Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. I own this story line!
"You're not concentrating."
Not too long ago, those words were said to me. I often wondered about Yvette – if she was still alive, still helping kids sort through their psychic abilities, if she missed me. There were certainly days where I missed her, but I had found comfort in my life, far more comfort than I had ever expected when I had boarded that space shuttle.
I'd found happiness.
Caelum, my son, looks at me over his shoulder, his brows furrowing and his lips pressing together in frustration. He is such a perfect mix between Edward and I – his body maturing and growing taller and stronger than any human. At some point after his tenth birthday, his Leumian side had almost completely taken over and now, he was only barely an inch shorter than his father.
Now Caelum is fifteen.
He reminds me of myself – always pushing his abilities.
And what a set of abilities he had. His control over lormaline had surpassed my own, almost as if the stone was magnetized to his very being.
I had worried, of course. My son, my first born, had such power resting on his shoulders, such responsibility, such a future waiting for him.
It had been a tough few years after I eliminated my own father and the Naz'feya rebels – the people of Leumin were equally split between worshiping me as a savior and fearing me as a returning tyrant of the Skye clan.
From day to day, it was a question of whether I would be revered or attacked. Edward's vigil protective instincts never calmed during those years and at times, it was frustrating. I was an independent person and I felt stifled by his over-reactions.
There had been fights.
But the make-ups were always perfect.
Eventually, it had all been solved by my formal declaration to Carlisle's rule. It appeased the Leumian people and there had not been trouble since, not even when Carlisle had stepped down and handed off the crown to Edward and I.
"I'm doing exactly what you said to do," Caelum mutters, looking away from me.
I stand, one hand resting on my stomach and the other supporting my back. I walked in an arc behind my son, observing the large compounded metal and lormaline that I used for training. It was the highest concentration of metal I could come up with, some of the metals being imported from other planets of the Eight.
After my father's death, there had been a very brief tension between Leumin and the Seven. Luckily, Alice had recorded the entire fight, we had more than enough evidence from my childhood, and uncovered evidence from my father's office to assure the Seven his death was purely in self-defense. And after that issue was resolved, the Fazi planet of the Naz'feya people had requested to join the Seven, effectively making Fazi the Eight planet in the Republic.
Still, there were repercussions from my actions – most notably, Leumin's secrets were made public and lormaline's abilities was revealed to the Eight.
But, unlike how we had feared, the Eight weren't interested in lormaline. They had no need for it – lormaline remained a purely Leumian resource.
There were days, though, that I grieved for my father. Days where I felt guilt for killing him.
Those days were few and far between, after fifteen years.
To my surprise, my aging matched Edward's and instead of looking all of my thirty-two years, I appeared barely older than my son.
I sigh, rubbing my swollen stomach. "Your left hand is raised," I point out, tapping his fingers with my own.
Caelum's skin had darkened to match his father's, though he still retained my easy facial flush. His slight human qualities were precious to me.
Caelum looks down and snaps his hand down to his thigh, cursing softly.
"Try again. You don't need to use your hands."
I raise my brow. "You've levitated heavier."
"I used my hands then!"
I laugh and step back. "And now, you're not using them. Try again."
Caelum fisted his hands in the material of his pants and glared at the compounded metal – it raised half an inch. I could tell he was holding his breath as his face begin to turn red.
The compounded metal drops to the ground and Caelum leans over, his chest heaving.
As much as a master he thought he was, Caelum still struggled with the basics. He was more impressed with flashy tricks and it showed through our one-on-one training. He would learn, though.
I had been training Caelum since he was old enough to talk back. It was hard, sometimes, to separate the urge to push him and the urge to tell him enough was enough. Sometimes, he pushed too hard, straining himself.
"Mo'la, I can't do this."
"That doesn't sound like something a Prince would say."
My gaze snaps from my son to my mate.
Edward looked nearly the same as he had the first day I saw him, leaning against one of the curved walls of the training room. Our third child, now a toddler, was hugging his neck, her little arms wrapped in a tight choke-hold.
Edward flashes his fangs when he sees me and shakes our daughter – our only daughter, so far.
