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Last Stand

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“Well what can be said about the one and only Doctor Lauren Lewis that hasn't been said already? Brilliant, selfless, great under pressure, a life saver and lets not forget stunning. Tonight we are here to honor the very best in fields across the board from physics to ecology and Doctor Lewis' breakthrough this year on the preservation of cells pertaining to perishing organs in not just human-beings but Fae as well is nothing short of a medical miracle and I am wholeheartedly expecting to stand here again next year presenting her with another award for once and for all eradicating heart disease in it's entirety. So without further a due Doctor Lewis come on up here and dazzle us some more,”

I can't help but smile at his flattery, it was a tad over the top but then again I did just make a science changing discovery and well he wasn't too far off, by this time next year I fully expected to have come up with a cure for heart disease.

Standing up I give my gracious smile which I had spent all week practicing and walk the ten steps toward the stage, the four steps up the stairs taking his hand. It has been ages since I wore heels and apparently it is a skill which needs to be nurtured.

Finally making it to the podium I take a deep breath and stare out into the crowded room of elegantly dressed peers, each and every single one of them important for one reason or another. The crowd a mixture of Fae and human alike, a sight I never thought I would see but then again there was plenty of things I never thought would happen that did.

Clearing my throat I look forward just high enough that the light was causing my vision to blur.

“Thank you for that wonderful introduction Doctor Foster, and that is his introduction without me sleeping with him can you imagine what it would be if I had.” I smile at the scripted joke thinking it's slightly over the top but the room seems to be eating it up. After all it was no secret he was a womanizer so I guess I can see the humor to it. “But honestly thank you Doctor Foster, to the panel, to the board, to all the backers behind this project without all of you none of this would be possible. I'm not great at public speaking, much better with petri dishes and DNA samples, if you couldn't tell. Cough, medical breakthrough, cough” I pause giving another smile at another scripted joke and they are just eating this up. “So I am making this short, but my biggest thank you to all of you will come by this time next year when heart disease is going to become a thing of this past.” I smile and give a head tilt even though I can't see any of them anymore but by the roaring applause it seems to have gone over well. Guess it was smart to go off the script.

Walking off stage I decide to skip my table and head straight for the back of the enormous hall, of course they had to place the bar all the way at the end. I smile to myself at my own frustration over something so silly, guess it's past my bed time. Looking down at my little, new, gold watch which was a gift for tonight I see it's 12:27 p.m. Yep about two hours past my bed time.

“What can I get you?”

The bar tender asks as I slide onto the corner stool and I contemplate asking for a real drink but the responsible voice in my head reminds me I need to get home, that i have a early morning and a long day with several non reschedule-able events so I just ask for a water. Soon they will give out another award and they will forget I'm here thus my cue to escape. He hands me my water and I can't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia for the Dal, for Trick—for a life long ago.

And then it's gone.

Taking a sip of water I hear them start to announce some other award which in my opinion isn't an actual award but not my concern. Sliding off my stool I turn looking for the nearest exit but I don't find it. What I find instead is enough to make all of the air in my lungs leave, my stomach turn into a violent pit of mush.

In one moment this entire world I spent years building came crumbling down like a house of cards. 16 years, 5,840 days, 834 weeks, 140,160 hours of trying to build a new life, of trying to break free of agonizing memories, empty promises, hopeless hopes---all suddenly meant nothing.

“Lauren,” she says my name and it feels like every single muscle in my chest contracts until I remind myself to breath. The sound of my name rolls off her tongue so effortlessly, the sound pull my mind toward an onslaught of memories better left forgotten.

She is standing there as beautiful as ever, she looks as though she has aged a bit but in more of a mature way rather than anything. Her hair is cut shoulder length and straightened—I use to have such a weakness for that—who am I kidding, I still do. She's wearing a darker-set of makeup than I remember her favoring but it complements her well. The little, black cocktail dress hugs her curves perfectly and shows more than need be—somethings never change. She has put on a little weight, looks like muscle mostly and it suits her well. Even after all this time she can still dance circles around the Mona Lisa.....

“Dyson,” his name leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth, it had been so long so since I thought of him but now here he was smirking at me as he comes up behind her, hand resting on her hip possessively as if I would have forgotten that she belongs to him.

“I'll take it as you all know each other?” Doctor Foster says staggering up, half drank glass of bourbon in hand.

“You can say that,” I say softly, nodding.

“That's great, the Thornwoods are going to be around for a while. May even cross paths on a task or two.”

“Congratulations.” I say through a clenched jaw, my eyes finally finding the ring on her finger, I can't believe I missed that.

“We—we're engaged, haven't set a date yet.”

“We're looking at June though.” he says with a smile from ear to ear and I want to slap that smug smile right off of his face but instead I just keep my own, diplomatic smile and wait for the right moment to slip away.

“Either way, congratulations.”

“Th-thank you. Congratulations to you as well on your big award,”

“It's nothing,”

“It's amazing,” she lets out softly and I feel a shiver coarse though my body, a faint, dull stabbing beginning to spread through my chest.

“Thank you Mrs. Thornwood.” I smirk as I say it. He looks like he's won something by my use of the term, that stupid smile of his growing but she knows it's anything other than an admission of his victory. After all I didn't need to admit anything, it had been sixteen years they've been together what more did he need? A written declaration?

Bo's eyes narrow at my comment, a sadness, a faint longing that riddled her exquisite features replaced with an irritation. Good she didn't have the right to stand there and look at me like I am the one with a husband—soon to be husband, whatever. She had no right to think anything about me in fact, in fact I don't even know why she decided to come up to me.

“It was wonderful seeing you again,” my attention shifts from them to my drunken colleague. “Always a pleasure Richard. Excuse me,”

I make sure to keep my back straightened and my head high as I walk away from them, I refuse to run. Sixteen years ago I ran from the train wreck that was them I refused to do that again. I was not that woman anymore. No, I am anything but that woman. I am not weak and begging for her attention or anyone's attention for that matter. I am not afraid of Dyson or the thought of her rejecting me, I just didn't care anymore. I stopped caring the moment she picked him over me—but I can't even pretend that I didn't see that coming. If I was a bigger person I would probably take responsibility for it all considering I knew she would never let him go and I still tried—but I am not that big of a person.

My growth has it's limitations.

Running my hand through my hair I wait patiently for the car service to pull up. Luckily it doesn't take more than twenty seconds, thank God for small miracles. I slide into the back seat before the driver can even shift the gear into park. I don't need anyone to open my door car or otherwise, it was a nice notion but I am too old to pay that any mind.

I look out the window at the series of three double-sided, glass doors and wait for him to pull out. I don't know what I am looking for, she wasn't coming to follow me out and stop me—she never had before. Honestly I didn't want her too I didn't have time for all of that.

Besides I know what would happen. She'd say something and then would follow it up with an insult, maybe throw Dyson in my face. Then she would get incredulous before running off—what she does best.

I don't know why I am putting any thought into this at all, I don't care.

So what she was here with him and of course Kenzi and Hale would be here since they were this little insuperable foursome. That was fine, London is a big city—big enough for the seven of us---possibly. Doesn't matter, now that she knows I am here she will turn and run, I give this a week maybe two if Dyson has gained any control over her in the years—since she is wearing his ring it's possible.

I snort, chuckling to myself. The woman who looked like she was going to have a heart-attack when I briefly mentioned wanting a child at some point and now here she was wearing his ring allowing him to parade her around on his arm. I feel bad for her, she seems to have lost so much of herself—not that I care.

“We're here,” I look up from the headrest, and smile politely at him. “Ma'am,” his words pull me to a stop, one foot already on the sidewalk. He looks bashful, his eyes avoiding mine. “You um,” he trials off as he awkwardly gestures to his cheek and for a moment I just stay completely still trying to understand what he's saying.

“Oh,” it escapes me before I fully understand myself. Sniffling, I use the back of my had to wipe away the dampness that coated my heated cheeks. “Thank you,” I say as I rush from the back of the car, it may have been rude but I was already embarrassed enough.

I was so sure I wasn't going to cry, so sure I was okay.

No, I am okay those were stray tears of anger—no indifference. Of exhaustion and---plenty of other things that did not include her crashing into my life once again like a damn wrecking ball.

Finally getting the front door open I'm greeted by nothing other than darkness, ha how fitting. Shaking my head at myself I kick off my heels and slip free from my dress. Searching around the darkness, eyes still not fully adjusted I find the sweats and tee-shirt I left neatly folded on the top of the couch. At least I will be comfortable and embarrassed rather than a stuffed sausage trying to breathe—and embarrassed.

Pushing my hair out of my face I jog up the stairs eager to hide under my covers and put this day far behind me. Because that was all I needed, sleep. None of this was about Bo or Dyson or the Thornwoods—seriously though, Thornwoods? At least Lewis was a normal name, not something that screamed 'I am a wolf and a Fae and a billion years old'---he isn't even a wolf, he is a shape-shifter. Funny how everyone forgets that part of the equation.

God! I am not doing this. This is how it starts one mere thought leads to another and then another until I am so far down the Bo-rabbit-hole that I lose everything and this time I can't let that happen, I won't—it's not just me anymore.

I push my bedroom door open to a scream that makes me jump almost screaming myself but the sight in front of me is just to cute to be anything other than laughing at. On my bed, tucked under the oversized, white comforter huddled together they sat in the dark room watching something that involved a chainsaw. Laughing aloud I step in closing the door behind myself, taking another three steps in so I can see the television on the wall which just so happens to now be paused on a scene where said chainsaw is lodged in some poor, blonde's head.

“So where is it?” my son asks pushing the cover down enough for me to see more than his eyes.

“Yeah where is the goods?”

“The goods?” my brow shoots up at my daughter who is returning the exact same look. “They deliver the award you don't carry it with you,”

“I feel cheated, I stayed up all night just to see this thing.”

“Ethan you are up watching---”

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre nineteen, it's the one with the house and the ghost not to be confused with the one in space that just had the ghost.”

“There was one in space?” my eyes shift to him. “Really? Isn't the whole point of them to be in TEXAS?”

“That is your biggest continuity flaw with this movie mom, really?”

“Well as a matter a fact Isa, it is.” I giggle out while pulling the comforter back and out of her grip enough for me to slide into next to her.

“Well your priorities are off mother,”

“Did they like my jokes? Did you use em'?” Ethan peers over his sister so I can see his little, goofy grin.

“I did and they did, they really did.”

“Told you I was funny mom,” he smiles and leans in closer to his sister as I wrap my arm around them. “Told you,” he repeats through a yawn as he hits play to a movie I know they won't make another ten minutes into but it was fine, I had suffered through every other crappy horror movie they could find, what was one more.

Yawning myself after several minutes and another three cheerleaders down I look down to a familiar sight, the pair softly snoring deep in the first REM cycle. I can't help but want to just watch them a little longer, in just four months they would be turning fifteen and I have no doubt that they will start to want less mom cuddle time and more freedom. They do tend to take after me but still, teenagers follow a pattern and I know they would be no different.

Ethan mumbles something softly grabbing my attention. He really did resemble Bo more than myself. Despite never playing a day of sports in his life he naturally had the body for it, muscular and walked with a natural confidence even if he didn't feel it—Bo down to a tee. His hair just as dark as hers with a subtle wave, and his pigment just as dark. Most of all he had his mother's eyes, big, dark, warm—engulfing. Every so often he would do something, say something that I could swear I remember Bo saying at one time or another , there was no doubt he was hers.

Not that I would ever admit it aloud nor ever let myself think about this longer than a moment but every so often looking at him hurt.

Isa on the other hand looks near to nothing like Bo. It was amazing to see them next to each other, until they opened their mouths you would never expect them to be related let alone twins. She was almost my mirror image, with the exception her hair was a shade darker, Bo's genetic influence undoubtedly. She did have a bit of Bo's personality occasionally, more so as she is growing older.

I have no doubt she will take after her mother and become a succubus, Ethan on the other hand I have no clue. I still had a year and three months before I even needed to begin worrying about this but in honesty I had been worrying about this since I knew I was pregnant. I had prayed so much that neither would turn out to be succubi, after all there had been cases where children didn't take after their parents but I wasn't so lucky—I never am. I would love them no matter what, and always be there for them there was no doubt about that I just worried—all the time.

I had seen Bo struggle with her nature over and over again until she finally lost that battle. I had watched the pain she suffered, the guilt and torment it caused and I didn't want that for them. I wanted to spare them that pain. Not to mention they just weren't succubi material, these were my children. They were already taking college courses, they were mathletes and a part of science clubs. They couldn't watch a sex scene on television without blushing or turning away. The most revealing thing Isa would wear was sleeveless tee-shirts when she was at home working on her homework. They were clumsy and unbalanced to the point that Ethan had to be pulled out of physical education for a month after getting hit in the head with a basketball four times in a single game.

They were not succubi material.

Maybe had I raised them with someone. Maybe had their mother been around then they would stand a chance but not now. Scoffing at the idea of having needed anyone around to raise MY children let alone Bo—I'll just have to do some more research. Possibly put my work on hold and focus my energy on finding a calming serum, Bo had outgrown the ones I made for her but that was then I had made strides, medicine had made strides and these were my kids, not her.

Huffing at the thought of her I run my free hand through my hair and look back up at this insipid movie willing to try anything to pull my mind away from the plaguing thoughts of her. It had been years since I've thought about her like this. The last time I put any real thought into her was when the kids were four years old in Kindergarten and they had to say what their parents did for a living. While every other kid had a story for both parents, every other kid had their parents standing in the background with them, Ethan and Isa had only me. They had spent that night crying, asking where their other parent was---that was the last time I put any more than a moments thought into that woman.

And now here I was unable to escape the thought of her, here I was feeling no different than I did sixteen years ago. Amazing how much damage she can do so effortlessly.

Resting my head against the headboard I look up into the darkness of the ceiling tuning out the faint screams of cheerleader number eleven or twelve, I've lost count.

I always knew we couldn't have worked, I knew it from day one but still I did the dance with insanity, still I flirted the with the danger and by the time I was approached by it all I had dug myself so far into denial that I had convinced myself otherwise. I had wholeheartedly deluded myself into believing that she was strong enough---that she loved me enough to make things work but it was all just a pretty image that I bought into. I drank the kool-aid and ended up paying for it. Just as well I got my two babies from it all, I learned about myself too.

So I guess you could say it was worth it.

I'm well aware of the fact that it was me who wanted a break, it was me who ended us but I don't think I ever believed she'd let me go. I think somewhere along the way I started to believe her when she said she was over him—i think she believed it too. I'm also aware I'm the one who left too but there was nothing left for me there, they had all made that perfectly clear. Besides if Bo had wanted to find me she could have, I'm not the CIA, I didn't make myself vanish—after all how could I with two kids.

I was aware it was my choice but later that night after I showered and slept and cried ---I regretted it. I waited for her to come back, to try and I even went to her but—perhaps we were just never meant to be. Perhaps us as a whole was a big cosmic mistake and my two loves were a 'sorry' gift. Perhaps I've put too much thought into this all.

I remember sitting there at the airport watching my plane pull up and halfheartedly expecting her to come running up shouting 'I love you' or something cheesy, expecting some moment from one of those horrible romantic movies that are just plain shit.

I remember thinking I couldn't believe that it was over already. I wasn't that big of a fool, I knew we would end at some point after all I was a human and she is a succubus, the future was never laced with rainbows but after chasing each other for two years when we finally caught one another I just thought it would have lasted longer—well in a way it has. It will last forever considering we have two children together.

Irony at its finest. I spent the first two years trying to be with her, trying to spend forever with her and after I finally got it, when I was trying everything possible to get away from her—now I never will be.

I remember stepping onto that plane telling myself I deserved more—problem was I never wanted anything as much as I wanted her. For years I couldn't close my eyes without seeing her, couldn't dream without it being of her, couldn't be touched without feeling I was doing something wrong.

Then I remembered she had his hands on her before we even said goodbye. I remembered she didn't lift a finger to search for me. I remembered the looks in my children's eyes when they asked why they only had one parent. I remember the look in their eyes every time someone mentions doing things with their parents. I remember she hasn't paid one ounce of thought to me so why should I pay her any mind.

Now if only it were that simple.

Chapter Text

“Shit,”

“Mom!” I look over at my daughter whose eyes are wide and pure shock written over her features as she stares up me. I don't blame her this was only the second time in her entire life she has heard me curse.

“Sorry,” I look up from her up to Bo who is now only a few steps in front of us. Guess it is too late to run. “What are you doing here?”

“I—we're checking out schools for Gabby,” I raise an eyebrow, a rush of anger and pain burning in the pit of my stomach and rising rapidly into my chest. I swear to God if she says she has a child with him I am going to punch her, I really will. “Oh yeah you don't know who that is,” she scoffs and lets out this nervous laugh. “Hale and Kenz's daughter, they aren't able to fly in until later this week so me and Dyson are looking into schools. Everyone said this is the best high school in the city so,” she trails off her eyes dancing between me and my kids, each word trailing off a little more as her eyes linger on them. “They--”

“These are my children, Ethan and Isa.”

“Isa?” her brow raises shock riddling her features and my heart nearly comes to a halt as that exact same look was just on my daughter's face moments ago.

“Yes,” I nod. “Why?”

“I just thought that you had names picked out Ethan and Charlotte since you were like ten.”

“That's my first name, Isa stands for—OW!” she lets out jerking away from the light squeeze I gave her side trying to be subtle—subtle just isn't a word my children have in their vocabulary.

“It's a nickname,”

“Oh,” she lets out taking a deep breath and nodding. “Well it's nice to meet you two. Do you guys like it here? Would you recommend it?” she is forcing a smile as she looks between them and all I can do is pray for the bell to go off or a tornado or---anything that will get us away from her.

“It's adequate. We only attend here part time, the rest of the time we attend UCL.” Ethan boasts proudly taking a small step away from me. “It's the University of London,” he continues picking up on the slight confusion hinted in her features.

“We will be attending Oxford by the time we are sixteen and a half, only a year and seven months.”

“That is amazing, I am definitely going to have to tell Kenz this is the place. If you three find it good enough to go too,”

“Attend,”

“Isa,” I say giving her another nudge. “Manners,”

“Don't worry about it, your mother use to make it a habit correcting me.” she smiles softly, a faint hint of pain there that I chose to ignore. “So, um—is their father around I would love to meet him.”

SHIT. SHIT. SHIT. SHIT.

“We don't have one,” Ethan says with a shrug. “We are the product of immaculate conception,”

“Excuse me?” her eyebrow raises, a confused grin as she looks back up to me.

“We don't know him. Why do you ask so many questions?”

“Isa,” I give her another nudge with my elbow. We need to get out of here, where the hell is Dyson when you need him. Damn mangy dog. “I'm sorry about that, they aren't trying to be rude they are just very direct.”

“Take after their mother,” Oh you have NO idea. “It's fine. Maybe when Gabby gets here we can setup a play date,”

“A play date?” Isa for the love of God just let the woman say her peace so we can get out of here. “We are going to be fifteen in three months and we are already attending college, does that strike you as someone who would be participating in play dates?”

“We could do a study date,” Ethan chirps in with a smirk that is almost Bo's exact smirk. We need to get out of here.

“She would love them,” Bo chuckles and despite the fact she continues to glance at me her attention is firmly on the kids and I can't tell if it's just because these two little pain in the butts keep talking to her or if it is because she I noticing something.

Who am I kidding Bo wouldn't notice an elephant in a room if it smacked her in the face with it's trunk.

“We will definitely have to do, but now we have to go Isa has a debate and,” I trail off hand on each of their backs as I guide them past Bo. “Great seeing you again, just popping up every where.” I wasn't pushing my kids just ushering them down the hall.

“Hey!” SHIT.

“Hm?” I turn around to find Bo has already closed the distance between us, what did she do start running track in the Olympics.

“Going to need your number if we're going to set up the study date. Honestly Gabby will love them, it's the oddest thing she is nothing like Kenz or Hale except maybe the attitude but she loves books, AP classes and all.” I'm listening as she speaks but all I can focus on is the fact that I need to get my kids away from her as soon as possible, in fact I was so worried about that, that I didn't even completely realize I was typing my number into her Iphone until it was too late. “It's really great seeing you again,” she says softly taking the phone from me.

“It is,” I lie and its fine because I know she is lying too.

We can stand here and talk civilized since apparently Dyson has trained her how to do so but I know her like I know the back of my hand. I know her like I know the periodic table. I know her better than I know myself. I hear the underlining anger in her voice just begging to break free. I can see the rage burning bright in her eyes as she struggles to look me in the eyes. I can see how she shifts her weight from side to side subtly as well and how she taps her fingers against her thigh when ever she has her hands at her sides.

It was all fine, let her be pissed. What did she have to be pissed about? She got the man she wanted, got the love she wanted. Got the entire little life she wanted. If anyone had a right to be pissed it was me. She was intruding in my life once again, stomping her big, clumsy feet all over it once again like she was Godzilla. I was pissed and I was the only one who had a right to be pissed.

NO. I am INDIFFRENT. Pissed would imply I cared.

I nod with as fake as smile as she is giving me before I turn and walk up the six steps to my children before we head for our escape.

“She was hot,”

“Excuse me?” my head snaps down to Ethan. “Don't say that. Don't go there. Wipe that thought from your mind. Now. Bleach it away.”

“Ohhh. You're moving in on mother's woman.” Isa chuckles.

“No, she is not my woman.”

“Then why can I not think she is hot?”

“Because I said so,”

“He does pose a valid question.”

“Because I am your mother and am telling you, wipe that thought from your mind.” sighing to myself I walk around to the driver's seat of our SUV, the little pains stuffing themselves in the backseat. “You know she doesn't like Star Trek.”

“What?!” they both yell out at the same time making me look up into the rear-view mirror. “Yeah. Oh and she says the Wrath Of Khan was horrible, worst movie ever in fact.”

“That bitch!”

“Charlotte Isabeu Lewis,” I turn around scowling, although I really just wanted to laugh. I knew that would get the reaction I wanted. Don't mess with Star Trek in this family. Did I feel bad for lying to them, slightly but in all probability Bo had never even seen the movies and had she, she wouldn't have liked them so—justified.

“Sorry mom,”

“She has point,” Ethan says snapping his seat-belt in and I have to look away, they are so much my children that it isn't even funny. They are now seriously angry over this, good I can't risk them trying to buddy up to her especially with her trying to take over my life.

Deciding to let this go, I start the car and pull out after all I wasn't lying they had commitments. And honestly was she expecting me to want to stand there and chat about old times? To wait around for Dyson to walk up and ooze his smugness all over. I wasn't the same woman I was then, I didn't have the patients to stand there and watch them fawn over each other—correction I had the patients I just grew the balls to say I didn't want too.

Eventually the kids got over their anger and began their ritual of trying to one up each other on all the things they were going to out do one another on. Surprisingly enough I reached the college in record time guess that’s what driving fifteen miles over the speed limit will do for you. I guess that's what being friendly with the police gets you, I haven't gotten one ticket in seven years—correction I've gotten a few just never had to pay any of them.

I look down at the clock 12:43 p.m. A record forty-seven minutes to get back to work, guess I technically don't have to speed but who am I kidding. I needed to get to work, I needed to throw myself deep into something that wasn't related to a succubus or even Fae---okay well at least I could do the first one, escaping Fae for me was like trying to solve a math problem without numbers, it just wasn't going to happen.

What could I expect working at Cunningham Institute, the world's third largest medical institute which happens to be owned by Fae, run by Fae and eighty-nine percent Fae employed. I can't complain though they were the ones who spent exactly 6.8 million dollars to buy out my enslavement contract. They were originally only prepared to pay 1.2 but when Sullivan University got into it, they just had to win.

Got to love the Dark Fae. Sure some of them are murderous animals who shouldn't see the light of day but most were just people who didn't want to follow the rules. They weren't as uptight about humans either surprisingly—not that I had to worry too much about that anymore anyway.

“Watch it!” I yell out as I slam on my brakes, a Lexus swerving into my lane stopping just centimeters from my car. Some stupid rich asshole—Dyson. Son of a bitch with this. I look down into the car and him and Bo are holding their hands up at me mouthing something that I think is sorry—or sucker---i wouldn't be surprised either way. Guess they haven't gotten use to the different driving laws here. Sighing I fake a smile and wave them on trying to ignore the orchestra of horns behind us.

I swear to God no matter what I do I can't escape them---HER.

At first at least it was just in my thoughts or dreams but now she has been in town a matter of twenty-four hours and I've now seen her three times—I've seen her more now than when we were dating. Like a shadow, the memory of her follows me everywhere I go. And just when I felt like I had a steady life—here she comes.

I can talk a good game, but even after everything that's happened she still haunts my mind, my body, my soul—I wish just one morning I could wake up and stop loving her. Don't get me wrong I am not about to run across a field in slow motion into her arms and forget about everything but I can't pretend I don't feel something I do---I spent years doing that.

Pulling into my parking spot I turn the car off and run my hand through my hair, looking at myself in the mirror. After last night's incident I didn't want to risk any more escaping tears---of exhaustion. This is pathetic I know, ever since last night I can't stop thinking about her. Whether it's worrying about her finding out about the kids, or fixating on my anger—or admitting how good she looks now—still looks.

I thought I was over this, I was and now I was quickly reverting back to geeky, quite, scared me from back then. One second thinking about her longer than need be and pictures of me and her were flashing through my mind like some excruciating slide-show from beginning to end. The same slide-show that had kept me awake at night for years, that drove me insane.

It's funny, that in our obscure situation, if you can call it that, I'm the one who is free here yet suddenly I feel like a prisoner once again. I can go out and have sex with all of the guys or girls or Fae that I want. She is now stuck with one person, a wolf—an overly possessive, kibbles and bits breath having, ass-hole forver because I know for certain he isn't allowing her to feed off others. But yet, thinking about it now---she wasn't the one up at night crying over me. She wasn't up all last night fixating on me, on us. She was never the one left alone trying to find some kind of closure, trying to support a family on her own and keep going---trying to make it. She had him, and Kenzi and Hale and Trick.

Chuckling at myself and my muddled, unfocused thoughts I run my hands through my hair again and get out of the car, heading into work. Twenty-four hours in town and she has my thoughts in a tailspin yet again. Shaking off the thought I nod and give a quick hello to everyone as I make my way to my lab. Swiping my key-card I push the door open and flick the switch to the lights, ah I loved not having to share my workspace.

“What the hell!” I scream spinning around attempting to throw a punch that is caught, a strong grip wrapping around my forearm, another on my hip as I am whipped around being slammed against the door.

“Nice try,” she smirks leaning in and placing a rough kiss to my lips, it wasn't supposed to be rough I just didn't react. “Okay, that wasn't expected.”

“Sorry,” I quickly apologize and give her a quick close lipped kiss. She isn't the type to push so she takes a step back and gives me this sad smile.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” I give a smile and slip around her.

“Is this about me missing last night?”

“No,” I shake my head and turn around to face her. “Kate honestly everything is fine.”

“I knew I should have tried harder to get off,”

“Babe, there is a serial killer running around, a stupid little award ceremony is nothing compared to that.”

“You're crazy,”

I give her a smile and sigh, I really wasn't mad at her I understood her lack of an appearance although it would have been nice to have someone there when the Thornwoods came prancing up to me but I wasn't mad. I just didn't feel right spending my day mentally ranting about Bo and then having a quickie in my lab---although it would have probably cleared my mind of pesky succubi thoughts.

She is just looking at me with those big, green eyes of hers, the ones I normally find beautiful but right now I just want to be left alone. I wanted to do work, I didn't want to have to think about Bo and her merry band of ass-kissers coming along. I didn't want to have to feel guilt that I wasn't telling Kate about her. I didn't want anything other than the solace of my work.

Sighing again as I take a seat at my work station she walks up and stands beside me just staring at me with this intense look that doesn't falter, for a moment I start to worry something is wrong but then she rests her hand over mine and smiles gently.

“I know about your ex being back in town,”

“Wh—Kate I was going to tell you I just--”

“Shh. It's fine, really I get it. You need time to process this, it isn't a big deal, it isn't unreasonable really. But all I am going to ask is that you're honest with me,”

“Of course,” I turn my hand over so I am able to give hers a tight squeeze.

“Good, so if you need some space just let me know and you've got it.”

“I don't need space—per-say. Just space to work right now,” I don't know if it was a lie, honestly I wasn't sure what I needed at the moment other than time alone to clear my head.

“Your wish is my command,” she gives me her trademark smirk and winks, giving my hand one last squeeze before taking a few steps away. “Just one more piece of bad news,”

“What? Did you get passed over for promotion?”

“Huh? No, no won't know that until next month but um,” she scrunches her features and nervously smiles all the while she continues to take steps backward. “Your ex's husband is my new partner effective immediately,”

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

“Love you babe, gotta go.” she playfully yells out as she turns and gracefully speed-walks toward the exit.

I just sit here for a moment staring at the door as it shuts behind her, jaw clenched to the point of pain but the pain was good, the pain kept me from yelling something no so very nice out. I suppose it would have been fine since I was the only one here but regardless I didn't want to become the crazy person who loses her temper and has fits, we already had one of those in Palaeontology.

Resting my elbows on the table I bury my face in my hands and contemplate screaming but instead I just sigh once more. This had to be some really, really bad cosmic joke---or a bad, horrible dream. There was no way this could actually be happening. No, it just couldn't be. This was improbable, illogical, crazy—how could after sixteen years she just pop up out of no where and invade my life—every aspect of my life.

Her future husband was now my girlfriend's partner, her best-friend's child was going to be in my children's school, she wanted play-dates for them and she was like a jack-in-the-box popping up every time I turned around, next think I know she'll be working here.

This just can't be happening.

The vibration of my phone goes off and I am forced to check it, a hazard of having kids, you were no longer allowed to ignore the phone no matter what situation you may be in.

Kate: I love you beautiful, sorry your day is sucking. Hope it gets better, when you want to talk you know I am here. (1:42 p.m.)

A faint smile comes across my lips, and its gone just as quick as it came.

Kate or Detective Vergara as I met her as was amazing. She looked much more like she should be modeling rather than running around trying to catch bad guys but as it turns out she can be pretty badass. I suppose in a way you could say she resembles Bo, slightly. They both have long black hair—well Bo use to have long hair. And they both had the sexy, model look but secret badass thing going on. Kate was an inch taller, a little more curvy even now that Bo had put on some weight and she had a darker complexion than---so really they didn't have that much in common.

Especially in personality. Kate was considerate, and thoughtful and sweet and the opposite of Bo. She was essentially my Dyson, only I could stand her. Sure we had been on and off for seven years, and no I didn't see any wedding bells in the future but still she was good for me. Beyond being good for me Kate was nice. She was sweet, was kind and gentle, always eager to please me and practically begs me to give her the privilege of loving me.

Problem was I just couldn't love her—not the way she loves me.

God, I wanted so badly to give into her, to her unwavering love for me but I can't. I've tried so many times, tired to tick myself into it, tried to convince myself that she was perfect—which she is but no matter how many times she touched me, no matter how many times I slept in her arms or laughed at her jokes I just find myself unable to surrender.

I know staying with her is cruel and I've tried to leave, tried to set her free after all we've broken up fourteen times in seven years but somehow we just end up back together. She is safe, like a security blanket and most times we are happy. We are—i wouldn't even be doubting us at the moment if the hurricane that is Bo had just stayed back home.

Perhaps this was adult love, perhaps adult, mature love wasn't supposed to be crazy and all consuming. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to long for every touch, every smile, every word. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to be willing to die for her. Perhaps I wasn't supposed to lose myself in her. Perhaps this was just part of maturing.

After all I had never felt that way with anyone other than one person. And that person was gone, or at least the side of her that I had fell in love with.

Where that side of Bo had run off to I have no idea, perhaps it was never there, perhaps it was all an illusion. All some game, some foreplay for her until she was ready to settle down with him.

There was still a small part of me something so tiny that it almost wasn't there, something I had forgotten was there until I saw her last night-- that tiny part still believed in Bo. Believed she would come back for me. That she only needed a little time to learn that he could give her a proper life but I could give her the one she want. That believed when she would come, if she did, she would come sweeping in and erase all the hurt. Erase the past. And we would make this life work, but then again that was a silly dream that grew to disgust me so much so I buried it so deep I forgot was there.

So why couldn't I get rid of it all together?

That was a question I didn't ever want the answer too.

Chapter Text

I looked in the mirror to find something staring back at me that I couldn't stand.

Reaching up, I touch my face running my fingertips over the light, purple smudges underneath my heavy eyes. My hair lank, not greasy, just lifeless. I can't help but wonder what happened to me. Just last week I was considered the undisputed 'hottie' of my department. I was walking around with my head high and dare I a say a swagger in my step. I was loving my life which was everything I worked for, the expensive two story flat, the expensive car, the prestigious job which earned me more awards than I had room for. I had the sexy, mature girlfriend, I had everything one would want at this point in their life---and now I was slowly withering away.

I forgot the toll the stress of her takes on me.

Curving my hands over my cheeks, I press my fingers against the bones and watch my reflection with empty eyes. Just seven days ago I was so full of life, my biggest concern was whether or not Kate was going to get her promotion and now I can't help but worry every time I step outside my house, every time my kids step outside of the house.
Will they run into her? What will they say if they do? What would she say? Would she ever use that brain I think she has and do the math, I mean it wasn't rocket science after all. It was simple math and my little blabber mouths gave away the equation not once but twice. Two separate times they gave her the chance to catch on and what does she do? Stand there talking about play dates with Kenzi's child—who ironically is almost the same age.

Oh God, they must have arrived by now. Wonderful, now I don't have to hide from just the Thornwoods I have to hide from the Santiagos---no the term is avoid. I will not and am not hiding I am simply avoiding them because I can't stand them, there IS a difference.

Sighing I tilt my head side to side trying to crack my neck before beginning to apply my daily growing layers of makeup.

Obsessively, with great concentration I paint on eye shadow and blush. Stroke mascara over my lashes and round it off with a pinkish lip gloss. It was a great mask, amazing in fact. No one has noticed the blackness under my tired eyes, or the way my cheeks were cracked with the effort of smiling. No one cared to look beyond the surface and that was good, I preferred it that way.

I smile at myself once than twice and then a third time for good measure making sure I had my appearance correct. Running my hands through my hair to give the impression I actually put some effort into it. Hitting the light switch I head for downstairs suddenly very aware my little competitors were unusually quiet. Sure they weren't the type of kids who ran around the house trying to wrestle one another but it was an inevitable occurrence that several times a day they would find themselves in some debate which on more than one occasion would turn heated.

“Well this is a miracle,” I chuckle as I jog down the stairs seeing them sitting on the couch, and then my heart-stopped. The second my feet reach the living room floor I look over my shoulder down the hall leading into the kitchen trying to find if anyone else was here. “Where is Kate?”

“She is busy,” Dyson says smugly, leaning back into the loveseat.

“You're here by yourself? Does she know you're here?” we stare each other down and for a moment neither of us know which she I am referring too.

“Kate? No,” he shakes his head all the while grinning at me like the cat who ate my goldfish out of the bowl. “We aren't that great at communicating yet, I don't know why. Just feels like there is some---history there.”

“Go get something to eat,”

“No thanks, I had breakfast.” he chuckles leaning further into the chair, the folder he has been holding in his lap now tapping against his knee.

“I was talking to my children.” I look over at the pair on the couch a sense of confusion, of inquisitiveness written all over their faces. “Now,” I say sternly much more than I am use to talking to them as but it is enough to get the point across as they stand and shuffle toward the kitchen without so much as another glance.

“You look as great as ever,”

“And you still look like as much of an arrogant asshole as ever,” taking a breath I walk to the edge of the coffee table continuing to stare him down, reminding myself my kids were only a room away. “Kate will--”

“Will what? Give me a talking too?”

“Have you forgotten who she is?”

“A reformed junkie? A pathetic excuse for a detective? Or are you talking about the fact she is a wolf too? Like that is supposed to intimidate me.”

“She is a real wolf,” my tone hardening at his words, he didn't know her. Everyone had a past himself included where did he think he had the right to speak on someone elses'. “Unlike you, shifter.” my words strike a cord as he almost leaps to his feet. I see the faint hint of surprise in his burning eyes that I don't so much as flinch.

“I find it cute, really I do.” I raise an eyebrow as he steps from behind the table and walks to elbows length to me. “What is it?” I watch as his eyes transition to their golden forms, leaning in and sniffing. “Blacktail? Cloudwing?”

“My genetics are none of your concern, in fact,” I pause taking a step into him, I wasn't about to challenge him in any circumstances especially in the one in which my children where in earshot but this was my life he was dragging his feet all over. This was my house he was standing in trying to intimidate me in. It's amazing how territorial one can become when their paternal instinct comes into play. “Nothing about me is your concern. Why you are here I don't know, but don't come here again.”

“Did I scare you?” letting out a little chuckle I lean in further to meet his stance.

“Takes a lot more than a baby shifter to rattle my cage.”

“Is there a problem?” I hear my son's voice with a base I wasn't aware he could achieve yet. Taking a step back I turn and look at my son with a new level of pride. He is keeping his posture tight and jaw clenched, his head titled ever so slightly to the left—the spitting image of his mother now more than ever. It helps his case that even at fourteen he is already 5'6.

“He is cute,” Dyson speaks turning his attention from my son back to me, his eyes resuming their natural form. “Reminds me of someone we know though,” his lips curve in a foul smirk.

“I'd rethink that train of thought,”

“Mom?” I hear my son say as I turn away from him and I don't know if it is because he has picked up on something or if it's his way of asking if he can resume being a boy again.

“Would you?” fully turning back to him, taking another step, leaning further in so my lips were hovering over his ear.

“You think the word bitch describes me now, push this and even the term cunt wouldn't accurately describe me after the reign of hell I will bring down on you,”

“You've lost this fight with me before Karen,” he whispers flatly before we each pull away from one another.

“I was a different person then,”

“Were you?”

“It's time for you to go,” Ethan says now standing behind the couch trying to keep his chest pushed out convincingly. What he doesn't realize is it's unnecessary. Not because I don't want his support but because the look in his eyes, the tone in his voice is getting his point across far better than any flexing, another thing Bo never understood either.

“The folder contains the autopsy report for the most recent John Doe, we need your report asap.” he says dropping the folder on the table before beginning to walk toward the front door, smirking all the way there. “Really feels like old times doesn't it? You working for me again, almost like nothing has changed huh?” he chuckles as he closes the door behind himself.

“Is Kate able to kick his ass?” I turn to Isa who is leaning against the doorway, her features almost as tight as her brother's.

“Yes,”

“Will you allow her?”

“No,”

“Why?”

“Because this isn't her responsibility,”

“Is it yours?” Ethan asks flatly finally looking away from the door.

“It's complicated.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“It's may I ask a question,” Isa interrupts him and I wait for the smiles, I wait for the laughs, I wait for them to relax and fuss with one another as they always would—but it doesn't happen.

“What is it?” I ask softly, a sick feeling beginning to emerge in the pit of my stomach.

“Was that our father?”

“What?” my eyes widen, jaw almost hitting the floor as a wave of disgust spreads through me. “No baby, that was not your father.”

“Really?” Ethan asks still refusing to stop his flexing.

“Does he look anything like you? Like your sister? Did it seem like at one point in time there would be anything there between us other than a deep seeded disgust and rage?”

“Are you certain?” I look over to Isa whose brow is slightly heightened, eyes narrow but her jaw is relaxed like her stance and a flash of Bo comes to mind.

“I am certainly aware of who your—who I slept with in order to conceive you.”

“Fair enough,” she says and looks at her brother, the two having an entire unspoken conversation in an instant—memories of all the times me and Bo used to be able to do that flooding back. They don't say anything to me, just make up their mind together without a word said aloud before they walk back into the kitchen leaving me standing here alone.

I just stare into the empty hall and let the realization settle over me that avoidance wasn't going to work. Allowing myself to slip back into this Bo-whiped girl wasn't going to work. Realizing that I had only two options which was to either pack up and leave again or stay and stand my ground—let the chips fall where they would.

Problem was that neither option included keeping my babies from the consequences.

Chapter Text

“This isn't my fault,”

“Mm-hm,”

“This isn't my fault.” she repeats almost growling her words back at me.

“I said mm-hm,”

“Right, cause Lord forbid the Almighty Lauren Lewis ever use actual words to someone she deemed less worthy,” My eyes narrow zeroing in on the back of her head, I swear if I had a rock I would throw it. I really would.

“Fine you want words Bo, THIS IS YOUR fault. If you would have just listened to me in the first place we wouldn't have taken a turn into no where and second if you would have kept your eyes on the road this wouldn't have happened either.”

“What road? Do you see a road?” she holds her arms out looking up into the night's sky. “Because all I see are trees and dirt and rocks,”

“What do you think the multi-mile, horizontal stretch of rocks in between two sides of the forest are?”

“Oh shut up! Just shut up!”

“Anything I can do to please you Bo,”

“Arrg!” she yells out waving her arms from her sides and shakes her head, if I wasn't so pissed I would laugh.

I find it amazing that as soon as things weren't exactly on her terms that calm, proper woman Dyson had spent sixteen years shaping flew right out the window. Hm, interesting to say the least. I wasn't even being difficult this really was her fault. She refused to listen to me trying to prove she knew better than I did which caused her to miss our turn on an actual paved street in the city, and now we were stuck in the middle of nowhere and all I can think about is some giant man running out from the trees wheedling a chainsaw or an ax—or a machete---damn kids. No more horror movies for them.

Oh and second when her calm facade began crumbling upon realizing she made a mistake instead of just admitting it she kept driving, and driving and driving and blaming me and then BAM right into a tree. Bye-bye Mr. Car, bye-bye cell phones, bye-bye civilization---hello hell.

I managed to make it exactly 17 days before I had to be alone with her, 17 days until I was forced to have a conversation with her. 17 days I managed to continue living my life in spite her and her 'family's' vapid presence. 17 days I made it---God why couldn't it have been longer---like forever?

All the way up until today I loved Cunningham Institute, I even made peace with looking over all of the findings of Dyson's slash Kate's slash Bo's case. Even loved seeing the look on that smug bastard's face when I marched right up to his desk and gave him the report without so much as batting an eyelash. But today, today was the day they turned against me. They refused to allow me to send an assistant out with them—excuse me her. No I couldn't go with my girlfriend or even the jackass since they were 'partners' I had to go with the unaligned succubus who apparently isn't even unaligned anymore.

Serves her right---although we now technically play for the same team but oh well.

“Do you have reception yet?”

“Yes Bo as a matter a fact I do, I am just choosing not to use it since I am loving this quality time with you so much.”

“You've grown bitter in your old age,” she falls silent and my lips part to speak. “I meant to say bitterer,”

“Bitterer?”

“Yes bitterer, it's a word.”

“I didn't say anything,”

“Didn't have too, your judgmental tone said it all.”

“That is my tone of voice,”

“Ethan and Isa must love that,”

“Don't mention my children,”

“What does Isa stand for anyway?” she asks and my heart drops. Now, now of all times she finally decides to ask a logical question? Well I guess she was due it's been a decade and a half.

“Mind your own business,”

“I am just showing an interest, trying to be polite.”

“Well don't,”

“Don't be polite or don't show an interest?”

“Just don't do anything other than walking,”

“So is their father alive still or,” she trails off after several minutes of silence.

“Mind your business,”

“Do I know him?” her tone softens and I can swear I pick up on a faint hint of pain emerging. “I wasn't even aware you enjoyed men that way,”

“There are a lot of things about me that you aren't aware of,”

“Can't do it can you,”

“Do what?”

“Have a normal conversation.”

“This coming from the woman who couldn't string together a sentence without trying to get me to undress,”

“That was then,” she snorts shaking her head again.

I think this is hilarious, she is actually standing there having the nerve to make remarks as to my conversational skills. I am the one who always wanted to talk. I am the one who knew—knows every little detail about her while she can barely tell me my birthday. She is actually pretending to be the party who was the one left—well she kind of was in a way, but you know what, it was her choice to never come back. It was her choice to never once try and contact me. It was her choice to wait what, one night before jumping into bed with Dyson.

God I have to let this go.

You know what, I don't. I don't have to let this go, I have every right to remain angry at her especially when she is over here asking questions about my kids—our kids.

“Oh thank God,” I look up to see what has her all excited and I feel a strange sense of disappointment as we approach the street. “And of course,” she growls fixing her arm readying to throw her phone but instead just shoves it back into her jacket pocket. “Is yours working?”

“No,”

“Just freaking perfect.”

“Relax cujo, we'll just grab a taxi and be fine.”

“Sure, why not.”

“Oh is that taxing to you? Having to sit beside me for twenty minutes,”

“As a matter a fact yeah, it is.” she spins around nostrils flaring as her jaw clenches and I can't believe not only how quickly but how much her 'new and improved' personality was gone. She was right back to being the girl who turned around saying 'it is just a break right,' a question I never answered.

I suppose life answered it for us.

“Fine, I will take the cab and you can walk and maybe your little chihuahua will be able to sense you're in danger and he will come running to rescue you.”

“You make a lotta remarks about wolfs for someone dating one,” she smirks a smirk that basically says 'yeah I know about that'. “Think you're projecting issues of your lover onto mine,”

“Lover?” I snort and try to suppress my laugh.

“What?”

“Nothing, I just never heard you use that word before,”

“It's been sixteen years Lauren, there is a lot of things you've never heard me say.” What do you know, she actually knows how long it's been. “Lot of things you don't know about me anymore,”

“Bo there were a lot of things I didn't know about you then,”

“Least you can admit that,”

“Excuse me,” my attention snaps to her, my feet coming to a halt.

“I just wasn't aware you could admit a fault of yours,”

“This coming from you?” I almost choke on my laugh.

“I am well aware of my flaws,”

“Really? Are talking about flaws you yourself realized or flaws that Mr. Thornwood pointed out?”

“Will you stop that,”

“What? It's his name isn't it, your soon to be name.”

“I'm not going to survive this,” she mumbles to herself under her breath as her pace quickens, “So how did you brake the news of Fae to them?”

“Who?” I ask not completely focused on reality as we had slipped into a silence for a half of mile.

“Bonnie and Clyde—your children.”

“They are Fae,” I answer before my brain has time to catch up with my mouth. Oh well, if she didn't do the math this wasn't going to spill the beans.

“They are?” she comes to another halt forcing me to do the same.

“Yes, why? Are you the only one allowed to have Fae children?”

“No, of course not I just find it peculiar,” peculiar? When did she bother to learn words above a fifth grade education. “Hale and Kenzi had a child when she was still human and Gabby is human.”

“Your point?”

“My point is I thought IF a human and a Fae mated it would result in a human child.”

Of course this is the random fact she would know, can't put sixteen years into context but mention something pertaining to her precious Kenzi and she turns into Rain Man.

“Most times that would be correct,”

“Most times?”

“There is a gene, HAFG it is in about point two percent of the human female population. You have the gene and it is possible to have a Fae born child, if your partner is Fae obviously.”

“HAFG?”

“Humanistic Acceptability to Fae Genetics.”

“Well you always had to be the best of everything,”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“What did it sound like, I am speaking English aren't I?”

“I meant pertaining to this context,”

“Means that point four percent of women have this gene, so that is what a few thousand? Seems like something that would be considered elite. You always strive to be elite thus the comment,”

“So it is bad to strive to achieve?”

“No of course not, just sometimes when you strive so much you lose somethings along the way. Sometimes when you strive so much you forget that people have feelings,” your subtlety sucks still to this day. “Take in point your children, and I mean this as no disrespect I think they are amazing granted I only met them once but still---it just seems like they could benefit from a little less striving for greatness.”

“Excuse me? Are YOU questioning my parenting skills?” this time it's my knees that lock and this brings her to a stop as well, turning around to face me.

“No, I am just saying they don't give me the impression that they have a lot of fun outside of academics,”

“How would YOU know what is fun for them? How would YOU know what they enjoy?” I take five steps toward her, my own nostrils flaring. “Were you around to raise them? Did you watch them grow up? Did you go through growing pains with them? No I don't think you did Bo. I did, I was there.”

“Okay.” she looks at me with this level of inquisitiveness, it resembles the look a dog gets when they hear their treat jar being opened. She knows there is something going on, I can feel it but she just doesn't know how to piece it all together. Good. “I wasn't implying you were a bad parent Lauren, I was just implying that in YOUR striving to be the best of the best you left some damage in your path—perhaps if you just told them that there was more than striving to be the best it might save them some pain and those who fall in love with them,”

“Thanks, I will be sure to add that right into my parenting book as soon as possible.”

“What happened to you?' she asks with this disgust written over her face and it hurts more than I'd like to admit.

“You,” I answer flatly. A small, sick twinge of joy settling in my stomach as I see her own pain begin to creep into her features.

Her lips part as her fist clench and I'm ready for whatever verbal attack she is about to unleash but the first good thing of the day happens. A cab quickly approaching us and since neither of us were wanting to walk the thirty miles back into the mere vicinity of our homes we begin waving out hands, yelling for him to stop.

He pulls to a halt and she walks around to the other side as I slip in, just as well I wasn't going to slide over for her anyway. There was maybe a foot in between us without trying but both me and her sit as close to our doors as possible, the faint worry that my door was going to pop open under my weight starting to bug me.

The grungy, thirty-something year old tried to make conversation on a few occasions, tried a few comments but it didn't take long to realize this wasn't the crowd for that.

It took us thirty minutes or so to reach the actual city and that was first time I looked over at Bo. She was angry, enraged actually but yet she was managing to keep her mouth shut and I couldn't help the odd feeling of pride for her. She had finally matured enough to know when was appropriate to throw a fit. The lights of the street dance over her features, and my eyes dance over what I can see of her face before focusing on her reflection in the glass. I could swear I saw a tear slip down her cheek but then again my mind has been known to play ticks on me.

Staring at her I can't help but see my children, I can't help but see my daughter's face when she looks up from her homework to greet me. I can't help but see my son's face when he smiles at me just to make me smile. Looking at her I can't help but wonder.....

…..wonder if I was wrong to keep them from her.....

“I don't have my wallet and my phone is dead,” I nod more as a way to clear my thoughts than to acknowledge I understand what she is saying. “May I come in and call someone to get me or--”

My eyes narrow trying to place her words and then I realize we've pulled to a stop. Looking over my shoulder I see my front door and her words come into context.

Don't do it Lauren.

“Sure, why not.” I sigh and tell the driver my city code, it was nice working for the C.I. I never needed to carry around money or a credit card because all I needed was a pin and they would be billed, feeling generous I give him the equivalent of a fifteen dollar tip and Bo gives me this look that I simply turn my back to. No reason everyone had to have a bad day---besides I wasn't paying for it.

I walk hesitantly up the seven steps to my door and once again hesitate before opening it, the feeling of her looming presence growing with every step. We're greeted by a welcoming darkness and as my muscle memory takes control I kick my shoes off as I slip from my jacket tossing it onto the back of the couch all before dropping my keys down on the long desk against the wall where they belonged.

“I didn't think you would allow them to be out so late on a school day,”

“They are with their class, they had a science tournament tonight.”

“I'm sorry,” she says softly, a genuineness in her voice that tugs at my heart.

“It's okay, they have plenty of these. I'll make it up.” I take a deep breath as I pull the thin cordless from it's holder and turn handing it too her. She reaches out for it and just by accident her hand grazes mine as she pulls it from my grip, the memory of our first meeting drifting back dragging all of those emotions along with it.

“Th-thank you,” she lets out as she looks down at the phone, her thumb pressing the talk button causing a little green light to illuminate the area around us. She presses three numbers before her thumb glides back over to the end button and I just watch her curiously, maybe she forgot the number after all it's only been three weeks and her memory wasn't great. Maybe she doesn't know who to call. Maybe she has something to ask me.

I part my lips readying to say something natural, something calm and un-antagonistic but the words never leave my lips nor do they ever form as I watch her with a curious confusion as she tosses the phone onto the couch while taking three giant steps toward me.

Her hands grab my face holding me in place as her lips slam against mine with a force that earns a whimper from me. Reacting on instinct, on muscle memory my hands fly up into her hair holding her just as tight, our bodies melting together. Moaning against against her lips, an old but still valid password as the second it reaches her ears her lips part allowing my tongue to slip into her mouth effortlessly. Her own tongue aggressively welcoming, skillful as ever. Pressing against her harder, further giving into the kiss our grips loosen allowing our movements to become more natural, our heads twisting side to side and then back again. Every stroke of my tongue met with an equally feverish onslaught of her own.

Every emotion from the this horrendous night, of the past sixteen years rushing to the surface. Every, single ounce of emotion, the anguish, the fear, the loneliness—it all was racing to the surface colliding together to form this new level of desire. Forgetting everything except this moment, and in this moment I wanted this, I needed this.

Her lips part further inviting a deeper touch if possible and I give it to her with a thrust of my tongue, a lascivious growl from her being lost in my mouth as she returns the caress. Each and every escaping moan earned from either of us being lost.

“I forgot how amazing of a kisser you are,” she pants out as her lips leave mine just by an inch as her forehead rests against mine, and knowing her, her eyes are closed mimicking my own. “How good you feel,”

Every word is a comfort to a part of me that I spent the past sixteen years ignoring but every word is also a step closer to reality. A reality that consisted of her being engaged and me being committed. A reality that consisted of us no longer being these people. A reality that would consider what was happening right now as blasphemous.

“You're engaged,” I pant out, it was supposed to be an insult---I think though it sounds anything but.

“I know,”

“We can't do this,”

“I know,” she pulls back slightly and I open my eyes to find hers staring right back into mine. “I know,” she repeats softly, sorrow lacing every millimeter of her tone.

I stand there for a moment freeing my hands from her hair while just staring into her eyes, and it feels like coming home. I can't lie, not now. There is something there that still belongs to me and it's bittersweet to know that there is something there that belongs to me but know every action of hers for the past sixteen years. To know that even with that part of her still mine---it isn't enough to sway her from him.

“We can't,” she says it this time to which I reply that 'I know' but words mean nothing—not now.

It was her—or myself—maybe both of us—it didn't matter who—not anymore.

Regardless of who initiated it we found ourselves right back where we had started. One kiss and then another and then another until we found ourselves a tangled mess of passion as we stumbled through the darkness of my living room. Without ever breaking apart we managed to make it up to the eighth or ninth step before we found ourselves at another halt.

Her body pressing up against mine molding itself to me with her strength as she trapped me against the wall. She didn't pull away right away but when she did instead of words, she buried her face in the curve of my neck. Frantic lips wrecking havoc on sensitive skin, pulling me that much closer to the brink of surrender.

Maybe it was the kissing or the roughness or the fact that her thigh slipped in between mine that caused a serge of need ripping through me. Reaching, searching every inch of her I could manage. Lazy, frantic, parted-lipped kisses to her jaw, her cheekbone, the curve of her neck to her collarbone. Passion quickly pulling me free of my remaining restraint, hands began exploring. Fingertips tracing the trim of her spine, running over tense muscles, running all the way up to the curve of her shoulders before tracing back down to find a home upon the tight, beginning swell of her ass.

Her own hands were quick to return the favor touching everything our position allowed her, my body twisting against her body under her touches silently reminding her of where her hands were most desired. Continuous sighs of pleasure escaping from both of us like a symphony of sopranos. Long, slender fingers probing with a purpose, over my thighs, my stomach until they finally wandered far enough up to the curve of my breasts. Cupping them with both hands, fingers rubbing over the material of my shirt against the sensitive flesh below.

Another moan rushing past my lips, a moan of frustration, of exhilaration---of need.

“Bo,” I groan out and this time a sudden burst of morals come into the forefront of my mind. My hands jumping to her cheeks pushing her head back up, a soft moan of protest escaping both of us. “Bo,”

“Lauren,” she pants my name the way only she can and I almost completely lose my train of thought.

“We have to--”

“Stop?”

“Yes.”

“I know.”

“Then why aren't you?”

“Why aren't you?” she asks with an anger, with a hurt that mirrors everything I am feeling myself. I didn't have an answer for her though—actually I had a million reasons I wasn't stopping her. Some better than others, some more petty than others.

It was a question which a response didn't need to be spoken, actually it was a response that desperately needed to be said aloud—it just never would—not again.

Lips find each other once more as we resume our journey up the stairs, down the hall bumping into one wall then the next until finally we reached my bedroom making it straight to my bed. She uses her body to guide me down onto the mattress before standing up abruptly, reluctantly she releases me and I think of trying to stop this but we both know it's pointless—we both know I don't mean it. Instead I just watch her rip her shirt and bra over her head in one swift motion.

Kneeling above me almost sitting in my lap she reaches down using the back of her hand to graze my heated cheek before it drops to the hem of my shirt. It's another one skillful and abrasive motion that she pulls my shirt and bra off, before throwing across the room as if it was on fire. Resting back against the mattress I stare up at her watching as her eyes travel down from mine across my chest and down my stomach. It was an invisible caress that my body responded to regardless.

Reaching up, trembling hands clamp onto her upper arms, pulling her down to me with an unnecessary force. Hungrily we take another taste of each others mouth but all too soon she is pulling away, her kisses moving from my lips to the gently-rounded swell of my right breast. As she unleashed her skillful mouth my fingers ran upward until finding a home in her hair assuring she wouldn't attempt to leave.

I could feel the way my body was responding to her, my back arching, hips rising up off of the bed pushing against her tight body. The feel of the pressure of her teeth on my tender flesh, followed by the flick of her tongue cause my legs to lazily wrap around her waist.

It was all so much, it wasn't supposed to be happening this way—at all. She was supposed to be getting married, I was committed—i wasn't this type of person. I cared about Kate, I really did and I was more or less prepared to spend my life with her, at least for a while longer. Problem was that I loved Bo, and in this moment I cannot even try to deny it, I can't even begin to tell myself otherwise. Problem was my body reacted to her like a glove, every touch brought me too life, every kiss woke parts of me I thought had long ago died, every sound she made drove me closer to insanity. I wanted to stop....

….But I really didn't....

Her probing fingers close on my neglected nipple and I can't help but moan her name, a sound so foreign to me now yet so familiar. Feeling as greedy as her mouth was I began pushing at the hem of her pants with my feet managing to push them off an inch or two, it was hard to tell, but still being buttoned they wouldn't slide beyond her hips. Giggling against my skin she delivered one sharp nip before lifting her head away, another giggle coming from her at my unconscious whimper of protest.

Head dipping back down, lips finding the sensitive area of skin just under the right side of my ribcage placing butterfly kisses that make me smile more than anything. It was so sexual yet so sweet, she used to do it as just away to make me smile. I wonder if she would have done it more when I was pregnant--had she been here with me.

Flicking her tongue into my belly button, then around it before tracing the edges of my pants with her chilled fingertips brings me back from my wandering. My hands clench onto her shoulders, and she kisses along the hem of my pants but it's not lustful rather it's tentative, shes kissing me—touching me as if she has missed this, missed me and I feel a wash of emotion go through me that I can't quite describe.

I want her there is no hiding that, she can see it in more ways than one, feel it, and with as low as she is she can probably smell it too but as much as I want her, want her in the most lustful way this underlining part of me wants to know she missed me—even if it is just my body she missed. I want her to pull my pants off and take her kisses lower, I want her hungry mouth on me but I also want to hold her body close, I was to kiss her and look in her eyes. I want this to be more than lust because it's more than that to me.

She looks up into my eyes and smiles so softly it's almost heartbreaking, almost as she knows my unspoken pain.

Placing another tender kiss below my ribcage she slides back up the length of my body. Her lips finding mine instantly, hungry mouth devouring mine as she slips her left hand under me stopping at the small of my back as the other lazily slides down my body to trace the curves of my thighs.

The tantalizing ghosting of her hand along my thighs was enough to earn a pleading sigh into her mouth, my back arching up once again as my hips did the same keeping a demanding rhythm, one that is soon matched by her down pushing my back down onto the mattress, her weight just enough to keep me from arching back up.

A strangled cry broke from her throat into my mouth as my hand managed to slide in between us and almost instantly her own hand joins mine in this already tiny space between our bodies. Breaking apart only an inch, eyes opening in a union as our hands rest atop one another while the sporadic rhythm of our hips slow to a halt.

“God your beautiful,” I whisper out using my free hand to brush her hair from her face.

“Do you mean that professionally?” she whispers with a smirk that changes slowly into a smile to match the one taking over my lips as my cheeks begin to heat from something other than adrenaline and lack of oxygen . “It's cool, I have that effect on people.”

“Ah, well that would fit my hypothesis on you,”

“Hm,” she giggles out softly. Dipping her head down a little lower, the light seeping in from the street in through my blinds illuminating her face. “Do you want to ask me some incredibly personal questions now, doctor?”

“Best role play ever,”

We don't say anything, for a moment we just look at one another not moving, not breathing just letting the memories come streaming back and for the first time in years the memories aren't painful. I don't try and push them back down into a deep, dark hole but rather enjoy the fact that she remembers them just as clearly as I do.

Reacting in union our hands begin to fight for the fastenings on our jeans, and I'm not completely sure if I'm fighting with hers or my own—not that it mattered. No, now the only concern was the removal of the barriers between us. Finally able to rip them open, quite literally in my case I use my earlier technique to push her pants completely off, a thud followed by another as she manages to kick off her shoes in the process. A smile curving my lips realizing she still didn't wear underwear, some things never change. Arching my back up she pulls my jeans and underwear off in one fumbled motion.

“You're still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen,” she whispers sweetly, her breathing labored unusually. “You don't look a day older than the last time I saw you,” she uses the back of her hand to brush the hair from my face making a dangerous comment something so sweet.

“I—I haven't, not really.” I admit quietly unsure of why I am but something in her eyes is begging me to know. “I—I'm not human any more---not completely,”

“Wh-what?” her head tilts and a serious inquisitiveness replaces the pure lust and longing in her eyes.

“The HAFG gene I carry made me a prime candidate to splice my DNA, to incorporate Fae DNA with my own allow me to have certain--benefits,” I wonder if geek speak still does it for her because that was a mouthful.

Her lips part to speak but nothing comes out, I see all the questions begin to rise in her. A sense of sadness, hurt, maybe anger riddling her features in between the lust.

“You were right, you are an amazing mother.” she says flatly and I can't help the tiny whimper that escapes, not from pleasure but from—guilt? Pain? “I know how much pride you took in being a human,”

“I take more pride in being a mother,”

“I'm sorry,” she says suddenly very serious and for a moment I don't know what she is apologizing for.

Was she saying sorry because she couldn't go through with this—or because she could? Was she saying sorry for stopping? Was it sorry because I had given up my human life for another? Was it a sorry of pity or of understanding? Was it a sorry because I was alone and she believed that was why I had to make such a sacrifice? Or was it a sorry for something that went further than that.

My mind shifts from the riddle of her words to her mouth that has managed to cover my own, melting into her effortlessly. It only took a moment for our bodies to synchronize into a rhythm of thrusts, of movements, of moans.

Demanding more of her body, I arch up as best I can and I know it annoys her as much as it excites her that I try and remain in control even when she is atop of me. Head pressing down against the mattress, eyes clamping shut tilting my head back as her lips left mine. Sporadic and ravenous lips move over my mouth, chin, ear, before finally focusing on my neck. The sensation sending a new shock-wave of pleasure to collide with existing ones creating a violent whirlpool in the pit of my stomach, pulling me closer to the edge.

I could tell she herself was just barely holding on. The frantic increased shared movements becoming more and more painful, more and more exhilarating—more of everything. She is pressing her lower half down on me as much as she can while still keeping in rhythm to prevent me from arching up but she doesn't realize my strength has grown since the last time we found ourselves in the position. Not much, but enough.

My fingernails claw at her back as her hands slide underneath my butt pushing me up demanding to hold control of this, demanding that if I was going to arch up it would be on her terms. I am too far gone now to care whether she is in control or not.

And when her grip tightens to the point of near unbearable pain I knew she was too. It didn't take long after that, that I found myself screaming out her name before burying my face in her shoulder biting down trying to muffle myself.

The scream of my name following close behind, Bo's mouth over my collarbone as it does. And for whatever reason she decides to muffle her own self by biting were her lips rested earning my jaw to lock. It was unintentional, it was new and most of all it was painful but there was something different now. We didn't pull apart and ask if the other was okay, we didn't pull apart and assess the damage rather we both gradually released our bite and just laid there.

Coming to awareness was slow and muddled but I think I was the first to do so. The smell of us in the air thick, sweet, memory inducing. Next was the realization that her body still laid still atop of mine, so still that it was worrisome almost as if she was afraid to move. Her face nestled into my shoulder, her chest raising and falling in sync with my own. Gently I try and shift just a little, trying to re-position my legs rather then escape but she murmurers something against my skin as her hands force themselves underneath my waist pulling me against her.

I fall still and just lay here staring up into the darkness of the ceiling letting this conscious wave of emotions come over me, my now calming desire falling to the lesser of my worries. Guilt, pain, disgust, embarrassment, hurt, longing, uncertainty, love, need, all swirling around my mind like waster circling the drain.

I loved her---I hated her. I needed her--I didn't want her. I wanted her possession of me yet I wanted to be free. I wanted her forever yet I couldn't stand the thought. I wanted to comfort her as much as I wanted to hurt her. I desired her as much as I was disgusted by her. I regretted everything about her just as much as I would do it all again in an instant. I wanted to 'play-house' with her just as much as I wanted her to disappear from our life.

I smirk to myself, that is what I really was—just water circling the drain. Someone laying in a glass coffin watching as shovels of dirt were being tossed atop of me. Every decision being made just another lap around the drain, another shovelful of dirt.

Chapter Text

Oh thank God it was a dream—I think.

Doubt stars to creep in as I look down over my naked body, I may have grown gradually more comfortable with my body, my sexuality over the years but I still never slept naked not even after being with Kate.

Sitting up I look over the room and nothing looks out of place, the bathroom door open and empty, the floor empty, my eyes move back to the chair in the corner closest to the bathroom where laid my pile of clothes and I can't help the way my eyebrow raises, I could swear Bo threw my clothes didn't she? She wouldn't have been considerate and picked them up would she have?

Shaking the thought from my head my eyes shift to the clock on the digital box underneath the television, 8:45 a.m. SHIT. My kids had already come home, God I hope they didn't walk in and see me like this—oh well I am their mother and they are going to be succubi so wouldn't be the end of the world.

Pushing myself from the bed I rush to my closet hastily searching for the most appropriate clothes for the day since I wouldn't have time to change again. Black slacks, and a light blue pullover blouse that was a little more date worthy than my child's talent show, but that was what was going to have to do. Running my hands through my hair twice I deem myself ready for the day.

I reach for the door and it's closed—I could swear it was left open.

Maybe it was all just a dream, maybe it was a fantasy. Maybe she did come in and called Dyson to pick her up and I was just so exhausted I dreamed up the rest. That was plausible wasn't it? I mean I am not the type to cheat, and I was so—am so pissed at her still so I wouldn't juts spread my legs, I don't even just spread them for my girlfriend of SEVEN YEARS.

God, please let this be a dream....

...it's not....

At least that's what the sound of not two but three similar yet distinctive laughs coming from my kitchen is telling me.

“Hello,” I say greeting them as a whole rather than anyone in particular.

“Bo was just telling us all about last night, wild night huh?”

“Excuse me?” I spin around mid step toward the counter looking at my son, my cheeks pinkening.

“I would have been freaking out, out there. I would have thought a machete wielding giant was going to come out and murder us,” Isa chuckles taking a sip of her coffee and despite my current panic level I can't help smirking at the near exact same thought I had last night.

“Jason really?” Ethan pauses taking a sip from his own mug. “He is so slow her never runs, doesn't even sprint.”

“You're just in love with that chainsaw wielding freak-show. Please find another serial killer to appreciate because this one is growing tired,”

“You're growing tired,”

“Oh, nice comeback. Oxford will love that level of articulation.” I can't hold my laughing in as I continue to fix my own cup, their ridiculous argument almost completely distracting me from the fact Bo was sitting right there drinking coffee like this was something normal. Then her voice reaches my ears and all of that worry and irritation comes rushing right back.

“I'm sorry,” she lets out in a chuckle. “You two just seem so serious about this,”

“Because it is.” they say in union and I don't turn around but I know they are giving her the same 'we aren't playing around' look they get.

“Oh,” she lets out and I can tell she is trying to suppress her own laugh. “I'm sorry I didn't realize, it just doesn't seem like something you two would enjoy.”

“It is the one quotidian thing we enjoy,” Isa defends. “It means common, regular, average--”

“Yeah, I figured that one out.”

“Just making sure,”

“Well knowing your mother for so long I had to learn to pick up on things,”

“Ah, you possess what would be referred to commonly as street-smarts. Beneficial in certain areas of work, value never actually properly assessed considering people who share the same level of intelligence place too much value on it while those of higher intellect such as ourselves place too little value. When I used the term ourselves I was referring to my sister and mother as well as myself,”

I snort in the middle of taking a sip and almost choke, God I love my son. Oh, boy that was hilarious. Trying to keep from laughing I realize she hasn't said anything yet and I contemplate finally turning around.

“Thank you for that clarification, I don't think my averaged sized brains would have been able to figure out that comment,”

“Hm, quick quip humor rather than offense. Either you have spent an enormous amount of time with our mother or you are smarter than you look,” Isa says flatly.

“Wow, you two are just on a role with the complements. Keep em' coming.”

“My sister just meant that you resemble what you are, Fae wise. You are from a species that is more sexual than anything correct? I am using deductive reasoning, not guessing.”

“He means you are hot. You're what, a nymph?”

“No,” she chuckles taking pride in the miss-categorization. “I am actually a succubi,”

“What?” the sound of my daughter's voice followed by the sound of her cup almost slamming down wipes the smile from my face and brings my body to stiffen. “You're a succubi? Mom did you know she is a succubi?”

“Wow. Been a long time since anyone was this excited over that, in fact it was your mother who was the last one.”

“I'm sorry it's just we are—well we are going to be succubi.” Ethan lets out in his intrigued tone and I place my mug down, mind rushing to think of a plausible reason to pull this to a halt. Although I don't know why I am worrying so much, she knows the years, she sees them—has talked to them. They are almost the spitting image of her, their personality is almost identical especially when Isa is trying to feel her out and she still hasn't figured it out.

“Really?” there is a sense of surprise and hurt in her voice but I can tell she never allows the smile to leave her lips.

“Yeah, mom has been trying to find a suitable succubus for us to talk to when we come of age, even has Kate searching since she is pretty badass you know.”

“I bet she is.”

“No really she is, she is a seventeen hundred year old werewolf, not some mangy shape-shifter like her new douche of a partner—or at least that is what my mom says,” Ethan finally contributes to the conversation and I have to cover my mouth to suppress my laugh, though it is only containing about eighty percent of it.

“That is her husband,” Isa says flatly and I know she is giving a scowl which mirror's Bo's exactly but it's okay her perfect little wolf has just been insulted, she will be too distracted to notice. I am dating a real wolf, just like to stress that point.

“Not my husband yet and it's fine. Apparently it is common knowledge to everyone but me that he is a type of wolf rather than--”

“No, type of shifter not wolf.”

“Ethan don't interrupt.” I say softly finally turning around, my hand cupping his cheek from behind as I place a kiss to the back of his head.

“Sorry mom,”

“Not just the scientific stuff you're teaching them is it, Doctor Lewis?” she scowls at me from behind the rim of her cup and I have place another kiss to the back of my son's head to keep from laughing.

“Well they need to know about people too don't they?”

“Perhaps you should let them form their own opinion rather than just adopting yours,”

“Oh it's not just her's. Kate said he is rude, lazy, son of some type of feline--” he pauses tilting his head up. “Sorry mom, she didn't mean it as offense to you.” he tilts his head back down. “Some other things she told me I couldn't repeat, language reasons.”

“Why would you take offense?” surprisingly she brushes past the insults of her future husband.

“You two must not have been all that close, mom is hybrid from the feline species. What was it mom, mountain lion or was it a cheetah?”

“There are no cheetah Fae baby, Kate told you that to scare you. And it's um,” I trail off looking from my daughter back to Bo. “It's not important.”

“Actually--” she is cut off by the sound of the door bell and for a moment I contemplate telling Isa to get it but then realize if it's Kate she will let her in without preparing her for---this.

“I'll be right back,” I smile politely hesitantly leaving the trio alone.

Taking a deep breath I can't help but admit how well this is going. Bo is not a single step closer to figuring anything out cause Lord forbid if she ever use her common sense. My children were having fun trying to intimidate her. A couple laughs were coming from it. Nothing to worry about.

“Hey babe—you aren't babe,” I chuckle finding a FEDX employee standing there with a folder shaped package.

“No ma'am,” he says with a smile. 'Expecting someone?”

“Sorta,”

'Having a good day?” he asks politely handing me the tablet to sign, I assume noticing my continuous smile.

“Surprisingly. Yourself?”

“Can't complain.” he takes it back and hands me the package with a smile of his own.

I wasn't lying it was surprisingly going okay. I haven’t had a panic attack over last night, Kate hadn't showed up yet to kill Bo. Bo was behaving herself—my children weren't so much but it was amusing. I start to rip open the package addressed to Kate but then realize that it shouldn't feel this normal.

It shouldn't feel this normal to leave Bo alone with my children. It shouldn't feel normal for me to be opening mail addressed to my girlfriend while the secret mother of my children, who I happened to have an affair with last night sits in the kitchen talking to the kids she has spent the last seven years bonding with. It shouldn't feel this normal to hear the three of them laughing loud enough to hear them out here. It shouldn't feel normal for me to be contemplating letting them spend more time together.

I stop just short of the kitchen entrance leaning against the hallway wall.

“Your mother is surprisingly squeamish for someone who is a doctor—at least when it comes to movies. I use to make her watch ALL of the Saws with me and even the fake ones.”

“God those are horrible and gross,” Isa laughs.

“Oh I know, it happened as a one time thing and then I just loved her reaction so much I would make her watch the rest of em'. She would always try and shy away or over--”

“Explain why that type of kill wouldn't take that long?” Ethan laughs out earning theirs as well.

