food without wanting to throw up all over again!” She watched Nathan fumbling with the razor as she walked across the bathroom towards the window, pushing it open and sighing at the wind against her face. “I don’t know why I am so hot! Don’t they have an air condition in this place? Drake, I am not being ungrateful! I am just hot and I can’t figure out why.” She watched as he continued to mess with the foam and razor. “Okay, I can’t watch this anymore.” She still wasn’t feeling her absolute best but it didn’t stop her from teasing him. “Let me help you.” She smiled grabbing a handful of the foam in her palms and rubbing her hands together before delicately spreading it across his face. “You know; I have always enjoyed the fresh-faced Drake; but the scruffy drake isn’t so bad either.” She grinned ignoring her nauseous symptoms as she took the razor from him and gently dragged it along his beard line. “I am sorry; I know that you don’t like talking about Elena. I need to respect that and quit bringing her up. I just don’t want you to get in trouble with her because you were trying to help me out.”
She tapped the razor against the sink and brought it back up and continued to shave his face. “As far as me and Izzy moving in; you win, as always but I just don’t want it to affect yours and she who shall not be named custody agreement with Cassie. I mean; she is practically an adult but she is still in high school and I don’t want to disrupt the stability that you have worked so hard to stabilize for the two of you.” She explained taking a closer look to make sure that no stragglers are left behind. “I am not going to lie; it is a lot easier shaving you than having to shave like my legs for instance; it takes forever.” She chuckled setting the razor down and moving out of the way so he can get a closer look at his face. “What do you think?” She asked giving him a kiss on the cheek before walking out of the bathroom and stopping at the left side of their room where a calendar hung from the wall. “Nathan; you go ahead and get in the bath; I will take one later.” She voiced out as she nervously took a closer glance at the calendar on the wall, at the specific dates. “The fifth of august; I should have started by then.” Chloe whispered thinking back before her eyes widened.
“I mean; could I be? No, it’s impossible. I thought we used…no, we did not because I jumped him in his office like some sex crazed maniac.” She whispered to herself glancing in the direction of the bathroom and pursing her lips together before poking her head in. “I will be right back; I am going to go check on Izzy and make sure that she hasn’t completely overdone it with the ice cream.” She walked in and leaned down, kissing him softly before stepping out of the bathroom and leaving the room practically running into Mrs. Lodge who was carrying towels to their room. “Mrs. Lodge, Just the woman that I was looking for; is there a store in town that I can maybe walk to?” Chloe asked as the woman arched her brow. “Milton and I make a monthly trip to the local store in town which is like forty five minutes away but fortunately, we pick up practically anything you might need and we buy in bulk for whoever might need something! You can find whatever you might need in the store room at the end of the hall! I also brought some towels for you and your husband.” She smiled at Chloe before handing them to her and turning around, walking back down the hall towards the kitchen. Chloe quietly walked back in the room and sat the towels on the bed, taking one into the bathroom for Nathan. “Okay; that lady is getting creepier and creepier! It could just be my own paranoia but I just find her really helpful but like oddly helpful…or it could just me having a bitch attack but here’s a towel for you.” Chloe sat the towel on the toilet before walking back outside the bathroom and out of the room, down the hall. She pushed the door open to the storage room and flipped the light on revealing stacks and stacks of boxes with all sorts of stuff hanging out of them from tampons to qtips; even condoms. “Well, sh*t.” Chloe breathed out not expecting to find that much in the room as she began to dig through each box before finding a box of pregnancy tests. “Okay, simple enough! Two lines means pregnant, one line means not pregnant.”
“Chloe took a deep breath as she shut off the lights, walking out of the bedroom and heading straight back to the room that she shared with Nathan but stopping before she opened the door. “I don’t know if I am pregnant or not; maybe I should find out first before I say anything to him.” Chloe thought to herself as she stepped away from the door, and noted that she could hear Izzy and Cutter in the kitchen, still enjoying their food. “I really do need to check on her.” Chloe noted as glanced at Izzy and cutter’s room which was across the hall from Chloe and Nathan’s room. “I will check on her right after I take the test.” Chloe decided as she rush over and cracked their door open and slipped into Izzy and Cutter’s room which was actually neat with two beds, one being smaller than the other, she rushed into the empty bathroom and unbuckling her pants and sitting on the toilet to take the test. “This is by far the weirdest way of finding out whether or not I am pregnant after I have fought with a large snake, survived a fight with a giant spider and leapt from a plane wearing a parachute, and now I am taking a pregnancy test!” She exclaimed finishing a sticking the cap back on the test and pulling her pants up, buttoning them before staring nervously at the test. “This is going to be the longest three minutes of my life!”
Chloe sighed before stepping away from the sink and walking out of the bathroom, leaving their room and walking down the hall and into the kitchen where Cutter and Izzy were feasting on some hot fudge dessert. “Man, yall are really going to town, huh?” Chloe teased with a grin. “How often would we get to enjoy homemade fudge with homemade ice cream?” Cutter asked sticking a spoonful into his mouth. “And I see that you hardly got any of it into your mouth; Cutter, I thought I taught you better than that?” Chloe continued to tease him. “My apologies, mother!” he sarcastically spoke as Chloe crossed her arms before giving Izzy a kiss on the cheek. “Cutter, but seriously, can you like ease it up on the ice cream! Ohh, hang on! You and Izzy are sharing a room so if she is up all night; it would have no affect on me!” Chloe grinned as Cutter’s mouth practically fell open as Izzy reached for more fudge and Cutter quickly cut her off from getting more. Chloe hurried back into their room and rushed into the bathroom where the test still sat on the sink. Chloe picked it up, and slowly the read the results that appeared in the grey window. “There are two lines. I am pregnant! Nathan and I are going to have a baby!” Chloe shockingly breaths out as she steps out of the bathroom still holding the test in her hand as she leaves their room and walks into her and Nathan’s room. Chloe bites her lip as she walks into the bathroom. “How do you feel about coaching little league, Nathan?” Chloe asked only imagining his expression from the random question that came out of her mouth. “I was just thinking that if we had a boy, you would be a good baseball coach.” She grinned showing him the test. “I am pregnant! We are going to have a baby!” She exclaimed.
“Nathan; let’s be clear and I say this with absolute love but thank god cause you are definitely kicking up the body odor!” Chloe patted him on the back as they made their way inside the B&B. “Hello; I am Mrs. Lodge.” An thin, older woman with bright red hair interceded them as they walked inside. “Oh; hi, I am Chloe and this is my husband, Nathan.” Chloe explained keeping up with what they had told Milton. “Yes, my husband called earlier explaining that some locals were going to need some assistance! We have already set up two rooms for you and your family so please make yourselves comfortable.” Mrs. Lodge assured placing a friendly hand on both of their backs as she led them inside.
“Your son and daughter are already feasting on some food in the kitchen; we have an exquisite chef, Mariana who is just phenomenal but I suspect that you are both too tired to even think about food! It almost seems unfair, doesn’t it? the younger generation can just eat and eat after such a long day but the rest of us need a few hours of rest before we can even think of food.” Chloe bit her lips glancing at Nathan, imagining his head practically exploding at once again being called old. “Thank you so much, Mrs. Lodge! Is this the room that we will be staying for the duration of our time in Shelby?” Chloe asked once they were in front of a big red door. “Yes Mam. I have put your children across the hall; this is actually one of her nicer rooms so please, enjoy and don’t worry about anything! Mariana is great with children and she is enjoying spoiling your daughter far too much.” Mrs. Lodge laughed as she turned and walked away from them.
“Wow. She was really, really friendly.” Chloe noted as she pushed the door open and gasped at all the flowery designs and decoration. “Are you kidding me? This is their nicest room?” She whispered walking in and scanning the entire room, practically grimacing at the overuse of floral designs on the wall. “It looks like a f***ing flower shop in here!” Chloe whispered again. “I mean; we aren’t going to be here too long but even still; they really need to remodel this place and use some other decorum besides roses and daisies.” She finished walking over and finding a landline on the bedside table. “Nathan; here is the phone! Do you want to call Sully and check on Cassie? I can call and check on her while you are taking a shower but I am sure that she would appreciate hearing your voice!” She smiled.
She could see how tired Nathan was; it had been an overwhelmingly long few days and they were both in need of a break. Chloe had honestly forgotten how exhausting their world was and how much easier it was to scale from building to building as young thirty year olds. Chloe sank down on the bed and rested her hand at the temple of her head; she had been fighting a killer headache for almost two days and it was the first time that she was actually able to sit down and try to nurse it. She was so exhausted and drained but was hit with a sudden urge that sent her leaping up from the bed and dashing into their private bathroom where she dropped to her knees and began vomiting into the toilet. Chloe took a deep breath once she was done and rested her head on the seat before leaning down and vomiting some more; it was like her body had held it in until the first, calm moment before it released whatever had been holding itself in.
“I think I threw up my actual stomach.” Chloe explained walking out of the bathroom after flushing the toilet. She laid down on the bed; placing a comforting hand on her stomach. “I will admit it! I am too old to keep pulling these jobs! I will happily take a big house with a picket fence over this any day!” She said pushing her hair out of her sweat drenched face. “Nathan, can you get me a cold rag?” She asked turning over on her side, trying to get comfortable and to keep herself from throwing up once again on the sweet woman’s ugly floral comforter. “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I was fine earlier! It is the strangest thing! I don’t know; maybe I am allergic of how ugly this room is.” Chloe tried herself at humor but was left feeling just as sore and drained as she had been prior to emptying the little bit of contents from her stomach into the toilet.
“We need to get the hell out of her! I am going to call Winston!” Chloe delicately pushed her body up from the bed and grabbed the landline, dialing the phone number and waiting for someone to pick up. “I still can’t believe people still use landlines.” Chloe added as she waited for Winston to pick up the phone. “Winston! Hey; yea, we are fine! We had a few close calls but we are all fine and we have Izzy! Marlowe? I don’t know; our host checked out of the plane, leaving all of us for dead before I could ask her! Oh yea! Nathan, Izzy, Cutter and I all had to jump out of a plane and go parachuting!” Chloe eyed Nathan before rolling her eyes at all the questions. “Winston; how is Sam? Oh, that’s great news and what about Cassie? She is? Oh; that is just wonderful! Well; we need someone to come get us! We are in Shelby, Australia! We literally landed in the Australian rainforest!”
