I sat in my workshop, tinkering on an old watch, when there was a ringing of bells. I looked up to see a young man with sandy brown hair walking towards my desk.
"How can I help you, sir?" I asked.
He bowed his head, "Name's Jake Griffin. There were rumors of a psychic matchmaker from the future here."
I chuckled, "Psychic matchmaker from the future? That's a new one. So what do you want, Mr. Griffin?"
"Jake. Call me Jake. Mr. Griffin is my father," he said. "And you are? I'd like to know your name before I give my request."
"I like you, Jake," I grinned, standing and holding my hand out to him. "Call me Forest. My real name... It's reserved for anyone who can catch me. It's like the old fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin but with an old elf twist."
Jake chuckled as he shook my hand, "I assume we're not talking about the little elves at Santa's workshop but more old fairy tale elves that live in the woods sort of fae."
"Correct," I beamed, walking around my desk and leading him to the fireplace. "Now tell me your request? Also, what will you drink? I have an assortment of teas, coffees, juices, and bubbles."
"Surprise me," Jake smiled. "As for my request, it has to do with love but I know there is a price I must pay with each request."
I snapped my fingers, once we were seated, and a tray of refreshments appeared. I picked up my mug and pushed the tray towards him. Jake picked up the remaining cup and took a sip.
"Payment can be settled many different ways," I informed him. "Now is this love request for you or someone else?"
Jake sighed, "It's for my child. My wife, Abigail, is only a few months pregnant and we don't know the gender yet but I want to ensure my child will be loved."
I leaned forward and patted his knee, "You are admirable, Jake. Not many make your type of requests. Your child will be cared for by someone who will love her as you and your wife do. As for payment, you will live for a long time until 15 years after your child marries their match. You will know when death comes but when it does, I will journey with you to the heavens. It's my job to ensure your safe trip to the afterlife since you are now under my watch."
"Thank you, Forest," Jake beamed, straighten up in his seat and taking my hand. "Thank you so much."
"You're welcome," I smiled, waving my other hand and making a small talisman form, and handed it to him. "Keep this on you at all time. A reminder of our meeting. It's elemental-proof so it will endure a lot of things."
Jake took the talisman and immediately put it on, "Thanks again, Forest."
I smirked, "Now go home to Abigail but don't forget to stop by Midnight for your takeout order."
I watched him leave and took a sip from my mug. Even before he asked his request, I already knew of it. His daughter, Clarke, would be quite blessed under my watch as his son, Aden. The siblings would be 10 years apart but their bond will strong. I teleported back to my seat at the desk and set my mug down, resuming my work on the old watch. It wasn't necessary but it took my mind off of events that were to come soon enough.
/ - / - /
A week later, I had yet another late night visitor. This time, I was working on a steampunk clock for a client of a different time period when a tall burly man in a suit came in. The bells rang violently upon his harsh arrival.
"You there!" he stated. "You are the time genie, are you not?"
"And how may I be of service to you, Mr. Alexander Woods?" I asked, ignoring his rudeness. "Does this have to do with your unborn child?"
He huffed, "Yes. Is it possible for you to ensure that I have a male heir as my firstborn?"
I stared at him in the eyes, "It comes at a price. Are you willing to pay it?"
"I'll pay any price for a firstborn male," Alex answered without another thought.
"Congrats then," I sighed, waving my hand and forming a talisman.
He frowned, "Is that it?"
I chuckled, holding the talisman out, "Just about. Wear this for the rest of your life and never take it off. I'll be watching."
Alexander didn't question it nor ask how I knew his name. I watched him go and sighed. His child would have a hard life just because he did not listen to my instructions. Everything has a price and some things were not worth it. However, I could see that this would work out in the end. I snapped my fingers and a letter appeared. I walked it to the mailbox outside my shop and dropped it in the bin.
"May the stars fall gently to the ground," I hummed, looking up at the starry night skies, and spotted a shooting star. "Looks like there's going to be a surprise meteor shower tomorrow night."
"Maya dearest, we have incoming guests soon," I informed as I danced around her office.
Maya chuckled as she watched me, "Who are our guests?"
I smirked, "You'll see soon enough."
I leaped onto her desk, transforming into a black cat, and meowed at her. She rolled her eyes and patted my head as she tuned her ears to listen beyond the door.
There were a set of heavy footsteps and a set of light footsteps, respectfully pertaining to an adult male and a child. They were in disagreement.
"Dad, what are we doing here?" the child questioned. "Why can't I be called 'Lexa'? I like it."
"Well, your mother and I don't like it," the man growled. "You are a boy and this boarding school will teach you to become a man. My parents did the same for me. You will answer to 'Alexander Woods the 3rd' or 'Axel' or even 'Alex' but not 'Lexa'. That's a girl's name."
"But dad, I don't want to go to boarding school," the boy protested, trying to get away but his father's grip was strong.
His father huffed, "What you want doesn't matter. This place will help you build the connections you need in life. You will be at this school year-round and come home for breaks. Understand?"
The boy sniffled, "Yes, dad."
"It's 'father' not 'dad'. Stop crying. Boys and men do not cry," the man grumbled. "We're almost at the door so look presentable."
Maya looked down at me before shooing me off her desk. I hopped down and hid by the potted plants near the door. I watched Maya snap her fingers and her appearance became human. I missed her horns already but us Fae Folks had to live integrated lives with humans.
There was a knock before Maya went to get it. "I apologize that my secretary wasn't here to greet you, sir. She's giving another family a tour of our facility."
"It's quite alright, Principal Vie," the man stated. "It's all about the children. I'm Alexander Woods the 2nd and this is my son, Alexander Woods the 3rd."
Maya smiled, "Welcome and please take a seat. I reviewed your submission and we are honored to accept him. I would also like to point out there is an option for Alexander to stay here for his breaks just for a few more thousands of dollars. It's not much."
"How much are we talking about?" Alexander questioned.
"Just another 10 grand," Maya answered. "It's pocket change to most of our esteemed families who have been sending their children here for generations. I am positive it's the same for you."
Alexander puffed, "Of course it is. I like it better if it is put to use with helping Axel here become a better man."
Maya bowed her head, appealing to Alexander's ego, "Only the best for the elite, sir."
I padded over and brushed my tail against Axel's leg, catching his attention. He watched me with rapted attention. I rolled on my back and showed my belly. As much as I wanted to mew out, I couldn't, not with Mr. Woods there. Axel tried to pet me but I quickly rolled back onto my feet and darted behind Maya's desk, running into Maya's leg.
Maya nudged me with her foot as she finished her conversation with Mr. Woods. She stood and walked Mr. Woods to the gates of Mount Weather with Axel and I trailing behind. Upon reaching the gates, the Woods family's butler/chauffeur put down a trunk and suitcase.
"Don't disappoint me, Axel," Mr. Woods stated before getting into the car, leaving Axel with Principal Vie.
The car was long gone but the smell of the exhaust made me sneezed, causing me to lose my form, and I shifted back.
Maya just reacted, "Bless you, dear."
"Wha?" Axel exclaimed in surprise as I smiled, "Thanks, love."
Axel had fainted and luckily he fell forward onto me. Maya giggled and picked up the boy. I got up and dusted myself off.
"Right... let's take Lexa to Gustus and Indra," I grinned. "She should be with family."
Maya shook her head at me, "It's a good thing Indra goes by Professor Thorn and not Professor Woods. How would we be able to explain to Mr. Woods about his disowned younger brother's wife working here?"
I chuckled, "Yea, that would be a problem. Anyways, should we put Lexa with Anya or Lincoln?"
"Obviously with Anya," Maya huffed, turning and heading in. "Don't forget Lexa's things and you owe me a backrub."
"Yes, dear," I laughed, picking up the trunk and suitcase with magic. "Poor Lexa. It's all my fault, isn't it?"
Maya sighed, "Yes but you always make it right in the end. You will with Lexa... and Clarke... and our little fish."
I nodded as I followed Maya, "I'll bring Ontari back to us even if she is human. I still can't believe I got cursed to fall in love with her."
Maya hummed, "You shouldn't have gotten so power-hungry. She would have stayed a Fae like us but she gave it up for you. Her death as a human brought you back to your senses."
"It did but she stole our hearts," I sighed. "I want to hear her say our names again."
Maya reached over and squeezed my shoulder, "Let's focus on getting Lexa settled in. You'll have to explain it to her one day and let's hope she'll be lenient on you."
I smirked, "Let's go reunite the Woods family."
Lexa woke up to an unfamiliar ceiling and slowly sat up to look around. "Where did Ms. Vie go? Who was that cat lady?"
"Oh, you're awake," someone yawned, causing Lexa to make herself smaller on the bed. "Hey, it's safe. I don't bite."
"Where and who are you?" Lexa questioned, glancing around for movement.
It came from the corner, adjacent to the door. At first, Lexa saw a potted plant, but then a humanoid plant stepped out. It slowly transformed into a human being and stopped in front of her.
"Anya Woods," the mystery person stated. "I'm your cousin. This is our dorm room and to answer your other two questions, Ms. Vie is talking to my parents aka your uncle and aunt. Meanwhile, the cat lady you met is Forest. She's with Ms. Vie as in, they're married."
Lexa gulped, "What are you?"
Anya smirked, "Half-human and half-Dryad. The Dryad side is from my mom, Indra. Come on. I'm supposed to take you to meet them when you wake up."
"How do I know you're not lying to me?" Lexa accused, scared of her life.
"Lexa, you can trust me," Anya replied, holding her hand out. "We're family."
Lexa cautiously reached out, accepting Anya's hand, and was pulled out of the bed. She landed on her feet and quite close to Anya that she could hear Anya's heartbeat and feel the warmth spilling from Anya's body. Anya laughed but led the way out of their room and down some hallways.
/ - / - /
Lexa stared at Gustus Woods, "If you're my uncle, then why do I not know you?"
"Because the family refuses to acknowledge me for marrying the love of my life," Gustus replied. "They refuse because Indra is a Dryad. I am considered dead to the family."
Lexa looked over at me and I nodded in confirmation. "Gustus was stripped of everything that was in his name so I suggested he come to live here. Indra was already settled here so he accepted."
"My father paid Ms. Vie so I could stay longer here..." Lexa trailed off before going quiet.
Indra stood, crossing the short distance, and hugged Lexa, "You will be staying with us but during the school months, you will stay at the dorms. Forest has explained your unique situation and we understand that you want to be referred to as 'Lexa' and not by what your father wants."
"Thank you," Lexa mumbled into Indra's shirt.
"I'll let you guys finish getting acquainted," I smiled, getting up. "About the time I return home to Maya. I'll see all of you on campus tomorrow."
/ - / - /
"Any questions, Ms. Lexa?" Principal Vie questioned as they reached Lexa's first classroom.
"No, ma'am," Lexa replied. "I think I got it."
Maya patted Lexa's shoulder, "It'll be okay even if it is an advanced class. Anya's in it so you'll have a familiar face to help you and it's still easy introductory lessons for right now. Good luck, Lexa."
"Thank you, again, Ms. Vie," Lexa nodded before heading in.
The classroom was noisy for an early morning. A lot of whispering and glances at her. Lexa felt uneasy until Anya called out to her. She walked over to Anya and took the empty seat her cousin had indicated.
"Welcome to math, pipsqueak," Anya smirked. "You must be super smart for jumping two grades."
Lexa looked at the tabletop, "Do I really deserve to be here?"
Before Anya could reply, the teacher came in. "I hope you're all awake. It's time for attendance again. We have a new student. No need for introductions, you can befriend each other later. It's time for math."
"That's Professor Seven," Anya whispered to Lexa. "Make a good impression with her and it's smooth sailing as long as you keep up with the work."
Lexa nodded in acknowledgment and waited for her name to be called. She was surprised when the professor said 'Lexa' instead of 'Alexander' or 'Axel' but answered to her name.
/ - / - /
"Is everyone Fae here?" Lexa asked when they headed to lunch after their long English class.
"Only a quarter are fully Fae, half are hybrids, and the rest are human," Anya answered. "How did you like math and English so far?"
Lexa shrugged, "It was fun."
Anya chuckled, "The schedule can be a bit tough to get used to but we have our four core classes: math, English, science, and history. From 1 to 3 PM is a study period but they offer half an hour lessons. 3 to 5 PM is for sports and clubs."
"What's on Wednesday?" Lexa asked. "It's different than the other days."
"It's a Shadow day," Anya explained. "We shadow or follow a grown-up in our field of work. Ms. Forest is really good at ensuring our job placement and our mentor. I think we'll find her at the teachers' lounge."
Lexa frowned, "Will we be welcomed there?"
Anya smirked, "Of course we will."
Anya took Lexa's hand and they changed course to the teachers' lounge. When they get there, there were not a lot of teachers. Lexa recognized her uncle and her aunt but it took her a moment to realize Ms. Vie was there in Fae form.
"Forest, I'm hungry," huffed a young blonde girl. "I want food."
"And so does everyone else in this room," chuckled a sandy-haired man. "Clarke, be a bit more patient."
Clarke pouted, "But my tummy is hungry, dad."
I came out of a small kitchen area and grinned, "Is my little Skaiprisa hungry?"
"Yes," Clarke beamed at me. "Forest, feed me."
"Your wish is my command," I chuckled, snapping my fingers, and the tables were covered with food. "Eat as much as you want, my sky princess."
I turned and pecked Maya's cheek, "Clarke is cute, right?"
Maya laughed, "We are not stealing human children. Besides, Ainsley is visiting soon which means Storm is too."
"Who are they?" Lexa questioned, moving closer and feeling worried about how they felt about her presence at the school.
I smiled at Lexa, "Hey there little Woods Prince. Did you come to have lunch with us?"
"Who are Ainsley and Storm?" Lexa asked, wringing her hands.
I picked Lexa up and sighed, "They're my daughters. Twins. Completely unexpected but one of them is going to be your mentor, that's if I can convince them to stay."
"Oh," Lexa stated, glancing away in shame.
I ruffled Lexa's hair and set her down beside Clarke, "Lexa, this is Clarke Griffin. Clarke, this is Lexa Woods. You two will be pen pals. Do you know what that is?"
Clarke squealed through the mouthful of eggs, "We get to write letters to each other and be friends!"
Jake shook his head with a smile, "Clarke, sweetie, you don't talk with your mouth full of food."
Lexa grabbed a napkin off the table and wiped Clarke's mouth off, "We can't be friends if you are messy."
"We can't be friends if you are ... Forest, what was that word?" Clarke pouted.
"It's 'serious' dear," I smirked. "Don't you two look cute? Eat up."
Clarke glared at Lexa and started again, "We can't be friends if you are serious."
They stared at each other for another moment before laughing. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.
"She's still asleep," Maya sighed as she picked up a stray pillow and tucked it behind my head. "Everything needs to be washed."
"Why don't you start with a bucket of cold water?" Indra chuckled from the doorway.
Maya glanced at Indra, "Would you do that to Gustus?"
Indra smirked, "Only if I had an argument to win."
I stretched and rolled into my side, reaching for my narwhal plush. I nuzzled it before sitting up, causing Maya to giggle and fix my hair.
"Morning," I mumbled with sleep blurry eyes. "What's going on?"
"It's Wednesday," Maya hummed, summoning a wet cloth to clean up my face. "Ainsley and Storm are making breakfast. So which one of them is going to be Lexa's mentor?"
I thought about my answer as Maya wiped away the sleepiness. The twins were good kids cause Maya, Fish, and I raised them along with the rest of our army of children. Upon further evaluation, I realized neither twins would be the right fit for Lexa.
"Eve will be Lexa's mentor," I answered, beaming proudly at my choice.
Indra frowned, "Isn't she mute?"
Maya giggled, "Eve is a selective mute and she's been cursed since in the womb of this idiot."
"What kind of curse?" Indra asked, curious about how Eve could help Lexa.
"You'll see," Maya smirked, cupping my cheeks and pecking my nose. "I trust you, love."
/ - / - /
Lexa leaned slightly forward, peeking a look at Ontari Frost and Roan Queen. They were waiting on Forest too for their mentors. Anya and her mentor, Ollie, were waiting with her for moral support. Lincoln was off with his mentor doing who knows what.
"When do people usually get mentors?" Lexa questioned.
"When they turn 8 or when they're in 3rd grade," Anya answered. "Don't be so nervous. You'll get someone cool, just not as cool as Ollie."
Ollie giggled, "Just because I'm a firefighter technician."
"Psh, Ollie isn't cooler than me," someone stated, popping in out of thin air.
Ollie squealed and hopped out of her seat. She jumped at the younger woman who looked similar to her and hugged her.
"Baby sister #9," Ollie beamed. "Eve, what are you doing here?"
Eve laughed as she pushed Ollie away, "Heard nomon is getting a mentor and I had to see her cute little human form. Plus mama gave me an assignment, #7. Oh, the rest are here too. They should be popping in soon."
Several more people appear and Lexa assumed that they were siblings with the way hugs and kisses were going around. Lexa counted a total of 10 of them, five guys and five girls. There were two sets of twins and one set of triplets.
"Anya, come here," Ollie waved over, eager to introduce Anya to the family. "The female twins, Storm, and Ainsley. Then there Oscar, Owen, and the male twins, Davy and Finnick. I'm next then the triplets, Tara, Eve, and Rian. Guys, this is Anya Woods. She's Gustus and Indra's daughter."
"Hello," Anya smiled shyly, hiding a bit behind Ollie. "Forest never said how many of you guys there was."
Eve giggled, "Mama's secretive. I wonder where she is."
Storm shrugged, "She was eating breakfast when Ainsley and I left to join you guys so she should be here soon."
"She's walking over," Ainsley announced, spotting Indra, Maya, and me.
They lined up behind Roan, Ontari, Anya, and Lexa. Meanwhile, Indra, Maya, and I took our time to walk over. It was a beautiful morning to enjoy.
Upon getting there, I turned to Maya, "Why did we have so many kids?"
Maya laughed, "Because you wanted a big family and to outdo your siblings."
"That explains a lot," Indra stated. "Now shall we begin?"
I cleared my throat, "Ollie, Anya, get going before I reassign you two."
"How dare you, mama?!" Ollie gasped mockingly before patting Anya's shoulders. "Let's go, An."
Anya nudged Lexa, "Good luck and have fun, Lexa. Tell me all about it later."
"Bye Anya," Lexa smiled sadly.
"Right, next is Roan," I informed. "Since Mr. Talaxian retired, your new mentor is Mr. Bixby. He should be dropping in soon."
We glanced around a bit before a puff of smoke appeared. A man emerged from the smoke, coughing.
"I need a new mode of transportation," Mr. Bixby huffed, straightening himself out. "Anyways, I'm here for Roan Queen."
Roan walked over to Mr. Bixby and introduced himself before they left. I gestured for Ontari and Lexa to come closer and sat down in front of them.
"Alright, you two," I smiled. "Usually the Wednesday following after your 8th birthday, you are assigned a mentor, but you guys just started this year and jumped to the fifth grade at that."
"Will our mentor be one of your children?" Ontari questioned.
I chuckled, "Only if you want one of them to be, Ontari, but I do have someone in mind for you. We'll start with Lexa, okay?"
Ontari nodded and I turned my attention to Lexa, "Another thing before I tell you who your mentor is, if you two ever feel uncomfortable with your mentors, tell us and we'll get you a new one. Our main concern is you and don't worry, misbehaving mentors will be punished. Now, Lexa, I like you to meet Eve. She's special like you but I'll let her tell you."
"Hi," Eve whispered, coming up behind the girls. "Lexa, are you ready to go on an adventure?"
Lexa looked nervously between everyone before taking a step closer to me, "I'm scared."
"It's okay to be scared," I smiled, pulling Lexa into a hug. "But you don't have to be. Indra will be supervising for the first few Wednesdays or at least until you're ready. We will always do our best to keep you safe, Lexa."
Lexa nodded into the hug before pulling away. She turned and took Eve's hand but also Indra's. I sighed as they went off. Maya took a seat next to me before we addressed Ontari.
/ - / - /
Lexa looked at Eve and could see parts resembling Forest and Ms. Vie. She was confused by the fact that she saw a bit of Ontari Frost. She also couldn't see what was special about Eve. She allowed Eve to lead and they ended up on the rooftop of the school. She was amazed that there was a garden and couldn't wait to explore.
"Don't go too far," Eve informed as she performed some magic. "We'll be having a picnic soon."
"Okay," Lexa agreed, wandering to the edge of the garden before going further.
After exploring a bit, Lexa returned to Eve and Indra where a picnic was set up. They mostly enjoyed the beautiful day in peace, occasionally snacking and making light conversations. It was during sunset that Indra and Lexa discovered Eve's special secret that only the family knew. At sunrise, Eve was female, but at sunset, Eve was male.
"Now I see what they meant by cursed," Indra stated, patting a now male Eve.
Eve chuckled, "I've gotten used to it by now but the early years were tough. Mama, mom, and nomon, I wouldn't be here without them."
Lexa pouted, "You're different than me."
"I can still help you, Lexa," Eve pointed out. "Even in this form, I still see myself as a girl."
"I get it now," Lexa beamed.
Lexa looked around the campus in awe. The administration had decorated the place for Halloween even though the fae called it All Hallow's Eve. It was the end of summer now and a day was the fae could be themselves in their true form.
Lexa allowed Anya to paint her face like a werepanther. Anya had flowers coming out of her vinelike hair. Meanwhile, Lincoln had mushrooms. Aunt Indra looked magnificent in her Fae form, like a real tree. Uncle Gustus dressed up as a bear.
"Is it always this festive?" Lexa asked as she followed Anya to class. "Will we get candy?"
"Yes," Anya shrugged, used to the event. "But you have to earn your candy by answering the professors' questions. You get more if it's right."
Lexa looked at Anya, "I've never celebrated Halloween before."
Anya reached over and ruffled Lexa's hair, "Let's win the candy contest. The candy comes in different sizes and different brand which means they're worth different points. We have until 5 PM to collect candy and you can team up with only one other person."
"So partners?" Lexa asked hesitantly.
"Obviously, pipsqueak," Anya laughed. "Even our mentors will be passing out candy so if you see yours, catch them."
"Okay," Lexa beamed. "Let's get to class."
/ - / - /
I purred as Maya carried me around in her arms. It was one of the reasons I liked being in my cat form.
