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Jun. 18th, 2011 | 02:24 pm
location: United States, Wisconsin, Sheboygan
Aerithika Romani watched her dear friend and travelling companion, Jessica Tepesch, with a weary glare. The woman was cursing under her breath, teething grinding in agony. Taking a wet rag, Aerithika wiped at Jessica’s brow. The younger demoness was panting, her hand wrapped around Aerithika’s.
“I’m going to kill him,” Jessica growled as a wave a pain went through her.
Aerithika smiled, chuckling softly at her friend’s venom filled words. Shaking her head softly when Jessica glared at her she said in a soothing voice, “It shouldn’t be much longer now, Jessica. The baby is almost here.”
Jessica screamed as another contraction hit, muttering curses. “I want it out now!” she moaned, hand tightening on Aerithika’s once more. She looked towards the door where the current bane of her existence, Rith Black, stood. “This is all your fault. I’ll kill you when this beast is out of me, you hear me, Rith?”
Aerithika looked over at her “twin” with a knowing smile. She herself had given birth on more than one occasion, and Rith knew exactly how Jessica was feeling. Aerithika and Rith had been sharing a body when Aerithika had last given birth. This was Jessica’s first child as far as Aerithika knew.
Time seemed to slow down for the trio of demons, as they awaited the birth.
Jessica sat smiling down at the little crimson haired boy in her arms. He was looking up at her, his large blue eyes fixed on his mother. Jessica hissed a bit when Rith approached to see their newborn son. “His name is Anthony Tepesch,” she said in a tone that made it very clear that she was not to be debated with.
Jessica smiled down at the bundle in her arms, staring intently into his deep red gaze. The baby yawned, and a smile settled on his chubby little face. Jessica motioned the silent figure standing nearby to come closer.
“He’s beautiful, Jessica,” Aerithika said quietly, so not to wake the child.
“He is,” Jessica agreed, gently stroking the baby’s brow. “He has his father’s eyes.”
Aerithika raised her eyebrow, not sure who the father was, “And his father would be?”
Jessica chuckled, laying the babe down to sleep, smiling as he yawned once more; his tiny fangs catching the moonlight. She turned to face her longtime friend and confidant, “Inar. He’s Lee’s father.”
Aerithika chuckled, first her other self, her “twin”, and now her actual twin brother. Shaking her head, she asked, “So who’s next? Nick? My Father?”
Jessica playfully slapped her arm, letting out an exaggerated shudder, “Nick is…Nick. And Demetri is my father’s best friend. I can guarantee that that will never happen. I swear you come up with the oddest ideas, Woman. If I ever lose my mind and end up having your father’s child, you can… you can take one of my sons in marriage.”
Aerithika nodded, “I’ll have to remember you said that, Jessica.”
Aerithika smiled at her nephews, the ten year old Anthony, Rith’s son, and the five year old Lee, Inar’s son, as the two young demons chased around in the forests of her territory. As both males were Khanarin, due to their fathers’ blood, they were both fully grown men. That fact didn’t seem to stop them from acting like a pair of human children their ages. The two young demons were “hunting”. Their prey was a small boy with ebony hair and sapphire eyes.
Aerithika approached Jessica where she was seated, watching as her elder sons chased her youngest like a pair of foxes hunting a rabbit. The child squealed with joy as he evaded his pursuers, his small body being able to slip into spaces that theirs no longer could. Soon the boy, Dominic, would be too large to squeeze into and through the roots and branches he was using as his escape route.
Dominic soon came rushing out of the trees, throwing himself into his mother’s waiting arms, dirt coating his smiling face. Sticking out his tongue at his older brothers, Dominic settled down on Jessica’s lap to be fussed over. His older brothers grinned at each other, and both nodded before flanking their aunt on either side.
Aerithika grinned, fussing over both boys fondly. Where Anthony had his father’s red hair and mother’s blue eyes, Lee had been born with Jessica’s blonde locks and Inar’s crimson eyes. Aerithika watched as little Dominic whispered in his mother’s ear, and then found herself with a lap full of a squirming, giggling Narin. She tickled the boy, his happy squeals filling the air.
The boys were outside playing as Aerithika and Jessica prepared an evening meal. Aerithika turned her gaze on her friend, “Dominic is Narin, Jessica.”
Jessica’s pale skin reddened a bit as she nodded, “Yes he is, Aerithika.”
“So, which one was it, Nick or my father? Because those two are the only male Narins I know of that are not your family.”
Jessica’s face flushed an even darker shade of red, recalling a conversation from five years prior. “Nick’s married to my sister, Aerithika. Didn’t you know that?”
