No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 17)

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“All rise, honorable judge Oswald residing.”

Zaidah rose slowly along with her lawyer.

“You may be seated.” The judge said, “How does the defendant plea?”

“Guilty on all counts of murder, involuntary man slaughter, possession of concealed and illegal weapons without a permit, mafia affiliations, and illegal immigration.” The lawyer said.

“You’ve gotten around, haven’t you miss Blodvist?” Oswald asked.

Zaidah shrugged.

“Is there anything else you would like to say before the jury leaves to make their verdict?”

“If I may be allowed.” She said.

The judge nodded, and she stood up, pushing the chair back a little more so she could move from behind the desk. All officers had their weapons at the ready.

“I would like to ask, rather than say, is it considered a crime when what you do is what you grew up knowing, and what was beaten into you?” She asked, and paused a moment before swallowing, “I don’t expect this to waver your thoughts on sending me to jail or anything like that. But I came here hoping to find the life I could have led if my father were a different man. And I would also like to apologise to the you, judge.”

“And why’s that?” He asked the blue eyed girl.

“Because your son, Dagur, was not only working with a notorious mafia boss, Alvin Outcast, but he was also in the explosion that occurred at the wear house on Timber lane.” She said with a straight face, “I made sure he couldn’t get out.”

The judge looked at her with wide eyes as she lowered her head and made her way back to her seat, careful to make no sudden movements.

“There will be a one hour recess for the jury to decide your fate, court will resume after that.” Oswald said as he lowered his hammer, “Court augured.”

“All rise.”

“The would be Russian mafia boss, Zaidah Blodvist, daughter of the infamous Drago Blodvist, is on trial today at the highest court here in California to decide if she is going to spend the rest of her life in maximum security at San Quinton state penitentiary, or if she will be sentenced to death. There are many questions about the girl now, such as; why is she turning herself in here and now all of a sudden? And, why was she here? She has refused to speak to any of the reporters outside the court house on her way in, but perhaps we’ll understand more as the case goes one. We’ll keep you posted with how the court case progresses.”

“Gobber, can you turn that shirt off?” Ruff snarled at the blonde cook.

“Unlike you lot, I actually want to know what’s happening.” Gobber snapped back at the girl.

“Tuff is already upset more than anything, you’re making it worse.” She argued.

Tuff just blew bubbles in his chocolate milk pretending the others weren’t there, but he tuned them out a long time ago.

“I think he’s taking it the hardest out of all of us.” Astrid noted.

“There’s one person taking it harder than the rest of you.” Stoik said from behind the counter.

“And how could that be?” Ruff demanded.

“The officer leading her around in restraints.” He said shortly.

“Dad?” Snotlout asked.

Stoik nodded, “I wasn’t sure about helping her in the beginning, but Spitelout convinced me to help her. He said he’d take full responsibility for her and her actions. The way he looked at Carstella was like a daughter, which he always wanted. And to top it off she is the daughter of his favorite sister, he took to her instantly.”

“He wanted a girl?” Snotlout was stuck on.

“He got the next best thing.” Hiccup told him bitterly.

“Hey!” Snotlout shouted at the brunette.

“Shut up both all of you!” Fishlegs yelled over the group who were starting to bicker, they all stopped and stared at him, Fishlegs does not yell, “I get it! We’re upset because of what she’s doing and that we can’t change it. And maybe, yes, there are a couple people who are hurting about more than us. But at the moment that doesn’t matter, what does matter is accepting her choice and preparing for what is going to come. She has the strongest affiliations with the Russian mob, she’s killed more people than we can probably count, and she’s done things that would kill us, make our skin crawl, and throw up, along with being through shit that would have made us give up a long time ago. She’s going to be sentenced to death, and there’s nothing we can do, but understand she’s done. She can’t do it anymore, and she doesn’t want to.”

“Doesn’t want to what?” Ruff asked.

“Live anymore.” Fishlegs said grimly, “Or maybe she does, and she’s tired of the charade of not being able to be who she is, or the guilt of her previous life has gotten to much, or. . . ”

“Or?” Hiccup pried.

Fishlegs gestured to Tuff’s arm in its sling, “She was perfectly fine with running and hiding and hanging out with us, and then we got kidnapped and hurt, and she knows they aren’t going to stop, and she doesn’t want us going through anything she did because she actually does care about us, and as a messed up kind of thank you for caring about her too. If even for a short time.”

Everyone went quiet.

“Maybe they’ll go easy on her because she did have an abusive father who forced her into the business.” Snotlout said optimistically.

Astrid shook her head, “Oswald is her judge.”

“You mean. .”

She nodded.

They all sighed and stared at the table, they were all so powerless.

Zaidah was placed in a holding cell until the time was up.

She just sat on the bench and thought about her friends, how they deserved better, and how she’d miss them.

Half way through the wait time the door opened.

“Did they not need all the time to find me guilty?” She asked only to see Spitelout in the door way holding his cell phone in one hand, he motioned for her to come over to him.

Tuff stopped blowing bubbles through his straw suddenly, he looked over to Snotlout who was too occupied with staring at the table to notice anything.

He snatched his phone from the table next to him, and found the number he was looking for.

“Hey what are doing?” Snotlout snapped at the blonde only to receive a death glare, causing him to shut up.

Tuff called the number and waited for him to answer.

It can’t be too late, he thought. It can’t.

“For the last time Richard, I can’t convince her otherwise!”

“Is she still alive?” Tuff asked to the person on the other end.

“Tuff?” Spitelout questioned.

“Yeah, it’s me. Is she still alive?”

“Yeah.”

“I know it’s probably against protocol, but can I talk to please, just ten seconds.”

“Give me a minute.”

Tuff waited patiently as he drummed his fingers on the table, it seemed like an eternity.

Zaidah advanced to the man slowly. Spitelout put his cell phone to her ear when she was close enough.

“Hello?” She asked.

“Carstella, I love you.”

She gasped hearing those words from the other end, her eyes got wide.

“I love you, Stell, I really do.” Tuff repeated.

“I love you to, Paddy Garret.” She said as she blinked back tears, “But this is still something I need to do.”

“I couldn’t let you without you knowing this.” He told her, “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you to.”

The phone was pulled away from her as she nodded to her uncle with a smile on her face, she tried not to cry.

“You’re very loved, Carstella.” Spitelout said and put his hand her shoulder to enforce the idea.

She just nodded as a few stray tears fell from her eyes.

“I never heard that before.” She admitted finally, “I never have.”

“You can’t say that now.” He told her and glanced at his watch, “It’s not too late to make a plea deal.”

She shook her head, “I have to do it.”

Spitelout nodded and patted her shoulder before wiping away a couple of her tears.

“Do what you have to do.” He told her and turned to leave.

“I love you too, uncle Spitelout.” She whispered, but he heard it loud and clear.

He couldn’t say anything so he just left the room.

Carstella sat back down on the bench, oddly with a lighter heart than she had before.

Tuff put the phone back down on the counter and let out a breath he’d been holding. He sniffed a bit before he smiled at the people at the table.

“I will never love again.”

The door opened for a second time, this time Zaidah knew it was time.

She rose and ankle restraints were put back on her.

She walked down the long hallway to her destiny, her uncle by her side, and armed men around her.

The door was held open for her as she entered the court room. Her lawyer was waiting beside the table for her, he looked even more grim than the other officers in the room.

“You can still reach a plea.” He told her as she took her seat.

“I don’t want a plea.” she told him.

He sighed and sat next to her, waiting for the judge and jury to enter.

“You love my cousin?” Snotlout said in a daze, unable to understand what was really going on.

“Yeah.” Tuff said as he looked back at the t.v. hoping it would give some idea of what was going on.

“How long have you two been dating?” Ruff asked leaning closer to her twin.

“Officially one month, as of the day before the entire kidnapping thing.”

“Wow. Shitty anniversary timing.” Ruff commented.

“You’re missing the point, Ruff!” Snotlout yelled, “He loves, my cousin!”

“Calm down, Snotlout.” Hiccup told his cousin trying to reason with him.

“How are you so calm, Hiccup?!” He accused the brunette, “You know deep down she’s sensitive and fragile, and there for should not be with such and idiot!”

“Actually, that’s exactly why I approve.” Hiccup said boredly.

“Ha!” Snotlout shot in Tuff’s face before snapping back to the brunette, “Wait, what?”

“Tuff is not the smartest person around, I think we all agree to that.” Hiccup started, “He usually relies on his feelings to tell him how he should act. And if his feelings towards Carstella are that strong he’s never going to leave or hurt her, and with them being polar opposites they’d work well together.”

“Ha!” Tuff shot back in Snotlout’s face.

A beep on the t.v.indicated breaking news, everyone’s attention turned directly to the screen.

“This just in. Zaidah Blodvist, daughter of the powerful mafia boss, Drago Blodvist, has just been sentenced to death via the electric chair by an honourable jury. Her execution will be private as to not allow other mafia spies into the room to save her, as she would be the leader of her late father’s organization back in Russia. Many questions are still unanswered, and appear to remain so as we can’t even get close enough to see her face properly. But her execution will take place in three days time, at San Quinton penitentiary, where she will wait on death row for her time.”

Gobber turned the t.v. off after that, before looking sadly over at the group.

“Well,” He said solemnly, but still trying to lighten the mood, “At least you don’t need blessing.”

 

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No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 16)

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Ruff set Tuff down on the pavement next to the sign so he could rest. Everyone was silent. They all had the same thought going through their minds; would she be okay?

They waited maybe ten minutes at the corner before they heard syringes in the distance, and only two minutes after that before the ambulance pulled up in front of them. They got out and they pointed to Tuff.

They looked completely and utterly shocked as they layed Tuff on the gurney and removed the make shift sling.

“Whoever set this knew what they were doing.” One of the E.M.T.’s commented.

A couple of police cruisers showed up shortly after when they were about to load Tuff up in the ambulance.

“What’s going on?” Spitelout asked as he exited his car.

“This one has a broken arm.” The E.M.T told him, “The others are shook up but no major injuries. But all of them have lacerations on their wrists, indicating that they were tied up for a period of time.”

“Thank you.” Spitelout said and marched over to the others who were being questioned, but all they could do was shrug and give half assed answers to everything.

“They’re in shock.” Spitelout told the officer, “Why don’t you get them some water before we bring them back to the station.” The other officer nodded and left leaving Spitelout alone with them, “What the hell happ-

He was cut off by a loud explosion and orange filling the sky. He drew his gun out of habit, but the group seemed completely un affected by it.

“The Fucks going on!?” Spitelout yelled.

