FinaleMature

It took another three days. Arl and two other elves were keeping an eye on where the barrier was. When Elwin could move on his own, we didn't waste any time. I put his tunic on for him and rooted around in his drawer until I found what I was looking for. I polished his pin on my sleeve and put it on his chest where it was displayed proudly. He smiled and kissed me.

He took my clothes off and I stared until he put a slip and one of Tserra's old gowns on me. She had agreed to let me keep them. We went down the ladder and I led them all through the forest. Elwin walked on my right and my father on my left. Behind us, the king, queen, and princess walked in a line.

"Hold your heads high," I said. "You have done a great service for two humans. You also helpd the rest of us by getting rid of Theodore and the goblins."

We walked through the village. People stopped and stared. Some dropped their buckets but we kept moving forward. The guards were too stunned by the king and queen but they didn't stop us as we climbed the stairs.

They did open the doors, though, and we went into the throne room. The king and queen's jaw dropped as we lined up in front of them. I had realized that this was why Elwin was our 'secret weapon'.

"Curtsy, Queen Keishara and Princes Tserra," I whispered. "King Orist, Elwin, bow."

We all did so and the queen gaped.

"Camila Constantine?" she said finally.

"I'm glad you survived the raid," I said, stepping forward.

"Our guards got us out.... What's going on?" the king asked.

"King Matthew and Queen Isabelle, this is the king and queen of the elves: King Orist and Queen Keishara." The elven king and queen bowed again and the human king and queen got up to do the same. "This is their daughter, Princess Tserra." Tserra curtsied. "We have a lot to discuss."

"We heard about the battle that was witnessed," King Matthew frowned. "No one has gone by because they were afraid. But how- We were told you were...."

"Little folk?" Elwin supplied and King Matthew flushed. "Well, we were told you giants. It's been a learning experience for all of us."

"We were fighting the goblins," King Orist said. "Your humans Camila and her father, Gerald, helped us greatly in the battle."

"Bring some chairs for our guests," Queen Isabelle interrupted.

They did and we sat down.

"Elwin," I whispered, "you take it from here."

"Are you certain?"

I held my hand out and he took it. I squeezed it and he smiled.

"This is your destiny, Elwin," I whispered "It is you who must speak of our races."

"Princess Linata was not a human," he said and everyone watched him. "She was an elf." Briefly, he explained her true identity. "I am a descendant of her which is why I was able to successfully lead and survive the battle." He frowned at the floor. "I wasn't able to kill their true leader, though. He is elsewhere; we just have to find him."

"This is slightly overwhelming," the queen sighed. "What will we do?"

"I was going to suggest a treaty," I said and they all stared. "That way we don't have to worry about hiding ourselves from each other. And we can protect one another if other creatures come to war."

"I think this is a splendid idea," Queen Keishara said proudly. "What say you?" she asked the king and queen.

"A treaty is good for many people," King Matthew agreed. "But it will take several days for such a thing to create. We shall make orders for our people to leave your realm if you will do the same for ours."

"We shall," King Orist promised.

"I believe Elwin should be there when negotiations begin," I said and King Matthew nodded his agreement.

We all bowed and stood. Afterwards, we returned to the elven realm. I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed.

When we returned to our hut, I changed into a more comfortable outfit to sleep in. I heard footsteps and turned around. I smiled at Elwin and he kissed me deeply.

"Did it go the way you wanted?" he asked.

"Not exactly," I answered. "But the result was what I had desired."

I swayed and groaned.

"What's the matter?" he asked. "Are you sick?"

"I-I don't know. I feel ill and- Oh no."

"What? What, Camila?" he demanded.

"Take me to Elder Winterblade," I breathed.

"Why?"

"Please. I will tell you then." He helped me to Winterblade's home. People were rebuilding and waved to us. "Elder Winterblade, I need to speak with you."

He looked up from his book and sighed. "Yes, I can sense it. Sit down, we shall look."

"Sense what?" Elwin asked.

"I'm pregnant, Elwin," I whispered and he looked at me in shock. "But I'm not sure...."

"Oh," he whispered.

I bit my lip as Elder Winterblade hovered his hands over my stomach. I held Elwin's hand, scared.

"Yes, you are indeed pregnant.'

"Is there a way to tell who...?" I trailed off hopefully.

"I can tell you," he said but the look on his face told me enough. Elwin gripped my hand tightly. "You have two options: Keep it or get rid of it."

"I want to keep it," I whispered putting a hand on my stomach. "It's not to blame for the father." I looked to Elwin. "What is your opinion?"

"I want you to keep it, as well," he said, kneeling down beside me and placing his hand on my stomach, too. "I agree with you: it is not to blame."

"Would you be comfortable with it?"

He smiled and kissed me. "I would love it as my own."

"Now that's strange," Elder Winterblade muttered. "Drink this, Camila. It will be... strange but we must see."

He put a cup with orange liquid in my hand. I drank it, wincing at the taste. A strange green glow rose from my stomach. The three of us watched with wide eyes as a small orb spun inside it. On the left, Theodore's face hovered, on the right was Elwin's. They came together over the orb. The orb spun faster and faster until Elwin's face emerged. Theodore's shot off to the side.

"I'm confused," I said when it disappeared. "I thought it was Theodore's."

"My dear," he whispered. "Your child. It has decided."

"Decided what?"

"The father." He turned to Elwin. "This has never happened. It's unnerving...."

"Let me get this straight," I said. "Theodore and Elwin both impregnated me and my child just decided who it wants the father to be?" Winterblade nodded. "But what about the DNA from Theodore?"

"The child will have it."

"And Elwin's?"

"No," Winterblade said. "It only has Theodore's. But it recognizes Elwin as the true father."

"I'm so confused," I sighed.

Winterblade tapped his chin. "Your baby will be born in the realm of the elves. It will have human traits and characteristics. However, it will also have the skills and extended life of an elf. So, physically it will be Theodore. Mentally and in its soul, it will be Elwin."

I leaned back. "Oh. Will we be able to have other children?"

"Yes. Know this, though: This child will be born in six months. You must be in the realm when that happens. If not, the child will not survive."

I looked at my belly and Elwin kissed me.

"I'm scared," I whispered.

"I know," Elwin said, putting his forehead on my head. "But I'm here. I will never leave."

"Nor will I," Elder Winterblade promised.

"Nor will I," a chorus of voices said from the doorway.

I jumped. My father, the king, and the queen were standing there with smiles on their faces. I cried as my father knelt in front of me.

"Hello, little one," he said to my stomach. "We're all going to protect you and your mama."

I smiled and leaned into Elwin.

The End

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