“Dimitri, this is bad. We can’t put another child through this.” I cried hysterically to Dimitri the next day. He was ecstatic about the new baby, and I was completely devastated. Stone was going to have a hard life here, no friends, no extended family and online school. It wasn’t ideal, and it wasn’t something I wanted to put another innocent person through. I bit my lip as I started to cry.
“Hey, hey Jazz don’t cry.” Dimitri laid his hand on my arm reassuringly. “This is a good thing. Now Stone’ll have someone close to his own age. He’ll have someone to play with.”
“I-I guess that’s good. But what if they don’t get along? My sisters and I weren’t very close.”
“Don’t worry about that right now, alright? Let’s just get through the pregnancy before worrying about the baby’s relationship with Stone.” He said with a small chuckle.
“I love you, you know that? You always know just what to say.” Dimitri placed his hands on my waist and gently pulled me close.
“Yea, I got to. You worry so much someone’s gotta keep you grounded.” He gave me a lopsided smirk and I jokingly smacked his shoulder.
“You are such a jerk.”
“Yea, but for some reason you love me anyways.”
“Oh, you got me there.”
A few months into my pregnancy, Stone was starting to notice that I was getting larger. He’d been asking questions for a while, so Dimitri and I decided it was time to sit him down and explain.
“So, Bud, soon Mommy and Daddy are going to be having another baby.”
“Wut does dat mean?” Stone’s cute little voice asked.
“It means that you’re going to be having a new baby brother or sister.” I exclaimed.
“Really?” He asked excitedly. He’d been watching a lot of television with families lately, I figured that’s where he learned what that word meant.
“Yea, isn’t that exciting?” Dimitri clapped his hands. Stone copied, he was going through one of those copying phases.
“Yea!” I smiled at Dimitri. Maybe this wasn’t too bad after all.
“This is bad.” I screamed as I sat on the extra bed, about to give birth to my second child.
“Shh, it’s alright baby. It’s alright.”
“I want to be in a hospital.” I groaned after another push.
“Momma?” Stone slowly opened the door and stepped in. “Are you otay?”
“I’m fine baby.” I managed to choke out.
“You can go play, Stone.” Dimitri said sternly. Stone nodded and rushed out of the room.
“Alright, this baby’s coming, now. Push as hard as you can.” He coached. I followed instructions, even though I felt like I was about to pass out.
“He’s so perfect, isn’t he Dimi?” I stared in awe at the little boy in my arms. Lake Fae was born a fairy, he had Dimitri’s skin-tone, his father’s hair, and a wing color I wasn’t sure where it came from.
“He is.” Dimitri smiled softly.
“Can I play wit him Momma?” Stone asked innocently from the floor.
“Not yet, Baby. Not for a while.”
“He’ll be big enough soon, I promise.” Dimitri said with a laugh. It was true, they grew like weeds.
“Y’know Jazz, is it just me or do you feel like our family needs one more?” He gave me a sly smile.
“Yea, how about you give birth this time.” I sneered at him. I was not ready for another baby, I don’t think I’ll ever be. Two was enough, and I really didn’t want to give birth like that ever again.
It’s been a long time since my brother left. My other brother, Christian, had given up hope on finding him alive. The rest of us didn’t want to think like that, we liked to believe Dimitri was alive and well, despite the ‘crime’ he committed. Personally, I think what my brother did was brave. Mia and Sydney agreed, but we could never say that to the rest of the family. They wanted to find our brother so they could punish him for his crimes.
We often spent evenings just watching the news, hoping to hear anything that would give us a lead on Dimi. We usually got nothing, just stories about the riots starting in other experiment towns. Lots of people were getting angry, they wanted to leave their towns and go elsewhere. The scientists refused, so people were furious.
It was pretty boring most of the time. They didn’t put a lot of the ugly stuff in the news. Especially when it made the humans look bad. They usually did stories on how the humans are trying to improve life for us. It was complete bullshit.
