“How are you feeling, my love?”
Angelus moved to Buffy’s side of the bed, lifting her out
of the plush comfort and cuddling her against his chest. She looked wonderful,
glowing, beautiful…his. His lips trailed down her neck, caressing the raised
scar there, smiling at the catch in her breath. She burrowed deeper into his
arms, sighing in contentment.
“Horrible,” she answered and refused to move when he
wanted to turn and question her. “I can barely move, I can’t ride, I can’t
fight, I can barely even get out of bed!” She turned her head, looking into
his slightly amused eyes and pouted. “Don’t make fun,” she warned.
Wisely, Angelus’ eyes took on a concerned look, his hands
caressing the bulge of her belly as he leaned down to kiss her. “Is there
anything you wish of me?”
“Hmm,” Buffy hummed as his hands continued their
caressing along her body, up to her sensitive breasts. “Keep doing that.”
Their babe was due sometime within the next two weeks and
Buffy couldn’t be happier. With Ariana she had had too much going on to truly
hate the symptoms of her pregnancy. The nausea, the cravings for Angelus’
blood, the aches and pains. It all seemed so insignificant when her kingdom, her
life and her child’s life were in danger. Plus, she had to worry about her
illness from Angelus’ absence. Now, with Angelus hovering over her constantly,
her duties to the Lands and the Continuum severely limited, every ache, every
craving seemed multiplied.
Or maybe she was just spoiled.
“You’re the only one who can help,” Buffy whispered
as her husband did his best to ease her discomfort.
He wasn’t exactly sure that making love to her wouldn’t
be bad, but she, the High Priestess, Willow, Tara, and various Elfin Healers all
assured the Ancient that it was perfectly normal and healthy during the
pregnancy. Besides, it was a long year to be separated from his wife and their
intimacy now that they were reunited again. Still, for her and the sake of their
child, he’d have done it. Angelus was just as happy he hadn’t needn’t to.
“We have to meet Ariana and Andre for breakfast this
morn,” he reminded her but didn’t stop his worship of her body. Lips trailed
over neck and shoulder, hands caressed straining nipples.
“Okay,” she responded but didn’t stop her responses
from Angelus’ ministrations.
When he laid her on their bed, spreading her hair out
around her, Buffy simply sighed his name and allowed him to do whatever he
pleased with her. Teeth scraping along breasts, tongue bathing each nipple in
turn. Her legs spread for Angelus, knowing that without him within her
completion wasn’t complete, that any orgasm he brought her to was only half of
what they could be when they were physically joined.
“Open your eyes, love,” he ordered in that soft,
seductive, adoring voice.
She did so slowly, as if doing so was a labor she’d
rather not, so content was she to simply enjoy her husband and what he did to
“Do you know what you do to me?” He asked, positioning
himself at her entrance, careful of her belly. “Do you know what seeing you so
lost in your passion does to me? How I lose control each and every time, how the
mere thought of you succumbing to me makes me hard, makes me want to yield to
you as well, knowing that it’s always good, always so good together.”
Buffy’s eyes glazed purple, her hands reaching for his,
her legs wrapping around his waist as her hips moved forward. Entering her
quickly, fully, Angelus hissed her name, stilling almost immediately. He loved
this, loved savoring her tightness around him, loved how she clenched and
rippled and held him, only him, within her body.
Moving slowly, Angelus rolled so Buffy rose above him, her
breasts heavy with need, with the impending birth of their babe, her belly large
with his childe, sensual, erotic, his.
Moving over him, his beautiful elf caught his hands, twining their fingers
together and bringing them to her breasts. Moving their hands together, she
pinched her nipples, and then gasped when his larger, cooler hands did so, nails
scraping the engorged peaks. Tossing her head back, Buffy moved faster, taking
him deeper within her body.
“Bite me,” she whispered, eyes closed, hair trailing
down her back and over his thighs.
In the ten years since their reunion, their addiction of
one another hadn’t abated. Their addiction to each other, body, mind, the
other’s very being. Their blood. It was something each worried about, not for
themselves, but for the other. It was something neither could escape, withhold,
Rearing up, supporting his wife with his powerful thighs,
Angelus kissed her fiercely, hands gripping her hips as she continued to slam
above him. His face shifted but Buffy didn’t notice, not caring, so used to
his vampiric nature, so accepting. It was who he was and she loved that, so it
was natural to the both of them. His tongue tasted the side of her neck, purring
at the flavor of lust, love, and need that spiced the skin there. Of her
impending child birth and, most distinctly, her imminent orgasm.
