Antigone and Paruush were playfully messing around in their bedroom, filling it with laughter. Their four year anniversary was coming up soon, four years of a wonderful, blissful marriage and seven years of the most magical relationship either had ever been in. It only took them so long to get married because they had an impossible time picking where they wanted to get married and coordinating the days the venue was available with when all of Paruush’s family could come proved difficult. It meant a lot to Antigone so much of his family wanted to see them married she didn’t mind it made them keep pushing the date back.
Now here they were, finally trying to have children and having a good time doing it. Antigones bees were doing well and as a result of that flowers were bountiful on their land. Their little touches here and there had made this place even more gorgeous than when Paruush purchased it for them, if that were truly possible. The two made love as they so often did then they went down stairs to enjoy coffee together. They planned on making their cups then sitting on their back porch.
“I really hope I get pregnant soon.” Antigone said as she pulled two cups down and sat them on the counter. “I can’t wait to hold our child.”
“Me too, baby.” Paruush hugged her from behind as she made their coffee, just enjoying the feel of her pressed against him. “Boy or girl?”
“Happy and healthy.”
He chuckled as she handed him his coffee then pressed a kiss to his cheek. They headed out to the back porch, sitting on the top step together. She took a sip of her coffee then rested he head on his shoulder. “The bees are quiet today.” Paruush said as he drank his coffee. He saw a few flying around the box and cocked his head to listen closer. There were definitely more in the box.
“Do you think they’re okay?”
He sat his cup down and kissed the top of her head. “Let me go check.”
“you know I will beautiful” He walked over and carefully opened the lid. It was strange how few bees were there. He wondered what happened to the others and if they would be coming back. Paruush could always hear in her voice how much she enjoyed their presence and how proud she was of them. He knew it was going to make her sad to hear some were gone for whatever reason. He carefully closed the bees home then walked back over to his wife “My hearing wasn’t deceiving me, there are less” she frowned so he tried to be positive “I’m sure they are coming back baby. Maybe some amazing flowers that are particularly good attracted a bunch of them off at once” Antigone smiled, thinking of how sweet he was. He practically panicked anytime he thought she was sad “maybe”
They finished their coffee and Paruush helped Antigone to her feet, pulling her into him and kissing her. “Why don’t we go on a walk, it’s so nice today.”
“Sounds good, maybe we’ll even see some of our bees coming back.”
“I’m sure we will.”
They took their cups inside and got dressed then headed out to the back of the property. The woods were so beautiful and peaceful, Antigone loved exploring them with Paruush. They walked slowly, fingers laced together, talking softly about children and their favorite names. Paruush had her laughing when he expressed how he hoped they didn’t have a daughter because he would probably get in trouble a lot. “We’ll just have to take her to my grandpa and have him teach her how to throw a punch.”
“Maybe I’ll turn her into a little tomboy.”
“Paruush, what if we have a boy, would you feel the same way?”
“I would be protective no matter what, but with a girl I would have to worry about some asshole demon or something. She wouldn’t have to worry about human boys because she’d be strong enough to break their arms like matchsticks, but with creatures like me, our daughter would have to be tough.”
“Yeah, hopefully she finds a good man though.”
“when she’s dating, if she doesnt end up with a human we will just have to pay close attention. I don’t care if she hates me I wont allow her to let a man be abusive towards her. I’ll drag her butt home and lock her in her bedroom”
“Paruush, you’re getting so worked up and we don’t even have a child at all yet” Embarrassment played across his face “sorry, I just think about our future children a lot” They talked about their kids, the bees and their family until Paruush suddenly grew quiet “what’s wrong?”
“I’m not sure, it’s just a feeling.” They both stopped walking and she felt it too, a sense of foreboding. He picked her up “we’re going home” He started running with her back to the house before she could even answer him. They heard tiking coming from all directions but instead of getting louder, it was growing quieter.
“Paruush, what’s going on?”
