Chapter 14: A Few Surprises

My little girl… I probably should stop calling her that, shouldn’t I?  She’s not so little anymore.  It seems like before my very eyes she went from a little nooboo wrapped in her little pink blanket and now she’s a teenage, going for her first day of high school.  Before I know it, she’s going to be a young adult and off to University… find a guy and-… Ok, gonna stop there.  I REALLY don’t want to think about that kinda stuff at the moment.  Not where my daughter is concerned.  As I was saying, she went to her first day of high school today.

Just like when she was in elementary school, she comes right home and heads up to my parents’ deck to sit out there to do her homework.  She’s just not much of an inside girl.  I don’t blame her.  She certainly takes after her mother.

My wife still insists upon spending time outside, training, no matter the weather.  At least we haven’t had a repeat of before.  I don’t think I could handle another episode like that, honestly.  I told her that the other day and she laughed.  “Oh, please.  You’re as fit as I am.  You’ll live to a ripe old age.”

“Not if my wife has a habit of scarin’ me half to death,” I retorted, grinning.  I do have to admit, though, watching her work out certainly isn’t a hardship.  There is definitely something about a woman who knows how to handle herself.

Luckily, the weather is starting to warm up and now everyone’s gettin’ in on the pool action.  Including my parents and my daughter.  I might have snuck in there once or twice as well, though I’ve been too busy with work lately to really enjoy the nice weather or the pool.

Monte Vista is a peaceful place, for the most part, but we have our share of petty crimes.  We also have quite the reputation for investigative work and often are asked by other towns or cities for assistance.  I’m a Lieutenant now so I have a small division to look after, to oversee.

It’s rewarding work, though it keeps me away from home all hours of the night and day, but I spend what time I can with everyone.  Once I rise a bit more in rank, I’ll see about slowing down a bit, maybe.

I’m gonna be an uncle!  Faye’s been out sick for a little while and I found out why today.  It was my day off and I was just relaxing on the couch, watching some TV for once, when I happened to look out the window and saw Faye come waddling up to the door.  Yup, waddling

I recognized the gait.  Sophia had walked just like that.  And hey, I’m paid to observe.  “So that’s why you’ve been out of work!” I exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear.  Then I turned to look at my brother.  “You knew!  How could you not tell us!?”

He shrugged and winked at me, throwing an arm around his fiancé’s waist.  “We wanted it to be a surprise.  Right, love?”

Faye smiled sheepishly.  “He told me I wasn’t allowed to tell.  And to be honest, I didn’t realize what it was at first.  Just thought I had some bad food at the diner.  But when it continued, I suspected it was something else.  I got a test and sure enough… When Falkor came over to visit and help me with my parents, I told everyone.  Then he swore me to secrecy.”

Falkor held up a hand before I could yell at him some more.  “Part of it was because I wanted everyone here and you’ve been busy lately.  The other part was because Faye’s morning sickness has been pretty bad and she hasn’t been out of bed much.”

“That’s true.  Haven’t wanted to get up or I risk another mad dash to the toilet,” my future sister in law murmured, making a face.

My brother kissed her, then leaned down to rub his girl’s belly, murmuring to their unborn child.

Then he pulled her close.  “I’m gonna be a daddy,” he murmured to her.

Then he turned to us all.  Everyone had gathered in the living room once Faye had arrived.  “I’m gonna be a father!” he announced.  There were cheers and tears and lots and lots of hugging.  Of course, there was talk about the wedding as well.

Even with Faye being pregnant, with her parents’ health declining, they’re pushing the wedding back a little bit.  Though it’s delayed, they see each other every day as it is.  If she’s not at our house, Falkor’s at hers when he isn’t at work.  I overheard a conversation between Dad and Falkor as I was coming into the kitchen to grab something to eat before work.  The two sat at the table.

“You don’t have to worry about it.  We have plenty of room here.  You know that.”

“I know that, Dad, and Faye does too.  But we’ve talked about it.  Draco’s the oldest.  The house is his and his family’s.  It’s ok, really.”  He grinned.  “Being in our own place will give us a little space to spread out, provide more grandchildren.  You can’t tell me you and mom don’t want more.”