"Spoiled," Maya smirked, scratching my head.
'But you love me,' I replied telepathically as I rubbed my head against her arm. 'I love you.'
Maya giggled, "Are you ready for the hide-and-seek event?"
I hissed, 'Never.'
"But we do it every year," Maya pointed out. "The best way to get you to exercise too."
'I don't like you right now,' I replied.
Maya lifted me up and pecked my head, "Run, okay? I have you're favorite ready for dinner. Lobster everything."
'You are the best,' I meowed as she put me on the ground. 'See you at 5 PM.'
Maya laughed as I ran off to avoid being caught by the children. Catching me would give them 500 points and put them in the lead of the candy counter.
/ - / - /
Ontari sniffled as she entered her secret hiding place. Her roommate betrayed her and stole all the candy she earned from her classes. She did fight back but her roommate had help. They were supposed to be a team but Echo decided to go behind Ontari's back and joined up with Ash.
Ontari didn't expect to find Lexa, Anya, Lincoln, and Roan counting their candy at the rooftop garden. She froze upon intruding and before she could run, Roan stopped her.
"Who did this to you?" Roan questioned.
"My roommate, Echo," Ontari answered.
Roan pulled Ontari into a hug, "You are safe here. I'm sorry I wasn't there to protect you."
"Do you want to join our team?" Lexa asked after a few moments. "I know the rules said you could have one teammate but they never said anything about having partnerships with other teams."
Ontari gave a small uncertain smile, "Okay but I don't have any candy to contribute."
There was a meow before anyone of them noticed the black cat by Ontari's leg. Anya, Lincoln, and Roan had dropped their jaws because of the special rule: catch the tuxedo cat and win 500 candy points. The tuxedo cat was curling up against Ontari's leg.
"Hi kitty," Ontari beamed, reaching down to pet it. "I don't have a treat for you right now but can I hug you?"
The cat meowed and reached up with its forepaws, standing on its hind legs. Ontari carefully scooped the cat up and kissed its furry head.
"We'll take the cat as a contribution," Anya stated. "Bring it over here and sit down."
Ontari carried the cat over and sat down next to Lexa with Roan sitting to her right. The cat rolled onto it's back and mewed for belly rubs.
Lexa frowned, "I feel like I've seen this cat somewhere but I can't remember where."
Ontari shrugged as she rubbed the cat's belly, "I usually find her napping up here. She likes her belly rubs. Why do you want the cat?"
Roan patted Ontari's back, "That cat is worth 500 candy points. No one has ever managed to catch her."
"Maybe they should have used treats," Ontari stated as the cat batted at Lexa's hand.
"Ah!" Lexa exclaimed. "I saw a similar cat at Principal Vie's office when my father dropped me off. That cat turned out to be Forest."
"But wasn't that cat all black?" Lincoln asked, thinking about the times when Forest was a cat.
Before anyone could add their input to the conversation, an announcement came through the campus speakers. Everyone had to report to the quad area for the final count. They quickly put the candy into Lexa's backpack before coaxing the cat in. Lexa's school supplies were in Anya's backpack since they had not stopped by their dorm room yet. The five of them headed to the quad for the final count, not knowing that they were indeed the winning team.
"Are your parents coming?" Ontari asked Lexa as they walked to the school gates for visiting day.
"I doubt they ever would," Lexa replied. "They call me 'Axel' instead of 'Lexa' and they don't listen to me."
Ontari took Lexa's hand, "Some people don't deserve to be parents... At least that's what my stepmom says."
"Hey, you two, over here!" Roan called out when he spotted them.
They walked over and waited for Roan's and Ontari's mother. It didn't take long for Nia Queen to make her appearance. The sea of parents and children sort of part for her.
"Roan, Ontari, my sweet children," Nia beamed, rushing over to hug them and accidentally sweeping Lexa into the giant hug. "I don't recall adopting a child as cute as you."
Lexa blushed, "I'm Lexa Woods. A friend of both your children."
Nia smiled sadly, "Oh, your father is Alexander Woods the 2nd. I was a friend of his through your mother. She was one of my best friends."
"You know my mother?" Lexa blinked in surprise.
"I did," Nia nodded. "But I haven't spoken to her in 10 years after getting into an argument with your father. Is your mother doing well?"
"Elinor's fine and she's right here," I answered for Lexa. "Surprise, Lexa."
"Mom," Lexa gaped before walking towards her mother and hugging her. "You're here."
"Lexa," Elinor beamed. "How are you? Forest has been sending reports but I'd much rather hear it from you."
"Ow," I groaned, interrupting the moment, but I had been punched in the arm. "Maya!"
"Don't you 'Maya' me, dear," Maya stated. "I made breakfast for you only to find you gone. Not only that, you didn't bring anything back for me."
I pouted as I presented her with a blue Sugarfina box, "But I got you this."
I felt a tug on my shirt and looked down at Lexa. "Thank you for bringing my mother, Forest."
"Everyone deserves a visitor," I smiled at her before addressing all of them. "Why don't the five of you head over to the rooftop garden? A picnic has been set up for both your families to enjoy."
They gave their gratitude and walked off. I sighed and leaned against Maya, who took the Sugarfina box from me. She ruffled my hair before leading me home.
/ - / - /
Elinor held Lexa close as she conversed with Nia. She was glad to be reunited with her friend and realized how much she missed having friends. Alex had limited her contact with the world outside their home when they started planning on having Lexa. She wanted a little girl while Alex wanted a boy.
Upon their fourth or fifth ultrasound, the doctor informed them of their baby's gender. The doctor confirmed that the baby was female and that night, Alex followed up on a rumor he heard. To Elinor's and the doctor's surprise at the next appointment, the baby girl was male.
"Mother, can I go play?" Lexa questioned when she noticed Ontari and Roan get up.
"Of course," Elinor beamed, letting Lexa up. "Be careful, dear."
Nia studied her friend and waited until the kids were deep in the garden, "He still hits you, doesn't he?"
Elinor looked away, "I have to protect Lexa even if it's at the risk of my own life, Nia."
"Lexa needs you," Nia sighed. "Hell, Ontari needs Viola but now she has me."
"What happened to Viola?" Elinor questioned, remembering Ontari's mother. "I've only met her a few times before Alex stopped allowing me to have guests."
Nia shook her head sadly, "Robbery gone wrong and she was killed in front of Ontari. The robbers were leaving as the two were entering, unaware of the situation. The gun went off and they booked it."
Elinor brought her hand together, keeping her anger at bay, "Were they ever caught and tried?"
"They were," Nia confirmed. "Forest didn't let it go and used her connections. She cares a lot for Ontari."
"I wonder why," Elinor pondered out loud but Nia had no answer for it.
/ - / - /
"This is Uncle Gustus, Aunt Indra, Anya, and Lincoln," Lexa introduced. "Guys, this is my mother, Elinor."
Elinor chuckled, "I remember Gustus and Indra. I snuck off to go to their wedding."
Gustus grinned, "It has been a long while, Elle. How are you?"
"Better now that I know Lexa is safe," Elinor beamed. "Anya's gotten big. I recall seeing her as a newborn before..."
"I am glad you are able to join us for lunch," Indra stated, changing the topic. "It's not much but salads are good."
Lexa pouted, "Isn't that cannibalism for wood fae?"
Anya giggled, "I think you're right, Lexa."
Indra frowned, "Cannibalism or not, you two will eat your salad."
"Listen to your mom, Anya," Gustus chuckled, supporting his wife. "Plus salad is good for you."
Lincoln looked up from his bowl of salad, "Is Ms. Vie and Forest joining us? I thought you said they were."
Gustus checked his watch, "They might be just a bit late."
"Who is late?" I yawned as Maya and I popped into the Woods-Thorn dining room. "I brought the teriyaki chicken for us omnivores."
Maya sighed, "Sorry, Indra. It's difficult keeping this one on her leash."
"It's alright," Indra smiled. "Grab a seat and let's eat."
Clarke was mad at her best friend, Wells Jaha, because he didn't believe her and the fact that Faes do exist. She told him about her magical guardian, Forest, and he said it was make-believe. He kept denying it and they ended up physically fighting. Not to brag or anything, but she knew she had won when she smushed Wells's face into the grass.
However, Clarke ended up grounded because of her fight. She couldn't have desserts for a week and no TV. Also, she wasn't allowed to go with her dad to Mount Weather. Jake was going for work but there would be someone to watch Clarke while he was busy. Since Clarke was grounded, different arrangements were made for that weekend.
Clarke huffed as she sat in bed waiting for the babysitter since her mom was getting ready for work. She heard the doorbell ring but didn't move. There was a muffled conversation before the sound of the door closing.
"Clarke, come down here!" Abby called. "Please hurry, I have to go soon."
Clarke grumbled as she headed downstairs but as soon as she saw who it was waiting, she rushed and tripped over her feet. She readied herself for the perilous tumble down the stairs but felt light, airborne.
"Did you think I would let my Skaiprisa fall?" I chuckled and turned to Abby. "See, I got her. Nothing to worry about."
"And what about these three children you've brought along?" Abby questioned.
I grinned nervously, "They're human children who have lost their parents. Raven here is a born mechanic, and the Blake kids, they have the potential for something great. They just need guidance and some TLC."
Abby frowned, "What happened to their parents?"
"Some bad Fae got to them," I sighed. "Aurora, the mother of the Blake kids, was alive when I found all of them. I tried my best to heal her but some wounds were too infected. Now I got three helpless kids in need of a home. Will you give me time to find them a home while I watch Clarke?"
"Ugh... Fine," Abby groaned, pretending to be upset. "Just because they're here, they can only have two hours of TV and do something productive."
I saluted, "Yes, Sky Queen."
Abby caught Clarke, who was floating beside me, and kissed her, "I'll see you tomorrow, Clarke. Dad will be home for dinner."
"Bye Mom," Clarke beamed. "I'm going to have so much fun with Forest and my new friends."
"Forest, no Fae food," Abby warned before leaving.
I laughed, "Psh, it's not fun trying to kidnap Clarke without you and Jake here to stop me. Besides, my wife would kill me."
"Forest, hungry," Raven pouted as she took my hand.
"To the kitchen, all of you," I smiled while keeping an eye on all of them.
/ - / - /
Jake looked at me with wide eyes when he got home. "Did you convince Abby to adopt them?"
I grinned, "Maybe. Maybe not."
"Tell me about them," Jake laughed, realizing that I was joking.
"First off, the Blakes. Bellamy, 13, and the older maternal half-brother to Octavia, who is 7. Then there's the little blackbird, Raven Reyes, 8," I informed him as I scratched the back of my head. "I made sure they bathed and got clean clothes before playing with Clarke. Also, I may have screwed over your food system."
Jake frowned at first before sighing, "It's fine. So where are their parents?"
I glanced over at the children and sighed, "Gone. Wrong place, wrong time, plus some bad Fae is a terrible fate. I promised Aurora, Bellamy's and Octavia's mother, that I'd find them a home. Raven was trying to help them out since she has been the Fae's prisoner for a few days longer than them... I should have noticed it quicker, they were my subjects."
Jake reached over and patted my hands, "We don't have control over people and their actions but we do over our own."
I grinned, "Thanks, Jake. Let's get dinner."
"Hey, I'm married and Clarke's right there," Jake stated before we broke out into laughter, catching the children's attention.
"Forest, play now?" Clarke beamed, holding her hand out.
I smiled, "Later, Clarke. We're going to eat barbeque for dinner."
"All of us?" Octavia voiced, wondering if they were included.
"All of us," Jake confirmed. "Forest's paying... Do you guys use currency?"
"Sure do," I laughed and waved my hands, revealing some credit cards and cash. "I need to call Maya and invite her. She'll get upset with me if I don't."
"Yay! Maya's coming!" Clarke cheered. "I want to sit next to dad and Maya."
I pouted, "What about me?"
Clarke blinked, "But I never see Maya."
Jake chuckled, "Aw, she chose Maya over you."
I rolled my eyes and pulled out a cellphone to call Maya. I sighed as I dialed since Maya will tease me later about this.
/ - / - /
"More Hawaiian steak please," Clarke beamed at Maya. "I'll eat my salad too."
"Okay," Maya agreed as she put more salad on Bellamy's plate. "Everyone needs to eat their greens if they want more meat."
I smiled at Maya, "I love you and I'm sorry for bringing you here."
Maya rolled her eyes at me, "Just because I don't eat it often doesn't mean I'm against meat. Also, I love you."
"Ew," Raven frowned at us. "Can I have some more now?"
I chuckled softly and pulled the cooked pork belly slice off of the grill, cutting it onto Raven's plate and Octavia's. "Eat up, little ones. We're going to have a sleepover at Clarke's after this. Stop when you're feeling full and leave room for ice cream."
"What's ice cream?" Octavia questioned, looking at Bellamy for an answer.
"It's a cold sweet dessert made of milk," Bellamy answered. "You'll like it, O."
"We need to do this again with Abby," Jake grinned, waving a server over. "Group picture, guys."
After another half hour, we finished our dinner and desserts before heading back to the Griffin household. I helped Jake and Bellamy set up the living room for the sleepover while Maya helped the girls get ready for bed. Maya and I stayed with the children, all of us drifting off to sleep, while Jake retired in his room.
Breakfast was not a quiet affair after being woken up by Raven and Octavia, who was copying Raven. I slaved over the stove, making scrambled eggs with cheese melted on top, ham slices, and bacon, meanwhile Maya helped by loading it and the buttered toast onto plates for them.
"I can't get over how you cooked these eggs," Jake complimented. "Deliciously fluffy."
Maya giggled, "It's why she's the Head Chef at Mount Weather and dictates the school meals. Always healthy but also delicious."
"Forest, can I have pancakes too?" Clarke questioned, grabbing her bacon to munch on.
"Mama, pancakes, please?" Raven added, causing Maya and I to look at each other.
Raven had grown attached and it would be difficult to hand her away. Maya glanced at Octavia and Bellamy before meeting my eyes. There was a small smile and we knew we lost to three kids in need.
"Give me a few minutes, little ones," I sighed, moving around to find the pancake mix I saw yesterday when I was fixing food. "Bell, O, do you two want pancakes?"
"Yes, ma'am," Bellamy answered politely while Octavia squealed, "Pancakes! Pancakes!"
Jake frowned, "How come you didn't ask me?"
Maya smirked, "Because you'll be getting your own stack. Also, can you watch the kids for the next few hours?"
"Sure," Jake beamed. "Are you two going on a date?"
"Sort of," I replied, mixing all the ingredients for the pancakes together.
/ - / - /
"Paperwork is done," I smiled at Maya as I joined her at an electronics store. "What are we picking up here?"
Maya smiled back, "That laptop I ordered for myself. We're giving it to Bellamy to use for school."
I nodded, "Are we also getting tablets for the girls?"
"No, not yet," Maya hummed. "Raven's eight, right?"
"She is," I answered. "Who are you thinking of to mentor her?"
Maya beamed, "There's Jacapo Sinclair or B'lanna Paris. Personally, I think Sinclair would be a better match."
"I think so too," I laughed. "You're a mind reader."
"Only because I know you so well and you're buying me a replacement laptop," Maya smirked.
I sighed happily, "Yes dear. Now, we should get the house ready. Thank goodness we know -clears throat- some great people to help us unpack."
Maya giggled as she accepted the boxed laptop from the store clerk, who had come back from the supply room. I sensed he was human and needed to change what I was going to say about magic.
Maya drove us to the house that we stored away. It was two houses away from the Griffin's but close enough for the children to run back and forth. We just needed to use a bit of magic and the house would be ready for occupants.
/ - / - /
"Welcome home," I greeted Bellamy, Octavia, and Raven when Jake brought them over with Clarke.
Jake whistled before turning to Maya and me, "How did you guys manage this in a few hours?"
Maya giggled, "The house belongs to Callie Cartwig, who is Forest's human stepmom. She said we could use it and as for the paperwork, we had our friends expedited it."
"You're my mama," Raven exclaimed, trying to climb up my leg.
I chuckled and pulled her into a hug, "Yes, I'm your mama now. Octavia and Bellamy are your sister and brother."
Jake cleared his throat, "Have you two taken care of human children before?"
"We have," I smiled as I headed towards the stairs. "Let's go see the rooms."
We finished the tour of the house fairly quickly. Bellamy had his own room and he was grateful for everything, especially the laptop. Octavia and Raven shared a bathroom due to the Jill-&-Jill style bedrooms, with Octavia's room being closer to Bellamy's.
We retired to the kitchen for snacks and while Maya and Jake talked, I took Raven. I took her to the garage. She watched me curiously as I pulled a huge box out.
"What's that?" Raven questioned.
"It's for you," I chuckled. "It's a racecar kit, little mechanic. You can build your own racecar and drive it around the block."
Raven beamed, "My own racecar!"
I grinned, "We can start working on it tomorrow. When we're done, I'll let you build a rocket."
"Can I have the rocket now?" Raven asked.
I laughed and carried her back inside to the kitchen. Maya could tell that Raven liked her special gift due to all the excited babbling. Octavia walked over to us and tugged on my pants.
"My special gift?" Octavia pouted. "Bell, a laptop. Raven, car. Me? My gift?"
Maya giggled and got up to get it. I put Octavia on my lap and pecked her cheeks.
"You're really spoiling them," Jake chuckled. "So what did you get Octavia?"
"You'll see," I grinned as Maya came back.
Octavia looked at her gift in confusion, "What is it?"
Maya smiled, "It's an archery kit, little warrior. You'll like it once you start learning. If you're good, we'll get you a sword."
"A fake one," I clarified when Jake was about to say something. "She's either going to be an outdoor camp instructor, a gym instructor, or a cop. We're preparing for all the possibilities with these kids."
"Can I learn now?" Octavia asked, holding onto her bow.
"Tomorrow," Maya stated. "Right now, it's time for pizza."
There were loud cheers for pizza but I noticed how Clarke felt left out. I took her aside and put a letter in her hand.
"Lexa wrote to you, Skaiprisa," I informed. "I think that's the best gift of all."
Clarke held onto the letter and looked at me, "Don't tell my dad but I want to marry Lexa."
I brought a finger to my lips and whispered, "It's our little secret, Clarke. Now let's get some pizza."
"Lexa!" Clarke screamed as soon as Jake set her on the ground. "Forest, where's Lexa?"
I chuckled, "Is that the only reason you're here for, little Skaiprisa?"
Clarke beamed at me, "Yes and the food. Where's my Lexa?"
"Okay, one Lexa coming up," I grinned, snapping my fingers.
"-need cookies," Lexa stated before noticing her surroundings. "Uh... Hi Forest. Clarke!"
Ontari, who was also teleported along with Lexa, frowned, "Who is Clarke?"
"This is Clarke," Lexa laughed as the blonde hugged her. "She's my penpal and my friend."
Ontari glared at Clarke, "I don't know if I like you yet, Blondie."
Clarke smiled, "What were you guys saying about cookies? Forest, I want cookies."
I shook my head at her, "You'll spoil your dinner. Anyways, Jake and Abby, thanks for making it and for bringing your little munchkin."
Jake chuckled, "And where are your munchkins?"
I grinned, "Getting acquainted with their older Fae siblings and in-laws."
I felt three tugs in my shirt and looked down. Ontari, Lexa, and Clarke were giving me their best sad pout.
"Forest, can we please have some cookies?" Ontari asked for them.
I knew I was being used but couldn't resist the cuteness and groaned, "Fine, but no ice cream for dessert."
"Wait!" Clarke shouted. "There's ice cream for dessert? Let's wait for ice cream."
Lexa turned to Ontari, "Want to wait? We could eat our cookies with the ice cream."
"Fine, we'll listen to your girlfriend," Ontari huffed. "Let's go play with the new kids."
The trio ran off to where all the other children would be playing and I turned my attention back to Jake and Abby. "Right... We'll be eating soon but do look around and have fun. I need to check in with Maya."
Jake laughed, "Have to go find your wife. We'll catch you later and trade stories."
/ - / - /
"That's cute," Maya giggled as we walked back to the party. "I wish I was there to see Ontari call Clarke as Lexa's girlfriend."
"Maybe she'll say it again," I grinned. "Practically adorable. How long do we have to wait again?"
"10 or so years," Maya replied right before I was attacked.
I heard Maya gasp as I defended myself from five sets of hands hitting me. There were huffs and grumbling about 'Bambi', 'Rudolph', and some other deers. I was glad when the children were pulled away.
"What is going on here?" I questioned, getting up and dusting myself off.
"Bell said you killed Bambi," Octavia sniffled.
I sighed, "I did not kill Bambi, Rudolph, or any other cartoon deers."
"But the deer we're about to eat," Raven pouted.
"Is just a deer," I stated. "You don't have to eat it."
Clarke huffed, "You can't kill deers. It's just mean."
I sighed again, "Clarke if you say that then you can't eat burgers because it's made from cows. You can't have bacon because it's from pigs. There is a lot of food you wouldn't be able to eat if you don't kill the source it's from. Besides, the rest of Cyrus's herd is outside waiting to give all the good thankful children a sleigh ride but you five haven't been good."
Ontari wriggled out of Maya's grasp, ran up, and hugged me, "We're sorry, Forest. I'm sorry for hitting you."
The others followed along until I forgave them. I did after Maya gave me a look and gave each girl a hug. Maya promised to speak to Bellamy after dinner so I didn't go after him. I had a feeling someone else put him up to it, mainly one of the 10 children I bore.
/ - / - /
"How can you eat that?" Lexa frowned, scrunching her nose at Anya for eating the bacon-wrapped venison tenderloin.
Anya shrugged, "Tastes delicious."
"But it's Bambi's cousin or something," Clarke huffed.
"It's delicious," Anya laughed. "I'll take your piece if you don't want it."
"I thought Dryads don't eat meat," Ontari stated.
"We got teeth, kid," Anya stated. "Might as well use them. Besides, Forest doesn't waste food and she honors the life she takes unless they're from bad people. Just try the deer."
"I don't like it," Octavia pouted.
"How do you know that if you don't try it," Anya pointed out. "Besides, Bellamy ate it and he went to grab more."
"That traitor," Raven huffed. "He told us it was Bambi and he ate the deer."