Zaidah gave the instructions to the operator, and as she was being questioned by the man hung up and turned the phone off again.

She turned her attention to the squirming red head at her side.

“Let me show you what happens to rats in Russia.”

She dragged him to the other end of the wear house, where there were piles and piles of bodies, canisters of gasoline, gun powder, and everything flammable.

In the center of it all, taped to a chair was a beaten and bloody Alvin.

She threw Dagur in the chair next to Alvin, they were back to back, and pulled out duct tape. She secured him both to the chair and to the larger man.

“The only thing about rats is that, we treat them just like the people we don’t like.” Zaidah said as she picked up a canister of kerosene, “But if you think about it, we don’t like rats so they’re grouped into the same category as the regular people who aren’t rats.” She sighed heavily as she unscrewed the cap to the liquid, “In the mafia especially, rats are the lowest of the low. So even if it wasn’t me who was going to kill you, Alvin would have once he got what he wanted. So if you think about like that, I’m doing you a favor by killing the both of you. But then again, the old man’s already half dead now. I went a little over board there.”

Zaidah started to pour the strong smelling liquid over the heads of the two males until the jug was empty.

“I wont forgive anyone who hurts anyone dear to me.” She said as she tossed the now empty jug aside, “I’ve never really had anyone who was dear to me before, I think that’s what my mother would have liked me to have if she were here today.”

Zaidah sighed as she opened up another jug of gasoline.

“I only wish I got to see him roast live.” She said and started to pour the gas in a line leading to the nearest exit. She pushed the door open and then threw the jug back towards the men.

“I think that’s going to be my only regret.” She said as she tossed her guns, clips full of bullets and grenades into the room with them, “As said in Russia,” She said lit a match against the wall of the wear house, “Do svidaniya.”

She tossed the match down on the trail on gasoline and shut the door as the flames quickly made their way to the two men, who were bound and surrounded by bodies and flammable materials.

All they could do was whimper as flames surrounded them.

Zaidah picked up her hooded trench coat from the ground near the fence and dusted it off before pulling it on as she walked.

Her friends were safe, so she could leave again and try to start again, Mexico, Chili, Brazil. She was multi lingual so it wouldn’t be too hard to blend in.

She stopped in her tracks and looked over her shoulder, a moment later an explosion was heard through out town, the sky was filled with orange and fire, the entire wear house was engulfed in flames.

Her current mafia problems were done, but she knew deep down in her heart that she couldn’t run this time around. She’d been running her entire life, now was the time to own up to who she really was. And she was more than willing to accept the consequences for it all.

“The kids still haven’t said anything, Spite.” A detective in the force told the chief as he entered the building, “They just keep shaking their heads, and this one girl keeps asking if her brother’s gonna be alright. I’ve seen shock before, you have too, but these kids are hiding something.”

“You think so?” Spitelout asked sarcastically, “Maybe the girls were raped in front of them or another of their friends were killed by the people who kidnapped them. Have you ever thought of that?”

“For the love of God Spitelout, one of them’s your own kid and you’re talking this way?”

“You’ve seen some shit too, haven’t you Sven?” Spitelout asked, “Every kidnap victim, every teenager, every single person is hiding something! This has nothing to do with one of them being my own boy, this has to do with us not knowing what the hell’s going on in this town anymore!”

“I’ll explain everything that’s gone on in this town to you, chief.” Both men turned around to see a girl with dark hair and blue eyes staring them down, “I’m the reason your boy is in shock.”

She let her trench coat drop to the floor to show she was covered in knives and blood.

“Put your hands up!” Near by officers shouted at the girl who was already complying.

“Get on your knees!” Deputy Mulch said as he advanced to the girl carefully, she complied.

“Hands behind your head!” She complied, “Interlock your fingers!” And again.

Another officer, Bucket, came forward to remove any and hopefully all weapons on the girl.

“How many weapons do you have girl?” He asked as he removed her belt only to find a row of small throwing knives.

“You’re gonna want to take my boots too.” She suggested.

“I didn’t say you could talk.” Mulch yelled at the girl.

The entire time Spitelout stared at the girl who held his gaze without blinking. She had a tired look on her face, she was tired of running, tired or pretending, tired of not being herself. And he understood.

“Lay down on the ground.” Mulch told her more calm seeing how cooperative she was.

She complied to the hand cuffs and a female officer coming over to see what was under her t-shirt.

“She had a bullet proof vest on?” Bucket asked looking at the vest that also held multiple knives in it.

“This way.” Mulch said escorting her to the interrogation room.

Spitelout watched in disbelief as she disappeared down the hall with Mulch.

“What’s wrong, Spitelout?” Sven asked seeing the looking of horror and daze on his face.

“It’s just,” Spitelout started not knowing how to finish.

“There kinds of things only happen in the movies, right Spitelout.”

Spitelout turned to see Stoik standing there.

“Exactly.” Spitelout said out of breath, “You here for Hiccup?”

Stoik nodded.

“We still need him here to find out what happened,” Spitelout started, “But you can wait in my office until then.”

“Thank you.”

Spitelout lead Stoik to his office where he quickly shut his door and turned around.

“I knew the mafia was behind it, but I didn’t know she would turn herself in.” Spitelout said suddenly.

“So then do you know why she did?” Stoik asked.

Spitelout shrugged, “She must be tired of running and hiding, maybe putting the others in danger was too much for her and she wanted it to stop.”

“The only why to be sure is to talk to them and her.”

Spitelout nodded, “You can talk to the kids, see what they have to say about the situation. But I can’t get you in to see her, not after she had all those weapons removed from her.”

The door to the room where the five sat opened.

“We aren’t gonna talk until we find out if Tuff is going to be okay, okay!” Snotlout finally snapped.

“Tuff is going to be fine.” Stoik said causing all of them to jump up.

“Dad!” Hiccup exclaimed.

“Tuff is going to be fine, but I need to know what happened to you.”

“We were all kidnapped by some goons.” Astrid told him.

“And then we were brought to this wear house on the other side of town and shoved in a room where this guy Alvin demanded we tell him what we knew about Carstella.” Fishlegs added.

“We didn’t tell him anything, and he got mad. But he called her in order to get her over there.” Ruff continued.

“He then broke Tuff’s arm as insurance for her coming.” Hiccup finished, “An well she came, and basically slaughtered the entire contents of the wear house consisting of mafia goons and, I’ll assume, Dagur aswell.”

“Dagur?” Stoik asked raising an eye brow, “What does he have to do with anything?”

“Apparently he’s been working with Alvin in order to get back at Carstella.” Ruff said, “He’s even worse slime than I thought!”

“And he played a big part in kidnapping us.” Hiccup added.

Stoik nodded, “Do any of you know if she would have wanted to turn herself in after something like that?”

“If anyone would it’d be Tuff, it’s almost like they’re joined at the hip!” Ruff exclaimed, “They’re always together, and making plans. He’s definitely her best friend which is so unfair!”

Stoik nodded again, “The police still need to question you to see what’s going on. But I’m not going anywhere.”

“Dad.” Hiccup called before the larger man had a chance to leave, “Will Carstella be alright?”

“It’s hard to say son.” Stoik told him sadly, “It will depend on her.”

The door to the interrogation room opened.

Spitelout didn’t say anything as he unplugged the camera on the wall.

“I want to talk to you.” He said to the girl as he pulled up a chair across from her.

“Shoot.”

“Why are you turning yourself in all of a sudden? What happened to starting a new life?”

“I tried, and it almost got my friends, and your son killed.” She told him, “I don’t want that happen again, so the best way to do that is give myself up to the police.”

“Can’t you run away again, and hide out in Europe or Australia or something?”

“I’m tired of running, Spitelout.” She told him, “I’m tired of hiding, and not being able to be who I really am because my past is holding me back. I can’t keep doing that, otherwise I’m not living at all.”

“You know what’s going to happen if you go through with this, right?”

She nodded, “I’m going to get the death penalty.”

“And I can’t let that happen.”

She stared him down across the table, her eyes making him feel uncomfortable. Spitelout had sat in an interrogation room with and been face to face with serial killers, serial rapists, people who didn’t care anymore, but he never felt uncomfortable under their gazes, and here he was shifting and sweating under a girl’s that’s less than half his age.

“It’s not your life, Spitelout. I can do what I want without having to answer to anyone. And I’m going to keep doing that.”

Spitelout sighed in defeat, “If it’s what you want.”

“It’s not what I want, but it’s what’s best.”

He nodded and stood up, “Can I get you anything?”

“A lawyer.” She said plainly, “I don’t have one.”

He nodded again and left the room.

“I can’t believe it.” Stoik said hearing the news from Spitelout.

“I know.” He said, “Maybe if we give her a reason to stay around she’ll at least go for a plea outside of court.”

“And what do you suggest?” Stoik asked.

“I’m open to suggestions, Stoik. I can’t come up with everything on my own!”

“I’ll say!” Gobber said entering the office without knocking, “What were we talking about?”

“How to change Carstella’s mind on her taking the death penalty.” Stoik said with a sigh.

Gobber scratched his beard for a moment, “Maybe we should ask Tuff, that boy hasn’t shut up the entire way from the hospital.”

“That’s it!”

“She’s gonna what!?” The group exclaimed hearing the news.

“And we’re thinking maybe you can convince her otherwise.” Stoik explained.

“We can try, but she’s pretty stubborn.” Tuff said scratching the back of his head with his good arm.

“We’ll try dad.” Hiccup assured.

The door to the interrogation room was pushed open.

Zaidah looked up hoping to see the lawyer she asked for, but instead was greeted by her friends.

She just stared at them coldly.

“We heard you were going to turn yourself in and take all counts against you.” Ruff said nervously.

Zaidah nodded slowly.

“We don’t want you to die!” Snotlout exclaimed, “You’re the better, cooler, much more awesome cousin I’ve been deprived of my entire life! You can’t die, and I’m not letting you take the death penalty!”

Zaidah rose slowly and stalked over to where Snotlout stood, he backed up in hopes to get away from her, all of them stepped back as she approached.

“That’s exactly why I have to take it.” She told Snotlout slowly before turning to look at the others, “You saw what I did to Eret and Dagur, and I know you have a pretty good idea what happened in the explosion. And because of that you’re all scared of me.”

She walked back the other direction to look out the window at the cars going by on the street.

“I wouldn’t say scared.” Astrid said bravely, only to flinch when Zaidah whipped around to see her.

“You keep proving my point.” Zaidah told them, “I don’t have anything. I’ve never had anything I actually needed. I thought maybe with him dead I could start again and get what I longed for, but I’m back to fucking square one!”

