“Lala here! Lala here!” A little orange-haired girl chanted as she ran towards her parents.
Her feet hit the ground with soft thumps as smiles appeared on her parent’s lips at the sight of her excited face.
Her mother scooped her up in her arms.
“Of course hon, we just told you that!”
“Oh…daddy know?” She asked, looking to her father. With a smile he nodded.
“Baby! Tell baby Lala here!” Catarina exclaimed, talking about her unborn little brother or sister.
“The baby already knows.” Kyxa said, poking her daughter’s nose.
The front door of the house swung open to allow the new visitors in.
“We’re here!” Called Raphaele.
“Lala here! Put me down mama.” Catarina said, squirming to reach the floor again.
As quickly as she’d come, the little golden-eyed vampire had run back out of the room to greet the visitors.
Catarina is a very special energetic carefree little girl. Not only does she wear her father’s eye color, and in consequence his power, but her birth brought quite the surprise to the family.
As far as everyone knew, tattoos were permanent, or they at very least didn’t disappear after giving birth.
But somehow this was the case for the small family. The moment after Kyxa had given birth, the tattoo on her stomach had faded away.
Naturally the parents were worried that it might have had some sort of effect on their daughter. But nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Catarina was still quite the unique girl and she peaked both her parent’s interests in different ways.
Just before Catarina could greet her cousin, Mariella, she was suddenly picked up by her aunt.
“Intercepted! Did you really think you could go by without saying hi to me?”
“Put me down Raphie!” Catarina giggled.
“First tell me where your parents are.” Raphaele said.
“Kichen.” Catarina replied giving a small wave to her cousin.
“They’ve stopped coming to greet us now?”
“We do drop by often.” Isaia said, giving a small smile to Catarina.
No sooner had Raphaele set her niece down, that Catarina had sped over to her cousin.
“Look Lala! Mama give me stars!” Catarina said, showing off the design on her face.
“I swear, she takes after her mother a whole lot more than she does her dad.” Raphaele mumbled as she headed for the kitchen.
“Pretty Rara!” Mariella said, reaching out with her hand to touch her cousin’s face.
“Lala no! RayRay, not Rara!” Catarina corrected. Something Catarina loved to do was give out nicknames, and in particular, she liked to invent her own nickname.
“RayRay, do that thing again!” Mariella demanded as soon as her parents had left to say hi to Catarina’s.
“Yeah! Again! Again! It’s fun!”
Catarina considered it. “Ok. Only one! I want to play with Rocky again.”
Mariella giggled happily.
“Eh? How do you go without knowing whether it’s a boy or a girl?” Raphaele asked.
“It’ll be a fun surprise don’t you think so? And the gender doesn’t really matter that much.”
“What about the name? How do you figure out a name if you don’t know the gender?” Raphaele kept pushing.
“We already figured out a boy name and a girl name, so we’re good to go. Why are you so into this? Are you going to have another one too?”
“It’s getting kind of late.” Isaia said from behind the two, fidgeting as the sun started to set.
“Me? Nah, Mariella is already enough of a handful.” Raphaele laughed.
I was pleasantly amused. Not just because Raphaele’s boyfriend was squirming nervously again.
No, it’s a weird feeling that’s stuck with me for years now. I guess you could almost describe it as…peaceful.
Watching my girlfriend and my sister talk about children, having my daughter excited to see her cousin come around, still toying around with my sister’s husband, awaiting my third kid…It’s all things I consider normal.
And normal feels good.
I haven’t killed anyone since Catarina’s birth. I’m not really sure why. I guess I just didn’t feel like it anymore, or maybe that weird dream affected me more than I’d like to admit.
I hadn’t realized exactly what Kyxa had meant when she’d asked to live a normal life until all four: the Weapon, Velor, William and Assaria, had been captured.
But boy, I’m so relieved it’s all over. I hadn’t realized how much the whole ‘mission’ had been affecting me. But now I’ve found a stable balance, and there’s officially no one as bad as those four roaming the streets. Not on my watch anyway.
“Isaia is right. We need to head back.” Raphaele said, but Isaia was already heading out.
“It is getting pretty late, we need to put Catarina to bed.”
“Aw, it never ceases to amaze me how close they are.” Raphaele said as she spotted the two asleep on the floor.
“They fell asleep again?” Isaia said in surprise.
“Is it me or are they always sleeping when you guys come over?” Kyxa noticed.
Raph picked up Mariella and I picked up my daughter.
Mariella snuggled up against her mother’s shoulder and tried to fall asleep again.
“I’ll see you some other time kid.” Raphaele whispered before giving Catarina a small high five. She returned it rather lazily.
Raphaele gave me and Kyxa a quick good bye before she left.
“Are you going tonight?” Kyxa asked, and I nodded. “Alright darling, say goodnight to daddy.”
“Night daddy.” Catarina said, her eyes already drooping closed again. I kissed her forehead.
I always found it peculiar when little Mariella came to visit Catarina. Even though they clearly looked like they were sleeping their minds always seemed a little too active for that…
“Don’t be too long.” Kyxa said with a warm smile after I’d handed Catarina over to her. I smiled back at her, it was routine but I still appreciated the reminder.
It was routine, because even if I have a daughter, and a new baby on the way, there’s no way I’m going to forget my first kid. There’s no way I can forget Xavier.
I thought I could let go. I thought that, since he had a new family, I could let him be. Boy was I wrong. I knew where he lived now!
But I was still standing by my decision to not interfere with his life.
I still wanted to see my boy grow up though, so I came up with…I guess you could call it a compromise.
I still regret giving Xavier up in the first place, but I’ve learned to deal with my mistake.
It’s not much, but I’ll stick to ‘visiting’ him every few weeks.
Xavier’s grown up into a smart and good boy. Whenever I do see him, be it at school or at home, he usually seems happy. He’s made himself an odd friend at school and he’s being bullied as well, but he always has this smile on his face.
I only caught him being bullied by the same guy twice, and both times I desperately wanted to interfere. But Xavier handled the situation nicely and he never seemed bothered with it.
He’s a bit odd that way but…even though I’d like to think what I see is enough for me to know him, I know that’s false.
I also know coming to see him is in a way…a sort of torture I suppose. I’ve long realized that he’s not my responsibility anymore. The only thing that links me to him is my genes and the debt I feel I owe to Jamie. I don’t know this boy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t wish him a good life.
I guess that’s my job as his father now…I’ll watch over him when I can and I’ll take happiness from his own.
I chuckled silently to myself.
He’s one of those abnormal things in my life that remind me of what used to be.
But it’s an essential reminder, because the moment I delve too deep in a ‘normal’ life is the moment I’ll let my guard down.
And even though they’re powerless, my prisoners are still people I should never let my guard down around.
Hey y’all! Good (or bad?) news! This generation is coming to an end soon. Probably still another handful of chapters, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that there will NOT be 100 chapters in total XD
I have grand plans for James’ offspring! I can’t wait to set them in motion 😀 (even technically they’ve already started rolling…)