I know I said that I wouldn't cut this chapter, but I did. Only because it seems that the longer I make 'em, the longer you guys have to wait and that doesn't seem fair.
Jane's bump is bigger in certain pictures, but that happens in Sims 2 when you take a pregnant woman to a community lot. Just flow with it! J
Getting used to sleeping on her side had been a challenge. Jane often found herself turning onto her stomach practically pressing her baby into her back. It was the uncomfortable pressure that made her turn back to her side. If that didn't make sleeping difficult enough, now with all this entity stuff going on she'd been tossing and turning most of the night and seemed to be dragging throughout the day. Damian took it upon himself to make sure she took better care of herself and temporarily moved in. Not that there really was anything for him to go back to in BC. Demi, the manager at the DiGorgio Auction House, proved more than efficient to run the business for him. All he had to do was go there twice a week to keep an eye on everything and return as quick as possible to his new family.
Jane tried to turn around, but his hand on her waist prevented that. It was his way to keep her from turning at night; only this time she was trying to get away from him. 'Damian', she whispered opening her eyes. She tried to slide away from under his hand, but he didn't budge. 'Damian', she said a bit louder, 'Your hand is pressing into my stomach'. Still half sleeping he moved his hand immediately and Jane felt his fingers move against her back. Turns out his hand was nowhere near her stomach.
But there it was again; a dull pain in her underbelly. Jane turned and sat up so abruptly her movement alarmed Damian to wake up. The concern on his face the same as hers. "What's wrong? Tell me what's wrong?!" She had a hand on her stomach and he saw her wince. Damian got up from the bed and kneeled in front of her. Fear took hold of him as he watched her face contort every other second.
Before he could ask again she took one of his hands and placed it on her stomach where hers had been. He felt a tiny bump push back against his hand and frowned. Did that really just happen? There it was again; the slightest bump and he couldn't help but smile at his baby's gentle kicks.
The smile disappeared when he looked back up at Jane. Did she wince every time that happened? Perhaps they weren't gentle at all. "It shouldn't hurt that much Jane". "I know… but I don't want to think about something being wrong. What if I've done someth—". "Don't! You don't want to think about it and then that's exactly what you do. Listen-", he took a quick glance at his watch, 'It's almost 10:30. Why don't you get dressed and we'll take a quick drive to the ER to get a checkup". "You know why we can't do that. How are we going to explain that our baby is kicking after only two month—Oh no, no no no", Jane wept at the sight of a little bit of blood on her pajama pants. She was going to lose her baby.
"No time to change. Put on your coat; we're going now!"
"I'm doctor Carson, I hear there's been some spotting during your pregnancy"
"I'm sorry, spotting?"
"It's when you bleed during pregnancy. It's not that rare for pregnant women to experience spotting now and then. The bleeding has stopped, so that's good. Has it happened before?"
Jane shook her head and the doctor nodded. "Okay. I'm going to do an ultrasound just to be safe", Dr. Carson said, squirting a clear gel onto Jane's stomach. "Tell me what you felt exactly"
"I was sleeping when I felt a bit of pressure in my stomach area. I thought it was my fiancé's hand, but it wasn't. It happened every time the baby kicked and then there was some blood"
"It's a good thing you came in. Some people read about spotting and think they know about it. They stay at home instead of contacting their doctor, when what they have could be a serious complication. You'll feel a bit of pressure when I move this, but bear with me"
She moved the device over Jane's stomach and listened for irregularities and other signs that something could be wrong. "Does it hurt when I press here?". "No". "Have you been under stress lately? Or in a stressful environment?". Damian squeezed her hand and Jane immediately thought about the trip to see the council. Maybe the supernatural journey had caused her body to react? Or the presence of a reaper in the house? All the things she couldn't exactly tell a doctor about. "I've been taking care of my grandmother; she's sick and I worry sometimes. Are you saying that's been too much?". "Worrying about someone isn't exactly something you can do anything about, but along with your grandmother you do have to take care of yourself as well. Don't overdo it, okay? Is this your first pregnancy?"
"Yes… everything is so very new and it feels like it's going way too fast to get used to the changes" Way, WAY too fast! "I get that from a lot of first-time parents. It's scary and exciting at the same time", Dr. Carson smiled and continued the ultrasound. "Okay, from what I hear and see, I can safely say everything seems fine. Listen". She held the device to Jane's left and turned up the volume. A steady heartbeat sounded through the built-in speakers. "Beautiful isn't it?", Dr. Carson smiled and moved to Jane's right, "And here's the other one"
"I'm sorry, did you say another one?", Damian frowned. Dr. Carson turned the screen towards them and sure enough he was able to make out two heads. "You're six months pregnant and you've just now learned that you're carrying twins?", Dr. Carson said unbelieving, "Have you had any checkups before this one?" –Six months—Jane stiffened a bit. Her two month pregnancy equaled 6 months. That only meant she would be full term next month. "We have", Damian lied, "but it seems we're adding incompetence to the list we're suing our last doctor for. We're really having twins?"
