“Uhh, Al? I feel a bit different.” Alistair held his hands out in front of him, in awe. “Like I’m higher off the ground. And my voice is deeper.”
“Crap,” I muttered, looking at him. “You’re a teenager. You aged up. How many years passed this time?”
“I dunno, at least five, for me to be this old. Is this what happens when you get old? I’m all tall and stuff. So weird.”
“All tall and stuff?” I laughed. “You didn’t grow up mentally, thats for sure.”
“Wow, that’s hurtful.” Alistair crosses his arm over his chest. “This is what those guys meant when they said time dirstortion? Somehow I doubted time could be sped up. But, if it’s possible then they’re dangerous.”
“Incredibly,” I muttered. “I don’t know if I can trust them. Even my own sister. But, now is not the time to discuss this. Your mom is going to be angry, and we have to figure out how to fix everything.”
“I still think that we need to find the last pages in the book,” Alistair said. “Then we’ll know how your story ends.”
“It’s just a story Alistair,” I told him. “Please, don’t take it at face value. We don’t have the luxury to mess around anymore. Look at me. I’m not a child…I’m losing more and more time, I’m becoming less of myself. I need to figure this out, we need to…Alistair, what are you doing!?”
“I’m about to knock on this door,” He answered. “Is that a problem?”
“Uh, yeah it is!” I exclaimed.
“Why? Maybe theres someone inside who can help us,” Alistair said. “You know like that family Pandora was talking about, the guy you’re dating.”
“Oh crap…Declan,” I muttered. “It’s been this long and I cant expect him to not have moved on. What if he moved on!?” II grasped Alistair by the shoulders. “What if he has my daughters and doesn’t think I’m a fit parent because I disappeared for so long? What do I do then?”
“Don’t freak out,” Alistair said calmly. “The minute you freak out is the minute I freak out. But, if he moved on, who needs that guy anyway? Forget him, we’ll just do this on our own.” He looked away angrily. “Sometimes you have to give things up to accomplish your goals.”
“They’re the only things that I can’t give up,” I explained. “Just like your mom isn’t going to give you up.”
“I don’t want to talk about her anymore,” He muttered, looking away. “I made my choice.”
“We just got home dad,” Charlotte complained. “I want to go upstairs to my room.”
“I know Sweetheart, but I missed you,” Declan said. “I just wanted to know how you’re doing.”
She rolled her eyes. “You don’t care about how we’re doing. You just care about Altiere.”
“That isn’t true at all,” Declan said. “I love you girls. I always have you on my mind.”
“Yeah well-” Charlotte began.
“We had a good time daddy. I much prefer being home with you, but Altiere didn’t hurt us or anything,” Adeine answered.
“That isn’t what I…” Declan sighed. “Ok yeah. I can’t lie to you girls huh?” He leaned down and pulled them both close to his chest. “I do love you both and I want the best. So, will it kill ya to fill me in once and awhile?”
“We love you too daddy,” Adeline answered happily.
“The door,” Charlotte said. “Are you gonna answer it?”
“Yeah, of course I am,” Declan answered. “Hold your horses. You kids are so impatient.” e winked at Charlotte as he tickled her stomach. “What? Don’t look at me like that, I’m answering it.”
Declan stopped when he pulled the door open. His mouth dropped open. “Alistair, is that really you?”
“Declan…” I muttered. “Holy crap, Declan.”
He reached out for me and pulled me close to his chest. “You came back. I thought for sure you- I thought, oh watcher, you don’t want to know what I thought. I’m so happy you’re here.”
I reached my arm up and touched his face. “The beard, you grew it back.”
“You like it?” He whispered.
“I always liked the beard, you shaved it before we got together,” I answered. My heart was beating extremely fast and I felt like I would vomit at any moment. All of this..it was all too surreal. We didn’t know what else to say to each other. I stared into his eyes and he watched my every movement. We stayed like that for awhile until I heard a grunt.
“Big Al, I understand you miss the guy, but uh, little help here, this girl is trying to kill me!” Alistair exclaimed.
“Kill you?” Charloote crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m just trying to figure out what you are, because whatever it is, isn’t human. Or vampire, or any occult I’ve ever sensed before.”
“He is an imaginary friend, like Pepper,” Adeline answered.
“How come I couldn’t tell, but you could?” Charlotte asked. “If he’s an imaginary friend.”
“He’s no ordinary imaginary friend,” Adeline answered. “I do not know what differeniaties him, but he’s special.”
“So I’ve been told,” Alistair mumbled.
