Full Moon Rising

So we’ve made it to the full moon in this house and honestly? We’re all really excited. Especially Logan. He can’t sit still. He keeps bouncing from one person to another, looking for a lap to sit on and someone to hold him until he find someone else interesting to switch to.

It was cute the first hour. Now it’s just annoying to have a fifty pound dragonet land on your back.

Alphonse is handling the situation well, he’s understandably nervous, because he keeps asking Ben if he’ll change back in to a human again. We’ve all tried to assure him that he will, but until he actually does, I’m not sure that he’s going to believe us.

With all the new child in the house business, we totally forgot about Jude coming home to visit. She timed it right though, arriving that evening after I’d put everyone in their cages for the change. I was running back up the stairs when I heard the bell ringing. Thinking it was the Sheriff with an update, I ran for the front door and flung it open.

“Oh, it’s you. Don’t you know family doesn’t have to knock?” I said.

Jude laughed. “Well that’s one hell of a welcome home.”

“I’m sorry,” I said as I hugged her. “It’s the full moon. I’ve got everyone down stairs already.”

“Even Ben?”

“Yeah. He’s down with our boys.”

“Logan, Mark and Miles.”

“Alphonse too,” I said absently as I shut the door behind her after she came in.

“Who is Alphonse?”

“Ben and I are adopting Alphonse,” I said over my shoulder. “Are you coming to meet your grandson or not?”

I opened the door to the basement with one hand after gathering up my blankets and things. Looking back at her, I waited while she stared at me with her mouth agape. Then the laughter started. It was answered from below with a bellow that told me the change had already happened.

“Oh, I can’t wait to hear about how this happened,” Jude said as she followed me down to the basement.

“It’s a tale, all right.”

I stopped and opened up the cells for Mark and Miles. Miles leaped out of his and padded over to Jude. He started mouthing her hand, which made Jude laugh and scratch his ears.

“Don’t encourage him,” I said as I walked past them and opened the doors to the dragons.

I was greeted with tears and a little blonde boy running in to my arms. I handed Jude some of my things and wrapped Logan in a blanket before scooping him up and cuddling him close. I looked over at Jude, whose mouth was agape again. I smiled.

“Logan meet Grammy,” I said to him as he cried in to my shoulder.

Logan sniffed and peeked out from under my chin. Jude smiled and waved at him. That got her a watery smile before he started with the tears again. I started singing softly to him while making my way over to where Alphonse and Ben were curled up together in the nest. I smiled at Alphie when he nuzzled my leg. His deep purple scales made him look like he was black in color.

“Jude,” I called over to her. “this is Alphonse.”

“Oh he’s beautiful,” Jude said softly as she came over and scratched Alphonse’s chin when he let her.

Mark padded over to me and nuzzled Logan’s leg. Logan looked down and gasped, pulling his leg back.

“No Logan. That’s Mark.”

Logan looked down and Mark and smiled a little before looking back up at me.

“It’s okay,” I said to him and set him down with his blanket wrapped tightly around him.

Mark sat down and looked at Logan, waiting patiently. Logan reached a hand out of his blanket and touched Marks head gently. I held in a breath, but when Logan squealed at how soft Mark’s fur was and dived both hands in to it and gripped tightly; I let it out again. I knew Logan would be okay with Mark’s wolf.

Jude laughed and I smiled over at her.

“So this is how dragons have children?”

“You know, I haven’t really thought about it? I’m sure that it’s the opposite for male dragons then it is for female,” I said with a laugh.

“That’s got to be a relief for you.”

“Yes, yes it is. I do not want to think about having to give birth to an egg the size of Logan’s before he hatched.”

Jude started laughing again and Logan made his way over to her. He looked up at her and smiled. Jude held her arms out and Logan held his up to her. She cuddled Logan close and sighed.

“I always wanted this, you know. I always wanted grand children.”

“Well now you’ve got two.”

I spread out my blanket in Ben’s arms and crawled in, covering myself with the other one. Ben leaned his head down and nuzzled my shoulder. I smiled up at him as I scratched his chin.

“After the wedding, we’ll think about more kids big guy.”

Ben rumbled in response.

“Why do I get the feeling you won’t leave the whole ‘big family’ thing alone?” I said to him.