“No, your not!” Tuff exclaimed and advanced towards the brunette, “You are not back to square one! If we weren’t so stupid to have gotten kidnapped this situation wouldn’t have happened, and you wouldn’t have been hurt reliving your past! It’s us who are to blame.”

Zaidah stared at the ground as she tried not to cry, “You don’t get it Tuff. I like it.” She let a single sob escape her throat, “I liked gunning people, breaking their necks, seeing how many knives I can throw into them before they die, setting people on fire and watching them burn. When killing I’m at peace. That’s why I write about murders and such because they help sooth me. I not meant to be in the same world as you are, Zaidah has to die, she’s a killer.”

“I don’t know Zaidah.” Tuff scoffed, “I know Carstella Jorgenson, the writer who’s been abused as a child and that’s why she has dark writing. But she’s beautiful and wonderful and wouldn’t hurt anyone unprovoked.”

“Carstella isn’t. . . ” But she couldn’t finish her sentence.

“Carstella is who you wanted to be your entire life.” Tuff said as he advanced further and cupped her cheek in his hand forcing her to look at him, “Carstella is now who you are. Zaidah needs to die, and you can kill her, but not by an electric chair or lethal injection.” He poked her chest, “But by opening your heart.”

She leaned forward and placed her head in the crook of his neck.

“I know.” She sobbed, “But because of both of me, you got hurt. And I can’t forgive myself because of that. Besides, I already decided that regardless who did what, I’m to blame for the actions that happened involving me. I need judgment.”

“You need nothing but to accept what is what.” Tuff said as he wrapped his unhurt arm around her shoulders.

“In order to be, and keep being Carstella, I killed the four henchmen, my father, his driver, and myself. She isn’t as innocent as you think.”

“Who said anything about innocence?” Tuff asked, “I just said you didn’t need to die.”

She pulled herself away from the blonde and shook her head.

“I made up my mind, nothing can change it.” She said staring at the floor again, “Alvin wasn’t the only one who’d want a piece of me. There are hundreds if not thousands of other groups that want my head. It’s easier in the long run.”

“Why are you accepting this!” Tuff demanded.

“Why aren’t you?!” She yelled back, “It’s my life and my choice, I make what ever decisions I want. And you have to deal with it.”

“Don’t do this Stell.” Tuff warned her.

“Carstella never existed!” She yelled, “Deal with that!”

They all hung their heads in shame as they exited the room. Tuff looked back to say something else, but couldn’t find the words because she was shaking again. He just left trying to keep his heart together in the process.

No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 15)

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Carstella had woken up late that morning, she hurt. And she knew why, but was confused when she found herself alone in her bed. She threw on her t-shirt and panties as she left the room. In the kitchen she saw one of her metal bowls upside down on the table and a piece of paper on top of it.

She read the note and relaxed, he was called into work. She carefully lifted the bowl only to smile at the breakfast he left for her. Tuff was always on her case because she didn’t eat as healthy as she should have.

“Good work, Dagur.” Alvin congratulated the boy as he looked over the six they all picked up.

“I know, I’m good.” Dagur said.

“I hate to break the party.” Eret said gaining their attention, “We still have to take into consideration the fact she might not even come.”

“And what makes you think she wont come?” Dagur asked the man, “We have her friends, she’s going to risk her life to get them back.”

“Not entirely true, Dagur.” Eret countered, “She might have come to be friends with them, but deep down she’s still a hardened mafia boss. She’s a killing machine who doesn’t understand things like kindness, compassion, love.”

“And how to you know that, huh?” Dagur snarled.

“I helped make her that way.” Eret growled back.

Dagur looked taken aback by what he said. The red head was so used to seeing the red eyed girl as innocent and sweet the idea of her hurting anything was beyond him.

“Her father needed help training her when she was younger and he was busy with work, he appointed me. And I made sure that for the first part of her life she was hardened to the point nothing got in, and that she only expressed hate and anger.”

“Hate to anger you,” Tuff called to the boys, the men had removed their gags a while ago, and laughed lightly at his thought of the play on words, “But Carstella’s probably the farthest thing away from understanding those things. Yeah she doesn’t know how to laugh, but she’s just a softy past her icey exterior.”

“Tuff,” Astrid said to the boy, “I know I may say this often, but; SHUT UP!”

“See,” Dagur snarled, “She’ll come.”

“Now the question comes, how to contact her?” Alvin asked.

“We could chop up one of them and place their head on her door step!” Dagur offered as he eyed Tuff, “I like that idea.”

“We need them alive for now!” Alvin snarled, as he looked over the contents of things they confiscated from the group, “I know.”

Carstella was finishing cleaning up after her and Tuff from last night, when her phone went off.

She looked at the caller id and smiled as she answered.

“Hey Tuffy, what’s up?”

“Tuffy?” The groups’ voices sounded from the other side.

“Well solves the next problem.”

Carstella’s eyes narrowed hearing the voice.

“Alvin.” She growled.

“So glad you remember me, Carstella.” He growled into the phone.

“They don’t have anything to do with me Alvin.” She hissed as she practically ran down the hall to her office, quickly turning on the call tracer.

“Oh don’t they?” Alvin asked, “Well maybe they don’t, but Stoik Hadock the mayor of your town, and Spitelout Jorgenson chief of police certainly do.”

Carstella let out a ‘tsk’ sound as the tracer activated, “Black mailing a town mayor and police man, Alvin I’m ashamed of you. I thought you would have had something better up your sleeve.”

“Oh I do.” Alvin chuckled darkly to her, “I just want to see what you’ll do first.”

“I’m already making my move, Alvin.” She hissed.

“Then I’ll make mine.” The man on the other end laughed, “I’m assuming your first move is to find my location. After this call ends I will give you four hours to come here. Every hour you waste, your precus Tuffy is going to go through the worst pain of his life.”

Carstella shot up and snapped into the phone speaking in Russian, “I swear to God, you touch him I will make you even less of a man than you already are!”

Alvin chuckled darkly, there was a small pause.

“Hey, what are you doing? Let go of me, you- snap– Ow Ow ow ow ow ow! The fuck’s wrong with you!”

Carstella’s heart hammered in her chest.

“Get the idea?” Alvin asked, “At the end of the fourth hour the will be his neck.”

“Go fuck yourself.” Carstella hissed into the phone, the signal got a fix so she shut her phone abruptly only to open it again and dial a new number.

Tuff was laying down on the ground groaning in pain, his unhurt arm was hovering the one that was now broken as he whimpered.

“She’ll be here soon.” Alvin said as he put the phone down.

“You can’t be too sure.” Eret said, “She is-

“You heard what she said boy!” Alvin growled, “So she’ll be here. Her heart obviously isn’t as impervious as you once thought it was.”

“Keep your hands off her.” Tuff growled through his clenched teeth.

“Shut up, idiot.” Ruff growled to her twin, “Or they’ll kill you.”

“I wont let them touch her.” Tuff sobbed as the pain got too much, “I wont.”

Carstella closed the phone half way through dialing the number realizing it was a bad idea. She had to deal with this herself, and quick.

She pulled her wardrobe over so that it was leaning against her bed, on the back there was everything she’ll need.

Carstella suited up into a bullet proof vest, black t-shirt, cargo pants, and combat boots. She strapped herself up with bullet clips, hand guns, grenades, knives galore, and on the side of belt a three section nunchucku that could come together to be a staff if they were connected correctly.

Carstella placed blue contacts in her eyes and threw on a hooded trench coat before leaving. She left her keys in her mailbox, but took her phone.

She sped walked down the streets as she typed something on her phone.

She reached the fence line to the wear house as she hit send, she then turned her phone off, as she walked into what she was really was.

“It’s almost been one hour.” Dagur sang like a giddy school girl, “Can I break his other arm?”

Alvin opened his mouth to tell him to wait a moment, but was cut off by an explosion outside.

He smirked widely knowing exactly what that was.

“Looks like she’s here.” Alvin laughed.

“Can I still break his arm?”

“She will kill you, and she’ll take pride in it.” Eret warned remembering what happened when he accidentally stepped on her dog’s tail all those years ago, he still had the scar on his chest where she almost dug his heart out.

Bullets were flying across the wear house. While the mafia had numbers on their side, Carstella had skill. Two clips, twenty down.

She dropped the empty clips on the ground and put in new ones as she leaned against crates, she waited.

“Reloading!”

That was her chance!

She danced through taking down as many as she could, emptying one clip just to fill it with another.

The underlings around her fell like snow in winter around her. She was in her element more than she wanted to admit.

“Well, I think I’m going to go greet out guest.” Alvin said as he went to exit the room, “Watch the prisoners.”

Dagur growled not liking being told what to do.

Eret only sighed as he drew his gun.

“What’s that for?” Dagur snarled at the older man, “Going to turn on me?”

“No,” Eret said simply, “It’s defence.”

“For what?” Dagur demanded.

Eret listened intently to hear the gun fire on the other end of the wear house.

He turned his attention fully to Dagur who was in front of the group of prisoners. Using his unoccupied hand he unbuttoned the first few buttons on his shirt and showed a nasty scar on his chest.

“This is what happened ten years ago, when I accidentally stepped on her fucking dog’s tail.” Eret’s face flashed in pain remembering the situation fully, “She went for the heart, and would have dug it out with her bare hands had her father not called for her to be pried off me. But now he’s dead, and we want revenge.”

“But, he died in a car accident.” Fishlegs said scared of what Carstella was actually capable of, “I-it couldn’t have been anyone’s fault.”

“Is that what she told you?” Eret laughed, “Here’s the reality; your friend was the one who rigged the car he was going to be taking to his meeting to explode.”

“And how do you know it was her?” Astrid snapped, “If she was taught everything she knew from you people there were bound to be others who-

“Because there was no trace of a bomb in the car at all.” Eret cut her off, “And she always prided herself in those, no one else knew how to make them disappear completely in the explosion but her, and she’d have been the only one who could have gotten into the garage without it being suspicious.”

Finishing what he wanted to say, Eret turned his attention back to the door. It was too quiet outside for his liking. He knew when it was quiet she wasn’t too far behind.

He stood there, weapon ready, everyone in the room was quiet, even Tuff who was still badly hurt. Their hearts hammering in their chests. Moments ticked by, but they seemed like hours.

Sweat formed on Eret’s brow, he was getting anxious. And then he remembered that she loved to toy with her opponents more than anything else.

He raised his gun ready to shoot when the door opened. But a loud crash was heard behind him.

