Eirene Anne Danevbie came into the house two days after her birth. Goose had been sending me constant pictures of her but the moment he placed her into my arms it felt like the entire world lit up for me.
Goose beamed sleepily. “She is.”
“And you’re sure about the last name?” I asked, worriedly.
We had discussed at great lengths the surname our daughter would have. I wanted to go with Danevbie-Baroque but Goose felt like it’d be too much with the names we had picked out. Especially for a girl. Eirene. We had decided to name her after the Greek goddess of peace, because it symbolized our desire for peace in this world between the humans and supernaturals. And being partial human, elf, psychic, ghost, and who knows what else she got from my side… goddess of peace just seemed perfect.
Goose smiled again, wrapping an arm around me and resting his head against my shoulder to look down at Reeny, the name we decided to use as a nickname. “I never thought I could be this happy.” He hugged me tighter then wobbled a bit.
“Let’s get you into bed,” I said.
“Her crib is in our bedroom?” he asked anxiously. We had cleaned out and set up his old room to be the nursery but the previous day during one of our phone calls he begged me to move the crib to our room.
I nodded. “Yes, she can stay with us for a good while.” He looked relaxed at that and wandered to the bedroom with me slowly following suit. I mostly just looked down at Reeny’s face. Her tiny, perfect, beautiful face. “Her ears are even cuter in person,” I said, carefully touching one of the pointed tips. Her ears were not as long as Goose’s ears but they were somewhere between his and mine, and had the elvish points. Her dark skin felt like porcelain or something and her itsy-bitsy little fingers curled against the blanket wrapped around her. She had a bit of dark fuzz on her head that we couldn’t quite tell which hair color it’d be.
Goose curled up on the bed and I just stood there, holding Reeny. I didn’t want to put her down. I just wanted to hold onto her forever. A few tears went down my cheeks and I hastily brushed them away so they wouldn’t fall on her. “Are you okay?” Goose asked, noticing my movement.
“Yeah. Yeah, I–I just. I never… I never… I never realized before how incredible this felt. I used to think people were weird for having so many kids. I thought my dads had been insane to go through four pregnancies in addition to adoption. But…” I sniffled a bit as she squirmed. “But yeah. This is… wow.”
“Well, next time you can get pregnant,” Goose murmured and I grinned at him. He slowly looked me up and down and began giggling into his pillow. “You’d look funny pregnant.”
“Mmmm,” I agreed, bending in to put a kiss on Reeny’s perfect forehead. “Well. I don’t want another kid right now but in a couple years maybe we could try again. And if you want, I’ll–er, I’ll be pregnant.”
He just laughed more. “Well–don’t be wanting kids anytime soon, because then it could happen though not very likely.”
“Elves only can have kids every few years,” he yawned. “Probably to stagger out the pregnancies cause of the magic being so, er, susceptible to wishes. The closest in age pure elvish siblings can be are like… hmmm, I think the closest siblings were like, three years and eight months or something like… thaa-a-a-a-at!” His last word broke into a yawn so I reluctantly put Reeny into the crib to go and tuck Goose into bed. I took his shoes off, helped him remove his pants even though they were just loose stretchy pants that looked like jeans, and then put his glasses on the bedside table.
“Get some rest,” I whispered. “Cause I imagine tonight we’ll be having a ton of company over to see the newest addition.”
I knew how excited my family was to see her. I think the extra excitement had a bit to do with the fact we didn’t get to see Alex–Vilkas’s kid–for a while until after the birth. So being able to see the newest Danevbie definitely meant my pa and sisters swarming all over my house. And Noah had stayed in town again, and Grams of course would be over, and I knew that weekend Aunt Miracle and Uncle Elijah would be visiting and… and it all just made me feel so tired that I wanted to sleep as well.
“Love. Our little ball of perfection is screaming her lungs out and it’s your turn,” Goose told me at four-twenty-three in the morning. I felt a kick at my legs. “Get up, s’your turn. Stop pretending to be asleep I know you’re not.”
