Holding Pattern

There’s been no news since the last attack from our local terrorist. That’s all I can call her now, because that’s what she is. She’s made our quiet, small town in to a living hell by forcing those of us with abilities to hide, while the ones who don’t have them and are hostile towards us, get even louder about how much of a danger we are.

I’m missing part of my family, my life has been turned upside down and yet I’m the danger; according to them.

I’m not though. I’m the furthest thing from a danger right now. What I am is tired and scared and seriously pissed off.

There’s been more attacks on Otherkin in the last few days. I’m scared for the kids who have to go through the rocks through windows, cars set on fire, and watching their parents get beaten. All because they’re skin is purple, or they have tentacles or, like Ben, change once a month while being locked away.

Ben’s been busier than ever, treating those who can’t go to the hospital, like the Satyrs. Centaurs who are more horse than man have to go to him. I’ve braided the hair of more than one filly while her mother or father was getting stitched up.

It’s enough to make you scream.

Ben comes home every night exhausted and covered in what he couldn’t scrape off at work. I know this is wearing on him harder than myself because he dealt with the attacks after that September day nearly 14 years ago. He’s gotten quieter than usual around all of us, spending more time alone in the library, looking over the books he took out of the town’s stash.

He hardly eats. Sleeping is in bits and pieces. I’m worried.

I’ve already had to deal with people throwing things at me while I’m walking to my appointments or from store to store. I’m thankful that sometimes they’re metal things that I can catch before they hit me; but it’s horrifying. It hurts so much that people I once called friend are now my enemy, simply because there’s a terrorist that hates Otherkin out there and is using the whole city’s fears to keep all of us hostage.

I cry at night. Usually where the others can’t hear me, but the house hears me. It’s been trying it’s best to cheer me up; by putting in a slide for the kids so they don’t have to use the stairs, by giving me more space in my already enormous kitchen, and by bringing the cabinets and shelves down lower so I don’t have to use a stool to reach anything.

It’s been nice, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that I cannot let my children go outside and play on nice days. We live on a dead-end street, but I’m still afraid that someone will come this way and do something to them. They do not deserve any of this.

No one does.


Oh, The Satyrs

It’s common to see a satyr frolicking in a  field in Blueville in June. In January? It’s a little strange, even for this town.

I was sitting at the stoplight at Gold and Rose with the boys, we were on our way back to the house from lunch. I had to get out of the house. I really did. Anyway, we were sitting at the light when the boys start giggling in the back seat. Normally, I don’t mind. This time though, they were trying to hide it from me. That spells trouble.

I looked out the side window and saw a satyr wiggling his bottom at traffic. My jaw dropped and I stared for a minute before diving for my phone to call Ben. The guy behind me honked his horn while I was digging in my purse for the phone. As soon as I fumbled it out of my bag, I started driving down the street as I hit number one on my speed dial for Ben.

“If you’re calling about a satyr, I don’t want to know about it.”

“There’s one on Gold and Rose shaking his ass at traffic.”

There was a huge sigh on the phone, then silence.

“I’ll make a note of it, but as long as he isn’t causing any accidents or looking up skirts there’s nothing that I can do.”

“Huh. I would have figured that by now the Sheriff would have like a team for that sort of thing.”

“They do as they please, Habibi. It’s complicated.”

I could hear his frustration over the phone.

“What about if I came in a couple of times a week to help?”

The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. Silence greeted me and I winced.

“Tuesday and Wednesday. Sherrie has class and Miles has those days off.”

“Deal as long as you don’t hover.”

“I will not make any promises.”

“Well, that’s better than nothing and it gets me out of the house.”

“Going stir crazy already?”

“And how. I’m on my way home. Do I need to pick anything up for you?”

“Dinner. Don’t cook tonight and damn it, take a nap when Miles gets home for lunch.”

“Aye, aye Captain.” I answered and hung up the phone before tossing it back into my bag.

