A conversation between Twilight and Eva –
The palace was a swarm of busy lycan and her mate was leading it all. While Twilight had wanted to dress and be out there with him, Kieran had actually commanded her to stay inside and rest. What he didn’t understand was that no amount of rest would ease all her aches.
She was sitting in the window watching the activity below. She had on a long night gown and her hair was loose. On some it wouldn’t matter much, but with the warrior it meant something was wrong in her world.
“Hows Terry doing?” She asks without looking.
“He’s pretending to be okay. Just like several of us. He comes by it honestly.” Eva was not one to keep the fake face on when she didn’t have to. She looked over the woman. She had been downstairs asking about them and making sure they were taken care of. But Eva had noticed a difference in her aura earlier. “Are you well, Twilight?”
“Well enough.” Twilight looked Eva over, “Better than you by the looks of it.” Standing up she went to Devon’s mate. “Ya shouldn’t be up Eva.”
“You expected Kieran. I came to ask you if you have some plants that could stop cramping.” Eva had tears in her eyes. “It’s like my body still thinks I have pups and it’s confused. The pain is pretty sharp but I don’t want anyone to know what happened, beyond Devon. But I saw that you had gone through it too, so I hoped…” Eva swallowed. She hadn’t meant to interrupt the other Alpha’s time alone, but she was in a lot of pain.
“I wasn’t expectin’ Kie, he’s busy and I’d be pissed if he came to me before tendin’ to business.” She felt for Eva because she knew what loss felt like. Gently taking the woman by the arm to support her, Twilight led Eva to a chair to sit down. “Agaro root.”
“It’s what ya need.” The dark haired female moved to her trunk at a corner of the room and withdrew the small satchel of the root. Reaching in she pulled several pieces out before putting the satchel back and returning to Eva.
The root looked like thin sheets of paper and Twilight broke a piece off. “Here, put it under yer tongue. It’ll slowly dissolve and will lasts for several hours. We use it for monthly cramps here.” As Eva took the offering, Twilight went to her side of the bed and withdrew a small vial from the side table to bring to Eva as well.
“Gea seeds, they’ll help yer body return and replenish faster. Only take two or three at night cause they’ll make ya sleepy.” Twi took a deep breath as she took the seat across from Eva, “Kie got ’em for me a year or so back. They were for me to use after our first loss.”
“Told him, I’m too rough on my body to carry a pup.” Twilight shrugged her shoulders, “Probably for the best, I don’t think I’m mama material.”
“You’d be surprised at what it takes to be a mama. But if you’re willing, that’s the most important part.” Eva whispered with a bit of a lisp now that she had some of the plant melting under her tongue.
When she saw the signs that Eva was going to speak more on that point, Twilight pushed out of the chair back to her feet.
“We need to eat. I don’t do well cooped up.” She yanked the one girly thing she insisted on off and tossed it to the bed. As the gown landed Twilight walked to her trunk again to pull out clothes. Like most lycan Twilight wasn’t modest as she moved around the room naked. Like all warriors she had scars, just not as fierce as most, except for the one that went from her knee to her hip on the outside of her right leg. She’d nearly died that time.
“What happened to your leg?” Eva asked.
“A Weylyn scout actually did that with a trap.” Twilight gave a rough little laugh, “I thought Kie was gonna kill him. I was bleedin’ so much though that he didn’t have time to. I almost died.” She pulled on her pants and followed that with her camisole and shirt. None of it was as tight fitting as her usual attire. She wasn’t up for tight confining clothes.. the shirt was even her mate’s which hung really low on her.. it was the comfort she needed though.
“I can’t imagine fighting like you do. I’ve only fought when it was a necessity. Devon makes sure I’m trained enough for that, but I’ve just never had an interest, otherwise.” Eva took a deep breath.
“How are ya feelin’?” Twilight returned to Eva and held her hand out, “Let’s go eat and check on Terry.”
“Okay. Thank you, Twilight. You know,” she took the other Alpha’s hand to help her get up again, “…for someone who doesn’t think she’d make a good mama, you know how to take care of people very well.” Eva smiled as she walked with the other woman side by side. “If you want pups, don’t give up or make excuses for the Goddess. I made that mistake.”
“I don’t know how to be anything but a warrior Eva. I don’t think I could give that up to be a mama.”