“Care to introduce us?” Declan asked. “He isn’t your, you know…”
“I know what?” I asked.
“Son.” Alistair rolled his eyes. “He wants to know if I’m your son. No, his sister is my mom. Alistair is my uncle.”
Declan’s face lit up. “So you found them then?”
“Kind of,” I said. “It’s a really long story but-” My eyes were drawn to the two girls in front of me. Their beautiful fair skin and their bright blue hair. I had missed raising them, for what? Because Mason felt like speeding up time? I hated him with every fiber of my being. “This is a time distortion. I was with them and now Im not, I’m here.” I shook my head. “I need to fill you in on everything, but this is my nephew Alistair. Alistair this is my uh…well, he was my boyfriend…Declan.”
“Was?” Declan asked. “Did something change? Is there someone else?” His tone was joking but his face had fallen.
“No!” I answered quickly. “I just didn’t know…it’s been some time for you, so I didn’t know if, you know.”
“If I replaced you? If I moved on? Alistair, I’m raising your daughters,” Declan answered. “I could have easily just let Altiere keep them. You know how much you mean to me.”
“I just need to hear it sometimes,” I muttered. “After all the crap I’ve been through? I need someone to hold me and tell me that they love me.”
I felt his rough grasp on my waist as he pulled me close to his body. I could feel his breth on my face. “Alistair, love you.” When I looked up to respond, he captured my lips with his. “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love-”
I laughed, “I get it Dec. I love you too. So damn much. I just want to hold you like this forever.”
He nuzzled my neck with his nose and said, “If the girls weren’t behind me then we’d be having a completely different welcoming.”
I blushed. “Declan! Not in front of my nephew.”
“I’m old enough now, see? Look at how tall I am. I can be included in these conversations.”
“No. Absolutely not. Not you. Ever,” I said.
“I’m your partner in crime, you need to include me in things,” Alistair answered.
“In my love life too?” I asked. “Absolutely not.” I stopped speaking when I felt a tug on the bottom of my jacket. I looked down to see my daughter. “Hello Sweetie, I’m Alistair.”
“I know, you’re my dad,” She said. “I’m Adeline. She is Charlotte.” She pointed towards her sister. “I have been waiting for a long time to finally meet you.” I was shocked when she hugged me.
I hugged her back. “I’m really happy to meet you too Sweetheart. You’re just as beautiful as I imagined you’d be.”
“Daddy talks about you all the time. He said that you’d come back one day…see Charlotte? Daddy was right, our real dad came back.”
“You don’t look ike us,” Charlotte said. “You’re a mage, not a vampire.”
“It’s complicated,” I answered. “Your mom was a vampire, and I have some vampire genes inside of me. You have her blue hair.”
“Addy, you sure that’s him?” Charlotte asked. She looked at me. “Adeline has better senses than I do. She connects better with people. So, she would know.”
Adeline nodded. “Yes, he is our dad. I have no doubt.” Charlotte then approached me and threw her arms around me.
“I thought you were never coming for us…”
I stroked her hair. “I could never leave you guys here. I love you too much.”
“You love me..too much?” Charlotte whispered. She hugged my leg. “Daddy was right, you are great.”
“Declan, what’s the commotion? The girls woke up and they won’t go back to sleep- Alistair!?” Sienna’s mouth flew open. “You’re back!”
“Hey Sienna, you’re looking good,” I smiled.
“Thanks, but don’t look at me like that, this isn’t my baby, it’s Declan’s,” She said.
“What? Declan you said-”
Declan chuckled. “She’s ours. Well, there’s two, twins. You seem to have the twin gene in your blood or something.”
“Hahahaha, really funny,” I said. “We’re both guys.”
“Lucas may or may not have casted a spell on us,” Declan said. “Before he died.”
“A spell?” I asked. “What kind of spell!?”
“Girls, why not go to bed, it’s late,” Sienna said, and shooed them off. “Go on.”
“What did we do before you left to imaginationland?” Declan asked.
“What do you mean, we- oh.” My face flushed. “We did something. Definitely.”
“Grossssssssss!” Alistair whined.
“You’re a teen, grow up. It’s natural,” Sienna said.
“You left the part out about the snarky pink haired girl,” Alistair said.
“Ok enough of this, just out with it. Even if we did something, we’re both guys,” I said.
“There’s always magic,” Sienna explained. “Apparently, Lucas knew about you and Declan before you two even knew about it. He figured you’d want kids of your own, you know, with both of your genes. Considering how risky your birth was, he wanted to make it safe and healthy for you. So, he casted the spell on Declan. When Declan and you, you know…Declan got pregnant. It was the greatest thing. He walked around with a fat belly and everything.”
