Jon Quinn

Night swept around him coloring the air in dank decrepitude. Standing, looking at the ground where he had just dropped the last of the demons, Jon Quinn knelt, touching his sword tip to the earth. Killing, fighting, protecting those he loved and those who would never know him was getting harder with each year. His body was a mass of scars both inside and out. Scars that would never heal for the promises he had made. His head bowed to the blood soaked demon before him as he made his prayers and released the soul of the lost one to the beyond. Perhaps this one would choose to not return.

As he rose, bones creaking with age, he caught a whiff of sandalwood echoing among the dank graves. No one was with him, he knew that, yet, there it was, that smell that told him it was time. Squaring his shoulders, Quinn walked to the oldest part of the cemetery where the vines drooped from tree limbs covering the ground. The markers had long disintegrated into dust and crumbled stones, the old stone path barely a deer track now, but he knew the way. When he came close to them, the vines breathed of him, waving to and fro gently touching him, then shifted out of the way revealing the most ancient of tombs yet still untouched by age.

The onyx tomb doors were open. Elyan was here. Gripping his blood caked sword in front of him, Quinn squared his shoulders and entered. Candles danced lighting around him as he walked to the center of the tomb, looking but not seeing her, not surprised. He pulled out a single white piece of cloth to wipe the blood from his sword, cleaning it as the fabric absorbed the mess as if drinking the blood into itself, drinking in the evil. Clean again, he raised the sword up with both hands in front of him and knelt samurai style in front of the altar ready for her bidding. He tipped his head back, but not in supplication, but rather waiting for her order, her demand.

“It is time, Jon Quinn. You’re usefulness is up.” Her sibilant voice slid over the marble. He heard rather than saw her scales slide around the columns of the tomb until she was finally before him. Her lovely face before him, stern eyes filled with determination and remorse.

“I see you are ready.”

Quinn’s hands shook as he lowered his sword accepting his fate. His would not question her this time. Gently, he placed his sword beside his leg, ready to complete his task.

“I know, bright one,“ His aged voice faltered as he undid his kimono never taking his eyes off of hers.

“You served our master well, this lifetime.” Her voice cracked and a ripple raced through her scales. Reaching a hand out, she traced his face softly, pushing his long gray locks out of the way. Leaning over she kissed his lips one last time, for this was the moment left to them, then curled her emerald body around him, cuddling his human one to hers trying to alter this never-ending cycle of pain that he had bargained for in order to save her.

“My Elyan, it is as it is” Quinn closed his eyes, nodded then raised his sword. In one quick slice, he ended this life. With his head slumped, he fell over into her arms as she brought him close to her serpentine body. She watched while his life’s blooded drain away, coating her scales, her eyes filled with tears and her scales slowly faded. Moments ticked past into miniature eternities as she became human for the last seconds of his life to hold him as he lay within her arms. Such was their fate.

This time she tried so hard to hold the tears back to not cry, but that too was not to be had and her hot tears came. Tears of sorrow, tears of shame, tears of years, centuries of servitude so that the demon who craved her would never find her. Pulling him closer and closer to her, wishing he didn’t need to do this ever again, but knowing the deal that had been made, she let them fall upon him. Crystal tears of life erasing the scars of age, erasing the lines of years, but never to erase the experiences he had served. With a soft breath, she kissed him one last time knowing this would be the last time she could hold him until the end came again. She said with tears in her voice as she felt the emerald scales begin anew,

“Rise, Jon Quinn, to serve again!”

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