Chapter 42: Revelations

Author’s Note: Ok, so I apologize if this update feels a bit all over the place.  I’m not all that happy with it, but I hope you guys enjoy it.  Another huge shoutout to Miss Ivane.  She has once again been a huge help and our collaboration continues to be such a blast.  So if you haven’t done so yet, go check out the Chronicles of Clarke, the link is in the right hand side of the blog!  Go, do it now!  If there are any errors in this, it is entirely my fault XD

Any gathering of the Wyverns is a boisterous affair.  We just can’t help ourselves.  I know it can be a bit… much for those not used to it.  We all tend to talk at the same time, argue a little, laugh a lot.  I know it’s a lot of chaos, though I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And despite my brother’s propensity for avoiding a lot of contact for long periods of time, I don’t think he would either.  Watching him with Cali, the way he glides his hand up and down her back, or how he’ll brush his fingers along her elbow.  Cali does much the same, a little touch here, or a brush of her fingertips there.  I recognize the look in their eyes, the way the eyes almost seem to glow.

It’s good to see.  I’d love any woman my brother brought home because he loves her.  But I always hoped I could love the woman herself.  And I can already see that I will.  But something’s been bothering me.  Cali is what I call a “broadcaster”.  Most regular humans have some form of shielding on their minds.  But just like there are some with natural shields, there are some that tend to broadcast their thoughts.  I’d been able to pick up things from Cali since she arrived.  The poor thing was nervous, but it was much more than that.  I had my suspicions, but I’ll look into a little later.

For now, I was concentrating on my brother.

I’ve never been one to beat around the bush, especially not where my family was concerned.  I wanted the story, the full story from him.  “So Alduin,” I began, watching him carefully.  “You died.”

That silenced the chatter.  We’d all been wanting to know.  No one but me knew how to broach the subject.  After what happened in Bridgeport, I knew the only way to get through painful news was to get it over with.

Alduin told his story and as I listened, images flashed in my mind.  Normally, I had a strict code about not intruding.  I picked up enough surface thoughts that I didn’t need to pry.  But I was making an exception in this case.  I didn’t need my telepathy to know that my brother was hiding something.  I knew him too well.  Even the way he met my gaze, then dropped his for a split second had warning bells going off.  The story that he told was bad enough to make my blood run cold.  But then I got a shock.  A picture of two men I knew too well flashed in my brain.  My eyes narrowed dangerously at my brother, but he was looking at Cali, his hand rubbing her back in small circles, reassuring her.

The Treskers… I had to bring my hand to my lap to hide the fact that it was clenched into a fist hard enough that my nails dug into my palm.  They’d gone after my brother… The realization that he knew their name hit me and it took all my control to keep the growl from escaping my throat.  Me and little brother were going to have a talk.  Yes we would…

If that little revelation wasn’t enough, there was finding out about two new groups.  The Guardians and the Caste.  I’d heard whispers of these names while in Bridgeport, but from what I could tell then, they didn’t operate here much.  There were other Realms, if you listened to those in the know.  I hadn’t liked what I’d heard.  Both sides had their own agendas, and mostly they opposed one another.  Their interest in my brother’s girlfriend made me nervous.  The thought of this Natalya having a connection to them would require me looking into things more and it added another punch to my theory.

<”Luna, what’s wrong?”> my husband asked silently.

<”I’ll tell you later.”>

Pop and I handled the questions.  He and I had shared a look.  Of everyone aside from Roark, he and I had the most contacts within Monte Vista as well as abroad.  Every little bit would help us dig into this more.  And you can bet that we’d be doing a lot of digging.  After everything that’s happened to this family, we weren’t going to let something else happen to Alduin or Cali.

Unless you counted me boxing his ears… which he’d be getting later, that much I promised myself.  But the cries of my son saved him… for the moment.  Thought it was the perfect time to introduce Ryu to his Uncle and his Aunt.  I’d fed him already and placed him in the crib, letting them get a good look at him.

If it were up to my brother, that’s all he would do, I knew.  I could see the pride in his eyes, but there was also trepidation there.  Alduin had never been exposed to kids, really.  Well, it was time for a crash course.  If the look in Cali’s eyes was any indication, my brother wouldn’t have much of a choice in that exposure.  The best way to deal with Alduin was just to go through it, make it quick, like pulling off a bandaid fast.

After I’d placed Ryu in his arms, Alduin had certainly frozen, but it didn’t take him long to warm up to Ryu.  Of course, my son knew just how to get to him too.  Seeing the look on my brother’s face, the same wonder I feel whenever I hold my son had me smiling.  When Cali got into the picture, it was just beautiful.

Of course, I had to howl at the look on his face after Cali whispered something into his ear.  I’m sure it was along the lines of how many kids she wanted someday.  After rescuing my son and laying him down for his nap, we wandered back out into the hall.

Mom and Dad, Pop and Nan had already gone off to do various chores or just go relax.  So it ended up that Roark, Cali, Alduin, and I stood chatting.  Unsurprisingly, Roark and Alduin stepped off a ways while Cali and I gushed over shoes.  She’d been admiring mine, apparently.  “We definitely have to go shopping together before you guys leave!” I told her.  “We’ll make it a girl’s day, just the two of us.”

Roark nodded to my brother.  “Luna’s been looking forward to this visit for a while.”  He grinned.  “She was up before dawn this morning.”

“Wait, Luna?  My sister?  The one who needed three cups of coffee to feel human even at noon?”

My husband laughed.  “Yes, that Luna.”

I could feel Alduin look at me sideways and I didn’t need to see his face to see that smirk of his.  “It’s good to be home.  I’ve missed this place.  And it’s good to see Luna’s home.  How are you finding our dear Monte Vista?”

Roark smiled.  I could feel his gaze on me.  I was always very aware of my husband’s gaze.  “It’s home,” he replied after a moment.  “I was never attached to Bridgeport and had I been stationed somewhere else all those years ago, would have gone there.  But this is home now.”  He eyed me again.

Alduin grinned.  “That’s good to hear.  You won’t have to go anywhere else will you?  Any other deployments?”

Roark shook his head.  “I doubt it.  Few missions here and there, but nothing extended.  This will be my post for the foreseeable future.  What about you?  Luna tells me you’ll be going on to Aurora Skies eventually?”

My brother nodded.  I had to swallow at that.  I knew Alduin was a grown up now.  And that means he would go his own way, but it seemed so far.  We’d just gotten him back… and I realized that I was thinking just like my mother had before I went to Bridgeport.  Sucks when things come back, huh?

“I’m about to go down for my workout, wanna join me, Alduin?” Roark asked.

“Sure, why not.  Cali, you ok here with Luna?”

I rolled my eyes and faced my brother with my hands on my hips.  “Shoo, go now.  I’ll entertain your girlfriend.  Place nice, you two.”

Roark just grinned.  “That’s no fun!”

I laughed.  “Go!  Both of you!”


Roark looked up at the chin bar.  He extended his arms and gripped the bar.  His brother-in-law was on the weight machine.  The two men worked out in silence for a long moment.

“So,” Roark began nonchalantly.  “How long have you been working for the Agency, Alduin?”

Alduin froze.  He slowly turned his head toward the vampire.  “What did you say?”

“I was an intelligent asset early in my career,” Roark continued.  “I dealt with some of their operatives.  Someone like you?  Obviously powerful mediumistic abilities, a Wyvern… you guys have had a reputation for a while, thanks to your grandfather.  Yeah, they’d salivate for a chance at someone like you.”

Alduin thought furiously, thinking of denying it all.  Then he just let out a laugh.  “Great… you and my sister are meant for each other.  Never could keep a secret from her…  Does she know?”

“She suspects.”  Roark grinned as he continued to do pull ups.  “There isn’t much she doesn’t suspect.  And I’m sure she’ll get it out of you later.  But I haven’t told her anything.  I figure that’ll be up to you.  Thought I should warn you though.  You know how she is once she gets on a scent… and let’s face it, we both know you kept something back from your story.”

Alduin winced.  “I’m doomed, aren’t I?”

Roark laughed.  “Yeah, pretty much.  That’s ok, I’ll be right there with ya, when she finds out I suspected and that we had this conversation.  Something to be said for living dangerously, huh?”

The younger man couldn’t help but let out a snort.  “Yeah, if that’s what ya wanna call it.”  He sobered up.  “So, what was the purpose of this conversation?”

Roark was silent for a long time.  Finally, he said, “The one who tried to kill you, you know who they are, don’t you?  You didn’t tell us for a reason.  I can only assume that reason is to protect someone you care about.”

“Yeah… yeah, I gotta figure out that if you know about the Agency, and could put two and two together, you must have a pretty good idea who it was.  I… I know my sister.  She’ll go after them as soon as she knows it was the Treskers.  She’s too impulsive not to.  I hope that you have better discipline.”

Alduin couldn’t see the way Roark’s eyes glowed with a cold light.  “I have enough discipline not to hunt them down like the dogs they are.  For now.  I know my wife, too.  I don’t doubt her courage or her resolve… or the ability to land smack dab in the middle of trouble at a moment’s notice.  I don’t want her going after them.  And she will.”

The two men lapsed into silence, both with their own thoughts, but running along very similar veins.


I looked at the tiny bundle in my arms.  “That’s my beautiful boy,” I cooed.  “Who’s a good boy?”

Ryu let out a giggle and a coo.

I lay my son back into his crib and stretched a little.  It had been a good day.  Seeing my brother and Cali had been much needed.  It had also raised questions.  Questions that kept running through my mind.  I wandered into my room, letting it all stew in my brain.  There was my husband, freshly showered and dressed.  “Hey handsome.”

“Hello beautiful,” he greeted.

“So, did you and my brother have a nice workout?” I asked casually.

Roark just grinned.  “We did,” he answered, his eyes gleaming.

I stamped my foot.  “Argh, I hate it when you do that.  Not gonna tell me anything, are ya?”

“Nope.  What fun would that be?  You’ll get it out of him tomorrow, anyway, right?”

Grumbling under my breath, I let out a sigh.  “True enough.  C’mon, let’s relax for a while, then get some sleep.”

“Great idea.”


“So, was it as bad as you thought?” Alduin asked as his girlfriend settled onto his bed.  He was as giddy as a school boy to be able to sleep in the bed he’d grown up in with the person who meant the world to him.  Just as it had been like some kind of wonderful dream to watch her meet his family and see the way they just… folded her right in.

Cali’s smile was beautiful. “I am in love with your family,” she murmured.

He pulled her close into his arms.  “I’m so glad to hear you say that.  They’re in love with you, too, in case you didn’t notice.”

“Oh yeah? What’s not to love right?” She grinned flirtatiously and flicked her brows at him but she couldn’t quite suppress the shudder as Why would they love you?  You bring nothing special to them ran through her mind.

Alduin grinned at her.  “Cold?  Well c’mere, I’ll warm you up.”  He waggled his eyebrows at her even as his lips covered hers.


