Thursday, June 27, 2013
Basic rule of blogging: if you can’t come up with a topic, write a flash. Today’s post is a bridge scene between the end of my M/M/F ménage, Legacy, and my YA spinoff Slayer for Hire, as the hero of Slayer makes his first-ever appearance.
# # #
“Here we go,” Annie said. “Show time.”
“About damn time,” Colleen growled. She knew her full attention should have been focused on birthing her third child, but she found her awareness split between her contractions and the window, and the soon-to-rise sun beyond it. Babies came when they came, with no regard for arbitrary adult schedules. Least of all a vampire’s.
Wallace crowded against the narrow bed, both his hands gripping one of Colleen’s. Like her, he nervously watched the window as well as her efforts. Colleen was only half vampire and could withstand the sun, but its rays meant death for him. Nevertheless she knew he’d risk it to stay by her side until their child entered the world. The stubborn bastard.
Del had been a daylight baby too. Wallace had toughed it out, swaddled in a hooded robe and dark glasses, until he could hold their newborn son in his arms. Dina had been more accommodating; she’d arrived in the dead of night, daddy’s girl from the start. This one seemed intent on making his debut with the dawn, and it looked like his intentions were going to trump his parents’.
Colleen bore down with all her impressive vampire strength. Still the little prick refused to come out. Oh great, yet another hard-headed addition to the flock. Didn’t they have enough of those already?
As always, Jeremy took quick action to protect his beloved vampires. He pried Colleen’s other hand from around his wrist and went to the window to draw the blinds and curtains. On his return route he detoured to the bedroom closet for an extra blanket, which he handed to Wallace. “Wrap yourself in this. I think that window faces north anyway, but no point in taking chances. Annie?”
“North or northwest, I’m not sure,” Annie said from between Colleen’s legs. “C’mon, sonny boy, you’re holding up the show. Not to mention your daddy’s bedtime.”
“You’re not sure?” Wallace squeaked. “It’s your house.”
“You could have done this at your place, y’know. I’ve brought babies into the world in stranger places than a vampire’s lair.”
“I didn’t tell my water to break in the middle of dinner,” Colleen snapped. Her hand clamped around Wallace’s. “Sorry. I thought I had at least two weeks to go. And now, after all this, the little shit doesn’t want to come out after all.”
“Can’t blame him there,” Wallace said. “I like to stay buried inside you too.”
Jeremy grinned. “Same here.”
Colleen squeezed both their hands. Wallace, with his superhuman strength, took her grip in stride. “Ow!” human Jeremy yelped. “What are you punishing me for? I’m not the one who got you pregnant.”
“It’s not punishment,” Colleen gasped between pants. “He must have heard you. He’s on his way.”
The baby crowned just as the sun rose. Wallace snarled at the window, but didn’t budge from her bedside. Jeremy angled his body to block any stray rays of sunlight from Wallace.
“Atta girl,” Annie said. “One more push—”
After all the contractions, the bother and the drama, the baby arrived just like his siblings, quickly and with very little pain. The advantages of a half-vampiric physiology. Annie cut the cord with expert precision. Colleen expelled the afterbirth with a tiny grunt. Wallace grunted too, as the smell of fresh hot blood attacked his nostrils. “You okay?” Jeremy said.
“I’m good.” Wallace rubbed his nose. “How about you, sweetheart?”
Colleen struggled upright, already reaching out. “How’s the baby?”
“Fine and dandy,” Annie said. “You’ve got yourself another healthy boy. How much vampire? Too soon to say. We’ll know more when his teeth come in.” She brought the baby, now cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket, over to the bed. “Here you go, pardner. Say howdy to your mom and dad.”
Colleen took the baby and cradled him close. He wriggled against her, curious, already trying to smile. Such a perfect little thing. Big dark eyes and little wiggly fingers and toes and features that could have been anybody’s. Both Del and Dina favored their father. She wondered if their newest brother would follow suit.
But something was off, just a hair. He didn’t smell the same as Del and Dina had when they’d been born. Colleen fought a surge of alarm. It wasn’t a wrong or sick odor, just different. More like … she couldn’t put her finger on it.
She turned to Wallace and noticed his nostrils working. He’d picked up on it too. His elated smile dimmed for a second before it shifted into another direction.
Attuned to them both, Jeremy asked worriedly, “Was is it? What’s wrong? Is the baby okay?”
“Oh, he’s fine,” Wallace said with an odd half-grin. “You want to hold him, scarecrow?”
“His father should take a turn first.”
“Exactly.” Wallace’s grin widened until his fangs showed, but not in a threatening way. “I don’t know how you pulled it off, scarecrow, but this one’s yours.”