Before Eret could turn around he was on the ground in momentous amounts of pain. There were knives in his side and arm, stopping him from reaching his gun.

Dagur was too slow to react so as he turned to see what the crash was about he was pinned to the opposing wall of the room by a bounty of sharp, dripping red knives.

“C-C-c-Carstella.” Dagur started nervously, knowing this situation wasn’t good for him, “I was hoping you’d get here soon. They kidnapped me in order to get you and your friends.”

Carstella was advancing towards him slowly, she kicked the gun further away from Eret so he couldn’t get it.

“I didn’t tell them anything, I swear!” Dagur exclaimed as a last ditch attempt to save his skin.

Before he could say anything else, Carstella grabbed his jaw roughly so he couldn’t move it.

“And you wont tell anyone anything again.” She snarled.

A sickening crack echoed through the room, as Dagur started whimpering and making illegible sounds.

She turned from the red head, having broken his jaw, and turned her attention to the man still on the floor. She advanced a little, but stopped about two feet from him. When she opened her mouth to speak, she spoke in Russian.

“I should have known, you being his right hand man, of course you’d be the first one to want my head.”

“Why would you want to leave the life he carved out for you?” Eret snapped back in Russian.

“He didn’t carve out anything for me.” Carstella replied, “And it wasn’t what I wanted, it was what I was born into. I had no choice but to do what he said, when I had no idea what was really going on.”

“You could never have lived a normal life. You were bred to be the ultimate warrior for the family.”

“Who’s to say I couldn’t have had a normal life, when I was never given the chance?”

“So what now?” Eret snarled at her, “Going to kill us, destroy the evidence, and move somewhere else to start your life over again?”

Carstella shook her head, “Kollega(1), I’m here because I don’t want to run anymore.”

“Big of you.” Eret growled, “But you’re dying here!”

He reached around fast to grad the gun he had at his other side, and shot her in the abdomen.

“Do svidaniya(2) , sestra(3).” Eret snarled as the dark haired girl stumbled backwards.

“You’re right,” She gasped back as she looked up at him, his face paled, “Do svidaniya, kollega.”

She threw a knife and hit him in the wrist causing him to lose his gun, Carstella kicked it out of the way as she hauled him up.

“If you just let me go.” She growled in English as she placed an arm under him chin.

“With what you knew it wouldn’t have been possible.” He groaned out.

“And look where that got you.”

“Carstella, wait!” Ruff called out gaining the girl’s attention, “You can’t kill him! I was going to marry him!”

Carstella looked unamused, a split second later a third sickening crack filled the room.

“No.” She said as the body fell limply to the floor, “And my name isn’t Carstella.” She admitted as she pulled out another knife and cut the ropes holding Astrid before she handed the blonde the knife, “It’s Zaidah. Zaidah Blodvist.”

“You’ll always be Carstella to us.” Tuff said and gave a half smile at the girl.

She gingerly turned Tuff onto his back and inspected the arm. He hissed in pain when she ran her fingers over the bruised flesh.

“Sorry.” She muttered and she layed it straight on the floor.

“Forget about me.” Tuff hissed at her, “You need medical attention.”

Carstella rolled her eyes as she lifted up the hem of her shirt to show a bullet proof vest under her t-shirt.

“Your arm, idiot.” He hissed again through clenched teeth.

Carstella cocked her head to the side and looked at her right arm only to see a circular gash and blood.

“It’s a flesh wound.” She said as she pulled out another knife and unhooked her nunchuku.

“What are you doing?” Hiccup asked as he rubbed his wrists.

“Making a splint.” She said shortly as she used the knife as a make shift screw driver do remove the screws holing one bar to the others. She tossed the two that were still connected together aside. She lined up the piece of wood with the injured arm and started tying it to the arm with the pieces of cut rope near her.

“Snotlout, give me your hoodie.” She said to the black haired boy.

“It’s not Snotlout.” He said as he removed the garment, “It’s Richard.”

She cocked an eyebrow at him as she took the offered item.

“My real name’s Belvedear.” Fishlegs said sheepishly.

“Mine is Mark Andrew.” Hiccup said.

She smiled at them as she secured the hoodie as a sling around Tuff’s neck.

“My real name is Gertrude, believe it or not.” Astrid said as she handed the girl back her knife, “I changed it when I turned eighteen.”

“Mine is Fernhilda.” Ruff told the brunette.

The girl turned her red eyes to the blonde laying in front of her.

“Paddy Garret, are you happy?” Tuff snapped.

She nodded lightly, before the unintelligent gurgling of a red head brought her back to their current situation.

“Is anyone else hurt?” She asked.

“Does a broken heart count?” Ruff asked as she eyed the limp body of Eret.

“He was my father’s right hand man, Ru-Fernhilda.” Zaidah said, “He’d have left you for dead. You can do so much better than that.”

“We’re fine.” Astrid said for the red of the group, “But Tuff needs medical attention.”

“I know.” Zaidah said, before turning her attention to the injured man in question, “Can you walk?”

He nodded. Zaidah helped him up carefully, only to have him almost tip over.

“I’ll support him out of here.” Ruff said as put his un injured arm around her neck and looped her arm around his torso.

“Thanks sis.” Tuff said.

“We’ve been through worse.”

“We have?”

“No, but we need Car- I mean Zaidah to focus on getting us out of here alive.”

“I took down all the henchmen on the premises.” She said and ripped Dagur off the wall, “I’ll walk you down to the main entrance, but then you guys are on your own. Go down the street to the corner Timber and jack. I’ll call an ambulance.”

They nodded and followed her down the stairs and out the door. They were only vaguely aware of the stench of death that surrounded them.

Zaidah watched from door way until they were outside the gate, she still had Dagur in her grip. She held him still by his long red hair.

She pulled out her cell phone from her pocket and turned it on. There were over one hundred missed calls from Stoik, Gobber, and Spitelout put together, but she ignored it, she had a job to finish.

(1)Kollega= multiple meanings, used in story as brother.

(2)Do svidaniya= good bye

(3) sestra= sister.

 


			

No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 14)

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Carstella smiled even wider at the joke Tuff just finished telling her. They were sitting in a booth at a russian resturant that just opened up in town.

Tuff had told her that this was their first official date, and their one month anniversary so they had to celebrate.

“So what are you going to order?” Tuff asked after he calmed down and looked back at the menu.

“The borscht.” Carstella said quietly with a sweet smile on her face, “It’s been forever since I had it.”

Tuff looked up instantly, “You’ve had this stuff before?”

Carstella nodded slowly as the smile disappeared, “I was born and grew up in Russia.”

Tuff blinked, “Wow, here I picked this place just cause I thought it’d be interesting to try new things we might not even like.”

“Then may I suggest the beef stroganoff for you, it would be most suited for your palate.”

“What is borscht anyway?” Tuff said as he looked over the ingredients in the stroganoff.

“It’s usually a mix of cabbage and root vegetables like beets and carrots, but everyone has their own recipe for it.” Carstella informed.

“I will stick with your suggestion.” Tuff told her with a big smile, causing the girl’s lips to turn upwards.

The waiter made his way over to them, Tuff looked at Carstella with a devilish smile.

“Shall I order in Russian?”

Carstella face palmed, knowing he probably didn’t know a work of Russian.

“Please do not.” The waiter said as he pulled out his note book, “I don’t speak any and it’s hard to figure out what people actually want.”

“Alright then.” Tuff told the man, “I’ll have the beef stroganoff and she’ll take the borscht?”

Carstella nodded telling him his pronunciation was correct.

“I think you’re the first person who ever ordered that.” The waiter said as he wrote the orders down.

“I can’t imagine why,” Carstella said, “It’s delicious.”

“Some people just aren’t brave.” He told her, “Anything else?”

“No that’s it, unless you want anything else?”

Carstella shook her head.

“You orders will be out soon.” He said and turned away heading into the kitchen.

“You’re seriously Russian?” Tuff whispered as he leaned across the table so the girl could hear him better.

Carstella nodded and then leaned forward to whisper something back, “What origins did you think Blodvist came from?” She had said the name with a thick Russian accent, letting it dawn on Tuff.

His jaw fell open, then after a moment of that he opened and closed his mouth like a fish out of water.

Carstella got him to stop just as the waiter came back with their orders.

“Thank you.” she said softly as the dishes were placed in front of them.

“You’re welcome.” The waiter said and left the table.

Tuff whispered even lower, “You’re father was a fucking Russian mobster!”

Carstella nodded, “Why do you think I wanted out?”

Carstella smiled sadly as she picked up her spoon and dipped it in the steaming red liquid. A genuine smile appeared as she took a bite.

“That’s borscht alright.” She said more to herself than Tuff.

“It good?”

“You want to try?” She offered.

Tuff shrugged, “Why not, if I didn’t try new things I’d never have found my love of surfing.”

Carstella offered a spoon full to the blonde across from her. Tuff blew lightly on the liquid not wanting to scald his mouth and then took the plunge.

“Kinda weird.” He said after he swallowed, “But it’s not bad.”

“It’s strange if you’ve never had beets and tomatoes together before.” Carstella informed.

Tuff shrugged and dug into his food, they talked about everything they could in public and nothing at all.

“I think that’d work perfectly.” Dagur said with a sinister smirk on his face.

“That’s why I brought it up.” Alvin told him with a dark chuckle.

“And I know exactly how to start it tomorrow.” Dagur added with his own chuckle.

“I knew it was a good idea to work with you.” Alvin told the red head.

“It’s been a pleasure all around.” Dagur informed.

Carstella and Tuff held hands as they walked down the mostly empty streets. Carstella silent as she nodded to what Tuff was saying, and Tuff not shutting up for anything.

“And then we got like a month of detention.” Tuff said as he finished the story of how he and Ruff rigged fire crackers to go off in the middle of final exams.

“You must have a lot of good memories with your sister.” Carstella said.

“Yeah, she’s not as awesome as me but she’s pretty cool, we’ve had a lot of fun together.” Tuff said smiling at the sky for a moment before looking back at the red eyed girl, “I just kinda feel bad that you don’t have any of those kinds of memories.”

Carstella shrugged, “I’m making so many new memories with you guys now.” She told him, “And I have at least one memory of my father that isn’t business as usual.”

“What’s that?” Tuff asked as Carstella pulled out her key and opened the first door to the apartment.

“He showed me how to make Borscht.” She said and opened the door for him first.

“Really?” Tuff asked in disbelief as he walked in, “Cause when I picture your father I think of this really big, dark, scary guy that can crush you with his thumb.”

