Nik awakened in the center of a field of plush green grass and under a blue moon.

Beside him lay Alec, his blonde hair tousled and messy. He wore a shirt and pair of pants made of worn brown leather, softened by age. He looked like something straight out of a fairytale that Theia had loved to have him read.

Nik leaned back, looking down at his body. It was still effeminate, but it was closer to his androgynous form. He was missing his bump and the constant thrumming of his little ones' hearts. Worry swept over him till he heard the laughter of children sweep into the clearing. Two white haired children ran out from the treeline, their speed much faster than any mortals.

"Papa! Papa!" The fastest cried, running to Nik.

"Demetri said he was going to get me!" He tucked his head into Nik's chest, clinging to him desperately.

The second, Demetri, let out a coy laugh, "Rowan, you know I didn't mean it!"

Rowan pulled back, "You didn't?"

Confusion and happiness shone up at Nik from Rowan's rose colored eyes. The formerly frightened boy hopped out of Nik's arm with a last squeeze and hugged his older brother, "I'm sorry I broke it!"

Demetri sighed, but hugged his brother all the same, "Don't worry, it's only material. It can be replaced."

Alec sat up, staring at the children. Demetri beamed at him, "Père, I'd say someone appears to be touched in the head!"

Rowan looked down right offended and narrowed his gaze on Demetri. Demetri laughed and ruffled his brother's hair.

"I'm joking, relax." Demetri teased, collapsing onto the grass in front of his parents.

Nik glanced at Alec, who looked confused, but he shrugged under his lover's gaze. Go along with it, he mouthed. Nik nodded and smiled at the twins, "Where is your sister?"

"Big sister is still with her friends. She said she would be home late. What are we having for dinner? Can we have the teriyaki beef stuff you make, Papa?" Rowan asked, his voice excited.

Nik stilled, he hadn't made an actual meal in a long time, except for the basics for Holly, he hadn't had need to make anything else. But he did know what they wanted, so he'd give it a try.

Nik glanced at Alec, who was silent and appearing to enjoy the boy's' presence. "Let's go home, then."

"Is Belle going to be there? With Jean and Mina? Or are they still in Morocco?" Demetri asked, pulling Rowan to his feet.

Nik and Alec stood following the boys back to an elaborate manor, not as ostentatious as the Rosecrest manor, but simpler and painted a muted pink. It was a happy home, and it reminded Nik of his parents' house before everything. Alec appeared shocked by the house.

"It looks vaguely like the house I lived in with my family." He remarked and Nik nodded.

"Mine too."

The boys ran into the house and they followed after.

Inside, the home- more than just a simple house, Nik knew- was lit warmly from candle light. The scents of vanilla and lavender made Nik feel warm with familiarity as he scanned the room.

It was sparsely furnished, but with quality pieces of leather furniture that looked comfortable and welcoming in the small living room. He approached the mantle, scanning the photos all laid out smartly across.

There were three in total- the first a picture of the boys and Holly smiling brightly at the camera around a christmas tree with a pile of presents surrounding them all. The second was a picture of he and Alec- with Nik in his androgynous form. The third was a picture of them all placed in the center of the mantle piece of their family including Isabelle, Jean, and Mina. In the large picture they were outside underneath sakura trees having a picnic. It was idyllic, and the thought of such times made Nik warm, but he was still consciously aware of how this was not his current reality- or at least not yet.

Nik pulled back from the mantle and stepped back into the hall where Alec was striding into what appeared to be a small but lively kitchen where the boys were breaking out pots and pans for Nik to use, with Rowan pulling out the ingredients.

"Papa, can we help?" Rowan asked, his eyes gleaming with happiness.

Demetri nodded furiously, "Yeah, Papa! Me and Rowan want to help!"

Nik laughed and stepped into the kitchen, ruffling his son's hair. Alec pouted from the table in the breakfast nook.

"I don't know how to cook," he complained, "What can I do?"

Demetri cringed, "Remember that time Père nearly burned down the house? Trying to make toast?"

Rowan shuddered, "Everything smelled like soot for months."

Nik laughed and Alec's pout deepened, "There's no way it was that bad."

Nik chuckled, "To be fair, who expects a pureblood vampire to know how to cook."

He shook his head, "How you manage to be older than dirt and not know how to cook I'll never know."

Rowan giggled, "Père is older than dirt? Ew!"

Demetri smiled, "Ew!"

Alec never dropped his pout, and threw up his arms, "I'm not that old, Belle is older than me!"

Nik shuddered, "Never say that in her presence, she'll never let you forget it."

Nik ruffled Rowan's hair once more and got to work with the twins while Alec grumbled in his seat at the table. Within the hour, the food was ready with only a few complications since Demetri wasn't the most… talented when it came to cooking, similar to his namesake.

Demetri settled on setting the table, as Alec had gotten up to wander around, and Nik called to him a moment later as he began to serve the food out. Alec re-entered the room, sitting beside Nik at the table, with Rowan and Demetri squabbling animatedly across from them.

The meal was delicious, surprising Nik when it tasted as good as he could remember it. He still didn't really feel the need to eat, but it was still nice and he and Alec leaned back, Alec wrapping an arm around the back of Nik's chair as they observed the twins.

It reminded Nik of he and his brother, excluding the fact that the twins were clearly far more healthy than even Nik had been as a child. Demetri, was almost exactly like his namesake, even mirroring the harsh teasing that his predecessor had been infamous for when he wasn't sick. And Rowan… He reminded Nik of himself, the way he had been before he had lost his family.

He never wanted to even think about that happening to them.

Nik didn't want either of his sons, or Holly, left alone like that.

Alec rubbed small circles on his back, sensing Nik stiffen up.

"Papa! Can you believe that? Mira Ladone, the smallest kid in school, stood up to that Charity Lockhart girl! Her baby brother, Samuel was shocked too! But Charity looked like she had never been told 'no' before! Even the teacher was surprised!"