There was a tapping on my shoulder as I pulled up to another stoplight. I looked back and it was Logan.

“Yes, Baby? What is it?”


“Again? But you just ate!”

“Carrots?” He asked.

I dug into my purse for the bag of carrots I always kept in there now. I passed both them and the Cheerios into the backseat and was pretty pleased when I heard silent munching from both kids in the back. I sighed. I figured one, if not both, were due for a growth spurt with the way they ate these days. I can only be grateful that they’ll eat anything that they see me and Ben eat first. Even if they don’t like it, they’ll still try it.

We learned that the hard way with wasabi. Never. Again.

I was nearing home when I saw the FBI car parked out front. It was kind of hard to miss, considering no one in town drove a sedan like that one. Another thing I couldn’t miss? The two FBI agents chasing down a satyr wearing a lampshade on its head. I heard the giggling coming from the backseat as the boys watched the agents try to wrangle the half-man, half-goat. I might have snickered myself when one of them lost his footing and ended up in a snow bank. That one might have caused the boys to laugh uncontrollably. I couldn’t scold them, I thought it was funny too.

I pulled around to the back and in to the garage. After helping the kids inside, the doorbell rang. I settled the kids down in the Great Hall before going to answer.

“Hello, Officers. Come on in, I just made hot cocoa.” I said as I opened the door.

Both Agents stood there, soaking wet and looking quite miserable. I pitied them at that point. They had no idea how to handle Blueville. They entered and I quickly went and dug up clothing for the both of them while they got warm in the kitchen. They tried to protest, but I insisted they at least get warm. They accepted eventually. I can be pretty persuasive.

They came back in to the kitchen after changing. I looked up from the pot of soup I decided to throw together instead of ordering take away.

“So the two of you must be here to tell me news or to get my statement,” I said as they sat down.

“You’ve got the right of it, Ma’am,” Tucker Groue said.

I nodded.

“We’ll need your statements for the files, but from what evidence says, your attacker won’t be getting off the hook,” Vaughn Beazley said.

I couldn’t help it. I laughed.

“Oh boys. Of course he will. He’s going to get off with less than anyone else would get because of who his papa is. You don’t have to sugar coat it or lie to me.”

The two men looked at each other and then back at me.

“You don’t know, do you?” Tucker asked.

“Know what?” I said as I pulled down some spices for the soup.

“His relatives have withdrawn all support from him and his father. No one is even going anywhere near him because of who you are,” Tucker said. Vaughn nodded his assent.

“Who I am? I’m just a nobody who stood up to a bully.”

“Who just happened to be heir to the Oberly fortune that was made by selling paper.”

I waved my hand at that statement. “Old news. My family’s not that influential. Hasn’t been since the sixties.”

“You’re a multi-millionaire that’s living in a small town in the mountains. The Press is going to love you,” Vaughn said.

I looked up at him. “I got enough of the press when my parents died. I’m not doing this for that. I’m doing it because I hate bullies. I don’t care who they are.”

“That’s why they’re going to love you,” Tucker said quietly. “and why you’re going to win. You did nearly everything right and it’s going to pay off. I know we’re not supposed to be partial to cases, but I’m starting to enjoy the way you’ve handed that spoiled brat his comeuppance.”

“Careful. Had my parents not died I could have ended up like him. I was lucky that I ended up the way I did.”

“What’s this word that we keep hearing that you’re special?” Vaughn asked, changing the subject.

I pointed at his keys, which were sitting on the table, and made them hover in front of his face. His jaw dropped open.

“That’s fucking amazing.”

I started laughing and Vaughn snatched his keys out of the air.

“It is, until I get pissed off and make an entire parking lot full of cars vibrate. You should have seen the Mayor panic when that happened.”

It was Tucker’s turn to stare. “An entire parking lot?”

“I think Ben said that even some of the light poles started to bend towards me. I was that angry.”

“I would think you’d have a perfectly good reason to be angry,” said Vaughn.