“Something like that.” Carstella said as they made it all the way up the stairs, “That’s why I only have the one memory.”

She unlocked the door and allowed Tuff in first before she went in. They took off their shoes and coats and went to the sectional in the living room.

“So you aren’t going to tell me about in detail?” Tuff asked as maneuvered their bodies to cuddle together.

“What’s there to tell?” Carstella asked as she with a shrug nestled herself deeper into Tuff’s embrace, “He called me into the kitchen one day after training, and told that regardless of how good I am on the field, or in missions, or in meetings I still need to be able to take care of myself. So he showed me how to properly make borscht, apparently it was his mother’s recipe.”

“Not much to say there, is there?” Tuff asked.

“You know how to cook right?” Carstella asked, only to have Tuff nod, “Then you already know how to cut up vegetables, boil ingredients, and combine it all. There’s nothing to say.”

“Okay.” Tuff said with a shrug as he started pulling Carstella’s hair out of its braid and gently running his fingers through it. He knew there was something else to the story, but he didn’t want to push. He’d never push her further than what she wanted.

Tuff placed a kiss on the back of her neck and nuzzled her.

Carstella let out a mewl at the contact Tuff had given.

The blonde behind her liked the sound and kept nuzzled her neck to hear more.

“Tuff.” Carstella whined at his continued actions.

“Sorry.” He said and pecked her cheek and rested his head back on the cushion.

Carstella turned around in his embrace to face him, they were then chest to chest.

“I didn’t say stop.” She said innocently as she placed a light kiss on his lips.

“Hiccup!” Dagur sang as he approached the brunette and his girlfriend, “I was hoping to talk to you, do you have a second?”

Hiccup opened his mouth to reply but before that could even happen, Dagur spoke again.

“Great!” He grabbed the smaller man and dragged him off leaving the blonde girl by herself.

Astrid sighed as she watched the two head off, she was about to continue on her way to the gym for her morning work out but a van blocked her way. The back door slid open two men grabbed her and pulled her into the van, gagging and restraining her before she could even react.

And just like that the van was gone.

“So, what did you want to talk about, Dagur?” Hiccup asked both hesitantly and uninterested.

“I wanted to talk about Carstella.” Dagur began, “And how we’ll be seeing her soon.”

Hiccup raised an eye brow, “What are you talking ab-

The brunette was cut off by a cloth covering his mouth and nose, and a strong arm holding his torso so he couldn’t get away.

The last thing the green eyed boy saw was Dagur smiling manically at him.

Tuff stirred and opened his eyes slowly adjusting to the light in the room. He smiled feeling the light weight of the brunette on his chest.

He looked down to see her sleeping face, she was so innocent. Like her life never happened.

Tuff lightly kissed her head and tried to pull away to get up, but she held him there.

Carstella made a whine sound and snuggled closer to Tuff’s side.

This time Tuff moved much slower, less than a snail’s pace, but he managed to get out of her grip. He stood at the side of the bed for a moment just admiring the girl, and feeling pain as he saw the scars that rippled across the pale skin of her back and side.

He placed one more kiss on her head and adjusted the covers over her so she could continue sleeping. Then he pulled on his boxers and jeans and headed out to the kitchen to make her breakfast.

Ruff walked into her office building and said good morning to the ground floor secretary.

“Hey, Ruff.” Heather said, “You have a cute friend waiting to talk to you upstairs.”

“I don’t have any cute friends.” Ruff groaned as she passed the black hair girl.

“I disagree.” She called after the blonde.

Ruff rode the elevator up to the eleventh floor, she passed familiar faces, all giggling and acting girly, all the men on the floor looked pissed off.

“Ms. Thorston.” Her boss’ biggest opponent, Mildew, addressed her, “I highly suggest you keep your business life and personal separate.” He warned, “That man must go.”

“I don’t even know the guy, sir.” Ruff all but growled to the older man.

Ruff stalked on past the old man, ready to give whoever this guy was a piece of her mind. Then she stopped dead in her tracks.

The most beautiful hunk of man candy she’d ever seen was before her. Large, muscular arms, broad and wide chest, long and defined legs underneath those black slacks, and a beautiful, tough face. Ruff had all but melted on the spot.

“Hello.” Ruff purred.

A look of disgust flashed on his face, but it was quickly covered by a charming smile.

“Miss Ruff.” He said seductively as he sauntered over to the blonde, Ruff was so fixated on the man she didn’t even notice the russian accent he had.

“I’ve been waiting all my life to see you.” He told her and reached for her hand to place a kiss on it.

“Hi,” Ruff purred to the man, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man like you before.”

“Forgive my rudeness.” He said and bowed to her, “My name is Eret, and may I be so bold as to ask if I can whisk you away from here to a land of lamor?”

“Take me!” Ruff exclaimed and pounced on the man, “I love you!” She added.

“Let us go then.” Eret said and carried the girl out of the building.

A van was waiting near by, Ruff was so wrapped up in Eret she didn’t notice the door open or her hands and feet become bound until a gag went over her mouth and she was thrown in the van by the very man that was carrying her.

Snotlout was in a hurry to get to work, he’d woken up late that morning and was scrambling to make up for lost time. He turned down an alley knowing he would save about three minutes on his commute.

He slowed down a little bit knowing that kids and animals would like to run across this alley all the time.

He didn’t notice the van flying down the alley towards him, until he got rear ended.

“Fuck!” Snotlout shouted, this was the last thing he needed today.

He jumped out of his truck to inspect the damage.

The driver of the van behind him got out an looked apologetic.

“You better fucking have insurance buddy!” Snotlout snarled at the man, “I’m already late for work, and my boss said if I were late one more time I’d be fired, so the last thing I need is a fender bender from on idiot like y- mmmmMmmm Mmmmmmmm!”

Snotlout was subdued by two men who snuck up behind him, one held him in place while the other had a cloth over his mouth and nose.

When Snotlout stopped moving they bound his wrists and ankles and put a gag on him before they threw him in the back of the van with the others.

Ruff and Astrid looked at each other knowingly, their odds of surviving were dwindling because they knew why this was happening.

Fishlegs enjoyed his walk to work that day. His bag was filled with marked essays, worksheets, and tests. His students had done much better than he thought. The end of the year was coming, and now was when most of the kids realized they were failing.

“Excuse me.” Fishlegs looked over to see a young woman with a map in her hands, “I hate to bother you, but could you tell me how to get to Alber street?”

“It’s no bother at all.” Fishlegs said with a smile, “If you go straight down this street for two blocks, you’re going to want to want to go left, and then cross at the cross walk there heading to your right, keeping going straight one more block and you’re there.”

“Thanks.” The woman said as her mouth turned into a smirk as she shoved the blonde backwards roughly sending him into a van, where he was quickly tied up and gagged with the others.

The three blonds looked at each other hoping they were going to get out of this alive.

Tuff hummed quietly as he filled the omelet with cheese.

He heard his phone go off from the coffee table and picket it up.

“Hello?” He asked trying to be quiet.

“Tuff.”Johan said from the other end, “I hate to bother you on the weekend, but I need you come in. They have no idea what you want them to do with that purple party dress you designed.”

“I thought it was pretty self explanatory.” Tuff said as he moved the omelet to a plate  with hash brown, toast, and bacon.

“He’s new.” Johan told him.

“Get one of the older tailors to take care of it then.” Tuff argued as he put coffee grounds in the coffee pot.

“It’s not just the one dress.” Johan continued, “I also want to talk to you about the bondage inspired shorts you came up with, along with a couple other items.”

Tuff rolled his eyes, “Fine, I’ll be in, in a little while.”

“Thank you.” Johan said from the other side.

“See you then.”

“I suppose so.” Johan said and ended the call.

Tuff placed the plate on the table and covered it with a metal bowl to keep it hot. He picked up his shirt from the living room floor and buttoned it up as he scribbled down a note on a piece of paper for Carstella when she got up. He hurriedly got the rest of his cloths on and made sure he had his phone, wallet, and keys on him before he left.

“You did go, Johan.” Dagur smirked at the older man.

“Thank you.” Johan said apprehensively as his eyes flickered between Dagur and gun he had.

“We must work together more.” Dagur informed him before nodding to the men behind Johan.

A cloth soaked in cloraphorm was placed over his mouth and nose until he passed out.

“Let’s meet back up with Alvin, shall we?” Dagur said as he got up.

Tuff walked down the street grumbling, if not for Johan he’d be laughing with Carstella over coffee right now.

He sighed as he crossed the street, only to be almost run over by a van.

Tuff was about to yell at the guy, but was cut off by the door opening and being yanked into the space, only to be bound and gagged and thrown against Fishlegs who was in the same position as him.

He looked over to see it was more than just him and Fishlegs, but Snotlout, Ruff, Hiccup, and Astrid aswell.

Looking around at the people on the confined space with them, and hearing them talking Tuff knew exactly what was going on. And he had a bad feeling about who was behind it.

 

No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 13)

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The group was lounging around Carstella’s living room. It was pouring rain outside, and they had nothing to do. Ruff and Astrid were braiding each other’s hair and paining their nails, Snotlout, Hiccup, Fishlegs, and Tuff were playing a video game on the console in the living room, and Carstella was bouncing a rubber ball rhythmically to the rain as they all talking about random stuff.

“For the last time, Snotlout you were not that popular in high school! Let it go!” Astrid snapped.

“If I wasn’t how come I made a home run at seventeen?” He teased the blonde.

“Ha!” Tuff laughed, “I lost mine when I was sixteen!”

“Masturbation doesn’t count!” Ruff all but yelled at her brother.

“I know that!” Tuff snapped at his twin.

“You shouldn’t even be happy about losing that stuff that early with someone you don’t even care about.” Ruff snarled at the boys.

“Ruff does have a point.” Fishlegs added.

“Shut up FishFace!” Snotlout growled, “Just because you didn’t lose yours ’til university doesn’t give you the right to be all high and mighty in the realm of sex!”

“Speaking of which,” Tuff added on and turned his attention the only boy who hadn’t spoken up yet, “How’s the love life been, Hiccup?”

“Tuff.” Astrid warned.

“It’s a genuine question.” Tuff defended against the girl before his attention back to the brunette, “Have you lost yours yet?”

“Yes.” Hiccup replied bitterly, “Now please, we’re losing!”

“You sure are!” Snotlout laughed, “Even Fishbrains here lost his before you.”

“It shouldn’t matter how soon you lose such a thing as long as you share it with someone you actually for.” Carstella interjected not looking up from the ball she caught and dropped like a machine, “Then it shouldn’t feel like you’ve lost anything.”