Ontari glared at her piece of bacon-wrapped venison tenderloin before taking a bite and enjoyed it. "I like it. It's good."
Clarke sighed and picked her up with the fork, "Forest always made good food so this can't be bad. Plus I like my burgers and bacon."
"I'll eat it if you like it," Lexa stated, waiting for Clarke's judgment on the deer.
Clarke brought to her mouth and chewed on it. She smiled at the taste and Lexa dug in as well. Raven tried as well and eventually, Octavia gave it a try.
Anya chuckled, "That took you guys a while. Roan and Lincoln didn't complain nor did Forest's and Ms. Vie's grandchildren. They are like champions."
"Isn't the Thanksgiving meal traditionally a turkey?" Bellamy voiced.
"More than half of us are Fae," Anya retorted. "Got to have a blend of Fae culture. Besides, humans didn't start eating turkey until 1621 plus they're indigenous to North America. They only became popular when President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday."
"Lexa, we need to get more," Clarke declared after finishing her plate. "It was so good."
"Okay," Lexa agreed. "It was delicious."
It was time for sleigh rides and we had several sleighs ready. I looked around as everyone tried to figure out who they wanted to be seated next to before Maya hugged me from behind.
"I'm going to ride with the grandkids," Maya informed, pecking my cheeks. "I'll have to be mean and pick a grandkid from each of our childrens' families."
I chuckled, "At least you get to hold Eve's baby. She won't let me even be within 5 ft of her when she's holding Jane."
Maya smirked, "Because she knows you'll never let go of Jane. I can't wait to hold little Penn. Rian did well."
"Yes, he did," I beamed. "Give them extra kisses for me."
"Will do, love," Maya assured, giving me one last squeeze before going.
"Okay, 12 to a sleigh and kids under 10 must ride with at least 2 adults in their sleigh," I announced before heading over to the driver's seat of the first sleigh.
My sleigh held one too many children in my opinion. Lexa, Clarke, and Ontari fought to get the first row right behind the driver's seat. Behind them were Anya, Raven, and Octavia. Then seated next to were Bellamy, Lincoln, and Roan. In the last row was Abby, Jake, and Nia.
"Forest, can I drive?" Ontari asked, leaning forward against the sleigh as we slowly set out.
I turned back, "What do you say, Nia?"
"Keep your eyes on the road!" Nia shouted. "My kids have my permission."
I chuckled, "The deers know where they're going."
Lexa tugged on the back of my shirt, "I want a turn too."
"Everyone gets a turn," I laughed as I pulled Ontari up to the driver seat. "Here we go, little one."
/ - / - /
Lexa doesn't remember falling asleep during the last part of the sleigh ride nor does she remember being tucked in. She does remember the proximity of Clarke. Clarke was everywhere that night and she declared that it was the best night ever (any time spend with Clarke was the best time ever).
Lexa woke up to blonde hair in her face and she smiled, knowing that it was Clarke. She turned to pull her counterpart closer when -whump- a pillow hit them. Clarke, startled from the hit, immediately was up and looked around the room. It was chaos.
"Stop it, you little devils!" Anya huffed, swiping a pillow at Ontari, Raven, and Octavia.
Octavia fell back and laughed, "Ray, get her!"
Raven grinned as she waited for the opportunity to hit Anya, "I will, O. Go get Clarkey. We need reinforcements."
Ontari smirked at Anya and attacked Raven. Octavia beamed at Clarke and Lexa when she crawled over to avoid getting hit. Clarke grinned and grabbed the pillow that hit them. She jumped off the bed and headed straight for Anya. Lexa sighed but joined in on the pillow fight.
The pillow fight lasted for a while or at least until Indra came in to see why the girls were so noisy. She grumbled at them to clean up and get ready for breakfast. Anya had laughed once her mother left and it set off a domino effect but eventually, they cleaned up for breakfast.
/ - / - /
Most of the humans were wide-eyed when it came to breakfast. There was an assortment of healthy food to choose from. Anya, who got there first, grabbed a plate and went down the food line getting what she liked best.
Jake followed Clarke and Lexa, having to hold their plates since they couldn't. He was lucky Abby was there to help get him his breakfast. The girls were being a bit difficult when it came to the food.
"Scrambled eggs please," Clarke beamed.
Lexa looked at Jake, "I want easy sunny-side-up please."
Clarke scrunched her nose, "Ew, the yolk is runny."
"Tastes better that way," Lexa stated. "Oh, and I need a mini bread loaf, not toast."
Jake chuckled, "Mini bread loaf for Lexa and white toast for Clarke."
"I smell bacon," Clarke pointed out as they moved down the line. "Dad, bacon."
"I want some too, please," Lexa voiced. "And some of the Vietnamese meatloaf and the sliced ham."
Jake nodded and grabbed the food. It continued until they got to the end where Lexa and Clarke got to carry their own drinks to the table. They, of course, sat at the kid's table while Jake went to eat with the rest of the grownups.
"Mama," Raven huffed, raising her bread loaf. "Help me please."
I appeared between her seat and Octavia's, "Yes, Ray. Need some help?"
Raven nodded, "Make egg sammies for O and me. I like it the way you do it."
Lexa looked over and studied the items on Octavia's and Raven's plate. It had eggs over easy, Vietnamese meatloaf, and bacon. There was a second plate full of mini pancakes.
"Here you go, Ray," I beamed, handing her the stuffed bread after adding a bit of soy sauce. "And where's O?"
"I'm here, mama," Octavia answered, tugging on my shirt.
I pecked their cheeks and quickly put Octavia's stuffed bread together. "Eat up, little ones."
"Wait!" Lexa stated. "Will you make my stuffed bread sandwich, please?"
"Sure, Lex," I smiled before teleporting to her side. "How do you want it?"
"Butter and meatloaf on the side and the egg right in the middle," Lexa replied. "And a dash of soy sauce on it. I think Clarke's missing out."
I glanced over at Clarke's plate and chuckled, "How about you let her have a bite when I'm done? That way she won't miss out on it."
Lexa's eyes lit up at the idea and she beamed at Clarke. Clarke refused at first but saw how Raven and Octavia were enjoying theirs, and reluctantly took a bit of Lexa's stuffed bread sandwich.
"Forest, can you make me one?" Clarke asked after swallowing. "Pretty please?"
I sighed happily, "Anyone else wants a stuffed bread sandwich?"
Raven's hand went up as did a shy Ontari's. I made four altogether, one for myself, and passed the rest out.
"It's finally over!" Ontari cheered as they left their last class of the day and headed for lunch.
"Don't we still have two hours of basketball practice in three hours?" Lexa questioned.
"Don't remind us," Anya groaned. "Anyways, the good stuff should be in the teachers' lounge."
"But there's a feast in the cafeteria," Ontari pointed out.
Lexa giggled, "The good stuff is made by Forest and it's fresher than what the cafeteria cooks give us."
Anya smirked and took off, "Race you two there!"
"Hey!" Both eight-year-olds huffed and chased after Anya.
/ - / - /
"Give me my Lexa!" Clarke demanded, stomping her foot. "Forest, I want Lexa!"
"And I am cooking, Clarke," I informed from the teachers' kitchen (more like my kitchen away from home since no one cooks in it but me). "Lexa will be here soon. Why don't you greet her by the door?"
Clarke huffed and walked over to the door, hoping to see Lexa as soon as possible. She heard footsteps and waited to see Anya coming around the corner. Anya slowed as she got closer to Clarke before finally stopping.
"Hey Clarke," Anya grinned. "Lexa's right around that corner if you want to see her."
Clarke's eyes lit up as her feet picked up in speed. She headed to where she had seen Anya turn and boom. No one expected it but they heard the shout of pain and came to inspect.
Anya saw the whole thing and by her account, Clarke was running over to meet Lexa at the corner. Lexa didn't know Clarke was going to be there as she turned and they crashed into each other. Due to the turn, Lexa fell first and cushioned Clarke's fall but Clarke landed and kneed Lexa's boy bits. On top of that, Ontari was right behind Lexa and fell on top of the two.
Indra, Maya, and Jake got to the little tower of fallen children first. Maya took Ontari, Jake got Clarke, and Indra helped Lexa sit up.
Maya ruffled Ontari's hair, "You're good to go."
"What about Lexa?" Ontari asked, full of concern for her best friend.
"A small bump on her head," Indra informed while avoiding to say the other part.
Maya moved over to Lexa, "Does it hurt anywhere else?"
Lexa sniffled, "It hurts down there."
"I'm sorry, Lexa," Clarke apologized, close to tears.
Maya chuckled and waved Clarke over. "Come help me with a magic spell to make the pain go away."
Clarke looked at Maya with wide eyes, "I can make Lexa's pain go away?"
"Yes," Maya confirmed. "Just follow me."
Maya made gestures of grabbing the pain and tossing it away while saying a little chant. In the second round, Clarke joined in.
"How do you feel now?" Maya questioned Lexa.
Lexa touched the back of her head and smiled, "No more pain anywhere."
Clarke and Ontari hugged Lexa for the miraculous recovery before Maya shuffled them towards the teachers' lounge for food.
As the kids crossed the threshold of the teachers' lounge, Bellamy grumbled, "What a freak."
It hurt Lexa more than falling when she heard that. It wasn't her fault she was born male when truly in her heart, she was a girl. Even though Eve tried to prepare her about other people's harsh words and opinions, it was different when those words and opinions were directed at her. She almost missed seeing Maya smack the back of Bellamy's head.
"Bellamy Blake, you will apologize to Lexa right now," Maya informed him quite loudly. "And you are grounded until further notice. Forest, come help me discipline our son."
I popped out of the kitchen after turning off the stove, "What's happening now?"
"Bellamy called Lexa a 'freak' because Lexa was hurting down there when she and Clarke fell," Octavia stated. "Can I have a cookie now?"
"Not yet, O," I sighed and frowned at Bellamy, "We are all friends here which means you shouldn't be mean."
"But she's a freak," Bellamy huffed. "Girls don't have penises but Lexa has one."
"Lexa was born male and identifies as female," I pointed out. "Lexa is a girl. Now apologize to her and as Maya said, you are grounded until further notice. You will also be spending the rest of today as a girl."
"What do you-?" Bellamy screamed. "Wha? I don't want to be a girl!"
"Deal with it," I stated, turning Lexa. "Hey, Lexa. You're okay. How about a hug?"
Lexa nodded and walked into my arms. I held her close and pecked her cheeks.
"Thanks, Forest," Lexa sniffled. "I love you."
"Love you too, Lexa," I smiled, turning her around. "Someone wants to eat lunch with you. Go on Lex, don't leave Clarke waiting."
Lexa nodded and walked over to Clarke. Clarke showed her and the rest of their friends where they were going to sit for lunch.
/ - / - /
Clarke nuzzled into Lexa for their sleepover, "You're not a freak, Lexa. You are you and I love everything about you. I'm going to marry you one day."
Lexa smiled, "Thank you, Clarke. I love you too and you're the only girl I want to marry."
"You two still have to propose to each other," Ontari groaned. "Now shut up and sleep."
"You're just jealous," Clarke huffed, sticking her tongue out at Ontari in the dark.
"Enough!" Anya stated. "Go to sleep before I kick all of you out."
Clarke studied the catapult that Raven built and frowned, "Are you sure it will work, Raven?"
"Of course it will," Raven grinned. "Mama got me the proper building tools and everything I've ever wanted. She also wanted this recorded."
"So... What about our other pranks?" Clarke questioned. "Will they make Bellamy hurt and cry?"
Raven shrugged, "Eventually, I guess. Let see how it plays out."
"Children! Breakfast now!" Maya called from the kitchen. "Forest made pancakes and bacon!"
"Bacon!" Anya cheered. "Lincoln, don't tell Mom!"
"As long as you don't either!" Lincoln shouted back.
/ - / - /
Bellamy heard the call for breakfast and headed to the bathroom to pee before heading down. Upon opening the bathroom door, a bucket of ice-cold water fell on him.
"Argh! Mom! I can't see!" Bellamy shouted from where he stood.
Maya sighed and headed upstairs to see what was wrong. She bit back a laugh upon seeing a bucket over her son's head and helped him.
"Don't forget to clean up, Bell," Maya stated, setting the bucket down. "Forest won't like it if she has to clean up after you."
Bellamy frowned, "But breakfast."
"It will still be there when you're down, a bit cold but still there," Maya informed as she headed back to the kitchen.
Bellamy sighed and resumed his task. When he grabbed toilet paper, he let out an ungodly girlish scream.
I looked up from my paper at Maya and sighed, "I assume it's my turn."
Maya giggled, "Yes but I assume you don't want to deal with a teenage boy crying over a fake spider taped to toilet paper."
"Exactly why I am not getting up from my seat," I stated, leaning forward to grab some bacon. "Let the children be children. Besides, no one hurts baby Woods and gets away from it."
"Children, after breakfast, do not bother Forest or me unless it's for mealtime or an emergency," Maya chuckled. "We want to know nothing about this revenge plan of yours."
Raven and Clarke looked at each other in delight while Lexa gave Ontari a questioning look. Ontari shrugged, shoveling more eggs into her mouth. The others were vaguely aware that Bellamy was going to be in a world of pain today and had to choose either to help the troublemakers or avoid the whole mess like the two adults in the room.
/ - / - /
Bellamy saw Octavia eating Oreos while watching some kid's show and grinned, "Hey O, can I have some?"
"Okay," Octavia giggled, pushing the open carton of Oreos over since she already had a plate in front of her.
Bellamy grinned and stuffed two in his mouth before gagging, "What? Minty? Toothpaste!"
Bellamy ran to the nearest bathroom to spit out the prank Oreos. He pushed the door open with a lot of force and fell back when he heard a loud noise.
"Mama!" Octavia cried out in fear.
I appeared and picked Octavia up, "Hey, O. No tears. I'm here."
Octavia pouted and pointed towards the bathroom Bellamy was trying to get into. "Monster in the bathroom."
"There are no monsters here," I chuckled as I carried her over there.
I reached in and flipped on the lights. I noticed an odd shadow behind the door and set Octavia on the steps of the stairs beside Bellamy, who was watching. I carefully slipped into the bathroom and shook my head when I saw it. I removed it and opened the bathroom door.
"Just an air horn, O," I smiled, handing it to her. "Push it here and it'll make a loud noise."
Octavia raised her hand to hit the button but I stopped her. "Not in the house, O. Some Faes have sensitive ears and don't like loud noises."
"Oh, sorry, mama," Octavia apologized before getting up. "I go play in the backyard now."
"Clean up your Oreos," I reminded her before disappearing, leaving Bellamy to brood.
/ - / - /
After dinner, everyone grabbed a freshly baked cupcake that was cooling on the countertop by the stove. Maya baked them with the help of Anya and Ontari while I kept the other occupied with a game of basketball. I peeled the wrapper off and got ready to test the bottom half off to make my cupcake into a sweet frosting sandwich when Bellamy growled.
"What the hell?!" Bellamy raged as he threw the fake cupcake on the table. "It has been one prank after another and you two haven't done anything to stop it."
I sighed, "Well, Bell, to be honest, I've been waiting to hear you apologize to Lexa. It's not my fault that her girlfriend decided to get revenge. I do hope you've learned your lesson."
Bellamy huffed before sighing, "Alright. Lexa, I'm sorry for calling you a 'freak' because you aren't one. I was mean and didn't take your feelings into account of my words and opinions."
”You don’t have to forgive him,” Clarke informed Lexa.
"It's okay, Clarke, and thanks for pranking him with Raven," Lexa smiled. "The catapult was the funniest prank yet. Bellamy, I forgive you so don't do it again or else it will be worse."
"Got it," Bellamy pouted. "Can I have a real cupcake now?"
"- turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree," Ontari sang along with Maya and my ten adult children to me.
I chuckled, "Lovely performance. It feels like Yule Day."
Ontari beamed and ran up to me. She climbed into my lap and hugged me.
"Was I really that good?" Ontari questioned, playing with my right hand.
"You were wonderful," I answered as Maya joined us. "So this was the reason you kept disappearing, Maya?"
"Yeah," Maya grinned and pointed up. "We're under a mistletoe."
"Kiss me!" Ontari demanded, pointing at her cheeks.
We laughed before pecking Ontari's cheeks. Maya hugged her before I set Ontari on the ground.
"Swim away, little fish," I encouraged her to go play with the other children.
"Okay, but you two still owe me 11 more kisses each," Ontari agreed as she headed off. "Eve told me that I get 12 kisses from you two all day."
I grasped my heart over my shirt and sighed, "Ontari is going to be the death of me."
"And me," Maya giggled as she sat on my lap. "Our kids are terrible at being subtle. Nia is already suspicious of us."
"It's my curse," I huffed before pecking Maya's cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too," Maya whispered. "But ultimately, we love our little fish more than anything."
/ - / - /
"I didn't know you could sing," Lexa teased Ontari on the performance.
Ontari rolled her eyes, "It was nothing. Anyways, where did your girlfriend go? I thought she was attached to your hips."
Lexa shrugged, "Clarke slipped away while I watching you sing."
"I have cookies!" Clarke announced, rejoining Lexa. "It was almost too easy."
"Probably because it was," Ontari retorted eyeing the Christmas cookies.
Anya, who was walking by, snatched a cookie from the plate Clarke was holding and bit into it, "Gah! Toothpaste frosting!"
Clarke sniffed the cookies and noticed the minty smell of toothpaste, "Forest! You're not being fair!"
"Totally fair!" I shouted at her. "Don't ruin your appetite. Dinner will start soon!
Clarke huffed and threw the plate of cookies into the trash, "I will have my revenge!"
"I'll help," Lexa smiled at Clarke.
"Mistletoe!" Ontari pointed out, causing Clarke and Lexa to look up. "You two have to kiss."
Lexa blushed as Clarke eagerly leaned in. Their lips connected for not more than five seconds but it was enough for them. Lexa couldn't look Clarke in the eye while Clarke took Lexa's hand.
"Let's go get dinner," Clarke declared, pulling Lexa towards the dining room while Ontari followed the duo.
/ - / - /
"I'm so stuffed," Jake groaned as he plopped down next to his wife on the sofa couch. "Forest, are you secretly plumping all of us up for slaughter?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" I smirked, turning to peck Maya's cheek. "Everyone ate their greens."
"I saw, dear," Maya giggled. "Eve, hand me Jane."
"Don't let mama steal my baby," Eve laughed, passing Jane over. "Q will have my butt if I don't bring Jane home."
"Where is Q?" Lexa yawned as she climbed into her mentor's lap. "Is she with the Q Continuum?"
"Oh my gawd, you're turning Lexa into a Trekkie. Yes!" I cheered, jostling the seat.
"Forest, the baby," Maya scolded me.
I blushed, "Sorry."
Eve hummed, "Yea, Lex. Q had to deal with her Continuum."
"Lexa, don't fall asleep yet," Clarke protested, tugging on Lexa's pants.
"But I'm so full and sleepy," Lexa pouted.
Clarke pouted, "But it's time for presents! Right, Forest?"
I chuckled, "Yes, yes, time for presents. Children to the tree."
Lexa groaned but slid off of Eve's lap to follow Clarke. Ontari laughed and helped Clarke drag Lexa to the tree.
There was a mountain of presents underneath the tree, all beautifully wrapped with fancy bows. One by one, presents were passed to their designated person until there was none left. The younger ones tore through the wrapping to the gift inside while the older ones took their time, being appreciative of the one who had gotten them the gift.
Clarke watched with excitement as Lexa slowly peeled the wrapping off the small square box. Inside the box was the other half of a friendship necklace she picked out with the help of Jake. She watched as Lexa's eyes lit up and met her gaze.
"I love it, Clarke," Lexa smiled before turning to Anya. "An, help me."
Anya chuckled and helped Lexa put the necklace on, "Don't let anyone steal this Griffin away from you, Lexa."
"I won't," Lexa beamed at Clarke, touching the necklace. "Open yours."
Clarke nodded and opened the present from Lexa. It was a small drawing set. There was a personalized hardcover drawing book, a binder full of different drawing mediums, and a tote bag to carry everything in.
"You remember from my letters," Clarke sniffled and hugged Lexa.
"I did," Lexa grinned. "And I love reading your letters. Aunt Indra helped me get the nontoxic stuff so we don't hurt the environment in the future."
Ontari grimaced and leaned over towards Anya, "When do you think the wedding will be?"
"Not soon enough," Anya gagged.
There will be a time jump after this chapter.
New Year's came and went with Lexa and Clarke sharing an innocent kiss at midnight. The moment may or may not have been captured on camera and placed in a photo album.
Of course, other holidays and birthdays were celebrated throughout the year and spent together. Then came the dreaded reminder and day that Lexa had to return home. Lexa didn't want to go but had no choice. Her true family didn't want her to go either but they couldn't stop it.
/ - / - /
It was the night of June 30th, the night before Lexa was to be handed off to deal with 31 days at the Woods household. Lexa overheard them talking when she went for a glass of water.
"They have her for one month a year," Gustus huffed. "Why couldn't it be in August?"
"It wouldn't be a full month in August," Maya pointed out before sighing. "Forest, is there anything we can do?"
I shook my head, "We can't do anything but more specifically, I can't do anything with that amulet there. With the Griffins, I was invited and accepted. Alexander the 2nd used it as a ward against me, therefore I can't even get a foot in that place."
Indra pursed her lips before offering a suggestion, "Can we get other Faes to infiltrate?"
"A few of the servants have Fae changelings as their charges who work with them," I stated as a plan started to form. "They were switched out after the first bio testings and still continuously switched for testings so we aren't caught. If I gave them the orders, they have to follow."
"Would they though?" Gustus questioned. "Fae changelings are hard to control."
"As are their human counterparts," I replied. "But it's our best shot. Lexa will be protected and so will Elinor. There will be Lexa's 9th birthday party where she will be paraded around as Alex's perfect male heir. I hope Lexa can handle being called 'Axel' while she is there."
Maya sighed again and leaned against me, "That's not all she has to do. She mustn't speak unless spoken to and obey all of Alex's rules which is basically the opposite of what we taught her."
"Lexa can do it, I believe in her," Indra stated with set determination. "And she will come back to us, safe and sound."
I sighed, "Only until she is 16 since she'll be off to college. Alex will want her at his Alma Mater, the University of Polis. I have no jurisdiction in human-built institutions. However, Anya, Ontari, and the boys will follow Lexa there."