Angelus feared taking too much blood; Buffy needed his
blood for her and the babe both, but he could – he believed – last the year
without tasting her if it meant that in doing so he harmed her. His darling wife
would hear nothing of it and Angelus was just as happy with that. He needed her
blood just as she did his. Taking the first taste of her, the strong magickal
blood flooding him with scents and sounds and feeling, Angelus emptied himself
within Buffy, a constant growl rumbling from his chest as she lost herself in
the bliss of her own orgasm.
Long, long moments later, curled around his wife, Angelus
repeated his original statement. His hands still caressed her belly, their legs
tangled together, hands brushing every so often. “We’re still meeting Ariana
and Andre for breakfast.”
“I know,” Buffy sighed and nodded.
She was hungry
and didn’t want to keep her daughter waiting. But it’d been so long since
she and Angelus could lounge in bed together that she wanted to savor every
moment of it. This past year without Continuum duties was just what she needed
after so long traveling between Lands, between the various Vampire Kingdoms,
firming their alliances, their commitments to each other.
Standing from their bed, Angelus carefully lifted Buffy
into his arms, quelling her protests with a light kiss. He didn’t know why she
bothered to protest, he’d been doing this since she announced her pregnancy.
Still, Buffy insisted that she wasn’t an invalid and had already been through
one pregnancy. Angelus didn’t care and ignored her protests.
“Bathe, love,” he said as he set her in the shower.
“I’ll be back shortly.”
“You’re leaving me?” Buffy grabbed his hand and
tugged him into the shower. “Don’t you want to wash my back?”
Smiling wickedly at her Angelus decided that his orders to
Gunn could wait. After all, the First was the best at what he did and could no
doubt figure it all out himself. Still, Angelus worried about the Portal to the
Mortal Realms. There were reports of suspicious activities around there this
past week. His First assured him it was nothing more than curious children from
the Hunter Land, but Angelus didn’t want to take the chance.
Buffy was going to have his child soon, and nothing could
go wrong. Not even curious Hunter Land children.
“Just your back?” He asked and turned the water on.
“Well,” Buffy laughed, “I suppose the rest of me
needs washing, too.”
Ariana stretched in bed, sighing in satiation and wondering how it was her bones hadn’t completely melted into a big pile of goo. It’d been years since she and Andre became lovers and still the Princess was amazed at the level of need she felt for her husband. Husband, what a wonderful sound.
Said husband was currently lying on his back, one hand on
Ariana’s stomach but too spent to move any more than that. “We have to meet
your parents for breakfast,” he said but his voice was husky with love and
momentarily spent passion.
Summoning the energy to roll over, he pulled his wife
closer and promptly forgot about moving again. Who would want to when he had the
most beautiful passionate woman in his arms and his bed? He no longer wondered
about those times from long ago when he heard of how Angelus acted around his
wife; the way he catered to her needs, the way he looked at her, the way he
spoke to her. Andre never thought to be the same but couldn’t thank the
Priestess enough for finding Ariana.
“Yes,” his wife said and Andre forced his attention
back to her words. What were they talking about? Oh, right. Breakfast. “I’m
sure they won’t mind if we’re late.”
“Still, we should get ready; I hate to keep your mother
waiting. She gets this look on her face and I’m afraid that she’s going to
curse me or something.”
Ariana laughed. “It’s the babe that makes her moods so unpredictable. You know she’d never do anything to harm you, Andre.”
“I know, but that isn’t the point. The point is that
she’s pregnant and I don’t want to be the cause of her having the child
early because she got mad at me one time too many.”
Ariana snorted and rolled from the bed, her body still too
liquefied to stand on her own. Andre caught her and carried her to the shower,
kissing her all the way. He loved how she fit into his arms, despite her height.
She was the perfect size for him and weighed less than she thought.
“If anyone,” Ariana said when she caught her breath and
the shower water beat down upon them, “Is going to drive momma to distraction,
I think its daddy.”
In the ten years she’d had to know her father, Ariana
realized that Buffy’s description of her and Angelus’ relationship was dead
on. They fought, true, and often. But it never disrupted the basic fabric of
their relationship. It wasn’t anything like her marriage with Andre, the ease
between then, the knowledge that they thought alike on so many of the same
things, and Ariana could accept that. But she still had that worry that
something would happen to make her parents split apart again.
Honestly, she needn’t have worried. Their marriage was
stronger than ever and even their frequent petty arguments – Ariana had heard
her father on more than one occasion complain and threaten Buffy about her
choice of clothing – mattered little in the overall foundation of what they
Kissing her own husband, Ariana smiled against his lips as
her hands slipped over his body, the water running down between them.
“I love you,” she said with a smile, her eyes glowing
brighter when he returned the words and the kiss.
“Always,” he promised.
Gunn stood outside the Informal Dining Room and watched breakfast between the Royal Family. He and Oz had already eaten, discussing the day’s assignments, Angelus’ concern about the Portal, and the readiness of their troops. Both were fully prepared to spend the next couple of weeks – or however long before their Ancient had her childe – beside her.