“Yes, but I shouldn’t have lost that much control. There were too many bystanders. What would have happened if my anger had tossed a car? That would have been very bad.”

The two men thought about what I said as I got out bowls and dished up soup for them and my two little ones. I went and took a tray out to the two boys who were playing some word game Ben had gotten for them so they could catch up with their vocabulary. I smiled down at the both of them before leaving. As I walked back in to the kitchen, I heard them talking about me.

“Well, she has a point. She could have hurt someone.”

“The agency would still want to have her on the force.”

“That would be a giant ‘No fucking thank you, Vaughn’,” I said. “I’m perfectly happy here.”

Vaughn had the good sense to duck his head and blush. I smiled over at him as I went and dished up some soup for myself. I made a not of the time and winced when I figured that Miles would be home soon and there wouldn’t be enough time for a nap today. Ben was going to be upset.

“So take us through the events of what happened,” Tucker asked as he put his recorder on the table.

I walked them through all of it, from the car accident to the attempted-murder and fire. When I finished I could hear Miles’s car going in to the garage. I pointed my spoon at Vaughn.

“Not a word out of you. I know the two of you have history, but refrain from saying anything. Not even a hello.”

Vaughn held up his hands and Tucker snickered. I pointed the spoon at him and he swallowed the laughter. Miles came in to the kitchen a minute later. He stopped dead when he saw Vaughn at the table, eating.

“Don’t. Just grab some food and join the boys in the Great Hall, okay? They’re here to talk about what happened.”

Miles nodded and went to stow his gear while I made up another tray. I took it out in to the hall when he didn’t come back in.

“He’ll leave soon,” I said.

“Seeing him here makes everything hurt,” Miles said.

I kissed his forehead. “I know. You can handle it, though. You’re tough.”

Miles smiled at me and took his tray into the room with the boys. I went back to the kitchen and sat down. Vaughn looked like he was going to talk again, so I held up a hand.

“Whatever you have to say about Miles can wait. I don’t need to know yet. Just know that every time he sees you, he hurts. Whatever happened? Hurt him badly.”

Vaughn stared down at his bowl and Tucker went back to asking more questions after starting the tape again. Vaughn didn’t say much until it was time to go. I waved off the offers of changing back into their other clothes, just told them to get the clothes back when they could.

“Miles spoke of you often when we were dating. Now that I’ve met you, I can see why he said you were his hero.”

I teared up and hugged Vaughn. “You’ve got that wrong. He was mine.”

“Some how, I don’t think so,” He said as he followed his partner out of the house.

I checked on the boys in the Great Hall after closing the door and locking it for the night. Ben would come in through the back like always.

“I took the rest of the day off. Go take a nap. We’ll talk later,” Miles said before I could say anything. “Ben’s already called about your nap.”

I stuck my tongue out at him and told him to watch the soup and do the dishes before going upstairs. As I changed clothes and pulled the covers down on the bed, I thought about how Miles and I were inseparable when we were kids.

I guess things haven’t changed much, since we’re living together. I guess they don’t really have to change to be different or stay the same.


January Blues

So we said goodbye to Jude on the tenth. She’s off to her dig in Brazil again for another month and promised the boys that she’d bring back more surprises the next time she dropped by. I miss her already. I know Ben is missing her just as much.

We said goodbye to Murphy three days later, she’s off on some cruise in the Caribbean right now. Which is fortunate for her because not even an hour after we got home, a blizzard blew up and we were house bound for two days while everyone dug out. This of course, pleased the boys to no end because they love having everyone around them.

It did not please Mark, who’s leaving was delayed by two different storms. He finally left to go home to his family on the fifteenth. It took him longer than expected because he had to clean out his and Max’s offices, which was a trial for him. There were lots of nights when he came home crying because of the memories that were there. I was sorry to see him go; but if this is what he thinks he needs to heal, then I’ll support him.