"Then she'll be safe," Gustus beamed.
"Not safe enough," I grumbled. "Alex will be tracking her progress and who knows when he will force Lexa to leave Clarke for a new beau but I believe that once Lexa is 18, he will start. Lexa is to take over the Woods family business."
"We will foil his plans, dear," Maya smiled, patting my arm. "Lexa is soulbound to Clarke as we are to Ontari. They will end up together because you know Clarke's profile is one of Alex's opinions and that those two chose to be together. All we did was give them a chance to meet and decide for themselves."
I smirked, "This is why I love you, Maya. We should get some rest. Eve will go with Lexa for drop-off and she'll hand the instructions over to the Changelings."
Indra nodded, "Agreed but what about Lexa's birthday presents from us and the children?"
"We'll get the changelings to surprise her," I chuckled softly. "It's unfortunate that we can't celebrate with Lexa but she will know that we care."
/ - / - /
Lexa waved as the car that took her home left the driveway. Eve had given her an extra warm hug and some encouraging words. She took a deep breath in and let it out before turning around to face the door. Today until the end of the month, she will have to be 'Axel' and get through with this.
'Just think of it as training.' Lexa walked over to the door and opened it, surprised that it was unlocked. She immediately saw someone dusting a statue by the stairs and they stopped to bow at her. Out of the other rooms, more household servants came to greet her and helped her in, gathering her suitcase and other things to take to her room.
The first dinner was quiet. Lexa noted how her mother wanted to say something to her with the way she kept glancing over meanwhile her father didn't seem to care for anything but finishing the meal. It was a simple roasted hen with mashed potatoes and gravy plus steamed vegetables. Healthy but a bit bland in Lexa's opinion. She wondered if it would like this for the rest of her time here.
/ - / - /
"Your birthday is coming up soon, son," Alex stated one morning at breakfast. "I expect you to be on your best behavior."
"Yes, father," Lexa answered without emotion. 'Put on a show of arrogance and false respect. Only 24 more days until I'm safe.'
Alex nodded, "I will be inviting my colleagues and their families. You should network and find expendable people you can work with in the future. Hopefully, among these families, I will find a suitable bride for you."
'The only one suitable to be my bride is Clarke Griffin.' Lexa bit her lips, refraining from an outburst. She wished her friends were here or someone she trusted.
After breakfast, Lexa went to the music room to practice her piano and hopefully forget the whole ordeal. She played to calm her emotions because, in this house, she has to be a Vulcan. She hated being called 'Axel' but she doesn't think she'd mind if Clarke or her friends said it.
"Lexa," she heard someone whispered and she whirled away from the piano, finding her mother standing there.
"That was lovely, Lexa," Elinor whispered before shoving a folded piece of paper in her hand. "It's your father's schedule. I'm sure you want to contact your friends soon enough."
"Thank you, mom," Lexa beamed, tucking the paper in her pocket.
Elinor smiled, "Is there anything you want for your birthday, dear?"
Lexa nodded, "I want Clarke and Ontari to be there if you can."
"I'll see what I can do," Elinor informed, patting Lexa's back. "Continue playing."
/ - / - /
"Axel, come to my study," Alex informed after lunch.
"Yes, father," Lexa answered.
'There are only eight more days until my birthday and 19 days until I'm free. Play along, Lexa, just play along.'
Lexa followed her father to the study. He wanted to know what classes 'Axel' was taking and she listed them. He seemed pleased that she was taking all sorts of Martial Arts as her extracurricular activities. However, he frowned when she mentioned taking an art class.
"I will adjust my schedule, father," Lexa informed him.
"Good," he huffed. "Art isn't a necessary class. You are dismissed."
Lexa stood and bowed, "Thank you for your time, father."
/ - / - /
A few nights later, Lexa was thirsty upon waking up in the middle of the night. She slipped out of bed and wandered down the hall. Upon passing her parents' bedroom, she heard strange noises. The door was slightly opened so she peeked in. The sight before her angered her but she knew she could do nothing at the current moment.
'I will rescue mom from him one day. I need to get stronger before I can. I will save her and protect everyone I love from him.'
"Happy Early Birthday," Lexa heard someone whispered into her ear. She groaned and turned away from the noise. She was busy dreaming for Clarke and her other friends until she finally registered the words spoken. She opened her eyes and beamed up at Eve.
"Eve!" Lexa stated in an excited whisper. "You're here!"
"Yea," Eve grinned. "Took me quite a while to sneak in but I'm here now."
Lexa sat up and hugged her mentor, "I missed you so much. I want to go home."
Eve sighed, "I know and we also miss you, kid. I brought you some gifts and some news."
"What's going on back home?" Lexa questioned as she let Eve go.
"Clarke and Ontari are getting ready for a birthday party," Eve chuckled as she magically pulled a box from the inside of her jacket. "I brought honey cakes and warm chocolate chips cookies, all freshly baked."
Lexa took the box and dug into the cookies, "Thank Forest for me. Whose birthday is Clarke and Ontari going to?"
Eve smiled fondly at Lexa, "Yours, silly. Gotta make sure they pass your father's radar and make them suitable brides."
Lexa grimaced, "But I only want Clarke."
Eve laughed, "I know, Lexa. Have some more sweets and find a good hiding place for it. I have to get going but I promise you will see Clarke and Ontari at your party."
"Okay," Lexa pouted. "Give everyone my regards."
"Will do, kid," Eve grinned, ruffling Lexa's hair. "I'll try to come back on Wednesday."
/ - / - /
"Do I have to wear this?" Lexa pouted as Elinor fixed the tuxedo Lexa was wearing.
"Yes, little one," Elinor smiled. "Your father wants you to look good for everyone and I think your friends will like seeing you in this, especially Clarke."
They went quiet as heavy footsteps headed their way, indicating the head of the household was coming. Elinor stood and brushed down her dress. Alex nodded at both of them before commanding a servant to answer the door. The trio greeted about twenty guests, some families were a group of four and most were groups of threes. Lexa smiled on the inside when she saw the Griffins, the Queens, and Ontari. They mingled in the ballroom while the chefs and servant readied the main dining room.
"Axel, it's good to see you again," Ontari smirked, curtsying before Lexa.
Clarke did the same, "I missed you."
Meanwhile Roan bowed, "It hasn't been the same without you. How are you holding up?"
Lexa nodded in acknowledgment, "It's been good. Father's schedule keeps him busy so I spend my time mostly practicing the piano and my martial arts."
"Can I hug you now?" Clarke blurted out, looking antsy.
Lexa laughed and held up her arm. Clarke immediately closed the distance and nuzzled against Lexa.
"I miss this as much as I miss seeing you," Clarke pouted.
"We have all night to make the most of my birthday," Lexa pointed out. "I have to go mingle and make new friends. I'd like you to be by my side."
"And we'll get some snacks," Ontari laughed, tugging Roan's sleeve. "Best leave the lovebirds and mingle."
Roan nodded, "Of course. We have to ensure they don't hurt our friend later."
The quartet met up again after being herd to the dining room. The children had a table to themselves while the adults had their own. It was quite evident to Clarke that some girl by the name of Costia Verdant had taken a liking to her Lexa.
"Clarke, stop blowing out cover," Ontari hissed. "You need to be more ladylike."
Clarke pouted, "But she's all over my Lexa."
Ontari giggled, "Lexa would never be with anyone but you. Now behave."
/ - / - /
The party lasted until 9 PM and Clarke spent it mostly by Lexa's side. The Griffins had gone first when Jake caught Clarke snoozing against Lexa. He chuckled a quick happy birthday to Lexa and picked up his little girl. They didn't want to cause trouble for Lexa.
However, that did not stop Alex from evaluating Axel's performance and finding him a suitable bride. At the top of his list of candidates was Costia Verdant, then came Ontari Frost, and surprisingly, Clarke made it to third place. He found the other daughters somewhat lacking the right to be his son's future wife. He later took it out on his wife.
Lexa was conversing with the chef and helping the kitchen staff clean the dishes from when Alex walked in. He was supposed to be gone for the day according to the schedule.
"What is going on here?!" Alex demanded.
Everyone froze in their spots which made Lexa drop a dish. It crashed onto the tiles ground into pieces like how the perfect afternoon was ruined by his presence. Since no one answered, Alex grabbed Lexa by the arm and dragged her out of the kitchen.
"You are an elite!" Alex stated, throwing Lexa on the floor. "You do not do servant's work."
Lexa tried to get up and protest but was smacked down. It was harder than she expected and now she knew why Forrest had her in those martial arts classes. She stayed down but that didn't stop Alex's tirade and his beating. She later learned that her father did this freely knowing that he left Elinor at some store in the mall with her 'elite' female friends. He didn't allow Elinor to protect her.
Lexa woke up in her room and found Eve staring down at her. She felt ashamed that she let Alex beat her up. She felt so powerless.
"It'll be okay," Eve smiled sadly, hugging Lexa. "Carmen carried you up here after Alex was done and did her best to patch you up. He was smart to hit you where other people wouldn't notice but it's not right. It's never right to hit the people you love but then again, he might not be capable of love."
"Are you going to stay?" Lexa rasped, tears forming at the corner of her eyes.
Eve pecked Lexa's cheeks, "Until morning because I have to make sure the car gets here. I'll only be away from you for about two, maybe three, hours but I'll get you home. Promise."
Lexa nodded weakly against Eve's chest and chuckled, "Your flat chest is weird. I miss your breasts."
"Lexa!" Eve laughed softly. "You know it's after sunset. At least you will have a choice later on."
"Until then, you have to teach me to be a proper gentleman," Lexa yawned.
"Get some more sleep, kid," Eve smirked, pulling the covers up to Lexa's chin. "You need it."
/ - / - /
Lexa was glad to be away from the Woods residence but was confused as to where they were when the car slowed down. They were surrounded by trees different from the ones found on the school grounds. She flinched when Eve reached over to pat her head.
"Mount Weather is hosting a camping trip in the protected forest of Trikru," Eve explained. "Only a small group of about 50 children and 10 adult chaperones. Your friends are waiting for you but we'll see Maya first."
"I've never been camping before," Lexa stated before pouting. "I guess I won't see Clarke."
Eve chuckled, "Clarke will be there. Forest convinced the Griffins to join us."
Lexa beamed, "Really?"
Eve smirked and opened the car door, "Why don't you go check?"
Lexa hopped out and limped across the clearing to where the cabins stood. She climbed the steps of the first cabin and opened the door, not bothering with manners. She found Maya applying a bandage to Clarke's knees.
"Clarke!" Lexa exclaimed, moving closer.
"Lexa's here!" Clarke beamed, trying to slide off the table.
Maya huffed, "Patience children, patience. You're both injured."
"But it's Lexa," Clarke justified, crossing her arms.
Lexa laughed, "I missed you, Clarke."
Maya picked Lexa up, setting her next to Clarke, and surveyed the injuries she could see, "You both need to rest which means it's time for a nap."
"But I want to go play with Lexa," Clarke pouted, grabbing Lexa's arm.
"If you go play, then you have to share Lexa," Maya reasoned. "Don't you want to keep Lexa for yourself while you two nap?"
"Clarke, let's take a nap," Lexa smiled and Clarke agreed.
/ - / - /
The camping trip lasted for the first two weeks of August and Lexa enjoyed it. There were so many fun activities and Clarke was there to experience with her. She didn't mind the teasing from her friends and family.
"Seven more days until school starts!" I announced as the children gathered at the table for breakfast.
"Mama," Raven beamed, holding her empty plate up. "Me first!"
I chuckled and started plopping 2-3 pancakes on their plates before going back for the bacon. Maya helped with pouring either orange juice or milk into their cups.
"When did they all wake up?" Jake questioned when he walked into the kitchen with the other adults.
Maya and I shrugged before stating, "I think it was the bacon."
"Forest, more bacon please," Lexa smiled at me.
I sighed and put the plate of bacon on the table, letting it be a free for all. Anya and Roan were the quickest to react and grabbed as much as they could. Lincoln only took two more while the others fought for the remaining stripes. I moved away from the table and hid behind Maya.
"They're little monsters," I whispered.
Maya giggled, "At least they'll eat their weight in KBBQ meats. Anyways, you still have to feed the rest of us."
I nuzzled into Maya's back, "It's all being kept warm in the oven. Can we not take them to the zoo today?"
Indra sighed, "You're not the only one regretting that promise. It's a shame to see those animals all caged up but it's better than seeing them go extinct."
/ - / - /
"Why do I have to be here?" Bellamy huffed as he followed us through the zoo.
I ruffled his hair, "Keep an eye on O, Bell, and make sure she's having fun."
Raven came over and tugged on my shirt, "Can we go to the aquarium tomorrow? I like sea animals."
"Can I go too?" Ontari questioned as she dragged Nia by the hand closer to Maya and me.
Nia sighed," Ontari won't stop asking if you don't answer her."
I rolled my eyes, "She's your kid."
Maya laughed, "But we do like her. An aquarium is a good place for learning."
I sighed, "Fine. Who wants to go to the aquarium tomorrow?"
All the children raised their hands and Jake. Abby shook her head at him but she was smiling. I knew Maya, Indra, and Gustus had a staff meeting tomorrow. I gave at Nia with a questioning look and she also shook her head.
I groaned, "Let's hope my favorite children are free to help me chaperone these 9 children."
"Did you see that squid?!" Lexa chirped excitedly.
Eve giggled, "Sure did, kid. Ma, can we eat squid tonight?"
We watched as Lexa gawked at us before paling, "You two are monsters!"
"Isn't that what fried calamari is? Fried squid?" Anya questioned.
I nodded as Lexa fainted at the realization. Luckily, she fell against Clarke, who laughed.
"I like fried calamari," Clarke beamed. "Can we have some calamari later?"
I shrugged, "Sure if Lexa can get over it. I'm not giving up on my seafood choices."
"Mama, can O and I have a clam chowder bread bowl for dinner?" Raven blinked innocently at me.
I sighed, "Of course, Reyes. Now, where should we go next?"
"Sharks!" Ontari shouted. "Let's see sharks!"
"That sounds cool," Anya shrugged. "I'm not carrying Lexa."
Eve laughed and took Lexa out of Clarke's hold. "I got her. Let's go see the sharks."
/ - / - /
"I can't believe you're eating squid," Lexa huffed at Clarke.
Clarke beamed, "It's yummy."
Lexa frowned, "I don't want to be your friend anymore."
"But there's more squid in the sea," Clarke pouted, putting her fork. "Forest?"
"The ocean holds over 500 species of squid," I sighed. "Eating a few won't hurt. Besides, the hardest one to find is the giant squid. The largest giant squid found is almost 43 feet. They remind me of Cthulhu."
Maya hummed, "You know, it's been a while since you summoned Cthulhu. Why don't you do that after dinner?"
I frowned, "I don't think their parents would approve of us letting them meet a legendary cephalopod sea creature."
"Pretty please?" Lexa questioned before the others started joining in, just as curious to meet the mythical being.
"Tomorrow," I frowned. "I'll summon Cthulhu tomorrow. If you aren't here, then you miss it."
"Summon Cthulhu!" the children cheered as they woke me up from a pleasant dream.
I grumbled and pulled the blankets over my head, curling up into a ball for more sleep. I could hear Maya laughing beside me as the children continued to make noise.
"Settle down, little ones," Maya cleared her throat. "Forest needs to eat before she can summon Cthulhu. Head downstairs and take a seat at the table. I'll make sure Forest is up."
After they left, I lifted my head, "Just how many more days until school?"
Maya hummed and rubbed my back, "Just four days left, dear. We need to go make breakfast and after dinner, we can send them back to their guardians."
I huffed, "You do realize we have to take care of Bell, O, and Reyes, right?"
"Don't worry, I'll tuck them into bed," Maya giggled.
/ - / - /
I made the summoning circle and put a stuffed Cthulhu doll in the middle before saying the chant. The doll was a small vessel for Cthulhu for the time being since we really don't want to unleash hell on Earth and because it wasn't time for it.
"Is it working?" I heard Octavia question as I continued to chant.
I mentally rolled my eyes. I blamed Maya for letting them watch me summon Cthulhu. It took a few seconds after the chant for the Cthulhu doll to move.
"Who dates summon me?!" Cthulhu demanded.
I chuckled and poked him, "Hey Cthulhu."
"Well, if it isn't Forest," Cthulhu huffed, trying to put his hands on his hips. "New doll vessel? I feel smaller and cuter?"
I shrugged, "Not my fault they burn after you're done with it. Anyways, you have some fans I want you to meet and hang out with."
Cthulhu grumbled, "No deal. At least not until I see her."
I sighed and turned around. As soon as I spotted Ontari, I dragged her over.
"Little fish, meet Cthulhu," I frowned.
"She's tiny," Cthulhu pointed out. "What happened?"
I covered Ontari's ears, "Try being reborn one too many times. Anyways, behave around the other children."
"Fine, fine, I'll babysit since Ontari will help," Cthulhu agreed.
Ontari looked up and pushed my hands away, "Can I keep the Cthulhu doll after?"
I smiled fondly at her, "Anything you want."
I picked up Cthulhu and handed him to Ontari, who ran to her friends. I sighed and watched the kids pass the Cthulhu possessed doll.
/ - / - /
"Are you really Cthulhu?" Lexa questioned. "What are you?"
"Of course I am Cthulhu," the doll huffed. "I am an Anthropomorphic cephalopod dragon hybrid."
Clarke rolled her eyes and picked Cthulhu up, "Forest, can we go to the park? I want to push Cthulhu on the swings."
I sighed, "Fine and don't lose him. Pair up and we'll walk."
Once at the park, the children took Cthulhu on the swings and the jungle gym, plus the playground obstacle course, against Cthulhu's protest. Octavia buried Cthulhu in the sand after Raven retrieved him from the tree Bellamy tossed him into. Anya and Roan were mostly making sure no one wandered away and looking out for potential dangers. Lexa followed Clarke everywhere while Ontari and Lincoln teased them. By the time they all tired and came back to the bench I was sitting at, Cthulhu was dirty.
"Forest, Cthulhu needs a bath," Ontari yawned, climbing onto my lap.
"I can see that," I sighed, taking Cthulhu from Lexa and rubbing Ontari's back. "Let's go home for a nap."
Lexa cannonballed into the pool, splashing water at Clarke and the others. Indra and some of the other parents, who had the day off, watched over the children while Maya and I prepared the barbeque meats and side dishes.
"I demand you to take me to R'lyeh!" Cthulu grumbled right before being tossed into the pool.
Clarke giggled, "He's funny. Where is R'lyeh?"
Lexa shrugged, "I don't know. Maybe Forest knows."
Ontari, who left to get water, rejoined the duo and asked, "Where's Cthulhu?"
"Bellamy did it," the duo stated while pointing at the bottom of the pool.
Ontari huffed and dived in to get the doll. Cthulhu was soaking wet by the time Ontari reached the surface. She handed Cthulhu to Anya, who wrung him out.
"This is not how you treat an immortal!" Cthulhu growled after he was handed back to Ontari.
"I think you need to take a nap, Cthulu," Ontari stated before pecking Cthulhu's cheek. "I'm going to give you to Forest now."
"Ask her when we're going to eat," Lexa informed before going back to planning the perfect water attack.
"Do you two think Ontari has a crush on Forest?" Anya questioned once Ontari was out of hearing range.
Clarke giggled, "Who wouldn't? She's kind, nice, and makes really yummy food."
Lexa pouted, "Do you have a crush on Forest?"
"Maybe," Clarke smirked. "But I love you, Lexa."
"I love you too, Clarke," Lexa beamed.
"Gross," Anya blanched before splashing them.
/ - / - /
"Good night, little one," Nia whispered to Ontari as she tucked the child in. "Here's Cthulhu."
"Thanks," Ontari yawned, hugging Cthulhu close. "Night, Nia."
Meanwhile, Indra pecked her kids' cheeks before checking on Lexa. "Did you have fun today, Lexa?"
"Loads of fun," Lexa beamed, rubbing her eyes.
Indra chuckled and tucked Lexa in beside Clarke. The Griffins already made their rounds and headed off to bed.
"Mom, do you know what we're doing tomorrow?" Anya asked as Indra passed her.
"I'm not sure but it should be another good day," Indra replied, patting her daughter's head. "Get your sleep, dear."
Lexa snuggled against Clarke and fell asleep, wishing she could stay beside Clarke forever.
"Found you!" Ontari announced, patting Lexa's shoulder. "Your turn to count."
Lexa frowned, "I want to play another game. Hide-and-Seek is getting boring."
Anya, who overheard, chuckled, "That's because the only two people who can find you are Clarke and Ontari."
"Hey guys," Clarke called to them excitedly. "I just saw Forest coming out of the kitchen. She was on the phone and talking about a big prize."
"Let's go find out," Ontari suggested.
The nine children went on a search for the mythical adult.
/ - / - /
"I'm red, round, and delicious. What am I?" Lexa read the clue before looking up at the other members in her group. "An apple."
"Does that mean we need to go to the store?" Clarke questioned Jake.
Jake grinned, "Do we need to go?"
Ontari huffed, "Of course we do. It's a scavenger hunt and we have to get everything to win the prize."
"Alright," Jake chuckled. "Remember to stick close while we're outside."
"Mama, tell us what the prize is," Raven demanded at breakfast.
I sighed, "That's a secret. Now, eat up and get ready for the second part of the scavenger hunt."
Raven pouted but dug into her scrambled eggs. Maya chuckled and patted Raven's head before helping Octavia with cutting her sausage links.
"Is the prize something we will like?" Ontari questioned.
I smiled, "I'm sure every one of you will like the prize."
/ - / - /
"We're not doing another one of these in a while," I huffed as I made sure there was enough candy in the prize bags.
Maya giggled, "At least it gets them out of the house. Come give me a kiss."
I smiled and took a step closer to Maya, hugging her before pecking her lips. "Miss you so much when you're not next to me."
"I miss you too," Maya hummed, resting her head on my shoulder. "Soon we'll be too busy."
"I will always make time for you," I stated, nipping Maya's cheek. "Back to work. I hope they'll restrain themselves and not ruin their dinner."
Maya laughed, "They're children. They'll ruin their dinner."
