'Papa, Eli stole my doll!'
'Why would I, Papa?' Elias whined.
Elijah looked at his five-year-old twins and almost smiled.
Well, he would have smiled, you see, had they not been making the ruckus from past fifteen minutes. He closed the stock reports he was reading and then beckoned them close.
They were the perfect mix of his and Elena's features. When he'd first picked them up, he'd fallen in love, and he'd vowed that they would never know the kind of emotional abandonment he and his siblings had known at the hands of their parents.
'Why did you steal your little sister's doll, Elias?' he asked in all seriousness he could muster. He just wanted to pick them up and hug them. Ellie made a face at his use of "little sister". Elias had beaten her by coming three minutes early in this world.
Elias muttered something under his breath.
His son had inherited the Mikaelson tenaciousness and wickedness, whereas his daughter was more of a driven hellion among the two. From a very young age, his kids had understood that they'd their father wrapped around their little fingers.
Elijah blamed it all on those deep chocolate eyes they'd inherited from Elena.
'Eli?' he prompted.
'She took George first!'
George was Eli's stuffed falcon, one that Kol had gifted him. George went everywhere with Eli. Sometimes, he and Elena had to bribe Eli not to take George for dinner when they'd stuffy aristocratic guests.
'Ellie?' He looked at his daughter. She squirmed under his gaze before bursting, 'Uncle Klaus said he would get me a new art set if I managed to hide George for a whole day.'
Klaus and Kol were living their childhood vicariously through his children. Ellie was Klaus' favorite whereas Kol favored Elias, and his children were used many times so Klaus and Kol could settle some forgotten childhood score.
The door of his study opened and the faint fragrance of honeysuckle drifted towards him. A brilliant smile graced his lips.
Elena was back.
Elena laid a finger on her lips when children glanced in her direction. Elijah's back was still turned towards the door, and so she tiptoed silently towards her husband.
Elias and Eleanora were giggling. Their fight forgotten, they watched in childish fascination as Mama inched towards Papa in dramatic secrecy.
'Are you done, Elena?' Elijah asked, still turned away from her.
'How do you know it's me every time?' she huffed as he turned and she stepped into his arms.
She'd missed his warmth.
She knew it was preposterous to miss your husband of six years while you were shopping with your sister-in-law, but even a minute that she spent away from Elijah was akin to an hour.
Theirs was a love that was cherished completely and guarded jealously.
His nose skimmed the side of her face, an almost purr of contentment escaping his lips.
She pushed him slightly, aware that her children were still in the room and on verge of making the gagging noise they made when they saw their parents kissing.
Kol had taught them all about cooties.
'Eli and Ellie, you didn't trouble Papa while I was gone, did you?' She turned towards her children, opening her arms so that they could come running right in.
And run in her arms they did.
Her precious miracles.
All those years ago when Elijah had asked her to marry him and she'd consented—everything had not been roses and daisies. The news of their betrothal and subsequent marriage had opened the can of worms of her past. The gossip had been cutting and rumors vicious, but they'd stood together and faced everything.
Kol had traced Damien for her.
Elena's firstborn was living happily and obliviously with his family in the US, and she had left him there without making any contact.
He was happy. What more did she want?
'Uncle Klaus is here, and I think he mentioned something about Chocolates,' she whispered to her children.
They were out of the door before she'd finished saying "Chocolate".
'So, Klaus couldn't stay away?'
'His wife is six months into her pregnancy. You Mikaelson men turn into Neanderthals when your wives are pregnant,' she joked.
'Can you blame us though?' He pulled her back into his arms.
Kol and Bonnie had gone their separate way for a couple of years before they'd found their way back to each other again. Kol was a proud father of two girls and three dogs—a fact that he boasted in every family gathering.
Klaus and Caroline were happy with their three sons and were wishing for a girl this time around.
And as for her and Elijah, well life was about to get more interesting.
'Hmm.' He was nipping at her neck.
'What do you think about waking up in nights again?'
'I wake in nights. Your insatiable appetite for my body doesn't let me sleep before early hours of the morning,' he teased.
'Well, I wasn't the one who started the whole making love thing this morning.'
'Don't be so loud,' he hushed. 'Impressionable ears.'
She rolled her eyes. He was infinitely cute when he went into Papa Mikaelson mode. Poor boys who would try to date Ellie in future, they'd have a very overprotective Prince Mikaelson on their hands.
'Well, you're going to have two more sets of impressionable ears.'
He stilled and looked at her as if she were talking in some alien tongue.
She hit him on his head. 'Caroline was right. I'm having your babies again, you daft man!'
'Babies?' Elijah whispered. 'As in plural?'
He kissed her reverently then, his lips thanking her as his words couldn't.
He was a lucky man. That dream he'd seen all those years ago in the solitary confinement of his room–that dream was a reality.
Life was good, nay great…
And they lived happily ever after!