(NSFW) And Then There Were Three

“Was it like that, with either Medyfivol or Aubraan?” Keelath asked.

Mirium shook her head, clearing away the wisps of memory. “No. There was never that same connection with Talthan. It happened before I was ready, really, and it…hurt. Tore something inside me. But the rush of conceiving Medyfivol honestly distracted me from realizing he wasn’t fully there. It had always been just me and her, in that other place, where spirits connect… Sometimes I’d have nightmares of another presence trying to encroach on her and smother her. I always prayed to the Light, and the feeling would ease.”

“Perhaps it was no nightmare, but him trying to corrupt her, even then,” Keelath growled darkly. He was silent for a few minutes. “And Aubraan?”

“We had done the procedure clinically, as I told you then,” said Mirium. “They encouraged me to spend time with you to lock it in, or so to speak. It was…distracting though. I could already sense Aubraan there, and then you were…kind of just there too, on the outside of it all.”

“I didn’t mean to be,” Keelath muttered.

Mirium kissed his cheek, communicating her understanding. “I understood then it was a choice to come together like that,” she said softly. “Maybe it was just the drug, but our first child…I let you in all the way. I wanted you, knew it from the outset. Talthan always felt a little off to me, a stranger, and…so I was closed up still when you returned to my life as well.”

“I’ve not exactly been forthcoming myself,” Keelath muttered. “I know they gave you supplements to set Aubraan up with whatever mana he’ll need to grow, but in all honesty I have felt like a useless lump of flesh this time around. It’s not like I can channel any mana into you, unless you really want him to be shaped by my unholy magic.”

Mirium repressed a little shudder. “No,” she said, “but…I think there’s a deeper and more powerful magic than all of those, Keelath. The kind that gets one to open up and to give, in the first place.”

“What?”

She put her arms around him. “Just try it,” she whispered.

“Now?” Keelath asked, pushing away from her with incredulity. “With you so far along?”

Mirium shook her head, tugging him back. “It doesn’t have to be the physical act, you dear silly male. Just…hold me. Be his father. And my partner. Be there for us. Maybe there’s something to that old school of magic: that of love instead of anything arcane or holy.”

Frowning in thought, Keelath carefully eased her back into the grass. He sat looking at her for a long moment, perhaps trying to figure out how to manuever around her belly. Then he lay down beside her, shifting her so Aubraan was between them. He kissed her, his ankles twining with hers.

She opened to him, drinking in his scent. There, the familiar tang of their mark–so faint in undeath, but it was there. She relaxed as he continued to kiss her and nestled in a little closer. There was a flow of warmth into her heart and head, that she felt like a physical buffeting, and Aubraan suddenly, powerfully, seemed aflame with it. His pleasure and joy of being alive vibrated through her, leaving her breathless and rattled, even more as he was too far along now as to be safely getting such a large influx of mana, no matter how desperately needed.

She groaned, but still Keelath fed the old magic into her. Aubraan seemed to swell inside her, her organs feeling the press; his soul, still opaque and strange, pushed up against hers as if he would overtake it. It was too late, too late in the pregnancy for this. 

She hung on grimly, letting her body be the conduit into Aubraan’s well-being. So long as he survived, what did it matter if she withered away underneath him…

Keelath’s mouth clenched against hers, his sharp vampiric teeth suddenly slicing through her tongue. His spirit, wretched and gaunt as a banshee’s, loomed up beside hers in the other-space. He looked at her, at Aubraan. “Don’t let him overwhelm you,” he said sternly.

The flow of mana shut off.

And suddenly she was back in her body, not that space-that-wasn’t where the souls of elven families intertwined. She tasted blood, and Keelath let go of her, licking his lips and swallowing away the red. He eyed her, silently asking.

Shakily, Mirium sat up, pushing with her palms against the ground. She felt full, very full, but as she shifted her weight, not so much as to be unmanageable. The frightening press of the mana had faded, and she felt only pregnant, if very close to term.

She looked over at Keelath, who she noticed now was looking a little skeletal and gray with the exhausting of his magic. Still he grinned at her, skin stretching across his teeth and tendons. She smiled back, recognizing the ghost of his grin from their wedding day.

“He will be strong,” Keelath said with certainty.

“And big,” Mirium agreed, touching her belly. “I just hope he gets out of me before he becomes much bigger.”

Keelath murmured his agreement, setting his hand on top of hers. They curled down together again, dozing, the ball of energy glowing hotly now between them. Mirium tried to take comfort in it, but it was like trying to relax while pressing up against a hearth, rather than lying a respectful distance away .. She tried to keep her fanciful mind from any thoughts of burns or bursting.

“Oh,” she suddenly said softly, some minutes later. “He’s coming.”

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