To Fear the Dawn: Chapter 32
“Mom! Mommy, look at me! Look! Watch me, Mom! Mommy! Watch...”
Charity sighed indulgently and walked outside to watch her son do yet another handstand. She cheered, but her happiness was not so much for Lucas’ acrobatics as it was for the fact he could do his tricks here... outside, in the sunlight.
Lucas was almost ready to become a teenager, and his life thus far had been one of complete normalcy save for two things; the pallid color of his skin, and the sharp canine teeth that were visible when he talked and smiled. He didn’t seem to mind them; claiming the other kids at school thought they were "wickedly awesome," but they still made Charity wonder...
What would happen when he became a teen? They'd gotten through the hurdles of toddlerhood and childhood with no problems, yet Pascal had seemed to think the hormonal changes associated with adolescence might cause the virus to become active.
If that happened, Charity didn’t know what she would do.
Well, yes I do know, she thought as she walked back in the house. I’ll love him, and support him, and try to help him in any way I can. There’s no need worrying about what could happen, because it won’t change the way I feel about him. He’s my son, and I will accept him and help him no matter what comes our way.
Still dazzled by the bright sunlight outside, she bumped into Pascal when she opened the door to the house. “Oh, I’m sorry, Pascal,” she said. “It’s so bright outside... I couldn’t see you...”
“It’s okay, Charity.” Pascal said, stretching and rubbing his lower back.
“How are you feeling these days?” Charity asked him, turning him around and giving him a friendly back rub.
“Oh, I'm hanging in there,” Pascal smiled gratefully as Charity eased his tense muscles. “Not much longer to go, though, thank the Goddess...”
Pascal had been taken by the alien race once more, much to his surprise.
He had wondered if he wasn’t getting too old to carry alien spawn, but it appeared his abductors had other ideas, and he had become pregnant again.
Charity placed a hand on his swollen belly.
“You look as though you’re about to pop,” she said wonderingly. “Which reminds me… I’ve been wanting to ask… how does the baby come out of you anyway?” Charity knew the womblike capsule that was implanted by the alien species was biologically connected to its host so as to provide the developing fetus with nourishment, but she just didn’t understand the mechanics of it all… and Vidcund had been far too embarrassed to explain it to her.
“Well,” Pascal grinned. “The aliens are nothing if not efficient. Let’s just say they make good use of… um… orifices that already exist.”
“Oh.” Charity blushed. “You mean…”
“Yes. I’m afraid there’s only one exit in a human male’s body that can stretch enough to accommodate the passage of the baby.” He sighed and flinched a little. “I still remember how much it hurt to sit after Orion was born. For weeks..."
However, in spite of the pain, Pascal was looking forward to the birth of his new alien child. He said it would be good to watch him or her grow up with Charity and Vidcund’s children, boy-girl twins named Gavin and Grace, who were toddlers, absolutely adorable, and loved by all who knew them.
Vidcund walked into the living room, carrying Grace on his hip. “Charity, would you give Grace a bath? I was going to do it, but Lazlo says Xander’s on the phone, and...”
“Of course,” Charity agreed, accepting the blond, silver-eyed toddler from her husband. “I hope Xander is okay.”
Vidcund kissed her. “I’m sure he is,” he replied as he walked to the phone. “He probably just wants more money. You know how these college kids are... ”
Orion, Xander, and Xena were off at college, and all were doing very well.
Although Orion found himself fascinated by learning and hadn’t taken the time to develop a relationship yet, Xander and Xena had both found that special someone and fallen in love.
Xander had met his girlfriend, Jordan, when she moved into their dorm the first day, and Xena had fallen for an older student… a senior, although he was no stranger to Charity.
It was Buck Grunt.
True to her word, Charity had kept in close touch with the Grunt boys over the past several years. No longer boys, though... she thought affectionately to herself.
Tank had grown into manhood, joined the military, and was working hard to put both his younger brothers through college, although his middle brother Ripp should have already graduated. Ripp had purposefully prolonged his college career by changing his major several times, because college life agreed with Ripp.
Charity had visited him at the campus several times, also checking in on Buck, Orion, and the twins. She was pleased to find they were all thriving. Ripp had even mended the fences with his older brother, Tank, following Charity’s advice, and she was thrilled.
“Now, we just need to get you and your older brother settled down,” Charity remarked to Ripp one afternoon she visited the college. “I mean, honestly, Ripp... how long have you been going to school?”
“I just can’t decide what I want to do,” Ripp hedged, grinning.
“Oh, I think you know what you want to do,” Charity laughed. “...and you’re already doing it.” She gave him a hug. “You just keep right on doing it, though. I’m just so glad you all are okay, and happy, after all that happened to you and all you went through.” She smiled sadly. “Do you know what else?”
“What?” Ripp asked.
“I’m sure Reginald would be happy to know it, as well.”
To Be Continued...