Chapter 40: The Newest Wyverns

Author’s Note: This is a smaller update, but I figure you guys would enjoy it ^^  Not a whole lot happens, so sorry if anyone is bored XD  Let me give a shoutout to Blamsart!  I used at least one of their poses in this chapter and will be using many more later!

To:  Baby Brother (970-541-1234)

Subject: Hey Uncle Alduin!

Ryu says: “Aren’t I cute, uncle Alduin?  Mommy says that you had better come to visit me soon or you’re going to have a whole family reunion come down on your head.  I wouldn’t make her mad.  Mommy means it.”

Alduin stared at the picture of his nephew that his sister had just texted to him.  He had to admit, even with him swaddled in blue like that, the kid was cute.  Of course, he didn’t know the first thing about kids.  In fact, as cute as the kid was, Alduin wondered how his sister handled something so fragile.  He had to grin at the message, at least the first part.  The second part had him gulping.  He knew his sister meant that wholeheartedly and he had no doubt whatsoever that everyone would come, including the baby!  A shudder passed over his frame and he grimaced.  Taking his phone out, he sent a quick reply: He’s adorable, sis.  He’s gonna be a real cutie.  You don’t know how happy I am that the both of you are ok.  He hit send.

Next thing he knew, his phone was ringing.  He winced when he saw the caller ID.  “Hey, Luna.”

“Don’t you ‘hey, Luna’ me!”  Alduin gulped.  He was used to his sister’s banter.  What he wasn’t used to was hearing her voice crack like that.

“Oh, c’mon, Luna, you aren’t crying are you?”

“So what if I am?  I have a right to cry.  Are you ok?”

He thought about making light of it, as he normally would have, as he often did with Cali.  But this was Luna.  And if she was upset enough to be crying, he owed her more than that.  “I’m alive, sis.  Which I count as pretty ok.”

“Alduin…” she warned, sniffling.

The thought of Luna actually breaking down on the other end of the line had him panicking.  “Luna, really.  I’m fine.  There’s some… residual pain, but I’m fine.  I promise.”

“You better be,” she murmured, swallowing.  He could hear her take a deep breath.  “When are you coming home?”

“Thought about after the term is over.”

“You’re bringing, Cali right?”

Alduin chuckled.  His sister didn’t have a subtle bone in her body and the innocent way in which she asked that had warning bells glaring in his head.  “Yes, Cali will be coming with me,” he told her, tongue-in-cheek.  He’d let Luna stew a bit. Except, he knew very well that she had no patience.

Luna growled over the phone.  “Don’t get cute!  I want the scoop on her little brother!  You guys are an item, aren’t you?  I want details!”

“Crimeny, Luna,” Alduin laughed.  It was good to hear Luna’s voice, even when she was prying information out of him.  “Yeah, you could say we’re an item.  I promise, I’ll tell you all about it, ok?  Promise.”

“I’ll hold ya to it.  Just remember, don’t even think about trying to get out of visiting with your Cali.  I guarantee if you try, you’ll have an invasion.  Is that understood?”

Alduin rolled his eyes, rubbing his free hand on the back of his neck.  “Yes, ma’am.  We’ll be there.  I’ll give you flight info later, alright?”

“You better.”  Her heard her breath hitch.  “And take care of yourself, Alduin.  I mean it.  I-I love you, little brother.”

“I love you, too, Luna.  Take care of yourself and that little guy, ok?  We’ll see each other soon.”


I had to wipe away the tears as I hung up my phone.  I wanted my little boy.  I couldn’t be sad when I was holding him.  I opened the door, then stopped.  I quietly closed the door.  Tears stood in my eyes.  “There ya go, little man,” my husband murmured, “all changed and fed.  That’s my boy.”

As I watched the tableau, my throat constricted.  Watching Roark hold our son, hearing the love in his voice brought home just what I had.  My brother was safe, I’d get to see him in a few weeks.  I had a husband who loved me and a beautiful little boy.

I must have made a noise… or maybe he could just sense me.  Whatever it was, he turned around.  He smiled.  “Hey, look.  There’s your Mama, Ryu.  Isn’t she gorgeous?”  Our son cooed in answer.  Roark laughed.  “See?  He knows the way to a girl’s heart already.”

I sniffled.  “I used to tell my brother roses did the trick.”

Roark laughed as he gently lowered Ryu back into his crib.  After placing a gentle kiss on his son’s forehead, he went to me and picked me up in a bear hug, then found my lips with his.

I sniffled some more.  “What’s this now?” he asked, putting me at arm’s length.  “Baby, why are you crying?”

“M-must be hormones,” I murmured, looking away, “residual hormones.”

“Luna, baby, talk to me,” he murmured, putting a hand on my shoulders, holding me in place.

“I-I just got off the phone with Alduin.  I knew he was ok, but… hearing his voice…  I got weepy.  I went to go cuddle Ryu and there you were with him.  It just… made my heart melt.”

Roark smiled.  His smile was soft and tender.  And it never failed to make my heart turn over.  He picked me up and carried me into our room.  He just sat down on the edge of the bed, holding me close.  He didn’t say anything, just held me close for a long moment.

I couldn’t help laughing, though.  “Snic, you’re snoring, there girl,” I murmured, raising my head to look at the dog that had decided our bed was the perfect place to sleep.

Roark snickered.  “Silly mutt.”  He leaned over and ruffled the dog’s fur.  Snic was one of Roark and Cyn’s dogs.  She had a sister named Snac.  I haven’t had much of a chance to introduce them.  Both are pure bred collies.

Snic gave a groan and picked her head up.  Yawning, she stood up and padded out.  I imagine she was going to go find Ares.  Snic and Snac were fitting in just fine around here.  I had my suspicions.  They were getting along really well. Snic had taken quite the shine to Ares and Snac adored Apollo.

Roark kissed me gently.  “I love you.”

I linked my arms around his neck.  “I love you, too.  I love you so much.”

“I think you’ll feel better once you go take a shower, stand in the spray like you like to.”

I nodded.  That was a good idea.  I reluctantly got up and padded into the attached bath.  After a good long shower, I wandered out.  My husband lay on our bed, looking relaxed.  He smiled at me and winked.

“You look comfortable.”

“Just waiting for my wife.”  He stood up and followed me out into the hall.  Then he grabbed my arm, spun me around and dipped me toward the floor, covering my lips with his.

Mom walked by.  “If you two want some alone time, that’s perfectly fine with me.  I’m going to go and spend a bit of time with my grandson.”  She walked right into the nursery and shut the door.  Roark and I laughed.  Our son is quite the hit, as you can imagine.

His gram adores him.  Gramps does, too.  Soon as Dad gets home from the hospital, he makes a bee-line to the nursery to get a bit of time in with his grandson.

Of course, Pop and Nan dote on their first great-grandson something fierce, too.

Even his Aunt Cyn can’t resist him.

She was leery at first.  “W-what if I drop him?” she asked fearfully.  But Roark just laughed and he gently laid Ryu in her arms.  Cyn looked down into his eyes and the wonder on her face was something to behold.  “H-he’s so tiny,” she murmured.  “And so cute.”

Between all the people in the house vying for his attention, it leaves Roark and I time to just be together.  Even though it’s still winter, one of our favorite things to do every night is just to go out and sit in the snow, looking up at the stars.


It never ceases to amaze me the capacity for caring that my family has.  I knew they’d welcome Roark and his sister into our family.  And even knowing that, watching them handle her, even in one of her fragile states, is something else.  She’s taken to watching the gardening channel with Nan just about every night.

Just this evening, they unveiled something they’d been working on.  My great-grandmother had had quite the garden once upon a time.  Pop and Dad has spent the last few days digging through the snow, taking the plants and then replanting them in the greenhouse they had built.  Now, Cyn can care for these plants at all hours and not have to worry about weather or more importantly, the sun.

She was ecstatic.  We have a hard time getting her out of the garden, now.

But she’s very happy.  Even ventured to get a part time job at the Science Center here in town.  It took a little convincing.  She’d loved the job in Bridgeport, but she was still getting used to Monte Vista.  It’s a good sign though.


Well, my suspicions were confirmed!  It seems Snic is pregnant with a litter of pups.

Boy, is this house going to be a full one before too long…  And I can’t wait.  Before too much longer, Alduin will be home for a while, and I’ll get to actually meet his girl.  Life is good right now.


Chapter 39: Unbreakable Bonds

A/N: Ok, first off, sorry, got a bit wordy on this chapter lol and not as many screenshots to go with the words.  Still, hope you enjoy it.  HUGE shoutout to Miss Ivane once again.  Head to the link on the right side of the page to check out Alduin and Cali’s adventures and figure out just what’s going on with Alduin!  We did a lot of collaboration with this chapter.  In fact, the conversation between Cali and Luna is all her and I going back and forth.  So definitely check it out and I hope you enjoy!

So, our child still refuses to appear.  I was hoping I could avoid a C-section but if our little one doesn’t decide to show themselves soon, I go in next week for the cesarean.  I was eating some of my Nan’s apple pancakes (she makes some of the best pancakes, really.  Why yes, pancakes have been one of my cravings, can ya tell?).  Pop had scored a plate of them too, while Nan had grabbed some of the leftover Goopy Carbonara.  “Don’t worry, sweetie.  It’ll be ok,” Nan told me.  “Babies seem to have their own set schedules and never mind what those who are waiting for them want.”

Pop nodded his agreement.  “Yes, your mother decided she was going to come a wee bit early… on our prom night.”  He grinned at Nan, a shared memory that made Nan chuckle.

“Yes, she did.  And your Pop here… he managed to panic so much that he forgot we weren’t going to prom.  Had even changed into his tux.  So he looked pretty handsome in the hospital room, though.”

Pop chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck.  “Thought I was prepared.  Turns out, not so much.”

I grinned.  I’d heard the story a couple times.  But I never actually tired of hearing it.  “Yeah, I know.  I just… want to hold them so much, ya know?”

“Oh we know, sweetie,” Nan murmured, sympathy tinging her voice.  “We know.  You will soon, though.”  She grinned again.  “We’re all looking forward to your little one’s arrival.”

“Your mother just told me of a dream she had the other night about getting to hold her first grandchild,” Pop said with a grin.  “I think she’s just as anxious as you are.”

I grimaced, then laughed.  “Yeah, she and Dad both.  They’re trying to hide it, but I can tell.”  Just the other morning, Dad and I had been chatting after a quick snack.  Well, I had had the snack.  Dad, I think, just wanted to talk.

“You’re taking your vitamins, still right?”

“Yes, Dad.  I’m still taking them.  If I don’t, Roark comes in, shaking the bottle and giving me that look of his…”

He laughed.  “Good for him.  He’s only looking after you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I grumbled.  “I know, I know.  Just tired of feeling like a beached whale.”