“Well being a mama doesn’t define you. It shouldn’t. You are who you are. And you’re a damned warrior queen. That’s who you are, Twilight. Embrace it and when pups come, so be it. I’m a shaman. And once I embraced that and stopped fretting over what the pack thought of my losing my first pups and not being a mama… I wound up pregnant for a good three moons before I even realized it.” She giggled, “Devon knew before I did and he didn’t say a thing until I got sick the first time.”
“Kie always knows before I do.” She smiled, “He tries limiting me but I’m stubborn. This time it was my fault.. I couldn’t let him go up against Pack Simoa without me. I was worried that I’d be raisin’ our pups without him. I can’t do that Eva.” Twilight rumbled softly as she swiped angrily at a wayward tear that had dare escape her eye.
When they reached the kitchen, Twilight moved around the cooks to snatch up food for them. It was obvious they were used to the Alpha doing such as no one so much as stopped to say hello. The kitchen was busy getting food ready for everyone and the Alpha’s knew this.
They were soon seated in the dining room at the long table waiting breakfast.. or more like brunch. Twilight picked at her food, “Kie should be angry at me.. I expected him to be.. But he isn’t. He confuses me.” Her blue eyes were focused on her plate instead of on Eva.
“Why on earth would he be angry with you? You’re his mate. The moon rises and sets in you, according to him, Twilight. I’ve never seen that man so in love. I’ve seen him in love, but not like he is with you,” Eva was confused. She also looked down at the food and only took a piece of toasted bread to nibble on.
“Cause I knew I was with pup when I went out to fight. It’s my fault we lost ’em this time Eva.” Against her will Twilight’s bottom lip quivered, but she quickly bit it refusing to give in to the silly urge to cry. She had already cried with Kieran. She didn’t need to shed more useless damned tears. “He should beat me for disobeyin’ him.. I could understand that better than how he is right now. Treatin’ me like I’m glass that’s gonna break any second. I ain’t used to that.”
She and Kieran had a wild and fierce mating that hadn’t started off easy. They were rough and sometimes even vicious in their love making. Their days were filled with training warriors and of course you couldn’t be all gentle and sweet when dealing with them. They didn’t respect gentle and sweet, they conquered it. So it wasn’t often that she let Kieran be gentle with her. She didn’t want to be thought of as soft when it came to their men. Many fights had been had over such thoughts and she had won every one of them without her mates interference.
Tossing her food back into its dish she shoved it away. Her blue eyes lifted to Eva, “Does Devon treat ya like that? Because to me ya don’t look so fragile and breakable. Ya look resilient, strong and determined.” She pushed her hair back from her face and the beads clicked together. Like the warriors she had beaded braids too.
“Yes. He knows when to do it and when not to do it. He’s learned over the years. But it’s never something I would push away. You want to know why?” Eva’s eyes sparkled.
“Why?” Twilight was truly listening to what Eva was saying.
“Because if you start condemning your mate for his actions, he may stop acting completely.” Eva put her toast down and leaned forward on the table. “I’ve seen Kieran do that, Twi. You don’t want that.” Eva was worried that one of these days, Twilight might inadvertently trigger something she wasn’t ready for. It was time for no bullshit advice.
“We mates? We can change how our mates act toward us, and you pushing him to stop being tender to ya? That’s a negative way to do it. Make sure he knows his boundaries. I understand that. Not in front of staff. Not in front of the troops. But don’t stop him from showing you the love you deserve. You’re at his side. Whether you have pups or not, you are at his side and he loves you for it. And when you feel bad, he wants to help you. He’s not treating you like you’re weak, Twilight. He’s treating you like the most precious gift the Goddess has given him – and you are. He never wants to lose you. When you’re in pain? He wants to take that away from you. And right now, you’re in pain.”
Eva looked around and then back to Twilight. “I bet that’s why he’s out in the field right now. Because you let him know that you didn’t want him around you and he’s frightened to show you love… but he can’t help it. So he’s separated himself from you. I’m telling you, that’s not a smart move.”
Twilight nodded her head and then rumbled softly to Eva so the woman would eat the rest of her food. She nibbled at her own.
