It was then as they were all sitting around and gathering themselves that the next player to their game arrived.The sound of boots moving down the hallway toward them heralded in the presence of the Ancient dragon that called Isabel his daughter. 

For once, the white-haired Ancient was dressed properly for the scene. He had on the loose fitting pants and easily adaptable silken cloak that was then folded over and used as a sash on his body at the waist. His tanned biceps were seen where the short sleeves came to and his boots were grip-treaded kind that many here had. He wasn’t dressed as nobility, he was dressed practically, but the sash was purple and green, the same colors as Rashgun and Saysha’s clan. And the golden ring he wore on his head signified to all that he was the Lord over all others here. 

He smelled the room and immediately his eyes moved to Mira. He knew. And he was not going to say anything until he spoke to his daughter. Seeing her lying against Largros, the dragon walked over to her and bent beside the chair so she could see him better. 

“Izzy?” 

Isabel opened her eyes again and smiled, “Daddy? You came..” She reached her hand out to him and sighed at just how exhausted she felt. 

“I’ve come to take you home, pumpkin… but it looks like your friends got here at near the same time. You okay?” he took her hand in his and Largros watched as a faint bit of magical energy flowed from the father to the daughter. No… from the drakkar to the dragonling? 

“Mhm.. is Terry okay?” She had pink ringing her cheeks letting both men know that she was feeling better. “Can we go home now?” Isabel held her dad’s hand while looking from him to Largros.

“Very soon my dear,” Uscias wasn’t going to say a thing about the boy if he could get away with not. She didn’t need that kind of negativity right then. 

The djinn stood in the doorway watching the reunion. He noticed the bracelet was gone and lifted a brow towards the succubus. “I’ll take what is mine now.”

“Yeah, uh…” Derek moved around the chaise. He picked up the bracelet and brought it over to the djinn. 

The djinn lord’s gaze then lifted to the dragon and with a friendly smile he held his hand out to him, “Good to see you again Uscias, I just wish it had been on better terms.”

“Same here,” Uscias got up and turned to take the djinn’s hand. “I appreciate you seeking her out and letting me know when she was found. Her mother is heartsick. I admit, so am I.”

“We’ve kept her well and safe even from her self.” He took the bracelet when Derek held it out to him. “I had a dampener on her that it appears their little demoness successfully removed from her. The boy was recently rescued and is back at the Weylyn palace. I believe they are trying to make arrangements to go back across themselves soon – now that their enemy is dead.”

“Dead?” Isabel was extremely confused.

“Yes, they’ve been magically casting images of Alpha Xarlan Simoa’s head all over every city, town or even camps for miles around. Pack Simoa was been completely scrubbed from the books. Anyone thinking of rebuilding it will immediately be enemies to the Pack Weylyn.” For such a move it meant an unforgivable harm or slight had been caused to the Pack. 

“I don’t like what that means. I’ll be speaking to my brother dragon to find out the details soon enough. Would you like me to keep you informed?  I know, I for one plan to double check behind them in the other world. I’ll not allow such things to go on under my snout again. I’ve been far too focused on one person and not the security of the entire family and my brother’s adopted pack.” 

“Yes keep me informed, but don’t be too hard on yourself, Uscias all you did is follow your heart.” Eversmore felt for his friend. He was a unique Djinn himself – prone to emotion and having found something special with one of an underling heritage. So, he understood where the elder dragon was coming from.

“Perhaps. But the heart sometimes makes us forgetful, my friend.” Uscias turned and looked to the lot of his wayward bunch.  “I can accomplish one teleportation that can see us to the other side. Once there, I suggest you contact your brother and get ready for your new addition, madame.” the dragon was speaking of course to Mira. Then, he looked to Largros. “Pick her up and gather round the lady and we can be gone.” 

Once the instructions were followed and Uscias created the portal, Mira didn’t complain as her mate carried her through followed by Largros with Isabel before the portal closed behind it’s creator.

“Derek, get in touch with Dante immediately. Either it’s time for that baby or it’s not. I don’t know much about demonic gestation, but your mate is definitely having contractions.  Largros, please take Isabel inside to see her mother. I’ll be in once I know these two are safely away.” Uscias knew Dante couldn’t teleport directly into the house so he had portaled to the lovely little gazebo outside of his wards near the front gate. 

“Her brother will be here any moment. He’ll feel her.” Derek knew how that went. 