Nik stilled again at the Lockhart name. Alec noticed, but he didn't stop his rubbing, allowing Nik the time to digest.

If here the twins were Alec's children, of course Elijah and Theia had children. It made perfect sense and yet he wondered how exactly he should feel about it all.

It didn't hurt per say, but it certainly left him feeling a bit… duller. Why? He clearly had a good life here, but why did it leave him feeling watered down? Maybe that was just how it was meant to be, Elijah had been one of his first loves, so maybe he was just destined to live with the ever present feeling of 'what could have been', even though he had always known it would never have had a real chance in the first place.

Why did he come back?

He wouldn't change it, definitely not now as he sat across from his sons, but still, why did he do this to himself? Was he really that masochistic? It certainly wasn't really revenge that motivated him, but what else could it be? Couldn't he have left well enough alone?

He'd chock it up to fate if he were lazy, but he wasn't.

So, why?

Alec stood and collected their plates with a smile on his face.

The boys had stilled and quieted when they noticed Nik's silence and he quickly turned a soft smile on them.

"Come on, boys, let's get ready for bed. Père can handle the dishes, I'm sure."

Rowan smiled brightly once more, but Demetri was still quiet as they stood from the table and headed out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Nik followed the twins to their room, passing by a series of empty ones along the way. How big was this house? It didn't seem big if the first floor was anything to go by but- of course! It was charmed! Nik gave a small chuckle and began to get out the boys night clothes as they washed up, taking time to pick out clothes for the next day like he did with Holly.

Demetri came out in a towel, taking his set and dressing quietly as Rowan finished up. After placing his brother's set on top of the vanity, he stepped back onto the carpet of the bedroom and turned to Nik.

"Papa? Are you happy?"

Nik stilled, but relaxed after a moment as Demetri got beneath the blankets on his side of the bed. They shared one, like Nik had for the most part with his brother. Nik sat down on the foot of the bed and sighed softly.

"I am happy. It's just some old pain from my past lingering, but you needn't worry about that, Demetri. I'll always be happy as long as you, Rowan, and Holly are safe and happy. That's all that matters to me in the end." Nik admitted, scooting closer and tucking his son in.

He hadn't realized before, but the boys were young, closer to six or seven years old.

Holly must be fully grown now, he wondered briefly if he would see her in whatever dream this is.

Nik smiled at Demetri as Rowan came running out of the bathroom, dripping water over the carpet in damp pajamas. Nik narrowed his eyes on his (younger?) son and Rowan stilled, sheepish.

Nik sighed, "Get into bed, I'll tuck you in."

Rowan beamed and slid into bed beside his brother, his damp white head hanging close to his twin's. Nik smiled warmly at them, tucking Rowan in and bidding them good night, leaving the door cracked open, getting the strange feeling that one of them was afraid of the dark.

"Goodnight, Papa!" They called and he smiled back at them briefly as he left.

He appeared at the top of the stairs as Alec began his ascent.

"Tell me you've figured out which room is ours."

Nik looked down at the opposite end of the hall where a set of double doors awaited them.

"I'm guessing that is the master bedroom."

Nik passed the stairs and Alec followed him to the set of doors, where Nik pushed open the doors to reveal a tidy bedroom with warm accents like that of the living room. It was lit by candle light and he vaguely wondered why he would leave candles lit unattended. He disregarded the thought as he stepped into the room, the carpet plush underneath his bare feet. A light breeze swept through the room on occasion, dulling the heat coming from the candles down so that it was comfortable.

Alec stepped in beside him, walking over to the foot of the bed. He spread out his arms and dramatically fell onto the red duvet, smiling at Nik from the center.

"Join me! There is more than enough room, I assure you!" He joked, chuckling softly.

Nik grinned, "Must be one big bed if it can fit more than just you."

Alec looked like he had crashed into a wall face first, "Excuse me, did you just call me fat?"

Nik let out a stream of laughter, approaching the bed where Alec sat up to lean on his elbow with a smirk. He made a show of scooting over to give Nik room. Nik sat down beside him, sighing softly when Alec pulled him by the waist deeper into the bed to lay flush against him, his body becoming the small 'spoon'.

"That looks good on you." Alec stated softly against Nik;s hair which hung to his shoulders in an unruly mess.

Nik let a small smile sit comfortably on his features.

"Whatever do you mean?"

Alec stilled, but relaxed after a moment, burrowing his face further into the incubus' neck, taking in his minty scent.


Nik let out a breath, "It feels good too."

But something isn't right, because behind the happiness, I still feel less than whole, like I'm missing something that is vital, even though most everything else is present and accounted for.

I still want him, god help me, I want both of them.

Alec with all his genuinity, his honesty, his joking. Nik could be free with him, knowing that nothing was a game with him, nothing was a front in a quest for something else.

But Elijah, one of the first people he had ever loved, if not the very first. He was dark, intelligent, and he kept Nik perpetually on his feet, but he had done awful things, not just to Nik himself, though that numbered well into the dozens with how many times he had hurt the ex-hunter. By all logic, he shouldn't care about him, everything and everyone told him not to, but something kept him tethered to him like a moth to a flame.

Nik sighed, burrowing his face into the plush pillows.

His hunger was burning up again within him, but it was slower this time and he wondered why. Nik blinked as he tasted the familiar taste of blood against his tongue. He scanned the room, searching for anything that would hint at the reason why. Alec was still burrowed deeply into his neck, his arm still wrapped around the incubus' waist, his hand playing with the hem of Nik's dress.

"Alec?" Nik asked, moving and shifting his mouth, teasing his tongue against his lips as the taste continued to invade his senses.

"Yes?" Alec mumbled, his voice muffled by Nik's hair.

Nik shook himself out of it, but the taste continued to flood in his mouth, forcing him to swallow repeatedly to escape the potent flavor.

Is that? Isabelle. That's Isabelle's blood.

What was she doing? How had they gotten here? It must be a dream. How had he gotten here? What was he doing before he got here?