“You want your pack to see how to behave as well,” Eva ate some more toast and even added some berry jam this time. “This shouldn’t be the reason you let him love you and treat you like his treasure, but it’s an additional perk to it. You see, you’re the Alphas. They all look to you as role models. When you allow your mate to show you love, you’re showing the pack what love is. If you only let your pack see you both at war and fighting? Well…” Eva let Twilight consider that while she finished eating.
Soon, they went to see Terry again. He had wanted her away because he was going to be cleaned and treated. Eva knew that had been a very wise idea. She didn’t want to accidentally rip anyone’s head off for hurting her pup.
The boy was curled up in a fetal position facing them, his eyes were closed and his breathing was shuddery at best. He was sleeping with his bandaged hands holding his knees to his chest and bandaged feet tucked in as best he could get them.
Twilight watched Eva go to her pup and then she went to the incense burner to add more of the aromatic herbs meant to help ease and calm Terry so he could rest. As Eva tended to her pup, Twilight left in search of her mate.
She found him at the training ring and catching his eye she motioned with her head for him to come to her.
Kieran nodded and motioned for two of the others to begin sparring where he had left off. It took two to make up for his mass and experience. He grabbed a towel to wipe his face with before turning to look her way again and start walking to her.
When one of the younger warriors started to say something she kicked him square in the ass and watched as he went to his knees apologetically. The rest turned away from her quickly without a sound. They weren’t used to seeing her dressed so with her hair loose.
When Kieran joined her, Twilight swallowed hard and looked up at him, “I’m sorry.. I really need ya right now Kie.. think they can do without ya?” She was taking Eva’s advice and hoped it didn’t bite her in the ass.
“They seem ta be doing just fine, don’t ya think?” He looked over his shoulder where the Deltas had begun moving to help the younger ones with moves. Turning back to her, he very tentatively held out his arm, meaning to pull her against him, but if she pulled away, he would do as he normally did and just pretend he was stretching. He didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable.
There was no hesitation this time. Twilight didn’t even glance towards the training g ring as she walked right into his open arms and pressed her face to his chest to breathe his scent in. Right then with everyone around them doing their own thing Twilight felt her most fragile. She didn’t like it but she felt it. Kieran was her safe haven, her security against the world and though she may not have thought so at first, she really did need him to hold her together.
“Talk to me, Twi. What do ya need me for and where do ya want ta go?” Kieran would quite literally do anything for his mate. All she needed to do was say the word.
“I.. I don’t know Kie.. I just don’t want to be here. I feel so..” Twilight had tears trailing down her cheeks and she didn’t even know it as she looked up at him. “Can we please go away a few days? Just you and me.. I just I can’t do all of this right now..” She meant the Pack and the warriors and their families. She felt raw and she just needed him to hold her and somehow make it better. It hadn’t been like this with the first one, but then she hadn’t wanted to face it or grieve it and she damned sure didn’t let Kie do any of this for her. She got angry at him and they had fought and then.. then they moved on like nothing happened.
“Yeah, we can go away. I’d like that. We ain’t been out beneath the stars in a long time, not by ourselves.”
This time was different.. This time the pups had been wanted and there had been such hope and desire for them. Right then.. in his arms with the world around them she understood. Right then she truly did feel as fragile as glass. It was as if he were to hug her too tight she would simply shatter into a million pieces.
Kieran held her close and then despite having been hit before for it, he fucking picked his mate up and walked with her toward the woods. They had survived on less than they had on their backs. Besides, he had several safe-houses and cabins peppered through the packlands. Before long, he was jogging with her pressed against him. He felt like he was running with her. He was running… for her…
She didn’t fight him or put up an ounce of struggle as he held her. Twilight just curled into him and held on. The next time she opened her eyes they weren’t moving anymore. She turned her head and looked at the cabin he’d brought them to. It wasn’t familiar to Twilight and she thought she knew of all his little hide outs. “Where are we?”
“Still on the edge of Wulf’s border. I asked if he’d mind if I ket the trail and the cabin here. The woods back here, they calm me. Just hadn’t had time to bring you here. You’ve been wantin’ ta keep the troops goin… then Terry…” Kieran was purposely not mentioning their own loss. His eyes showed it, though.
When he took them inside and started to sit down Twilight hugged his neck not wanting him to let go. “Please.. don’t put me down Kieran.” Why she felt so needy and clingy was beyond her, but she didn’t fight her feelings right then either.