Chloe took a deep breath, trying to keep herself from throwing up again. “Winston; I am sure that this will be a wonderful story but today is not the day! We are tired; we have had guns pointed in our face! We have seen a giant snake and multiple spiders, leading up to one giant spider! Both Flynn and Nadine are dead! Needless to say; it has been a f*** of a few days.” Chloe nodded before slowly hanging up with Flynn. “Okay; do you want the good news or the bad news? I will just rip the band aid off fast! Elena is back in town! she showed up literally two days after we took off with Nadine.” Chloe bit her lip only imagining the level of stress that was building up in Nathan. “Sam is going to be fine though! And apparently; he hooked up with one of his nurses, says that she is The One.” Chloe added smirking but sighing with a deep breath feeling hard pressure on her stomach. “Sully and Winston will be on their way before we know it! Winston had to go; apparently Sam is getting stir crazy and tried fighting his way out of the hospital bed.” Chloe stood up rubbing his shoulder before walking into the bathroom and peeking under the sink at some mouth wash. “Oh god; this stuff looks old and prehistoric.” She grimaced before pulling the cap off and pouring some into her mouth and swishing it around, planting her hands firmly on the sink at how strong the flavor is before quickly spitting it out. “Oh and it tastes like the devils taint!” Chloe breathed out noting the mix of whiskey with a hint of mint and charcoal.
Chloe poked her head back out of the bathroom. “Are you worried about Elena? Nathan, you did nothing wrong! You didn’t expose Cassie to any of what Elena preferred you not to; you have been an incredible father to her while Elena has been running around doing god know what! She literally has no right to give you sh*t on anything! Are you listening to me? Nathan, Cassie loves you and you have stood by her side when Elena wanted to focus on her career instead of being a mother! And for all that we know; this is a good visit! Elena could have showed up to spend some time with Cassie and when; if ever has Cassie ever ratted her dad out? She is probably telling Elena that you are away on some teaching conference! Sully and Winston will soon be on their way and once we get to New York; me and Izzy will get a hotel and keep our distance while Elena is back in town! I doubt seeing me with you will generate much appreciation with the situation.” Chloe explained walking behind Nathan and wrapping her arms around his neck, lightly kissing his neck. “Can you believe that Sam actually used The One? I mean, what are the odds that Sam Drake found the woman that he is going to spend the rest of his life with?” Chloe joked with a genuine smile before quickly rushing back into the bathroom and throwing up. “What the hell is going on?” She screamed pushing her hair behind her ears as she continued to throw up.
Chloe practically dashed over to where they appeared in front of her; she couldn’t say that it didn’t feel nice to see Izzy on Nathan’s shoulder. “Honey, I love adventures and excitement but why couldn’t we land near the Hilton? I am so over dirt, Spiders and Snakes!” Chloe Frazer had never once in her entire life been a girly girl but it was clear from the moment that she landed in the tree that this was getting to be far too much. “What Now? Nathan; I mean; we are in the middle of the Australian Rainforest.” Chloe forced out a grin for Izzy’s sake as she whispered into Nathan’s ear. “I don’t think things could get much worst! How are we going to get the hell out of here?” Chloe whispered as Cutter poked his head up from beside her. “Hello; wilderness genius; right here! And I will be the first to say…that things could be better but if we can just find our way into some civilization; I don’t see why we won’t be fine!” Cutter explained circling around each location. “Yea, Cutter is right! We will just explore the rainforest until we find our way out of it.” Chloe smiled as she reached to pull Izzy down who shook her head. “Okay; you want to stay on Nathan’s shoulders? That’s okay. That’s actually a good idea because I really don’t want you getting stuck in this slushy mud.” Chloe nodded digging her shoes out of the thick goop.
“Oh; I wonder if I still have Flynn’s phone! Dam-darnit! I must have dropped it during the jump!” Chloe pursed her lips as she circled around each direction; much like Cutter was doing. “I don’t even know which direction we need to be heading in and if I didn’t have this beautiful angel in my sight; I would have so many different reason’s to freak out.” Chloe smiled clearly a little panicked hearing a cracking noise coming from behind her. “Okay, I have had enough with the creepy noises! Why do I always fall for them and head straight for them, I mean; haven’t I seen enough horror films to know that it is never a good- is that someone’s flashlight?” Chloe asked as Cutter practically tackled her to the ground with Nathan and Izzy all huddling down to avoid being spotted. “What are you doing? It could be someone that can help us.” Chloe explained as Cutter arched his brow. “it could also be someone who doesn’t want to help us!” he whispered looking over through the tall grass and seeing an Steve Irwin looking mate poke his head through the brush. “You right? Mates?” Chloe sighed looking at both Nathan and Cutter. “Do you really think Steve Irwin here is up to no good?” She sighed standing up. “Yes; my husband and I decided to take the kids on our annual camping trip and we sort of got lost in all the…singing that we were doing.”
“Out in the bush; Aye? It happens to the best of us! You’re not one of them Bogans; aye?” He asked eyeing them suspiciously as Cutter stepped in front of Chloe. “No Sir; we are New Yorkers; we are definitely not rednecks but yes; my mother is just acting kind of strangely from her lack of water and actual pride.” He glared as Chloe’s eyes widened at him calling her his mother. “I would have gone with step-mother; I mean, Nathan is old enough to pass as your dad!” Chloe whispered elbowing Cutter in the stomach. “We would just be so grateful if you could lead us in the right direction so that we might be on our way back home! It has been quite a long day and my sister is very tired as you can probably see; she is all curled up with our father; barely keeping her eyes open.” Cutter sold it as the older aussie took out a sheet of paper from his traveling bag and a pen; drawing them a clear map from their current location back into the city. “Oh thank you so much, sir! We really appreciate it!” Chloe smiled thankfully as Cutter took the map. “When you get into Shelby; there’s a bed and breakfast; Milton’s! tell them that Milton sent you and they will set you up with a nice room and some food!” Chloe grinned thankfully as they all turned and went their separate ways. “I told y’all that man was a nice and decent person who would help us! Don’t yall know that I have the best judge of character.” Chloe walked beside them as Cutter let out an obvious snicker. “Nathan, how did you hold that one in?” He asked him. “Nathan, are you my daddy? Cause he told that man that you were my daddy.”
“I am already kicking myself; neither one of you have to do a thing to me!” Cutter quickly walked a few feet in front of them as Chloe and Nathan stopped and Chloe pulled her down from his neck and took a seat with her on a large rock. “Okay. Toots. There are a lot of things that we are going to have to figure out when we get back home; things that are probably going to be really confusing for you; they are confusing for me but I promise that I will have everything figured how by this time tomorrow! I promise. Why don’t you go get a ride from Cutter; because I really don’t want you getting bit by anything especially when I have no clue what is out here.” Cutter appeared by them and picked her up, putting her on his neck and leading the way. “I am sorry! I didn’t expect for her to spring that on you so quickly. I know that we really have talked about what happens when we get back to New York and I don’t want you to feel obligated because of me to be that person for her. I mean; if you want to be that man that she needs to believe in; it needs to be because you want to do it for her, I would have nothing to do with that! I mean of course; if you were to; we would be a family, all four of us but I mean that you would have your own relationship with her much like that of you and Cassie so it would have to be something that you do only for her, not for me.” Chloe wanted Nathan to want to embrace Izzy as his own but she had too much pride to come out and directly ask him to do it. He was an incredible father and; even seeing him cradling her the way that Chloe did just made her wish so desperately that it was him and not Flynn whom she had been stupid enough to engage with. The way that Nathan had her on his shoulders; walking towards her when they all found each other was something that she would cherish for the rest of her life. “truth? I hope that you do want to be her father? Because I have seen you with Cassie and I have seen just how much she loves you and how much you hang the moon for her and I know that you would do the same for Izzy! I think having you as a father would really save her so much pain and suffering knowing that Harry Flynn was the genes that she was cursed with! I actually almost just told her that you were her father but I held back not wanting to do something that massive and huge without talking to you about it first because I do love you; and I do want to spend the rest of my life with you and that is part of it, making those big decisions together!” she was no babbling but it was all making sense in her head and she was just baring her soul to him. “I haven’t exactly fully gotten used to having her back! It has only been a few short hours and I am freaking out on how I am supposed to keep her alive when we are being hit with blow after blow; the latest being Marlowe double-crossing us which I knew was going to happen! I put my daughter in the path of these awful people by trusting someone like Nadine Ross which will never happen again; well, it can’t because she is dead but what I am trying to say is that I don’t know what I would have done had you not been with me; with us!” She said stroking his cheek before slowly kissing his lips.
“You two need to hurry it up! We only have a little bit more ways to go and I can already smell two dozen pancakes waiting for me!” Cutter yelled several feet ahead of them with Izzy on his shoulder. “I guess you and Cutter do have some things in common! You both love food! And lots of it! And maybe you might get those nearly naked women you were asking for earlier.” Chloe teased him before kissing him again as they hurried to catch up with Cutter and Izzy. “Izzy; what is the first thing that you are going to eat when we get into town?” Chloe asked feeling her stomach growl as she herself thought about food. “Ice cream!” Chloe chuckled with Cutter. “Yea; there isn’t a lot of nutritional values with that but with everything that has happened today; I think that you deserve a treat; what do you think, Nathan?” She asked him wanting him to know that she wanted him to also make the final say on stuff like that; she needed him to know that she was in it for the long haul with him and wasn’t going to allow anything to get in the way of their happiness or anything to threaten their family. “I bet they have crazy flavored ice cream! Like toffee or what’s that salty stuff that Australians love! It has the consistency of peanut butter but really sticky and kind of looks like chocolate?” It felt nice engaging with Izzy and Nathan. “Nathan; what is Cassie’s favorite ice cream?” Chloe asked letting Nathan know that she hadn’t forgotten about her and had been extremely worried about her. She knew that Cassie was strong willed and could handle anything that was thrown at her but she also knew that Cassie was a Drake and trouble followed a Drake around like a damn shadow. Chloe moved behind Nathan and wrapped her arms around his stomach snuggling her head underneath his arm; to where his arm was around her neck. “You’re worried about her, aren’t you? Of course, you are; that’s was a dumb question!” Chloe kissed him on the cheek. “I am sure that once we get to the bed and breakfast; we will call Sullivan and find that he had gotten a hold of Cassie and she is probably signing her name up and down Sam’s cast; driving her uncle crazy! I mean; Sam might even give in and tell her about Atlantis! I am sure that she is fine and before you know it; we will have both of our girls under one roof! The way that it was always supposed to be.”
Chloe comforted him as Cutter howled that they had finally made it into civilization. “I can already smell the maple syrup! I am drooling a little bit!” Chloe let out a loud chuckle hearing Cutter go and on about how hungry he was. “I think he might actually be worst then you!” She laughed again as they passed by the bed and breakfast. “It is like a palace!” Cutter professed looking at it with love in his eyes. “Cutter; it is a cabin! A bed and breakfast is nothing more than sleeping in someone’s bed and eating their food! It is a one story cabin!” Chloe dragged him back down to reality as he growled. “I am sorry; it has been a long couple of days so I am thrilled seeing any kind of civilization and their food!” he dashed up the stairs and into the house. “Cutter, Knock!” Chloe yelled chasing after him before glancing back at Nathan. “I swear he is like another kid!” she said laughing walking back over to him. “Come on, let’s see if they have a phone so you can call and check on Sam and Cassie!” Chloe took his hand and they walked together up the stairs and into the cabin.