“Exactly! She always use to complain about them though, how did she begin allowing you two to watch em'?”

“Um,” I hear Isa let out a sudden heaviness washing through the house and I ready to walk in but a part of me wants to hear what she will say. “She told us one time that our father had enjoyed them, that they would occasionally watch them together. That because of her situation at the time she didn't always have the freedom to go out and do things so they'd be home bodies together.”

“Yeah so we decide to start watching the crappy PG-13 ones as a way to, I don't know feel like we knew something about our father but—as time went it became less about that and more of a Lewis Family Tradition.”

“So you guys never met him?”

“Nope, but it's cool he didn't want to be a part of our lives so we don't want him to be a part of ours.” Ethan says and I can tell by the way his voice muffles he is looking away from her now.

“Did she ever tell you about him?”

“If its cool we don't like to talk about this,” Isa jumps in and I hear Bo say something and then something else that makes them laugh but I'm not listening any longer.

Leaning back against the wall I hear their voices faintly soon becoming one sound. One sound that I could recognize anywhere. A sound that could bring me so much joy and yet so much pain.

I swallow at the sudden dryness in my throat, a twinge of guilt and pain creeping in at the fact that this is foreign to Bo. She is getting such a kick out of them and it's all so new to her. She is having a conversation with such ease and she doesn't even know why. She hears them continuously say father and not only does she think it's not her, she thinks they are referencing a man.

She is so drawn to them I can tell—and she doesn't even know why.

Chapter Text

“Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?” Kate asks playfully as she comes up behind me, hand resting on my lower back, pulling me from my thoughts back to the crowded hall.

“Yes,” I answer softly turning around with a smile. “You make sure to tell me everyday,”

“Is that a complaint?”

“Anything but,” I lean in placing a quick kiss to her lips.

“Good,” she says with a smile, this time she steals a kiss. “I missed you last night. I wish I would have been there with you, it must'a been horrible.” she continues, gently brushing my hair from my face and suddenly my genuine smile turns into a forced one.

“It was,”

“I don't like you being alone with her,” she pauses to smile at a fellow detective waving as he walks into the auditorium. “Not because I don't trust you, I do I just know how upsetting it is.”

“You trust me that much huh?” I ask softly, pain pulling at my heart.

“Of course baby, I know we've had some ups and downs but I've never doubted your faithfulness nor you honesty, don't ever think that.”

Looking into her eyes I see nothing but love and trust and it actually physically hurts me. She really is a like a big puppy, a life size Labrador. She was so loyal and trusting sometimes I just wanted her to be a little less perfect, a little less everything something everyone would want. She had a past, everyone does and she had flaws like her refusal to use a towel after showering but they weren't real flaws---not like Bo's—not like my own.

My lips part and the pain ripping through my chest makes me want to tell her the truth and beg for forgiveness but—but Bo and Dyson have seemingly magically appeared next to us again—i need to get them a bell or something.

“Kathrine. Lauren.” he says slowly with this smug smile and I really, really wish I was the type of woman who would order their significant other into a fight.

“Dyson. Bo.” I smirk and look over at Kate who is his mirror image. Wolf thing I guess except when he does it he is a dick, when she does it its cute.

“Do you two plan to duel now or,” she trials off looking between them and refusing to meet my gaze.

“Don't be silly Bo,” he says looking over at her. Don't be silly? Really he just seriously said that to her like a child? Wow. Least mine talks to me like an adult.

“Detectives,” the four of us look over at Doctor Foster who is waving them over.

I watch as Dyson forces this awkward kiss on her lips before giving me this death glare that makes me smirk. Kate waits for him to take a few steps away before she places a gentle kiss to my cheek, knowing proper, adult etiquette in this type of situations.

“Why are you here?” I ask almost accusingly as soon as they are out of earshot.

“Well hello to you too doctor,” she snorts shaking her head with this scowl. “Ethan mentioned he was preforming tonight.”

“And you decided to bring your future husband here to see MY son's performance?”

“Why do you feel the need to mention that all the time? Like you think I'll forget if you don't remind me? And I was going to come to support Ethan since he asked me too, and Dyson mention that Gabby wanted to try and get into the one in December so he wanted to come.”

“How sweet of him,” I'm not completely sure her sentence makes sense but with the way she keeps looking between me and Dyson over there, I don't think she cares.

“I'm sorry, did you open up a fresh batch of venom tonight?”

“This is my son's recital I don't want any issues.”

“There won't be.”

“Mom, did you see what Kate got me for winning the competition?”

I turn to see Isa beaming ear to ear holding out her left hand, a watch identical to mine. Her right arm wrapped around Kate's shoulder's. I can't help smiling, it was sweet she had got me one for winning my award and now Isa a matching one for her achievement and she probably had one for Ethan too. It was little sweet, considerate things like this that made it bearable to forget about Bo sometimes. I just happen to glance over and notice Bo is scowl at the pair.

“Hey Bo, it's cool right?”

“It is,” she says softly with a smile actually looking at it rather than acting like a spoiled child.

“Told you she was amazing,” Isa whispers leaning toward Bo as if that would make it so the rest of us couldn't hear.

“You did.” she says softly, fake smile on her lips as she leans into Dyson's body as his arm wraps back around her.

“Come on,” Kate lets out as the lights above begin to flash giving us the minute warning.

Kate leads the way in and like a trail of unhappy, dysfunctional ducks we follow all the way to our reserved seats in the front row and apparently the unwelcome twins have followed us. Settling in I focus more on my original group rather than the tag alongs.

“That was sweet,” I whisper leaning into Kate.

“She deserved it.”

“She does but still,”

“You can thank me later,” she smirks hand resting on my knee.

“I plan to,” I place a kiss to her cheek and rest my hand atop of hers.

“We are proud to bring to you our special guest of the night, the fourteen year old, two time Yehudi Menuhin award winning violinists, Ethan Patrick Lewis preforming a unique rendition of Bittersweet Symphony.”

He finishes my son's introduction to a round of roaring applause, his hand held out toward the chair where my son sat so intently focused on what he was preparing. The blazing light that only illuminated the area around him rather than the whole stage.

I forgot they tend to say the middle names with these things, I look over subtly at Bo as the applause die down but she is none the wiser, just smiling away up at my son. Fair enough, I turn back toward the stage as silence engulfs the room and for a minute he doesn't move. He positions himself just the way he needs and lets his eyes drift closed, reaching up his left hand with the bow resting it in position before falling perfectly still once more.

I look over at Kate and my daughter wondering if they think something is wrong as well, but just as Kate turns to me to whisper something the sound of the first cord cuts through the silence.

In honesty I wasn't a fan of classical music much which for some reason was a surprise to most, but my son's ability was hard to deny. I didn't like the song he picked either but it was original, daring—well I should clarify I didn't care for the singer's voice, I loved the beat and now even more so.

I steal another glance at Bo who is now sitting up in her chair rather than leaning back comfortably, her eyes intently on him.

Shaking my focus off of her and back to my son. He looks so intent almost to the point of being angry, his brow furrowed almost as much as it was when he 'kicked' Dyson out of our house. His lips parted just a bit in true Bo fashion. He has his hair slicked back—for the most part and it only makes him look more like her.

I glance back over at Bo who is sitting further up now. I wasn't aware she was so into classical music.

I feel Kate shift beside me and I smile at her worried she's noticed I was looking at Bo but she hasn't, her full attention is on Ethan. Looking back up at him I watch as the intensity of the cords build and he stands. Several more cords and he is taking four steps toward the edge of the stage all the while his eyes remain shut and I can't help but worry he is going to fall. I wasn't even aware he was going to move during this—I didn't know it was allowed.

I look back at Bo who is near the edge of her seat, this harsh, intense look on her face as she stares at him and had I not known her I would have asked her to stop looking at my son like that. I find myself watching Bo now more than my son and I can't tell exactly what is happening. She looks so inquisitive —angry possibly—I'm not sure.

I hear the mark I know is about to be the last strech so I look back up to him, and watch with pride forgetting all about Bo. When the song concludes Bo is the first to jump up but she isn't standing for him, she is almost running down the isle toward the exit, Dyson the next to follow all before anyone else has a chance to stand. I feel a nudge to my arm and I stand looking over at Kate who is now giving me a scowl that says 'forget about them and pay attention to your son,'

Ignoring whatever fit Bo was managing to have I clap along with the rest of the roaring audience as he takes his bow, the applause lasting several long seconds after he is off stage. Once they come to an end the three of us try our best to inconspicuously sneak out from the side isle rather than the main one.

Sure I felt bad about skipping out so soon but I just didn't have the patients to sit through four hours of back to back performances of classical music especially since most of these teenagers decided to do the same song, last year I stayed for two hours and heard Moonlight Sonata seven times, it would have been eight had one young girl not cracked under the pressure of preforming in front of two hundred or so people.

“You did amazing baby,” I say as Ethan emerges into the hall where we were waiting.

“Did I? I think I was flat in--”

“You are too critical,” Kate laughs throwing her arm around him. “It was perfect. If you don't want to follow in your mother's footsteps you could have a great career as a violinists,” I smile at her words when he looks at me but glare the second he looks away and she just gives me this smile which I know well, its the one that means 'calm down'.

“It was amazing baby brother,”

“Baby brother?” he looks over at Isa who is now holding onto me as we are making our way to the car.

“Yes, I was born seven minutes before you. Makes me older.”

“You two really don't have to compete for everything,”

“Yes we do mom,” they say in union looking at me as if I had just personally insulted them. Chuckling I look at Kate who is walking around to the driver's side and she just shakes her head at me like I should know better—i should. I guess Bo's words got to me more than I had thought.

We pile into the car and I just look out the window staring at nothing in particular, unable to describe what this weird feeling was that had been coming over me, trying to consume me. I'm not unaware of what is going on, I can feel, see Kate continue to look at me worried, her smile fading after each glance. I can hear my children in the back arguing over this seven minute ordeal. I wasn't upset--not really, I'm not even thinking about Bo's childish little tantrum over God knows what. I just find myself not feeling quite right. Something is off, maybe it was just building guilt over last night, maybe it was the fact I hadn't ate since the morning, maybe it was—maybe it was--something.

“Do what you want with my body!”

I look back startled at my kids giggling singing. Maybe I had been a little distracted. Staring at the giggling duo struggling to sing along with the song. I laugh to myself knowing this song was out before they were even born but it's a fact that doesn't seem to matter to them much. I lean back in my seat trying to focus on the fact that they are just goofy and not singing along to a catchy song about being used for sexual purposes. I look over at Kate who is already looking at me and there that annoying twinge of pain in my heart is again. Her lips slowly begin to curve into a smile, and she nods as if I asked her a question, I'm not sure why---ah clever, I get it she is being suggestive along with the song. Ha.

“You can't have my heart and you won't use my mind,”

I have to turn away as she joins in with the giggle pair in the back, the three of them singing along with the song so loud and laughing so much it doesn't even really sound like singing any more. Thank God it's raining so the windows have to remain up so no one can ever hear this, NEVER.

“Don't look at me,” I laugh.

“Come on mom!” they yell from the backseat and she is managing to smirk at me with wiggling eyebrows.

“Watch the road.”

“Mom!'

“No.” I laugh out turning away from them and looking out of my window praying we don't catch a red light. “I won't do it. I won't.” I chuckle as I feel Kate grabbing my hand in her own.

“You're no fun!” Isa yells and tosses something at me that I'm not quite sure what it is since it falls into the dark space where my feet rested.

See this is exactly what my point was yesterday. Bo was walking around on her high horse thinking I kept them from having any fun at all. Like I am some fun-sucking warden. They had fun, they were goofy once they relaxed around you, true Kate had a big part in their more crazy, occasional behavior but none the less. I probably should have told her that yesterday.

Speaking of Bo what was her problem? Running off like a child for no reason, it was disrespectful to Ethan, to me—and God help me for saying this but to Dyson too. Oh and her little glare at Kate when she saw her with Isa. I mean you want to have a flashback, jealousy moment with me and Kate and Dyson fine—don't do it with my kids—our kids.

I sigh aloud and realize she has let go of my hand, oddly irritated with that I look up to find we are pulling into our parking spot—well guess she needed that hand to park. I try to bring myself out of this dizzying fog I can't explain but it's useless the whole walk to the house, and the whole time I say goodnight to the kids my mind remains clouded. I mean heard them playing around and what not, I kissed them goodnight and congratulated Ethan once more but I just felt like I was on auto pilot, like I wasn't in control, like I didn't know what I was thinking let alone feeling.

“You alright?”

“Yeah,” I answer kicking off my shoes as I take my watch off setting it on the bedside table. “Why?”

“Well after Ethan's performance you kinda shut down on us,”

“Yeah I don't know I just don't feel right.”

“This about Bo?” Yes.

“No, I just don't feel well. Maybe I got exposure,” I chuckle turning around to face her, she is standing there on the opposite side of the bed, the exact side, exact spot in which I was laying in as I allowed Bo to fuck me. I look up from the bed to her and feel my body freeze realizing I hadn't changed the sheets. A benefit of being such a mature wolf was that she could control her abilities such as smelling, and if she wasn't looking for something she didn't use it, now I just need to make sure she doesn't have a reason to go sniffing around—such as me acting like a crazy woman after spending last night around my ex.

“Exposure? You were out there for like two hours,” she laughs pulling the comforter down.

“Well it was a rough two hours,” I say with a pout. If she focuses on me she won't focus on the smell of Bo in the room—on the bed. “Maybe you should take my temperature,”

“I think you're being a bit over--” she trails off eyes widening picking up on the flirtation in my voice, now hopefully she doesn't realize it's forced. That was wrong to say, it wasn't forced—it isn't a bother to flirt with my girlfriend my motives were just—odd. “Are you saying I get to play doctor tonight?” she chuckles starting to crawl across the bed toward me.

“Mm-hm, I even have my stethoscope around here somewhere, you can use.”

“Mm props? I like,” she lets out, hands going to my hips pulling me against the bed. “Well in this case I think you need a full work up,” she runs her eyes over my body and leans in for a kiss.

Her lips cover mine and I don't bother with teasing not tonight. She doesn't react to my forcefulness right away, but she works into it. It's passionate, it's sweet—it's wrong. Wrong on so many levels, wrong because I am doing this to hide what I did, doing this because of someone else, doing this because it wasn't about us—but part of me was taking an odd pleasure in it.

Shaking the thought off I deepen the kiss, moaning into her mouth. She was an amazing kisser—maybe better than Bo—i just didn't react to her the way I did to Bo. I slide my hands under her shirt grabbing her breasts over the bra earning a moan that takes my thoughts away from a certain succubus.

It was terrible but this was hot, the forcefulness, the newness, the danger, the pain—it was a weird mixture that had me reacting to her in a whole new way. Ignoring every moral I have I pull her shirt off almost hurting her in process but neither of us care, not now. I can't help but moan against her lips as she pulls my shirt of with equal force, lips only parting long enough to allow the removal.

Her hands drop to my hips and I'm more than ready for her to pull my pants off but instead she flips me around, a growl escapes from deep within her chest, sending another wave of heat to the pit of my stomach. She kisses down my neck, along my shoulder blades, hands roaming over my stomach wildly.

“Kate...baby,” I moan out letting my head fall back as she kisses down my neck. “Hey,” I pout, eyes opening as her mouth comes to a halt. “I know I have a tendency of making you cum quickly but,” I joke playfully turning around and the smile wipes off my face instantly.

She is just looking at me confused, tears welling in her eyes and it's a scary sight. This was Kate, my Kate—she didn't cry.

“Baby what--” I say reaching out to cup her cheek but she leans away. “What's wrong?”

“Guess last night wasn't as awful as you made it seem.”

“What?” I look down at myself following her line of sight and feel my heart stop. I had forgot. I was so worried about the bed and the smells that I forgot Bo had bit down when she came. My collarbone heavily bruised in the form of a bite just low enough that the shirt hid it. “Baby,”

“Don't,” she says quickly shuffling off the bed. “How---how could you—she--I--”

“I didn't mean-” I’m cut off at the sound of the doorbell being run three times in a row. “Ignore it. Baby talk to me,”

“Stop! Stop calling me baby. How can you—son of a bitch,” she growls as the bell goes off again and then again.

“Where are you going?” I ask as she pulls the door open.

“To get the door before the asshole at the door bothers the kids.”

“Without a shirt?” I ask quickly picking mine up and putting it back on, it's inside out but oh well that is the least of my concerns at the moment. I swear to God whoever keeps ringing this doorbell is going to get punched. “Stay here. I'll get it,”

“Expecting your girlfriend?”

“No I just don't believe you'll come back up to talk to me if I let you go.”

“So she IS your girlfriend then, nice.” she growls again as she picks her shirt off the floor. I start to argue but the sound of the door bell being manically pushed once again forces me away.

Almost running down the stairs and through the darkness of the living room, I jerk the door open with such a force it slips from my grip slamming into the wall.

“What the hell is your problem,” I bark not even caring who was standing there. “Bo? What is your problem? Why are you abusing my doorbell,” I continue to argue with a surprisingly silent succubus.

She looks so scared, so angry, so hurt and—soaking wet. I look behind her through the pouring rain, a flash of lightening illuminating the sky but I don't see Dyson's car, I don't see any car other than mine. Did she walk here? I turn my attention back to her and she is just watching me like a lion would watch it's prey.

“Who is Ethan's father?”

Chapter Text

“Who is Ethan's father?”

I can feel my lips part ready for whatever my mind was going to come up with to say but there is nothing. I don't have a quick quip or an insult or anything—I have nothing. So I just stand here listening to the sound of the rain pouring down violently washing away the sins of the city, too bad it couldn't wash away mine. I looking toward her but not at her, my eyes shifted just enough to stare at the house across the street which is only visible every couple of seconds when the lightening strikes.

I'm still in the unexplainable fog, I know that but rather than feeling like life was just passing by everything seemed to be almost in slow motion, amplified in a way. I could feel everything, the cool dampness on the floor underneath my feet. Could feel the chilled breeze that picked up every couple of seconds, almost exactly right after the enormous claps of thunder. I could feel her intense stare burning holes though me despite the fact I couldn't quite bring myself to look at her.

I could finally understand what I felt too—though I could have gone without that one.

I felt ashamed, beyond the guilt and the pain and anger I felt shame. Shame because first and foremost I didn't think about my kids and how last night would effect them. I went with it, I did what I always did and gave into Bo and now not only were they at risk of losing the only other parental figure they knew they were also in jeopardy of finding out about Bo, about our history—about the lies. Shame because I had cheated, I had been unfaithful and hurt the one person in my life who has been there through everything good and bad. Shame because I was so weak—add in a tougher talk, a few quips, a growing libido—none of it mattered because underneath it all I was still weak. Shame because I—it didn't matter the list of never ending reasons, all that mattered was I was slipping into a deep, dark pit of shame and staying there.

Who was Ethan's father?

Ha. Such an open ended question with so, so many ways to answer. The same person as Isa's father obviously being the first answer and most simplest to say. No one—in the terms of a father having to be a male. Me—in the terms of me having to raise them myself. Kate—in the terms of her being the person who has been around consistently for seven years whether with me or not. Bo—in the terms of her being their actual other parent, their more dominate one.

Who was their father—honestly I didn't know the answer to that question beyond the biological answer.

I finally shift my eyes back to her, it feels like we've been standing here for forever or more logically ten minutes or so but I know it's probably at most a minute. It's amazing how fast the brain can work, can think when it's flight or fight response is triggered.

She looks pathetic—like I am one to talk. Tears mixing with rain drops, her body shaking from anger, from the harsh weather. Her lips slightly parted as if she has more to say but can't form the words yet—I know the look well from Isa. My eyes move back up from her lips to her eyes and they are something I've never seen. They are so dark, near black with this rage in them, this brokenness that is frightening. I've stared down death more than once, stared down some of the world's most vile creatures human and Fae alike and never have I ever been more afraid then I was in the moment.

Would she kill me? Of course not. Would she hit me? Probably not. Would she say the most hurtful things she could think of for no reason other than to cause pain? Most likely, but that was nothing I wasn't use too.

Even knowing that I couldn't help this fear building deep within, maybe it was realizing I didn't know her anymore. I didn't actually know what she was going to do or say. I didn't know how she would react. I didn't know anything about her anymore really—and maybe realizing that was the thing I feared most.

Maybe in all of these years I just never thought about it as time passing. I thought about the years passing of course but I just never thought about it in the way of time actually passing for us. I never thought about how she would have changed in all this time. I never thought that I might not actually know her anymore. I never thought of how she would mature—if she would. I just always thought when I saw her again, if I ever did, that she would be the same exact person from then—maybe I was wrong.

“Who is their father?” she asks again finally, her voice reaching my ears like an assault of tiny razor blades.

“That is none of your business ,”

“Answer me,” she demands attempting to take a step into the house past me but my hand flys up to the wooden frame of the door gripping it tightly.

“You need to leave, this isn't a good time.”

“Really? It's not a good time?” she snorts and looks away from me out onto the street for a moment. “Is this really not a good time for you, Lauren?”

“You need to leave,”

“You said that,” her words almost a growl as she turns back to me. “You're Fae now right? Not completely but you got some abilities? Like non-aging, less fragility?”

“Yes wh--” my garbled answer cut short as her forearm pushes into my chest with a force I never thought she'd use against me. My feet skidding against the wood as I fumble backward a few steps. “Excuse me,”

“You're excused,” she say under her breath as she walks into my living staring into the hall and then up at the stairs, her hands on her hips.

“Well,” I snort slamming the door shut before walking further in to face her. “You need to get out of my house now,”

“Not until you answer my question,”

“I will call the cops on you,” it's an empty threat but it's all I had at the moment.

“The cops?” she spins around almost laughing. “Seriously Lauren? You aren't even human any more lets cut the shit. Pretending you're some helpless, little kitten. Didn't seem all that helpless last night, in fact seemed pretty in control. I could feel the strength, feel how you had to fight to control yourself.”

“You can leave my house or have me remove you from it,” my eyes shoot up to the stairs where Kate is walking down from, her voice low and near a continuous growl.

“Your house?” she snorts and pauses before turning back to me. “She lives here? You seriously live here with her? You fucked me in you and your girlfriend's bed?” she runs her hand through her hair and I have to look away from both of them.

Shame was far worse than guilt.

“Leave now,” Kate repeats herself now only inches from Bo and Bo is only all too ready and willing to fight her.

“You gonna make me wolfy? Couldn't even get your woman to keep her legs closed in your house,” a violent growl from deep within Kate's chest fills the room as she steps into Bo and Bo's eyes change to their piercing, iciness that I am all to familiar with.

“Enough,”

“Get your bitch to back down,” this time it's Bo who lets out something similar to a growl. That's new.

For a moment I hesitate, taken back at how vulgar she had become, how territorial. I was right she had changed, she had settled into her nature. The insults weren't for me they were for Kate. Apparently Bo had learned how certain Fae react to certain things. I can tell with how quickly her body is reacting it's not just her way of thinking that has developed with her nature but her physical response. I wonder if she even has any real control over her anger response at the moment.

I take a breath and hold it, the idea dawning on me that Bo already knows.

This response isn't about me or even Kate for that matter, not the way I thought—it's about the kids.

I doubt Bo even put two and two together. She probably didn't do the math, didn't pick up on any of the hints that were being tossed at her. Probably didn't even recognize the undeniable resemblance. But being around them, actually being near them was most likely what did it. Triggered some response inside which would make sense. I don't know why I didn't piece that together. Bo was unusually inquisitive about them, drawn to them almost. The way she was so calm and relaxed with them slipping into a state of normalcy—Bo wasn't relaxed with anyone she didn't know if she couldn't seduce them. The way she reacted seeing Kate and Isa together tonight. The way she was enamored with watching Ethan.

Yeah, I should have seen this coming.

“Leave,” Kate growls leaning down the inch she stood taller to establish her dominance.

“I want an answer,” she says leaning up into the challenge rather than backing away as most would.

“Enough,” I say finally growing enough guts to stop remaining an 'innocent' bystander.

Sliding in between the two, using my body to push Kate three steps back and keep her at bay making sure never once to touch Bo. No matter the situation or the confused feelings I couldn't side with Bo now, I couldn't embarrass Kate any further than I already had. So I would side with my girlfriend and I would do it playing by her rules. The only time she ever showed her wolf was in situations like this, once I made the mistake of taking the other person's side—it resulted in breakup number one.

“You need to leave now,”

“Answer me,”

“Lower your voice,” I say as her words have steadily grown louder and louder until I could no longer ignore it.

“What? Your ears too sensitive,”

“No. But my children are trying to sleep upstairs.”

“Answer my question and I will leave,” her volume lowers instantly but the harshness, the cruelty is still very much there.

“Mom? Kate?” I turn to Isa's soft voice from the stairs, her eyes heavy as she lets out a yawn. “Bo?” she tilts her head, confusion lacing her words.

“Isa go back upstairs now,” I say turning back to Bo who has that same inquisitive look she has been getting as of late, the on that is starting to scare me.

“But mom--”

“Charlotte now,” I almost yell taking a step toward Bo as she takes one trying to pass me.

“What's going on I don't understand?”

“What does Isa stand for Lauren?” her voice raises once more.

“Charlotte Lewis go back up stairs now!” I yell still hearing no footsteps but am too afraid to look away from Bo.

“Why can't she know what is stands for?” my daughter asks, the confusion and fear in her voice hurting me more than anything else but I don't know what else to do than stand between her and Bo as if that will keep the truth from finding her.

“Isa baby please go back upstairs with your brother,” I hear Kate say in a surprisingly tender tone and there is a weird rush of anger coming over Bo's face.

“What does it stand for?!”

“None of your business!”

“What does it stand for?” she asks again practically screaming and this time I feel Kate's weight once again pressing against my back.

“What does it stand for?! Mom?! Answer me! Leave! Kate? Dammit Lauren answer me! Back off! Tell me now!”

It was a loud mixture of yells, one over lapping another on top of another until it was just one loud sound, until I couldn't tell my own voice from Bo's or Kate's—but I still heard my daughter’s. I still heard the fear and confusion. It's a sound that will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life.

“Isabeu,” the sound of my daughter’s voice this time brought silence to us all, a collective punch to the gut to each and everyone of us. “It stands for Isabeu,”

“Kate,” my voice barely a whisper as Bo's eyes shift from my daughter back to me. “Please take Charlotte back upstairs with Ethan and keep them there,”

She doesn't speak but rather touches my shoulder gently before I feel the pressure of her body leave mine and hear the footsteps back up the stairs, my daughter’s voice whispering questions Kate knows the answers to but will never say. We stand there just staring one another down silently as if both making a silent agreement to wait until they were out of earshot.

“Am I—is it possible—am I--?” her voice cracks, tears welling in her eyes.

“You need to leave, you've done enough for tonight. I need to fix this,” I start to turn toward the stairs for all I gave a shit let her sit on the couch all night, I had to get to my children but she grabs my wrist and its hard, it hurts but when I look at her face I don't think she means it to be that way.

“Lauren,”

“Yes Bo, it's possible for you to get a woman pregnant.”

“Am I,”

“Holy shitballs!” I turn at the sound of Kenzi's voice, the little girl—woman now standing there glaring at me, dripping water all over my floor.

“Have you heard of knocking?” I turn back to Bo jerking my hand away ignoring the pain as I did. “Does everyone know where I live? Is it posted somewhere?”

“Bo, lets go come on.”

“I need to know,”

“Bo let this go right now. It's late, Dyson is worried come on,”

“I need to know Kenz,” she says looking at her best friend harshly but there is a plea hidden in there. “Lauren,”

“We'll talk about this tomorrow,”

“Now.”

“You barge into my house. You start a fight with my girlfriend. You insult me and her. Not to mention you frighten my children? Yeah Bo, I think you can wait for the morning so I can go calm them down. I know it's hard for you to understand but they are only fourteen, they aren't grown. I make sure to give them a life where this right here is not a normal occurrence. And you want your answer then put a little thought into things, you would have your answer. You could have had your answer days ago, weeks, if you ever just took a minute to think outside of the little Bo box.”

“Come on Bo, it'll be okay.” Kenzi says softly holding her hand out attempting to guide her away from me, oh the irony of it all. “We'll get this sorted out tomorrow,”

Bo looks at me like this helpless child but something inside her realize my words aren't there to hurt her, they're true. A calmness over her now and she resemblance the woman I remember, the woman who walked out on me that night leaving me alone to have my time away.

Somethings don't change. A coward till the day she dies,

Kenzi guides her toward the door all the while looking behind her back and giving me perhaps the worst look I've seen in my life. The one that says 'you're ten points below a bitch' and 'you should go die somewhere—painfully,'.

And I just smirk in anger, in disgust. I watch as Kenzi ushers her out like the good little substitute sister she is. Bo allowing every second of it, needing it in fact. If she only knew how imperfect her little 'family' was, if she only knew their parts in all of this, I wonder how quick she would be to forgive them.

Wonder how quickly she would forgive her wonderful little hero, if she knew that Kenzi was the reason she doesn't know about her children.

Chapter Text

Lauren,

I got your letter and lemme say I didn't intend to open it, it just happened. We've never been close, we never liked each other but over three years of going through some crazy shit I believe that we are family in a way. Some really, really distant cousins that I wouldn't want to hand out with but I also wouldn't want you to die or anything. Look I am sorry about what happened all of the shit and I am sorry for what I said before you left I was wrong and all that touchy feely crap. But look Lauren you need someone who can help you with this and Bo is not that person. I love her but she isn't ready to be a mom and you know that. She couldn't even settle with you no matter how much she cares for you. Not to mention she is with Dyson and you know her, she will leave him and try this and fail. It will destroy her, him, you and most importantly this baby. She tried to give you a normal relationship and failed and it has torn her apart I know it won't seem like it because she got back with Dyson but it does bother her for hurting you. I can't stop you from trying to come back and do what you do but please think about this. And if you ever need anything just let me know I actually have an aunt there.

Kenzi

===========================================================================================================

Lauren,

How are you? I'm sorry that is a stupid question I don't really write people but being the Ash I should get use to it huh? Get a letter head or something.

Look I got in contact with some people a old family friend Doctor Foster, hes a cool dude. He works in Cunningham Institute, he is willing to buy out your contract with us. I know I gave you leave but soon you would have to come back by the law, if it were me I would grant you freedom but I can't override these laws. See him, he will talk to the elders about working something out. The Dark Fae have always had an eye on you, they will jump at the opportunity.

By the by, Kenz told me about the pregnancy. I am sorry things have gone down this way, I believe what you do is your choice I have no right to say anything. But congratulations for what it is worth.

Hale

P.S. If you wanted to come back, I would help you out. You don't have to run, this is your home.

============================================================================================================

 

Lauren,

I have become aware you are pregnant? We will for the sake of saving an argument say that it is Bo's, I just want to say that coming back would not be wise. Hale says he found you a way to freedom and I suggest you take it. It is what you always wanted. So be free. There is nothing left for you here and you know that otherwise you would not have left. Bo is finally happy, we are happy which I am sure you care nothing about because if you did you never would have tried to force her into a relationship she could never be in. She is still just a child in terms of Fae, she is not ready for the responsibility to be a parent and to try and force that on her would just prove how immature you are. You are going to have a child now and you should put that before your need for a partner. Besides your child will be human, it wouldn't be welcomed in this world anyway better to raise it as human.

Take my words into consideration.

Dyson

==========================================================================================================

Lauren,

Thank you for the pictures so much. They are beautiful, so small though are you sure they are at proper weight? They look so much like you already, you may not want to hear this but I see Bo's eyes. I saw her yesterday, she is well.

She misses you. I understand you staying away and that it is your choice not to tell Bo, I have no place to offer parenting advice considering every choice I have made. Just maybe consider that they will need to know her, Bo still to this day has trouble with the issue of not knowing her parents, her family. We are their family, we are your family. I won't push this but consider it.

Also thank you for including the family names, it means more than you know. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Trick
=========================================================================================================

I lean against the bed looking over the letters spread about the floor. One from Kenzi, two from Dyson, Four from Hale and eighteen from Trick. All the proof to throw in her smug face that her wonderful little family knew about it all along, that they practically begged me to stay away.

Well I won't throw Trick under the bus he was actually here for us, I really do wish he could have met the kids, seen that his daughter actually learned to gain control of herself. I wish I could have attended his funeral but they buried him there and I couldn't risk anyone seeing the kids.

Letting my legs stretch out kicking the now empty shoe box back across the floor. Looking over at the clock on the digital box 1:47 a.m. Letting my head fall back I look at the only source of light illuminating the room coming from the closet, it was all just so pathetic—how did this become my life in a matter of three weeks.

It had been hours and still Kate hadn't come in to see me, the kids hadn't come to see me—I guess that was best, they had questions I'm sure and I don't know what to tell them. I don't even know what I am going to tell Bo tomorrow.

Maybe I'll avoid her altogether. Maybe I'll walk up to her, hand her the letters and let her deal with them. Maybe I'll figure something out that doesn't include me winning bitch of the year award.

I honestly don't know how I ended up here—why were they even here? Why? What in God's name could they possibly want here that they couldn't get where they already were? I bet this was his doing. I bet he wanted to parade the wedding in my face and then chase me out of town just to prove he could.

He was that much of a dick.

Maybe I should tell her about the time I ran into him a few years ago in New York and he threatened me to stay away AGAIN. Problem there was if I did that then I would have to give her some details about myself and the kids that I wasn't willing too, so we will nix that plan.

Why was everything so fucked up?

“What are you doing?” Kate asks walking in just in time to see me kicking at the letters.

“I—I don't know,”

“Alright,” she raises her eyebrow still talking in an almost whisper as she shuts the door. “Kids are asleep.”

“They didn't want to see me?”

“No,” she says finally looking away from my gaze. “They were upset and—they don't think anything about Bo being their parent they just don't understand what went down. And Charlie is pissed about you screaming at her.”

“I didn't mean to scream, I just wanted her not to see what happened.”

“I get it.”

“Charlie?” I ask softly looking up at her as she just leans against the door, hands in her pants pocket.

“Yeah, not feeling the love for the name Isa right now.”

“You gave her that nickname,”

“I know, I remember.”

“Kate,”

“Don't, I can't do this with you right now.”

“Just let me--”

“Let you what? What are you going to do Lauren? Tell me how sorry you are? How it was an accident?”

“I am,” I use the bed to push myself, I want to walk over to her and try to pull her in my arms, kiss her but the fact that my left leg has fell asleep keeps me in place. “And it was,”

“Okay,”

“Just talk to me. Just yell at me or something.”

“Why do you need me to yell at you?'

“Because I deserve it, because I---just let me know that you care. That you care enough to yell that way I know you aren't going to walk away.”

“That I care Lauren? You know the truth is for as immature as that succubitch is—you aren't much different. You crave this drama, you stand on a soapbox talking how you want this mature life, and this adult relationship but what you really want is a high school relationship.”

“What?”

“You do. You want this drama, you want this combativeness. You take pleasure in knowing that you can get a reaction, before the kids came down you were loving the fact that I was reacting the way I was. That she was too. You need the jealousy, and the drama and the pain because for some reason that is what you think a relationship needs.”

“No I don't,”

“Yes. Yes you do. You're standing there telling me to yell at you, show you I care? I've been here for seven years Lauren. Seven years of school activities, birthday parties, mood swings, neglect, puberty, growing pains, tooth fairy and Easter bunnies. I've been here whether or not were were together. I tell you every day how much I love you, everyday how beautiful you are, everyday how lucky I am to have found you—but none of that matters. That doesn't show you I care, no you need me to yell at you? Would you like me to smack you around too? Would that make you feel better?”

“Kate,” her name is all I can say. What else did I have to say? She was right, there was no arguing with it. She was perfect for me, she has been here through everything for not just me but the kids. She wasn't Bo, I wasn't angry with her so there were no pent up insults to hurl back at her, there were no feelings of hate—just guilt and shame.

“Here let me try and give you what you want, let me act like Bo. Let me tell you how much of a bitch I think you are right now and how for the first time ever I can apply the word whore to you—something I never thought possible. Let me tell you how disgusting it is that you let me touch you after she did without even attempting to hide it, I can smell her on you. Smell her skin, her scent—her cum. It's disgusting—i look at you and that is all I see. I look around here now and all I can picture is you two, in our bed. I mean you could have at least had the decency to go to a hotel, fuck her on the couch, the floor but our bed? Didn't even bother to change the sheets? Right now you disgust me Lauren, is that what you want to hear?”

“Yes,” I whisper nodding slowly looking up from the floor to her meet her teary gaze.

“Well congratulations, you got it.” I watch silently as she turns starting to pull the door open but she pauses and turns back around though she doesn't shut the door. “I think its a real fucking cop-out to throw these letters in her face tomorrow just to avoid having a conversation about this.”

“You don't think she should know?”

“Tell the bitch, don't tell her I could give a shit. I just think it's really immature, and unlike the Lauren I know to be so damn petty and cowardly.” she turns pulling the door open further but again she doesn't step out nor does she turn around. “Dyson got the promotion over me, in case you care It's why they came, has nothing to do with you.”

“Shit. Kate,” I start to walk over to her finally regaining feeling in my leg but before I even near her she is already out in the hall, door slamming.

I had been so focused on Bo and on myself I completely didn't put two and two together, why they would be here. Dyson was after the Chief Superintendent position so Bo would follow, Kenzi would follow Bo, Hale would follow Kenzi and obviously their daughter too. None of this had anything to do with me, none of this was about the kids—i had turned something so simple into a self-centered conspiracy. Kate was ten times more qualified but Dyson has friends in more places, higher places and I am sure it helps that he has the support of Hale's family too.

Running my hands through my hair I look down at the floor again, over all of the letters.

When did I become this person? When did I become so selfish and childish? When did I lose my humanity?

Chapter Text

Holding the scolding cup in my hand forgetting to feel the pain I watch the steam rise, my mind far from here. I know Kenzi spent something like ten minutes or so just staring at me, I also know at some point she decided to leave me sitting here alone—I couldn't tell you where she went or what she said before she did I just knew she left.

Doesn't matter I guess---nothing seemed like it mattered much right now.

Even with everything that happened, that is happening all I keep thinking about is the look on Isa's face. She always looks so much older than she is, so mature, she could easily pass for seventeen but in that moment standing there on the stairs watching everything unfold she looked like a child, not an almost fifteen year old but an actual child. There was so much fear, so much hurt---and I was the reason.

I can see I was out of line now, now that I am calm but in that moment before I saw her face—I can admit I was wrong. It's been something I've worked on over the years, being able to admit I was wrong—and mean it. I was so worked up, and then the fight I had with Dyson only made it worse. When I jumped out of the car---and that's what I did, I jumped out while he was still driving—it was only like five miles an hour but still. I was just so worked up, so angry---so scared, I think.

I don't really know what I felt.

I didn't go there to yell at her—but when she stood there looking at me like I was bothering her, telling me she didn't have time to talk to me. She just spent the night before fucking me and now suddenly she didn't have time for me? Ha. And I am the succubus—ironic right? She just looked so smug, so distracted, like I'm not worth her precious time cause suddenly she is so important. Well you know what, so am I. I am important too, and I made a life for myself I am not the same girl she left behind without looking back.

I just wanted an answer to a question—a question I should have asked weeks ago.

But how was I supposed to know? I didn't even know I could get women pregnant---who knows this? Like honestly who just knows they can get a woman pregnant—well I guess men but—why would I think I could get a woman pregnant? It's never happened before, not that I've tried—not that I was trying this time. I mean who would jump to that conclusion? She left, she ran like I was the plague and never looked back—did a pretty good damn job of hiding too—I see why now.

She could always be cold, distant, distracted---but I never would have ever thought she was capable of this. No, not this level of cruelty. How could she do this? How could she hurt me so—how do you keep someone's child from them? How do you ignore three years of history, the history we had and just basically say 'Haha fuck you—it meant nothing at all' it couldn't have meant anything to her for her to do this. How can you keep someone from their child—keep a child from their parent?

I would understand if I was some out of control monster, some serial killer, some child molester but I wasn't—I'm not. I would understand if out relationship was abusive or a one night stand but it wasn't. I never touched her without restraint and I loved her with everything I had—i loved her so much it hurt me—I still do—or at least I thought I did.

I can't get the image of them out of my head, they look just like me—I can't believe I didn't see this sooner. They said their 'father' use to watch horror movies with Lauren—well hello dumbass I just got done saying I use to make her watch them with me. They're fourteen and well over a half so—if I really took the time to think about the math then yeah, it would add up.

Fifteen years, six months, ten days ago she left, she ran from me like I was death.

She never once looked back—how can you do that? How could she never once turn back—I looked, for months even when Dyson and Hale gave in. I was so desperate I even went to Evony for fucksakes. I did everything I knew to do within reason. I mean it's not like I had unlimited resources. I tried—I tried and—how the fuck could she hide my children from me?

Yeah okay she didn't wanna be with me anymore, she had made that clear and I get it—I fucked up one too many times, I wasn't the best girlfriend and jumping Dyson just a week after we broke up wasn't the best thing to do—but it was just a one time thing. I was hurt and angry and I regretted it right after. I would have begged for forgiveness just as soon as she was over her whole 'I need space' ordeal. I was giving her what she wanted, space—she said BREAK meaning a BREAK, like she needed SPACE she never specified that is was a BREAKUP and her need for SPACE was a few thousand miles away while using every Dark resource to hide from me. I can't be the only one that thinks when someone says BREAK they mean BREAK and not adios forever, and certainly not let me hid our children from you.

God I hate her—I want to hate her. I want so much not to love her still, even after this I want to slap that smug, rich woman smirk she has acquired over the years right off her face but I still love her. I spent months looking for her, I waited for her to come back---I waited—yeah okay I fed but I AM a succubus I didn't have a choice in that department. But I waited for ten years, ten years I held out, ten years I held a hope waiting for her, ten years I kept Dyson at bay---ten years which is apparently longer than she held out.

I look up at Kenzi as she places something down on the table and looks at me almost with a fear in her eyes, her eyes red and her cheeks puffy. I look down at what she placed down curiously, it's a folded piece of paper, most definitely old by the way it's so creased and slightly discolored. Looking back up I watch as she walks around me going to the sink, all the while keeping her back to me.

“Kenz,”

“I don't know why I kept it all these years, maybe I--” she pauses and I can swear she is starting to cry but she won't turn around and I don't move. “Maybe I thought that one day I would give it too you.” she turns around, stray tears slipping down her cheeks and I look down at this piece of paper. “I just want you to remember that I---I love you Bo. You are my best friend, my sister, the platonic love of my life—I did what I thought was right at the time and by the time I knew—-I'm sorry,” taking a deep breath, a fear, a panic creeping in I let go of my cooling cup and unfold this piece of paper.

============================================================================================

Bo,

I don't know exactly what to say, what I should say....I always use to know what to say to you, where I stood, that I held a place in your heart. I am sure I still do but....not the way I wish it was.

I am sorry I ran, but after finding out about you and Dyson....I just couldn't do it. It was one hurt too many and even though I said we needed a break I couldn't deal with it. I love you, I love you so much that it drives me insane, I feel like I can't breathe without you here with me. But as a doctor I know I am not enough for you and I tried to deal with it....I was doing okay but—God Bo it's just so hard knowing that I have to allow strangers to touch you and kiss you and have you in ways that only I want you. But I was willing—I am willing to deal with it, I am I promise. I just made a mistake when I said I needed time, I don't need time I need you.

But I understand that you two are together now, for what three months now? Maybe four, I am not completely sure I try my best not to think about that. I get you have a life with him, and I get that I abandons ours so I have no right to barge in now.

Yesterday I found out I was pregnant, I know it's a shock. I knew succubi could impregnate but I just never thought it would happen. I am 99% sure it was that night after the Lazerus Fae injured me, you remember the night? You were taking care of me, so distraught at how much pain I was in and you began kissing my tears away, and then my lips just as you whispered “I love you”. But I just wanted to feel you, you kissed me unlike any time before....you remember this I'm sure...at least I hope you do.

Regardless of memories, your kiss did more than heal me apparently. I went to a Rzas—it is a type of Fae who deals with fertility and such things, she thinks it will be twins, but she can't be sure. It's too early.

I'm rambling, I'm sorry. Look I don't expect things to go back to how they were. I don't expect you to come welcoming me with open arms but I think you have a right to know, these are your children too—or child. Whichever, I want you to be a part of their lives Bo even if we aren't together.

The choice is yours and I won't force you.

Forever yours,

Lauren

===========================================================================================================

 

I tilt my head slightly staring at the letter as I become aware of the tears slipping down my cheeks, my breath hitching.

“I am so sorry Bo, I did what I thought was right. I made sure she was--”

“Shut up,”

“Just listen, I made sure she was okay. I kept checking on her through the years, I still have some of the baby pictures along with a video of them taking their first steps.”

“What?” I ask my voice breaking as I stand, letting the letter slip from my fingers.

“They were Trick's when he died I found the box, the one that had your grandmother and mother's stuff. I took everything from Lauren, from the kids. I've kept it---waiting for the right time,”

“Right time to tell me about my children?”

“Bo listen, there are things you need to know before you talk to Lauren in the morning, things far beyond the kids,” she pleads walking toward me. “I know you're angry and I am sorry but you have to understand that--”

She doesn't finish her words, and I don't say anything. She just stands there looking at me in shock, tears halting if only for a moment. The sound of my palm making contact with her cheek seemingly echoing through her kitchen.

Slowly she turns her face back to stare at me with this pain, this hurt, this disbelief.....

…...It's nothing compared to mine......

Chapter Text

Taking a sip of my coffee I lean back in my seat which despite how comfortable is was, after two hours of sitting here has lost it's appeal. Taking another sip trying to keep myself from going stir crazy and then I see the front door finally pull open, bout damn time.

But it's not her, no it's the vapid bitch who is living my life.

She just looks so perfect, everything so perky and her couple hundred dollar sunglasses to go with her perfect hair, you're a freaking cop not a Victoria Secret model---I bet her boobs aren't even real, she looks the type. Guess that is what Lauren likes now, fake woman to go with her fake little life. I mean look at her just standing there looking fake perfect, ha she doesn't even notice me sitting here. What kind of detective doesn't notice a stranger sitting almost right in front of your house watching you---wow I really gotta get this jealousy under control.

Laughing at myself I put my coffee in the holder, glancing at the clock 7:42 a.m. Shouldn't Lauren be getting the kids to school or---or little Miss. Perfect is doing that. I watch as they walk out of the house, backpacks over their shoulders, school uniforms on. Black dress pants and skirt, matching baby blue shirts, the typical privet school attire, the kind I would have made fun when I was younger but now all I can think is how adorable they look. Ethan looks so handsome just like a little man, the smart broody kind the girls love. And Isa manages to pull of the sexy smart look just like her mother only she carries herself a little more sensual, it seems effortless—like she doesn't even know she does it—guess she gets that from me. I can't help but smile seeing them, but it's short lived once I realize the looks on their faces. The look that says they have no idea what is going on, the look that says we're hurting but we aren't going to show it.

They walk down the few steps to that woman and I can't hear what's being said but it's something that makes them all smile a sad smile, her hand resting on Isa's back as they walk the few steps to their SUV, perfect family car for the perfect family. Wonderful. It only takes a few seconds for them to pile in and pull off, almost like this is normal for them—like this is just what is supposed to happen, a daily routine.

It should be me.

I pull out of my parking spot and drive the four cars up to take the newly vacated spot directly in front of the house making damn sure I wouldn't miss Lauren when she came out, making sure she wouldn't miss me—or rather try and run from me.

I stare at the house waiting for her to come out, the house or flat or whatever the hell they call it here is nice. Expensive, you can tell she had to pay a pretty penny for it. Everything inside was so nice—that I saw I mean sure after the other night when I was trying to escape and found the kids I didn't really ask for the tour. But the living room was nice, full of crisp, clean, expensive things that suited Lauren so well. The kitchen was huge all on it's own, could probably fit four of the kitchens from the old club house in there but again everything was so crisp and clean, black marbles and silver appliances. It was nice but it looked like a picture from a magazine. Everyone says they want that but no one really does, it's too hard to keep it so perfect. It's an idea that takes work to keep. I know the kids have their own bedrooms I just didn't see them, I didn't pay much attention to Lauren's---their bedroom, I was a bit busy but seemed nice. I assume there is another room or two—it really was an amazing little home.

Should be mine.

It was all just perfect for her, she worked hard to get the dream life. Perfect house with perfect kids and the perfect job everything she ever wanted.

It should be my life—I should be the one living this life with her not that—wolf thing.

Shaking off the thoughts I notice she is walking down the stairs not noticing I am sitting here waiting for her. Does she really think this is something I would forget? It takes her a minute but she sees me and she just stands there staring at me like an angry deer in headlights. I don't move, don't get out or wave to her I just wait for her to stop being a coward and come have this talk—when did she become the type to run from everything?

It takes a minute and I watch as she looks at this silver BMW several times, I guess it's hers as well. Guess she is debating trying to ignore me. But she doesn't try it surprisingly, instead she walks up to the car and gets in making sure to slam the door as if I couldn't tell she was already pissed off about me being here.

“Didn't trust I would uphold my word?” she asks staring forward never once looking at me.

“Honestly no.”

“Did they see you?”

“No, your bitch remains clueless yet again.”

“You know in the past twenty-four hours you've used that word more times than in our entire relationship.”

“It's it what she is, a female dog?”

“Right, because that is how you mean it.”

“No,” I snort. “Just happens to work out that way for me.”

“Well aren't you lucky.”

“I don't really know what I am at this moment,” I say honestly.

“I could come up with a few words for you.” she smirks as she finally turns her head to look at me.

“I'm waiting for some answers,” I say and I know it sounds stupid but I didn't know what else to say. What was I supposed to do? What does anyone say in this situation? I mean I had so many questions I couldn't even think of one to ask.

“I'm waiting for some questions,” her left eyebrow raises and her smirk widens and had I not been so angry I would have smiled. That was the Lauren I remembered, the one that could put you in your place so effortlessly you wouldn't even realize it.

“Well there is a lot to cover---”

“Sixteen years,” she says turning back away from me.

“Why don't you just start talking,”

“About what Bo? You already know, it isn't rocket science—or at least it shouldn't be. Ethan and Isa are your children—biologically.”

“What does that mean?” her comment quickly washing away what little patience I had managed to keep from the past twenty-four hours.

“What does it sound like? It means that genetically, biologically you are their other parent. Their other mother, their father depending on how you look at it, a non-sperm having sperm donor,” she pauses to look back at me. “Need me to draw you a picture or do you think you got it now?”

“I'm not stupid,” I say through a clenched jaw, she had the horrible tendency of talking to me like I was, like I am a child when she got angry. What did she have to be angry about, no one kept her—our children from her for fourteen and a half years—well fifteen and a half if you count the pregnancy.

“I'm not sure what else there is to say Bo, you know that biologically they are yours. Good job, you figured it out. Do you want a cookie?”

“I want an explanation.”

“About what? You're a succubus, you can get a woman pregnant—it's rare but you can. Want more details go to the library and look it up,”

“I want an explanation why you kept this from me. I want an explanation why you weren't even going to tell me now that I am here.”

“I kept it from you because--” she trails off looking away from me. “Because I didn't want you to know,”

“I read your letter,” I say softly, a stab of pain cutting into my heart remembering every word. “Kenzi gave it to me last night. Said she kept it expecting to give it to me one day, guess when she saw everything was going to hell it was the time. I also know you kept in contact with Trick, apparently he had photos of them, videos too.” I try to rush my words, my voice threatening to break.

“Kenzi and Trick huh?” she snorts shaking her head but still I can't see her face.

“How about you stop talking in riddles,”

“You've had sixteen years Bo to—”

“Jesus Christ Lauren it's been fifteen years and six months, not sixteen years. I realize rounding up by a half of a year makes it easier to stand on a soapbox playing your pity song on repeat to anyone who will listen but I know how long it's been.”

“Yes Trick knew, I stayed in contact with him up until his death. We weren't best friends or anything but he checked on me and the kids. I'd send him pictures, a video of their first steps, first words. Did Kenzi give it too you?”

“She did, I think. She gave me a box full of things—I haven't had the—I haven't looked inside yet,” I admit through a trembling whisper, my eyes focusing on the little Lexius logo on the steering wheel.

“If you don't want them then I would appreciate them back,”

“Excuse me?” my attention snaps back up to her with a fresh wave of anger coming over me, but she still refuses to face me. “You've had fourteen and a half years to come to terms with being a mother. With working through the fears and the nervousness and the self-doubt. I've had twenty-four hours,”

“Whose fault is that.”

“Yours,”

“Mine?” she almost yells turning around to face me so fast it almost scared me.

“Yeah Lauren, yours.”

“Right. Not your precious Kenzi who didn't give you the letter or Trick who didn't tell you, but me? I tried, I sent you a letter.”

“Bullshit. You didn't try nothing. You lied to me, you left me and ran without looking back. You think some bullshit letter clears you? What about a fucking phone call or two? What about another letter? Or hey how about a visit?”

“I made a judgment call.”

“Right. What was best for you, what you wanted. They are my children Lauren!” my voice raises on it's own, fists clenching in my lap but she doesn't so much as flinch.

“Are they? What's their blood type? What's their favorite sport? What do they do for fun? How many awards have earned? What's their sexual preference? When did they lose their first tooth? When did Isa start her menstruation?” she pauses looking at me with this anger, one that doesn't even come close to the rage in mine. “What about me Bo? What's my birthday? Am I an only child? Where did I grow up? How did I get the scar on my ankle?” she pauses just long enough to allow me to open my mouth. “You don't know these things because you don't care about anyone other than yourself. You can't answer questions about me and we dated, you were in my life for three years.”

“You didn't give me the chance to learn them! You took the choice away from me!'

“I made a judgment call. I sent you a letter, I told you—your entire family knew! You couldn't handle a monogamous relationship how was I supposed to expect you to raise two kids? How was I supposed to trust you would be there?!”

“They are MY children!”

 

I turn to the loud banging on my car window, taking a deep breath I press the little button and watch the window roll down.

“What's going on?” a deep, raspy voice thick with accent asks and I have to remind myself not to smart mouth him.

“Having a discussion, officer.”

“That so? Must be one hell of a discussion people can hear you outside of the car,” his hands rest on the top of my car as he leans down so I can get a better look at him. “Lauren?”

“Hey Billy,” she says softly through a tiny sniffle.

“How the hell are you Doc? I ain't seen you around the station in a minute. Kate around?”

“No, no.” Lauren shakes her head, forcing this smile on her lips and I just continue to look between the two impatiently. “She took the kids to school, then the gym before her shift.”

“She making any progress on that Ripper case?”

“We haven't talked much about it,”

“Yeah I don't blame her, that's some horrible shit. I wouldn't want to bring that back to my family either.”

“Excuse me am I getting a ticket or?” I interrupt, a disgusting taste in my mouth when I hear him call my children her family.

“Everything alright here, future Mrs. Detective?” he chuckles at his own joke and she continues to smile politely only adding to the disgust.

“We aren't there yet but yes it's fine. This is an old friend, just catching up.”

“Alright then.” he looks from her with this goofy, small town cop smile before turning to me and giving me the 'keep it the fuck down' look which just makes me chuckle, but he walks away rather than pushing it.

“Future Mrs. Detective? How fucking sweet,”

“You're one to talk Mrs. Thornwood—which by the way, what the hell kind of name is that? Honestly, you're going to take that as your own? Bo Thornwood? ”

“This isn't about me and him,”

“Who are you kidding Bo, everything is about you and him. Our entire relationship was about him,”

“Oh fuck you,” I snort out watching my window roll back up. I didn't normally swear past shit unless it was in the bedroom but I was just so angry. I didn't have the patients or the state of mind to come up with words to convey my anger adequately so I swore—it helped a bit.

“I'm good thanks.”

“Wasn't an invite.”

“Look I am going to go to work, you have your answers. Now do me a favor, stay away from my family. Go back to yours, since you love them so damn much.” she barks at me as she starts to get out of the car and I reach out grabbing her wrist pulling her back in. I see she hits her head but for some reason it just doesn't register the way it should. “Let go of me.”

“You aren't going to run away from me again. I deserve an explanation. A real one!”

“Ask your husband for one! He knows more about it than anyone!” she says jerking her hand away from mine and pushing herself back out of the car. Reacting on instinct rather than anything else I jump out of the car myself.

“What does that mean?! Lauren dammit!” I think I am yelling, I'm not sure, all I know is that I have to stop her from walking away.

“What is wrong with you? Get a hold of yourself,” she says pushing past me to reach for the car but I manage to get there first leaning against the car door preventing her from opening it. “Bo we are in public, this isn't back home. There are rules here, real rules, human ones.” she says looking around us and I am sure someone is watching that has her concerned but I don't care.

I gave her space fifteen years ago and look how that turned out. Space turned into a goodbye, a goodbye that took my children. I needed answers. I need to know about my children. I needed to know why she left. Why Kenzi and Trick kept this from me. Why she said Dyson knew? Why—I needed answers and she was going to be the one to give them to me.

“What do you mean he knew?”

“Always back to Dyson. I swear to God, he must be an amazing fuck because how you keep your world focused around him.” she trails off as she tries to reach around me as if I would move away letting her escape again but I don't, instead I lightly push her back by her shoulders.

“Answer me! Stop being a coward and answer me!”

“Calm down,” she says almost growling the words, her expression full of anger and a building worry. Her eyes continuing to shift from me toward something. Just like last night, I am not important enough.

'Don't tell me to calm down Lauren! Get back in the car so we can talk! You owe me.”

“Fine. Lower your voice,” she says but doesn't budge and for some reason I can't calm down, every word she says just adds fuel to the fire.

“What's going on here?” I turn back to the enormous cop walking toward me.

“Mind your business,”

“Bo.” she lets out before turning to him. “Billy it's okay I promise just let this go. I've got it under control.”

“Yeah Billy she's got this. Apparently she has EVERYTHING under control.”

“One more comment and I am taking you in for disturbing the peace,”

“Isn't there some serial killer running around? Why don't you go take care of that or something.”

“That's it.” he says grabbing me by the arm and jerking me away from the car only to push me back against it with my back to him.

“You're serious?” I ask suddenly all too aware of what was happening.

“Billy please, she is sorry. Write her ticket or something—I'll make sure she keeps it down.”

“I don't know what you have going on here Lauren but I am not letting this go any further,” I hear him tell her as he snaps the cuffs on me. Taking the opportunity I use my immensely beneficial calming ability, letting my energy flow through me and too him at first just a little and then a little more but he isn't un-cuffing me. He isn't drooling over me, instead he lets out a laugh and tightens the cuffs. He's human why isn't this working? “I'll make sure to add resisting arrest to the report,”

“I told you things were different here Bo,” I hear her say, and see the worry washing over her features as he pulls me to a standing position.

“Look I lost my temper okay, but I wasn't going to do anything.”

“Save it,”

“Lauren I wasn't going to hurt you.” I say, my words breaking and I can feel the tears forming in my eyes realizing how loud I must have gotten, how aggressive and the image of Isa's face last night flashes through my mind once more. “I wasn't going to hurt you,” my voice near a whisper now.

“I know,” she says softly running her hand through her hair as she watches him guide me back to his car. Pushing me against the car as he pulls the door open he turns his back just enough so Lauren can't see his face nor mine.

“Detective Vergara sends her regards,” he says softly careful for Lauren not to hear him before pushing me into the backseat.

I stare out the window watching him walking back over to talk to Lauren and I can't help but feel ashamed. I look around and see there is at least six or seven different people just standing around watching this unfold like some soap-opera.

What was wrong with me? First last night and now this? I wasn't this person—not anymore and I would have never did this before. Was I that loud? Did anyone really think I would hurt her? I'm angry but I love her and not in the crazy 'I love you but I wanna beat you everyday' way. I would have never touched her like that, I just pushed her back a bit—but she is part Fae. She isn't that weak anymore, I know because I felt it the other night, I feel it when I am around her. I mean she isn't the Hulk or even Mighty Mouse but she isn't made of glass.

I would never have hurt her.

I spent the past sixteen years---dammit Lauren with that, now she has me doing it. The past fifteen some odd years maturing. Working on my issues, this hotheaded, jealous, immature wreck now handcuffed in the back of a tiny cop car was not me.

Maybe it was last night. Maybe it is the panic I've had about Dyson and this wedding. Maybe it was the stress of seeing her. Maybe it was the pain of my family's betrayal. Maybe it's a biological reaction to Kate moving in on MY family. Maybe it was Kenzi, my Kenzi betraying me in a way I would have never imagined. Maybe it was the fact I haven't slept in over twenty-four hours.

Maybe it was everything all at once.

I just wanted to talk to Lauren. I wanted to hear why she left and never looked back except in a some half-assed letter. I wanted to hear about her life and how she was. Most of all I wanted to know about the kids. I wanted to know the questions she asked me. I wanted to know them and so much more. I wanted to set up that study date between them and Gabby, I mean if I get along with her then I can get along with them. Gabby loves me and she is almost a clone of them minus the overt sexual-ness going on but—she loves me so they would too and having her there would help. I wanted to set up going to dinner with the four of us so I could see them together. I wanted to set up taking them somewhere. I wanted to figure out how we'd tell them. I wanted to talk about how and when we would be breaking up with our respective wolfs.

Sure I wasn't in any rush to jump back into a relationship with Lauren especially now but it's what was right. Those are my kids, mine and hers and I can't allow Kate to be prancing around with them.

What did she mean Dyson knew?

I look up as Billy-boy slides into his seat and looks up into the rear-view mirror scowling at me.

“Dyson is your boss—her boss too, I'll be out before you're done writing the paper work.”

“Maybe so but she has a lot of friends, they may not be as high as your boyfriend's but they are plenty.”

They are plenty? Why didn't he just say we are legion? Jackass, this is the kind of people Lauren hangs with now? She gave up me and the Dal and Kenzi and Trick and Hale for this? A bunch of dick swinging cops? Wonderful. Leaning back into my seat I look back over at Lauren who is now on the phone but still staring at me.

Well strike two dumbass.

Shaking my head at myself unable to believe my own stupidity. It was okay, it was fine. The kids weren't here and as soon as I stepped foot in the station Dyson would have me out. I would just calm down and reeducate myself in what self control was. Then I would try again and have a mature conversation with Lauren about this.

I could do this, I could take my life back.

Couldn't I?

Chapter Text

“Well this is just,” I trail off walking into the cold, stone walled room which had four separate holding cells in it. Two on one side and two on the other, seven years and I've never taken a step in here, probably the only room in this place I haven't seen. “A little slice of heaven,”

“Cute,” she says under her breath barely looking up at me as she sits on the bench in the far cell to the right.

“Why Mrs. Thronwood what are you still doing down here? I thought that the husband would have had you out in a jiffy,”

“Cute again,”

“Don't tell me the new Chief Superintendent is too busy to get his wife out of jail—in his own station.”

“Real cute Lauren,”

“Oh come on, I have to get my kicks in somehow. I mean every single one of my neighbors now thinks I am some crazy woman having an affair with a high end prostitute. I had to call into work for the first time in three years. I had to arrange for someone to pick the kids up from school to take them to the college. Not to mention I have to walk through my girlfriend's job with all of her friends and come bail you out—the same you who was arrested in front of my house while she wasn't there.”

“I'm sorry,”

“Right,” I'm standing at the corner of her cell opposite her, but she won't look up instead she just stares down at her hands as if she would lose them if she didn't. “I bet you are,”

“I am,”

“Sincerity? How interesting, I swear every so often I look at you and see some growth and then things like last night happen—things like this morning happen.”

“I have changed, just apparently you bring out the worst in me.”

“Wow, some kind words there for someone who is contemplating bailing you out.”

“I don't need you too.”

“Oh okay, so you want to stay down here by your lonesome and wait for Kate to come in for her shift?”

“I don't know why you think I am afraid of her.”

“You should be,” I say flatly and this causes her to look up at me with this sort of surprise to her. “You aren't from this world Bo, this isn't like back home. This isn't you do what you want and have everyone cover your ass. There are human laws, there are Fae laws. Both of which are enforced strongly.”

“Thanks for the tip,”

“These cops, Kate's friends—they are immune to your abilities.”

“Yeah, saw that.”

“Dammit Bo, not all of this is about me and you. They passed Kate up for the promotion your--” I stop taking a breath remembering this is the exact kind of behavior that got us here. “Dyson took her promotion, it doesn't just have weight in the human world but the Fae as well. People aren't happy about that and you're his wife,”

“Fiancee,”

“Whatever,” I run my hand though my hair taking another breath. “Can I ask you something?”

“I can't really go anywhere can I?”

“Why do you correct me every time I say that? Most people who are engaged, you say that and they just go with it,”

“You don't have a right to know the answer to that.”

“Fair enough,” I nod before turning to walk away.

“You're gonna leave me here?”

“You don't want to answer my question so...yeah.”

“That's blackmail,”

“Is it?” I turn back around with a slight smirk. “What's the problem? Your fiancee will be back for you at some point I'm sure,” I shrug. “Hopefully the real wolves don't come to visit before then,”

“I will answer you truthfully if you answer one of mine.”

“Okay,” I say hesitantly, walking over to the other end of the room grabbing a wobbly, black folding chair. “You can start,” I say walking back with the chair.

“For the record, your birthday is August twenty-fourth, the scar on your ankle came from an experiment gone wrong when you were seven, and no I don't know if you're an only child or not because you never brought up your family.”

“What's your question?” I ask as I shift in my seat. Well played Bo, you knew something about me---one point for the succubus.

“Do you really not remember how long it's been since we broke up?”

“I remember, it's just easier to round up.”

“Why?”

“That's two questions. Answer mine.” I say keeping the calm, cool tone to my voice.

“Because,” she sighs and looks back down at the ground. “Because I'm not sure I'm ready to marry him,”

“Not ready or not wanting?”

“That's two questions Doctor,” she smirks up at me. “Reading the letter---why do you think me and Dyson were together?”

“I saw you,”

“What?”

“One question at a time Bo,”

“No. That needs an elaboration or you can go ahead and leave me here, I've suffered worse.” she leans back against the wall, arms folding across her chest.

Leaning back against the chair scowling I take a minute to weigh this, to weigh just how much I wanted to tell her. Fuck Dyson, but did I really want to throw Kenzi under the bus further? Did I want to help sever their relationship, the only family tie Bo couldn't live without? Was I that person? If I did tell her would it be for honesty, for wanting to punish her, punish Bo—or was it what Kate said, that I wanted to use it as a way to run?

“It was about a week after we started our break, I was heading to the Dal to see Trick about something, I don't remember what it is now and I—I saw you and him on the pool table. You two were already pretty---into it, so you didn't notice me,” she gets this disgusted look which I'm sure mirrors mine before she turns away. “I heard it through the grapevine a few days later that you two were together, so I asked Hale for leave. He gave it to me, unhappily I might add but he did.”

“Did you intend to stay gone?”

“No—yes--I don't know. I was hurt, I was angry, I was about fifty other things I couldn't describe but how long I intended to stay gone was changing minute to minute,” this time I look away from her focusing on the tiny key-hole. “Why?” I ask softly, my icy demeanor fading. “Were you just waiting for me to leave you? I mean kissing Tamsin and running to him just days after we took a break,”

“You knew about that?” she asks but I don't say anything, she can figure that one out for herself. “I don't know why I did it honestly. I was drunk, he was drinking with me—I missed you, I was lonely, I was hurt, I was angry, I wanted to punish you—I wanted to feel loved.”

“And he gave you that?”

“Gave me punishing you,” she snorts and I glance at her. “Gave me, gave me a temporary fix to a problem I wasn't mature enough to deal with.” she sighs and sits up straight beginning to just stare at me. “ You and Kate, how and when?”

“Seven years ago next month. And I—well she was your mother's girlfriend.”

“What?” she leans forward, eyes wide.

“I crossed paths with your mother years ago, some complicated history with some some guy named Taft and Cunningham Institute, I honestly don't know much about that, she never talks about it.”

“Talks? Like present tense?”

“Yeah,” I nod mentally kicking myself. “I exchange e-mails with her once and a while. I was helping her control her urges, she was with Kate and things just happened. Your mother is well, I know you know she is alive because she told me you two saw one another a couple years ago.”

“Well was anyone not in on the secret of the century?” she snorts clenching her jaw starting to grind her teeth.

“I—I have no input on them,”

“Fair enough.”

“So, you and Dyson—have you two broken up and got back together or have you two stayed together for the entire time?” her laugh causes me to finally look her in the eyes and she is just shaking her head at me.

“Yeah we've had sex through the years, even played our complicated tug of war but me and him have only been together officially for a little over five years.”

“Five years?” I ask sitting up, my own jaw clenching while my eyes narrow.

“Yeah,” that SON OF A BITCH. I can't help my laugh. “Okay, I am not quite sure why that is funny to you.”

“It's just—nothing, nothing at all.” I shrug trying to keep my facial expressions to a minimum.

“Tell me?”

“Leave it Bo,”

“Tell me,”

“No,”

“Tell me,” she lets out in an impression I think is supposed to be Darth Vader—or Hell Raiser, I'm not really sure but either way she can't keep her laugh in and my own follows.

“Someone told me--”

“Kate,” she snorts.

“Kate told me that if I was to throw certain things in your face then I would be using it as a copout, that I would be running from having an adult discussion,”

“If I didn't hate her so much she may actually sound sorta smart,” she snorts again leaning back against the wall. “But I'm asking, I want to know.”

“Okay, guess it's good I decided to leave you in there.” I sigh and take a deep breath, the smile slowly creeping from my face. I honestly don't know why I was still here playing this game but maybe she was right, maybe I owed her answers just as much as she owes me them. “Short of it--”

“No, no please use the long. I have no where to go,”

“In the fifteen years and six months,” I add base to my voice as I say it since she wanted to make such a point about rounding up. “I've seen Dyson maybe ten, fifteen times.”

“What?” the reminiscence of her smile vanishes, and it's almost painful to look at her. “No. No that isn't possible.”

“Bo, I've seen him almost fifteen times these past years. I've had conversations with him, arguments, almost came to blows the last time he showed up at my house.”

“I'm sorry?” she looks confused, almost inquisitive but yet an anger underlining it all.

“Dyson came to my house to drop off a folder, his not so subtle way of saying back off.”

“The kids--”

“Were there? Yeah they were.” I look up with a soft smile. “Ethan—you should have seen him, he stood up to him. He was such a little man, he was the spitting image of you in that moment. The way you use to jump to my defense. You don't know what a big deal it is because he doesn't—he isn't confrontational. He doesn't even play sports. But he was such a little man,”

“And Isa?”

“Isa? Her personality is yours the older she gets, undoubtedly she will be a succubus. He will ninety-nine percent sure be an incubus it's just hard to picture since hasn't shown any signs of it—until that day.”

“Wh—what are they like? How much did they weigh when they were born? What were their first words?” she asks, pain riddling her features and I can see there is anger there but she is controlling it, her need to know about the kids overriding her need to show her anger.

“They both weighed six pounds, one ounce. They were healthy but for some reason everyone thought they looked small. Ethan's first word was mom and Isa's was Elmo. She used to love Elmo, actually she still does but she won't admit it. She gets a kick out of tickle me Elmo, she would giggle up a storm, I'm sure she would still if she was comfortable enough around you.”

“And what are they like?”

“You've met them,” I chuckle.

“Yeah but I mean really like, when they are relaxed and--”

“With me?”

“Yeah,”

“They are you.” I laugh softly looking down at Bo's feet. “Yeah the world sees me in them but when is all said and done they are you to the core. They will do anything to make me smile, they are so sensitive to certain things. They have such good hearts. But, they're lost. The older they get the more I can see it, they're searching for something that I don't quite know.”

“You think that was me?”

“I think that is you,”

“Well don't hold back Doctor,” she huffs in a forced chuckle. “So they all knew huh?”

“Bo,”

“I already know the answer, I just want to hear it aloud from someone.”

“Yes, everyone knew.”

“You know what I can't understand?”

“Hm?”

“Why you aren't tossing everyone under the bus. I mean you should be trying to throw each and everyone of them under the bus, reverse and drive over them again, repeat ten times over,”

“Maybe. But your mother and Trick I have had a relationship with, they had their reasons and respected my wishes. Hale, well Hale is Hale. He is just so in love with Kenzi and does what he thinks is right while treading water. He offered to help me come back, he did but he also didn't break down any doors trying to get me home.”

“Kenzi?”

“She's your sister,”

“I don't--”

“Oh stop it Bo. She is your sister, couldn't be anymore if she had the same blood as you. Kenzi had her issues with me, had her feelings about us, about everything and some of the points she had were valid. They were points that I thought on my own, and maybe I just tossed most of the blame on her. But I know this hard on you, and it's only going to get worse—you're going to need to her.”

“I need people who don't lie to me,” she mumbles and turns away from me once again.

“Good luck with that. Everyone tells each other lies—everyone.”

“Even you and Mrs. Perky?”

“Yeah, even us.”

“Well you're just on a role for honesty aren't ya,” her voice is steadily hardening as she fidgets.

“If you and Dyson weren't together, then why didn't you look for me? Why didn't you try?” I ask perhaps the most loaded question of the day. Her attention snaps back up to me, her features fixed in a scowl.

“So what, you think I just stayed kicking it around the club house for the past fifteen years?” she snorts. “I looked for you, for months. I used every contact I had. I took cases that were questionable just to earn enough money to pay people to look for you. Months upon months I looked for you every way I could Lauren, but after months of dead lead after dead lead I had to give up.”

“You looked?” I whisper feeling my chest muscles begin to contract.

“Yeah Lauren, I looked.” she stands up so fast it startles me. “I looked for a long time, in some ways I never stopped looking.”

“I want you to spend time with them, but God help me Bo if I hear Dyson has been around them even once, you will never see them again.” I say after perhaps a solid minute of silence. She looks up at me and there is this hopeful gratitude in her eyes but also this anger that I dared to threaten her.

