Offspring

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Chapter LXVI

D E L A N O

My mind races with an overwhelming emotion that scorns a crater in my heart, bringing forth unsettling questions and images that have words sizzling on the surface of my tongue, the urge to roar with rage: to let them know of this unknown entity that appeared within me. This emotion brings a twitch to my fingers, their trembling casting my attention away from the consuming sensation; I curl them to fist by my sides as I walk the length of the halls, the clicks of my shoes echoing through its spacious depth.

This emotion clogs my being, becoming one with my energy as it slicks from my pores and coats the air that surrounds me. Vaguely, the smell of stale flesh grasps my awareness that others were also occupying the space of the hall, their short gasps of surprise at my appearance further confirming my thoughts, releasing a stuttering breath; my feet continue to take me down the path toward the maiden that took my internal breath hostage.

My eyes greet the awaiting door, each raise of my leg bringing me closer: and causing a clammy feeling to surface the palms of my hands, I brush them against my pantsโ€™ leg to rid them of the moisture. Collecting myself, I raise my hand, gently knocking on the hardwood. A moment passed before I felt movement from the other side of the door.

โ€œWho is it?โ€ she calls out, the undertone of small authority entwined in her words.

Ba-dump.

A tingle spreads throughout my body, delicious chills running among the planes of my ribs, emerging a song from my heart, one my mind could mildly understand. I swallow, swiping my tongue along my upper lip.

โ€œDelano,โ€ I respond, equally matching her tone.

The short silence stretches, quiet steps luring her toward the door before it opens, the structure swinging inward as she comes into view. The small wind that accumulated from the door being opened caused flyways from her hair to sway in its breeze, my eyes slant down to her appearance, the strings of her dress still tied around her neck; the earthy color of it blending together beautifully, her natural glow brightening the richness of the color. I catch her gaze, enticed by the honey brown hue they contained.

โ€œHi,โ€ she speaks, soft and airy as she looks up at me, almost equally as mesmerized I was by her form.

Kaitlyn then blinks a few times to herself, the rise of her chest indicating a deep inhale as she releases it quietly, stepping to the side all while holding the door wider for me to pass through.

โ€œYou can come in.โ€

I stare at the side of her face, noticing the moment she took to herself before I step over the threshold and into the room. My steps soften on the plush carpet, as I make my way toward the chair that was positioned near the dresser, the sound of the door closing resonated the same time I reach for the tie that strangles my neck, slipping my finger through the knot and untying the material.

Drawn to the sound of Kaitlynโ€™s footfalls, I turn to find her hunched over the end of the bed, her hands snapping the silver clips of Cassiusโ€™s onesie, the panda onesie adding to his bubbly energy. My mouth curves into a smile as I observe her hands expertly placing his sibling into a matching set, her hands gliding over their faces, tenderly.

โ€œIโ€™m actually glad you came,โ€ she abruptly says, the statement directed toward me.

I flinch in place, the erratic shock of excitement rendering me still at t.

โ€œI was considering coming to look for you myself.โ€

โ€œIs that so?โ€ I say, coolly settling my voice as tugging at the suitโ€™s jacket, letting it slip from my shoulders, swinging it to hang over the back of the single chair. โ€œWhat was it that you wished to speak about if I hadnโ€™t come to you first?โ€

Her steps pivot her small frame to face me, lifting my eyes from unbuttoning the clasps from my wrist, our gazes colliding through the mirrorโ€™s reflection, conjuring electric currents with the particles in the atmosphere.

โ€œI appreciate your offer of a nanny, but I did not need oneโ€”โ€ her hand swipes at her hair, exposing her neckโ€” โ€œThough I was a little offended by the gesture.โ€ She admits.

Looking over my shoulder, I swivel my body around to give her my full attention. Struggling to stray my eyes from the smooth, slender column of her neck, my brows crease together, finally lifting my eyes, taken back by her words.

โ€œI apologize, it wasnโ€™t my intention to offend you,โ€ the warmth behind my words leaves its essence inside my body, my eyes softening at the thought of internally hurting her.

Images flicker before me, the hands that wish to caress her body with this emotion that drives me insane are also the same that dared handled her roughly. My stomach churns in self-disgust, these images reminding me of my actions, no matter if she had forgiven me for them.

โ€œI suggested her presence to be known during the times that I cannot help you with our children,โ€ I add.

Kaitlyn waves her hand, dismissing my statement, โ€œItโ€™s all right, having her around does make things a little easier.โ€

Swiping her dress from under her, she plops on the bed, gracefully lying on her side with her cheek propped on her palm, the twins positioned closer to her, in the middle of the bed on their stomachs. Their small giggles fill the lake of silence that has washed over Kaitlyn and Iโ€™s chatter, their hands gripping the large duvet, clenching the material between their tiny fists. Cassius attempts to lift his weight on his chubby arms, shaking with effort as he did so, he didnโ€™t last long before he fell and landed face-first into the plush cover.