“He’s irritated but he’s waiting to take us to father.” Mira looked towards Isabel and was proud that she could help her. Odd for a demoness to say and Mira knew she wouldn’t be so charitable again anytime soon.

“Before you go, I want to thank you for what you did for Isabel. She probably can’t. If there’s anything I should know, please tell me when you can.” He knew that some things were best left between just those who absolutely needed the information. And considering how Derek had once felt about his daughter, he didn’t feel it appropriate to discuss her private situations near him. The dragon just wanted to be sure of what was best for his daughter.  

Mira’s gaze went to the elder, ~ Her body, mind and soul were polluted, she wouldn’t have ever been your Izzy again. ~ The succubus glanced back at where the portal had been, “I need the basket sent to the club please. Tell them not to uncover it.” The next contraction hit and Mira hugged Derek a little tighter as she buried her face in his neck. Her water hadn’t broken so she knew they still had time.

“I have almost everything from the basket, babe. I wasn’t going to leave it there. It’s in my coat pocket. I have my own little ways about me, ya know. But the larger piece, sorry, I shoved it under the cushion when no one was looking.” 

“You wicked wolf, you,” Mira giggled. 

“We still need to get the suitcase from the club anyway…” Derek smirked. “Everyone was a little distracted. I didn’t want to leave it there.”  The lycan looked to the dragon and bowed his head. “I’m glad it’ll work out well.”  

Uscias nodded and closing his eyes he simply disappeared from the gazebo… and about that time… 

True to his word Angelus was at the gazebo the moment he felt his sister enter the portal. 

“What are you – insane?”

“To be clear, her coming along wasn’t my idea, but she did help… so..”  Derek hugged his mate to him a bit more. 

The male twin was thankful they had at least prepared for this moment. He touched Derek’s arm and spoke the few demonic words to activate the wards Derek had let him put on him. The protection was necessary for Derek to survive well and they weren’t visible to anyone but him.

“Darius has prepared rooms for the birthing. Are you ready Derek? Do you need anything from the club to take with you?” He was ignoring his sisters mumbles as he listened to her mate instead. 

“I need to drop this off in a magically protected room and I need to grab our suitcase. It should have everything in it we’ll need. I know it’s been repacked a few dozen times.” Derek heard Mira mumbling and he added, “And the two small bags at the side of the vanity, because someone thinks she needs to look her absolute best, even if it’s her fake best, right after giving birth and the other is full of baby clothes she couldn’t decide on just 3 or 4…” The lycan sighed and looked over Mira to Angelus and hoped the half-demon would just go with it. 

My special room.. place the items I feel on you there and keep them covered.” The contraction eased but her skin had turned the lovely teals and blues. “Angel… get the things and get us over.” It was a soft little growling demand. 

There was an exchange of looks between the siblings before Angelus growled back and called the shadows up around them all. When the darkness faded they were in the club and he was taking the weapons from Derek’s coat. He went to store it as requested before gathering everything Derek asked for. He had several little dark faceless minions carrying everything while he created the dimensional tear they could walk through to reach his father’s hold. 


I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that…” Derek whispered to Mira as he watched the little imps. 

Once across guards opened the way for them to enter the doors. “Our sire had to step away to tend business, but he’ll return soon. I’ll show you up stairs so you can lay her down.”

The grip on Derek said he may lay her down, but that he wouldn’t be getting away from her anytime soon. The next contraction hit and Mira was pulling energy from the very air itself as she growled and held on tight. “Don’t leave.. me.. Dare..” 

“I won’t. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere,” He rumbled for her as he held her through the contraction. When she was calming down a bit, he moved to the bed. Mira wasn’t sure her mate would actually let her go. Derek was so protective and she loved that about him amongst other things. And she was right. He put her down gently before sitting on the bed himself, kicking off his shoes and weapon and anything else that was uncomfortable. Then, he stepped onto the bed and moved up behind her with his silken sash so he could wipe the beads of sweat from her forehead.  

“Angelus. Is water or ice available here? Sometimes it makes things more comfortable at least…” Derek helped Mira into a position she felt comfortable in and simply moved his fingers through her hair and kept his rumble available for both her and their child.  

“Ice.. in the abyss? Sure, alright let me grab some for her.” Angelus vanished and returned a few minutes later with not only the ice but their father. “Found ice and our sire. How about that?” He moved to give Derek the pitcher of ice and touched his sisters hand. “The ice won’t melt in this.. I fixed it.” He stepped well out of the way then as his father moved to the opposite side of the bed.