Nik let out a groan, his head beginning to ache with his unanswered questions. Akira sighed against him, his fiddling fingers ceasing their movements.

Nik rolled onto his back, sensing his hunger radiating like a bonfire from his center as he tasted his Sire's blood on his tongue. Her blood sated his more tangible hungers, but the one that really mattered went unfed, causing it to warm his insides, and send warm goosebumps along his skin.

His lure made an appearance, and for a moment he wondered where it had been earlier, but that thought quickly evaporated as he cast it lightly out, surprised when he didn't sense the boys down the hall. It was like they weren't anywhere near their parents, let alone in the same house. Nik moaned, the hunger drawing him to send out his hand to Alec's jaw beside him and the blond pureblood wrapped his arm around Nik tighter, sitting up on his knees.

The strawberry eyed vampire licked his lips as he stared down at the snowy haired incubus. Alec pulled off his own slate grey t-shirt, clawing at his chest for a moment as the lure began to take hold of him. Alec looked down at Nik with hooded eyes, a wicked grin coming over his features.

"I do believe you have too many clothes on." He teased, grabbing Nik's legs and wrapping them around where he kneeled on the mattress.

Nik's breathing picked up, and he sat up to kiss and nip his way over Alec's abdomen, moving upwards across his chest to tease the pureblood on his throat, drawing a groan from said pureblood.

Alec pulled back briefly with a playful smile, "No, you won't be distracting me so easily. Start stripping."

Nik laughed, pulling the steely blue dress his effeminate form wore comfortably off, and revealing a matching lacy pair of bra and panties. He stilled for a moment.

I feel like Isabelle dressed me.

He and Alec shuddered and for a moment he thought he could hear Isabelle cackling in the back of his head.

Alec shuddered once more, his breath quickening as the lure wrapped tight around him, sending warmth careening in waves down his spine. He attacked Nik with his searching hands and desperate kisses, pulling the white haired incubus out of whatever haze he had been in.

Nik's hands travelled up along the blond's back as Alec unclasped his bra, and pulled the offending lace contraption off and onto the carpet beside the window. Nik hissed as another wave of lust was pushed his way as the hunger continued to eat at him.

Alec ripped his panties away with ease, not bothering to save them for some later date. Nik let out a groan, swallowing hard, noticing how the taste of blood was beginning to slow in its potency. But it left him wanting more and he pulled Alec down to hang his head by Nik's shoulder where the silverette sunk his fangs into the other's throat.

His blood tasted amazing against his tongue and Alec shuddered against him, giving his all to Nik, his hands pulling Nik up to switch their positions so that Alec could lean against the headboard as Nik fed off of him. Nik straddled his hips, grinding his wet heat against Alec's clothed manhood.

"Wait," Alec groaned, careful to not pull Nik away from his tapped vein.

The pureblood undid his pants and pushed them down his legs far enough that Nik could properly ride him. Nik swallowed down another mouthful as he sunk down on Alec's length, rocking his hips as he licked furiously at the blond's wound.

Something's missing.

The memory of being in the library flew back into his mind.

Elijah approached them as if the lure had won him over. His gate was predatory and Nik bit his lip lightly at the image. In a flash the pureblood was there, clutching Nik's hair in a tight grasp and tilting his face up to meld their lips together.

Alec unbuckled Nik's pants, never ceasing his light kisses, trailing them down the curve of his spine. He traced circles around Nik's aroused nipples, never giving him the satisfaction of the actual touch.

Nik's hands pulled off Elijah's jacket in one smooth move, unbuttoning his partner's shirt shortly thereafter. Nik felt Alec cease his movements to remove his own shirt, tossing it over the scattered books on the floor.

Funny, he hadn't noticed them fall.

Elijah's hands traveled down his body to his legs, undoing the ex-hunter's pants and pulling them down his legs, his hands making Nik's skin explode into goosebumps.

Nik pulled the brown haired pureblood closer, kissing a trail up his neck as he undid the other's pants. Alec chuckled in his ear and pulled Nik's face around to devour his mouth, nipping at the lips of the incubus.

Nik moaned and he felt Elijah's fingers teased his entrance, flicking at the little nub that came along with this form. He felt himself grow wet at the relentless touches, gasping into Alec's mouth, providing him with more of an opening.

Nik rolled his hips into Elijah's hand, his breathing ragged as he felt a finger sink in with ease. Elijah nipped at the outer line of Nik's throat, the feeling sending the other reeling.

Nik pulled back from Alec, lifting his hips and providing an opening for the blonde vampire to move and slide underneath. Nik grasped hold of the pureblood prince's neck and kissed him, only gasping when he felt Alec sink into his body. He felt Elijah growl against him mouth, and it sparked his desire again.

Without having registered the movement, Nik sucked in a breath when Elijah thrusted inside his other entrance.

Nik came out of his haze, letting out a moan as he felt Alec thrust into him, taking advantage of his stillness to bring him back to the present.

Was that what he was missing? He wanted both of them, but he knew that neither Alec nor Elijah could tolerate one another. He wouldn't force the two of them, not that he really could in either case. But god help him, his want was all consuming and it ate at him, even more so than the hunger.

Nik moaned once more, his voice lilting and shifting into a soft sigh as Alec groaned against his chest, the pureblood's fangs nicking his breast lightly and welling blood to the surface. Alec licked the droplets slowly, turning his eyes upward to look at her with seduction in his gaze.

Nik's breath became erratic as he felt his end nearing. Alec picked up his movements as well, pounding up and into Nik, the incubus biting his lip as he rolled his head up to look at the ceiling.

A mere minute later he climaxed, milking Alec to his own.

Nik collapsed against his lover, Alec wrapping an arm around his shoulders to tuck him further into his chest. They calmed as the lure receded, the hunger full and happily sated for the time being.

Nik relaxed against him, his skin slick with sweat, but deliciously warm as he came down from his high. Alec's breathing was evening out, his heart calming beneath Nik's ear. The ex-hunter pressed his lips lightly against where it beat the strongest, pulling back after a moment.

