In the Shadow Realm, the void between worlds, stands the imposing edifice of a manor. Most of the windows appear to be pitch black, save for a few upstairs bedrooms. A portal opens before the manor, and Dark steps out. He sighs in relief at the sight of the structure in this otherwise empty space.
With a wave of His hand, the portal closes behind Him, and He saunters forward to the front entrance. Smirking as He can already hear the eager pounding of feet against the stairs within, He opens the door and the foyer’s candles magically flare to life.
Anti careens into the foyer after bumping down the steps and skidding through the hall, pulsing with electric energy. “Ṗ̵̤͆ọ̵̫͂p̸͓̟̈́s̷͖̀͜!̶̺͐̊ͅ” he yells excitedly, and he runs to Dark with open arms.
Meg is hot on the heels of the young glitch demon, shouting, “Daddy!” They nearly tackle their beloved patriarch in their desire to embrace Him.
Fortunately, He’s well able to remain standing on His own feet in the face of this loving assault.
He laughs delightedly, happy to be home again. “Ah, My beautiful children.” He places a kiss atop His daughter’s head, and affectionately ruffles His son’s hair.
Anti makes a noise of annoyance as his hair is mussed, but his smile doesn’t fade.
“We’re so glad You’re finally home again,” Meg declares. “It’s been months!”
“I can assure you I am likewise glad to be home,” Dark replies. He glances in the direction of the stairs. “Does Grace know I have arrived? I have something for her…”
Upstairs, I perk up as I feel a familiar sensation run through me. Tingling on the back of my neck, a feeling not unlike a returned call and the way the air got heavier and the shadows around me deepened.
I skid out of the door and lean over the railing in time time to see the kids tackle Him, my face lights up in the smile that takes it over. “Dark!”
I run down the stairs, almost tripping once and hug Him as tightly as I can. “You’re back!”
Finally, my family is all together again.
With His beloved Grace immediately following His loving children, the family circle is completed. He embraces her affectionately, wrapping His arms around her and giving her a light kiss on the lips.
“Grace…” His voice is a soft, low croon. “I have missed you, dearest.”
Out of the corner of His eye, He sees Meg nudge Anti and then gently pull him away. Bless the girl, she wanted to give the two of them some measure of privacy.
“But yes, I am indeed back.” He smiles at Grace, and pats a hand lightly against the inside pocket of His jacket, which appears to bulge slightly with a small square-ish shape. “And, as I promised you, I have something special for you. And though it would likely be more prudent to wait until I’ve made myself more comfortable, I am also quite… eager to see what you think of it.”
He offers Grace His hand, intending to lead her a little further into the house. “Shall we?”
My cheeks hurt from the smile still stretched across them as I return the kiss. “I missed You too, so very much My King. It’s so good to have You home again at last.”
I notice Meg pulling Anti away, and the shape of the box He pats. If that’s what I think it is….I might end up tackle hugging Him again. I take His hand and squeeze it lightly. “We shall Haewa.”
As we walk a little deeper into the house, I cuddle into His arm, admittedly feeling a little clingy still. “Besides the present, and making everyone gush about how good You look in white during a certain Heist. Did You do anything else on the mortal clearance? Or was it more on the need to know kind of clearance?”
He chuckles. “It was certainly… interesting to see the many reactions to a simple change in the colour of My suit.” His demeanour relaxes further as they go further into the house, just the two of them together in the moment.
As He leads her into the sitting room, He adds, “Regrettably, much of My travels over the last little while have been strictly business matters. Nothing that requires a specific clearance level, simply matters that would be rather… uninteresting to discuss.” He then smirks. “Unless you are fascinated by the capitalist notions of mergers and acquisitions.”
Once they reach the soft couch, with its Victorian-style wooden frame and dark red cushions, He releases her hand so she may sit, if she chooses.