“I was still the first one to get laid!” Snotlout proclaimed.

“No you weren’t!” Tuff argued, “We’re both the same age and I lot mine a year before you!”

Snotlout opened his mouth to yell back but was cut off.

“You both lose,” Carstella told them, “I lost mine before either of you.”

The room went dead silent except for the ball hitting the floor like clock work.

“We’re waiting on an explanation.” Fishlegs said carefully, sure he was treading in dangerous waters.

Carstella held the ball when she caught it and looked over friends with a face that said they couldn’t unhear what she was about to say.

“I started questioning my father when I was about fourteen.” She started and continued to bounce the ball, “Up until then I’d done anything he willed me to do. The last official job he sent me on before everything transpired was to expose one of his greatest opponents with influence in government as the pedophile he was. The only way to do that was have a child go in and plant a camera. Who better than his very own daughter.” Carstella paused a moment as she threw the ball down harder and caught it again before continuing, “Long story short I got the evidence and presented it to my father. He was happy I got it, and rewarded me with another tattoo for the work I’d done.” Carstella stopped entirely.

“But,” Astrid asked softly encouraging her to go on.

Carstella shrugged before replying, “Maybe it was just me expecting more than what I should have. But he never said anything about what happened, he never presented me with some kind of other reward for what I’d done. And I wondered if he even appreciated what I’d done for him. That’s when I questioned everything and stopped listening, he put up with it as an after effect of what I’d gone through and allowed me to lock myself up in my room for hours or sometimes even days alone.”

By instinct Tuff dropped the controller and crawled over to the girl laying on the love seat and wrapped her in a hug.

Carstella smiled at the silent gesture and started bouncing the ball again as she placed her other hand on his arm.

“I’m okay, Tuff.” She assured, “It doesn’t matter anymore, and I have thick skin to deal with this kind of stuff.”

“Thick skin’s an understatement.” Astrid told her as she stared with wide eyes, “How the hell did you cope?”

Carstella shrugged as Tuff pulled away and leaned against the love seat to look at her as she spoke.

“When I locked myself up in my room I basically wrote memoirs about my life as I could remember it.” Carstella answered and continued to bounce the ball, “Of the few times I left my room I went to get more paper to write and draw on.” She let out a half laugh at that, “My room was a mess with sketches of crime senses, weapons, family symbols, tattoos, and pages and pages of the details of my assignments, people I killed, poison recipes, all the information I had gained over the years, along with training, what happened in my life, why my father was upset with me, everything.”She stopped bouncing the ball then, and just let her arm lay limply off the couch, “All that I eventually reduced to about, nine hundred a thousand pages?”

“Eight hundred ninety four.” Fishlegs laughed as a reply.

“What happened to all of the original drafts you wrote?” Hiccup asked.

“I stored them when I was done writing the book.” Carstella told him, “And when my father died, and I went through everything, sold what I could, got everything prepared for leaving, I torched the house and everything left in it, making it look like I died in the fire.”

“They didn’t believe you did?” Ruff asked, “Cause I imagine this giant mansion with like a hundred rooms and a large amount of land, and if it all went up in flames, how would they know you weren’t in it.”

“Many of my father’s underlings knew I grew tired of the mafia life,  was an idiot once and even asked my father if there was a way I could get out.” Carstella said with a sadistic look on her face as she glared at her lap as she let out a dark chuckle, “I was surprised he didn’t kill me after that, or feed me to the dogs, or hand me over to another family. But maybe that’s why they knew. I was known for being exceedingly resilient and having the strongest will to survive.”

“How resilient?” Astrid asked and tried not to flinch from the reply she knew she would get.

“He thought he actually did kill me once.” Carstella said as her expression turned thoughtful as she looked up at the ceiling, “I forgot what the hell I did to piss him off that time, at one point if he just saw me and was in a bad mood he’d lash out at me verbally or even just back hand me. He beat me with his cane, I had broken ribs and internal bleeding, that much I knew myself, I thought he was done so I turned over on my back, big mistake; he brought his cane down cane down right on spine and then again on the back of my neck. When I stopped moving or saying anything he thought I was dead. A couple of hench men came in to deal with my body only to find I was still breathing. A doctor was brought in immediately to deal with me, I had a fracture of my lower spine and a slipped disk, fracture at the base of my neck too. The doctor actually said I should have been dead on the floor. But after a back and neck brace, eight months of therapy I was back walking around like normal.”

“That should kill someone!” Astrid exclaimed, “Where exactly were they, do you know?”

Carstella forced herself to sit up and turn around so she was facing the back of the couch her back to her friends. She moved her hair so they could have an unobscured look at her neck; there was a faint scar on her neck where her spine and neck connected, she then lifted up her shirt to show them her back.

“The fracture was about here.” She pointed her spine a little above her pelvic bone, “And the slipped disk was about here.” She pointed about half way up her spine the middle and small of her back there was a scar a little more noticeable than the others along there.

“That should have killed you.” Astrid said again.

“A lot of things should have killed me, Astrid.” Carstella said as she pulled her shirt down and turned around, “But for some reason I’m still alive, and as much as I don’t believe in being here for a reason I do believe that there is something I need to do before I do die, I just need to figure out what.”

“She has a big heart.” Dagur informed Alvin, “She’s going to come, we just need to get a hold of them first.”

“And how do you suppose we do that?” Alvin asked as he leaned back against the couch. Opposite to him was the red head he temporarily joined forces with, in between them on the coffee table was a bunch of expensive finger food.

“It would be a little hard.” Dagur admitted, “Non of them are really trusting of me, and it would be hard to kidnap most of them. Astrid and Snotface work out like it’s no one’s business, Fishbutt is too fat to deal with quickly, Hiccup’s way too apprehensive about things to trust most people, and then the twins would make the world’s biggest scene. Besides, they’re usually in a group almost never alone.”

“Then how do we get them?” Alvin almost hissed.

Dagur took a bite of a sandwich as he said, “I’m thinking.”

“Well think harder.” Alvin snapped, “I want that girl by the end of the month.”

“You’ll get her.” Dagur growled and swallowed, “Right after I have my fun with her.”

Alvin’s grip tightened on the arm rest to the point his knuckles turned white, be bit back a bark knowing the boy wouldn’t cooperate with him if he didn’t. After he had the girl Alvin was going to dispose of the red head before he could lay a hand on her.

 

No Way Out(A HTTYD Love Story Part 12)

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“I love Saturdays.” Hiccup said as he stretched out in the sun, “There’s no school, and it’s a busy day for Snotlout.”

“You just don’t like your cousin.” Carstella accused.

“No,” Hiccup defended, “I like you, I just don’t like him.”

She rolled her eyes and watched the others come in from the wave.

“Stell, you should be out there.” Tuff said as he came up, “The waves are amazing today.”

Carstella smiled, “Thanks, Tuff, but I don’t really feel like it right now.”

“You’re missing out!” He called as he ran back out to the ocean.

“I thought you liked surfing.” Hiccup said.

“I do.” She told her cousin, “But I’m used to cold waters and stormy seas.”

“Where did you live before this? How did you live?” Hiccup asked.

Carstella was about to reply but she was cut off.

“Sorry I’m late.” Fishlegs said as he came walking up, “I had to finish marking some essays.”

“Oh, hey Fishlegs.” Hiccup said as the blonde sat down.

Carstella waved.

“Were they bad?” He asked.

“Oh, Hiccup.” Fishlegs started, “War is bad. Death is bad. Burnt toast is bad. These were catastrophic! It’s like they aren’t getting a word I’m saying.”

“I’m sure they are.” He assured the blonde, “You know how bad we were back in the day.”

“Good point, but still!” He argued.

“Would an ice cream make it better?” Carstella asked.

“It would actually.” Fishlegs said with a smile.

“Hiccup?” She asked.

“I’m good thanks.”

Carstella nodded and stood up, brushing off sand before heading over to the beach concession.

She got a chocolate cone and two soft drinks, before paying and heading back.

She handed the cone to Fishlegs and a root beer to Hiccup.

“You know my favorite flavor!” Fishlegs exclaimed as he stared at the beauty, “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” She assured as she took a drink of her own sprite.

They watched the waves and made conversation until the others were done for the day.

“That was awesome!” Ruff exclaimed as they walked down the street to the parking lot to Astrid’s car, “I could have sworn that last wave was going to swallow me whole!”

“I wish it did.” Tuff grumbled, “That would have been really awesome.”

“Calm down, both of you.” Astrid warned as she slid her board onto the roof of her car, “We don’t want a rerun of last time.”

“Sorry.” They apologized at the same time.

Astrid rolled her eyes and secured all their boards on the roof, before phone went off.

“Yeah? . . . I’ll be right there!” She quickly put her phone in her pocket, “Sorry guys, emergency just came in, I’ll drop off your boards when I’m done!”

“Be careful, Astrid.” Fishlegs told her.

“I will.” She assured.

“Be safe.” Hiccup said and gave her a kiss.

“I will.” She said as she climbed into her car  and left.

“So what now?” Ruff asked snapping Hiccup back to reality.

“Astrid had an idea, but.” Fishlegs didn’t finish his sentence.

“We could go on a hike.” Carstella offered.

“Not in flip-flops, Car.” Ruff told her, “Let’s go to the shopping alley!”

“I do need more stationary.” Hiccup said to himself.

“And I want to check out the book store.” Fishlegs added.

“To the alley!” Ruff exclaimed.

“Thanks but no thanks,” Tuff said cutting through his sister’s banter, “I’d rather be used as a battering ram.”

“What are you gonna do when you get a girlfriend and she always wants to go there?” Ruff questioned.

“She wouldn’t.” Tuff assured.

“And how can you be that sure?” She demanded.

“Because I’m not into high maintenance, girly girls. That’s how.” He said with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Fine!” Ruff exclaimed, “We’ll go without you, come on Car.”

“Actually,” Carstella said softly, “I don’t much like shopping either, I think I’ll hang around with, Tuff.”

Ruff just looked at her unimpressed, “Fine. But when he gets all weird with you, don’t come crying to me.”

Ruff stalked off towards the alley, Hiccup and Fishlegs shooting apologetic looks before following her.

“So what do you want to do?” Carstella asked Tuff as she watched the others disappear down the street.

“Movie madness.” He said.

Carstella cocked her head to the side asking for an explanation.

“We watch movies all day.” He answered.

“Can we order chinese food too?” She asked as they started towards her apartment.

“Whatever you want.” He told her with a laugh as he entangled his fingers with hers.

