Seth was in love the moment he saw the dog.

It was during one of his adventures on the Fablehaven grounds. He had found a mysterious cave that led deep into a hill and into the darkness. Being Seth Sorenson he decided to follow it as far as he dared. Which, was quite far.

The smell of rotting flesh and something old had filled his nostrils and he had had to cover the whole entire bottom half of his face with his T-shirt. He had walked deeper, making sure not to fall on the gravelly floor of the tunnel.

As he had progressed the smell had gotten worse and a few times he had had to stop to retch. Still, there had been something urging him on; whether it was a gut feeling or his natural zest for adventure, he didn't know.

The tunnel kept going diagonally for a good five kilometers or so before finally leveling off. Seth had been training himself ever since Zzyzx and his muscles had grown, but the whole way down had been a whole lot of work on his legs and the lack of water made it harder to bare. But that was all forgotten when he saw what was at the end of the hill.

A long crimson hallway ended on a cliff which spread out to an enormous cavern that spread each way, disappearing into a rusty colored mist. Where the cavern and the tunnel connected was a high arc and underneath it stood a puppy.

Even from the distance, Seth could see it was a German shepherd puppy. It. They. He was immediately confused because the puppy had three heads.

Slowly moving forwards, Seth resisted an urge to let out a huge 'AWWWWW!'. It was the cutest thing he had ever seen! Even the multiple heads didn't bother him.

"Oh my gosh," Seth gasped, his eyes widening and his heart expanding. "Aren't you the cutest thing ever?" The puppy - puppies? - seemed excited to see him and leaped up from it sitting position, wagging its tail and yipping happily. One of the heads turned around to snap at and chase the tail while the other two seemed to be focused on Seth and rushed at him.

It was not a good idea.

With two heads commanding the body to move forward and one head telling it to spin around, the puppy managed two steps before planting face first into the dirt and going head over heels.

Seth chuckled and carefully walked forward. There were only about six meters between them and his fingers itched to pet the dog. "You are the cutest and most harmless thing I have ever-" he began when suddenly the puppy's heads swirled at him, ears bent back. Seth barely had time to register what was happening before the puppy let out a humongous bark, sending a shockwave that sent him falling onto his back.

The air got knocked out of him as the puppy jumped on his chest and began a vicious attack with all three heads, licking his face and soaking him in dog slobber.

"Get off!" Seth laughed, lifting the small dog into the air and shaking the drool out of his hair. The puppy squirmed and flung it's legs around wildly as if it was flying. "What do you want, boy?"

Immediately, the head on the right growled.

"I take it you're the girl. Makes you the smart one doesn't it?" he mumbled and the right head panted happily.

He stared at the puppy in his arms for a moment. The head on the left was trying to bite it's tail once more. Seth furrowed his brows and smiled. "I know I shouldn't get attached to you since I have to leave you here and giving you a name will not make it any easier, but I just can't leave you nameless. You," he said, giving a pointed look to the head on the left," are called Tail, since you are actively pursuing the murder of your own tail. You," he shifted his gaze to the middle head," are Body because you're in the best spot of controlling the whole torso of... whatever you are. And you, little one," he said to the girl head," are Head, since, well, you're the smart one. And together you are… Rio!"

Seth paused for a moment, thinking of the names he had just given them. They weren't exactly the best, but they made sense and were easy to remember. In contrast, the combined name made absolutely no sense, but it seemed nice. He made a mental note to pat himself on the back for being such a genius.

The mental note was rudely interrupted by an ear-piercing roar that echoed off the walls around them. Seth almost dropped Rio onto his face. Springing into a sitting position, Seth flinched back, bringing Rio tightly against his chest as a humongous black claw appeared over the edge of the cliff.

"What the-" Seth began when another roar rang in the halls. Rio whined and Seth gave it a look. He couldn't leave the puppy here! But he couldn't exactly bring it home, could he? Another claw reached over the edge of the cliff and Seth made up his mind.

Without wasting a second, Seth sprang to his feet, stuffing Rio underneath his arm in a not-so-comfortable position and set off running towards the tunnel. He didn't dare look back as he began scrambling back the gravel floor. The ground began sliding beneath his feet and fear clutched his heart. There was a low and loud panting behind him and he heard the heavy footsteps of whatever was chasing him as it sprinted towards its prey.

Rio whined in fear and squirmed in his arms, making it hard to hold on. He hissed at it to stay still and the puppy froze.

Seth's legs burned from exhaustion within a minute of scrambling, since his legs were already tired from coming down. His breath came out ragged, but he kept running. For a brief moment, he wondered why whatever was chasing them hadn't reached him or scorched him or whatever it used to kill it's pray, but didn't ponder on it long.

"Come on," he whispered as the first glints of starlight blinked into view above. "Come, on. I am not dying here." With a last spurt of energy, Seth barged out of the tunnel and into the woods. He sighed in relief and slowed down only enough to turn around.

Nothing barged out of the tunnel. There was no fire, or acid spit, or weird darkness. There was no arrows or swords or spears. The only thing left of their chaser was the distant wailing kind of roaring.

Rio, let out a small whine and Body licked Seth's cheek gently. He immediately felt better.