/ - / - /
"Consolation prizes," Anya huffed as Maya passed them out. "This is what they give nonwinners."
Indra frowned at Anya, "Behave, Anya. Maya and Forest put a lot of thought into personalizing these prizes."
"But where's Forest?" Lexa questioned as she looked around for the cat-like adult.
"She has work to do," Maya answered. "Very important Fae business."
"Oh," Lexa pouted. "Will you tell her that my team won?"
Maya smiled, "Of course. Forest made us dinner before she left so smile. She loves all of you."
"Babe, you okay?" Maya questioned when she checked in on me.
"No," I mumbled from under the blankets. "Please tell me that I can sleep the day away."
Maya sighed and sat on the bed, "Unfortunately not. Come on, wake up."
I groaned and sat up, "How do I look?"
Maya shook her head and leaned over, pecking my cheeks, "Very terrible. Stay in bed. I'll inform the others to keep the kids occupied."
"I feel like I was run over by a train," I grumbled, leaning against her.
"You look like it with about four months of recovery," Maya chuckled softly. "What in the nine circles of hell happened?"
"A bunch of things happened," I frowned before covering up a yawn. "But the worse was when Wellington showed up. You know how bad it gets when he shows up."
Maya wrapped her arms around me, "I know. I'm glad you managed to get out even if you did get your ass whooped."
I sniffled, "Glad Batara and Ratu showed up as back up in time. I think I almost followed Death into the light."
"You'd better not follow Death unless the Fish and I are right beside you," Maya teased, kissing me again before tucking me in. "I'll make you some clam chowder with that Texas toast from Raising Cane's."
"You are the best doctor-nurse I could ask for," I laughed weakly, closing my eyes.
"Rest up, love," Maya whispered before another peck on my head and leaving.
/ - / - /
I woke up with a heavy feeling. I blinked my blurry eyes and wondered why the blanket was heavier than usual.
"Maya?" I called out, yawning. "Heavy blanket."
Maya giggled, indicating that she was nearby, "The kids decided to nap with you."
I hummed, "Too warm. I like."
"Do you need the bathroom?" Maya questioned.
I nodded and tried to lift myself up. Maya giggled again and walked over to help me. It took a bit to move Ontari off without waking her up then came to the issue of getting to the bathroom.
"They got you bad," Maya commented, assisting me.
"I feel better with you here," I smiled, earning a peck on my cheek.
"While I have you here, I'll give you a bath," Maya informed. "Then we can get you in a clean pajama set and change those bedsheets."
I grinned, "Whatever you say, dear."
/ - / - /
While enjoying the warm bath, I nearly dozed off. It was the sound of the girls jumping into the rather large bath area that killed my drowsiness.
"It's like a pool!" Clarke exclaimed after breaking through the surface.
I frowned, "Who let you, girls, in here?"
"I did," Maya chuckled. "The girls were concern about you and they also needed a bath. Kill two birds with one stone."
I sighed, "Better pass the shampoo and conditioner."
"Forest, why do you have giant black and blue spots all over?" Ontari questioned.
"I got into a fight because someone needed saving," I grinned. "Doesn't hurt."
Lexa beamed at me, "Did you get those bad guys?"
Maya giggled, "She did and she was nice enough to make sure they went to the hospital before going to jail."
"Tell us the whole story," Anya stated.
"Please mama," Raven added.
I laughed, "Alright, alright. I'll tell you what happened but no repeating it to anyone else."
/ - / - /
As much as I wanted to hate it, I just couldn't. Even though Maya and I tried to deter the girls at dinner, they were adamant about sleeping in our room. It was hard to deny six teary-eyed girls who just wanted to comfort me. I sighed as I brushed Ontari's hair out of her face.
"So what should we do tomorrow?" Maya hummed, checking on Octavia and Raven.
"Can we have a barbecue?" Anya piped up, causing us to laugh.
"I suppose if you have the stomach to each, An," I grinned. "Go to sleep, kid."
Anya huffed, "But it's too warm here."
Maya suggested, "You could sleep on the pullout twin bed."
"There's a pullout bed?" Anya gasped.
Maya chuckled and carefully maneuvered off the bed. Anya disengaged from Ontari's side and crawled to the bed end, watching Maya pull out the twin bed. Maya levitated a few blankets and pillows over, fixing the bed up for Anya.
"Alright," Maya smiled. "Is this good for you? If you need anything, we're still here."
"It's perfect," Anya beamed, falling over the edge onto the pullout. "So a barbecue tomorrow?"
I chuckled softly, "We'll think about it, Anya, but you need to go to sleep."
"Do we have to go to school tomorrow?" Raven pouted as they ate breakfast.
"Yes, little blackbird," Maya smiled as she poured herself some more orange juice. "It's only for a few hours and Mama will pick you up for lunch."
"Lunch!" Octavia cheered. "Where's mama?"
"Here I am," I answered, walking up behind Octavia's seat. "Did you sleep well, O?"
Octavia beamed, "Yes!"
I ruffled her hair and squeezed Raven's shoulder. "So what does everyone want to do today?"
There were mixed responses but it seemed that everyone had an idea of what they wanted to do. To make it fair, we made an activity wheel to see which order we would play in.
/ - / - /
"I bet you can't hit that branch," Ontari egged Lexa on during archery when the adults were busy with Raven, Octavia, and Clarke.
"Which one?" Lexa questioned as she aimed her arrow.
Ontari huffed, pointing it out, "That one."
Lexa let the arrow fly but it fell short of the branch and kept going until it lodged itself into the ground. Lexa grumbled as she went to retrieve the arrow.
"Lexa, what are you doing over there? You're too far from the group," Maya called out when she checked on the other girls.
"Lexa misfired her arrow," Anya answered as she toyed with the bow. "Are we almost done?"
Maya patted Anya's back, "We're just about done, An. Why don't you make sure Ontari, Lexa, and the boys put away their equipment?"
"Okay," Anya agreed, liking the idea of having power over the boys.
Maya chuckled as she watched Anya head over to the boys. She knew that the kids were going to be very hungry after the obstacle course that her wife was setting up.
/ - / - /
"You're the best person alive!" Jake complimented me after finding out where we were eating for dinner.
I chuckled, "I did say we needed to take Abby here. Glad that more people could join us."
Maya sighed, "Forest dear, I love you, but you really need to cut certain food expenses."
"I will," I pouted sorrowfully at her.
"Don't make that face," Maya scolded. "We need to teach our children how to spend wisely and efficiently. How else are they going to survive in this world?"
I saluted her, "Aye aye Vie."
Maya rolled her eyes while Jake laughed at our antics. We decided who was driving who to KBBQ House before announcing it to the rest of the group. The kids were very eager to get going and eat their fill.
I shook my head and sighed. I had received a call about the girls stirring up trouble in class and had to meet with the principal. Maya smiled sadly at me since we were cuddling. It had been a while since we had downtime together.
"Go on," Maya encouraged softly. "If they're at fault, they're not getting any desserts."
I chuckled, "I'm sure they have a good reason. I'll see you later, my love."
Maya pulled the covers closer after I slipped out of bed, "I'll stay here and keep the bed warm for later."
"All the more to settle this dispute quickly but fairly," I smirked, heading out.
/ - / - /
"Look here," the principal stated sternly. "I don't care who started it. All three girls are suspended for two days."
Jake frowned, "That's quite unfair."
"It's okay," I started casually. "We'll take it to court. I have all my kids wear a hidden body camera so we have proof that our little blackbird and princess were merely protecting Octavia from bullies."
I could feel everyone's eyes on me but I did have proof. I looked up slowly and could see the boy's parents and the principal sweating, nervous and unsure about what to do next. I pulled out my phone and pulled up the camera feed.
"About what time was it, Raven?" I asked, ready to go to the time of the incident.
"We don't have to do that," the principal laughed nervously. "I'm sure we can think of a more agreeable reprimand."
"Jake, do you trust me?" I asked as I slowly stood up.
Jake nodded, "Always."
"Good," I stated before addressing everyone else in the room. "Mr. Griffin and I will be pulling our girls from this school and they will be attending the Academy of Arkadia. Girls, let's go."
Raven beamed, jumping from her seat, "Yay, out early!"
The boy's father laughed, "There's absolutely no way anyone can get in there and it's expensive."
I smirked, "It's a good thing that my mother is an alumni and is best friends with the principal."
/ - / - /
"It's expensive," Jake sighed as he researched the academy. "I don't think Abby and I could afford it."
"That problem will be solved soon," I waved off casually as there was a light coming from the pantry before it opened.
"Mama Callie is in the house!" Callie Cartwig announced stepping into the kitchen from the pantry portal.
"Move out of the way, dear," Dr. Lorelei Tsing sighed, gently pushing her wife out of the way. "Where's my baby Forest?"
I rushed into my Mama's arms, "I'm here, mama. Thanks for coming on short notice."
"Jake, what's up?" Callie greeted him casually. "I didn't know you were friends with my stepdaughter. She's eccentric, yes?"
Jake cleared his throat, "I thought you were in Paris or so Abby said."
"I was and now I'm here," Callie laughed before pulling me into a hug. "How's my favorite genius?"
I purred, "Great and I need a favor."
"It'd better not be a 'get out of jail free' favor," mama grumbled. "Where's Maya? I want to talk to my doctor in law."
"Upstairs with the girls braiding each other's hair," I smiled. "And no to jail. I need three spots at the Academy of Arkadia for Clarke Griffin, Raven Reyes, and Octavia Blake."
Callie grinned, "I'll give Marcus a call and see if there are any academy scholarships they can apply to so you don't have to worry about expenses. Better start making me some chicken pot pies to go, kid."
"Yes, mother," I saluted and began gathering the ingredients.
"So you married a Fae. That is so cool!" Jake gaped. "You have to tell me everything, Callie. Did you stop aging? Does your wife spoil you? Any children of your own?"
Callie chuckled, "No, yes, and not yet. I'm still getting used to the Fae thing but it definitely has its perks like the transportation portals. Magic is cool but energy-consuming if done wrong. Excuse me while I call Marcus, it'll be quick."
/ - / - /
"So Callie, how long are you two staying before heading back to Paris?" Abby questioned as she passed Clarke some garlic bread slices.
"Only a few more hours," Callie answered. "Right, Lori?"
"That's right," Lorelei confirmed. "Any suggestions to go next? This vacation has about another month in it to go."
Maya sighed, "I'd want to go to Vietnam. Watching Forest surround herself in any Asian culture is adorable."
I rolled my eyes, "We can leave the girls with the Griffins, the Thorn-Woods, or these incredibly young grandmothers and run off to Vietnam for a month."
"But we can't go, not without our little fish," Maya giggled, taking my hand. "Love the thought."
"Mama, more pasta please?" Octavia pouted with a lot of spaghetti sauce on her face.
I chuckled and wiped her cheeks first. "Aw, carb-loading already. Do you want to be a wrestler, little warrior? I think you'll like some Martial arts classes at the Academy."
Maya smiled and got up, taking Octavia's bowl, "Who else wants seconds?"
Clarke, Jake, and Bellamy raised their hands. Jake grinned and got up, taking Clarke's bowl. The two went into the kitchen to grab seconds for the kids.
"Can I have more garlic bread, mama?" Raven asked, staring at the leftover sauce in her bowl.
I finished wiping clean Octavia's face and held the bread basket out towards Raven, "Eat up little bird."
Lorelei smiled at me, "Motherhood still looks good on you for someone in her four digits."
"Thanks, mama," I laughed. "Happiness looks good on you. So about when you two come back...?"
"We'll help look after the kids where we can," Callie informed. "But we do have jobs. Lori gotta save those Faes while I bust criminals."
"Mother, you're going to influence baby Blake to be a police detective," Maya pointed out as she and Jake returned to the table. "At least, Bell will have a safe stable job as a future history professor."
"Do I get to teach mythology?" Bellamy piped up with curiosity.
Maya beamed, "Yes you do. Keep your studies up."
"Yes, mom," Bellamy grinned before devouring his second plate of spaghetti and more garlic bread.
"Thanks for calling Marcus," Maya informed Callie. "I wouldn't have minded them at Mount Weather but I believe there would be lots of favoritism going around."
Callie chuckled, "We're family and so is Marcus. He's the one that pushed me to go after Lori even after finding out she was Fae."
"We're sending him a gift basket," I declared. "And invites to Friday Family dinners."
Maya nodded and ruffled my hair, "It'll go out tomorrow morning."
For some clarity on the last chapter:
Clarke, Raven, Octavia, and Bellamy live in Arkadia therefore goes to school in Arkadia. Meanwhile, Lexa attends boarding school at Mount Weather but her family home is in Polis.
Basically, the sky trio transfer to a better school since the principal is corrupt and was wrongfully trying to suspend the girls because the bully's parents was paying him to keep the record clean.
For the record, Lexa and Clarke do not go to school together but will go to college together.
"Do I have to wear the school uniform?" Raven groaned, pulling at her skirt. "Can I wear pants?"
I looked up from the school book and waved my hand, changing Raven's skirt into pants. "Better?"
"Yes," Raven beamed. "Thank you, mama."
I turned to Octavia, "Any changes?"
"No thank you, mama," Octavia smiled, shaking her head.
I nodded and checked that they had their lunches and snacks in their backpack before gesturing to the door. The girls marched towards the door with Bellamy following. Upon opening the door, Jake and Clarke were coming up the path.
"Here you are, Forest," Jake chuckled, hugging me. "Take care of my little girl."
I rolled my eyes, "They'll be fine. Don't you have work to get to?"
"Bye dad," Clarke waved before taking Octavia's and Raven's hands.
I sighed and followed behind them as we all walked to the Academy of Arkadia, which was down the streets. Arkadia High was right next door so I didn't have to go far to drop off Bellamy. I also knew he wouldn't mind walking the girls home when school was over.
Principal Marcus Kane was waiting by the gates for us when we arrived at the academy. I noted how Bellamy sized the man up while the girls looked up in awe. He was better dressed than their last principal.
"Forest Tsing, I presume," Marcus smiled, reaching out to shake my hand.
I extended my own, "Yep, Callie said wonderful things about you. These are the girls, Clarke Griffin, Raven Reyes, and Octavia Blake. Bellamy is Octavia's brother and he goes to Arkadia High next door."
Marcus nodded, "I'll make sure the teachers know that he's allowed to get them at the end of the day. I'll show them to their classroom."
"Mama, come with us," Octavia pouted, clinging onto my leg.
I patted her head, "I'm right here, O. I need to meet your teachers too. Is that alright, Mr. Kane?"
"It's Marcus and it's perfectly fine," Marcus smiled.
"Get to class, Bell," I encouraged, patting his back.
"Yes, ma," Bellamy frowned before bidding the girls goodbye and giving them each a hug.
/ - / - /
"Clarke, I heard you're going to a new school," Lexa smiled when Clarke walked through the portal. "Did you have fun?"
Clarke immediately jumped at Lexa, hugging her, "Yep."
"Move over, Griff," Raven huffed, pushing the duo aside as she came through the portal. "Anya, your favorite person is here!"
Anya rolled her eyes and answered from her spot on the couch, "Who is my favorite person again?"
"Excuse us," I announced, walking through the portal with Octavia in my arms and Bellamy following right behind. "Clarke, Raven, I told you two to not stay in front of the portal after you cross. Move it, children."
The portal I had opened closed after the Griffins crossed. I put Octavia down and she went running towards Lincoln. I chuckled softly and looked for Maya. I flinched when someone came up behind me and hugged me.
"You're finally here, love," Maya beamed, nuzzling against my back. "Go help Indra in the kitchen."
I laughed, "Why is it every time you see me, you have to order me around in some way?"
Jake chuckled, "It's why you never reveal you can cook or mess up in the kitchen really bad so that you're banned from cooking."
"Very funny, Jake," I huffed as I headed to the kitchen. "I'd rather cook than feed my family with unhealthy or overpriced takeout."
Maya giggled, "I love you, Forest. Make us something delicious."
I stuck my tongue out at her, "Don't I always?"
Lexa looked up at Maya, "Are you and Forest fighting?"
"No, sweetie," Maya smiled, ruffling Lexa's hair. "We're joking with each other. Go play with the others."
"Okay," Lexa agreed when Clarke took her hand. "I got a new jigsaw puzzle we can play with."
There were whispers going around the school. A new student was being admitted and rumors have it that Forest was displeased about it. Lexa wondered why the principal's wife would not like having more students attend this wonderful school and luckily for her, she got insider information directly from the source at dinner.
"What do you think will happen?" Forest huffed. "Poor girl is a spy for that bastard."
"Language, dear," Maya scolded sternly. "There are children at the table."
Forest crossed her arms and mumbled, "They're old enough."
Maya reached over and pinched Forest's earlobes, making her whimper in submission. "I'll behave."
"Good," Maya smiled, releasing her wife. "I'll be Costia's mentor. You did say she had a good future in medicine."
"Isn't that Clarke's field?" Indra questioned as she passed the salad bowl. "Anya, you need more salad."
"Yes, mom," Anya replied, taking the bowl.
Gustus chuckled, "I saw her more of an artsy type. Have you seen her drawings of Lexa? So lifelike."
"It's almost as strange as having a dryad firefighter," Maya smiled at Anya. "But we will all persevere."
"A firefighter technician," Anya corrected Maya, who giggled.
Indra sighed, "As long as you're safe and don't get caught in a fire, love."
Anya beamed at her mom, "I'll try, mom."
"So the new girl is Costia?" Lexa asked after she sensed the tension eased a bit.
"Yes," Forest grumbled. "Costia Verdant. You met her at your birthday party."
Lexa nodded, "She was nice."
Maya patted Forest's leg as she sighed, "That's nice, Lexa, but she is also one of your father's choices as your bride. It will be difficult to hide the fact that you are a girl here when she met you as Axel."
Lexa looked at everyone and smiled, "It'll be okay. Believe me."
Forest's grumpy displeased features softened to a hopeful smirk, "You got guts, Lexa. I guess since you have no problem with this then I'll let it go. Maya, you're still mentoring her."
Maya giggled, "Of course, dear. You did say she was going to be a great gynecologist."
Since it was the weekend, Lexa explored her aunt's and uncle's home with Anya and Lincoln tagging along. Roan and Ontari had been picked up by Nia for a family outing otherwise they would have joined the trio. The house was bigger than Anya and Lincoln had remembered considering that this was their home.
"I don't recall that door being there," Anya commented when they reached the end of the hallway on the second floor. "Do you, Linc?"
Lincoln shrugged, "Must have added another room."
Lexa reached for the doorknob and turned it. It was unlocked and the door opened up to a lounge. It smelt of smoke and alcohol. However, the trio was curious and entered the room. When the door closed, it also disappeared, leaving them with no way back home.
"I think we might be in trouble," Lexa whispered, stepping back to be closer to her cousins.
Anya rested a hand on Lexa's shoulder, "Don't worry, we'll use magic to get out if necessary."
Lincoln nodded, "At least, it's empty."
Lexa took Anya's hand, "So how many magical doors have you ever encountered again?"
"Um... this is our first one," Anya chuckled nervously. "Nothing to be worried about. I'm sure my mom, Forest, or Ms. Vie will come if we shout loud enough."
"Let's hope so cause dad doesn't have any magic," Lincoln laughed along. "So where to?"
"Let's go over there," Lexa suggested, pointing towards the only opened door in the room.
They cautiously followed one another out of the room and found themselves in another hallway. It was littered with small glass cupboards holding cute little stuffed animal plushies. Each was marked with a title, a purchase date, and a reason for why it was bought. Most of the reasons they read were about love and a few were due to silly little fights.
"It's a house full of memories," Lexa gasped when they reached the stairs.
"Up or down?" Anya questioned.
Lincoln gulped, "Better pick fast. I think we're being followed."
"Up!" Lexa shouted as she began to run.
The others followed Lexa up the set of stairs. They heard footsteps behind them and ran faster. Upon reaching the next floor, they heard music playing from one of the rooms and laughter. They decided that room was their best shot of getting out and ran towards it.
"Please don't get us killed," Anya prayed as she turned the doorknob since she had reached the door first.
"Hurry An," Lincoln urged, getting closer.
The trio tumbled through the door and was back where they began in the lounge, except Forest was asleep on the oversized couch with the TV on in the background. It was playing a home video of Forest's family. In it was Ontari as a magical being before she gave it up to be human.
"Forest," Ontari laughed. "Look at how handsome Eve is."
"That's my girl," Forest grinned, pulling Eve close. "My handsome girl. You'll break so many hearts."
Eve smirked cheekily, "Like yours, mama?"
Forest gasped before huffing, "How rude, little one. Maya, did you get all of that?"
The view shook as Maya answered, "Yep. Eve got you good, love."
"Must have learned from our little fish," Forest grumbled, sticking her tongue out at Ontari.
Ontari laughed before kissing Forest. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Forest replied before the video faded to black.
Lexa cleared her throat, "So Ontari isn't human?"
"She is human," someone answered, making the children scream in fright which woke up Forest.
"Is naptime over?" Forest yawned, slowly rubbing her eyes.
Maya stepped around the children and went to Forest, stroking her wife's hair, "No, dear. Back to sleep. I know you have a long meeting later. Sleep, my kitten."
Forest mumbled but turned inward to the couch and curled up. Maya pulled the throw off the back of the couch and carefully tucked it around Forest. She turned to the children and guided them out.
"How did you three get here?" Maya questioned as she gently closed the door behind her. "Indra left after our teatime so the door should have disappeared before you guys would have noticed."
"But the door was there," Lexa protested. "At the end of the hallway on the second floor."
Maya sighed, "Time to get all of you home."
Anya frowned, "How? Also, what's Ontari's story? Why is she human now?"
"Through this door," Maya chuckled, tapping on the wall and a door appeared. "As for Ontari, she was Fae but gave it all up out of love. She's human no but in several more years, she can choose to continue to be human or become Fae again."
Maya opened the door and all could see the kitchen to the Woods-Thorn home. Indra, who was baking, noticed them and frowned. The children sheepishly said their goodbyes to Ms. Vie and went to endure their punishment for wandering off.
"Mama, what are you doing?" Raven questioned as she stared at me.
I stretched but continue to lie on the floor, "Just staring at the ceiling."