Alec pushed the hair out of Nik's eyes, concern appearing in his pink stare.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing I can't handle." Nik clipped, but Alec frowned down at him.

"You don't have to do that, you know? I care about you, I want to help you. Whatever you have to say, it won't change that fact." Alec sighed, leaning his head back against the wall where the bed was perched.

Nik let out a slow breath. Should he tell him? Could he really admit that he was still undeniably in love with Elijah? Could he tell Alec that he loved him too? Nik settled on mumbling into Alec's chest, hoping he wouldn't hear.

Of course he would though, he was a pureblood after all.

"Nik…" Alec trailed off, furrowing his brows and turning to look out the window that Nik was facing away from.

"I'd tell you all about how he has hurt you, about how angry it makes me, about how much the thought of being away from you hurts, but I don't think it would really ever sink in well enough with you…" Alec whispered softly, and Nik hung onto every word.

"I'm sorry," Nik whispered in return, "I know I shouldn't care about him, I know I should hate him, but I can't and I don't know why."

Alec sighed, "Please don't ask me to leave."

Nik sat up, grabbing hold of the blond's face and forcing him to look into Nik's own eyes, forcing him to see all the emotion that was in them.

"I want you to stay. I know it's selfish, but I love you too." He admitted, his own brows furrowing as he swallowed and released Alec.

Alec pulled him back down onto his chest, squeezing Nik tight.

"I'll be with you as long as you'll have me." Alec mumbled to himself, but Nik could hear him clearly as the pureblood ran his hand through the ex-hunter's unruly locks.

"Then you're stuck with me for an eternity."

Elijah leaned back in his chair as Sparrow regaled him with what she had seen in the hallway regarding Alec's collapse the previous night. He had yet to meet Nikolai's sire and her followers, allowing them the night of their arrival for recovering their strength. But that night had passed and it was the time, he thought, that he should introduce himself.

It was time for the mid-evening meal and he told Sparrow to draw them to the dining room where they would meet the rest of the house's residents.

Theia joined him, her arm locked around his elbow, her face happy and a bit apprehensive as they stepped into the dining room. She sat to his left, Hugo taking up his right with Valentine and Etta to the right of Hugo, and Blaire and Gus a little further down. Hiro sat beside Theia, leaving four chairs open, the one on the opposite end and the three to the right of it.

Three of the guests, and Nikolai's daughter appeared soon, the one standing at the head with Holly's hand in her own, who he knew must be Isabelle. Isabelle sat Holly down in the seat in front of Fitzgerald, her two followers sitting down beside the girl as their leader sat at the opposite head from Elijah.

"I take it you are Isabelle." Theia stated, her tone happy and welcoming.

"I am," Isabelle replied, "I must admit, I feel like I have an advantage, what with how much Nikolai has told me about you two, well, before he took ill."

She focused the end of her sentence on Elijah, her tone cool and cutting. How much did she know about them?

He showed no response, merely sipping from his glass of bloodwine as he met her stare head on. Her eyes were identical in their unnerving shade as Nikolai's own, like smooth opals that glowed with shifting slices of color, ever shifting, ever thinking, similar to his own in that respect.

Theia looked between them, her own wine colored orbs oblivious to the obvious power struggle. She blinked.

"Nik is sick?"

Isabelle turned her gaze onto the Lockhart princess, narrowing her eyes ever so slightly.

This one, she thought, this one is foolish and can be used.

Isabelle sipped from a glass of water, leaning back in her seat, the hard wooden back biting into her skin, sure to leave a pattern identical to the carvings in the chair.

"Yes, quite sick. I am sure he will recover however, under Magdalena's and my own care…" Isabelle trailed off, her voice turning almost whimsical.

Her eyes flashed as she turned her stare back on the vampire prince. Jean's own gaze was focused on Theia, his blue eyes analytical and oddly merry. Mina for her part, was keeping to herself, her fingers tapping on her own glass.

One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, tw-

Mina stilled her tapping as Theia opened her mouth to speak again.

"Can I do anything to help?" The pureblood princess offered and Isabelle sighed, dropping one of her hands to the armrest of the chair.

Theia was eager to redeem herself after her stunt with Nik previous, and though one would think that she would be wary after what Nik had done in return, she appeared to bear no memory of the encounter except for her own part.

She'd go see him after dinner, hopefully he would forgive her, he always used to forgive her, but she found herself wondering if that would continue to be true since he had so clearly changed. Theia smoothed her fingers over her skirt nervously, and it didn't escape Isabelle's critical gaze.

The blond succubus raised her glass to her lips once more, "I suppose you could assist Magdalena, but I must inform you, my sister is quite the loner when it comes to her work. Personally if I hadn't learned my ways to work with her, I would steer clear."

Her advice seemed to fall on deaf ears, but she thought as much.

Holly was playing with the napkin in her lap, swinging her legs back and forth in her chair, her attention focused on Gus. Fitzgerald, for his part, was focused on the tension between his leaders and the succubus. Blaire opened and shut her mouth a few times, like she wanted to say something, but couldn't totally formulate what.

"What has Nikolai told you about us?" Hugo asked cheerfully.

The brown haired noble recalled the blood stained pillow case and how pale the incubus had been. He probably wasn't in the best condition to be talking, but maybe he had recovered some of his strength…

Isabelle turned her eyes onto him, "He hasn't been in the best condition to be talking, he has only told me about your leaders. Holly has been the one to talk about the rest of you. You have made a very good impression on my daughter."

The nobles turned their stares on the little girl, who was blushing a bit, and humming softly under her breath. A nursery rhyme of some sort.

Holly looked up at her mother, her pink eyes a bit glazed, "Daddy's awake."

She slid out of her chair and bolted from the room, a mass of fabric as she excitedly went to check on her father. Isabelle for her part was slower, standing up after a moment. Mina and Jean looked up at her, before looking at the Nobles.

