Friday, December 24, 2010

"Yes, sundown will be best. It'll take that long for Stoney to turn back to flesh, anyway. If you'll all meet with me an hour before sundown - will someone check that on the Web, what time it's gonna be? - I can tell you everything you'll need to know. Rowan, you and I will need to talk soon; your part is going to be a bit more complicated than the rest. Everyone else, I suggest you catch several hour's sleep; we don't know how long this will take."

"One other thing." I look slowly around the semicircle of face, locking eyes with each. "This is my area of expertise; I know this stuff better than any of you. Rowan, when it comes to your patient, you're in control; but on this trip, I'm field commander. You do what I say, when I say, exactly as I say, or we scrub the mission. When I say it's time to leave, we leave, and no arguments. Understood?"

I get a "yes" from all concerned. Rowan and I agree to get together after breakfast, and someone is going to have to break this to Nick and Raina. Not looking forward to that at all....

“Well... I think her and Nicholas took Guunnar upstairs... to... uummm... for... well... she said she would tell me all about it later, but maybe we shouldnt bother them until morning...” Alise laughs softly, “Or maybe we can send one of those messages on the phone...”

Stoney nods and sends a text, knowing Raina probably wouldnt see it until much later.

“If it works with Rowan and Raina can we go tomorrow night? I dont want to wait any longer than necessary.” She looks pleadingly at Jack and at Stoney.

How does Stoney refuse her anything when she looks at him like that? Out loud he says, “Sure, if its okay with everyone else, its okay with me.”

A few minutes later Jack returns to the table with Rowan. She sits down again and tells Stoney, “I will go with you but I have one condition. If at any time I think Alise or the babies are in danger you have to get her out of there.” Looking at Alise, “And no arguing, none. And I mean it. We all agree to this or I dont go.”

Stoney looks at Alise, his hand rubbing the back of her neck and looks back to Rowan, “Absolutely. I agree.”

Alise nods, “I agree, if its the only way..”

“You'll get no argument from me”, Jack responds.

“It is the only way. So, Jack, what else do we need to know, and how long do you think this will take? Do we start right at sundown?” Rowan asks the questions quickly, afraid that she will  realize how foolish this is and change her mind. But looking at Alises face she was more afraid that she would try to do something on her own and that could have tragic consequences.

The red haired woman pauses at the entrance to the tavern. She takes notice of the sign near the door with the details of the upcoming Halloween party and costume contest. “Hhmmm...possibilities....and everyone in costume for the night....”

She waits for the man with her to open the door and she steps into the dimly lit tavern and looks around. No one would have guessed that this was the first time she had been inside. Head held high, her green eyes flash as she glances over the room, taking in the occupants and what they are doing. To anyone that didnt know differently she acted as if she was the owner, sizing up the customers. The man with her stands a step or two behind, quiet, head held down looking at the floor. When the woman heads for a table, he follows, never looking up.

He pulls a chair out for her and stands behind her, looking uncomfortable. “I suppose I cant have you sitting on the floor out in public can I? Very well, you may sit on a chair. But only after you get me a glass of wine.” The red head sneers when she catches sight of Monty working at the bar. “One of us working?? He must be a slave, cant the humans find any of their own for menial labor?”

The man approaches the bar, pulling the cap on his head farther down in an attempt to cover his hair and his ears. Monty leans forward a bit to ask what he wants and the man looks up and his light blue eyes meet Montys for a split second.

Monty is startled, What are the fae doing here? But he quickly recovers and gets the wine for the customer.

He brings the wine to his mistress, hesitates, then says, “Milady, your wine....”

She snaps at him, “Put it down. sit, and do not talk to me. I am thinking. And dont address me like that in public. Call me Morgan if theres a chance you can be overheard.”

Morgan taps her long nails on the tabletop as she thinks. I need a child, but not just any child. There are too many of the common little maggots serving the court as it is. This place is reputed to be frequented by many 'others'..... Her eyes linger on a few of the female patrons. She notices Alise and Stoney, their hands across her belly, smiling and whispering. What is she? Not quite human, something else?? but obviously pregnant. A possibility... She watches as Pan leaves with Ob, her senses keen, that ones a witch and more than ready to conceive.... She dismisses Patti, watches Ike with some interest, until she gives Monty a kiss, uuugggg, no half breeds, enough of those too...I wonder if a spell would push the witch into conceiving? A witch's child...hhmmm..might be just the thing... She looks around, sizing up the rest of the women, humans, a few shifters, almost as bad as humans, the one at the bar with a computer is a gargoyle, hmmm...another possiibility.

“Well, we can leave as soon as I finish my wine, I have many things to think about now.” Morgan picks up her glass and her gaze rakes over her page. “I may need some extra attention tonight. How would you like watch me from the foot of the bed? Maybe you will learn something to make yourself more useful to me.”

Morgan stands and turns, never seeing the hate glowing in the ice blue eyes of her page.

But from the bar Monty notices the look and shivers.....
"You want to do what?"

Alise calmly repeats her request.

Well, that's just ducky…. "Alise… sweetiebabycookiehoney, you don't know what you're saying. From what you've told me, that farmhouse was the scene of torture and murder many times over. There are going to be things there that aren't ghosts, that can do real physical damage." She looks confused, so I try to explain. "Look… the house and the area around it is saturated with violence and violent emotions. That kind of thing attracts all sorts of supernatural nasties; they circle the place like vultures, hoping for more of the same.

Now during the day, they're weak, mostly. But at night… it'd be like wearing a target around your neck. 'Free Munchies! Come And Get It!'"

Alise looks near to tears. "But if we go during the day, Stoney cannot go."

"I can go on my own. Nothing the nasties can do can hurt me, and I've been doing this for over two hundred years."

"Jacques… I have to see for myself. I have to know it has been done."

I study her face, lovely as always, yet grim and determined, too. Finally I sigh. "Do you think Rowan would come with us?"

"If you ask, I think so. Why?"

"Because she can cast a magic circle with the two of you in the center of it. Takes some major mojo to cross one of those things. Anyway, it's the best chance we've got."

"She's over by the bar - why not ask her yourself?"

"Well, Rowan isn't all that I want. I want our favorite vampire and Viking babe to come along, too."

"Why so many?"

"Because if there are nasties out there, we need people who can fight. You and Rowan can't leave the circle, and notwithstanding my 'magic shovel' " - I look around for Ob, not finding him - "I'm pretty hopeless in a fight. I'd just as soon not wake Mortuis at this time of night, assuming he actually sleeps… and Nick and Raina are right here."

Alise grins wickedly. "They may be a little spent, but we can ask."

I look at her, confused. "Is there something I should know?
"What mi papa' gifted me with isn't just the form, Pandora. I have the curse of Possession. I can reach into another's mind and take it." He pauses for a moment. "There has been constant temptation to slip ino your mind, to see what you are feeling, thinking." Ob shakes his head, the coils slithering against his back. "Doing that... that is not right. It is not natural between us. It is no better than what he did to madre'."

He looks back up at the stars, feeling the sun still beneath the horizon. There was so much going on tonight. One set may be all they have time to play.

"I can feel that you want what Stoney and Alise have, bambinos and a binding. But look at me, I am a Daemon, Pandora. This IS what I am. The Obsidian Heart. My children are cursed to have the touch of the Daemons. This is why I never stay awake during the day. It is better to sleep as stone, than to let others see this part of me. To give in to the temptations to cause trouble."

He tries to will a change back to his normal appearance, but can't. Ob closes his eyes and takes a calming breath. He tries again and shakes with the effort. Nothing. One more try and he sits on the roof and wraps his arms around his legs, resting his jaw on his knees. Tears of frustration, well up, slipping over his scales.

Damn it! I can't... I am STUCK like this!"

Pandora dropped down beside Obsidian...his tears of frustration broke her heart, 'Obsidian,its OK...I will place no demands on you my love...if we must remain lovers only,then so it shall be. I will remain your companion for as long as you desire me....don't tell me I deserve more,because you are what I want...and I am quite willful when it comes to things I desire."