I groaned and got out of bed. I had barely gotten any sleep that night or the past few nights. I knew babies messed up sleeping but I didn’t realize how bad it’d be. When I told Pa that he just laughed so hard he dropped the phone. When I told Dad he just snorted and told me to come back when we had five kids under the age of five. Hmph. What kind of parents gave no sympathies?
“Hey Reeny,” I crooned as she wailed. I picked her up and first checked her diaper, glad to find it dry. “Guess you’re hungry.” I took her through the house and to the kitchen, warming up a bottle and then tried to stay awake as I fed her. I tossed the empty bottle onto the counter to deal with later then burped her. Once that was taken care of she lay wide awake in my arms, staring up at me. “You won’t go back to sleep, will you?” I asked. “Okay. Okay, I’ll sing you something. Lullabye… and goodnight… close your sleepy little eyes… for… Dadddyyy…”
I yawned and she just kept watching me in wide awake silence. “Um. Hush little baby don’t say a word. Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird. And if that mockingbird don’t sing. Daddy’s gonna you a diamond ring. If that diamond ring don’t shine, Daddy’s gonna buy you a…” No, those weren’t the lyrics. “…uh, a… a tree that’s… pine. And if that tree don’t… grow… all green. Daddy’s gonna buy you a… karaoke machine.”
Hey, my improvisation seemed to work since she began closing her eyes and after the news of getting a karaoke machine she fell asleep. I carried her back into the bedroom and put her in her crib. I crawled back into bed with Goose and fell asleep before I could pull my blankets up.
Goose had an easier time soothing Reeny than I did. He could get her to stop crying in about a fourth of the time I could. After a while I suspected something was up and finally I asked him how he did it. “Just natural I guess,” he mumbled, avoiding my gaze completely.
It took a few seconds to register in my head. “You’ve been using magic!” I hissed out and his face went as red as a tomato. “You have!”
“N-no!” he protested, giving me his wide-eyed innocent look. I folded my arms, raising an eyebrow. “Um. Okay. Yes. Look, it doesn’t hurt her. I went through babyhood having relaxation magic put on me. It’s nothing bad, I swear,” he said as he tucked her into her crib.
“I know,” I assured him as he looked completely anxious. “You’d never do anything to hurt Reeny. I’m just mad you’re doing this and making me stay up for ages when you can have her back to sleep like that!” I snapped my fingers.
Goose pushed his glasses up, grinning. “Hey. We’re both her dads. Just because–nooo stooop!” he wailed as I began tickling him. “J-just because I have an advant–advan–advantage and you–noooo!” He ran and I chased, both of us laughing.
Down he went onto the couch and I fell on him, still tickling. He shrieked and laughed, wriggling around in protest. Soon my arms were around him and my lips against his. He adjusted himself onto his back to put his arms around me, pulling me tight against him. We kissed for a long time until Reeny’s whimpers brought us back.
“Your turn,” Goose said softly, kissing my jaw.
“Mr. Magic, s’not fair…”
“Mmmm.” His lips went along my neck now and just into the top of my shirt. “I went through carrying her for nine months… and… and laborrrrr….”
I laughed. “Fine, fine. You win. Go rest your cute little elf butt.” I gave him one last kiss then got off the couch to answer the call of the wild.
We both got a few weeks off work and then when we had to start we worked out agreements with our jobs for new schedules so that someone would be home at almost all times… however, we had two hours overlapping on Tuesdays and Fridays when I had to do an extra class. Thankfully we had insta-sitters.
“She was great,” Pa said when I got home the first Tuesday. “I gave her a bottle and changed her diaper and we listened to Chopin!” He snuggled Reeny close, looking blissful. “Goose said he might be a few minutes late tonight. Also, I cleaned your bathroom.”
“It was filthy! Clothes everywhere!” Pa complained, bouncing Reeny gently. “And the tub had a rim. And there rose petals under the tub?”
I blushed, looking away. “Pa you’re here to babysit Reeny, not go through my personal life.”