When Nathan shoved Chloe down and began his fateful brawl with the monstrous creature. Chloe quickly stood up and rolled over to avoid the rest of the snake that was flinging itself across the room. “Nathan, remember; it is consumed with acid, be careful.” She cried out with her hands over her mouth but soon, Nathan was back on his feet. “That was intense.” She breathed out before the entire room began to shake and pieces of brick began to fall down around them. “Okay; times to blow this popcorn stand.” She screamed out grabbing Nathan by the hand and taking off back towards the entrance into the room. “We can take our chance with getting past the spiders! At least we have a fighting chance and if we are lucky, the building disintegrating took out some of them for us.”
Chloe stopped before opening the crypt that they were in and remembered that they hadn’t actually entered in but more so fell through into the underground from the falling sand. “Damn. What if we climb out through the hole that the snake made? Nathan, that might be are only chance.” Chloe let go of Nathan’s hand and rushed past the snake which had pretty much discombobulated. She poked her head through the hole and looked up, she saw a few rugged edges to the rocks that they could use to climb on till meeting the surface. “Come on, Nathan.” Chloe said as she lunged out and grabbed one of the edges, climbing her way up to the surface. “Don’t forget the dagger! That is our only bargaining chip.” Chloe could feel herself struggling as she pulled her weight from one edge to the other. “It is obvious that I am not twenty-eight years old anymore.”
She yelled out before ducking while several rocks began to crumble and fall down around them, knocking her loose from one of the ledges, she groaned before lunging back over and grabbing the same ledge before leaping to another one. Chloe leaped from ledge to ledge before quickly jumping onto a wider rock surface that was within reach of the sand surface. “Nathan, I am at the top! Are you okay?” She called out reaching up through the sand and feeling the hot air on the other end of her hand before feeling someone grab her and pull her up. “ahhhhhh.” She screamed not really expecting someone to grab a hold of her and lift her off the ground and pull her through the suffocating sand towards the hot, bright, desert air. “Cutter? How the hell did you find us?” Chloe coughed out, wiping the sand from her eyes and seeing him staring down at her.
“Marlowe found me? I tried getting Izzy back and was captured! They planned to kill me until you called her and agreed to give her the Dagger in return for your rescue, and getting Izzy back! I was just another consolation prize for the dagger.” Cutter explained helping her to her feet before Chloe dived back down to the ground and reached out inside to reach for Nathan’s hand. “Nathan, it’s me!” She screamed out pulling him out to the surface with the two of them; Cutter reaching down and helping Nathan to his feet.
“Guys; we have to get the hell out of here! They have done evacuated all cities within a ten mile radius of Cimpello. They are calling this sandstorm the worst that they have ever seen in history.” Cutter yelled hiding his face from the flying sand that was rough and sharp. “Marlowe has a plane waiting over there to take us back to New York and Marlowe and Izzy are both on that plane.” Cutter yelled as the three of them rushed towards the plane which sat about a mile away from where they stood in the blurry nothingness of sand, and sharp winds. “Cutter? How the hell did you actually find us though! There is over a thousand miles worth of sand here! How did you end up in the exact spot where we were at?” Chloe yelled out over the screaming sound from the wind. “It could have been pure luck or the fact that Marlowe tracked Flynn’s phone and was able to pinpoint your actual location.” Cutter explained as they all picked up speed feeling the desert heat and the painfully sharp winds getting to all of them. “We are almost there.” Chloe screamed picking up speed as the plane got closer and closer, just within their reach before they made it, all of them rushing up the stairs onto the plane as the doors closed. Katherine Marlowe was sitting at the end of the plane enjoying a nice cup of tea. “Okay, Nathan has the dagger! Where is Izzy?” Chloe demanded to know as Marlowe pointed towards the back room.
Chloe walked to the backroom and peaked inside the room to see her baby girl sleeping comfortably in the bed. She slipped in and took her shoes off before climbing onto the bed and laying down next to her daughter, putting her arm delicately around her and kissing her head. “I have missed you so much.” She whispered feeling Izzy hug her tightly in her sleep. “You are my sunshine. My only sunshine; you make me happy, when skies are grey. You’ll never know, dear how much I love you. Please, don’t take my sunshine away.” Chloe sung to Izzy letting a few tears stream down her cheek as she remembered the first day that they met; hours after delivering her in a bar outside of Ionia. It was one of the few moments that they shared after Chloe had her; she held her safely in her arms, knowing that soon they would be without one another! She held her and just sang that song to her over and over again while rocking gently to the ticking sound from the rain outside the bar and now; they were together again and nothing was ever going to separate them.
“Momma?” Izzy whispered as Chloe’s eyes widened. “Delilah told me; she told me that you were my momma! She also gave me a picture of us; I had to hide it from Mrs. Marlowe but here it is.” Izzy pulled a picture out from her pocket and showed Chloe; it was from the day that she was born. “Oh wow! You would think they would have let me know how terrible I looked with my make up all smeared and my hair was a mess.” She teased herself to keep from crying. “You looked beautiful!” Izzy complimented her. “No, I didn’t.” Chloe sighed. “No, you did, you looked great.” Izzy said lightly caressing her face as Chloe pulled the little girl into a hug. “Thank you, baby!” Chloe fought back the tears as she gave Izzy another kiss on the head before she laid her back down and laid down beside her. “What happens now?” Izzy asked as Chloe laid beside her, stroking her hair. “I don’t know what is going to happen but I know that we will be together! We will never have to be apart ever again.” Chloe assured Izzy as the little girl closed her eyes once again, drifting off to sleep. “You are my sunshine. My only sunshine; you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Chloe sang to her once again before drifting off to sleep right alongside her.
After a few hours of much needed rest; Chloe was awoken by the jerking off the plane; and as she quickly stood from the bed and woke Izzy; picking her daughter up and stumbling out of the room. All the chairs were empty; where was Marlowe. “Cutter?” She called out as he poked his head out of the other room. “Where the hell is Marlowe; and who the hell is piloting the plane?” Chloe put Izzy down by Nathan and stumbled to the c*ckpit busting through the doors and seeing that there was no one flying the plane. “Okay, everything is going to be fine, the pilot just ran into some turbulence; everything will be fine Izzy.” Chloe assured walking back from the c*ckpit before tugging on both Nathan and Cutter’s arms for them to follow her into the c*ckpit. “Izzy, why don’t you sit down and buckle up! Momma will be right back.” She explained before following the two of them into the c*ckpit.
“Okay, as you can see! Marlowe has left us for dead and now, she has the dagger so if neither one of you can fly a plane! We are pretty much sh*t out of luck.” Chloe whispered biting her lip, not really seeing a positive to the situation that they were currently in. Chloe walked up to the control board and groaned nervously. “and even if one of you can fly a plane! We have another predicament; we are draining fuel right now! We might have a gallon in there and that might be enough to land it! And if we are falling over water right now! Cutter, you should have learned how to swim.” Cutter growled at her before crossing his arms. “Do you really think that we will have to swim? Is there a life jacket? Can I flip the ki?” Chloe arch her brow before he even finished. “Okay fine, Izzy gets it but I am going to have to stay on the plane! Guys! I can’t even float! I automatically sink!”
“Nathan, do you think that you can land it? Did Sully teach you anything in those days of whiskey fueled adventures and treasures? I mean; let me see! According to the control board; we are flying over Australia right now so the chances of having to swim are noticeably slimmer! Oh crap! Okay, change of plans! We are going to have to jump! We just dropped nearly all of our fuel and we are not going to be able to land it.” Chloe tried to stay as calm and as quiet as possible as to not concern Izzy who probably already had inkling that something was amiss. Chloe walked over and opened a closet inside the c*ckpit where six parachute backpacks laid. “Nathan; does it bring back memories?” Chloe asked. “I am going to need you to take Izzy! You are way more skilled with parachuting! I have only had to do this once so the likeliness is that she would be a lot safer with you than me.” Chloe explained grabbing one and walking out of the room. “Okay, Sweets! We are going to go on a little trip. You ever been on a rollercoaster? Okay, well this is going to be very different from one but just think of it like a rollercoaster! Okay, so you are going to be with Nathan and he will make sure that nothing happens to you! So, what is going to happen is Nathan is going to put this on and then, he will pick you up and strap you to him but I need you to hold onto him really, tight, okay. Can you do that for mommy?” Izzy nodded as Chloe kissed and hugged her tightly before nodding over at the two men before putting the backpack on, strapping it around her stomach and watching as Nathan and Cutter did the same. “I think it is an understatement to say that we are getting too old for this!” Chloe joked as she took a deep breath and walked over to the plane door before glancing over at Nathan who was now picking Izzy up and Cutter was strapping her in as tight as humanly possible. “Izzy, baby; everything is going to be fine! It is just a ride!” she assured her daughter before glancing back at the door, taking one last breath before kicking the door open.
“I love the both of you very much; and Cutter, I like you a lot.” Chloe grinned before flinging her body out of the plane, free falling into the abyss of air! It only reminded Chloe of how much she hated the heights! She kept her eyes closed for most of it before quickly pulling the tab and being flung back up as the parachute exploded around her. “Okay, thank god. I didn’t know how much more of that I could take.” Chloe said gliding through the air! They had landed literally in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest which was on the coast of Queensland, Australia. “Oh crap!” Chloe tried steering herself away from the trees but went directly through one which caught her parachute and she was now hanging 20 feet in the air by her parachute being tangled in a tree. “Damn! I am officially over this f***ing mission. Why couldn’t I have landed by a holiday inn! I would have been happy with that but no; I have to land in a friggin forest which probably has more snakes and spiders; I hate all snakes and spiders!” Chloe screamed unlatching herself from the parachute and screaming as she falls but latching her arm around a tree before leaping from branch to branch before dropping to the ground. “Nathan? Izzy? Cutter” Chloe screamed walking through the forest.
Chloe bit her lip as Nathan explained their predicament while Flynn of coursed bitched at him. “What makes you think you know so much when you literally only just found out about this place?” Flynn drove Chloe crazy and this was literally no exception. “He has been right this entire time! And we are the only ones coming up with possibilities! You are just tossing sh*t around when you don’t get your way! Entitled much?” Chloe wounded him figuratively as she began to walk around the room collecting as much memory as she could! Nathan was right about the Egyptian legends; it made perfect sense but she dreaded digging her fingers through a viscera jar. Chloe stopped in the center of the room and ran her fingers through her hair trying to remember the text in the book that her, Winston and Cutter had spent days devouring. “Cunoașterea adevărului se va găsi în burta șarpelui” she whispered quietly. „I know where it is!” she groaned. „and the two of you aren’t going to like it!” she walked over to the nearest wall and began to draw out imagery from dust for it to make sense to Flynn and Nathan who was still hanging from above them. „You might wanna get down here cause we are going to need a plan to walk out of here.” Chloe did her best to represent the serpent, Cerastes. “Books in different languages are hard to fully understand because there are so many different meanings to each word.” She explained, drawing out the figure of one woman. “What I have explained and what we know about Caesar so far is of the complete truth but there was a second part to it! One that was never meant to be realized or known. The book we found on it touched on some but it was fractured and confusing, only becoming clear to me now.”