Aerithika grinned shaking her head and began to laugh. “So, Jessica, do you have any other sons I don’t know about?”
Jessica stormed into Aerithika’s home, growling curses under her breath.
Aerithika rolled her eyes, then said in her usual quiet voice, “What now, Jessica?” She waited for an answer, as her friend paced back and forth, wearing a path in her floor.
“Those, those, those… do-gooders, I swear if he wasn’t my uncle I’d find a way to kill him. Him and his idiot mate.”
Aerithika sighed, sitting down, giving Jessica a pointed glare to do the same, “What did they do now?”
“A slayer, they are helping a slayer. Which by itself is bad enough, but they are dragging my son into it as well. Sometimes I think those two don’t remember that they are demons, consorting with slayers and watchers, and… and… and hunters,” the last word came out in a hiss. “Inar I can almost understand, Nick taught him. But Williem, my uncle, he should know better. What kind of demon does that? They are getting Lee involved with their perversion. I should kill them.”
Aerithika looked down at her feet, tears filling her eyes at her “friend’s” words. Her shoulders started to shake, and Jessica misunderstood her distress, trying to support the elder demoness with an arm around her shoulders. Aerithika pulled away from the other woman, whispering, “Perversion? Is that what you call it?”
Jessica nodded, not sure why Aerithika was looking so angry at her. In a snide tone she said, “Of course, what else would one call it. It’s unnatural. We kill humans; we kill slayers and hunters,” licking her lips she finished, “and Watchers.”
Aerithika growled, fangs and claws extending, “So I’m perverse, am I? Helping slayers, taking in one as my own child, raising her only to have her murdered to goad me? Helping Watchers, loving one, losing my mind in grief when he was taken from me? Tell me, Jessica, is that what you think of me?”
Jessica’s jaw dropped, she had heard rumors, rumors of a human lover, but she had never been told he was a Watcher. She had never been told that Aerithika’s orphan human daughter had been the slayer. She knew what Aerithika had done after their deaths, the darkness and destruction that she had wrought seeking revenge on the world. Jessica shook her head, trying to think of something to say to make things right with her dearest friend.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. Aerithika, they kill our kin, they destroy what we are.”
Aerithika growled, she could understand why Jessica hadn’t known. The two women hadn’t really known each other well before Aerithika’s time with William. They were acquaintances at that time, and when they finally became true friends, Aerithika was still too broken up over her loves deaths to talk much about it. She had assumed that Demetri had told Jessica, but obviously that wasn’t the case. “A Watcher and a Slayer were my world, Jessica. They meant more to me than anything. You know what I became. What their deaths made me. I was cold, broken inside. Part of me still is. I have never gotten over that lose. “
Aerithika started pacing, hands in fists her claws tearing into her flesh. “I think you should go, before I do something I regret. Before I do something that will get me killed.”
Jessica nodded, walking sadly towards the door, head hung in shame at her prejudice.
Aerithika sighed as she felt a familiar presence approaching her. She turned to face the approaching form a frown on her face. It had been two centuries since they had last seen each other. “Jessica,” she said softly, when the woman reached her.
“Aerithika,” Jessica responded in kind, slightly nervous of this meeting. “It’s been too long.”
Aerithika nodded, and began walking, “That it has. You look well.”
Jessica sighed, hating how strained this conversation was. There had been a time when the two of them had been the closest of friends and Jessica had let her personal bias rip the relationship to shreds. “You seem lost, Aerithika. Last I heard you had taken another Watcher as your lover. What happened?”
“She died. She grew old and died; she refused to let me turn her. I would have given her eternity, but she wouldn’t do that to her son. She refused to outlive him, the stubborn fool.”
“And her son? What of him, Aerithika?”
“Dead as well. Foolish man thought he needed to defend me from humans, and ended up dead. I tried to save him, tried to tell him that I didn’t need saving…” she trailed off with a bitter sob. “Your husband should be told, they were both still alive the last time he visited me. Jessica, why are you here?”
Jessica sighed, “I needed to see you; it has been far too long. You were my best friend, Aerithika, and I know I broke that. I could feel your pain, across all the miles. I knew you wouldn’t come to me, so I came to you. Don’t fight me on this, Aerithika, you need me, and if not me someone, anyone to help you through this. I’m offering to be here for you, a fresh start.”
Aerithika fell to her knees sobbing; finally letting her pain out. The pain of lost loves, lost family, lost friends. She stiffened a bit as Jessica wrapped her arms around her, but slowly let go of her bitterness, knowing that she needed the woman in front of her. She was the only friend Aerithika had left.