It was only two in the afternoon, nearly two months after the raid and two small people were feeding.
Xander and Spike carried their twins to the next suite as the others settled for their afternoon nap, and Xander joined Jon as both parents heated bottles of milk and formula for their respective charges and their early afternoon feeding ritual.
Eddie and the wonderful three, were happily resting in their bed in the next door suite as three vampires and two extra tiny bodies joined them. The older cousins had their own drinks but were ‘old hands’ at feeding the little ones and held the bottles confidently as the babies sucked. Meanwhile the Childer exchanged blood quietly with their Sire. Eddie sat watching the scene, just happy to be in from the garden and resting with family.
The dark haired vampire seemed to have ‘blossomed’ since discovering his origins were tied to his adoptive Sire’s. For Eddie and the children, it really should not have mattered… but seeing their ‘father’ so happy there was a reason to rejoice.
And Jon adored his petite partner.
It was more than four years since their capture by the Initiative. At barely five feet tall on tip toes, Eddie had ‘filled out’ since their Initiative escape. Initially his pregnancy was to blame, but the past nearly two years of caring for three children meant he was working hard, not ‘working out’. In all truth, his small frame carried too few ‘squashy bits’ to appear portly, but he was rather conscious of his ‘lovely French tummy’, (as Spike always named it when referring to his lovely Xan’s matching tiny ‘paunch’)… But both Spike and Jon were very insistent that their partners simply had that ‘little soft bit to hold onto when making love’, ‘adorable’ and ‘loveable’ and ‘not to be removed’!
Though Eddie was pretty to a fault he, like Xander, was still missing an eye. (The ‘family’ making the missing parts a celebration as the previous Halloween the dad’s had presented their partners with matching eye-patches). Eddie’s sweet pixie like features were framed by a very thick mop of straight blue black hair that was kept cropped.
In the Initiative, they had shaved him completely, but now his body had his proper cover of short, feathery fine hair, all a pretty ocean blue like his skin. Jon loved stroking it against the nap then smoothing it down again whenever they lay together. The children’s pelts were even finer, and wonderfully silky to touch. It was something their younger human cousins were utterly fascinated by, though there were still some issues about small hands unwittingly tugging hair too hard, that needed to ‘ironed out’. Apparently yelling “Oowww oww owww!!!!” had no effect on tiny pre language individuals… and tiny Elsbeth had Little Willow in tears twice in the previous week!
Jon was utterly enamored by Eddie’s tiny ‘lambs tail’ at the base of his spine, and loved the children’s (whose little ends were covered in adorable soft curly hair that seemed to beg for an extra pat whenever they were being dried after their bath). The ‘extra’ appendage was virtually undetectable under clothes but never failed to extend and stand up if stroked. Eddie’s stood up independently when the little Parsalas coupled with his lover and Jon took pride in being able make it happen even before they started.
But for the beautiful dark haired vampire, it was Eddie’s deep ocean blue eyes framed by impossibly long lashes that ‘did him in’. Eddie gazed at his lover with such adoration that every time their eyes met, the dear vampire could not help but take an unneeded breath and ‘melt’.
Xander and Spike returned to their own bedroom carrying the now sleeping Elsbeth and Christopher, while Jon took away the now empty bottles. It left Eddie to sip the tea his partner had thoughtfully made. The children were all down for a nap, and he had at least an hour to tend to the basket of dry washing.
Xander rested with the babies He was finding the match of vampire hours, the physical work of his wood work and having small children was difficult, and he was still only a fledge himself. Spike kissed him and let him sleep, but Spike was too restless.
On a whim, he wandered back to the other family’s ‘suite’, and for some unknown reason, seeing Eddie sitting quietly sipping tea while folding the children’s clothes, was moved to do something he had never done before. He wandered over and offered his wrist to the Childe’s partner… there was no imperative, it just seemed the right thing. Jon was returning to the room but stopped at the door, and smiled at the tender exchange as Eddie took the precious blood.
And so the little demon felt it… what his partner felt every day, the connection with the Sire, the age and the power of Spike… and the love. There was no way to explain what transpired in the short interchange… but Eddie somehow knew that he too was treasured as much as his partner, and their children would be defended and adored always… they were… blood family… and the Parsalas demon knew that for vampires, that was all. Every challenge to their existence would be met by all the resources of the entire extended household. He’d known that before, but to know it on such a profound level was new.
Spike left as silently as he came, and Jon slid behind his partner as Eddie moved to stand and look at their three sleeping children. They were both still terrified by the thought that they could lose it all, should the Initiative ever find them, and treasured each moment as it came. Pretty long blue hair fell across two of the small faces as they cuddled into their middle sister. Jessie was on her back and her quiet repose and the peaceful little face said it all. Eddie leant back on his beautiful vampire.
They were a perfect fit, the top of Eddie’s head tucked neatly under Jon’s chin. Jon was barely five foot ten, slim and had been a very ‘well toned’ human when turned… He and his true Sire could almost have been brothers. And though when he and his partner had first met, the Initiative had robbed him of everything, muscle, hair and teeth, now his sable locks fell long and resplendent, and like Eddie, he was fully restored. Eddie appreciated his beautiful partner, the hard muscles, the powerful limbs, and the perfect white teeth, high cheek bones and straight nose, and when changed… his fangs… How he loved the fangs. He loved that Jon had a Sire… and a new ‘little brother’. Eddie’s vampire was perfect… And there was always that cheeky smile, dimple just to the right, and the lovely twinkle in the deep green/grey eyes whenever he gazed at his little demon.