“So we can tell them tonight,”

“Woah there Speed Racer, I said you could spend time with them. There is no telling them anything until I see you can do this, till you and me talk about working-out a system here. Bo you may be biologically their mother but in the eyes of the law--” I stop talking taking a deep breath reminding myself there was no need to attack. “Just lets take this slow. I have stuff with my relationship, you have stuff with yours, your family not to mention our stuff. I want to make sure we know where we stand before we drag our children into this any further then we have.”

“Fine,” she huffs with her hands on her hips but doesn't push any further.

“Slow and steady,”

“Thank you,” she whispers and I know it must kill her to say those words but there is also an genuineness to them. Maybe she has changed. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because my kids deserve to know the other half of them. Because I am their mother and I want whats best for them and maybe whats best for them is knowing you.” I stand pushing the chair back before looking back into her eyes. Eyes I recognize so easily yet know nothing about. “You know Kate said something to me last night,” I take a minute as I watch pain creep into her features at the sound of her name. Part of me wanting to kiss it away, the other half enjoying the hurt is causes. “Made me think about something,”

“What?”

“That I love to hate you almost as much as I love to love you,” my eyes drop to the floor. “When I can't love you the normal way, when I can't have you I turn it into this anger--this hate. You did a lot of things wrong and a lot of my anger at you is justified but I think I've turned you into this super villain. I turned you into something I could hate because I couldn't love you, that is the real reason I am backing down.”

“Because you love me?” she asks and I swear she sounds hopeful, a sound that pulls at my very soul.

“Because I realized I need to let you go. I've swore up and down I didn't love you anymore, I swore I was over it and I felt nothing but hate for you but really it was just me redistributing my love for you, my obsession. I'm obsessed with you in the true meaning of the word and I didn't realize it till she said what she did. I let my anger for you, for them guide my decision to leave, to not press the issue of getting in contact with you and now my children are paying for this in more ways then one. I won't make that mistake again,”

“You didn't answer me,”

“Are you in love with me?” I ask as a reaction, but I can't help but want an answer. Would it matter what she said? Honestly I don't know anymore.

“Lauren,”

“Text me tonight and we'll arrange a time for you to spend with the kids.” I say with a soft smile, perhaps it was best I didn't know the answer. “Goodbye Bo,” I nod before starting to walk out.

“You're not gonna let me out?” she calls out, a sense of disbelief in her voice.

“You've been free since I got here,” I says without turning back, my soft, sad smile turning into a smirk only growing as I hear her start to chuckle. It's the chuckle she use to have when I'd tease her and then walk away. It's a chuckle that brings back so many memories.

I walk out telling Bryan that I was done, to let her out. He gives me some irritated conversation, some dirty looks but I shrug it off. What was I going to do, leave her to rot? To leave her at the mercy of Kate? Bo may not understand what she was capable of but I did.

Bo may be their mother but in some ways so was Kate. For every bit as possessive and territorial a succubus was so is a wolf—a REAL wolf.

Walking down the steps I know so well I see something that I can't get use to nor do I want to. Dyson. Smug asshole.

“What are you doing here?”

“Rescuing your woman, nothing new.”

“What are you doing here?” he asks again grabbing my arm pulling me to a stop on the steps causing me to almost lose my balance. There is a growl building in his chest, most wouldn't hear it if they didn't know what to listen for but I heard it. I look at the cops passing us by. James and Julie, Kate's old partners standing on the lading above us starting to take notice. Smirking I lean into him.

“She knows Dyson,”

“Knows what?” he growls again this time a patrol officer notices but continues passing on by.

“Lauren? Everything okay?” I hear James call out but hold Dyson's stare.

“She knows about the kids, she knows you knew.” his grip on my arm tightens pulling me closer to him, his eyes dancing between their normal color and their golden counterparts. “What are you going to do Dyson? We're in a police station surrounded by people. You going to hit me again? Threaten me some more?”

“You're forgetting what I have on you,”

“Go ahead. Tell her, doesn't matter anymore.”

“There a problem?” James asks, his hand on Dyson's shoulder.

“No problem officer,” he chuckles his anger vanishing in a second as he lets go of my arm. Over the years he had become such a good politician, such a good actor. He flashes a smile before continuing on his way up the stairs patting James on the back as he does.

“You alright Lauren?”

“I'm fine,” I smile up at him and lightly touch his forearm. “Thank you, always a knight in shining armor.” they all were, a huge pack of wolves all ready to jump to my aid—such an interesting feeling to go from being a slave to having so much power. “Tell Julie I said hey,”

“Are we still having the annual B-B-Q next week?”

“Long as Kate remembers the chicken this time around, hate to have a repeat of last year,” I say and we share a laugh before we part ways.

No one had to know there was anything wrong, Kate was alpha of the pack so she wouldn't be telling anyone what's happened and I sure as hell wouldn't. All anyone had to know was that Dyson took her job, Bo was his woman and that was the problem between us all.

No one had to be the wiser....

….Then again that is the exact line of thought that got me into this mess.

Chapter Text

Day 23:

 

“But why?”

I stopped in the hall coming out from the kitchen at the sound of my son's voice.

“Why what?” Kate asks.

“Why can't we go with you?”

“Because,” she stops and sighs while trying to come up with a believable answer. “Because Bo is a succubus, a friend of the family and we need to make sure you two can bond with her that way we know whether or not she can help you with your transition.”

“But we've had this planned for weeks, Kate.” Isa jumps in, her voice almost as much a pout as her brother's. “Brazil versus England, your favorite match up.”

“I know, I know but your mother and I agreed that this would be best.”

“Yeah, sure.” Isa scoffs.

“What's the problem? I thought you liked Bo?”

“Yeah, we like Bo—until she starts replacing our family time. You and mom are working all the time, we had this planned for weeks. For years actually, we attend every game between them.”

“Isa,” Ethan lets out just as the horn goes off.

“Time to go guys,” I say softly walking out from behind the wall, the look the three of them giving me nothing short of scary. “Not going to give your mom a kiss goodbye?” I say playfully as they each place a quick kiss to Kate's cheek before shooting me another scowl and walking out. “Well that was nice,”

“They don't understand what's happening to their lives,”

“I know, but they'll go and they'll have fun and I'm kind of glad they are out of the house for a bit,”

“That so?” she asks flatly beginning to turn away from me.

“It is,” I reach out grabbing her wrist gently pulling her to a stop. “I think we could use the time alone,” holding her wrist I lean against her back kissing her shoulder over her shirt.

“Lauren,”

“Have I told you how much I love when you say my name?” I whisper kissing up to her neck.

“Lauren,” she spins around grabbing my own wrists. “Enough,”

“What?”

“We just sent the kids off with Bo, the woman you just cheated on me with—and now your trying to what? Fuck the problem away?”

“No.” Maybe.

“Jesus Lauren,” she lets go of me and takes a step away, this near disgusted look creeping onto her features. “That's your plan,”

“No, I mean I want you. I want to show you I want to be with you,”

“By fucking me---while Bo starts her mommy and me time?”

“When you say it like that it sounds horrible but--”

“There is no but Lauren, that's what it is. I swear you should have just spliced your DNA with succubi DNA because you act just like one,”

“I think you just called me a whore?”

“Is that what you think about all succubi cause that would be interesting considering your children will soon be them,”

“Kate,” I sigh leaning against the arm of the couch watching her walk to the stairs.

“You know I hear you bitch so many times about how immature Bo is, how she hid behind her nature never learning how to interact with people but essentially you're the same.”

“How can you say that to me?”

“Cause it's true. Yeah when it comes to Fae shit, science problems you got fifty answers before someone can ask you for one. But bring it into the real world and you either shut down or try and fuck it away, remind you of someone?” she asks with this rage in her eyes but she just stares at me long enough to know I have no answer for her. I just watch as she shakes her head in disappointment as she begins up the stairs to begin her new ritual of avoiding me.

Hope Bo has better luck than me today.

=================================================================

 

Day 25:

 

“No!”

I walk into the kitchen with a curious smile at the sound of a giggling trio. Making it just two steps in I find myself at a halt, Isa and Ethan sitting at the kitchen table full of stacks of books and papers, nothing new there. But what was new was the young girl sitting there giggling it up with them. I didn't want to say they didn't have friends but they didn't really have friends. They did their work, they had people they'd talk to once and a while, they were friends with teachers—at least the ones they didn't show up.

“Hey mom,” Ethan says with a smile and I earn one from the girl but Isa's smile fades as she begins to scowl, still pissed I see.

“Hey baby,” I say continuing to make my way to them, I see him get this little 'Please don't embarrass me' look and I can't help but smile, did my son actually have a crush? This girl must be smart. “Hi, I'm their mother--”

“Doctor Lewis I know, I am a huge fan of your work. The genetic testing you did with the splicing of human and Fae genetics is beyond amazing. I've followed your work for years,” she lets out with this excitement, her hand shaking my a little over excitedly but it's cute. Did she say for years? How old is she? “Well that is a way to earn points,”

“I'm just being honest ma'am, you are one of my heroes.” Okay, does she want to marry one of them? “This may be a bit weird but I have your book, well I have both but could I possibly have you sign it one time. If it isn't too much trouble.”

“Sure, but could I know your name first?” I chuckle softly and she finally lets go of my hand.

“Oh God, I'm sorry. I'm Gabby, Kenzi and Hale's daughter,” she nods with this smile and all I can think is NO FREAKING WAY.

I smile at her and take a moment to just look over her, I suppose—no, nope really can't see it beyond her smile. Her smile is Hale's down to a tee, sweet and endearing yet kind of cocky. She has this thin line of braces you can't really see unless you are paying attention but it works for her, in that cute nerdy girl way. She has long black hair that has a bit of a wave to it, with these warm, honey brown eyes. Her skin tone maybe falling perfectly in between Hale and Kenzi's—if she didn't speak she looked like she would be one of those little popular girls. Nothing like either of them.

I look over at my children with a smile and notice how intently these two are focused on her, this sort of goofy, in a daze, hypnotized look—the one Bo use to get looking at me when I used my 'Geek Speak'. Oh God, I can not have them as In-Laws, I just can't do it.

“It's so nice to meet you, me and your parents are friends from a long time ago.”

“Oh you don't have to lie. I know you guys aren't close, I just hope that won't effect our relationship nor my relationship with your children.”

“No, no of course not.” My children are going to want to marry her, I see it now.

“If it's any piece of mind for you as to my character I think they were completely wrong for doing what they did, you have every right to dislike them.”

“Y-you know why we aren't getting along?” I asked eyebrow raising as I turn back to her.

“Of course, my house has not been a productive living environment for these past couple of days.”

“Oh, I'm sorry.”

“Again not your fault, not completely anyway. I'd say blame would be twenty-seven point six percent assigned to you.” she smiles and gives this little playful shrug before looking back to my children who haven't stopped hanging on every word of hers.

Forget marrying they are going to duel to the death for her—how is she the product of Kenzi and Hale—how?

========================================================================

 

Day 27:

 

“What is going on?” I ask storming into the dimly light kitchen at the sound of glass shattering.

Kate is just standing there leaning against the sink still completely dressed in the clothes she left to work in, jacket and shoes included. A half empty bottle of vodka on the island next to a red folder. Glancing around the kitchen I see on the floor right next to me shards of glass scattered over the floor.

“I'm sorry,” she huffs out, her voice near a yell.

“It's fine, the kids are still out with Bo.”

“It's almost ten,”

“They went to get dinner after the movie.” I say softly, eyes continuing to dance between the glass, the folder and her.

“Alright,” she nearly growls, shaking her head and looking away from me.

“The Ripper guy again? He kill someone else?”

“No,”

“You know you can talk to me about it,”

“It's not that,”

“Okay. But if it was,” I continue starting to kneel down.

“I'll clean it,”

“It's fine babe, I got it.” I say beginning to pick up the large shards first.

“I'll clean it, leave it.”

“It's really fine,”

“Karen leave the fucking glass!” she yells slamming her hand against the cabinet door.

“Alright.” I drop the pieces standing back up, clenching my jaw, eyes narrowing, nostrils flaring against my better efforts. “Want to clean it that bad, not a problem.”

“Are you leaving me?” she growls and a normal response that would have earned would have been my guilt ridden ass kissing but considering how pissed I am finding myself at this moment I go with the short and simple.

“No.”

“Do you think I am a bad person?”

“No.”

“What would change that opinion of me?”

“Kate just ask me what you want to ask me.”

“How pissed would you be if a certain shifter had a horrible unaccidental accident?”

“What did he do?” this time it's my own voice which turns harsh.

“Don't worry about it, just answer my question.”

“What did he do Kate?” I repeat taking several steps closer to her.

“I love you,” she says it, I've heard it so many times before but this time there is an anger behind it, a passion, a desperation. Her eyes are so dark, a rarity as she steps forward getting closer to me than she had in days. “I love Isa and Ethan like they are my own, I would do anything for them and for you.”

“I know,” I soften my tone and reach up lightly touching her cheek.

“I don't know what is going to happen next Lauren, but just know whatever does is because I want to protect you.” she says softly, leaning in and kissing me on the cheek before walking passed me.

Sighing a whole new wave of guilt and anger mixing in the pit of my stomach I turn and flip open the cover of the folder, I didn't need to read anything, didn't need to look any further than the mugshot of me from another life.

God that hair cut—what was I thinking.

 

==============================================================

 

Day 28:

 

“Look what the cat drug in,” Dyson snorts leaning back in his chair and I push the door to his office shut.

“You got the girl, you got the life, hell you've even now took someone elses job, yet you've lost just about every ounce of humanity you had,” I toss the red folder on his desk but he doesn't bother to look at it. “Not that you had so much to begin with.”

“What do you want?” he laughs and I can't help the irritation I walked in here with begin to turn into frustration.

“Why are you here?”

“Came for the promotion,” he shrugs with another laugh.

“And you just happened to forget I was here?”

“No, but I figured you'd do what you do—run.”

“This is my home, my life. I'm not going anywhere Dyson so you may as well leave--”

“After all the effort I put into earning this job?”

“You stole it with all of your---”

“Ass kissing?” he smirks so smugly and it honestly was what I was going to say but refusing to let him win I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

“I was going to say dick sucking but I guess yours works too,” this time it's my turn to smirk though his vanishes as he jumps up slamming his hands on his desk expecting a reaction of some sort but earns nothing. “Ooo, scary. Going to bark now? I live with a wolf Dyson, I have regular dinners with a pack of them, to me you are the equivalent of a little yapping chihuahua.” It was true, compared to them he was close to nothing. Somewhere along the way he just lost some of his intimidation factor, that and my anger—oh and probably the feline DNA that I had coursing through me, makes me a little less than welcoming to dogs.

“You know Lauren, Karen, Sarah, Kim---whatever name it is you want to go by today, you can stand there acting as tough as you want but at the end of the day you're still just as scared of me as you always been.” his lips curve into a smile. “No matter how much you pretend you'll never be a man, so you may as well back down,”

“Ah,” I let out with a little laugh. “So that has been what this has been about for years, it's not that I am, well was human—it's that I am a woman?” I nod chuckling again. “Well let me tell you something Dyson, I don't think I'm a man, I don't want to be a man. Never have, never will. I quite like being a woman and being with women too, and honestly I think that was one of the things Bo favored most about me.” I place my hands on his desk leaning in just a little. “She doesn't favor men as much as you seem to think she does,”

“I am warning you once and for all, no subtle comments, no subtext. Leave her alone, back off and run.”

“I don't run,”

“You did,”

“That was a different time,”

“You have until the end of the month or--”

“Or what? Hm? You'll tell Bo and the rest of your band of idiots about my past? Go on ahead, I don't care.”

“What about Interpol? What about the federal authorities? Canada isn't the only country you're wanted in,” his cocky smirk grows while he leans in a bit more. “Just think of what would happen to poor Kate,”

“Don't threaten her,”

“Understand my reach Lauren,”

“Understand mine Dyson,” he does this chuckle, the one I know so well. The one that says he thinks he is the king of all. The one that says he is better than everyone. And something snaps, something deep inside just snaps while glaring into his eyes. “You want to play this game with me, understand two things. First I'm not the girl that ran sixteen years ago, I'm not the girl who let you slap me around in New York and Tokyo.

I wasn't confrontational, not normally. What did I need to be confrontational about in my life—until recently. Yes I was angry for so many reasons about the Bo situation with him, about the situations with Kate and him. I was angry because I just flat out didn't like him but what really was pushing me to the edge was the growing realization that he wasn't just threatening me, and Kate and in a way Bo—but my children. He was endangering them and that made me a little confrontational.

“And second, if you really want to look at things in perspective—you're only alive because I allow it.”

“That so?” his sickening laugh fills the room and I lean in to meet his exact posture.

“Kate runs the pack here, she is alpha dog and there isn't a wolf in the entire UK area who can come close to her level of strength, speed or agility. She is my girlfriend, better than that in wolf terms I am her mate, and you of all people should know how territorial they get when they've imprinted on someone. All it would take is one word Dyson. One word, one admission of your little threats, your little visit to our home or even you little anger outburst in New York.”

“I'm not afraid of her,” he growls features twisting into the perfect picture of near uncontainable rage.

“No? What about her and eight others? I've seen them change Dyson, they're five times the size of you, something tells me it wouldn't be pleasant if they decided to drag you into the woods and make your their new play toy.” smirking I lean back up keeping his gaze. “Think horse to puppy, it wouldn't be pleasant.”

Keeping my smirk I turn walking out of his office without so much as looking back. Two can play this game, Dyson.

 

==============================================================

 

Day 32:

 

“How are you?” she asks sitting on the hood of her car giving me a grin as I am walking up from the corner since she took my parking spot. Hm, guess the Lexius is her's not his. Still a little flashy for my taste but kind of sexy---bad Lauren.

“I'm fine, you?”

“Good, waiting on the kids.”

“Fun. What are you three doing today?”

“Four,” she must see the anger wash over me, my eyes narrowing. “Relax Doctor, I'm picking up Gabby and we're all going to some museum.”

“A museum? You at a museum?” my eyebrow raises, smirk returning. “Well that is strangely arousing,” I mentally kick myself the second it comes out, the smirk on her face turning into the cocky one she use to get knowing I was at her mercy. Not that arousing.

“So, do they like me?” she asks brushing past my slip up. Her grin is there but there is now this level of uncertainty.

“I honestly couldn't tell you. Isa still won't talk to me beyond the necessitates and Ethan has discovered the teenage world of texting.”

“Really? Girlfriend?” she pauses and tilts her head a bit, a twinge of sadness washing over her features. “Or a boyfriend?” an inquisitiveness to her tone, guess my comment last week suck in her mind.

“Neither, he has found himself falling head over heels for Gabby. He's straight, or at least he hasn't indicated otherwise yet.”

“Oh, hm, I could see them together.”

“Yeah, well he has some competition.”

“I know she is brilliant but isn't she a little young for you?” her brows raise, a smile replacing her smirk as I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes at her.

“Not me, Isa.”

“Isa likes girls?”

“Consider her your daughter, more than mine when it comes to that.” her head tilts again, smile dimming a bit and I can see she doesn't get it. “Boy, girl, human, Fae. She is pretty indiscriminate.”

“Ah, so Asexual.”

“Um,” I have to look away from her trying to hold in my laugh. “Not quite,”

“Isn't that when someone who doesn't discriminate?”

“No, that means they have no sexual feelings or desires.”

“Oh,” she lets out giving this little pout.

“Nice try though,” I say smiling softly at her.

“Well Geek-Speak was always your thing,”

“Yeah,” I say softly, my eyes meeting hers for the first time. I can feel my heart speed up and my lips part to say something I don't quite know yet. Luckily we're saved by the sound of the door.

This is going to be trouble, I know it.

=======================================================

Day 35:

“Lauren?!”

I hear Kate call out not once but twice causing me to finally start heading down stairs, letting out a yawn as I struggle to get my erring clasped.

“Holy shit,” I can't help but laugh out making it only half way down the stairs.

“Mom!” the twins say in union staring at me wide eyed.

“Bo wants to take them to a club.”

“Excuse me?” I reach the bottom step standing next to Kate who looked mortified.

I turn to my children who look nothing like what my children should look like. Isa wearing hip-hugging, skin tight black jeans with a low V-cut, red blouse that had to be straight out of Bo's closet. Her hair down with actual product in it—i wasn't aware she knew how to use hair products—or makeup. Every time I think she can't look anymore like Bo she just proves me wrong. Looking over to Ethan who was in dress pants, and a gray button-up shirt---he's been hanging around with Hale. Well don't know why that surprises me considering he hangs out with Gabby so much.

“Relax, it's a twenty-five to eighteen club.” Isa says with her hand on her hip.

“So Bo plans to drop you off?” I ask trying to get all of the information correct before I storm outside and rip that little succubus a new one.

“No, shes coming in with us. And Gabby.”

“She thinks she is passing for twenty-five?” Kate snorts, arms folding over her chest.

“I don't get what the problem is, she is trying to get us in sync with our succu-sides.” Succu-sides? Can see they've met Kenzi too. “Isn't that the whole point why we've been pawned off on her?”

“No of course not its--” I stop myself at the sight of Kate's surprise, the realization clicking in that, that is what they think this has been about. I just got so use to them having 'play dates' with Bo, it just felt so normal as if we were a divorced couple sharing custody. Shaking my head forcing a little chuckle. “It's not pawning you off, it's succu-bonding.” I laugh at myself and oddly enough the kids do as well—Kate not so much.

“Mom, Bo is here and Gabby is in the car. We should not keep them waiting.” Ethan says trying to hide is urgency.

“Yeah, yeah.” I nod waving them off, but I follow them out standing on the porch watching them 'calmly run' to the vehicle.

I can feel my features tense seeing that it's not her car but a Cadillac SUV—Hale's. I didn't need to look into the driver's seat to know it was his. Kenzi sitting in the passenger seat, eyes avoiding mine. I get a quick glimpse of Gabby waving at me as my kids jump into the back. Because of the tint to the windows I can't see in but I am assuming Bo is somewhere in the monster of the car. I wave at them as they drive off.

The second they reach the corner, reaching into my pocket pulling my phone out.

ME: I am giving them to you with no bruises, cuts, scrapes and their virginity in tact. They better return that way. (8:45 p.m.)
BO: LOL FUNNY. (8:45 p.m.)
ME: I'm not laughing. (8:45 p.m.)
BO: I bet you're laughing a little. (8:45 p.m.)
ME: I'm not. (8:45 p.m.)
BO: I bet just a little, I bet you have that cute little 1/3 smile you get when you're trying not to smile but can't help it. (8:45 p.m.)
ME: Bo I am serious. (8:45 p.m.)
BO: Fine you're not laughing. (8:45 p.m.)
ME: I AM TALKING ABOUT MY CHILDREN. (8:45 p.m.)
BO: OUR CHILDREN (8:45 p.m.)
ME: Are you attempting to text yell at me???? (8:45 p.m.)
BO: No. I just thought you wanted to use caps for some reason. (8:46 p.m.)
BO: BTW what is text yelling? (8:46 p.m.)
ME: BOO (8:46 p.m.)
ME: Damn spell check. I meant Bo, why can't you have a regular name. (8:46 p.m.)
BO: Gee thanks (8:46 p.m.)
ME: Child returned returned in tact. (8:46 p.m.)
BO: Now I know you said you wanted their virginity still in tact but what if they're missing like an arm or leg? (8:46 p.m.)
BO: What about just a hand? Can they lose a hand and I still get visitation? (8:46 p.m.)
BO: What about a toe? Just the baby one? (8:46 p.m.)
ME: I am done talking to you. (8:46 p.m.)
BO: No wait, I want a definition about this yell texting. Please. (8:47 p.m.)
ME: ASS. (8:48 p.m.)

DELETE ALL MESSAGES--YES

================================================================

Day 39:

 

BO: I know what you did late summer. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Late summer??? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: I meant LAST. Just run with it. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Are you drunk? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: No. I'm just apparently am not funny to you anymore. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: You thought I found you funny at one point????? (11:42 p.m.)
ME: I'm kidding. What do you want? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: How nice an insult and a rush to blow me off (11:42 p.m.)
ME: You must know there is a better word for that. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Shut up it's late. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Yep. Late fall to be exact. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: So I'm supposed to find that funny, but my jokes you pick apart. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Mine was funny (11:42 p.m.)
BO: That's up for debate. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: What do you want? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Are we going to prom? (11:42 p.m.)
ME: I wasn't aware we had one, if I say yes does that mean we're going to go steady too?? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: You know you've become a real ass in your old age. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: I'm only 3.4 years older than you. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Point four? Really? You are exact with this but our break up you round up. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Are we back to this? (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Yep. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Well in that case, no I won't go to this imaginary prom with you. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: HARHAR. You are so funny. I am talking about our kids. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: It's not prom it's a winter dance and they have not told me if they want to go yet. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Oh. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: Ask them yourself. You've been bonding. (11:42 p.m.)
BO: Yeah. Like buddy, buddy stuff. And adult succubus stuff. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: You're asking if they are going to a dance not if you can walk them down the isle. (11:42 p.m.)
ME: I have to go. Ttyl. (11:42 p.m.)

DELETE ALL MESSAGES--YES

 

“I think we need a new shower head,” Kate says walking out of the bathroom in nothing more than shorts and a bra. I make sure to give her my 'interested' smile but her eyes are focused on my phone much more than anything I'm doing.

“Did you know Russia is back at the their homophobia?” I ask turning my phone screen so she can see it's on the news. Her eyes narrow only for a moment before her features relax and she goes on to start some story about the last time she was there.

All I can think is thank God for multiple screens.

=======================================================

Day 42:

 

BO: I think we need to talk. (2:45 p.m.)
ME: About? (2:45 p.m.)
BO: About the kids. About us. (2:45 p.m.)
ME: We can talk about the kids. (2:45 p.m.)
BO: I want to talk about us too. (2:45 p.m.)
ME: We can talk about the kids. (2:46 p.m.)
BO: Lauren. (2:46 p.m.)
ME: We will talk I promise. (2:46 p.m.)
ME: Are you still picking the kids up from school? (2:46 p.m.)
BO: Yeah. (2:48 p.m.)

DELETE ALL MESSAGES--YES

================================================

Day 45:

 

BO: What are you doing? (9:24 p.m.)
ME: Getting ready to shower. (9:24 p.m.)
BO: Oh. So you're naked? (9:24 p.m.)
ME: No. (9:24 p.m.)
BO: Really? You shower with your clothes on now? (9:24 p.m.)
ME: Smartass. No I don't I just am not naked yet. (9:25 p.m.)
BO: Oh. Want some help with that? (9:25 p.m.)
ME: You offering? (9:25 p.m.)
BO: Obviously. (9:25 p.m.)
ME: Well in that case..... (9:25 p.m.)
ME: …..NO. (9:25 p.m.)
BO: LMAO. Cute. (9:25 p.m.)
ME: What did you want? (9:25 p.m.)
BO: Well apparently my Naked Lauren Spidie Sense still works. (9:26 p.m.)
ME: Naked Lauren Spidie Sense?? (9:26 p.m.)
BO: It's a thing (9:26 p.m.)
ME: I'm sure. (9:26 p.m.)
BO: It is. Promise. It worked for 3 years. And seems to be working again. (9:26 p.m.)
ME: I'm not naked. (9:26 p.m.)
BO: Half? (9:26 p.m.)
ME: I'm not telling you that. (9:27 p.m.)
BO: Please.....I am trying to prove a point. (9:27 p.m.)
ME: FINE. Yes I am ¾ undressed. (9:27 p.m.)
BO: ¾??? So that is like what ? down to your bra and panties? (9:27 p.m.)
ME: That would be half. (9:28 p.m.)
BO: Oh. Oh.....so which other half is off????? (9:28 p.m.)
ME: Top. (9:28 p.m.)
BO: Top what? (9:28 p.m.)
ME: You know top. (9:28 p.m.)
BO: No, what is top mean. (9:28 p.m.)
ME: Jesus Bo, bra. My bra is off. (9:28 p.m.)
BO: So you're just standing there texting me in your underwear and NOTHING else?( 9:29 p.m.)
ME: Technically. (9:29 p.m.)
BO: I don't suppose I can get proof of this? (9:29 p.m.)
BO: Just to prove my point of course (9:30 p.m.)
ME: BO..... (9:30 p.m.)
BO: Fine. (9:30 p.m.)
ME: Did you text to just sexually harass me? (9:30 p.m.)
BO: YES. Actually. (9:30 p.m.)
ME: Goodnight Bo. (9:30 p.m.)
ME: Oh, and sweet dreams ;-) (9:31p.m.)

 

DELETE ALL MESSAGES--YES

==========================================

 

Day 51:

 

BO: We need to talk, I am tired of waiting. (7:41 p.m.)
BO: No more excuses it's been weeks. (7:41 p.m.)
BO:Tomorrow at the Calridge. It's at Brook Street. (7:41 p.m.)
ME: I know where it is. (7:41 p.m.)
BO: Then no excuses. Tomorrow at 8:30. (7:41 p.m.)
ME: Fine. (7:47 p.m.)

DELETE ALL MESSAGES—CANCEL

Chapter Text

"If you don't believe me then send someone to watch me," I continue on, leaning against the dresser as I slip my left heel on. "Send Billy or Bryan, hell you'll be on shift come and see for yourself."

"What kind of physco do you think I am?" she asks leaning against the headboard her angry face on in full affect.

"It's nothing to worry about. This isn't a social deal, I'm not going to have dinner and drinks," pausing as I bend down slipping on the other heel. "Well I suppose it is but it's for the sake of a discussion that I don't want to have, it isn't like a date or catching up."

"That why you're wearing your come fuck me heels?"

"What?" I can't help but laugh, turning around picking up my earrings off the dresser top. "They are the only shoes that go with this dress,"

"Your come fuck me dress? Yeah that makes me feel better,"

"Kate," I really can't help but laugh, I know she is pouting behind me, sulking even but it's just funny. This big, bad Fae sitting on our bed sulking about my dress attire. "We are going to the Calridge, I can hardly wear sweats and a hoodie now can I?"

"And why are you going there?"

"Because that is where she told me," turning back around leaning against the dresser I smile softly at her with an understanding. "It's to talk about telling the kids, that's it." her features somehow manage to harder further. "You have my phone right there, you see the messages. There is no secret conspiracy going on Kate, if you don't believe me then send someone. Please,"

"She says she wants to talk about you two," she says through a scowl, her hand holding my phone up as if I needed proof of my own text messages.

"She means it like what are we going to do about this. Are we going to tell them and when and how. She didn't mean it like an 'us' deal. She just doesn't articulate herself well."

"I'm sure."

"What do you want me to say? You want me to cancel? You want her to come here? You want to be here when we discuss this? Just tell me and I'll do it," I say trying to keep the irritation out of my voice as much as possible. I knew she had every right to be hesitant about this but after having the same conversation over and over again since last night when I told her about this, my patients were beginning to wear thin and I was going to need every bit I had left to deal with Bo.

"No,"

"Are you sure?" I ask grabbing my keys off the dresser. "Just say the word Kate and I will cancel."

"No, it's fine." she forces this smile and shakes her head. "Talk about the kids, it's time we got a piece of mind."

"You mean you got a piece of mind," it wasn't a question, I knew it exactly what she meant. We hadn't even discussed the 'incident' let alone anything about Bo now being around as a parental figure. "No one can replace you, the kids love you."

"And you?" she looks up into my eyes for the first time today and my mouth closes, a weird feeling coming over me.

"No one can take your place in my heart Kate,"

"Right. But what exact place is it that I hold?"

"Kate!" Our attention jumps to the sound of Isa's voice as the door flys open, my daughter mid giggle as she belly flops onto the bed, Ethan not far behind. "Ethan won't leave me alone!"

"She started it," he wines pushing at his sister.

"Well I see you have this handled." I say with another gentle smile and though she is looking up at me with this smile as the kids fuss and pull at her I know it's not really meant for me. "Bye babies," I say walking to the door, I turn and they are so wrapped up they don't hear me. "All three of you," I add as Kate watches me walk out with this look that reminds me of a silent goodbye.

I hear their giggles all the way down the stairs and through the living-room, making it outside I see Mr. and Mrs. Waverily and wave though they both just continued to walk by as if I was infected with the plague. Oh well, guess I can keep trying. Bo's little outburst did a number on my wholesome, mother of the year vibe I had going on.

Turning the keys in the ignition I glance up into my rear-view mirror, I find myself staring into my own eyes and it's oddly a scary feeling. I suppose all this time I've been trying to avoid confronting Kate and Bo and my children I was hiding from myself as well.

Staring into my own eyes I find them almost unrecognizable. I see so much guilt and shame, I see more in my eyes than I realized I had. But I also see a coldness, a part of me that doesn't care and that scares me—to a degree.

Unable to face myself any longer I shake off the thoughts and pull out. I check my mirrors again periodically half expecting Kate to be following me, expecting one of the pack to be following me but there is nothing.

Part of me was happy that she still held enough trust and maturity to hold back from being that person. The other half was maybe—hurt? Slightly irritated that with everything that has happened, that is happening she still clung so much to her maturity that she would stay backed off, not even a mangy, low level pack member to sloppily tail me. I can't help but wonder if positions were switched, would Bo send someone? Would she follow me herself?

I don't need to wonder, she wouldn't let me go at all. And if by some miracle she did—she'd follow me or show up—or have an unwilling Kenzi pop up.

Maybe Kate was right, maybe I did like the 'High-School' relationship. But it wasn't so 'High-School' to me. To me it was being in love with no limitations. It was loving someone so much you couldn't stand the thought of another person touching them and occasionally not being able to show it. It was loving someone enough that sometimes all of those principles, and morals and maturity got a little hard to uphold every second of the day. It was loving someone so much that you just get so lost in them and even though it can be crazy and painful—you never want to be without the feeling. It's loving someone so much that you would rather hate them than become indifferent to them.

Maybe it was a twisted romantic notion but that was what I knew love, real love to be. That's what I wanted it to be.

Not that I would ever admit this to anyone, and it nearly makes me sick to think it, but occasionally I envy the way Dyson loves Bo. He is a dick, insane, heartless, stupid, fake-wolf, and a billion other things I would rather not focus on but it's engulfing. I mean this damn dick head created a whole conspiracy to get rid of me, has fought me—well actually there wasn't so much fighting as hitting me, but the point remains valid. He is willing to ruin my life just to keep me from her and it's crazy and possessive and annoying in the context that it is directed at me but that was—I just don't understand why after seven years Kate wouldn't do that.

Not that I want this to happen but shouldn't Kate be trying to kill Bo? Or at least do something violent to her? But no she is at home having a tickle fight with the kids before heading off to work while I go have a late dinner with my ex—who is the mother of my children—who I also cheated on her with a couple weeks ago—in our bed—in our house. Shouldn't there be some type of alpha something happening?

I would say maybe she didn't love me the way she says but that would be a lie, a lie to make myself feel better. She loves me, she has imprinted on me—will love me forever—can you say guilt trip. I didn't ask her to—but then again I guess you never ask for anyone to fall in love with you nor do you ask to fall in love with anyone—at least I didn't.

I love her—I just am not in love with her.

I want her to react, I want her to show these things-I want her to be less what I asked for my whole life and more like Bo.

She is so gorgeous, maybe even more so than Bo but to me, she just falters in comparison. She is an amazing kisser often better than Bo but when she kisses me I don't feel my body come alive. She is amazing in bed as well, certain things she can out preform Bo in surprisingly but I just don't respond the same way. I can cum for her all night but I don't think I've ever had an actual orgasm with her. She cooks, cleans and does the dishes, all of the things that I hate but I would do them for Bo. She is mature and responsible and considerate but yet I find myself longing for a time when things weren't so mature and considerate.

Without vows or rings Kate made me a wife in the picture perfect life I dreamed of...

...what I find myself wanting was to be a mate...

It isn't just my little DNA splicing that caused this, I wanted this long before. I wanted all the criteria before I even knew what Fae were—I just didn't have a name for it. I wanted it the second I met Bo and every second after. In a way I guess I was the best way a human can be, but downside to being human is that level of bond could never truly be achieved. I wanted it when I turned and I prayed ever day that I would imprint or mate with or whatever it is that Blacktials do on Kate. I really wanted it to be her.

Problem was I already picked long before I met her.

Taking a deep breath I pull to a stop throwing the car into park and allowed the valet to open my door. They greet me by my name and I just smile and nod as I pass them all, it used to be odd to me that so many people knew me but somewhere along the way it just became normal. Now I find it odd when people around here don't know me for one reason or another.

Walking through the lobby and past the bar area and everything else going on I finally made it too the restaurant—I don't know why we couldn't just go to a normal restaurant.

"Mrs. Lewis, you look lovely tonight." the matrade says with such ease you would think he known me for years. Smiling I follow him to the table finding Bo sipping from her glass looking pissed beyond reason—until her eyes run over my body. Little black dress with heels always does the trick. "Your waiter will be here soon."

"You look gorgeous," she whispers as I begin to sit, a comment I don't think she meant to say aloud.

"Thank you, you look quite nice yourself." I say trying to keep my eyes from running over every inch of her body I could see. She did look gorgeous and sexy as always, her attire had become a little less leather but still the same amount of cleavage and visual seduction. "This place is amazing,"

"It is, isn't it?"

"I've only been here one other time I believe."

"Well then I'm glad, the food is amazing. I've been working my way through the menu, I'm on the M's already."

"Hm," I let out grinning as I look down at the menu.

"What does that mean?"

"Nothing, just kind of expensive for you. But then again I guess when your fiancee is running around stealing jobs you can afford it."

"I didn't know he stole her job Lauren," she shifts nervously. "I think that was wrong."

"Did he tell you how he did it? Kate won't discuss it with me,"

"Um, he had some things on her—on you. So she more or less backed down. I'm sorry, I really didn't know that was what he was going to do."

"It's fine, I don't expect him to tell you much of anything."

"Are we going to do this already?"

"I'm just saying Bo," I look up just in time to find the waiter approaching, bottle of something in his hands. He refills her glass before pouring me one. "You can leave that here." I say softly when he tries to walk back off with that, I can sense this is going to require a lot of liquor. "So how is the little butt sniffer anyway?" she laughs and I would have too had I not seen the irritation come over her features.

"Not sure,"

"Busy again? Surprised he isn't here lurking in the background just waiting to pounce on me again,"

"I guess," she shrugs looking down at the menu, irritation rapidly building.

"Oh come on, it's been weeks. I would like to think we're in a place where we can have a civilized conversation about the respective Mr. and Mrs. at home." I take a sip of from my glass watching as her eyes narrow at the last part of the comment. "I suppose not,"

"I can't tell you how he is because I haven't talked to him in over a week." she rushes to say, harshness creeping into her tone as she glares up at me. "But by all means feel free to tell me how the amazing Kate is? Save a kitten in a tree recently? Stop an army of invading intergalactic alines?" my eyebrow raises as my head tilts to the left a bit. "Watched Avengers last night with Gabby."

"Ah," I let out nodding and taking another sip. "Well she hasn't stopped any alines as of late-that I am aware of. And no kitten rescuing either, though she did help me when I got a flat tire yesterday so I guess that would count sort of," for a moment she just continues to glare at me and I'm ninety-five percent sure she wants to slap me but again she lets it slide.

"Since we're on the subject, explain that."

"What? How to change a tire?"

"The whole Fae deal."

"I did explain it,"

"No you explained how you did it. You didn't really go into the little details."

"What little details? I'm now half Fae, I suppose if I really wanted to work on it then I could probably turn about seventy-five, eighty percent."

"But what are you?"

"Um, it's a near extinct group of feline Fae, Blacktails to be exact."

"Let me get this right, you spliced your DNA with a near extinct group of Fae?" I nod. "Like how extinct are we talking here?"

"Maybe ten in the whole world left, myself included."

"Why didn't you just splice with a unicorn then?" she snorts, brow furrowed.

"Too many gay joke possibilities." I quickly bring the glass to my lips trying to hide a smirk. "I needed a lesser known control group in case it didn't work. I didn't want the attention and the backlash from say wolves or succubi or Valkyries if I failed. So I went with the Blacktails."

"And those are what exactly?"

"Well a feline is this creature with pointy ears, sharp teeth and claws, often furry and not too receptive to the canine species—most commonly referred to as cats."

"So I should think of what, Tom and Jerry? Cat in the Hat?"

"Yep, that's me. I chase a tiny mouse around my house all day and in my free time talk in riddles, destroy the house and corrupt small children, quite fun."

"You know Lauren some people can pull off sarcasm and come off as cute and funny."

"Let me guess, I'm not one of them?"

"No," she chuckles, reaching for the bottle out of the ice bucket.

"Damn," I tilt my glass toward her and she give me this look like 'yeah right' but she pours it for me regardless. "So why aren't you and the tiny foot warmer talking?"

"Apparently I haven't matured as much as I thought I had,"

"Why do you say that?"

"Are you ready to order?" Bad timing buddy. I smile up at him and let her order for us both.

"So back to our discussion," I let out once he is out of earshot.

"We may have had a fight, and I may have lost my temper a little."

"Oh please tell me you hit him." it was supposed to be a thought but it came out—oh well. She raises an eyebrow and that anger from earlier seems to steadily be coming back.

"It's not something to joke about,"

"I'm not joking. I'm asking if you hit him and saying that I really hope you did," I chuckle softly my eyes dancing over the table to her hand holding her glass and my eyes widen a bit realizing for the first time she isn't wearing his ring. "I'm sorry,"

"Why?" she asks flatly lifting her glass to her lips finishing off the rest of the contents.

"I don't like him, and I could make jokes for days, if he were to fall from the top of the Empire State building I wouldn't be bothered one bit. And as far as you hitting him? I think he deserves a lot more than a little hit. But I know you care about him, so, I'm sorry."

"He kept my children from me, there is no excuse for that."

"I don't see you punching me,"

"Yeah well, no matter how angry I am about it or how much I think you were wrong I understand why you did it. I can understand why Kenzi and Hale did what they did. I will never understand why he did what he did."

"So you and Kenzi are okay then?" she starts to answer but pauses as the waiter places our food down and fills my glass for me once again.

"No," she says softly fidgeting with her napkin avoiding my eyes.

"I saw you all-"

"They are Gabby's parents,"

"Fair enough." I nod taking a bite from my baked ravioli. "So you're staying here?"

"Mm-hm,"

"I'd say I was sorry but it's nicer than my house,"

"I don't think so."

"You don't think it's nice here?" my eyebrow raises.

"I do, it's amazing but do I think that it is better than your house? No," she pauses looking back up to me with this seriousness that puts me on edge. "It's your house, you get to kiss the kids goodnight and stay up all night watching movies with them or helping them with homework. You get to lay in your own bed with someone you love. This falls kinda short. Room service is good but not that good."

"I'd offer to have the kids sleep over one night with you but I think it might be a little odd in a hotel room."

"Yeah and I think they'd wonder why they are sleeping over with a grown ass woman they've known for only two months." she gives me this baffled look and I guess she had a point. "Lauren I get that for you this is easy. You get to keep living your life, and me coming around taking the kids off your hands for a bit but-"

"Excuse me? You think my life is easy?"

"You still live in your house. You still have your perky, perfect girlfriend. You still have your family. You get to hug the kids, kiss them, tell them you love them. I live in a hotel room far from home in a place where I know no one. I can't talk to my family, I don't have anyone to lay beside at night because the man I was suppose to marry hid my children. And I—they don't know I'm their mother. I have to hear them talk about Kate like she is their mother. I have to see them in pain when they discuss things and I can't hold them close. I can't just miss them and go into their room just to look at them sleep until the pain eases."

"Bo," my voice breaks.

"I may not have made a good girlfriend, and I may have struggled for a bit as a mother but I would have tried Lauren. I would have wanted to be there. I would have been at every school thing and tucking them in at night and—and—I wouldn't have run."

"I know,"

"No, no you don't. You—they would have been my life. I would have found away to always be there. To—to curb my appetite. I would have found a way to be better for you, for them."

"I—I think I know that,"

"You can't know that because if you did, then you wouldn't be prolonging this. You would allow me to know them in a way that their succubi trainer can't. You would want them to know their mother."

"I do, I've let you be with them none stop for weeks."

"As someone bonding with them to train them about how to control their hunger."

"As their mother that is a responsibility."

"I want to do it as their mother, not as the creep neighbor who babysits them while their mommy is off bonking their step-mother."

"Bo," I sigh, dropping my fork and tensing. "Is that what you think this is? I want you to know them, and at first no it wasn't about you at all. I could have gave a fuck about how you felt, I wanted them to know you. You don't know what it is like to look at them and see the longing they have and know it is only going to get worse. Kate is an amazing step-mother to them, but that is all she will ever be and it's not her fault or theirs. Step-parents rarely ever replace a parent in human situations and it's near impossible when it comes to Fae. The closer they get to transitioning the more they will long to know you, so yeah at first it was strictly about them."

"And now?" she asks softly looking past me rather than at me.

"I see how you've changed, its subtle but I can see it. I see how you are with them, I see there is nothing there but love and pain in your eyes when you look at them, when you talk about them. So yeah, this will always be more about them than you—but it's about you too."

"Do you love her?"

"What?" my eyes widen, my heart stopping for a moment. "Bo,"

"I need to know."

"No you don't,"

"Lauren,"

"Do you love Dyson?"

"Yes," even after all these years, all this history the pain of that answer still cuts deeper than anything else she has ever said to me. Looking away from her at my food, stomach turning in on itself. "But I'm not in love with him, and I don't know if I could honestly say I love him still knowing what he did." You don't know the half of it.

"I love Kate," I say flatly and take small, steady breaths.

"Are you in love with her?"

Well there was the million dollar question. I knew the answer, knew it as well as I knew how to breathe but I had never admitted it aloud. Not to her, not to anyone. Did I even want to admit it? Was there going back after I admitted it? Would I want to go back?

"No,"

Chapter Text

................................................................
"Do you love her...I need to know..."
"Do you love Dyson..."
"I'm not in love with him..."
"I love Kate..."
"Are you in love with her..."
"...No..."
...............................................................
I can't help but moan into her mouth, hands pulling at her jeans as I stumble backward slamming into the door. Another moan escaping me in protest as her right hand leaves my waist to try and swipe the key-card. Her body presses harder against mine crushing me between the door and her body but the pain is gone a second after I feel it. Her lips pressed so hard against mine it's almost counterproductive—almost.

"Fuck," she mumbles breathlessly as she breaks the kiss, glazed eyes trying to look down at the lock though I doubt she even gets a glimpse of it considering my hands are grabbing her face holding her head in place as my lips crash back into her's.

This time it's her moan that fills the otherwise silent hall. I can feel her continuing to fumble with the lock, I can feel how frustrated shes becoming by the way she is kissing me, the way her body is flexing against mine. Feeling my own irritation growing, using my body and hold on her I flip us around earning another moan as it's her who slams against the door. My hands falling from her face, one dropping to the curve of her waist while the other grabs a hold of her fidgeting wrist. Holding it steady as I press her hand with the card against the lock, less than a second and the little ding goes off.

Holding her by her waist, lips never leaving hers I push her back into the room. My hands sliding up under her shirt caressing tense muscles before the door has even shut. Tearing my lips from hers only to have them fall to her jaw. Kissing down her tensed jaw recklessly till I reached my destination. Not bothering with teasing parted lips find the most sensitive spot on her neck, the one that's right between the start of her collarbone and her throat, the one that makes her eyes roll back as she moans my name.

Hands sliding up the curves of her stomach, over her ribs till my hands are holding her right under the silky material of her bra. Pity, I was really hoping she forgot to wear one tonight-I did. A slight twinge of frustration causing me to press my teeth down harder as I continue suckling at her already tender flesh.

"Lauren," she moans, hands scrapping at my back over the already thin material of the dress.

The sound of my name coming from her stirs a whole new wave of desire in the pit of my stomach. Pulling back just enough I kiss the area softly showing a sliver of mercy, my eyes opening to find nothing other than blackness surrounding us.

Well this is a problem.

Her hands clawing down my spine not stopping till their full attention is on my ass, roughly holding me against her. Her mouth kissing my cheek, my jaw, my neck, my shoulder all in between moans. The feel of her touch, the sound of her moans—her whimpers driving me so close to the point of losing of control already.

Hands slipping to her back gripping her by her shoulder blades more as a way to make sure she doesn't pull back than anything, I take a deep breath closing my eye for a moment. I had rarely ever practiced this, practiced anything concerning my new Fae nature—I didn't need too. I try focusing at first and can't help but feel dumb that after all this time I don't know how it works. Taking a deep breath, taking in her scent, the sound of her soft whimpers filling my ears brings a new rush of excitement. Relaxing into my own body I feel this unusual sensation come over my eyes, sort of like when you use eye-drops. Taking another whiff of her sweet scent, this time it's not her body's scent I smell but the scent of her arousal. Eyes fluttering open, a smirk forces it's way onto my lips against her skin. The room is no longer a vast pit of darkness, but rather it had an unusual golden luminous to it.

Score one for the felines.

Smirk growing before turning into a bite and then another and then another each one a little less playful, a little harder. I feel her pull back to speak but I don't want to speak, I don't want anything other than her so rather than conceding to her my mouth finds it's current favorite spot 'attacking' greedily as I begin pushing her backward until she gets the hint.

"Lauren," she moans against me and the second time she does as she sort of trips over her own feet but with the hold I have on her it's barely noticeable. "Lauren, baby—hold on I can't-" a moan replaces the rest of her words as I bite down harder.

"Shh," I let out as my lips find her ear. Tip of my tongue tracing the outline, flicking over her earlobe all the while I continue to push her though the darkness.

It takes a solid minute to reach the next obstacle. Letting out a near inaudible growl against her throat I force my hand away from her body gripping the door handle and pulling it open a little harder than intended. It hits her but she doesn't seem to notice.

Pushing into the room my eyes flutter shut, unfortunately this room isn't as dark as the other. The blinds left open allowing a full moon's light to shine in. It wasn't bright but it was enough to surprise my apparently sensitive eyes.

"What's wrong?" she asks breathlessly realizing I've suddenly stopped, well I guess that isn't something you would miss. I pull my mouth away just enough to speak but I find her hands cupping my cheeks forcing me to look at her.

I feel my breath hitch and despite how aroused I am, how—hungry I am for her the unusual look she is giving me scares me. Her grip lessens but hands don't move, her darkened eyes peering into mine with a warmness that wasn't there when this started. She takes a breath and I watch as her lips part but no words come only adding to my rapidly increasing nervousness.

It had been years since I used any of my 'abilities', I don't remember what I looked like when I did. I don't remember how much shows when I use certain things. Did I look bad? Did I look scary? Could you tell-well obviously you could since she is staring at me.

"Bo, I may look-"

"So fucking hot," she pants out, barely finishing her sentence before her lips are on mine, skilful tongue slipping past my lips effortlessly.

It's not but a minute that our tongues are dueling for supremacy that she does this sudden hop thing which my body reacts too before my mind. My hands gripping her thighs roughly as her legs wrap tightly around my waist.

My first thought was this is so fucking hot, the second was oh shit, and third was this is so fucking hot...

….once I realized I had no problem holding her up. She must have known something I didn't because when I tried to tilt my head away from her in surprise, bracing for us to fall her hands stayed buried deep in my hair holding my head still as her tongue continued to explore the depths of my mouth.

Shaking off the surprise of it all I walk the four remaining steps to the bed, leaning down letting her weight act as an anchor, my knees resting on the edge of the bed. She lets this frustrated moan out into my mouth as she is pulling at the back of my dress, she doesn't realize yet that it's a pull over...

….maybe she does.

Her hands run back down my back, over the curve of my ass, down the backs of my thighs till she reaches the hem. The second she reaches her stopping point they trail back up, this time slipping under the material and I have a very sudden, very annoying moment of clarity.

"Bo—Bo-" I let out in my own pant pulling away from the seemingly endless kiss.

"Wh—what? Are you okay?" she asks, eyes running over me hands stopping mid thigh.

"Bo—we can't-"

"Do this?" she finishes for me flatly, nodding her head a little excessively. "I'm going to say I know and then we're gonna kiss. Then I'm going to say we can't do this, you'll say I know and we'll kiss. Then repeat once more before we kiss again and have sex so how about this time we just skip all the pretending that we aren't going to do this?"

Shes looking up at me, her eyes burning with desire, with irritation, with need yet they're still brown and I get this weird mixture of feelings. Sure there is desire, lust, want, needing, love underneath it all accompanied by obsession but this is new. It's sort of like a rush of pride mixed with the rush of adrenaline you get when being challenge all wrapped around an unusual—hurt? All at the fact that she still had the self control to speak. Still had the self control over herself that her eyes could remain their humanistic counterparts.

What was I doing?

I don't know. I don't know anything anymore I just know what I'm feeling. Here in this moment, looking into her eyes as she looks up at me silently begging me to take her—to reclaim what's mine the rest of the world is steadily pealing away layer by layer. As far as I'm concerned the rest of the world is already gone, it was already melting away the moment I saw her sitting there at the table, the second I felt her eyes inspecting my body in the way only she does. All my anger and jealousy was next to go. And now all I was left with was love, desire, need, hunger-a new level of them that I'm not completely sure are driven by human side.

Love was different, deeper somehow—no one can really describe love but you know it when you're feeling it and sure I felt it as I did any other day when I'd allow myself to. But now it was stronger, it was a need to show her, to feel her, to make her understand that it's always been her. Desire's normalcy was lingering around as well but now it as accompanied by a much more primal twin. This was driving me to the edge of insanity and keeping me there, it was bringing a new meaning to the word hunger. I wanted to bite her, suck as I did leaving a mark because she loved it sure, but there was also this need to claim her. To make it know she was mine, because she was, and if she didn't realize that then I was going to have to make her. I wanted to bring her to her climax until she couldn't stand it but it went beyond the normal need to please her, the normal need to enjoy her—I wanted to remind her what is was like to be with me. Wanted to remind her that her body craved me even when she didn't—when she forgot it.

Never more than in this moment have I realized how deep my new life spread.

Reaching down I grab her shirt and pull it off throwing it off to my right not really caring where it fell. She leans up trying to catch my lips but I pull back just enough for her to miss, a soft, annoyed, whine coming from her when I do. I don't bother with the clasp rather I just rip it open, my action earning a surprised look and all that does is remind me that she is no where near the point I want her to be.

Her hands start running up the back of my thighs again but it's short lived, my hands hitting against her shoulders pushing her back on the bed. Fingertips dragging down the valley between her breasts, down her ridged stomach to the start of her pants. I loved her in jeans but God did I miss the leather. Slipping my fingers underneath the hem giving one rough tug ripping the them free from the button and zipper before pulling them downward. Her body arching up to aid me—I don't need it. Pulling with such force they barely slow when I get them over her shoes, one thud and then another as the they fall to the floor. A frustrated sigh making it past my lips realizing she actually decided to wear underwear for once.

"Lauren?" she lets out softly, head lifting off the mattress to look at me. Her eyes nothing but desire though her eyebrow is raised and has this little smirk like she is intrigued but surprised.

I take the step forward not completely sure what I wanted first then I realize I was still dressed. Silently cursing to myself in one swift pull my dress is dropping to the floor, another step and I'm out of it. Finding myself meeting her gaze again, this time her look is much more intrigued rather than surprised.

She's watching me anticipating what I'm going to do next and when I take the next step knees hitting the edge of the mattress she lets her head fall back, arms bending ready to greet my body when I would slide up to meet her awaiting lips which would lead to her flipping us and her taking control-not tonight.

In a matter of a second I've dropped to my knees with a loud thud, my arms sliding underneath her knees, hands gripping her thighs pulling her down the mattress to me less than gently.

"Shit," she lets out in a surprised gasp, her head lifting back up wide eyed. I glare at her and watch as her lips part to speak words that will never be voiced.

I keep her gaze the best I can as I tilt my head kissing the inside of her thigh from her knee up, each affectionate tease my lips part further, until I reach the curve between her thigh and the thin, black, wet material preventing me from my desire. Biting down sharply, an unspoken punishment for a seemingly harmless action. She moans for me but not my name. Hands sliding down to her stomach gripping a hold of the material as I look up to meet her gaze again.

"Do it," she lets out in a labored pant.

I can't help but smirk at the fact she thinks I was looking for permission. One quick pull and the material is ripped apart, one more and it's more or less off of her. I hear her say something, I don't care much what it is though.

"Watch me," its a gentle whisper but I don't doubt she will oblige.

Dipping my head down I kiss the ending of her lower belly before trailing down as far as I could. I smirk as I feel her legs relax in my arms, she thinks she knows how this is going to go. Smirk coating my moistened lips, my tongue slips past my lips onto hers. A slow, antagonizing lick up enjoying the taste of her but no where near satisfied with the amount nor the softness of her moans. This time when I drag my tongue back down over her I use more pressure, enough to part her lips.

She moans my name once more, hands entangling in my hair when I press my tongue inside her as much as permitted, my mouth widening, teeth pressing down painfully against tender flesh as I suckle greedily. Her hips arching up against me in a rhythm, her hands grabbing fistfuls of hair dancing between pulling my hair and pushing my head down against her.

It didn't take but a minute to have her first release, like to see the stupid dog do that. Her breathless moans of my name filling the room like a song stuck on repeat. And when the next two orgasms wreck though her body I feel her legs start to shake, her hips faltering slightly.

Mentally smiling to myself forgetting that her multiples always came in threes. Now I'd have to work harder...

Trembling hands drop to my shoulders as her legs are no longer on my back and she is trying to pull me up, all it does is earn her an abrasive bite that makes her scream out. Her right hand pulling my head back and the second my mouth is torn away from her she lets go.

"I'm sorry-" she pants, eyes wide and she is trying to seem so sincere but it's not coming through the way she wants. "Lauren I-"

"You should be," I say flatly through a glare as I stand.

"Lauren," she starts again desperately trying to gain an evasive sense of composure. Her hands pushing against the mattress as she slides up the bed while trying to sit.

She looks so worried—the best she can as her eyes are this weird mixture of brown and blue, so close. I keep my features stern as I stand there glaring down at her loving how much she is struggling.

And then I'm over it.

Kneeling on the bed once again pushing her down by her shoulders, a hiss escaping from me pulling me to a halt—momentarily. That is new.

Hands pressing against her shoulders keeping her firmly in place, my mouth placing wet, sloppy kisses over her stomach to her rib cage. Her body shivering under mine, the touches, the kisses, the extreme ticklishness she has. She keeps struggling to get up trying to flip us, apparently Blacktails are stronger than I thought.

Score two for the felines...or is it three already?

Kissing upward, thigh slipping between hers as I settle atop of her own. Her hands clawing at my back dancing between trying to flip us and trying to push me down harder. My mouth kissing along the side of her left breast. Sharp, teasing nips as my left hand slides down to her temperately neglected breast. Tip of my tongue darting out tracing around her nipple, flicking over twice, a kiss and then another tease each action earning a string of subtle moans. Taking it between my lips suck hungrily, my hand roughly rubbing her other breast, thumb periodically teasing her nipple.

Hips keeping a painful yet pleasurable rhythm. Her leg stays bent up against me so tight I'm half pressing against her hip and half the top of her thigh—it's painful but it the best way.

Delivering one crisp, brutal bite I tear my mouth away near sitting up atop of her. The little nails she has ripping at the skin at the small of my back, the feeling of warm liquid trickling slowly down brings a new rush of adrenaline. Her eyes open looking up at me and I see there is a worry there but not as much as before—she's learning.

She trails her hands apart to my hips and then up to the sides of my stomach, gripping me roughly as she tries to control my rhythm. Her nails pressing into my skin first just a bit rougher and with every movement she grips harder until it breaks my skin. Another hiss escaping from my chest as I fall forward, hands catching the mattress right above her shoulders.

Looking into her eyes still their unusually beautiful mixture. Her nails scratching down my skin to the backs of my thighs. I can't tell if shes broken more skin or if it's just blood from the last mark-or maybe it's our wetness—I can't tell. Her hands slide further until her nails are scraping at the insides of my thighs just centimeters under my ass and when she digs them in this time my hiss mixes with a moan.

Instinctively my head begins to dip, eagerly going for her throat my mouth being off of her for far too long. This time she surprises me when her sticky hand grabs a hold of my jaw and throat, just enough to keep me in place but not covering my mouth.

She stares at me a moment surprised at herself, surprised that my rhythm never falters, that I don't say anything and I wonder if she can see the need in my eyes. I wonder what my eyes even look like to her.

"I don't break," I pant keeping my lips parted, letting my tongue dart out to moisten my lips and in doing so I can't help but feel the new sharpness to my teeth. Ha. Guess it really was hurting when I was biting. Smirking my eyes dance over her face to my hands and I notice my normally trim and proper nails are longer with slight points to them. Hm. Loving this more and more by the minute.

Keeping her grip she pulls my face down to her, her lips smashing into my with a force that earns a whimper. The faint taste of blood mixing with the remaining sweetness of her wetness remaining in my mouth, I'm not sure if it's myself or her who has been cut but it doesn't seem to bother either of us. Her tongue once again dueling with mine for dominance but with the way she is gripping my jaw it gives her the edge. It's rough, it's hungry, it's greedy—it's mind blowing.

She pushes my face away suddenly, my bottom lip between her teeth as she does biting down earning another whimper from me.

"Careful what you wish for," she says as a warning-as a challenge.

I stay silent as I watch the blue in her eyes slowly begin to take over until the brown has been replaced completely. A wave of accomplishment, of pride washing over me and stetting in the pit of my stomach.

"Baby's got some fangs and claws and thinks she can take me, huh?" she taunts with this smirk and as arousing as it is—it's a challenge.

She takes advantage of my brief distraction and flips us, smirking. Her lips parting to say something until I flip us back, before I have a chance to move she flips us again. A hiss from myself and something reassembling a growl comes from her.

"Stop fighting," she lets out grabbing my shoulders pressing me down, an anger in her tone.

"Why don't you," I hiss grabbing her waist and flipping us once more, only this time we don't land on the firm yet welcoming mattress, we end up on the floor with a loud thud. A pain-filled growl coming from her as she absorbed most of the blow.

Her right hand flies up into my hair and I know she plans to pull me off of her, that is until she realizes my hand has slid between us. Two fingers slipping inside of her kept firmly in place by my thigh. My hips resuming their previous action.

She doesn't let go of her hold but doesn't pull me away either, instead she pulls me down to her. Lips crashing in a frenzied kiss. So many moans filling the room it sounds unusual when there isn't one. Steadily rushing to the edge of bliss we pull apart, her lips kissing any inch of skin she could find on me. Her hands clawing between the small of my back, my thighs and ass.

My own mouth finding her throat, finding the prefect spot as I feel her begin to tighten around my fingers, my own body starting to tremble. Opening my mouth wide pressing the tips of my teeth down, she tries to jerk away but it's pointless. Sucking avariciously, determined to leave a mark, determined to make her scream before she reaches her climax.

Anxiously needing to feel her release, to claim her once more I mange to slip another finger in skillfully which is enough. Her mouth biting down on my shoulder to muffle her scream—it doesn't work. My own oral assault doing nothing to dim my own moans.

Her body trembles beneath me near violently, hands never once stopping their attack though she can't help the way her hips come to a halt as her body relaxes underneath me.

It must have been a solid minute we stayed like this before I removed my mouth, licking the already massively bruised area. Little droplets of blood sporadically dripping down to the curve of her shoulder. Kissing gently, pleased with myself my affection moves up till my lips are over her ear. Kissing, running my tongue over it as the caresses become gentler.

"That—was amazing," she pants.

"Mm-hm,"

"Ow," she lets out and I contemplate looking to see if she's okay but what for? She would tell me if something was really wrong. "Lauren, have you been wearing those the whole time?" her foot nudges against mine, my heels still on.

"Mm-hm,"

"God, that's hot." she takes a deep breath and I feel her body tremble again under me.

"Hey, why aren't you looking at me?" she asks softly and I let out a irritated sigh. Pulling back, looking into her eyes which surprisingly are still their icy-blue.

"Because I don't want to talk," I move my fingers just enough to make her eyes widen. "I don't want to remember there is a world waiting for us yet. I don't want anything other than you at this moment."

Her eyes narrow, features tightening as hands grip my hips pressing me down harder atop of her.

"Then take me," she says a mixture of a growling moan that shoves me over the edge of the sanity I had been holding onto.

Chapter Text

"Let me just say Cat-Woman has nothing on you," I hear her call out from the bed, in a sleepy, blissful giggle.

The tiny smirk it brings vanishing the instant my eyes look up from the sink to the mirror staring at my own reflection. My hair is back to being tussled, just enough to look presentable. My exposed body not showing a single sign of the night's events, in fact quite the opposite. I'm near glowing from all of the chi that was exchanged in the process.

'We broke up, how'd this happen again,'

Unable to face myself my head drops back down, eyes finding the trace of blood near the drain from my little 'clean' up.

'I always end up letting you in, down the same road with the same dead end,'

Forcing myself to look back up and stare myself in the eyes, this is what I did. This was my choice, my failure, my mistake—I had to face it.

When did I become this person? This person I hated—I don't have affairs. I don't wreck homes and lie like it was natural. This wasn't who I was—I couldn't be this person.

"Thought you got lost in there," she smiles at me from the bed so lovingly it almost washes the all of the guilt and pain away—almost. The white sheet messily draped over her lower half as I walk out from the bathroom, hitting the switch as I do. The rising sun beginning to shine through the blinds replacing the moon light.

"No, cleaning up."

"Well don't sound so grumpy about it—you started it." she sticks her tongue out at me so playfully, she's almost glowing—guess a night of feeding will do that for you.

"I know," its soft and flat as my eyes begin dancing over the floor looking for my dress. Avoiding her gaze eyes remaining on the floor I catch a glimpse of my heels, a twinge of shame pulling at me. I managed to keep my shoes on the whole time I was cheating—wonderful. Never felt more like a whore then this moment.

"Okay, you just came more times than I can count, hell I came more times than I can count. I think we set a record or at very least a personal best."

"I know," repeating my previous statement as I finally begin to move forward heading for my dress, sadly she isn't stupid. She shuffles across the bed picking it up before I even make it half way.

"No. You can't get dressed," she gives me this weary smile, and pouts.

"I have to get home, the children-"

"Are going to be fifteen in a little over two months, not to mention they are more mature than most people our age. In fact they may be more mature than us," she chuckles but the humor is lost on me realizing that at this moment it's actually true.

"Still,"

"What's going on?"

"Nothing, please let me have my dress." I hold my hand out standing a little over arm's length from her.

"Yeah okay," she starts to hold it out and I take a step in reaching out for it but she pulls it back. "When you tell me what the hell just happened,"

"Nothing."

"Why are you lying?"

"Bo, give me my dress."

"Tell me what is going on here cause I'm not understanding. We fuck all night, you leave to use the bathroom fine and you come back looking like I should be handing you a couple of hundreds."

"Maybe you should," I raise an eyebrow and for some reason the self intended insult seems to offend her.

"I know we've been apart for a while but have you become bi-polar in this time," she smirks and I know she is trying to lighten the mood but it's not working. "Cause you were REALLY into what happened and now you are just like-"

"I have a girlfriend." I say flatly, my heart literally aching as I say it.

"I thought we established you were leaving her,"

"What?" I look up to meet her eyes.

"You said you weren't in love with her, we had a nice date, we had a REALLY NICE time here. I don't-" she is looking at me with this painfully surprised look.

"What we were doing was supposed to be to talk about the kids, which we hardly did. It wasn't a date. And yes, I'm not in love with her but I love her. I am committed to her, you may not be able to tell but in seven years I have been completely faithful to her. This isn't right."

"I'm the mother of your children,"

"And what is she? Lets stop pretending Bo, yeah all sides were messed up in this but Kate is every much a parent to them as you—more so." I watch as the last reminiscence of affection leaves her features. A faint glimpse of tears welling in her eyes before it's replaced with anger. She tosses my dress at me, jaw clenching tight.

"If she is so fucking great then why are you here?" I don't answer her I just watch as she stands from the bed going to the corner shuffling through a bag I'm assuming trying to find clothes. My eyes shifting from her as I slip the dress back over my head. "Answer me," she barks, tone hardening as her volume raises.

"Because of inevitability. Because of weakness. Because I get around you and I forget how to breathe, to think, to be my own person. You are like the other half of me, quite literally. And when you are around me, when you are pressing this it is so damn hard. I don't want this, I don't want to cheat on her. I don't want to be that girl you met almost nineteen years ago, who was hanging on your every action praying to God, any God that you would notice me. That you would look at me just once the way you looked at him." my voice breaks, pain like my tears building. "I am here Bo, because to me, you are inevitable."

"Then we feel the same way," she says almost as plea as she turns around pulling her sleeveless tee over her head. "I'm not understanding the problem?"

"The problem is I have a girlfriend, I have a life. I have two children who until you came trolling around where all I thought about. This right here is not what a mother of two children does."

"Well actually affairs are common, and this isn't even that. These kids you are talking about are ours. I want to be with you, I want to raise them and make up for everything I missed."

"You can never make up for what you've missed," my voice near a yell as she slips into her shorts. "But you can make new memories, please do. But they will not include this deluded idea you are having. Jesus Bo, did you think that was what was going to happen? Did you even want to leave him or was that just a necessity to this little plan of yours? What were you going to play house wife with me while going off and getting your kicks with him?"

"No! Of course not. Lauren you're taking this out of context. I don't get why you're making this so complicated? You love me, you want me and I love you and want you too. We have children together. I broke off my engagement to Dyson, why wouldn't you leave her?"

"HER name is Kate. And because I don't want to! Don't you get it!"

"No! NO I DON'T GET THAT!" she yells walking toward me as I take a step back.

"I think what needs to happen is that you worry about your relationship with Isa and Ethan and forget about ours because," I stop feeling the pain of my words before they're even spoken. "We don't have one. Not anymore and I need to realize that, you need to realize that."

"I won't. I refuse to accept that."

"Where was this sixteen years ago? When I'm telling you we need a break? That I'm not enough for you? You walked away then, what's so different now? You don't need me to have a relationship with your children,"

"I want you!"

"You want what is convenient,"

"What does that mean?" she lets out giving me the classic Bo 'I can't believe you said that to me' look.

"What it sounds like, you do whatever is convenient for you. You want your children, you want Kate gone from their lives so how do you do that? You want me, and well now it just so happens there is no pesky limitations on what we can and can't do sexually so it's a plus for you there."

"What kinda person do you think I am?"

"I believe in patterns, I believe in history and yours—ours always starts this way and ends up the same."

"You don't know that,"

"I do." I say flatly running my hand through my hair, sighing. "Our relationship from here on out will be strictly about the kids, that's it. No more secret texts, no more late night dinners, no more flirting when you see me. It's over."

"So you're what just going to go home and pretend this never happened?" she almost growls her words, nostrils flaring.

"No," I shake my head sighing again at myself, at her, at what my fate was going to be when I saw Kate. "I am going to do the right thing for once, I am going to confess-everything and beg for forgiveness."

"And what? You're going to stay with her for eternity? Playing house? You aren't in love with her!"

"SO! SO! You aren't in love with Dyson but you're marrying him! At least Kate is a good person, she treats me right and isn't crazy,"

"We aren't going there,"

"Take it or leave this, your choice." I say as flatly as I can feeling the sudden rush of tears bubbling to the surface nearing the point of no return. Swallowing at the lump in my throat I rush for the door which is still ajar. Pulling it open further I rush out into the darkness running right into a desk or stand of some kind. Here she keeps the blinds shut but not her bedroom—wonderful.

"Shit," I mumble to myself stopping momentarily at the pain spreading through my knee.

"There is a light switch genius." she says as the light fills the room. Shaking my head at the pathetic situation I've gotten myself caught in. "Lauren just stop, I want to talk."

"Talk? Talk or have another round and hope I forget about everything?" I let out looking over my shoulder at her.

"I want to talk to you," she says softly, eyes glassy, a deep pain in her voice more so than in her features.

"There is nothing left to say,"

"That's bullshit and you know it." she walks toward me, I can her heart foot steps, feel her presence and I walk four steps forward but still don't turn around to face her. "Lauren we have fifteen and a half years to talk about. We need to sit down and actually talk, I want to."

"Now? Now that I am walking away,"

"No. I've wanted to, but you have to understand you are just as irresistible to me as I am to you. I can't help but want you Lauren. I won't apologize for that, you are so beautiful and gorgeous and amazing and cute and perfect—I won't apologize for wanting you. Lauren, look at me." she pleads and I can hear the agony in her voice. I can practically feel it radiating off of her but I can't, I can't focus on that now. I can't do this again. I can't. "I love you, I've loved you since I met you. You want to know why I didn't fight for you then? It was stupidity, immaturity, it was a lot of things-but I'm here now."

"Here because you came with him,"

"And if I had known you were here I would have been here sooner."

"I'm sure,"

"I would have," her voice raises.

"Bo, please let me go." I whimper the words, finally turning around to face her. "I am begging you, if you love me as much as you say you do then let me go."

"You can't ask me to do that," her voice breaks tears finally slipping down her cheeks, and with that suddenly it is fifteen and a half years ago. Her begging me that this was just a break. Her pain then almost the exact mirror of hers now. "You can't,"

"I am,"

"Well I won't," she sniffles wiping her hand over her eyes trying to hide her tears as she takes another step toward me. "Lauren, I won't. You don't know what I went through when you were missing,"

"I don't?" I have turn away, unable to face her, my anger once again taking the forefront in my continuous waterfall of emotions. "I was the one out here and alone,"

"You didn't have to be!" her yell nearing a scream, taking another step forward.

"What were my options? What? Stay around watching you fuck everyone. Watching you do your little dance with Dyson? Stay a slave forever? Never once feel welcome in your house—in your life? Wait around for you and Tamsin to give it another go around so she could rub it in my face?"

"We were your family,"

"NO! No. None of you were—not even you. I was never welcomed, they only tolerated me because of you. And the only time I ever got any trace of emotion from them is when I was pregnant with your children. They couldn't have cared less about me and they still don't. What are Kenzi and Hale trying to make up with you by trying to tell you different?" I snort, a cold chuckle passing my lips. "They are just pulling the wool over your eyes again. They play their roles because that's what they do for you. They play the roll you need them to play."