I could tell Dad was fighting to keep from grinning.  “Still smarting a little over the lecture he gave you the other day?”


The incident Dad was talking about happened a few days ago.  I’d noticed that the bathroom attached to our bedroom was filthy.  Roark’s first day at the base here had been earlier in the week, so he’d been unable to clean anything.  Without really thinking anything of it, I decided it was time to fix the leak in the shower.  So I took a monkey wrench and began tightening the connections.

I made a little bit of a mess on the floor, so I cleaned that up.

And since I was there, might as well clean the toilet right?

Except… well, when Roark got home and found me bending over so precariously over the toilet, he had a few choice words for me.  “What under the Plumbob are you doing?” he growled at me.

I have to admit that I jumped a bit and whirled around.  My cheeks heated and I glared at him.  “You don’t need to scare me!”

“Luna,” he ground out, obviously trying to find patience.  “You are nine months pregnant.  What are you doing in here?  Did you actually fix the shower too?”  He smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand.  “She’s trying to give me a heart attack,” he muttered, more to himself than me.

“Wait, you’re a vampire… can you even have a heart attack?” I asked him, smiling widely.

He just gave me a dark stare.

“You can’t be doing this!” he finally exploded.  “Your doctor- who happens to be your father-, your mother, your grandmother and grandfather have all told you to take it easy.  Is this taking it easy?”

“I’m not a child, Roark,” I told him in a low voice, my eyes narrowing.  I was a grown woman, yet he made me feel like I was back in high school again, getting a lecture from one of my teachers for disrupting class or something.

He blew out a breath and stepped toward me, putting both hands around my waist as he stared into my eyes.  “No, you aren’t.  That’s true.  You’re my wife.  My very pregnant, very stubborn wife.”

I framed his face with my hands, pursing my lips a little.  “I know you mean well.  And I know I probably shouldn’t be doing things like that at this stage.  Though… if it would induce labor, I’m all for it, really-“

“Luna…” he warned, his voice low, though I could see the smirk he tried to hide.

I grinned at him.  “I honestly didn’t think anything of it, babe.  Really.  It wasn’t like I was defying orders… I just didn’t think anything of it.  I’d been meaning to fix the leak and the bathroom needed a good scrub down.  So I just did it.”

He frowned.  “And what if you had fallen?”  I opened my mouth to retort that I hadn’t fallen but the look on his face stopped me.  “Luna, I couldn’t take it if anything happened to you, or to our baby.  I know nothing did and I’m very grateful for that.  But the fact is, it could have.  You’re already almost three weeks over-do.  And you said yourself your balance isn’t at its best, right?”

I sighed.  “No, no it isn’t.  I’m sorry, ok?  I’ll be a good little girl.”

“Oh, c’mon.  Don’t be like that, please.”  He stepped back a bit and placed his hand on my very swollen stomach.  “Hey little one, tell your mom that she needs to take care of herself, huh?  She’s gotta be ready for when you decide you’re ready to face the world.”

The expression on his face as he spoke to the life that was growing within me, then when he looked up at my face had me swallowing back any comment as well as a few tears.  I know he worries about me.  Worries about our child.  I also know I’m not the easiest person to deal with at times, either.  So I have to give him a lot of credit.  If I were him, I might have throttled me quite a while ago.


I grimaced.  “No.  No, I know he was right.  Though if you tell him I said that, I will make you pay for it, Dad.  Just so you know.”

Dad snorted.  “Uh huh.  Sure, baby girl.  Whatever you say.”  He got up and patted me on the head.  “Don’t worry, you’ll get to hold your little one soon enough.”  Roark and I had purposefully waited to find out the sex of the baby.  We wanted to be surprised.  Of course, we were hoping to have already met our little one by this time.  They had other plans, apparently.


In other news, Cyn has settled in quite nicely.  She really loves her own little space.

We added a desk for her at her request, so she has a place to put her laptop that she brought with her.  And Mom and Dad even had an extra washer and dryer installed in the garage for her to use.

She’s been spending most of her time up there, on her own.  She’s never had a place just to herself.  Roark was a bit too leery of it because of being in Bridgeport.  That place wasn’t easy on her.  Since she’s been here, she’s only had a few episodes and most of them she’s been able to take care of herself.

Roark went up to visit with her.  He says she seems quite content there.


All I can think about when I lay down to sleep is the baby.

Roark holds me as we fall asleep.  Only three more days, and then it’s time for the C-section.  I really shouldn’t be this worried.  Dad’s told me everything is fine.  I’m healthy and all the sonograms have assured us that the baby’s healthy too.  I just… want to hold my baby.  Patience has never been one of my virtues, if you couldn’t tell.

Knowing I’ve been having trouble sleeping, Roark suggested we do look at the night sky for a little while.  This time, he made sure I wore more appropriate attire.  It was still definitely cold, though it wasn’t quite as bad as it had been.  Spring would be there before too long.  I cuddled close to my husband’s side.  Husband… I still find it a little surreal to call Roark that.

It was a pretty night, clear skies with a small crescent of a moon.  I’d always loved the outdoors.  And there was something about getting to share it like that with Roark that took my breath away.  I giggled at something he’d whispered in my ear, when I froze.

A sob escaped my throat.  Images flashed through my mind.  I heard two gunshots, and saw my brother fall.  There was darkness, then there was a strange red glow.  The images stopped and I found myself in my husband’s arms as he carried me inside to our room.  “Roark,” I whispered.  “Al-alduin.  Something happened to my brother!”

He looked down at me as he laid me on our bed.  Worry creased his brow.  “You just lay here.  I’ll go talk with Jeff and Draco.  We’ll make some calls.  We’ll see if we can’t figure out what’s wrong.  Are you ok, Luna?  You’re awfully pale.”

I sat up and nodded.  “I’m fine, I want to come with you-“  I stood up and I could feel something loosen within me.  My eyes widened and I grabbed at my stomach.  “Roark,” I drew in a pained breath.  “Roark, the baby… my water just broke!”

He whirled around, his eyes as wide as saucers.  “Wait, what?  NOW?!”

“Yes now!” I shouted, a scream ripping from my throat.

Leave it to my child to choose NOW to decide to make their appearance.  After that first initial panic, Roark got it together.  He called for my Dad and Mom who came running.  They knew the gameplan.  Mom already had my bag ready.  Roark led me out the door, acting like a bit of a drill sergeant.

He helped me into his truck; it had 4-wheel drive and would be the only thing that would get us through all the snow still on the ground.  As he drove, his knuckles white on the steering wheel, he kept shooting me glances.

“Breathe, baby, breathe.  That’s it, in and out,” he coached, his voice soothing.  I had tears running down my face.  All I could think about was my brother.  I knew the vision for what it was: I’d seen something happen to him.  It wasn’t a vision of the future.  It had actually happened.  But even as I thought about that, the pain in my abdomen and other regions ripped another scream from my throat.  I had to concentrate.  I couldn’t do anything for Alduin right now.  Oh Watcher… Alduin, you had better be alright…

We got to the hospital in one piece and I waddled my way through the front door, Roark right there with me.

The staff came with a wheelchair and wheeled me off to the room.  The contractions were getting worse.  The pain made me hazy.  They got me into the room.  I’ll spare you the details here.  I have to say, Roark was a champ.  I owe that man several apologies.  It’s a good thing vampires are more resilient.  I’m pretty sure I would have broken his hand otherwise.  And I know I told him if he told me to breath one more time, I was going to beat him with the nearest blunt object.  But we survived it.  After close to six excruciating hours of solid pushing, our son, Ryu Alaric Wyvern, was born.

I wanted out of there as quickly as possible.  I wanted to get home.  Since Dad is Chief of Surgery at the hospital, there wasn’t a lot of arguing they could do.  So Roark and I took our son home.  We got back and I laid him in the crib.  The same crib that I had slept in when my parents brought me home.

Once I had laid my son down, I went out of the nursery.  Pop, Dad, and Roark were there.

“Has anyone heard from Alduin?” I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.

“Not yet, baby,” Dad confirmed.  He looked worried.  “Can you sense anything else?”

I shook my head.  After that first initial vision, there had been a tightness in my chest, like I couldn’t breathe.  Even after I’d given birth, I’d felt it.  But now…  I frowned and tried to concentrate.  It was hard to lower my shields.  I’d spent a lot of time learning how to put them in place.  Taking them down fully required effort.  But as they came down, I saw my brother laying on a bed, a young woman hovering over him.  I opened my eyes and blinked rapidly.  “I-I think he’s ok…”  I took out my phone.  “I’m going to call him.”

I walked out to the kitchen, my hands trembling as I hit the speed dial again.

The phone rang four times.  My heart sank with each ring.  Until I heard it pick up.  I almost cheered until I heard a very tentative- and very female- voice answer, “Hello?”

“My brother… This is Luna.  Is my brother ok?”

There was no answer for a long moment.  “Please… is he alright?”

I could hear the woman on the other end of the line- Cali.  This had to be Cali, the girl Alduin had told me about.  “I’m not sure exactly what happened, Luna,” she responded, “but he was shot last night.”

I had all I could do not to let out a wail.  Alduin… my little brother…  I was shaking, but I couldn’t make a sound.  She rushed on a little bit.  “I don’t know who did it… I just… saw him… and…”  Her voice broke.  I could tell she was on the verge of tears, maybe a total breakdown.

So I had to keep my voice steady, even a little soothing.  “What condition is he in now, Cali?  This is Cali, right?”

“Yes. I’m Calysta… He’s still unconscious, but he’s… recovering. The gunshots are… gone.  We’re back at the dorm.”

My eyes widened and I pinched the bridge of my nose.  In some way, that made sense.  It seemed everything was ok.  That pressure in my chest had disappeared and I didn’t feel anything from Alduin.  Yet I could still feel him, where I hadn’t been able to before.  I had to pull in a deep breath.  “Ok, back up.  Start at the beginning, ok?  What happened to my brother?”

I could hear a deep gulp of breath and when she began talking, I could barely keep up with the words.  “We were just hanging out at the theater.  Then he just asked me to run.  I was outside and I heard gunshots and I just ran in and there were these two guys screaming in frint… and then I saw Alduin-“  Here, her voice splintered, sounding shattered, “…there was blood all over the place.  He was still conscious and I just held him and…”  She stopped.  My own heart was hammering hard enough that I thought it would crack a rib.  “He died, Luna,” the girl whispered.  “Alduin died.”  I saw black for a moment.  Darkness closed over my eyes.  I knew she spoke truth.

I didn’t even recognize my own voice when I asked, “”What happened next, Calysta?”  She had told me he was alive.  So something had to have happened.  I wasn’t sure what, other than knowing my brother’s abilities with the spirit realm.