He nudged my shoulder, which caused Jude to laugh.

“This must be an argument that you two have frequently.”

“Pretty much. He just smiles and goes on his way, like that’s going to convince me.”

“I got news for you kid, you’re already building a large family.”

Ben snorted.

“Oh don’t start or I’m going upstairs for the night,” I said to him.

He rumbled at me, distressed and pulled his legs closer to me. Jude smiled at us and let out a little chuckle. That’s when I noticed that Logan was asleep in Jude’s arms.

“Do you want to put him down? He’s asleep.”

“Should I take him upstairs with me?”

I looked over at Mark, who nodded. There would be time enough for him to sleep down here with the rest of us.

“Yeah, it’s okay. He might not be able to talk yet. We’re still working on that with Alphonse too. So he’ll emote. Try your best, but he’ll probably sleep all night. Changing is hard.”

Jude nodded and wished us good night before going upstairs with Logan and closing the door behind her. I settled in to my spot with my book when Mark put his paw on my leg. I looked up at him and got a face lick.

“Oh, gross. I really hope you didn’t just lick your butt.”

Mark let his tongue loll out of his mouth and barked. I laughed.

“I love you too, Mark.”

I watched him settle in his usual spot with Miles. Alphonse was slowly edging his way towards me. I patted my lap and he put his head down. I went back to reading my book while scratching his neck and eye ridges. Ben rumbled and I looked up.

“You want me to read?”

Ben nodded, so I shrugged and started reading aloud. Shortly after midnight, we all dropped off in to a deep sleep. I woke up to a shivering little boy in front of me, and his adoptive father behind me. I smiled and tucked the blankets around us before drifting off back to sleep.

We all got a rude awakening when Logan and Jude came down the steps. Logan clapped at us like Alphonse does to get attention. I yawned and lifted my head. Logan squealed and reached out for me. I laughed and wiggled out of the nest, going over to him and scooped him up from Jude.

“Look at you! Aren’t you handsome?” I said as I tickled his tummy.

Logan laughed and kissed my cheek. I looked up at Jude.

“Don’t look at me, he’s been doing that since he got up this morning.”

I shrugged and snuggled Logan closer. I felt a tug on my shirt and I looked down, Alphonse had woken up. I smiled and ran my hand over his hair. He smiled up at me in return. Logan saw who it was and held out his arms. Alphonse smiled back at him and I set Logan down, the two hugged.

Jude edged over to me and whispered, “Can they talk to each other?”

“Yeah. Dragon thing, apparently. Ben will explain when he gets up.”

“I’m awake,” He said as he finished wrapping one of the towels from the stack around his waist. “who can sleep with that noise?”

I laughed. “I did warn you.”

Alphonse smiled up at Ben and laughed when Ben scooped him up. I picked up Logan again and looked over at Miles and Mark. They were still asleep.

“Who’s in the mood for waffles?” I asked.

The answer got applause from the boys and laughter from Ben. Jude just shook her head and followed us all up the stairs.

-Marlowe

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An Unexpected Event, Part 2

So after breakfast and keeping the Twins from freaking out over the arrival of Logan, the Sheriff arrived. I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t happy about Logan. I thought for a second that it would be because it’s another dragon in his district, but he soon put my mind to ease about that one.

“No, Marlowe. I’m not upset it’s another dragon. I’m upset because he latched on to you and Ben. He’s going to have to be with Mark.”

I nodded and looked over at Ben, who spoke up:

“We weren’t expecting him to hatch so soon. If we had a little warning, we would have moved him in to Mark’s rooms.”

“Breaking his connection to the two of you is going to be hard, but he cannot stay attached.”

“George gave the egg to Ben for a reason.”

Ben sighed. “She gave me the egg because it wasn’t going to be one of hers.”

The Sheriff looked at Ben with a frown. “I think it’s time you explained how you know these things.”

“I can talk to animals. Any animal. I can also hear the thoughts of some people, but not others.” Ben said with a sigh in his voice.

“Why only some people?” I asked. It was something I’d always wanted to know, but didn’t know how to ask.

“The more extraordinary, the less of a chance I have of hearing you. I have no idea why, but I have trouble hearing the thoughts of people who have that something extra.”

“But you can hear mine.” I said.