River shares more of my features than either of our sons, her eyes an exact replica of my own. She squeals when Edward lets her down and runs towards Caelum, jumping at him. There was hardly a time when River wasn't being held.
Edward steps up behind me as I watch our children interact – Caelum showing off and River clapping with glee. River wasn't as strong in lormaline controlling as our other children, but I didn't think she needed to be.
She did have two over-protective brothers to look after her.
"How is my beautiful mate today?" Edward breathes into my ear.
I smile, pressing my cheek against his as his hands come to caress my stomach. This pregnancy had been especially hard on me, my stomach swelling much faster than typical pregnancies.
Esme was convinced it was twins.
So was Orion, our second son. He had turned out to be quite the scientist, more involved with physics and chemistry than the Healers. I had a feeling that my twelve year old would be starting an apprenticeship soon – he had many ideas about how Leumian healthcare can evolve and he liked to voice those ideas.
"Tired," I whisper, stifling a yawn.
I open my eyes at River's excited shout, comforted by Edward's lean body wrapped around mine.
"How's the babies?" River demands, touching both of her hands to my stomach. As if in response, two kicks thump against my swollen belly. River giggles in delight.
"I think they want to meet you," I tell my daughter, smiling at the sweet sight of her head leaning against my stomach. She had taken to talking to the baby – or babies – daily, retelling her day in detail.
Caelum laughs, more of a bark. At fifteen, I had expected him to adopt a sarcastic demeanor, but he's a good kid. "Can I go see Elistair?"
Elistair was Alice and Jasper's first born, only a few months younger than Caelum. Recently, the teenagers had been growing closer than I liked but Edward had assured me that Caelum knew the rules – he would not even attempt to mate Elistair until she was seventeen.
For now, they were friends. Very close friends but platonic nonetheless.
I nod, waving him off.
Caelum grins, kisses my cheek and runs off, slightly slower than a Leumian, but much faster than any human could ever hope to be.
River, bored with my pregnancy, dances off, most likely in pursuit of Esme, who enjoyed the perks of a granddaughter a little too much. My three year old was very, very spoiled.
My lower back cramps in a very familiar way and I wince, my nails digging into Edward's arms.
"It's time," I gasp out.
Edward knew what that meant and immediately scooped me up, dashing out of the training room and towards our chambers.
As he sets me down on the bed, I remember the curious request my second son had made when the pregnancy was announced. "Get Orion in here!"
"What? Bella, he's not a qualified-"
"He wanted to learn about it! Go get him! And call Esme!"
Edward rushes to the intercom and buzzes his mother; before he can even exit the room, she is frantically entering the room. Esme had been there for every single birth and I trusted her unconditionally.
"Where's River?" I pant out, shocked at how painful this labor was in comparison to the others.
"With Carlisle. How are you, dear?"
"Been better. Oh," I gasp. "So fast."
Esme moves and checks between my legs. "You need to start pushing!"
And I do.
Orion, handsome exactly like his father, observes the entire process with a sharp eye.
And his prediction was right.
Two perfect boys.
I name one Mazen, the other after Carlisle.
Exhausted, I lean back on the bed, surrounded by my family – my children, my mate, Rosalie and Emmett and my surrogate parents.
Edward kisses my tired eyes, leaning over my body and whispering sweetly to me. "Ta'jema."
"I love you," I murmur.
"Forever." He responds, glancing at the faces of our children and our family and then back at me, his vibrant eyes melting into my soul. "We have forever."
A/N: And that's a wrap. For now, this is all I have to give to these characters – and that's fine. I think the story can stand alone. If, in the future, I decide to pick up a sequel, I think I'll be able to. There might be future-takes to this, too.
Thank you to everyone who has put me on Author Alerts and Favorite lists and reviewed and became my friend on Facebook. You all mean so much to me, I can hardly describe it.
As for future stories, I'm full of plots. Seriously. It keeps me up at night. So there will be another story on the way. Next week is Spring Break for me, which means that I'm just going to have oodles of time to write – so, maybe, you might be getting another something from me very, very soon.
It was awesome being brutally honest with you guys. I read and took every review to heart and I love every single one of you!
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