Chapter Five (Reckoning)

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As light began to glow again I looked him straight in the eye.

"Holy shit, you shouldn't be able to do that!"

"You had it coming! I've learned a few tricks."

I took his hands in mine, but it wasn't like sharing with Dragon. With Jackal, every memory his body jerked like they were raining blows on him. I wanted to give it all to him full force. If I was haunted so should he be!

Every lie, bang, every betrayal, bang, every abuse, bang, every assault, bang! Like lightning strikes, every fear, every terror, I lived with for 20 years.

Still, I pushed memory after memory, assault after assault, every indignity, every cruelty. I'd suffered at the hands of his evil twin, in my time.

Tears coursed down his face unchecked. Sobs wrenched from both our souls. As he saw himself perpetrate crimes against me and the children.

The torture to my soul ripping itself apart under his hands. His hands choking the life from me, too many times. The fear for our lives and our future. He started to shake his head to clear the horrors from my memories taking root in his mind.

Suddenly he pulled away turning his head and vomited over the floor in between sobs and heaves.

The horror of my memories, my reality, now his, my pain now shared.

"Tee, there are no words to make it better or erase the pain of what was done to you. But you survived."

Still shaking he pulled me into his embrace.

"Tee, he had my face. I can't change that. But sweetheart love doesn't do those things. Love doesn't destroy you, it heals."

"He was defective, he doesn't know what love is. Or even the gift you and the children are. There something wrong inside him. It's no excuse, no one can ever excuse all he has done. He will pay for what he's done. I promise you sweetheart."

"I have loved you from the first moment we met. Here and then tomorrow all over again. You looked at me and saw beyond my darkness, to all that was right in me."

"That I was more than a prophecy. Or the role chosen for me. I could learn, love and evolve.  So I became more than the King of the Underworld. You taught me love. This whole feud is because neither of us willing to give up loving you."

"Whichever hand fate plays, who finds you first, who wins you over. Who loves you for a lifetime then all over again. Each time lessons to be learned. As we learn how to love truly."

"I'm so deeply sorry, my other self failed to appreciate you in your time. He failed to love and protect you and cherish you."

We sat heavy with the memories and now pain of betrayal. The physical presence of his skin next to mine torture. I once loved those eyes, that face, those arms. But never again.

Now it was merely a reminder of a liar, a rapist, and abuser. Even being near him made my skin crawl.

Dragon stormed in like he stormed out. Dragon and Jackal made eye contact, and leapt at each other.

All their memories and old resentments coming out in a fiery explosion. As Jackal punched Dragon.

That was all they needed before war broke out. Throwing each other across the room, landing punches, noses cracked and blood flowed. Yelling continued, each blaming the other.

As I slowly got up and exited to the hex portal. Too busy maiming each other to notice I left.

Facing the portal I watched again as it wound its way up my arm and pulled me in. This time I braced for the crushing feel of it and floated untethered. I surrendered shaken to my core.

Wishing for nothing more than to begin again.

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