“What?” Jeremy stared down at the baby in Colleen’s protective arms, then up at Wallace. “No.”
“This says yes.” Wallace tapped his nose, still grinning like a manic jack o’lantern. “His scent’s too human. Del and Dina’s blood smelled like mine. His doesn’t. Congratulations, scarecrow. You’re a daddy.”
“But—no. How did that happen?”
“You don’t know?” Annie said. “Here’s how it works. The man sticks his poker up the lady’s chimney, and nine months later a baby shows up. Stop me if the terms get too technical.”
“That isn’t what I meant. I meant, he can’t be mine. I’m human. I can’t get Colleen pregnant. Colleen, tell them.”
“He’s right.” Colleen tenderly brushed the dark fuzz on her new son’s perfect little head, drinking in his scent. “Wallace is right. That’s what’s different about him.” She looked up at Jeremy, smiling. “He smells just like you.”
“Good, strong heartbeat,” Wallace added. “More times a minute than the other two. Look at you.” Wallace chuckled and tweaked a fold of the baby’s blanket. “Snuggled up in your mama’s arms like you never want to leave. That how you got here?”
Annie speared a look at Jeremy. “You two weren’t using protection?”
“I didn’t think we needed to,” Jeremy said testily. “Colleen was genetically designed to breed vampire children. She can’t have babies with humans.”
“You’ve been taking doses of my blood,” Colleen pointed out. “Wallace’s too. Maybe it was enough.”
“That and the non-stop sex,” Wallace said. “You two go at it like rabbits while I’m asleep. I can smell you all over the house. Looks like you got the ammo, Fertile Freddy. Maybe I should start using protection.”
“Stop it,” Jeremy snarled. “Just—”
The baby gurgled and yawned. Jeremy automatically glanced down. The look of longing, of hope that flashed across his face nearly broke Colleen’s heart.
Annie came up behind him and squeezed his shoulder. “There are ways to check,” she said. “I know discrete people. The kind who won’t ask questions if something funny pops up in the baby’s DNA.”
“Or we can just wait about fifteen years,” Wallace said. “When he shoots up to seven feet tall, we’ll know for sure.”
“You really think it’s possible?” Jeremy asked softly. “You’re not angry?”
Wallace leaned across the bed, Colleen and the newborn to catch Jeremy by the back of the head and draw him in for a powerful kiss. “How could I be angry? This is the life I wanted for you. Fussing over your girl and your kid instead of over a cranky bat. C’mon, I’ve seen how you are with our kids. If ever a man was born to be a mom, it’s you.”
Colleen pressed Jeremy’s hand. “Would you like to hold your son?”
Jeremy didn’t move, so Annie accepted the baby from Colleen and handed him to his father. Jeremy’s hands shook. It wasn’t nervousness. He’d had plenty of experience with her and Wallace’s children. Maybe more; their children were active in daylight. She knew what brought on the trembling. Her own emotions trembled as she watched one of the two men she adored fall head over heels for the tiny life he now held in his arms.
“Any ideas for a name?” Annie asked. “Or would you rather wait a little bit and let it all sink in?”
“Colleen and I had a few ideas,” Wallace said. “Back when we thought I was the one who hit the moving target.”
“We’re not calling him Ghidrah,” Colleen said firmly. “And I’m not letting you watch those movies any more. What about Matthew?” she added to Jeremy. “Wasn’t that your father’s name?”
“Um?” Jeremy stirred briefly out of his fatherhood trance. “I don’t even remember my father.”
Wallace snickered. “Bet you remember this.”
“I doubt if I’ll ever forget.” He smiled down at the baby. The baby sort of smiled back. “Hey, Matt. Welcome to the flock.”
“And on that note,” Annie said, “Mommy needs a break. Scoot, fellahs. We’ll take it from here.”
“I’m staying,” Jeremy announced. “Until Colleen kicks me out.”
“But I can’t,” Wallace said. He winced in the direction of the window. With a sigh of a growl he kissed Colleen, then Jeremy, then the baby, and finally Annie. “Gotta go. See you folks tonight.”
But he didn’t leave, not at once. He paused in the bedroom doorway. Jeremy perched on the edge of the bed, one arm around Colleen, the other around their child. All three looked so beautiful, so happy. So alive.
The vampire’s heart beat. Just for a minute, a series of powerful thumps. Then he wrenched himself away and sped downstairs, to the windowless room in the basement that would protect him until nightfall, when he could rejoin his family.
# # #
For the rest of the story, both the threesome’s and Matt’s, check out my page on Amazon (www.amazon.com/Pat-Cunningham/e/B005EMOBF4/ref=sr_tc_ep?qid=1311881989). There’s other stuff on there too, like shapeshifters and gay superheroes. Something for everyone.