Ben and I had our first OB/GYN appointment for the baby. The boys were plenty upset that they had to stay home with Uncle Miles. They’re both plenty excited about the new baby though. Especially since we made it clear that they are ours and we’re not getting rid of them once the baby arrives.

That took the both of us by surprise when it happened.

We were sitting in the Great Hall watching TV with them when Ben suddenly got up and hugged Alphonse hard. Logan came over and crawled in to my lap and tugged on my hair to get my attention. I smiled and kissed his nose. He snuggled in to my arms.

“Mom,” he whispered to me.

“My baby, what is it?” I asked as I snuggled him close.

He was still having trouble with his words so it took him a while to ask;

“Do you love me?”

I looked down at him and his face was so earnest about the question. I hugged him tight.

“I love you and your brother more than the stars,” I whispered in to his ear.

He giggled up at me and snuggled back in to my arms, content with my answer. I had to wait to ask Ben what that was all about after we’d put them to bed later that night. When I posited the question to him he was confused at first, then remembered.

“Oh. That. They’re worried that we’re going to send them off to the hospital again once the baby arrives,” he said as he climbed in to bed with me.

“Oh dear. No wonder it was important enough to Logan to actually use his words.”

“Yeah. They’re worried about being replaced.”

“What can we do about that?” I asked him as I snuggled down under the covers.

“I was thinking that next weekend they could help me paint the nursery.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“Really? I would think that you’d hate it. You’re fussy about the way things look sometimes.”

“Only because I like things neat,” I said with a yawn. “but if letting them paint the nursery means they feel involved and accepted, I’ll move mountains and enough paint for five or six coats.”

Ben laughed and cuddled me close. “You’re not to set foot in the nursery while we’re painting. The fumes are bad for you and the baby.”

“I know. I said I’d haul paint, not do any of the painting. I’ll stay downstairs with the dogs and Miles. He’s making noises about shopping again.”


“Maternity clothes. I’m not nearly there yet. Another three or four months.”

Ben ran his hands over my stomach before he spoke again. “We should move up the wedding.”


“Habibi, I know this is important to you, but I think you should consider moving up the date.”

I sighed. “Ben, you’re worried about bringing the baby into the world without her parents being married?”

“A little.”

“The baby was made with love and will be born into love. Even if her parents weren’t married until later.”

“but,” he started and I turned around and kissed him.

“We have two sons already and we’re not married. Another child isn’t going to make things any different.”

Ben sighed. “You have your point, but I’m still asking you to think about it, please?”

It was my turn to sigh again. “Okay. I’ll think about it.”

Ben kissed me and nuzzled my hair.

“Sleep. Doctor tomorrow.”

“You’re still planning on going with me?”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world on a plate.”

“Flatterer,” I said with a yawn.

I could hear him laugh as I dropped off into sleep.

I woke up the next morning with a kid on either side, the dogs at the foot of the bed and something digging in to my bladder. I cuddled the both of them close and fell back asleep. Ben woke all of us up at eleven  by hauling a laughing Alphonse over his shoulder and Logan trailing after them as they walked out of the room. The dogs abandoned me then too, because they knew they were going to get fallen leftovers.

I yawned and took my time as I showered and dressed. I was pulling on a loose pair of jeans as Ben came in from breakfast with a tray. I smiled over at him as he set it down on the chaise.

“You were supposed to sleep yourself out. You promised me,” he said with a frown.

I smiled up at him. “I’m fine. Well rested. I even tied my own hair back and everything.”

“Very funny.”

“I like to think I’m hilarious.”

Ben smiled at me and kissed my nose. “You sure do try.”

“Hey!” I said as I poked him in the stomach. “I’m pregnant, not made of glass!”

“I know, but I worry. It’s Blueville.”

“I’m sure the doctor will have something to say about it today anyway.”

“Speaking of which, if we’re going to make it on time, you need to let me go shower.”

“Oh, so I’m keeping you?” I grinned at him. “Glad to know I have that kind of superpower.”