It was obvious my siblings were getting bored. We hadn’t heard anything in years. Yes, we loved him, but wasting all this time on bullshit news stories wasn’t worth it. We shouldn’t be wasting our lives on something that might give us a lead.
That night was going to be my last of watching the news constantly. I was going to tell my parents that I was almost a teenager now, and that I needed to go out with my friends.
But just as the news was about to switch to a crappy drama show, the words ‘Breaking News” flashed across the screen. I could feel the tension in the air rise as we all sat up straighter and waited for the men on the screen to give the news.
“The body of a young man has been found washed up on the beach of Sunset Valley. Our sources say the man accurately fits the description of the missing vampire fugitive, Dimitri Todds. It has not been confirmed, they will be needing a family member to identify the body.”
My father quickly grabbed the remote and shut the TV off before we could hear anything else. The room was dead silent, even Cheryl had stopped playing with her teddy bear.
“Oh my god.” My sister, Mia whispered. She and Dimitri were extremely close, despite their age difference. Dimitri was a teenager when Mia was born, he practically taught her how to walk.
The next person to make any noise was my mother. A small, horrified choke escaped her lips. I knew it was only seconds before she started bawling.
I couldn’t believe my older brother was dead.
*One year later*
“Hey boys, what’re you doing?” I strolled into the living room after waking up from my nap. It’s been a year since the witch faked Dimitri’s death. We weren’t sure what would happen after that, Dimitri was afraid they’d try even harder to find me.
And unfortunately, he was right. His father organized troops from all of the experiment towns to try and find me. They’d even got a few witches on their side. It was terrifying, they could come for us any time now.
That didn’t mean we stopped living our lives though. Dimitri had started bar-tending at a bar on the mainland, and I was still writing and raising our two sons.
“Shh, mommy they’re sleeping.” Stone whispered from the floor. My baby was almost old enough to start school. Dimitri and I considered letting him go to a regular school on the mainland, but we ultimately decided it would be too dangerous. Homeschooling was our best option.
“Oh, sorry.” I whispered back with a wink. “Hey boys, wakey wakey!” I clapped my hands loudly, startling both Dimitri and Lake.
Lake flew off his father’s lap with a laugh. Stone stuck his arms in the air and Lake grabbed them, trying to fly off with his brother.
He’d been doing that often, Lake used his wings a lot more than his legs. We weren’t really sure why, I only ever flew in emergencies so he obviously didn’t learn it from me. Lake had also been carrying his brother off, it was fun for a few minutes until he got tired and dropped him, causing lots of crying.
Dimitri and I intervened, I took Lake and he took Stone.
“Momma!” Lake screamed, trying to sound upset but my tickling made him giggle.
“Sorry, Baby. But we don’t want Stone to get hurt, right?” I asked, and he nodded.
“It’s okay Mommy, I’m strong!” Stone flexed his muscles, then looked at Dimitri who did the same.
“Yea, Mommy, we’re strong!” Dimitri chuckled
“I know you are, Bud. But I don’t want you to get hurt.” I smiled softly and he pouted. Dimitri laughed again and set Stone down on the floor to go play. I did the same with my toddler before approaching my husband.
He grabbed my hands and pulled me close. My swollen belly just barely pressed against his torso.
“I guess we had nothing to worry about, they get along too well.” I laughed, remembering my worries before Lake was born.
“Yea, I feel like they’re gonna start ganging up on us.” Dimitri grinned nervously.
“Can you imagine them as teenagers? We’re gonna be so screwed.”
“Especially if this one takes their side, then we’ll be outnumbered.” He laid his hand on the side of my stomach.
“You were the one who convinced me to have one more.” I teased.
“True, but I promise this will be the last one.” He closed the gap between our lips.
“Ew, cooties!” Stone screamed and Lake giggled. I couldn’t help but giggle too. Even though they were little terrors, I loved my family more than anything in the world.