Throughout the walk home, Seth kept glancing back to make sure nothing was following them. Adrenaline was still pumping in his veins, making him fidgety and the overall fear that he may be leading something to the house made his skin crawl. He couldn't help but remember the destruction Graulas had caused when Seth had healed him. The house had been completely destroyed and Coulter-

Seth shook himself. The images of his friend's body were still clear in his memory, even though it had happened a couple of years back. After a while, he had simply accepted that they would never go away. It didn't hurt any less though.

Rio had fallen asleep in his arms and only one the lights of the house were seen shining through the trees did Seth realize that he would be in a lot of trouble. It was probably into the early hours of the morning and if the lights were on it usually meant the others were up.

Seth knew he should have simply walked forwards there and then, entered the house and taken what was coming for him. But he also had to think about Rio. He couldn't leave the pup alone, and bringing him into the house was not an option. First of all, he probably couldn't even get Rio over onto the lawn and even if he did, he didn't exactly know what the puppy was. It had looked harmless, but the bark it had made in the tunnel had thrown him into the air! What else could the puppy do? He didn't want to risk finding out and put his family in danger.

So instead of continuing to the house, he walked around the yard for a while before coming to the path that lead to Warren's cottage. Maybe he could stay there for a while. Warren was most likely still at the house, where he had been catching up with everyone after coming back from a mission from the Knights of the Dawn. That meant that the cottage was most likely empty and Seth could spend the night there.

It took a while to reach the cottage, but finally, they did. Seth opened the door with a key from under a rock a few feet away from the door and stepped inside. It was dark, and the lamp was off, and from the lack of snoring, Seth figured that Warren was indeed still at the house. Most likely worrying for him, but Seth couldn't do much about that right now.

He couldn't go to the house to tell the others he was okay, because that would mean leaving Rio alone, and that couldn't result in anything going well. Even with the puppy asleep, Seth couldn't help but feel that it might just start wreaking havoc on the preserve should it be left alone.

So he snugged onto Warren's bed and pulled the covers over himself, while holding Rio's sleeping body next to him, holding it tightly underneath his arm. With all that had happened that day, it didn't take him long to fall asleep.



Seth's eyes sprang open at Warren's voice. His cousin was standing at the bedside, staring at him with his mouth open and his eyes wide with disbelief and relief. Seth rubbed his eyes and squinted at the morning sunlight seeping through the window.

"Wassup man," he said yawning.

"Wassup man? WASSUP MAN- Seth we had been searching for you the whole entire night, worried sick, and here you are and the first thing you say is 'Wassup man?" Warren screamed.

Suddenly, Rio burst from underneath the covers and threw itself at an unsuspecting Warren, who yelped in surprise at the fluffball flying at him. Rio pushed off of Warren's chest, landed back onto the bed and leaped off, zooming across the room.

"Oh, man…" Seth mumbled, swinging his feet quickly over the bed and rushed after the puppy. "Rio, come back!"

"Rio?" Warren questioned in a high pitch voice. A black and brown blur ran from under his legs. Seth dove after it, which simply said was a terrible idea. You see, a puppy is a lot smaller than a teenager. So when a puppy runs from between a man's legs, it does it without difficulty. But when a teenager does it…

Warren fell backward, landing on Seth and Seth groaned underneath the weight.

"What have you been eating, man?" he groaned.

"It's muscle, Seth!"

That was when Seth's eyes landed on the open door and brown ball rushing towards it. Panic surged inside of him.

"Warren, close the door!" he screamed, struggling to his feet, but only managing to trip on his and Warren's entangled legs.

"And exactly how do you think I'll be able to do that?"

Seth, with a little bit of kicking and scrambling and lots of groaning from Warren, finally managed to get to his feet and spurt to the door. It closed with a click and a loud thump as the small body of a dog ran headfirst into it.

Seth took a deep breath of relief and stared at the confused puppy now laying on the floor, rubbing its noses with its paws. Tail was biting its namesake sadly.

Warren rose from the floor and slowly walked over to Seth, staring at Rio at the same time. They stood silent for a moment.

"What is that?" Warren finally asked. At the sound of his voice, Head brought her head up, alert and moved her head to sniff at Warren's feet. Body did the same and the dog got up off the ground to investigate the man.

Gently, Warren lowered himself to the ground and scratched the pup behind all of its ears. He gave a quizzing look. "What is this little guy?"

Seth scratched the back of his head. "I don't really know. I found him underneath his really big arch that opened up into this really big cavern but I got there by going down his really long sloped tunnel and I just kinda found him sitting there." Pause. "It's a really long story. "

"No, no I want to hear." Warren got up and gave him an accusing look. "I want to hear exactly why it is that you seemed to disappear from the face of the Earth last night! Why you didn't come back from your adventure and why I had to be searching for you the entire night, and why you made everyone worried sick? This puppy may be cute, but you are still in trouble."

They stared at each other for a moment. Then Warren burst out laughing. "Just kidding, tell me everything. I want to know where you found this little guy and where can I get one."


***This first part of the story was surprisingly long and will most definitely NOT end here. I just decided to leave it halfway done and to continue it for the next chapter. Once again I want to thank Moondancer5813 for the amazing idea and I hope that this pleases you and does your amazing idea justice.***