The Second Circle, by lyradaemon

Chapter 1: A Double Surprise

Disclaimer: This is a blanket disclaimer which applies to the rest of the story; The Black Jewels Trilogy belong to Anne Bishop. The only things which are mine are the characters in the 'Second Circle'.

"Would you just calm down boyo?" Lucivar said with a lazy smile on his face, watching his half-brother Daemon nervously pacing the room.

"Don't bloody well tell me to calm down, Prick," Daemon snapped, his golden eyes flashing.

"I'll tell you what I want, Bastard," Lucivar retorted. "You have no idea how annoying-"

"That's enough Lucivar," Saetan chided. "You're both annoying me, so the two of you can just shut up and stop fussing."

Two pairs of golden eyes glared at him in response. "I am entitled to fuss, Father, because that's my wife in there, about to have my baby."

"There's nothing to worry about Daemon," Saetan began calmly.

"There's everything to worry about!" Daemon yelled. "In case you hadn't noticed, Jaenelle is in the process of giving birth. Whenever Jaenelle does something, I have a right to worry."

Lucivar looked at his brother with an amused smile. "You also now have a right to fuss over Jaenelle too," he said. "Although I doubt she'll like it."

"She'll have to like it," Daemon said decisively.

The three sat in comfortable silence – except for Daemon, who was slowly becoming frantic – until the door opened and Gabrielle peered around. Her blue eyes shone with excitement. "You can come in now Daemon, if you'd like."

Daemon quickly glanced at his father and brother; they nodded, urging him to go in. He got up slowly and made his decidedly shaky way into the connecting room, passing Karla and Gabrielle, who were on their way out. "Congratulations Daemon," Gabrielle said warmly, touching him briefly on the shoulder. "I'm really pleased for you," Karla added, genuine happiness in her ice-blue eyes.

The curtains were drawn, but as the windows were open it was comfortably cool. His anxious gaze was immediately drawn to the huge bed in the middle of the room. There lay his darling Jaenelle, looking exhausted but delighted – and rather pleased with herself; and next to her lay…

"Mother Night Jaenelle!" He gasped. His outburst was rewarded with a smothered chuckle from next door – Gabrielle and Karla had obviously heard.

"Aren't you supposed to say something along the lines of 'well done'?" Jaenelle asked tartly.

Daemon swallowed, unable to speak. All he could do was stare at the two tiny bundles wrapped up next to their glowing mother.

"Yes, Daemon," Jaenelle said slowly after several moments. "We've got twins."

"Twins?" He practically squeaked. "H-how?"

"The usual way I presume," she said sarcastically, but with a huge grin on her face. "Would you like to hold them?"

Daemon nodded wordlessly and went over to the bed. He sat down carefully on the edge so as not to waken the sleeping babies. Jaenelle picked one up – in a blue blanket – and carefully handed him to his father. Daemon held his new son gingerly, peering into the little faced framed with golden curls.

The baby yawned and opened sleepy eyes, which were golden and heavily-lashed. His eyes. His son.

"He's got your eyes," Jaenelle said softly, resting a hand on Daemon's arm.

"And your hair. He's beautiful." Daemon tenderly handed his son back to his mother, before taking the other baby in his arms.

"She's a girl…" he whispered, a smile spreading over his lips. She had her father's dark, black hair and her mother's sapphire eyes. "She's the exact opposite too."

"I know," Jaenelle murmured. "She lovely, isn't she?"

"Of course she is, she's our daughter," Daemon replied, tears welling up in his eyes. His daughter. I'm finally a father, he thought. Who would have known?

Jaenelle took back the baby and gently laid her beside her twin brother. "Well, are you happy?" She asked, looking at her husband.

In reply, Daemon caught her up in his arms and kissed her softly. "Of course I am. I have two beautiful children and a beautiful, amazing wife. How could I be anything else?"

He stroked Jaenelle's hair, love in his golden eyes. "Although I do think that twins is a bit excessive," he added as an afterthought.

Jaenelle laughed and playfully punched Daemon's arm, before kissing him again. "Just wait til Lucivar sees," she said with a grin. "Not to mention Papa. I think he'll have some sort of fit. I told Gabrielle and Karla not to tell either of them. I want to see their reactions for myself."

"You're a wicked woman Jaenelle," Daemon laughed.

"Yes, but you still love me, don't you?"

"Of course I do," he replied with a devastating smile, before giving her another, long kiss. "I always have."

A/N: Aww, sweet! That's just a little taster, to set things in motion, so to speak. Hope you liked it and are ready for more!

Lyradaemon x