“I won’t. But it might get cool in here.” He walked her over to the cabinet to grab out a blanket. Walking over to the big chair, he sat in it and moved his mate better so she could be more comfortable. Then, he flapped open the blanket to go over them both. He put his forehead to hers and looked into her eyes. “I love you, ya know that?” He rumbled for her, now that he wasn’t running full out. She was his everything and he’d never seen her show him so much pain. “I’d do anything to fix it, Twi,” he whispered, his big hand moving some of her hair from her face.
“I know Kie.. I just.. I can’t fix this.. ya can’t fix it either.” Her tears fell like they had in the bath and she took a deep breath. Her hand lifted to rest against his bearded cheek and she breathed him in. “I want ya to listen to me Kieran. I never gave ya a chance to before so I want ya to now.”
“I’m listenin’” he spoke so softly because he felt his own tears coming. They hadn’t properly mourned either of their losses. And it hurt, whether they wanted to admit it or not. And the old Alpha was truly worried about what she had to say to him.
Twilight licked her lips and took a steadying breath as she nestled into him and started talking while his warmth surrounded her.
“The first time.. I wasn’t ready to be a mama. We hadn’t been mates long and we were livin’ on the go. So when it was lost I wasn’t as broken as you were. That’s why I wouldn’t let ya do this. It’s why I was fightin’ ya. I felt guilty for not hurtin’ like you were. I’m sorry for that.. But this time.. these pups.. ohhh Kieran.. I wanted them. I was stupid and I went out to fight because I was more afraid of losin’ you than of losin’ them. The Goddess punished us for my foolishness… and I’m so.. so.. sorry Kieran. I pushed ya away again cause I didn’t think ya were angry enough at me. I don’t feel like I deserve this tenderness cause it was my fault.”
She was sobbing by then so hard she couldn’t say anything else as she wrapped her arms around Kieran’s neck and held on to him as her body shook with her tears. “I don’t wanna lose you, Kieran.. I love ya so much it scares me sometimes..”
Kieran growled and hugged her tight, this time tears did drift down his cheeks. He sniffed and then he moved her and when she tried to look down again, he lifted her chin gently. He wanted her to see into his eyes.
“My soul ta yours, Twilight. I could never stop loving you. I could never leave you. So next time you don’t worry one bit about not being at my side in a fight – if there is one. Because, being my partner in battler? That ain’t your worth to me. Do you understand that? It’s only part of who you are. I will never leave you.” As much as it hurt to be pushed away, he had taken it. He felt like he deserved it. He’d been a horrible person in the past. And now, he whispered his own thoughts as he held her, but let go her chin.
“I was thinking, maybe it’s me. Maybe I don’t deserve pups yet. I got my own killed or maimed all except poor Devon. And he had ta leave me to keep safe.” His lip trembled. He never showed such emotion, not this kind of emotion, anyways.
“I’m sorry, if the Goddess is punishing me and you just got caught up in it. I want you to be a mama, too. The way you take care of people? You’d make one of the best mamas.” He kissed the side of her head and her cheek and rumbled again for her. “I don’t want you ta leave me because the Goddess is mad at me. You know how scared I am of that?”
It was Twilight’s turn to take his chin between her fingers. As their gazes held she brushed the wetness from his cheeks and growled softly for him, “Never gonna happen. The day ya took me as yer mate before yer men is the day ya became stuck with me for life. When ya go to the fields I’ll go with ya.”
Letting his chin go, Twilight brushed her cheek against Kieran’s as she held him and made her own vow, “My soul to yers Keiran Weylyn. I’ll never leave ya and when the Goddess claims ya, she’ll claim me too. Cause she can’t have one without the other. One day I’ll be a mama to yer pups and if takes me givin’ her offerin’s everyday I will. Yer not that same man anymore and she needs to forgive ya. I’ll promise her every day to sit at home and be a borin’ housemate every day of my pregnancy if that’s what it takes.” She kissed him and snuggled in again with her head on his shoulder so they could talk more. This felt right and she didn’t want to lose the moment with him.
“I’m sure you’d fight her and fuss at her, my mate.” Kieran chuckled. “We’ll have pups. But right now, we’ve got each other.” Kieran didn’t move any farther. He just enjoyed the moment for as long as it would last. He held his heart in his arms and swore he’d never let a thing happen again to cause her pain and him not be there to help her. Never again.