"I am going to speak with Silk when she returns; perhaps there is something she has learned about keeping the daemon at bay until she wants to bring it forth. If you can do the same perhaps you will not be stuck like this again; spend the rest of the night up here...I will let Stoney and the others know you are not returning...wait!, I am so can tell Stoney have the connection. " Pandora again kissed his scaled reptilian face, it was still Ob in there..." Obsidian,just this once I want you to enter my mind...I want you to feel what I feel toward you,I want you to understand I am not repelled by you...please? " I believe all things happen for a reason...and perhaps I was meant to show you that you are the man you are for a purpose,that time may not have come yet...but the gods gave you no more to bear than you are able. Obsidian Heart,live in the moment,give no more thought to the future...and I will walk each day beside you...if the daemon calls; tell me I must leave you till you can put it aside,or let me help you with my magick to put that part of you in its place.

Pandora sat against Ob's side,leaning against his scaled arm...her head bent to rest against his head.......the pale moon reflecting on the beauty and the beast she loved.....

Pandora didn't recoil from Ob as he thought she might...instead she stepped toward him and began planting small kisses on the dark reptilian skin of his face,murmuring to him " It is still you inside this skin Obsidian Heart...I love all that is you,and should some days present you in this light I will love you still. I am not frightened by your looks...the only thing that frightened me was that you would not share this shame with me,for it is not as dreadful as you suppose."

Pandora giggled,hoping to lighten the mood..."I know many wytches that would envy me for having my own dragon."..."although" she said as she ran her hands over the coiled ropes of hair..."I do prefer the rainbow hair that you usually wear."  She ran her hands over the outlines of his face and down his body,facinated with the dark scales and the glistening feel of them. " Obsidian,it is your soul that binds me...but I accept all that is you,and there is no shame in being what you are, it was beyond you to change what is...don't fret over it again,it is of no consequense to me.

Ob waves Ike and Tori off and looks at Pandora. Ike threatens to beat him if he doesn't talk to her, and heads off to Monty, a smile lighting her green eyes. Tori just glares and walks away. Ob can feel the conflict, the waves of Pandora's emotions. Traeger's are of fierce protection. He expected no less.

There is hesitation in his steps as he heads for the table. He still can not look into her eyes, but holds his hand out to her.

"Come walk with me?"

He is half surprised when she takes his hand. He leads her out the back door, stopping a moment to stare up at the moon. In less than a breath his eyes darken, becoming almost black, and he flexes dragon wings. Sweeping her up in his arms, he surges into the sky. By the time they land on the roof, his hair has bound itself into jeweled snakelike strands and his skin has changed into obsidian armor. He gently sets her on the shingles, one hand supporting her. He turns a face gone reptilian to hers and gestures at himself.

"Can you love this? I am not even remotely human. I am not a gargoyle. I am a... monster."

He looks up at the sky. "Pandora, mi madre' was raped by mi papa'. I was born looking like this. Many in the clan wanted me left in the sands. Padre', Raul, refused. When he died, it broke madre'. She followed soon after. Silk's family took me in." He looks back at Pandora. "I wasn't what my own mother loved. Why should you?" he turned his gaze over the lights of the town. "Only Stoney ever knew and he swore never to tell. The girls don't even know. Well. maybe they do now."

"Chaton... remember, I saw you when Ob first started talking to you. I saw others too. I just... I am not good with others mon amour. I did not speak to them." He blushes. "I am not Ob. I am not so friendly."

He looks at Rowan and Jack. "As long you are sure." He kisses the top of Alise' head. "I will be there, with you, right by your side. I promise."

Closing his eyes, he murmurs to Alise. "Don't hit Ob. It won't do any good. He took Pandora to the rooftop. Hopefully he can explain himself. We all have secrets, things that are our darkest shame. Ob's wasn't his fault, no matter what he thinks."

Stoney takes a deep breath.

"So, when do you want to do this?"

Alise leans into Stoney. “I am sorry mon amour. At first I thought I was seeing things and then I didnt want you to worry about me any more than you already were. How do you know our babies will have this talent? Maybe they will be boys and be just like you.”

Rowan comes back in and heads to the booth. She sits next to Jack and smiles at Alise, “Told you I'd be right back.” She notices everyone looking at her, “Whats wrong? Did I say something else I shouldnt have?

Alise looks confused, “No, I have something to ask you about...” and she explains to Rowan about the spirits, how she can see them and how Jack sends them on. When she gets to the part about returning to the farm, Rowan frowns. “Do you feel up to returning to that place? You are healing physically, but going back to the farm could be traumatizing emotionally. Are you ready to live through that all over again in your mind?”

Responding quietly Alise says, “I feel that I have to. I cant just leave them there forever, it seems very wrong for some reason.”

Rowan sighs, understanding completely how it is when you feel called to do something. Taking a deep breath she says, “I understand, and I cant stop you. I can tell you it wont hurt you physically, wont hurt the babies, but I dont want to see you upset and scared. I wont agree at all unless there are people there to support you if needed. Like Stoney, Raina, maybe Nick....” and she looks at Stoney, “How do you feel about this?”

Stoney nods, “I will be there for her, and I am sure Raina and Nick would come if we asked them to.”

“Okay, I will agree, but if she gets too upset I want you to promise you will make her leave. I know she feels she has to do this, but my first priority is her as my patient and I hope as my friend.”

Monty watches Ike up on stage, she is recovering fast....the group and the music are healing her as he watches, he can sense it. She smiles lovingly at him and he returns the smile,happy she is feeling herself again.

His thoughts are drawn to Pandora; her emotion is so intense he looks at her...the pain in her countenance pierces his heart , yet he knows to leave it be...Obsidian and Pandora must resolve this together.

Looking again at Ike he conjures a rose and with his hand holds it up before her and blows her a kiss with the other .

Stoney gives up working at Ob's shields. He has bound himself tight, closer than ever. He has told Pandora something that few know, a shame he holds deep and rarely speaks. A few more songs and the set is done. Stoney waits until Ob sets down his sticks. He lays a hand on his brother's shoulder.

"Bro... Open your eyes man. She's been staring at you the whole set. I bet she thinks you didn't trust her. Tell her what you haven't. There was only one other person outside the clan that knew, and now you told her." Stoney squeezes his shoulder and steps off the stage to join Alise until the next set.

Jack is sitting with Alise. Stoney finds that reassuring. Kissing the back of Alise' neck, Stoney sighs.

"Why didn't you tell me you could see the others? Looks like our children will inherit the talent."  He strokes her hair. "If you feel this strongly, we will do what we can. But ONLY if Rowan agrees." he looks at Jack. "I'm sorry, but only if the healer thinks it will be ok."

Jack looks at him and gives a wry grin. Like he is going to argue with a seven-foot granite bulldog with wings.

"Wouldn't have it any other way."

Pandora is stunned, and she is hurt....Obsidian Heart is everything to her,and yet he holds back from her,why has he never revealed or talked of this he that afraid of this foreign part of his nature?

She has sensed the savage side of him in their lovemaking,his dominance and intense passion...and that is one of the things she loves in him,the contrasts. She can't tear her eyes from him, as if she can call his soul with the emotions roiling inside her. She doesn't know what to wait for him ? leave him alone for now?...she wishes that Silk were back,she would be able to tell her much about Obsidian's childhood and perhaps some insight into how she deals with her daemon side.

Traeger attempts to speak to her and she shakes her head....and he lowers his eyes and lets her be.

Pandora feels more tears slipping down her cheeks,she loves him deeply, this is the first time she has felt estranged from him....she feels daggers piercing her heart that he won't look into her eyes.....

Alise smiles at Stoney as he takes the stage. What did you say to them? They are quiet now.... and Alise holds a hand over her tummy wondering if somehow they can feel that.