—-

Alvin looked at the pictures in front of him in disbelief. There was no way this was her.

“According to an original birth certificate from her family’s doctor,” Savage explained, “She was born with red eyes. Her father must have gotten her contacts to change the colour to be less recognizable.”

Alvin nodded and continued to stare at the picture. He knew it was easy to get a hair cut, and even easier for a girl to change her part. But he knew the difficulties of getting a untracable nose job, and even more difficult to get untraceable tattoo removals.

“She must have been planning her escape for a while.” Savage commented.

“Or she had help.” Alvin said as he looked at some of the pictures. She was almost always with the same group of people.

“I’ll look into plastic surgery and tattoo removals and try to line them up with out going plane tickets.” Savage told him, “See if we are in the right place after all.”

“While you’re at it.” Alvin said as he picked up a picture on the table and handed it to his underling, “Look into getting a hold of this boy, see if he can help us at all.”

“Yes sir.” Savage said as he took the photo and left.

When the door shut Alvin opened that drawer again and pulled out the photo.

He compared it to the best full body shot his spies managed to get on her.

The height was the same, the build, the torso to legs ratio, the head shape. What wasn’t right was the nose and the eyes. Two of the most distinguishable pieces on a human face. And he knew that she knew that.

“You are the prettiest girl in the world, surrounded by people who care for you.” Tuff said with a smile.

“Now what does it actually say?” Carstella asked.

“I just told you.” Tuff defended.

“Mmhmm.” Carstella hummed not believing him.

“It is.” Tuff said smugly, “Can you read Chinese?”

“No.” Carstella said with a smile, “And neither can you.”

“What are you talking about?” Tuff laughed, “I can, it’s right in front of me.”

“There’s no such language in the world as Chinese.” She told him and placed a light kiss on his lips as she snatched the paper from his hands, “They speak Mandarin, Cantonese, depending on where you go there’s Portuguese, Mongolian and English.”

“Have you ever been to China?” Tuff questioned with a cocked eye brow, “Have you spoken to anyone from there?”

“I’ve visited China many times as a child with my father, I’m actually fluent in Mandarin.” Carstella told the blonde as she looked at the paper, “Your life is about to change.”

“What are your lucky numbers?” Tuff asked.

Carstella bawled up the paper and tossed it on the coffee table, “I don’t believe in luck.”

“Fate?” Tuff asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.

“No.”

“Destiny?”

“No.”

“Santa Clause?”

“Who?”

“Never mind.” Tuff said and buried his face in the crook of her neck.

Carstella placed a hand on his head in an attempt to return the hug in her awkward position, but couldn’t shake off an eerie feeling she’d been having the past little while. It was almost like someone was watching her every movement.

“Tuff!” She squeaked when she felt his hand under her shirt on her stomach.

“That’s my name, baby.” He said cockily, only to get shoved off the couch and pounded with a nearby pillow.

Dagur and his group were loitering around a convenience store in the shopping alley. His friends were trying to decide what to do today, and Dagur shot ever idea they came up with down. His mind was on dark haired, red eyed girl he hadn’t seen in a few days.

He felt weird about her. Like she was some kind of drug that he wasn’t able to drop no matter what rehab he got. As much as he wanted her under him red, naked and moaning he’d have been content having her at his side right then.

“Excuse me.”

Dagur snapped back to reality and glared at the man who addressed him.

The older man standing before him stood tall and proud in a pitch black suit, black sun glasses, and had black hair.

“What?” Dagur snarled.

He man pulled out a business card and handed it to the red head, who skimmed over it. He was with the F.B.I.

“I would like you to come with me.” He said politely to Dagur, “My supervisor would like to talk to you.”

“About what?” Dagur snapped.

“He never disclosed that information to me.” The man told him.

Dagur just glared up at the man, and then realized his situation. This suit wasn’t the only one in sight. There were two across the street, one looking at books in the shop next door, two browsing in the convenience store behind them, one sitting on a bench not too far from them, and three around a hot dog stand. Ten in all.

“Could you at least tell me who your supervisor is?” Dagur asked as politely as he could.

“That’s classified.” The man told him.

Dagur took note of some of the other suits starting to make their way over to them.

“Alright.” Dagur agreed with a sigh, “I’ll go with you.” He turned his attention to his crew, “You guys do whatever.”

The man in the suit lead Dagur out of the alley and into a black Chevy equinox.

“How is that romantic?” Carstella asked at the end of Titanic.

“I don’t know.” Tuff replied, “I thought it was a good idea, but now I realize it was just a wast of four hours.”

“Agreed.” Carstella then looked up at the blonde, “What is considered romance anyway?”

Tuff blinked at the question and looked down at the brunette laying on top of him, “Well,” He started and thought for a second, “Romance, is, like, sweet words, mushy over the top scenarios, candles, roses, expensive dinners and wine.”

“Please don’t ever be romantic with me then.” Carstella told him, “Tell me what you feel straight out, keep things simple, candles are fire hazards and dinner doesn’t have to be expensive in the least.”

“What about wine?” Tuff asked in disbelief at what he was hearing, everything he’s known about romance was being debunked by the brunette.

“I prefer tea.”

“And roses?”

Carstella made a face, “I hate roses.”

“What flower do you like then?”

Carstella thought for a second, “Protea.”

Tuff looked at her weird.

“They’re sometimes called sugar bush, I think.” Carstella informed.

“You’re a sugar bush.” Tuff teased.

“Thank you.” Carstella smiled.

“I never knew the F.B.I. worked in a such a lavish place.” Dagur said sarcastically as he was led through a fancy hotel lobby towards the elevator.

The man didn’t say anything as he pressed the button.

Dagur just looked around bored. He knew for sure that this guy wasn’t working for the government, and that he somehow got himself wound up in some complex scenario he wouldn’t be able to get himself out of easily. Either that he was about to be had.

They rode up to the top floor in silence, and walked down the hall until they came to dark double door. The man knocked and a gruff voice on the other side called for them to enter.

He pulled out a key and entered the room, Dagur close behind.

“I’ve brought who you’ve asked for sir.”

“Leave us then.” The man sitting behind the desk told him.

The man left the room, leaving Dagur alone with head honcho of this place.

“Alright, if this is some kind of prank or gag, you got your laugh now bring out the cameras.” Dagur told him.

The man turned around in his swivel chair to face the red head.

The first thing Dagur noticed was the thick beard on the man’s chin, and a bushy moustache that looked more like a cater pillar than facial hair.

“You must be Dagur, I’m Alvin.”

Dagur then recognised a faint accent that he couldn’t put his finger on where it was from.

“What do you want from me, Alvin?” Dagur basically snarled as he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and hunched forward a bit, unamused with the situation.

Alvin motioned for Dagur to come forward as he put down a folder on his desk.

Dagur eyed it apprehensively as he slowly made his way to the desk, glancing between Alvin and the envelope.

He carefully opened it to see a black and white picture of a little while ago when he talked to Carstella just outside of her apartment.

Dagur’s green eyes shot up to meet Alvin’s brown ones.

“You know her.” Alvin said smugly to the red head.

“What do you want with her?” Dagur snapped as he straightened up.

“I’m trying to see if she’s the girl I’ve been looking for.” Avlin explained, “But at the same time, I can sense you like her so why don’t you keep going before you say anything else I might not like.”

Dagur just glared, but went through the pictures non the less.

Walking with Hiccup and the others, sitting and talking with them, eating with them, getting groceries, going to the library, walking down the street with the male twin holding hands, exiting the gym- wait a second!

Dagur snatched up the photo of the brunette holding the hand of the male twin friend of Hiccup as they were walking alone together on the street heading for her apartment.

“There’s more like that.” Alvin told him with a smirk.

Dagur flipped through more, she was heading into another apartment, one of the occupants’ name was Thorston, walking behind the bid group with the male.

Then he recalled seeing the two of them sitting together on the bench in the shopping alley, and her words at the library.

Dagur filled up with rage, she’d been playing him for a fool!

“What do you want to know?” Dagur asked the black haired man opposite to him.

Alvin smiled at the boy across from him, he’d been right to ask about him.

Always(A Dagur The Deranged One-Shot)

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Waves lapped up against the beach, as the sun coloured the water orange, pink and yellow as it started to sink low on the horizon. Two long shadows blocked the last of the sun on the sand. At the end of each of them was a viking. They stood almost chest to chest, one hand the other’s hand. The larger of the two played with the pendant of the smaller one. She just stared at his movements with a far away look in her eyes. “You’ll come back right?” She couldn’t help her voice from sounding so weak, but she couldn’t help but feel her heart break. The red head stopped playing with the pendant and thought as his green eyes traveled over her face. The sun was hitting her in all the right places. Her dark eyes were alight with honey highlights, her black hair shimmered in the fading sunlight and ever last one of her freckles was deeper on her face. What was standing in front of him was more beautiful than he thought was possible. The same was for the girl. The light reflecting off his red hair made a bronze colour appear, every grove and contour on his face was sharper, deeper and more defined, and his eyes, they were a whole new colour of green she’d never seen before, and she wanted to see it nowhere else. “I will.” He told her as he reached a hand up to cup her cheek and run thumb over her cheek bone. “Promise?” She asked. Her voice was usually harder, almost male, but now it sounded fragile and foreign even to her. His hand moved from her cheek and picked up the pendant around her neck again, pressing the cool black surface to his lips before moving his hand back to her cheek and looking her dead in the eye, “I promise.” He told her and they both sealed it with a kiss. “I love you.” He breathed when they parted. She gasped slightly before her reply, “I love you too.”

The heavy sound of metal clanging against metal filled the smithy. The current owner working hard on her newest order.

The black haired girl wiped the sweat from her brow as she dipped the sword in water.

As she spun the sharpening wheel someone entered the forge.

“Thora, sweetheart, can we talk?” Her mother asked as she approached the girl cautiously.

“What’s there left to say, ma?” She asked as she thumbed over the one side.

Her mother paused before saying anything. They were both a little shook up after last night.