Raven looked up at the ceiling, "What's fun about that?"
I giggled as Maya walked into the room with Octavia and Bellamy. "There's dancing cats on the ceilings."
Maya immediately looked around the room before spying the empty bag that held some gummies. She kicked my leg.
"Ow," I pouted. "Maya, why?"
"You didn't share with me," Maya pointed out. "Plus, you aren't supposed to have any when the kids are home."
I smiled, "I forgot it was the special ones until after I finished. Maybe a new hiding spot."
"Special what?" Raven asked.
Maya giggled and petted Raven's head, "Mama and I have special adult candy that we eat when we're very tired and upset. Maybe when you're older, we'll share with you."
"Cool," Raven beamed. "Can we have dinner now?"
"Uh, let's order pizza?" I suggested as I slowly zoned out.
Maya shook her head, "Kids, pick out a movie or two. I'll order some pizzas, wings, and sodas."
"Yay!" they cheered, moving around me to get to the couch.
I held up my arms and Maya helped me up. "Thanks, Maya."
Maya laughed and guided me to my seat. "Don't fall off, love."
/ - / - /
"Mama can't get up the stairs," Octavia giggled as I struggled to crawl up the stairs.
Maya sighed, "Do you need help, dear?"
"Psh," I huffed. "I got this... I think?"
Raven laughed, "Mama, you need help. You're holding everyone back."
I pouted, "Maya! The children are mocking me!"
"Then will you let me help?" Maya giggled.
"Fine," I grumbled. "I was already halfway up."
"No you weren't," Raven smirked.
Maya ruffled Raven's hair, "Don't be mean to mama or else she'll stop making delicious meals."
"Strike!" I exclaimed as I started to float. "Oh, I'm really flying. Yay!"
Maya laughed as she placed a hand on my back, "Let's get you to bed and don't get high without me next time."
I laughed, "No promises."
I was going to write this chapter as Raven and Octavia throwing a tantrum but they're a happy family. Plus I don't think Raven and O would want to upset Forest and Maya so... Forest got high instead.
"Forest!" Ontari beamed, racing over to her favorite catlike person.
"Oh no, you don't," Maya chuckled, grabbing Ontari as she passed by.
Ontari giggled, "Hi, Maya."
Maya pecked Ontari's cheeks, "Don't bother the cook."
"Maya's right," I grinned as I scooped out another bowl of asparagus crab soup. "I don't want to accidentally spill hot soup on you."
Ontari smiled as Maya put her down, "Can Costia eat with us?"
"Of course she can," Maya answered. "Any one of your friends can."
Ontari frowned, "But my only friends are Roan, Lincoln, Anya, Lexa, and the Skaikru."
I chuckled softly, "Go take a seat, Ri. Maya and I will be passing out the food soon."
I glanced out from the corner of my eyes and watched Ontari gestured at Costia to follow. The poor girl was rather shy that Ontari had to walk over and drag Costia to the table, introducing her to the group.
"Don't be so judgemental," Maya whispered to me as she carefully placed the bowl of soup on the food cart. "She's just a kid and we need several more soups."
I sighed and continued proportioning the soup, "I know, love. I just can't help but hate the fact that he's using a kid to do his dirty work."
Maya rested a hand on my back and leaned close, pecking my cheek, "We'll protect her and the rest of them. Now we should hurry. You know how children are when they're hungry."
I nodded and quickly finished up. Maya took the food cart over to the children and carefully passed out the first of many dishes. We were prepping for a wedding and the children were our guinea pigs for the food tasting test.
"It looks like snot," Lexa complained.
Anya rolled her eyes, "Stop being a wimp, Lex."
"But it looks so gross," Lincoln agreed with Lexa.
Ontari glanced over at Maya and me before tasting the soup. "It's not bad. I like it."
Lexa grimaced, "Do we have to?"
"Only if you want cake before lunch ends," Indra informed them from another table. "Forest, another bowl for me, please."
I grinned and served Indra another helping as the children dug into their meal.
/ - / - /
"Lexa, you look a lot like someone I met once," Costia smiled at Lexa as the children headed to their afternoon courses.
"Do I?" Lexa hummed as she played with Ontari's hand. "Hey, Ri? How come Forest gave you an extra cookie?"
Ontari shrugged, "How should I know?"
Anya scoffed, "Playing dumb, Ri?"
"Not my fault if I'm their favorite," Ontari huffed.
"She's my mother's favorite too," Roan chuckled. "So Costia, who does Lexa remind you of?"
"Axel Woods... His real name is Alexander like his father's," Costia answered. "I heard he goes here but I haven't seen him around. Have you guys seen him?"
"Yeah, he likes to hide in plain sight," Anya smirked, nudging Lexa from behind.
"Oh," Costia acknowledged. "I was hoping to be his friend."
Ontari shrugged, "Maybe you should focus on getting used to this school first. It gets confusing around here from time to time."
"Maybe you'll find Axel when you least expect to," Lexa suggested, squeezing Ontari's hand.
Ontari took the hint and coughed, "The last one to the school fountain is a rotten egg."
Anya and the boys immediately took off. Lexa stomped her foot before running after them. Costia turned to Ontari, who shrugged and went to catch up, leaving her behind. Costia sighed and started jogging after her new friends.
"Reyes! Get back here!" I shouted after Raven, who was running down the sidewalk to Clarke's place.
"No way, mama!" Raven yelled back as she slammed the fence gate close.
I sighed and looked at the mess she left. Raven scratched my car by knocking Callie's motorcycle over with her racecar. It wasn't all her fault. Bellamy was supposed to be looking after the girls but currently, he was missing from his post. Octavia was practicing her archery until I heard the crash.
"O, want to tell me what happened?" I asked as I turned to her.
Octavia shook her head, "Not really, mama."
I gestured to the door, "Head inside and sit down with Maya. I have to get your sister."
"Yes, mama," Octavia replied as she gathered her bow and arrows.
I walked over to the vehicles and pushed the racecar into the opened garage. I went back and pulled Callie's bike away from my car, checking the damage. I was just relieved that the bike hadn't toppled over onto Raven and shook my head at the dent and scratches. I pulled out my phone when it vibrated at an incoming text.
PapaGriffin: I have Reyes and she's bawling her eyes out. What happened?
Cat-Fairy: Minor incident. Not her fault.
PapaGriffin: So what happened?
Cat-Fairy: I'll be over to tell you. I just need to grab the evidence.
PapaGriffin: LOL ok
I took pictures of the wreak before sending a quick text to Maya and made my way over to the Griffins. I sighed again, wondering where the hell Bellamy disappeared off to.
/ - / - /
Raven knew she was in trouble once mama got there and knew she needed to escape. She had Clarke go and get her water from the kitchen while she carefully opened the window. The pool was a far jump but it was better than the bush that was below Clarke's window. She sat on the ledge, took a deep breath, and jumped. She realized she didn't push off strong enough and was going to miss. She closed her eyes and waited to hit the concrete.
"Raven, you crazy little bugger," I huffed, catching the little Latina. "Are you trying to get yourself killed?"
It took a moment for Raven to register the fact that she was alive and when she did, she held onto her mama tight, "Mama. I'm sorry."
I sighed and rubbed her back, "It's okay, Raven. Cars and bikes can be replaced but not little girls like you. Now, we're going inside and have a quick talk with Jake before going home. Say sorry to Clarke for deceiving her."
"Yes, mama," Raven sniffled as she rested her head against mama's chest. "Mama, I love you."
"I love you, too, Raven Reyes," I replied. "Even if you drive me crazy."
/ - / - /
"Bellamy Bob Blake, I hope you have a good excuse as to why you weren't watching your sisters like you promised," Maya bellowed as Bellamy snuck into the kitchen through the back door. "You even missed dinner."
Bellamy shamefully looked up at us before pulling his friend through the threshold, "His name's John Murphy. No parents and his foster family is... they're shit."
I sighed and got up, "Take a seat and I'll warm up a meal for both of you."
"I'm getting the first-aid kit," Maya informed as she headed to the hallway bathroom.
"Told you they were cool, Murphy," Bellamy whispered to John as he guided the kid to the table.
"Mama, is Bell back?" Octavia asked as she walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. "I'm sleepy."
Bellamy smiled, "Then go to sleep, O."
"Bell!" Octavia beamed, rushing over to hug him. "Mama said we're all grounded for three days and that Clarke can't come over."
"They're still awake," Maya laughed upon her return with the first-aid kit and Raven in her arms. "Reyes wants to sleep in our room."
I presented Bellamy and his friend with a plate of grilled cheese and milk. "Raven, I'm not mad and I still want you around but you got to sleep in your own room. John, you're bunking with Bell for the night and Bell, get him a change of clothes. John needs a bath before bed. We'll deal with everything else in the morning."
"But mama, I want to cuddle," Raven pouted.
"Me too," Octavia chipped in, holding her arms up at Maya.
Maya sighed, "Just one night won't hurt."
I rolled my eyes, "Fine. Go tuck them in. I'll patch John up."
"It's Murphy," John voiced. "I want to be called Murphy."
"Okay Murphy," I acknowledged. "Eat up, shower, and change, and then we get to your injuries. Also, you're staying for breakfast. You look a bit thin. Bell, keep an eye on Murphy."
/ - / - /
"No, Callie, I don't want a brother," I groaned when Callie suggested that she adopt Murphy. "Better yet, just let Maya and me adopt him."
Lorelei giggled, "She refuses to let anyone else be the youngest."
Callie smirked, "But she'll always be the youngest on the Wallace side."
I gasped, "Maya, she's mocking me."
Maya rubbed my back, "That's not the case we're supposed to focus on, dear. Do you even mind having another kid?"
I glanced over at Murphy and sighed, "I don't mind at all. Just who are we calling to get this squared away?"
"I don't need your charity," Murphy huffed as he pushed away from the table.
His movement was harsh and forceful. The cups on the table wobbled and tipped over but froze in place thanks to magic. Murphy's eyes went wide as the cups were moved upright and set gently on the table.
"Fae people are real," Murphy whispered. "My parents weren't crazy."
"Who are your parents?" I questioned, gaining his attention.
"Alex and Cynde Murphy," Murphy answered. "Did you know them?"
I snapped my fingers, making a book appear, and searched their names. "Cynde is human and Alex is Fae which makes Murphy half-human and half-Fae. Alex was killed for stealing Fae medicine and Cynde from alcohol poisoning. Murphy here got sent to the human foster system instead of the Fae one."
"When and what did Alex steal?" Maya asked as I continued to skim the book.
"Not long ago. About a few years back," I replied. "He was trying to treat Murphy's fever but looks like he grabbed the wrong one. He accidentally took Fae suppressants. That doesn't warrant death but he stole from Kipper and Kipper's off his rocker."
"How do I find this Kipper guy?" Murphy growled.
I got up and walked over to Murphy, putting a hand on his shoulder, "We will deal with Kipper later. First things first, you need a home and to find out your Fae abilities. Luckily for you, Maya and I can help you with that. If your father had known us, we would have helped, but he was part of a different Fae pack. So, want to stay?"
Murphy frowned, "Promise me that we'll get Kipper."
I smirked and ruffled his hair, "We will when you're combat-ready, Murphy. Welcome to the family, kid."
"Johnathan Richard Murphy! Where have you been?" Maya demanded when Murphy walked in, sporting bruises.
"Nowhere," Murphy mumbled. "Why do you care?"
Maya pulled Murphy into a hug, "You are my son. You are my responsibility."
Murphy huffed, "I'm not calling you 'mom' anytime soon."
"That's fine with me," Maya informed. "Now go wash up for dinner. We'll go over your homework after."
"Whatever," Murphy grumbled as he removed himself from Maya's embrace. "I need help with the first-aid kit again."
Jake coughed, "So where did you find that one?"
I chuckled as I continued to braid Raven's hair, "Bellamy brought him home. Murphy ran from his foster home. He's not much older than the girls and still trying to survive."
Maya sighed as she rejoined us, "I wished he didn't come home with so many bruises."
"Mama, is Murphy being bullied?" Octavia questioned.
"I'm NOT!" Murphy shouted from upstairs.
I shook my head, "When will they learn not to shout up and down the stairs."
Jake smirked, "At least you have an even amount of kids again and the boy-girl ratio is one-to-one."
"Worse dad joke ever," Clarke declared, crossing her arms.
/ - / - /
"Sorry about this, Marcus," Callie smiled sheepishly. "My stepdaughter went and adopted another one."
Kane chuckled, "No worries, Callie. A spot just opened up. We had to expel a repeat troublemaker."
Callie looked down, checking on Murphy, "You ready, kid?"
Murphy frowned, "No. I hate being the new kid."
"Fourth grade can't be that bad," Callie encouraged.
"Am I at least in classes with Reyes, O, and Clarke?" Murphy grumbled.
Kane grinned, "I'm sure that can be arranged but I still need you to take a placement test."
"Oh, before I go," Callie remembered. "Murphy's half-Fae so..."
"I got it," Kane smiled. "Murphy's going to like it here."
"Fae people go here?" Murphy questioned, glaring at Kane.
"Some do but it's a general rule not to reveal yourself or do any magic," Kane answered. "Unfortunately, I was born human, but I work with the Fae to prosper positive relations. Time to head inside, Murphy."
Murphy grunted and followed Kane into the building. His first impression of his new principal was alright so far but he didn't expect much. Life was hard but he knew his new family is trying to help him adjust.
/ - / - /
"Will I be able to do that one day?" Murphy asked after everyone crossed through the portal.
"One day, Murphy," I chuckled, patting his back. "Come on, time to meet the others."
"But how do you do it?" Murphy frowned. "What's the logic behind it?"
I rolled my eyes but smiled, "First, it has to be somewhere you've traveled to. Second, never let your mind waver. And lastly, always make sure you have enough energy to do magic."
Murphy nodded and followed along, "One day, I'll open up a portal."
I hummed, "I believe you will. Now, Murphy, you're going to be overwhelmed by how many people you're going to meet today but just remember, they're going to be your friends and people you can rely on. If it's too much, come get Maya or me. Understand?"
"Yea," Murphy confirmed. "One of them is Clarke's girlfriend."
"She's not my girlfriend," Clarke refuted.
Raven laughed, "Not yet, Clarkey."
"I'm going to ask Lincoln to be my boyfriend!" Octavia proclaimed. "No one can stop me!"
"Forest, Maya, the new kid is fighting Roan!" Ontari shouted as she ran over.
I sighed and let her take my hand, leading me to the fight. Lincoln and Bellamy were trying to stop them but Murphy kept slipping out of their hold. I shook my head and snapped my fingers, using magic to slow Murphy's and Roan's movements before pulling them apart. As soon as the magic wore off, the boys fell to the ground.
"Mind explaining?" I questioned with a frown.
"Just roughhousing," Murphy scowled. "Nothing else."
I turned to Roan, "Is that right?"
Roan looked away, "Yea."
I eyed them for a few moments before sighing, "Well, if that's the story you're going with, you're all running laps."
"Wait, even me?" Anya asked, shocked.
"Yes," I confirmed. "All of you, children, are running laps until Murphy and Roan tell me the truth. Get running."
Murphy scoffed, "There isn't even a track."
"There is now," I retorted, conjuring one up with a snap of my fingers. "Move those feet, kids."
They all groaned and headed towards the track. Maya giggled at the sight when she joined me, holding a first-aid kit in her hand. She leaned into me and sighed as we watch the kids make their first lap.
"Remember when you did that to our ten?" Maya hummed.
I grinned, "I do. I still make them run."
Maya smirked, "They'll break faster since most of them are human."
"Murphy's half-Fae," I smiled. "But he's too human. Hasn't connected with his Fae powers yet."
"Oh, the children are running," Indra noted when she walked over. "What did they do? Also, the men are waiting for you to start grilling."
I pouted, "Why is it always me?"
Maya giggled, "Because you're the chef."
I rolled my eyes and pecked Maya's cheek, "Keep them running, love."
/ - / - /
"Who said you children could stand there?" I huffed as I cut into the juicy steak. "I never said to stop running."
They grumbled and groaned as they started running in place. Poor Clarke looked like she was going to pass out soon and I really wanted to help her.
"Forest," Jake stated with concern.
I shook my head at him and he sighed, backing away but not without putting a couple of cold water bottles on the table.
"Roan, Murphy, tell me the truth," I informed. "Or you and the rest of the children can go hungry and thirsty."
Anya groaned, "Roan, tell her. We're tired."
Roan huffed, "Make him. Murphy started it."
I put my cutting tools down and picked up a water bottle. "This came from the fridge. It's so cold and I bet it's tasty."
They stared as I unsealed the cap and brought the bottle up to my lips. I took a sip before downing the whole bottle.
"That was refreshing," I stated, placing the empty bottle down. "What to tell me now?"
"This is cruel and unusual punishment!" Clarke shouted.
I laughed, "This is how they do it in the army or on any team. One's fault is the team's fault. Now tell me what I want to know."
Murphy gritted his teeth but said nothing. He could feel all their glares on him but he wasn't giving in.
"We fought because I said his father was a worthless stupid Fae," Roan admitted. "And you adopted him because you were sorry about his family."
I turned to Murphy and sighed. I knew he wasn't budging so I had to read his mind. I could feel his emotions building up as I forced the memory out. Roan had admitted the truth.
"Drink the water slowly and go take a seat," I huffed after slowly breaking the mind connection. "Slowly."
The girls immediately grabbed at the water bottles but stop to lift them up to me. I shook my head and uncapped the bottles for them. I stopped Murphy and Roan from taking a seat at the table.
"Boys, I am going to say this once and I expect you two to respect it," I asserted. "The people here, the ones we eat and learn with, are our family. You two are now family and don't forget that. You should be relying on each other through tough situations and not fighting like that. We all have our differences but that what makes us special. Murphy's father was a good man but he was part of the wrong Fae pact. He did everything he could to protect Murphy and his wife so don't disrespect the dead, Roan. Besides, your father would have done the same for you. When you two are ready, apologize to each other. Got it?"
"Yes, ma'am," they answered.
"Good. Take a seat, we're eating soon," I smiled, ruffling their hair before groaning. "Ew, hair sweat. Maya, I need disinfecting wipes."
/ - / - /
"They're finally getting along," Indra noted as I curled against Maya in the shade of the tree we chose to lay out the picnic blanket.
"That's good," I yawned, stretching out over Maya's lap. "Maya, I think Murphy needs therapy or someone to talk to."
Maya hummed as she brushed my hair, "I'll get him to open up or maybe Jake will. Now, does kitten want a nap?"
"Always," I purred, shifting as I did so.
I felt Maya lift me closer to her chest before hearing Ontari shout 'kitty' and the children crowded us.
"Murphy isn't the only new kid to join our group," Lexa informed as she colored in the drawing that Clarke made for her.
Clarke stopped drawing and looked at Lexa, "Who else joined?"
Lexa continued to draw, "Costia Verdant. The girl from my birthday party."
"Does she even know?" Clarke huffed.
"Know what?" Lexa questioned.
"That you're mine?" Clarke clarified.
"I smell jealousy," Murphy teased as he held out his hand. "I need another picture to color in."
"I'm not done yet, Murphy," Clarke sighed as she checked her drawing. "Go ask Forest or Maya."
Murphy grumbled as he got up, "Fine. Continue your girlfriend squabble."
Lexa looked up at Clarke and sighed, "I don't think she knows anything about me. She's looking for Axel."
Clarke reached over and took Lexa's hand, "You're Lexa, not Axel. You're always Lexa to me."
"I know," Lexa smiled. "She needs a friend and so does Murphy."
Clarke rolled her eyes, "Forest is trying but he's so rough around the edges. Make sure Costia knows you're mine."
Lexa cocked her head, "When did we agree that I was yours?"
"When we became friends, duh," Clarke retorted as she put her finished drawing aside and grabbed a new sheet of paper. "And we're gonna get married."
Lexa frowned and turned to Anya, "An, can two girls get married?"
"Yea, I think so," Anya answered without looking up from her book. "I mean, look at Forest and Maya."
"But they're Fae," Lexa pointed out. "Does it count for humans?"
Anya shrugged, "They adopted Raven, Octavia, Bellamy, and Murphy together. Why don't you ask them?"
Nia walked in the play area and called out, "Roan, Ontari, time to go."
Ontari pouted, "But I don't want to go."
Maya giggled as she joined Nia in the play area, "Kids, let's go. You guys have school tomorrow and mama only has enough energy for one large portal trip home. Clean up."
Raven got up and ran to Maya, showing off her drawing, "Look, mom. Clarke drew me an astronaut in a rocket in space."
Maya patted Raven's head, "Is that going to be you one day? My little bird is going to be an astronaut?"
"Yea," Raven beamed. "Can we put this on the refrigerator?"
"Of course we can," Maya agreed, taking the drawing. "O, Bell, Murphy, we need to get going. Clarke, your parents are waiting for you."
"Okay," Clarke acknowledged as she started cleaning up. "Maya... can two girls get married?"
Maya laughed, "Yes, they can. Doesn't matter if they're human or Fae. Who is planning to marry who?"
"I think Raven wants to marry Anya," Ontari voiced as she took Nia's hand. "Nia, can we get ice cream on the way home?"
Raven blushed and buried her face against Maya's stomach. Maya smiled and rubbed Raven's back.
"O, ready?" Bellamy questioned as he joined Maya's side.
Octavia beamed, "Yeah. Let's go home."
Maya looked around, "Where's Murphy?"
"I got him," I answered, walking in with Murphy over my shoulder. "Look how tall he got."
Maya shook her head, "Put him down before you hurt yourself."
I chuckled and followed Maya's suggestion. "Clarke, you done yet? We got to take you back to your parents."
"Ready to go," Clarke grinned as she grabbed the last of her drawings and ran to me before glancing back. "Remember Lexa, you're mine."
Maya checked the time on her watch while Jake, Nia, and Indra kept an eye on their young trick-or-treaters. The children begged and pleaded to go trick-or-treating that night while Bellamy asked to go to an unsupervised party at his friend's house. Everyone came to an agreement after much debate.
"Is it about time to head back?" Jake grinned.
Maya smiled, "Almost. Just a bit worried about Bell being at that party and Forest with her haunted maze. She's going to give everyone nightmares."
Indra chuckled, "At least she's having fun. She's been busy lately."