"Yes, twins", Dr. Carson said pointing at the heads on the screen, "They both look alright. A little small perhaps, but since you don't have a large bump either, I'd say that their growth is normal"
Normal, she said. If only she knew."But if you weren't aware you were carrying twins, you've surely not received the right pre-natal care. Which could also be the reason for their size. Are you allergic to anything?" Jane shook her head, still fascinated by the outline picture of her two babies. TWO! "Are you being treated for an illness right now? No? Alright, I'll prescribe you some vitamins that you have to take twice a day. It's late in the pregnancy, so I'm giving you a higher dosage. Take it easy, try not to tire yourself out or you might spot again. If that happens anyway, contact the hospital or your regular doctor again", Dr. Carson warned, writing down the prescription.
"How did you know I was 6 months along? I never said anything and like you said, I have a small bump", Jane wanted to know. Dr. Carson smiled at her. "The development of the babies. Yours have everything already, so you're very close to or over the sixth month and in your third trimester. All they have to do now is grow a bit more in the coming months and we're ready to bring them into the world. I can even tell you what you're going to have. Would you like to know? Or has your doctor already told you?"
"No, he hasn't. Do you want to know Jane?"
Jane was smiling at the screen. Did she want to know? Yes, but part of her also wanted it to be a surprise. So she said no. If there hadn't been any spotting, she wouldn't be here now and it would've been a surprise as well. "Very well. I would advice to stock up on greens and yellows then", Dr. Carson printed out a picture for them to have and handed Damian the prescription. He could wait until morning to hand it in at the apothecary, but he opted for immediately. Even with the doctor explaining that the vitamins would be more expensive coming directly from the hospital. He wanted Jane to take them as soon as possible. Now that they knew it was twins, she needed to be taken care of even more.
Jane waited for him near the nursery as he went to pay for the check up and the vitamins. She smiled at the babies through the window. It was a little over eleven p.m., but they were very lively. The nurse had settled down one of them, but before she got to the next one, he or she started to fuss again. She couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl, because the baby was wearing yellow. Jane rubbed over her stomach and for the first time since she learned she was pregnant she couldn't wait to hold her babies. Two babies; twins, just like her and Julie.
Marina checked herself out in the mirror again. Tonight was the night and she felt a bit strange. Was it nerves? Probably. She had changed her hair 10 to 15 times from being pulled up to braids to just letting it loose. Before deciding she didn't like it again, she shifted her attention to something else. The dress Raven picked out was amazing. It was elegant and sophisticated. A deep v-neckline covered, or didn't cover, the front. It showed some cleavage, but not enough to make her feel like she was on display. Completely backless, so a bra was out of the question. She hated not being able to wear one, but even she had to admit it would ruin the dress. Her long hair did a good enough job to conceal her a bit. She turned from side to side watching the satin fabric move around as if caught on the wind. The dress reminded her of something a Greek goddess would wear. She didn't feel anything like a goddess though…
"You could stand there looking at yourself, or you could let me in"
Raven knocked on the door again; waiting for her to let him in. He leaned against the balustrade a good while before he knocked the first time. Following her heat as she moved around on the other side of the door getting ready. She stopped in front of the mirror and stayed there a long while and he knew she was feeling insecure about herself. That's what he took as his cue to go in. She was so deep into her thoughts she didn't even hear the first knock. "Marina?"
A soft voice told him he could come in. She was nervous, he could tell.
The dress on display had been beautiful to say the least, but nothing had prepared Raven for what it would look like on her. It was breathtaking. "I don't know why you're second guessing. You look beautiful; gorgeous even"
"You think so? I'll be honest, I've never worn or even owned something like this, so… I don't know". She started pulling on various parts of the dress and he had to grab her hands to make her stop fidgeting. "Come on, stop, the dress is fine!", he lowered his head a little searching for her eyes. "Is it really the dress that you're worried about? Or is there more?"