Kaitlyn smiles as she rolls him on his back, tickling his sides, his frame releasing more of that heart-clutching laughter.

โ€œIโ€™ve come across something peculiar with the twins,โ€ she states suddenly, face twisting with wonder before she turns to face me.

Almost sensuallyโ€” my conscious dragging me down a darkened path of desire at the actionโ€” she beckons me forward with a crook of her finger, and I allow myself to take the first steps, then another, soon coming to tower over the opposite of the bed, not trusting myself if I were to stand close; too close to become engulfed in her intoxicating scent, that consumes this room whole.

I drag my eyes up the length of her body, momentarily distracted by the curve of her hips, that dip like a hill before rising to create the curve of her breast, following the trail, I soon meet her gaze.

Her aura takes a different route, finding me as its target to consume and capture. Her eyes flutter as she nods her chin toward Cassius.

โ€œIโ€™m not sure if it is common or not, so I wanted to ask you about this. . .โ€ Kaitlyn trails off.

Reaching over, she lifts Cassiusโ€™s upper lip and spreads his bottom lip downward, revealing his gums. I immediately notice the two lumps that would be in place forโ€”

โ€œFangs,โ€ my mouth opens before my brain could catch up. โ€œHe has fangs.โ€

โ€œYou sound equally as surprised as I was. Is this not normal?โ€ the sudden sharpness of her tone revealed the tiny ball of worry that was forming within, her motherly instincts still on high alert.

โ€œNo,โ€ I whisper, moving closer, โ€œbut thereโ€™s nothing to worry about. I just never encountered something like this.โ€

I lean closer, dipping at the waist to take a closer look, further confirming that fangs were indeed beneath the flesh.

โ€œDoes Adelia have any?โ€ I question, swinging my gaze to my daughter, her smaller frame wiggling as she kicked her legs, scooting her body along the duvet.

โ€œNo, itโ€™s only Cassius.โ€

I wrap my fingers around her wrist, gently flipping her on her back and dragging her body toward me. The action brings a rush of giggles and gurgles of salvia to coat her lips. My chest vibrates with my own laugh as I search her mouth for a second clarification.

โ€œThe only explanation for this is that she doesnโ€™t have that much of my blood coursing through her,โ€ I explain, shifting my gaze to Kaitlyn who watches me with naked eyes. โ€œShe may appear to be human more as she grows up.โ€

โ€œBut there is nothing to be worried about, if there any complications, weโ€™ll cross that bridge when we get there.โ€

Kaitlyn turns her attention, looking me in the eyes steadily, her pupils enlarge the longer we hold eye contact, an unknown battle brewing within the depths of them, the warmth overriding the cold. My movement to settle on the edge of the bed, distance still between us, breaks her away from the sizzling connection that burns at the thread; its attachment aiming to bring our destined souls to collide.

Removing her cheek from her hand, she lays her head on her arm comfortablyโ€” hair fanning out around her as she stretches herself across the bed while cocooning Cassius and Adelia with her body. The movement caused her dress to slip up a few inches, exposing more luscious skin that called out for my fingers to caress their softness; the muscle in my jaw ticks its restraint as I clench my teeth, forcing my eyes away.

โ€œI saw the werewolf, Adam, on my walk with the twins,โ€ she reveals, โ€œhe told me he was here to visit you. What did you both talk about?โ€

Side-glancing her, before returning my gaze to stare at the wall, I finally say, โ€œWe discussed some preparations for a future meeting that involves other royals and some of his own authorities.โ€

โ€œSince we are allied, and we are somewhat leading to another war, we need to discuss and dissect things logically and prevent more blood to be split.โ€

The thought of the Demons returning and raining havoc upon Eypra like they have done centuries ago sends my blood into a hot stream, coursing with the appearance of flames within its shadows. The flames grow stronger at the existing thought of harm falling down on this family that Iโ€™ve created, to have my own taken away from me, it also sparks the rise of revenge; their deaths still fresh and open inside me.

Kaitlynโ€™s shallow breaths distract me from the emotions, my head twisting to look over my shoulder, there she lay fast asleep, chest rising and falling: the twins mimicking her state.

Ba-damp.

Her face was relaxed, the smallest of snores rattling her throat at the noise vibrates. A warm sensation trickles from m heart, spilling over my veins and absorbing itself into my mainstream, spreading this warmth further until it overwhelmed me; to watch over an image I never would have imagined to shift a reality, grapples my existence from the abyss of my personal darkness.

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