“It’s going to sound crazy…”  There was a lot of hesitation in her voice.  It was like she was afraid I wouldn’t believe her.  I waited.  As I listened, I realized how hard all this must have been on her.  The emotion in her voice… she loved my brother.  I didn’t need to be telepathic to tell that.  So I waited and let her get it out.  “…but someone I know came to the scene… T-they helped him.  They opened a way for him”

She hesitated, her voice breaking again.  “…I’m waiting for him to come back. Their magic worked. He’s breathing… The gunshot wounds are gone…”

My mind whirled around.  A door through the Netherworld.  It would have been the only way.  Cali sounded like she needed assurances as if she couldn’t really believe what she had seen with her own eyes.  Though I was holding tears of fear and relief back myself, I kept my voice steady.  “Alduin’s a Wyvern.  He’ll be ok.  He’ll come back.  Just give him a little time.  He’s got you to come back to.”  I let out a breath.  “Cali, when he wakes up, give him a message from me.  H-he has a little nephew now.  He’ll need to come and see him as soon as he has a chance ok?”

“Okay.”  Her voice sounded like that of a child and I knew she must have been going out of her mind with worry. “I’ll let him know, Luna.”

“You do that.  And Cali?  Thank you.  Go on, you’ll want to be there WHEN he wakes up.”  I hung the phone up and just stood there, swaying.

The tears that I had hidden from Cali swept down over my cheeks as I let it all out.  Alduin was alive.  He’d come back to us…  I remembered when he was just a little guy and I could hold him in my arms…

Someone had shot my little brother… I was going to find out who.  And there would be hell to pay.

I turned around and there was Roark.  He took one look at me and opened his arms.  I ran into them and buried my head against his chest, the sobs wracking my body.  He just picked me up and carried me to bed, holding me as I let it out.  I fell asleep with him holding me close.


Chapter 38: The Meaning of Family

We ate breakfast at the dining room table.  Conversation was light.  Roark sat there next to me, his voice quiet when he was asked a question, but otherwise he was silent.  Cyn sat there, looking all around her, sometimes in fascination, sometimes with an almost calculating look.  It was hard to know sometimes just what she was thinking.  My family was welcoming, smiling and joking like normal.  Once everyone had eaten (Cyn had finished her tube of plasma juice; Roark was nursing his, deep in thought), the dishes were cleared.  Nan stood up.  “Roark, Cyn,” she murmured.  “Welcome to our home, both of you.  We have something to show you both.  When Luna told us you were both coming, we had some work done.”

She looked at Roark and smiled.  “I know you worry about your sister, but you want her to have her privacy.  We think this will work nicely.”  She led the way to the garage.  “We had a small room constructed up there ages ago and just hadn’t really thought of what to do with it.  I think we found something.”  She ushered them up first.  I followed them.  I couldn’t believe it.  They’d turn it into a small efficiency apartment, decorated in bright yellows.  It had a mini fridge to house all the plasma juice she’d need, a double bed, a small bathroom, a large TV, and a sink.

Cyn went crazy.  She ran and jumped on the bed, and ran around the little space.  Roark just looked on, tears in his eyes.  “T-thank you,” he murmured gruffly, his arm around my waist.  He looked at my family.  “Thank you, all of you.  This-this-“  He let out a shuddering breath.  “What you’ve done here… I can’t ever repay you but-“

“Hush on this talk of repayment,” Nan scolded, hand on her hip.  “We’re family here, Roark.  Cyn’s family now, so we’re happy to do what we can.”  She smiled as she watched Cyn dive onto her bed face first again.  Pop, his stance much like Roark’s, with his arm snaked around my grandmother’s waist, nodded, grinning from ear to ear.

“Sophia’s right,” he announced.  “Family does what it needs to do to see to their own.  You’re our own now.”  He laughed at Cyn’s antics.  “Let’s let her enjoy herself.  We can all go have a cup of coffee… tea for you, Eclipse.”  I gave him a pout.  I missed coffee…

We all trooped back into the house, leaving Cyn to enjoy her new space.  We all ended up back at the dining room table.  We were too numerous for the island or even the living room now.  Mom, Dad, Nan, and Pop took a seat.  Roark was holding my hand.  After they were seated, he cleared his throat.  He looked at me, holding both of my hands in his.  Then he addressed my family- no, OUR family.  “I want to say something to all of you.  I want to thank you all.  I know you say I don’t have to.  But I want to.  I don’t have experience with a family like yours.  My own… you know who my mother is.  And that, in and of itself, is a miracle.  I made mistakes when it came to your daughter.  Mistakes I regret with all my heart.  I made those mistakes because I made assumptions.  You have welcomed me, the son of someone who has caused you all so much pain…”  I could see the tears in his eyes.  My own watered.

He cleared his throat.  “I didn’t believe Luna when she said you’d welcome me.  I’m sorry for that, baby.  I really am.”  He looked at them all now.  “I love her with all my heart.  I know she told you what happened.  No matter what went on between us, I want us to move on, to look to our future.  Our future together, our child.”  Now I was really crying.

“I just want you all to know that I am humbled by what I have been shown here by you all.  So thank you.”

Pop stood up.  He had a serious look on his face.  “The measure of a person is their actions.  What they do because- or despite- their blood, their environment says a lot about them.  Son, you’ve had a hard life, a lot harder than most.  What you’ve done is just short of miraculous.  You’ve looked after your sister and have done a heck of a job with her.  She’s happy and healthy.  I know her condition can be difficult to deal with.  But you’ve embraced it.  And I see the way you look at our Eclipse, like she’s your whole world.  I can’t ask more than that.”  The serious face fell away and his eyes twinkled as he winked.  “Especially not with this family.  Our women are a bit of a handful, after all.  We try to look after them, but-“  Nan reached up and smacked her husband on the shoulder.

“You better watch it, or you’ll need to be looked after,” she growled.  “Sit down, Draco.”  Her eyes twinkled with mirth… and something else as she looked at Roark.  She nodded.  Even my mother gave him a nod.

I was oblivious to what was going on.  Roark pulled me to him, hugging me tightly.  “I love you, Luna,” he whispered.

With what I’d calling a steeling breath, he got down on one knee.  My eyes must have been the size of saucers.  He pulled a box out of his pocket and opened it.  “Luna Eris Wyvern,” he murmured, “You are the light of my night, that which illuminates my life.  I love you with all my heart.  Please, you would make me the happiest man in the world if you’d agree to become my wife.  I don’t want to go another day with regrets where you’re concerned, baby.”  His voice cracked.  “Luna, marry me.”

He slid the ring on my finger; I couldn’t speak.  I had clapped a hand to my mouth to keep the squeak I knew was coming at bay.  As I looked at that ring twinkling on my finger, I took my hand off my mouth and just looked at him.  Even before, we’d never actually defined our relationship.  We’d never actually been a couple.  Things had just… tumbled into place after our first meeting.  And then things had gone so very wrong.  I’d betrayed Roark, plain and simple.  And because of that, because I’d allowed my own pride interfere, we’d both been manipulated and someone had died.  And yet… there he was, asking me to become his wife.

All of these whirled through my mind at warp speed, but I’d been silent for long enough that I could hear the uncertainty in his voice when he asked, “Luna?  Baby?”

I threw myself at him, a very pregnant woman, my arms twining around his neck.  “Yes,” I sobbed, unable to hold the dam back.  “Yes, Roark.  I’ll marry you.”

He held me tightly, though very conscious of my condition, I knew.  As my family cheered around us, he put me at arms’ length.  When he did, he said, “Luna, I hope you or your family doesn’t object, but… I’d like to take your name.  I want to be a Wyvern.  I-is that ok?”

In answer, I just stared at him.  “Of course you can!” I exclaimed.  Then, I looked at him, an urgency egging me on. “Let’s do it now, Roark.  I don’t want to wait.  I-I want to be your wife.  I-I want a fresh start for you and I.  Can we do that?”

“Now?  I… I don’t mind, Luna, but… don’t you want your brother here?”

“I would love it if Alduin could come back for this.  I really would.” There were tears in my eyes again.  “He’ll understand.  And I’ll make it up to him when he comes home to visit again.  I just… I want this fresh start, Roark.”

He kissed me gently.  “Alright.  We’ll do it now.  Any objects here?”

My family shook their heads.  If any of them were shocked, they didn’t show it.  They just smiled at the both of us.  Mom and Pop got up and went to me.  “Don’t you want a dress baby?” Mom asked me.

“No, Mama.  I wouldn’t be able to fit into one right now anyway,” I told her wryly.  “Y-you understand, don’t you?”

“Of course I do baby.  I do.  It’s alright.  You should at least get dressed though.  It’s cold out there, baby.”

“I’ll be ok, Mama.”  I know I was being ridiculous.  I was still in my nighty for crying out loud!  But… I just wanted to marry Roark.  Maybe it was the hormones talking after all, but I wanted it so badly.  Roark was talking to my grandmother about something, though I couldn’t hear what she said.

Pop seemed to know not to say anything.  He just leaned down a bit and gave me a hug.  There were no words needed.

After a few minutes, Roark went to me and grabbed my hand.  “Your grandmother says we might as well go use the wedding arch in the backyard.  I’m not going to argue with her.  Are you sure you don’t want a coat, baby?”

“I’ll be ok, Roark.  Really.”

And so, we trekked through the several inches of snow to the wedding arch at the back of the property.  Roark and I stood under the arch.  It was cold, but to be honest, I barely felt the wind.  Standing there, just looking at him, knowing that soon enough, we’d be husband and wife, that part of me that was still bleeding, still scarred from the mistakes I had, was finally healing.  Oh we had a long way to go, I knew.  Maybe we’d never fully be at peace over what happened, but we had each other.  And soon enough, we’d have a child to love as well.

Apparently, what my grandmother had been talking to Roark about was rings.  She’d given him the set she and my grandfather had used almost 40 years ago.  So, with my grandparents’ rings, Roark and I exchanged vows with our family looking on.  As he slid the ring on, he murmured, “With this ring, I pledge my life to yours, to unite two lives, and two hearts.  I vow that I will love you, and cherish you with my last breath.”

Tears slid down my cheeks when it was my turn.  I slid the ring on his finger and gave my own vow, “With this ring, I pledge my life to yours, to never give up on you, to treat you as my partner, my friend, and above all, my heart of hearts.  I vow that I will love you, and cherish you until the end of my days.”

We clasped hands.  We were both trembling with emotion.

“Kiss already!” Nan called out after a moment.  It brought out a chuckle from the gathered family.  Roark laughed and he pulled me close, his lips soft and tender against mine.  I didn’t want soft and tender.  My arms went around him and I gave him a real kiss.

When we finally came up for air, Roark took my hand and led me back inside.  I didn’t even notice that my teeth were chattering.


Aurora leaned against her husband, ignoring the cold snow against her bare legs.  “Well… this has certainly been interesting.”

Jeff sighed.  “Yeah, you could say that.”  The wedding was over.  Roark had led Luna back inside already and Draco and Sophia had followed.  “I think they’ll be ok, though.”