“It was so gross, Alistair. You have no idea. It hurt so much, and I always had to be and I had weird cravings for ghost peppers every night. I commend woman for having to go through this,” Declan confessed.
“How did the baby…come out?” I asked.
“It just…popped out, of thin air? It was extremely weird. I didn’t have to be cut open or anything. I was terrified of that because, you know…” He rubbed the back of his neck anxiously. “I wish you were there at my side.”
“But…wait, they’re toddlers, so how….?” I asked.
“It was delayed,” Sienna said. “We thought it was strange too. But we think Lucas knew that you’d be in trouble, so he tried to prolong it. Our other theory is that the time distortions screwed with Declan’s pregnancy, but we aren’t sure.”
“What’s their names?” I asked.
“Millie and Astra. They’re the cutest little things, Ally. One looks just like Declan, and the other resembled you so much. She even has your hair.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Really? My hair? After all of the girls, I finally get a brunette?”
Declan rubbed my back. “I was pretty excited about that too. People may say that the brown is ordinary, but I love that about you. Ordinary, yet you still stick out.”
Then, Declan leaned in to me and whispered, “Can I have a word with you in the other room?” I could only nod. I knew this was coming. He was going to tell me that there was some sort of trouble. Something that was stopping us from being together. Something that made things worse, because there was always something. I ran my hand through my hair nervously as I followed him into what looked like a study. It was a nice house, I had been so enraptured with seeing Declan again that I didn’t notice the house wasn’t our house, not our old one at least. It wa smuch bigger, much more roomier. Declan was doing good for himself, and the girls. All four of them, which still made my heart beat. I loved Adeline and Charlotte, but my heart swelled just thinking about being the father of Declan’s kids. “What did you want to talk abou- mmph!” Declan shoved me up against the bookcase and captured my lips with his. “I waited so damn long to do this.” I felt his hands roaming my sides and my heart did leaps in my chest.
“Declan,” I murmured against his lips. He nibbled on my bottom lip as I attempted to sort my thoughts out. Yeah, that wasn;t going to happen with Declan’s hands all over my body. I finally pulled away to catch enough air and he frowned.
“Oh watcher…I’m being too forceful aren’t I? I just got way too excited to see you. Alistair, forgive me. I can’t resist myself around you.” He waited for me to respond, but I didn’t instead it was my turn to push him against the booshelf, with much more force than I knew I had.
“My turn.” I chuckled at his shocked expression. Me? Making the first move? I lifted my leg up and wrapped it around his waist, I used the other to balance myself. My hand grasped the back of his hat and his hands lay loosely by my hips. This felt right. This was where I was supposed to be, in his arms.
“Hey guys,” Alistair said, breaking the moment. I pulled away, breathing heavily, and looked at the boy hwo had ruined the passionate makeout session I was waiting too long for.
“Seriously kid?” Declan groaned. “You understand how this works right? I haven’t seen my boyfriend in almsot six years.”
My legs were stil both wrapped firmly around Declan’s waist and he held my weight up in his grasp. I was immensely impressed by that, even turned on a little bit. I threw my arms around Declan’s neck. “He’s cool. Leave him alone, Alistair is my ride or die.”
“I can’t believe you two share the same name,” Declan muttered.
“Wait, you just said ride or die?” Alistair asked.
“Yeah, considering we almost died and you’ve sworn you’re not leaving my side…” I leaned into Declan. “We’re sort of a package deal, at least for now. What’s one more kid running around the house?”
“A kid?” Declan asked. “He’s a teenager, and when we met, you were an annoying teenager, do you remember?”
“I was an adult,” I corrected.
“At eighteen? That’s hardly an adult. Anyway, kid, I hope you had a good reason for interrupting our little moment,” Declan said.
“Of course I did,” Alistair said. “I have to talk to my ‘ride or die’ about something important. But I assume, you want me to tell this guy as well?” Alistair was talking to me and he pointed towards Declan.
“This is my house, you know that right?” Declan asked. “And I’m sure neither of you have any money, so yeah, I’d like to be informed in things when I’ll be supporting you. I also want to hear everything you know, even about Ethan, where is he?”
“It’s a long story,” I said, hopping down from his waist. He groaned and leaned against the bookshelf, angry that we weren’t able to continue. I rolled my eyes and urged Alistair to talk.
“You aren’t going to believe this,” Alistair said. “I hardly believed it myself.”