What is wrong with Ob? I can tell, and do not tell me its nothing. Alise sees how Pandora is watching him, her face worried and sad, and Ob is trying to not look at her. There are so many feelings and thoughts swirling around Ob, Alise cant make sense of it. She feels him start to block everyone out, and she sends him her thoughts, Barbare, I swear I will come up there and thump you in the head, what is going on??

As the band starts to sing, Jack comes up behind Alise and taps her on the shoulder. She smiles warmly at him, “Jack, hi. Please...sit down. I wanted to talk to you earlier, but not in front of everyone.”

Jack looks puzzled, What could she possibly need to tell me that she couldnt say in front of anyone else? “Okay, what did you need to talk about? I am all ears...”

“Well....I know you wont think I am crazy when I tell you this. But remember when I was a ghost and only you and Ob could see me? I could see the other spirits then too. But when I got to be...alive again or however you want to phrase that...I didnt think I would see them any longer. But...well....the truth is I can still see them. And I wanted to know if I should tell them to talk to you, so you can send them where ever it is they are suppose to be now.”

Jack asks, “Are you positive that its ghosts you are seeing?”

Alise nods, “Yes, I am positive. Like that lady that just walked in here. She is standing over there looking at you and she has a hole in her chest....”

Turning to see who Alise is looking at, Jack is stunned, “Holy crap, you can see them. Does Stoney know about this?”

Alise sighs, “He does now... But thats not all...”

“Theres more?? What else can you see?” Jack is worried that her big stone gargoyle is going to think this is his fault and launch himself off the stage and strangle him...

Nodding, Alise continues, “When I was at that farm....” her eyes fill with tears, “there were many, many of them, the spirits I mean. They are trapped there and they are innocents, not his people. Is there any way to help them? If I take you there could you send them heaven? But there in is the problem, I dont know if I can make myself go near that place, even if Stoney would let me. Is there anything that we can do for them?”
Rowan takes Pandoras hands in her own. “I apologize. I certainly didnt mean to open up this can of worms. I seem to have a knack for doing just that though. You do know that any child you would have with him will be half of you too. And he must have learned how to control that part of himself if this is the first you are hearing about it. On the other hand, I can understand why he would be concerned. He is worried about you and how....” Pandora starts to shake her head, so Rowan lets the words go. 'Speak little, listen much', this was one of those times. She isnt ready to hear anything right now...

Pandora looks hurt and shocked and Rowan mentally kicks herself for not talking to Ob privately. That will teach me for thinking out loud like I always do... I should have kept my mouth shut...

“I need to check on Alise and make a phone call. Excuse me please, I'll be back in a few minutes.”

Traeger nods at her and Pandora keeps staring at Ob as he sings. Rowan sighs, Why does everything always have to be so complicated?

She walks past Alise, telling her that she will be right back. Out in the parking lot she checks in with a couple of her care-givers, making sure that her other patients are doing all right. Then she decides to send a text to Star. It was the only way Rowan could get a message to her since she wont talk, not even on the phone. Rowan smiles as she remembers teaching her how to use a cell phone, but Star caught on and usually had it with her. Which reminds me, I need to talk to Stoney about teaching Alise how to use one, in case she needs me and no one is around to call for her.

She sends the text to Star, ...Can I come by tomorrow? Need to talk to you about helping me with something coming up...

After a minute or two Rowans phone vibrates and the message simply says ….OK.... Rowan smiles and heads back inside.
Ob rises from the booth and lifts Pandora's hand to his lips. He avoids her eyes. How do you respond to someone, with whom you have been having a relationship, who gives you their trust, when you don't even trust yourself.

"Don't get me wrong, Pandora. Madre' and Padre', they loved me. My papa' turned his back on me, but Raul, Madre's man, he took me as his own. But I always knew I was different. Others would never let me forget. I have daemon eyes. I possess people." He shrugs, looking at Alise and Stoney.

"I think I better get the others onstage for a bit, or people will forget who Montenegro is."

He bows to Traeger and Rowan, avoiding their eyes as well. Tori snaps her laptop shut and entrusts it to Patti, who hides it behind the bar. Ike kisses Monty gently and makes her way to the stage. Stoney kisses Alise gently, leans over and whispers to the twins, and heads for the stage.

Ob closes his mind to the others and tosses back his hair. He is ON. Time to be Obsidian Heart.

As he takes his place at the drum kit, Ob watches Pandora. He closes his eyes, listening to Ike open their night. Her soft voice floats over the crowd as the lights lower.

Welcome Children of the Otherside...

We are Montenegro.

We are those who hide among the shadows, dancing on the edge of the light, singing to the warp and weft of the world.

We are....

and so are you...

The band slips into their rendition of Disturbed's Indestrucible. The sirens slip through the darkness and Ob takes the lead vocals. Iced Earth's instrumental Transylvania follows, seguing into Inkubus Sukkubus' haunting Take My Lust.

Ike's voice drifts out in sweet pleading...

I am a drifting shadow,
My soul is craving for you,
A ghost rider on the lonely road
But I know that I'll destroy you.

I'll kiss you, I'll damn you,
I hear your soul a-calling,
Like a screaming angel falling
As a fool for love I'll have you.

Take my lust, fade to dust
The grave sings like a siren,
My lips are sweet and poison,
And they will take you there.

Paradise and elation,
Descend with me to Hell
Only I can set you free,
Only I know the way,
And only I can set you free.

Take my lust, fade to dust
Take my lust, fade to dust
Take my lust, fade to dust

Traeger listens to his daughter's speech;and his heart swells with pride that she has become such a loving and insightful woman... what she said was what Ob needed to hear,she was not horrified or changed by his revelation,she still saw him as the man she has fought beside and loved.

Traeger agreed with his daughter ,but he was also a lot more experienced with life; and he had seen a man overcome by his dark side... and the struggle he engaged to regain himself.

He would talk with Obsidian privately,and let him know that if ever he perceives things that lead him to believe Ob is possessed by his daemon self, he will take Pandy to a safe place until they can overcome it together. He would never desert Ob, but taking his daughter from harm's way was his gut reaction. He knew Pandora would fight him every step too... so he hoped it would never come to pass.

Rowan's offer of another woman to help Alise was a wonderful revelation... and sounded as if it would fulfill the needs of all parties involved. That she had stumbled upon the elf was not surprising with her background, and he admired her more as their conversations grew in scope.

Pandora is upset by the way Ob has drawn back from everyone, and sitting forward she takes his hands in hers and speaks up..."Obsidian,I love you truly,and I know my feelings are recIprocated; we are kindred souls,I think we knew it when we first met. What parts combined to make us a physical body are only part of who we are...the people that influence you when you are raised,and the experiences you have are what shape your soul. That you have daemon blood does not make you daemonic, you revere the romanovich and their clan that raised you, so you are more the gargoyle and shifter than deamon. It would take something pretty dramatic to bring that to the fore in your life....I am not frightened by it...or the idea our children could have such in their genetic makeup...we would raise them with great love and nothing would lead them to be deamonic. if some problem were to occur we could face it are my heart,and I would give everything I am to help you if daemon feelings were to try to draw you away...the strength of a wytch and her love has no bounds. I know too,that if you were out of touch with your feelings and rage threatened to come would tell me you must leave to find yourself rather than harm me,I have no doubt of that."

" I cannot speak for the others at this table; but I am still yours;heart,soul and body for as long as you feel the same about me....each day,each experience we share ,just makes the bond stronger,and knowing your mixed bloodline does not change the man sitting here in front of me"...she places a tender kiss in the palm of each of his hands and says.."with these kisses I give myself over to you,to be my partner and lover,and best friend."...and she looks steadily into his eyes as she leans forward to kiss his lips...two silent tears rolling down her cheeks at the pain Ob must be feeling in his heart to speak so harshly of his father and his rejection of Obsidian.

“I just wondered if you knew, that is all. I dont care what we have as long as they are healthy and not too small. Rowan seems worried about that because twins sometimes come early. You think they will be early too?”

Alise relaxes against Stoney, laughing as Ike moves her hand around her belly.

“What did Ob say? Why is he concerned? Pain? No, just these fingers. They always ache. And my hip, but that is probably from that cut, it still is not healed.”