Taking a seat on the mattress, Darius took Mira by the hand and pushed energy into her until she relaxed against her mate with a grateful sigh of relief. Lifting his bright blue gaze to Derek he grinned, “She’ll rest now. Her body was working on fumes as the saying on your world goes I believe?”

“She helped save a friend’s mind from torment. I didn’t ask her to do so, but apparently she couldn’t help herself.” Derek moved his hand lovingly over Mira’s neck and collar and shoulder. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her there. I guess I’ll need to always make sure I don’t go off on any sort of missions from now on.” He kissed the top of her head. “And with a baby, I suppose time for that nonsense to stop anyway. I need to focus on them more than anything else.” 

“Yes, yes you do. Mira, despite being who and what she is can forget to handle herself. You’re her mate and need to be sure she doesn’t over extend herself. I thought you understood her?” Darius raised a brow. 

“I do. But we tend to get into trouble together, sir.” Derek looked up at his demonic father-in-lar and smirked. The elder definitely understood. 

“When her hard labor hits I’ll bring the witnesses in to see your son’s birthing. Angelus has the blade for the severing of his cord. Is there any questions you have or has Mira explained it all to you?” By the look on Derek’s face Darius would wager that Mira had not explained any of this to him. But he’d wait and hear what Derek did know before making that assumption out loud.

“That’s a lot of pomp and ceremony to go through for a birthing. Or is that normal, sir?” Derek was confused. Some cultures had their various ways  of doing things, and he didn’t want to disparage such. 

“Your first born will be my heir, Derek. He will inherit all that I have, my title and my power. At my death he will also inherit all my knowledge and wisdom.” Darius looked into the eyes of his lycan born son-in-law, though by their ways he was simply another son. “That will make your boy one of the most powerful beings in this world or the others. You’ll have to help him understand the responsibilities that come with it, of course. He’ll have his mother and Uncle to help as well.”

“I…I didn’t know that.” Derek looked down at Mira and at her abdomen. The baby had definitely dropped. He was going to be a daddy, soon and to take all of this in?   His gaze went back to Darius. “Will it harm him or will it take who he is, away from him to imprint all of who you are to him?” Derek wasn’t just some back woods lycan. He was well versed on magic and educated to know trade and business. He also made sure to learn as much as he could about every race, especially after he fell in love with Mirandra – the demonic race.   

Darius shook his head as he watched the next contraction tighten Mira’s stomach up while she was sleeping within Derek’s arms. “It won’t change him and it all will be choice. I would never take such a freedom as choice away from any children regardless of which lineage they came from.”  

“Then I ask that I be kept equal in teaching him, so that he doesn’t lose himself to the duties you’re expecting of him. And I ask that… he also be allowed to live life freely. Let him choose to be who you want him to be, Darius. Prepare for it, yes… but don’t tell him he has no choice. That’s the first thing that’ll make a lycan refuse. He’s both Mira and my son… and in case you didn’t know it, that’s a double dose of stubborn,” Derek smiled. He meant no disrespect, but this was his son. And Mira hadn’t said anything, so it was far beyond time for him to set his own rules about this.  

There was a deep chuckle from the demon lord as he climbed to his feet, “You can be as much a part of his teaching as you like and he’ll never be forced into anything – of that I can assure you. Now as to the stubbornness, I’m looking forward to him and I think that mix will make him the perfect leader. Mark my words, that your son will bring worlds together.” Darius moved his hand over Mira’s stomach and his blue eyes lit up, “You should know it has been prophesied, but I’ll give you the scroll to study as proof while you wait.” 

****

In Iona, Lady Saysha moved into the room that had been used for their guests earlier. The Djinn had come to them and let them know that the others were gone. Rashgun had been annoyed since he had been told the djinn were looking for the girl. She had been quite the beauty. 

“So fragile and yet such an underlying power. And so very many friends in powerful circles, little one. Look at all of the magical resonance in here,” Saysha twirled through the center of the room, her draconic eyes moving over the place from floor to ceiling. The place sparkled so many colorful hues for her free eyes. But not as brightly as what she saw in the chaise. The dragoness walked slowly across the floor to the piece of furniture and lifted the cushion. There, wrapped partially in a piece of black velvet was obviously a knife of some sort. She moved the cloth and her smile brightened. “Demons, and dragons, and lycan… oh… my….” she whispered as she touched the blade and drew back her finger to her mouth immediately. Looking at the drop of blood still there, the dragon giggled. “What a gift have you given me.”

photo by HARRY HARALAMBOU

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