“Caesar loved Cleopatra! It is quite obvious but he was actually married to Calpurnia during the time of their affair! And when she discovered that her beloved husband attempted to run away with Cleopatra; she was enraged! and out of her rage came a demon of equally quivering anger! Oh my god! The levels that this is going to have only him now but it is insane how truly twisted this all is! After Cleopatra died; we all know that Caesar whisked himself away here with her for her to be buried where he intended to spend the rest of his life with her! However, what isn’t known is that Calpurnia also refused to let go of him and followed the both of them up here with the anger demon living within her heart and that wasn’t all! am întâlnit o femeie a întunericului; iar ea mi-a dat cheia! and translated means; I met a woman of darkness and she gave me the key.” Chloe tangled her fingers as she moved around the room with both of them watching her intensely. „I didn’t know at the time and it has just hit me that the book that we were reading was the actual diary of Calpurnia Pisonis!” Chloe sighed wishing she could remember more from the text but she knew enough to continue painting them the picture. “A woman of darkness was another word for witch and the key could mean a few things but I think it meant a hex of sorts, it’s the only thing that makes sense.” Chloe explained going back over to the wall where she had drawn this slide show. “According to the diary; a great storm passed through Cimpello; and Calpurnia watched from a distance as her husband grieved for this other woman! A single tear streamed down her cheek and with that furious emotion came the boiling rain from inside of her which covered the entire land.” Chloe knew that this made no sense which was why she didn’t put much stock in the diary; she thought it was propaganda but now; it really did make all the sense in the world.
“I don’t know how it occurred because the text was kind of flimsy and confusing but the rain somehow melted down Caesar…oh; that’s the wrong word! It acted like some sort of hex of acid that melted the skin from his flesh and the flesh from his bone until nothing was left but a pile of burning black and red goo! Calpurnia supposedly called out to the underworld gods and brought forth from them; a great serpent of unquivering magnitude and strength and planted a viscera jar with Caesars innards inside the belly of serpent or beast; it just depends on your preference when reading the text.” Chloe finished the drawing on the wall before dusting her hands off before a chuckle escaped from her lips. “It is actually kind of poetic when you think about it! Caesar betrayed Calpurnia with Cleopatra who was poisoned by a snake and Calpurnia punished him by trapping his remains in the stomach of a snake!” Chloe grinned before letting out another chuckle. “It is almost too crazy to believe but what do we have to lose?” Chloe pointed out before taking another glance at the wall and trying to figure out how the dagger came into the mix.
“I cannot figure out how the Dagger comes into it thought; that is what doesn’t make sense unless; it traps his spirit inside the viscera jar with the dagger! Oh my god; Chloe, you have gone over the edge! I can’t even see the edge anymore.” Chloe laughed at how ridiculous she sounded before hearing a familiar sound lurking around the few shadows around them. “I have learned that when creepy sounds start to occur around us! It is really just time to leave! Flynn, f*** the dagger! Seriously, it isn’t worth it.” Chloe insisted before grabbing Nathan by the hand and walking back towards where they entered. “Chloe; if you don’t see this through till the end! You will never get Izzy back! You know, Marlowe is even thinking about changing her name! She told me that Aurora would be a perfect name for her!” Chloe glared at Flynn as he chuckled before walking along side the wall of the room. “Chloe, like Nathan said! it is just a snake!” he said as crack appeared in the wall from behind him before the serpent busted in through the wall and slurped Flynn’s entire body up.
“Well; there’s Flynn’s chance to get the viscera jar! Let’s go, Nathan!” Chloe screamed grabbing Nathan by the hand but stopping when Cerastes began to weave suspiciously before projectile vomiting a badly, acidic decomposing Flynn out of its mouth. Chloe couldn’t look away; Flynn fell from the serpents clutches and landed right in front of her on his knees before falling and his face brushing against her belly. “Ahhh!” she screamed shoving his lifeless, decomposing body away from her as the serpent quickly whipped it’s body back up to the surface; leaving her and Nathan alone. Chloe closed her eyes; she wanted to look away from the horrific scene but couldn’t get over how fast his body had decomposed while being consumed by the snake. “Nathan. He has something in his grasp.” Chloe knelt down and grimaced as she reached into his embrace wanting to see what was so important, what he held so tight to himself while his body cooked from the inside out. Chloe grasped it in her hand before Flynn’s eyes flicked open and he grabbed her by the head and stuck his entire tongue which was peeling and bleed towards her mouth. “Noooooo!” Chloe screamed pushing his face away from hers but taking the other hand and grabbing what he was so desperate to protect with his life. Chloe grabbed it and quickly shoved him away from her, backing away as quickly as possible! Flynn began to shake uncontrollably before pieces of his already mutilated skin began to melt away as he howled in pain before finally succumbing to his torturous death.
“F*** me. He just. He just. He just melted away right in front of us and now all, there is left is bones!” Chloe breathed out before looking down at what was grasped around her hands. “and this.” She said handing the dagger to Nathan. “What do you think we are supposed to do with it? Do you really think it could kill Cerastes?” she nervously asked watching the hole in the wall hoping that Cerastes would keep his distance from them until they were able to figure out how to find a way out of the hell hole that neither one of them even wanted to be a part of anymore. “Hang on!” Chloe walked over and finger touched Flynn’s acid and blood soaked clothing before grabbing his cell phone from the back pocket of his jeans. “How much of a chance do you think we would have cell reception underground?” Chloe asked as she slowly peered towards the hole that Cerastes had busted through and peeked her head inside of it, reaching as high as she possibly could to see if she could get some bars. “I got something! Chloe yelled out as the room began to shake. “Nathan, it sounds like this whole place is going to crash down if we don’t get the hell out of here.” Chloe peeked at him under her arm before receiving a text on Flynn’s phone from Marlowe asking for progress made on the mission. Chloe took a deep breath and pressed the call button; and before long, Marlowe was heard on the speaker phone demanding to know if they had found the dagger.
“Yes, we have retrieved it! or well; Flynn did before he literally combusted right in front of us.” Chloe hated hearing her voice! Katherine Marlowe was literally the vilest woman in the entire world and it made her stomach twitch to think of Izzy being anywhere near her. “You want the dagger than you rescue me and Nathan! And you give me my daughter back!! And if you try to double cross us Marlowe; we will destroy the dagger right here, right now! And you will never hold it in the palm of your hand. “Two; I want to speak with my daughter! I want to know that she is okay before Nathan and I are able to get to her and bring her home.” Within a few seconds; Izzy could be heard on the phone. “Chloe; is that you? I am scared.” Izzy’s parents raised her to know who Chloe was and it was good for the both of them to have each other and have that bond without Izzy really knowing who Chloe was and the impact that she had on her life.
“Izzy, Honey! It is all going to be okay! I promise; I am going to be with you as soon as possible and then I will bring you hope and everything will be fine, baby!” and that was all that she got before Marlowe snatched the phone back from her and angrily spoke the words. “We have a deal; you hold up your end of the bargain and I will hold up mine!” She didn’t believe her as far as she could throw her but in that very moment, they didn’t have a whole heck of a lot to go off on! They were currently between a rock and a hard place. In the middle of her call with Marlowe, Chloe glanced up before seeing Cerastes quickly slithering towards her with a vengeance. “Marlowe, Hurry!” Chloe screamed before flinging herself out of the hole and falling against Nathan as they both crashed onto the floor.
“I might have gotten us a way out of here! And after we get Izzy back, we can leave all this behind us.” She breathed out watching Cerastes quickly move back up to the surface. “I guess that means that we have some time to kill.” Chloe said seductively as she turned to kiss him, dipping her tongue into his mouth
“Nathan, do you see the size of that thing?” Chloe whispered intensely, afraid to move an inch. She watched Nathan quietly move away from it; “Nathan, do you not remember how fast this thing is supposed to be; you won’t be able to outrun it.” Chloe glanced slowly at his direction; doing her best to not catch the attention of the green, scaly, gnarly creature whose head glided above them. Chloe took a deep breath before she slowly started backing away from it towards Nathan but her confidence was shortly lived when Nadine grabbed her gun and started firing at it, but the bullets were literally ricocheting off of its skin.
“You stupid, bitch!” Chloe screamed grabbing Nathan by the hand and taking off running down through the thick sand consistency. “Nathan! Why is this sand so f***ing thick! I can barely move my legs through it!” Chloe struggled with Nathan behind her; it felt more like quicksand but that became much clearer when they began to sink down into what was once coarse and loose now felt sticky and saturated. “Are you kidding me? Nathan, we are in quicksand!” she couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous the entire situation was. Chloe closed her eyes and allowed the sand to fully consume her as she dropped into an ancient alter.
“Nathan! It’s okay! Let it take you over!” She stood and screamed at him from below. It wasn’t long until he too; was dropped into this ancient chamber with her. “Nathan, I think we are in the tomb; or maybe near the tomb!” Chloe pursed her lips as she subtly moved around, not wanting to get too far away from Nathan in the pitch black darkness. “Remind me to knock the sh*t out of Flynn for dragging us out here to begin with; I knew I should have lied about where it was at! I just figured that if I didn’t tell them the truth than I wouldn’t be able to get Izzy back! I can only imagine what Marlowe is doing to her right now!” Chloe nervously felt around hoping to find a wall or something to grab a hold of in the utter darkness.
“Nathan, would you happen to have a lighter? or a flashlight or a f***ing flare on you?” Chloe asked shuddering at the thought of what was creeping around them in the blackness. Chloe couldn’t help feel totally vulnerable and exposed walking around in the absence of light when whatever was down there with them had the nocturnal ability to see when they couldn’t. “Did you hear that?” she asked aloud hearing multiple crackles like a mouse running through an attic and hearing their little footsteps through the entire home. “This is so not what I signed up for? Where the hell is Flynn and Nadine?” Chloe practically yelled as the sound of two people falling through echoed through the entire underground crypt.
“Flynn, you better have a f***ing flashlight on you!” Chloe screamed out as Flynn scurried to his feet and headed in their direction, with Nadine following closely behind him. “Quit your bitching, Frazer! You’re the one who bailed on us and almost got us killed!” Chloe’s eyes widened in disbelieve at his accusation; when he turned on the flashlight; Chloe let out a shrilly scream realizing that she had a tarantula on her shoulder the entire time that she was walking around down there like an idiot. “That is so disgusting!” She flung it off her arm before getting behind Nathan. As Flynn shined his flashlight revealing the entire crypt, he took his other hand and tossed one out to Nathan.