It was well over two years since they had met in the most awful of circumstances, and Eddie was still deeply in love. As they stood watching their children sleep, his partner’s quiet baritone broke the silence, “Would you honor me by mating for all time? Sam says the coven would come.”
Eddie, still reeling from the seriousness of the question, had to ask, “You’ve talked to Sam about this?”
Jon was suddenly worried, “I wasn’t sure you would… and so I asked… because Sam is… and I asked Sire as well… I’m sorry… I just wanted to know that nothing bad could…. I’m sorry…”
Eddie turned in his lover’s arms and cut off the worried diatribe with a kiss and few words. “Yes, I will.”
Consequently, on the day before their children’s second birthday, they asked to coven to visit. Sam ‘did the honors’. In the presence of family and friends, and blessed by the coven, the two were formally mated (the latter part of the ceremony behind closed doors of course!). It was the first pairing of a Parsalas and vampire in demon history, and Gaia rejoiced as the positive energy flowed. Though the north-west was in the middle of a freezing mid-winter spell there were five spectacular days of sunshine… apparently *only* in and around their area of Oregon. The meteorologists were puzzled.
Robbie arrived the following day.
They didn’t know. His mother had died three week previously. He had been afraid to come because of the Initiative. The pastor had said something, and in amongst all the ‘arrangements’, Kathleen had warned him not to contact ‘their boys’ yet. But after his dear mother was laid to rest beside his father, her darling Peter, Robbie had to come.
He took leave from his job, closed up the house and drove away. He stopped twice along the way on the first day, just to have a private cry.
In his rush he’d left their address behind. He only knew the town his friends had headed to, so asked for Sam at the local store. Fortunately Sam did occasionally have things delivered. So his pickup bounced up the drive of the new farm just after dark. The house looked all but deserted. But he knocked on the door and was greeted by… Sam with two beautiful, nine month old babies in his arms…
Robbie smiled but Sam knew the look. Robbie was barely holding back his tears as he said “Hi… um… I came… and um… Oh Sam… um she died, I’m sorry … was going to call but then…” Sam bent down, sat the two little ones safely on the floor then pulled the lovely man into his trademark (and guaranteed to make you feel loved) hug. Robbie was so much bigger, but they both ended up on their knees as Robbie hung on and quietly cried. He had not shed tears until now, not freely… not to someone else… And he did miss his mom so badly… He came because somehow he knew they would understand, Sam and the boys… they … would understand.
By the time the rest of the family emerged from their hiding places, Sam had Robbie seated drinking hot tea with little Elsbeth patting his face.
Robbie noted Xander’s extremely pale visage and frowned a little, he worried for the health of his friend. Xander saw the look and despite holding Christopher on his hip, the vampire pushed his free wrist into Robbie’s hand for the trained fingers to test his pulse. Xander whispered, “Seems sometimes giving birth? Not such a good thing for blokes…” Winked then added more loudly, “Lucky my best friend is a witch who can ensoul and the partner is a vampire huh…”
Robbie felt for the non existent pulse. Robbie’s eye’s went wide “Ohhh… But that means you’re??…” then baulked a little as Xander flowed in and out of game face to demonstrate fully what his new status really was.
Spike stepped up behind his lover, “Hard times make for hard decisions mate, but good things came of it. Xan here and I… well we’re together forever now.” He kissed his partner gently, “But we’re all right… Sorry to hear about your lovely mum. She was quite some lady, and will be sadly missed no doubt.” Robbie accepted a shoulder squeeze from Spike and a one armed hug from Xander as Jon, Eddie and the children entered the room.
The big ambulance driver couldn’t believe Eddie’s three. They were all so advanced for their size, and shyly but politely introduced themselves to ‘an old friend from the other farm’. Robbie also had forgotten just how vividly blue they were. He could not fail but notice the confident pride with which Jon introduced ‘our children’ to their old friend again, nor the grin on Sam’s face as little Jesse joined her cousin on ‘Grampa’s’ knee.
Sam II, always the most bold, scrambled into Robbie’s lap after first ‘checking out’ the interloper and to Robbie’s amazement, began talking at pace, “*My* Ma and Da got mated ‘esterday and all our friends came. ‘zat why you came? ‘Cause you *have* missed the cake. But I got a new truck that Unca Xan made. Did you know that he’s a *vampire* like Da now. And did you know…” and the little lad kept talking, even as he shimmied down from Robbie’s lap and raced through the house to return with his truck. All but demanding to be lifted up again so the item might be admired, Robbie couldn’t help himself, he roared with laughter, still grieving and tired beyond belief, it seemed that the little fellow’s chatty exuberance was indeed the salve he needed .
Finally Eddie rescued their lovely big friend from Sam’s show and tell, as the other two also started to drag out their favorite toys in to be admired. All three talking at pace was just a little too much for anyone. Eddie distracted all three children with a late night snack then ushered them to bed with an apologetic look to their guest.
Sadly for Sam, that night held horrors, and the visions weren’t just local. The children remained sleeping as did Robbie, but the others rose to tend their afflicted benefactor.
There was another massacre imminent. The entire resistance network had to be notified… quickly.
After The Fall: 28