The next full moon would prove difficult; as Lazarus changed she lowered herself to the floor. Her belly had swollen even more and she spread out, her hands resting on her stomach as she soothed her kids. Bane curled up beside her and she moved one of her hands, to rest it on his head, "you should be with the pack... it's your first moon as Beta."

"I'm more concerned with being here with you," he murmured,

"I'll be fine, I'm sure," she smiled, pushing herself up with a moan.

He watched her carefully, "yes, I know you can take care of yourself, but I would still rather be here."

She walked into the kitchen, taking a glass and filling it with water, "you know... you're going to have quite a job on your hands," she laughed slightly, walking over and sitting on the couch slowly.

"Mmm," he bowed his head in agreement, curling up on the floor at her feet, "I'll manage."

"I mean, who knows how many kids we're going to have and... you'll have to look after Amber too,"

"Lazarus says he reckons it'll be twins, like in his dream he had before; a boy and a girl," he smiled slightly, his head filled with the image as Lazarus remembered it.

"Well, however many I'm going to have, they're getting their heartbeats."

Bane sat up again, glancing at her stomach, "may I?" he asked, inclining his ear slightly towards her. She nodded, sitting up slightly. He rested his head lightly on her, careful not to put any pressure on her. Listening for a while, he smiled, "mmm," he hummed happily.

She smiled, resting her hand on his head, stroking it lightly, "definitely twins."

He looked up at her, "twins will be easier than triplets," he mumbled, Lazarus' small celebration in the back of his head making it hard to concentrate as they listened to the small heartbeats.

"Definitely," she nodded again, her stomach pulsing slightly as one kicked, making her squeal a little in excitement.

His smile widened to a grin as he felt the kick. Lifting his head again, he moved, climbing up onto the sofa carefully beside her.

"Oh, this feels so strange..." she smiled, ruffling his ears slightly, but Amber had different ideas. She took control, flicking Bane's muzzle, "I don't want kids."

He winced slightly as his nose stung, and glanced up at her irritably, "I'm sorry, Amber," he muttered, "it wasn't exactly planned."

"Nobody thought to ask me. Just get pregnant and everything'll be fine," she spat, looking at herself in disgust, "just the thought of being called mum. I don't even have a mate!"

He sighed and put his head on his paws, "well you don't have to look after them at a full moon, if you'd rather. I'll do that if you'd prefer to go elsewhere."

Melissa internally slapped her and she whined, "No... I have to step up,"

"It's up to you; we can't force you to be a mother when you're not ready,” she looked to him and sighed, she knew Melissa was right, she would have to step up. It shouldn’t be that hard, being a mother, she thought and Melissa nodded, “I’ll always be here to help you.”

She placed her hand awkwardly on her stomach, feeling the heartbeat of the kids. “But I guess the little mites are mine, aren’t they... my blood.”

“Yeah, but there are plenty of parents who aren't ready to look after their own flesh and blood," he shrugged slightly, "your opinion counts too."

"But won't it be strange, if they feel all that love from their parents, then full moon comes and we hate each other. That'll really put them off the change!" She muttered and Melissa smiled as she finally thought about the kids.

"We don't have to hate each other, Amber," he said, looking up at her, "we don't have to be mated, but we can still get along, can't we?"

"Pfft, I guess that's your choice, Winter.”

He tilted his head slightly, "Winter?"

"Your eyes are winter blue, but I see no sign of cold. I have said that before, haven't I?"

"Yeah, you did. I just didn't expect that to become like a nickname or anything."

"They're sweet." He smiled slightly, shifting slightly into a more comfortable position. "I'll try. Even if it means I don't get my body for three more months," She whined.

He nudged her gently with his nose, "I'm sorry," he mumbled.

She stroked his muzzle slightly, "perhaps, we could work on our whole situation... It's not like I hate you."

"I hope we can. I didn't mean to make such a bad impression before."

She tapped his nose lightly, "Perhaps, being Mates isn't too out of our reach..." she suggested.

"Perhaps," he smiled, poking his tongue out and licking her finger.

"When I get my body back, we'll talk further. Till then, look after her." He nodded and she curled up inside Melissa’s form, "Oh... I'm tired," she muttered.

He nudged her again, more firmly this time, "go to bed."

"You're not allowed on the bed," she sighed, running her hand through his thick white fur.

"I know," he nodded, getting down from the sofa, "Lazarus is willing to make an exception to the rule, though, if you're willing to as well."

She nodded, getting to her feet she shuffled into the bedroom she got changed into a long, cloth nightgown. "I miss my old clothes," she whined, clambering under the covers. He jumped on the bed as carefully as he could, settling beside her, his head near her stomach, listening to the twin heartbeats of their children. She reached out weakly, entwining one of her hands in his fur before smiling, her eyes flickering.

"I love you," Lazarus' voice mixed with Bane's as he spoke, moving so he could look up at her

She smiled a little wider, "I love y..." she muttered, her eyes sliding shut. He watched her sleeping quietly for a while before he too slipped into a dreamless sleep, but hers weren’t dreamless. She feared for the children, the pain of the change... having to fit in with all the human kids when they went to school, she whimpered slightly in her sleep, her arms moving to her stomach protectively.

The End

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