“I’m around you all the time. I have more practice listening for you.”

I thought about it for a second and thought it was a little strange, but I couldn’t throw stones. I can control metals.

“Our children are going to be pretty weird.” I said.

Ben started laughing. “No weirder than anything else in this town.”

I looked up at the Sheriff and smiled. “Who had December 1st in the pool?”

The Sheriffs jaw dropped open. “Murphy. I knew she was up to something when she bought in on Thanksgiving.”

I started laughing. “Nothing gets by Grandma.”

“Well, a new dragon in the house won’t. We’re going to have to give them their space you know.” Ben said.

I sighed. I’d grown attached to Logan, but Ben was right. He wasn’t ours to keep.

“House?” I said looking up. I heard a rumble in response.

“Okay, that’s just freaky.” The Sheriff said.

“We need an apartment above the garage, please. I also need three lifts inside the garage if you please.”

The house rumbled in response to me.

“Well, let’s go find Mark and tell him.” Ben said.

“Kitchen. Mark was trying to get Logan to eat.” I said.

“Kitchen it is, then.” Ben said as he took my hand and we walked together with the Sheriff in to the kitchen.

As soon as I stepped in to the room, Logan chirruped and bounded off the table to come settle on my waist. I sighed. This was going to be hard. I scratched his neck ridges as I sat at the kitchen table.

“He’s been a ball of energy all until you walked in.” Mark said. “I couldn’t get him to eat anything.”

“He’s chittering and calling her mom.” Ben said quietly to the Sheriff. They were standing behind me.

“He might be too attached to be able to break the connection.” The Sheriff whispered back.

“What’s going on?” Mark asked.

“Logan is yours. You were married to Max when he died. Max has no other family, which means you’re┬áLogan’s father.”

“No. I never knew about the egg. I just knew that he’d gotten out a few years ago.” Mark said with a shake of his head.

“Years? That egg has been incubating for years?” I asked him, then looked up at Ben.

“At least ten that I know of.” Mark said.

“Don’t you want Logan?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. Part of me wants to say yes, but the part that’s still grieving says no.” Mark replied.

The room went silent, except for Logan’s chirruping.

“You all need to make the decision today as to who he’s going to call his parent or parents. When the full moon hits, whatever growing he’s done will be the age he changes in to once the moon rises.” The Sheriff said as he looked around the room.

“Just how many of these have you gone through?” I asked the Sheriff.

“Ten. We lost most of the dragons over the years due to various accidents or in a couple of isolated cases, murder.”

“What usually happens?”

“Well, after the change? It’s just like having a child instead of a dragon. They change monthly with the moon just like an adult.” The Sheriff said as he sat down next to me. “Really, it’s no different from adopting. You get a child and have to help him or her to catch up with everything else.”

I looked up at Ben and found him staring off in to space. “Ben?”

“Hmm?” He said as he turned his attention back to me.

“Wanna join us?”

“Sorry.” He said looking a little sheepish. “I was talking to Logan.”

“What’s up?” I asked.

“He wants to know why we’re thinking about making him stay with Mark over the garage.”

Mark made some noises in the back of his throat like he was about to protest. I patted his hand.

“We love you. You know we do, but if you’re going to keep Logan, you’ll need your own space to get to know each other.” I said.

Mark turned his hand over and smiled. “You’d do that for us? Even though I know you want to keep him?”

“Yes. He’s yours. It was wrong of me to think I could keep him.” Even saying the words hurt, but I tried not to let it show. I’d grown irrationally attached to the dragonet.

“Not wrong. Ben did give the egg to you months ago. The only reason why I thought it was Max’s was because of the color.”

“Well, it is possible to get egg variations in different color parents that aren’t that parent’s original color. Unlikely, but possible.” The Sheriff said.

“I’m assuming there’s all kinds of information about this down at the station?” Ben asked.

“Yeah. The archives from when the town was first founded. A Council decision I won’t fight, says that everything that has to do with the unusual gets recorded. Dragon births, how to raise them, what to expect.” The Sheriff looked apologetic. “I’m sorry. I’ve been meaning to have this conversation with you since the Council approved your key.”

“They approved me? I didn’t know I needed their approval.” Ben snorted.