I kissed him and stepped back into the closet to find a shirt to wear. I could hear him start the shower up. I shook my head at him and went to find the boys after I’d dressed and put on shoes. I found them in the Great Hall with Miles who took the day off to stay with the boys. I decided not to bother them so they wouldn’t get too clingy while Ben and I tried to get out of the door later. Instead I ended up in the kitchen making breakfast for myself.

I ended up with peanut butter toast and a pear. Not the best breakfast, but I wasn’t that hungry this morning. I waited for Ben to come downstairs. I was finishing up and washing the dishes when he came in with my coat, his coat, and my purse.

“Come on, before they realize we’re leaving.” Ben said as he helped me into my coat and dragged me out the back door.

I started laughing when we got outside.

“Man, I thought I was bad when it came to their sad faces.”

“I can’t stand it. How can other parents handle the sad face?”

“I think it’s the guilt that gets them before the sad face does,” I said as Ben opened the passenger door to the Jeep and helped me climb inside.

I didn’t catch what he said next, but I waited till he got in on the driver’s side before asking him.

“I said their teenage years are going to kill me.”

I laughed. “Nah, you’ll be a pro by that time.”

“I highly doubt it.”

“I don’t,” I said as I made myself comfortable for the trip out to the medical complex next to the hospital.

Ben didn’t respond to me, rather smiled over at me and took my hand in his. I smiled back and squeezed his hand. We rode together in companionable silence until Ben parked in the lot outside the doctor’s office. I had my seat belt off and the door open as Ben came around to open it for me. He frowned at me as I got out carefully to avoid the ice that coated the lot.

“You should have waited.”

“I’m pregnant, not made of glass.”

“So you keep saying.”

I couldn’t think of a response so I stuck my tongue out at him.

“Real mature.”

“Thanks. I try.”

He started laughing and I grinned over at him. We walked in to the office together, holding hands. The nurse behind the counter smiled up at us. She checked us in and we only had to wait ten minutes before being taken in to the back to get ready for the doctor. First there was blood drawn and a urine test for pregnancy, various other procedures and checks that had to be done before the doctor even got into the room.

I took it fine. Ben was a mess by the time I came back into the room. He was pacing and I couldn’t help but laugh.

“It’s not funny.”

“Habib, it’s a little funny. You’re a mess and all they did was do prep for tests.”

Ben frowned at me. “I’m not used to all this.”

“It’s my first pregnancy, but not my first round with that many tests. They do all those checks every year when I come for my check up.”

“They do?”

“and more than that. There’s a few they can’t do because I’m pregnant.”

“I’m so glad I’m male.”

I started laughing. I was in tears when the doctor came in the room.

“Well, it’s nice to hear you laugh, Marlowe,” He said.

“Hey, Doc Oc. How are you?”

“I’m good, thanks for asking. I hear a rumor that says you’re starting a family,” the doctor said as he moved to start his checks of my health.

“All true. We’ve got two at home now and one on the way.”

“You’re sure?”

“As I’ve ever been.”

“Well the tests will confirm then. How’s your man feel about this whole thing?”

“He’s thrilled, though you wouldn’t know it from the way he glowers at me when I even attempt the stairs on my own.”

The doctor started laughing and Ben frowned at me from his chair where he’d sat since the doctor came in to the room.

“You must be her Ben,” the doctor said as he turned to Ben and held out his hand.

“I am, Doctor?” Ben asked as he shook hands with him.

“Forgive me. I’m Doctor Gregory October. My Patients call me Doc Oc.”

Ben started laughing. “Appropriate. I just hope you’re not going to grow metal arms and try to turn one of my kids in to Spider-Man.”

Doctor October laughed and winked at him. “I haven’t quite perfected that form of genetic manipulation. I just look after the natural one.”

I smiled over at Ben. “See? He’s an okay guy.”

“I see that now.”

The visit lasted another twenty minutes, with the Doctor going over everything that we’d need to know for the next visit in a month.