Marina licked her lips which felt suddenly felt dry for some reason and shook her head, but Raven wasn't born yesterday. 'I have a feeling there is. Marina if you're not sure about this, I can call the whole thing off without even thinking twice"
"No, this has nothing to do with that. I want to be with you. It's a bit scary since I'll the first, but I want to do this. For you. Okay, for us!', she quickly changed her words when he frowned and clearly was going to say something. "You already heard me when I was talking to Binny, don't deny it, I know you heard. So I'll say it again. I'm doing this because I love you. That's why I'm not second guessing us. I'm just a bit thrown off by Lubinnia. I didn't think she would be so quick to refuse, especially when she's sees how happy you make me. It just hurts… a lot'
'Do you want me to talk to her', Raven caressed her hand, drawing little circles over it with his thumb.
'No, I don't really think that will help right now. But thank you', she whispered putting her hand on his face. A loving and trusting gesture.
'Are you ready to do this, love?'
She nodded and took his arm. Yes, she was ready. She was a bit jealous of what he told her he shared with his late wife, but now they would share something different. This was one of the things she longed for and now she would have him completely. He would be hers and she, his. The thought made her heart beat faster and Marina had to take a deep breath…
"I don't want to be rude, but how much longer is this going to take? Plus, we're losing the strength of the full moon. The spell might not work properly if we pass midnight and I'm sure you'll blame me for it"
Iden glanced at her from the corner of his eyes. That much was true. Even if it was common knowledge that most witches harvested their powers from the full moon; he would need someone to put the blame on if it failed. And who better that the witch casting the spell… Where the hell was he? Marina wasn't on the other side of the world for him to take that long in escorting her here. Something was up… Did she change her mind?
Iden sighed and got up from his chair. Asking her to follow him, he excused himself from the packed hall of invitees in search of the East Wing. If the mountain doesn't come to Abraham…
"Please tell me that something dreadful has happened to explain your absence, and not that you were in a cuddling mood". Iden stepped onto the fly-over bridge that connected the "Queen Rosa" bedroom to the house.
"I wish I could, brother, but I am indeed in a cuddling mood", Raven answered enclosing Marina in a tight embrace. His stubble tickled her cheek and she had to giggle.
"You can have at it as much as you desire AFTERWARDS. It is in poor taste to keep your guests waiting. The entire council has gathered to witness your union. Surely you will not deprive them of it"
"Surely I will. You see, my gorgeous mate here, while still willing to go through with it, has developed a sense of stage-fright. It's only fair to accommodate her and complete the ceremony in private"
'In private? The first ever mating-ritual and you wish to keep it to yourself? My, how very selfish"
"I am in everything concerning her. Do not fret brother, she will be presented to the council as my mate after the ritual. But until I feel like it, she is for my eyes alone"
"We have to start now, Raven", Iden said in a more serious tone, "The spell might not work well enough after midnight, or so I have been told". "Let her proceed with the incantation then. We can hear her well enough from here. Can't we, love?"
Iden made himself as comfortable as possible leaning against the rose overgrown balustrade of the fly-over bridge and nodded his head in agreement. 'Might as well do it here. Please go ahead, Preston'
She looked up at the sky. The moon was in the right place to bathe herself in its light and she started the incantation. There were a lot of words Preston didn't understand, but that didn't matter to Iden. All she had to do was say them and with her powers, they would work.
After repeating the long incantation for what felt like forever, Preston felt a fierce surge of power that made her shiver. Iden noticed it, because her voice trembled saying some of the words. And then her power started to fade. She looked up and noticed the moon had reached the top of the sky. It was midnight. The surge she'd felt was the moon reaching its peak. Had she been fast enough to finish the spell in time? 'I believe that's it', she told Iden, 'It's after twelve and I'm not getting anything anymore'
'Well, did it work?', Iden gave her a questioning and think-before-you-answer stare.
'To be honest, I don't know. All that's left is the blood exchange', Preston answered truthfully. He'd know if she lied.
'Well, you heard her', Iden said to the closed door. His eyes were still fixed on Preston. 'The blood exchange, Raven'
It was silent for a long time and Iden knew that even Raven was hesitating.
You won't know until you try, brother.
'What's going on?', Preston wanted to know. 'Did it work?'
Iden heard a growl come from inside the room and he grinned. A faint metallic scent coated the soft breeze that came from under the door. "Hmm, that's a nice smell". The scent of her blood was fast making its way to his head; making his fangs lengthen as the intoxication hit him. He had a few doubts the spell would work, but now that it had, her blood, no longer toxic, was making it hard for him; and he was outside the door. Raven should be having a frenzy. Preston saw his reaction and folded the piece of paper with the spell and handed it to him. 'May I go now?'.
'Yes, Preston, you may go! Your help has been much appreciated. I believe I am in your debt'
She politely lowered her head before leaving the bridge; passing Lubinnia, who was standing a few paces behind them. Her eyes were fixed on the door. "What's a nice smell?", Lubinnia asked.