Our dad laughed.  “No, I suppose I can’t tell you that.  And while your mother and I would rather keep you all here, with us, we understand.  Well, I do.  Your mother will pretend not to, but she does.”

I stepped out then.  “Falkor, you guys don’t have to leave.  Really.”

My brother let out an exasperated sigh, then laughed again.  “Not you too!  Draco, what I just told Dad is true.  It’s what Faye and I want.  The house is yours.  It’ll be Aurora’s someday as well.  And that’s fine with us.  Honestly, I’m not sure how long Faye’s parents will be around and they’ve offered us their house.  We’re going to take it.  Don’t worry, we’ll visit all the time.”

As much as I wanted to argue, I really couldn’t.  I wanted my brother and his family here, with us, but everyone has to find their own way.  Hadn’t I told my wife just that when she had talked about how Aurora seemed so very alone?  Aurora made that choice.  She does things her own way.  That’s all Falkor and Faye would be doing.  We may not like it, but we have to accept it.  And really, I’m proud of my brother.  Proud of both of them.  I can’t wait to meet my niece or nephew!

I think having Faye around is giving my wife ideas.  We keep talking about having another, but it just hasn’t seemed like a good time.  Sophia is constantly whispering to Faye’s belly and rubbing it gently.  I almost feel guilty about it.  But with as much as I’m working, I don’t want to leave Sophia home by herself with a baby.  And yes, I know Aurora would be there, as would my parents, but still.  I don’t want to miss things more than I already am.

Celestia curled up against her husband.  “I wish Falkor would reconsider.”

“I know you do, my Queen.  I do, too,” David murmured, holding her close.  He kissed her temple.  “But they need to make their own way, you know that.  And it’s not like they’ll be moving far.”

The Queen of the Dragons sighed.  “I know.  It’s not the same though.  But you’re right.”  A soft smile stretched the corners of her mouth upward as she took his hand in her own.

“We’ve done well, haven’t we?”

“We have,” David confirmed.  “We have two beautiful boys who are now very good men.  They’ve found someone who completes them as much as you and I complete each other.  We have a beautiful granddaughter and another grandchild on the way.  Thank you, Celestia.  Thank you for being a part of my life and making all this possible.”

Celestia hugged him tightly, unable to speak past the lump in her throat.  But in her mind, she murmured, ‘Thank you, Lyall.’

Dark red lips curled up into a soft, almost tender smile.  “You’re welcome, sister.”  Lyall sat back from the softly glowing orb in front of her.  It was good to see Celestia HAPPY.  But it wasn’t over yet… The Goddess frowned.  No, it wasn’t over.  But there had been a beginning.  And the wheels were in motion.  They could only hope that what they were doing would work…

Today’s been a rather exciting day.  I got home to some chaos.  Apparently, Aurora had been chatting with her aunt Faye about her favorite subject: photography.

According to her, she was going to ask her aunt to pose for her when she stopped, getting a funny look on her face.  “It’s time,” my daughter murmured softly.  Not a moment later, Faye froze and clutched at her belly, letting out a wail.

Yeah… I think my brother lost his mind a little bit.  At first, he began to laugh hysterically, then just hop around like a fool.  I can relate.  When Sophia went into labor, I was a mess.  Eventually, though he recovered his head enough and he took his laboring fiancé to the hospital.

The rest of us met them there, though we waited out in the waiting room.  A few hours later, my brother came running out, a grin threatening to split his face open.  “It’s a boy!  It’s a boy!”  There were another round of hugs and tears all around.  We went in and visited with Faye and the baby for a little while and then took our leave, leaving Falkor with his family.  As we left though, Faye called to Aurora.  “Rora, how did you know?” she asked her curiously.

It took a while for Aurora to answer, but finally, she shrugged.  “I could feel it.  I… can feel things from people.  I actually felt him at that moment.”  Before anyone could comment on that, she darted out.  Sophia and I shared a concerned look.  We’d have to talk to our daughter later on.  We’d give her space and some time first, though.

Falkor emerged after his fiancé, still feeling on cloud 9.  In her arms, Faye held their son, Rickie Merik Wyvern.