Isabelle did not regard them, focusing instead on the Lockhart couple.

"Perhaps Theia or yourself would like to accompany me to see Nikolai. If Holly says he is awake it is surely so."

Theia stood clumsily from her chair, "Yes!"

Elijah nodded, "Perhaps Theia should go first, so as not to overwhelm him."

Isabelle bit back a snort. The girl was quite overwhelming if Nikolai's former description of her was anything to go by. But that had been two months ago, so perhaps his opinion had changed.

She and the girl left the room, leaving Jean and Mina to meet the Nobles properly. They would tell her what they thought of the group later. Holly had a tendency to like most people, though she didn't appear to like the Lockhart siblings much at all. Isabelle's daughter had good taste, like her mother.

Theia appeared nervous and she was quiet as they walked up the stairs.

Isabelle sighed softly beneath her breath, "My Nikolai loved you very much, you know."

Theia stilled, "He did? He isn't really talking to me anymore. I can't even remember what I did the last time I talked to him. I remember being angry and yelling about something, but then the memory is just gone! I know I made him angry, I can remember his face. He was angrier than I have ever seen him, even when he was with Elijah at the academy, and his face was bleeding. I wish I knew what I did."

Isabelle stared at the girl silently for a moment, "Perhaps I should talk to him by myself at first, I'll pull you into the room once I figure out how he feels."

"You would? Thank you, Isabelle!" Theia's excitement was tangible.

Isabelle nodded silently, stopping at the door to the room, she creaked it open and slid in quietly, leaving the pureblood in the hall.

Inside the room, the window had been fixed, and it was much warmer than before now that the chill of winter didn't seep into the room. The room was lit in candle light, no doubt due to Magdalena's influence. Isabelle's sister had something against light bulbs, why, Isabelle had never questioned, having the same problem herself.

Nik was sitting up in the first bed, the second having been removed sometime the night before. His back was braced against the headboard, his head cushioned by a pillow. He held Holly in his lap, their daughter's head braced against his belly, listening to her burgeoning twin brothers.

Alec sat up next to the incubus, holding Nikolai's hand and rubbing soft circles into his skin. He was a bit distracted, his strawberry orbs focused on staring intently out the fixed window into the night. Nik smiled down at Holly, his other hand patting her head softly.

"How do you feel?" Isabelle asked as she stepped further into the room, drawing the white haired ex-hunter's attention.

Nik looked up at her, his eyes, identical to her own, searching. "Better, Maggie does good work."

Magdalena scoffed from the bathroom.

"We've been feeding you my blood, but it is not the blood you require, Nikolai." Isabelle admitted, crossing her arms over her chest.

She sighed, "I have been remiss in my duties as your sire. I allowed you to leave me side before I had fully taught you everything you needed to know to stand on your own."

Nik opened his mouth, but Isabelle held up a solitary finger.

"I know it is true, and so do you now."

He nodded slowly after a moment of silence.

"I would call you back to my side if you would be able to, but as you are with child, you cannot be away from the father. Though, you have put enough distance between one another to already put yourself and your children in jeopardy."

Nik looked down at Holly, but she paid him no mind, focused on tracing designs on his pregnant belly, whispering softly into his skin as if her brothers could already hear her. For all he knew, maybe they could.

Isabelle approached the bed, sitting down in the chair positioned beside it with a sigh.

"The Lockhart girl wishes to see you, according to her she does not recall last seeing you but for a few moments."

Nik narrowed his eyes slightly.

"It appears I have missed much if your feelings for the girl have truly changed." Isabelle stated and he nodded silently.

"She crossed me twice, laying her hand across my face twice, even after I had warned her not to do so again." Nik admitted, "The last time, it was because she discovered that I was pregnant. She was distraught, and I suppose in hindsight I did deserve it. But I took it too far, and I don't know how to face her. I certainly don't know how to face Elijah, seeing how he definitely remembers what I did."

Isabelle leaned back in her chair, her arms draped over the chair's own. Her red and black tartan dress billowing outwards from her waist to drape over her legs in pleats. The halter neck of the dress revealed her pristine unscarred neck, her hair being pulled up into a curly ponytail. She could put any model to shame, like most of their kind.

Nik's effeminate form was radiant as well, the epitome or a glowing pregnancy since Maggie had healed him. But still, his skin was paler than normal and his hunger could still be felt like a hollow burn in his chest. He and Isabelle both knew that he needed Elijah to fulfill that need of Nik's, but the incubus doubted that the pureblood would want him now.

"The girl is determined to see you, even now she waits outside the door to check up on you. Just tell her about the situation as kindly as you can. She will recover, vampires are very capable of coming back from even the roughest of situations." Isabelle consoled, crossing her legs in the chair.

Nik nodded.

"But as for the male, you must be aware that as per our customs he is now considered one of your mates." Isabelle stated and both Nik and Alec stilled.


Isabelle sighed again. She was doing a lot of that recently.

"Surely you've noticed, Nikolai. Succubae and Incubi have such poor fertility rates that even someone as old as I am has only produced one child. It really is quite remarkable that you were able to conceive a child, let alone two. As such, according to one of our few laws, he is considered to be one of your mates in our society. It should also be noted that since we are not monogamous creatures, leaning to poly on that spectrum, he is only considered 'a' mate of yours."

Nik blinked, "Wouldn't that make me your mate as well?"

"Yes, it is one of the reason we have such a deep sire bond connection, because even though our feelings are not totally romantic towards one another, the mating still allows us to be drawn closer together. To be honest, it is one reason I am fine with feeding with you. We are territorial creatures, and if it were anyone else, I would likely have killed them." Isabelle stated calmly, leaning back a bit further.

Nik relaxed, taking in the information.

Alec resumed his rubbing, paying more attention to the conversation beside him. Nik wrapped his hand around Alec's grasping it tightly. Alec blew out a breath.

Isabelle watched the two of them, "How do you two feel?"