“I hope so,” Aurora murmured.  “I think they have a long way to go yet, but I think they’ll get there.  They’ve both been through so much pain, it’s almost cloying for me, Jeff.”

“I’m sorry, Rora.  I wish there was something I could do for you, and for them.”

“Sometimes there’s nothing we can do.  Just give them time.  It’s a beautiful night.  Though… I’m cold now.  Let’s go inside and get some cocoa, ok?”

He laughed and took her hand, pulling her up beside him.  Then they walked inside.


The house was quiet.  Most everyone had gone to bed already, though it wasn’t too late.  I was having trouble sleeping anyway.  I knew I had to do something.  I’d put it off long enough.  Of all the calls I had made, this one was the toughest for me.  I pulled out my phone and looked at it for a long moment, then hit #3 on the speed dial.  As soon as the familiar voice answered with a tremulous “Luna?”, I had to swallow.

“Hey little brother,” I whispered.  “I uh… I have a lot of explaining to do, I know.  I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry, Alduin.  I-I can’t imagine how worried you’ve been.”


Alduin couldn’t quite believe it.  His sister was ok.  He’d feared the worst and had had to argue out of leaving Uni to go and search for her.  Any of the feelers he’d put out online had gone strangely without answer.  But here she was.  He looked at his watch.  He should still have time to meet Cali.  “Yeah, you could say I’ve been worried.  Luna, what happened?”


“I-it’s a long story, little brother.”  Tears stood in my eyes.  I had to fight to keep my voice from cracking.  “If you’ve got a minute, I’ll tell ya about it.  I messed up, Alduin.  Really bad.”  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep my voice steady as I told him all of it, much as I had my mother.  Yet this was harder, somehow.  Admitting to my baby brother how badly I had messed up, how badly I’d handled everything was painful.


Alduin rubbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.  “Luna… Oh Luna.  I’m so sorry.  Is-is there anything I can do?  Are you ok?  Wait, don’t answer that.  Stupid question, sorry.  Are you and the baby ok?”


That brought a smile to my face, briefly.  “Yeah, we’re fine.  You’re niece or nephew is worse than I am, though when it comes to being a night owl.  Won’t give me a moment’s peace, and yet doesn’t seem to want to come out and greet the world.”

He chuckled.  “Definitely your kid, sis.  Ok, spill it.  What’s wrong?”

“Alduin, Roark and I got married today.  I-I’m sorry I didn’t wait.  I know you’d want to be here for it.  I-I just-“  My voice cracked and I had to choke back the sobs.  “I needed to do it.  I needed to make as clean a slate as we could.  I-I didn’t want to wait.  Can you forgive me?”

He was silent for a moment.  “Luna, you shouldn’t have to ask that.  Of course I forgive you.  There’s nothing to forgive.  Though, I think you owe me some cake when I come home, at the least.”

I laughed, the horrible weight I’d been carrying evaporating.  “You got it, little brother.  By the time you get here, you’ll have a niece or nephew to help spoil.”

“Oh you bet I’ll spoil them, I’ll-“  The mirth died from his voice as I heard a noise coming from that end of the conversation.  I was suddenly bombarded with a cacophony of noise.  It was panic.  Sheer panic.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, except something was wrong and it involved someone he greatly cared about.  ‘Cali’ flashed through my mind.  It was a litany that he was repeating in his mind again and again.

I didn’t question it, just told him, “Go.  Go to her.”  Then I hung up.  I stood there for a moment, hoping my brother didn’t do something stupid.  I hoped his lady friend was ok.  A shiver ran down my spine.  “Be careful, Alduin.”


The last couple days have been another roller coaster of the worst kind.  Aunt Faye called.  She had two pieces of news for us.  We lost Uncle Falkor last night.  He and Aunt Faye had gone to bed at their normal time.  When she awoke… Uncle Falkor was gone.  He’d had a heart attack during the night and had slipped away quietly in his sleep.  He was buried today in the family crypt with his mom and dad.  Pop’s been pretty quiet, but he has Nan to be there for him.  It’s weird, considering Falkor was a few years younger than Pop.

If that isn’t bad enough, the other news she gave us was about Alduin.  Apparently, she had helped him set up the device he’d rigged himself.  He’d been concerned about his friend Calysta and had made an app that he’d installed on her phone.  It notified not only himself, but the University police, and my Aunt Faye.  She’d waited a day to tell us because she’d wanted to get as much information as she could.  Alduin’s friend had been attacked.  One of the fraternity boys had lured her to a party.  But he’d been the only one there.  This same guy is also being questioned in a rape/murder on their campus.  I had a bad feeling about that one.  I think I know why Alduin had been so afraid for his friend.

He had been going to meet her there when I had called him.  I haven’t quite been able to process that.  The guilt is already mingling with what I have so that I can’t tell the difference right now.  After she’d put up the distress signal, he’d gone there.  He found her, beaten and bloody.  According to Faye, not only had he fought off her attacker, but he’d given him a hell of a beating.  I can’t say I wasn’t happy to hear that, though I knew my brother was pretty sensitive.  He’d feel the guilt of that for a while.  He hasn’t called us yet.  I hope he’s ok.  And I sincerely hope his friend is ok.  Faye couldn’t give us a lot of details about how she was.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I’m as big as a house right now.  I can barely walk.  Even a trip to the fridge can be laborious.

I’m trying so hard not to concentrate on all the negative.  Maybe that’s why my child hasn’t made an appearance yet.  Their afraid because their mother is always so upset.  I’m really trying.  Though it’s hard.  I’m so uncomfortable.  Dad says another three-four weeks and then the C-section.  I hope it doesn’t come to that.  But it’s all up to the little one, I guess.  Hopefully, they’ll decide to make their appearance sooner rather than later.

 Author’s Note: Special shoutout to Ivane’s Chronicles of Clarke.  The link is in the right hand corner.  Calysta and Alduin’s adventures can be seen there if you haven’t checked it out yet!  Go, check it out!

Chapter 37: Brighter Days

Luna rubbed the back of her neck, then stretched a little.  The desk was uncomfortable, especially having to lean over because her belly wouldn’t allow her to push the chair all the way in.  But she didn’t want to stop.  She was almost to the end.  Her cheeks were damp with tears and the paper showed a few blotches from where they had fallen onto the pages.  But her mother had been right.  She’d needed to do this.  Getting it all out was helping.  She thought she’d always carry the twin seeds of guilt and regret within her, but it wasn’t quite so bad now.  Getting it all out was helping, a little.

Something made her look up.  Her eyes lit up and she stood.  Roark stood in the doorway, watching her.  “How are you feeling?” he asked her quietly, going to her and framing her face with his hands.

“Back’s sore,” she confessed.  “But otherwise ok.  Just waiting for this little one to be ready.”  She grinned ruefully.  Her child was taking their sweet time in appearing.  She had been due almost two weeks ago.  Her dad had told her they’d wait another week.  If she hadn’t gone into labor by then, they were going to take the child through cesarean section.

“They’ll come when they’re ready,” her husband murmured.  He looked at the desk.  “Writing again?” he asked quietly.  He seemed to be searching her eyes for something.  “Is it helping?”

Luna nodded.  “It seems to be.”  She swallowed.  She’d been an emotional wreck since the day Alaric had died.  Add pregnancy hormones to everything else and you had a recipe for a lot of crying.  “I-I don’t know how I can ever make up for what I did.  I-“

Roark put a finger to her lips.  “Luna, we’ve gone over that, haven’t we?  We both made mistakes, a lot of them.  We both have to take responsibility for what we did- and didn’t- do.  We’ll get through this.  We will.”

She leaned forward, resting her forehead against his.

“I know,” she murmured.  After a moment, he put her at arm’s length.  “Why don’t I give you a backrub, then you can come back to this, ok?”

“I think I like that idea.”


The night Alaric died… I was in a haze.  I barely remember talking to the cops, guys I knew.  I just remembered the look in all their eyes.  I thought it was accusation, though in hindsight, maybe I thought I deserved it.  Alaric was dead because of me.  Once the questioning was over, I ran.  Roark had been trying to get to me for hours afterward, but I just… couldn’t.  I couldn’t face him, after everything.  I just couldn’t do it.  I hid away.  I talked to no one, I didn’t work…  I ignored phone calls, emails… any attempts to get in touch with me were ignored.  Somewhere, I knew my family must have been going out of their mind.  But I couldn’t face them, any more than I could have faced Roark.

Almost two weeks later, I began to be ill.  Anything I ate would come back up.  After almost a month of that, I finally went out and went to the doctor’s.  When they told me I was pregnant… I broke down and bawled right in the clinic.  I was pregnant…  Oh Watcher, what was I going to do?

For almost three months in total, two months of it being pregnant, I continued to wallow.  I took care of myself, such as it was, though it was really just going through the motions.  And then finally, staring out that window, I realized that I needed my family.  I needed them like I never had before.  And after I told my mom everything… I knew there was one last thing I had to do.  I took a taxi from the apartment and gave the driver Roark’s address.

I knocked on the door.  Roark answered.  When he saw me… I almost burst into tears then.  There was such naked emotion on his face, it hurt to look at him.  He was so focused on the fact that I was there, he didn’t seem to realize I was in maternity wear, nor that I had gained a little weight.  He looked… elated and apprehensive all at once.

He must have starred at me, just starred at me for ten minutes.  Finally, he shook his head, as if coming to.  “Come in, please.  Have a seat.  Do you want anything?  A drink?  Anything?”  I had taken a seat on the couch.  I just shook my head, unable to speak past the lump in my throat.  He sat next to me and silence reigned for quite a while.

Finally, I stood up, unable to take it anymore.  I felt like a coward, among my many other sins.  I couldn’t face him, but I knew I needed to get it out.  “Roark,” I began in a rush, “I’m pregnant.  I-I… I don’t know if you’re the father or not.”

Silence reigned for a long moment.  I didn’t dare turn around.  I was afraid what I would see on his face.  He must have suspected something happened between Alaric and I.  My nerves, already strung out to the breaking point, were perilously close to snapping.  I wanted to sink onto the floor, curl into a ball and just sob.  Just as I was about to give into the sensation, there was a hand on my shoulder, and I was spun around.  The next thing I knew, Roark had wrapped his arms around and pulled me close.

“Luna,” he whispered in my ear.  “Whether I’m the father or not, that child is mine.  You are mine.  We’ll get through this.  I-I can’t tell you what it did to me to see you tonight.  I-I thought I was dreaming.  I love you, Luna.  I’m so sorry, so sorry for everything.  I want to work on things, want us to be together.  Is that what you want, Luna?”

He put me at arm’s length, looking deep into my eyes.  “Yes,” I whispered.  “Yes.”  I did break down then, clinging to him.  He held me as I sobbed, brokenly getting out my confession.  I told him all of it, what happened after I’d left him, how I’d gone to see Alaric again.  The drinks, seducing Alaric… He stopped me for a moment.