Maya nodded, "We're getting used to the new family dynamic and well, Forest is looking into certain things. Always busy. I'm afraid she's burning the candle at both ends."
Jake sighed, "Maybe ask her to slow it down or I don't know, delegate her work."
"We try to," Maya shook her head. "But in times like these, it's hard to know who to really trust anymore."
"Mom, they gave us toothbrushes!" Raven shouted as the group came back.
"The audacity!" Clarke bellowed in agreement.
Maya giggled, "Don't complain to me. Complain to your mama."
Murphy grumbled, "Can we go home yet? I want to try the maze before bed."
"The haunted maze," Octavia beamed. "I wanna go in mama's haunted maze."
Ontari went and tugged on Maya's shirt, "Can we go in Forest's haunted maze?"
Maya laughed, "How about you all go ask Forest? O, take my hand before I lose you."
Before Ontari could take Maya's other hand, Murphy snaked his way over and took it, sticking his tongue out at her. "Mine."
Nia sighed, "Ontari, come here. I'll hold your hand."
Ontari huffed and went over to her mother. Lexa pouted when she realized that she had no adults to hold onto.
"Lexa," Clarke frowned, taking Lexa's hand. "You're going to get left behind."
"Yeah, squirt," Anya agreed, ruffling Lexa's hair before taking Lexa's free hand. "Now, I know this isn't the Yellow Brick Road and that we're not going to see the Wizard but hey, we're taking this crowded, grey cement sidewalk to see Forest."
Lexa beamed, "Can we still sing it?"
Lincoln smirked, "Follow the yellow brick road."
"Follow the yellow brick road," Roan chimed in.
/ - / - /
"Come one, come all!" I shouted. "Test your courage! Enter the haunted maze!"
People flocked over to see and ask some questions. Only several brave ones went in and unfortunately came out crying in fear. It was a good laugh and great knowledge to know I managed to produce a scary maze. I checked my watch and sighed. 'Almost closing time. Can't wait for the blood orange punch and scary movies with Maya.'
"Mama!" Raven screamed, running towards me.
I caught her in a hug, "Hey, little bird. Didn't I tell you not to run away from your Halloween group?"
Raven blushed, "Yes but I wanted to see you."
"Aw, I guess I can forgive you this time," I chuckled and pecked her cheek as everyone else gathered in front of the maze.
"Me too," Octavia cried from beside Maya. "Hugs and kisses for me too."
I set Raven down and picked Octavia up, pecking her cheeks. "There, happy little one?"
"Yes," Octavia beamed. "Else I'll a...ah...arrest you."
I laughed and put her down before reaching over and ruffling Murphy's hair. "Rope any bad guys, cowboy?"
"No," Murphy frowned. "The last house we went to, they gave us toothbrushes."
"Good," I grinned. "I don't have to buy more yet."
"But Halloween is about the candy," Clarke gasped.
Lexa agreed, "Yea, toothbrushes aren't candy."
I glanced at them before giving a menacing laugh, "I guess y'all want to visit the dentist and have your teeth drilled into for every cavity they find."
The children quickly covered their mouths and shook their heads. The worse form of evil for children besides going to the doctors.
Maya reached over and gently slapped my arm, "Stop scaring the kids. They want to go through the maze."
I rubbed the back of my neck, "I don't know if that's a good idea. One of the high schoolers that went in used up their inhaler and had to call their parents. The parents were not that happy and I had to shell out a couple of bucks for their next prescription."
"Pretty please," Ontari pleaded, blinking at me.
I looked away from her as there was a scream coming from around the side of the house. A group of teens came running out of the 'entrance only' area and breathing heavily out of fear.
"Wicked crazy," one of them huffed.
"So lifelike," another stated.
One of the girls laughed, "We didn't even make it past the first part."
"You guys still want to try?" I questioned the children.
"Yes!" Lexa voiced as the others agreed.
I sighed, "Don't forget your parental unit."
Indra frowned, "No way I'm going. Where's Gus?"
As if on cue, Gustus walked out of the house with a bowl of candy. He greeted them with a smile.
"Are we done trick-or-tricking?" he chuckled.
"Dad, mom doesn't want to go through the haunted maze," Anya pouted. "Will you go with us?"
"Of course," Gustus grinned, passing the bowl of candy to Indra. "Your mom can help pass out candy while we have all the fun."
I sighed, "Go put your bags of candy inside the house first. We don't want you guys to lose all of it in the maze."
The children rushed up the walkway and into the house. They came back ready to face the horrors in the maze. I waved them in.
"Good luck," I laughed menacingly. "May you come out in one piece."
It wasn't long until Indra and I heard their screams.
/ - / - /
"Boo!" I shouted, jumping into the living room where all the children were sorting their candy.
They screamed in fright but once realizing it was just me, they attacked. They jumped and pinned me down for a tickle war. I laughed and laughed until I couldn't handle it and suspended them in magic.
"Forest, no magic on the kids," Maya scolded me.
"Can't breathe," I wheezed, still trying to catch my breath, and sat up.
Maya gave me that warning look and I sighed. I released the kids from the magic's hold and they all tumbled against me.
Ontari nuzzled close, "Since we're having a sleepover, can I sleep in your bed?"
I smirked, "Is someone scared after the haunted maze?"
"No," Ontari huffed even though I felt her grip tighten on my arm.
I pulled her onto my lap, "Well, I do need a brave hero to snuggle tonight. Will you be that hero?"
Ontari beamed, "Yes!"
Clarke pouted, "No fair, Ri!"
Lexa grinned, "Snuggle party in Forest's room!"
I sighed while the other parents laughed. I didn't really mind it at all except for how Maya and I would be skipping our scary movie night.
Chapter 32: The Halloween Special
Listen to this as you read??? Up to you. Just find horror music to complement this chapter.
I tried really hard to make this scary...
"Yes!" Lexa voiced as the others agreed.
Forest sighed, "Don't forget your parental unit."
Indra frowned, "No way I'm going. Where's Gus?"
As if on cue, Gustus walked out of the house with a bowl of candy. He greeted them with a smile.
"Are we done trick-or-tricking?" he chuckled.
"Dad, mom doesn't want to go through the haunted maze," Anya pouted. "Will you go with us?"
"Of course," Gustus grinned, passing the bowl of candy to Indra. "Your mom can help pass out candy while we have all the fun."
Forest sighed, "Go put your bags of candy inside the house first. We don't want you guys to lose all of it in the maze."
The children rushed up the walkway and into the house. They came back ready to face the horrors in the maze. Forest waved them in.
"Good luck," Forest laughed menacingly. "May you come out in one piece."
It wasn't long until Indra and Forest heard their screams.
/ - / - /
Clarke took Lexa's hand as they entered the cloth-covered maze. The pathway was dimly light and oddly enough, they could see the night sky. They were surrounded by trees and a slow fog was rolling in. It smelt slight damp and the leaves crunched under their steps.
"Cool special effects," Jake chuckled softly, nudging Gustus. "What do you think?"
Gustus puffed up his chest, "I think you're going to scream like a little girl."
"Shh!" Anya shushed them. "If they can't hear us, then they can't scare us."
"If that so?" questioned an unfamiliar voice.
Immediately, everyone flinched and looked around for the owner of the voice. There was no one there but them.
Nia cleared her throat, "How about a sound off? Ontari?"
"Right here," Ontari answered.
"Roan?" Nia questioned and Roan replied, "Here."
Gustus went next calling for Anya, Lexa, and Lincoln. The trio answered when they heard their name.
"Clarke? You still there?" Jake laughed, ruffling his little girl's hair.
"Ugh, dad," Clarke grumbled as she pulled away to fix her hair.
"O? Reyes? and Murphy?" Maya inquired and the three answered her call. "So everyone is here. Good. Let's continue."
"Yes, let's continue," the voice laughed as a chainsaw started up right behind the group.
When they turned, they saw the Headless Horseman swinging a chainsaw, round and round. The group screamed and ran for it.
Murphy glanced back and tripped over a tree root. "Maya! Help!"
Maya turned back and helped Murphy up while Octavia clung to her. Raven was quicker and was up ahead with Jake and the rest.
"Hello again," the Headless Horseman crackled, bringing the chainsaw down on the screaming trio.
/ - / - /
The remaining members of the group slowed down to catch their breaths. They ran through the woods to get away and found a cave to hide in.
"Where's Maya?" Ontari questioned, looking around. "Nia, I can't find Maya."
Nia smiled worriedly, "I'm sure she got away, sweetie."
"Murphy and O are missing too," Raven pointed out as she gripped onto Anya's hand.
Anya hugged Raven, "They're probably safe with Maya somewhere far away from that headless chainsaw guy."
"Anyone got a flashlight?" Lincoln wheezed. "Gotta check if we're safe here."
Jake, always the engineer, handed Lincoln his flashlight. "Always be prepared."
Lincoln turned on the flashlight and shined it around. "Clear over here, clear there, and giant spider over there. Nothing to worry about."
"Did you say 'giant spider' Lincoln?" Roan whimpered. "You know I have arachnophobia."
Said giant spider hissed in anger at its uninvited guests and brought its legs down to cage them in. They screamed as Jake scrambled to pull out several laser pointers that he reserved to tease Forest.
"Aim for the eyes," Jake shouted, handing out the lasers as fast as he could before the spider put its fangs in them.
The spider missed biting them due to the lasers' light and knocked itself unconscious when it bumped into the cave walls. The group booked it out of the cave and back into the woods.
"Nowhere is safe!" Lexa yelled as they ran for 'safe' coverage.
They weren't looking where they were going and crashed into Maya, Octavia, and Murphy.
"You guys are safe!" Ontari beamed, hugging Maya. "I was so worried."
Raven rolled her eyes, "You were mainly worried about my mom! O, Murph, you two okay?"
"Minus the ripped clothes, yeah," Murphy grumbled, lifting his torn shirt. "I actually liked this shirt."
"What are you guys running away from?" Octavia sniffled, poking at her boo-boo. "Mom, I'm hurt."
"Giant spider," Roan wheezed. "Thanks to Jake, we managed to escape."
/ - / - /
They traveled through the woods and came across a giant gingerbread house. Lexa did a doubletake while Clarke and the other kids took a bite out of the house.
"Guys, I don't think we should be eating that house," Lexa voiced. "Remember the story about Hansel and Gretal."
Maya sighed, "Why did I let her build a haunted maze?"
"Who dares eat my house?!" the witch demanded as she came out of her house. "I'm going to eat all of you!"
"Lexa!" Clarke yelled, jumping into Lexa's arms. "Save me!"
Jake picked up the duo, "We need to run!"
The witch chased after them on her broom and used her magic to guide them back to the gingerbread house.
"What do we do?" Lincoln questioned.
"How does the story end?" Murphy shouted as he slid under the table to avoid being blasted by magic.
Lexa yelped, "We need to throw her into the fire!"
Anya ducked a flying obstacle, "But how? It's not like asking her would work."
"Put the cutest and fattest kid in front of the fire!" Jake suggested.
Nia huffed, "As if I would put any of the children in danger!"
Maya pulled Octavia to safety behind a chair, "Not as if we have a choice! Pick a kid!"
The adults decided on Ontari to lure the witch to the fire. Ontari protested the whole idea as Maya tied bandage wraps around the young girl's waist. Maya pecked Ontari's cheek for good luck before pushing the girl out for their chance at survival.
"I'm telling Forest about this!" Ontari cried, wiping her tears away.
Her cries gained the witch's attention, "How delicious! I love crying little children, go on, keep crying."
The witch zoomed towards Ontari and at the last second, Maya pulled Ontari to safety via the bandage wraps. Thus the witch burned and the gingerbread house disappeared.
"What kind of haunted maze is this?!" Clarke whimpered as they were once back in the woods. "I want to go home!"
/ - / - /
It started to rain as the group wandered through the woods for the exit. They were tired from running through one fairy tale into another and then back to the woods. It seemed like they were going in circles.
"How do you think this will end?" Clarke groaned, leaning into Lexa.
Lexa rolled her eyes, "I don't know. We all get separate, face our fears, and find the exit?"
Ontari glared at Lexa, "What if that's exactly how this is supposed to go?"
"Never mind that," Anya scoffed as she looked at the pooled rain in her hands. "It's raining blood."
"Ew!" Raven squealed. "Mom, I want to go home! I want a bath!"
"I'd never thought I hear Raven say that," Maya laughed as she rested against Gustus. "Also, remind me to kill my wife for this."
Gustus chuckled, "Will do."
"Mom, bunny!" Octavia shouted, taking off after a black rabbit.
Lincoln chased after her, "O, wait up! We need to stay with the group."
"I'll go get them," Jake grinned, taking off after Lincoln and Octavia before they got too far.
"And so it begins!" Murphy huffed.
/ - / Octavia's Fear / - /
Octavia caught the bunny and held it close to her chest. Upon looking around, she realized she was alone.
"Mom?" Octavia called out. "Raven? Murphy? Lincoln?"
"What a pretty little girl," came a gruff voice, causing Octavia to freeze up.
It was the voice of the dark Fae that took her family captive. Octavia slowly looked over her shoulder and there was that evil laughter from a shadowy figure. She put the bunny down and ran but she could hear him coming after her. She didn't want to relive the horrors of being captured and seeing her mother die again. She just couldn't.
"I got you now," laughed the dark Fae, grabbing Octavia and dangling her by the leg. "Let's go say hi to mommy."
Octavia was brought into a tiny, dimly lit room. It brought back the horrid memories that she long to forgot. She wanted Maya and Forest to hold her, wanted someone to rescue her. The other being in the room sounded like her mother, Aurora, but as soon as it turned around, it was Forest, dying as her mother had. Octavia screamed loudly and cried for help.
"Octavia, sweetie," Maya called softly. "It's over now. We got through the maze."
Octavia sniffled as she grabbed onto Maya, "Mommy! Don't leave me!"
/ - / Clarke's Fear / - /
Clarke doesn't realize that she got separated from the group since she was so focused on holding Lexa's hand, but she doesn't know that it's not Lexa anymore. She just knew that she was in the middle of her wedding to Lexa with Forest officiating it.
"Do you, Clarke Griffin, take Lexa as your wife?" Forest questioned.
"I do," Clarke beamed proudly.
Forest turned to Lexa, "Do you, Lexa Woods, take Clarke as your wife?"
Instead of saying 'I do' Lexa pulled away from Clarke and walked down the aisle. At the end of it was Costia, smirking as Lexa joined her.
"Sorry, Clarke," Lexa apologized. "I love Costia more."
Clarke stood frozen at the whole scene and didn't realize that she had made it to the end of the maze until Jake picked her up.
"You okay, Clarke?" Jake questioned. "It was a scary maze, huh?"
Clarke nodded, "Very scary, dad."
/ - / Ontari's Fear / - /
Ontari got lost while trying to stay close with the group as they looked for the exit. She didn't know which way to go since the bloody rain obscured her vision. She heard a meowed and believed it was Forest trying to show her the way. She followed the mews to a clearing full of dead people. As she walked down the only path through the clearing, the dead moaned.
"You killed us!" "This is your fault!" "You should have stopped her!" "Her sins are yours!"
Ontari started running when the dead tried to grab her. She didn't stop until she crashed into someone's back.
"Sorry," Ontari mumbled as looked up.
The person turned, revealing a very scary dead version of Maya. Blood poured from her eyes and her skin was a grayish pale color.
"You didn't stop Forest," Maya stated, more blood coming from the mouth. "She's unstoppable now. Here she comes."
There was an evil crackle as the air turned electrifying. The hairs on her arms rise as Forest appeared before them. Forest wore a black cloak, soaked in blood. She was very skinny and had a crazed look.
"More power!" Forest laughed. "I need more power!"
"No!" Ontari shouted. "No more power!"
Forest zeroed in on Ontari, "You have the power I need!"
Ontari stepped back as Forest moved closer. Maya was tossed aside for getting in the way. There was no escape as Forest grabbed Ontari.
Ontari cried, "Stop. Please. This isn't you."
"No, it's not," Forest stated before turning into Ontari herself. "It's you. Forest and Maya are dead. I am your greatest fear because I killed them. You killed them!"
"Ontari!" Nia called, patting her daughter on the back. "We're at the exit."
Ontari reacted by screaming. She couldn't believe what she saw and noticed the other children were looking ghastly afraid as well. She wasn't the only one that was scared.
"So you all made it to the end," Forest chuckled, walking over with a tray carrying caramel covered apples. "Guess you guys get a treat."
Maya glared and punched Forest's arm, "We're not having that maze next year."
Forest smiled, "Yes, love. Want an apple?"
"What is she doing here?" Clarke huffed when she noticed Costia talking to Ontari on the far side of the room.
Lexa shrugged, "Her parents are away for winter break and they opt to have her stay at school cause it's a boarding school."
Clarke sighed, "I don't have enough presents for everyone. Do you know what she likes?"
"I thought you don't like her," Lexa frowned in thought. "I think she likes drawing like you."
Clarke grumbled under her breath and dragged Lexa to find her father, Jake. The duo found him among the other adults playing a subdued non-alcoholic drinking game with cards.
"Dad?" Clarke called out to him.
"Yes, Clarkey," Jake grinned, turning to them. "What is it, sweetie?"
Clarke rubbed her hands together and frowned, "We need to get a present for Costia. I didn't know she was going to be joining us this year..."
Jake chuckled and rubbed Clarke's head, "Well, Forest planned ahead. Why don't you go find her and ask her for a suitable spare gift for Costia?"
"Really?" Maya huffed. "You're going to send those two into the lion's den to ask for gifts. You guys have seen my wife when she's cooking, right?"
Abby reached over and pulled Clarke onto her lap, "Maybe you two should wait until after Forest finish cooking with her children?"
"Okay, mom," Clarke sighed, giving her mom a hug. "Can I go play now?"
Abby pecked Clarke's forehead before setting her daughter on the ground, "Don't cause trouble."
"But she's a troublemaker," Lexa pointed out as Clarke dragged Lexa away from the adults.
They rejoined the other children and started a game of monopoly.
/ - / - /
"Mwah," Maya kissed Ontari's cheeks. "That makes twelve."
"Yay!" Ontari cheered. "Now where can I find Forest?"
Maya giggled, "I'm not sure where she's hiding. Good luck finding her."
Ontari nodded and rejoined her friends. They teasingly cheered at her for getting all 12 kisses from Maya.
"So what is that all about?" Costia questioned after the cheering died down.
"Tradition, I guess," Ontari shrugged as Eve appeared and ruffled Ontari's hair. "Eve!"
Eve grinned, "Hey Frost. Who is your friend?"
Ontari gestured towards Costia, "Costia Aspen. Parents left her at school for winter break."
"Being left behind at school isn't so bad," Eve smiled as she sat down. "My mothers did it all the time."
"Really?" Lexa gaped. "What did you do?"
Eve smirked, "Well, it was mostly mama's fault for forgetting us so my siblings and I challenged her to war. Mom and mum would referee us and they had the tendency to overlook our terrible sneak attack to watch mama get soaked by water balloons and water guns."
"Your mothers are awesome," Costia smiled sadly, knowing her parents would ground her for acting out.
"They are," Eve beamed. "Reyes, Bell, O, and Murphy are lucky to have them. You guys know that, right?"
"Yep!" Raven smirked. "Think mama will get me another rocket?"
"Actually..." Eve grinned at Raven, "I heard mama has a friend at NASA and that she's thinking of taking you guys on a little field trip to meet some astronauts."
Octavia gaped, "We get to meet astronauts?!"
Raven got up and ran off to find Forest, "It's all about Zero-G! Mama?!"
Ontari frowned at Eve, "You're not pulling our legs, are you?"
Eve chuckled and booped Ontari's nose, "Why would I? Besides, mama and mom love you the most, little fish."
Anya noticed the way Eve was looking Ontari and wondered if there was some sort of connection. She had been suspicious of Forest's, Maya's, and their family's whole treatment towards Ontari since they started celebrating the holidays together. (Their family = Forest's and Maya's children minus Raven, Bellamy, Octavia, and Murphy)
"Hey Eve! Join us in the Daring Contest!" Tara called out to her younger sister. "It has the Drunk Expansion!"
Eve grinned and got up, "Well, I'll see you, kids, later. Time to destroy my siblings."
/ - / - /
"See, love," Maya smirked. "This year wasn't so bad."
I huffed, "It hurts to see people hurt their children. Costia didn't deserve to be left behind at boarding school."
Maya sighed and leaned into me, "I do run a boarding school, love."
"One of the best," I grumbled, trying hard not to move since the children decided to have a sleepover in the den where I was hiding out. "Do you think they liked it this year? I didn't go all out like last year."
"You did great," Maya assured with a kiss. "You made Costia feel welcomed and loved as you have with the other kids."
"Costia's not replacing me, right?" Murphy piped up from beside Maya, causing us to giggle.
I reached over and ruffled his hair, "No, Murphy. No one can ever replace you. Now go to sleep."
Murphy mumbled something that I wouldn't have heard if I were human and I sighed loudly. I cleared my throat and started singing softly. It was an old Fae song that was passed down generation by generation and took a while to remember it by heart even though I had the songbook. I could sense the children relaxing in their slumber as I sang of the time when humans and Fae kind existed in harmony with lots of magic and nature.
Jumping into their teen years so roughly 4 years from the last chapter.
The years went on as a pattern developed. Lexa learned how to deal with her father's treatment of her when she had to return to the Woods household. She felt like a repressed Elsa every time she went back.
Costia learned the truth about 'Axel' and surprised everyone except Maya and Forest by keeping her mouth shut. Her reasoning was that she didn't want to lose her new friends and Anya figured out that Costia had a crush on Roan.
Murphy slowly but surely forgot his plans of revenge and Maya hoped he would never remember about it. Forest hoped the same and did almost everything to distract him from remembering. They showered him in love and wisdom.
Bellamy learned to grow up and let Maya and Forest take care of Octavia. He was now studying at Polis University and on his way to becoming a Professor. Although, he still needed several more years before he earned his Ph.D. in History and would go on teaching Mythology there.
/ - / - /
"It's our first day of high school!" Clarke cheered as they walked to Arkadia High. "Think of the parties we'll get invited to."
"Forget that," Raven laughed. "We're the one hosting them."