Chloe scanned the entire Crypt in disbelieve; it actually appeared every wall was moving towards them but it wasn’t the wall! Every inch of the wall had a spider on it; there was quite easily a million spiders surrounding them. “Oh my god! There are so many of them!” Chloe began to rub her skin feeling like they were all over her. She groaned seeing a stone wall staircase leading down further into the bleak unknown. “I don’t know if we should go down there cause if this is up here, could you imagine what is down there!” Chloe thought back on the legend that she had hidden from Flynn and Nadine about Arachne! It was like a nightmarish theme of a horror film where a human woman had actually evolved into a Spider; and that probably wasn’t even the right word to describe it but it made Chloe skin tingle in fear.
“How many times have we learned that; it is always a good idea to follow the spiders? They have always paved the way for us! This is probably the last thing we will have to go through before we find the dagger.” Flynn positively chimed in as he pushed past Chloe and Nathan and started down the steps, following the trail that the spiders were leading along. “You would think?” Chloe chimed in before glancing towards Nathan as Nadine shoved them both ahead of her with her weapon drawn at them. “you two first! I know the two of you have something up your sleeves and I am not taking my eyes off of you for a second, so move!” Nadine ordered as Chloe slowly descended down the stairs before stopping all together hearing Flynn who was only a few feet ahead of them scream out in utter fear. “That doesn’t sound good!” Chloe quickly hurried down the stairs and intruded on complete madness.
Caesar’s entire tomb was covered in silk; and not just any silk but giant, think ropes worth of silk webs and Flynn was wrapped in one hanging from the top of the tomb like that of a possum. “What the f***!” Chloe breathed out before hearing something coming from behind her. She turned to see those millions of tarantulas literally form in one giant spider that would have left the snake quaking in its boots. “Just a spider: huh Drake?” Chloe called out falling from where she stood as it threw out one of its pedipalps towards her, and linking it around her foot and dragging her back over to where it stood. “Nadine, I need your gun!” Chloe screamed as Nadine rushed into the room and attempted to shoot Flynn from the cocoon that he was sealed in. “Nadine, I really need your f***ing gun!” Chloe screamed as she became in full view of the abdomen of the spider which was where the silk came from. “I am going to be in therapy until I am fifty!” Chloe screamed as Nadine slid her gun over to where Chloe laid, and she quickly grabbed it and fired four shots into the spider’s abdomen.
It scrambled away from her quickly but Chloe, again let out a shrilly scream seeing that those gunshots sent out about twelve smaller tarantulas that were now lying on her stomach. “This bitch is literally made of Tarantula’s!” Nadine exclaimed as Chloe quickly brushed them off of her. “No sh*t, Sherlock!” Chloe yelled out as she, Nadine and Nathan all huddled up into a circle, with their backs together with each flashlight pointing all around them. “How long do you think Flynn has before he dies from suffocation in that thing?” Chloe asked not really caring but the common fact of leaving someone, anyone to suffocate while wrapped tightly in a spider web, it really didn’t sit well with her. “f*** him; as far as I am concerned! He is already dead!” Nadine insisted as Chloe glanced up clearly hearing Flynn call out for them to help him. “You are a class act, Ross!” Chloe grimaced at her cruelty. “Nathan, I know that he’s evil and I cannot stand him but even he doesn’t deserve this!” Chloe explained watching the Arachne as it lurked in the darkness waiting for its moment to attack.
Chloe took a deep breath and glanced around the room for some point where she would be able to free Flynn from his grim predicament. “I got it.” Chloe plainly said as she yanked Nadine’s hunting knife from her knife holster and ran out into the darkness with only a single flashlight as her protection. “You and Frazer are always trying to be f***ing heroes!” Nadine screamed slapping Nathan upside his head as she stood to her feet and watched as Chloe with the knife firmly between her lips, she leaped towards the other side of the tomb and grabbed a hold of a ledge which was almost eye level with where Flynn hung from and climbed up onto it with countless spiders appearing on the walls behind her. “Flynn, you owe me one!” Chloe yelled as she took the knife from her mouth and tossed it in the direction of where he hung, she closed her eyes imagining the embarrassment if it lands nowhere near it but sighs hearing the knife puncture through it and seeing Flynn flail out of it.
“Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh; Oh; Oh god!” Flynn cried out stumbling to his feet and rushing over to where Nathan and Nadine huddled. Chloe glanced down at the sight of three stone coffins with gold emblems on each one. She glanced over at Arachne who seemed more concerned with Nathan, Nadine and Flynn as she leaped down to get close enough to read each one. “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.” Chloe sighed expecting nothing less than another f***ing riddle. And going to the next one which read. “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.” and following with the last one which read. “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” and in even smaller writing below the last one read the words. “Caesar does not lie here, or anywhere.”
Chloe sighed glancing around the room before quickly pushing open the first one to reveal another stone, stair case leading from inside of it. “Guys, I found another way in!” She yelled out to them as they all rushed over with Arachne quickly chirping after them. Once they were all in; they all worked together to shut the tomb to save themselves from Arachne. “You’re welcome by the way, Flynn! Nadine wanted to double-cross you and leave your ass to die! I mean, I kind of agreed with her but I figured that not even you deserves the slow death from a human eating spider! When you die, it will be by my hands!” Chloe grinned at Nadine; giving her a taste of her own medicine before shoving by her and leading Nathan down the stonewall steps. “You were going to betray me? Marlowe was so f***ing right about you! all you ever worry about is you, you f***ing bitch.” Flynn angrily lashed out following Nathan and Chloe down the steps. “Don’t be so melodramatic! We are not partners! We are not friends! I will double-cross you any chance that I can! And I would expect the very same from you! That is what makes us so good at what we do, we don’t care who we hurt in the end.” Nadine followed them down into a long and extravagant walkway. “I guess you’re right.” Flynn nodded before c*cking his gun back and ejecting a bullet into her face.
“Oh my god!” Chloe exclaimed burying her face into Nathan’s shoulder. “Man, what a f***ing bitch, huh?” Flynn chuckled wiping her blood from his face as her dead body dropped to the ground. Chloe didn’t cry; part of her felt a little emotion as she watched Nadine’s lifeless body fall like a piece of trash onto the ground. “You are sick, Flynn!” Chloe screamed as he put his hands in front of her face to hush her, clearly engaged with something else. “Get your f***ing hands out of my face!” She shoved them away from her before glancing in the direction that he looked and seeing a dust, gold urn in the center of the room on an ancient table which appeared to be made of rock. “What the hell is that?” Chloe asked as she followed Flynn over to it; she could almost sense what was about to happen but didn’t want to admit that this had been one giant goose chase.
“This is where Caesar lies.” Flynn read out picking up the urn and reading the dirty and almost unreadable emblem on it. “Are you f***ing kidding me!” Flynn yelled out smashing the urn as Caesar’s ashes pilled out of it and a piece of what appeared to be a dagger of sorts. “Oh great; find ten more urns and you will have an entire dagger to fight the giant spider and snake! I just want to point out that this was your idea to drag us out to this stupid f***ing mission; I was ready to call it quits but no, you had to kidnap my child and kill her adoptive parents and force us into a situation that will probably get all of us killed!” Chloe screamed at him not really seeing any light at the end of the horrendous nightmare.
“Nathan, don’t. I have a feeling that Flynn wouldn’t take to kindly to us taking out his partner. We have to play their game to get my daughter back.” Chloe lifted her body up off the ground, standing up; she cracked her neck and let a deep breath escape from her lips as she moved in front of them to face Nadine. “Where is Flynn, Nadine? What has he done with Izzy?” Chloe asked wiping the blood from her lip from when she was knocked down by the goons. “He never said that she was with him? What kind of a father would be his only daughter on a dangerous expedition?” she asked with a devilish grin.
“Then Marlowe has Izzy? Nadine; I am not playing with you! Where is my daughter?” Chloe demanded grabbing Nadine by the throat. “All good things come to those who wait!” Chloe growled angrily as she shoved Nadine away from her before turning away from all of them. “Caesar’s crypt is in the desert of Cimpello; that was where he planned his and Cleopatra’s great escape but after Cleopatra allowed the serpent to bite her, essentially committing suicide; Caesar brought her to Cimpello and intended to have her burial in the city of the great unknown but he was assassinated and the two of them were buried in a hidden crypt within the great wall of Cimpello which if the legends are true, the wall is said to be guarded by the most, massive snake!” Chloe took a deep breath before looking over at Winston who made his way by her.
“According to the legend; the snake has been said that it would wrap its massive body around anyone who came within five miles of the wall! It would suffocate them completely before they took another breath! The name that we have garnered from our research on the serpent is…Cerastes.” Winston explained grabbing a ancient, old drawing of the monstrosity creature. “There was one man who managed to survive from an attack from Cerastes! His name was Stefano Moretti; he was a 17th century painter who stumbled onto the city as a young man and barely made it out with his life! He spent the next forty years trying to get people to believe but he was labeled an unstable man; and it was something that he carried around till his dying day, this being all that way left on him.” Winston finished handing the fragile, old drawing to Nathan.
“The City doesn’t have any locals; it is Italy’s biggest secret! Me, Cutter and Winston tried getting in Cimpello and we were literally thrown in cells by the Carabinieri! Nadine, this will not be an easy expedition! People are going to die! You are talking about going against the military police which alone is some serious sh*t than battling and defeating a mythical and legendary serpent which if you haven’t caught up on your reading, let me break down it for you! Cerastes is a creature who is prehistoric as hell and people have tried to kill it and none of them have able to! People have lost their lives trying to do it! It will be like nothing any one of us has ever faced! It is fast! It can impersonate other animals! It can hide underground and when we least expect it! Bang! It will take us out! It can have two to four horns on the top of its head which garnered it the name Cerastes! Translates of that with horns! And if that isn’t horrifying enough; it has no spine so literally; it is probably the fastest creature that any one of us have ever experienced! If it decides that it wants you! You won’t even be able to fight it off! It will pluck you up; and you will be dead.” Chloe explained as Winston peered over from beside her. “Nice pep talk, Boss!” Winston sarcastically voiced as Sam nodded. “No sh*t; Chloe, what are you trying to do! Give us reasons to not go and help Flynn; which is the only way you can get your kid back!”
