Disclaimer: I do not own the Fever Series, they belong to Karen Marie Moning.
Dani walked into Chester's knowing her sword drew the attention of all the on-goers in the club. She walked with style and grace. She felt amazing. As she spotted Ryodan across the room, her eyes lit with a unusual glow. Her smile widened and she couldn't wait for tonight.
I was so stupid. Dani thought to herself as she remembered the beginning f that horrible evening. Nothing had gone to plan. By the end of the night she had been left humiliated and hurt beyond what words could describe. She remembered seeking warmth and solitude from a bottle of vodka that night. No one to tell her she was under age and no one to even care. That night she'd made a vow on her life. A vow that was meant to never be broken.
But then she remembered the kiss, and knew the moment Ryodan's lips had touched hers...she'd been lost. She'd broken her vow. She'd condemned herself to the punishment she was going to face: The feelings she'd killed were coming back. And this time with a vengeance.
Mac looked around the shop and saw no one in her store. It was an odd moment like this when Mac truly got to rest this days. She grimaced as she sat down and immediately felt the relief. She'd been standing for hours now and even though Jericho had warned her not to, she'd gone to work every day: opening to closing time. She'd slowly managed to dig her grave. What a beautiful grave at that, she mused.
She heard a tapping sound at the window and glanced to see an unseelie. Not just any unseelie but the Prince himself. Cruce. Mac leapt to her feet and grabbed for her spear which still went everywhere with her. She looked back to see Cruce across the street. And just as she had done in the good old days, Mac ran out the door and into the streets of Dublin to kill the trespassers.
"Cruce!" Mac called out as she had once again lost sight of him.
He appeared behind her, "You called My Princess." He whispered in her ear.
Mac whirled around and jutted out her spear only to hit air. Cruce appeared a few feet away, his dark silky laugh carried on the wind. "Ah, dear Mac, do put that violent weapon away."
"Why? Can't work your magic anymore?" Mac yelled, she saw his wings loom from behind him and wondered if she'd struck a nerve.
"No, I can but I choose to give you the benefit of the doubt, as you and I are but the same being." Cruce spoke clear despite the distance that filled between them.
Mac chose that moment to lunge at him and saw him disappear. She traced his movements and anticipated his next move before he could make it. Just then she felt her spear cut flesh and she knew that she'd gotten him. But he moved too quick, catching onto her. He swept one hand out to punch her but never quite made it as a monster threw itself at Cruce. Mac looked her monster, it's bottomless familiar eyes and smiled. Then she remembered, if she hadn't moved or Barrons hadn't come, Cruce's blow would have landed on her stomach. She could have lost her child.
She watched as Cruce battled with the vicious monster who was set on protecting Mac.
Unaware of the unseelie soldiers, Mac continued to watch the fight unravel before her eyes. Just as she was about to run to safety, she saw herself entrapped by all the soldiers-rhino boys and others in their full ugly glory. She edged away knowing that she couldn't take on all of them alone. She fended off the first attacks that came her way but hadn't seen the one rhino boy sneak up behind her.
Just as she felt herself turn a moment too late, a man appeared and stabbed the rhino boy sending it down, crying in pain. Mac looked as the man turned around. They were exactly alike, aside from the fact that he was a boy and she was a girl. She remembered the car, the sleeping figures, her dreams. A sob formed in her throat, "I know you."
Jack Lane had no idea where what was anymore as boxes were scattered all around. "Hey, sweetheart, have you seen the boxes with my paperwork?" he called out, hoping his wife would give him an answer.
Raine Lane poked her head inside the room he husband stood in. She saw him scratch the back of his head and she knew that he had no idea where anything was. She laughed an impish smile that attracted his attention.
"Are you just going to stand there, laughing at me?" he asked in a grumpy tone. His shoulders hunched and she knew he was acting childish for the day.
She walked to him, shaking her head in disapproval, "Well, if you look closer, I wouldn't have to laugh at you." She replied as she slid a box labelled OFFICE. She looked up to him as he stood there with amusement flickering in his eyes. She left him to his work and settled back to see to her china.
Jack dropped to the floor and began to open the box, an old file slid for the flaps. He touched it reverently, as though it might turn to ashes from his touch. The file had been given to him when Alina and Mac had first come into their lives. He opened it and flipped to the backside, a note fell out, "They must never meet again." He looked at the note puzzled. Just what had this note once been for?
Barrons watched as Cruce limped away, clearly distraught from Barrons' surprise attack. Barrons ran to Mac but stopped shortly as he saw the man stand before her as she cupped his cheek, tears streaming from her eyes. His heart twisted as he watched the moment, clearly very personal for both of them. Barrons looked to the man wanting to see the face of Mac's attention. He froze in shock and surprise. They looked exactly alike- the same blond hair, emerald eyes and fair skin. The only differences that lay between them were that of their gender, height and structure.
Barrons was so shocked by their similarities that he didn't realize the odd glow of light that had wrapped between the two figures. He looked as a golden light took over their bodies and strange markings began to swirl around on their skin. They didn't even realize, Barrons thought as he saw the man reach up and hold Mac's face in his hands, tears streaming form his eyes.
Mac looked at the man she knew who was like herself. She watched as he touched her face first almost reverently as though he was imagining this moment. But then his touch became firm and he was realizing that they stood here in the street, and that this was in fact reality.
"I never thought I'd be able to see you ever again." The man whispered, his words coming out in a strangled sob. Tears were rolling down his eyes too. He looked at the petite girl in his hands and thought it had been a dream till she had touched his face and he knew that it had been real. Years, he thought, he'd waited years to just meet her and hold her. His beloved sister that was taken from him so long ago.