“Luna.”  His voice was gentle.  There were none of the recriminations, or accusations that I had been prepared… even welcomed.  There was only love in his eyes.  “He played you.  He was always good at that…”  He swallowed.  “He wanted to drive a wedge between us.  It’s why he told you who we were.  W-when he called me… he told me he’d… been with you.  He said you were beautiful and in the same breath, he told me if I didn’t come to the warehouse, he’d make sure your body was dumped on my doorstep.  My brother was a lot of things.  He’d never been a murderer, though.  But I couldn’t take that chance.  I couldn’t risk you.”  He smoothed a hand through my hair, just looking at me for a moment.  The tenderness made my throat close up.

“R-roark, I don’t deserve you,” I whispered.

He put a hand gently under my chin, tilting my head up.  “Luna, we both made mistakes.  I should have told you from the beginning.  I-I can’t imagine how betrayed you must have felt when you found out.  I-I… And I should have told you why.  I was scared.  Once I realized who you were… once I connected the Wyvern name back to your grandfather… I should have told you.  But I didn’t.”


“And I should have listened to you,” I murmured.  “I should have stayed away from Alaric.  I was just so… angry.  So hurt…  I-I wanted to hurt you as much as you’d hurt me.  I hate that that’s in me, Roark.  A-and I hate what it brought on.  If I stayed and talked to you, if I had been able to put away my pride long enough to listen… none of it would have happened and maybe… maybe your brother would still be alive.”


“We both made mistakes, Luna.  Mistakes we both have to live with.  Alaric… I couldn’t save him.  I lost him years ago.  I thought I’d kept him safe, kept him away from the life my mother wanted for him.  But I couldn’t.  He had always been so angry.  Angry at me, angry at our mother, yet he idolized her.   That anger ate at him.   In the end, though… in the end, I think he found something that helped cool that anger.  You.  Something happened between you that night.  You were able to reach a part of him that I never could.”


I swallowed, guilt assailing me.  “A-all I could see was your face, Roark.  I just- just wanted to stop the pain.  I’m so sorry.  I’m so sorry for everything.  How can you still care for me?”


“None of us are perfect, Luna.  None of us.  If you’ll have me, I’d like to try to work through this, together.  And-and I want to be there for the baby.  And for you.”


I could only nod.  “Y-yes.  Yes I want that.”


He smiled at me, then leaned down to rest a hand on my stomach.  “Hey, little one,” he murmured.  “I’m your Daddy.”

I broke down again.  What had I done to deserve this man?  I couldn’t think of a single thing good, only several things that spoke to the opposite.  Yet here he was…  “Roark,” I murmured.  He straightened and looked at me, tilting his head.


“What is it?”


“I want you to come home with me,” I told him.  “I-I want to go home and I want you and Cyn to come with me.”


He pursed his lips for a moment.  “I have a few favors I can call in.  A transfer to the base in Monte Vista is feasible.  Go, rest.  Let me make some calls ok?”


I nodded, feeling numb somehow, yet full of so much emotion, I didn’t know what to do with it.


While I slept, Roark made his calls.

He woke me up a few hours later.  “Our flight is booked.  I’ve talked to Cyn.  We leave in a week.  Should be enough time for us to get our stuff packed.”


I was… shocked.  I had wanted him to come with me, but I think there was a part of me that didn’t believe he would, not after everything that had happened between us.  But we were going.  I nodded.  “A week.”


The week passed quickly.  Roark and Cyn packed up what belongings they wanted to bring with them.  It wasn’t much, really.  I asked Roark why.  “This was never really home, Luna.  It was the place our mother dumped us in, to get us out of the way.  What little we have packed made it that little piece of home.  All I need is Cyn, you, and the baby you carry.  You need your family, Luna.  We’ll figure out how to deal with all this there.”


That was that.  Once the luggage was packed and the things we didn’t need on the plane were shipped, we boarded our plane.  It was a long flight.  I spent most of it either sleeping or throwing up.  I don’t handle travel well while pregnant, it seems.  But finally, we touched down.  I don’t remember the car ride from the airport.  Roark had slid behind the wheel, Cyn in the back.  She’d let me have the front.  Before I knew it, the car was stopping.  “We’re here, babe,” Roark murmured.


He helped me out of the car and gave my hand a squeeze.  Cyn and Roark looked at the house; I could see the apprehension on their faces.  Me… I was home.  I was home, Roark and Cyn were here with me.

I didn’t expect anyone to be up.  I’d told them we wouldn’t get in till late and not to wait up.  I should have known better.  As we walked in, I saw a familiar shape at the island in the kitchen.  Of course my mother would wait up for us to get there.

“Mama,” I whispered walking in.  She got up and went right to me.  She put a gentle hand on my arm.  There were tears in her eyes.


“Welcome home, baby,” she murmured.


Roark and Cyn stood there for a moment, not sure what to say.  But mom turned to them, smiling.  “Welcome, both of you.  I’m sure you both are exhausted.  Cyn, there’s a bedroom upstairs for you to use, dear.  We have a bit of a surprise for you, but it isn’t ready quite yet.  There were some delays.  You can have your dogs just explore.  Ares and Apollo will be glad of more playmates, I’m sure.”  She turned to Roark.  “Welcome to our home, Roark.  Take my daughter to bed and see that she gets some rest, will you?”

Mom turned back to me.  “I managed to convince everyone to sleep tonight.  But I imagine they’ll be awake early and they’ll all want to see you and to meet your young man.  Go rest baby.  You look very… drawn.”

We easily took her advice.  Roark put his arm around my waist, helping to support me.  I realized I’d been swaying on my feet.  He walked me to my room down the hallway.  It hadn’t changed in the three years that I’d been way.  It was still the same.  It was home.  He tucked me into bed first, then slid in next to me.  I curled up next to him.  I was home.  Roark was next to me.  For the first time since everything happened, a tiny seed of hope had begun to bloom.

As exhausted as I was, I only managed a few hours of sleep.  The baby had been moving around a lot and when they finally settled down, they had decided that settling on my bladder was the perfect position.  I got up to go to the bathroom.  I looked down at Roark who was still sleeping.  Still a bit incredulous that he was here with me, I just watched him for a long moment.  I didn’t want to disturb him, so I left, thinking I’d see what leftovers there were.  In our house, there were always leftovers.  As I approached the kitchen, I heard the soft murmur of voices.


My throat closed up.  Dad and Pop.  I could picture just what they were doing.  They’d been doing it since I could remember, sitting at the chess table, talking about anything and everything.  As I walked out, I saw them just where I knew I would.

As soon as they saw me, Dad got up to give me a hug.

Immediately after that, he had to lean down to press a hand to my swollen stomach.  “And how are you feeling, baby girl?  You look tired.”

“The next person to tell me that, I may have to smack,” I told them, a ghost of a smile tugging at my mouth.  It was already good to be home, but there was still a part of me that felt… detached, even separate.  Dad laughed, giving me another hug.

“Leave the girl alone,” Pop admonished.  He grinned at me.  “Welcome home, our little Eclipse.  It’s good to have you back.”  He pulled me into a close, but gentle hug.

“It’s good to be home, Pop.  It really is.  I-I’m sorry.  I-“  Pop shook his head.


“You have no reason to apologize.  I want you to do me a favor, baby girl, ok?  I want you to try to forgive yourself and to relax.  It isn’t good to be so stressed with the baby.  Try to cut yourself a break, ok?”

I could only nod, unable to speak past the lump in my throat.  “Love you, Pop.”


“We love you too, Eclipse.  Now, where’s your young man?”


I had to snort.  “Pop, he’s actually older than all of you, you know.”


He snorted.  “He’s your young man, so hush.”


I could feel an actual smile forming.  It was the first one I could remember in quite a while.  “Whatever you say, Pop.  Anyway, he’s still sleeping.  The baby decided they wanted to keep me up, but I thought he should still sleep.”  I grinned.  “I figure he’ll need to be tip top to have to deal with our crew here.”


Throughout everything, I had never doubted that my family would accept Roark.  Was he the son of Elvira Slayer?  Only in the most biological sense.  He was a good man and I knew my family would see that.  I know he was worried about how they’d deal with him, and he had told me that he fully expected them to be upset, considering who he was.  But he beat himself up about that more than anyone, even if he was as far from his parents as it was possible to be.  To find that I was right, it helped steady me.  That’s what family did.  They helped steady you when your foundation had been rocked.


Before too long, I heard the door to my room open and I went to see him.  He kissed me, then pulled away.  “How do you feel?”


“Better,” I told him truthfully.  “I-I needed this, needed to come back home.  Thank you.”

“I want what’s best for you, Luna.  For you and the baby.”


I nodded.  I realized that, realized that was all he wanted.  I teared up.  “I know.  I know that.  Thank you.  My family wants to have a chat after breakfast, ok?”


I could see the apprehension come back into his eyes, but he nodded.  “Of course, baby.”  I wanted to reassure him, but I realized that wouldn’t work.  He’d need to experience it himself.  So I smiled at him.  He’d see.  He’d been right.  We’d get through this, together.


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.


Chapter 12: On to Childhood

Doesn’t seem possible… but my little girl is about to become a child.  As has been the tradition, we had a small party, just the family.  Sophia took her to the cake.  Somehow, she’s the more practical one of us in this regard.  Much like my mother, there was a large part of me that wanted Aurora to stay little forever.  However, I know better.  And so, the whole family gathered around the cake to watch Aurora grow up.

“Candles, mama, candles!” she babbled.  “Down, down!”

My wife obliged and leaned down so that Aurora could blow out the candles, though Sophia helped her a bit. Once the candle was blown out, we sat her on the floor.  She stood up and whirled around as the sparkles hit.

And now my baby was no longer a baby, but a child.  She took herself to the mirror, politely refusing her mother’s offer of help.  Hm, she’s already pretty independent.  Going to have to watch out for that…  But I have to say, my little girl is beautiful.  I’m not biased at all, of course…

After we all sat down to eat cake, I was sitting there, feeling a little nostalgic and maybe just a touch melancholy as I thought about how fast time flies.  Aurora came over to me.  “Daddy?”

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Don’t be sad.  I’m still your little girl.”

“Oh, Aurora…”  She wrapped her arms around my neck and gave me a tight squeeze.  “That’s right, you’ll always be my little girl.”

“Love you, daddy.”

“Love you too, my little Northern Light.”

While we were gone, Mom and Dad contracted for some work to be done around the house.  The dogs have their own little covered porch just for them.  They thought about enclosing it, but since they are all long-haired dogs and the cold doesn’t bother them with their fluffy coats, they left the walls open.

Mom and Dad did this because they added on a separate nursery, taking out the space that had been their area up in the top right hand corner there.  I jokingly asked my parents if they were giving us a hint by any chance.

