"T..t..take c..c..care of H..H..Hea..Heather a..and th..th..the k..k..kids f..for m..m..me p..pl..ple..please." He was giving up. He was just going to let himself die.
"You haven't completed your job yet, Vincent. You're not done yet. You're supposed to guard me for as long as I am Queen. You're in my Goddess Guard, you can't just quit now." I watched him try to smirk and I decided to push it just a little further. "I told you if any of you got hurt in this battle that I would kill you. You don't want me to have to do that now do you." He laughed a little at my joke and immediately started to cough, blood flying from his lips and landing on his cheeks.
"Vincent?" Reece called out to him, kneeling next to me. "Don't talk anymore. We're going to fix this. Just hang in there a little longer man."
"R..R..Re..Reece, y..yo..yo..you w..w..we..were a..a g..go..good fr..fri..friend a..and a..an a..a..am..amaz..amazing A..Al..Alph..Alpha. I..I kn..kn..know th..that y..yo..you wi..wi..will p..pro..protect T..Tri..Trin-."
"Stop it, Vincent." I sobbed as I tried to silence his goodbyes. "Hush, Vincent. You can't leave. You can't go. I won't let you."
I threw myself forward, hugging him to me as I sobbed louder and louder.
"Please, don't die. Don't take him from me. I don't want to lose someone so close to me. I can't. I just can't. Please, Nehalennia. Please, Thoth. Please, Danu. Please, please help me. Save him for me. Please."
As I begged the God and Goddesses for help, I felt the tugging that usually told me that I was going to the celestial realm.
'No, don't make me leave his side. Don't make me leave my friend.' I begged them once more. The tugging stopped and there was not a bright light filling the battlefield. Actually, there were three bright lights.
There was the golden light of Danu to my left, the red light of Thoth to my right, and in the middle of those two was the bright blue light of Nehalennia. The three celestials had joined me in this world.
"Trinity." I heard the now familiar voice of the Moon Goddess speak to me just moments before I saw her appear before me. I thought that everyone around me would be screaming in shock or joy but I noticed at that moment that everyone in the clearing seemed to have frozen. I was the only one that was moving aside from the God and Goddesses.
"Nehalennia?" I sobbed as I looked at her. Danu and Thoth appeared beside her a second later. "Thoth? Danu? Please, please don't let him die."
"Trinity, there have been many gifts over time that we have given you and your people. Do you truly expect more from us?" Thoth asked me with a look that was nearly devoid of emotion at the moment.
"I know you have done much for me already. I know you have. But I have done much for all of you as well. I never asked to be Queen. I never asked to rule the shifters or the magic users. I just wanted a normal life."
"Yes, Trinity, we know." Nehalennia looked at me with sadness in her eyes. "For that we owe you so much."
"You have helped me more than once, child. And you are a descendant of my personal bloodline. That makes you not only chosen by the other celestials, but part celestials as well." Danu was smiling at me with a soft look. "I do not feel that I have rewarded you nearly enough with all that you have done."
"We have, over time, slowed down the aging that you and all shifters have been experiencing." Thoth spoke next, the emotions no longer hidden from his face. "I am sure you have noticed that those who have reached adulthood are experiencing those effects. Some may have even experienced reverse aging."
"I could tell things were a little different, yes. But I did not know why." I didn't know what all of this had to do with the current situation, but I still had to listen to what they were saying.
"There is still one more gift that we can offer you, Trinity. One more thing aside from blessings that will allow your friend to live." Nehalennia was crouching now, almost kneeling before me so that she could look me directly in the eyes.
"What? What can be done? Please, I don't want to lose my family." There was hope and heartache both filling my voice.
"We can give our children all an equal share of immortality." She added as she looked at me.
"The Magic users." Thoth knelt next to her now, looking at me with his hand extended toward me.
"The Fae." Danu knelt on her other side, her hand extended and laying on top of Thoth's.
"And the shifters." Nehallenia put her hand on top of Danu's.
"How? What will this mean?" I asked them, confused and uncertain.
"They will all be immortal. They will all live lives like the Fae have experienced. They will cease to age normally when they reach adulthood, and they will stop aging altogether when they hit a certain point. Their lives will be eternal, just like that of the vampires and the Fae." Thoth was the one to start the explanation.
"This may be a burden on some of your people, and they may not want it, but it is not something that can be taken away without them ending their lives." Danu added.
"You need to make this decision here and now, Trinity. Make this decision for your people and we will save your friend." Nehalennia spoke forcefully for the first time since she had arrived here.
"What else will happen?" I knew that they hadn't spoken the complete truth to me. There was more to it. There had to be.
"We three will cease to exist."
"WHAT?" I couldn't believe what Nehalennia had just said to me. "How? Why? That can't be."
"We will not be truly gone. We will reside inside of you, Trinity. You will take our place. You are part of all three of us. You are a child born from all three of us. You are the one being that can, and has, united all of our people." She tried to sooth me, but I was still reeling. I didn't understand any of this.
"Will you accept our offer, Trinity? Will you take on the role as the new Goddess?" Thoth asked me, his voice firm.
"Will you lead and protect our people?" Danu's voice was firm now as well.
"You will no longer be the human extension of me, Trinity. You will now be a true Goddess. You will have the power to do what we can do. You will just need to learn to navigate that path on your own."
"I..I..I'll do it." I hesitated just a little bit. However, in the end I knew that I would do it anyway. I knew that I would take their offer and protect Vincent, even if it meant changing my entire life again.
"Then take our hands. Place one of your palms against my palm, and the other on the back of Thoth's hand.. Grasp our hands at the same time and take our power."