“Oh, Mum,” he said, getting up and going over to hug her tightly.
“But if Zeke ever hurts you, I’ll be sending the wolves after him,” she said.
Even Zeke smiled at that. “Wouldn’t dream of it, Aari,” he said to her.
Once Caelan had released Aaralyn, she said to Zeke, “So all the women, was that a facade or...?”
He shook his head. “Caelan is my one and only. It was our way of making sure no one found out. And, of course, I knew you would all believe it.”
“I’m sorry,” Aari said, genuinely meaning it.
“No. There’s nothing to be sorry for. You did nothing wrong but believing in the lie I weaved.”
She nodded slowly. “What are you going to do with Onyx?” she asked.
“I’m going to check his blood, make sure he’s alright for now, and then keep an eye on him for the next couple of days. In the interim, I want to find out what the hell Beth is.”
“Beth? You did this?”
“I... I guess so. I didn’t mean to do anything, it just... happened.”
“Like earlier,” she noted. She turned back to Zeke. “If she allows you to do any tests on her, remember that she might be two months pregnant.”
Zeke’s blue eyes turned to Beth, a curious sheen in them.
“Truly?” he asked.
“It’s possible. I, um, I missed...” she trailed, blushing slightly in embarrassment.
“I’m a doctor-surgeon, Beth, this isn’t anything I haven’t heard before,” he grinned. Her flush deepened. “But why ‘might’? Do you not want to find out for certain?”
“I can’t. Daniel couldn’t tell, and neither could Lucius.”
Zeke frowned. “I could do a blood test, but it’s not entirely reliable.” He turned to Aari. “Has anyone spoken to Storm? He’s good at this sort of thing.”
“I don’t know,” Aaralyn said, “you’d have to ask either Daniel or Isabella.”
“I’ll speak with them later. But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have bloods to run.”
Zeke stood, taking the needle he’d taken Onyx’s blood with. He left the infirmary, heading back into the lab. The door shut quietly behind him. Beth sat down on the bed next to Onyx’s. Aari sat beside her. Caelan sat opposite them on the bed on the other side of Onyx. Aaralyn stared at her son silently. Caelan kept his eyes on the floor.
“Eleven years?” Aari asked him again. Caelan simply nodded without looking up. “Are you happy? Are you truly happy?”
He nodded once more. “Yeah, I am.”
“That’s alright then. There’s one other thing I really have to know.”
Caelan looked up at her. “What is it?”
“How old were you when you first slept together?”
He blushed, looking away from her eyes. This was an awkward thing for any child to talk about with his parents, no matter how old he is. Beth was just grateful that she’d never had to have this conversation with her mother.