"That isn't true Lauren,"

"But it is and the worst part is even now you still don't see it." I run my hand through my hair starting to turn to leave but something pulls me to a halt. Turning back around just in time to see her take another two steps toward me. "Kenzi is like your personal, little, guard dog, she doesn't do anything you don't want and that is the realization that made me go to the airport that day and buy my ticket. That realization is the one that made me not think about sending another letter. Not making a phone call-on some level you wanted to be free of me."

"That's bullshit!"

"It's not and you know it. You were so worn down from trying to play by human rules, you were so on edge from feeling caged in. You wanted to be the unaligned succubus in every way—it's the same reason you and Dyson didn't work out in the beginning."

"Don't try and make yourself feel better by throwing the blame all on me."

"Tell me you weren't, tell me that there wasn't some part of you that felt the weight of me being human."

"Yes, okay yeah I felt it but that didn't mean I didn't want you."

"No that was the problem, you still wanted me but you were being suffocated by me. You love the idea of me, of us. You spent years searching for me, supposedly holding out hope for me because it gave you a reason not to commit to him. It gave you a reason to justify why wouldn't date anyone else. A reason why it was okay not to fall in love with him. No matter how much you delve into your nature you will never completely let go of that trace of humanistic nature—rules."

"You don't know what you're talking about," this time her movement is a step away from me. "You're just trying to hurt me,"

"I don't want to hurt you Bo, I am in love with you. I don't want to hurt you anymore, I just want to let you go,"

"How?!" her voice cracks, tears steadily streaming down her face. "How can you say that? I-we are—you are just upset because you made a mistake—we made one." she nods trying to keep her voice even as she walks toward me and even the three steps I take backward aren't enough to stop her this time. She manages to use her body to trap me between herself and another damn desk but she doesn't touch me—she is careful not to do so. "We did," she nods slightly excessively the way she does when she is trying to ignore the inevitability of something. "We made one and you are right Kate has been there for them, she doesn't deserve this." I turn my face away, the sound of someone else saying those words like a stab to my heart—even if the person saying them doesn't mean it. "We shouldn't have done this tonight but—but we just need to—you should. You should go home and be honest with her. Tell her and apologize and-"

"Bo,"

"I mean she has to understand, I'm sure she knows—not that it makes this better." she tries to back peddle her brash words, her mind so cluttered but she is trying so hard and it hurts to watch. Her hands keep raising to touch me but she forces them back to her sides every time. " I love you, and I want to give this a shot. A real one, and maybe you being human before was a slight problem for us in the long run but its not anymore."

"Bo, stop. Please."

"We can make this work," she pleads for the millionth time tonight, her hands cupping my cheeks forcing me to look up at her. Her lips pressing against mine twice with no response, the third though does—for a moment.

"Stop," I say once more, voice muffled against her lips. She pulls away just enough to look in my eyes. "Don't—don't look at me like that," I whisper, a stray tear grazing the corner of my mouth reminding me I had been crying right along with her this whole time.

"Like what? Like I'm in love with you?"

"Like you know me,"

"I do know you," she chuckles softly, a small smile coating her tear moistened lips.

"No, you don't."

"What are you talking about," she laughs quietly through a sniffle.

"You didn't know me then and you sure as hell don't know me now Bo. You don't know any of us—not really."

"What?" she repeats but I think it was meant to be a thought rather than an actual question. "I may not know every little detail I should but-"

"D-do you know my name isn't even Lauren?" the small smile struggling to stay on her lips finally recedes and her features tense for a moment as she just stares at me trying to understand my words.

"Whoever you are I know you and I love you,"

"And I've loved you," I turn my head away and this time she lets me, letting go of my face. "My name is Karen, Lauren Lewis is just another name out of about fifteen I've used through the years." I start to look up as she takes a step away from me. "You've never even known my real name."

"A name-"

"Doesn't matter?" I chuckle, nodding as I try and halt my tears. Hands firmly gripping the ledge of the desk I'm leaning against. "Maybe, maybe like with age being just a number, a name is just a name. After all, a rose would smell just as sweet no matter the name," I chuckle again clenching my jaw determined to stop my own tears. "But the story behind it, the story of me—that-that does matter." taking a deep breath I stand up straight but keep a hold of the wood acting as an anchor for myself. "It matters that everyone else knows and you don't,"

"Wh-" she doesn't bother finishing her favorite word of the night. Her head titling subtly as she stares at me dumbfounded, almost blankly. Her tears slowing but I can't tell if her hurt has begun to subside or her shock is just taking precedence.

"I-I have a brother," I start with an unnecessary nod, my eyes on her face but not her eyes. Just like ripping off a band-aid. "My only sibling. We were inseparable, together we were going to change the world. Sadly our version of changing the world turned into blowing up pipelines and using pipe-bombs." I see her take another step away from me, she is hearing my words but I don't know if she understands them. "Eleven people died, no—nobody was supposed to be there—not a day goes by that I don't hate myself for what happened."

"It—it wasn't your fault."

"I made the explosives and then i trusted my brother with them," I snort at myself, clenching my jaw tighter feeling my heart breaking all over again. "This isn't a bonding moment, this isn't me trying to let you know me—this is me making a point."

"Okay, I admit that is probably something I should have known,"

"Probably?" I laugh looking away from her once again. "Everyone else knows Bo. Kate, Kenzi, Hale. Tirck knew. Your mother knows. And your perfect little wolf knows too."

"Wh—no."

"Oh yeah. Everybody Bo—you want to know more? Want to know how little you actually know about me? About your precious family?" I don't wait for a response. "Who should we start with? Did you know that the kids went through an angry faze, Isa use to actually pray you would die. Oh yeah, they know that you are still alive and that their quote un-quote father was a woman—just makes it easier to talk to people when you say father. So if they still haven't put two and two together—it's because they don't want too. Did you know that Isa actually prefers to stay home with Kate rather than go out with you?"

She looks away from me, tears pulling in the corners of her eyes.

"Or how about Kenzi? Lets talk about how after your little romp in the Dal with him, before I left I went to your house. I wanted to see you again, wanted to try and talk about this one last time—I ran into her though. Ha. Yeah that was fun." I swallow back the disgust at the memory. "She is the reason I thought you two had been together already. We had a nice chat, very informative. Told me all about how you two used to have fun times, how you were so much more happy with him. Told me all about how your life was easier with him—that I was selfish to try and be with you."

"Lauren-"

"Or how about that despite knowing where I've been this whole time she played along with all of your search parties. Oh and my favorite—she is still to this day in-debt to Evony because she made a deal with her. Every time you went to her for answers—and she gave you the run-around—that was all because of her arrangement with Kenzi. Well as the years went it became more about me," she looks up from my chest to my face, eyes widened. "Yeah, me and Evony are friends Bo. She is actually the Godmother to our children."

"No, you're lying."

"Why? Why would I lie now? I have nothing else to lose Bo,"

"No. She wouldn't," she starts to walk away from me first toward the door and then back to bedroom before ending up back where she started. "Evony is our children's Godmother?"

"Yes, they take vacations with her at least once every six months. The kids have visited Canada more than once. In fact—you saw them by accident once before when they were eight—just didn't realize it. Guess your paternal bond was a little busy then,"

"That—that's impossible." she says flatly. I can see her mind racing to try and place what I'm talking about despite her severe protest.

"And you want to know the best part? That man that you love so much yet aren't in love with," I snort at the idea, remember every single time she has chosen him over me. My mind wondering if some part of tonight wasn't about her and him. "He has known it all. About me, about Kezni and Hale and Evony—the kids. He's pushed so much of it into play, I'm sure he's the reason Kezni even went to Evony in the first place."

"You're lying," she nearly growls, anger in her eyes before it reaches her features. Still so infatuated by him, God how could I have been so stupid.

"Another great personality trait of his, you might want to look out for when you marry him—he likes to hit women."

"No. No, I don't believe you."

"Do or don't, that's your choice. But I've been on the receiving end of that temper tantrum,"

"He wouldn't!"

"He would!" my voice raises to match hers and for the first time I let go of the desk. "Two different times Bo, two times. Call your mother and ask her about it. After the last time he lost his temper I had to call her to heal me because I couldn't go home to my children looking the way I did. This whole time you've been here he has threatened me repeatedly! Threatened Kate about me! He has this entire folder on me just waiting to hand it over to the authorities."

"No! Lauren you-he can be an asshole but this—NO!"

"Live in your delusion Bo, go ahead—I don't care anymore just do it without me. You don't see these things because it's inconvenient to you. I thought you had changed but—you haven't—not really."

"Maybe you've just changed too much," she lets out looking up from the floor in a scowl I had never seen from her before and I can't help but snort—it's always him until the end.

How could I have been so stupid-again?

Shaking my head I walk straight for the door unable to handle this anymore, unable to face her. She doesn't call out for me or come after me—big surprise there. But I don't look for her either, not even when I reach the elevator. I won't—I don't care.

I can't.

The whole thing, the ride down, the walk to the valet and the wait, my driving off-it was all just such a jumbled blur. A tangled mess I couldn't sort out just like what my life had become once again. I don't even remember what happened last night—how did this happen? We were doing so well—so well—how did we end up in her room?

We did talk but once we admitted—our fate was sealed.

I look around actually taking in where I'm at and I'm already on my street, the hotel wasn't far from me but it should have taken longer than it did—or maybe I'm just so far out of it that I hadn't realized. Driving slowly down the street looking for parking I feel my heart stop before dropping to my stomach, my breath halting. My SUV in the same stop it had been when I left last night—the same one Kate was supposed to take to work.

My eyes shift to the little clock on the console, 5:47 a.m.

She wasn't supposed to be home, she was supposed to be working. Yeah Lauren, tell her that when you try and justify walking in at six in the morning-blame her for being home.

I'm so stupid-so fucked.

I feel the tears welling in my eyes as I do possibly the worst parking job in history. I nearly jump from the car stumbling slightly—I can fuck all night in heels but walking is apparently too much for me.

Laughing coldly at myself, tears clouding my vision I rush up the sidewalk trying to reach my house but of course not before Mrs. Laudale from across the street witnesses the mess that is me. I don't bother waving to her—what was the point anymore everyone on the block now thought I was a cheating, whore...

…..my actions last night didn't prove them wrong.

I push the door open ready for whatever I was going to find, my plan to drop to my knees and beg for forgiveness—yeah that sounded like a good plan in this situation...
….too bad what I found I wasn't ready for.

Ethan is running down the stairs fully dressed in jeans and his light-blue polo for school. Kate running down the stairs fully dressed at well, her badge and gun on her waist—she hardly ever wore them in the house.

"Ethan get back here." she orders still four steps up the stairs while he is already mid living-room. Abruptly he spins around with such animosity that I had never seen in him before.

"You can't tell me what to do!"

"Watch me!"

"I don't have to listen to you! You aren't even my mother! Bo is!"

Chapter Text

For as long as she could remember she loved her
with a heart so worn yet still so fragile.
Nevertheless she let her have it with a child's innocence.
In this Fallen Angel she found a
beautifully darkened solace that she could
never truly part with. (1)

The Fallen Angel by: Isa Lewis
...........................................................................................................
I look up from my Latin textbook at what my brother yells, though there is no way what I just heard could be what was actually said.

I see Kate standing there like she is frozen, this look of pure agony on her face as she stares at my bother not moving. My attention shifting to him who looks almost as surprised by his words as her—what did he say though?

I'm not even sure what was happening.

Something about Ethan sneaking out last night? Pfft. Yeah okay, the Lewis twins sneaking out? Doesn't even sound right. And Kate came home from work because of it? Pfft. Mother would have handled it rather than having Kate leave her job, after all mother's bosses are a lot more lax about taking breaks—then again she wasn't off chasing serial killers so you can understand why.

Why was mom at work so early again?

"What?" I let out causing the pair to turn to me and for some reason I get this icy chill shooting down my spine. "What did you just say?"

"Open your eyes," Ethan yells at me and I can't help how my eyes widen. This isn't my brother. "You'd have to be stupid not to realize it by now,"

"Realize what?" I didn't hear you asshole. I slam my textbook shut and straighten in my chair. "What is going on?"

"Bo isn't out mentor, she is our mother. They've lied to us, they've been lying to us for months. And if you haven't realized that then you're stupid,"

"Enough!"

I can't help but jump at my mother's yell. The times I've heard her yell in my life I could count on one hand. I tear my eyes from Kate and Ethan to my mother who is walking into the living room and I can't help but notice she looks—different.

"Why aren't you at work? Why are you-" I pause again looking over her intently, not so much her face but her body. "Why are you still dressed from last night?" I turn back to Kate. "You said she was at work, that she left early."

"Don't you get it stupid?! Mom has been going off screwing Bo."

"Ethan, that is enough!" she yells again walking in further, hand gripping her keys tightly.

"Kate?" I whisper out and she looks up from the floor with tears in her eyes.

Kate—my Kate has tears—real, actual tears.

Suddenly I feel like I can't breathe. What was happening? What was everyone saying? Why was I having so much trouble understanding what was happening? I can understand DNA splicing and species blending but simple sentences are suddenly the lost language of Atlantis?

I mean yeah, okay in all fairness I did hear their words—well at first I didn't really hear Ethan's, but now I could hear them—they just weren't computing.

I mean okay, lets run this down.

One, Ethan just said Bo was our mother. Yeah right. The chick who looks like a mid-priced call girl and doesn't know what the periodic table is? She is supposed to be out mother? This chick was supposed to have produced two child prodigies? This chick was supposed to be the one our mother went for and has been pinning over for years? Our mother, the genius who has wrote two books, published over thirty-nine critically acclaimed papers, won eighteen awards, had forty-two nominations, has effectively blended human and Fae DNA and was almost about to cure heart disease was supposed to have been in love with—Bo? Pfft. Please. Somebody is on something cause that just isn't plausible.

Sure you look at Kate and think okay well maybe not so different but Kate was badass and she was actually very smart. Bo didn't have layers—she wasn't an onion. There was nothing there but quips and overt sexuality. One night stands not mating for life especially for my mother.

Nope, don't believe that.

Two, where had Ethan run off too? He doesn't have a girlfriend, he doesn't even have friends, well except for Gabby but she is a shared friend—in less he ran off over there. No, he knows I like her and besides she is a good girl, she wouldn't see him in the middle of the night—would she?

Three, why was Kate about to cry? Well dumbass did just say she wasn't out parent—that wasn't cool.

Note to self: kick his ass later.

Four—why was mother still in the clothes she left in last night? Kate said she came home and just left before we got up—so why would she go to work in the same clothes? And especially in that dress and heels, her 'come screw me' outfit. I thought she only wore that when she went out with Kate.

Wait—what is going on here?

"Kate, answer me." I say not caring that I cut off my mother.

"I'm sorry baby," she says in a whimper, tears slipping down her cheeks.

"Sorry? Sorry about what?" I stand, book dropping to the floor with a thud. "What is going on?"

"Isa,"

"Kate?" I let out ignoring my mother's voice. "Kate please answer me," she shakes her head tears falling as she looks away from me. "What—I don't understand what is happening." I turn to my brother who is standing there stray tears sporadically falling. "This is your fault! Take back what you said! Make this better!"

"Charlotte calm down," my mother says sternly but her own tears slipping past her defenses makes it hard to take serious. "Oh God," she sighs out, hand running through her hair. I follow her eyes to the window and I see what has her suddenly so worried.

"You're kidding me right?" I hear Kate literally growl from behind me.

"I don't know why she's here. I made it perfectly clear to her," she says wiping her tears away. "Kate just stay here. I'll get rid of her," she says trying to calm the poor woman and I get this rush of anger—anger I hadn't felt since I was seven praying to God that my absent parent would have a horrible, disfiguring ascendent.

Maybe that prayer was FINALLY about to be answered.

I hear the trio of them talking over one another and it's all just one big blur. I know I rushed past my mother and pulled open the door before any of them even realized. It's mid October and freezing, I feel the breeze hit me like a splash of ice but it doesn't register the way it should. My thin pajama pants and Hanes undershirt doing nothing to help shelter me from the next brutal gust of wind but again—it just doesn't register.

She is walking toward me from her double parked car, her hair lazily pulled back. Her clothes ruffled , eyes red and swollen. She gives me this weak smile and goes to say something but the sound of my hands smacking into her shoulders replaces her words.

"Leave!" I yell hitting her shoulders again as she barely stumbles back. Damn she is solid. "Go! We don't want you here!"

"Isa,"

"Don't! Don't call me that! I want nothing to do with you!" I hit her again, tears freely falling now. "Leave!" Hit. "Stay away from my family!" Hit. "Get out!" Hit.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," she repeats over and over again just taking blow after blow, her sobs matching mine.

"You aren't my mother! You aren't!"

She wasn't...

…...and to me she never would be...

Chapter Text

She had left her so long ago but the memory
was one that would never fade
She had believed in the notion of a child's love
Believed that her Fallen Angel would
look back just once and remember the love they shared
Though her angel never did. (2)

Fallen Angel by: E.P. Lewis
….................................................................................................

I didn't mean it—maybe I did.

I didn't think about what I was saying, it was all just coming out one word after another. I am Ethan Patrick Lewis, I didn't get in trouble especially with my parents—I mean my mother and Kate.

It was so stupid sneaking out but Kate was working and my mom was out with Bo, I didn't think anyone would notice. I was going to be back before anyone did—I just wanted to for once be impulsive. I wanted to be like the cool kids. I wanted Gabby to notice me, I didn't want to be Friend-Zoned. Not that I have experience with it but it sounded horrible. They don't live far from us—it should have been so simple. But that stupid new patrol officer—I had to get caught by the one officer in the city that didn't know me. There was blame to be put on myself as well I knew that, I was the one who opened my big mouth and told him who I was. I was the one who said I was Kate's step-son.

I just wasn't use to her or anyone grilling me over things. I hated the thought of disappointing her—I guess more than the thought of hurting her.

I loved her, she has been here for us since we were seven, I don't remember much of a life before her in fact. I had even called her mother a few times—I guess I forgot about that when I realized who Bo was.

I didn't mean to call out Isa like I did either—I just couldn't stop myself.

But in all honesty how did she not feel it yet? I felt it months ago, when I was up on the stage playing—i know she felt it too—explains that weird her showing up in the middle of the night. Apart from that I mean Bo and Isa, you put them together and what do you get? I just don't understand how Isa has never put two and two together—she is a freaking genius.

I didn't mean to say that about my mother and Bo either, I didn't even believe it until I saw the look on their faces. Then I knew it was true.

I wanted to take it back, really I did. I wanted to take all of it back not just tonight but all of it. I wanted to go back to the morning when my mother was getting ready for the stupid award ceremony and force her not to go.

I wanted my life back.

It was all happening so fast, mom and Kate were in some exchange about me and then Isa was bolting through the room like she was on fire. I hadn't even realized what was happening until I saw how my mother ran after her, and then Kate before I was allowed the opportunity to myself.

I watch silently from the stairs as my sister keeps hitting Bo, yelling at her and it's only a minute or two before my mom is pulling her away. Too bad Isa starts delivering the same punishment to her yelling about how she was breaking up our family—I guess she was—I guess they all were—we all were.

I was so sure Kate was going to Hulk out on Bo but she just scoops up my sobbing sister in her arms and walks her back inside, a heartbroken look at me as she passes. I want to say I'm sorry, want to tag along after them but I'm not welcomed.

I can feel it.

"What are you doing here? I told you already," my mom yells the best she can through tears.

"I didn't know they were here, I thought they were at school,"

"Why are you at my house?! We—we just had this discussion,"

"You ran—I couldn't let you run again—I didn't mean for this-" she herself is near sobbing and is trying to touch my mother who swats her hand away twice before she gets the hint.

"Leave. Jesus Bo just leave so I can handle this,"

"Do they know? How—I didn't-"

"How would I know Bo, I'm out here taking care of you." my mother says flatly, tears slowing. She looks around the street, several neighbors on their porches and sidewalks staring at us like some sort of freak show-guess we really did look like one right now.

"Just let me-"

"Enough!" my mother does this weird sound I've never heard before, sort of like a cat hiss when she spins around to yell at her. "Ethan get inside," she says firmly but it's not a scream as she walks up the steps.

"Ethan," Bo says softly, voice breaking and I don't know what to do.

"Ethan," my mother says as she is standing just inside the door waiting for me to step inside.

We were the Lewis', we were a proud and noble family once. A respected one. People looked up to us, idolized us. We had pizza nights and horrible scary movies nights and would watch football matches because Kate loves them but they were fun because it would always turn into goofing off.

We were a family once.

Now we were the people who the neighborhood whispered about. We were the broken ones, a family that was never a family to begin with.

I look at Bo and I see Isa, I see my mother, I feel it-the same feeling I get when I look at my mom. But I also remember all the pain she has caused—that she is currently causing. Where has she been for my entire life? Why was she so okay with lying to us? Why was she okay pretending not to be out mother? Why was she so immature? Why didn't she want us?

Why did none of that matter when I look at her?

"I'm sorry," she whispers just loud enough for me to hear.

It's an apology for a million and one things she isn't able to vocalize. It's a silent way of saying to go with your mother. It was another reminder that she was undoubtedly my mother—who was never here.

Me and my sister wrote a poem once when we were ten, it was about my mother—both of them I guess you could say. We thought of Bo as this magnificently tortured soul, the ones you read about in novels and we just pictured their love story being that way. Two star crossed lovers, two perfectly flawed heroes.

It had to have been that way with the way our mother wouldn't let go of the memories, the way she cherished the hurt. But Bo wasn't what we had built her up to be—what I had built her up to be.

She wasn't a fallen angel...

…..she was destruction with a beautiful face...

Chapter Text

"Luckily Evony flew in last night otherwise we would have had no one to take the kids," she says softly, calmly as if this morning was like any other.

"Leave," it's a low gargled order as I lean over the nightstand staring at the tiny chip in it's black paint trying to focus. My hands gripping the sides of it so hard it's cutting my skin. I don't see the blood, I don't need too because I can smell it. I can smell a lot of things—I prefer the smell of my own blood rather than the alternative.

"She is going to pick them up from school, if she even bothers to take them."

"Get out,"

"It'll give us time to talk, we haven't had time to talk."

"Lauren, get out." this time the growl I've been trying to desperately hard to keep inside escapes, my hands tightening against the wood, the sound of the wood cracking filling the room.

"He didn't mean what he said, he is just angry with all of us. Just give him time."

"Lauren," another growl, another crack of the wood and I'm amazed its even still attached but the smell of her, of Bo, of her fear filling my nostrils is pulling my mind from mundane thought. Her words are slow, calm, like this is any other day-like I'm not trying to hang on to the last sliver of my self control.

I always knew she was an amazing liar-she should have been an actress.

"I fucked her,"

I didn't have time to think—I didn't think. The second I heard her say "I", the deep breath she took before it never exhaling, the way her heart sped up—I knew the rest of her sentence. And just for a moment that sliver of control slipped.

The nightstand flying through the room smashing into the wall breaking into eight or maybe ten pieces, my mind is racing too fast to count—to care. The lamp, and her reading glasses that laid atop falling to the floor along with whatever was in the drawer. Several dents in the wall, one long one where the edge of the table hit. Spackle and pieces of plaster falling to the floor along with everything else.

"She started it—but I finished it. I was the one that-"

"Get. Out." another growl, my hands balling into fists opening the wounds further. My eyes focused on the four pieces of her broken glasses on the floor needing to keep my focus on something other than her words.

"Do you want to know what we did?"

"GET OUT LAUREN!"

"The first time here it was quick and unintentional. Last night wasn't supposed to happen but I made it happen, I pushed you and this life from my mind and I fucked her. I mean I really fucked her. In every way possible and-"

"ENOUGH!" it's a vicious growl as I feel my mouth suddenly get very small, teeth descending. My body spinning around and flying through the room all in one motion—in less than a heartbeat. Bloody hands slamming against the wood of the door on the sides of her head, her body hitting with a tiny thud.

"I told her I was in love with her too," she whispers, voice trembling as her body is. Her eyes staring into mine, glassy but she doesn't flinch.

She never once flinches.

It would be a compliment. It would be flattering that my woman didn't flinch once when I lost control of myself-if it actually had anything to do with me. But this like most of her thoughts, like most of her actions, it wasn't about me. She doesn't flinch because she finds the succubus' loss of control far worse than mine and if she can stand up to that then mine are nothing—to her. She doesn't flinch because she doesn't fear me—doesn't take me serious at all in fact. She doesn't flinch because she wants this—she wants me to show her this side of myself in some hope that it will invoke a reaction that she gets with the succu-infant.

She thinks I don't know her—I know her far better than she believes—far better than Bo-not as much as I believed though.

I don't know why I expected better from her, I knew when she walked out last night where she was going, knew what was going to happen but I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that the woman I've spent the last almost eight years of my life with was still that woman and not this shell of her that's showed itself the past fifty-three days.

Yeah I know exactly how long it's been.

She was a different person the second she saw that infant, everything about her changed. Her morals, her values, the way she thought and acted. She just became cold to me—to the kids in a way. She seemed to forget who she was. Seemed to forget where her life was.

I went to work last night trying to put her from my mind, trying to forget all about this. I wanted to believe she came home at a reasonable time and even if she hadn't I wouldn't have gotten home until eleven in the morning so she would have had to come home by then and that way I would never be any the wiser.

Self-delusion was a trick that use to work so well.

But nope, four a.m I'm getting a call about how Ethan has been found wandering the streets. Stupid ass newbie, made it sound like he was drunk, aimlessly walking around, no he was just walking trying to me his first love—ha love. If he wasn't busy replacing me I would have told him to forget about love. Love was a lie, a pain in the ass, and in his genetic pool love was something sick and twisted.

Not the infant or Lauren knew what actual love was, nor did they care to know the difference. No, they didn't want healthy and mature, they wanted twisted and sick. They didn't want love, they wanted obsession. Their definition of love were fixation, compulsion, possession, ownership, delusion—these weren't what love was supposed to be.

I've had that, I've done that—it never ends well.

"Enough," another growl, my hands pressing against the wood so hard I'm sure it's going to snap but I don't care. The level of control I'm managing to keep is only enough to keep me from doing what I've wanted to do for the past two months.

She leans forward the five inches between us, her lips smashing into mine. Her hands wrapping around my neck. I might have responded had I not tasted Bo on her lips. Grabbing her wrists harder than I ever thought I would I pull her embrace apart, pushing her back.

"Get a hold of yourself," its not a growl this time.

She just laughs at me, tears slipping from her eyes, a sight that would have normally killed me—now though I take pleasure in it. She deserves to cry, she deserves to feel guilt over her actions. Over the pain she has caused me—the kids.

"Get as hold of myself? Get a hold of myself?" she snorts running her hands through her hair. "Yeah Kate, sure no problem. Cause it's just so damn simple!" she yells and though tears are falling anger is rising to the surface.

"It is."

"No Kate, it's not. Not everyone is you! Not everyone can just take everything so damn well. Some people have emotions! Some people aren't so damn perfect!"

"You don't think I have emotions?"

"Look at you? LOOK! I'm standing here telling you I just screwed someone else—ALL NIGHT LONG. The same woman I screwed right here in OUR bed a month ago and you are just so fucking calm. She busts in our house and you what? DO NOTHING!"

"What should I do? What? Kill her? You want me go find her and kill her?"

"Of course not!"

"Then what?!"

"SOMETHING other than THIS!" her voice continues to raise as she screams at me through tears and I have to keep myself at arm's length from her, the feeling of once returning control starts to leave once again.

"Tell me what you want Lauren cause I don't know."

"I want you to love me! I want you to be something other than perfect!"

"I'm not perfect!"

"No you're right, you do have one flaw." her voice drops as she takes a much needed breath. "Your flaw is that you're flawless."

"Don't pull that bullshit with me Lauren, I'm not her."

"Yeah I know." her words not calm but not a yell and yet they enrage more than any scream she had unleashed.

"Fuck you." I growl fists once again clenching, the tips of my nails shredding my tender flesh, the smell of blood once again replacing the foul odor that she was caked in. I feel the liquid filling my hands undoubtedly falling onto the floor but my eyes stay on the indent, blood smudge, hand prints on the door behind her.

"Fuck me? No you don't wan to do that, I've tried for the past month."

"You would touch me after I slept with someone else?" disgust replacing a growl.

"Yes."

"Right. Forgot you have so much experience with that."

"Look at you," she says disgust writing over her features and I'm not sure if it's actually at me or at herself. She wants so bad for me to lose control, she wants to be punished for what she's done and if I wasn't so far over my limit it would have broken my heart that this was what she thought was normal. "You're so pathetic," she snorts walking toward me and I don't recognize this woman—I don't think she recognizes herself anymore either. "Some alpha you are," she shoves me and I stumble back a step, "Letting some one take not just your job" shove. "Not just your woman." shove. "But your family too." shove. "You don't fight." shove. "You don't even get angry." shove. "I don't have a wolf, I have a puppy." shove. "I may as well had dated Dyson,"

Snarling my hands grab her shoulder preventing her from another blow, leaning in so the tip of my nose is against her's. Holding her in place a growl builds in my chest and her glossy eyes just look into mine. She is so broken—perhaps she has been all this time. Perhaps I had just glued the pieces together hopping they would hold.

Maybe they would have had that child not shown up.

"I am not going to hit you. I am not going to play this game with you. You want to punish yourself, then do it yourself." I let go of her and try walking past but she grabs the arm of my jacket and realizing she isn't going to let go, I let her have it. Relaxing my arms and holding them back as I walk forward the jacket slides off me effortlessly. I didn't count on her speed though as she had already let go of it before it fell to the floor, her hand grabbing for my arm. "What is wrong with you?"

"That's it? This is you angry? You don't care about me,"

"You are losing your damn mind Lauren," I pull the door open jerking away from her hold.

"You can't even yell at me!"

"You need help," I say not looking back as I walk down the hall, fists and jaw still clenched.

"You know she fights for me,"

"Is that why you ended up here?" I spin around to face her. "Hm? That why she's been fucking Dyson for fifteen some odd years? Cause she was fighting for you? She isn't even fighting for you now! Why don't you go scream at her why she won't beat you. Why don't you go scream at her why she won't try and kill me."

"Because she would!'

"Do you even hear yourself? Did she fuck you brainless? You aren't even making sense anymore,"

"I am making perfect sense, you aren't making sense!" her voice starts to raise again as I turn away from her walking down the stairs trying to walk away from this entire situation.

I really don't think she even heard what she was saying anymore. I don't think she knew what she was saying. It was all so jumbled, so frantic-I had only ever seen her calm and collected. She was the definition of a woman, of a lady, of a perfect mother—this wreck antagonizing me throughout the house I didn't know.

I walk into the kitchen, pulling my holster and badge off tossing them on the counter before I reach up into the cabinet next to the fridge looking for the bottle of vodka I bought the other day. Yeah if I was going to make it through this I was going to need something, I already fell off the wagon weeks ago what was once more.

She wants me to lose my temper but she doesn't realize what could happen. The amount of strength I have, the rage that takes over. I'm over seventeen-hundred years old, I'm not a child, I know how to be angry without throwing a tantrum, I know how to voice my anger without screaming. I know how to deal with my hurt without trying to make her hurt worse—even if she did deserve it.

I know how to be an adult—i thought she did too.

"Yeah, that's great. Perfect. Just drink again, screw the wagon." she says practically foaming at the mouth as she storms in.

"What do you care? You're gonna be too damn busy screwing your little succu-whore to even realize I'm alive let alone what I'm doing," I growl slamming the bottle down on the counter so hard it cracks, the liquid steadily draining onto the floor, the alcohol getting into my wound but it's good, the pain helps me focus.

"Ha!" she lets out, her voice breaking and I spin around to face her. She is so broken—I wish I could hold her—but I can't stomach the thought of touching her now. "Tell me," her tone dropping to a near whisper, tears continuing to fall, her breaths short and I know it must be hard to breathe with how worked up she has gotten herself. "Tell me,"

"Tell you what? That I love you? I do Lauren, I love you but it's a love you don't want—it's one that isn't enough for you. Tell you that I think you're disgusting and a whore? Yeah right now I do, I can barely stomach the thought of looking at you. Tell you you're right to feel how you do? Yeah you are—I don't need to tell you these things because you already know them. And I don't need to berate you because you're doing it to yourself," she takes three steps toward me and I step away, the combination of my blood and the alcohol not even enough to cover the smell of her sins when she gets too close. "What you're putting yourself through is worse than anything me or her or anyone could have do to you,"

"I—I love you,"

"Really?" I snort, my own tears filling my eyes for the first time since the kids were still here. "What, the human part of you? The fae part of you? The part that wants the life you've had? The part of you who feels guilty? Which you loves me?"

"I love you," she whimpers, her breath catching in her chest. "I love you so much it hurts Kate-but I'm not in love with you."

"You don't think I know that?! You don't think I've always known that?!"

Her eyes widen, and I can swear I see her heartbreak as she hears my words.

"I've know that since we've met, you mated to that-" I clench my jaw, looking away trying to calm myself. "I know the game Lauren, but I just loved you enough to ignore it. And then I imprinted on you—I understand what you feel when you're with her. I understand that it hurts and it pulls at your control, I understand it all. But—I thought you were mature enough to handle it. I thought you loved me and the life we built enough to handle it. I thought you wanted me,"

"I do,"

"You don't know what you want. At this point I don't even think you know which way is up anymore. Look at you, you're a mess. Let me guess, you fucked her all night then at some point remembered your life? Remembered you had morals and then what—took your guilt out on her? You must have if she came running here in some frenzy. What didn't want to talk to her? No surprised you don't even want to talk to me—you just want me to punish you. I'm not your priest, I'm not your mother—you want punishment do it yourself."

"I don't want to love her,"

"And I don't want to love you—we're all fucked here aren't we?"

"Y—you don't want to love me?" she lets out another whimper, and in this moment she looks like my Lauren-too bad she has never truly been mine.

"I thought I did, even after the first time you cheated—but now—I don't know," I do know—i just can't bare the thought of telling that—not when she looks like my Lauren.

She leans back against the island, her hands gripping the edge as she stares at my stomach. Her tears slow and steady, her breathing still labored but not as noticeable. Suddenly, without warning she resembles the woman I love. The broken that she shows now is the one I know well, it's the one I know how to deal with, the one I know how to repair. The pain in her eyes is the pain I'm familiar with, the one I can make disappear.

She resembles Lauren—but its not really her is it?

I know this spiraling woman she had become within the past few weeks isn't the real her either but—I don't think I've ever known her—I don't think anyone does.

I think Bo gets a part of her and I get a part of her and she keeps a part of herself hidden away from everyone—I don't think anyone will ever really know her.

"So...what happens now?" she whispers in defeat eyes meeting mine.

Chapter Text

Day 59:

"If you're not going to talk then why are you here?"

I stare at her as I have for the past three days, I wasn't dazing off I just didn't care to participate. Besides she looked like she should be posing for playboy not giving me mental advice. She sits there in her dark gray, four hundred dollar pant suit—I know because I have the same one in black—but besides the point. I can't help but expect porn music to come on in the background any minute. Even the way she sits is provocative.

"Lauren, you are paying me two-hundred dollars a hour to sit here and essentially stare at you."

"I can afford it,"

"Wasn't implying you couldn't. I'm implying politely and in a round about way that you are wasting our time,"

"Well your bank account increases and mine decreases so who really loses?"

"If we're being technical here Doctor Lewis, Kate is really the one losing since she is the one paying for this."

Bitch.

Sighing I lean back against the couch and fold my arms over my chest, eyebrow raising. I've dated possibly the most powerful succubus living, I am currently—kinda dating one of the most powerful wolfs alive. Some bleach blonde, Hollywood reject with a name I don't even remember was not going to intimidate me.

==============================================================================================

Day 62:

"Feel like talking?" she asks looking over the rim of her glasses up from her tablet.

"Nope."

"You sure? Cause you're just staring at me,"

"Don't worry you aren't my type,"

"Oh I know. You like powerful, dark, slightly unstable—you should actually talk to someone about that fascination." she smirks looking back down at the screen. "If you ever want to, let me know. I think I know someone." Bitch.

==============================================================================================

Day 64:

"Well hello there Doc, just one minute." she say holding up her finger and she looks back down at her desk grabbing her tablet before walking over to her seat. "Now we are good."

"Do you have a personal problem with me?"

"I think any problem I had with you would be personal so I think its unnecessary to add that in there," she pauses as I finish setting my coat down next to me. "But no, I think you are amazing. I have done so many crossword puzzles over the past week. It's like a mini-paid vacation."

"You know this is taking time away from my kids right?"

"The ones who won't talk to you?"

"I forgot you're Kate's therapist too."

"You seem to forget about her a lot."

"Are you judging me?"

"Nope. Just saying you tend to for get about a lot of people." she smirks at me folding her left leg over her right as she settles into her chair. "Now, shh. I'm two words away from breaking my record."

"Did you just shush me in my own therapy session?"

"This is not a therapy session, this is you staring at me for an hour angrily, stewing in your own tasty pot of guilt, shame, anger, daddy issues topped off with abandonment issues."

"I don't have daddy issues,"

"Really?" she asks eyes widening. "Then why do you go for the scariest kid on the playground every chance you get?"

"What? I—what?"

"Bo and Kate? Had a little thing with Evony, just seems like you go for these bad girls and when straight women go for the bad boys its daddy issues. I assume the same for you— wait, its mommy issues right?"

"What? No I have no parental issues,"

"Hm, guess I need to brush up on my skills."

"Yeah," I huff leaning against the couch.

I didn't have daddy or mommy issues. I had no issues. I was fine—I am fine. I don't even know why I am here. Stupid woman, probably got her license from a cracker jack box. I have no problems. Kate was the one with the problem forcing me here. Bo was the one with the problem—too many to name. My kids had the problem refusing to accept my apology. I had no problems.

=========================================================================================

Day 67:

"I got to ask a question, and please give me an answer." she says looking up from her tablet, her words bringing me out of my daze. "Why do you keep coming here? It's been nine days and you don't speak hardly at all and when you do it isn't about you or your issues."

"Because this is a stipulation of me being able to stay with Kate. She told me if I didn't then we were over,"

"Hm, okay."

"She thinks I need help you know, she thinks something is wrong with me. She thinks I had a breakdown but she is just doing this to punish me."

"For the cheating?"

"That and the fact I'm mated to Bo. I didn't have a choice you know—it just happened."

"This isn't Twilight Doctor Lewis, you don't look at someone and presto, you're mated."

"You know you can be a real-"

"Bitch? Yes I am aware fully of what I am which is more than I can say about you. You live in a state of denial."

"No I don't," I really don't.

"Lauren you sit here in my office for an hour a day because that is a stipulation of you keeping a failing relationship but say nothing, thinking you're fine and you think that everything will turn out okay. Kate wants you here for a reason, I've known her for ten years—she doesn't do anything without reason."

"Right. Perfect, flawless Kate."

"Resentful much?"

"I'm sorry why are we talking?" How did that happen? How was I talking to her about my problems—they weren't really problems. They were tiny issues. Clever one, now I'm aware. Ha. See the next time she gets me to talk to her.

==========================================================================================

 

Day 70:

 

"My children hate me," I say flatly looking down at her shoes. I didn't want to say anything, it just sort of flew out.

"Why do you say that?"

"Because they do, they haven't talked to me since they found out about Bo."

"Not at all?"

"Hardly, only when necessary. They don't say good-morning or night. They don't say hi or goodbye and they've spent so much time with Evony you would think she is adopting them. Well Ethan has, Isa has been there and off with Kate."

"Must be hard."

"Unbearable."

"Good."

"Excuse me?" my eyes fly to her face, the sudden urge to punch her.

"Lauren when all this fall out was taking place you were neglecting them, your relationship with them. You had a certain distance, a coldness. If you can feel the full weight of the pain of them not wanting to see you, spend time with you, even talk to you—then you are making progress."

"It doesn't feel like progress."

"No, I imagine it feels painful."

"Like my heart is being ripped out." I whisper, ashamed.

"Lauren, the mating process can be one that is very difficult. But, beyond popular belief you can move past it."

"What?"

"Mating can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be very painful, very unfortunate. Will you ever be able to break that bond completely? No, but—mating is basically obsession to over simplify it. Now how strong that bond becomes or stays is dependent on you after a while. Once you come into your nature and move more through the stages it becomes just like a dull obsession, how strong it is all depends on you."

"No, not possible."

"Okay. You like proof. Let's give some examples," she waits for a response and I just nod. "Kate, she imprinted on you yet she doesn't react the way you'd expect right?" Yeah, she has definitely been counseling her as well. "It's not because she is some saint, or has some zen secrets. She has just gone through the stages, and simply accepts your reluctance to let go of Bo, thus she has not fed into the feeling. Now Dyson, imprinted on Bo and is completely obsessed with her. I know nothing really about them other than tiny bits from Kate but what I can tell is, with her or not he feeds into this, feeds into this delusion that she wants him just as much as he wants her. Thus obsession builds and the more she backs away, the more he is threatened the worse it gets. It isn't that complicated."

"So you're saying I can learn to control my obsession with Bo,"

"What I'm saying is, you don't want to."

"That's not true,"

"You've been away from her for almost sixteen years, you've started a whole new life yet you remain so tightly attached to her. So much so, that your relationship with your kids took a back seat. You aren't a bad mother, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that in one way or another, you've continued to find a way to feed this obsession, this love the entire time."

"What you're saying is I can sever it if I want,"

"The real question here Lauren isn't if you can or even if you need too, it's do you want too?"

=============================================================================================

 

Day 74:

"Kate threatened to leave last night,"

"Why?"

"She saw on the phone bill there were bulk of texts between me and Bo,"

"Recently?"

"No, from before."

"How did you get her to stay?"

"I didn't, Isa begged her too."

"Are you two still sleeping in separate rooms?"

"Hasn't she told you?'

"She hasn't come in a couple days,"

"Well, yeah we are still in separate rooms. It's hard,"

"Because you're used to someone being there or you miss her?"

"Both,"

"Have you talked to Bo?"

"No, Ethan is keeping in contact. Evony plays mediator for us."

"Do you miss her?"

"Evony? No, I see her so much now I wish she'd go back home." that was a lie, she was the one person on this earth who didn't think I was the devil—maybe she did and she just liked that.

"That's not who I mean."

"Yes, I miss Bo. I feel like we broke up all over again, but we were never together."

"Do you want to see her?"

"Yes,"

"Are you going to?"

"No."

"Because of Kate?"

"Because there is something wrong with me and seeing Bo isn't going to help."

"You can admit there is something wrong now?"

"Yes,"

"Are you finally ready to ask for help?"

"No, but I have to be."

======================================================================================

 

Day 78:

"Any side effects yet?"

"None, I don't feel very different though either."

"Schizotypal is not something that just goes away, the anti-depressants will begin to work just give them time."

"I know the lines, I'm still a doctor. I just I want it to kick in—I'm ready to be better." Whatever better is.

"You are better, you've been steadily getting better even without the pills."

"I just want my life back,"

"I understand that Lauren, but exactly which life is it you want?"

===========================================================================================

 

Day 82:

"Dyson and Kate got into a physical altercation last night,"
"I've heard,"

"She is suspended,"

"I heard that as well. Was it over you?"

"No, it was work related about this Ripper case, another seven dead. At least I think, that's what it was about,"

"You and her have made no progress?"

"We had dinner as a family yesterday before she went to work,"

"That's great."

"No one talked, but it's the first time we all sat down together so yeah."

"Have you seen Bo?"

"No,"

"Have you talked to her?"

"No. I started to text her though, I wanted to talk to her. I wanted to hear her voice but—it's better this way."

"You know soon you will have to talk to her, you can only run for so long." Don't remind me.

"I know,"

"And you have to talk to her before the two of you talk to the children,"

"I know that too,"

"Then what is the hesitance?"

"I don't know what I want from either of them, and I am just starting to remember this person I feel like. I see Kate and sometimes I want to just stop with the pills, I want to feel numb again. But I live with her and she is—her. Bo is—Bo."

"Okay,"

It made sense to me, I'm not sure if she understood though. Kate was Kate and Bo was Bo. That was all that had to be said, if she didn't understand that then she didn't need too.

=================================================================================================

Day 89:

"You're quiet today," she says staring at me with this soft, affection. I can't help but smirk at how far we've come. If only my other relationships would make as much progress. Thirty-three days and we were no closer to fixing anything other than myself.

"I know,"

"What happened?"

"Ethan asked me to move in with Bo,"

"At the hotel?"

"No. Apparently she has rented a loft, even got herself a job."

"That's good, isn't it?"

"I suppose so."

"You two still haven't talked to each other, let alone the children-"

"Ethan is tired of waiting. He wants to bond with her, he has a special bond with her. I suppose Isa is too much like her to share it. I mumble out, my mind dancing between my thoughts and reality. Not like before, I was just preoccupied with this.

"Are you going to allow it?"

"I already gave my permission," I had kept them apart for almost sixteen years, I couldn't very well do it now. I wish he would make an effort to mend our relationship but Bo deserves to know him, he deserves to know her. "Next week he'll be leaving to live there for a month,"

"Isa?"

"She refuses to acknowledge Bo, though she is beginning to have conversations with me again."

"And how does Kate feel about all of this?"

"She isn't happy but understands, Ethan's words that morning—it sort of severed their bond."

"That must be painful,"

"Everything about my life is painful,"

"You regret getting help?"

"Every day, Emily. Every single day."

Every morning I wake up hurting, every morning I wake up another memory long forgotten rises to the surface. Every morning looking at the pill bottle knowing the only thing keeping me holding onto sanity is these two tiny, blue pills. Every day I look at Kate as she the pain she is living with. Every time I look around my life and see the destruction I caused. Every time I look at my children and see the innocence they once had no longer burns bright but is rather a flicker now. Every time I look at my phone and want to talk to Bo.

Every day I regret this.

I can see now where I began slipping, began long before Bo ever came back but that didn't matter now.

I can see now where I was wrong. I can admit that while everyone played their part—I played the biggest of all. Everyone played their parts but I was the ring master, I made the final decision of every situation.

Kate, Bo, my children, myself—even Kenzi and Hale. I made the final decision in every single situation and I sat back blaming everyone but myself. They were all right—I was living in a land of denial.

I can acknowledge I was wrong-and in doing so I can finally look myself in the mirror now.

Finally look myself in the eyes...

…..now if only I could do that with everyone else...

Chapter Text

"Hey,"

"Hey," I say in a small sigh, I wasn't even aware I was holding my breath but apparently I was.

She smiles softly, her smile that says 'I've missed you' – 'You look amazing' and 'I'm so nervous right now' all at once and I can't help but return it. Probably the first time I've genuinely smiled in weeks.

Forgot what that was like.

She pulls the door open further and steps aside allowing me in. The place was really, really nice surprisingly. I just remember her as the woman with the wall-less apartment living contently. In fact one time I suggested a home improvement project and she just laughed it off. Now here she was in a loft that reminded me of the once I used to have. Of course this had her touches to it, it was dim and all of the wood dark—even the walls were a darkened cream. It was nice though, very warm just very Bo.

I wouldn't mind living here.

Shaking off the thought I watch her as she walks into the half kitchen, heading right for the fridge. God she looks amazing. She looks different—better in a way, sort of calm and relaxed, not as stressed and tired as the last time I saw her. Although I don't imagine anyone looked good the last time we saw each other.

"White or red?" she asks holding a bottle in each hand giving me this shy smirk. "Both?"

"Neither,"

"Oh relax Lauren, I'm not trying to get you drunk."

"It's not that," I laugh softly, rolling my eyes at her. "I'm on medication, doesn't mix well with alcohol."

"Oh you're sick?" she asks genuinely concerned as she pours herself a rather large glass of red. So predictable still.

"Um, that is actually up for debate at the moment." I chuckle softly to myself and her brow just raises.
"God, what do you have? Swine flu? Invisible chicken pocks?"

"It's um," I pause, the words getting stuck in my throat. "I'm on anti-depressants actually." she stops mid-step out of the kitchen, her eyes widening as she can't help but laugh at me.

"Oh, you're serious?"

"Yeah, I am." I let my head fall, eyes focusing on her bare feet.

"Never pictured you for the type to get therapy."

"It was a stipulation of remaining in my relationship."

"Let me guess, the therapist is Kate's friend too?" she asks before taking a small drink trying to stifle her laugh. "Let me guess you have commitment issues? No, no—fidelity issues? A chronic lying problem? No, no I got it—lets throw it back to the late two-thousands, you have a sex addiction." she take another drink, her laugh filling the loft and it's a sound that makes my heart speed up—till I remember she is laughing at me.

"I needed help,"

"From what?"

"I was depressed—I am depressed."

"You mean because your life got screwed over and your relationship was failing and you were being blackmailed? Oh unknowable universe, why ever would you be upset about that," she snorts.

"I don't find this funny," I say flatly, the feeling of tears approaching rapidly. And maybe she senses it because she sets her glass down on the island before quickly coming toward me. "Lets change the subject," I let out trying to turn away but she is gently grabbing my wrist pulling me back to face her—she is careful to keep space between us though.

"Hey," she says so softly it's almost a whisper. "If you're sick, really—if something is wrong then I'm here for you. If you believe that you need help that requires medication then I'm supporting that, don't think for a second that I'm saying anything different." she tilts her head ever so slightly, her features so soft, so welcoming that it almost hurts to look at her. So many times she's given me this look. "I just think that maybe you should see someone who isn't as close to Kate,"

"Emily isn't like that,"

"Okay," she nods and gives me this sad smile. "If you think that she is the best person to talk to then okay. I just think maybe a second opinion would be beneficial," she lets go of my wrist but doesn't move an inch. "I think maybe you were depressed Lauren, but I don't think you need to be medicated for it."

"Why? Because you moved on so easily?"

"No," she lets out this snort and I regret my words—sort of. "None of this has been easy on me, but I've taken space from everyone. From Kenzi and Hale. From you and by proxy that female. Not by choice but from Isa too. I've had time to think my shit through for once, and as much as it killed me I think the space has done some good. I mean this has been the first time I've been alone since I met Kenzi."

"And Dyson?" I ask unable to ignore the fact he wasn't added to her little list of space.

"I don't want to talk about him," her features turn to near stone as she practically spins around and runs to her drink.

"So you can ask me about my mental health and about Kate but I can't ask about him?"

"Fine," she nods turning around and taking the biggest gulp of wine I ever seen, I swear that woman has no gag reflex at all. "I've seen him a few times, never pleasant."

"Why?"

"Where to start?" she snorts out a chuckle, grabbing her glass and the bottle before staring toward the couch and instinctively I follow her.

"Was that a rhetorical question or do you plan to share?" I ask as she seems to have forgotten she was in the middle of speaking. She sits on the left end while I settle in at the far right, it feels a little odd. A little uncomfortable since we both know the distance didn't just happen that way.

"What is there to say about it really? We see each other, we get in fights, we scream, we yell—occasionally gets physical."

"Glad to see things can still be over looked in the spirit of feeding,"

"Subtle doctor," she smirks at me, while running the tip of her index finger over the rim of her glass. I guess she noticed that HINT of jealousy. "I meant physical as in—altercation."

"You really have been spending a lot of time with Ethan and Gabby haven't you?" I laugh a little noticing the slight thought process that goes into her words now rather than lazily speaking. She wasn't stupid she just talked in the shortest way possible most times and that gave people the impression she was. This was nice change.

"I haven't actually fed since you,"

"How is that possible, that was over a month ago?"

"Well if someone would have actually wanted to talk to me," she raises an eyebrow and while she means it as a playful jab—it's a still a jab regardless. "You would have known that I have gotten better with my urges, and that little Gabbster actually took your old concoction and tweaked it."

"She really is a little genius." consider me impressed.

"She is, I don't know what happened." she chuckles and I join in, it really was a conundrum how she was the product of Hale and Kenzi—I just don't get it.

"Yeah me either," she shrugs. "I thought for a bit that they had switched them at the hospital but her Kenzi-ness shows through sometimes."

"Speaking of, have you two talked since-"

"Since you water-boarded me with every hurtful truth you had stored up?" another playful jab. I force a smile but feel the weight of her words. "We just yesterday started texting, nothing major but hey, how are ya, you know? Me and Hale started talking last week, he's the one who drops Gabby off so a little harder to freeze him out completely."

"I'm glad. I really meant what I said about how I wanted you and Kenzi to be okay. I just lost my temper and-"

"I may not have wanted to hear it Lauren, but I needed to." she takes another drink and leans further back into the corner. "I needed to understand your motives, I needed to understand certain things and if we weren't going to talk about it then I needed it thrown at me."

"I'm sorry about that,"

"It's fine,"

"No," I say leaning forward my hand going over her's as she was leaning forward to put her glass on the table. She sets the glass down but doesn't remove her hand and neither did I. "I was a coward. I was guilty and ashamed and I wanted to punish you for not feeling either,"

"I don't feel ashamed," she pauses and I can see she is scared of continuing but her eyes move from our hands to my eyes. Why was this so hard? Why did I want to hear her say the rest of her words? "Because I'm in love with you, and I don't feel what we have is wrong."

"Maybe," I pull my hand away gently, and she looks so hurt. "I won't cheat again, I'm not that person. I can't be that person."

"I know," she smiles softly and leans back into her corner as I sit back. "You really remind me of the you I remember,"

"Yeah, I suppose I lost a little of myself along the way."

"Speaking of," she uses my line and lets out a laugh, its endearing but I hear traces of pain and it doesn't take a genius IQ to figure out what she is about to ask about. "How is the wolf?"

"She is okay, going stir crazy because of her suspension."

"I heard about that, heard she and Dyson really got into it."

"Yeah, well he is still breathing so wasn't that bad," my chuckle gets caught in my throat realizing what I had said and who I had said it to. "Sorry I just,"

"Don't, the argument me and him got into a couple weeks ago was far worse then the scrapes he got from your alpha," she snorts, leaning forward and refilling her glass. "So since you are shrinking it up, I assume you two are still together?"

"Barely but yes,"

"Barely?"

"We haven't slept-"

"Don't need to hear that,"

"In the same bed for over a month," I finish raising my eyebrow. She was so jealous, so hurt—so calm. It was nice, refreshing, sweet even. "I don't know what we are, but it's still something."

"Kinda like us huh?" she snorts.

"Yeah, kind of like us." I take a breath and stare at the blank screen of the television. "How long is the lease here? Six months, a year?"

"I am doing it monthly, I'm not completely sure I am staying."

"What?" my attention shooting back to her.

"I came here under protest but for him, and I don't have that life anymore. At the same time I find out I have this other life, this amazing one that I want more than I've ever wanted anything else but as fate would have it, that is the life that doesn't want me."

"You don't know that,"

"Isa literally screamed at me and told me she wanted nothing to do with me, and you would rather stay in a loveless relationship than try again with me,"

"It's not loveless-"

"You aren't in love though."

"I love her though," I repeat for the millionth time this month, I've said it so much it's feels like a company line rather than an actual feeling.

"Well I love Kenzi and Hale but you don't see me trying to date them,"

"It's different,"

"That seems to be your answer for a lot of things Lauren. It's different, or I don't understand—make me understand."

"There are reasons regarding you, regarding us—that make me hesitant about trying again too."

"Like?"

"Like the fact that I don't trust you," I say it harsher than I had meant but if she wanted to have this discussion then so be it. "I trust you implicitly with our children, with my life—but when it comes to things like honesty and fidelity—no, I don't trust you."

"You gave me permission to feed off others Lauren,"

"After you cheated with Dyson,"

"I apologized for that, I was bleeding internally-"

"Bo. I'm not asking you to justify it. I've heard the story, I've thought about it a million times—I know it. And I understand what happened, I do but just because I understand doesn't mean-"

"It doesn't hurt?"

"So about this you leaving, you would just sever ties with the kids again?"

"No, of course not. We could work something out where Ethan would come an visit for weeks at a time and Isa too if she ever felt like she wanted to get to know me. But I'm not gonna force her—I tried forcing you into something and I think it broke you-broke us."

"I was broken long before that, we just didn't realize."

"Yeah well how I handled things didn't help either,"

"Well—well-" I stop at a loss for words. What was I to say to that? Here she was admitting her part in everything, taking responsibility—who was this woman? Was this her the whole time and I just didn't see it? Was I too angry and bias when this all started?

"I looked for you Lauren, I really did but I think maybe after a certain time I dropped the ball. I've had so much time lately to think about it all and I can see your point where you said I could have found you if I really wanted too—I could have seen their betrayal if I wanted to. I didn't want too,"

"I know,"

"You left me and—I didn't want to be alone,"

"I know,"

"I should have fought harder for you,"

"I know,"

"Stop saying I know," she looks at me with this frustration, her pain so evident that it actually, physically hurts me.

I want to touch her, to take her in my arms and hold her. I wanted to kiss her—not in the lets try out this bed type of way but in the way that silently says I love you and I need you. I wanted to tell her that too—but what would help? I didn't know anymore today then I did a month ago whether I wanted to stay with Kate or whether I wanted to try things with her again.

Honestly I hadn't thought much about it. I have been so focused on trying to fix myself and attempting to fix my relationship with the kids I just sort of forgot. Well I didn't forget, that is the wrong word—I just stopped focusing so much on that aspect of things and remembered I had two children who needed my focus more, and my work.

I suppose I should start thinking about that aspect of things now.

"Where'd you go?" I turn back to her and stare for a second, guess I let my mind wander.

"Sorry I was just thinking,"

"About getting home to her?"

"You know jealousy isn't flattering all the time,"

"Me? Jealous? Pffft." I can't help but laugh probably harder than I should have but it was just so funny.

Not so much the fact that she was trying to deny she was a jealous person, she has always been she just has gotten better at hiding it. But what was so funny was the face she had made when she made that noise. Not just was it funny, but it was the exact face Isa makes when she does it.

I can feel a heavy weight blanket my heart and I think she sees it because she looks at me so inventively. Like she is trying to figure out what I am thinking.

Pro for Bo-she always tried to figure out what I was thinking.

Pro for Kate—she always knows.

Pro for Bo—she never gave up even when she should.

Con for Kate—she accepted everything for what it was even when she shouldn't.

Shaking off the starting of my list, I look back up to meet her intense gaze and smile softly.

"It's just, I always saw you in the kids even when I didn't want too but now—they are so much like you and it's amazing. Isa has that exact face, the exact one and she had never once seen you. And she does that lip thing you do too,"

"Excuse me?" she does this half chuckle as she places her glass back down before turning her body a little more to face me.

"Yeah, the thing you do where you part your lips but don't say anything. It's normally when you're about to kiss me or when you're thinking,"

"I do not,"

"Yes you do,"

"Geez, that doesn't sound very attractive."

"It's not," her eyes widen and she gives this half chuckle like she can't believe I just said that. "It is very sexy though,"

"I'm hoping we are talking about when I do it and not our daughter,"

"Oh stop it," I can't help but laugh out, reaching behind myself and tossing the little, black pillow at her which she catches effortlessly. "Of course I'm talking about you."

"I just wanted to make sure, I mean you keep going on about how much you've changed-" she can hardly finish her words through her laugh and I can't help but join.

"You know what, give me that pillow back."

"No,"

"Give me,"

"No,"

"Give me,"

"Oh yeah, raise that eyebrow, that will really make me want to had it over."

"Bo,"

"Lo,"

"What?"

"You don't remember that?"

"No, what?"

"Yeah, remember you were calling me checking on how far along I was on a case and I used it. How can you not remember BoLo? Kicked Bradgalina's ass."

"Wow," I say softly with a smile, though it's a little forced now. I remember, I didn't at first but I do now. What I remember about that night was that she didn't make it to my event, yeah maybe it was stupid and now I get awards like I can get a glass of water but then—then it meant something.

"BoLo baby, how can you not remember? It even trumped Kenzi's term that remained reigning champ for two and a half years,"

"Kenzi had a term?"

"Kenzi has a term for everything, but for the longest the best nickname she came up with was for you, Doctor Hotpants, I quite enjoyed that but we became a couple and I need something a little more-"

"Territorial?"

"How is that territorial?"

"You're name is included in it."

"That is beside the point," she tries to hide her smile but fails miserably. "You aren't taking that from me, now that you've reminded me I'm about to go trademark that."

"Trademark BoLo? Who on earth do you think is going to use that?"

"Never know, you may find another Bo along the way—one you find cute enough to use my badass mashup for and I won't have that,"

"Yep, cause there are sooooo many people with the name Bo out there,"

"Have you been to the southern U.S.?"

"That is horrible," I have to turn away trying to suppress my laugh. "Why are you so," I trail off looking back at her, my smile fading as hers does the same.

"Sexy? Amazing in bed? Seductive? Getting close?"

"I was going to say amazing," her features turn so serious that you would think I had insulted her but there is this look in her eyes, the look she had that morning we were standing in Heccuba and she was making me the happiest woman alive.

"I love you," she whispers.

The world seems to freeze. Literally just stop the second she finishes her sentence and suddenly I feel like that girl sixteen years ago unable to believe she wanted to be with me. That girl seventeen years ago when she just held me close into the morning hours because I needed to be held and never once expecting anything more. That girl eighteen years ago who had never felt more loved than in the moment she ripped that 'Dog-Collar' from my neck and said nobody owned me.

This feeling—this right here couldn't be bad. This wasn't dark and twisted or depraved—this was sweet, this was tender. This was something that could make someone as broken and as lost as me feel worth something, feel loved—this couldn't be as bad as everyone made it seem, could it?

Sure I wasn't under any delusions about me and her, we had our dark times. We had moments when our relationship and actions were driven by nothing but lust. Moments when it was so dark and twisted I wouldn't have believed it was us. Moments when I hated her, I mean really hated her. Moments when I wanted nothing more than to be away from her. Moments when I wanted nothing more than to hurt her.

We had our moments sure but we also had moments when being with her was the only thing that made me feel alive. Moments when I didn't know it was possible to be that happy. Moments when I could have died happy knowing she loved me. Moments when I felt worth something just because she noticed me. Moments when we made love and that had NOTHING to do with lust.

Moments were what relationships were though wasn't it? Just a series of moments, some good and some bad.

"I'm sorry I just-" she stands up so abruptly I'm sure she's made herself dizzy but she manages to hide it-for the most part. "It just popped out and—God, I'm stupid."

I didn't mean to—maybe I did—I'm not sure. But I lean over almost falling face first onto the couch as I reach out grabbing her hand when she tries to walk away. I don't know what my plan was, I don't think I had one really.

She is looking down at me with those big, dark brown eyes and I could swear I fell in love with her all over again.

Maybe I was—maybe what was happening before was about an obsession of a sort, about the Fae part of me responding to her, about the repressed me bolting to the top so fast I lost control. Maybe it was about memories and stupidity—maybe that was about a lot of different things.

But now—it was different.

"You're not stupid." I say softly.

I wanted to say I love you, I wanted to say something other than that but I can't. I won't cheat again and I won't throw away how much progress we've made—I've made. I won't fall back into this pattern of insanity. And I won't tell her I love her when I don't know what it means.

I wasn't going to run home and tell Kate sorry we're done—but I also didn't want to run home into her arms and throw away Bo.

She runs her thumb over mine and smiles down at me so softly I think she is going to cry but she doesn't, instead she gently lets go of my hand and sits back down as I sit up and it's more relaxed. We don't part to our corners like two prize fighters waiting for the bell to ding. But we also don't sit on top of one another either-it's just relaxed and easy.

"So are you going to be okay with dropping off Ethan tomorrow?"

"I am surprisingly. I want him to be happy and happiness for him right now is getting to know you. Besides you're a fifteen minute drive away not a country." I laugh softly, nervously. The choice of words unintentional but none the less hold the potential to turn this into something hurtful. But she just smiles them away brushing over the hurt. "Once he gets settled then I think it's time for us to finally have that conversation,"

"And Isa?"

"Isa, is your daughter. There is no talking to her until she wants to, she is dealing-just in her own way."

"I just wish that she would come around faster, I get she needs time I just wish I could explain I'm not the beast from hell."

"She knows that,"

"Really?" she raises an eyebrow at me and I can't help but sigh.

"She will come around, besides at this age they are supposed to hate their parents."

"Well we are doing an AMAZING job then," she laughs and I have to join in once again.

We really were.

Our laughter dies out but our smiles remain, the conversation slowly drifting into a series of short conversations. Some reminiscent, some completely pointless, some about the kids. I ease into the kid's stuff though, I know she wants to hear it but I also see the pain when I tell her and I chose small doses.

If I have learned anything over the past month, it's that a little bit of mercy goes a long way.

It wasn't about us trying to figure out what we were or what we were going to be, no this was just us being us.

This was me finally being me for the first time in a long time.

Chapter Text

"About time," I huff as my mother slides into the driver's seat.

My eyes staying focused in the rear-view watching the goth couple at the corner affectionately messing with one another. It wasn't anything sexual, I wasn't being a pervert. It was just hugging and playful touching and pushing—reminded me of Gabby.

Guess my brother won that fight.

Not that it was so much of a fight for the past month as a me resigning. To quote an old song my mother use to listen to, I missed her 'like the desert missed the rain,' whatever the hell that meant. It's not like rain was ever plentiful there—besides the point. The point was I missed her—no the point was that I couldn't see her or talk to her because she is the offspring of Kenzi and Hale which are Bo's family and I refuse to have anything to do with her.

Well as much as I can, can't really get rid of my genetics or ignore my brother who refuses to remember he has a real family but yeah other than that I refuse to have anything to do with her.

Yet, here I was on my way to her house for dinner.

"Do you plan to speak or-"

"Not particularly,"

"Okay, well you can just sit there and pout like a big baby all night while me and your brother have fun."

"And her,"

"Her has a name Isa,"

"I told you to call me Charlie,"

"I gave you your name after thirty-six hours of birth, I've decided what to call you for almost fifteen years now—I will call you what I'd like until you reach eighteen. Then you can call yourself Princess Consuela for all I care,"

"What if I get emancipated?"

"Can't get emancipated until you're sixteen and I'd still have to sign for it,"

"Life sucks,"

"You're just now getting that?" she looks at me with her left eyebrow rose, I swear that is the only look she knows how to make now a days. I turn my glance back ahead watching no one in particular, watching all of these people just going about their happy little lives—God I miss that. "You need to give her a chance,"

"I would have been happy to, had she showed up say fifteen years ago? Maybe even ten, but now? Pfft. She can go find some other kids to bond with,"

"You two are her only children,"

"You sure about that?" I turn to her raising my own eyebrow. Ha, how you like that? She just smirks at me—guess mine isn't as intimidating yet. Oh well. "Just saying mom, she doesn't seem like the wholesome type."

"How exactly would you know?"

"I spent time with her back when I thought she was trying to help me, not ninja my ass."

"Ninja your ass?" she glances over at me, brow scrunched, lips in a smirk. "That's new,"

"You like it? I'm trying out simplistic speaking, I would hate for her to ask me a question and have my answer get lost on her,"

"Your mother isn't stupid,"

"Don't call her that." my tone returns to the harshness it had been stuck in for the past month. She had no right to call her that. How was Bo my mother? Was she around when I was growing up? Was she around when I needed her? No, so no Bo wasn't my mother.

"Like it or not, you are fifty percent her—and if you took a chance to get to know her you would see that you are more like her than you think."

"Doubt that,"

"You are,"

"Let's look at this objectively mom, I'm not stupid and I'm not a whore so—"

"Watch your mouth," she raises her voice as she hits the breaks a little hard as we reach a read light. She turns and looks at me with this glare, this one that I've only recently become acquainted with. "Bo is not stupid, she isn't a genius and she may not pick the biggest words in her vocabulary to have a conversation but she isn't stupid."

"Fine," I snort turning away from my mother's glare. "Go." I almost yell hearing the cars behind us start to honk as the light has turned green and we still haven't moved.

"And she isn't a whore she is a succubus, what you will be. The difference between you and her is that you will have three parents here to help you through it, she had none."

"Fine whatever. Go!"

"Look at me Charlotte." her voice raising, hardening enough to still be heard over the blaring horns behind us. "Look at me," she repeats and I clench my jaw as hard as I can, my fists as well trying not to show I wanted to cry. My mother didn't get mad at me, she didn't yell at me. And now here she was and all because of Bo. This wasn't what my mother was like before that woman came around. "I understand you are pissed at me, at her and at Kate even if you won't admit it so we've let you slide on this new and unimproved attitude. But you will watch your mouth, and remember who it is you're speaking to."

"Fine," I force out through a clenched jaw. My eyes focusing on her lips rather than her eyes unable to look into them anymore.

"You don't have to chose sides," she says as she finally looks away from me and begins to drive again.

"Yeah right," I snort turning back to my window. "That's why Ethan and Kate hardly speak and he was shipped off."

"Ethan wasn't shipped off, he is pissed at me and Kate and wants to get to know Bo. And they aren't hardly speaking because Ethan is angry and hurt Kate's feelings with something he should have never said. It had nothing to do with him wanting to get to know Bo. In fact she in the beginning was very adamant about the three of you getting to know each other."

"Bet she regrets that now,"

"No she doesn't, because you two like to me are mean the world and we want you to be happy."

"You know what happy is mom? Before she came along, our life was perfect. Now it's shit,"

"That isn't all Bo's fault,"

"Right,"

"Charlotte there are things about this situation that you simply can't know, that you can't understand."

"Like what? What could possibly matter enough to make me change my mind?"

"Like I was the one who left Bo not the other way around. I was the one who made the decision not to bring you to her, to not allow you to see her. Like I was the one who suggested lying to you two about why you were going out with her. Like it was me who pushed off telling you and your brother. And it was me who instigated the infidelity,"

"No," I whimper out angrily using every trick I knew to keep from crying.

"I know it is easy to turn her into a villain, I have done it—but she isn't the villain here. In this story baby, there aren't any heroes or villains jut a bunch of good people who made mistakes along the way,"

"No," I say again turning further into my seat so she couldn't see the stray tears escaping.

What she said wasn't true. It couldn't be, this was my mother she didn't do things wrong let alone things this wrong. She was just trying to cover up for that succubus so I wouldn't be so cold toward her. She was lying, and she didn't need to.

Didn't matter what she said there is no changing how I feel.

Besides I don't think she even knew what she was talking about, every story had heroes and villains—there was no in between. There was no gray—life was black and white. Good and bad, right and wrong. No in between.

So let her try and cover up Bo's mistakes and I'll be less rabid tonight because I want to appease her and actually see my brother even though he is a traitor—but I will never change my mind and I will never ask that woman for a thing. I will never need her for anything.

As far as I'm concerned she can she can go back to where she came from and stay there.

Chapter Text

"I think the wolf thing is contagious rather than genetic,”

"What?" I asked shoving another handful of popcorn in my mouth, my eyes staying glued to the television screen.

"I'm having serious doubts you're gonna follow the family line and be an incubus,"

"Why?"

"Cause you eat like a wild beast and never put any weight on,"

"I don't eat that much,"

"Are you kidding me?" she says playfully pushing the back of my head, some of the popcorn from the bowl falling into my lap and rolling onto the floor. "Your mother had to take that job at the institute just to pay for your food bill,"

"Whatever," I laugh putting the bowl on the table and starting to try to quickly pick up the pieces.

"I'm going through more food with you in a week than I do in a month with Kenz and that is saying something,"

"Whatever," I mumble trying to reach under the couch, making sure to find every last piece.

"Are you digging for gold under there?"

"I'm trying to make sure I got it all,"

"Really anal at your house aren't they?"

"Weren't you supposed to have dated my mother?" I sit up, glaring at her. "Shouldn't you know her cleaning habits?"

"You're mother was always clean but I never remember her being clean to the point where I had to search through dust bunnies just to make sure I hadn't left a crumb."

"Yeah well," I shrug, and smile softly.

I didn't like thinking about them dating because it reminded me of the fact that they weren't now, which reminded me of the fact that she hadn't been around for my entire childhood, which reminded me that Kate was, which reminded me of what a jackass I was for what I said to her, which reminded me of the fact that I hadn't hardly talked to her in a month, which reminded me that the life I had known for almost eight years was pretty much ruined.

And when I thought about that for too long I found myself not as excited about the idea of living here with her.

"Is Kate coming tonight?" I ask softly, trying not to sound too hopeful. I see the sadness in her features and I know part of it is because I'm mentioned Kate but I know part of it is also because she knows I'm hurting over what I had done.

"No," she shakes her head and gives me this sad smile. "Your mother said she really wanted to come but she has to work," Which translates into she took an extra shift to make an excuse not to feel guilty about not coming. "Maybe next week, if this goes well maybe we can make this like a weekly thing."

"You willing want to once a week sit through my sister's anger and eventually Kate's?"

"Despite the fact that everyone keeps telling me how badass Kate is, I still have yet to see it so the thought of sitting through her anger isn't really as scary as you would think. And your sister's? Well at least I would get to see her so," she shrugs looking over at the television.

She is still really hurting about this, other than the fact that it is blatantly apparent I can feel it. I can't explain it but I can just feel her pain, feel her anger, her weariness, her longing, her love for us—for my mother.

Perhaps that is why it's easier for me to make an effort. I can just feel it and I sort of share the feelings when I concentrate hard enough—literally walking in someone elses shoes—or in this case mind.

I love Kate, I do and part of me wants that life back—it was PERFECT. But part of me wants the life I was supposed to have. Part of me responds to this woman being my actual mother, responds to the fact that I can feel how much she loves my mother, how much she yearns for her to the point of actual pain.

"For what it's worth," I pause as I push off the couch to stand. "I think you could take her,"

"Really?" her brow raises as she looks at me with this smirk.

"If you were fighting over mother then yeah, I think you would win—anything else though," I trail of smirking as she tosses one of the pillows at me. I don't catch it, not so big with hand-eye coordination, hm, I wonder if she can teach me how to throw a ball—I think Gabby likes the sports-game's guys.

"I'll keep that in mind," she playfully scowls at me as she turns away heading to the door as the heavy knock fills the room. If I didn't know better I'd think the guy was trying to break our door down.