The ticking was so faint now and Paruush could feel something at his back. He braced himself as the beat of wings sound behind him and a heavy weight slammed into him, sending him falling forward. He had no choice but to toss Antigone away or risk crushing her and hoped she would forgive any bruises or cuts she sustained. He flipped over, barely managing to catch the grotesque creature by the throat, its sharp teeth snapping an inch from his face. “Antigone, run.” He ordered as he punched the thing and tried to scramble out from under it. It grabbed him, dragging him back. Its teeth clamped down on his throat and he screamed at the searing pain as blood gushed from the wound.
Antigone snapped out of her shock and was on her feet again rushing at the thing that had her husband. She jumped on its back, using all the strength she had to pull it back so it had to let go of Paruush and focus on her. She jumped off of it and it turned, blood dripping from its face as it came for her. She took to the sky and watched as the thing changed into a large bird to give chase. She had to find a way to kill it or lose it so she could get Paruush help.
Paruush forced himself not to panic as he held his throat and crawled back towards their home. He wanted to call her family for help and cursed himself for the fact they never carried their damn cellphones. He decided then and there he was never walking away from the house without it. He was loseing so much blood, too much which made it hard to force himself forward but he couldn’t let it kill Antigone. He didn’t even care about himself, the fact that he felt faint. He had made Antigone feel like this once and still carried guilt. Wouldn’t it be karma if he died from blood loss? Antigone didn’t deserve to be this scared again, she didn’t deserve to die.
It felt like it took forever to get to the back porch, his body becoming weaker with each movement. He reached for the doorknob and missed falling onto the hardwood. He tried tightening his grip on his throat, but his fingers wouldn’t listen. He felt sorrow and frustration rise up in him and forced his arms to push him back up. Even if he lost every last drop of blood, it wouldn’t matter as long as Antigone was safe. He managed to get the door open and crawled sluggishly toward the coffee table.
Antigone weaved between trees as she took the creature through the forest. She didn’t dare look back, not when she could possibly break her neck if she did. She could hear the wings, the sound getting louder as it closed in. She kept her gaze forward as headed straight for one of the bigger trees, veering up at the last second so the thing behind her slammed into the thick trunk. She looked down, but didn’t see it and decided to hurry back to Paruush. If she could get him out of the woods, maybe the thing would leave them alone.
She returned to where she left him and her eyes grew wide, why had he started to move?! It was probably just making his condition worse. It was easy to tell where Paruush was going. He left a blood trail which was terrifying her. He must be hurt even worse than she thought he was. When she got to the house he was barely consious by the coffee table “Paruush” she said, worry evident in her voice “baby” he said softly, not sure if he was going to survive this. He looked bad, near death bad so she offered something she never thought she’d have the courage to offer again. “baby you need fresh blood.”
“Just get me the animal blood”
“No, you need fresh blood and you know it. Dear god if you could see yourself”
“absolutely not, no. I know where you’re going with that”
“You need to drink my blood Paruush”
“Antigone” he was starting to cry because of the memories that were being stirred “Antigone I thought…I thought I’d lost you for good. You wouldn’t talk to me…you wouldn’t…I still get angry at myself for bringing you so close to death, for ruining what we had. No, I wont, I’d rather die than make you terrified of me again. I can’t lose you. I’d really rather die” He was sobbing now but she wasn’t going to lose him ‘Paruush” she said in frustration as she started crying herself. She got upm grabbing a knife from the kitchen and cutting herself.
“Paruush I love you, even if you almost kill me again I wont leave, I swear it. We’re going to get me pregnant, we’re going to have a family” She forced her wrist into his mouth which wasn’t hard in his weakened state. You could have knocked her over when he actually pushed her bloody wrist out. He had tasted her blood again and he pushed it out and didn’t even seem to realize he did it. “Paruush”
“No, no Antigone, I can’t..I’ll hurt you again”
“Baby, my blood was in your mouth, my whole bleeding wrist and you just pushed it out”
“Please, I…I can’t.”
“Paruush, that’s enough.” She was so upset she raised her voice and quickly tried to calm herself. “Enough, you have to. Do it for me, I need you and I can’t sit here and watch you die.” She lifted his head and rested it in her lap then pushed her wrist back into his mouth. “Don’t fight me on this, please just drink.” He made a whimpering sound that bordered on despair and gripped her wrist, his eyes closed as he swallowed her blood. “There you go, drink as much as you need, it’s okay.” She bent down and kissed his forehead then reached over with her other hand and grabbed her phone. She was tired, but she needed to call her father and tell him what happened.