“I probably won’t do an ultrasound for another two months, just to be sure.”

I nodded. “If that’s what’s best. I want to make sure the baby is healthy.”

“I’m sure he or she will be just fine.” Doctor October said as he pulled off his gloves and stood up to go. “I’ll see you next month. Take it easy until then. I know you have two at home, but this is your first natural pregnancy and you’re both considered Other in this town.”

“I promise, Doc. No back flips or hauling heavy engines.”

“Good. See you next month,” he said as he walked out the door.

I looked over at Ben, who looked much more relaxed since we got here.

“Better?” I asked.

“Better,” He replied.

I got dressed and we headed back to the house. There was a quick detour to the store to pick up a pint of Chunky Monkey, but all in all it was a quick trip home. As we walked in to the back door, we were ambushed by the boys who wanted attention. I scooped up Logan and nuzzled his next until he giggled.

“Everything is fine, bubby.”

“Okay, Mommy,” he said and wiggled down. He ran off to the Great Hall shouting Miles’s name.

Alphonse tugged at my sleeve from where he was in Ben’s arms. He held out his arms to me and I cuddled him close too, kissing his nose. He smiled up at me.

“I love you, Alphie. I promise everything is fine with me and your new sibling.”

He nodded and held out his arms to Ben, who took him back and walked in to the Hall with Miles and Logan. I was feeling a little tired so I went upstairs and changed into my PJs for a nap. Ben came in a few minutes later as I was turning down the bed sheets.

“I’m glad you’re going to rest. Do you want one of the dogs?” he asked as he started helping me make the bed more comfortable.

“No and it’s not likely that they’ll come up here. I know the boys have food. I heard Miles say something about hotdogs.”

“That’s right. They’re having a late lunch in the kitchen.”

I crawled in to bed and settled in. Ben laid down next to me after I made myself comfortable.

“I’m okay, Ben. Just a little tired from the trip, that’s all.”

“I still worry. You’re my best side.”

I smiled up at him and kissed him.

“and you’re mine.”

I settled in to sleep and heard Ben singing something soft in Arabic. I was out before he got to the chorus.



New Year’s Eve, Part 2

Ben woke me later that evening by dumping a giggling Alphonse in bed. Logan responded by kicking his brother. Then I had a fight and Ben desperately trying to stop it before I woke up. I managed to wake up and sit up in time to get an elbow to the boob. When I gasped and laid back down, clutching my chest, I had three pairs of male eyes staring at me.

“Dead. Meat,” I growled playfully and attacked Alphonse, tickling him until he couldn’t breathe and Logan jumped on my back.

Ben scooped off Logan and put him on the floor. Alphonse followed.

“Go find Grandma Murphy. She’s downstairs with the dogs,” he told them.

They were off and running, laughing their way through the halls. I smiled up at Ben, who crawled into bed with me and snuggled close.

“How was your nap?”

“Pretty good. Logan came and napped with me,” I replied to him as I curled close. “He told me he loved me.”

Ben went still, then spoke: “Really?”

“Really, really.”

“Well I’ll be.”

“I cried.”

Ben tipped my chin up and kissed me. I smiled and tugged him down, deepening the kiss.

“Kids,” Ben said as he pulled away.

“Spoil sport.”

Ben flicked his finger across my nose. “You’re pregnant.”

“I’m not dead and you’ve still got a great ass,” I said with a wicked grin.

Ben grinned back at me and kissed me hard before rolling out of bed.

“Not falling for it.”

I stuck my tongue out at him and he laughed.

“Come on, Lowe. The ball is going to drop in a couple of hours and the kids will probably drive both their Grandma’s nuts.”

I yawned and rolled out of bed. I stood and stretched as Ben watched. He had a dopey kind of half-smile on his face.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“You’re beautiful.”

“Is it me or the pregnancy?”


“Good answer.” I said as I got dressed again.

Ben waited for me to finish and took my hand as we walked down stairs.