Alise picks up on Stoneys thoughts and suddenly she sits straight up, “Five months??! Total? Chiot, I am already a little more than two.... How can this be, that the babies grow so much faster? Because I was a statue before? I dont understand.... why would Ob tell you not to be like his father? And I can tell this makes him sad...” Alise is concerned, Ob is like a brother to her and the first person who talked to her when she was spirit.

She takes Stoneys hand, “You will be a wonderful father, I know this. Please dont worry about that. I am scared too, but we will be fine. I just never thought the babies would be here so soon.”

I lie patiently while Guunnar cleans me up; I am SO not used to this. Raina has fallen back asleep, or nearly so, and we take our place on either side of her. She moans in her sleep as she feels us move in close to her, his warm skin and my cold flesh; the ghost of a smile flits over her lips. I can't resist that smile, so I lean in and kiss her, slow and lingering, my tongue exploring her mouth while Guunnar kisses the side of her neck, licking gently.

I look over to Guunnar and smile. We begin to mirror each other, kissing and touching Raina in the same place, in the same way, but on opposite sides. That proves to be too much a distraction for Raina, so I squeeze a breast while he licks at her throat, When he squeezes her other breast, I begin to lick and suck her nipple. He's always a half-step behind me and her head turns from one to the other, smiling, her eyes open but slitted.

"You're making me feel so good", she whispers. I shush her and then make sure of it with a slow, tender kiss.

When I move back, Guunnar is there, ready to kiss her wet mouth, slowly and lovingly.

I vamp out, just a bit, just so much that my nails extend, become sharper - and I rake them lightly - ever so lightly - over her skin. She erupts in gooseflesh and moans as I tease her.

Guunnar can't match that precisely, but his big hands caress her soft skin, warming what I've chilled. Her legs have naturally drifted apart and I move down to suck at her inner thigh.

Her legs open wider, giving me - us - freer access. Still for a moment I lick and suck only at her thigh. Guunnar moves to join me at the opposite thigh and we watch and lick and suck as her passion slowly builds.

She's wet - very wet - and Guunnar and I take turns licking her pussy. Our technique - or possible something else - makes the sensation different for each of us and Raina's head moves back and forth as we eat her, moaning.

Something about this is making me feel very strange, very different. How to define it...? It's as though there's a gentle warm glow inside my chest, a warm spot in all that cold. I feel like smiling a lot, too, yet I scarce know why.

I watch Guunnar lick her pussy, and I feel as satisfied as if it were my mouth down there giving her pleasure.  There's no jealousy - none! - only that warmth that builds within me at the look of her smile, the sounds of her pleasure.

And then it's my turn again and I eat her so tenderly, so gently, as though she were fragile and I'm fearful of breaking her.  I ease my tongue into her ass, giving her another type of arousal and she scissors her legs around my head, moaning. Guunnar is there now to kiss her wet mouth, to caress her breasts, her nipples, yet I feel as close to happiness as I've ever come since I died.

Guunnar moves down to join me between her legs; our skin touches, but it doesn't bother me. Once you've had a lover of the same sex, things like accidental skin contact cease to matter very much to you. I lick at her clit while Guunnar eats her pussy; then after awhile, we switch.

Raina is trembling like a leaf caught in a spiderweb, her legs jerking as we eat her. We're gentle but relentless, our tongues flicking out to tease and caress, and suddenly she screams and cums. Guunnar and I are there to catch every drop of her offering and we don't move until we've wrung her dry, till the trembling in her legs has ceased and she lies still.

We move up to lie on either side of her again and take turns kissing her. If it bothers her to be kissing lips that a moment ago were pressed tight between her legs, it doesn't show on her face.

"Awwww, now you've gotten all hot and sweaty again." I grin. "Maybe we should check out the hot tub down the hall. What do you think?"

"If I can walk that far," Raina says wryly.

"No problem, liebchen." Guunnar lifts Raina like she's a doll. "Lead the way, vampire."

I arch an eyebrow. "You want to go out there naked?"

"If I have something that someone out there has never seen before, they can kill it."

Well, when you put it like that....

We make it to the room without frightening anyone, though Patti is in the hallway and smiles slightly as we pass. Once inside, Guunnar lowers Raina to the ground and I start prepping the hot tub. In the meantime, Raina has Guunnar in a lip-lock, every inch of that gorgeous body pressed tight against his.

When the water's hot enough to parboil, I motion the other two points of the triangle over. "All aboard," I saw, smiling. They climb in and lean back, and I follow.

So much for vampires not being able to deal with running water... I scoot over next to Raina and we lean back and sigh as the hot water turns our muscles to jelly. Guunnar starts to knead the muscles in her shoulders and neck and she moans, relaxing still more. Should have known the guy would know about massage…. When he's done with Raina, she's as limp as overcooked spaghetti and he motions to me. "Come on over, Nikolas, I don't bite."

Well, no, that's my department, I think, but I go on over to him. He turns me around like a kid's toy and pulls me tight against him. I can feel his cock against my ass and I stiffen. "Relax, Nikolas. If I wanted you that badly, I could have had you already."

He doesn't know much about vampire strength if he thinks that's the case, but he is right about one thing - he's done nothing to earn my mistrust. I put myself in his hands - literally - and soon I'm as limp as Raina.

We move together as a group again in a kind of loose three-way hug and it doesn't take long before we're necking again. This time, though, there's no intent to arouse; now we're just sharing intimacy with each other and if occasionally a guy touches another guy, it's no big deal.

When we're so loose we need to get out or be fished out the next morning with a wire basket, we get out of the tub, wrap towels around ourselves - Raina does something clever with three towels that I couldn't duplicate if I was twice as old as I am - and head back to the room.

The sun is on the horizon when we get back to Raina's room. We turn on the lights and I drop the emergency blackout curtains that Pandora had installed once it became clear that I wasn't always sleeping in my room.

Guunnar, bless his pillaging heart, has thought ahead again and brings out a bottle of some kind of lotion - a moisturizer to replace the oils boiled away by the hot tub. Between us, we give Raina a thorough rubdown with the stuff. Her skin is pink and a little flushed when we're done, and she looks as lovely as ever I've seen her. That warmth again…. We share another of those three-way hugs again, then get into the bed and we're out cold before the sun rises.

Stoney looks at Ike, who shakes her head. "Non Chaton... I can hear two heartbeats, so can Ike, but as for what we are having... non. Do you want to know?"

He kisses the back of Alise' head as Ike plays tag with the movements of the babies. he drinks in the sweet scent of her hair, nuzzling gently. His hands begin to rub her shoulders, relaxing her even more. He starts humming softly.

"Mon amour... I don't think you will carry the babies for nine months. Ob is... concerned. *Vous e'tes pas dans douleur, e'tes vous? I don't feel any, but.."

He looks at Ob, noting the blank look and then how he has closed him off from their family touch.

*You are not in any pain, are you?

Alise smiles at Ike, “Mon Dieu, half bodies?? I love your song, and yes, you will have to teach me some lullabies. I dont remember any, if I ever knew any at all. I wish I could remember if I had nieces or nephews”. Looking at Stoney, “Do you know anything about my family? I know I had brothers and sisters, did any of them have children?”

Alise asks Stoney to trade places with her, so she can sit closer to Ike. “Do you want to feel them? They are moving a lot now.” Ike nods and Alise places her hand on her tummy. Ike smiles as she feels them move. Alise looks from one to the other and asks, “Do either of you know if the babies are boys or girls?” She looks at Stoney, “You knew that there were two of them...”

Guunnar groans, moving carefully so as not to wake the others. He makes his way to the bathroom, hoping to freshen up. Closing the door, he spies some washcloths and towels. After cleaning himself a bit, he soaps one cloth, wets another with warm water, and grabs a few towels. Both Nicholas and Raina are still asleep when he returns to the room.