“I think it’s great you two are keeping–“
“PA just stop right there,” I warned and he smiled. “Are you interfering with everyone else’s sex lives?”
“Saya and Gladdy don’t have anyone, Lumie has already told me all about that man she met in Mexico, and Vilkas doesn’t have much time for chatting so we never really get beyond the… ummm… gener… generical… basic stuff.” He switched Reeny to his other arm. “Besides. I’m not interfering.”
“It certainly sounds it,” I grumbled.
“You know? Specter was the same way when he had to go back to work. All complaints.”
“Dad complains about everything anyway,” I said, grumbling even more grumblier.
“And you are starting to sound just like him,” Pa said, placing Reeny into my arms. He then gave my cheek a pat. “Just happy that you two are still enjoying each other, that’s a very ‘portant part of keeping up a good marriage life after babies.”
Of course, I did sort of know what Pa had been talking about. For the first week or so Goose and I barely spoke and when we did it was to snap at one another. The rose petals were from Sunday afternoon when we decided to make up for a month of barely touching one another besides a couple of makeout sessions. I got some advice from Dad and once a week I brought Goose flowers. I wanted things to be good. I was so scared that things would… would…
>End up like Davy?< Lumie offered.
>Get out of my thoughts!< I replied angrily. Then, >Yeah. Okay. Yes. I’m scared.<
>That’s why you’ve not proposed yet…<
>Is not. Goose and I have been happy being partners. Not married. It’s working for us,< I said, going into the bedroom to check on Reeny. She smiled at the sight of me, drool coming out of her mouth. I grinned and scooped her up, wiping off her chin and cheek. >We don’t need any legal papers. Besides…< I didn’t finish the thought but she knew what I didn’t say. Part of it had to do with the fact he wasn’t 100% human.
>That was before all this crap,< Lumie said and I heaved a sigh, letting Reeny gum on my finger. The law had been cracking down on supernaturals even more. Background checks out the wazoo, including for marriages. Goose had been worried about it leaking into the job force but so far the only background checks continued to be for stuff like police and all that. But who knew what would be next…
>I don’t want to discuss marriage,< I decided. Goose and I had talked about it on occasion of course and he felt the same as me about the subject. We weren’t ready for marriage, even with a baby. >Besides, for elves marriage is more about the lifelong commitment and less about the papers.<
>And Goose is committed to you so don’t worry. Don’t let the past worry you, Zaid, okay? Just treat him good.<
I did my best to treat him good. He did small things for me as well and somehow we got through the months after Reeny’s birth with only a few minor fights, and two major fights. The second one was explosive and wound up with him leaving the house and me punching the wall and feeling like a total ass. I wanted to go after him but couldn’t leave Reeny. So I banged around the house, bringing my temper to a boiling point. Once that happened my temper sort of seeped out and I felt worse than ever. I ordered dinner from a fancy restaurant that did delivery. When Goose returned I took his hands, tightly, and told him how much I loved him and felt bad and apologized for my insensitivity. I told him how much I needed him, and adored him, and never wanted to lose him.
When I finished he flung his arms around me, kissing me passionately. I spun him around, kissing back, and feeling so glad he accepted my apology. The fancy, expensive dinner was left warming in the oven for a good hour while we went all the way for the first time in over five months.
The summer went on nicely. Goose and I made sure to spend a bit of time just the two of us, but devoted most our time to Reeny. She was such a happy, cute baby that I loved to just watch. Whenever she smiled or laughed or clapped her hands I felt so proud. My baby! I had a baby! A little baby girl. A precious, perfect little baby girl. I couldn’t believe I had helped make her. Of course, she looked a lot like Goose but undoubtedly had my eyes.
In August we got to meet Adan Navalles, the young man Lumie had fallen for. She wasn’t quite as in love with him as she had been during her trip but I could tell they had some passionate feelings for one another.
We shook hands. “Good to meet you too,” I said, letting them into the house.
“Meet my niece!” Lumie said immediately, scooping Reeny up from her swing.