“Do you want to tell them tonight?” Ben asked.

“Well, everyone we care about is downstairs right now. It’d be a good time for it, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

I rubbed my free hand over his arm and smiled up at him. We made out way down the stairs and in the Great Hall where we were surrounded by family. I was greeted and hugged by everyone until Grandma Murphy and Jude dragged me into the kitchen.

“Okay, what is it?” Grandma Murphy demanded.

“What is what?” I said as I moved to the fridge to grab a bottle of water.

“What is the thing that’s making you sleep in the middle of the day?” Jude asked.

Not for the first time did I wish that I had Ben’s thought speech.

“I was tired?”

“Not buying it, Missy.” Grandma Murphy said.

I sighed as I capped the bottle and set it down slowly.

“I’m pregnant.”

“Well, I didn’t expect that,” Jude said.

“I did. You haven’t been around enough yet. They’ve been at it like rabbits for months.”

I groaned and sat down on a stool. Jude and Grandma Murphy looked me over.

“You’re not going to puke are you?” Jude asked.

“If I am, I’m going to aim for Murphy’s shoes.”

Grandma Murphy started laughing.

“Good to see you’ve still got your sass.”

“I’m not dying, I’m just pregnant. People do this every day,” I griped.

“Most women go bananas with their first child,” Murphy griped back.

“It’s not my first. I’ve got two in the other room.”

“Ha. No. This is your first pregnancy.”

“Semantics,” I quipped at her.

“Seriously though, are you okay?”

I nodded. “I got in to the doctor two days ago. He confirmed that I’m pregnant and we’re healthy.”

“Well at least you were smart about all of this. When did you know?”


Jude glared at me. “You two have kept this from me for a week?”

I smiled up at Jude. “Ben and I decided together that we’d wait until we knew for sure. An over the counter pregnancy test is not reliable information.”

“Now who’s using semantics?” Murphy asked.

I flushed and ducked my head. Ben stepped in to the room then and saw me, then his mother, then Grandma Murphy.

“Ahh.. I think I’ll take my fiancée off your hands,” He said.

“Oh no you don’t. Why didn’t you tell me that you two were pregnant?” Jude demanded.

“We decided to wait. That was our decision,” Ben said, firmly backing me up.

I smiled up at him as Jude looked from him to me and back again.

“Good to know the two of you can’t be cowed,” Just said with an approving nod.

“Ha! He should! I helped give the boy more spine since he’s been here.” Murphy said with a nod of her own. “Now, lets you and me go gossip about this and how we’re going to override the nursery colors.”

“I do believe I like you, Murphy,” Jude said as they walked out, arm in arm.

I shook my head at them both.

“Well, that was unexpected,” Ben said, blowing out a breath. “How are you feeling?”

“A little sick to my stomach, but it’s not morning sickness. It’s ‘I’ve just been jumped by my in-laws’ sickness.”

Ben laughed and crossed over to me, kissing my forehead.

“Come on, let’s go tell everyone else so that we can get to the celebrating part.”

“Yeah, I like that plan. I like the part where we get to go to bed.”

“Careful, you’re becoming an old lady.”

“Watch your language. There will never be anything old about me,” I chided.

Ben laughed and we walked out together and in to the Great Hall to deliver the news and start a new year with a new beginning.

It felt right.


Family Goes, Trouble Stays: Part 3

There’s one good thing about losing your shit in a hospital over being separated from your love one:

The next time you have to go to that hospital, they are far less likely to stand in your way the next time you have to come in with a half-frozen loved one.

I ran in with the EMTs who had Ben, frantic that he was too cold. The nurses and doctors all gave me a very wide berth. The only time I was asked to step back was when they were working on him. I stood outside the room, backed up against the nurse’s station, watching Ben.

“Marlowe, he’s going to be okay.” One of the doctors said.

“I know, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying.”

“Worry all you want, just don’t get in the way.”

