That evening, I took Kendra to bed. She was rejecting food and I sat beside her. I held her hand and hummed until she fell into a restless sleep. I kissed her forehead and remembered how she called Erik 'Papa'.
When I got to our bedroom, Erik held me long and close. I held him back and he sighed.
"I was so worried," he sighed.
"We are safe now. They cannot find us again."
"What do you mean?" he asked as we got in bed.
"There was a tracker in my arm," I said, putting my hand on my right arm.
Erik got out again and put the sleeves back on me.
"What is a tracker?"
"A new device. It can track my location. It is how they found us."
I told him how I got rid of it and he cringed.
"There is something else," I said but, when I looked over, he was fast asleep.
I smiled and kissed his lips. He stirred in his sleep and pulled my chest to his. I closed my eyes and fell asleep with him.
I was in a small room but everything around me was black. For some reason, though, I didn't feel scared. I was warm and knew instinctively that I was safe. Someone was watching over me.
Without reason, I got hungry. I looked around and Erik walked to me through the darkness. He took his shirt off, revealing where I had marked him. He grinned at me as I stood in front of him. I put my hand on it and sighed in desire. I kissed over them but couldn't get my fangs to grow.
"It is easier if you wake up," Erik said, his voice echoing as he put his hand in my hair.
"I do not want to," I murmured, kissing his chest more.
"Wake up," he said, laughing gently.
I blinked my eyes open. I was on top of Erik. One hand was resting on his chest but the other was wrapped around-
"Oh dear," I breathed, turning bright red.
He stopped me from getting up, though, and kissed me deeply. He moaned and rolled me over, taking my nightgown off. I sighed in pleasure as he pushed my legs apart. I put my hands in his hair as he kissed my neck.
As we made love, I felt a strange sensation in my chest. I had never felt anything like it before. When we were both satisfied, he got off and lay panting beside me.
"What brought this on?" he asked.
I put my head on his chest and told him about my dream. I yawned.
"It was strange."
Suddenly, he sat up so quickly I was pushed off of him. I sat up, too, and looked at him. He scrambled out of bed and redressed. I stood and put on my robe, getting nervous.
"What?" I asked.
He stared at me. "Y-You are pregnant," he gasped.
I stumbled back, putting my hands on my stomach.
"So Gertrude was right," I said, my voice high pitched. "But-But Ilya said vampires cannot get pregnant!"
"I know," he breathed and kissed me. "Go back to sleep. I will write to him again."
I nodded and he helped me back into bed. Shaking, I tried to fall back asleep.
"Camille," Erik said, shaking me urgently. "Camille, I need you to wake up right now."
I frowned and rubbed my eyes. "Erik?" I said. The sun was still down. "What is it?"
"Kendra," he said and I looked at him. His eyes were wide and he looked as if he hadn't slept since earlier. "She is crying but will not let me in her room. She sounds like she is in pain but she only asks for you."
I jumped to my feet and hurried to her room. I knocked on the door, waving Erik back into ours.
"Mama?" Kendra whispered.
"It is me, Kendra," I said in a soothing voice. "Let me in, my love."
She opened the door, grabbed my arm, and yanked me in. She slammed the door shut and locked it.
"Kendra," I said and grabbed her arms. "Kendra, calm down and tell me what is wrong."
"It hurts," she whimpered.
"What does, baby?"
She pointed to the bed with a shaking hand. I went over and took a deep breath. I sighed, calming myself down.
"Okay, come here," I said. "Let me see the back of your nightgown."
She turned and I nodded when I saw the blood.
"Change out of it. I will be right back."
I ran down the stairs and woke Johanna.
"I need you to make some broth for cramps," I ordered. "Kendra has reached her first monthly."
Johanna cringed and hurried to do as I said. She was still young enough to experience hers and knew just as well as I did the pain that came with it. I went to the washroom downstairs where I had stored up plenty of the liners. When I went back in, Kendra was gazing at the bed in horror. I smiled gently.
"You have reached the transition into womanhood," I explained and she listened, soaking everything in. "We will start with your pantalets. You take the liner and put it on like so," I instructed. "That way, the blood will not seep through and onto your dress and bed sheets."
"But why do I bleed?" she asked, shaking as she pulled them on.
I changed the sheets and got in, pulling Kendra up with me. She put her head in my lap and I stroked her hair, leaning against the headboard.
"My mother died when I was a little girl," I told her. "So everything I know, I learned from my nanny."
We spoke for an hour about what to expect. She sniffled.
"Do you get your monthlies still?" she asked.
"No," I said. "They stopped after I was turned."
"How often do they happen again?"
"Once a month," I said and smiled as she groaned in frustration. "And it will last for three to five days."
"Because you are a woman," I said simply.
"Then I don't want to be a woman anymore," she pouted.
I giggled. "Johanna is making a broth for you now that will help with your cramps."
"So I won't die?"
I laughed and bent down to kiss her temple. "No, sweetheart, you will not die. But you need to stay away from Erik during this time."
"Why? He'll attack?"
"No. But it is very uncomfortable for him. When I had my last one, he could not even be in the same room as me. It will be embarrassing for both of you."
"Okay," she whispered.
I looked out the window. Snow had fallen during the night and the sun began to rise. Someone knocked and Johanna walked in.
"Drink all of the broth," I said. "Do you want to rest some more?"
"Yes," she said and looked outside sadly. "I wanted to go play in the snow but it hurts too much."
"I know, sweetheart," I said. "Rest well. You can take the week off of your studies."
"Thank you, Mama," she mumbled sleepily.
I hesitated and watched her. Cami jumped up and curled right against Kendra's stomach, making the little girl smile in her sleep. I shut the door gently and went back to my room. I smiled. Erik was pacing nervously. Though he wouldn't say it out loud yet, I could tell he loved that little girl as much as I did.
"Is she okay?" he asked when he saw I was in.
"Why would she not let me in?"
I closed the door and changed into a regular dress. He took the brush from my hands and sat me down at the vanity. Brushing my hair had always seemed to calm him down.
"She has started her first monthly," I explained and he looked at me through the mirror, running the brush gently through my hair. "You will have to keep your distance, my dear."
"Why?" he asked, frowning. "I will not attack her."
"No but it will be very uncomfortable for the both of you," I explained. "Do you remember a time where there was a week after you turned me? A time when you could not stand to be near me?"
He thought for a second. "Yes," he said. "Your blood smelled... repulsive."
"That is how it will be with Kendra."
He bit his lip. "I could try."
I smiled. "It is best for both of you." I sighed and stood up. "Erik, she called me 'mama'."
He sighed, also. "Yes, she called me 'papa' as well."
"What are we going to do about it?" I asked.
He hugged me. "I have an idea," he said. "Right now, though, we have something else to talk about."
He put his hand on my stomach and I sighed.
"We need answers," I said. "Answers only a vampire can give us."
"I will send the letter on the way to the council hall." He looked over at the door. "Will she be okay while we are gone?"
"Yes," I said. "She has Johanna."
He kissed me again and I held onto him tightly, glad to be home.