Spreading Raina's legs, Guunnar begins to clean her of the sticky mess their passions have left behind. She moves, sighing as her eyes drift open. Guunnar urges her to roll over onto a towel and gently cleans her sore rectum. Leaning forward, he brushes his mustache across the curve of her ass.

Nicholas shifted slightly, moving onto his back, when Raina rolled over. Guunnar begins to slowly wash the residue from his thighs. He breathes in the aroma of good sex and smiles, watching carefully as Nicholas wakens. His touch is calm, moving up from thighs to groin, then down to cup and soap Nicholas' manhood, then sac.

Using the warm cloth, Guunnar wipes away the soap. He ignores the slight arousal from his touch and lays a towel on the bed.

"Roll over, Nikolas. I vill finish."

When the vampire gets comfortable, Guunnar gently spreads his cheeks. He feels Nicholas tense and curbs the temptation to explore the lean pale body under his large hands. The cloth finds its way along his crease, leaving a soapy trail. The warm cloth washes away the soap as Guunnar observes.

"Passion... it is a gut thing. Very messy though, ja?"

Ike picks up her guitar and, hand in hand with Monty, walks over to the booth. He helps sit on the edge of the table. She strums a few chords. Voices fall silent. Her soft voice echoes in the quiet room.

He finally gave in to his friend's girlfriend
When she said, "there's someone you should meet"
At a crowded restaurant way cross town
He waited impatiently
When she walked in their eyes met
and they both stared
And right there and then everyone else disappeared but

One boy, one girl, two hearts beating wildly
To put it mildly it was love at first sight
He smiled, she smiled, and they knew right away
This was the day they'd waited for all their lives
And for a moment the whole world revolved
Around one boy and one girl

In no time at all they were standing there
In the front of a little church
In front of their friends and family
Repeating those sacred words
Preacher said, "son kiss your bride"
and he raised her veil
Like the night they met time just stood still

One boy, one girl, two hearts beating wildly
To put it mildly it was love at first sight
He smiled, she smiled, and they knew right away
This was the day they'd waited for all their lives
And for a moment the whole world revolved
Around one boy and one girl

He was holding her hand when the doctor looked up and grinned
"congratulations, twins"

Ike plays a few more notes, ending the song. She leans over and kisses her brother's cheek. Monty steadies her as she tilts a bit too far. She grins.

"Sorry Alise. You don't need me in your lap too." She laughs. "I will teach you lullabies for the wee ones. Not those archaic things about falling out of trees and stuff. We will find some good ones."

She laughs and picks out the notes to Baby Mine. "Disney always has some good songs. Even if he does tend to give gargoyles half bodies..."

"I remember other women in the clan who bore halflings."

He keeps his gaze on Alise and Stoney. His brother raises his head and grins at Ob, opening his mind for Ob to feel the wonder. Ob smiles and Stoney's own expression falters. Ob shakes his head, letting Stoney feel the happiness he has for him.

"The pequeno se, the little ones... they were normal, just grew faster, came sooner than full Romanavich. Others in the clan carried seven months."

He watches Stoney. "No, He will not be like papa'. His babies were conceived with love. Not like me."

His hand touches Pandora's. It is a tentative touch, as if he waits for her to pull away.

"You know the truth of me, Bruha. I am Daemon. It is not something... I am... a child of violence, not love. Mi papa' raped mi Madre'. He thought the act would make me more Daemonic. As it is, there is a side that likes..." He sighs.

"Allah's Light chose me over another who could have carried it. Some say it saw into the heart of me and my music sings to the light. I don't know. I left the tribes not long after Silk did.There are many there who blamed me for what happened."

Ob turns his attention back to Rowan. His eyes are darker than midnight, a deep blue that is unusual once people are accustomed to his normal ice blue.

"Bring your elf. I worry that Stoney will... scare her. Or myself, or Keon... She will feel our darknesses. But Alise may help her heal as she helps Alise deal with twins.."

His eyes touch Pandora's and slip away, looking at her hair, the curve of her shoulder.

"My were change is full dragon. You've seen Silk in her different forms. I can't do that. I am either Gargoyle, This," His hand gestures down his body, "Halfway between, Dragon, or Daemon. My gift is Music, my curse is Possession. I am not a pure heart like Stoney. Any... any child we have..." Ob breaks off, staring at nothing.

Rowan puts her head in her hands, “Goddess help me. How am I going to prepare her for any of this? She is already past two months gone... and if her pregnancy lasts five months, say, she is about half way. Human twins usually arrive four weeks early....Ob? How big are the babies? Normal human size? Do they just grow and develop that much faster? Alise has already said no hospital, and only for the babies if there is a serious problem. I cant believe how stubborn she can be...”

Lost in thought for a moment, she continues, “I do know of someone that might be a big help to Alise. She helps me when I need an extra pair of hands. She seems a bit odd, but I dont think that would bother Alise or Stoney.” At Traegers questioning look Rowan adds, “I think she is half elf, but I am not sure since she rarely speaks. Her ears are definitely pointed and her eyes... well... they change colors... not just shades, actual colors.... I found her in the woods, beaten and left for dead. Probably the same group that had Alise, now that I think about it. Anyway, once she was better the only thing she said was that she couldnt go back now... but to where and why, I dont know.”

She reaches across the table and lays her hand gently on top of Obs. “I am sorry about your father. That must have been difficult for you. I really dont think we have to worry about Stoney. I cant see him rejecting her or their babies.”

Ob settles back in the booth, draping his arm around Pandora. His fingers play in the fringe of her hair as he thinks. he watches Ike and Monty, flicking his gaze to Tori and her collection of computer geeks. A slow smile twists his lips and he starts to laugh.

"What you are asking, Goddess Blessed, is difficult to answer. Not because of Gargoyle secrets, but because each instance is different."

Suddenly somber, he looks at Traeger. "You may not want me involved with Pandora, when this discussion is done."

Raising Pandora's fingers to his lips. Ob kisses them, mulling over what he has to say. His mind touches Stoney's and he feels the joy, the wonder as he feels the movements in Alise' belly. Ob withdraws slowly, letting them have their quiet moment.

"Stoney comes from an undiluted line of Gargoyle. What that will do to a human bearing his young ... Well. she will quicken at a fast pace. Probably... maybe half the normal pregnancy of a human? It is going to get painful for her though. Her body will not adjust as easily." He pauses, lost in thought. "Alise isn't truly human... I mean... her body was formed of clay and magic. She may adjust to carrying better. After all... she IS much like Gargoyles. Her body was stone, turned flesh."

The fingers of his free hand drum the table as he strokes the back of Pandora's neck. Ob licks his upper lip, thinking. He is far away as he speaks.

"I am Gargoyle and Romanavich. That isn't the same as human and Gargoyle."

He drops his gaze to the table top, watching his fingers. His other hand slides from Pandora's neck and covers his fingers. The knuckles pale as he thinks, his words come slowly.

"My Father was Gargoyle, but not full blooded. He was half Daemon. Ever see the gargoyles that look like armored dragons? Papa' was one of those. Madre'... she is Romanavich. The Romanavich were human, once."  His fingers trace along the grain of the wood to keep from clenching. "The Romanavich still have their gifts... They ARE Gypsies. But they are no longer human. No one knows if the clan mixed with other bloods, or if our shape shifting abilities come from Allah, like the legends say. Thing is, we shift like weres. We have one animal form we turn into, not many like shifters."

He begins to tap the table top again. "My mother gave birth in four months. It was short for her people. Short for Gargoyles too. My father came to see me once I was born. He was disappointed. I looked too human." Ob sighs. "He was looking for some sign that I was his. The color of my hair, my skin was not enough. He left."

"I am his shame. Not Gargoyle enough, not Daemon enough." His gaze shifted back to the couple. "Stoney won't be like that. I won't let him."

Nick runs his tongue down Rainas spine and back up again, “We can both do you at the same time, would you like that?”

Raina hesitates, a very slight shift in her expression, a moment of stillness, that no one else would notice but Nick picks up on it right away.

“I havent exactly done that before, but sure, we can try it.”