Lumie said something in Spanish and Adan laughed, responding. They both laughed. Reeny laughed too, as she often did when she heard laughter. Adan bent in and solemnly shook her hand. “It’s good to meet you too, Miss Eirene. Is your husband around?”
“Erm, we’re not married,” I said and he got an awkward look. I quickly added, “He’ll be home soon though.”
The visit went really well and I found myself liking Adan. After he left back to Mexico, I told Lumie and she shrugged and said it didn’t really matter since they weren’t going to be going very much further as a couple. That wouldn’t have been much of a problem for me but I saw in her head that underneath everything she felt like she didn’t deserve him because of her past choices. My heart sank and I wanted to assure her that she did deserve the best guy in the world, but one look at her face told me to keep my mouth–and mind–shut.
Ding-donnnng. I frowned, knowing it was the law of nature. Reeny needed her diaper changed, the phone was ringing, and of course someone came to the door. “Shit,” I swore. “Daddy didn’t cuss,” I added to Reeny who gurgled at me. I swiftly cleaned her off, wrapping her up in a blanket without anything under and hoping she didn’t do anything. I ignored the phone and got the front door open.
“Can I help you?” I asked as Reeny began crying. I didn’t blame her when I saw who stood on the welcome mat.
“Yeah.” I moved aside, pulling Reeny up to my shoulder, trying to quiet her. “How’ve you been?” I asked as we went towards the couch.
“Good. She’s, uh, cuter than the pictures I’ve seen,” Clay said, glancing at Reeny’s upset face. “How old is she now?”
“Six months,” I said, trying not to sound proud because I felt angry at Clay but I couldn’t stop the tone that creeped in. To make sure he knew I wouldn’t be swayed by (okay, deserved) compliments towards my daughter I added, “What do you need, Clay?”
“Oi,” I said, indicating Reeny. “Let me put her up.” I carried her into the bedroom and placed her in the crib, putting one of her favorite toys next to her and a pacifer to soothe her. I put a kiss on her forehead then went back out. “Okay. So, you’re sorry. Forrrr what exactly? Besides being a jerk?”
Clay shuffled, looking awkwardly upset. “Everything I said and did that night. Look. I, uh, I–I mean come on, we were being attacked. Out of no where. I was scared. I didn’t get it. And then you–you go on about it being something that happens and I–I was scared, man! Maybe you’re used to being attacked randomly but I’m not.”
“Is that why you distanced yourself?” I inquired.
He nodded. “Yeah. I thought, if I wasn’t around you I would be okay. I, uh, joined… an anti-supernatural group… and it was–uh, well, we were trying to–you know–get laws going for keeping close eye and, uh, tolls on the supernaturals. License them and all. But then the group started going mad. Like. Wanting to eradicate them. When you went on the news and gave that speech they started sending hate mail to you. I never did though!” he yelped, eyebrows going high. “I tried to get them to stop. Then they found out I was friends with you on FriendFace and–and gave me a choice. They told me I needed to…”
“Needed to?” I asked since he trailed off.
“They know where this old werewolf lives. They wanted to bake cupcakes or something with silver flakes in them and send them to him from your name and address.” I felt like he punched me in the stomach. “That’s when I realized how freakin’ nuts they were and I left and–and realized I needed to tell you, to warn you. You need to tell the supernaturals people are trying to do this sort of thing!”
“Clay, I’m not connected to all the supernaturals!” I pointed out. “I only know a few personally. The only weres I know are my brother and his family and they live far away. Supernaturals aren’t all evil. I–” I grit my teeth, stopping the angry words from pouring out. “I’ve been attacked by supernatural for a long time and yet I still made that speech about how they’re like everyone else. Did you realize that?” Clay looked down at his feet, toeing the ground. “You knew my brother. We had water gun wars with him and you stayed the night in the room with him.”
“Vilkas is different, he was raised by a good family. Not supernaturals,” Clay said and I felt like slapping him.
Instead I went to the door and opened. “If that’s your attitude get out.”
“I need to get ready for work anyway. Pa will be here momentarily and since he’s as much a supernatural lover as I am, you probably don’t want to be around two of us,” I said, unable to stop the stab.