She wiped the tears from his eyes, "This is real." She gave him the confirmation he so needed.
Ryodan, Kasteo and Lor came to halting stop as they saw herds of unseelie edging away slowly to the portal nearest them. Ryodan ran to Barrons to ask him what was going on. They'd been alerted just minutes before that an outbreak had occurred right here in front of BB&B. He was just about to ask when he saw his brother's clenched jaw. Jericho Barrons seemed to be in a foul mood. He followed Barron's gaze and saw the scene everyone around them was seeing.
"What the hell?" Lor cursed as he watched Mac and the man standing in each other's arms and glowing a bright golden that was slowly starting to fade away. He saw the tattoo's that swirled on their skin and knew that something was very wrong here.
Kasteo moved beside the rest of his brothers, who seemed to be doing nothing.
Barrons ground his teeth and thought No more! He walked to Mac and saw her crying. He touched her shoulder, wary of the disappearing light now. Mac snapped back and saw him, Barrons knew that whatever had been going on was well over.
"Are you alright?" he asked in a small voice and pulled her in a hug.
She nodded against his chest.
He pulled back. "Cruce was aiming low, he could have hurt you, both of you." Jericho bit out as he watched her hands slowly cover abdomen.
"I know, I'm sorry, I wasn't quick enough." She whispered, the thought of losing this child, their child scared her. She felt her heart constrict in fear for her child.
"It's fine." He pulled her back to him. It wasn't up for a fight anymore, she was going to stay inside where she would be safe and protected.
The man coughed as he looked at them. Mac and Jericho broke apart as Ryodan and Kasteo joined them. Lor had gone back now that there wasn't a fight anymore.
Mac looked up to Jericho and whispered, "He's my twin brother."
Relief spread through Jericho's veins as he looked at the other man. Yes he could see the family resemblance: Alina, Mackayla and him.
The man looked up and flashed a familiar smile as he extended his hand, "Hi, Rowan O'Conner. Nice to meet you Mr….." He was about to say a name he realized he didn't know yet.
"Jericho Barrons." Barrons finished Rowan's sentence. "So, you know of your family history?"
"Yes, I found out a long time ago and switched back to my family name. It's good to see you again Mackayla." He said sweetly as she smile back to him.
Mac put one arm around Barrons and the other around Rowan and began to pull them both back into BB&B. Kasteo and Ryodan followed with lifted eyebrows.
As they all entered the bookstore they saw the beautiful couple sitting in the back lobby room with the fire started. Mac stopped suddenly and Rowan and Jericho whipped around her to stand in front of her as if to protect her. Mac rolled her eyes and pushed them aside and stood up, like equals.
"Ah, my dear Mac. And Rowan, what a lovely surprise!" Cairan bellowed as he stood holding his arms outstretched as though they'd come rushing to give him a hug.
"Stop making a fool of yourself dear." Aine replied to his hug as he walked back and sat down childishly.
"I'm sorry, but how did you get in?" Mac asked curiously, now suspecting something up with the old couple.
"Yeah, and how do you know my name?" Rowan asked as he looked suspiciously at the couple seated with grace and comfort.
Cairan and Aine stood up together they joined hands ad let the light sweep over their bodies. Hair grew and physiques changed. When the light finally died Mac looked upon the Unseelie King and his concubine. She saw them unclasp their hands and look unexpectedly at the shocked crowd around them. "Y-Y-You! I knew I wasn't wrong when I thought that you all were Fae! Why'd you come into that shop that day without telling me?" Mac stuttered out to the bemused king and queen. Then as an after thought Mac added, "...again."
"Yes, so sorry about that dear little one, but you see we had to make sure that that one," The king pointed to Jericho Barrons, "had been treating you right. We just couldn't help ourselves, it was too tempting to join the human world again."
Everyone looked at Barrons, who simply shrugged. He spoke up, "Then where were you when your dear son tried to take Mac from me?"
"Ah, yes. So sorry about that. But Cruce does tend to have a mind of his own." The queen replied referring to Cruce as though he was a piece of machinery that had suffered from a series of malfunctions.
"What are you doing here?" Barrons asked as he looked towards the king and queen sitting in his store, unaffected by the wards placed upon the house. He eyes narrowed as he tried to devise methods of pushing them out.
"We came to help. you wish to know of her pregnancy and I am here to give the answers." He replied as bluntly as he could with a sparkle in his eyes.
"You could?" Mac pushed past them and asked in delight.
"Of course, that is if you wish!" The queen declared with happiness twinkling in her eyes. She really loved the fact that she could after all have the pleasure of finally seeing her youngest pseudo daughter in pure delight rather than fright.
"Wait, Wait, Wait a moment." Rowan said, breaking everyone's train of thought and actions.
"What's wrong?" Mac asked her brother in confusion as he drew closer to her and Barrons.
"I'm going to be an uncle and you never told me?" Rowan asked exasperated drawing out a laugh from Mac and the queen.
Mac looked at her brother, "You're going to be an uncle." she in happiness. Then she turned and faced Barrons, a question in her eyes which was confirmed by Barrons as he took her hand and held her in a tight embrace. They made their way forward and stopped just before the king and queen. "WE want to find out." Mac said as she looked into Barrons' eyes full of love and understanding.
"Then so be it." The king declared.
A/N: I'll be posting the last few chapters in the next couple of days. I just have to edit them now. So I can officially say: This story is nearing its end. Don't worry about the Mac and Jericho moments-there are going to be tons as the story ends. Happy Halloween :)