Nik was silent for a moment, while Alec took the lead, "Overwhelmed."

Nik nodded, "That fits."

Nik frowned, "Is it possible that he can reject the mating?"

Isabelle inhaled harshly, "I suppose, though I have never heard of an succubus or an incubus being rejected, especially not when they are with child. It would risk the lives of the children. Most of our kinds would not allow it, even if there were not children involved."

Alec looked at the succubus, "You can mate without conceiving as a requirement?"

Isabelle raised a brow, "Of course. It just isn't done regularly. It is a heavily ceremonial affair, though."

The blond succubus inhaled, "I think we have kept the pureblood princess waiting long enough."

Isabelle stood from her seat and walked over to the door, opening it to reveal the nervous pureblood princess. Theia stepped into the room, nodding her thanks to Isabelle. The succubus nodded in return, stepping into the bathroom and shutting the door to provide an illusion of privacy. She'd still be able to hear everything, though.

"Nik?" Theia asked softly, her eyes trained on the opal eyed incubus.

He smiled softly at her, sweeping a long locke of his hair behind his ear. "Theia, how are you?"

She swallowed nervously, her wine colored eyes sweeping over Nik's resting form, staying on his pregnant belly. She frowned, her brows furrowing as if she was trying to remember something.

She failed and approached the bed, taking Isabelle's empty seat.

"I'm good, Nik. Nik, I'm sorry I made you angry. I… I can't remember why, but did I do something?" She whispered and Nik swallowed thickly.

"It's all water under the bridge, Theia. Let's just forget about it, okay?"

"You didn't answer my question." She frowned and Nik breathed deep.

"Yes and I did something too, then. Neither of us should've, but we did."

Theia nodded, her eyes still trained on his belly. "How long have you been pregnant? You weren't a week ago."

Nik exhaled through his teeth, "About a week now. Since the night I got here."

She frowned, her eyes flickering to Alec briefly, "Who? He wasn't here then."

Nik went silent, "Drop it, Yuki. You don't want to know."

"What do you mean, Nik? Why wouldn't I want-" Her eyes glazed for a moment, narrowing on Nik a moment later, anger coming to the forefront.

"Please tell me it isn't Elijah, Nik."

He looked down at Holly, trying to think of a plausible explanation, anything that would make her feel better. He didn't want her to hurt, he knew how that felt when the two people you loved most left you.

He settled on being honest, "He doesn't want me, if that makes you feel any better."

In a single moment, her nails had elongated into claws and reached out in a slash, surprising Nik when he felt no pain.

Alec grunted, and Nik could smell the blond pureblood's blood in the air. Nik's eyes flashed over to Alec, who had put himself in between Nik, Holly, and the distraught Theia.

"Alec?" Nik whispered, as he fell back against the bed, protecting Nik and Holly with his body.

Theia pulled back, shocked and shaking.

"I-I'm sorry! I-I don't know w-what I was thinking!" Theia stuttered, still standing.

Alec glared at her, his pink orbs irritated and piercing, "Blasted Lockhart spawn, you're both the same. Always letting anger get the best of you."

Nik released Holly's head, pulling his daughter to the opposite side of the bed, out of Theia's range. He glared at the brunette, quickly recalling how easily he seemed to get set off by her. The thumping that he had fallen to the back of his head quickened, and his anger picked up. He wrapped a protective arm around Alec's shoulder, his glare as fierce as it had ever been before he had changed.

Theia had never had it faced toward her full force and she froze, her eyes tearing up as an apology.

"Go, Theia." He sputtered out, his anger continuing to rise.

He thought of how Elijah would react if Nik laid a hand on Theia once more, and the very idea of him forced Nik to rethink taking revenge on Theia again. The thumping quickening speed spiked his fury, but he shoved it down, forcing himself to take calming deep breaths.

"B-but," Theia stuttered again.

"Out!" He yelled, and Isabelle burst out from the bathroom to grab the pureblood princess and shove her out the door, Isabelle departing with her.

Alec grunted again, his hand wrapped around his chest wound. He slunk to his feet and sat in the chair, revealing his injury to Nik's eyes. The incubus let out a soft growl as drops of his lover's blood slid down the pureblood's chest.

"She never thinks! When will she learn?!" Nik muttered bitterly, "Probably never, not the way Elijah babies her."

Alec cast him a wry grin as he healed.

"I need to feed." Alec stated, "I'll be back later. If she comes, don't let her back in."

Nik nodded, knowing that Alec didn't want to feed off him because of his recent recovery. Holly looked on at them both, concerned.

"Daddy?" She asked and Nik smiled lightly at her.

"Don't worry, baby girl. Everything's fine. Theia just doesn't know how to control her anger. I bet he'll take you to go see Gus though if you ask nicely." Zero stated and Holly nodded fiercely.

"Will you, Alec? I wonder what Hiro-brat is making this time!" She leapt up to her feet on top of the mattress.

Alec smiled lightly at her. "Sure, just let me get a new shirt from your bag."

Holly nodded, leaping off the bed to run and get her bag on top of the dresser, giving it to Nik. He smiled at her and summoned up another shirt for Alec since his now had rips in it from Theia's claws.

He handed the shirt to Alec and after he was changed, he took Holly from the room, casting a soft smile at Nik as they left.

Maggie appeared from the bathroom.

"You have either the worst type of taste or the best. There is no in-between with you is there, Nikolai?" She teased, walking toward the door with her bag in hand, eager to go back to her room and nap.

Nik turned almost sheepish, "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

Maggie snorted, the door sliding shut softly behind her.

For a moment he was alone. Then the door clicked open once more and his mate appeared, suit and all.

Elijah stood in the doorway for a moment, his cunning gaze fixed on the incubus. Nik, for his part, swallowed down his apprehension.

Say something, Volkov. Where's your 'independent incubus' attitude?

He looked away toward the opposite wall for a moment. Where was his newfound persona when he needed it? He was sinking back into his emotional self instead of growing out of it! Not exactly what he wanted, goddamnit!

