Chapter 10: A New Beginning…

Melinda's eyes fluttered open. She was in her bedroom at David's house. She was in a state of confusion; hadn't Ezrael ripped open her throat? Shouldn't she be dead?

"Milady!" David was at her side in superhuman speed. "Are you all right? Do you need anything?"

Melinda looked into his eyes. He had lines of stress around his mouth and eyes, making him look much older than the young man he paraded around as. She reached out her hand, stroking his cheek softly.

"I'm fine. A little confused. But fine." She smiled.

"I am sure this is an extremely confusing situation," Amikheel said, coming in from the shadows. "I suppose you thought yourself dead?"

Melinda nodded at him. "I felt certain of it."

David smiled, his overwhelming joy apparent to any who could have seen him at that moment. "You almost were dead. Amikheel finished the ceremony quickly and then called the coven to vote on your fate."

Melinda wrinkled her brow in confusion. "My fate?"

"You saved David from certain death at the hands of his uncle. The coven had no idea Ezrael was out for that kind of power. The Council did, however; after all, he was the one who sent us note that Divond had no consort, so he could not legally rule the coven." Amikheel sighed and shook his head. "Terrible when power goes to one's head. But, after you saved him, you showed how loyal you were not only to Divond, but to the entire coven. You wanted to protect it from Ezrael's rule. You earned their love and respect."

"So…they granted me immortality?" Melinda murmured, not daring to believe it.

"Yes, my love. And since you were my consort before immortality was granted, you and I are free to rule the coven together until we are killed or resign." David's smile was infectious.

"Eternity? With you?" Melinda let the thought sink in. "Oh, David! That's wonderful."

Melinda let the happiness buzz through her. She didn't feel any different, aside from feeling more alive than she had the last few times she'd been conscious. "How long was I out?" she asked, turning her gaze from one man to another.

The two of them looked at each other, smiles fading as they silently debated on what to reveal. Amikheel was the one to finally speak. "Changing a body to that of an immortal, especially after all the blood you lost, well, it takes time."

"Yes, but how long?" Melinda demanded.

"Eighteen months." Amikheel admitted honestly. "And there is a surprise awaiting you." He motioned to the doorway. The blonde vampiress from her questioning entered, caring a little girl with dark hair and blue eyes. "Melinda, meet Destiny, your daughter."

Melinda froze, staring at the six-month-old. Her daughter? But she'd been dead! How had the baby survived?

"When you were granted immortality, your whole body was granted it. Including the baby growing in your womb." Amikheel took the little girl and handed her to Melinda, whom she was reaching for.

Melinda pulled the warm little body to hers, locking eyes with the little girl. She smiled up at her, her chubby little fingers trying to touch Melinda's face. "But how?"

David answered her question. "We believe that your body knew about the baby…that is why you had those dreams after the cleansing. And while you were dying, your body did everything it could to protect the baby from death. When we performed the immortality ritual, your body healed the baby first, and that is why Destiny is alive and with us today." David smiled fondly at the little girl, who cooed up at him and continued to touch Melinda's face. "She has been waiting for you to wake up, Mommy. She loves you quite a bit. I think she knows what you almost gave up to save her."

Melinda watched the little girl as she responded to David's voice and touch, to Amikheel's laughter, and to her own voice. She had a daughter. A six-month-old daughter. Who seemed to love her very much.

"Hello, my sweetheart," Melinda murmured, brushing a strand of hair out of her child's eyes. "Mommy loves you very much. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to wake up. If I had known you were here, I would have woke up sooner."

Destiny mumbled some nonsensical musings, and then said something that sounded a lot like momma. Melinda smiled down at her and kissed her gently. "Yes, I'm Momma. And I'll never ever leave you again." She squeezed her daughter tightly.

Destiny laughed and when she did, Melinda caught a glimpse of two small fangs making their way out of her gums. She really was her parents' child…