Thora had come home for dinner that night, the entire family ate together. But that night her brothers and father were quieter than usual. So being curious she asked her father if there was something wrong. “Thora, you are nineteen years old, your brothers both have wives who they will be married too soon, you need to find yourself a husband.” “I’m already engaged, father.” Thora told him with a smile. The entire family stared at her with wide eyes, “And to who, might I ask?” He growled, “To the former chief, Dagur the deranged.” Her father slammed his fist down on the table causing the hut to shake. “I will not have you marrying a dead man!” “He isn’t dead father.” Thora told him calmly, “He promised he’d come back.” “He’s been gone three years, Thora. He isn’t coming back. Now what you need to do is find a good man who will bring honor to both you and our family.” Thora had pushed her dinner away and was just staring coldly at her father, “The only man who will bring us honor is Dagur.” She told him. “No!” Her father boomed, her brothers flinched and her mother bit her lip, “You will not marry him!” “I have no choice.” Thora told her father bordering dangerous territory. “If he isn’t dead already, I’ll kill him when he comes back.” Loyd, her father, declared. “Over my dead body!” Thora exclaimed and shot up, “I love him father.” Loyd stood up and towered over his daughter, “Love, is not what will bring you honor.” Her father said in a dangerous tone. Thora stared him down across the table before saying in an even more scary tone, “My honor sailed with his ship.” Thora’s father’s and mother’s eyes widened understanding her meaning. Her father clenched his fists, his face went red with anger. “Whore!” He yelled, “Filthy, dirty whores will not be allowed in my house!” Thora pushed off the table and calmed down as she headed up stairs to her room and pulled together few things; her favorite hammer, some everyday cloths, and the dress Dagur got her. She packed them up in a little more cloth as her father was yelling down stairs. “A whore will not-” Thora cut him off by yelling even louder and she whipped around and glared fire into her father, “This whore doesn’t want to live in your house either!” She slammed the door shut behind her, leaving her father fuming, her brothers confused as anything, and her mother weeping.

“I just want to know why you would do such a thing.” Her mother questioned softly as her daughter polished the sword.

Thora stopped and looked at her mother, she wanted her to know she meant what she was about to say, “Because I love him.” Thora started, “And I wanted him to know he had something waiting for him when he came home, even if the entire island turned their back on him.”

“How long do you intend to wait for him?” Her mother asked.

Thora turned back to polishing as she said without hesitation, “As long as I have too.”

Thora’s mother stared at the floor for a moment before asking, “You really do love him, don’t you?”

“With all my heart.” Thora said with a ghost of a smile on her face as she looked over her work.

Her mother walked over and placed a hand on her shoulder, “I will stand behind you for your dedication to your love.” She told Thora, “You are still my daughter, but I feel I have to say I am disappointed you didn’t wait.”

“Ma,” Thora started as she placed the sword on the work bench and turned around, “I couldn’t wait, because there is the chance he isn’t going to come back. And I didn’t want to lose it to anyone else.”

“Do you regret it?” Her mother asked staring hard into her eyes.

“No.” Thora said honestly.

Her mother smiled and pulled her daughter into a hug.

“I’m still disappointed, but I understand where you’re coming from.”

“Thank you.” Thora said as she returned the hug.

After a moment the women pulled apart and her mother said, “I have to be going, but do your best.”

Thora smiled and nodded, her mother turned and walked out as Thora watched her.

“Back to work.” Thora said to herself as she put the sword on the collection rack and started on the next order.

Thora sat on the secluded sandy beach where she and Dagur had last spoken, where they made their promise, and where she lost her innocence to him, as she stared at the pendant he gave her.

She thought about how long it had actually been since they’d seen each other last, if he was still alive, how much he’d have changed, how much she’d changed, and if they’d recognize each other if they met again in the near future.

She had changed a lot in three years. She filled out a little more, grew about an inch, and gained more muscle. What she’s worn has also changed. She used to wear tunics and pants, but now she’d wear leggings, a skirt that reached a little more than half way down her thigh with chain mail hanging off her belt, her shirts where still sleeveless with leather string holding the v of the neck mostly closed, leather strips wrapped around her forearms going around her pointer finger and going all the way up to her elbow, much thinner leather straps around her upper arms, her hair was grown out to reach about the middle of her back with was always braided up and out of her way, but there were still stubborn short hairs in the front giving her thin bangs over her right eye. But Thora still wore the same boots, belt, and pendant she had before.

“I miss you.” She whispered to the wind as a single stray tear fell from her eye into the wind.

“Dagur, I’m not usually the one to question your intentions, but perhaps it would be best to inform the entire crew about what we’re going to do when we get to Berserk?” Savage said carefully.

“Well,” Dagur started as he sharpened the ax in his hand, “I have some personal business I have to attend too, and you guys are going to rally people for my new armada.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” Savage asked, “I mean even though you were the chief, I’m not exactly sure they’ll be open to the thought of following you.”

“Savage, Savage, Savage.” Dagur said eerily as he continued sharpening, “You underestimate the Berserker blood.”

“Of course, sir, how stupid of me.” Savage said chuckling lightly as he backed away.

Dagur stared a head at the island that appeared on the horizon. His heart started to hammer a little in his chest. It had been so long, would she recognize him? Would he recognize her? Would she still want him, or would she have grown tired of waiting? What if her father married her off already? What if she died during a dragon raid? What if she thought he was dead and killed herself to be with him in the after life? Get real she’d wait forever.

Dagur sighed to himself as he could now see the port, he felt excited and scared all at the same time. He couldn’t wait to see her. And if she was married or something like that, he would kill her husband and steal her away.

Dagur walked into the smithy cautiously, half expecting a hammer to the head after how long he was away.

“Hello?” He called, “Can I get some service?”

“Sure, what do you need?”

Dagur’s attention snapped to the corner of the smithy where a figure walked out of the shadows. It was a young boy who had on a leather apron and was covered with ash and cinder marks. Dagur knew he was an apprentice here.

“Is Thora here?” He asked expecting an answer along the lines of ‘She’s at home taking care of her kids’, or ‘she’s on her honey moon’.

“She left.” The boy told him, “I don’t know where and I don’t know for how long. But she’s usually back by sun down to check my work and tell me to redo it.” The kid laughed, “Ya’ know despite her being really cool around the village and all she’s super strict when it comes to work. If she doesn’t like it she’ll break it in half and throw it in the scrap pile before telling me to start again.”

“How do you think she got so good?” Dagur asked and he exited the smithy, “Thanks for the information kid.”

Dagur wandered around the town to see if she was there somewhere, when he couldn’t he headed into the forest. He checked the clearing, mountains, and the secret beach they made their promise on. She wasn’t there. As much as he didn’t want to, he headed to her house to see if she was there.

Thora walked down the street towards the smithy slowly as she kicked up dirt. She’d wait forever if she had to, but she was missing his touch, and his laugh, and his smile, and his eyes. She missed his eyes the most, there was no other colour of green anywhere in the world but in his eyes.

Thora entered the smithy and picked up her hammer along with the ax in the fire.

“Someone came looking for you while you were gone.” Larsen, her apprentice informed as she started hammering away.

“Tell me something I don’t know.” She said and rolled her eyes, “Did you rework that mace like I told you?”

“Oh come on!”

Dagur took a deep breath as he knocked on the door, it had been a while, and her family didn’t like her to begin with.

A giant man with black hair and brown eyes answered the door.

“Hi, Loyd, I’m looking for Thora, is she home?”

“Dagur?” Loyd questioned staring the man up and down.

“Well,” Dagur chuckled as he explained, “It has been three years and people change.”

Loyd’s face got red with anger as he reached for his mace behind the door.

“Polish.” Thora told Larsen as she handed him the ax.

“Yes ma’am.” He said and took it grabbing a rag too.

“Thora! Thora!” Thora’s mother called as she ran up to the smithy.

“What is it ma?” She asked as she started sharpening a sword.

“Your father,” She started trying to catch her breath.

“Not my problem.” Thora muttered as she ran the blade over the stone.

“Is fighting, Dagur.” She finished.

Thora stopped instantly. Was he back? Why was he fighting her father?

There were so many questions in her mind she wanted to ask, but she didn’t think twice about throwing down the sword, picking up hr hammer, and running off to her family’s farm as she yelled back at Larsen that he was in charge.

“You deflowered my daughter!” Loyed yelled as he sent another heavy swing of his mace at Dagur, who dodged in response.

“And might I say, you grow amazing fruit!” Dagur teased, “Or rather, since she didn’t like anything girly and you pawned her off to Magnus, I guess he grows amazing fruit!”

“You little shit!” Loyd yelled as he took another swing, this time cornering Dager between the chicken coop and the barn.

Dagur raised his ax prepared to take the older man’s head is needed.

But neither man could get their strike close to the other.

A hammer sent the ax in Dagur’s hand across the lawn and blocked the mace from coming down on the red head, before it was thrown from Loyd’s hand and another strike to his head causing him to pass out.

The person who had just saved the red head was now hunched over in a stance breathing heavily.

Dagur just stood there staring at the person’s back for a moment, before they turned around to stare back at the man.

Green eyes met brown ones.

Thora dropped her hammer at the sight before her. For a few seconds they just stared at each other taking in the fact they were back. Thora’s eyes traveled to Dagur’s cheek, she carefully reached out a hand. Scared if she moved too fast he’d run away or he was just a figment of her imagination.

Dagur watched her movements carefully, and he felt at peace when her fingers ghosted across his scar. Her fingers were still rough and calloused, but they were so warm and kind.

Thora ghosted her fingers across his cheek to make sure it was really , and when he didn’t disappear she started tracing it, wondering how on earth he got it.

Dagur swallowed before he broke the silence between them.

“I meant to shave because I know you don’t like it past stubble, but I didn’t have time.”

“You’re back.” Thora all but whispered, “And you’re alive.” She carefully pulled her hand back and tried not to cry.

“I am back.” Dagur echoed her, “I’m back for you.”

Thora half laughed as he let the tear fall and she lunged at him wrapping her arms around him tightly so he wouldn’t disappear on her again.

“Take me away from here, my lord.” Thora begged between sobs, “I don’t care where we go, all I care about is that we’re together. Three years was such a long time, and I don’t want to have to go through that again.”

“And I don’t want to put my girl through that again.” Dagur told her as her rubbed her back, “I can actually say that now.”

“Remember when your hair was longer than mine?” Thora asked with a laugh.

“That was awkward.” Dagur laughed and picked her up off the ground, “And since when did you where skirts?”

“Since I decided you were my lord and I was your lady!” She laughed.

“You will always be my lady.” Dagur told her, “I’ll kill anyone who opposes that, anyone who hits on you, anyone who tries to keep us apart, anyone who hurts you, I’ll kill the world if it makes you smile, because I love you Thora. You’re my thunder goddess.”

“I missed you.” Thora said as she started crying again, “I love you too, and I always will. And I will forever be at your side from now on regardless of what deranged scheme you think of.”

“Let’s go.” Dagur told the his brown eyed girl as he threw her over his shoulder and picked up her hammer and his ax as he headed for the docks, “Let’s see how my men did.”