I have no idea what she did for work, something like a consultant or something like that but whatever it was it must have paid well because not only could she afford this loft and my semi-large eating habits but she had just dropped three-hundred and fifty pounds on takeout from the city's best restaurant.

Over compensating much?

The thought leaves my mind the second the smell fills my nostrils. Yey for over compensation this time. I shuffle over, sliding across the hardwood in my socks to help her pick up some of the forest-green bags packed with delicious goodness. After all took three people to drop it all off, couldn't make her carry it all in.

Wasn't the manly thing to do—least that's what Hale would say.

I never really thought about having a guy around, I was perfectly fine with being raised by women and it helped that I didn't think much about girls—until Gabby. But I had to admit I had a man crush on Hale.

It's funny to think that I would have been or should be calling him Uncle Hale—heck if all goes right in a couple years I'll be calling him dad—if he's cool with that. I think you're supposed to do that with the in-laws, aren't you?

"Don't you even think about it," she says catching me staring into the bag.

"What?"

"I didn't do anything?"

"I saw you thinking about it mister,"

"I don't know what you are talking about mom,"

My eyes widen a bit as I stare into the bag, I didn't mean to say it—did I?

There is this feeling that comes over her—us. It's painful—yet joyful. I can see out of the corner of my eye she has turned her back to me placing the bags down on the counter but I know it's because she is teary eyed—I can feel it. I want to say something but what was I going to say? So instead I leave it as is and walk over to the eight seating, dinning room table, placing the bags on the floor looking over the large black table trying to figure out how we were going to set this up.

And exactly where I wanted to place my parents.

I look over my shoulder watching her pull plates from the counter. I'm a little to far to feel the full extent of what she is feeling but I don't need to. She is entitled to privacy too.

I know my sister and Kate want to turn her into this big villain in the soap opera that has become our life but-I just can't place her in that role anymore. I can't place her as a hero either, far from it—but she wasn't a villain either.

Chapter Text

"Well the food is good," I say trying to swallow down a piece of meat. Note to self: just because it costs a gazillion dollars doesn't mean it will be good.

"It—it is," Lauren says with an awkward smile, her glass of water pressing to her lips the entire time.

"Little spicy,"

"I don't know what is wrong with you two, it's delicious." Ethan pipes up from next to Lauren as he pours more of this red sauce over his meat and rice. There is something wrong with that kid, I swear there is.

"Haven't quite gotten use to the different foods and terms here yet have you?" Lauren asks softly, in between sips of her water, a slight pinkness to her cheeks.

"No, no I meant to get this."

"There are easier and less painful ways to kill us." Isa says shifting in her chair poking at her plate.

"She is kidding,"

"Am I?"

"You can chose to be kidding or chose to go sit out in the freezing cold while we finish dinner, your choice baby." Lauren lets our raising her eyebrow and I'm sure she has kicked our daughter under the table by the way Isa's nose scrunches.

"I guess the nectar from Satan's bathtub will do," she grumbles take an unnecessary large bite just to spite her mother—though I'm not exactly sure why she thinks that will affect Lauren in any way. "Jesus!" she chokes out.

"A one-sixty-two IQ and yet you thought that was a smart choice?" Lauren leans back in her chair giving Isa that 'That's what you get' smirk she tends to get, it's the same smirk she used to give me at least ten times a day.

"You told me to eat or get thrown out! Reverse starvation happening here, I'm going to call children's services,"

"Is that now, or after your mouth is no longer on fire?" Lauren just chuckles to herself enjoying this slightly more than I would think acceptable.

I mean it was kinda funny at first but now I was getting worried. Isa's face was seriously flushed and her eyes glassy as she had already drank her water and reached across stealing and downing Ethan's in a matter of seconds. Her breathing subtle pants as she just scowls at the table. It takes about another three seconds before she reaches across for her mother's water though Lauren pulls it away and shakes her head.

"Mom, I need the water."

"Don't know what to tell you, maybe ask Bo." she says it with probably the cockiest smirk I've ever seen her have, as her eyebrow raises just a bit. She looks so smug, and I want to laugh but the murderous look Isa is shooting back at her despite the tears just reminds me she would rather suffer the pain than drink from my cup. "She's got the same germs as you baby," she shrugs and takes an unnecessarily long sip from her glass somehow making the tiny remaining amount last long enough to torture our child.

"I. Am. Fine." she clenches her jaw, leans back in her seat and takes another bite of her food though much smaller this time around.

"What's happening?" Ethan looks up from his plate, brow raises giving his confused look. I love that I can say I know what that look is, now I only had to learn the other thousand he had.

"You're sister is trying to commit suicide by food,"

"What? If you aren't eating this then pass it on down," he says reaching out for her plate but instead finds his hand getting poked with a fork.

I lean back into my chair rather uncomfortably and listen to the three of them, well rather just the children as they begin to bicker amongst themselves. It's about the food at first and gradually turns into jabs at one another. I can't help but feel guilty about it.

I remember meeting them, spending time with them before they knew who I was and they were so close, it was a little odd how close they were but it was sweet. And now here they were hardly speaking to one another, and trading insults some of which are so complicated I don't even understand. Lauren does though, at least I think she does by the way she is trying not to laugh.

Not all of the distance was my fault, I knew that. I unlike Lauren wasn't going around eating up every ounce of blame I could find like a crazy-blame-eating-pac-man, but I was accepting my own. Like I knew part of their distance was over Gabby, part of it was over some fight they had, part of it was due to what Ethan had said to Kate. But then the rest was because of me. It was really a 60/40 blame scale, me being the sixty percent.

I didn't want to be this source of pain for either of them. I just wanted to know them, I wanted to be in their life—I wasn't even forcing the 'call me mom' issue. Even though I think my heart melted a little when Ethan said it this evening—who am I kidding, my heart turned into a big, sappy puddle—in a good way though.

He was so smart, and goofy, and amazing and despite having a really big resemblance to me, once you got to know him he took more after Lauren. Maybe that is why we got along better. For some reason me and him just sort of geled together sorta the way me and Kenzi did. And he got along perfect with all of them which was great since more than likely they were going to be his in-laws.

There was also this—bond to him I had. I had felt it when I was at his performance, I don't know how to explain it really but just watching him—it was a little creepy at first but I just felt this undeniable pull toward him. I felt this love I couldn't explain, this affection, this urge to protect him—I don't think I could accurately describe it, but whatever it was it made me very much aware to the fact he was my son.

No Isa though. When I spent time with her, heard about her then yeah I could say I saw it but I didn't feel the same pull. Of course I feel love and the urge to protect her but—this bond if that's what it is just isn't there with her.

Maybe because she has just always had this guard up with me. She wasn't rude—at first and we did bond, we got along but there was just always this coldness. I saw myself in her which made me know when Lauren said not to push it that she was right. I didn't want to push—I had no right to push. I just wanted to talk to her, just wanted some type of communication.

She had this idea that I was trying to sever her ties to Kate and I wasn't—I was trying to sever her mother's ties to her but not her's. It's no secret, I don't like the little butt sniffer but I was also mature and sane enough to realize this woman was in their lives for almost eight years. She was there and bonded and from the way she reacts you'd think she mated to them as well—not the point though. I didn't want to replace Kate I just wanted my own space in their lives. I didn't even agree with what Ethan said—well I kinda did but I thought is was wrong to keep up this 'feud' between them because of it.

I even told Lauren to bring her tonight, I am trying this thing called maturity—she isn't.

You know for as much as everyone tries to turn her into this flawless, Saint I just don't think they look close enough. I mean yes I may be bias but who sends their girlfriend to their own therapist? Sure if it was marriage counseling or couples therapy fine but otherwise it doesn't make sense. Also like who lets their significant go into situations where things could happen and then wait around for the aftermath? Like how much of a masochist can you be? Or—she just knows Lauren does horrible with guilt and is using that to her advantage.

I'm thinking it's the second option but that is just me.

I won't say anything to Lauren though, we are finally moving into a territory which would be considered friendship. Least I think that's it but I don't feel like I've been friend-zoned as Ethan calls it. Have I? Can you be friend-zoned when the other person still wants you sexually? Although I got to be honest I don't know if her constant fluctuating aura has to do with me or her Fae-ness. I should ask about that, I wonder if she has even explored that yet. She didn't seem very secure in it when we were together that night. She should bring THAT up with her therapist. HA. How crazy would it be if she was repressing it because Kate was a wolf, that would be funny—well not so much funny as sad and kinda controlling.

I can see that being the reason Lauren has no idea about her Fae nature.

I sigh shaking off my thoughts returning to the table of silence. I look around and try to quickly catch up on what the problem was but there didn't seem to be one exactly. They were all just quiet and poking at the reaming traces of food.

"Well this was—interesting." I nervously chuckle and just earn another glare from Isa, I don't understand how a fourteen year old can intimidate me so much.

"It's been a real hoot." she smirks and turns to Lauren. "Can we go now?"

"Can you remember I raised you with manners?" she stands returning our daughter's glare and I can see she isn't use to this sort of attitude coming from them—or maybe she just wasn't the one to discipline them normally. Though I highly doubt Saint Kate would raise her voice to them, especially Isa. "Give me your plate," she holds her hand out, she can easily take it off the table but she is waiting for Isa to hand it to her. It seems odd to me, this sort of trying to display baby-dominance over them but then again I didn't have much experience with teenagers and parenting—I didn't even have experience with parenting and anyone.

"Mom can I go for ice cream with them?" Ethan asks and Lauren looks confused for a moment, I'm just as confused until I realize he is actually asking me. What did I miss when I zoned out? Isn't it like thirty degrees out why do they want ice cream?

I'm expecting Lauren to say something about the calling of me mom or the asking me permission of something but she turns to me with a smile, curiosity written all over her features.

"Yeah mom, is it okay?" she asks playfully as she starts taking the kids dishes along with her own. I know I'm blushing but I try to ignore that fact and nod as I grab my own plate. "Get your shoes on baby, I'll help with the dishes and we'll go. We'll also stop by the house so you can get some more of your clothes."

"Thank God, I only brought two uniforms and it's just been horrible washing them every night."

"Mom huh?" she whispers softly as we walk into the kitchen.

"First time earlier and now," I let out almost giddy passing her and setting my dish in the sink before taking her mini pile.

"That's great,"

"You really think so?"

"I do," she smiles at me and leans against the counter, flipping the faucet handle for me. "I had a mini talk with Isa today,"

"I thought we decided we were going to talk to him—them together?" I look up from the plate I was rinsing.

"I needed to do something to keep her from foaming at the mouth at you,"

"What did you tell her?"

"Just some stuff on my part. That I was the one who broke up with you, and that Kate thought it was a good idea for them and you to bond,"

"She needs her permission to speak to me?" I feel my jaw tighten as I look down at the next dish my attention is moving too. Somethings just rub me the wrong way when it comes to our situation—that apparently is one of them.

"Relax cujo,"

"I'm not a dog," I snap looking up to her.

"I meant it teasingly," she lets out standing up straight and just like that the entire mood has changed.

"I'm sorry." I whisper. "Really, I'm sorry about that. I guess just with Isa being here I'm kind of stressed,"

"It's fine," she says softly taking a deep breath. "I'm going to take them get to ice cream, possibly get them talking beyond insults. I'll have him back by nine,"

"It's fine, you don't have to have a time-" I stop as her hand gently rests on my shoulder, this causing me to look back up to meet her gaze.

"Being informed of these things is part of being a parent, run with it." she grins and gives me this playful nudge. "Isa is going to come around, just give her-"

"Time?"

"Yes Bo, time."

"Seems like everyone needs time lately,"

"Well when you rush things you can make mistakes. Make choices that you aren't ready to make," she says in the same gentle tone and there is a seriousness to her features now and we both know what we're talking about now. She keeps her hand firmly there as she takes a step behind me other hand going to my other shoulder. Her lips are close to my ear but not close enough for it to be sexual, I can tell she is being very careful about that. "If you keep pushing for a decision, you're not going to like the choice."

I guess maybe I have been slowly nudging her along since we've started talking again. It wasn't all intentional but I understand her point, a not so subtle 'cool it'.

"Lets go," she yells out taking a step away from me and the kids practically come running. She has them trained well, can definitely tell they've been raised by a wolf. I smirk at my own pun. God I really could be immature at times.

"Bo, it was a pleasure." I turn to see Isa forcing her smirk. She is just so much like me it's infuriating.

"Did you want me to bring something back?" Ethan asks and I just shake my head, flashing him a smile. Guess it was too soon to expect a goodbye hug.

"Kissass," Isa mumbles under her breath as they shuffle out into the hall.

"Progress," Lauren laughs starting to pull the door shut.

"That's progress?" I ask turning around to face her.

"You should hear what she was calling him before," she flashes me her smile, the smile that makes you're heart stop yet race all at the same time. The one that brightens your day no matter what you've been through.

The door shuts behind her and I find myself in the loft alone again, and yes it was beautiful and luxurious loft. It was amazing, it was what I had wanted but I just felt alone. When Ethan was here I forgot about that, but when he wasn't it just seemed fake. A life that wasn't actually mine, it was easy to accept when I was with Dyson, it was easy to accept when Kenzi and Hale and Gabby were around me all the time. It was a life we grew into together—now I was alone and the longer I was alone the more I realized this wasn't the life I wanted.

Don't get me wrong I like nice things but I just didn't need them and they just seemed so fake when I had no one around me. It was all so fake to me, just like Lauren's quote unquote perfect life, with her perfect house and perfect woman. I don't understand how she can be so comfortable with this—this falsehood.

I don't want to judge her, I wasn't in a position to—I just didn't understand when she went from being this woman who even though enslaved stood up and voiced her mind, to moving through life living by the rules completely. She was free now yet I had never seen her more enslaved. She used to be the woman who scoffed at the rules saying we couldn't be together, that humans and Fae couldn't be together. She use to have a fire and a passion and now she just wanted this sense of normalcy no matter the expense.

I understand people change, people grow—life changes you but—was this the real her now?

Sometimes when I looked at her I saw my Lauren—other times I saw nothing more than a shadow of the woman I love.

Although in all fairness I look at Dyson and see someone I don't recognize at all, in honesty I hadn't recognized him long before coming here. I look at Kenzi and Hale and they are just shells of themselves—I think sometimes it's just them growing.

Maybe I haven't grown as much as everyone else, maybe the problem was with me...

…..or maybe they just forgot who they really were...

Chapter Text

Lauren's POV

 

“So where do we go—Gelupo's or Oddono's......”

“They're far though....”

“Okay, complainy in the back lost his vote. Isa your choice....”

“I don't care just—MOM.....”

.................................................................................................................

Between the terrified scream from my daughter and the increasingly blinding white light coming toward me I find my mind racing toward consciousness—unfortunately with consciousness comes pain. My right knee is by far the biggest contributor to my pain but it's not broken—maybe fractured. Just to breathe hurts but I think I cant contribute that to the pain coming from my ribcage but again I don't think anything is broken. My shoulder though—it's dislocated I know this feeling anywhere, I should considering this is now my eleventh time having this happen. There is a faint taste of blood in my mouth, but just a trace.

What had happened?

I take a breath ignoring the pain in my chest, and slightly wiggle my toes in my shoes—guess I'm not paralyzed, always a plus. Think logically Lauren, all the pain is on your right side so that would mean what---car accident.

Now how did I get in one? We were at dinner with Bo and then—I left—no we left. We were going to---to get ice cream and Ethan was refusing to pick—Isa was being herself and—.

“Charlotte? Ethan?” I go to yell but it comes out as a choke, my eyes flutter open suddenly realizing that they had been shut this entire time.

“Mom,” they let out in a union.

Thank God, they look okay. Ethan looks near untouched, just ruffled and scared. Isa looks the same but there is a long smudged of dried blood from her left temple down to her jaw, it looks as though she tried to wipe it away but didn't do so well of a job.

“Are you alright?” they both just nod, never more than now has their age shown through. Fear written over their features, in their eyes and they have this strange odor about them—maybe my inner Fae has risen a bit. “Where--” I was going to ask where a doctor was until my mind had finally clicked in that we weren't at a hospital—or Bo's loft—or even our own house.

A twenty-five by fifteen foot room with a single light bulb hanging down from the ceiling being suspended in the air by a encased wire of some sort—can we say fire hazard. The walls are stone and uneven and cold, cold and moist. The floor we're on though is stone too I'm sure of but is covered with some type of golden sand.

What type of sand is this?

I feel my body stiffen, mind becoming a little more clear and I know it's my sympathetic nervous system kicking in. Pressing my hands against the ground I push myself up from the slouched over position to a fully seated one, my jaw clenching at the pain throbbing in my shoulder.

Page seven of autopsy number nine, victim Heath Anderson. I had found small traces of a golden like sand substance on what was remaining of his body that I couldn't identify.

It had to be a coincidence right?

It had been a little over eleven years since anything like this had happened in my life—long enough to forget what it was like. Unless you count Dyson's little flips outs—but there was never any worry he would kill me.

Turning I look over at my children who are just starting at me, watching me like I should have an answer for them—I don't. There was no door, just a small outline of where one should be—nothing I could do to open it from this side. Isa is maybe five feet from me sitting with her legs against her chest and if you took the deathly fear out of her features she would look exactly like Bo. Ethan is sitting on the next wall from her, legs spread out trying to appear more relaxed than he was. I know Hale taught him that, he mentioned it to me one time so long ago. Something about how if you were up shits creek to just play it off like you're the calmest guy in the room—calms the women and impresses them too. I'm guessing Ethan thought he was going to bring a sense of calmness with that. It makes me smile softly at him, but no calmness.

“Do you still have your phones?”

“We do but they don't work. Ethan's died maybe forty-five minutes ago, mine has maybe thirty minutes left.”

“How long have we been here?”

“We woke up three hours ago and its now,” she trails looking down at her phone. “Ten twenty-seven p.m.”

“That can't be right,” I groan as I reach out for her phone. Taking it I see the little red light blinking, a constant reminder it was about to give out on us. Next my eyes move to the time, she was right. 10:27 p.m. But that couldn't possibly be right—i take another breath trying to assess if I felt the effects of a tranquilizer of some kind. There was no way we would have been out this long without one. “Well—this is--”

“Crap? We're screwed?” Isa blurts out cutting me off.

“I was going to say good.”

“Good?” her eyes widen and if I wasn't her mother I think she would have lunged at me.

“Yes, good. Means we've been missing for over twenty-four hours.”

“And that is good why?”

“Isa we have unarguably the worlds strongest living succubus and wolf out hunting for us. I wouldn't bet on us being in here past another two to three hours.”

“You think they'll both be looking?” Ethan asks quietly.

“I don't think baby, I know. And I feel bad for the dumbass who took us, those are two people you really, really don't want to piss off.”

“You piss them off frequently,”

“First, thank you for that Isa. And second, I upset them—I don't piss them off. There is a difference,”

“Yeah well I bet Bo hasn't even realized we're missing,”

“Really? Because I bet you ten to one it was her who realized something was wrong,” Ethan barks out at his sister.

“Please, woman couldn't tell her head from her ass. How do you think she would realize that three people she doesn't give a tiny-rat's-ass about are missing?”

“You know nothing about her,”

“Neither do you kissass. Or have you forgotten she hasn't been around for the last fifteen years.”

“Fourteen and a half,”

“Enough!” I yell out as I push my shoulder against the wall behind me trying to snap it back into place. It snaps alright--but only half way. “You're both right and you're both wrong. Now get over it, because fighting while stuck in a tiny room isn't going to help anyone. Ethan you are most likely right, Bo would have seen the time passing then tried to get a hold of you and me. With no answer eventually she would have found a way to get in contact with Kate. And Isa yes, we are all very much aware Bo wasn't around for your childhood but you know what baby? She has been trying like crazy to be in your life ever since she found out about you,”

I never liked scolding them and it was very rare the times I had to but I just couldn't handle another argument about this—especially now. I was in pain, I was scared—not for me but for them. True this was foreign to me again, it had been over a decade since I had to worry about anything like this happening. It had been almost eight years since I didn't have Kate to hide behind.

Beside this made them think, and be in a minor state of shock which bought me time for my next assault to myself. Leaning forward, cleaning my jaw and fist trying to muffle the inevitable scream as much as possible to keep from scaring them any further. Aiming to count to five before I did it—i only made it to three. A muffled scream accompanied by a loud pop filling the tiny area.

“We could have done that for you,” Isa says softly, looking at me like she is offended I didn't ask for her help. I swear one day she is going to realize how much like Bo she is and is going to kick herself in the butt for her behavior. I honestly can't wait for that day.

“It is fine,” I say flatly leaning against the wall letting my eyes close.

“You really think they'll find us?”

“Ethan, the only thing that could stop them from finding us is themselves.”

“Bo is pretty thick headed, she will probably just slow Kate down.”

“Ethan kick your sister for me please,” I don't open my eyes but I hear an 'OW' from my daughter and smile softly, I wasn't really expecting him to do it. “Isa, your mother is amazing—crappy at relationships but amazing.”

“She isn't--”

“She is. No matter how much you tantrum about it, she IS and will always be your mother. Her blood is inside of you, you have her heart and more of her looks and personality than I would have liked. She will do anything for you whether you need it or not. And she will love you no matter what you say or do. That all makes her your mother,” I pause turning my head toward her, eyes opening. “Now Kate has been here to wipe your nose and baby you, and kiss your boo-boos and everything else. And she loves you just as much and wants whats best for you too. That makes her your mom. Now instead of fighting with everyone and acting like a child which I know you are far too mature for, how about you realize that you could have three parents rather than two.”

“If I don't fight for her then she'll leave because you won't.” she nearly growls at me, eyes teary.

“Baby, no matter what happens between me and her or me and Bo—they will always be in your life. My and Kate's problems are ours, they have no affect on your two's relationship.”

“Right,” she snorts and turns away from me facing the wall her brother is sitting against but refuses to look at him either.

“Mom?”

“Hm?” I let out letting my eyes close again. God, my stomach was killing me.

“Why wasn't Bo around when we were born?”

“Back to Bo?” I ask softly in a forced chuckle and hope he'll try to explain his answer which would lead us away from this conversation.

“Mom,” he says with a little more base, I guess he is serious.

“Me and her agreed to have this conversation with you together,”

======================================================================

 

Ethan's POV

 

I know she was trying to avoid the question. It was very unlike my mother to shy away from things, she was a very proud woman—at least that's what we saw. She was the type to hold her head high and stand by her decisions. She wasn't one to run—at least that is what I thought until recently.

I can feel this bond I have with Bo with mother too of course—I just hadn't realized it until a few minutes ago. I just always felt this with mother so I wouldn't know any different as oppose to Bo who I've only recently been around. I can feel my mother's pain both emotionally and physically at the moment. I can also feel her fear, I just can't tell if her fear is because we are stuck here waiting to be rescued or if it was at Isa's refusal to deal with our situation—or was it at my question?

No one had to tell me anything, I just could feel things and when I put my anger and hurt to the side and used logic there were things about this situation that just weren't adding up. I wanted to have my sister's support when we talked to our parents about this but my sister had suddenly slipped into a unrelenting, tantrum having fit, while she put her wants above everyone else. And considering we were stuck in here for God knows how long—may as well ask a question or two.

Problem was I forgot about the number one rule when trying to get information—never ask questions you didn't really want an answer to.

“Mom,” I say again and this time her eyes open and she looks at me. I see the pain in her eyes, I feel it radiating off of her and I want to back-peddle but I wasn't Isa—I wasn't going to run away from everything just because it wasn't easy anymore.

“Mom left her,” Isa snorts glaring at me.

“Again, thank you for that Isa.” I watch mom shoot her a scowl before turning back to me. “Bo wasn't around for a lot of reasons. Most of which weren't her fault, a lot were mine.”

“Mother is just trying to cover up for her,”

“Why are you such a--”

“Ethan,” I hear my mother call my name before I can finish my sentence.

“She is be--” I'm cut off by the rumbling sound that seems like the walls are starting to cave in. We look up toward the ceiling and down to the walls. I take a deep breath and though I'm completely scared I will jump up at whatever comes through the door. I'm almost a man and I have to protect my family.

“Somebody call for a rescue?” I hear Bo's voice before we see her as she is pushing the door open with some struggle. “No? Should I try the next dungeon?”

“You,” Isa says disappointed and with a near accusatory tone.

“Well hello to you too,”

“She means thank you,” my mother says giving her a smile—a shared smile. I can feel the love radiating off them, their shared sense of worry calming. One day me and Gabby will have that, the way of communicating without even speaking.

I jump up smiling at Bo as I walk over to my mother and helping to pull her up. She wraps her arm around my shoulder and gives Bo another smile. My sister pushes off the wall bringing herself to her feet before going and standing closer to our mother but she doesn't look to her for help. I guess Isa has really ticked her off.

“Come on, the exit is over here.” Bo says walking back out into the hall looking around to make sure it's still safe.

“Is Kate here?” I hear my sister ask as she maneuvers into the hall making sure to stay between our parents.

“She is, we got split up.”

“Well I won't leave without her,”

“Isa,” our mother says harshly and had I not known our mother I would have thought she was going to pull my sister out of here by her ear.

“It's fine. The exit is straight shot down until you come to the fork, it'll be three choices—take the one to the far left.”

“Where are you going?” mother asks turning to Bo who is already starting to take steps away. “Going to rescue a wolf,” she smirks and I can't help but chuckle under my breath, I don't know if that was a dig for Isa or if that was a subtle way of exerting dominance to my mother. Either way it was funny.

“Kate doesn't need rescuing,”

“I know,”

“Well then why did she say that?'

“I don't know,”

I swear sometimes I think it's my sister who has mated to Kate, I smirk to myself at my own joke. Isa was so afraid of change, so scared of the possibilities. I don't blame her, I am too—but I won't wither away with fear. Part of me wanted my old life back—it was PERFECT but now I can't help but wonder if all the perfect—was fake? I know Kate and mother love me and Isa. I know we had good times and everything but was any part of it fake? If it wasn't then why were things so bad now? If it wasn't then why weren't Kate and mother fine again? If it wasn't faked in some degree then why did mother seem happier than I ever knew her to be when she was with Bo?

“What was that?” Isa asks at an echoing pop filling the stone walls.

We come to a stand still and just wait. We had been walking maybe five minutes but that sounded close—what was it though? We hear another and then another and four more—was it gunshots?

“Is that mom?” I ask looking down where we had just come from as if I would somehow find an answer.

“No, that wouldn't be Bo.” she says softly looking to me. “That—That would be Kate,”

“We have to go back,” Isa lets out, fear evident in her voice.

“We can't,” mother says turning for us to start to walk and I do, I want to go and help—but what could an injured mom and two almost fifteen year old’s who were powerless do?

'Fine,” I hear my sister practically growl as we begin moving forward—only problem was she wasn't moving with us.

=====================================================================================

 

Isa's POV

 

I hear them call my name, near scream it—maybe they are screaming it—I'm not sure.

Ethan had mom, they would be okay. And in retrospect they were right, mom was hurt she wouldn't be much help and she needed Ethan to protect her. I would go and help Kate. Those were gunshots, plural. More than one and sporadic—Kate hit what she aimed for so those weren't all her's.

I'm running faster than I ever knew I could, faster than I'm sure my body would like. I don't run, hardly ever—it wasn't my thing, books were my thing but here I was. I wasn't even sure where I was running to but I was running. My feet pounding the pavement, lungs burning but I hadn't found anything that looked promising.

Then like an answer to an unasked prayer I see a large, door shaped hole in the wall coming up. Pushing myself just a little harder I reach it.

Gasping for breath I stand there ready to—to do something but I find myself frozen.

There on the floor to the far left I see two motionless bodies and a little more to the right I see another near motionless body—this one I recognize. It's that shifter that threatened mom—Dyson I think his name was. To the far right I see Bo standing there—just standing there almost like she is in shock. My eyes fall to the last body in the middle of the floor, only ten steps in front of me.

It's Kate.

==================================================================================================

Bo's POV

 

What just happened?

I don't—I know what happened, I just don't KNOW what happened. It couldn't have happened the way—this couldn't be happening.

My eyes stay locked on Dyson, he's moving—kinda. There is blood pooling underneath him, his arm stretched out toward me but I don't think it's toward me. My eyes follow along the floor to his weapon only it's not his issued one, it's his personal one. I know the difference—this one was silver, I had teased him so many times about it before.

I look down at myself, I think I'm okay—or I will be.

My hands touch my right side, the mind numbing pain radiating from there but I don't see anything—guess black really does hide everything.

Hearing a noise I look up and find myself staring into Isa's eyes. She looks terrified, beyond terrified I just don't know a word that would better fit. She looks away from me back down to Kate's barely moving body as she runs to her. I can hear her crying, see her trying to shake the woman but it doesn't feel real to me.

Coughing, swallowing back a mouthful of blood I look back down as I pull my hands away. My eyes narrowing at how much blood they're covered in. I don't remember getting hurt—did I?

“Please. Hold on, hold on.”

I look back up at my daughter sobbing over Kate, tears pouring out uncontrollably as she is shaking this woman's body trying to get her to hang on to life. I can't help her, if I do—I won't make it myself. It has nothing to do with Kate being Kate, if anything that makes my guilt worse. If the other two guys were still breathing then I could but—I can't.

“Help me please,” she cries out in between sobs, looking between me and this woman.

“I—I can't,” I whisper. And then she looks up once more, this time her glassy eyes meeting mine. Tears streaming down her puff cheeks so hard her breathing is labored and the pain I feel in my heart is indescribable—it's far worse than anything I've felt before.

“Mom---please don't let her die,”

“I--” I can't finish my sentence, the pain in my heart mixing with my actual physical pain that I'm increasingly becoming aware of—it was just too much.

Everything was too much.

I could do it—i didn't need to pass her that much chi, just enough to keep her alive until help got here. Just enough that she wouldn't die in my daughter's arms.

Swallowing back another mouthful of blood I stumble the six steps to her and on the last I drop to my knees. It's painful but no more than what else I'm experiencing at the moment. Hands firmly on the ground bracing myself I lean forward, pressing my lips against hers and at first I can't. For a moment no matter how hard I force myself—it doesn't work.

Then I hear Isa whimper and suddenly it's passing from me to this woman effortlessly. Only problem was—I was worse than I thought.

It was only a little bit I passed to her but—it was enough.

Enough for her eyes to open and gasp for breath—enough to send my world into a blackening spiral. Using what strength I had left I pushed myself up away from her—I had wanted to sit but I find myself falling onto my back.

My vision is blurred, and being swallowed in by blackness from the outside in but I hear my name. At least I think I do....

 

===========================================================================================

 

Lauren's POV

 

“Bo?” I let out as I watch her fall onto her back and I wait for a response. I wait for her to say something but she doesn't. She just lays there motionless—my eyes focused on her chest searching for a rhythmic rise and fall of some kind. “Bo?” I call out again harsher, that tone I give her when I am demanding a response and she doesn't dare not to give me one—normally.

Pulling my arm away from my son, I rush to her ignoring everything including the pain my body was in. I honestly didn't feel it in this moment. I didn't feel anything in this moment other than fear. Dropping to my knees, a groan passing my lips but the pain still doesn't register the way it should.

Her eyes are only semi-open now, like when she just wakes up and she is looking at me but not really—she is looking through me. My hands cup her face holding her still as I press my lips to her's and wait—but nothing. Pulling back I shake her head a bit and bring my lips back down to her's waiting for her to respond—there is absolutely nothing though.

“Bo—Bo you need to feed. Come on, it's okay.” I cry, tears falling onto her lips as my face hovers above her's waiting for her to respond. “Baby please,” I press my lips down one more time but pull back right away knowing she isn't strong enough to feed now. “Please hang on.” I mumble underneath my breath as I sit up.

Hands frantically pulling her shirt up to see the damage. The entire left side of her stomach bruised and possibly broken but that can be dealt with later. My eyes lock in on the two small holes in her stomach, one looks like it's shattered her last rib the other maybe an inch below it. She's losing blood so fast it's causing not just the woman in me to panic but the doctor as well.

Pressing my hands down against the wounds with as much pressure as I can. I look over my shoulder and find Isa and Kate who is now sitting up just sort of staring at me while Ethan had at some point managed to be standing near Bo's feet.

“Isa call your grandmother—Alfie. Call her and tell her to meet us at the hospital,” trembling words leave my lips but she doesn't move. She just stares at me in a state of shock, of disbelief maybe—I don't know—i can't think clearly at this moment. “Charlotte now!” I turn back to Bo, pressing my hands down harder trying to slow the bleeding. “Ethan help me get her up,”

“Ethan call Alfie,” I hear Kate say and I look up with blurred vision to see her handing him her phone—or Isa's—not that it mattered. “Let me,” she says harshly—at least I think it is—I don't care at the moment--I can't. “Lauren,” she says leaning down and trying to pick up Bo. “Lauren let me get her up,” she growls and I realize I'm pushing so hard that when combined with her body's dead weight Kate couldn't get a proper hold of her. “Ethan?”

“There isn't any signal yet.” he breaths out, tears slipping down his face as he keeps pressing buttons on the phone.

I help pull Bo up enough that Kate scoops her up in her arms, she is heavy I can tell by the moment of hesitation that happens before starting to move. Ethan steps out of our way, and though I know Kate would appreciate if I wasn't walking in front of her keeping pressure on Bo's wounds I have to. If I didn't she would bleed out before we even made it near the hospital.

But so long as I kept pressure on her wounds she would be okay.....

…..she had to be.

Chapter Text

Isa's POV

 

“Is she still breathing?” I ask sliding into the passengers seat the same time Kate gets into the driver's seat, doors slamming simultaneously. “Is she still breathing?” I repeat not getting an answer.

“I—I think so.” I hear my brother mumble from the backseat but I can't look back to face him--them.

“Mom?”

“Yes baby, she is still breathing.” I hear my mother utter out in between a sniffle.

“Kate what happened?” I ask looking over to her but she doesn't say anything she just flips the gear into reverse and we go flying backward so fast I instantly regret not fastening my seat-belt but honestly that is the least of my problems at the moment. “Kate what happened? Who were those men?”

“They were bad men,” she says flatly. The car suddenly slamming to a stop, her hand flicking the gear again and we're off flying down the street.

It was like a scene from the Fast and Furious movies and I would have taken an odd amount of pleasure speeding down the street, running stop signs and swerving from other cars. It would have been amazing had Bo not been in the backseat bleeding like a stuck-pig.

I look down at my hands covered in blood since it had taken all four of us to get her in the car. She wasn't that big but when dead weighting and having my mother trying to keep pressure on the wounds it became a challenge. Even for Kate, and Kate could life like a gazillion pounds—I think she is hurt. Well I know her feelings are hurt but I mean physically. I want to ask if she is okay but I don't think it's the time.

I swallow back a building sickening feeling rising as I just stare at this blood on my hands. I wasn't the skittish type. I helped mom in the lab before, I've worked on cadavers, I cut up frogs and pigs but this—this was Bo's blood—this was my mother's blood.

Did I just say mother? No—she wasn't---she was though.

I feel the sickening feeling rising and I can't breathe suddenly, I feel like my lungs are contracting. Like I was burning up—what did I do? Was this my fault?

I mean obviously I know it wasn't my fault we were kidnapped and it wasn't my fault she was hurt but—I had asked her to save Kate. I begged her to save Kate and I didn't even take a second to see if she was hurt—would I have cared if I knew? Would it have made a difference? Did I notice? Did I call her mom as a ploy? Was it manipulative—I had seen my mother do it so many times with Kate to get what she wanted I guess it could have been me using her tactic.

No—I meant it when I said it.

“Oh God,” I let out as I look away from Kate just in time to throw up. Luckily I managed to get most of it on the floor—and my shoes.

“Charlotte?” I hear my mother's voice from behind me and I want to answer I do—I'm just not sure I'm done. “Baby are you okay?” she asks again and I feel one hand reach up from behind trying for my shoulder.

“I—I'm fine apply pressure.” I groan out tears filling my eyes.

Maybe it was because for this whole time I felt like my mother had forgotten about me, had replaced me with Bo and the fact that she would tear her attention away from her now, even go to reach for me—proved she still loved me. Maybe it was because I couldn't help the overwhelming guilt over asking Bo for help to save Kate. Maybe it was guilt about a lot of things pertaining to Bo—maybe it was just that I threw up everywhere and tears were a natural reaction.

If only it were that simple.

“Are you okay?” Kate asks softly looking from the street as we jump a curb making a turn to me.

“Yeah—I don't know what happened.”

I lie—seems fitting—my parents do it effortlessly—ALL of them.

I turn around in my seat and look at my brother. His features fear ridden and covered in tears and blood. Bo's---our mother's head in his lap.

 

=======================================================================================

 

Ethan's POV

 

I can feel my sister's stare on me and I want to look up to see if she is okay but I can't seem to tear my eyes away from my mother's face. She looks so peaceful—I wish she didn't look so peaceful. I want to see pain or something—something that lets me know she isn't about to say screw it, this peacefulness is far better than the bollocks I have to deal with in the real world.

I think I'm crying but I don't wipe the tears away, I just watch as they fall onto her face. Her head is in my lap, one arm over her chest holding her in place the best I can as the other gently runs over her hair. I know she looks peaceful but I wonder if she is in pain—I just want her to know she isn't alone.

There is blood everywhere. It's all over the back of the cream colored leather seats, it's all over me and mother—especially mother.

“We're almost there—get ready.” I hear Kate say as we pop over another curb.

I see mother start to shift the best she can in the tight space and while still keeping pressure. I do the same and figure she is going to try and pull mom out of her side. I feel like we're in an episode of some television show, I felt like I was about to be a paramedic or a trauma surgeon and had it been anyone but a parent of mine I would have enjoyed the learning potential in this situation but all I can think is about how I don't want her to die.

We jump another curb and I look up this time seeing we are in front of the emergency entrance of the hospital wing of mother's work. To my surprise Isa jumps out leaving the door open before Kate even shifts the gear into park.

Kate gets out of the car to pull the door open on mother's side.

“Ethan baby, I need you to keep pressure so I can slip out and pull her free okay? Can you do that?”

“Y-yes.” I say reaching over, my hands going over her's as she pulls them away. I feel a rush of panic course through me as I feel the blood seep into my hands and I know I have to press down harder. I worry it's going to hurt her but I also know if I don't she will bleed out. So I do what I need to do and press down harder. “Mom--” I let out my voice trembling and I feel so stupid, I was almost a man I shouldn't be scared.

“I know baby, I know.” she says softly.

She and Kate grab a hold of her by the hips and pull her down out of the car enough that Kate scoops her back up into her arms, mother's hands replacing mine. I slide down the seat effortlessly just quick enough to witness them laying her atop a stretcher that Isa had run to get. Mother hops atop sitting over her legs pressing down harder as a pair of female nurses come running out beginning to take the stretcher away from Kate and Isa.

“We have a double GSW. Her pulse is thready and breathing is shallow, slowing rapidly. Stomach is distended by approximately two inches. Her body began shutting down near instantly. Blood loss is rapid and passed the first threshold. We're going to need an immediate laparotomy, a thoracotomy is not an option.”

“What does that mean?” Kate asks as the three of us quickly jog behind them.

“Breath sounds are diminishing, we're gonna need to bag her.” the nurse on the right says pulling her stethoscope from her ears as they rush by two double doors, another nurse running up to join them and as the doors come to a close the three of us are left standing there.

“I—I don't want her to die,” I look over at Isa who steps away from Kate's touch. “I—I don't want her to die.” she repeats, voice breaking.

Chapter Text

“She is a double GSW with multiple injuries in addition, internal bleeding has caused distention to two to three inches. I approximate we're looking at now a class three possibly class four hemorrhage showing no sign of slowing so we're going to need a minim five units of A poss. Stat.” I say walking into the operating room.

My words coming in between tying my scrub cap on and slipping into the tight blue gloves. It had taken me less than thirty seconds to strip and throw on these scrubs but it was long enough for the surgical team to get her in position. It had been exactly three and a half years since I had done an actual surgery but it was like riding a bike, you don't forget—at least I hope not. We were at Cunningham so everyone here knew me but I knew exactly one person out of the eight in here with me, Anne the scrub nurse. Guess that would be the only one I really needed to know.

“She is a code F-one so I need someone to check if any double M.S are on hand,” I continue falling back into my second nature as I make my way to the table. My eyes falling to her face as I bark out orders which despite all the jargon basically meant she was a higher level succubus and I needed a Mature-Succubus from our Medical-Staff. Problem was, succubi were not as common creatures as one would think—i should have spliced my DNA with one of them then we wouldn't be having this problem.

“Lauren,” I hear my name being said but I can't seem to tear my eyes away from Bo's face. She looks so peaceful—apart from the breathing mask covering her mouth and nose.

“We can't wait any longer for news of a double MS, we'll have to start and hope there is one on hand,”

“Doctor Lewis,” this time I look up to find Doctor Foster standing at the door, holding a mask over his face as Doctor Burke approaches me.

“Doctor Lewis let me,” he says softly but firmly and my eyes go from him back down to her.

Her procedure needed to be started regardless of who did it at least until her mother or another double MS showed up. Stepping aside he quickly takes my place starting to bark orders of his own I can hear him all the way out into the hall. Pulling off my mask, I turn around to face Doctor Foster.

“What? I need to be in there,”

“You need to go be with your children and let us handle this.”

“I am the best doctor you have on the staff,”

“You are, but as a surgeon you haven't clocked hours in the OR in years.”

“But I am still the best!” I raise my voice.

“Be as it may, I am pulling rank on you dear. Go be with your children.”

“I'm not doing this with you Richard.” I say snorting off his words as I go to move past him but he steps in front of me. “Move out of my way Richard.”

“Stand down Doctor Lewis.” he goes to reach for me and I push his hands away.

“I am,” my words trail off as I have to look away from him feeling tears welling in my eyes. “I am--”

“You are a mess,” he says harshly, grabbing my shoulders forcing me to look at him. “Her mother can't be here before another three hours and the closest succubi on staff is an hour away which means she has to be treated like a human. We have to save her like we would a human not just keep her stable until help arrives which means we need the best focused surgeon available.”

“But I am--” I try to start again but my voice breaks.

“You are a mess but that is okay.” his tone softens as his grip lessens. “You deserve to be a mess. Trust us—trust me.” he gives me this nod and lets go of me completely. He takes a second to look me over before heading back into the operating room.

I want to follow, I want to put him in his place and preform the surgery myself. I am the best doctor in this city yet here I am being sidelined. I could completely be objective in there, I don't know what he is talking about. I sniff softly as I pull off my gloves and then my cap before tossing them in the first garbage can I pass walking down the hall toward my family.

Using the back of my hand I wipe the few stray tears away, I wasn't even aware I was crying until I felt the tears pass my chin. I guess I didn't feel much right now—nothing feels real. None of this made any sense. None of it.

Why were we taken and by who? How did Bo get shot? Was that Dyson in that room? Was Kate injured? I didn't see. Why were there no succubi on hand? Why was her damn mother so far away?

Looking down I see my blood stained gym shoes. The once white material now stained beyond repair God it had been years since I had seen that sight. It never affected me—until now. The realization that it was Bo's blood causing a sickening feeling in my stomach.

Shit.

I look up and down the hall to see Hale and Kenzi along with Gabby standing there having some group conversation with Kate and my children. No one looks happy but I also don't hear yelling so yey for small miracles I guess.

“What's happened? I thought you were doing the surgery?” Kenzi asks being the first to see me approaching. “Is she okay? Did she feed?”

“I got kicked out,”

“They can't do that! You are the smartest person here,” she practically yells her words and I just snort. Leave it to life to make the first kind words of the day be from the woman who is anything but a friend. “Get back in there Doc.”

“Leave her be,” I hear Kate growl which causes a frantic Kenzi to turn around completely ready for a verbal altercation. Kate has no idea what she is getting herself into with this one.

Honestly I can't deal with this, not now. They want to fight then let them. I lean against the wall and take deep breaths, my leg pressing up against the arm of the row of chairs but I won't sit, I can't sit right now. I don't need to sit—what I do need though—I don't know.

“You alright?” after a minute I hear Hale softly ask as she comes to stand in front of me.

“Oh yeah, I'm perfect.” I snort out a chuckle, tears slipping free.

“What do you need?” he asks in that soft, calming tone he has—I've actually kind of missed it.

“I need,” I lift my head off the wall to look at him and at first my initial reaction is to dish an insult but I take a deep breath, sniffing back tears and let out another chuckle. “I need you to take my children away from here.” he just looks at me for a moment as if unable to believe I had just said that and a part of myself doesn't believe it either. I couldn't leave Bo and I couldn't have them stay here, not after what they had been through.

“You sure?”

“Yeah,” I nod with a sigh. “They need to be away from this and Isa has been missing Gabby—it's perfect.”

“Alright,” he gives me that trademark smirk of his and I just watch him.

He walks over to the little group giving my son a playful nudge before taking his hat off and putting it on Isa which worried me. She wasn't exactly friendly toward Bo-friendly people but I see Gabby flash a smile and wrap her arm over her shoulder as Hale does the same to Ethan. They both look back at me and I manage a smile for them with a little nod.

They had been through enough and staying her all night covered in blood was not needed. Let them go back to Hale's and clean up. Let them be away from the constant drama that was their parents and let them flirt or play with or whatever it was they did with Gabby. Besides I never had any real animosity toward Hale it was just his wife and his partner.

Did they know Dyson was dead—was he dead???

“Lauren,” I hear Kate say and I look from the wall where my attention had fallen over to her as she tried to approach but oddly enough Kenzi was managing to block her so to speak. “Move pygmy,” she near growls—she really doesn't know what she is starting.

“Pygmy? Really? Seventeen hundred and that is the best you've got Grandma?”

I watch as the tiny woman glances over her shoulder at me and for a second all I can think is 'You don't have a right to look at me', and then I realize she is is trying to buy me time. Give me an out to walk away and go somewhere that wasn't here at the moment.

It was the least she owed me.

Turning and walking away knowing if Kenzi was good at anything it was pissing people off and that would keep Kate busy enough to give me a minute to clear my head.

Walking down the hall I look up at all the people I'm passing, it was late--had to be at least twelve-thirty yet this place was packed oddly. I wanted to care what was happening to the other people—I did but all I could think about was Bo.

She looked so peaceful laying there but I didn't want her to look peaceful—peaceful to me meant she was okay with staying that way. I wanted anguish of some kind. I wanted some sign to know she was fighting to come back to me—to her children I mean—to all of us.

I just don't understand any of this. I didn't understand why we were taken—was it something to do with Bo? Was it something to do with Kate? Did Dyson finally snap and decide to try and get rid of me once and for all? No...that was too far even for him and to do it with the kids—with Bo's children? Besides I recognized the sand as a part of the serial killer case we've been working on, so maybe we got too close. Maybe—why was Dyson there then? Kate wouldn't have called him and Bo wouldn't have, she would have called Hale or Kenzi but not Dyson.

None of this made sense.

I keep trying to remember the other bodies—was it three? I am ninety percent sure Dyson was one of them, the other two I didn't recognize—maybe I did and just can't place them. Why was Kate on the floor—did she get hurt?? I don't know, I honestly just saw Bo collapse and I went to her. I mean I of course registered that my daughter was okay but after that I just was so focused on Bo. So much for rational thinking under stressing circumstances.

I come to a halt, the open doors of a kind of church. Smirking at the irony I walk in and sit at the last pew to the left. It was small, three rows of pews on each side. An alter and a cross behind it but not a crucifix. Above it some aching thing that has engraved symbols of various religions—guess church wasn't the right word, it was more a prayer room. Hey whatever helped people.

For me it was just a convenience, no one would look for me here. If they came looking at all, Kenzi wouldn't and if Kate did—whenever she managed to get away from the tiny woman she would never think here. I'm surprised I didn't turn into a ball of flames upon entrance in fact.

I turn a bit as I hear a code-blue being d over the speakers, the call for Doctor Westward—the head trauma surgeon. I can't explain it but I just knew it was for Bo—I just felt it. I want to go and run and help but I can't. I understand now that I've calmed down a bit that me trying to preform this surgery would have done more harm than good. Sure if there was no other option then yeah I would have handled it like a pro but being in a hospital with a safety net of doctors—one slip of her heart beat—one flat-line and I wouldn't have been able to handle it according.

I was a wreck—this whole conundrum was a complete wreck.

Bo was a freaking succubus, the most powerful one living according to the Institute’s knowledge and here she was fighting for her life. She was in a hospital full of Fae—full of people and she couldn't feed or be fed because no succubi were near and she was too incapacitated. She dealt with things out of this world—literately and here she was laying on a table dying of what—a gunshot?

Life had a cruel sense of humor.

I look back forward and take deep breaths a certain anger rising in me. I won't pray—I won't.

“I don't like you—and I haven't asked you for anything so I won't start now.” I say quietly through a clenched jaw staring up at the symbols of so many religions. “You've given me nothing and taken so much—I didn't ask for forgiveness because I don't want it—not from you. I didn't ask for your help ever because I never wanted it—never. I've always saved myself without any help from you,”

I snort at myself suddenly aware tears are streaming down my face—I'm such a wreck. I'm sitting here hiding from everything, crying and talking to something I don't think I believe in. When did I lose sight of myself—when did I forget who I was?

I used to be this strong, confident woman. I used to be proud and self assured—I used to know who I was and what I wanted. I used to be—something that wasn't this. When did I lose my passion, my fire, my drive—when did I become the type of person to settle?

I hear them page another code—calling back Doctor Westward—why would he leave? Were there that many people coming in with trauma right now? It might not have been her the first time or even this time but—I knew it was. I knew it was her the same way I knew how to breathe.

“I don't like you or the concept of you if in fact you're real—if you are I don't like you and judging by how most of my life has gone I don't think you like me either.” I nearly choke on my words mixing with a laugh. “But if by some chance you are real—I am asking you for something for once. I am asking that she make it through this—that she live. I never asked you for anything and you owe me—you owe me.” I take a deep breath, trying to control my tears. Ignoring the fact at how ridiculous I must look. “Please—just this once show me some of this mercy I hear so much about—let her make it through this.”

I snort at myself yet again looking away from the alter. What was I doing? Now not only was I some shadow of myself hiding from the real world one more time but I was angry at something that I didn't completely believe in. I was asking for help from what? I should be sitting outside of the OR waiting for news or going to finally give Kenzi a piece of mind.

I should be doing something other than hiding and talking to an invisible, questionable, entity.

Shaking my head at myself I wipe the tears away and stand. Taking one hard look at the symbols—there were so many—which was the right one? Which was I supposedly talking to? Did it matter? Chuckling at myself again I turn and walk out.

I start back down the way I came but end up taking a left turn half way, I wasn't running just buying some time. Besides it wasn't like the doctors would be rushing out to give me an update—at least I hoped they wouldn't. In these situations the longer she was in there the better.

I tilt my head side to side trying to crack my neck, desperately needing some sense of release of tension. But I guess that wasn't in my cards tonight. I pass one of the ICU waiting rooms, a thirty by twenty-five foot room with a bunch of comfortable chairs and a table which had a coffee machine on it. What caught my eye though was the fact that Kate was just sitting there alone, in her hunched over, brooding position.

She looked so tired, so worn down—so rough. She was covered in dried blood, her baby-blue blouse practically covered completely in dried blood—at least the front of it. The small trace of white undershirt visible suffering the same consequence. Her jeans were dark but I could still see the darkened patches where blood had dried.

“Fuck,” I mumbled to myself.

What was wrong with me? She was on the ground when I walked in that room—she was lying down with Isa leaning over her. She was hurt—Bo probably fed her to keep her alive. Shit. I didn't even notice—I didn't do it intentionally.

When did I become this horrible of a person?

Not once did I ask if she was okay. And she helped save Bo—I'm such an asshole. Sighing I suck up my fear and walk into the the room carefully not sure what to expect.

“Hey,” I say softly.

“Hey,” she snorts out in a laugh. “Bo better?”

“No—I don't know,”

“Ah well,” she snorts again looking up at me seeing the weird looking I'm giving her at her response. “Well I had just assumed she had been healed considering you were now giving me the time of day,”

“Okay, I deserve that.”

“Oh please Lauren, save the martyr bullshit.” she shakes her head looking back down at the ground. “You went from being you—or at least who I thought you were to this one track minded, twisted, obsessed woman trying to get whatever she wanted no matter who it affected. And now you're taking a tour in martyrdom. I thought the therapy and a pills where supposed to help you find a balance.”

“It—it takes time.” I let out softly, trying to not show how deep her words had cut.

“What are you, the fucking Time-Keeper? Everything with you is time this and time that.” she looks up to me and back down, this harshness in her tone that is only faintly familiar to me. “Time to get over Bo which was really just hiding your obsession. Time to give me a chance. Time to care for me. Time to accept me. Time to allow me a precious spot in your life. Time to allow me to touch you. Time to make time for me. Time to deem me worthy of your attention. Oh now Bo is back in the picture—now you need time to fuck her! Time to get your kicks out with her. Time to play the mistress. Time to get over it. Time to figure shit out. You just need a lot of fucking time don't you?!” she growls the last words and I don't move. “I won't do it Lauren,” she says like the words are vile but she doesn't yell these last five.

“D—do what?”

“I wont give you an out. I won't do what you're waiting around hoping I'll do,”

“And that would be?” I ask softly looking down at the floor like a scolded child.

“Leave you.” I look up, breath catching in my throat and she is staring at me. Her eyes this narrow mixture of gold. “I won't gracefully bow out like you are hoping. I won't ease your guilt. I'm not doing the noble thing and backing away to allow you to go running into her arms guilt free.”

“I wasn't hoping that--”

“Stop lying!” she screams as she jumps up, her hands having a firm grip on the wooden arms of the chair. As she comes to a stand she flings the chair forward from behind herself, it hits the window facing the hall but it just breaks the glass—it doesn't shatter it. It seems to calm her a bit—only a bit. “Stop lying.” she repeats and it's not a scream but rather a continuous growl.

It finally happened, I finally broke her....

“What's the matter? Isn't this what you wanted? You begged for this night after night taunting me. Teasing me—antagonizing me over and over and over again. This is what you wanted to know I cared! Everything else I did was shit to you so here. HERE Lauren! Do you like what you see?” she growls coming at me but I don't flinch. She gets close—not in my face but close. “Do you see I care you now! Does this appease you? Do you finally understand I love you?” she grabs my arms and pulls me a step closer—it's firm but nothing to hurt me. “Do you?” I see the tears pulling in her eyes and I can't deny it hurts. It rips at my heart—maybe it even breaks it a little but I don't feel the pain in my soul—not like with Bo. And that possibly hurts me more than anything.

“Y--” I whisper, my hands grabbing her face and sliding down to her neck. I tilt my head forward, forehead resting against her's and for a moment it's calm. “Yes,”

“Good.” she whispers and pulls back, hands going to my wrists gripping them to the point of pain sending my eyes flying open. She looks enraged, she pulls my hands away from her before dropping them like they were disgusting. “Are you happy Lauren?”

“What?” I sniff not understanding anything anymore.

“Congratulations you've gotten what you've longed for—I know you are so guilty over what you've done—I know you won't walk away now and I won't set you free—I don't care how I have to keep you—I will keep you. You've turned something healthy, something mature and adult and innocent in a way into something just as dark and twisted as the two of you. You wanted insane and uncontrollable and obsession and lust driven—you've got it.”

“Ka--”

“You will stay here until she is awake and you are having a piece of mind that she is okay. Then you will come home, you will sleep in our bed and we will resume our life. The only contact you have with her will be for the kids and I will monitor what you write to her.” she snorts with such disgust looking me over and I have never felt more ashamed of myself then this moment. I stay silent watching her walk the four steps to the door. “Don't look so hurt Lauren—you've gotten what you wanted.” she looks over her shoulder at me, her eyes their normal form now. Tears falling freely as her voice trembles. “You won,”

“I'm sorry,” I whisper as she walks out.

I feel like I can't breathe again. She was cruel but she was right—I begged her for this—now I got it. I just—it's funny to think all it would have took was a second to ask if she was okay to avoid this.

I had finally broken her—but then again that seemed to be what I did—break people—myself included.

I walk out into the hall once I'm sure she is gone. And head back to where I had started. I see Kenzi sitting there staring at the wall, fear radiating off her and I don't turn away or go to rip her a new one—I just sit down next to her.

“You ever think you hit rock bottom and then suddenly you find yourself slipping a whole other level down?”

“All the time,” she whispers but doesn't turn to face me.

“I destroyed a good woman today—I think I broke my children too--”

“I took away a families' chance to be together away—I broke my best-friend without her even knowing it,”

“I broke the person I love the most in the world other than my children—and made her believe it was her fault.”

“I sent someone I loved once to be killed tonight,”

“I—what?” I look over to her, eyes glassy. My train of thought being derailed.

“Dyson wasn't Dyson anymore—he was this shell of something we didn't recognize. He wasn't D-man anymore he was this—this monster. Your—your secrets weren't the only ones I found out about Lauren. He just changed—he became sick and it wasn't always like this—but he—i made justifications for his behavior. I made justifications for his jealousy and rage and even the times he hit Bo,”

“What?”

“I made justifications—so many of them and I—but when I found out what he was doing now. The threatening you and kids—and the fights with Bo. Bo and you yeah okay fine—but the kids. I know I have no right and you won't want to hear it but I love them like they are my niece and nephew. I-- threatening them was too far and I was going to go to Kate or Evony. I was going to make sure he got the message to back off—but then I found out.”

“What did you do Kenzi?” a dull panic creeping in my voice.

“He wasn't right in the head anymore,” she pauses, tears streaming down her face as she looks up at me. “He was sick—he was letting those monsters do what they were doing. He was giving them a pass because they were the children of the assholes who gave him the job.”

“What did you do?” I repeat harder than before.

“Bo told me that she was going to some warehouse and Kate was going to the tombs, she told me they were splitting up. She told me Kate had some of her pack coming and they were splitting up so I told Dyson what was happening and I knew he'd take the bait—he had to cover his tracks. Kate would have taken care of it one way or another—but I don't understand what happened. I don't understand how he took down Bo and Kate. I don't—I don't understand why Bo was there.”

“Thank you,” I whisper after several heartbeats of silence, tears slipping for the millionth time today.

“I never meant for any of this,” she sort of whimpers and turns back away from me.

“I—I think I know that.”

“Do you?”

“I think I do—now.”

“I--” she trails off and I do something I never thought I would ever do.

I place my hand on her knee and lean my head against the wall, her hand goes over mine after a moments hesitation. We don't move, don't speak again—just stay there still waiting for something.

I don't forgive her—but I do understand her.

I feel pity and a shared sense of shame. I feel closer to her than I feel to anyone else in this moment—in a while actually. One good intention turning into something dark and twisted. One good intention turning into a series of heartbreak. One mistake destroying everything.

She wasn't a bad person—I wasn't a bad person—at least I don't think.

I don't think any of us are bad people—I just think we've all become so lost that it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

Chapter Text

“Dyson....what are you doing....?”

“Bo—It's not what it looks like...”

“Dyson just calm down......we can figure this out....”

“Mom—please don't let her die....”

..............................................................................................

“Shit.” I let out in a choke. “Why does it feel like a tank ran over me ten times?” I mumble out not bothering to open my eyes yet. I don't need to open them to know she is here—she doesn't make a noise but I can feel her. I can always feel her.

“There was a lot of damage.”

“That tends to happen when you get shot,”

“So you remember?”

“Yeah,” I chuckle regrettably as my stomach feels like its being massaged with a rake. I open my eyes for the first time and luckily the room isn't all that bright.

I notice the bed has me in this sorta sitting position, looking down over myself I have one of those stupid gowns on—even I can't pull this off. I have an IV hooked into my left arm and I can see multiple bruises around the tapped area wonder what that is about.

I look up to her and she is sitting in a chair she has moved to the edge of my bed near my feet. She looks so, so tired. She looks scared with a tiny hint of relief but only a tiny one. I would have hopped she would be near ecstatic I didn't die.

Too much to hope for??

“Good,” she says flatly as she leans back into the chair, hands on her knees, sighing. “Then you can tell me what the hell you were doing?” her voice raises and I know I must be making a stupid face because that was so not what I was expecting.

“Um, I was saving you and the kids—thought that was obvious.” Guess not.

“What?” she asks sort of shaking her head at me as her eyes narrow. I know that look—means I'm in trouble. Wait how am I in trouble? “No.” she stands and I see she sorta hesitates as her features scrunch—that's right she was hurt. I remember her leaning on Ethan to get out—I wonder if she is okay. Maybe if she stops foaming at the mouth long enough I can ask. “I'm talking about the sheer stupidity you took to a whole other level last night.”

“Okay—what am I missing here? I know I was waking up to you but I thought I would have at least earned a smile or a thank-you or a something that doesn't involved being shouted at.”

“You think this is shouting? You should have been awake to deal with the police. Or Kate who had a slight mental break down. That was shouting—this is—this is calm compared to that.

“Is that what this is about? You waited here all night to give me some lecture about you getting yelled at by your precious little butt sniffer? Really? Well I'm sorry her pride is hurt that some third class succubus saved her big, full blooded, supposedly badass ass, but she can blow me.”

“No! No that isn't what this is about!”

“Are you off your meds?” I ask and I know it's a low blow—I was wrong and felt guilty about it but I'm hurt. And she is now actually yelling at me loud enough that a nurse passing by turned to look at us—that is with the door shut.

“This isn't about her or that. This is about the colossally irresponsible and stupid choice you made to exert yourself to the point where you were unable to feed.”

“Yeah well my irresponsible and stupid choice is the only reason your little love muffin is still breathing and apparently still being a bitch. I should be getting flowers, a thank-you card—a smile at least from you and that—from her.”

“Yes! Yes Bo thanks! Thank you so much for giving me the biggest scare of my life. Thank you for putting me through hell all night. Thank you for that--”

“She would have died if I did!” I raise my voice as much as possible but not without a consequence of a stabbing pain ripping through my belly like a wildfire.

“I know!”

The room falls silent and there is a tear that slips from the corner of her eye but only one. She looks scared, hurt—surprised at her own words—almost as much as me.

Did she just say she would rather I live than Kate?? Was that what just happened because in that case I don't need a thank-you card or flowers. Did she just admit that? God I wish life had instant replays like on sports games.

“Lauren,”

“No.” she lets out shaking her head and running her hand through her hair. “Your mother is here, arrived a little while ago but I didn't feel right having her feed you while you were unconscious—now that you're stable. They did an amazing job, they were meticulous and I was annoying. There won't be any marks or anything.”

“Lauren,” I let out trying to reach for her but the overwhelming amount of pain puts a quick stop to that.

“No, no you don't get to do that.” she says spinning back around to face me almost as quickly as she had turned to leave. “Last night Kate finally broke—I finally did it—pushed her over the edge. I didn't think it was possible but turns out everyone has a breaking point. She flipped out—I mean really flipped out and everything she said was more or less true. And she finally put her foot down—told me that she wasn't leaving and I was going to stay with her.”

“You know I've tried that tacit and you smacked me down. Please tell me she got the same treatment.” I say my words a little harshly but honestly it's just a plea.

“Nope—i did what I apparently do now. I stood there and took it, and I was fully ready to do it. I spent the night having some weird bonding with Kenzi and worrying about you. And in between all of that I spent the night rationalizing how this was going to work—what I was going to have to do to make this work. And then--”

“And then?” I ask hopeful—blame it on the painkillers I really didn't have a sense of shame at the moment and if I could be standing I would be trying to hold her.

“And then I admit what set her off aloud. I admit the one thing that—I admit that I would rather have her die than you. And that—that I can't ignore this time. There is no amount of medical terms or amount of denial that can cover that fact back up.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means—it means that your mother is going to come and heal you and I am going to go home and—it means I'm going to do what I've been too much of a coward to do for weeks.”

“You're leaving her?” I know its obvious at least I think it is—but I'm very fuzzy and hurt and tired and I wish we were having this conversation after I fed.

“She kept saying about not setting me free and—the truth is I'm the one who needs to set her free, not the other way around.”

“But what does this mean?” I repeat pushing myself up the bed more ignoring the new wave of pain.

“It means that Isa will live with you too for a bit while I find somewhere else to live—it's my house but I'm going to leave. It's fair and just something about that house doesn't feel like home anymore,”

“You sure this wasn't what you were planing all night?” I chuckle softly looking down at my hands idly playing with themselves in my lap.

“No—but I have thought about it before.”

“A lot?”

“At least once a day,” she snorts at herself, it muffles a sniffle.

“You know you could move in too. I could sleep on the couch—or we could share a bed. I mean I wouldn't try to do anything to you or we could get another bed and do like in the fifties.” I laugh softly to cover the pain of an answer I already knew.

“I can't,” she whispers but I refuse to meet her unrelenting gaze.

“Why?”

“Because while everything is changing—nothing has. I still don't know--”

“What you want?” I snort looking up at her through glassy eyes, traces of anger in my voice.

“No. I know exactly what I want.” she nods and it causes a few stray tears to fall but she doesn't cry. “What I want is her. I want that life. I want the rational, reasonable, right choice. I want the life I always wanted. I want the life that makes everyone jealous because after everything I deserve it. I want it because she despite her break down last night is amazing. I want her because I love her and because in honesty I just want me and her too work.”

“Well then,” I snort out choking on my escaping cry as I turn my face way from her.

“The problem is I need you.” I tilt my head a bit toward her but I don't look at her—I can't. “I need you like I need to breathe and when I'm not loving you I need to hate you—and even then I'm really just loving you angerliy.”

“What?” I whisper in a soft laugh looking at her and despite her tears she is smiling right back at me.

“I need that stupid apartment with no walls. I need Kenzi hanging around making the most inappropriate comments possible. I need pizza and cheep beer and bad movies that I don't want to watch. I need to wake up in the middle of the night and see you sleeping next to me with the goofy smile you have which means you're dreaming about me. I need to have you barge all over my day and piss me off but make me happy at the same time. I need to see that look you get when you're with our children. I need—I need you.”

“La--”

“I need you because I am in love with you and yeah okay maybe I am mated to you and maybe that makes things a little interesting at times but I'm not Dyson—I don't need you because I'm obsessed with you. I'm obsessed with you because I am in love with you.”

“Really?” I whisper tears falling and I can't help but remember that, that was the exact question she asked when I told her I wanted to give us a real shot so many years ago. She moves forward and takes my hand in her own. I smile softly but it fades because I know her—I know that look in her eyes.

“I am in love with you but I still don't know if I can do this with you again.”

“Please don't--” she leans forward, forehead resting against mine as her lips graze mine.

“If it was just us then I would—I would jump down the rabbit hole with you and not care where we landed but—I can't. I have to think about our children, more now than ever.” she kisses my lips again before pulling away from me completely. “I need to make sure that I can do this, this isn't about you this time. I need to make sure I can let go of the past—I need to make sure I can be someone you deserve because in the mist of all of this Bo—I became someone who wasn't. You moved forward and have grown into this amazing woman—not a girl anymore but a woman and it's been amazing to see.” she smiles softly choking back tears as she steps away from me.

I am going to need a lot more painkillers for this.

“This is what then—a goodbye?”

“No,” she chuckles as she wipes her tears away. “It's never goodbye with us Bo,” she reaches the door, reaching behind herself and pulling it open. Her eyes never once breaking with mine.

“Then?”

“It's a--not yet,” she flashes me that smile—her smile. The one that stops my world—my heart and I can't help but laugh softly to myself returning it.

“I can live with that,” I say quietly and for a moment she looks shocked but then her smile grows, seems less weighed. We share this look, this look that says everything we're leaving unspoken before I watch her turn and walk away from me.

I can live with a 'not yet'.....

…..I can definitely live with a not yet....

Chapter Text

Day 101

 

“No, I don't accept that.” she practically snarls at me as she stands next to our—the bed.

“I am sorry,” I whisper staring down at her feet.

“Sorry? Sorry?!” she yells taking a step toward me but stops herself. “I don't want your sorry Lauren. I am giving you what you've wanted. I am giving you what you begged for and now you're saying what? Thanks but no thanks?!”

“I understand what I had said--”

“Do you?! Because I'm beginning to think you don't.” she growls and takes another three steps but once again catches herself. “Didn't you just weeks ago beg me for this? You were practically begging me to hit you and now--” she doesn't finish her sentence as she closes the distance pushing me against the door, slamming it shut. “You wanted this!” she is yelling, and I can hear the anger but I don't think she realizes her voice is breaking or that tears are slowly slipping from the corners of her eyes. “You don't get to leave,”

“Kate,” I say softly, my hands going to her shoulders trying to guide her back. I had every intention of pulling her into a hug once I wasn't trapped between her and door but she pushes me back with a force that catches me off guard.

Her lips pressing against mine, it's rough, semi painful but I know it's out of despair, out of desperation—not malice so I don't worry. I allow her, I don't necessarily respond but I don't push her away either—until her trembling hands find my scrubs. She is trying to pull at the knot and I turn my face away from her, hands grabbing her wrists.

“Kate, stop.” I say again with the same soft plea I've had this entire time. Her lip frantically kissing down my jaw and neck as she has given up on the knot and her hands are moving up under my top. “Kate.” I say harsher, hands hitting against her shoulders enough to push her back several steps.

I go to speak but I notice several things, one being that her eyes have transitioned, two that her features have transitioned—parted lips exposing her descended teeth. And the third and probably most important thing was that she was coming back at me.

I didn't intend for this, but I guess some very big, semi scary wolf, who just so happened to be pissed at me caused my instincts to take over. So when she came at me my hands slammed into her shoulders throwing her down onto the floor. A hiss escaping from me before I even knew what happened. The room having a golden glow to it and it doesn't take me but a minute to realize she set of my Fae side—guess indulging in it recently has brought it closer to the surface than I realized.

Shaking off the thought I see her starting to stand---I can't allow this—I won't. Closing the distance as quick as possible I grab her face as I drop to my knees in front of her with a painful thud. And I presume I look normal once again because the room has returned to it's normal state.

“Stop it.” I say harshly, holding her face in place even as she tries to turn away. “Stop it Kate!”

“Let me go!”

“I am!” this time it's my yell that breaks. “Don't you understand—I am letting you go. You said you were the one who needed to let me go, who was keeping me—but you're not. I am the one who has to let you go—it's me who has to set you free.”

“Enough!” she growls, a gargled yell as she tries again to pull back but it only makes us fumble at bit.

“I love you enough to let you go. I love you enough not to drag you through this,”

“You don't love me Lauren.”

“I do! And that is the problem---” I let go of her face bringing myself to my feet and taking a step away from her. “I see what this has done to you—and there are not enough words to ever say how sorry I am for this. I don't want to leave you—I mean I do but I don't. Part of me wants to stay, wants to try and push through and part of me--”

“Belongs to her,”

“Yes. I love you but I am in love with her—but this honestly isn't even about her right now.”

“Right.” she snorts as she stands, but by the time she reaches her feet her features are soft again—pain ridden but soft.

“Its not—I'm not with her—I'm not going to be. This isn't me breaking up our home for her—this is me putting an end to dance with a painful insanity. I need to figure me out, Kate. I've lost so much of myself that I look in the mirror and I don't recognize this person I've become. I see my reflection and it takes me a second to realize that it is me that I'm staring at. And it's not your fault, it's not even her fault really—it's just life. I've been losing pieces of myself since the day I began trying to change the world with explosives. I just never realized how much. With every little thing that has happened another piece of me was lost—I just finally broke.”

“Because she came back,”

“Yes—maybe, I don't know. Maybe or maybe I would have broke over something else a year from now or two or three—the point is that this isn't about either of you in the way you want to believe it is. Neither of you win, neither of you get the girl.”

“But she will,”

“I don't know.” I admit—I honestly don't know when I will be okay enough to try again with her—if I will be. “I'm not thinking about that now, and I've told her that. She understands.”

“I'm sure,”

“She does.” I say firmly taking a deep breath. “This isn't about her, this is about me and doing what is best for my—for our kids. This isn't healthy for them, you know that. They aren't able to even have a conversation anymore, they are separated, they are angry and hurt and confused. It's not fair to them—if it was just a you, me and Bo thing then—maybe I would have just said screw it and rushed into it with her. Or maybe I would stay and try and push through this with you. But they are here.”

“So now I'm a bad parent?”

“No, you are probably a better parent than me and Bo and that's why I know that underneath everything you know what I am saying is right. You and me need to work on ourselves. We need to figure out our lives and the children need to be put ahead of our own needs, and that's why Isa is going to live with Bo and Ethan for a while----and I'm going to move out too,”

“With her?” she asks a subsided anger quickly rising.

“No.” I shake my head. “I won't—she offered but I won't.”

“This is your house Lauren, I'll--”

“No, this is our house. I can't stay here,” I admit softly letting my eyes fall to her feet. “This is where our life happened, this is where we made a family and a life—one I love but—I'm here and all I feel is guilt. All I see when I look around are our memories—and I can't focus. It makes me ashamed of what I've done, it makes me hurt—makes me angry and---I love this house and the life we've had in it but—I just can't right now.”

“And you expect me to stay here? I'm not the one leaving--” she trails off, trying to swallow back her tears as she sits down at the edge of the bed. She is looking down at her feet, hands clamped together as she takes slow, deep breaths. “So—what happens now?”

“Well I am just the fucking Time-Keeper not Miss. Chleo but,” I stop as she looks up at me, first features riddled in confusion—then there is a smile. It's weak but it's there and I return it warmly, enough that she chuckles softly and I follow. “Don't laugh, I'm serious. Being the Time-Keeper is serious business.”

“Oh, shut up.” she chuckles with a sniffle as she shakes her head and I take a seat beside her.

“I feel like I should have a theme song or something—maybe a catchphrase. Didn't Van-Damn have one in that movie?”

“What movie?”

“The Time-Keeper,”

“You mean Time-Cop?” she sniffles again still not looking at me, keeping her head tilted so I can't see her face. “No, her didn't have a catchphrase.”

“You sure. Not even like 'Your time is up', or 'Your time has expired'. Nothing?”