Iden turned towards her and involuntarily licked one of his fangs, before he regained his composure and just looked at her. Waiting for it to sink in. Her eyes widened. "He bit her already?". She motioned for the door, but before she even got close to it Iden grabbed her hand and turned her around with little effort.
"If he had, the neighbors would have heard her", Iden said, moving her away from the door, "Good thing we do not have any neighbors". She turned around, but he was in front of her again in the blink of an eye. "She never should've gone along with this. Get out of my way!", she yelled, "He's hurting her!"
"Do you honestly still believe that?", he frowned. "True, there will be some discomfort since this is her first time being bitten. But believe me-", Iden's voice dropped low into a whisper, "by the time he slowly sinks his fangs into the small of her beautiful and tender neck... pain will not be the reason for her screams, Lubinnia"
Lubinnia's cheeks colored at the meaning of his words. She had heard rumors of the sensuality in a vampire's bite and Iden just confirmed them. However, it was the way he spoke to her just then and the way her name rolled off his tongue that warmed her from the inside out. She took a step back and watched him follow her movement with his eyes.
He said nothing and just looked at her. Lubinnia noticed it was his thing. Silent communication. Any other day, he was intimidating and creepy, but right now his stare was doing things to her stomach. Was it because of what she knew was happening on the other side of Marina's door or was he glamouring her? Either way, she was falling for it. The feeling left her stomach and was making its way lower to the apex of her thighs. One corner of his mouth rose and she knew at that moment he was very aware of what he was doing to her. The bastard was glamouring her. She squinted her eyes at him in annoyance and walked away quickly.
Binny couldn't believe his nerve. Telling her he didn't give a damn about her safety and then glamouring her to make her think she wanted him. Was she angry? Yeah, but her anger didn't at all bring down her arousal. She needed a drink, a strong one! But... that meant returning to the big hall occupied by God knows how many vampires. Without Raven or his bastard brother there, she'd be the next best thing on the menu and decided against it. Surely there had to be a bar or something somewhere...
Lubinnia took a chance and slipped past the double doors leading to the big hall and entered the back patio. As luck would have it, there was a bar right there. Champagne already poured, but no way was she drinking those.
She took an unopened bottle from behind the bar and poured herself a glass. Lubinnia downed it all in one gulp. Did nothing for her at all. Iden must've glamoured her up pretty good. She set a few empty glasses on the tray and filled those up along with her own glass. She would drink the entire bottle if it meant getting control of herself.
"Undo the spell, NOW!"
Lubinnia almost swallowed the entire glass at the angry growl coming from Chase. When did he get here? "What the hell?", she coughed, putting down her glass. "What are you talking about?"
She reached for another glass, but he swung it against the one of the pillars. "The spell, Lubinnia, undo it NOW!"
Why did everyone insist on saying her name tonight? And what a weird name her mother gave her… Lub-inn-ia. Sounded a lot more like 'lube in ya—". Wow, shooting back champagne like tequila shots may have taken it to her head a bit too fast. "I'm getting sick of vampires telling me what to do. Buzz off"
Chase blocked her path when she tried to leave. Blocked again. Name saying and blocking her path seemed to be the theme tonight. "You think all of this is funny, don't you?'
'Funny? FUNNY?', she actually laughed, 'My best friend just made herself available to be vampire chow. However unreasonable it sounds, she surely hates me for refusing her. I'm stuck in this vampire infested place with no idea how to get home. I can't leave this side of the mansion or risk being attacked. I didn't complete the ritual, so Iden has no reason to keep my alive and once again I am completely on my own. You seem to the great know-it-all, so I beg you to tell me which part of all of this is funny, because I seem to have missed it'
'Be careful witch', Chase growled, his voice hoarse with irritation. 'Raven may have asked me to keep you out of harm's way, but that was before he had his mate. He probably won't care what I do to you now. Undo the binding spell you put on me or it's going to get ugly'
'Whatever… mutt! You know you talk real smug, but when shove becomes push, you turn back into Raven's lap dog. You're nothing but a wuss!'
That was enough to tip the scale and sent him over the edge. Within the blink of an eye he had her pinned to the wall. Fangs prying through open lips and bloodred eyes. For a brief moment fear crossed her face. Looking at him now she actually regretted pushing him so far...
'I will rip you apart where you stand! Call me a wuss again... I DARE you!!' he snarled dangerously close to her throat. A shudder went through her body and a staggered breath left her opened lips as she looked into his bloodred eyes...
-To Be Continued-