“Well since you’re the town’s only vet who handles the unusual cases, they’ve approved you to have a key. You’re going to need it. The seven-year span on the satyrs not breeding is coming to an end.”

Ben sat down heavily at the table. “I thought something was odd about that.”

“There’s other things coming as well, but that’s the first one. It starts next month.” The Sheriff said. “I wouldn’t be alone after dark next month. Male or female.”

I started laughing and that woke up Logan who chirruped unhappily.

“So about Logan?” I said.

“I can’t take him.” Mark said.

I was stunned. I was certain that he wanted Logan.

“Why?”

“He belongs in this house. With everyone. Not above some garage with me alone.”

“What if that means Logan becomes attached to Ben and I more than you? You do have rights as his real father. You were married to Max.”

“I’m no more his real father than anyone else in this house, just because of who I was married to.” Mark said. “You have to admit, we all made a good team when it comes to The Twins. What could be so hard about raising Logan that way?”

“Well it’s definitely unusual.” The Sheriff said.

“So’s the town.” Mark said. “I didn’t grow up here, I grew up in a Main Street USA kind of town. I’m here now. I’m staying here. That means Logan is too.”

I looked over at Ben, then down at Logan who was asleep in my arms again.

“Okay. We’ll give it a shot.” Ben said.

The Sheriff shook his head and got up from the table. “I need to go check on the road conditions and see my kids. I assume they’re with Miles?”

I nodded. “Yeah. He’s in the Great Hall with them. They’re playing some Zelda game on the Wii.”

The Sheriff nodded. “I need a word with the two of you, alone.”

I nodded and got up from the table.

“Don’t. I’ll take Logan and go check on Miles.” Mark said as he eased Logan out of my arms and in to his. Logan chirruped sleepily and settled back in once he realized who had him.

I sad back down at the table with Ben.

“What’s up, Eric?”

“The Priestess who we brought in for the October killings? She says there’s going to be another event soon and she wants us all to be careful. So I’ve thought about it and spoken to The Twins aunt.” The Sheriff said as he sat back down. “If something happens to me over this mess, I want the two of you to take The Twins.”

I gripped Ben’s hand tight. “But Eric, They have family.”

“Who wants nothing to do with them and I don’t have family left alive. I was an only child.” He said.

I looked up at Ben, who nodded.

“Okay.” Ben said.

“I thought it would be harder than that.” Eric said.

“Eric, you’re a great friend to both Ben and myself. You’re family to me,” I said, then corrected myself when Ben nudged me. “to us. Of course we’d take The Twins if something happened.”

“Six months ago I’d never thought I’d ask a newbie to take my kids, but you’ve proven yourself.” Eric said to me.

“I hope it never comes to it, but I’d be happy to take them.” I said. “Even if I’ve only been here six months, you’ve known everyone else longer than that and I’m sure you’ve asked them about me.”

“Oh, I did a background check too.” Eric said with a laugh.

I laughed and looked up at Ben. “You owe me twenty.”

Ben frowned. “Damn it, I was sure you’d let it go this time and wouldn’t do it to another newbie.”

“Gotta protect my town.” The Sheriff replied with a grin. He got up and walked out of the room to check on his kids.

“We’re so fucked, aren’t we?” I said when he left.

“Do you want to be anything else?” Ben replied.

I thought about all that I’d gone through in the last two years and shook my head.

“No. I’m much better off than I was two years ago. Happier, too.”

“Speaking of happier; you need a ring.” Ben said.

“I do need a ring.” I said.

“Wanna go shopping with me next week?”

“Nope. You’re going with Mark and Miles.” I said with a grin.

“Gonna make me stick to tradition?”

“Damn right.” I said. I slid in to his arms and kissed him.

“You’re worth everything I have and more. What do I get you?”

“I’m going to go with that old ‘You’ll know it when you see it.’ phrase.” I replied.

“I hate that phrase.”

I laughed. I hated it too, but I trusted Ben. I said so.

“Best thing that’s ever been said to me.”

“I thought that was last night, when I told you your ass looked great naked.”

“That was the best part of my life till now.”

“Oh, I do love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Come on, let’s go check on everyone.”

“Sure. By the way? Your ass looks hot in those pants.”

I was laughing as I walked to the Great Hall with him. So far, this month was turning out great.

-Marlowe