Angelus had spoken to Gunn earlier and the First assured
the Master that everything was already covered, that he and Oz were completely
ready for the arrival of the child. Gunn did not, however, go into detail about
their contingency plans, their contingency, contingency plans, nor that they
even had so damn many to begin with. But hey, it was their jobs and it always
paid to be prepared for any eventuality.
Willow had smiled, amused, during dinner several weeks ago
with Gunn, Gunn’s latest lover, Ruth from the Hunter Lands, William, and
Drusilla as the three vampires and Oz told the human and Hunter of their
readiness. She accused them of being nervous fathers, even more so than Angelus.
And Ruth had simply laughed at the stoic Firsts and their attention to detail.
They hadn’t disagreed.
Still, it was nice, Gunn reflected now as he watched the
family dine, to have Angelus here. Where he belonged and with whom he belonged.
Cora, the High Priestess, was arriving this day and Rupert, Tara, and Kynan were
due in before nightfall.
William’s bet was that Buffy had the child before they
made it. Noting the horror on Oz and Gunn’s faces, the vampire shouted with
laughter, quickly accepting their counter bets; the Firsts’ theory, shaky as
it was, was that if they bet something else, and quickly, then William’s bet
Inside the dining room, Buffy’s goblet clattered to the
floor the same time Angelus rose from his chair to crouch at his wife’s side.
Gunn sighed, already moving forward with Oz. Buffy clutched
her stomach as Angelus stood, gathering her in his arms and striding towards the
advancing Firsts. His face was set in a worried scowl, Buffy’s head tucked
into the crock of his neck. Arriving at their side, Oz and Gunn pivoted on their
heel and escorted their charges towards their rooms, already planning their next
“Looks like William won,” Gunn groused as he called
over a guard, ordering him to find the High Priestess and hasten her arrival,
then send a messenger to ride to King Rupert, Prince Kynan, and Princess Tara to
rush their arrival.
“He usually does,” Oz agreed as they took their place
outside Angelus’ and Buffy’s door.
William took that opportunity to walk down the hall. “I
was looking for Angelus,” he said, “What’s he doing in here? I thought he
was having breakfast with the family.”
Scowling, Gunn looked to Oz. “It’s your turn,” he
told the Elf.
Looking at the vampire, Oz said in a monotone voice, “Her
majesty is having her babe now.”
Hooting in laughter William smirked and clasped both men on
the back. “Pay up boys.” The Firsts stared at him and William laughed again.
“After the grand event, of course.”
“She hasn’t had the child yet,” Oz said, “And The
Priestess is on her way.”
Scowling, William shook his head. “Doesn’t matter.”
The argument continued outside, though really, each man
refused to leave the door. Just in case they were needed.
Inside, Buffy clasped Angelus to her. “I’m glad you’re here, baby,” she said in a voice laced with pain. “If I ever have to go through this alone again,” she warned, “You won’t live to see the next sunrise.”
Angelus couldn’t help it and smiled down at his wife.
“I love you, my Eternal.”
Smiling through the next wave of pain that swept through
her, she kissed his. “I love you as well.”
Placing his large hands on his wife’s stomach, Angelus sent all his love, support, and protectiveness through his bond with Buffy and towards their child. It’d taken a while, but eventually Buffy had told him of how Ariana was born. It was simply one more debt he owed his sire and one he’d never be able to repay despite his firm belief that it was Darla’s duty to see to her mistress.
Her body relaxing, her pains easing, Buffy grasped one of
Angelus’ hands and leaned against his chest. The hours slipped by, both Buffy
and Angelus lost in their bond and their bond with the child when suddenly Buffy
screamed once more. Tara and Cora moved to the end of the bed, as Buffy shouted
Angelus’ name. Within minutes, their queen pushed, following the directions of
the women before her. Angelus never moved from his position, whispering soothing
words to his wife, calming her when the pains began again and kissing her when
Another push, then another, and one more. Then suddenly the
baby was in this world, quickly cleaned and already wailing for her mother.
Buffy collapsed into Angelus’ arms and he held her close to him as he
struggled to recover from such a long and intense trance. Tara held the child a
moment more, cooing to her, before handing her to Buffy.
Katrina Aurora was born with a wail that echoed throughout
the room, silenced by the spell King Rupert cast to protect his daughter’s
Immediately Buffy brought her daughter to her breast,
watching in fascination as the girl latched onto her nipple, sucking
voraciously. Just as with Ariana, the instant daughter touched mother, all the
protection magicks in the room snapped into a brilliant ball of gold and
surrounded the child before entering her. Angelus watched in amazement as this
happened, and pulled Buffy closer as if he could protect her from these magicks.