Dad grinned at me and winked.  My mother protested, though I could tell by the hint of the blush on her cheeks that she certainly wouldn’t mind another grandbaby.  Sophia and I are open to it, but we’re not forcing the issue at the moment.  If we have another one, then we have another one.

Dad confided in me that mom is boasting about her granddaughter to anyone that will listen; like when she heads to the Elixir Shop to consign more of her serums.

There is also a pool with an adjacent hot tub as well.  “A pool hm?” I asked my dad as we looked out the window.

My dad shrugged.  “What kid doesn’t want a pool?  What adult for that matter?”  He laughed.  “See?  Looks like your wife is already enjoying it.”

I looked out, and sure enough, there was Sophia, floating languidly on a little inflatable raft.  I joined my dad in laughing.  “Well then…”

Looking back on the pictures from when Mom and Dad first started out, it’s hard to believe how far they’ve come.  They started with what amounted to little more than a one room shack.

They worked and scraped by more often than not, relying on the money from dad’s paintings or mom’s potions or anything that the dogs ended up finding in order for us to have this now:

It’s humbling to think about really.  It makes me appreciate things even more.  They’ve given me the tools to be able to raise my daughter in comfort and make sure she wants for nothing.  I’m more and more grateful for that every day.  It’s the kind of thing that lets me run around after my daughter in a simple game of tag without having to worry about whether there will be enough money for food the next day.

Haven’t written in a while, mainly because it’s been a bit of the same, day in and day out.  Aurora started elementary school, of course and is doing even better than I did, I think.  She doesn’t ride the bus, preferring to use her powers to get her there.  I’ve been steadily progressing within the department and am very close to getting a promotion to being a traffic cop.  Sophia is still diligently working on her Sim-Fu.

In other news, though, both Gage and Gabe have become elders now.  Like their father, though, it hasn’t seemed to slow them down.

There’s been another doggie birthday; Hercules is now a mature dog.

And as you can see, now that he’s big enough, he’s already become protective of Aurora and he often sleeps in her bed at night.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news.  My wife received a call a few days ago that her mother wasn’t doing well.  Her father has been gone for a little while now.  Since Aurora was born, Sophia hasn’t been close with her family.  As mayor, a teenage daughter who became pregnant doesn’t look very good so except for a few phone calls every now and again, Sophia had no family but ours.  They’ve never even met Aurora.  It never really bothered my wife, though.  She had never been that close to her parents or to her older brother.  But still… when the inevitable call came from Eli that their mother was gone, it was difficult for her.  Imagine our surprise when Sophia was left with half of their estate.  Over $300,000.  Maybe Adalina had regretted cutting herself off from her only daughter and from her granddaughter and this was a way to apologize for it.

We talked for a long while about whether to accept it, but finally, we decided that we would use it for Aurora, put it in an account for her for University or anything that she wanted it for later on down the road.  Which… she told her mother just the other day that she really wants to learn about photography.  We have an old camera around, so Sophia gave it to her so she can start practicing now.

Winter’s here and it’s been pretty bitterly cold.  Normally, it’s not quite this bad.  The deep snow is keeping us all inside.  Mom and Dad have been up in their master suite for a while, just enjoying each other’s company.

I have to admit, Sophia and I are following their example.  What?  Aurora’s in school, so have to enjoy our time when we can, right?

Despite the cold and the amounts of snow, my little girl loves the outdoors enough that she goes up to my parents’ balcony and sits at the table out there to do her homework.

Oh and did I mention that my little brother got an award from the school?  His time in the art club (a way to keep close to Faye, from what my father has said) was good for him, got him socializing a bit more.  He’s proudly displayed the little trophy on his dresser.

Speaking of my little brother, we’re actually getting ready because in two days, he’ll be turning into a Young Adult.  He’ll join the rest of us in the work force.  He’s been a bit close-mouthed about what he wants to do after high school.  We only know he doesn’t want to go to University.  He’s done with school, he says.  We’ll see.  I have to go help get things ready.  We’re not having a big party, just the family- and Faye, of course.

Chapter 11: China and Back Home

I just spent the last little while reading over my mom’s previous entries.  I’ve known the family lore since I was a kid.  Mom never kept it from me.  And I look back and can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel the power that ran through me, so it’s not that I didn’t believe her.  Still, it’s odd to look at it from her perspective.  Compared to some of my friends’ parents, she was definitely… different, some would say odd.  She just didn’t come from the same world.  What must it have been like for her?  I don’t think I ever really thought about it.  From where I stood, she was just my mom.  She was unusual, but no one could dispute how beautiful she was.  I always loved her; she was my mom.  But after reading and after really thinking about it, I realize how amazing she really was.  Not because she’s the Queen of the Dragons.  No, she’s amazing because she’s my mom.

Hm, perhaps that’s a bit too philosophical.  Mom gave me this to record our lives.  My little brother always said I tended to over-analyze and think a bit too much.  It’s just always been my way.  Though joining the force seemed a bit counterintuitive from a certain perspective, it works for me.  The puzzles are right up my alley… even if said puzzle is just figuring out who took the last donut from the breakroom…

Sophia and I are doing very well.  We’ve been together since we were teenagers and even though we just became young adults, it seems so very right.  Though Aurora was not planned and we were young, I really can’t imagine my life without my wife and my daughter.  Were we too young?  Perhaps.  Do I regret anything?  How can I when I have a beautiful, smart, and funny wife to share the rest of my life with?  Or when I look into my precious daughter’s eyes?

Graduation was held the day after our wedding.  Sophia and I both graduated with honors.  For some reason, the others voted me as Most Likely to Take Over the World.  A joke, I think.  My lovely wife was voted Most Likely to Become a Sports Star.  The whole family came out.  Mom, Dad, and Falkor sat in the front row, Aurora taking turns on each of their laps.

As a surprise, mom and dad presented Sophia and I with tickets to go to Shang Simla.  Sophia and I had talked about going there at one point, before we knew that Sophia was pregnant.  But we figured it could wait until Aurora was older.  “Draco Maxim Wyvern,” my mother told me sternly, standing with hands on her hips.  “You and Sophia deserve to have some alone time together.  You’re married now and the two of you need a bit of time to get away.  Your father and I want some alone time with Aurora anyway.  We should be allowed to spoil our granddaughter a bit without the two of you underfoot, hm?”

I knew that look all too well and quite frankly, I was powerless to resist it and to resist the way that she and my father looked at me.  Dad’s hand rested on mom’s shoulders as he stood behind her, looking at me over the top of her head, a little grin on his face.  My mother’s face was stern and brokered no argument.  Swallowing, I swooped my mother up in a bear hug and spun her around then planted a wet kiss on her cheek.  “Alright, mother.  Thank you.”  I looked at my father and grinned.  “Both of you.”

My mother picked up Aurora and tickled her even as I ran to find Sophia to tell her that we were going to Shang Simla and that she needed to pack immediately.

Sophia was ecstatic.  She was packed and ready in record time.  The taxi showed up and took us to the airport.  It was a long flight.  Sophia was able to sleep for most of it.  I spent time reading and listening to my SimPod.  Finally, after many hours and two layovers, we arrived in China.

The landscape was gorgeous and so very green.  I couldn’t help myself; I grabbed my wife and kissed her soundly.  “We’re here,” I murmured in her ear.

She grinned and threw back her head, laughing.  It was good to hear it.  We both loved our daughter but we really hadn’t had a lot of time just her and I.  We were parents before we really got a chance to see who we were together.  This honeymoon is going to be a great way to see, both together and separately, who and what we are.

From: dragonprince
To: bigdaddydragon
Subject: Checking in

Hey Mom and Dad,

Soph and I made it to China fine, just like we told you when we called.  Sorry if we were a bit… incoherent.  It was a long flight, but it was well worth it.  We really can’t thank you enough for buying the tickets.  Sohpia’s been dying to learn Sim Fu since she was a little kid and now she’s finally gotten the chance.

She’s already an orange belt.  The master at the Academy seems quite impressed with her discipline and her determination.  That’s my wife alright.

While Sophia trained hard, I decided to go exploring.  As you know, I’ve always been fascinated with knowledge.  History has always been one of my favorite subjects.  So you know I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to explore the Halls of the Lost Army.  I uh… might have lost my head a bit and just “dove” right in.

I found some very interesting things though.  Sophia says I was as giddy as a school boy when we met back up at basecamp that night.  We were both so tired that we ended up sharing how our days went and then we just lay down together.  Before we both knew it, we were asleep!

How are things at home?  How’s Aurora?  Though we’ve been busy, she’s never far from our thoughts.  What’s Falkor up to?  I’m writing this at the table while I grab some breakfast, so I’m gonna sign off now.  Today promises to be another whirlwind day.  I’ll check in with you later though.  Give everyone our love.

Draco and Sophia

From: bigdaddydragon
To: dragonprince
Subject: RE: Checking in


Your mom and I were very glad to hear that the flight went well.  Believe it or not, we actually understood all the tired-talk.  Comes from raising two kids and listening to toddler babble.  Which, your little one is doing less and less of.  In fact, she and Nana are quite the pair.  ‘Rora likes to lean over and whisper secrets into your mother’s ear.

As for Uncle Falkor, she’s also got him wrapped around her little finger, as you can well imagine.  When he gets home from school, he makes a bee-line for her crib and lifts her up into his arms.  He’s completely smitten with her, I think.  Considering how he was when she was first born… I think he was just a little scared of her.  That is most certainly gone now.

And Aurora absolutely loves her Uncle.  We’re in trouble with her, my boy.  I’m glad you’re a cop and that your wife knows how to handle herself… we’re going to need an army to keep the boys away from our little girl, huh?

And when Falkor isn’t spoiling our little Northern Light, he’s composing letters and little poems to Miss Faye.  Yup, you heard right.  He’s gotten quite sappy.  It’s actually sweet, though don’t tell him I said that.  He’s a bit sensitive about it yet.  Though he’s crazy about Faye, it’s a little hard for him to talk about.  He’s always been the more private of us all.

Anyway, loved the pictures so far.  Your mother was a little… worried, I think when she saw you in the tomb.  So if I were you, I wouldn’t tell her TOO much of what you’re exploring.  She likes to think of herself as practical and realistic, but we all know better, huh?  Look forward to your next email.  Be safe son.  Give our love to Sophia and we’ll surely give yours to Aurora.


Dad, Mom, Falkor, and little Rora

From: dragonprince
To: bigdaddydragon
Subject: RE: Checking in

LOL Dad,

Ok, I’ll keep my harrowing pictures to a minimum.  Though got some fun shots of the tombs.  China really is amazing.  Sophia and I really are having a lot of fun.  Though we’re doing some separate activities, we both return to basecamp at night and just spend time in each other’s arms.

Sophia has already reached her green belt while we’re here and her master suggested a sparring match against another of his students.  She was amazing.

She won the first and only just lost the second one.  But it was still very impressive, all-in-all.  Oh, I have a great picture for mom.  I think she’ll appreciate the symbolism.