“Guys; this is my mess and I can clean it up! I am tell you all this because I cannot ask for you all to risk your lives for me! I mean, Nathan; you have Cassie to think about! I am stuck with Flynn till I can get Cassie back but you have an option to step away from it and take care of your little girl.” Chloe explained walking over to him and taking his hands into hers. “Nathan, I love you too much to ask that you risk your life like this! I know I came here to ask for your help but that was before I seen how wonderful your life was here and then I found myself craving to share it with you! I am just really sorry that I ruined everything for you.” Chloe said softly as Nadine interrupted their moment clapping sarcastically. “Oh. Oh, how moving. I am serious. I am very touched. Unfortunately; Flynn’s rules were quite clear! Nathan, I am sorry to say it but you are handcuffed to Chloe and you will be joining us on this expedition.” Chloe turned to glare at Nadine.
“If they are going; you can bet your sour ass that I will be right there with them!” Sam popped off getting in Nadine’s face. “I don’t think it would be a good idea; Sam, not with your bad legs.” She grinned mysteriously as he arched his brow and she kicked up a handgun from one of the goons and caught it from the air before putting two bullets in each of his legs. “Good luck dancing without those.” Nadine evilly laughed; Sam, howling in pain and crashing onto the ground. “Nadine, you evil, f***ing bitch!” Chloe screamed running towards her. “I wouldn’t do that.” Nadine pointed the gun right in the center of Chloe’s head. “Nathan, Chloe! Yall, go with Nadine to Cimpello and end this sh*t for good! The new guy and I will take care of Sam! We will get him to the hospital! Yall need to go, now!” Sully yelled at them both as Chloe shoved Nadine’s gun out of her face. The helicopter landed on the school grounds; and Chloe looked towards Nathan. “I don’t like it anymore than you do but we have no choice, Nathan! We have to do this! We need to finish it.” She explained taking his hand into hers as they both climbed into the helicopter with Nadine climbing in after them. It took Chloe everything that she had inside of her to not shove Nadine out of the helicopter, forever; ending her torture on their lives. It was a long ride to Cimpello; Chloe wasn’t even sure how they planned to survive it. “Nathan, I am sorry! This is my entire fault! If I had just left all of this alone than you and I wouldn’t’ be in this situation having to work with this little bitch.” Chloe growled towards Nadine as she sarcastically smiled at her. “Do you think that smile will make people look at you any different? You are a disgusting human being! You are ugly on the inside and on the out! You are unlovable! I am sure you are probably hoping that you die on this expedition! I know I am but it must be so much deeper for you! You are probably thinking that if you die than you won’t have to go on in your sad and pathetic life! I really do feel bad for you, Nadine! You will always be a henchwoman who will never amount to anything in this world.”
Chloe yelled at her with fury and anger dripped from her lips; she wanted Nadine to feel small and insignificant; Chloe wanted to take every tiny bit of confidence that Nadine might have and throw it out the window. Nadine arched a brow as Chloe yelled at her and took a deep breath listening to her ugly words before she stood up and walked over by the pilots. “Oh! Is the ballsy henchwoman going to cry? Did I strike a nerve?” Chloe yelled standing up but being blocked by two men who worked for Nadine. “I get it! I am sitting right back down!” She sighed sitting back down by Nathan before wrapping her arms into his and lying her head on his shoulder; they had a long road ahead of them and there wasn’t much that she could do to get them out of that particular situation so all they could do was enjoy the scenery and hopefully survive the expedition. “Nathan, with everything that I told you about Cerastes; what would you say are our survival chances once we get to Cimpello?” he really was the perfect guy to talk to her about it cause he was honest and would give her all the facts. “There are a few things that Winston and I didn’t tell yall in front of Nadine. I don’t know why we didn’t; I guess you can call self preservation but it is actually working against our likeliness of survival.” Chloe whispered to Nathan.
“according to the legend; inside the crypt there are said to be a million tarantulas inside of it with both him and Cleopatra! Well; the text that we obtained was kind of hard to translate because it was a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic but it is said to be either a million spiders or one spider that is the length of a million spiders and why I say that is because there was a name on that creature as well. Arachne and I was kind of excited cause I actually knew the legend behind the name but on the flip side, I really wasn’t because it sounds really bad!” Chloe explained watching Nadine speaking to the pilots about their lack of time getting into the city. “Arachne was a talented mortal weaver who challenged Athena to a weaving contest; she was very overconfident about her likeliness of winning; and that overconfidence caused her to be transformed into a large spider.”
“What are yall talking about?” Nadine yelled walking back over to where they sat. “I was thinking about dropping to my knees and sucking him dry, you want to see?” Chloe popped off as Nadine sulked off sitting in the chair across from them. Chloe glanced over at Nathan; she needed a plan to get Izzy away from Marlowe while still saving their asses! They were going to Cimpello! They couldn’t’ get out of it! They were both unarmed and Nadine was way too trigger happy to not kill them at the slightest movement! It killed Chloe to admit it but Flynn was way more easily-influenced than Nadine who was way too quick to fire a bullet and be done with it. “So you and Flynn; huh?” Chloe sighed; she should have seen it coming from Nadine.
“Are you jealous? Did you want a roll in the romp with Flynn? Nadine, trust me when I say this but you are better off just going to town on that battery operated d*ck.” Chloe teased before laying her head back on Nathan’s shoulder. “You two make me sick! I mean how long have y’all been doing this dance? It’s obvious the two of you will never have the balls to make something out of it.” Nadine grimaced looking away from them and laying her head comfortably on the headrest.
Two days later: On the outskirts of Italy.
Nathan and Chloe sat side by side in the back of an armored vehicle being driven by Flynn while Nadine sat comfortably in the front seat. “We have the old gang back together! It is almost poetic! We will get to Cimpello; and I will get the Axe of Perun before I let you two be on your way into the arms of your whiney daughter…I am sorry; our whiney daughter! And a promise is a promise that once you two help me get the Axe, I will happily sign over all of my rights to her and; I guess we can go ahead and just throw Nathan’s name on the birth certificate cause it’s clear that you two have finally taken the plunge!” Flynn went on and on until Nadine punched him on the arm at the mention of the gem. “The Axe of what?” Chloe asked moving closer to hear him correctly. Flynn cursed under his breath before grabbing a book and tossing it over to Nathan. “Open to page 1285! It is the Axe of Perun! It was wielded by the Slavic god of thunder and lightning, Perun!” Chloe tossed her hands up out of frustration. “I knew it! I knew that this never had anything to do with that stupid, f***ing wreath!” Chloe yelled out as Flynn chuckled with enthusiasm. “I never thought you would ever be stupid enough to fall for that one! It was just a smoke screen but now that we are all on the same side, there isn’t any harm in trading information.” Chloe bit her lip but stopped thinking about what she had told Nathan about Cerastes and Arachne; it made perfect sense. “That will be the dagger that defeats Cerastes!” Chloe sighed knowing that they had no clue that they had to get passed Arachne to get the dagger. “Chloe, think about it! The dagger was held by the f***ing god of thunder and lightning! Cerastes won’t know what hit him!”
Chloe rubbed her hands together slowly trying to ignore the anxiety that was building within her veins. She wasn’t afraid to die; there had been too many times that she and Nathan had both escaped death but this was something entirely different. They were going up against mythical creatures that had killed millions before them and for some reason; Flynn felt like they had a chance in hell of making it out alive. Chloe glanced up from her hands and seen that they had already gotten way further than she, Winston and Cutter had before they were locked in Italian jail cell. “How the hell did you get us this far? we should have already been flagged like an hour ago!” Chloe glanced around their surroundings. “Oh Frazer; you and I have spent too much time apart! I am Harry Flynn; I always have a wild card.” Chloe growled at him as she glanced over at Nathan. “Are you ready for this? I know that we don’t have much of a choice at this point but this is as close to death as we have ever been! We will literally be in its clutches!” Chloe caressed his arm before kissing his cheek. “Before we do this; I just want to let you know that I love you! You are the love of my life, Nathan Drake!” She smiled stroking his face before Flynn and Nadine both howled with laughter. “Will you two shut the f*** up?” She yelled as the vehicle came to a halting stop. “Why did you stop?” Chloe asked as Flynn got out of the vehicle and opened the door for her. “We have arrived! It’s time awaken the tomb of Caesar!”
Chloe pursed her lips before getting out of the vehicle and following Flynn around the truck as the view of a complete desert came into focus! “It is nothing.” Chloe spoke as the ground shook and they all fell to the ground. “Chloe, you done woke up Cerastes!” Flynn yelled at her as he fought his way back onto his feet. “I don’t think so, Flynn!” Chloe spoke feeling the wind pick up around them rapidly as the sand began to fly around them. “Great! Flynn, you decided to show up during a f***ing sandstorm, excellent.” Chloe yelled at him. “This was your f***ing legend! You f***ing bitch!” Flynn yelled back at her as she swings out and punches him across the face; and he retaliates by slapping her down onto the ground.
The moment that she falls to the ground; the sand drops back down and it appears utterly quiet and sinister before a monstrous creature comes lunging from the ground; reaching easily at 40 feet of height! “I think we have met Cerastes.” She fearfully whispered standing to her feet, taking into account his horns and the absence of a spine. It stood above them, just watching them, waiting for one of them to make a move before the attack. “Nathan, what do we do?” Chloe whispered barely flinching a muscle.
“Nathan; I won’t lie! I feel bad for you. I mean; it won’t be long till she is out on her own, living her life and doing her own thing which I am assuming will include dating and before you know it, you will be walking her down the aisle and you will be envisioning the first time you held her! The first time you kissed a scratch on her knee; her first word, her first bath, the first time that you genuinely felt like a father! All those emotions are going to hit you all at once the moment that you walk her down the aisle to her future; and hand your entire life over to some guy and if I know you as well as I do; you probably won’t like him very much but you are forced to trust him entirely with your daughter’s life! That is some torturous sh*t! I mean; I think it would be great for her to one day become someone’s wife but for you; that would be pretty painful and overwhelming to come to terms with; but I will be by your side when that day happens; and hope to god that I won’t strangle Elena.”
Chloe grinned as both of them watched Cassie rush off with her friends. “You don’t think she will get drunk? Do you? I mean; don’t worry! I am sure that she will be totally fine…Is that boy going with them? Nathan, how against would you be on crashing a kegger? I mean; they won’t know we are there! We will just show up and hide behind the bushes, just to make sure that everything ends safely and no one gets alcohol poisoning! Why does he keep kissing her! No, no, young man; put that tongue back in your mouth! Oh, god! I can’t watch! I mean, I know that I am not Cassie’s mother but that is a lot for anyone to take in! I have seen pictures of her as a young girl in your office!” Chloe quickly looked away from the sight of Cassie and the young boy kissing once again; with a small appearance of his tongue in her mouth.
“I am sorry but is crashing a teenage party going too far over the whole violation of privacy code! I mean; you are her father and we won’t stay long! I mean; think of it as another job! We are infiltrating a teenager’s after party bash! I mean; we can still pass for…I can’t even finish that sentence! I can call Winston! He’s one of my employees! The kid is eighteen and could go in and check it out and make sure that no inappropriate touching occurs where Cassie in concerned. “Drake; quit looking at me like that; I am not being overprotective! I just know that she is your daughter! And how many times as a young man; did you show up at a party and meet some young, impressionable girl and not have the worst, impure thoughts about her?”Chloe asked waiting patiently for him to think long and hard about her question.