Nick is surprised, he always thought she had probably experienced everything there was to try at least twice, knowing Raina.

Exchanging amused glances with Guunnar over her head, Nick blurts out, “You're kidding, right?”

“No, I am not kidding. And get that smirk off your face, vampire, or I might remove it for you.”

To his credit, Nick tries to change his expression to a more serious one and ends up looking totally ridiculous, causing Raina to start giggling.

“Sorry... okay, in all seriousness... no, I havent had two men in me at the same time. Seems like all the guys would rather just watch instead of participate... that and I wasnt sure if I trusted them. If its too much and I want to stop, thats what I want.” Looking over her shoulder at Nick who was laying behind her, “But you I trust...” and turning back to Guunnar, “And you too.”

She looks into Guunnars eyes for a few seconds and then slowly starts to kiss him, her tongue teasing his lips. His hand gently grabs a breast and squeezes her hard nipple. Her hand slowly moves to caress his side and moves lower over his hip, across her hip and over to Nicks. Nicks face is buried in her hair, kissing the back of her neck while his hand is working her clit, making her moan and push against him.

Raina feels like she is on fire, pressed between the two men, every part of her body front and back in contact with warm skin, hands and lips touching, teasing...

She moans and Nick whispers in her ear “You dont have to do this.”

Raina leans back, “I know, but I've always wondered what it would be like. I want to...”

Nick gets up and returns with a jar of lube that Raina has in the dresser. Sitting on the edge of the bed he watches Guunnar stroke her back, the big hands gentle on Rainas skin, her back arching into the caress. He watches as they kiss and whisper in whatever language it is they speak to each other in. Strangely, it doesnt make him feel left out in any way. Guunnar sees Nick with the lube and nodding grabs Rainas leg and pulls it over his hip, holding it there. When Nick lubes her ass he sees Guunnars hard cock between Rainas legs, teasing her clit and wet opening. Slowly inserting a finger into her ass, she starts to push back against his hand and then forward against Guunnar, not sure what she wants more of. Nick works her ass, stretching her, her moans turn to begging for more.

Nick nods at Guunnar, “You go first.”

Grinning, Guunnar pushes his cock into her wetness, pulling her close to him and hiking her leg up higher. Nick watches him slide in and out of Raina, his cock hard and ready for her. Adding more lube to her and then to himself, he pushes the head of his cock into her tight ass, not moving for a minute, letting her get used to the feeling. He can feel Guunnar moving slowly inside Raina when he stops. When Guunaar stops Nick pushes in another inch.

The sensations are new to Raina and she starts to tremble, moaning quietly, face buried in Guunnars neck. When Nick is all the way inside her, he pauses, “Is this okay?”. She nods her head, unable to speak.

When both men start to slowly move inside her, she aches, feeling such tenderness during sex is new to her and from two people at the same time is almost overwhelming. Her pussy tightens and grabs hard onto Guunnars cock making him gasp in surprise. Her emotions are stripped bare with every thrust, every groan and she closes her eyes tight, afraid of crying in front of anyone. Two tears slip down her cheek, causing Guunnar to pause, “*Tårna? Er du i orden? Skulle vi stopp?” and Guunnar wipes her face and kisses her.

“**Nej , dess så god , så förbanna god. Behaga dont stopp”, and Raina tries to thrust faster, close to losing control.

With the faster thrusting from Raina, Nick is almost undone. He can feel every tiny move she makes and Guunnars as well. “Gods, Rain, this so good, oh baby, I'm so close...”

Nicks first jet starts a chain reaction that leaves them all breathless, and once their breathing has returned to normal and pulses slowed they are content to lay together, no one willing to move.

*Tears? Are you all right? Should we stop?

**No, its so good, so damn good. Please dont stop

A Raina sandwich.

We move slowly toward the bed, slowly so as always to keep our skin touching. I'm kissing the back of her neck, her hair pushed to one side, my teeth raking gently. Naked, Guunnar looks like a Greek god, but there's a definite Viking cast to his features. I realize (somewhat to my relief) that while he's big, he's not gargantuan. He has that bulky kind of muscular development, where mine is more streamlined. I realize, too, after watching him for a moment, that he's surprisingly agile for such a big man.

Okay - confession time.

I've had sex with guys before. No, that's not precise enough. I don't mean that I've shared a woman with another guy, though I've done that, too; I mean that I've had male lovers.

Guunnar doesn't really do it for me, and damned if I know why. He does have a nice body and an impressive cock, and it's not like he turns me off; but I look at him and I don't automatically think "whoa mama!". He is nice to look at, but not nearly so nice as Raina.

Speaking of which, I've never seen a lovelier smile on her face than I see now. A hard cock in each hand, she looks somehow innocent and lascivious at the same time. My heart breaks a little when I see that smile, and I think I'd share her with the Dallas Cowboys and the cheerleaders if it meant I'd get to see it more often.

Tonight, Raina can ask anything of me, and I'll do it.

We'd make a strange sight if anyone could see us now; two naked men with a gorgeous naked woman sandwiched between them, moving crabwise toward the bed. We make it and sit down on the edge, Raina between us.

Now while I don't have any particular lust for Guunnar, I'm perfectly willing to enjoy to watch as Raina strokes his throbbing cock, and even to admire it. And then I don't give a damn about Guunnar, because Raina is stroking me now - slow, unhurried, gentle strokes... and then she captures Guunnar's cock again and begins to stroke us together

There's something powerfully erotic about watching her pleasure another man, apart from what she's doing to me, and the look on her face is equally as erotic. It's as though she has become, for the moment anyway, the goddess of - love? pleasure? lust?

Time slows to a crawl as I watch her move down to take his cock in her mouth, slowly move up and down, the muscles in her throat working... her hand still moving on my throbbing shaft. Guunnar melts under her attentions, the harsh lines in his face softening. He becomes for the first time - in my opinion, anyway - handsome. The expression on her face as she slowly moves up and down his rigid pole is somehow dreamlike, like she's lost in her own personal world of pleasure… and then she lifts her head, looks up at me and grins - and takes my cock in her wet mouth.

I shiver with the heat of it, my cock throbbing, pulsing against her tongue. She swirls it around the head, then moves down farther - farther - till her lips are kissing my balls and my back arches.

Her hand never ceases its steady up-and-down motion on the big man's cock. He looks younger somehow, as though Raina's touch, her unselfish giving has stripped years from his shoulders.

I watch in heated anticipation as she takes him back into her mouth. I realize that it's giving me pleasure now to watch her pleasure him. I don't understand it, but I don't deny the truth of it. I feel for him and with him as I watch her take him deep, her sweet wet mouth moving slowly, lingering on his thickness.

Her eyes are looking feverish when she comes back up. "Gods, you taste so  good," she says hoarsely, and then she plunges her mouth over my cock, taking me to the back of her throat and swallowing me down. I give a hoarse yell and watch through slitted eyes as the Viking slips two fingers deep inside her, fingering her with surprising gentleness. She writhes and jerks against him, moaning around my cock, the vibrations increasing my arousal still more. I watch his fingers splitting her pussy, glistening with her wetness. There's no jealousy, no envy - just the satisfaction of knowing that someone I care for is feeling good.

Is that really what I meant to say? Something, there and gone again in an instant, flits through my mind and is lost. Raina lifts her mouth from me, sits back up, her legs now open wide, her dripping pussy on display. Again she takes a cock in each hand and uses them to pull us closer together, till we stand directly in front of her, hips just touching.

I think she starts to say something, but the sound that emerges from her lips is something between a growl and a purr. "Watch." Her eyes are hot with desire as she takes Guunnar into her mouth, sucking slowly, her tongue circling his glistening shaft, her teeth gliding up, raking…. The big man is putty in her hands - or her mouth. Then she lifts her mouth from his swollen cock and engulfs mine, taking me deep, swallowing again and again. I can feel his eyes on me, on us, feel his rampant lust. The scent of sex and arousal is thick enough to taste….