It’s called the Dragon’s Maw.  You know I just had to go check it out.  Here are some rather innocuous pictures of the inside of the tomb.

That’s about it.  I’ll be sure to show you the rest of the pictures when we get home.  We’ll be heading to the airport shortly.  Gonna be another long flight, but we’ll there about midafternoon for you guys.  Love you.  See you in a few hours.

Draco and Sophia

Sophia and I touched down a little ahead of schedule, thankfully.  Adventuring is great… the actual traveling not so much.  While mom and dad paid for first class seats, no flight that lasts over 15 hours is comfortable after a while.  As the taxi headed toward home, Sophia looked out the window.

“Penny for your thoughts?” I asked her, drawing her against me.

Smiling, she snuggled close.  “It’s good to be home.  As nice as it was, I’m glad we’re back.  I can’t wait to see Aurora.  I missed her.”

“Yeah, I did too.”  She laid her head on my shoulder and we both looked out the window at the familiar scenery.  Home was just around the corner now and we both wanted to catch sight of it, together.

Aurora was waiting for us.  Mom and Dad had brought her out with them.  Sophia was the first to scoop her up.

Then it was my turn.  Aurora seemed awfully happy to have her Mama and Papa back.  She wasn’t put down for quite a while.

But eventually, we all sat down to catch up a little.  Mom and Dad wanted to see the other photos that I hadn’t sent via email.  After showing them off, we went to look for Aurora.  Apparently, even in the three days we had been gone, she had gotten rather adept at hiding.

Once we found the little Simkin, we got her put to bed.

Then it was our turn to head to bed.  We were tired from the flight.  So Sophia and I bid our family goodnight, then went to bed.  As I held my wife tightly while I drifted off, I could hear the familiar sounds of the house I’d grown up in; the creaky floorboard right above our bed, the noises coming from my little brother’s room next to ours.  A smile curved my mouth.  It was good to be home.


Chapter 10: The Passage of Time

The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind.  Though there are five of us, caring for a toddler is still very busy, especially with Draco and Falkor still attending school.  They’re doing well.  Even as attentive as he is with Aurora, Draco’s grades have remained steady and he’s managed to hold onto his academic standing.  We’re very proud of him, of course.  Oh yes, so I was describing how busy it’s been.

While I have come to love our canine companions, Glena is a bit aggressive and doesn’t seem to feel any loyalty to anyone but Gage.  I was working on doing some cleaning up while it was quiet in the house when the quiet was shattered by Glena carrying on.  This wasn’t so unusual; she seemed to bark and growl at anyone or anything… and being that we were still plagued by paparazzi on a regular basis, we had almost gotten used to the noise she could produce.  Except this didn’t stop… and it had a different quality to it.

As I stepped out into the hallway, I gasped even as the sparkles engulfed her.  When they cleared, there was a tiny fluffy little shape there.

Draco named the little guy and has decided to call him Hercules.  So welcome little Hercules Wyvern.  We’ve decided he will be Aurora’s since they will be growing up together.

Now that we have a puppy and a toddler in the house, it’s quite a bit more lively, even more than it was with three teenagers in the house, though one of them is now a Young Adult.  As if that weren’t enough, David celebrated his elder birthday, by himself, in the kitchen.  It’s just been so crazy lately that none of us really thought about it.  Though time has begun its ravages, he is still one of the most handsome man I’ve ever met (aside from our sons, of course).

That night, everyone else had gone to bed and David and I took the time to sit together and enjoy each other’s company over some leftover spaghetti.  “So, my Queen,” he rumbled.  “Do you regret losing your immortality now?”

I could only stare at him askance.  Even after all this time, Sim humor often left me a bit confused.  “What are you talking about?  What brought this on?”  I’m afraid I was rather distressed.

David just laughed and reached for hand.  “I’m sorry, love.  I shouldn’t tease you.”  He brought my hand up to his lips and brushed them over my knuckles.  “I hope that I’ve given you a fraction of the happiness you’ve given to me.”

“Oh David.  I never knew what I was missing,” I murmured.  “This is all just so much… more than I ever thought it could be.  I love you so much, only more so now.”

“Even now that I’m old and wrinkled?” he asked, squeezing my hand and winking.

At least now I was fairly sure he was kidding.  “Yes, even now,” I responded, rolling my eyes.  A sigh of contentment escaped.  “I look at our children and at our grandchild… It’s almost overwhelming, in a good way, though,” I hastened to add.

He nodded.  “Yes, yes it is.”

It hasn’t been ALL craziness.  Falkor is quite taken with his little niece and I often find him sneaking into Aurora’s room.  As soon as she stirs, he has her out of the crib and playing with her.  It’s very sweet, though he seems just a little reluctant to admit how much he enjoys being Uncle Falkor.

It seems that our little Northern Light is carrying on the tradition, and is indeed an heir of the Dragons.  She’s already exhibiting powers.  She seems to be more prepared than even her father was; I would say she almost takes it for granted, in a way, as if this is perfectly normal.

I have been in the Sim Realm for over two years.  In the life of a Sim, that is a very long time.  Yet, in my old life, it would have been nothing.  And yet, in that time, so much has happened.  I met David and fell in love.  We created two beautiful children and watched them both grow into children, then into teenagers.  And while it hasn’t been without some grief and some stress, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Even as I celebrate the last birthday I will experience, I can only look back on my mortal life and feel very blessed.

Though it is probably a silly thing to worry about, I found that gray hair clashes horribly with my skin tone.  I have never been vain, but found that I missed my normal hair color so Sophia helped me color it, though I didn’t mind a hint of the gray showing through.  I thought it is a kind of badge of honor.

David and I have changed; our bodies are old now.  I can’t help but be aware of time as it passes.  It’s in my nature.  Yet, when David grabs me and holds me close, it’s as electrifying as the first day we met and he held me.  After over two years of marriage, we still are as passionately in love as we were in the beginning.  And yet, somehow, there is… MORE than there was.

We are enjoying our time with our granddaughter.  There’s something to be said for being grandparents and getting to spend your ‘declining’ years spoiling them.

Though we never really had ‘jobs’, such as they were, David and I are determined to enjoy the rest of our days with one another and with our family.  Today, Draco is no longer a teenager.  David baked the cake and we all stood around, waiting as my oldest child stood there, thinking upon his future, trying to decide what he wanted to wish for.

After the sparkles hit, he took himself to the mirror and dresser.  My son, Draco Maxim Wyvern, the heir of the family.  He is certainly handsome, like his father.

Aurora is still very much a daddy’s girl.  She just loves Draco so very much.  She waddled up to him and begged to be picked up as soon as he finished dressing.

After he’d given his daughter sufficient attention, he asked to speak with his father and I.  Sophia and Falkor both gave us privacy.  David and I sat on the couch while Draco perched on the coffee table, looking at us.  “Mom, Dad.”  Draco let out a short puff of breath.  “I know I always talked about going to University before getting a job.  But… I have a family to think about now.  I… I’ve decided that I’m just going to join the Force.”

I could only stare at him a moment.  “But Draco… you always wanted to go to University!  You and Sophia wanted to go so badly…  You know we’d look after Aurora!”

“Oh I know that Mom!  I do.  And it’s not that I don’t trust her with you.  You’re the only ones I would.  But… I just can’t leave her for that long.  Even doing it a term at a time… I don’t want to miss her growing up.”  He smiled at us.  “A degree just isn’t as important as she is.  I’ll just have to start at the bottom, work my up, that’s all.  And really… I think the more practical experience is important in law enforcement.”

What he said made sense, but I couldn’t help but feel he was sacrificing something for his family.  I sighed and leaned forward, putting my hands on his knees.  “If this is what you want, then you know we’ll support you.”

He hugged us both and then immediately left to go fill out an application at the precinct.

Once he returned, he and I discussed the wedding.  Neither or Sophia wanted a big one.  It just wasn’t important to them.  We set up an arch in the backyard.  Sophia did insist they both wear formal attire.  Her mother had given her the gown she had married her father in.  So David took Draco and had him fitted for a tux.

They were married in a private ceremony as the sun set.  There was a light rain, but David said that it was good luck.

It was simple and yet so very beautiful for the simplicity.   Look at that… my son is married, with a child of his own.  Time moves on.  But I don’t fear it as I did when I first arrived.  In fact, I look to the future, not to my own future, not really.  I look to my children and in turn, their children.  This might be my last entry.  It’s Draco’s turn now.  For those of my descendants who may someday read this, I wish you all the happiness life can bring.  Enjoy it.  Cherish it.


Chapter 9: Grandchild Spam and Take 2 for a Prom Night

A/N: Warning, the first part is completely toddler spam because Aurora is just too cute and a lot of this is actually autonomous, other than the skill teaching.  Her interactions with the family are just adorable so I took a lot of screenshots XD

Aurora really is our little light.  She’s always so happy and good natured.  Even when she’s hungry or has a dirty diaper, there’s a little grin on her face when someone goes to take care of her.

Teaching her her skills has been a treat.  Sophia and Draco are so good with her.  They dote on her so.

They aren’t the only ones of course, though.  Her grandpa, her Uncle Falkor, and I sneak in what time we can get with her as well.

While she loves everyone and loves the attention, there is no doubt that she’s a daddy’s girl.  Whenever Draco’s anywhere around, she reaches for him and when he plays the Claw or Tickle Attack, she just shrieks with delight.  No one else seems to get quite the same reaction.

Though Sophia and Draco are wonderful parents, David and I are still adamant that they are as normal teenagers as possible so when the final prom was announced, we insisted that they go.  Falkor was already going with Faye.  He’d asked her ages ago.

So on Sunday night, Draco, Sophia, and Faye loaded up into the limo.  Falkor was a bit late in getting ready, but he followed after them shortly.

It was a rather eventful night apparently.  Falkor was crowned Prom King, while Sophia was crowned Prom Queen.  Draco had just shrugged and grinned.  “She’s already my Queen,” he murmured to his girlfriend as they regaled us of tales of their night.  While the kids’ humor at the prom was a bit off, no one could doubt that Sophia and Draco were the favorite couple at the dance; no one doubted how in unison they were.  Draco couldn’t help but tease his brother a little bit.

“I’m not the only one with his Queen,” he snickered.  “Little brother over there… ask him what Faye told him tonight.”

As he fidgeted and glared at his brother a moment for putting him on the spot while David and I waited expectantly, he finally shrugged and mumbled, “She told me she loves me.”

“It was really sweet,” Sophia added, sighing dreamily.

All in all, it sounded like they had a very enjoyable time.

They all proudly displayed their mementos from the occasion.

Oh and when the kids came out of prom, Sophia celebrated her birthday.  I’m very glad she got this last chance to be a teenager before she joined the adult world.

Both of her parents made a beeline for Aurora’s room so they could see her and say goodnight.  Draco put her on the potty, and then her mama put her to bed.

And to leave you with more cuteness