“Lauren,” she says softly but firmly, a chuckle drowned out by the seriousness of her tone. For several minutes we just sit here in silence. Then I feel her weight shift and her head rests against my shoulder. I tilt my head to kiss the top of her's, before resting my head against her's. “What we have—had—it was good wasn't it?”

“It was,” I reach over taking her hand in mine. “It was amazing.”

“You're not just saying that?” she whispers, and I can't see them but I know there are tears falling, I know because mine are.

“N-no.”

“You know what I'm not going to miss though?” she asks me after a solid minute of silence. No, what me cheating on you??? “That sometimes when your nature shows through—you smell awful,” she chuckles as I pull back and look at her almost in shock.

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah,” she laughs looking away from me. “Sometimes when your inner feline shines through you smell God awful.”

“Oh my—thank you.” I laugh somewhat embarrassed as I lightly shove her. “I do have to be honest though---at times I found you near repugnant.”

“What?” her laughing catching in her throat as she turns to look at me wide eyed.

“Yeah, remember the precinct picnic from last year? When you and everyone was showing off and you were being an alpha's alpha.” she nods with her trademark cocky smirk and I can't help but giggle at the memory. “It was very sexy but—I could not wait for you to get home and shower—I almost threw up.”

“Whatever! Wolves don't smell bad,”

“Oh, I beg to differ.”

“You are such a fucking ass,” she sighs out through a smile, and a subtle laugh as if she can't believe I'm insulting her—but it's nice. It's been a long time since we were able to just laugh at each other—with each other.

Friends could work---I really think it could.

 

======================================================================================

 

Day 105

 

“You ain't gotta worry its an open invitation, I'll be sitting her real patient—SHIT!” I let out as I turn around dropping the glass I had in my hand to find Evony standing against the door-frame practically glowing as she tries not to laugh at me.

“Selena Gomez, hm?” she raises an eyebrow, biting her bottom lip and I just know how red I'm getting—I can feel it. “Would you like me to get you tickets?”

“I have a teenage daughter,” I say reaching behind myself and turning the dial down.

“Who listens to Mozart.” she shrugs and finally walks in placing the bottle of tequila she has on the island. “I'm not judging—just going to say she has recycled the same songs on her little career re-boot. I can't believe people haven't noticed, it's only been sixteen years. I know humans die easy but come on.”

“Still human here,”

“Ha. What, in your feet? Baby girl, I haven't smelled human on you in years and that is not just because you have a big, fuzzy, mentally unstable wolf rubbing all over you.”

“Why are you here?” I ask leaning down to pick up the glass that has miraculously not shattered. And I hadn't even wrapped it yet—score one for the doctor. “In my house?”

“First off Disco Queen, this isn't your house anymore—abandoning ship remember.”

“I'm not abandoning ship I am--”

“Mm-hm, save it for the dog whisper.” I don't turn around rather I continue to pull cups from the cabinet and placing them on the counter in their respective piles. Glass, plastic—Kate's and mine. I hear her pause and for a second I want to turn around to see what trouble she is causing—then I realize she is probably just putting a hurt on the bottle she brought. “I don't blame you, I told you that you shouldn't have settled with the pooch. I mean—you're a cat. What—do you just like pissing nature off or what?”

“Excuse me?” I can't help but laugh shaking my head as I count the glasses to make sure I have divided them evenly.

“Well when you're a human you go for a Fae succubi—possibly the worst match for a human. Then you become a kitty-cat and decide to play house with a dog? I think you should bring this up to your—damn. What's another term for a psychologist who treats animals?”

“An animal psychologists?”

“Don't they have another name?”

“I don't know,” I turn around leaning against the counter raising an eyebrow. She smirks at me and I already know what she is thinking—makes sense now. Shaking my head with a chuckle she extends the bottle.

“No, I'm good.”

“Oh come on,” she whines—well it's a whine for Evony, for most it would would look like she was about to beat me to death with it—just got to get to know her. She is actually pretty warm and fuzzy underneath her top---ten thousand or so layers.

“I'm on medication.”

“Oh yeah, forgot Katie-Bear was on her whole brainwashing deal.”

“I am sick,”

“Maybe when it comes to the things you like to do in bed babe, but beside that you're as sane as me.”

“That is supposed to be reassuring?” I glare. “Why are you here again?”

“I came to help you move. I just didn't realize you would be separating cups—shouldn't you be packing your shit and breaking hers?”

“I broke up with her, she didn't do anything to me.”

“That's the problem. She didn't put it down right—right?” she asks and I'm pretty sure she is serious as she hops up onto the island and smirks down at me. I think she started drinking before coming—who am I kidding, she is always drinking.

“Do you know your house is a mess?” Vex asks coming walking in. Oh God I forgot her was back in town too. Random realization---I forgot to tell Bo he was their Godfather. That's going to be hard to explain. “Not nearly enough though,” he walks up to me and reaches past me pulling a row of glass cups onto the floor—these shatter. “That's better.”

“That was my pile,” I sigh looking down at the mess.

“Oh. Fixable.” I should have known better, he reaches over pulling the rest that he can manage dropping them onto the growing pile of mess.

“Now neither of us have cups. Wonderful. Thank you.” I shake my head and clench my jaw trying to see the humor in the situation.

“Mummy may I?” he lets out ripping the bottle from Evony's hand and downing an impressive amount before holding it out to me.

“She doesn't want any. She is still taking her pills from the Kate sponsored trainer.”

“Still?” he snorts with a shrug before taking another drink.

“Speaking of controlling, do they know you're moving in with me?”

“I'm not moving in with you,”

“My loft—in my bed—with me there-constitutes as moving in.”

“The Devil's reject has a point—bitch.” he snorts as she smacks the back of his head. How did I pick them as my children's Godparents?????

“It's your loft and your bed, but you're only going to be there for another three days. Does not mean I am cohabiting with you.”

“Mm-hm,” she rolls her eyes and takes the bottle from him. “I don't know, now that I have you around I may have a reason to stick around. Speaking of, since you gave the children a time out--”

“No.” I laugh shaking my head already knowing where she was going with that train of thought.

“What? If you've given the kiss of death, and the butt sniffer multiple gos I think it's only fair.”

“I was dating them,”

“We dated.”

“We didn't date,” I laugh out, walking to the other end of the counter to grab a handful of paper towels to clean the mess. “We had a brief sexual relationship.”

“Yeah,” she nods looking down to Vex who is shrugging. “What more do you need?”

“She probably wants flowers.”

“I don't want flowers—what?” I can't help but laugh in disbelief as I bend down trying to scoop up as much of the glass as I could.

“I can get you flowers, I own several flower-shops—actually I own the people who own them, not a big diff though.”

“I don't want flowers. And I don't want to date any women.”

“So then there is a chance for me finally?” I look up to Vex wiggling his eyebrows and doing that weird pose thing her does and I have to quickly look back down to keep from dying from laughter.

“Sorry, I should have said this ride is closed.” I snort at my own choice of words. God, they were horrible influences.

“Fine,” she pauses taking another massive swig before slamming the bottle down. “I guess since we're already here and drunk—may as well help you out.” she hops off the island and starts pushing a reluctant Vex toward the hall. “I can't promise that nothing will happen to Fido's stuff though—Vex is quite clumsy.”

“Oh God,” I laugh letting myself fall onto my butt and lean against the bottom cabinets. And that's why I am friends with them. Ah, it's good to laugh again.

===========================================================================

 

Day 107

 

“And how are you feeling now that you are completely out of the house?”

“I'm good.” I say smiling as I shift into the corner of the couch, for some reason feeling uncomfortable under Emily's stare today. “I think the pills are helping,”

“Really?” she raises an eyebrow and sort of chuckles underneath her breath.

“Yes.”

“Good—good. You don't think your progress could be attributed to you taking control of your life again, making some decisions to get you back on track?”

“Well of course that, but I mean—I can admit I didn't want to admit I had a problem but when I did things have gotten a lot better. And the pills though I was reluctant at first—I can see how they've help me--”

“They're placebos.”

“Excuse me?” I sit up straight slightly irritated that she interrupted me and—what did she just say?

“They are placebos, they have been this whole time.” she smiles smugly and suddenly I have that urge to smack her again.

“I told you I had nothing wrong with--”

“Whoa, whoa there tiger. First off you did—do have something wrong with you. You are depressed, you were severely now I'd say mildly. You were the one who came in here after the fight with Kate spewing off every diagnoses you could apply to yourself—except Medical Student Syndrome. So when I saw how adamant you were—I tried a little experimental therapy. And it seems to have worked.”

“You LIED to me,”

“You mean I pulled one over on you and that is what you are really upset about Lauren.”

“I'm supposed to trust you completely and you just admitted you lied to me?”

“Lauren, you needed something to snap you out of your rut. It's nothing to be ashamed of, instead of focusing on the fact of my falsehood, focus on the fact that you have made great strides for yourself.”

“So what then, I'm better now?” I lean back against the couch folding my arms and continuing to scowl—she is definitely not off the hook.

“Please, depression is like an overgrown mama's boy. You have to move him from his room, to the basement, to the study and then to the couch before finally just kicking him out. It's a process.” she shrugs. “You lost yourself Lauren, there is no shame in that. You got lost, you made some bad choices, let life get in the way but the important part is that you're picking yourself up. You are starting over and that is the best possible thing for you to do for yourself and your children.”

“I—I made so many of them though. I hurt so many people and,” I let my head fall, tears slowly working their way to the surface—despite my anger I did still trust her and she was the only person I could talk to freely.

“It's humanity,”

“I'm not--”

“Geez, you're as bad as they pure blooded Fae. I say humanity and you think human. I mean humanity as in having a soul, a moral compass, pick a metaphor. Humans lie, cheat, have affairs, and make mistakes. Fae lie, cheat, have affairs, and make mistakes. In my opinion Fae and humans are equal. Sure one is always superior than the other but it goes both ways. Take a troll, stronger than any human but if we put him up against a human you—you were superior because of your intelligence. Take a human soldier and put him against some average-Joe who doesn't workout but to get off the couch and grab a beer—still one is superior. You get where I'm going?”

“I just---wanted something to be wrong with me I guess—to justify some of the stuff I've done.”

“There is something wrong with you.” her seriousness makes me look back up to meet her gaze. “It's the same thing wrong with billions of people, it's called life.”

I can't help but laugh—you know I told Bo that Emily wasn't evil. Maybe a little diabolical but not evil.

==============================================================================

 

Day 109

BO: What are you doing? (7:00 p.m.)
ME: Playing doctor with Evony (7:00 p.m.)
BO: Excuse me????? (7:00 p.m.)
ME: Sorry. I should have said FOR Evony. She made a questionable decision last night. (7:01 p.m.)
BO: I see. (7:01 p.m.)
ME: I'm serious. She decided to nbfrjbnejkn (7:01 p.m.)
BO: Umm??? (7:01 p.m.)
ME: Sorry about that. Evony wasn't a fan of me disclosing her idiocy. We had a minor disagreement that involved my phone. (7:18 p.m.)
BO: Okay????? (7:18 p.m.)
ME: Don't worry about it, me and my phone are fine. She on the other hand is not so lucky. (7:18 p.m.)
BO: Is she dying? (7:18 p.m.)
ME: With me as her doctor??? Of course not. (7:19 p.m.)
BO: Confident there I see. (7:19 p.m.)
ME: When it comes to my things in my domain then yes, yes I am. (7:19 p.m.)
BO: And what exactly is your domain? (7:19 p.m.)
ME: Everything lol (7:19 p.m.)
BO: Did she get you drunk? Do I need to come and make sure you're okay? (7:19 p.m.)
ME: No, I'm not drunk. Though I would like to know your sudden concern considering I haven't heard from you in eight days. (7:20 p.m.)
BO: I've been healing from my wounds that I got being a big time hero. And I've also been bonding with a reluctant child. (7:20 p.m.)
ME: Put Ethan out to pasture already? (7:20 p.m.)
BO: HAHA. No. He just doesn't take any effort to bond with. (7:20 p.m.)
ME: So you're saying he's easy? (7:20 p.m.)
BO: Mm-hm, just like his mother. Must be why we get along so well. (7:20 p.m.)
ME: I have no comment on the grounds this got weird very fast. (7:20 p.m.)
BO: You sensed that too huh? (7:21 p.m.)
ME: Well I am in this conversation. (7:21 p.m.)
BO: You're kind of an ass. Is it past you're bedtime? (7:21 p.m.)
ME: Yep. Didn't you know I go to sleep at seven now. (7:21 p.m.)
BO: That's what happens when you date people who are older than you. (7:21 p.m.)
ME: I'm older than you. (7:21 p.m.)
BO: And when we dated I went to sleep much earlier. (7:21 p.m.)
ME: Why are you texting me???? (7:22 p.m.)
BO: Felt like bothering you. I was bored. Kids are watching Star Trek. (7:22 p.m.)
ME: And you're bored???? (7:22 p.m.)
BO: Yeah. (7:22 p.m.)
BO: Oh God. Don't tell me you like them too?? (7:24 p.m.)
ME: No. Not at all...... (7:24 p.m.)
BO: Hold on, I'm going to need a minute to try and backtrack this. (7:24 p.m.)
ME: Nice try. I'm going to go check on Evony. She has a flight tomorrow. I need her to make it. Tired of sharing the bed. (7:24 p.m.)
BO: Excuse me??????? (7:24 p.m.)
BO: What did you say???? (7:26 p.m.)
ME: Goodnight, you little whippersnapper. Grandma over here needs her rest. (7:27 p.m.)
BO: Lauren seriously. (7:27 p.m.)
BO: Lauren??????????????? (7:29 p.m.)

======================================================================================

Day 111

 

BO: Hey. (1:22 p.m.)
ME: Wow. Only had to wait one day to hear from you again. (1:22 p.m.)
BO: You ever think I don't text more cause you're mean when I do? (1:22 p.m.)
ME: I'm not mean, I'm flirty. (1:22 p.m.)
BO: This is you flirty? Then I have nothing to worry about with you being there with Evony. (1:22 p.m.)
ME: LOL. (1:24 p.m.)
BO: Or do I? (1:24 p.m.)
ME: I don't know why you would worry. (1:24 p.m.)
BO: ???? (1:24 p.m.)
ME: Oh relax. She left yesterday. She went back home. I miss it there. (1:24 p.m.)
BO: Me too. I know life wasn't exactly a Caribbean cruise or anything but it was home. (1:24 p.m.)
ME: I know what you mean. (1:26 p.m.)
BO: I'm still considering going back. (1:26 p.m.)
ME: Oh. Okay. (1:26 p.m.)
BO: You could come with me. (1:26 p.m.)
ME: Don't you think it's a little early in our relationship to move in together? (1:27 p.m.)
BO: Are you saying this is a relationship? (1:27 p.m.)
ME: Ha. Clever. (1:27 p.m.)
ME: My lunch is over. I'll catch you around. Maybe in another day or so? (1:29 p.m.)
BO: And just when I think you can't get anymore sardonic. (1:29 p.m.)
ME: Excuse me? (1:29 p.m.)
BO: I'm sitting in front of the dictionary’s cousin. (1:29 p.m.)
ME: Again, excuse me. (1:29 p.m.)
BO: The thesaurus. The kids left all their books over the table and I wanted to shock and awe you. (1:29 p.m.)
ME: Well...you definitely did one of those. (1:30 p.m.)
BO: Which one????? (1:30 p.m.)
ME: Tell the kids to clean up. TTYL. (1:31 p.m.)

==================================================================================

Day 115

 

“So how have you been enjoying it at Bo's?” I ask in between taking a sip of water. I was going to say mother's, but I wasn't exactly sure where the two of them had progressed on the issue of applying the term to her consistently.

“It's cool. She doesn't mind messes as much as you.” Isa says with a little smile as she takes a bite of her pizza. “It's been working out better than expected.”

“That's great. I'm so happy that you've been able to—okay I can't do this. Why exactly are you suddenly so okay with this?” I raise an eyebrow as I lean back in the seat. I know my daughter too well.

“She's been bringing around Professor Montgomery. Quite scrummy, in my opinion. Brilliant and a body like Kate's,”

“There are so many things wrong with that sentence.” I just look at her seriously for a moment.

“What are you doing?” Ethan gives this angry half whisper with a glare.

“What? What did I do?” she asks with a mouthful of pizza---not one of the more endearing qualities she has learned from Bo. “Oh relax mom, I'm not attracted to Kate. I just have to admit she has a very, nice body.”

“What is wrong with you?” Ethan says shaking his head and sighing looking quite disturbed.

“Ethan it's fine. Bo can socialize with anyone she would like. And Kate is a very attractive woman, I just find it slightly odd that your sister would notice that about one of her parents.” I shrug, giving a smile and poking at my ravioli. I wasn't jealous about the whole Bo thing—I wasn't.

“Well it's not like I'm noticing to try and snog her. I just can appreciate the wonderful architecture to the body. Like for instance mum's arse, mom's breast and your--”

“I am begging you for the love of God not to finish this sentence.” Ethan says, causing me to choke a little on my water.

“I, um—I really don't have words for that right now baby.” I say clearing my throat and shifting in my seat.

“What? I can't be the only one who notices these qualities.”

“Well, there is definitely no doubt you will be a succubi.” I smile awkwardly. Very, very weird conversation transpiring here. Shaking my head I clear my throat again and look from my plate back up to Isa. “So you're calling Bo mom then?”

“I am,” she shrugs. “Kate can be mum, Bo can be mom and you can be mother.”

“Why do I get the serious term?”

“Because you are far more serious than either of them.”

“I am not.” I say and even Ethan snorts at the statement. “I can be fun,”

“You're intellectual fun mother, they are sports and sexy fun time.”

“For the love of God Isa,” he says dropping his fork down.

“What?”

“Do not apply the words sexy and fun time, together to any parent of ours.”

“Oh get off it.”

“Yes let's please.” I say with a forced smile desperately needing a change of subject. And hopefully the nosy couple at the table across from us would stop eavesdropping.

========================================================================================

 

Day 116

 

ME: So. (12:01 a.m.)
BO: That's a weird way to start a conversation. (12:01 a.m.)
ME: How is life going? Anything new? (12:01 a.m.)
BO: Not really. Other than the kids fell out already. (12:01 a.m.)
ME: Nothing else? (12:01 a.m.)
BO: No?? Are you fishing for something? (12:02 a.m.)
ME: No. Not my business to fish for anything. Just I would appreciate if you didn't bring your booty calls around the my children. (12:02 a.m.)
BO: Your children? Love how when you get upset you say they're yours only. (12:02 a.m.)
BO: She isn't a booty call. She is a friend. And I've only brought her here twice. BOTH time were for work. (12:02 a.m.)
ME: Don't need an explanation. Just don't do it. (12:04 a.m.)

=======================================================================================

Day 118

 

“Lauren.”

“Bo.”

“Audrey.” my eyes go to the woman as she states her name in an awkward chuckle.

I am presuming this is Professor Montgomery? Hm, she is okay. Has nothing on Bo or Kate—she isn't ugly though. She has short black hair that is shorter than Bo's shoulder length cut but only by and inch or two. She is possibly a shade darker than me—can we say artificial tanning. She was slender, similar to me. She is taller than me—us by an inch, maybe more but I think it may be her shoes. Oh well, I don't see what all the drool was about.

“Sorry. Audrey this is Lauren, Lauren this is--”

“Audrey?” I raise an eyebrow and extend my hand out with a forced smile. Hm, tiny, baby hands—kind of creepy. And she has a weak grip. Hm.

“That's me,” she sighs heavily and despite her smile I know she is uncomfortable—intimidated even. Good. “It's an honor meeting you. I follow your work.”

“Everyone does.”

“Lauren,” Bo laughs out trying to scowl but is failing horribly.

“I'm kidding.” I give another smile and then that weird, awkward silence comes over the three of us. “Well this was fun but I'm going to go. Have—stuff to do.” I say as we exchanges these weird smiley look things that I'm sure anyone on the street that is looking our way is finding creepy.

They part to let me through, after all they kind of were blocking my car. I start to open the door but can't help curiosity, looking back up at them walking away. She wasn't all she was cracked up to be---but she does have Kate's ass. My pervy little munchkin was right.

Pfft. I give it another week. Tops.

===============================================================================

 

Day 120

 

BO: What are you doing? (10:45 p.m.)
ME: Nothing. (10:45 p.m.)
BO: Have to be doing something? (10:45 p.m.)
ME: I am but it's privet. (10:45 p.m.)
BO: Well you aren't having sex or you wouldn't be texting me. (10:45 p.m.)
BO: Unless it's with Kate. LOL (10:45 p.m.)
ME: Very mature. (10:46 p.m.)
BO: What are you doing? (10:46 p.m.)
BO:What are you doing? (10:46 p.m.)
ME: I'm going pee nosy (10:47 p.m.)
BO: Really? Lol (10:47 p.m.)
ME: Yes. Would you like proof? (10:47 p.m.)
BO: Well....what are you wearing? (10:47 p.m.)
ME: What did you want? (10:47 p.m.)
BO: I just wanted to make sure you were still coming for the kids birthday tomorrow. (10:47 p.m.)
ME: Yes Bo. I am coming to my children's birthday dinner. (10:48 p.m.)
BO: Is she coming? (10:48 p.m.)
ME: No. SHE is taking the kids this weekend to celebrate. (10:48 p.m.)
BO: Well thanks for telling me. (10:48 p.m.)
ME: I just did. (10:48 p.m.)
BO: GRRRRRR. (10: 50 p.m.)
ME: Did you just 'grrrr' at me? (10: 50 p.m.)
BO: LOL yes. (10: 50 p.m.)
ME: Are you drunk? (10: 50 p.m.)
BO: No. I'm bored. (10: 50 p.m.)
ME: Oh, so Audrey is there then? (10: 50 p.m.)
BO: HAHA HAHA. (10: 50 p.m.)
ME: Did you really just text to see about tomorrow? (10: 53 p.m.)
BO: Missed you. Wanted to check in. (10: 54 p.m.)
ME: Missed you too. (10: 56 p.m.)
ME: Now go to bed. (10: 56 p.m.)
BO: Yes ma'am. :-p (10: 56 p.m.)

 

Taking a deep breath I lean back against the tank of the toilet and look down at my phone at the screen of my phone as it fades to black.

I did miss Bo, and the fact was that had this moment not been this moment I would have actually tried to have a conversation—but like life usually did, it had other plans for me.

Sighing before taking a deep breath I turn a little to the right, placing my phone on the counter of the sink and pick up the little white, plastic stick.

Taking one last breath, this time holding it before I look down.

(PREGNANT)

Chapter Text

“Bo,” I say softly approaching the bedroom door that is open just an inch or so, enough for the light to seep out into the otherwise dark hall. “Bo?” I say again pushing the door open just enough to peer in.

“Hey,” she lets out looking up at me from the edge of the bed like she had just been caught doing something she shouldn't have.

She was just sitting there, hunched over bit with her elbows resting on her thighs. Head in her hands kind of like she had fallen asleep. She doesn't jump up just looks at me like she is trying to assess the situation and I can't help but notice how tired she looks. I had been here for nearly three hours now, helping set up dinner and cake and socializing but she seemed so fine. She didn't look like anything was wrong—until now. Now she looked as if she was about to pass out from exhaustion any second.

“What's going on?” I ask slipping further though the opening before pushing the door closed, it doesn't click though so I know it's open at least somewhat.

“Nothing. I needed something and I forgot what it was so,” she pauses for a heartbeat as she stands and flashes me that smile that she gives everyone else—she never gives me that smile. “I took a seat hoping to remember but I got nothing.” she forces a chuckle and goes to walk past me.
I wrap my hand around her wrist, it's not really grabbing her because I don't use enough force but it stops her. She looks at me and for the first time standing shoulder to shoulder with her I realize just how much makeup she has on. She is wearing it as if she was going to a club—times three. Studying closer I notice how she has the bulk of it mostly around her eyes, her cheek bones—she never wore blush, that was one thing she wouldn't wear—until now.

“Bo,” my hand slides down her wrist to her hand and I think I was going to pull away but her hand wraps around mine and I forget to do so. “Tell me what's going on.” I plead softly, moving my eyes from her lips back up to her eyes.

“I'm--”

“What?” I smile softly letting out a tiny chuckle as she lets her eye fall down to the floor.

“I'm just tired,”

“Aren't you sleeping?”

“N—not that kind of tired.”

“Well then—oh,” I say nodding a bit, as I smile realizing she meant she was hungry. I don't know why she had such a problem saying she needed to feed, it was natural and I was a doctor—i was her doctor once upon a time. “When was the last time you fed? Are Gabby's shots not working adequately any more?”

“No, no they are. I'm not hungry—not yet anyway, I just am feeling the other symptoms.”

“Okay.” I pull my hand away a take the step over so I was standing in front of her. Reaching out I place both sets of index and middle fingers on each side of her neck looking for a pulse. Found it on the first try too, counting it out in my head—from what I can remember of her normal heartbeat--her current pulse was running about twice as slow. Reaching up I cup her face tilting her head up just a bit so the light reflected in her eyes better—dilatation reaction hardly there. “When was the last time you fed?”

“Well it was what, two weeks ago I got shot so---two weeks?” she smiles coyly as I pull my hands away.

“Two weeks?” I raise a brow.

“Yeah. Alfie came, gave me just enough to make me mobile and then before that there was you.”

“What about Audrey?” I ask taking a step back, eyes narrowing a bit. I'm not jealous—just don't care for her is all.

“Well see I've been trying this thing called maturity and since I am working with her and given the fact I don't really know how I feel about her or other situations in my life I thought it would be best to not snack on her.” she smirks and I know she is expecting me to respond to her joke but I don't.

“You need to feed, even if just a bit. I mean there is only so much I can tell from a once over but you're going to go into cardiac failure, and then renal failure before likely slipping into a coma—if not death.”

“What? What is all that?” her eyes widen, her tilting a bit. Ha. Big words use to scare the kids into taking their vitamins too.

“Heart and kidney failure.”

“Why didn't you just say that?” she sighs almost in relief and I can't help but look at her curiously.

“Bo you need to feed.”

“I will—soon.”

“Bo—now.”

“Now? Like this minute?” she raises an eyebrow and her hands go to her hips.

“Yes.” I say flatly and the fact that I'm serious slowly begins to dawn on her. Her eyes widen as she swallows and begins to look sort of scared. “Bo, you need to feed. I'm not suggesting we have another hotel style night with our children downstairs—I'm just saying that I am willing to let you feed a bit—since you need it.”

“Right. Well um—thanks but,” she trails off nervously, the tops of her cheeks turning pink.

“Oh Jesus Bo. It's me, we've made out multiple times—you've been literally covered in various bodily fluids of mine and now you're afraid of—what?” I raise an eyebrow at the face she is suddenly making.

“Sorry, I was with you right up until the bodily fluids part.”

“You thought of pee didn't you?” I ask and she can't help but to chuckle. “Just when I think you have matured passed a sixth grader.”

“Hey!” she scowls—or she tries to anyway.

I grab her face and lean in closing the distance, lips pressing against hers—it was supposed to be very clinical. It was supposed to be me helping her not slip into a coma and die—she caused to much of a mess to leave me with everything to clean up alone. It was supposed to be a friend helping another friend out—you know the friendly thing to do.

Then she responded.

My hands slipping to her neck as hers slide into my hair, her body pressing against mine as her tongue slips past my lips.

I may need to reevaluate this----later on.

Somehow I find myself going backward till I hit the dresser, and the kiss is quickly becoming not very—friendly? This wasn't supposed to be a kiss—not really. It was supposed to be a quick kiss at most because after all we had history so her just chi-sucking me would have been rude but this—this was a dangerous ride.

“Bo—feed.” I pant breathlessly, not bothering to open my eyes—in fact I'm pretty surprised I was able to remember to say that.

She groans something—okay I'm lying it was a moan. Her lips back on mine—kiss picking up where it left off. It's like we didn't even stop—for another minute—or two. And then I feel that familiar feeling. The one that drives me insane, makes me feel like I'm on a high but then at the same time I feel myself weakening.

Only difference was I didn't feel the weakening—in fact the more she took the better I felt.

“Oh God! I'm sorry—“ she lets out in a pant, hands on my shoulders as she pulls back and looks scared almost. “Are you okay? Did I take too much? I didn't mean to—you're okay.” she says relaxing and looking at me inquisitively. “Why aren't you—why do you seem like I didn't even feed?”

“I'm a badass now, didn't I tell you?” I smirk and suddenly am feeling like Sylvester after he ate Tweety. I forgot about that little benefit of the pregnancy, I am unusually—hyper we will say.

“Is that so?” she raises an eyebrow and lets her hands slide down my arms to my hands.

“What?” I raise an eyebrow again and tilt my head to mirror her. She is giving me the look she has when she wants to kiss me again, the loving one that is normally irresistible and might have been even now except the fact she looks slightly puzzled by something.

“You just—you taste different.”

“Really?” I take a deep breath and stiffen. “I've been eating more fruit.” WHAT????

“Oh yeah—that must be it.” she says trying to hold in a laugh and I know I'm turning red—seriously what was that? I've been eating more fruit??? WOW. Minus one for the doctor.

“I've been working-out too.” that's right Lauren, play it off like I'm just being goofy and not that I just had a complete brain fart.

“Is that so?” she nods and lets her eyes slowly travel down my body. “I can see that.” she bites her bottom lip before letting her eyes travel back up until they meet mine.

“Well I'm glad someone has noticed.” I really haven't worked-out one bit. Nope. Not once.

“You really don't need to though.” her voice is low and seductively playful as her hands move to my hips and I just know this is heading for trouble.

“It's a phase.” I nod eyes moving to her lips as I sigh feeling my resolve slowly slipping from my grasp.

“Well I will be more than happy to be your trainer, best part? You'll never even have to leave the bed,”

“You are pure trouble.” I giggle softly, nervously.

“Me?” she giggles herself slowly beginning to lean in---then I remember to practice what I've been preaching.

My hands go to her shoulders and push her back just enough that she realizes what I'm trying to say. She gives a sigh and a sad smile but backs away without another thought. Maturity looked good on her—also kind of disappoints me from time to time.

Not feeling anything else needed to be said I flash a smile—it's a forced one but I don't think she notices. Standing up straight I run my hands over my clothes before running them through my hair making sure my kids won't suspect anything.

Feeling satisfied I turn and walk out of the room, down the hall and then the stairs. It was such a nice place, I really did like it. Evony's place was lavish and luxurious and of course I felt comfortable there—even with Vex there with me too but it just didn't feel like home and here—here strangely did.

Making it to the table I look over at my babies who are completely unaware that we haven't been here this whole time, their attention split between their snacks and the television. They weren't completely okay with one another yet but they were better, far better than they were two weeks ago. Some of the tension had nothing to do with the adult drama going on around them. Some was just about Gabby and that was normal—it was the adult soap opera they were dragged into that I was worried about.

Walking around the table I gather up all of the plates, dinner and cake alike creating a little tower before heading into the kitchen. Least I could do was help clean up everything—that and sitting down gave me time to think and I didn't want to think anymore. I spent all of last night and this morning and this afternoon and the drive here—part of dinner---I haven't stopped thinking really.

“Why am I not surprised?” I hear Bo's voice and subtle laugh as she walks in after me. “You may have a little OCD.”

“I just like things to be clean.”

“You like to be in control.”

“After all this time you are just figuring that out now?”

“No, I figured that out after multiple failures of trying to get and remain on top.” she laughs and I playfully swat her arm before turning back to the island slash divider slash counter thing she has going on here. Wonder what the correct term for it was? I sense a Google search happening tonight.

“Such an ass.” I mumble opening the cabinet door and pulling the trashcan out half way.

“Are they really enjoying this? They do know I can afford to take them out right?” she says talking softly, not whispering just very much aware how close we are to the children even though they are so wrapped up in Killers Unleashed Fourteen—I swear they have an unusual obsession with serial killers.

“This is what they wanted to do.” I say flatly, as I keep my back to her grabbing one of the little plates and scrapping the remaining cake off.

“Well is this normally what happens?”

“No,” I snort a little unintentionally. “We normally throw them this big party and for one day a year they forget they are the product of me and show their inner metaphorical wolf.” I laugh until I realize the impact my words carried. Rolling my eyes at myself and sighing I place the plate back on the counter rather than turning around to hand it to her. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean that it's just--”

“It's fine.”

“Really Bo, I didn't think before I spoke.”

“I asked, I mean I kind of have to figure whatever comes out about their past has like a seventy percent chance of involving her so,” I still don't turn as I clean another plate but I know she has that kicked puppy-dog look she gets. “So what did you and the little flea trap do.”

“Flea trap?” I chuckle a bit reaching for another plate. “Just took them to do something crazy, something we normally wouldn't do. Like when they were ten we went bungee jumping, and when they turned thirteen we went parachuting, oh and at fourteen we went rock climbing.”

“Um, I know I'm doing this whole mature thing but all I heard was that this woman liked to regularly put my children in highly dangerous situations.”

“It was safe, I was there.”

“Yeah, what happened to your fear of heights?”

“Still have it, like I said it was normally their one day a year where they were little daredevils.”

“Little wolves you mean,”

“No, I mean little daredevils.” I turn around handing her the five plates, and she looks so angry—pissed even but she is trying so hard to hide it so she just takes the plates and places them in the sink.

“So what else did you two let them do? Run around with pointy objects? Stick metal things in light switches? Run head first at a shark?”

“Run head first at a shark?” I raise a brow letting out a snorting chuckle.

“I heard it,” she says in a pout as she turns her back to me and flicking the water on. “So since we are on the subject of people I'm not fond of why did I receive a really weird text from Vex.”

“Um,” I let out a laugh as I turn back around grabbing the dinner plates and beginning to clean them.

“Yeah it was the most random thing, and took me like fifteen minutes to decipher it.”

“What did it say?”

“Literally, and I say literally because I've read this a hundred times trying to figure out what it means and then when I thought I got it, I read it again a few times because it couldn't possibly be right.” she does that little laugh underneath her breath thing she does when she is irritated. This isn't going to be good, note to self: find out how Vex got her number. “Make sure to have the scrummy succu-dumplings ready by six on Friday because they are in serious need for a makeover before they are fit enough to go pubing with their ultra sexy evil-daddy. Don't worry they will only get cider ale unless they pass my three question test then all bets are off.”

Oh God.

“Oh and after those four messages I got another two saying—again literally. Tell the Disco-Queen that S.G is brill and Satan's Whore can go back to the brimstone she crawled out from.”

“Well--” I say trying my wholehearted best to keep from laughing for so, so many reasons but I fail miserably. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry.” I say trying to stop my laughter as I hand her the next set of plates and she is just scowling at me. “Well see the thing is that—no, I have nothing for that.” I shake my head in defeat.

“I have SO MANY questions.” she places the dishes down and turns back to face me. “Like what is scrummy succu-dumplings and why is he referring to himself as evil-daddy?What what in the world is pubing?”

“I'm sorry--” I stop again, my laughter returning to the point that tears are beginning to build. “Vex and Evony are our children's Godparents. Neither of them are exactly keen on the word God in the title so Vex came up with—a nickname.”

“Okay, I understood the Kate deal. She can be decent and the kids love her—so I get it. I can put up with Evony as Godmother—don't understand it but I can deal. BUT now you're telling me that Vex, VEX is our chilren's godparent too? And because they are in fact EVIL---they like to be called evil-daddy and I am assuming evil-mommy?”

“If it helps the kids hardly ever call them that,”

“Hardly?” she looks like she is about to have a heart-attack and I can't help but let out another laugh. “Are you—I mean have you gone completely insane? Are you on something?”

“Bo, I know at first glance it's a little weird. But once you get to know them they are very funny, and sweet and--”

“Evil. They've killed people.”

“We've killed people.” I say flatly, my laughter near vanishing.

I understand that it would be random and a shock to think of Evony and Vex being Godparents, especially for my children but there was a history here she didn't know. There was a history she wasn't remembering she wasn't a part of. For all of their faults when they actually loved something they were loyal and supportive in their own unique way and if push came to shove I knew they would protect me and the children which is more then I can say for her. Sure I know she would protect the kids but me? I have my subtle doubts, she doesn't have the implicit trust from me anymore and they do.

“It is very different. We never enjoyed it, Lauren.”

“Vex is taking the kids to the bars he owns here, the kids mingle with family friends and pretend to be adults and get goofy and spend time with their Godparents—parent in this case. He gives them some children's beer that is legal here mind you. And he is just taking them clothes shopping, you just have to know his humor.”

“Sorry, I don't have inside jokes with murderous Fae.”

“No, you were just engaged to one.” I say flatly and I regret it the second it comes out but it was true, wasn't it?

“That is a low blow,” she says softly as her scowl turns into that brokenhearted look I know all too well.

She turns away from me, beginning to return to her task and her whole demeanor is different now. She was serious and irritated before but there was still this playful undertone and now that was gone. I didn't mean to snap but she had to understand that she couldn't get upset and judgmental about every single decision I've made for the past sixteen years. I have always and will always put my children above EVERYTHING so why she would think that I would let them run a muck with Evony and Vex without good reason is insulting and slightly infuriating. Her standing there being so judgmental over these people I care for, people that care for me and our children was highly upsetting.

That and I am sort of freaking about about being pregnant but that played little to no roll in my frustration with her. Even though she did this to me—again.

Sighing softly, I wipe my hands on my jeans before taking the four steps forward and placing my hand on her shoulder as I lean against the counter next to her.

“Listen, I'm sorry I've been short all day I'm just not feeling well.” she looks up at me so quickly and with such concern it gives her away. Her feelings written over her features, she is just so hurt that I trust these people with myself and our children yet I admitted I don't trust her. “They are weird, disgusting, occasionally vile but they are family. They mean a lot to me and to the kids, our kids who think Vex is just eccentric and Evony is just a bitch. They know nothing about how—dark they are, and that is because they love our children enough to shelter them from that.”

“It just seems like everyone has memories with my children but me,” she whispers looking back down at the same dish she has been washing for the past five minutes.

“I'm sorry about what I said about—Dyson.” I say gently, my eyes running over her face—what I can see of it. My lips part to speak again but my eyes find this half-inch scar on the start of her jaw—I never noticed that before. My hand reaches up almost having a mind of its own, fingertips gently running over it and she nearly jumps at the contact. “When did you get this?”

“Wh-what?” she whispers, eye running over my face in the way once she does. The way that makes me feel unique, feel beautiful—but all I can remember is Kenzi's words.

“Did he do this?” I ask slightly harshly and suddenly she is very serious and turning her face away from me.

“I'm going to kill that tiny little, drunken midget.” she huffs and takes a deep breath as if trying to calm herself. “She had no right to say anything to you.”

“Why did it leave a mark? Did he leave any others?” I ask grabbing her shoulder and turning her to face me a little more forceful than I realize initially.

“Lauren, its not like she made it sound—I'm sure. I matured as a succubus, he matured as a wolf sometimes our arguments got a little heated. It's not like it ever got worse than some of the stuff we did in--”

“Yeah, I got it.” I snort letting go of her shoulders and taking a step back.

“It's sweet that you care, it's touching—really, more than you know. But the truth is that it wasn't a normal thing, it happened from time to time and normally when it did he didn't walk away without a mark of his own. I mean come on, you're Fae now and Kate--” she cringes saying her name.

“No. Kate never once laid a hand on me like that,”

“Not even recently? Not with cheating on her and leaving her and everything? She never once touched you, never got a little aggressive?”

“No. Never like that. She hardly ever even raised her voice to me—you know a normal relationship.”

“Well sorry, guess I'm never going to be normal enough for you.” she says through a clenched jaw walking over about four feet to grab a white, dish-towel that was in a bunch on the counter near the fridge.

“Do you want me to leave?” I ask quickly moving from being annoyed to frustrated.

“If you want, why not run back to your perfectly normal, wonderful woman.”

“You know what?” I snort shaking my head in disbelief. I start to walk forward trying to pass her to leave but she grabs my wrist pulling me to a stop. “Let me go.”

“I'm sorry,” she whispers it but her tone is firm. “It's a sensitive subject.”

“I understand that Bo—but you want this relationship and I've told you I need trust for that to even be considered and things like this—they build trust.”

“Lauren, you're asking me about a dark period in my and my dead-ex-fiancee’s relationship after jumping down my throat for being irritated with your choice for our children—a choice you made on your own because I wasn't here.”

“You're right,” I admit with a half nod. “I saw the mark, I remembered Kenzi's words and I just got—I don't know what I got but I reacted badly. I'm sorry.”

“Did Kate tell you,” she trails off letting go of my wrist and letting me lean against the counter opposite her. “Did she tell you what happened that night?”

“No. She—she didn't want to talk about it and I didn't push.”

“You're not gonna ask me?”

“No,”

“You aren't curious?”

“I am,”

“Then?” her brow furrows.

“Whatever happened that night—I don't want to think about. And neither does she and it doesn't seem like you want to either. All I know is what Kenzi told me which is enough to piece somethings together, but as far as who killed who—I don't need to know.” I smile softly at her, it's a smile to let her know I understand the pain she is keeping locked away. “I want to know, I want you to talk to me about it one day soon—but not now and not like this.”

“So,” she starts looking up from the floor with this heavy smile that is forced at first and then slowly I see a sense of genuineness creeping in. “What the hell does scrummy and brill mean? Those aren't words, are they?” she asks features twisting into an inquisitive confusion, and I can't help but laugh at her again.

“What? Why do you laugh every time I bring this up?”

“It's just you saying those words—it just doesn't fit.”

“What? I'm not cool enough to pull it off?”

“No,” I shake my head, my laugh growing louder seeing the shock come over her. “It's just it's slang and it's not looked upon kindly when foreigners use the terms, plus it sounds very funny—cute, but hilarious with you trying to say them convincingly.”

“You're a foreigner too,”

“I know, thus why I don't use them.”

“Whatever, I can pull it off. Get myself one of those little dictionary for London English.”

“Oh God,”

“I can pull it off,” she says seriously.

“No, you sound like a—wanker.” I laugh for the joke, for the fact she is looking at me like I just asked her to cure cancer and the fact of how ridiculous I sound saying the word aloud.

“What is that? What does that mean? Why do I feel you just insulted me?” I say nothing, just laugh and avoid her stare. “Did you just insult me in a language you said you couldn't speak?”

“No,”

“I don't believe you.” she says eyes narrowing in at me and I just shrug with a wide smile. “Hey, what does wanker mean in English?” she calls out to our children walking around the island that separates the kitchen from the 'hall slash living-room.

“That is in English.” Ethan says in the middle of shoving a handful of popcorn in his mouth.

“She means dialect not language, she wants to know what it means in the terms of North America.”

“Oh,” he nods at his sister before looking over his shoulder at Bo. “Why?”

“Your mother called me that and won't tell me what it means.” she says almost pouting, a pout that increases as the kids start to giggle. “What does it mean?”

“Mother just called you douche,” Isa laughs out having to turn away and I have to cover my mouth as I watch Bo's jaw drop.

“No! No!” Ethan lets out moving onto his knees leaning against the back of the couch to fully face us. “The closest term would be jerk—not douche—what's a douche?”

“Oh God,” Isa laughs grabbing a pillow and hiding her face in it though we can still hear her giggle fit.

“Did you really just call me that?” she asks, brow raised and a dumbfounded amusement over her features. “Lauren?”

“Oh, is that what that means?” I ask in a semi giggle as I walk out of the kitchen, my hand running across the small of her back as I go to stand a few steps away from her. “I thought it meant something completely different, like—silly.”

“But you're the one who taught me that definition,” Isa blurts dropping the pillow and turning to mimic her brother despite my very, very serious look I am shooting her. “Remember Kate implied you put on weight and you called her a douche,” she turns to Bo. “She didn't know I could hear. But then I asked what that meant and you said--”

“Okay. Thank you for that.” I chuckle and shake my head, my eyes going to the floor as I feel Bo's stare.

“Oh you and me are going to have some words in privet,”

“Have I told you how good those jeans look on you?” I ask mid laugh and she wants to laugh too I can see it but she manages to keep a scowl firmly in place.

“Oh, you better be complementing more than my jeans to get out of this.”

“Was it just me or did anyone else think the end of that was going to be—get me out of them?” Ethan smiles looking between the three of us. “No? Just me? Okay, cool.”

“Believe me that was the thought in my head,” Bo chuckles as she walks past me and smiles at our son.

“Since we are on the topic of semi-perverseness that has somehow ended up back on us,” I pause walking around the couch and sit on the love seat near Isa while she took a seat onthe one opposite me and closest to Ethan. “You need to have a serious succubi talk with our daughter because she admitted the other day that she checks us out,” I shift in the seat getting comfortable, folding my legs underneath myself.

“What?” she looks puzzled as she turns to Isa who is back to putting a hurt on the bowl of Doritos.

“I didn't admit to checking my parents out, I simply said I can admire the physical attributes that they have been endowed with.”

“Not again,” Ethan mumbles letting his head fall back against the couch.

“I don't see a problem.” Bo says flatly looking over at me like I'm the crazy one in this group. “She is just admiring natures wonders. I see no problem.”

“You're both sick.” Ethan mumbles as he leans forward grabbing his bowl of popcorn again.

“I seriously wonder if he is going to be a succubus.”

“Incubus.” I correct her and earn the infamous 'really?' look she is known for giving me in these situations—I can't help it.

“Okay,” we both look over to Isa who says so seriously and within a matter of seconds the pair is putting their bowls back on the table and sitting up straight as Ethan takes the remote turning off the television. “So, when we decided to have a secluded dinner tonight we had an underlining motive.”

“Of course you did,” I smile—i know my children too well. Shifting in my seat as I kick off my shoes.

“We've done some serious discussing in the time that we've begun speaking to one another again.” Ethan says looking between both of us. “We believe you both have had ample time to come to us but you haven't.”

“All of the blame does not fall to you both alone, we have had some maturity issues and can admit them but now we have some questions.” Isa picks up where her brother leaves off.

Bo looks like a baby deer caught in headlights and I can't help but smile and think of two words—Check and Mate. They played this very well, surprised I didn't see it coming—then again I have been off since last night's little discovery.

“Oh—oh—okay.” Bo manages as she shifts awkwardly in her seat.

“Seriously mom? You are really going to make us ask you question by question?” Ethan asks giving her his best disappointed look.

“Why do you always say seriously? There is a line between metro and gay and when you say seriously SO much and the way you do I begin to wonder.” Isa whispers under her breath leaning against his shoulder earning a kick. “You better pray you're a incubus otherwise we need to teach you how to fight.”

“Can we focus?” he lets out with a mortified glare.

“Oh don't look at me, you're the one who has been begging to talk to them.” I say as Bo gives me those puppy dog eyes again—it won't work this time—in less she was aiming for making me want to kiss her then it was sort of working---sort of.

“Okay, well--” she pauses and she looks frightened almost.

“I was human and I was enslaved to the Light Fae, Bo was a wanderer who knew nothing of the Fae or even what she was. Fate brought us together, I tried to help educate her and control her urges. Teach her as much as I could. And despite the obstacles, and there were ALOT—I fell—we fell in love.”

Okay, fine I gave in. She just looked like she was drowning.

“Your mother was amazing, she mesmerized me from the first time I laid eyes on her. She was the first one—other than Kenz to tell me it was okay to be what I was. And she was the first one to actually make me feel it. See I was taken—given up as a baby and raised by humans. I thought I was human until I turned sixteen and I,” she trails off looking down at the floor. Even after all this time it still hurts her like it had just happened. “I killed this boy I was dating, it was an accident. My nature kicked in without me even knowing and when I went home and looked for answers, comfort with my family they—they threw me out. So I spent most of my coming of age years not knowing who or what I was.”

“Which is why I make a point to stress learning about your nature now,” I say taking the perfect opportunity to make my point.

“Okay. So what happened about us though?” Ethan asks looking between us with this thirst for answers but I can't help but to notice the slight seriousness creeping into Isa's features.

“I was immature and I made a horrible girlfriend. I made so many mistakes and--”

“I asked from her something that was selfish and that shouldn't have been asked. I wanted her to myself, I wanted a young succubus who had no guidance to commit to me completely, something physically impossible. The problem was that I was so caught up in the physical aspect of things I didn't realize that she belonged to me solely already.” I take a breath and look from my babies to her, our eyes meeting. “I didn't realize that the most important part of her already belonged to me.” I smile sadly, this being the first time I ever admitted it aloud, the first time I ever told her. “It got to be too much for me and I asked for a break, for time apart.”

“And I being immature and stupid gave it,” I know she is staring at me but I can't look at her anymore. “There were mistakes that I made afterward, mistakes other people made some with everyone's best interest at heart---some for their own selfish reasoning. But, regardless of the reasoning we—we drifted apart and never found our way back to each other.”

“Until now.” Ethan says with a huge smile, this little glistening in his eye—he was such a sucker for a fairytale.

“So let me get this right. You got abandoned by your parentS not once but twice—and then you just decide to abandon your own children? What kind of shit is that?” Isa barks loudly scooting to the edge of the couch. “You know what it feels like to be abandon and yet you just turn around and do it?” she stands abruptly. “Not only do you do it but you come barging back into our lives when YOU want and destroy the woman who picked up your slack while you were off maturing?”

“Isa,” Ethan lets out grabbing her wrist but she shrugs it off.

“She never knew you existed.”

The words leave my lips and I swear I can hear my heart break within my chest, I swear I can hear theirs break too. The world feels like its slows and I watch my children's features move from shock to disbelief to pure pain. Isa sitting back down like her legs have given out. I can't look at Bo—not now. I feel like I need to throw up, this vile taste raising up from my chest into my throat.

I had never wanted them to find out that part—I had thought we could skim over that, give them generic answers. But these are my children—generic answers are never satisfactory.

“Lauren,” I head Bo whisper, a whisper of hurt and fear—a whisper that tells me it's okay not to do this. A whisper that tells me she is willing to take the blame—but I can't do it.

“I tried one time, one time to get a hold of her to tell her and that was when those mistakes people made came into play. I allowed people's threats, concerns, opinions influence me because they were mirrors of my own. I let my hurt—my pain and anger fester to the point that it consumed me. So beyond a single letter I never tired again—honestly I never looked back.”

“B-but...” Ethan says giving me this look which is mixture of betrayal and shame I've never seen.

“I made a choice and maybe it was wrong,”

“Maybe?” Ethan lets out, slightly louder.

“I know it's hard for you to understand this but I had my reasons, reasons you will never know because they are me and Bo's issues—our mistakes. I made a judgment call and I stand by it.”

“What?” I hear Bo let out but I don't look over to her.

“This is going to hurt but I didn't believe at the time she was capable of being a good mother, I took a look at her track record with me, with her choices and I made a decision.”

“Y—you didn't think I would have been a good mother?” there is so much pain in her voice as she asks me this and it hurts to say this to them—to her. I take a deep breath and turn to face her, tears in her eyes threatening to spill over.

“No—I didn't. I thought that even if you did stay and try—you would have at some point ended up running like you did when everything got rough. I didn't want it to be when they were three or four or five—and you decided that you just couldn't take it anymore.” I take a deep breath, trying to control my breathing as I feel tears slipping down my cheeks. “They would have known you, they would have been attached and---I couldn't handle—I had to protect them from knowing that pain.”

“I would have never,” she nearly growls her words through a clenched jaw. Her features scrunching as she tries to keep from crying. “I don't care how hard—I would have never ran from them Lauren. I know what it's like to be abandoned—how--” she takes a deep breath and looks over at our children as I look away. “I didn't know you existed until I met you, and I didn't know you were mine until the night of Ethan's performance. You don't know me well—not like you should but---I hurt your mother in a lot of ways. I broke her in some, scarred her—deeper than I ever realized and I am—I was a runner but know that I would have never left you.” she stands taking another deep breath and I turn to look at her but I can't look her in the eyes. “I need to—I'll be back.” she nods with a sniffle as she turns and does the fastest walk to and then up the stairs I've ever seen.

“I made a decision and right or wrong I own my choice.” I say softly looking up to face them.

“But—how could you?” Ethan asks but Isa remains silent just staring down at the floor, her features stern—her critical thinking face. “Mom?”

“She wasn't the same woman she is now. We made mistakes and choices were made, I cannot take back what's done and I can't give you back the time with her you lost. All I can do is apologize for the pain it's causing.”

“The pain it's causing?” he snorts standing up looking at me as though he doesn't recognize me. “This isn't like a car accent mother. You didn't just side swipe us, you can't say I'm sorry for your pain and suffering, here is my insurance card.”

“What would you like her to say Ethan?”

“I—I don't know but something other than sorry like she is reading off some que-card.” he looks from me to his sister before turning back and shaking his head in anger—in disgust before following in Bo's footsteps.

“You have something to say to me?” I ask flatly and it's harsher, more confrontational than I had intended.

“I can understand the thought process behind choosing to not include Bo in our lives. You used logic, deductive reasoning and critical thinking. You applied history and patterns and made the best choice you felt was right. All in which you did but still contacted her and took others opinion in contrast.”

“Baby,” I sigh shaking my head as I let it fall forward. “You can be angry or hurt—you don't have to be so clinical about this.”

“I—I don't get how you can put all this effort into making a life and finding a partner you wanted. I don't get how you let Bo's indiscretions influence you so much to make these decisions but then you turn around and destroy it all. How can you do that?”

“Wh-what?”

“You made all these choices for us, for yourself based on a single train of logic which I can understand but what I can't understand is how you threw it away so easily. I can't understand how you committed the same exact events that sent you into making said decisions.”

“You’re upset because I cheated on Kate?” I raise an eyebrow as I look up at her almost dumbfounded.

“I cannot process the first train of logic if the second does not make sense. Because the second train of logic contradicts the first. Unless---did Kate do something to you?” she looks into my eyes almost hopeful.

“No.”

“Then,” she takes a deep breath and licks her lips, and I can see the little wheels in her head trying to justify this all in her head.

“I know I have raised you to be a little me, to be able to process these things and move forward and be—cold.” I sigh heavily as I get up and move next to her, but she won't look at me. “There are things in life that aren't going to make sense. There are decisions you are going to make, that people you love are going to make that defy logic and reason. Sometimes things are based on emotion alone and that doesn't always create the best outcome.”

“I don't know what you're talking about,” she shakes her head scooting away from me.

“Yes you, that's why every birthday me and Kate took you to do crazy things so that you knew that level freedom. Why Vex and Evony take you to do random things so you remember there is a world beyond logic. The mistakes and choices that got us here were based on emotion and this—it's okay to be hurt. It's okay to be angry.” she shakes her head again the way she does when she doesn't want to believe something—Bo's habit.

She practically jumps to her feet and I reach out to grab her wrist to stop her and I do. She stops but when she spins back around, her hand makes contact with my face.

I turn back to look up at her shocked. I can't believe she just smacked me—I—did she really just smack me?

She looks at me, tears in her eyes and a fear I never thought she would have, at least not when looking at me but her features are still fixed in a sternness and the image of Bo standing there telling me not to forget my dog collar as she throws that necklace at me comes to mind. A mirror image that causes me to release my grip on her wrist.

“Maybe you should keep your playing God to your work mother and stop making everyone's choices for them—especially when you commit the mistakes you punish them for.”

“Isa,” I let out in a whisper as I stand stopping her mid way between the couch and the stairs.

“You know after everything,” she spins around tears streaming down her little pink and puffy cheeks. “After everything I've lost these past few months, the thing that cuts the deepest—is that you are not who I thought you were.”

My lips part to say something—nothing comes out though.

I watch as she turns around and follows the pattern her mother and brother set. My body feels so heavy, I feel like I've taken a serious blow to the stomach so I find myself beginning to sit before I made a conscious choice to.

I look over at the television and down over the floor, a pile of shoes from Ethan and Isa when they had kicked them off after putting the movie in. The four pillows just under the table because they thought they wanted to sit on the floor but decided the couch would have been better. My shoes next to the chair that I had kicked off allowing myself to get comfortable thinking this was going to be very different then what it has turned into. The table full of bowls of snacks and drinks because Ethan is apparently turning into a bottomless pit. The couch a mess covered in blankets and pillows from their beds.

It looked like a home.

If I hadn't known better I would have thought it had just gotten late and everyone had tapered off to bed leaving the mess of a joyous family night to clean tomorrow.

Too bad I knew the truth.

Chapter Text

“Hey,”

“Hm?” I let out softly at the sound of someone's voice but I don't open my eyes, I'm not even sure I'm awake—maybe I'm dreaming and this is about to get interesting.

“Lauren,”

I hear my name again and it's Bo's voice—maybe this really is going to get interesting. Then I feel her hand on my shoulder—nope. Stupid reality, dream Bo would already be undressing me. Sighing I force my eyes open to near total blackness.

“You're here?”

“Yeah, that happens when you fall asleep on my couch in my apartment.”

“What?” I groan still trying to let my eyes adjust as I turn to her voice, I can make out her outline but not much more as she is sitting on the edge of the couch next to me.

“Yeah, all that soul crushing you did earlier must have tired you out.” she shifts a bit, the feel of my knee accidentally touching hers causing her to react. “Lucky you snore otherwise I wouldn't have known you were here.”

“I don't snore,”

“You've always snored, before it was soft and cute. Now it's like a lumberjack with a chainsaw in the middle of a shallow cave—I have a new respect for your four legged friend, having to put up with that night after night.”

“Wow.” sighing I start to sit up, groaning as my mind begins to clear and I feel the stiffness in my neck—guess I shouldn't have fallen asleep sitting up. “Can you turn on a light so I can get my shoes and be on my way or are you planning on ax murdering me.”

“Of course not—I can think of plenty more violent and painful ways to do that.” even though it's a long shot of her being able to tell, I scowl anyway at her to the best ability my heavy eyes allow. “Oh stop scowling I'm just playing.”

“Very funny.” I scoot up to the edge of the couch and run my hands through my hair trying to clear my mind from it's sleep laced daze. “The lights?”

“I would if I could. Power has been out for almost three hours.”

“What?”

“Yep. Freak thunder storm that's expected to turn to snow, power went out all across London.”

“Shit.” shaking my head I start to stretch, if I was going to be driving through a blizzard I was actually going to need to be fully conscious. I wonder if she'll let me make a cup of coffee before kicking me out. “Do you mind if I have a cup of coffee before I leave and possibly barrow a jacket?”

“To go to sleep?”

“To go home.”

“You think I'm letting you out there?” she snorts. “You really have lost your damn mind.”

“What?” sighing I close my eyes for a moment and take a deep breath letting my body relax and then I feel that odd yet kind of cool feeling begin to coat my eyes. Eyelids fluttering open, I smirk to myself now being able to see perfectly. True everything is kind of goldish but I can see at least, though the pain on her features makes me quickly regret my choice.

“I'm still mad at you but I can't help but to find that sexy.”

“Yeah, it's has it's benefits.” looking over the floor I spot my shoes and begin to stand and she follows suit. She must know me better than I thought because she places her hand on my shoulder.

“I'm not letting you go out in that Lauren. It's horrible out there, there is no power--”

“I'm no stranger to snow storms or rain storms and I have nifty feline eye flashlights,” I shrug at the stupidity of my statement, guess I'm not all that awake. “I'll be fine.”

“You aren't going out there.” she says firmly, her eyes narrowing as her nostrils flare.

“Fine. I'll just lay down on your stupid couch until morning.” I huff starting to sit back down until she pulls me back up.

“You'll sleep in my bed.”

“I'm not going to make you sleep on the couch in your own house.”

“Who said anything about a couch?” she chuckles and rolls her eyes at me with a smirk. “Look I'm not letting you go out there, I'm not in the mood to stay up and socialize with you until it passes and no one is sleeping on the couch that goes from being a cloud to a board with spikes somewhere in the middle of the night—don't look at me like that, I've fallen asleep on it before.”

“You can't see what look I'm giving you.”

“I know you.” she extends her hand resting it on my arm again. “I promise to keep hands, feet, lips, tongue—any other body part you have a problem with all to myself.”

“Bo,”

“Lauren. I promise I won't touch you, believe me at the moment it's not on my top list of things I wanna do.”

“Well thanks.” I snort letting out a little laugh slightly offended by the comment.

“Come on,” she lets out in a sort of pout even though I can practically see the anger coming off of her in waves. Her scent is different too—wow so weird I can tell that. Laughing at my own thought she makes this face and it only makes me laugh more. “Just follow my lead I should—shit!” she lets out following a thud. Another laugh escaping me, her toes hitting the leg of the table.

“Maybe you should follow me.” I smirk as I slide past her and reach my hand out for her to take so I can lead her to safety but for the first time there is a hesitation there. “I promise I won't lead you into anymore tables.”

“I can follow you without touching you—remember I promised.”

“Bo,” I sigh and keep my hand extended. She makes this face after another few seconds of hesitation before finally taking my hand.

I lead her through the living room to the stairs and up the whole time expecting her to make her silly comments or joke about something but she just stays as quiet as a mouse. Her hand hardly holding mine, just enough to let me know she is here.

I feel guilty for what I said of course but they were my feelings—they are my feelings. And what she doesn't understand is our children, there is a trick to speaking to them—to making them understand things when it comes to the emotional aspects of life. Sometimes you have to be hard, be cruel in order for them to get it and—I don't think she would have made an excellent mother then. I believed wholeheartedly that she would have wanted to run and that she might have.

She never understood the complexities of having to be cruel to be kind.

They were my feelings—still are to a degree.

If only she could see I wasn't trying to hurt her. For as long as they refuse to see me and Kate as anything other than these perfect idols they would never give her the proper chance—never let their guard down enough to let her get close enough.

Ethan sure he was making progress but what she didn't know was once he learned what he felt was satisfactory about a subject he would lose interest and I needed to make sure that if he lost interest, if he wanted to run that it wasn't such a perfect place to run back too. Isa had a tendency of taking after me, of being able to rationalize almost anything and turning herself off to it. Right or wrong I taught her that which just means I know the way around it. It was surprise when she wasn't able to over look my indiscretion on the level of logic—I have gotten pretty good over the years being able to twist the facts so I could rationalize anything—guess she has more of Bo in her than I thought.

I push her door open and for a moment the room does that weird and slightly painful flash deal and then its gone. Guess my body is learning to instinctively react on its own now.

I just stand there for a moment taking in the room since I didn't do much of that earlier. It was nice, smaller than my room—my old room. The bathroom door to the left, she has three long, black, dressers along the walls, one on either side of the door and one along the wall that separates the room and the bathroom. Guess with no closet you would need extra dressers. Odd thing though is there is no television here. I had always assumed that she didn't have one in the old clubhouse because she couldn't afford it—maybe she just prefers not to have one in the bedroom.

She has the curtains closed but I can still hear the rolling thunder outside and part of my worry eases about taking up her offer—order to stay the night. The room is nice really, and the way she has a series of four, white candles grouped on each dresser add a nice dim light. Honestly it's almost romantic.

I hear the sound of the door click as she lets go of my hand and suddenly it not as romantic as I was initially thinking—reality creeping back in. I glance over the room once more. There's two black nightstands on either side of the bed obviously all a set and a leather reading chair against the wall that was otherwise unoccupied. It was so nice, so Bo and yet seemed nothing like her. It was so clean, so put together. Where was the mess? Where were her things thrown about? Where was the continuously unmade bed or the pile of clothes in the corner?

Then I notice something sort of odd, there really is no touches of Bo in the room. Yes it looks like something she would like, something she would even decorate but there was nothing really of hers anywhere. No pictures, no nicknacks, no weapons or anything. Then I remembered her words that she wasn't sure if she was staying—I guess she doesn't want to make it too home like.

Sighing to myself I look over my shoulder and to my left just in time to find Bo pulling her shirt over her head with her back to me. I know I made a little noise of some kind and I'm sure I'm blushing but hey it wasn't like I was expecting that. I was currently indulging my inner HGTV and suddenly found myself in HBO-After-hours.

I know I should turn away but my eyes are stuck on her like glue, honestly I'm too tired to try and pretend I am disappointed with myself for looking. She pulls her hair up and my eyes linger down from her neck, the curve of her shoulder-blades, down her spine to the small of her back. As if she had been waiting for me she slips her jeans down and with them my eyes travel too. Surprisingly—slightly disappointingly she is wearing underwear. They're tight don't get me wrong, I'd say maybe one size too small because not only does it cling to her too well it was also undetectable under the jeans that were equally as tight. What is a little surprising and kind of sexy at the same time is they are those female boxer shorts that look more like formfitting booty-shorts.

The sound of the dresser drawer opening pulls my mind away from her lower half and back into reality just in time to see the baby-blue fabric of her undershirt beginning to cover her skin. I take a deep breath and start to wonder why she hasn't made a comment. I know she can feel the change in my aura, she knows me well enough to know I'm watching but she didn't once turn around. She didn't once drag it out or say anything to me. No she just got undressed and dressed like it was nothing.

I suppose she is still that angry at me.

I watch as she walks over to the other dresser next to the bathroom door. A quick open and shut of the top drawer and she is turning around throwing a bunched up gray ball at me.

I manage to catch it and start to un-bunch it trying to see what she had tossed at me and something falls out onto the bed. But my eyes stay on the size too big shirt with the word YALE written across it in big, red letters. My eyebrow raising as I stare at this, eyes traveling down to the bottom hem on the right side where there was a little hole from when I got caught on my work table in my old apartment after pulling an all-nigher. My eyes travel down to the white and sort of blueish ball on the bed. A smirk coming over my lips despite the heaviness in my chest. A pair of actual boxer-shorts, my favorite sleep attire from another life.

“How did you find these?” I ask in a sort of sighing laugh but she turns around so her back is to me again and for a second I don't understand then the words, eyes to myself come to mind. Sighing heavily I nod to myself and begin to disrobe.

“You left stuff behind when you ran away.”

“I thought Hale sent it all too me.”

“He did after a couple weeks. I told you I went searching for you, there was a few nights I stayed at your apartment waiting for you to come back. I missed you one particular night and—I wore them. Next morning I woke up to movers and they said it was all going into storage so I took some things, things I knew you loved and thought you would want when you came back.” she snorts. “Too bad I didn't realize you weren't coming back.”

“Wh-what else did you keep?” I ask softly placing my disregarded clothes on the chair.

“Your favorite pair of scrubs, your scrub cap. Some other things you don't care much about now, the two-love letters I wrote you along with the little stuffed puppy I got you for our one week. I also” she sighs as she pulls the drawer back open, only this time when she shuts it there is nothing in her hand—at least I don't see anything. She turns around and walks the few steps over to me, giving me this heartbreaking smile before holding her hand out.

“What's this?” I smile warmly reaching out with an open hand to take whatever she is handing me. Ha. Maybe she found my favorite pair of earrings that she lost the one too. “Bo,” her name leaves my lips in a whisper as the white-gold necklace falls into my palm.

“I don't have the box anymore, I'm sorry.” she lets her head hang forward a bit, pulling her hand away from me. “I wore it briefly so I didn't see the need for the box.”

“H-How long?” I ask looking up to her and though she is looking at me she won't meet my gaze.

“Oh not long just—shy of sixteen years,” she snorts at herself. “I didn't think you saw it.” she shakes her head and turns her back to me once again moving along the edge of the bed.

“What?”

“I was wearing it that night, at the gala thingy.” she chuckles again pulling the comforter down the bed with unnecessary force.

“Why would you keep it?” I whisper but keep looking down at this piece of jewelery in my hand like it was some unsolvable mathematical equation.

“Because you gave me the freedom to love—and I did.” she smiles as she says the words but as soon as they finish her features twist into this painful anger mixture.

I walk around 'my side' of the bed and set it on the nightstand as I take a seat. My eyes staying on it almost in a trance. I can't believe she kept it let alone wore it all this time. I can't believe I didn't see it on her that night—then again I didn't even notice she had been wearing an engagement ring then either. I can't believe she remembered the words that went along with it.

I look down at myself, I can't believe she kept this stupid old outfit—along with everything else too. I can't believe I never noticed I was missing these things. Maybe I did and I just don't remember now. Maybe I can be a little more inconsiderate and self absorbed than I thought.

I slide under the covers laying down, for a moment I lay there on my back staring up at the ceiling and I can't help the rush of relief—of joy—maybe a little pride knowing I'm the first one to share this bed with her. Dyson didn't, Audrey hasn't and no one else for that matter.

I go to look over at her to say something I can't remember but she turns onto her side keeping her back to me.

“If you're worried you can put the pillows as a divider—I won't take offense.” she mumbles into her pillow and I can't help the tinge of pain that gets added to the rest of the dull, never ending pain that continues to blanket my heart.

I take a deep breath and roll onto my side to face her, my hand goes out to touch her but I don't. I could leave this as is, leave well enough alone because sometimes well enough is actually enough. But this is Bo and this is me and I apparently just can't leave well enough alone.

Sliding over the small distance I get close but make sure my body isn't touching hers, except for my chin that I have resting on her shoulder. I feel her body tense and not in the good way but I don't pull away I just take a moment to debate how I want to do this—what exactly I want to do.

“Sometimes cruelty is the best kindness.” Guess we're going with the truthful approach. “I know my children Bo, better than they know themselves.” I pause and kiss her shoulder, it could be sexual but it's not—it's just intimate and meant to be comforting. Setting my head down on her pillow, nose and forehead resting against her back I place my hand on her hip. “For as long as me and Kate are flawless to them you will always just be a stranger with the same genetic code who ruined the only life they knew. They will eventually tire of you, of the newness, of the intrigue—and return to what they know.” my hand slides down her hip across her stomach. “You've taken the blame for sixteen years Bo—it's time I took some of it too.”

“What's the truth?” she muffles softly into the pillow and I know she is hiding from me. “You said you thought I'd make a good mother and tonight,”

“Sometimes I think you would have made an excellent mother—other times I believe wholeheartedly what I said. Some of my doubts are based on how you treated me and I can't compare how you are as lover to your parenting skills.” I take a breath and kiss her back again. “I need to let go of the past—you aren't the only one who needs to make amends.”

I turn my own face into the pillow and prepare to scoot back to 'my side' but I feel her begin to move, turning all the way onto her other side so she is face to face with me. My hand somehow manages to move back to her hip and I was going to pull away until I saw the tears in her eyes.

“That night—I saved Kate because of Isa. Because for a brief moment I thought maybe their lives—your life would be better if I died instead.”

“What?”

“I saved her that night for our daughter and I—I killed Dyson for you.” her voice breaks as she turns back into the pillow, my hand cupping what I can of her cheek.

“Shhh.” I try and sooth. “You don't have to do this Bo.” I whisper, running my thumb over her cheek bone at escaping tears.

“It all happened so fast,” she says pulling her face out enough to look at me. “I only had a second to make the choice and everything he's done—everything you said—what he did and he was just standing there trying to justify himself—justify shooting her and all I could think was what if he went near the kids. What if he went after you again.”

“Shh, it's okay.” I let my hand move to her arm, trying to sooth her the best I could.

“Kate was going to shoot him, I saw it in her eyes—I know that look and I—I pleaded with her, told her that I could keep him under control—I said a lot of things and she believed me.”

“But he shot her,”

“She was putting her gun down, she wasn't—he just pulled the trigger twice and—he was so cold.” her voice breaks as she struggles to take a deep breath. “Kate—she is fast though cause she still got him before collapsing.” she makes this high pitched noise before turning back into the pillow and her sobs grow louder. I move my hand to the curve of her stomach and cover her feet with mine. I want to hold her but it's doesn't feel right so I try everything I can do to sooth her without crossing a line.

“Bo—you don't have to tell me this.”

“I do though,” she pulls her face from the pillow again. “I don't have anyone else Lauren. I've lost everyone—I have no one to talk to—no one to tell me it's going to be okay. What I did wasn't okay—none of this is okay.”

“Shhh,” I feel my eyes glass over watching her break in front of me and I can't do it anymore. I scoot closer sliding my hand to her back pulling her close. Her arm goes around me gripping me so tight it hurts, her forehead pressing against my chest as she keeps her face down—hidden from me. “It's okay, you did what you had to do.”

“He stood there telling me how we were going to play this and we were gonna pin this on her—that she snapped from getting passed over for promotion and the problems at home with you—that she had trouble before in the past. He said he knew a friend that would do the autopsy, that would say she was on drugs again and—somewhere in the middle of this crazy rant I realized that this wasn't off the top of his head. He had this planned—and all I could think about was that she was always with you—with the kids, what was he going to try something in front of you three? And then I got this thought that maybe he knew that the three of you were taken—it was perfect to get her alone and--”

She trials off and holds me tighter, she is crying harder than I ever seen her cry before. Her breathing is so labored—I want to tell her she needs to calm down, that she isn't strong enough to be stressing her body like this but I can't. So I just hold her tightly, and listen.

“He thought I was going to heal him, and I started to—but as I felt my chi leaving everything flashed in my mind. Every word of yours, everything he was saying—what he had become and I—shifter or not he was fast cause he managed to shoot me twice before I got the gun away. My mind just wasn't working right cause otherwise I would have been able to save her and be fine but—I just blanked out. For the first time in so long my mind went blank and I wasn't me—I was someone else.”

“You were in shock, it's okay.” I whisper kissing the top of her head.

“I keep replaying it over and over in my head and every time I come up with a way I could have done it differently. I could have just let Kate kill him, I could have just chi-sucked him quicker—I could have let Kate be the one to find you. I was so focused on out doing her—on being your hero. I could feel Ethan—feel you and I sent her off cause I had to be the one who rescued you three.” she sniffles and takes another deep breath. “I still see his face but—Kate's face when I walked in there and she thought I set her up—I despise the woman but that look she had in her eyes at that moment I can't forget it.”

“You didn't though,” idly I begin running my hand up and down her back trying to calm her.

“I know and I don't know why it bothers me so much. I just—this is crazy.” she snorts pulling away from me abruptly. “I'm stupid.” she snorts in a chuckle and moves onto her back, her hands running over her face trying to wipe the tears away.

“It's not stupid--”

“I'm laying here crying to you about something you didn't even ask to hear. You don't care--”

“I love you Bo, of course I care.”

