I was already sitting on Adder's bed, waiting for him, when he arrived. I was curled up against the headboard, and he was all shadows and grim expressions. He closed the door a little harder than necessary, but when his gaze fell upon me, his face softened into something else entirely. Something much more gentle and compassionate.
"Calla," he murmured, like he wasnt quite sure if I was really there or not.
"Come here," I replied slowly. "It's been much too long since you held me."
Adder made no motion towards me, but remained stiffly where he was. "What are you doing here?" He asked instead. There was an acidic undertone in his words. "Shouldnt you be welcoming Demrin home?"
I looked away from him, my heart thudding as I bit down on my bottom lip. Demrin was the last thing I wanted to think about, the very reason I'd stumbled into Adder's room to begin with. Because Demrin had brought that monster, that traitor, into our home. And they always said you were only as good as the company you kept.
Of course I wanted to believe Demrin meant well. That he only wanted to help us all overcome this everlasting darkness. But John Scott had done nothing but hurt us all, over and over and over. How could he possibly be trustworthy after all the times he'd broken our hearts?
"I just," I started, then faltered. "I wanted to be with you."
Adder let out a sharp sigh, and finally started over to the bed. The vampire lingered by the edge for a moment before plopping down and pulling me gingerly into his lap. His hand hovered over my stomach, and then he began to rub small circles there as I nestled against his chest.
"How is everything going?" He asked me quietly.
I only shrugged. "It's going alright. I think I just need to stop being so stressed."
Adder nodded slowly. "What do you think we-" He cut himself off, turning his head away so that his chin was no longer resting on my head. If only I could have felt his heart beating, I might have been able to judge him emotions. But Adder was as cold as ever, with no heartbeat to be heard.
I repositioned myself so that I could face him, so that I could stare into his eyes and try to find a spark of something. Anything but the broken creature he'd become. "I wish I just knew who was the father," I muttered. "This isnt fair to you." Or Demrin, I thought, but I didnt say anything more.
"Well whoever it is, you know that the baby will be loved," Adder told me, running his trembling fingers through my blonde hair, tracing his fingers over my cheeks and lips. "Have you thought of any names?"
I frowned, cocking my head in consideration. Honestly in all the things we'd been dealing with as of late, a name for my child hadnt even crossed my mind. "I like..Asaya," I said after a moment. The name fell effortlessly from my lips, even if I hadnt the slightest idea where it had come from. "Asaya Rose."
Adder nodded, smiling an impish sort of grin. A real one, too, and that was what counted. It had been much too long since I'd since a smile light the shadows upon his angelic face. "Asaya Rose it is, then. Unless it's a boy. Then we simply have to name it Adder."
I laughed a little, burying my face against his. "I love you," I mumbled, or maybe only thought I did. Whether he heard me or not was unimportant. But the words lingering in the air around us were all I needed just then.
Adder placed a kiss at the place where my hair fell about my forehead. "I know," he whispered. "I love you too, Calla."
We stayed like that for a long time, and I wished it could have been forever. I wished that things had never gotten to be so complicated, that I could return to those nights in London where he would pull me to him and make love me all through the night.
Eventually he started to pull away. "What are you doing?" I asked, a little too desperately, clinging to him a little too hard.
Adder smiled softly, a silent reassurance that he wasnt going anywhere. That he would be here, always here, like he always had been."I told you before. I believe we must contact the Blood Council."
In spite of myself, I shivered a little. I didnt know much of the coven, the vampires who protected the demon souls who perished on this world, guarding them until they could pass on into their own sort of peace. The whole thing, in honesty, didnt make a lot of sense to me. But I knew that they were lethal and powerful, and trusted none but their own kind.
"I want you to be here," Adder explained as he crossed the room to the dresser. "Because this has more to do with you than you know."
I could only frown, wishing I could hug my knees to my chest but scared of the pressure that might but upon the child within me. Adder pulled open the top drawer of the dresser, and from it he removed an object carefully concealed in deep red velvet. Closing the drawer, he turned towards me and began to unwrap it.
A moment later, Adder held a massive black candle out before him. I opened and closed my mouth several times, but I just couldnt find the words to ask him what it was, or what it had to do with anything. Adder produced a match, seemingly from thin air, coming over to the bed once again.
"Just watch," he interrupted, but in the sweetest way possible. There was no way to explain the awe and wonder in his voice. It was almost childlike. Adder struck the match, brought the red orange flame to the wick. When the two collided, the candle burst into light. A cascade of sparks, blues and greens and reds and purples, fell from it, dancing and swirling in the air before us.
They gathered, gathered and began to form a shape. And then, in the blink of an eyes, a man stood before us. I couldnt conceal my gasp as I took him in. Black robes billowed in a nonexistant breeze. His skin was paler than the moon, eyes blacker than the depths of the ocean. They were cold and emotionless, flickering about the room, registering Adder and I both. He stared at the vampire for a moment, but it was me his gaze finally landed on.
"Calla," he said, a hint of amusement, but also disapproval in his tone. "How very wonderful to see you."
"Do I know you?" I stammered with wide eyes, unable to steady my voice.
The man smiled, only everything about it was wrong. Wolfish. The motion revealed a row of perfectly pointed, white teeth. "No, I dont suppose you would. But I know you, love. I was Everette's sire."