“I don’t want to waste our entire evening watching a remake of Pretty in Pink with binoculars but how long has it been since we have had a stakeout? We could stay for a few hours and then head back to your place for the night! I would make it worth your while” She said seductively planting a kiss on his cheek while attentively caressing his belt with her fingers. “I mean; if you think that our romp in the office was hot! You haven’t experienced anything yet! That was child’s play compared to what I am going to do to you! but; I mean, if you are too tired, I guess that we can head home and just go to sleep; like some old, married couple.” She teased him knowing that age was a big thing for him.
“I love the idea of this last job though! I mean; I guess that we can think of it as a last hoorah before I walk away from it all and as far as Izzy is concerned. I would love nothing more than to bring her home but there is so much to think about; I mean if we go after Flynn like we plan to and he retaliates; then, he will know exactly where to hit me where it hurts.” She explained softly fighting back her tears but refusing to allow herself to look weaker than she already appeared. She sighed kissing him but quickly pulled away seeing Winston rush over to where they stood on the dance floor.
“Winston; what the hell are you doing here?” She asked walking away from Nathan and placing her hand on Winston’s back as he fought to catch his breath; clearly he had been in a hurry to get to her. “Flynn ….h….as….izzy!” Chloe arched her brow hoping that she handed heard what he had just said to her. “What???Winston; you need to repeat that slowly so I can understand! What about Flynn and Izzy!” Chloe removed her hand and placed one of her fingers nervously on her lips.
“Flynn has Izzy! Nadine has teamed up with him and told him everything about him getting you pregnant and you giving the baby up! He killed her adoptive parents and kidnapped her.” Chloe gasped for air and began pacing the dance floor as Sully and Sam appeared behind Winston who glanced nervously at them. “Winston, where were Izzy’s guards? I hired Steven and Hunter to guard her! How the f*** did this happen?” she screamed as Sully intervened calmly. “Chloe, let’s take this into the office and not ruin everyone’s evening.” he said ushering Chloe and Winston into the office glancing back towards Nathan for him and Sam to follow.
They got into the office and Chloe quickly whipped back and slapped the hell out of Winston who fell to the ground. “How could you let this happen? I mean you were in direct contact with both Steven and Hunter!” She screamed as Winston stumbled to his feet and backed away from her nervously while placing his hands calmly in front of him in an attempt to calm her down. “I was in contact with them up until the last two days when their contact seized entirely! I have spent all this time looking for you! Cutter took off for Ionia while I searched high and low for you eventually looking into the whereabouts of Nathan Drake and luckily finding you with him! Cutter arrived in Ionia yesterday and spoke with the EU council and that is how he found out about their deaths and Izzy’s kidnapping.”
Chloe gasped for air as she paced the room quickly unable to see Nathan’s face from Sully’s and that was saying a lot! She was just so consumed with fear that she couldn’t focus on anything. Chloe was about to speak when her phone rang and she scanned the phone number before sighing as a tear streamed down her face. “Harry Flynn; where the f*** is my daughter.” She said plainly; refusing to let him know that he gave her a low blow. She glanced at everyone in the office with her before putting the phone on speaker. She listened intently hearing him chuckle on the other end. “Your daughter? Oh Frazer! You know the legal system really frowns upon thieving whores who cut men out of their children’s lives.” Chloe licked her lips feeling her blood boil but knowing that she had to play this cat and mouse game with him.
“I don’t give a sh*t about the legal system! Where is my child!” she said once again; as calmly as she could muster up, feeling tears welling up in her eyes unable to really give him a piece of her mind like she normally would but he had all the cards so she had to play it his way. “Your child? You almost sound like a mother! You offered your “child” to virtual strangers just to keep me away from my daughter and now; you are going to do things my way! if you ever want to see Isobella ever again!” She took a deep breath and placed the phone on the computer desk before walking towards the single malt scotch. “What are your terms?” She asked grabbing a ball glass and pouring a glass half full. “Oh Chloe; I am so happy to see that you are finally seeing things my way.” he torturously teased her. “What are your f***ing terms?” She yelled walking over to the desk before taking a long drink from the glass. “I want Caesar’s location! You help me find it and you will get her back! I will even sign away every right to you; at that point, the little bitch would be useless to me.” Chloe deeply exiled before trembling with rage. “You are going to die. And I am going to be the one who kills you!” She kneeled close to the speaker of the phone and whispered the words into it. “Well; I guess a girl can dream! One last thing! Heads up!”
Chloe quickly looked up to see Nadine crashing through the skylight window of the office. “F*** you, Flynn!” Chloe screamed chucking her phone across the room and busting the glass of scotch across Nadine’s face as she lands on the ground. The two women dive across the room; Nadine on top of Chloe choking her as Chloe shoves her thumb into Nadine’s eye socket and kicks the woman off of her while Nadine is holding her face which is bleeding at the eye. Chloe flings her body up in a standing position before grabbing an umbrella and swinging it at Nadine who dives under and busts her head into a glass case of collective batons and grabbing one before swinging it at Chloe who blocks it with the umbrella before popping Nadine in the nose with it. “You f***ing bitch.” Chloe screamed delivering a shocking blow to Nadine’s stomach with her leg before hitting her on the back of the head with the umbrella. “I trusted you! I mean; I should have known you couldn’t walk away from a payoff! How much did it take this time?” Chloe asked as Nadine grabbed another baton and ran at her swinging both of them. “only one f***ing dollar! I have waited for the day when I can double cross your love sick ass! I couldn’t stand hearing about your great love Nathan Drake for another moment.” She yelled back while hitting Chloe across the face with the baton and kicking her on the back into the scotch tray which Chloe grabs and throws it on her, burning her bleeding eye as Nadine drops everything, screaming in pain and grabbing her face. “One dollar? Wow, you are just cheap!” Chloe disgustingly points out as Nadine howls a battle cry in her direction before running and tackling Chloe towards the office window as they both shatter through it and fall two stories onto the school grounds.
Chloe gasped for air having just had the wind knocked out of her as both her and Nadine rolled around in agony from the fall. Chloe raised her body up off the ground. “Seriously? You want to be a petty bitch and tackle me out of a f***ing window?” Nadine peeked over at her as they intensely stared at one another before Nadine sucker punched her back on her back. “Are we really doing this again?” Chloe screamed shoving her thumb back into Nadine’s eye causing the manly woman to scream in agony before she grabbed Nadine by the head and smashed her face into Chloe’s! Essentially head butting her and knocking her out. “You are getting rusty Nadine! But that is nothing like what I am preparing to do to your partner in crime.” She said groaning as she stood from the ground before glancing back at Nadine who was out cold. She took a deep breath before looking back towards the building and seeing two men with loaded weapons pointed right at her.
“Chloe Frazer! You are coming with us! Katherine Marlowe has sent us to collect both you and Nathan Drake!” Chloe quickly put her hands in the air; knowing that the longer that she fought them, the less likely she would get Izzy back. Nadine just warranted an ass whooping for betraying her. “Nathan Drake? I don’t know a Nathan Drake!” She lied wanting to protect Cassie; she needed her father. The henchmen let out a chuckle; one that Chloe also joined in on before he violently hit her across the face with his gun, sending her crashing back to the ground beside Nadine who was coming to. Chloe let out a sarcastic chuckle as she wiped away the blood from her lip and stood back up. “Listen, assgrab and jackoff! You don’t need Nathan Drake! I really don’t know where he is.” She insisted as Nadine, now fully back on her game stood up. “Lies! Nathan, Sully and Sam Drake were all upstairs in the office! They might still be up there.” Nadine grinned as Chloe looked over her shoulder at her before Nadine delivered a hardcore scissor kick to Chloe’s face, knocking her out cold.
Chloe pursed her lips nervously as she watched Nathan’s eyes meet the scene that she had just witnessed; she seen the look of rage and anger all over his face as he made a swift movement but was stopped by a wai…Sam! Chloe grinned from ear to ear seeing Sully peering from behind Nathan. She glanced back over at Cassie who was just living her best life with her friends; and Chloe took the chance to walk across the room and join her three favorite guys; one of which was the love of her life. “What is this? The three musketeer’s reunion?” she announced as she made her presence known to both Sam and Sully.
“Sully; it has been too long! And look at you; you look better with each year! I swear, you are going to outlive us all!” Chloe complimented him with a friendly kiss on the cheek. “and of course; I can’t forget the better looking Drake.” Chloe teased Nathan as she gave Sam a friendly hug and a peck on the cheek as well before walking over to Nathan and leaning up to kiss his lips. “I am very proud of you for how you handled that! I was damn near ready to tackle the kid myself but you showed far more restraint than I would have.” She said breaking their kiss before stroking his face.
It hit her like a ton of bricks that Chloe had literally gone against everything that she and Nathan had previously discussed as far as keeping their relationship quiet. She sighed as she stared nervously at him for some brilliant Drake idea that would save them the questions from Sully and Sam. “What are yall looking at? I kissed Nathan? It isn’t the first time and it is kind of our way of showing affection for one another and it could be a simple friendship and we would share a friendly kiss.” Chloe explained as Sam puckered up his lips in her direction.
“You didn’t get enough from Nadine?” Chloe teased Sam as she pursed her lips to keep from laughing while giving Nathan the knowing eye. The irony was impeccable; as Cassie rushed over and hugged Chloe. “Chloe, thank you so much for the dress and my necklace, this really isn’t me but I guess I am enjoying being a girl for one night.” Cassie laughed softly before noticing Sully and Sam and hugging both of them tightly. “Have yall met dad’s new girlfriend, Chloe?” Chloe couldn’t help but let out an awkward chuckle as she glanced towards Nathan. “Cassie; I think your friends are waving at you?” Chloe said glancing over and seeing them wave towards her including the boy that she had just been caught kissing.
“Oh; okay! But Uncle Sully, Uncle Sam! It was so great seeing yall, tonight!” Cassie hugged both of them once again before rushing off with her friends. “Dad’s new girlfriend? I am sorry but that sounds way more official than just kissing friends!” Sam chuckled as Sully nodded in agreement. “Kids say the damndest things.” Chloe offered up as Sully shook his head. “why are you two still pretending like there is nothing between you? it is clear that yall have something incredible together, if only you would get over yourselves and just take the plunge.” Chloe closed her eyes and tried to stifle the laughter that was growing in her stomach, it could have been any other word except the plunge.