Nik bit into his lip, his eyes unfocused as he stared at the wall, not noticing Elijah take up the unoccupied chair.

"It seems you have recovered." Elijah stated evenly, his tone cool, but not cold like Nik expected it to be.

He wondered why. By all means, he thought the arrogant pureblood would go back to his regular attitude after his little incident with Theia. But then again, as Nik turned to look at the pureblood in the eyes, maybe it was a side effect of the mating? Nik didn't think he would ever really be capable of being angry with Isabelle, and all he had really felt when he looked at Elijah after he hit the window was tired. It had been like all the anger had just abandoned him, leaving him exhausted and weary.

But Elijah had to have been infuriated when he spotted Nik bleeding Theia, hadn't he been? He had responded as such, but a part of Nik hoped that it had just been a situation of instinct.

Elijah's mask was in place as it always was, making him difficult to read, but was that apprehension Nik spotted in his eyes?

"Maggie is a capable healer. Oddly enough, her specialty is in herbology, not healing, but she is talented when it comes to most things. Or at least so I've been told." Nik breathed out.

Elijah showed no reaction, his eerily perfect visage as aloof as always. Nik trained his opalescent eyes on the vampire, his hand unconsciously rubbing his belly as the thumping picked up with how close Elijah was. Elijah's eyes followed his small movement, and Nik forced himself to stop when he realized what he was doing.

Nik knew he should tell him about the mating, but he couldn't bear the uncertainty of Elijah's reaction. He knew it was cowardly, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.

Say something else, Volkov. Don't miss this opportunity to lure him back to you!

Nik sighed softly his sigh becoming a hiss when he became startled the candles in the room were blown out in a single moment. The window had been closed tight, fixed from his meeting with it.


The room was now enshrouded in darkness, and excitement lit up like a bonfire within him.

Elijah appeared so close to Nik's ear that he could feel the pureblood's breath kiss his neck, sending goosebumps down the incubus' spine. What was he doing? Why was he so close to him?

The incubus jumped slightly when he felt Elijah's hand touch his belly, sending the thumping into a tornado of beats, lighting up Nik's skin with warmth. He could feel Elijah's touch so close to him that it was near unbearable, regardless of the fact that it was through a layer of clothing, and a second layer of sheets.

Nik hissed when he felt the pureblood tap his lips gently over the incubus' vein, teasing him with untainted feeling. His breathing turned harsh and uneven, and he felt Elijah's lips turn upward in a wicked smile.

He knew what he was doing to Nik, and the incubus knew it.

Nik waited with baited breath for him to say something, anything.

"I love how you respond to me, Volkov. I must say, it goes straight to my head... and other places." Lockhart whispered into his ear and the incubus swallowed tightly.

What was Elijah doing? Why was he doing this?

It must be another game, the pureblood wanted to regain control after the incubus had wrestled it away from him before. God help him, Nik loved it. He fed off of it, sparking his hunger like striking a match as he fed off of the sexual tension. The lure begged to be used, but Nik tried desperately to keep it at bay, not wanting… not wanting what?

Nik wanted him, he wanted him desperately like a starving man wanted food. So why was he trying to control the lure? He should just unleash it and take him. He would more than willingly give up control of the lure and the situation if he could just feel Elijah within him once more.

He thought back to the first night, and his desire skyrocketed. Oh, how Lockhart had looked at him, then when the lure had been fully unleashed upon him, forcing the pureblood to give up his control to his own beast, who savagely took Nik again and again straight past dawn and into the next night.

Nik froze when he felt something… someone, within him move, reaching out to it's father's hand. Elijah noticed as well and he pulled back slightly, as if it shocked him.

The hunger struck Nik again, faster than any strike of lightening in its fierce veracity. All it took was one moment, and the lure snapped free in a wave, heating the air and drawing Elijah back to him and the moment they were both caught up in.

He nipped at Nik's throat, sucking and teasing the ex-hunter's flesh. Nik arched his neck into him, one of his hands wrapping around Elijah's own and into his thick russett hair, drawing him closer.

He slid over in the bed, his legs falling off the side as Elijah placed his left knee on the edge of the mattress as his fangs teased the incubus. Nik moaned, his back arching as his hands reached out to grab hold of the pureblood's collar. Nik's own fangs elongated, desperate for his mate's blood, the only blood that could sustain him during his pregnancy besides his Sire's.

Nik scooted back, drawing Elijah closer till he hung over the opal eyed male with his arms placed on either side of Nik's head, the pureblood continuing to nuzzle the incubus' throat, as if not sure whether or not to feed off of him.

Nik wanted him to. Logically, it didn't seem like the best idea, but for some reason, he thought it would be fine.

A flash back to Isabelle's pregnancy with Holly.

Nik and Isabelle fed off of each other's blood, Mina and another woman tasting one another beside the two sexual predators. Jean was pounding into Nik, whispering sweet nothings jokingly into the incubus' ear as he continued to thrust, fully under the lure of both Isabelle and Nik's as they fed off of the collected mortals and immortals alike in the dilapidated chateau they had found a day before.

And then he was back again, fully in the moment as he whispered into Elijah's ear.

"Take me," He invited, his tongue darting out to lick at the brunet's neck.

Elijah shed his crimson jacket with Nik's help, the incubus nimbly unbuttoning the black dress shirt and ridding him of his tie. He was left in his pants, and Nik pulled back to quickly pull off the soft grey t-shirt dress Maggie had put him in, revealing his feminine body to his mate.

Elijah growled, seizing Nik's lips with his own, taking control away from the ex-hunter and making it his own. Nik moaned as Elijah's tongue was nicked by his fangs, dripping warm blood onto his tongue. The lure sent out another pulse of heat into the room, sinking out of Nik and into his dominant prey.

The hunger reared its all-consuming head, and Nik lashed out, sinking his fangs into Elijah's jugular, the brunet freezing for a moment before the lure forced him to relax.