Angelus looked down at his daughter in awe, tracing a
finger over her fine features, staring in shock that something so tiny could be
born from him and his beloved wife. He watched as she suckled at her mother’s
breast before Buffy’s nipple slipped from her mouth and the child dozed off
held in the safety of her parent’s arms.
Holding Buffy in his own arms as she held their second
daughter, Angelus finally felt that he was forgiven. By Buffy, by Ariana, by the
gods and by the Priestesses.
Ariana knelt beside the bed and clasped her father’s
hand, her eyes glued to her sleeping sister.
“She’s beautiful,” Ariana whispered and turned large
liquid eyes to Angelus.
“Yes,” Angelus replied with a kiss to Ariana’s
forehead, “She is.”
Buffy smiled, knowing that he meant all three of his girls.
Dropping her head against his shoulder, Katrina still held securely in her arms,
Buffy fell to sleep, the exhaustion tugging at her too strong to ignore.
Kissing the top of her head, Angelus handed Katrina to her
sister and carefully lifted Buffy while the bed sheets were changed. Laying his
still sleeping wife back in their bed, he kissed her slightly parted lips, hands
brushing her hair off her face.
“I love you,” he whispered aloud, “Thank you for such
a beautiful daughter.”
Gunn, Oz, and William, having been joined by Nicholaus, Kalman, and Drusilla, were still in the hall ever vigilant, but still arguing over the logistics of Katrina’s birth and their bet. Ariana, Andre, Angelus, Rupert, Tara, and Cora were inside with Buffy as she labored to bring her next child into the world. Willow watched over her own children, the newest still too young for her to want to leave him alone despite wanting to be with the rest of the group.
Angelus suddenly strode out of the room and all
conversation halted. He looked at his guards and childer, the only friends he
could have, even if they’d never be as close as they seemed to be with each
other. That was the curse of ruling, even his most trusted guards weren’t
considered friends, his closest childer kept at arms length by necessity; but he
trusted them with his life.
More importantly, he trusted them with Buffy’s life.
“Make the announcement,” he commanded, “Katrina
Aurora of Aurelius, Daughter of Angelus, Ancient and Master of Aurelius and
Buffy, Ancient and Master of Aurelius, Sister to Ariana, heir of Aurelius and
Andre, heir of Rezov has been born.”
They grinned at him as if Katrina was their own; the smiles
widened at the sappy look that came into their Ancient’s eyes. Wisely, none
called Angelus on it and Drusilla went to find Theophilus to announce the
official proclamation. Spinning on his heel, he reentered the room, leaving the
remaining five to wonder what the newest Aurelius looked like and what her place
in their world would be like. If she was anything like her sister, there
wasn’t going to be a dull moment in her life.
They continue their argument on whether William really did
win the bet until Drusilla returned from speaking with Theophilus, Kaspian
beside her. He was Katrina’s First and needed to make his vows to the young
Princess before her presentation to the rest of the Kingdom. Usually that waited
for several days, but Kaspian didn’t want to waste any time in his duties. It
was one of the many reasons Oz, Gunn, Nicholaus, and Kalman chose him.
Bowing to Gunn and Oz, he knocked once on the door and
waited while Rupert opened it. Bowing to the King, Kaspian entered the room and
strode to the bed. Kneeling he said, “My Ancients, I bid you congratulations
on the birth of your child and swear my allegiance to her, and through her, to
you for all the days of my existence.”
Rising, he placed a hand on Katrina’s head and vowed,
“Mistress, I swear to you that wherever you go, so shall I follow until I am
but dust in the wind. I pledge my life, my sword, my mind, and my loyalty to
Katrina opened her eyes then and looked into the faded blue
of her First as if accepting him then and there. Bowing to the child, Kaspian
bent and took her hand in his, kissing the back to seal the pledge. As soon as
he did so, he turned and walked out of the room to take his place with the other
Firsts and Katrina fell back to sleep.
It was long minutes later that the room finally emptied in
preparation for the Birthing Celebrations that would commence for the next week.
When they were alone, Ariana and Andre having lingered longer than the others to
coo over the child, Angelus lay down next Buffy.
Carefully pulling her against him, he propped his head on
his chin and watcher mother and daughter, his earlier awe etched clearly on his
“She’s so beautiful,” he whispered as if afraid to wake the girl. “Just like her mother.”
Buffy tiredly turned her head to look at her husband, one
hand reaching behind her to bring his mouth to hers. “We make beautiful
children together,” she agreed.
“Yeah,” he grinned and tugged her back again, Katrina
in Buffy’s arms and Buffy in Angelus’. “I love you Buffy.”
“And I love you, my Angelus.”
And Katrina Aurora smiled in her sleep at the words.
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