Gregory answered after a couple of rings. “Hey baby girl, what’s…”
“Daddy, you need to get over here.”
“Antigone, what happened?”
“Just get here, we were attacked, Paruush got hurt pretty bad.”
“I’m going to get your grandfather and we’ll be over, okay? Just hold on.”
When he pushed her wrist out again she hugged him as he began to sob. He hadn’t gone too far this time but she could imagine how hard emotionally it was for him to even risk it. He truly loved her and she knew he truly regretted his actions that day years ago though she couldn’t see that more any other time than she saw it right now. You would have never been able to convince her she’d have him feed again, especially not because she made him do it but here they were and he had managed with seemingly no struggle to stop. There wasn’t a second he even looked like he liked her blood as she had watched him take what he needed. “I love you Paruush” she assumed the incoherent words he spoke through his sobs were an I love you too “Hey, baby, it all turned out okay. My dad and grandfather are coming too”
“I could have…what if…”
She gently ran her fingers through his hair and he held tightly to her until he was able to calm down. “Better?”
“I don’t know yet.” He kissed her cheek and then her lips and then took a moment to look her over. “Did it hurt you?”
“No, but I think I hurt it.”
“You should have left me.”
“Paruush, don’t say that.” She said in a reprimanding tone.
“Sorry, I was just so scared for you. If I had lost you again, I would have wanted to die. I can’t live without you.”
“It’s okay now, we’re safe.”
He shook his head. “That thing is still out there. It didn’t follow you, but it’s out there. I think it’s what scared the bees away. They knew something bad was waiting in the woods.”
“Then we’ll stay right here until my dad and grandpa get here, okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” He lifted her and sat down on the couch, his arms locked around her so nothing could take her away.
She relaxed in his arms, feeling how fearful he had been. She comforted Paruush as best she could until her father Gregory and her grandfather Declan arrived. He carried her to the door, only setting her down when her family wanted to hug her. Her wrist was basically healed and so was his neck wound but they were still there enough for them to ask what exactly happened. “That was brave and smart thinking giving him your blood” her father praised and her grandfather added “I figured he could do it if he had it to do over though I would have never brought that up. He almost lost you last time. Loseing the love of your life would be enough to fix any man so he could have your blood without giving in to the addiction”
Declan spoke again “more importantly, fill us in so we can get rid of this thing”
“it’s an Aswang”
“Now it makes sense how to got Paruush like it did. He’s a strong vampire but thats an incredibly strong creature”
“I got it to chase me and eventually tricked it into slamming into a tree. I don’t know what happened after”
“well you stay in here, Paruush, your grandfather and I will handle this. We need one person who can just worry about wounds when it’s all over” She knew they were just worried about her so she allowed them to leave without her. She decided to cook to pass time, if they weren’t hungry she was probably starving enough for everybody.
“Paruush, since you already smell of blood, I want you to act as bait. Your scent will help to mask ours, especially since you bled all over the place.” Declan said as they made their way across the yard to the woods.
“Just don’t tell Antigone, I don’t want to scare her anymore than she already is.”
“She’s a tough girl, Paruush.” Gregory said.
“I know, she saved my life. She actually attacked that thing.”
The sound of loud clicking met them as they stepped into the woods. “Remember, it’s going to try attacking you from behind. The quieter the clicking, the closer it is.” Declan explained. “Just remember we’re out here and we’ll stop it before it gets a chance to touch you.”
“I know, thank you.”
Gregory and Declan left him there, hiding but staying close. They felt together and actually prepared for it they wouldn’t have any issues taking it down but they needed to be sure they got Antigones husband back to her, especially since she could be pregnant. They knew the two of them had been trying for awhile. It was part of why they had wanted Antigone to stay behind. Having her help wasn’t worth the risk of possibly harming a little one growing inside of her. When the clicking finally started to become softer Paruush was ready. He managed to duck the initial attack now that he understood how the creature worked. As soon as the creature swooped over Paruush, Declan and Gregory came out of the trees, double teaming the creature and taking it out as easily as they thought they would.