"I'm surprised, with how much you and Clementine appear to go at it, I never thought you'd be this thirsty." Elijah whispered in Nik's ear as the white haired incubus pulled him closer with his arms, latching his hands onto his mate's shoulders.

He drank in soft, steady pulls, not allowing a single drop to go to waste.

The hunger thanked him, and it began to slink to the back of his mind, the burning in his chest beginning to settle down as the lure sent out another wave so that his sexual hunger could sate itself as well.

Elijah groaned against Nik's collarbone, his tongue darting out to taste the ex-hunter's flesh. He appeared to throw logic to the wind and latched himself onto Nik's vein, taking his own fill.

Nikolai tasted as good as he had a few days previous, which had felt so much longer than that to Elijah and Nikolai alike. His blood was rich on the pureblood's tongue, like a sweet he would have craved as a child. The thumping he had felt when he last fed from the incubus was stronger than before and it felt like a more tangible presence in his mind as he continued to drink from Nik.

Nik wrapped his legs around Elijah's hips, rocking up against him. After one last swallow, he released the pureblood, but the pureblood did not release him and Nik moaned softly as his mate continued to feed off of him.

Nik trailed his arms down Elijah's back and onto his abdomen, pushing them further to his belt, which he undid cleanly, using his legs to help push down his pants and allow the pureblood's erection to spring free.

The incubus took it in hand and pumped gently up and down till Elijah released him. The pureblood soon-to-be king grabbed hold of Nik knees, spreading his legs further, running his hand down Nik's thighs to his wet heat, causing the ex-hunter to release another moan as Elijah gently flicked his effeminate form's clit.

Nik released Elijah's erection when Elijah suddenly pushed two fingers into his heat, using his thumb to tease Nik further. The lure released another pulse and kept steadily feeding off the energy they were creating.

"Just take me already!" Nik hissed and Elijah cast him a cheshire grin, withdrawing his fingers.

Sitting back on his knees, the pureblood kicked off the rest of his pants and pulled Nik closer to his hips, guiding the incubus to wrap his long legs around his lover's hips. Elijah sunk his cock into Nik in one smooth move, the both of them releasing groans into the air.

"Fuck…" Nik breathed, Elijah nipping at the incubus' lower lip as his nails bit into Nik's hips as he thrust in and out of him.

In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. I-

Elijah rolled his hips at just the right angle and Nik let out a yelp of pleasure as he hit his g-spot.

A sheen of sweat broke out over Nik's flesh and he let another hiss as Elijah continued to nail him in just the right spot. Nik began to thrust up to meet his mate thrust for thrust, his feet bumping up and down against Elijah's ass.

The lure sent out another, more powerful, wave and Nik and Elijah both let out another groan as the lure began to send them into a desperate frenzy.

Nik flipped them over and Kaname laid flat on the mattress, his hands locked around Nik's hips as the opal eyed incubus rode him, his own hands toying with his own nipples as he rocked his hips against Elijah's. The incubus moaned at the new angle, grinding up and down in circular motions. Elijah kept him going at a smooth pace, his hands guiding Nik in shifting directions.

They continued like that for some time, till Elijah began to thumb Nik's clit, inciting the incubus to pick up his speed to search for his end. Elijah released a groan as Nik braced his hands on his shoulders, his long silver hair flowing down over Elijah's chest and shoulders in unruly waves.

Both of their movements picked up speed and desperation and Nik released the lure full forces, sending waves of pleasure into both of their bodies, the pleasure pooling into where they were connected, setting off both of their orgasms.

Nik collapsed onto Elijah, his head leaning against the pureblood's shoulder as they both came down from their highs, both of them catching their breath as aftershocks raced through them.

Nik laughed softly into the pureblood's neck.

His laughter was sweet and genuine and Elijah wound his hand into the ex-hunter's hair, holding him nestled tightly in his arms. Nik nuzzled his collar, placing gentle kisses along his throat and shoulder.

Elijah was quiet, contemplative, as Nikolai gently nestled him, and he blew out a shallow breath as he thought their situation over. He felt like he was missing some sort of vital information. Sparrow had already told him all that she knew, of that, he could trust. He looked down at the top of Nikolai's head, the white haired incubus curled into his side. Nikolai knew something he didn't.

It seemed like the ex-hunter knew more than he did this time, and he found himself craving that knowledge.

He was greedy when it came to knowledge and secrets, and Elijah desperately wanted to know everything Nikolai kept hidden.

For one thing, he wanted to know how the ex-hunter was feeling, for two, he wanted to know everything about Volkov's new species, and for three, he wanted to know why Nikolai had come back, the real and true answer as to why. But chief among his questions was that he wanted to know what he was missing when it came to Nikolai.

He hadn't realized it before, but when he felt the child move against his hand, he knew that Nikolai had somehow managed to worm his way into Kaname's well walled up heart. He didn't know if he loved the snowy haired ex-hunter, he'd save that analysis for later, but he did know that he was certainly important to him in a newer way than he had ever been before.


"Mmm?" Nik responded, his tone relaxed and content as his finger traced designs over Elijah's chest.

Elijah wrapped his other arm around Nikolai's belly, his hand placed softly against it, feeling for the thumping that seemed to pick up whenever he was truly close to him.

"What are you hiding, I wonder?" he breathed softly and the incubus stilled for a moment before looking up at him.

"Nothing you won't eventually figure out on your own. You have a natural talent for uncovering anything you want to know, so I'm sure any questions you have with be answered at some point." Nik sighed, his own voice soft and whimsical.

Elijah was silent, his fingers tapping to the rhythm of the thumping that radiated from the silverette's belly.

Elijah hummed softly against his throat, enjoying the feeling of being wrapped up in his mate's arms. He couldn't help but imagine how it would feel if Alec was here as well, how warm it would be to be snug in between the two of them.

He couldn't help but feel like that was just a pipe dream, but still he found himself hopeful.