When she comes back up again, she moves us so that we're facing each other. Her voice is a whisper. "Get on your knees, Nick." I obey, wondering… Anything she wants…. She holds Guunnar's cock before my face as if displaying it to me; then she drops a series of kisses along the underside of it, licking along the big vein. "Stroke his balls for me, Nick." I obey without thought; this is nothing compared to what I would do for her. She kisses and licks and sucks his cock while I work his tight hard balls with my fingers, cupping them, stroking forward from his perineum… he's gasping, his cock harder, thicker than before, wet with her mouth… She moves over to kiss me hard, stroking his cock, just an inch away from our faces. Wordlessly, she moves to her knees, offers her pussy. "Give me that cock, big man," she growls. "Fuck that tight little pussy; give it to me hard and fast." She moves to capture my cock in her mouth, moaning as Guunnar's cock slices deep. "Oh, fuck!," she moans, "oh fuck, yes, just like that. Fuck me, Guunnar!"

The Viking warrior needs no urging. He slams into her hard, making her cry out. Her voice is shaky as he pummels her tender pussy from behind. "Oh gods, yes… you like that, Nick? Fuuuuck…. you like watching him pound my pussy, like watching him fuck me? Oh gods, baby, fuck my mouth, I want to feel you both cum in me, I need it…." Guunnar slams into her with metronomic regularity; stretching her tight pussy around his throbbing meat. She gulps me down and I fuck that sweet wet mouth, the lust in the room a tangible thing. Her hips slam back to meet Guunnar's thrusts, giving as good as she gets, the big man gasping and groaning heavily. Suddenly, without warning, they stiffen as one and Guunnar roars like a bear, spilling his cum into her amazing pussy, even as Raina shrieks around my shaft. It's too much and I cum only seconds later, filling her sweet mouth with cum, again and again and again….

Later I watch from the opposite perspective, fucking her hard while Guunnar explodes between her luscious lips and she gulps down every drop. We fall to the bed, clutching at each other, our hands careless, seeking only flesh to touch and grope and caress…. And the night's barely begun.

Traeger chuckled... "There isn't anything in this group that is "Normal"...I see some extraordinary occurrence here almost daily. You and I being practically normal humans are really out of our league here, sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn all I need to fit in. It is our pagan spirit that draws us to them...and thus they accept us in their midst."

Traeger asked Patti to freshen Rowan's whiskey and they watched the crowd moving about the room. Traeger wondered about Rowan's private life, there was a hesitation in her voice when she said she never married... that told him there was someone she cared for once; but it was not something she was willing to talk about obviously.

He was content to have the company of this redhaired vixen this evening... she was very learned and had many interesting things to divulge as they conversed, her eyes were a warm brown with highlights of fire in their depths... he perceived her as a woman that would be fierce in her emotions if she were to care for someone. She showed that in the way she had taken Alise under her wing and supported her healing with the extra attention a mother would give a girl. A fine woman worth getting to know better if she took a fancy to him....

Pandora was intoxicated with all Obsidian's attentions...but she knew he was right, they dressed each other...caressing soft flesh and kissing as they went,but finally escaped the room laughing and kidding as they desended the stairs.

Pandora spotted her dad and Rowan,and they joined them to say hello.Pandora turned to Rowan... "Rowan,I have had little time to speak with you so far...Alise has so much need of you with all that is happening right now,recovering from her wounds and having two babies to nuture too."

"I hope we will be able to find a chance to know each other better...there is much I would learn from seems nursing skills are much in demand,especially skills in healing the supernaturals...their needs are so different,as you have no doubt discovered by now."

Traeger spoke up when he saw the turn the conversation had taken..."Obsidian,Rowan has observed that Alise's pregnancy is progressing much faster than a normal humans,can you fill us in on this,and what to expect?" "Is the gargoyle gestation much quicker?...what will a mixed union produce as far as time goes?"

Pandora was awed, "do you mean she is going to have to prepare faster than normal?,oh,the poor thing will be overwhelmed...we will need to help with many things to keep her from tiring herself...the two bebes will take much from her body,Stoney can only do so much for her. " She glanced across the room to where they sat huddled together...alone in their own world,planning their future...and she slipped her hand in Ob's,emotion overwhelming her at how fast the world could change.

Rowan reaches for her pendant, her eyes filled with sorrow at the thought of anyone burning, such an awful way to die, and if he saw horrible...I cant imagine...

“Goddess...I am so sorry about your wife. It is unbelievable how ignorant and cruel some people can be. I would never even try to see past a cloaking spell. I sensed it, it changes your aura a bit, but its not my business if a person feels the need to keep something private.”

Taking a sip of her whiskey, she smiles, “I have known Mortuis ever since I became the High Priestess at the Silver Moon Coven. I dont know if I would call my skills extraordinary. He knew Stoney wasnt going to let another man touch Alise after what happened to her. I learned herbal medicine from my mother. She taught me all she knew and then I came here from Ireland to go to college. I seem to have made my life here. I learned more from the previous High Priestess of our coven before she passed over, she was also a good friend, about herbs, supernaturals, miss her greatly.”

Her expression clouds as she says, “I never married... thought about it once...but....well, it just never happened. Please dont apologize for being lonely, I understand loneliness. I know how hard it can be at times...”

"As to the ring....I will have to do some thinking about that. I think some dust from his gargoyle form would definitely be needed, but how to get it? He is almost going to have to know about it. And the spell...hhmmm...the ring needs to change with him at sunrise and sunset....Let me check my books and see what I can come up with. How fast do you work? They havent said a word as to when they want to do this, but I wouldnt think they will wait too long. Apparently her pregnancy wont go as long as a human one. More than twenty years of healing and there are still things I need to learn....”

Raina stands, unfastening her leather pants and taking a few steps to stand in front of the rider . “Help me with this...” and he starts to unlace the front of her top. She feels Nick standing behind her, rubbing against her and then slipping her pants down....She starts to moan once her top is off and Guunnar has a nipple in his mouth and Nick is suddenly rubbing his hard bare cock against her ass.

She reaches for the riders pants, “Take these off..” and watches closely as the pants come down.

Pressed between the two men she reaches for both cocks, Raina smiles, “Where to start?”

I smile at Raina's teasing. God, she's gorgeous! It's like I'm seeing her for the first time again. Is it because of Guunnar, I wonder? Am I in some sense seeing her through his eyes?

"Perhaps we should adjourn to somewhere more private," I suggest. I look at Raina. "Your place or mine?"

She does a slow stretch that does interesting things to her top, then turns with a grin. "Mine." Without another word, she begins sashaying up the stairs. I follow her swaying ass and Guunnar isn't far behind. I think he'd be right beside me, but the stairs are too narrow for two to walk abreast.

Damn, she's sexy! She delays a bit getting the key into the lock, then it pops open and we all pile inside. I waste no time, shucking my duster into the first available chair and sitting to get my boots off. By the time I'm done, Guunnar's shirt is gone, and his boots.

Raina opens the door to her room, and sets the bottle down on a table. The drapes are partially open, letting in the moon light. Dropping to a chair she starts to pull her boots off. “Come in, make yourself comfortable. Have a drink....” and she pours herself a shot from the bottle while eyeing the two men eyeing each other... Well, well, well...this could get interesting....

Ob moans. He does not want to move. Right here is good enough for him. But he knows the Tavern is open and it wouldn't do to keep the owner occupied.

"Mi Amor... Bruha... We need to go downstairs." He sighs and kisses her deeply. "You are amazing, mi amor. I am unworthy of you."

He kisses Pandora again and moves reluctantly from the bed. With a grin, Ob picks her up in his arms and moves to the bathroom. Still holding her, he turns on the tap, filling the tub with warm water.  Their lips find each other again as he lowers her in the tub.  Ob figures the crowd could wait a little longer as he washes their sweat, and passion, from her body.

Traeger watches Stoney return to his lady,and then Rowan heads for the bar... great!, his chance to talk with her.