“How can you love me and not trust me?” she looks at me, and her features are twisted into this weird face—had it been any other time it would have been funny but now it was just heartbreaking. She was trying so hard to stop crying, so hard to remember she was supposed to be mad. “I've done everything I can to prove to you I'm a better person—that I can be better. I don't know what else I can do—I cannot compete with her Lauren. I can't compete with her with our kids and I thought I could for you but—I just—no matter what I do it's just never enough.”

“Bo,” her name comes out as a sigh as I try to swallow back my own tears. “Don't--” I sit up running my hands through my hair. “I can't trust you to be faithful and I need to in order to give myself to you again. I--”

“How do you know you can't if you won't try?”

“I'm not strong enough to do this again,” I admit in a broken whisper refusing to look over at her but she sits up, hand resting on the middle of my back. “I just keep breaking and breaking and breaking and every time I do I lose bits of myself. Every time I do I break someone else along with me. I am trying to put myself back together—I am trying to be better Bo.”

“You don't need to be better, you're as flawless as you've always been to me.”

“Do you think this is easy Bo?” I scoot over just enough so I can face her. “Do you know how much I want to hug you and touch you and kiss you? Do you know how much I want to take comfort in you—how much I want to give you the same comfort? How much I want to play house with you—I can't step foot in this place without picturing myself living here with you and kids. I remember your touch, your smell, your kiss—everything about you like it was just yesterday.”

“Then why won't you try?” she moves onto her knees taking my hands in her own, tears slipping down her cheeks. Suddenly all the aging, all the a maturity she's had recently vanishes and she is that young girl again begging me not to leave.

“Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of you—of myself—of what can happen.”

I take a breath and lips part to apologize but I'm silenced. Her lips on mine, the taste of our tears filling my mouth. It's gentle, sweet, lingering—the comfort it brings could never be spoken aloud. Her hands leave mind going to my face, as mine rest on her thighs. It's so intimate—but not sexual.

I can't say how long our kiss lasts for but it's not short because when the gigantic rumble of thunder shakes the foundation and we pull apart a bit the tears have long dried and the redness in her cheeks gone. She smiles softly and I return it with another simple kiss that was supposed to be short and simple but when we begin to pull apart again I feel her starting to feed.

“Shit!” she lets out pulling away so fast she sort of stumbles off of her legs falling onto her side. “I'm sorry Lauren. I—I didn't take my shot today and the feeding earlier—I'm sorry I didn't mean to ruin a perfectly nice moment.”

“You didn't,” I say softly taking her hand in my own. “Really. Bo listen to me and I know this may sound a little strange but—I want to have sex.”

“Wh-what?” she looks up at me wide eyed, cheeks turning pink.

“You need to feed more than the equivalent of a chicken nugget. You need the whole happy meal,” she raises eyebrow and I know I make a face. “We have two kids and another--” I nearly choke on my words and she looks at me with a look I can't quite describe. “One in Gabby. I mean she hangs around you enough to be your own and I was spending a lot of time with her for a bit so,” I shrug and smile softly. “Point is occasionally the fact I have kids comes through.”

“I get what you're saying about me feeding and I know one way or another I'm going to have to do something about this,” she swallows and looks down at our hands. “But the next time we have sex--I want to make love to you.”

“Bo,”

“I mean if—if we do again I want it to be the start of something. I want it to be so sweet and intimate I would cry--” she looks up at me almost scared. “Not that, that's a thing I do. I don't cry during sex I just mean I want that level of passion and intimacy. Really though I don't cry during sex now—never. Well that one time with you but that wasn't crying those were tears cause it really hurt when I--”

“I get it,” I smile letting out a giggle as I give her hand a squeeze before letting go and beginning to lay back down next to her. “I think that sounds--”

“Weird? Creepy? Stalker like?”

“Beautiful.”

“You really think so?” she smile hopefully at me as I pull the comforter back up over us.

“I do.” she just looks at me for a moment and then leans over and I'm expecting her to kiss me again, but her lips pass mine to find my ear.

“Thank you,” she whispers before pulling back, placing a soft kiss to my cheek before turning onto her other side with her back to me once again but this time it doesn't seem so cold. She doesn't make sure there is distance, now she just is getting comfortable.

Screw it, I think to myself as I wrap my arm around her waist and rest my head on her pillow again. Feet fidgeting with hers for a moment until we silently agree on a she is on top of one and I am on top of the other. Equality I guess, even though it's much more comfortable with my feet just covering her's. Oh well.

“I love you,” I whisper softly against her shoulder after several minutes of silence and I was expecting her to be asleep—I was hoping she would be.

“I love you too.” But I wasn't so lucky—though her saying those words so sleepily and softly reminded me of better days. “Lauren?”

“Hm?”

“I'm still mad at you,”

Maybe this could work. Maybe we could give this a try—maybe we could try dating. After all we never really did the whole dating deal and maybe that could be our baby-steps.

Maybe we did still have a forever together—maybe it just got knocked off track for a bit.

“Oh, I know.” I smile against her shoulder and I think she is smiling too—it feels like it. I let my eyes drift shut and just enjoy the feel of her in my arms. The feeling of safety and love—and like most times the world melts away.

Chapter Text

Day 122

 

“Well this is—unexpected.”

My mind is pulled to consciousness at the sound of my son's voice. I force my heavy eyelids open to find blackness—isn't it morning? Clearing my throat I pull my head up to look toward the door where my son's voice cam from and I can't help but notice me and a certain succubus' positioning. Not just our feet but our legs along with the sheet entangled in this sloppy mess. My right arm under her body, the other draped over her waist and considering the room is bright—to an extent I guess my face was buried in her hair.

“Hey baby,” I smile lazily at him and he just stares at me sort of amused and confused. Yes, Ethan this is the normal for me and your mother. We fight, say hurtful things and then normally end up in bed together one way or another. Maybe we should have told him that tid-bit last night—might have been grossed out and would have forgot to press other issues.

“What are you—whoa.” Isa says, eyes finally falling on the bed. “So---I think I'm gonna go back down stairs,” she starts to turn and walk out hopefully taking her brother but stops looking back over her shoulder. “Your thing is legs, totally the legs.” she says flatly with this aggressive smirk before walking out.

“I swear there is something wrong with her.” he pouts shaking his head and following her example only he pulls the door shut behind himself.

“Are they gone?” I hear a muffled voice from beside me.

“You were awake this whole time?”

“Mm-hm.”

“And you didn't think to offer help?”

“Nope. Still mad remember.”

“Still?”

“More like grumpy now.”

“So difficult to please,” I chuckle softly as I begin untangling myself from her even though she gives me this whimper of protest which almost convinces me right then to lay back down.

“I'm actually quite easy,” she says with a smirk and I look down at her, my grin growing realizing she has been awake for a while now. Stealing cuddles I see—cuddle stealer, ha. I could call her that.

“I don't know about that,” my grin turning to a smirk as I slide off the bed. “I offered you sex last night and you turned me down. We kissed three times and nothing—either I'm losing my touch or you've gotten a little harder.”

“Oh God, if I was guy I could have so many jokes for that.”

“Really?” I raise an eyebrow looking over my shoulder seeing she has rolled onto her side to face me. “Do you care to share?”

“Well they're pointless now—not a guy.”

“Don't tell me you got rid of your box of toys,” I smirk looking over my shoulder once more as I pull my shirt off. “If I remember correctly there are somethings in there that can be worn that will allow you to use them.”

“Um,” she lets out cheeks reddening as her eyes run over the curves of my back.

“See that's why you should stick with women, they aren't threatened by the help.” I push my boxer-shorts down deciding to go for a little payback for last night. “In fact we like to play with them too.”

“Flirty this morning I see,”

“My amygdalas has not completely been woken yet.”

“Talk of toys, stripping and geek-speak.” she trails off and had I not been pulling up my jeans I would have turned around to see why she fell silent. My curiosity was satisfied soon enough though as I felt her hands sliding from the curve of my hips to my stomach, her lips resting on my shoulder. “Why Doctor, if you wanted me this bad you should have said so.”

“I will scream,” I laugh finishing slipping the button through the loop on my jeans.

“Good.” she smirks against my skin, her hands pulling me back against her firmer preventing me from bending to reach for my shirt. “I love it when you scream,” she kisses up to my neck. “Particularly when you scream my name.”

“You do know this is dangerously coming close to crossing a line,”

“Hands above waist, closed lipped kisses, and suggestive speak still in the realm of G-rating—i think I'm still good.”

“Clever.” I can't help but laugh a little—she wasn't wrong.

“Thank you.” she gives my shoulder a quick nip. “You are released.” she says pulling her embrace away and allowing me to finish dressing.

“How do you feel this morning?”

“Fine.”

“Really, how do you feel?”

“I feel okay.”

“You're going to—”

“Need to feed? I know,” I turn around just in time to find her give me the 'yeah I know already' face she likes to give me. “I wanted to ask you something that might make this morning a little less playful.”

“Is this about the bodily fluid comment because I thought we cleared that up.” I say grinning as I walk passed her going into the bathroom.

“No,” she can't help but laugh like I knew she would and I hope it's enough to detour her away from whatever it is she wants to talk about. I haven't had my coffee and despite the events of last night I was actually in a decent mood. “These little trips you and flea bag take with the kids for their birthdays,”

“What about them?”

“It's been going on for a while?”

“Since we met her, granted I met her in February of that year they were going to turn eight so we knew her for almost eleven months before I allowed them to go off rock jumping but you don't need to know all of that.” I clear my throat as I walk into the doorway leaning against the frame to find her sitting on the edge of the bed with her sad-puppy face on. “I swear Bo, they were always safe.”

“No, no it's not about that. I mean I hear my eight year olds are jumping off rocks and I get a little antsy but it's fine. I—had some time to think when I was up here--”

“Hiding?”

“Trying to maturely process my feelings.” she glares resting her hands on her knees. “I was thinking about what you said and the kids and—I think that some of their resistance is coming from the fact that their lives are being shaken up so much. I mean I don't like to think about it but you were saying this tradition on their birthday they've had since they were seven and now they aren't doing it until the weekend and you aren't going—it's just one more change to their life because of me.”

“You aren't the only reason some aspects of that have changed.”

“I want you to go.”

“What?” I raise an eyebrow.

“I'm not going to say a word today when I hand them off to Vex for their day of fun. And tomorrow when they are supposed to go with Kate to do this birthday tradition—I want you to go. I don't want to know if you and her share a room or a bed. I don't want to hear if you two have sex or do—what we did last night. I don't want to know any of it—but I do want you to go and continue this tradition with them.”

“Bo,”

“As much as I'd like to ship the little poodle off somewhere she will in one way or another always be a part of my life because the kids will always be a part of hers. I need to start making peace with that, and I don't want to ruin their birthday deal. So please, go with them. Have fun—just don't tell me about it.”

“I won't--”

“Don't,” she say sternly looking up from the floor to me with this intense gaze. “Don't make a promise you won't keep.”

“what?” I snort taking three steps into the room and fold my arms over my chest.

“Lauren lets be honest, some of the appeal to us in the beginning was the rush. The rush and excitement of getting caught, and that we aren't supposed to be doing this and it was all very romantic and crazy and intense which led to some—instances. Now? We still have it—sorta. But now you're going off with her and the roles are switched.”

“Except we aren't together.”

“Thanks for that.” she snorts and clenches her jaw. I suppose I didn't need to say that part. “Just—don't make a promise we both know you might not keep.”

“Fair enough.”

====================================================================================

Day 123

 

“I'm confused, which car belongs to who?” Bo asks with eyebrow raised as she comes walking from her building's front door as the kids run past her toward the car.

“Um,” I laugh nervously. “They actually belong to both of us, we have a third one as well. I prefer the SUV,”

“Then why are you—she's here.” her jaw clenches eyes narrowing as she is close enough now to see that Kate is in the driver's seat.

“It wasn't intentional I didn't know you'd be down here.”

“It's fine.” she forces a smile and I know it's not but there is only so far I can go into this within earshot of everyone. “So you guys will get there tomorrow morning?”

“More like late after noon. It's a twenty hour drive—more or less.”

“Wow. Well have fun with that.” she says and gives me this awkward pat on the arm, before turning and walking away.

“Hey,” I let out stopping her after a few steps. “What are you planning to do this weekend?”

“You know work—have a date with Audrey tonight, if it goes well might plan something with her tomorrow too.”

“Oh. Alright.” I force a smile and give a nod before turning and walking the seven steps back to the car.

Hm. Guess I see now why she wanted me to go on this trip—had nothing to do with me or the kids or being a mature she just wanted the place to herself and Little-Miss.-Fatass with a fake tan. Hm. And here I thought there was growth. Well fine—let her have her weekend with the fake professor.

In the words of my daughter---Pffffffft.

======================================================================================

Day 124

 

ME: What are you doing? (7:23 pm.)
BO: Watching a movie. (7:23 pm.)
ME: I'm just getting out of the shower. (7:23 pm.)
BO: Hey, I don't wanna be rude but I'm with Audrey so do you mind if we can talk later. (7:23 pm.)
ME: Oh. Sure. Have fun. (7:23 pm.)

Well then. I let out a chuckle as I set my phone down on the counter and quickly throw on my sweats and T-shirt. That was fine if she didn't want to talk then I didn't want to talk either I was just texting to—to make sure she was doing okay being alone. But obviously she isn't alone so I will go back to having a great time.

Won't think about her once more .

Snorting I pull the door open and walk out into the room to find Kate sitting against the headboard reading her Ipad but the other bed across from the one she is in is empty.

“They went down to the pool,”

“Oh,” I say taking a deep breath.

“Relax Lauren I have NO intention of trying anything with you.” she says not even bothering to look up from the screen. That is the second time someone said that to me almost that exact way in a forty-eight hour period—what is going on here?

“Well that hurt more than I was prepared for. Also like the nice little bridge you got going on there.” I say though an irritated smirk as I notice there is a line of four pillows down the middle of the bed. What did Bo give her tips??

“Thanks. Might not have a Ph.D but I can manage to do some things on my own.”

“That was unnecessary.” I say walking around to my designated area and sitting down. “So—feel like talking?”

“About?”

“I don't know—anything. What are you reading?” I ask leaning over to try and see the screen but when my arm touches hers she scoots over a bit. “What's going on Kate, I thought we were working on being friends?”

“Yeah. Friends.” she smirks and nods still not looking at me. “See the thing is you don't know the meaning of friends. You think it means you get all the benefits of dating but you aren't and have the freedom to do as you please. In real life you don't get all those extra perks from people who are just friends.”

“What about from people you might be considering dating?” this grabs her attention as she looks over at me in this scowl. “I am thinking about dating—and as it turns out dating for me is really only two people. I am thinking about going on a date with Bo and--”

“What? This is a consolation prize? Something to make sure my feelings aren't hurt?”

“No. This is an I'm wanting to date in general terms and there are a lot of ways to look at me suggesting this to you and I know that a lot of them are not very nice—but the truth is that I've taken sometime, I am moving forward. I want to go out on a date with Bo but I also want to go out on one with you. Just because I have feeling for her doesn't make mine for you vanish and vice versa—I just want to see in the mature, responsible way what it is that I want. And if you don't want to then I completely understand,”

I finish giving her a soft smile and she just continues to look at me glaring. Bo scowled most times but Kate glared—they weren't the same thing, believe me. True I wasn't exactly planning on dating anyone yet—I thought it would be another month or two but Bo is dating Audrey and I want to go on a date with Bo so why not speed the process up a bit, right? And I wasn't lying, I still loved Kate and found her attractive and if I was dating then—I mean I don't see a flaw in my logic here.

No one could.

Her glare turns into this sort of smile as she lets the Ipad fall into her lap, her eyes meeting mine and after I stop focusing on Bo I feel something—feel like she is going to kiss me and I wouldn't mind that. So I smile softly and lean a little in letting her know it's okay. She looks hesitant but leans in, her lips hovering over mine for a second before closing the distance.

It's sweet, soft, gentle—it's just that. Her hand cups my cheek and I smile into the kiss, my hand reaching up and touching her forearm. Sure me and Bo had sweet, soft, gentle kisses too but there was always this fire, this passion, this desire there. That was mind blowingly amazing but sometimes this was enough too.

“What's wrong?” I ask softly as she suddenly jerks back my eyes opening when she does. “Kate?” I ask smile vanishing seeing the look of pure agony washing over her features.

“Are you consciously this manipulative or does it just happen?”

“I'm---what?” I chuckle dryly pulling back a bit. “That was not where I was thinking this was going.”

“I mean really Lauren, Jesus fucking Christ. How self centered are you?” she throws the blanket off her legs onto me as she slides off the mattress. “How fucking stupid can I be—I have seventeen-hundred years on you and I'm getting played like a cheep fiddle at a drunken redneck barbeque.”

“Okay—I know we are in the middle of a fight I'm not exactly sure what it's about but can we just take a moment to address the metaphor?” I chuckle a bit pushing the blanket off myself and sitting up but humor isn't going to work now. She is pissed—really pissed.

“I mean I am actually beginning to feel bad for that fetus, you know I was blaming her for everything this whole time—but really?”

“Okay first off Kate, I'm only five years older than her so when you call her names such as fetus and child and toddler I can't help but be offended because I just don't think five years is enough to really get me out of that territory.” I sigh before taking a breath and running my hand through my hair preparing for a fight I wasn't even aware I was in.

Bo is malnourished and turning down free sex from me and Kate goes crazy after a PG style kiss—and it only has the P in there because we're both women and the stupid rating places whose name escapes me at the moment thinks that same-sex couple kissing need parental guidance to watch. It's a freaking peck not a scene from the L-Word people.

I bet Bo is getting much further than I am—bet she is already rounding first base---okay second—fine by this point she is probably sliding into home—with that home wrecker. Okay fine she isn't 'technically' a home wrecker but still—not even the point. I am focused on the wrong issue at the moment.

“Honestly Lauren—what is wrong with you?”

“Kate I don't even know what you're talking about. I'm getting whiplash here, if you would just explain why you're upset than we can assess the situation together.”

“You really can't be serious with this shit? Assess the situation?” she looks around making this 'can you believe this bitch face' yes, she has one of those. “Just tell me what the game is here?”

“What game?” I ask standing up, my patients beginning to wear thin.

“What are you just readying me in case she says no? Or did she already and you're falling back on me? That it? I'm just your backup—I deserve better than that.”

“Better than what?”

“Better than being you backup.”

“I have no clue what you're even talking about.” I let out voice raising a little unintentionally. But come on, she is flipping out over---what??? If anyone had a right to flip out it was me—and for so MANY reasons.

“You're fucking pregnant Lauren!” Oh shit...... “I can hear the heartbeat--”

“Woah. I really need to start knocking.” Ethan say looking at us dumbfounded in the doorway.

“Nice job Kate.” Isa laughs out pushing past her brother drying her hair with the oversized, white, hotel towel.

“Not my work,” she whispers turning her face away from them to look down at the baseboard.

“Oh well in that case, shit.”

“You are on thin ice.” I say harshly glaring at her as she takes a seat on her bed. “Watch the mouth.”

“Good thing we aren't religious because the things happening lately—we would never leave the confessional.” Ethan snorts shaking his head as he walks around the bed to take a seat next to his sister.

“Adultery, adultery, adultery, out of wedlock pregnancy—out of a committed relationship pregnancy—lying—yeah, we would never leave.”

“I said thin ice, do you want to find out what it's like to be spanked at fifteen? I promise it will be more humiliating than painful.” I raise an eyebrow and glare. I can see she is going to be a nightmare and she is just three days past fifteen. Three days. Note to self: Remind Bo to have a serious talk with her daughter---when she isn't busy with the trollop.

“So what are you going to do?” Ethan asks softly, disappointment written all over his face.

“I say you exercise your right as a woman.” Isa grumbles tossing the towel into the corner.

“Abortion is not on the table.”

“I thought you were okay with abortion?”

“No. I am not pro abortion, I am pro-choice and yes there is a difference Charlotte. I support that women should have a right to do what they would like with their body but that is where my support ends and—why am I having this discussion with you?”

“Well see the thing is if we don't push these things with you when they happen we end up having to wait around for months—or years until you get backed into a corner.”

“Charlotte.” Kate says giving her best disapproving stare and my daughter automatically backs down. Note to self: after calming Kate—learn that look.

“This is a conversation for adults and not the two of you. You will go to sleep and not tell Bo anything about this.”

“You want us to lie to her?” Ethan asks giving me his best disappointed face now.

“No, not lie just don't bring it up. I highly doubt that she will randomly ask you if I'm pregnant. I'm sure by now she's forgotten it's even a possibility.” she better remember it's a possibility while she is stealing bases with Miss. Spray-Tan. “Did I not make myself clear, lay down and go to sleep.”

“It's not even nine yet.”

“Charlotte do as your mother says.” Kate says firmly and she gets an eye roll but the two of them crawl up the bed and get under the comforter. Okay I really thought my children never got in trouble, did they get in trouble and Kate just always handled it because this is ridiculous.

“Come with me,” I say softly walking the few steps toward her and reach out for her hand but she jerks away.

“I'm going to sleep.”

“Kate,” I sigh her name and give her the best pleading look I can manage. I could kick Bo's ass for making me come on this trip. I could kick my own ass for not thinking she would realize I was pregnant.

“What?” she almost growls as she shuts the bathroom door behind herself. “You said what you needed to say.”

“I'm sorry, I didn't want you to find out this way.”

“Yeah well I'm use to finding out things pertaining to you and the succu-slut in the worst ways so,”

“Okay, just can we not with the name calling because then I feel the need to defend her and then it makes things worse between us and--”

“Lauren I think we've officially hit rock bottom.”

“Just let me explain.”

“Explain what? One of the multiple times you've cheated on me you got knocked up again since apparently she is the most potentate succubus in the history of the world—honestly it's best she isn't a man cause otherwise she'd just have little litigate children running around everywhere.”

“I understand this is upsetting to you but it's pretty upsetting to me too.”

“We aren't comparing the amount of being upset because I can promise you I will win—every time. You know every time I think you make five steps forward you take three steps over into the land of crazy-vill. You haven't told her you're pregnant but you want to start dating her—and me—who you also weren't going to tell. I mean I know you think the two of us are pretty stupid but shit Lauren, we'd notice when you started to show.”

“I just needed a little--”

“Time?” her voice raises a tad as her eyes narrow while her nostrils do the little flare thing they tend to do when she is trying not to yell. “Say the word time Lauren, say it.”

“Yes, okay. I needed time to figure out what I was going to do.”

“You already said you weren't getting an abortion so what more do you need to know on the subject?”

“So what, you think I should get an abortion?”

“I don't care if that was Dyson's baby you wouldn't be getting one---if I had a say. It's not about whose baby it is, it's about the fact you are trying to play the two of us---again. And for some reason the fact that it's her baby makes me care a little bit about how this would effect her.”

“Well if it's not about me keeping it—and not about who it's with then why are you pissed?”

“Seriously? Seriously?” she does this weird hand jester thing with her hands as she shakes her head and chuckles. “I just told you why I am upset—seriously?” she shakes her head again turning around pulling the door open and walking out.

I need to go back to dating men—Hey that's where Ethan gets that from—can't believe I just put that together.

===================================================================================

Day 132

 

“Seriously?” I shake my head looking in the trunk of the car to find the spot where the spare tire should be but it's empty—she did that on purpose I bet.

Sitting down on the ledge of the trunk I pull out my phone instinctively pressing #2 and KATE comes up. My thumb moves to hit call but it doesn't press down. Sighing I hit the back button before scrolling through my contacts.

ME: Hey, what are you doing? (10:58 p.m.)
BO: Getting ready to go out. (10:58 p.m.)
ME: Oh. (10:58 p.m.)
ME: Alright then sorry to bother you. (10:58 p.m.)
BO: Not bothering me. (10:58 p.m.)
ME: Well you're supposed to be getting ready to go out and now you're busy texting me. (10:59 p.m.)
BO: Won't kill me to be a few minutes late. (10:59 p.m.)
ME: Still. Sorry. Go have fun. (10:59 p.m.)

Wow. ANOTHER date with this woman who is supposedly nothing important. What happened to the mature and responsible waiting period. Unless she figured out she wanted to do something with her that was more than just have sex. I mean she is taking advantage of the kids sleeping over at Gabby's, she is using this free time to go out with her and not me. Me? I offered to have sex with her and the first time we both have an opportunity to go on a date she asks that—okay I am running out of things to call her.

Note to self: get some new names from Vex.

BO: What are you doing? (11:01 p.m.)
ME: Oh just...sitting here. (11:01 p.m.)
BO: Boring night at home? (11:01 p.m.)
ME: No. (11:01 p.m.)
BO: Working late? (11:01 p.m.)
ME: I was. (11:01 p.m.)
BO: Okay, what's up with the cryptic-ness? Where are you? (11:02 p.m.)
ME: On the side of the road. Right off of Addison and Wentworth. (11:02 p.m.)
BO: What??? (11:02 p.m.)
ME: I have a flat. No spare. (11:02 p.m.)
BO: Is Kate on her way to get you? (11:02 p.m.)
ME: No. (11:02 p.m.)
BO: Why not? What is so damn important she can't get you??? (11:02 p.m.)
ME: Nothing. I haven't called her. (11:04 p.m.)
BO: Why? (11:04 p.m.)
ME: Because I text you. (11:05 p.m.)
ME: Don't worry though I'll call Vex. (11:05 p.m.)
ME: Go have fun. TTYL. (11:05 p.m.)
BO: Don't call anyone I'll be right there. (11:05 p.m.)
ME: Bo, no. Go out I'll call Vex. (11:05 p.m.)
BO: I said I'll be right there. (11:05 p.m.)

Chapter Text

“Need a lift?” Bo asks as her car pulls to a stop next to me, the passenger’s side window rolled all the way down. She is leaning forward, arm resting over the steering wheel.

“It would appear so, think you could help a girl out?”

“Um—are we doing a role play thing here because in that case I'm going to need a minute to come up with some better lines.”

“Since when do you need time for dirty talk?” I raise an eyebrow staring at her and something seems—off about her.

“It's late, give me a break.” she smirks. “Do you plan on getting in or,”

“You aren't going to look over the car?”

“You said it was a flat and you had no tire—what does me getting out and confirming your findings do?”

“Confirming my findings?” I nod as my jaw tightens. All that time with Audrey giving her some new phrases I see. Standing up I pull the trunk down with a slam before getting into her car. “You look—nice.”

“Maybe if there was no hesitation there I'd believe you.” she snorts as she looks away from me before starting to pull off. “Should we call a tow truck? Do they have tow trucks here?”

“Yes Bo, we have tow trucks.” I chuckle shaking my head at her words. “Every cop in the city knows who I am, they will run the plates and just tow it for me.”

“How convenient for you.” she looks away and then steals a glance and does this about three or four times making it reach the point where it is growing slightly weird. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like I'm a glass of ice cold water and you just spent eight weeks in the desert.”

“Um,” I laugh and I'm sure I give a look with the way she nervously laughs. “Well I find you attractive, excuse me for admiring the architecture—as our daughter would say.”

“No. If I said three or four—maybe even five weeks but now it's creepy. It's the look like you wanna keep me chained in your basement and then eventually your fridge.” we pull to a stop and she gives me this awkward smile. “I've been watching a lot of serial killer movies with the kids, I think it's beginning to effect the way I see things.”

“I can tell,”

I give a smile and shift in my seat so I was no longer looking directly at her. I suppose maybe I was looking a little more than need be but—since when is that a problem? Since when can't I look at the mother of my children? Hm?

Wow if this is me at eighty days I can't wait to see me at one-sixty.

My eyes dance along the dashboard over to the steering wheel to her hands. Hm, she has on black nail polish for the first time since she's has popped back into my life A white-gold bracelet on her right wrist—hm, isn't it a little early to be exchanging gifts? Eyes traveling up her bare arm to her shoulder to the half inch, black strap holding up her shirt that is WAY to low cut. WAY—WAY to low. My eyes stop at her neckline seeing she is wearing my gift. HA. Score one for the doctor.

She looks gorgeous—she is so fixed up. Makeup, jewelery---leather pants. Yep, she was definitely aiming to get some tonight.

“You okay?”

“Hm?” my eyes jump from her thigh to her eyes. “Yeah. Why?”

“Cause you look any harder and I think your eyes are gonna pop out.”

“I wasn't,” I snort and force a dry laugh as I go to look out my window and realize we're in front of Evony's building already. Did she really drive me here and not to her house? “Seriously?” I let out turning to look at Bo. Dammit, those two now have me saying that.

“What?”

“Nothing, just thought you would have invited me back to your place is all.”

“Did you want to come back to my place?”

“No.”

“But you just said--”

“Yeah. That was then, I don't want to when I have to practically beg you.”

“I really think you need to see someone about changing those pills of yours.” she snorts out a chuckle.

“What?” I turn to look at her, oh yeah I didn't tell her about that. “It turns out she is a clever little—doctor. The pills were placebos just water pills—or maybe vitamins. Vitamins would be very beneficial considering—nothing.”

“Lauren, are you sure you're alright?”

“Yes. I'm fine.” I force a smile and look from her befuddle look back to the building.

“Can I come up?”

“No.” I say flatly.

“Excuse me?” she snorts again now with a irritated laugh rather than a chuckle. “Okay really Lauren, what's up?”

“Nothing. I just don't want to force you to come up or spend time with me. You are all dressed up for someone--I've taken enough of your time.” I huff as I get out of the car, making sure to slam the door behind myself as the word 'time' barely makes it past my lips.

Okay, maybe in retrospect that was an over reaction to the situation at hand and I can recognize that now but I am already stepping onto the elevator and she had probably pulled away. Besides it's not like I can chase her down the street. I have no car for one and two I'm almost three months pregnant I shouldn't be running—technically I should be since exercise is good for the baby but I mean—why am I trying to justify this to myself?

The elevator doors pull open and I walk down the narrow hall to my door. I don't know why there is a twenty foot long hall just to the door for the penthouse. It would have made more sense if the elevator opened into the house but that was Evony for you.

I slam the door behind me, immediately kicking my shoes off. Evony hated when I did that but she left me here unattended so she had no say, nor would she find out—unless Vex came by but they were hardly ever getting along well enough for him to tattle on me.

I hear a knock on the door and I turn back around rushing to the door, last time I slammed a door security came too. Evony told them to watch me—actually she told them to not allow Kate in the building and for some reason that constitutes them checking on me at least once a night.

“--Bo?”

“Hey. Yeah, remember me? The chick who blew off her plans to come and get you then got yelled at for—I'm not exactly sure why I got yelled at.”

“I didn't yell,”

“Yeah, you kinda did. Can I come in?” she asks but doesn't wait for an answer as she pushes passed me.

“Sure.” I chuckle and shut the door before following her into the living-room. “So what now?”

“Well—I don't know. I was so worked up I only got as far as this part.”

“Okay,” I smile and take a seat on the couch, her narrowed eye following me the entire time.

“What is going on with you?”

“Nothing, why?”

“Lauren you're giving me freaking whiplash here. Four days ago you couldn't wait to get rid of me fast enough. Three days ago you did everything you could to keep me from going to work. Two days ago you were about to stab the street vender for offering me half off on fish and chips—even though there was a sign saying Half-Off Fish and Chips on Tuesdays—it was Tuesday. One day ago you completely ignored me—then you do some weird, cryptic texing and then tonight you have some fit about—something. I can't even—I'm going crazy trying to figure you out.”

“Well if it is so hard putting up with me then maybe you should leave.”

“I take back my previous statement, I think you need to be on meds of some kind cause this right here—it's not normal Lauren.”

“No actually it's quite common for someone who is--” I take a deep breath and bite my bottom lip cursing to myself. She needs to leave I am too upset and emotional to do this now.

“Who is what?” she asks staring at me as if she looked hard enough the answer would come to her.

“Nothing. Can you leave please?”

“No. I can't leave—who is what Lauren? Are you sick? Is something wrong? Oh, God—do you really need meds—are you bi-polar cause that would explain a lot.” she asks and though the last comment makes me want to slap her the concern in her voice is enough to bring tears to my eyes as she sits down next to me. “Are you gonna cry? Oh God, I'm sorry—what did I say?” she reaches out to cup my cheek but pulls her hand away, hesitant.

“No—it's not you. Well it is but it isn't your fault really. I cried the other day because I didn't have enough room in the dishwasher for Jake—it's a cup I ended up naming because I had a discussion with him about why he couldn't go with all of the other—its not important.”

“Please tell me the cup didn't talk back.”

“No Bo, I'm not insane.” I sigh and scoot back a little bit away from her. “Look I have something to tell you but I have something else to tell you before I tell you the really important thing that might piss you off.”

“Okay, wait. The thing you need to tell me will piss me off or the thing you have to tell me before you tell me the other thing?”

She makes this face and I can see there is a fear there, a concern that hovers just under the surface. Her features as beautiful as always, she didn't need makeup to be beautiful. In fact in my opinion without it she was gorgeous and with it she was beautiful, unlike with most of the population makeup took away form her beauty.

It was all a little silly now thinking about it. I wasn't insane, once I calmed down enough I knew where my flaws were, where my mistakes were but I just can't seem to keep from making them. Thinking back over the night it was all sort of funny and childish. But now looking into her eyes seeing the fear, the concern, the hurt, the wonder—none of it seemed all that funny anymore. Suddenly I wasn't the girl hiding behind the fact I was pregnant and had a horrible week. No, now I was back to being the woman who had two kids and was pregnant with another. I was back to being the woman who was trying to better herself and who had responsibilities so the fact I had a bad week didn't matter.

“This thing I have to tell you, Kate and the kids know already and it wasn't intended to happen that way. I swear to you on our children it wasn't supposed to happen this way--but it happened. I need you to know I'm truly sorry for that,”

“Lauren,” she sort of does this snort slash sigh and despite the fact she keeps her features firm I know she is nervous by the way her fingers idly tap against her leg. “I don't care who knows what or when—just tell me cause you're starting to scare me.”

“You will,” I whisper looking down at the white material. “I'm--”

What was I going to do? What would she say? What would she do? Would she run? Two kids is a a lot to deal with but now a third—possibly a fourth?

“Bo, I'm pregnant.”

“Wh—what?” her voice trembles with surprise, with fear as she leans back slightly causing me to look up since I thought the movement was her getting up. “I'm sorry, what did you just say?”

“I'm pregnant with your child—children. I'm not quite sure whether or not it's twins. I'm—about eighty days, give or take a few hours.”

“And you're sure it's mine?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“A legitimate one considering you were still with Kate and--”

“She is a woman,”

“What am I?” her voice kind of squeaks.

“You are a succubi, you literally pass part of your essence into me when you feed me—that's a weird sentence but—this female on female pregnancy deal isn't a Fae thing Bo, it's a succubi deal. And even if it wasn't, me and Kate haven't done anything since a little before the first time we were together.”

“Oh God.” she lets out, the color in her cheeks draining. “Oh my God.” taking a deep breath she looks up at me and I couldn't say what she was feeling if my life depended on it. “Why didn't you—why did you let me feed off of you? Are you okay? Oh God, I'm a horrible parent.”

“Bo. Bo, it's fine.”

“No, it's not. You need all the strength possible for you and the baby--or babies.”

“It's fine, because my body over produces during my pregnancy, in order to be able to keep my mate from straying.” she gives me this baffled look and I can tell she is only absorbing half of what I am saying to her now. “The partner pregnant begins over producing what you know as chi, that way they are able to sustain their partner in order to keep them throughout the pregnancy and a few months after.”

“Oh God—why didn't you tell me?” she asks in a whisper, tears creating a glass like film over her eyes. “I had sex with Audrey. I needed to feed and—why didn't you tell me? I don't care if you didn't let me feed off of you I wouldn't have touched her had I known—I'm sorry.”

“You don't have anything to apologize for,”

“How can you say that? You're pregnant with my child and I am off feeding on people---”

“Bo, we aren't together. It doesn't matter,”

“It matters to me.” she says flatly. “It matters to me Lauren.”

She doesn't say anything, she just sits here next to me looking at my hands and I know she isn't really looking at them so much as letting her mind process things and that just happened to be where she focused on but for some reason I felt the need to remain perfectly still. I wanted to speak but didn't know what to say. I wanted to touch her but why—what would it do? I wanted to talk but about what?

“Get your stuff.”

“What?” I ask softly not necessarily hearing her words since my mind had done a little wandering of it's own.

“We need to get your stuff packed, now is the perfect time with the kids being out and we're here so lets start getting what you have here.”

“And where do you think I am taking my stuff?” my brow raises.

“To my loft.”

“Bo, I'm not moving in with you.”

“Are you with Kate?”

“No.”

“Then?”

“So those are my options, you or Kate?” I don't know why I ask this like I am upset or that it is some big shocker because let's be honest—those really were my two choices.

“Wait, so you aren't with Kate and you are pregnant with my child but you still won't be with me?”

“That isn't what I said, I'm saying no I am not moving in with you tonight.”

“Tomorrow?”

“No.”

“This week?” she looks at me and I shake my head. “Next week? Week after?”

“Bo, I am not moving in with you but I want to date you.”

“You want to date me?” she laughs, at first it's soft and subtle but grows. “No. No. No. Nope. Nu-uh. No. No. No.”

“Bo?”

“No. No. No.” she repeats standing up and taking three steps back. “No, no, no, no.”

“Are you okay?”

“No. I have dealt with you having more mood swings than Ikea has furniture. I have put up with Kate and her million and one issues. I have dealt with the mood swings of the children, one of which has a highly unusual bond to Kate. I've been nearly killed. I've been arrested. I've killed—my ex fiancee to be specific. I've lost my family. I've almost had my ass beat multiple times. I've been screamed at and humiliated. I've walked miles in the woods. I have—I have nearly lost my damn sanity trying to keep up with you. I have been mature and rational and logical to the best of my abilities for almost five months and now you're sitting here in Evony's apartment telling me that you are not with Kate, are pregnant with my child—me who you are in love with and want to date—but you will still not take a leap of faith and be with me?”

“B--”

“It's not even a fucking leap at this point—it's like a hop. Not even a hop, it's like a skip.”

“Bo just--”

“I mean I could see if you were still with Kate then yeah, you have a home and a relationship so I can see the hesitation. I could see if we were a one night stand and you weren't in love with me. I could see if I was the me from sixteen years ago. I could see---no that is about all the reasons I could come up with.”

“Bo, you need to breathe.” I say looking at her, she still has no color in her cheeks while her words are fast and almost one long sentence.

“I cheated on you Lauren, I missed a couple of events, I was immature—I didn't try to ax murder you in your sleep. I didn't beat you or abuse you. I am not a pedophile. I am for the most part mentally stable. So I am just not understanding why you will not take a skip—no it's really just a step now. A step of faith?”

“It's not that simple.”

“Nothing is simple with you, well you know what Lauren sometimes things are just simple and sometimes things that are complicated aren't complicated enough to drag out for five months when you already have the answers to everything.”

“Everything is not figured out--”

“What more do you need from me?!” her voice raises and her tone hardens. “I live, breathe and would die for. I have done nothing but show you this, I've bent over backward trying to show you how much I have grown. I have done nothing but what you've asked of me even when it made no damn sense but here we are and you still won't give me a chance?”

“I want to give you a chance, I want to try dating.”

“We have two children together, we are in love, you are pregnant with my child—but yet lets please date. You know what—fine I will give you what you want, lets date but live with me while you do so. I promise I won't sexually assault you.”

“Bo, just breathe I think you're having a panic attack.”

“I'm fine.” she glares taking deep breaths as she takes a seat in the chair facing me. “Kate knows before me?”

“Yes.” I take a deep breath myself preparing myself for the anger that was going to follow now that she realizes that little fact. “It was an accident and kind of your fault.”

“Excuse me?” she looks up from the floor, nostrils flaring. It was supposed to be a joke—sort of.

“It really isn't my fault, she was being all sniffer-snifferson and with the bionic ears. Damn wolves, they are a pain in the butt.”

“Are you trying to be cute right now?”

“I was a little bit yes,” I say standing and she looks as if she is ready to pounce on me. “I'm going to get you a glass of water, and possibly find a paper bag for you to breathe into before you pass out.”

“I'm fine.” she mumbles. She really isn't, she is having a panic attack but I wasn't going to press the issue and have it intensify.

“Here,” I say returning with a half glass of water and even though she is scowling she takes it. “Slowly,” I lean against the arm of the couch, arms folded over my chest just watching her. It's a few minutes of silence but she finally begins breathing normally. She places the glass on the floor before looking back up at me with those big, brown eyes of hers.

“She—she heard the heartbeat?” she whispers, tears once again returning. “Did she say it was strong? Was it fast? Were there two or is her hearing not good enough to be able to tell?”

“I um—we haven't discussed it. She wasn't pleased when she found out and so,” I trail off until I notice the befuddled face she is making. “It wasn't about you or even the baby, it was a mistake I made.”

“Oh, I guess I can call her and ask.”

“Why wouldn't you just attend an appointment with me?”

“Wasn't aware that was an option Lauren. I mean at this point I'm just the chi supplier.”

“You know that isn't true.”

“Then why did you wait so long? Three months?”

“I just found out the night before the kid's birthday, I was having symptoms but—there was a lot of reasons I didn't tell you.”

“Cause I'm just that awful? What were you going to run off again?”

“Jesus Bo, don't go down this road. Not now,” I sigh and stand up walking around to take a seat on the couch. “Most of it was from fear—but I was never going to run, and I was never going to abort.”

“Well, small miracles.” she snort sniffling back tears.

“I didn't know how you would react, I didn't know how I felt about it honestly and a lot of people wait to tell, especially people who have experienced what I have.” taking a breath I look down at my lap and try to weigh the pros and cons of telling her this but I don't feel well, I'm hungry and emotional so my rational is not working as well as I would like. “I had a miscarriage three and a half years ago.”

“What?” she looks at me with that concern, pain ridden look she had when this started.

“Me and Kate tired before with a donor of course, I carried up until four months and then I miscarried. I don't know what caused it, and I never tried again. I thought that because of the DNA splicing maybe it affected something. I didn't want to tell you because I am indecisive and because I am an asshole at times yes, but also because I am terrified that within another thirty or forty days--”

“Hey.” she whispers and in the time it takes me to look from my feet up she is at my side. Her hand resting on my lower back while the other is on my knee. “I am so, so sorry for that. There is no words to describe how sorry I am and there will never be enough words to make me understand exactly how you felt but I can promise you—nothing will happen to this baby—or babies.” she smiles so softly I can almost see the love radiating off of her.

“You can't promise me that,” I whisper, a tear slipping free though it doesn't make it passed the middle of my cheek, her hand leaving my knee to wipe it away.

“I can.” she smiles and cups my cheek. “Nothing will happen. I will chi feed you everyday if need be. I will get you anything you need. Extra blankets or weird cravings or—anything. Everything will be okay.”

“I am so scared.”

“Me too.” she laughs letting her hand fall back to my knee.

I don't have words to describe how she looked. Wounded. Hurt. Betrayed. Broken. Furious. Angry. I could use a lot of words small, big and some that fell in between but none of them had the right feel to accurately describe the look that was not only covering her features but fusing into them. Her eyes still had that tearful shine to them but there was something more serious behind them—something that worried me.

In reality if I was going to be honest with myself, Kate had been right nine out of ten times with what she said to me. Bo was completely right with what she had just said. I know there comes a point when you have to let go of the past but I just can't seem to do so. I see her and I see all of the good, all of the progress she has made but I also remember the bad.

Maybe in retrospect it wasn't all that bad what she had done—at least not bad enough to warrant this type of behavior.

I wanted to let go—I just couldn't.

“I'm sorry I ruined your date.”

“I wasn't going on a date.”

“Sure,” I snort it out but I mean it more as a playful 'yeah right' rather than 'I'm calling you a liar'.

“I was going to Luxuria.”

“Vex's club?”

“We got to talking and we've hung out.”

“What do you two have in common?”

“What do you two?” she asks with a scowl. “We have a love for my children, a common dislike for a certain wolf although he would still have sex with her—I wouldn't. And we have a shared love for leather.”

“I thought you were over that,”

“Why?” she gives me this amused and confused look, I can see a little of the anger in settling.

“This is the firs time I've seen you in anything leather.”

“Yeah, Dyson didn't care for it much after a while and I--”

“Changed for him?” I say pain evident in my voice, I know it is because I can hear it myself. She pulls her hand off of my knee while the hand that was on my back falls to the couch.

“Yeah, I did.”

“Why?” I didn't mean to ask—maybe I did. “Why could you change for him and for me--”

“It was easier with him, I could feed and everyone liked him so it was easy to have him around. I didn't feel bad about him seeing certain parts of myself, I felt he understood somethings that others--”

“Me.”

“Honestly, yes. You were human and as much as it wasn’t an issue—it was. Somethings with him were just easier and I had begun changing before I even realized it.” she pauses, eyes narrowing once again. “Does it make you feel better to hear it? Does it make it easier on you to hate me, to push me away?”

“That wasn't why I was asking.”

“Then why? Why keep running around the same bush, whacking it and hoping that a new result comes of it. I cheated, I couldn't remain faithful we all know it—you beat the issue to death. I wasn't mature—I probably would have made a shitty mother at first and God knows you beat that bush every day of the week and twice on Sundays. You pick up on every other flaw, roll them into one and beat that bush too. I get it Lauren, I fucked up—everyone gets it. What I don't get is why you just keep shoving it in my face.”

“I'm not,”

“Yes you are. No matter what changes I make, what I do for you---none of it's good enough. At first I thought it was punishment I deserved. I thought that you didn't even realize you were doing it so much because how hurt you were. But now—I have to believe you're doing it just to hurt me.”

“I don't want to hurt you Bo,”

“Could have fooled me.”

“I told you I didn't intend for Kate to find out before you,”

“I'm not talking about Dumbo ears, I'm talking about everything else. You are the problem Lauren, not Kate or Kenzi or Hale or even Dyson anymore—the problem now is you.”

“Fuck you very much.” I stand almost jumping to my feet. She wasn't wrong, they had all stopped being the problem long ago—she wasn't even the problem anymore.

The problem was me.

She grabs a hold of my wrist as she leaps up to her feet.

One tug and my body is falling into her's. My hands fly to her shoulders readying to push her back as her hands grab my face. Her lips smashing against mine with more force than I was ready for—more than I think she was hoping for. It's a kiss that starts passionate. Deep and angry but passionate, full of longing. Slowly it becomes less angry—less deep—less passionate—less full of longing until it's slow and sweet. It's what kisses should start out as ironically.

She pulls back despite the fact I lean forward trying to prevent her from doing so. Her hands slip to my neck, her subtle nails tickling the hairs on the back of my neck. Her eyes peering into mine so intensely I almost forget to breath.

“I--”

“Shh.” I sooth through tear filled eyes.

My hands slide from her shoulders down her arms until grabbing her hands and pulling them off of me. She has this heartbroken look I know all too well—until she finds I am sliding them up under them hem of my shirt. I rest them on the middle of belly that is now just barely starting to show, and give her a soft smile to ease her worry. Leaning forward I rest my forehead against her's and stare into her eyes for a single heartbeat before closing them, hoping she would follow suit.

“Lauren--” she whispers after a solid thirty seconds.

“Shh.” I don't need to say anymore, she would get it—at least I hope she would.

We stay like this for maybe another minute, time seemed to be moving so slow yet slipping away all too fast. I didn't know if it was my body or the growing on inside me but even upset I was never more calm than near her—than with her touching me. It wasn't sexual—this wasn't in the least bit but it was intimate. People tend to forget you can be intimate without it being sexual.

Suddenly she jerks back stumbling two or three steps away, the action jolting me from my thoughts. She looks almost scared—shocked, tears slipping from her eyes. For a moment I look at her almost afraid unsure of what was happening—then her lips curve into this smile.

“It—we--” she has this smile that is wider than I knew she could smile, tears freely slipping down her cheeks but it's not worrisome—at least I don't think. “We--” she starts again but doesn't finish as she takes the three steps back toward me and reaches out to touch my stomach but hesitates to silently ask for permission which she receives in a slight nod .

“Can you?” I ask looking into her eyes as her trembling hand reaches back under my shirt to rest above my bellybutton.

“Ye—yeah.” she laughs out, smile still firmly across her mouth. The glisten in her eyes now not only because of the tears. “You can't feel--”

“Not the the way you can, I have to wait for ultrasound.” I smile warmly, reaching up and brushing a stray strand of hair from her face.

We stay like this for maybe another minute, not saying a word. Her eyes close as she keeps her hand on my belly, the other on the small of my back keeping me still—and I just watch her. She is practically glowing, and it makes my heart speed up and stop all at the same time.

She pulls back after a bit and as much as I'm enjoying this—my legs are kind of tired now. I take a seat back on the couch and she of course follows, this time she is nearly on top of me and just smiling from ear to ear. Had I not already been through this with Ethan and Isa I would have thought it was a tad creepy, but now it's just sweet.

“Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every other Sunday.”

“What?” she looks from my belly to my eyes.

“I will stay the night Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every other Sunday.”

“Re-really?” with that she does the impossible and smiles wider.

“Ye—yeah.” I whisper and though it isn't the big leap she was hoping for it was something.

I reach out wrapping my arm around her shoulders and guide her down so her head is in my lap. It takes a moment but she gets it. Twisting around she kicks her shoes off, head in my lap facing my belly now. Her right around reaching around my waist the best she could while her left moves under my shirt again to rest on my belly. She smiles up at me sweetly, before letting her eyes close.

This wasn't how I expected my night to go—this wasn't even how I expected telling her to go but—this was nice.

I close my eyes and lean a little to the side so my head is resting against the cushions of the couch providing a nice makeshift pillow. Left hand idly playing in her hair, while my right rests on her side. It was all so nice, so calming—as if this was normal for us.

“Lauren,” she whispers.

“Hm?”

“It's twins.”

Chapter Text

Day 136-Monday

 

“I miss the stores back home.”

“Bo, these aren't any different.”

“No Lauren, this is not my normal selections of food.” she raises an eyebrow, giving me this sorry excuse for a scowl as I continue to push the cart down the isles. “About eighty percent of this wasn't available back in Toronto and about ninety percent wasn't in New York.”

“New York?”

“Yeah, we lived in New York for the past five years.”

“Really?”

“Yeah,” she laughs as she grabs a box of spaghetti noddles.

“Grab three, Ethan goes through them like nothing.”

“He goes through everything like nothing.” she smiles and grabs another three boxes. “We went back to Toronto for about six months before flying over here. It's a good thing Gabby is a genius otherwise she would have been so lost.”

“Still must have been hard, losing all of her friends.”

“She doesn't have them, well now Ethan and Isa but other than that she just could never manage to keep one longer than a couple weeks.”

“Know that feeling,”

“I bet you do,”

“Hey.” I laugh, playfully swatting her arm as I walk passed her grabbing the bottles of sauce. I know she is saying her trouble is because of the difference in food—which aren't that big by the way but I think she just doesn't know how to shop. “What are we eating for dinner tonight?”

“Spaghetti?”

“Not for me,”

“You like spaghetti though?”

“I do, but I'm pregnant.”

“Oh, do you need like some weird, organic, veggie---thingy?”

“Weird, organic, veggie thingy?” I laugh shaking my head and continuing to walk along the isle looking for something that screamed YUMMY. “I just can't eat anything highly acidic when pregnant. No spaghetti, no orange juice or oranges. Nothing with tomatoes.”

“Okay,” she nods sighing a bit, giving this very serious face as is she is trying to make a mental note.

“No pickles or beef either. Only Greek yogurt. Very select amounts of dairy. I can eat beans but they give me horrible gas.” I pause grabbing eight boxes of organic mac and cheese. “No mustered, or green olives. No tuna.” pausing again as I throw six boxes of rice in the cart with a thud. “No onions, or peppers of any kind. Milk has to be soy. I can still eat eggs but—very rarely.”

“O—okay. Is there a list somewhere?”

“Vex might still have one somewhere.”

“Why? Why would he have a list of pregnancy foods?” she almost whines with irritation.

“Because that is his thing, he gets me food while I'm pregnant.”

“Do I want to know the story here or,” she trials off raising an eyebrow as we turn to go down another isle.

“Well I was about six months pregnant when me and Evony got really close and she was sending me food from home. Then one time Vex was coming to open one of his clubs here, brought in my supply of food and then got a kick out of it. From that point on he made it his mission to supply food. Got to go to a lot of restaurant openings with him.”

“It doesn't sound like you can eat much,”

“Oh I couldn't, I almost always threw up afterword but luckily he was always drunk so he did too.”

“So you and Vex bonded over food? That was the life altering occurrence that made you and him bffs?”

“Pretty much.”

“I just thought it would be a little more---epic?”

“Sorry to disappoint. My life up until the past couple months has been rather—domesticated.”

“I can see that,”

“I wouldn't be one to say anything.”

“Yeah why is--” I look up from the box of fruit roll ups at her abrupt silence.

“Oh,” I let out unconsciously as I drop the three boxes I was holding into the cart and smile at Audrey who is standing a few feet from the cart just staring at Bo. “I'm just going to,” I trail off looking to the stand beside me. “Canned fruit, can always use that.” I chuckle nervously as I walk the couple of steps over allowing Bo to walk over to Audrey.

“What's this?” I hear Audrey ask.

“Hey, I um, well see funny thing is that--”

“I thought you said you two weren't together?”

“We weren't—aren't—it's complicated.” I'll say.

“Well it didn't seem so complicated a few days ago.”

“It wasn't as complicated as it is now.” Bo says, finally adding some base to her voice. I was wondering what happened to my dominate succubus for a minute there.

“So, what you just weren't going to call?”

“I was, I've just been busy.”

“Blowing me off?”

“Okay, let's save everyone a little time here.” I say calmly turning around to face them rather than the shelve. “I'm pregnant with her children, I live at her house three days a week occasionally four along with our two teenage children—but we aren't together—yet. Sound like a situation you want to involve yourself further in?” she looks at me almost as wide eyed as Bo before giving that uncomfortable yet sort of polite smile, mumbling some sort of goodbye and then turned around and walked away from us.

“I was handling that.”

“At your pace I would have been in my third trimester before you even got to the part that I was pregnant.”

“That isn't true.”

“Yes Bo,” I turn to give her a grin as I grab a hold of the back-end of the cart. “It is.”

=========================================================================

Day 143

 

“What?” I ask glancing up from my Ipad at Bo who has stopped at the edge of her side of the bed just looking at me.

“Nothing.”

“Okay.” I give her a little grin before my eyes drift back down to the screen. Though I can't seem to focus on my thesis considering the fact she just continues to stare at me. Its creepy—but not. I know she is looking for something or maybe thinking. “Seriously Bo, what?” I ask but don't look at her this time.

“Nothing. I was just—you aren't showing as much as I would expect.”

“I'm only ninety-one days,”

“Yeah, but twins. Shouldn't you look like a floatation device by now or--?”

“First, thank you for that. Second,” I pause looking over as I grab her pillow and lazily toss it at her. “Don't ever mention a pregnant woman's weight.”

“I didn't mention your weight,” she gives me this look like 'HA' as she tosses her pillow back down and slides beside me. “You just don't seem all that big,” she continues as she reaches out running her hand over the small, bubble that was finally coming to the point where it was visible if I wasn't careful.

“I never show much until month six and then I blow up.”

“But still,” she almost whines pulling up my Yale shirt to study closer, as if she didn't check a dozen times a day. “Just seem so small.”

“I know,” I sigh placing my Ipad on the nightstand before reaching down covering her hand with my own. Turning on my side to face her with a soft smile. “Don't worry, everything is perfectly normal.”

It was true, I was smaller than I would have liked especially carrying twins but I wasn't lying to her I did pop out around six months, everyone thought that Ethan and Isa was a single birth rather than twins up until then.

No need to worry until there was a need to worry---and that wasn't now.

==================================================================================

Day 149

 

“Listen,”

I come to a stop hearing Bo's voice carry down the hall, it wasn't so much her word but rather how she said it. It was her serious, pay attention voice yet what was surprising was that there was still some warmth to it.

Remaining as quiet as possible I tip toe up the hall until reaching the inch wide sliver of light seeping into the hall from Isa's bedroom door.

“I know you aren't my biggest fan, I get that and as much as it hurts I respect it. I also get being pissed, being pissed because you're a teenager and on top of normal shit you got to deal with you also are gonna start changing because you're a succubus—again sorry about that. I also get you're pissed because your life has been shaken up like a snow globe. It is all shit honestly and probably won't be getting any better for another year, but I need you to understand two things.”

I take a breath and quietly walk four steps so I'm on the opposite side of the wall and able to see through the opening a bit better. I can only see a part of Bo's leg as she sits on our daughter's bed and half of Isa as she just stares at her—or past her, I can't really tell.

“The first is that you will never touch your mother again. I understand being upset, pissed, angry—any other expensive word you want to throw in there because you're a walking dictionary and like to show off. But you don't touch her like that again, she is your mother and has given up so many things you wouldn't even begin to comprehend for you and your brother.”

I see her stand, I only know this because she is standing right in my line of sight blocking my daughter with her back toward me.

“And the second?” Isa asks softly, but I can pick up on the underlining anger.

“The second is, you may be my daughter, and I love you—would do anything for you if you haven't realized that by now. But make no mistake, this is my house with my rules. There aren't many but the ones there are you need to start following. When you're eighteen, out on your own you can be as badass as you wanna be and hell you may even be the baddest kid on the block by that point, but here, in my house—I'm still in charge.”

I see Bo start to turn and I quickly start to walk away hoping to make it to the bedroom before she came out. It wasn't that I was embarrassed about listening or that it was a secret—it was just their moment. Normally I would have hated someone talking to my children like that—but this needed to be said.

It was sweet Bo standing up for me even though I didn't need it. Me and Isa had discussed that already. Kate and Isa had discussed that already. But the notion was very sweet and very paternal. The second was a little unorthodox to me but I always knew it had to be done. I know that ninety-five percent of Fae children don't come into their own until sixteen but with how many signs Isa was showing already, it seems as though it may be happening sooner.

Bo had to show she was the diamante one in the house, I understood it and supported it. Perhaps they would begin to have less issues---or more.

========================================================================

Day 154

 

“Are you nervous?” I whisper looking up at Bo who is standing so close to the exam table I'm sure she is about to fall atop of me. She has one hand on the back of the angled seat, her fingers nervously tapping. Her other hand resting on the table next to mine and I can she she keeps going to reach for it but stops short.

“Do you two need a moment?” our current-substitute OBGYN asks looking between the nervous succubus and myself.

“No, we're okay. I'm okay,” she looks down at me swallowing hard. “Are you okay?”

“I'm fine,” I chuckle softly, shaking my head at her. It was cute, I wasn't going to lie.

It was cute and sweet to see how invested she was, a little amusing to see how much like a guy she was in these situations. But it was also a little painful too, I couldn't help but think about the first time I was going through this alone. I couldn't help but wonder if she would have been this attentive the first time around. I couldn't help but wonder if her over compensation was a reaction to my hurtful words.

“Alrighty then,” she smiles sort of creepily before picking up the little red bottle, and I know I make a face before she even nears me.

She squirts the gel onto my stomach and if I wasn't already making a face I would have been considering how cold it was, you would think by this point in our technological advances they would discoverer a way to use warm gel—or none at all.

She grabs the little scanner, as I like to call it and begins running it over my stomach. I can't help but look up at Bo as she stares so intently at the screen you would like she was trying to solve something. Smiling softly at her even though she doesn't notice I turn to look at the screen just in time to hear the doctor.

“Here we are,” she says in a sort of song and smile that fades a bit. “We are at a hundred and twelve days?”

“Give or take a few hours,” I answer calmly as I stare at the screen and try to keep my features as relaxed as possible.

“Something wrong?” Bo asks looking between the two of us.

“No, no—just your wife is a little smaller than one would--” she pauses and all I can think is 'pick your words carefully'. “Like. But let's take a closer look,” she continues to force a smile and fiddles with some dials on the machine.

“I didn't show much with my first two pregnancies either,”

“I only saw one other on the chart,”

“I miscarried.” I shift a little sensing how worried Bo is becoming and I try to see the best I can of the monitor but the truth was, I wasn't trained for this. Sure I had delivered a handful of babies but they were in the moment and uncomplicated.

“Is there something wrong?” Bo asks again, panic now starting to lace her tone.

“Good news bad news situation here ladies,” she turns on her little stool to face us. “Bad news, you are smaller than you should be and that is because your babies are smaller than should be. Good news, they seem to just be runts.” she chuckles but quickly falls silent, whether it's Bo's face or my own that causes her too is up for debate. “They just seem to be small now with no other issues. If you carried small the first time then there is a possibility that they may, in lay terms—hit a growth spurt. Bad news, you may need to start preparing for a C-Sec. Good news, you can find out their sex and hear their heartbeat.”

“C-sec?” Bo looks down at me not bothering to whisper, not caring if she looked stupid or not anymore.

“C-section, it's normal. Instead of pushing they'll cut an incision in my stomach and remove them that way.”

“Is that dangerous? They only show them in the movies when it's a bad situation.”

“Well this isn't a movie,” the doctor chirps in to earn another set of dirty looks. “Do you want to know the sex?” I look to Bo who nods all the while keeping her eyes locked with mine. “One baby boy and one baby girl.” she begins positioning the scanner just to the left of my belly button before hitting another dial and with that simple movement the small room fills with their heartbeats.

Her hand grabs mine so fast I look up to her thinking that something is wrong but—it's not. She looks so heartbreakingly happy. Tears slipping from her eyes and for the first time in our history, I see tears from her that aren't caused by something hurtful one of us has done or said.

===========================================================================

Day 170

 

“Well have to be honest I thought our kids playing would be little munchkins running around a kiddie pool or something not being fifteen and creating thesis over molecular biology.” Hale laughs leaning back in his seat, nodding his head as if to a beat. “I learn the big words, makes me sound smart.” he smirks at me but the tension in the room is just too heavy. “Helps with the sex appeal too.”

Dinner was decent but then again Isa, Ethan and Gabby were regular chatterboxes throughout which didn't give us much time to focus on the tension. It wasn't until half way through dessert that we seemingly all became aware in a few short minutes it would just be the four of us sitting here. Then the kids ran off to the living room and left us sitting here in their dinning room searching for something to talk about.

“It works,” I smile and nod.

“You look great Lauren, I mean really you're damn near what, four months? My lil' mama does not carry well.” she looks at him with that Kenzi-trademark glare to which he just smiles at and leans in for a kiss though she playfully pushes him back. “My lil' mama is beautiful no matter what size, just saying. I'm a little worried about how big she is about to get though--” he's cut off by a hard smack to the arm.

“You're pregnant?” Bo asks sitting up straight in her chair. For a moment she has this massive smile and this glisten in her eyes—one that Kenzi shares seeing Bo's excitement but then like they remember the harsh reality we've been living in the excitement calms. “Congrats.”

“You two too, I mean I told you but Lauren.” she pauses to look at me. “Congrats Doc, really. You've raised two amazing children, and all by yourself—it's a testament to what a great mother you are. I always knew you would be.”

“I wasn't completely alone.” I say through a clenched jaw and I know the comment would undoubtedly hurt Bo even though it wasn't meant to.

“I wasn't trying to be rude I was just trying to complement you.”

“Well I say thank you, but I can't sit here and take all of the credit, it wouldn't be right.”

“Well honestly, what did Kate do? I mean she came in the pic at seven and from what I hear was always working.”

“You know nothing about the situation.”

“Hey! I think I could go for some more cake. Doc, lemme get you some more.” Hale lets out reaching across the table to grab my plate but I push it back down.

“I don't want any, thank you.”

“Why is it a problem to give you a complement Lauren, honestly? Lets cut the shit you're here with us now, you don't have to pretend anymore that you were happy Susie-Homemaker.”

“Kenzi,” Bo lets out letting her head fall with a heavy sigh.

“What? If it was so wonderful as she played it off to be and if Kate was such a good mother than how in seven years didn't they have another kid? Isn't that the normal thing to do when you're playing house?”

“Thank you for dinner.” I say standing up and walking away from the table through the living room making sure to flash the trio a smile that they don't notice before walking out of the front door all in surprising timing.

I don't know why I reacted so hastily but I did. Maybe it was the hours worth of tension, maybe residual feelings left over toward them—toward her. Maybe it was the fact I was having a current heat flash and needed desperately to be out of the sauna that was their house. Maybe it was a lot of things---I wasn't running away I needed air.

I regret my decision the second I feel the breeze hit me and I don't rush to go back in because I need a minute to come up with a decent apology and a way to smooth this over but I hear the door open.

“Why can't you make an effort?” Kenzi's voice cuts through the air before the screen door slams.

“I am making an effort.” I say turning back around to face the tiny woman.

“No, no you're not. I thought we made progress in the hospital.”

“We did. Do you think I would be here if we didn't?”

“I have no idea, I have no idea who you are anymore.”

“You never had any idea who I was since your head was so far up Dyson's ass the entire time I knew you.” I take a deep breath and run my hand through my hair immediately feeling the regret of bringing him up. “Lets not pretend there was a relationship here when there wasn't. You tolerated me the tiniest bit you could manage because of Bo, and you know what—you were right. We are family, we are the cousins that can't stand each other but if need be will be there. I appreciate everything you did, I do and I don't blame you anymore for what happened.”

“Why?” she asks harshly but there are tears in her eyes and I don't quite understand why.

“Why what?”

“I blame me.”

“What?”

“I blame me. I see what's going on, how everyone's life was torn apart and I blame me. I see the kids, how they've changed, how much they've matured since the first time I've met them. I see how run down and hurt Bo is. I see how hurt you are---I blame me.”

“And that is why I don't.”

“What?”

“What good does it do for me to blame you anymore when I know you blame yourself? Why am I going to punish you when you've done it to yourself? I don't hate you Kenzi, I never did. I thought at one time we could have been friends. I thought that we had more in common than you wanted to see, that we were the only humans—we should have stuck together.”

“I'm not that person anymore,” she sniffles looking down at the ground and away from me.

“I know that too.”

“Then what is the problem?”

“I can't just say one day hey we're going to be friends when we weren't friends to begin with. I haven't even completely figured out my relationship with Bo, so I can't figure out ours either. But what I can do is recognize you've changed, that you've raised an amazing daughter who my children adore—and they adore you and Hale as well. I can recognize that Bo needs you, and as much as she is upset at you for her own reasons—it's about me too. She needs her best-friend back, she needs her sister and the type of support you give her—I could never.”

“I am sorry,” she whispers looking up to me after several passing heartbeats of silence.

“I know that,” I smile softly and nod toward the house.

I did honestly forgive her, I wasn't hanging onto my grudge anymore but I didn't like her. I didn't want to be best buddies and she always seemed to know exactly how to piss me off—plus hormones wasn't a good mixture.

I wanted my kids to not be in the middle of this all, I wanted them to feel comfortable coming here. I want them to not feel like they were betraying me for liking Kenzi and Hale. I also wanted Bo to have her friends back, have her family back. She had proved she grew, she proved that she would put me above them if need be and it was enough.

I keep thinking about her words from weeks ago that she had no one, and I didn't want to be that person. I didn't want to take everyone away from her. I knew what it was like to have my life ripped away---more than once, I didn't want to do that to her.

=============================================================================

Day 180

 

“Thought I lost you in there,” she jokes with a smile as I walk out of the bathroom.

“Nope.”

“Okay. Grumpy baby? Craving something? Tummy ache? Sore feet?”

“I'm fine,” I laugh out, walking around to my side of the bed making sure to hit the light switch as I do.

“Oh okay, guess I'm done reading.” she chuckles, as she closes her book and tosses it on the nightstand.

“Goodnight.” I let out pulling the cover over me while I turn onto my side keeping my back to her.

“Okay, I feel like I've done something.”

“No.”

“What's wrong?” she asks softly scooting closer to me, leaning over trying to see my face though I keep it buried in the pillow. “Lauren what is it?” her voice softer than before as she reaches over me, and gently guiding me onto my back. “What's wrong?” she asks almost in a panic as she sees the tears slipping down my cheeks.

“Nothing.”

“You're crying,”

“I know.” I nod with a sniffle.

“Then something has to be wrong.”

“It's nothing—it's stupid.”

“Nothing is stupid baby, tell me.” she pleads, big brown eyes peering into mine.

“I—I can barely see my feet any more, I mean I see my toes but---” I trail off as I see her features twisting, her lips curving into a smirk that she is fighting. “It's not funny.” I whine trying to turn back over but she doesn't allow me.

“I'm sorry, it's not.”

“I'm so fat—I forgot about this part.”

“You're not fat.”

“I grew four inches in two weeks.”

“I—I think that's normal.” she makes this face and I know she is trying to comfort me—it's just not working. “You are beautiful, and sexy and amazing.”

“Stop it.” I try turning away yet again only to be met with the same result.

“You are sexy,” she says in her seductive voice as she pulls the comforter off of me. “Every single inch of you is sexy.” she runs her fingertips up over my right knee. “There is not a single part on you that I don't find arousing.” her fingers moving up the top of my thigh till reaching the hem of my Yale shirt. “I know you might not feel like it,” she leans down kissing my cheek, drying my tears in the process. “But you are. And even more so than sexy, you are gorgeous.” she smiles so gently, her eyes so full of love before her lips move over mine.

Her lips just grazed mine, it was sweet and innocent and actually for the first time there was no passion there. It was different—it was nice strangely. Without warning I reach up, hand moving in her hair and pull her back down for another kiss, though this one is a little more our style.

It starts gentle and sweet, she is being so careful not to push me—not to hurt me. But after several minutes of me nudging the pace along she relaxes into the kiss. Her right hand idly running up and down my side teasingly as she uses the other to keep herself up.

“That—was unexpected.” she smiles breathlessly when we finally part. My hand sliding from her hair to her cheek. “But pleasant,” she giggles softly—nervously.

“M—make love to me.” I whisper and though normally I would think those words would sound corny, my own words gives me a chill. Or maybe it's the look that comes over her when I say them.

She doesn't ask me if I'm sure but she looks into my eyes searching for any hint of doubt—there is none.

Smiling so softly it almost doesn't seem real. Her hand reaching up and brushing a strand of my hair out of my face, she leans down and kisses me with that new soft nature she is exploring, but this time I sense the passion—I can feel it surging through her—through me.

It may have been unexpected but then again everything with us always seemed to happen that way.

Chapter Text

I look at my reflection and give myself a small smile.

Despite the constant growing bump that was taking over my body I was finally happy with what I saw—for the most part. After all I was human—okay a person, point is I'm beginning to think that maybe we're never supposed to be completely happy with what we see. Perhaps we're always supposed to see something that makes us want to change for the better.

I pull the navy material of my blouse up over the baby bump before running my hands over it, feeling the little kicks happening inside, my smile growing. I was still smaller than to be expected but it was better now, so much better—better enough that the worry of losing them has vanished—well as much as it can for an expecting mother, that is.

I had made a lot of mistakes in my life but this mistake was one I wouldn't take back. I regret everything that surrounded it, the hurt, the pain—but I wouldn't take it back. In just a few months I will have another two little loves and I am so ready for that. I am so ready to raise them better than I did with Ethan and Isa, they are amazing and perfect but I think I taught them a little too much of my flaws. The techniques of shutting down, of being over rational, that it is okay to leave something when you grow bored of it.

You learn from your mistakes and I think I can finally say I've learned from mine.

And now they would learn the best of Bo, that sometimes it's okay to be crazy and emotional. Teach them how to have such a big heart and care for everyone around them. Teach them that it's okay to be imperfect, that it isn't a flaw to be.

Sighing softly I pull my shirt back down, hit the light switch and walk out of the bathroom. I had to admit this was nice, true me staying over was supposed to be for the family dynamic and mend things with the kids plus give Bo a chance to be a part of the pregnancy but the kids were over at Kenzi and Hale's and it was just us for the whole day slash night.

It was interesting.

I could have said no but why? This place was quickly becoming home and the only time I enjoyed being at Evony's was when Vex was over entertaining me but he left two days ago returning home so what did I have to do there? Alone.

Walking down the stairs a smile forcing itself on my lips as I see Bo sitting on the couch. Then she stands and turns toward me and I now I get the feeling I should have stayed away tonight. She looks—pissed actually. As I take each step further down I try and think of what could have happened.

We had lunch, went shopping, came back and fixed dinner together. We ate, we cuddled and watched television—I had only been in the bathroom for a few minutes. Sure now pregnant I took a little longer than I would like to admit too but it wasn't hours, what could have possibly happened--

---Is that my phone she's holding?

“What is this?”

“What are you doing with my phone?” I ask stopping three steps before the floor, no real anger in my voice just wonder.

“Answer me.” the same cannot be said for her.

“I think you need to answer me first.”

“Kate text you,”

“Okay, thank you.” I take the last three steps but don't move any further than that. “Why do you have my phone?”

“You left it on the table.”

“Face down and locked. Did you go through my phone?” I raise an eyebrow and hope that this is all just a misunderstanding. “Bo, did you go through my phone?”

“Why are you still talking to her?”

“You know I've been talking to her.”

“Yeah, about selling the house. About things for the kids. Not about personal things.”

“You read the messages too?”

“Don't turn this around Lauren.”

“We aren't together.” I blurt out and even though it's true I think it hurts me as much as it hurts her. It had been a long time since I even thought about that, let alone said it aloud. “You had no right to go through my phone.”

“I wanted to see if you were hiding anything and apparently you are,”

“You could have asked me,”

“And you would what? Just come out and tell me? Not with what I saw,”

“What did you see?” I snort, shaking my head unable to believe I was having this fight right now. “I know my text messages, there is nothing in there that would cause this reaction.”

“You didn't tell her she looked beautiful?”

“Yes I did, because she did. She sent me a picture of the annual police ball, the one I didn't attend because I was worried how you would react.”

“What about all the flirty messages?”

“What flirty messages? Her asking me what I am doing? Me asking how her day went? Oh, yeah Bo you got us, real steamy stuff there. I think I need a cold shower just thinking about it now.” I chuckle at her and walk over to the couch unable to stand anymore. I was tried, I had been standing all day and now this wonderful little tantrum was a little too much.

“Does she know you are living here?”