This was an incredibly powerful creature but Declan was an ancient and even more powerful vampire than when he met his beautiful Rylan. Training all these years with her, their children and his wifes hoard of vampires she was still matron of. Then of course Gregory had picked up his fathers habits of constantly working on his skills. Paruush found himself impressed by them yet again, sometimes feeling a bit inadequate when they were around. Antigone came from such a strong and intelligent family.
The Aswang seemed so slow in comparison to the two more seasoned vampires and before Paruush knew it, it was laying motionless on the ground. Its mouth gaped open and Paruush touched his throat. He was surprised he had even lived through the attack and knew if it hadn’t been for Antigone, it might have crushed his throat completely. “What should we do with it?” He finally asked.
“Gregory and I will take it and burn it.” Declan said. “You go back and check on Antigone.”
“Are you sure, because I can go with you.”
“Go, I’m sure she’s worried about you.”
“Uh wait, I need to ask, would you mind training me? I’m not exactly the strongest vampire, but I should be able to protect Antigone. When you have the time, I want to learn how to fight, really fight.”
Declan smiled “any time, truly, you’re responsible for one of my grandchildren and hopefully soon one of my great grandchildren. Whenever you have time all you have to do is make sure I’m home. Greg, you should help me train him sometime.”
“Of course” Gregory said to his dad then looked at Paruush “Now go to my daughter” Paruush thanked them then headed home. He found her at the table eating some of the meal she prepared “where’s my dad and grandpa?” she asked right away “they went to burn the creature”
“Oh, I made way too much food then.” Paruush grabbed a plate, putting some on it before sitting down with her. “It must have went really well then.” she pointed out and he nodded “well, it’s your dad and grandfather. They are ridiculously strong” she took his hand, hearing that feeling of inadequacy in his voice “You’re amazing Paruush. You make me really happy precisely the way you are.” He lifted her hand to his lips, kissing the back of it. “well I asked them to work with me and they are going to. I’m really eager to get better. Declan said I could come over anytime. I just, I want to be able to protect you without them or at least not be so….well…not so pathetic compared to them”
“they are a lot older than you Paruush for starters, especially grandpa. He was old when he met grandma Rylan”
“How did they meet exactly?”
“some bad people were after her brother and he protected them. He fell in love with her pretty quickly”
“How did your parents meet?” she was really surprised they hadn’t talked about all this before but they really hadn’t to her memory “well my mom has always been how she is now. She loves to do things for children, especially sick children. Well one day when she was passing out free snow cones my dad saw her. They took a lot longer to come together than my grandparents though. She was afraid of him because he was a vampire. She lost both of her parents when she was a little girl because a vampire drained them. That’s why she was raised by Kimina and why a pure blooded dragon is a fairies brother”
“It’s hard to believe she doesn’t hate me for what happened all those years ago”
“Paruush, thats ancient history and look what happened today. Apparently you can feed on me now”
“I don’t want to though”
“don’t be silly baby. You actually needed my blood today and you could still control yourself when drinking it”
“I just worry. What if I lose control again? What if this time was just a fluke?”
“You won’t and it wasn’t. You were practically drained, Paruush, that should have made you way more likely to lose control. You’re stronger that you were before. Don’t let what happened in the past taint today.”
“I know, I still want to be careful. Maybe little tests here and there until I’m confident I won’t hurt you.”
They finished eating and Paruush washed their dishes while Antigone put away left overs. He scooped her up as soon as the fridge was closed and carried her up to their room, wanting to shower and then cuddle with her. He closed his eyes as she washed the dry blood from him, her touch soothing and easing some of the tension from his body. They got out and dried then he carried her to bed and got them both under the covers. The moment her head was pillowed on his chest, she was asleep.