Traeger takes an empty seat beside Rowan and asks... "Is it ok to join you, I have a matter to discuss with you... and then maybe we can see where our pathes might have crossed ." She nods and Traeger gets right to his question about Stoney, eager to find a solution.

"I guess you know the lovebirds plan a wedding, and Stoney has entrusted me with making the ring for Alise... I would like to craft one for him to match, but Stoney says the size changing would make it impossible when he goes from human to Gargoyle... I want to find a way and surprise him too. I have been pondering the idea of mixing grains of stone from him into the silver mixture... giving it some of his gargoyle properties... then coupled with a spell I thought I might have a chance.

What do you think? I know this may take some thinking, so relax and let's talk about us for awhile, then maybe something will pop into your head.

My wife and I were married quite young, and Pandora arrived not long after... we devoted ourselves to teaching her all we could, and she showed a lot of natural ability inherited no doubt from others of our line. When she reached High school age she encouraged us to take a trip we had long desired to Ireland and Wales... exploring the druids and others with ancient knowledge we could carry home to Pandy. "

Traegers voice dropped as he continued... "Unfortunately on a day we were deep in the woods with a group holding a religious ceremony we were betrayed by someone who frowned upon our beliefs,and the woods were set afire all around us... my wife and many others perished; I lived... but had severe burns on one side of my was several years before I could return to life and find Pandora. I use a cloaking spell to hide my scars, but no doubt with your skills you can see right through it."

"Well,that is much of my recent past history... how did you come to be so revered by Mortuis?... he is a very learned and particular man... your skills in healing must be did you come by them?" Traeger realized he had been rattling on, not giving the beautiful redhead a chance to open her mouth... laughing he said "Forgive my social skills,I fear I have been alone and lonesome far too long."

Alise smiles, her eyes wide in wonder, her voice barely a whisper, “They are really in there...”

Rowan leans over and kisses the top of Alise's head, “Makes it seem very real now, doesnt it?”

Nodding, Alise cant speak, afraid she is going to start crying.

Rowan stands and motions for Stoney to sit. “I think I will leave you two alone for a few minutes and get myself another drink.”

Heading for the bar Rowan glances back at the couple, heads together, smiling and kissing. Times like this when I miss John, when I miss....stop point in going there.... Taking a seat at the bar she asks Patti for what she wants and takes a deep breath, forcing those unbidden thoughts to the back of her mind....

Mon Alli, what is it? What's wrong?

Stoney shook Traeger's hand and was gone, rushing back to the booth.

"Alli, what is wrong, what is going on?"

His eyes went back and forth between the two women.

Wide eyed, Alise looks up at Stoney. Her hands, and Rowan's, are still gently stroking her belly. Reaching up, she tugs on his hand, placing it where hers had been. There is a small push and Stoney blinks. There it is again, then another.

"Mon amour... that is our bebes?"

A slow smile spreads over his face, lighting his eyes. "Notre bebe's..."

*Our babies...

Traeger was pondering after Stoney finished their conversation... there had to be a way to fix a ring so that it might adjust to Stoney's changing size, he considered a spell... and thought that might be part of it, but more was needed...he would talk to Ob. He was considering the idea of getting some stone dust from Stoney when he was in his gargoyle shape,and mixing it into the silver mixture when he poured the ring into the mold... Thus it would expand as Stoney did... it just might work. Perhaps he would let Rowan file some stone shavings from him while he was at rest and Alise was resting... then she would never know. Traeger definately wanted to discuss this with Ob, and perhaps being a witch Rowan would have some insights for him... hmmm, he wouldn't mind having a chance to talk with her one on one....

Pandora moaned when Ob hit the bed....his thrust hitting the back of her vagina,the g-spot stimulated to the max with his girth..."Ob,Ob,mi amour...I'm cumming.she whispered,"thrusting back and then she paused briefly as she was overcome with the sensations flooding her...moaning aloud as Ob continued to thrust....her emotions wrapped in the pleasure he was bringing her. She sought his mouth and they shared a soul searing kiss,tongues twining as Ob let go with his own orgasm...flooding her deep with his seed. They were both gasping for breath as they lay twined together....

Alise is visiting with Rowan and watching all the people in the tavern. She wanted to go visit with Ike, but she and Monty seem to be pretty intent on each other and Alise doesnt want to disturb them.

She covers her face at Rainas antics, “Oh Mon Dieu, what am I going to do with her?”

Rowan smiles, “Well, I think she can take care of herself. And if she gets herself into something she cant handle, I am sure Nick will take of her.”

Suddenly Alise freezes, an odd expression on her face. “What in the world was that?”

Rowan is instantly concerned, “What do you mean? Whats wrong?”, and she moves to the other side of the booth and sits next to Alise who has both hands across her tummy.

Il se sent comme là sont des papillons emprisonnés dedans là.... oh...I am sorry, I mean, it feels like there are butterflies trapped in my tummy. I thought I was hungry but this is different...”

Rowan lays a hand across Alises stomach. “No, I think its your babies. Letting you know they are in there.” Rowan can feel the smallest of bumps, she seems to be about six weeks ahead of schedule at this point. I wonder if thats normal for carrying a mixed child or is it just her and her unusual circumstances? I really need to speak to Stoneys brother or someone that has some idea of how this goes...

Alise is smiling, totally lost in the sensation...

Stoney was blocking his thoughts from her while he was speaking to Traeger, and when he turns he hears Alise saying something in French. Why would she be speaking to Rowan in french and why about butterflies?

Raina is laughing so hard she almost falls off the table as she tries to get off. Nick catches her and pulls her into his lap as he sits, kissing her deeply. “So, it looks like he doesnt have much a problem with joining us...”

“No”, says Raina, trying to catch her breath from laughing and the kiss. “I would say no problem at all from the sounds of it. As long as you are still sure.” A song comes on the jukebox that Raina likes and she stands, her legs straddling Nick in the chair. She starts to move her hips back and forth and the movement slowly works its way up her body.

No is a dirty word
Never gonna say it first
'No' is just the thought
That never crosses my mind

Maybe in the parking lot
Better bring your friend along
Better off together than just one at a time

S is for the simple need
E is for the ecstasy
X is just to mark the spot
Cause thats the one you really want

She raises her arms and lifts her hair up, showing Guunnar her bare back. Twisting to look at him she blows him a kiss.

Nick pulls her down, “You better stop your teasing or we are going to have to call it an early night. And what are people going to think when you take both of us up to your room?”

Laughing Raina leans close, “They will be thinking how lucky you guys are.”

He confides in Traeger. "My only regret about the ring, is that it is not possible for me to wear a ring also. One sized to my hands now, would break as I went stone. One sized to my natural form... It would never fit me as I am now."

Stoney stops walking, drawing Traeger to a halt. "Please, say nothing to Alise? I will get you the amethyst as soon as Ob gets the basket for me... And merci. You do not know what this means to me."  He stares at Traeger, taking in the aura of his power.

"Non... I think you do. As for when it is needed, I am not sure. We did not set a date."

Traeger examines the picture with pleasure... it is a beautiful and intricate ring, but he knows he could do it easily... especially knowing who it's for. "Stoney, I would be honored to craft the ring,and silver will be no problem... when did you need it?...I can start it tomorrow."

He clapped a hand on his shoulder and said... "You are a lucky man, Alise is a precious gem of a woman, and she adores you...and babies as well... the gods look with favor on you." Traeger put the paper away in his pocket and together they returned to the group... Traeger's mind already working on a matching design for Stoney.

Guunnar grins, looking into her eyes. " You are more than Big Girl. You are *Amasonas. I like Amasonas. So... you say another man? Bah, that is no problem. The vampire, ja?"

He picks up Raina and tosses her over his shoulder. People move out of his way as he carries her to the bar. He asks Patti to bring over a tumbler of blood to Nick, then asks a laughing Raina what she wants.

Patti nods and gets a bottle of tequila and goes for the blood as Guunnar strides back to Nick's table. he deposits Raina on the table top and grins.

Keon yells at him, from across the room, to stop manhandling the women. Guunnar flips him off, laughing the whole time.