“What?” I look up at her with another sigh hoping she would have let this go by the time I got situated. “She knows I am staying over here three days a week yes.”

“Been more than three days a week Lauren.” her scowl narrows and I cannot tell if she is trying to keep from yelling or crying. “Then why when she asks what you're doing you say nothing?”

“How far back did you read?” I reach out to take my phone back from her but she jerks it away. “I say nothing if I am doing nothing Bo. Sometimes when we're here we aren't doing anything.”

“So you text her when you're here?”

“As you pointed out I am almost always here aren't I? So then by deductive reasoning you would be able to conclude that I would be texting her at times when I am here, yes.”

“Are you dating her?”

“What?”

“There are chunks of texts missing,” her voice raises a bit.

“I think you need to stop while you're ahead Bo.” I take a deep breath and stand. “I don't know what is happening right now, but you need to seriously reevaluate it.”

“Answer me.”

“You just snooped through my locked phone, you read my personal messages, you apparently looked close enough to know some where missing, and you're accusing me of something.”

“Of cheating.”

“We aren't committed Bo. If I wanted to go out on a date with her or anyone else for that matter—it's my business. We are dating—very complicatedly but still there is no commitment. I have no ring on my finger, we haven't discussed not seeing other people.”

“Do you want a ring?”

“What? No Bo,” I laugh and take a step away from her. Is this what it felt like for other people when I was having my fits because this feels like I've walked into an alternate universe. “That wasn't my point.”

“You're right,” she speaks after a moment of silence and when she looks up from the floor she looks almost calm. “I did wrong, I shouldn't have snooped. But what's done is done and we can't go back.” she gives me this sad smile, this look that pleads for me to forgive her—and I do.

Despite the fact I keep my features firm and the subsiding wave of anger I take a seat back down on the couch as she follows suit. It wasn't rational but the longer I was pregnant the longer I had trouble staying upset at her.

We're silent for a few minutes just sitting here together, eventually her foot begins to playfully nudge mine and then her knee joins in. Her hand reaching up to cup my cheek, since I don't pull away she leans in a gives me this sweet but lingering kiss.

“I'm sorry,”

“I know.” I smile softly and give her a quick peck before she pulls away completely. Gently I run the back of my hand over her cheek, brushing the stray strands of hair away in the process, something that makes her smile for me once more.

“I just—I need you to do something for me.”

“What's that?” I ask semi serious, catching the seriousness hiding in the depths of her eyes.

“Call her and tell her we're together. Tell her to back off,”

“What?” I laugh and despite how much I wish it was a joke she is deadly serious.

“It's time Lauren, please. We've made a life together again and I know you feel it too. We've been great together these past few weeks, and I was wrong to go through your phone I should have just asked but—I can't do this.”

“Do what?” I pull back and just stare at her.

“I know it's stupid and childish but I just keep thinking about how we—that--”

“That I cheated on her with you,” I say heavily, flatly. A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Well, a succubi thinks I can't be faithful—that is the biggest F-U I ever got.”

“That isn't what I meant,”

“Isn't it?”

“No—no I don't think you would cheat on me it's just that,” she sighs holding out my phone again and giving me those pleading eyes that suddenly have no effect. “Lauren, come on.”

“No explain to me what it is,”

“Lauren you keep saying we aren't official and so long as you are putting that out there then Kate can get the impression that it's okay to--”

“And you don't think I could say no?”

“I just want her--”

“To know? So is this even about me or us? Or is this about you feeling the need to be dominate, like that night when you stormed into the house? Because that was a lot more about you and her's alpha bullshit than anything.”

“That isn't true.”

“Yes, it is.”

“Lauren I just want to make us official,”

“Okay,” I say nodding. “Lets do it, lets take the last step.”

“Really?” she smiles, eyes widening.

“Yeah, but I won't tell her—not now.”

“What?” she makes this jilted expression, her head tilting to the side. “What sense does that make?”

“This isn't about dominance or possessiveness, then prove it. What does it matter if I tell her now or in a few days or weeks?”

“Weeks?” she snorts.

“You say you know I won't cheat, that it isn't about anything than us—what does it matter if she knows now or later? All that should matter is that I know, that we know.”

“Lauren,” she bites her tongue and takes a deep breath through her nose.

She was smart, she knew this was a situation to weigh before continuing. She looks at me and I know she is conflicted I can see it written in her eyes, in her features, in her body language. She wants so desperately to concede to me, but what she won't say is that she doesn't trust me as much as she thought. It was one thing to rush into us, to enjoy the pluses and God there was a lot—but she had matured and once life became real she began actually thinking about us, about the events that led us here.

I knew it would happen—just wasn't prepared for it.

She doesn't trust me as much as she thought and now she knows what its like to have that fear in the back of her mind gnawing at her. Knows what it's like to have that constant worry following her around. If she wasn't a succubus she may have even been able to deal with it better, maybe without me even knowing---but it was in her nature and me being pregnant didn't help to calm it.

Her lips part and for a moment I almost think she is going to let it go, that we are going to be an us again—then the phone goes off.

So close—we always seemed to get so close.

“Lauren,” she whispers my name, eyes glassy and we both know already.

“I know,” I whimper almost, sniffling back the tears rushing to the surface.

“Please,” she reaches out for my hand as I stand, taking my phone from her weak grip.

“I just need to go right now,”

“It's fine don't tell her,” she pleads jumping to her feet and turning around to face me as I walk to the door. “I don't want her to know. Pffft. Who cares right?” she snorts and does this shrug, desperation quickly becoming apparent.

“It needed to be about us Bo, and for the first time in a while—it wasn't.”

“Lauren you know me, you know I can get a little possessive.” she pleads but doesn't move as she watches me slip into my shoes, holding onto the wall for balance.

“Bo I just need to walk away right now, I'm not saying goodbye.”

“Then why does it feel like it?”

She was right, it felt like something more than me needing be alone. But I won't admit that, instead I pull my jacket free from the rack before tossing it on. Turning back around to face her, I try to force a smile but fail.

I wasn't running—I just needed to think.

“The deleted text were about her taking some time away, I didn't want the kids seeing it because that's something that they need to discuss.” I turn halfway, pulling the door open. “I wasn't hiding anything from you.”

“Lauren,” I heard her call my name as I pull the door shut behind myself but don't hesitate.

I wasn't running away—but for the first time in a while my little bubble was burst and I was back in reality.

We still had problems—more than I realized.

I wasn't running.....

Apparently some scars are deeper for us both than we realized.

Chapter Text

Day 195

 

LAUREN: I'm sorry. (11:27 p.m)
LAUREN: I shouldn't have gotten so upset with you. I understand where you're coming from but it upset me and me being a huge, fleshy bag of hormones I reacted badly. (11:29 p.m)
LAUREN: I really wasn't running away. Please don't think that. (11:31 p.m)
LAUREN: Okay, I did but it wasn't like before it was just to clear my head and think about some things not like before. (11:34 p.m)
LAUREN: I'm just sitting here and.....can I come back over? (11:39 p.m)
ME: No. Goodnight Lauren. (11:42 p.m)

I drop my phone down on the bed next to me and force my attention to the ceiling, trying to ignore that I could so easily just pick my phone back up and tell her I was crazy.

I could tell her I was wrong---I was—to a degree. I could tell her that it was all my fault---it was—sorta. I could tell her I'm sorry—I was—kinda. I could beg for forgiveness---that I didn't necessarily believe I needed. I could run back to her with my tail between my legs---like I've done every other time.

I could do a lot of things to have her back here in my arms—even if it's only temporary.

But watching that door close behind her once again—made me realize that I didn't want this anymore.

I want her more than I want to breathe. I want my children more than I knew possible. I want our family more than I wanted my own. I wanted the ups and downs and the middle grounds. I wanted the whirlwind, crazy, love affair—but I wanted that inside of a stable relationship. I wanted the crazy passion but I wanted it on top of everything else.

Was that too much to ask for?

 

=======================================================================

Day 198

LAUREN: I'm almost ready to head over, did you want me to bring dinner? (3:27 p.m)
BO: No. Thanks. (3:27 p.m)
BO: Look, I was thinking maybe we skip. (3:27 p.m)
LAUREN: Tonight? (3:27 p.m)
BO: This whole week actually. (3:27 p.m)
LAUREN: Oh. Okay. (3:27 p.m)
LAUREN: Why? (3:29 p.m)
BO: Just really busy, work and stuff. (3:29 p.m)
LAUREN: Oh. Well do you want for the kids to stay with me this week? (3:29 p.m)
BO: No need. (3:29 p.m)
LAUREN: But you don't have time for me to be there. (3:29 p.m)
BO: Well as you said. We aren't together, you don't technically live here unlike them which means you're a guest. Which means I would need to entertain you and I can't. (3:29 p.m)
LAUREN: I”m not that kind of guest. What is this about? (3:30 p.m)
BO: Nothing. I am doing what I do and abiding by your wishes. Only thing is this time I am actually going to abide by them. NOT by what I know you want. (3:30 p.m)
LAUREN: You're trying to blackmail me into behaving how you want? (3:30 p.m)
BO: No. I am simply playing by the rules. (3:30 p.m)
LAUREN: This isn't a game. (3:30 p.m)
BO: Okay. (3:31 p.m)
LAUREN: Bo. I'm serious. (3:31 p.m)
BO: If it's not a game, then why do you play everyone around you like it is? (3:31 p.m)
BO: Think about that, I have a date with Ethan for some HALO (3:31 p.m)
BO: Have a goodnight, buddy. (3:32 p.m)

===================================================================================

Day 199

 

From: Sexysuccubus@gmail.com
To: DrLLewis@Cinstitue.edu
RE: Us.

Lauren,

I spent all last night into this morning thinking about you, about us, about myself. I was going to leave it but it is now four-thirty in the morning and I guess I need to get this off my chest. And we always seem to communicate better without being face to face.

So here it goes,

I think how you're treating me and Kate is unfair and shit. I mean I don't really care how you treat her and I guess that it works in my benefit. But when I take a mature approach I don't think she deserves it. And I KNOW I don't. I did before and I think you've paid me back---tenfold. You've punished me on top of me not knowing my children. On top of my family being dismantled. I wasn't perfect, but honestly neither are you.

You are not perfect. You are perfect to me though and I use to think I was perfect to you. Cause that's really what love is Lauren, knowing and accepting the other person's flaws. I know yours, I'm well aware but they don't bother me. I love you, ALL of you. I want ALL of you. So TO ME YOU ARE perfect. But in reality Lauren.....you're not. And I think you need to face that reality. Because you have been walking around like you are, like everyone is beneath you and yes I know some of it is hormones but I think you've also used that as an excuse too.

Point is, I think tough love is needed here for everyone, cause I can't keep doing this.

You want to make sure we aren't together then remember it goes two ways. You want to date, then I will date. You want to make sure you don't live here then you are a guest when you come. You want to be complicated friends well then you're going to learn what it means to be friends.

I don't care if you want to date Kate and myself but just be freaking honest about it with everyone and stop straddling the fence.

Do me a favor, and give me this week alone. Don't email back or text or call. Take this time to think about what I said and make some decisions cause I know I am.

Bo.

 

=========================================================================

Day 205

 

“What is this?” Lauren asks in her 'I'm better than this' tone she tends to get.

“Bloody hell! Is this race wars?”

“Ethan watch your mouth,” she snaps. “I feel like I've stepped into a Fast and Furious movie,”

“You didn't have to come,” I say, arm wrapped around Ethan's shoulder as he looks around in amazement.

She had a point but then again it was supposed to. A ginormous empty parking lot full of people on both sides, of a seventy-five foot wide strip for the so called track. It was a poorman's NASCAR I guess you'd call it. It wasn't like the movies, the women weren't all half naked—expect for a few, like the one Isa is ogling right now. And all of the men didn't look like rappers or models. It was just a fun thing, off to our right about twenty feet up a row of food stands. Speakers everywhere—somehow. I don't really see them but by the music blaring they obviously have to be somewhere.

It was a family event—if you had an interesting family.

“Have you lost your mind?” she raises an eyebrow looking back at me.

“Lauren!” she looks over to Vex who emerges from the crowd. “Didn't know you were coming.”

“Vex!” the kids blurt out in union.

“That’s right dumplings, did you think something this delicious didn't have me behind it?”

Isa walks over toward me and her brother, watching as two different model Cameros go speeding down the strip. I look over at Isa who is near wide eyed looking around like this was wonderland. Ethan keeping his arm wrapped around my waist as he rambles on about the dynamics of why the red Camero will win.

I tilt my head a bit so I can roughly hear Lauren and Vex.

“Baby girl you are Dark Fae, enjoy this.”

“I am pregnant and with my children.”

“You're pregnant with Dark Fae children, and your two teenagers are going to be Dark too.”

“You don't know that.”

“Bloody hell, both you and Bo are Dark, you think they're turning light? Have you seen Isa on a bad day? Soon she'll be making me blush,”

“This is ridiculous,”

“Enjoy it. Bo is a pro at this.”

“At what?”

“At racing.”

“Oh, hell no.”

I can't help but laugh. I cannot have heard that right. Lauren did not just say 'Oh, hell no'. She just could not have.

“You're racing?” she glares at me, her question answered as my car pulls up, the setup boy jumping out leaving my door wide open to my frustration.

“I got a hobby, besides I needed to bond with my children's Godfather didn't I?”

“Evil Daddy,”

“I'm not calling you that.” I glare at Vex who rolls his eyes and wraps his arm around Lauren's waist pulling her into a weird hug.

“I call shotgun!” Ethan says running to the car and into the front seat within seconds.

“You think you're taking my children?”

“How is this any different then what you and Kate do on their birthdays?”

“It is different,”

“No, it isn't. It's crazy and unusual and fun.”

“It's dangerous.”

“Less than what you two take them to do.” I take a few steps closer to her and Isa walks toward the car, looking it over as if debating whether or not she wants to get in. “You take them bungee jumping and rock climbing and parachuting. You depend on ropes and cords. All made by someone else, you'll put your faith in twenty different random strangers, but not in me? You drive down the stretch, you circle the fountain thing and then come back, roller-coasters are more dangerous.”

“Lauren, it's safe.” Vex add softly, and for the first time he doesn't seem like Vex but rather a friend. “She is their mother too, if you allow Kate to take them to do shit like this then—it's only fair.”

“Fine.” she huffs looking from him back to me. “One scratch Bo, and God help me--”

“Yeah, yeah. They're my children too Lauren. I'm not some crazy woman highjacking your children.” I snort walking around to the driver's seat.

Putting my seat-belt on I see through the window Lauren give Isa a nod of approval, the girl jumping in quicker than her brother had. Ethan has his belt on and I reach over jerking it so it locks, he makes a face since I know it isn't comfortable but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Reaching back I do the same for Isa and surprisingly she doesn't make a face or comment.

I lean back against the seat and for a moment I wonder if this was a stupid idea---then I remember hesitation can be the most dangerous thing in situations like this.

Kelly walks in between the cars, ironically enough it's Isa's new crush. She drops the pink flag and we're off.

Zero to seventy in a matter of seconds, I could care less the other car, Eric I think his name is was in front I just cared that the duo was laughing. I mean really, really laughing and screaming as if this was some roller-coaster.

“Faster!” they yell together in between laughs, and I can't help but to oblige.

Eighty-five and raising. We're nearing the set of matching, stone, water fountains and in order to win I would need to drift along the turn getting as close as possible—but to keep the speed and not crash I would have to make a ridiculously wide turn.

“Hold on.” I laugh and though my pride is gonna hurt a bit from the loss the sound of their laughter is more than worth it.

Dropping to seventy-five I make the widest turn possible, tires screeching as I do, all of us jerking back, forth and back again. Making it back onto the main stretch i see Eric already thirty feet or so ahead, so when I floor it it's more just for the fun rather than trying to win.

“Go mom!” Isa yells giggling.

“We got this! Go!” Ethan laughs, and surprisingly he is right—sorta. We're rapidly catching up, headlights even with his taillights.

We get even with the driver's side door but he pulls out the win—it's cool though. Once slowed enough I slam on the breaks, all of us jerking forward, the pair laughing so much I'm a little worried they're going to pee or rupture something.

“Have fun?” Lauren asks with a grin, eyes narrowed as she walks toward us.

“That was freaking awesome! You HAVE to do it too!” Ethan piratically yells getting out of the car.

“That was highly sexy, like twenty on a scale to ten.”

“Again with this?” Ethan snorts looking at his sister with a glare, for a moment they stare each other down before erupting in a shared laugh. Arms wrapping around each other, laughing the whole time the walk to Vex who starts talking to them about something—food probably.

Lauren stares at me, her angry grin relaxing into a regular grin.

“Wanna try?”

“Maybe next time,” she chuckles softly, shaking her head at me before turning around and following our children.

=========================================================================

Day 207

 

“Damn girl,” Hale laughs as he downs a gulp of Frost Gatorade. White, face-towel in his other hand. Sweat dripping down his body as if he had just spent twenty minutes in the showers, amateur.

“Good job daddy,” Gabby yells from the bottom row of the four rows of bleachers. She's smiling widely waving at him as my children stare at her with a silly smile covering their faces.

“I'll get you next round.” he says a little labored trying not to appear as drained as he actually is. I just give him a smile and start to say something until I hear the sound of the double doors opening up.

“Kate!” I hear Isa let out with a smile, and I can't help the eye roll that follows. “What are you doing here?” Other than annoying me?

“Waiting on some results from your mother, she told me you guys were down here learning some self defense—I had to see it to believe it.”

“Mom is demonstrating some serious moves.” Ethan pipes in,

“You?” she looks over at me with that smug smirk she gets. Why is she here again?

“Yeah, me. I've been known to take down some big, baddies in my time.”

“Really?” she snorts a little.

“Yeah. Really.” I say through a forced smirk trying to sound as un-irritaited as possible. She knows damn well I have. I look her over, she is just standing there smirking at me---what are you playing at here little wolf.

“Oh yeah, I remember hearing something about that.” really? Shaking my head I start to walk toward the bleachers, my own water and towel a welcoming sight. “Nothing serious though. I mean, a succubi could take em' down so---couldn't have been too serious.”

“Insulting succubi?” I nod as I begin removing the top from my water. “Interesting considering Ethan and Isa are going to be succubi.” I take a gulp of my water and even though I'm already twisting the cap back on I don't turn around.

“Yeah, but see the thing is,” she pauses as I put my water down, but instead of wiping the sweat away I turn to face her since I know that's what she is waiting for. “They were raised by a wolf---and I'm not talking about some shifter.”

“Woah. Well you know I think we had a good workout, lets call it a day.” Hale lets out nervously, clapping his hands together and letting out a forced chuckle.

“Aren't you supposed to be off running in the woods somewhere?” I say as I walk back over to my starting position, only a few feet away from her.

“Postponed it for a bit.”

“Why is that exactly?”

“Personal reasons,”

“Personal reasons?” I can't help but chuckle, walking the four steps to her. Leaning in so my shoulder is against hers, lips near her ear just enough so that I can whisper and not worry about the three teenagers hearing. “Sure it doesn't have to do with the fact you think you have a chance with my woman again?” I hear a low growl from her and I can't help but smirk myself. “Keep dreaming, butt sniffer.”

“You wear maturity so well,” she chuckles as I pull away, taking a single step back.

“Stop pretending you're better than me.”

“I am,” she says it softly and had I not known better it might have passed as playful—I knew better though and was all too aware how close the teen-trio was.

“Anyone hungry? I'm starving! Lets get some food.” Hale lets out walking behind me toward the bleachers but neither of us break our stare down.

“Why don't you two spar?”

“Gabby,” Hale lets out in that frustrated sigh he gets.

“I'd hate to hurt the baby succubi,”

“Come on Grandma,” I snort taking two steps back, smirk never once leaving my lips. Oh I know it was petty but the look of anger that flickers over her features makes it worth it. “The three rule?”

“Three?” she chuckles, nodding her head as she pulls off her jacket and tosses it off to the side. “Sure you want to set it so low?” she kicks off her shoes toward her jacket, they don't land neatly but it's close enough.

“Oh it's gonna be for your benefit.”

“Okay.” she laughs, looking over toward the kids and Hale winking and suddenly I'm a little more invested in this. She really thinks she is going to win this? That it would be so easy to show me up in front of my children?

Ha.

“Well, should we—FUCK!” I didn't mean to swear but kinda came out as I slammed down onto the blue, matted floor. Looking up at the ceiling I take a deep breath and move my right ankle from side to side trying to get it to crack back into place.

Guess I should have expected that.

“One.” she says standing over me with that stupid ass smirk of her's.

She wanted to play dirty? That's the succubi's domain. One swift kick back of my leg, foot hitting into the back of her knee causing her to fall to her knees with a thud. Using the same leg to quickly lift over her head, slamming into her chest sending her down onto the mat.

“One.” I smirk, tilting my head up enough to look at her. She looks surprised but mostly pissed and for a moment I feel a twinge of regret. I guess I did hit a little harder than need be, and used a little more power than need be.

Okay I'll say I was wrong---but something tells me there is no take-backs here.

She jumps up and I simply push myself up—didn't see the need to show off for our audience—okay I'm lying again—I just can't do that damn Bruce Lee trick, note to self: learn that.

She bounces on the balls of her feet, smirk firmly in place. Her fists half balled, half rose—suddenly I realize she is pulling a peacock. She is trying to intimidate me—means I have her worried too. Ha. Fair game then.

I just stand there, I had a horrible tendency to keep flat footed. I know you weren't supposed to but hey—haven't lost a fight in a long time so there must be some method to my madness. I move a few steps to the left as she goes right and it's all very predatory—a little too serious for a sparing session but I suppose that was my fault with the excessive force. Maybe it was her fault with her smartass comment about raising my children.

I look her over debating whether or not to strike first or to let her. How much force I should use. How far was this going to go.

She throws a lazy punch which doesn't quite reach me, though it caught me a little off guard considering she is fighting left handed—haven't done that in a while—ever? She throws a couple mixed punches each falling just a little short and as much as I'd like to take credit for my quick foot work—she isn't trying to hit me—not really.

She throws her right leg out, the kick should have been head level but again it's not serious enough that it hits, so my duck does the trick—but there is a bit more effort now. Her left eyebrow raises and she smirks—kinda how Lauren does—but it's different.

Game on, then.

She does this sort of hop to switch her stance, taking quick steps forward, tossing a right hook that almost gets me considering how preoccupied with her stance I was. Leaning away, reaching out grabbing ahold of her wrist. Twisting her arm behind her back, pulling her against me. She's fast though. She spins back around despite my hold. Grabbing my own wrist she pulls me into her and I'm expecting a headbutt or—maybe a kiss? Not sure but she holds us her for a minute, tips of our noses a sliver away from touching.

She pushes me back hard enough that I almost lose my footing, key word: ALMOST.

“I'm not a bully, Bo.” she resumes her stance. “I don't beat up on people who can't fight back. Or in your case won't.”

“You sure you want to do this?” I ask feeling my body tense.

“I'd rather lose and deserve it, than take a victory that wasn't earned.”

Don't you just hate wolves and their whole noble bullshit???????

“You're gonna wish you were a succubi after this,” I chuckle taking two steps forward, sorta aiming to lighten the mood.

“Why? I know an amazing doctor who is known to pay house visits—for me.”

Sprinting the short distance I go for a right kick—she blocks it waist height as I knew she would. My left leg raising before my right even touches the mat. My foot slamming into her face. It sends her staggering backward but not down. She goes to look back up, wasting no time a halfhearted punch with my left hand, a knee to her stomach. I grab her shoulders readying to throw her down—she grabs me by my sides, thumbs digging into my ribcage.

It happens so quick—so effortlessly. I'm off the ground—then flying backward. Slamming into the floor with a series of thuds as I tumble. Landing on my stomach, I am easily able to push myself onto all fours. Staring down at the mat I cough out a mouthful of blood.

Lauren was right, bitch is strong.

And apparently taking this a little serious. I look over toward her ready to say some very not nice things—all that comes to mind is the word SHIT. The entire right side of her face is nearly covered in blood. I stare for a moment looking for where it was I cut—too much blood to see from this distance.

Seeing I'm still coherent she begins sprinting toward me, half way she jumps up reaching at least fifteen feet in the air. She starts to descend, undoubtedly to deliver a knockout blow. Timing it perfectly I jump up just at the right moment. My shoulder slamming into stomach, hands grabbing her back as she grabs mine. This time when a thud fills the room it's her on the receiving end.

“Two,” I say in a whisper starting to push myself off of her. “Two.”

I don't even make it to my feet before her's are slamming into my stomach. Once again slamming down onto the mat this time on my ass sliding back a few feet. She maneuvers onto all fours before lunging at me all in one movement.

I can't lie, technically I've lost because I'm flat on the mat but—-this isn't so friendly anymore.

She leans up enough—I don't care to think why. Taking advantage I reach out, left hand on her shoulder, right on her face as I push her enough to flip us. Reacting on pure instinct I deliver one real, right handed punch to the face.

Not missing a beat her right fist hits my ribs, then her elbow all in one motion. Flipping again—again--again--her hand pushing my face against the mat. Legs kicking at the mat till she shifts forward enough—bending them back enough that the balls of my feet are pressing against her hips. One use of brute force and she is flying backward.

Using her move, I'm already going back toward her. Both on all fours her shoulder ramming into my chest, arms wrapped around my waist trying to flip me or something. My feet digging into the mat trying to keep us from moving, my hands clawing at her shoulders trying to push her backward.

She gets her footing and the use of her legs is too much as I'm now being pushed along the mat. Left hand grabbing the back of her neck, right elbow slamming down into her shoulder blade three times till we come to a stop. Hands grabbing her sides, shoulder maneuvering under her's I flip us. A left hook making contact with my jaw before I realized what happened. Another right handed punch from me before her hands are wildly pushing up at my face, mine doing the same.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!"

The two of us stop suddenly and turn toward where the door was, Lauren standing at the edge of the bleachers a look of pure rage on her face. Her yell louder and deep than anything I've ever heard from her—and I've heard ALOT of her yells. By the glimpse of surprise I saw in Kate's eyes, she hasn't either.

“Explain. Now.” her nostrils flare , eyes narrow and I know she is looking at me—guess since I'm on top it doesn't work in my favor. “Bo,”

“Lauren,” Kate says softly, her hands falling from my shoulders as I sit up.

“Shut up,” she says flatly before looking back up at me. “Bo,”

“It's not her fault mother,” Isa says jumping to my defense to my surprise—and everyone elses. “They were showing us the self defense moves, remember.”

“That's what your uncle was supposed to be doing with Bo,” her tone isn't as viscous as she talks to Isa who has now slid off the bleachers to stand in front of her. “He was, but see the thing was we got into a debate about whether to use succubi techniques or wolf techniques or feline. And well you weren't here so feline was disqualified by default. But then mum and mom decided to show us both.”

“Really?” she raises an eyebrow, arms folding over her chest. Tone softening as well as lowering.

“Yeah. Succubi fight a little more sexually and kind of like wrestling and wolves are more force and aerobics. We got a tad worried when mum got her eye cut but then mom got her lip cut---long story short turns out they are both really bad bleeders.”

“This true?” she asks looking toward Gabby, Ethan and Hale who just nod avoiding eye contact. She looks over them seriously for a moment, and then toward us. “Bo?”

“Hm?”

“Can you not straddle her,”

“Huh?” my brow furrows, looking down at Kate who has the same confused yet cautious look I have. “Oh.” I laugh realizing I am in fact straddling her waist. Awkward. “Sorry,” I let out and Kate just nods, as I roll off.

“So, you two are working together?” she asks causing me and the butt sniffer to nod. “Alright, then Bo heal her and then you can feed off of me.”

“Um,” Kate lets out making this near disgusted face. Don't remember that level of protest when I was saving your ass.

“What's the problem? If you two are working together then shouldn't be an issue.”

Damn her.

I smirk and look over to Kate, both of us now sitting upright. We share this look that we both know means FUCK. Well, guess this is the only way. Laughing to myself I shrug and start to lean in—guess this is better than admitting to Lauren we got into a pissing match that turned ugly and then our daughter just lied to cover it all up.

“Can you like shut your eyes or---?” I ask earning a 'fuck-you' look from Kate, before she obliges.

I get close but my lips don't touch her's---i can't handle that. Closing my own eyes half way I pass a small amount of chi before pulling back, turning to Lauren with a smirk.

“Next time, little less aggressive.” she says with this scowl and I know she is hesitant to believe us but she has no option to let it go—six to one. “Bo, my lab in fifteen. Then perhaps you can all take the children to an alligator pit. Or maybe serial killer hunting.”

“Can we do that last one?” Ethan pipes up looking between us. “No really, can we?”

============================================================================

 

Day 213

 

From: DrLLewis@Cinstitue.edu
To: Sexysuccubus@gmail.com
RE: Us.

 

Bo,

First I have to get this out of the way, seriously with the e-mail? Sexysuccubus? Please tell me that this is a personal address only and not a business one as well.

Now, I know it's been a while since you sent me the e-mail, we've seen each other multiple times since then but I just didn't know what to say.

I see you with our children and it makes me happy, it amazes me how good you are with them but it is a constant reminder of my failing them. They needed you around even if we weren't together and I guess that sometimes gets to me. I've been talking to Emily about it, she tells me that I need to learn a balance between my guilt, to find a healthy medium.

If I take a minute to clear my mind and rationalize everything then I can honestly say I think I throw the blame of some of my own issues onto you. It's not right and 90% of the time I don't realize I do it. But it's no excuse.

I can't tell you what I want Bo because I honestly don't know.

I keep trying to say I want one thing or the other and force myself into it and then blame everyone around me for being unhappy.

I want you. I want Kate. I want a new future with you. I want my and her's old life back. I want my children to be how happy and innocent they were. I want them to keep exploring this new side of life with you.

I am confused, and a mess. It's not an excuse just the truth.

I miss you.

Lauren

================================================================================

Day 214

 

From: Sexysuccubus@gmail.com
To: DrLLewis@Cinstitue.edu
RE: Us.

 

Lauren,

You aren't telling me anything I don't already know.

I am glad you're continuing with Emily, in honesty I think it is helping you. I know you better than I know myself and that it why I have to put my foot down. Don't think for one second I don't miss you, that I don't wish you were here and we could pretend our issues don't exist.

But I cannot be that person. I cannot play the doormat any longer. And most of all, we can't pretend and wait for the fall out to happen later on because later on there is going to be our two new children.

I love you and I want to be with you—but I want to be in our children's lives more. So if that means we have to remain friends then it is going to have to be that way.

I hope it isn't though.

Bo,

P.S. Yes the e-mail is personal. I thought it would be funny.

========================================================================

Day 219

 

“I'm coming,” I grumble jogging down the stairs, through the living room to the door where that annoying pounding has yet to stop. “What?!” I yell pulling the door open. “Lauren?” I let out anger vanishing and a sudden worry coming over me. “What happened? Are you okay?”

I look over her and she looks okay, she looks normal—tired maybe.

“I haven't been okay in a long time.”

“Lauren--” her hands going to my face pulling me in, lips covering mine.

It's ravenous from the start, it's passionate, it's desperate, it's so many things wrapped into one and the only word to sum it all up is completely ravenous. She guides us back into my apartment, I trip on my feet a bit but her hold on my face combined with my hands gripping her arms keep me from falling.

The sound of the door somehow slamming is my last thought of reality.

Chapter Text

Bo's POV

 

“I can't believe I passed out,” I laugh into my pillow, my mouth sprouting words that my mind is not fully aware of. Sorta like when you're in that half-awake, half-asleep state and suddenly you think the sleep situation is real so you start replying to your dream convo.
 
I breathe in and her scent is still fresh on my pillow, God I love waking up to that—or going to sleep to it—I'm not picky. Rolling my eyes at myself I turn onto my side staring at the wall. The room still nearly pitch black, guess I didn't pass out as long as I thought. Feeling a chill I pull the comforter up, I wish it was her arms around me but I'm used to it not being her embrace—well that and now it is kinda hard considering baby bump.
 
“What happened to your big talk about not being tired?” I ask softly and wait for a response—but get none. Pfft. Light-weight. I laugh to myself before rolling onto my back; I reach out for her---to find nothing.
 
Sitting up a sense of panic spreading through me I look down and she isn't there. I take a breath and try to remember if it was a dream. Did I dream her coming here? Did I dream what we did? I look down at myself, naked with the exception of the comforter. A huge hickey on my breast, just above my nipple, and another one on my shoulder.
Well, I didn't give myself them so obviously not a dream.
 
Sighing I push myself from the bed, she isn't in the room or bathroom. Pulling the door open I walk into the hall, nope. Walking along passing the temporarily empty kid's bedrooms, passing the guest bathroom. Walking half way down the stairs into an empty apartment—loft--whatever the fuck it is.
 
Snorting at my own stupidity I take a seat on the steps and stare at the screen of the television.
 
I swear I have to be the stupidest person ever. Like I really have to take the cake. Like on a list of dumb-asses I am number one on the ALL TIME list.
 
How do I keep falling into this? How? HOW? It's the same thing over and over and over—it's like the merry-go-round from hell. And I keep having chances to get off—in fact I bring the damn thing to a stop, have one foot on the grass but then BAM, I somehow begin on the ride again.
 
Maybe I need therapy—maybe I should go see that Emily chick. Maybe we'll all get a discount, three for the price of one.
 
What the hell am I supposed to do now?
 
I did, I felt a change. I put my foot down—it was working. Then BAM she does something and we're right back to where we started. I should have been a wolf, then at least I could hide behind that one person, one love, one—blah, blah, blah, eternity, forever, blah, blah—CRAP.
 
I mean yeah, succubi choose mates or whatever but I mean I don't really think it's the same. I'm territorial over sexual things and people flirting and shit like that—that's when you can see mine. Apparently with other Fae it's different. With wolves they become pathetic and felines become Bi-Polar.
 
Sometimes being Fae sucked.
 
Always so many rules and laws and stipulations. I mean we couldn't be together because she was human and I wasn't. And yeah I'm now Dark Fae whoop-de-do-da, but if I wasn't again we couldn't be together because she is. There are even rules about how we fall in love a.k.a. mating.
Honestly who sat around coming up with all of these rules?
 
Running my hands through my hair my eyes dance over the floor, to the coffee table where the, ‘Best Baby Names Of 2020's’ lays. Me and Lauren weren't—correction aren't exactly talking so we are now over five months with no baby names, none even thought of. I figured the book would help, thought maybe she'd want to look through it with me—HA.
 
After all Ethan Patrick and Charlotte Isabeau were already taken, her picks for names and my family names. Now what? Maybe we could name them after her parents? Have no idea what their names are but considering she is from money I'm sure they're nice. Although I couldn't do the super-rich names like Thatcher or something like that. Can't do it, my children apparently come out like her so their self-defense skills will be little to none. I can't have them being beat to death on the playground.
I could say it would be different since I will be in the picture this time but let’s be honest, Kate's been around since they were seven, if she couldn't get them fighting there was nothing I could have done there.
 
Jennifer—Jason---Justin--Jay--Jake--Isaac--Isabella--yeah I only made it as far as the Js. I never imagined kids; I mean I did a few lives ago. Way back when I was a country girl living a human life—I barely remember that now. I know I imagined a wedding and kids then but I can't remember anything else about it. When Lauren mentioned she wanted kids she said what names she wanted and that was going to be them, plain and simple. I never thought about kids with Dyson—not in the terms of planning them out. Point is I never planned on having two kids let alone four.
 
What am I doing?
 
I'm sitting here naked on my stairs alone in a loft that I don't want mentally debating baby names for the second set of kids I'm having with a women who apparently can't manage to spend the night in my bed with me after showing up for a random succubi-booty-call.
 
This has to be a new level of pathetic. It has to be.
 
===========================================================================
 
Lauren's POV

 

 
What am I doing?
 
I keep my eyes shut; leaning against the wall I had been leaning against for fifteen minutes. What was I doing? I didn't sort anything out—well I have but not to the point where she needs me to be. She needs me to be so absolute in my choice and honestly I normally need myself to be absolute in everything I do but these past few months—I'm lucky if I can choose a breakfast and stick to it.
 
I don't even know what my hesitation is anymore. I just keep circling the wagon for what? Honestly what was I getting from stringing the two of them along? Nothing—a headache? A guilty conscious? I thought when I began ignoring religion that, that overpowering guilt would have gone away, apparently not.
 
I'm not even sure why I went to her last night. I mean obviously I was aroused and wanted her but that isn't a big change from my everyday life. I just—I needed her. I needed to see her, to feel her, to be near her. Just like every time before logic and resolve melted away
 
I wish I had the strength to walk away from her---I wish I had the courage to commit.
 
Taking a breath I force my eyes open and walk the two steps to the door, grabbing the handle with my free hand and pushing it open.
 
“This is—interesting to say the least.” I let out in an awkward chuckle, kicking the door shut with my foot. I know I'm making a face but then again it's not every day you walk into your—um--walk into someone's house to find them sitting naked on the stairs looking as if they are trying to solve world hunger.
 
“Lauren?” she stares at me as if I'm a ghost.

“Were you expecting someone else?” my brow raises, my hand holding the wall as I kick off my shoes.
 
“You weren't here,”
 
“I know.” I walk to the island-divider thing; dammit I forgot to look up what that was called. Oh well. Letting out a yawn, I set down the cardboard cup holder with a half drank, extra-large moca fappe and hot chocolate before the bag from the bakery. “You fell asleep and I had a serious craving. You didn't have any more pregnant Lauren friendly food around so I wasn’t left with much of a choice.” I continue to talk taking off my jacket, tossing it on the couch.
 
“So you didn't run,”

“Bo I'm the size of a beached whale, I'm not running anywhere.”
 
“I meant--”

“I get what you meant,” I lean against the couch and stare at her trying to ignore the fact she is naked. Not half naked or three-fourths but entirely naked. “I was just hungry.”
 
“You should have woke me, I would have gone.”
 
“You were tired.”

“That doesn't matter, you're--”

“Pregnant? Yeah I know Bo, I've been here before where I didn't have anyone even wanting to go out for my things. I can take care of myself,”

====================================================
 
Bo's POV

 

 
 
“You know maybe if you didn't remind everyone of that every ten seconds, then maybe you could actually let someone get close to you.”
 
“Someone?”
 
“Yeah. Me—Kate--I don't have another name.” it always sounds better when you have three point but oh well,
 
“I'm sorry when did you and Kate become BFF's?”

“I don't like her, but the fucked up thing Lauren is that you've put me and her in the same boat. You've tossed us both in this tiny raft and threw us out in the middle of the ocean—in the winter—in the freezing cold—with no blanket—or extra clothes—or--.”
 
“I get it.”
 
“Do you?”
 
“I think I liked it better when you just wanted to kill her,” she gives that annoyed grin she gets as she shakes her head at me, looking down toward the floor.
 
“Why can't you just be honest?”
 
“I'm beginning to think I should have went--”
 
“Home?” I ask, eyes narrowing. “Lauren, where exactly is home for you now? It's not the house you had with her. It's not Evony's loft. And apparently it isn't here. So tell me, where is home?”

“My home is where ever my children are, luckily two of them are currently attached.” she chuckles and I know she is trying to move the conversation into lighter territory but it just doesn't work.
 
“Nothing has changed,”
 
“That's not true, I think this is the first time we've had an argument where you were fully naked.”
 
“This isn't an argument Lauren.” I shake my head, a cold laugh escaping as I grab the railing pulling myself up ignoring the shooting pain in my thigh. “Having a discussion you don't like doesn't make it an argument, it just makes it an adult conversation.”
 
“You want to lecture me on the requirements for adulthood?”

“Someone has to,” I glare, eyes meeting hers for several seconds so I know my words sink in before I turn around and head back up the stairs.
 
==============================================================
 
Lauren's POV
 

 

 
I don't bother to watch her walk away; I know this game, we both play it very well. She is going to walk away thinking that I will watch her, feel bad and then follow her like a lost puppy. Well you know what? I don't want to play this game. I'm tired and hungry, plus the ridiculousness of having her turning this into some sort of fight over—what?
 
Walking to the counter I pull my drink from the holder and start sipping it, I’m fully aware I’ll probably end up throwing this up later on but then again nearly everything made me throw up at some point now.
 
I just don’t know what she wants from me? What? I’m here; I am trying the best I can. I don’t understand why this is so hard for her to deal with; I spent the entire first three years of knowing her dealing with her indecision.
 
Dyson. Me. Dyson. Me. Ryan. Dyson. Me. Tamsin. Whoever else walked by.
 
Don’t I deserve the same leeway?
 
Apparently not, since she decided to finally apply a little thing called maturity to her life. I slam the cup back down with a sigh suddenly not in the mood for a delicious snack.
 
Why was this so hard? Was it supposed to be this hard?
 
I mean I could discuss anything with Kate and it didn’t have to turn into a fight but with Bo it was like a minefield. I had come back. I was here. I didn’t run off—I could have, but I didn’t. I was trying—why couldn’t she see this.
 
Sighing again I roll my eyes at myself and do the very thing I swore I wouldn’t do, I track her down to our—her bedroom.
 
She is in shorts and a t-shirt now sitting propped up against the headboard, looking down at her ipad.
 
“Stephanie and Lucas”
 
“That is a weird way to start an apology.”
 
“Who said I’m apologizing?”
 
“I know you; you’ll apologize without actually saying the words.” She flicks the screen with a little excessive force.
 
“I found the post-it in the baby book down stairs; ask Lauren the names of her parents.”
 
“Oh,” she nods, swiping her finger over the screen again refusing to look at me. Sometimes I miss the fight—I hate this passiveness she has acquired. I guess because it makes me feel like the ass. “Do you like those names?”

“Not particularly, I mean they are fine names I just don’t want to name my children after them.”
 
“Well, then I guess I’ll keep looking.”
 
“Did you have one you liked?”
 
“Nope.”
 
“There has to be one you favor?”
 
“Lauren I could care less if their name was Bill-Bob one and two, I’m going to love them the same, and I’m not good at this stuff. You picked out two excellent names the first time,”
 
“Then why the book?”
 
“I thought it would be nice for us to look through it together,” she looks up, features beyond the point of being tense. “Stupid me.”
 
“Bo,”
 
“Lauren I keep living in this fantasy and thinking about movies and playing situations out in my head about how they should go, how it should be but it doesn’t happen that way. I got the damn book cause I thought it would be a nice bonding thing for us to do, even involve the kids. I watch these stupid youtube videos on parenting so that I don’t seem so stupid when talking to you. I have seven different parenting books on my Ipad, all of which I have read. I’ve been shopping online for cribs and strollers and changing tables but I don’t buy any because I think that is something we should do together.”
 
“We still have time,”
 
“You’re over five months Lauren, I’m no genius but in three months they are going to be coming out and we have nothing for them. We don’t even know if they’re going to live here or are you getting a place—or hey crazy idea, are WE getting a place? Are we even a we?”
 
“It’s back to this,” I clear my throat I look down at her Ipad rather than into her eyes.
 
“No. I just want to know some answers Lauren because if you don’t start making an effort with me then I am going to start making some decisions without you. Ones that aren’t just whether or not I am dating someone other than you for a night.”
 
“Such as?”

 

=====================================================================
 
Bo’s POV

 
 
I stare at her, fingers nervously tapping the back of my Ipad. I keep my jaw clenched because I know if I don’t she will see right through me and I refuse for that to happen. I refuse to fall right back into where I was, a personal doormat.
 
Yeah, we had sex—fine. It can be just sex—I’m a succubus—it can be JUST sex.
 
“Such as---whether or not I will remain here in London.”
 
“What does that mean?”
 
“Let’s not pretend you aren’t Einstein Lauren, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve been bringing it up for months now, this isn’t my home. I came here because of Dyson, I came here in yet another life I’ve out grown. I look around and I see nothing but pain and misery. I see places I went with him, places that remind me of him—of what I did. I see places that remind me that you and the kids were living here without me for years. I look around and nothing feels real here, this isn’t my home. This is a life for someone else, someone I had become because I lost myself.”
 
“So you’re just going to run?”
 
“No, leaving is not always running. Maybe you need Emily to explain that to you. I’ve made peace with everything, from Dyson to Kate to who I became. I’m okay with that and in being okay with that—I know what I want.”
“Is that supposed to be some dig at me?”
 
“Yes,” I admit. It wasn’t a dig in the traditional sense that I said it too hurt her, but it applied to her as much as it did to me and I need her to see that. “Lauren, let’s be real, you not choosing has nothing to do with me or Kate anymore. It’s all about you.”
 
“I’m not doing this,” she snorts shaking her head at me, with that little eye roll she gives—most times it’s cute, not now though.
 
“Did you know that me and Kate had a beer together the other night?”
 
“Excuse me?” her eyes narrow and had I not known her I would have thought that she may have actually wanted to hit me.
 
“Yeah, it wasn’t a date. God help me if that ever happened, but I was having a drink and she came in and turns out after a pitcher—or three she can have a decent conversation. As it turns out you’re being just as stand offish with her, you’re playing us both like you’re more interested in the other. I remember coming here and sobering up fixating on why you would do that and then I realized that—it’s all about keeping us on a string waiting for you.”
 
“Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I get my rocks off hurting the people I care about.” She snorts, nostrils flaring as she leans more of her weight against the doorframe.
 
“No, I just think you’re being indecisive and aren’t realizing that sooner or later we’re going to walk away.”
 
“Is that so? I put up with your bullshit—“
 
“Spare me Lauren! We’ve all heard it! You are scared. You are afraid. I get it, but you aren’t alone. You don’t have to be alone. I am here, I am trying. I will die for you, I will live for you and I will march into hell for you—but I will not be a stepping stone for you. I cannot do it again, I can’t.”
“So what are you saying?” her voice breaks, I know that break all too well. I know the tears are coming, I know she is trying to control her breathing to hide the fact she is hurting to the point where she feels in physically. I want to jump up and hold her, I want to kiss it all away but—I can’t.
“I’m saying that I’m beginning to make peace with the idea that me and you as an us, may be another life that is going to be in my past.”
 
“So easy for you, just to leave me still.”
 
“Easy?” I snort tossing my Ipad onto the bed, taking a large, deep breath to remind myself that I can’t yell at her. “Every day you were gone I thought I was dying, I thought it was the worst feeling in the world. I made it through life as a zombie, letting little pieces of myself fall away until I was just a shell of myself and it was okay because the best part of me was gone. Then I find you again—taking our children out of this—I find you again and it was like I could breathe again. It hurt with Kate—it hurt almost as much as not knowing where you were.”
 
My eyes lock with hers, and I swear I feel my heart breaking. I know the feeling well by now—I’m just surprised there is anything left to break.
 
“This though—your indecisiveness over fear—over an inability to let go---it feels like someone is ripping my heart out of my chest over and over again all the while I am forced to watch it happen.”
 
“Bo,” she sighs and takes three steps forward but by the way I sit up straight she knows it’s not welcome.
 
“With Kate, I know she loves you and the kids. I know you had a life and I would concede because I would know you were happy. If you were to tell me just to fuck off, that I’ve hurt you too much for there to ever be an us—then I would concede because I know how bad I’ve hurt you. But this---? This I can’t understand,”
 
I stare into her eyes and wait for a replay—wait for her to say something but instead after several minutes of silence she just takes a seat at the edge of the bed, back to me.
 
I wait to see if she is okay—wait to see if she is thinking—wait to see if she is trying to get the courage to say something.
 
But she just leaves me waiting in the wings as so many times before……
 
…..she just doesn’t understand this will be the last time.

Chapter Text

10 days, 240 hours, 14,400 minutes and 864,000 seconds.

That’s how long it’s been since the last time I saw her face, since I heard her voice, since I smelled her scent. I’m aware how odd it sounds, most people just say they miss someone—or miss their face—me? I miss EVERYTHING. I could go down a list just naming every tiny detail about her I missed.

The way she’d bite her cheek if she was bothered by something and didn’t think anyone was watching. The way she tosses her clothes about until five minutes before she thinks I’m arriving and then she tries to hastily tidy up. The way she smiles when she reads—especially when its baby related. I miss the way she even calls me out on my shit—odd thing to miss.

She had gone on some consulting deal back to Toronto but honestly I think she is looking for apartments. I know for a fact she went there on a consulting job considering it was my institute that sent her but---I know she wants to go back and I know this job doesn’t take over five days.

I keep replaying that morning in my head over and over again thinking of the thousand different ways it could have turned out differently. But that was I what I do, make horrible judgment calls and then sit around regretting them.

No calls, no texts, no e-mails, no letters, not even a carrier pidgin.

Guess this is what I get. For years I blamed her for everything, for years I cursed her and her damn indecision but what was so different about what I had been doing? I took a stance that I was somehow better than her and rolled with it. Well look where that’s gotten me.

I know she is coming back, obviously for the kids but---I keep wondering if when she comes back if it will be for me at all. I don’t have a right to wish for that now---but I do.

Clearing my throat pulling myself back to reality I look down at my ice water which is now just a glass of near over flowing water considering how long I have been baby-sitting it. My index finger idly circling the rim over and over again.

Ha. Symbolic much?

I hear the music in the background again and I look to my left out over the section of dinner tables, various colleagues laughing and eating. I would have loved to be back at the loft eating my self-inflicted sorrows away but life had other plans.

Stupid mandatory work crap.

I wanted Bo to be my date, thought she would enjoy the spread of food they put out but that was out of the question considering. I would have had Kate bring me since that was who everyone was expecting me to bring but then again after our discussion four nights ago---I don’t expect to have much of any relationship with her from here on out. My children were a little young to escort me here but I knew they would make an exception considering my ‘condition’—didn’t feel like I should though. Kenzi even offered up Hale but I would have felt bad considering they were taking the kids out for a night of fun. I suppose I could have had Vex but then again he wasn’t someone to bring to things like this.

Was I even the type to bring to things like this anymore?

I don’t know, they just didn’t have the same appeal as they once did. Same people, same events, same results. I have fifty people tell me how amazing and brilliant I am---means nothing, nor is it true. If I was so amazing I wouldn’t be sitting here alone. If I was so brilliant I would have been able to adequately handle everything from the past few months better than this.

I mean looking back now I have exactly two words to sum up my life: Train and Wreck.

I know it wasn’t all my fault, equal balance guilt and all of that but somewhere along the line I have to logically start piecing this together and if both Kate and Bo are telling me the same thing over and over again then maybe I should have listened. Or I could have listened to Vex’s warnings. Or even Evony’s.

“You’re making faces at your melting water—it’s not a good look.” I turn to my right, not sure I heard the voice right but I did. “Correction, it’s not a sane look.”

“Bo,” I whisper, swallowing the lump that suddenly formed in my throat.

She’s sitting on the stool next to me, facing me, bent arm on the bar top to keep herself in place with how close to me she is sitting but it comes off as graceful and sexual—just as everything she did does. She is wearing just a simple black dress, typical her—nothing fancy this time but she looks stunning. The same for her makeup, it’s there but I can tell she didn’t put much effort. My eyes trail down from her face to her neck and despite the fact that in some respect it’s sensual it’s not the main reason. I notice the necklace, she is still wearing it and I can’t help but smile softly at that fact.

“You look nice,”

“I look like a stuffed sausage.” I chuckle but it quickly dies out seeing the irritation that washes over her face. I really was trying to make a joke but—guess brushing off a complement wasn’t the best thing to do.

“You look stunning.”

“Didn’t hardly do anything,” she shrugs and looks away from me.

“I know,” I say softly, eyes dancing over her face as I try to read what she is thinking.

She looks so into her own world. There is this seriousness there, this weight to her words, her glances—everything has this weight and I don’t recognize it. It’s new—and that worries me. I can navigate the anger and pain and rage and indifference I know but this—I don’t have enough trust from her to have the leeway to navigate through it.

“Ethan told me that you and Kate are over.”

“We’ve been over,”

“I mean that it’s done, done. She left for her wolfy-vaca?”

“Yeah,” I nod, sighing heavily as I tear my eyes from her.

“You’re sad about it?”

“Jesus Bo,” I snort turning back to her and that sudden burst of anger dissipates. She is searching for something—I don’t know what but she is. “Yes, I’m sad. I’m sad because of how hurt she is, and that I know I could have prevented a lot of it. I’m sad because I think I’ve lost my best friend. But most of all I’m sad because I am worried that I may have destroyed the kids relationship with her.”

“She loves them,” she says softly, comfortingly but doesn’t look at me.

“I know, and I pray that she loves them enough to keep in contact with them despite their mother’s continues judgment lapses.”

“The kids have been keeping me updated on your health; I don’t want you to think I stopped caring.”

“Never thought that,” I say reaching out and resting my hand on her knee, she doesn’t jerk away but it only adds to the tension engulfing us.

She falls quite again and after several heart beats I pull my hand away feeling I wore out the welcome. She looks back into the bar area as if for the bartender but doesn't call him over. There is this presence about here that screams she wants to say something but she is biting her tongue—I can't figure out why.

Did she come to tell me she was leaving? Did she come to make me feel bad? Did something happen? Was she worried? Did she come to check if I was here with someone else?

Abruptly she slides off the stool with this heavy sigh, taking the two steps so she is behind me and if I had not known her presence by heart then I would have thought she had walked away. Slowly spinning around on the stool, this more as a requirement to not lose my balance, rather than a ploy to play it cool.

But when I finally am facing her again it’s a bit of a shock. She has that small, genuine smile she gets that makes those beautiful, dark brown eyes of hers shine—the same eyes that are now locked with mine. My heart skipping a beat—or two, but it’s worth it. Just for a moment I feel like we’re back sixteen years ago—before all of the pain and mistakes.

It used to be such a rare occasion when she would wear her hair down but now she did it all the time, I meant to ask if that was a result of her having it cut or if it had just happened. I can’t help but wonder if the cut was something of his wanting considering she hasn’t cut it again since, it now falling to the middle of her shoulder blades. I’ve always preferred it down, freely falling; it makes her features soften—accents them perfectly. Other than that it also made her look younger, not so angry, and not so hard.

Sighing softly, my eyes return to admiring her entire face rather than one particular thing and I notice her soft, disarming smile is transitioning to this uncertain, endearing one that was a rarity. Her hand extending slightly toward me, palm up. It takes a moment before I understand what she is asking of me.

A lot has changed in these passing years but my discomfort with dancing was still firmly intact. Dancing just wasn’t me and dancing in front of a room full of people, colleagues, peers and subordinates definitely wasn’t me.

Problem was I’ve always had trouble saying no to her—most times.

Returning her completely bashful and uncertain smile I take her hand which is romantic but also needed for me to get off of the stool safely. Honestly I wasn’t as huge as I felt I was, I could pass for carrying a single child rather than twins but I just didn’t have the proper balance for some reason.

Slowly she leads me the ten steps onto the considered dancing area and then another fifteen so we’re in the middle more or less. My eyes surveying the area seeing several colleagues taking notice of me—oh boy. Sighing softly to myself my attention turns to the area directly around us and I notice that we are unfortunately—or fortunately, I haven’t decided yet, but there is hardly anyone on the ‘dance floor’. Maybe just four or five other couples occupying this ginormous area along with us.

I’m aware of how silly we must look just standing here in front of each other with these awkward smiles not quite knowing what to do next. Sort of like a high school dance---hm, I think this is our first dance.

My lips part to make a comment about that, maybe lighten the mood but the once medium tempo of the song drops drastically, a melody from a piano filling hall.

She catches me completely off guard, a rush of heat filling my cheeks as she steps into me. Her hands resting on the bottom of my shoulder blades. It’s more of a friend zone type of stance then I would have hoped for but I’ll take it. Reaching up, arms draping over her shoulders.

 

(Whole world is watching us now—It’s a little intimidating

But since there's no way to come down--Let's give 'em something amazing)

 

My breath slightly hitches as I look up from her lips and our eyes meet, that intensity that used to be there every time we looked at one another spreading through me—us. I know she can feel it too—I just do.

 

(Let's make them remember

Using one word—Incredible…..)

 

“You okay?”

“Fine.” I’m completely lying but she doesn’t need to know that.

“Okay,” she whispers through this heart melting smile.

The sudden feeling of a million little butterflies swarming around in the pit of my stomach cause my heart rate to increase. I let my gaze fall to the floor off to the right. She lets her hands slide ever so gently down to the middle of my back taking just another tiny step in.

It wasn’t meant to be sexual but that didn’t matter, she never had to do much of anything for my body to react to her. A look, a touch, a whisper—just a thought could cause my body to come alive. But atop of my body responding physically to her—it was responding in ways I didn’t remember it could.

 

(Let's make them remember

We were incredible---Simply incredible….)

 

I can see the floor beginning to fill quickly with so many loving couples. All different races, different species and different ages. I can see them all—see everything happening around us but I don’t really SEE them.

All I can see is her.

Her hands glide to the small of my back as she takes the last possible half-step into me. The embrace is so strong, so possessive yet completely gentle and loving all at the same time—something only she could manage to do. There is absolutely no space between us but oddly enough I don’t mind.

Her temple rests against mine, lips just centimeters from my ear, her warm breath on my skin giving me chills. There is no point in faking this now; honestly I don’t think I could even if I tried. It was all just happening too fast, too much.

Her embrace. Her scent. Her touch. Her feel. Her voice. Her.

 

(We even counted us out--We weren't sure we'd make it

 

But we learned no matter what they dish out--It's nothing, we can take it…)

 

“I’ve missed you so much,” my voice breaks within its whisper, tears forming for a reason I can’t quite rationalize.

There is so much going on, so much happening---so many feelings but all I can think about is that this is our first dance together. After sixteen years we were having our first real dance.

Our first real dance was happening to possibly one of the most romantic songs of all time, which just happened to fit us so perfectly. In an incredibly romantic setting. It was undoubtedly one of those moments that you would still remember fifty years from now. One of those moments that twenty or thirty years from now after some fight about something and you are taking your time apart to calm down—your mind would wander down memory lane and land on this. A memory that would make you smile like an idiot no matter what you were going through because it was such a perfect moment and God knows those are rare.

She tilts her head down ever so slightly, lips grazing my neck just under my earlobe. I can’t help the way I tilt into it, I worry that it hurts her but she doesn’t budge. No, instead she begins to whisper in this near inaudible octave, lips not completely removed from my skin.

“I haven’t stopped missing you since the day I walked out of your lab nineteen years ago.”

 

(We'll go down in history…

They'll describe our love as….Incredible…)

 

She pulls back kissing my cheek as she does, a soft, protesting sigh escaping me. She looks in my eyes and for the first time I realize we’re still slowly moving. My lips curving into a smile enjoying the moment we were in but I notice her previous seriousness is beginning to return.

The song ends transitioning to one that is slower than the previous one which I would have been happy to keep dancing all night to but our already slow steps are coming to an end, my heart pounding so hard it hurts and I don’t know if this was a goodbye or----or something else.

“Bo,”

“I want you. I need you. I love you.” She lets out in seemingly one sentence, pulling us to a complete stop. “I don’t know the meaning of love without you, I mean I thought I knew it—but then I met you and I know that nothing I ever felt before ever came close. I have made so many mistakes and I wasn’t worthy of your love before but I had it and I messed up---and honestly I don’t think I’ll ever truly deserve you but I know I am better than I was—and I will learn to be better than I am now because you make me want to be better. You have always made me want to be better.”

She pauses with this terrified smile, her hands leaving mine as she reaches up and subtly reaches into her cleavage. She looks at me with this sheepish, apologetic smile and I start to ask her what exactly she is doing but I don’t need to ask. She pulls out this small black box, my breath hitches and this couldn’t possibly be what it looks like.

Could it?

“I know an engagement ring is supposed to have a diamond,” her voice shakes as she opens the box. A single band, it’s too silver to be gold but to gold to be silver. “It was my grandmother’s, Trick had given it to her and it was his mother’s before----I know there is supposed to be a diamond but I thought this would mean more. Be more romantic in a way,”

“Bo,”

 

“Marry me Lauren,” her voice shaky yet firm all at the same time.

I swallow hard tearing my eyes away from her suddenly all too aware that EVERYONE is watching us. Everyone’s eyes are on us and I can’t breathe. My heart pounding like a drum as my mind races. Logic and rational thinking waging war on emotion and instinct.

This couldn’t be happening could it?

She was just gone for ten days, she didn’t even say goodbye when she left—how can she just pop back up and ask me something like this? We weren’t even committed.

“I—I um—“ it is all that comes out when I turn to look back at her. My head shaking before I turn and walk as quickly as I can out of the nearest set of double glass-doors that lined the entire right side of the dance floor.

Shit….shit….shit…shit….shit…..

Why is there fucking people everywhere?!

Standing out on the thirty or so foot wide, stone balcony I look for a place of solace. I just needed to breathe, to think but out on the water were two privet boats full of people. All over this damn balcony dozens of people walking, eating, drinking---staring at me.

I just needed one minute to think---was that not okay?

Taking three deep breaths I begin walking forward hoping the crowd would thin out.

“Lauren,” I hear her call for me, but I don’t stop I just keep walking. I’m more trying to get us away from people rather than running but she won’t see it that way. “Lauren Lewis,” she repeats her voice comparable to stone.

“Bo,” I let out as I come to a stop turning around to face her. “Let’s just go somewhere were we’re alone.”

“I don’t give a shit about them Lauren.” She blurts out, her tone hard and her voice not quite a yell but not necessarily an indoor voice either. “I don’t care what people think. I don’t care if you’re human or Fae. If you’re Light or Dark. If you’re a hybrid or—want to splice you’re damn DNA twenty-seven times and become the most powerful Fae of all to become the leader of everything. I don’t care—and not because I’m some asshole, but because all I see is you. All I’ve ever seen is you.”

“Bo---“ I look away from her, swallowing back my tears. Why—why did this have to hurt so much? “Jesus—why are you----what are you doing?”

“What am I doing?” she snorts, shaking her head looking away from me out onto the lake. “I am---I am making my last stand.”

“Wh—what?” tears slipping now freely slipping down my cheeks.

“This is it—right now, right here Lauren—this is it for me. I am making my last stand.” she takes two steps forward but there is still a good distance between us. “I am in love with you, I want only you for eternity—forever—after death—ever after---all of it. I want you and only you. I need you more than I need to breathe. I am begging you---pleading—praying---that you will see me. I am begging you, throwing what little self-respect I have left away—begging you to choose me. Love me. Be with me. Trust me. Believe in me.”

“B—“
“All it would take is a leap of faith Lauren,” she takes another two steps in, the moon shining down on her perfectly so I can see every tear falling down her face.

“I am a doctor Bo—I am a scientist—I am near a damn atheist----I don’t take leaps of faith---you want to know the truth and there it is. I don’t take them Bo---I make rational decisions and when I don’t, I act on emotion in the moment and deal with the consequence later. I don’t make leaps of faith—“

“For me, just this once.” She pleads taking three more steps, just out of arm’s length now. “Just this once, focus on how much I love you—on how much you love me---just this once take this leap. I promise you—you won’t regret it.”

“Bo---“ I repeat her name for the millionth time as closes the distance.

“All or nothing Lauren,” she says dropping to her knee in front of me with little difficulty, the little box open in the palm of her hand. “Marry me,”

I stare down at her through tear filled eyes, the rest of the world no longer existing. Nothing existed but her and me at this moment and I know I should say no.

Isn’t this repeating the same mistakes as before? Isn’t this rushing into things? Isn’t this ignoring logic? Isn’t this ridiculous?

But I love her—I need her---I wanted to be with her. If I wanted this then why fight it? Why keep fighting something that is inevitable to me. Why keep running from what I’ve wanted since I met her?

“All or nothing,” she repeats in a whisper, peering up into my eyes. Nothing but fear and vulnerability there—so much that it physically hurts me.

“Y—yes,”

“What?” she asks, voice breaking as her eyes widen.

“Yes, I will marry you---no—I want to marry you Bo.”

“Really?”

“Really,” I giggle softly, sniffling at my tears. Hands cupping her cheeks as she stands.

My lips covering hers instantly, it’s a kiss of desperation—of relief—of love. She pulls away tears stopping though a few stray ones make it past her rebuilding defenses. Pulling the ring from the box, accidently letting it drop but she doesn’t bother to pay it any attention. She takes my hand and slips the ring on effortlessly.

“And I didn’t even get it fitted,” she giggles, running her thumb over it on my finger.

“Guess something’s are just supposed to go together,” it was probably the corniest thing I ever said in my life but hey, I am lost in the moment.

“I love you,” she says through a smile.

My lips part to tell her that I love her too but she doesn’t give me the chance, lips covering mine once again. Her arms wrapping tightly around me, and for the first time I realize people are applauding us, and cheering—forgot there was people other than us here for a moment.

She pulls away and just looks at me the way she does, the way that lets me know everything I need to know without her ever having to say a word.

The look that tells me that this leap of faith isn’t a mistake…..

 

…..and even if it is….

 

…………it’s worth it…..

Chapter Text

3 Years Later—June 3rd

 

Mentally I sing along with the words of the song stating to play, a siren not only playing the melody of Unchained Melody on the harp but also singing it---very romantic.

The ten rows of pews on each side packed with various people; honestly I don’t think we know half of them. We expected a big turnout for the reception but for the ceremony not so much.

Just as well, didn’t affect me any—my nerves where from—well I don’t really know but I know it had nothing to do with the hundred and some people about to watch us get married.

Okay, maybe it was the amount of people a little bit.

I take a breath, eyes on Bo’s shoulder blades which were bare, the back of her black dress starting just under them. I just watch as she walks down the aisle, Kenzi to her right and Hale to her left. You were only supposed to have one person walk you down the aisle but then again it’s not like we are so conventional.

“Ready?” I look to my left where Vex is giving me his pervy smile and I can’t help but to giggle.

“You can still back out, I could have ten different suitors here in a snap of my three hundred dollar manicured fingers.”

“Evony,” I warn, raising an eyebrow as I turn to her.

“Fine.” She rolls her eyes and gives me her ‘just kidding’ smile. “But if you ever want to—“

“I will elbow you in the ribs—I will do it.” I say softly, through a smile as Bo has now reached the altar and is looking back at us.

“It’s time.” Vex nudges me with his elbow and I can’t help but fixate on how those two words ring true for so much more than just needing to start down the aisle.

I wrap my arm around Vex’s and then Evony’s. Another deep breath, words of the song beginning to be repeated in my mind once again to keep me calm.

One step in front of the other. Every step a fresh wave of nerves crashing into me, my eyes looking down at the black carpet rolled out down the middle of the aisle—Evony’s touch.
Eyes going to the singing siren off to the left corner, dressed in all white—I had to laugh at how everyone had decided to make a silent statement where they fell on the Fae spectrum—in retrospect though everyone looked amazing. I look over to Kenzi who is standing next to Bo and Hale behind his wife. Then to the Fae Elder who stood in what would be the middle of us—when I made it there.

I always thought it was cliché in the movies when the bride was walking in slow motion but it really does feel like time has slowed. Or maybe that was just the effect of how Bo was staring at me.

The last few strings are struck as I step up onto the first step to meet Bo, Evony and Vex positioning behind me.

“We have Light, we have Dark, and we have humans in attendance here. A testament to the power of love, and the two before us are a true testament to that considering they have loved each other through all three divides.” He—she—it—it was a reptile Fae, beyond the green scales and the unisex robe I couldn’t honestly tell—either was it was right we had. “Who presents this succbi?”

“We do,” Hale says, hand on Kenzi’s shoulder as she is already beginning to cry.

“And who presents this blacktail?”

“I do.” This little tiny voice says in a vicious fit of giggles.

I like everyone else looks over to the first row on my side of the aisle, little Adian sitting in Isa’s lap giggling up a storm. One tiny fist presses to his lips, the other raised the best he can manage with his sister’s hold on him.

“Me too. Me too.” Another little voice from beside them comes, giggles now coming from the trio of toddlers. My baby girl, Ksenia sitting next to Sara on Ethan’s lap, Gabby’s arm wrapped around his shoulders as she uses the other to pat the girl’s legs trying to get them to settle.

The little loves of my life,

Ethan Patrick Lewis and Charlotte Isabeau Lewis, born December 30th at 6:07pm and 6:14pm. Adian Dennis Lewis and Ksenia Kathryn Lewis born June 17th at 4:32am and 4:35am.

Little Sara, undoubtedly the apple of my little twins born October 27th, at 8:29pm. I remember hers as clearly as my own children’s birth, probably because I was the one to deliver her. Gabby and Sara Santiago—I don’t know why they refused to pick middle names for them. Smiling at my own wandering train of thought I smile at the six of them before facing the big love of my life, my eyes settling on her stomach.

“We do,” Evnoy and Vex say trying not to laugh at their second set of Godchildren.

“These sponsors have been deemed acceptable. As this is a commitment from the heart to one another, the promises you make will be spoken from the heart. Are you prepared?” he—she—is looks at me and I nod softly.

I wasn’t ready. I was terrified. But in a good way---mostly good—no all good.

“I um,” I start, voice shaky. Taking a breath I shake my head and look up, eyes locking with hers instantly and I feel this entire warmth spread through me. “My past, it’s no secret it’s filled with a lot of darkness and pain. Four years ago you walked back into my life just as abruptly as you did the first time and you—you shook it up just as you did the first time.”

I chuckle softly, looking down to her shoulders for a minute needing a second to think—I can’t think when she looks at me like this.

“I thought that I had lost myself because of you, I thought that a part of me had died because of you---because of mistakes made on both of our parts—but I blamed you for it all because I didn’t know any better. Because I was scared to look inside myself, but the truth was that I had been lost before I even met you, a part of me had died long before I met you---but loving you---Bo, you loved me back to life. Because of you I can breathe again, I can live again, I can—I feel like I can do anything because I know that you love me. You told me once that you didn’t think you deserved me—that you never would—baby, it’s me who doesn’t deserve you.”

I look up from her lips to her eyes, my eyes so glassy it’s hard to see hers but I think she is crying.

“I wasn’t prepared for this,” I hear Vex whisper behind me to Evony, a sniffle followed by that clearing of his throat he does when trying seem emotionless.

“Okay, my turn huh?” she lets out this adorable little, nervous laugh. “I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, some have cost me more than others—some have actually gained me more than I could ever imagine. Like the mistake I made when saving Kenz, I let her see me and—well my life has never been the same. In doing so I earned a sister, I earned a whole new family—a new life—you. Over the course of our relationship—I have made so many mistakes but I just want to say I would do them all again.”

I can’t help the way my eyebrow raises nor can Kenzi help the way she lets out a noise which I think is supposed to convey confusion—or possibly a covert way to tell Bo to adjust her vows quickly before she gets hit.

“I would do them all again because they have brought me here, brought us here. It would be easy to say yes I’d go back and fix everything because then we’d have been together this whole time but—that isn’t guaranteed and this now is. Because of those mistakes I found you, I fell in love with you and never looked back. I learned to be a better person, I learned to value you and our love, I learned to grow up. Because of those mistakes we have four beautiful children—so yes there was so much pain—so much that I thought I would die but knowing that this, right here is the end result—hell I would do it all again and again for eternity just to end up back here staring into your eyes, knowing what it looks like to see you cry tears of happiness because of me rather than sadness.”

She pauses using the back of her hand to wipe her tears away, I just let mine fall. I can’t move—I can’t breathe—I can’t think—the normal when I’m around her.

“We’re supposed to make promises, so here is mine. I promise that I will never stop trying to be better for you. I promise that I will never love anyone other than you in this life and the next. I promise that I will never forget a single anniversary or birthday because I’ve already misses out on too many. I promise I will never stop fighting for you. I promise that if the time comes—I will die for you but until then—I will live for you.”

“Shit.” I heard softly from behind me in a broken whisper—I think Evony is crying.

“With these promises made, these words spoken you have all been witness to the commitment these two have made. Please bring forth the symbols of commitment.”

Kenzi hands her my ring, the same one I’ve been wearing for three years now. This whole entire day it’s felt weird without it, she wanted to get me an actual engagement ring but this was all I wanted. This was her great-grandmother’s, her grandmother’s, now it would be mine and one day it would be passed down.

She smiles, tears in her eyes but this wave hasn’t yet fallen. Gently taking my hand in hers she uses the other to slip my ring on, like a part of me was missing, I feel better now. It’s ridiculous to put so much value on something so seemingly insignificant but to me this was more than a simple ring.

I reach behind myself taking the ring from Evony, who I can still hear sniffling along with Vex. It was an exact replica of mine, took a fortune to obtain considering how rare the metal was and how old but it was worth it. In side of mine the word ‘Always’ was already engraved in an accident, dead language of the Fae, so I had the word ‘Forever’ engraved in hers.

Corny, cheesy, stupid, unnecessary, clichéd, silly---probably all of those things but honestly I didn’t care.

Sliding the ring onto her finger, she takes my hands in her own rather than letting them fall to our sides—were we allowed to touch? Who cares, she was my wife now—I could touch her if I wanted to—right?

“With these rings, these symbols, your commitment has now been sealed. You may kiss.”

The word ‘may’ had barely started before Bo’s hands were on my cheeks pulling me in the most passionate yet sweet kiss she had ever given me—and we have kissed A LOT. Its passionate and intimate yet still sweet and gentle. It lasts for what seems like an eternity yet still not long enough.

She pulls away slowly, eyes opening to meet mine and the sound of applause roaring through the church.

Guess everyone is a sucker for a good love story, huh?

Smiling so wide I’m sure my face will split in two, I turn to face the now standing crowd. Bo’s hand grabbing mine, fingers effortlessly lacing as if they belonged together. We take the first step off of the platform.

I glance over to see the three older trouble makers trying to hold onto the new generation who are trying to run to us, the word ‘mommy’ being repeated over and over again but luckily they are said in giggles so I feel no need to run to their aid.

Smiling at them and giving a little wave before looking over at Bo, who is smiling just as goofily as me we start toward the exit. Kenzi and Hale are to wait five steps before following and then Vex and Evony would wait five steps before following. It was all very organized and beautiful but all I can think about is the feel of her hand in mine.

I still wouldn’t consider myself a person of faith but…..

 

……sometimes leaps of faith can be the best thing you could ever do.