He held her gently, happy to have her so at peace with him after feeding on her. He couldn’t lose her, not again and that’s all he had been able to think about when she pushed him into taking her blood. About two days later Rylan and Declan received a call from Paruush, asking if he could come over to train. Declan was glad to hear from him so soon and called a few of his children to come over. He wanted to practice all sorts of situations, some he would need multiple beings for so Declan was glad his children could come. When they went over Antigone went inside with her mother and grandmother, mostly to talk and catch up in general. ‘so anything on the baby front?” her grandmother brought up, eager for great grandchildren. “I haven’t taken a test in awhile but I don’t think so”
“well you’ll be here for a bit anyway, why don’t we check?”
Rylan took her to the bathroom with Kifa following excitedly behind. Antigone was a bit nervous when Rylan pulled a box out of one of the bathroom drawers and handed it to her. “Have you two been trying?” She asked.
“Not trying, but also not preventing it either. I went ahead and bought a couple just in case.” Rylan said. “Call us when you’re done and we’ll pace together.”
“Thanks grandma, I hope I am, I’m so nervous. This would really be the icing on the cake for us.”
She closed the door and did her best to relax. She didn’t even know why she was stressing. She sat the stick on the counter then let her mother and grand mother in. “Are you excited?” Kifa asked.
“I will be if it says I’m pregnant, grandma you can tell me what it says when the time is up.
Rylan wore an amused smile “Okay sweetheart” When it was time Rylan looked at it, her face giving away the answer before she even said anything “Looks like we’re expecting a new little one in this family Antigone!” Antigone gasped then had to look for herself. Her mother laughed out of happiness, she remembered that feeling when you were trying for a baby and finally found out you were pregnant “are we going to tell your husband or wait?” Kifa asked. “I don’t know, how did you guys tell Declan and Gregory?” Her mother, Kifa answered first “with your father and I he was always with me when I took the test. Mostly because it was always his idea. He was so eager for you and your brother”
Rylan laughed “Declan tended to just sense it when I was pregnant. Like he could just tell when anything at all changed with my scent. I still buy tests anyway and make sure he’s right but he’s just that good”
“so no ideas?”
“I personally would love to see his face if you casually brought it up while we’re having dinner.” Her mother said then Rylan spoke, laughing as she did “Oh that would be amazing, please Antigone, lets do that. Talk about something completely ordinary and then say oh yeah, by the way, I’m carrying our first child. I’ll make sure to have my camera in my lap to get his face when he realizes what you just said” Antigone laughed too ‘you two, sure, we can do that”
They went back out to watch Paruush train with the others for as long as they were in sight then just sat there on the front porch drinking tea and chatting about babies until it was time to start cooking. Antigone was so excited to tell Paruush that she nearly had trouble containing herself when he and the others returned all covered in dirt and sweat. “How did you do?” She asked as she hugged him and gave him a kiss.
“Alright I guess.”
Declan and Gregory slapped him on the back at the same time, the former saying, “He did great for his first cat and mouse game.”
“He’s got some natural talent.” Gregory added. “We’re going to work hard.”
“Well you all need to go get cleaned up before dinner.” Rylan said and Declan wrapped his arms around her and pressed a big kiss to her lips. “Declan, be good.”
“Sorry, I love you. Come on everyone, bosses orders.”
When everyone was clean, at the table and had their food Antigone started talking about the changes they wanted to make to their porch. He had brought up a few things he wanted to add to it about a month ago. She was a good five minuets into talking about it when she said “I think I like the other table better but I guess what does that stuff matter when I found out today I’m pregnant” Rylan had been itching to pull her camera from her lap, she snapped the picture right as she said it, holding the button down to get a few more. Kifa laughed, noticing the shocked faces of everyone who hadn’t been in the house to hear their plans.
Rylan snapped a few more pictures of everybody while Paruush just hugged Antigone “really?”
“Yep, grandma apparently keeps pregnancy tests on hand so we decided just to see” He was feeling so much it was hard to pin down one emotion but he did know he was incredibly happy. Now he wanted to get stronger even more. He didn’t only have his mate to protect but their first little boy or girl as well. Everyone was happy and already talking about a baby shower. It was an amazing night to end an amazing day.
~ The End