When they got to Faye’s house, Falkor took his child into his arms and just looked down at him, smiling softly.  “Hello there, little one.  Welcome to the world.”

Things have calmed down a little, at least as calm as they can get around here.  Faye and Donald are still living at her parents’ house, but alternate arrangements are being made as we speak.  My daughter had her prom tonight.  She took my breath away.  She was beautiful.

Her mother and I waited up for her, of course.  No matter how much Sophia told me not to, I couldn’t help it.  I’m a protective papa, guilty as charged.  Soon as the door opened, I leapt up.  “How was it sweetie?”

My daughter laughed.  “It was great, dad!  I couldn’t stop looking at all the different dresses.  The way the light glinted off all the jewelry.  I really wish I’d thought to bring a clutch so that I could have taken my camera!”  We all took a seat in the living room so she could regale us of tales of her night.  She gushed about the shapes and the colors, the lighting and the way the angles and composition… frankly, makes my head spin a little.  Unfortunately, she certainly didn’t inherit her artistic talent from me.  That would be her mother and grandfather.

She did tell me that she got rejected for a dance.  Immediately, my hackles went up.  “What!?  Someone rejected you?  Who?  What little-“

“Draco!” my wife commanded sharply.  I subsided, but sat there brooding.

“Dad,” Aurora murmured, leaning over and putting a hand on my knee.  “It’s ok.  Really.”  The way she looked at me had me frowning.

“Aurora… baby, what you said to your aunt.  About being able to feel other people.  What did you mean?”

She sighed and didn’t answer right away.  “I asked Gram about it when I was younger.  She calls it empathy.  It seems to have to do with the power that runs through us.  Aside from the abilities that all of us have, we all seem to have something else as well.  You’ve always been really perceptive and it’s why you’re such a good cop.  Grandma has a multitude of different powers, but because she’s trapped in mortal form, they’re weaker than what they were.  Me, I have this empathy.  I can feel what other people are feeling.”

“Oh baby,” Sophia murmured, looking down.  Then she looked back up.  “I-is that why you prefer being on your own or with just us?”

Aurora nodded.  She smiled at her mother.  “It’s alright, truly.”  She stood up and gave both of us a hug and kiss.  “Don’t feel bad, ok?  I probably should have told you before now, but I’m alright with it.  It’s as natural as breathing, really.  I’m going to go to bed.  I love you both.  Night.”

We murmured good night, and then Sophia and I stayed up a bit longer, talking about this newest revelation.  “What do you think?” she asked me, standing up.  Almost without words, we headed outside.  Like our daughter, we both enjoyed the outdoors and star gazing was one of our favorite pastimes.  And it was a good, clear night.  So we settled ourselves on the ground.

Sophia sidled close and I tucked her against my side.  “Well?”

“I think that she’s got it handled.  I wish she had told us earlier though.  If for no other reason, just so we’d know.  It can’t be easy for her, constantly feeling what other people do.”  Sophia nodded in agreement.  We sat there in silence for a long time, then we went back inside.

Sophia went to bed.  Before I joined her, I opened the door to Aurora’s room, just to check on her.  I grinned when I saw her dresser.  She had told us that she had won Prom Queen.  She had lovingly placed the crown and the picture there.

I closed the door, then slipped back to our room and slid into bed next to my wife.  I smiled softly as I slid into sleep.

The last few days have been hectic.  Got a break in a huge case my squad and I had been working.  And with Faye still on maternity leave, I spent a lot of time at the station.  If I wasn’t there, I was writing reports on the computer.

And I’m going to be busy for the foreseeable future… Faye came over today, like usual.  She’s pregnant again.

Apparently, my brother hasn’t quite figured out how that happens… I say that with a hint of sarcasm, but actually, I’m very happy for them, truly.  It’s just with being so short-handed, I won’t be home for a while.  Hopefully, by the time the baby is born, things will have slowed down enough and I’ll get a chance to see my nephew and the new baby.

Faye and Falkor are, of course, over the moon about the good news.  It really is sweet to watch them together.  This has pushed their plans back a little bit once again, but they don’t seem to mind.



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