“Sully; me and Nathan…we are what we have always been! Two wonderer’s who take solace in each other’s company, nothing more.” Chloe lied before biting her lip glancing towards Nathan. She loved him; but it was important to both of them that they keep their relationship between them. “Really, Frazer, How long did you pine after my brother! He chose Elena over you and you don’t have to admit it but deep down inside, it really hurt you!” Sam exclaimed as Chloe buried her head into her hands trying to figure out a way out of the conversation.
“Okay; fine! I loved Nathan! I guess there’s no need to deny it, I still am in love with Nathan but that doesn’t mean that we are destined for some story book romance that contains happily ever after and villains! Nathan and I are just going to see where things go; so please don’t make a big deal out of it! And just for that little note, Sam; Nadine is a transvestite! And trust me when I say, she really wanted some of you faced down on her bed.” Chloe teased him for embarrassing her in front of Nathan. “Dance with me?” She asked tangling her hand in Nathan’s hand and pulling him out to the dance floor.
“I am sorry that I kind of went rogue on our initial plan! I think they could see past our lie, it really is obvious how much I love you and I don’t think we should necessarily hide it. I mean, Cassie knows; and she was quick to announce it to Sully and Sam because she is happy that her father has found someone who respects him and wants to share his life.” She grinned putting her arm around his shoulder and placing her hand in his as they move to the beat of the music. “Admit it! everyone aside; you really are enjoying the event! I mean; we are here together! Dancing after spending the most incredible time in your office that I am sure will forever be on your mind.” She grinned kissing his lips. She twirled around and caught a glimpse of Sam who was scratching his head with a dumbfounded look on his face.
“Should I feel guilty for telling Sam all that about Nadine, I mean; I don’t know for sure that she is a transvestite; I just wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. All joking aside; the only person who knows how much I love you is Sam! When you and Elena sped off to your future in marriageville; it was incredibly hard for me and Sam seen that; I guess him saying that in front of you, embarrassed me so I stooped down and gave him a theoretic kick to the ribs by saying all that about Nadine.”
Chloe rarily felt guilty about much; but the truth was that had Nathan choose to spend the rest of his life with her from the very beginning; Chloe would have ended it all; she would have left that life behind and built a wonderful life with him but the nice girl won that round but in the end, Chloe was with him now! She was his and he was hers; it was their chance at a happy ending; the happy ending with him that she had spent so long waiting for and now it was just within her reach.
“Nathan; do you like me like this? I mean; do you want me to be a part of this life that you created for you and Cassie? I am not going to say that I didn’t hate on it for a hot second, I mean I was consumed with wanting to beat Flynn but now that I have spent time with Cassie and we have spent time together; I don’t know. I guess I am just ready to walk away from the rodeo. Nathan; I know that you like your life and I now can see how wonderful it truly is; but do you want me to be a part of it? I want to be but I want to know how you feel about it?”
It was obvious that Nathan cared about her and loved being with her but she wanted to know how he felt about making it truly official and planning out there future together. “I know that you have left that part of your life behind; and if you tell me to walk away from it, I will do it! No questions asked because you matter more to me than anything in the entire world! I will trade that explorer side of myself for an apron…okay; maybe not an apron cause god knows that I look horrible in one but I will put away that part of my life to focus on us and planning our future, if that is what you want for us.”
She glances over at Cassie; so happy and comfortable with kids her own age; the likeliness of Atlantis so far from her mind. Chloe knew that it would only be temporary and eventually; she would go back to the possibility that every archeological legend has truth to it; which was right on the money but it was nice to see her give it all a rest, at least for one, wonderful night. “Nathan, I don’t want to replace Elena in Cassie’s life but I want to spend more time with her and get to know her better; giving her that closeness that she misses; I think it would be great for both of us! and while I would never lie to her, it could give you a break with constantly fighting her on the truth of Atlantis! I don’t know, maybe we could work together to show her another side of life besides one that we both know all too well.”
“Nathan, I am trying to tell you that I want us to be officially together! I am telling you that if you were to profess your love to me, right now in front of all these people! I would stand beside you, hold your hand and tell you that I feel the exact same way. Nathan, we deserve the happy ending that was robbed from us. in the short time that we have been together; I haven’t thought of Flynn or the wreath once!” She nestled closer to him as the music continued and it appeared like they were the only two in the entire world.
“This is too much! Could you imagine what Sully or Sam would say if they could hear me now? Chloe Frazer willing to walk away from everything; for the guy that she wants to spend the rest of her life with.” Chloe grinned before kissing him but they were quickly interrupted by Cassie who rushed over to where they were.
“Dad, hear me out before you say no but Deana is throwing a party after the event! Her parents are going to be there so there will be parental supervision but can I spend the night with her? I mean, it’s the weekend and I promise that I will call you before I go to bed so you can know that I am okay! Please, Daddy! I really, really want to go! And that is really rare for me; to want to spend any time with kids my own age but I really want to go!”
Chloe glanced at Nathan; she knew that he would fight every urge to tell her no; he was such a protective father and she loved that about him but she couldn’t help but lean in and whisper in his ear. “Imagine; we would have your place all to ourselves for the night! We could do anything and no one would catch us or interrupt us.” She whispered to him before gliding her hand down and caressing his ass.
“Cassie, give me a minute alone with your dad and I will do my absolute best to convince him.” Chloe grinned at her before Cassie pulled her into a hug and took off back over to her friends who were dancing in ways that made even Chloe blush with embarrassment. “Okay, putting all the pelvic thrust dancing aside and your daughter kissing some teenager! What do you think? I mean I think it would be good for her to interact with kids her own age and it would give us a chance to spend some “explicit” time together where clothes are optional but she is your daughter and it really is completely up to you.”
After they were done; Chloe grinned as she glanced down at her phone. “Oh Sh*t! We are way late! Nathan, get dressed before Sully comes in here looking for you! He doesn’t even know that I am in town and I would prefer that the first time he sees me in years be like this! I am a lady after all.” She teased as she tossed his shirt over to him, hitting him on the face. “Nathan, think of it this way! the sooner that we go out there and shake some hands and do the little dance; the sooner that we can leave and spend the rest of the night wrapped up in each other’s arms in a big, comfy bed.” Chloe walked over to him, and leaned over kissing his lips before pushing herself off of him.
“Never mind the fact that your daughter is seriously decked out! She is wearing an actual ball gown! And; she looks far more incredibly beautiful than even me. Nathan; I can see that it is rare for her to feel beautiful and to want to be seen that way so I think this evening is really important for her.” Chloe stepped into her dress and pulled it up her curvy waste and over her shoulders before zipping the back. She grabbed her heels and while she was walking back over to him, was slipping them on her feet. “When we were shopping; she talked about acting like she didn’t like it to keep herself from missing Elena. Nathan, don’t tell her that I told you! I am not trying to betray her confiding in me but I need you to understand just how important tonight is for Cassie.”
Chloe slowly walked over to the row of chairs before sitting in one facing him. “When we walked into Versace and I wanted to get her something! I wanted it to be special; and we looked at the jewelry and of course, she went for the most Drake like thing! A necklace that says f***! Of course I showed her this really special beaded lion head necklace! An original and it honestly looked just like one of the artifacts that we had found many times in the past and I showed it to her and she just lit up! and I seen this girl come out who was obsessed with jewelry and before I knew it; she was trying on dresses and holding them up to herself to see if she liked them! She even took a selfie in one! And then she realized what she had done and totally freaked out!” Chloe explained laughing. “and then we went and we got her hair done; and had her makeup done! And we got ready there and she literally came out of that salon looking like she was heading to prom! This evening is special for her and I don’t think we should rob her of it.”
“I mean; I know that it isn’t prom but for Cassie! I mean, correct me if I am wrong but this is the first time that she has ever gone all out and showed up in a beautiful dress and jewelry, her hair done and wearing make up! It is a major milestone in her life!” Chloe said standing up and walking over to him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “I love you; and trust me when I say that crawling in bed with you sounds so good right now but I am going to have to insist that we stay.” Chloe said grinning against his lips before kissing him.
Once they were both dressed and looking semi-fresh faced and ready to entertain the phonies and big spenders. They made their way to the event which was being held in the large event hall of the center building at the university. Chloe took a deep and calming breath as she and Nathan greeted some of Nathan’s colleagues; people that she didn’t know but Chloe was very kind and relatable so she smiled at them and kindly shook their hands before kissing Nathan on the cheek and disappearing in the large crowd looking for Cassie.
“Chloe; There you are! I have been looking for you all night!” Cassie rushed up to her half way through the crowd. “You will never believe what happened! I had my first kiss with Billy Chambers.” Chloe’s eyes became wide as she swallowed hard just imagining what Nathan would say if he heard what had just come out of Cassie’s mouth. “Really; that is so wonderful! Where is this Billy Chambers…and does he have an older brother.” Chloe chimed nervously not entirely sure how to handle this moment with Cassie as she glares at her. “I am kidding! Your father is the only man for me.” She smiled as Cassie pulled her into the center of the hall and pointed out at a young man standing against the wall with some friends.
“That is little Billy Chambers? That half-grown man! Cassie; I thought you were showing me Billy Chambers, not his father! Oh Cassie; your father is going to have a stroke when he finds out about this.” It was obvious that Billy was a kid and not Billy’s father but he just appeared older than Cassie. “Chloe; he is seventeen and you aren’t going to tell dad, are you?” Chloe stared at the teen for a moment before quickly grabbing a flute full of champagne from one of the servers before downing the entire thing in one gulp. “I will make you a deal; I won’t say anything to your dad unless he asks me about it! if he asks me, I am not going to lie to him.” She explained nervously rubbing her hands together.
“Nathan was right; we really should have gone home instead of coming to this thing.” Chloe thought as Cassie rushed back over to Billy and their friends. “Oh God; Cassie; don’t you do it! And you are kissing Billy Chambers again! This is going to go over great with your father.” Chloe chirped nervously before grabbing another flute of champagne and hurrying back over to where Nate initially was; hoping to avert the crisis of him seeing his daughter kissing a boy for the first time. “Damn, Drake! You just had to go off into the crowd!” Chloe sighed seeing that Nathan and his colleagues were no longer where she had left them.
“This entire thing with us coming to this was such a bad idea! Almost bad enough for me to admit to Nathan that he was right; but that ain’t happening.” She thought again as she took a sip of the champagne before walking back down the steps into the crowd; going back over to where Cassie stood with her friends. They were all laughing carrying on; just enjoying the festivities of the evening. Chloe grinned; she was happy to see Cassie interacting with kids her own age instead of fantasizing about Atlantis which she was probably still doing but at least; she had given it a rest for one night. Chloe bit her lip seeing Nathan literally right across from Cassie and Billy. “Oh sh*t! Cassie, you better not kiss him again! You’re father will totally freak.” It was like seeing a train wreck happen before her eyes; she could see all the key points that caused the collision but is unable to stop it nor is she able to look away from what is occurring right before her eyes.