Clay’s face darkened. “Fine. Fine! Be that way, Zaid, I was just trying to apologize!” He stormed out of the house and I slammed the door shut, feeling slightly guilty about reacting that way instead of being mature about it but as Reeny began screaming for something I let it drift from my mind so I could go take care of my supernatural daughter.
When Goose came home I told him about it, assuming he’d be on my side. Instead he raised his eyebrows and said, “I hate what he’s said and done as much as you but he sounds more misinformed and deluded by the media than actual hating of the supernaturals. Maybe if you talk to him and help him understand.”
“I don’t want to, he’s a jerk!” I exclaimed, face going a bit red. “I’m not going to stand by and have him insult my brother, and my grandma, and my partner, and my daughter in one breath! And, y’know, technically my father and my twin and me! If you wanna get… technical about it.”
Goose shrugged. “Your decision, darling, and either way I’ll support you. But I know you were friends for a long time.” He ran a hand along my shoulder then up into my hair. “But in my opinion, he’s someone that can be… mmm, talked to. Persuaded.”
“You’re cute when you crinkle your nose up like that, you know that?” I asked.
He smiled. “Thank you. But don’t change the subject.”
“I prefer the subject of you over the subject of him.”
He giggled as I nibbled at his ear. “Nooo stooo-o-op, Reeny’s gonna be getting up from her nap soon!” I began kissing and he laughed. “Zaaaaid! We don’t have time for anything.”
“Tonight, then?” I asked, and he nodded.
Though that night we were both way too tired to do more than kiss each other goodnight and flop into bed. It really made me wonder how my dads kept up with five toddlers/babies while Dad worked and stuff. Even with Goose taking care of Reeny and the house in the morning and me taking care of her and the house in the afternoons and both of us being there in the evenings… but still it seemed like the housework never ended and Reeny sucked the energy out of us. I was only twenty-four but I felt forty.
I messaged Clay on FriendFace and a day later he messaged back. We began talking there. About everything except supernaturals. I wanted to shake him and make him understand but Goose told me to be patient. I listened to him and kept my opinions to myself.
In early October the anti-supernatural movement grew into a frenzy as it always did before Halloween. On October tenth a seventeen-year-old boy and sixteen-year-old girl were arrested for stabbing a fifteen-year-old girl in Shadow Hills–a town just twenty minutes from Midnight Hollow. Charges were dropped on October Eleventh when police found out the girl was a witch. Her parents were outraged and formed a picket. Everyone who showed up was arrested upon suspicion of being a witch or wizard. Grams grew increasingly anxious as one of her friends, a witch in her circle, had been arrested. Blair did his best to soothe and calm her but all she did was worry until her friend got released.
It was during this when Clay came over to our side. He messaged me on the thirteenth saying his great aunt (who joined the picket) had been arrested and he didn’t understand, she wasn’t magical in the least. How could the police do this?
How many people have been arrested for being supernaturals then? that weren’t? he typed back.
After a few minutes of thinking I replied, I don’t know. But I am sure there have been many. As well as many executions. This is literally a modern day witch hunt and innocent people are being killed because the police and government don’t understand. AFK a bit.
I pushed away from the computer, forcing myself not to put anymore into the message. About how supernaturals were innocent anyway. To my surprise when I returned to the computer an hour later I had a message waiting.
I was wrong. I’m sorry. Nobody deserves this.
Over the next few days Clay became more and more depressed as the P.A.S. investigated his entire family because of the arrest of his great aunt. On October Thirtieth, his great aunt along with four others were executed for being witches. Grams told me two of them were indeed magical, one she didn’t know about, and two were completely non-magical. Which included Clay’s great aunt.
I thought Clay might never want to see me again, or blame the supernaturals. But instead it had the reverse effect on him. After his great aunt’s funeral he became enraged at the way supernaturals were treated, joined a pro-supernatural group, and began helping fight for the rights of the supernatural community.
Author’s note: Thanks to TheCreativeSims for making me Adan!