“Fix him. I need him back, safe and whole.” I said as I looked up in to the face of a doctor who couldn’t have been more than twenty-five.

He nodded and went in to the room with Ben. I knew somewhere in the back of my head I was worrying over nothing, that he was going to be fine, but with whomever was doing this to us still out there; I needed to see him open his eyes again.

When they finally let me go in to see him he was breathing normally and his color was back in his face. I leaned down and kissed his forehead, then waited. I don’t know how long I sat there, watching him until he coughed and started coming around.

“You’re not allowed to go where I can’t follow.” I whispered in to his ear.

“I have no plan on leaving you behind.” Ben replied. His voice was hoarse.

“That’s good because I have no intention of letting you.” I said. I gave in and kissed him.

“What happened?”

“The jerk who’s doing all of this forced your change again.” I replied.

Ben groaned and tried to sit up. I pushed him back down.

“No. You’re staying until they say you can go. No sitting up. You spent the entire night as your other self chained to a cliff.”

“The whole night? How did I survive?”

“Blankets, a couple of bonfires and a lot of praying on my part.” I replied.

“You never pray.” Ben said looking up at me.

“I did for you.” I replied. “This was the closest I’ve gotten to losing you. I don’t care for it.”

“I don’t care for being a guinea pig either.” Ben sighed. “I think whatever she’s doing, she’s building up to something.”

I saw Ben rub his eyes. “Go back to sleep. They’re going to keep you here for the day and possibly over night.”

“You’ll be here?”

“Yeah. I’m not going anywhere.”

Ben nodded and closed his eyes. He was asleep before I could look up at the clock.

“Asleep then?” The doctor asked as he walked in to the room.

“Yes. He woke up though.”

“That’s good.” He said as he checked Ben over. “I’m going to assume you’re staying with him?”

“Yes.” I said as I gripped Ben’s hand tightly.

“Okay then. We’re going to move him upstairs in a little while. Keep him over night for observation.”

“I figured. When will he get to come home?”

“Possibly tomorrow. I want to check and make sure there’s no damage from being out there all night.”

I nodded and looked down at Ben. “I’m going to assume you’ll want me to go home and get some sleep at some point?”

“You’re smart. I’m sure they Sheriff will send someone to watch over him, but you’ll do yourself harm if you stay here all night with no sleep.” The Doctor said as he checked me over after checking Ben. “It’s almost five now. You’ve been here all day. Visitor’s hours are over at nine tonight. You will go home and sleep.”

I looked from Ben to the Doctor. “Provided he has protection, I will go home and sleep. I do not like the fact that I’m leaving him here.”

“I know you don’t, but you have to do what’s best for you.” The doctor said with a smile. “You being here and pacing half the night, worrying yourself sick is not going to help either one of you right now.”

I looked up at him and nodded. “Just this once, I’ll go home. If anything happens while I’m gone, you’ll never get me out of this hospital again while he’s here.”

“Fair enough. I’ll take it.” He  said as he stepped out of the door. “Go home. Sleep. Those are doctor’s orders.”

“At closing time.” I said and turned back to watching over Ben.

The Doctor came back in at nine, after they’d moved him upstairs and gave me a pointed look. “Go. Home.”

“Is the detail here yet?” I asked.

“I am here.” The Sheriff said as he came in to Ben’s room.

“You’re going to watch over him?” I asked. I was a little startled to see Eric there.

“You wouldn’t trust anyone else enough to go home and get any kind of sleep.” The Sheriff replied. “I’ll stay and watch over Ben.”

I slid out of my chair, walked over and gave Eric a huge hug. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Now go home. Get some sleep. I’ll go over everything with you in the morning.”

I nodded and pulled my coat on. The Doctor walked me out and to Duke, who was waiting with a car to take me home. I don’t really remember the ride, getting home or going upstairs. I do remember showering, crawling in to pajamas and then in to bed with the dogs and Logan, who chittered at me until midnight. We all finally fell asleep at about one am.