Eight Months Later.
I thank Vito and Corbin who open the doors for me, closing them when I enter. I spent the whole day relaxing and having fun with the girls; Sage, Astra and Sasha. Asher wanted me to take the day off and promised he would take care of Lucien. I was sceptical at first but agreed anyways. Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to be with my baby again. I couldn’t stop thinking about Lucien while I was out; whether he was okay, if he needed me, etcetera. I had to force myself to stop feeling guilty for taking some time for myself.
I make my way upstairs, both their scents guiding me. Lucien smelt like the grass just after a downpour with a hint of pine and spice, he reminded me of the forest. I walk into my bedroom to see both Asher and our son sleeping soundly on the bed, both on their stomach. Dimitri is reading a book in an armchair by the bed, keeping watch on Lucien in case he rolls away from his dad. But despite being asleep, Asher’s arm is wrapped around his back as Lucien cuddles into his chest.
I mentally coo over how adorable they look, thanking Dimitri for watching him. He smiles before leaving, closing the door behind him. Setting my handbag down, I slip off my shoes and get on the bed. Peppering kisses to Asher’s cheek, I hear him sigh before his warm brown eyes open to meet mine. He smiles lazily, pulling me down for a kiss.
“Was he any trouble?” I whisper, stroking Lucien’s back when he whimpers.
“A lot.” He chuckles, turning to lay on his back and pulling me on top of him. “For a toddler, he sure crawls away pretty fast.”
“He tired you out? You’re getting old, Ash.” I giggle softly, feeling him pinch my bum.
“Please, can we have another baby?” He groans, nibbling on my earlobe.
“Two kids would definitely turn your hair grey.” I smirk, teasing him.
Ever since I healed from delivering Lucien, Asher has been wanting another baby. And the fact that my healing process was faster than an average human makes him want to get me pregnant as soon as possible. I’m still trying to settle into my role as a new mom and even though I know I won’t ever be perfect for my son, I just want to enjoy my time with Lucien before giving him another sibling. Plus it’s only been eight months!
“Soon, just not yet.” I peck him quickly before picking up my son when he starts to cry.
I pull down the top of my dress and bra, watching as he stops fussing and starts to feed. Asher rests back on the bed, watching us with a tender look. “Pup.” Ivanna sighs lovingly as I smooth his brown strands. Although she can’t ever meet him in person, Ivanna is content with seeing him every day. But as I’m a hybrid, I can’t let Zoya come out and greet him just yet. I need to let him grow up a little before he can understand because if I let her out now it’ll just cause him confusion and distress when he won’t see me anymore.
Dad told Ivan and I that it happened when we were both one year old and we freaked out at the sight of his beasts. Something made him extremely angry and he shifted involuntarily just as mom came in the room with us. He had to leave, shift, and then come back for us to calm down fully. After that, he only shifted when he was sure that we were nowhere near and we eventually warmed up to his beasts at six years old.
It’s not that it’s dangerous as our beasts are very loving towards our children and would do anything for them. It’s just that babies don’t have the capacity to understand why there are three of us and seeing that their parent is not with them anymore makes them very upset.
After I’ve fed and burped him, Corbin alerts us that Ivan has arrived. Asher frowns at me in confusion, asking me if I knew about him coming over. I shake my head, taking Lucien into my arms and carrying him downstairs. Ivan waits for us in Asher’s office, looking extremely stressed out but immediately grins when he sees Lucien kicking his arms and legs wildly as he recognizes his godparent and Uncle.
“Hey, buddy!” He laughs when Lucien squeals happily, taking him from my arms. “You’ve done a lot of growing since the last time I saw you!”
The last time Ivan saw his nephew was when he visited the castle when I had given birth to him. He had been swamped with work and changing things around at the Lycan kingdom, it was difficult for him to step away but he managed. Recently, he’s been under pressure to stop a group of rebels threatening to take over his throne and my family and I barely see him anymore.
Lucien talks away in his baby language, fisting Ivan’s shirt in his grasp tightly as he falls onto his lap. He’s been trying to learn how to stand on his own since the last two weeks which makes me sad as I realize he’s not going to be my little baby anymore. Ivan pretends like he’s listening and replies with whatever answer he thinks is suitable, kissing his chubby cheeks and making him laugh loudly.
“I could just eat you up!” He holds him up high, blowing raspberries onto his tummy. Sighing, he brings him back down and lets him bounce on his thighs. “He’s cute as fuck, man.”
“Ivan!” I seethe, glaring at him for cursing around Lucien.
“Shit! – oh shit! I-I mean, sorry! I’m sorry!” He rambles, making Asher snicker and cover his face with both hands.
Lucien immediately senses that something is wrong and starts crying, making Ivan’s eyes widen even more. Asher pulls me onto his lap as we watch him try and calm his nephew down, his behavior frantic. I bite my lip to stifle a giggle over his actions, he has now resorted to making him dance on Asher’s desk as a last resort. Shouting out in relief when Lucien stops crying and laughs instead, he peppers his face with kisses while muttering low thank you-s.
He sits back down and Lucien instantly cuddles up to him, his arm around his neck while his other hand is in his mouth as he closes his eyes. Ivan holds him to his chest, patting his back gently. And soon enough, we hear him drift off to sleep.
“What brings you here?” Asher asks as I take Lucien from Ivan’s arms, putting him down in the crib that we keep in the office.
Ivan sighs, his posture tense. “As you know, other races are threatening to take over my throne and it’s getting very serious. I may be going to war any day now and I need to know if you’ll help me?”
“Of course, you’re my beloved’s brother. I’ve got you.” He nods, making him relax considerably.
“Thank you, I appreciate it. I’ll need some warriors, their army is strong and has a lot of numbers but I need mine to be bigger and better.” He leans back in his seat, his green eyes still filled with worry. “I’ve got mine training day in and day out, yours needs to be prepared for a long fight. I have a feeling this will be dragged out.”
Asher agrees immediately, offering any help he can provide. I take a seat next to Ivan, feeling his distress through our bond. I’m worried for him, we all are. Ever since he took over the throne, people have been out for his blood. He didn’t do anything to anyone, some just don’t want the Romanov rule to continue.
Their army is being led by a rogue leader who’s been wanting to take the throne from our father for years. He thinks Ivan will be easy to handle but not many know that Ivan and I are hybrids, especially since our parents have never disclosed information to the public about our family. Hell, most people don’t even know that there’s a second set of Romanov twins and that we’re a family of seven!
The people in his world have speculated that he’s a Lycan but I have a feeling they’ll come to know of what he really is during the war. As much as I don’t want it to happen, I know it’s inevitable. Sighing, I hug him tightly, praying to the Moon Goddess to protect my brother and to keep him safe from harm. If he gets hurt, I’ll know immediately and it’s going to take everything in me not to try and get to him.
“I’ll be okay.” He grins knowingly, but his eyes don’t reflect the act he’s putting up.
“Can you stay for a while?” I ask, resting my head on his shoulder.
“Sure, I have time.”
Time. If only we had more of it.
That’s a wrap guys! But don’t worry, I have some exciting news to follow! Just keep reading and see what I have in store for you all!
Thank you for all your love and support, it truly means a lot to me. I hope you have enjoyed reading Asher’s Beloved ❤️
Of course, there are some things I have to go back and fix. Asher’s Beloved is not an edited book, it is a rough draft. I plan to add more chapters that are solely focused on Ayla and Asher. I became too fixated with the Blithe situation that Asher and Ayla’s time to get to know each other became rushed and messy.
As always, thank you for your feedback!
- R.W. ♡