"But how do we get Forest and Maya out of the house?" Murphy grumbled as he tried to zip up his jacket. "It's not like we can just ask them to leave for the weekend."
"That's easy," Octavia smirked. "We ask Ontari to make goo-goo eyes at them. I don't know why but that always works."
Clarke pulled Octavia towards her, "It will always work if it's Ontari."
Murphy scoffed, "Only because there's a thing between them. Do you guys not listen when they talk in private?"
"We have better use of our time than eavesdropping," Raven beamed. "I can't wait to start dating."
/ - / - /
Anya sneezed and frowned. She normally doesn't sneeze under any circumstances since she's half-dryad and doesn't have any allergies to anything.
Lexa, who noticed, cleared her throat, "Something wrong, An?"
"Yea," Anya replied. "I sneezed and I don't know why. Something's going on."
Ontari looked over, "What if someone is shit-talking you?"
"Why would anyone do that?" Costia giggled. "Her parents are professors here."
Roan grinned, "There's only one person brave enough to do that and her name starts with 'R'. Do you think it's her?"
Lincoln shrugged, "Hey, isn't it their first day of high school? Freshman jokes."
The six of them took out their phones to text something in the group chat only to hear their professor shout "Detention with Forest, the six of you. Hand over your cellphones, now."
/ - / Detention / - /
"How is this detention for them when this is torture for me?" I grumbled at Maya as she held out a fork containing pear. "Oversee these damn children cleaning the pool."
"It's a good view," Maya smirked as she carefully picked out another slice of pear. "Besides that, we're being careful. We have Indra and Gustus here to watch too. Plus it's your fault, you wanted the outdoor pool cleaned before we closed it off."
I sighed, "Don't remind me, dear. The next time I have a list of detention chores I'm checking who is on the detention list."
"Forest!" Ontari beamed popping up between Maya's and Forest's chairs. "Maya! Is it okay if we take a break?"
"Yes, little fish," Maya answered. "You should go before Forest does something stupid."
"Like what?" Ontari grinned, leaning towards Maya and plucking a slice of pear.
I choked at the sight of Ontari's bikini up close and rolled off the lounge chair. "I'll be at home, Maya. Sign off their detention slips for me."
Maya reached up and caressed Ontari's cheek, "You are very cheeky, Ri. There's still roughly 4 more years so stop playing with fire."
"Watch those hands, Vie!" Indra warned from the next lounge chair over.
Maya rolled her eyes and flipped Indra off, making Ontari smirk with pride.
"Alright," Maya sighed tiredly. "Everything valuable has been magically moved to a safe place."
"I do hope the kids are going to be smart about this," I groaned, leaning into her back. "Hmm, you smell good, little lamb."
Maya giggled and reached behind her, pulling me closer, "I might have put on a little bit of perfume."
I hummed, "Trying to lure me?"
"Maybe," Maya smirked. "We'll be away from the kids for a day or so. We can finally go to that nice Fae spa we've been looking at."
"Good thing, I booked ahead," I purred before nipping her ear. "I made sure that there were no other guests near us so you can be as loud as you want."
"You mean you can be as loud as you want," Maya quipped, turning to face me. "I'll make you scream my name for hours."
"Are you two leaving yet?" Murphy questioned, sticking his head into the hallway. "It's a parent-free party."
I rolled my eyes, "And who got you guys the alcohol?"
Murphy laughed, "Love you guys too and you should take your break away from us."
"Ma!" Raven shouted as she ran past Murphy and at us. "Did you guys order enough pizzas?"
Maya sighed, "Yes, Reyes. 20 pizzas were ordered to arrive mid-party. Take care of your siblings and don't let anyone do drugs. We left some bodyguards but they won't interfere unless absolutely necessary. Also, don't forget to clean up afterward. If your ma and I have to come home to a dirty house, you guys will never be allowed to have a party here ever again."
I chuckled, "Not even Ontari will get us to lift that order."
"Lies!" Octavia accused before running over to hug us goodbye. "Enjoy your mini-vacation from us."
I pecked Octavia's cheeks, "Please pace yourself and don't let anyone take advantage of you, little O. Same to you, Reyes. Murphy, take care of your sisters."
Murphy saluted us, "Will do. Now go."
Maya and I laughed but took our leave before any more was said.
/ - / - / - / - /
Clarke beamed at Lexa, "How are you, Lexa? Enjoying the party?"
Lexa smiled back, "Good because you're here. I still can't believe Forest and Maya allowed you guys to do this."
Ontari returned to Lexa's side and handed her a red solo cup. "All thanks to me. Drink up, Lexa."
Lexa frowned and glared at the cup, "I don't want to."
"It's water," Ontari informed. "Like I would serve you anything else. Oh, that girl is cute. I'm going to talk to her. Have fun, love birds."
Clarke giggled and leaned against Lexa's shoulder, "You want to get some pizza with me?"
"Sure," Lexa answered after tasting her water. "Seems Frost wasn't lying."
"Why would she?" Clarke questioned, guiding Lexa to the pizza boxes in the kitchen. "She's our friend."
Lexa smirked, "I like giving her a hard time. Don't leave my side."
"Never," Clarke smiled. "I love you but we need to eat. Forest said something about never drinking on an empty stomach."
The two managed to grab two slices of pizza each and ate in the backyard. Some high school seniors had shown up and were showing off how to drink from the beer keg. In another corner, people were getting high off weed.
"Make any new friends yet?" Lexa asked, curious about Clarke's life.
"A few," Clarke replied. "How about you?"
"Same," Lexa answered. "Maybe I'll introduce you to them when you visit."
Clarke nodded in acknowledgment and waved when someone called her name. They came over, beaming with happiness.
"Clarke, awesome party," the stranger grinned before noting Lexa. "Hi, I'm Harper McIntyre. I'm in a few of Clarke's classes. Do you go to our school?"
Lexa blushed, "No. I'm Lexa Woods and I go to Mt. Weather Academy."
"No way," Harper gasped. "Doesn't Raven's, O's, and Murphy's moms run that school? I've been on the campus tour several times but my grades aren't high enough to get in and the tuition is mind-blowing."
Clarke laughed, "Yea. We had some help convincing their parents to let us throw this party."
"That's so cool," Harper beamed before turning. "Oh, I see my girlfriend, Monroe. Catch up later."
Lexa looked at Clarke shocked, "She has a girlfriend?"
Clarke giggled, "Yep. Harper's been with her since they were in diapers. They barely started dating midsummer before school started."
"What about us?" Lexa asked, worried that she would lose Clarke.
Clarke looked at Lexa with a smile, "Ask me, Lexa."
Lexa went red with the implication and stuttered, "Cl...Clarke, will...y...you be...mu...my guh...girl.... girlfriend?"
"Yes!" Clarke grinned, hugging Lexa. "I would love to be your girlfriend."
/ - / - / - / - /
"Too bright," Raven hissed when the sunlight hit her face the next morning.
"Ray, too loud," Octavia groaned, slowly pulling a pillow over her face.
Murphy rolled his eyes at his sisters and put on a set of noise-canceling earmuffs before setting off an airhorn. It woke up everyone in the vicinity of the house.
"MURPHY!" Raven and Octavia growled.
"I ordered us breakfast and it should be here soon," Murphy informed. "It will help with the hangover."
"How are we going to pay?" Ontari questioned as she walked down the stairs. "It's not like we have cash on us."
Murphy smirked, "Ma gave me the emergency credit card and cash for situations like this. Anyways, we should eat and get ourselves cleaned up before we get to cleaning the house."
Clarke groaned from where she laid on the ground next to Lexa, "Fine since my parents are checking in on us tonight."
"Is everyone accounted for?" Lexa questioned. "We didn't lose anyone to visiting partygoers, did we?"
Anya glared, "Roan and Lincoln passed out in Bell's room. They should be down once the food gets here. Costia and I slept in Raven's room, I think. So that's everyone. What did you order us, Murphy?"
Murphy shrugged, "I just got us some breakfast combos from a place called Midnight. The takeout menu was taped to the refrigerator door."
The bell rang and Murphy answered it. Ontari went to help Murphy bring the food to the kitchen after he tipped the driver. Everyone slowly but surely found their way to the kitchen table to eat their fill and cure their hangover if they had one, that is.
Ontari snooped around Forest's and Maya's room while the other were cleaning up. She was sorely upset to learn when she arrived for the party that the two went off on their mini-vacation so she settled for raiding their room. 'They won't mind if it's me.' Ontari found nothing of interest in the open bedroom and walked into one of the two walk-in closets. It practically screamed 'Maya' and Ontari smirked as she decided to undress and have herself a fashion show. She was taken by the black polka-dotted cream dress and put the other clothes back, setting her originals aside on the large desk in the room.
"Ri!" Raven shouted from downstairs. "What are you doing?"
"Sleeping, duh!" Ontari retorted as she strolled into Forest's walk-in closet.
"Aren't you gonna help?!" Lexa questioned.
"Nope! Never!" Ontari laughed as she looked through the drawers.
Ontari came across a drawer with a false bottom and opened it. Inside was an assortment of candy, marked by different mg and count amounts. '400 mg - 8 pieces... so 50mg per piece??? MG of what though? Eh, candy is candy.' Ontari grabbed a couple of bags of candy and a lollipop for herself. She unwrapped the sucker and popped it in her mouth as she headed back downstairs to see how far the others got with the cleaning.
"Now you've come to help?" Anya grumbled when Ontari walked into the kitchen.
Ontari dropped the bags of candy on the table and pulled the lollipop out of her mouth, shrugging, "Not at all. Found some candy while I was upstairs. Want any? Weird aftertaste."
Anya inspected the candy before throwing caution to the wind and opened the one with gummy bears. When the others finished their task and joined them, they didn't care and accepted the rewards, partaking in the different candies on the table.
/ - / Roughly 2 Hours Later / - /
"Is there any more candy left?" Raven giggled from her seat on the couch next to Octavia.
"Maybe more where I found them," Ontari replied after a few moments had passed.
They realized halfway through the candy's effects that it wasn't regular candy and that they might get in trouble for it. However, they couldn't function as soon as their butts hit the couch, sofa, or whatever else they were sitting on.
"We're fucking dead when they get home," Murphy laughed.
Clarke giggled, "You guys realize we have to get through my parents' inspection and hope to God that Aden doesn't ask for any candy."
At the word, 'candy' everyone went into a laughing fit. It was the root of their problem. They tried their best to stop when the doorbell rang. They could hear Jake Griffin going about, trying to get one of them to answer the door.
"Guys, shut up," Clarke shushed, covering up another giggle.
"Alright guys!" Jake called out. "I'm using the emergency key!"
Jake entered the house and sighed when he saw them, "Why didn't one of you answer the door?"
"Because we can't," Octavia wheezed.
"Right..." Jake stated with a raised eyebrow. "I'm going to see if you kids made good on your word."
Jake wandered through the house, checking that every glass bottle was picked up and in the recycle bin. There was no trash littering the backyard and no trace of a party except for the empty beer kegs. Even the pizza boxes weren't in sight. He went back to the living room and found the teens laughing. Without a word, he walked over to Clarke and checked her eyes.
"Okay," Jake sighed heavily. "Whose idea was it to get high?"
"It was by accident," Ontari coughed, choking on saliva from laughter. "The candy was so pretty."
Jake turned and noticed the bags of candy on the coffee table. He shook his head and called the only two persons he could.
"Hey, what's up, Jake?" Maya answered the call.
Jake rubbed the back of his head, "Maya, think you can get home right now?"
Maya hummed, "Maybe in an hour. Why?"
"The children are high," Jake replied.
"Forest, did you hear that?" Maya giggled. "The kids are high."
"Highly impossible," Forest laughed, resting on top of Maya.
Jake cleared his throat, "Can you two stop whatever intimate thing you're doing and come deal with this? There are nine empty bags of edible gummies which were all 400mg with 8 pieces each. Divide among 9 teens and what do you get?"
"There was also a lollipop," Costia piped up.
Maya coughed, "We'll be there in five. Forest, we got to go."
/ - / 30 Minutes Later / - /
"At least it was just weed," I sighed in relief after Maya and I checked on the children.
Jake frowned, "What if it was something else? What if Aden got his hands on that stuff? What then?"
Maya patted Jake's back, "We kept it hidden so that means one of them found it. I already have a suspect but since they all had some, we punish all of them."
"You figure out the punishment, dear," I smiled as I pulled out some pots and pans. "I'll be making Chinese. Also, did you see that dress Ontari was wearing?"
"Yes, I did," Maya laughed. "I'm also positive that it was her that got them all high."
I shrugged, "She may have provided the goods but they follow Anya cause she's the oldest."
Jake huffed, "So why Chinese?"
"Stoner food," Maya answered. "I mean, we could order pizza but they had that yesterday for dinner. Plus, Forest's cooking is more addicting than weed. We need to sober them up before Abby finds out."
I snapped my fingers for the ingredients for Shrimp Chow Mein, "Indra's going to kill me."
Maya laughed, "Don't worry, kitten. I'll protect you. Also, make some hot and sour soup please?"
"Okay, how can I help?" Jake sighed.
Maya opened the refrigerator and handed him a six-pack of Powerade, "Come on, we need to hydrate the kids."
/ - / Consequences / - /
"Grounded for two weeks," Indra grumbled, disappointed at her kids for getting high.
"Is that really fair?" Anya huffed. "I bet you guys got high when you were younger."
Gustus sighed, "That's not the point, Anya. The point was that you all took it illegally and without permission. Forest had it hidden for a good reason."
"Thanks for involving me again," I pouted as I looked over the empty bags. "Babe, they ate my peach rings and gummy bears."
Maya rubbed my head, "I'll get you more the next time we go out."
I sniffed, "They ate the rainbow belts I got for you."
"Murphy, Raven, and O, that's three weeks," Maya fumed. "Grounded for 3 weeks."
"But?" Octavia proclaimed.
"Did you want 4 weeks?" Maya questioned sternly.
The trio shook their heads and shrank even more in their seats.
"I think three weeks is a good idea," Abby agreed. "Clarke can focus on her chores and watch Aden."
"Fine but it's technically Ontari's fault," Clarke grumbled.
"We know," I sniffled, putting the empty bags into the trash. "Ugh, I have to find a new hiding place for my edibles."
Maya glared at me, "Go check if they got into our other weed products."
Nia turned to Maya as I disappeared upstairs, "What else you guys got?"
"We got a couple of cartridges for the weed pen," Maya informed. "And a few joints that we rolled up. We haven't hit those since I think 4 years ago."
Jake coughed, "Hoarding much?"
"Please, it's the only way we get through those god-awful parent-teacher meetings," Maya groaned. "I don't need to hear the stupid shit the kids are getting into. They communicate with us and we do our best to provide for their needs. It sounds bias but some Fae can see into the future. My babies will be fine adults."
"Really?" Raven beamed. "Am I an astronaut?"
"Raven," I stated warningly as I came back down. "Asking about the future is dangerous. Just knowing a detail of your life can change the outcome."
"Wait," Ontari pouted. "Which one of you can see the future?"
All the adults pointed at me and I rolled my eyes. I reached into my pockets and pulled out a lighter before lighting up my joint.
Maya held out her hand, "Pass it here."
"I want in," Nia voiced. "It's been too long since I got high. Chill if we stay?"
I shrugged, "Might as well. I'll walk the Griffin's out."
Jake pouted, "But I want to get high."
Abby grabbed Jake by the ear, "Next time without Clarke and Aden within the vicinity. Let's go."
"Bye Clarke," Lexa sighed.
"Bye," Clarke smiled sadly before pecking Lexa's cheek.
"Babe, you saw that right?" Maya smirked, handing the joint to Nia.
I grumbled as I handed Maya my wallet, "Damn kids making me lose my bets."
Jake raised his hands, "Yes! It's official! Lexa is now my daughter in law!"
"Not until they get married," Gustus pointed out. "There's still a chance for someone to steal."
"Enough!" Indra shouted. "Good night, Abby, Jake, and Clarke. Better get Aden home before he wakes up."
"Of course," Abby nodded. "Good night, everyone."
"So can we smoke that too?" Ontari asked after the Griffins left.
The adults looked at each other before I passed the joint to Ontari. "Just remember that you guys are grounded starting tomorrow. Thank goodness, Costia's parents aren't here. That's not a can of worms I want to open."
"Say, mama?" Raven asked curiously. "Was that the candy you said you would share with us when we were older?"
I patted Raven's head, "Yes, Reyes. Apparently your mom and I have to go over the rules we gave Bellamy about high school. These four years can go either way depending on how much respect or bullshit attitude you guys give us."
"Forest, go order pizza and ice cream," Maya ordered. "We're going to need it."
"I hate being grounded," Raven grumbled as she vacuumed the living room.
I sighed as I lifted my feet so she could vacuum around the couch, "Keep grumbling and I'll make it worse."
Murphy came running down the stairs and plopped down next to me, "Mama!"
Raven huffed and turned off the vacuum so she could hear the conversation. Murphy nudged my shoulder and I sighed again.
I set my book down and looked over, "Yes, Murphy?"
"Since I'm grounded, can my friend Finn come over?" Murphy pleaded with puppy eyes.
"No," I answered, returning to my book.
Murphy groaned and leaned against me. He pushed against me, using the couch to his advantage. I was getting annoyed with it as Maya walked in with Octavia.
"Forest," Maya beamed as she sat beside me. "The Griffins are inviting us over for bbq. I said we would go."
I pouted, crossing my arms, "I'd better not get roped into helping with the grill. Kids, go get ready and by ready, I mean shower."
"Yes!" the three teens cheered before running upstairs.
Maya laughed, uncrossing my arms, and leaned into me, "It's been a week, love. Give them some sort of reward."
I held Maya, "Who else was invited?"
"Who else would they invite?" Maya smirked. "It would be good to see how the other children are doing."
"Is it bad that I'm thinking about Ontari?" I frowned.
"She is apart of our cloth," Maya giggled, adjusting herself so she could kiss me. "She's going to kick your ass when all of her memories return."
I chuckled softly, "Is it also bad that I want her to?"
Maya rubbed her nose against mine, "I think it's terrible of me to want to see that happen. Now, how about you carry me to the shower?"
/ - / - / - / - /
"Ontari, please stop clinging onto me?" I sighed as I tried to listen to Indra's concern about a Fae topic.
Ontari pouted, "But it's been so long since we've been together."
Indra cleared her throat, "It's fine, Forest. She can stay."
Maya giggled, "Aw, my little kitten is embarrassed."
I rolled my eyes, "I just don't want people getting the wrong idea."
"But we understand the situation," Gustus chuckled.
I groaned, "Ontari, can you please wait another 4 years before showing affection? Maya, I need a hard drink."
"Ontari, dear, go socialize with your friends," Maya giggled, pecking Ontari's cheeks.
"Only if Forest gives me kisses," Ontari proposed.
I sighed and turned to Ontari. She beamed smugly while presenting her cheeks to me. I pecked her cheeks but lingered on her forehead.
"You're fucking cheeky," I huffed, pulling away from her.
"You love me," Ontari retorted, leaving the table. "Maya loves it."
I buried my face against Maya's shoulder, "Just four more years. Four long torturous years."
Maya giggled as she rubbed my back, "You know I'm here for you."
/ - / - / - / - /
"What was that all about?" Costia questioned Ontari when she joined them.
"Payback for being grounded," Ontari smirked. "Anyways, what are we playing?"
"Blackjack," Lexa informed as she passed out the cards. "You're in, right?"
Ontari nodded, "What are we playing for?"
Raven smirked, "Favors since we can't use money."
"Such as?" Costia questioned.
"First out has to do whatever the winner of the round says," Anya explained, setting her cards down.
Lexa goes around asking if they need another card or not. Roan is the first one out due to busting from asking for a card. The winner of the round was Ontari, who ordered Roan to get her a cold soda with a reusable metal straw. Roan sighed and went to do said favor.
"Really? You wanted a drink?" Anya grumbled. "I would have made him do something funny like pants one of the adults."
Ontari shrugged, "I was thirsty, An. Besides, I still have to wait four years for what I really want."
Lincoln snorted, "Remember the time Forest bolt when you asked for a break from cleaning the pool."
Lexa smirked, "That was funny."
"Children! Don't talk about Forest! You're making her sneeze!" Maya shouted from the kitchen where all the adults were hanging out. "Ew! Not my dress!"
"So next round?" Roan suggested as he handed Ontari the cold can of Cactus Cooler before sitting down.
"Yep," Murphy cleared his throat. "Let's see how far we can get before going home."
"Freedom!" Raven cheered as she ran out of the house with Octavia and Murphy behind her.
They were just given the most wonderful news since the day they were grounded. They ran to Clarke's house and barged in.
"Clarke, we're officially not grounded anymore!" Octavia shouted.
Clarke groaned from the couch, "That doesn't give you guys permission to barge in here. Do your parents know you're here?"
Murphy shrugged, "Probably. Now, where's the little man?"
"I'm right here!" Aden announced, standing on the couch cushions. "We play race car now?"
Murphy lifted Aden over the couch and grinned, "Yea, let's go get Jake and then beat him in race car."
"Now that he's gone," Raven grinned, plopping on the couch. "Have you been texting your sweetheart?"
"Maybe," Clarke replied, sticking her tongue at Raven. "So they just let you three run out of there?"
Octavia grinned, "We took our chances before they could say anything about it. Anyways, I believe the next party is here since we agreed to switch up the places every now and then."
Clarke hummed, "You guys gotta convince my mom."
"Convince me of what?" Abby Griffin questioned as she came down the stairs. "They just called me in. I'll be home late so make sure dad cooks or go bother Forest for dinner."
"Mom, can we have a party here?" Clarke asked. "Promise we'll be better than last time."
"I'll think about it," Abby sighed as she checked her phone. "Please inform those ungrateful adopted children that Maya and I are gone and that they should just have a sleepover. If hungry, they can heat up the lasagna in the oven. Instructions are on the table and please for the sake of all Faes, have Jake handle that. I do not want to deal with the fire department. Signed Forest. P.S. Gone to a Nature Fae Convention in Maya's honor so look after my babies!"
"Mama's the best!" Raven cheered. "Lasagna for dinner!"
"Don't think you guys will get away with a party," Jake informed, coming in from the garage. "Forest put up some special wards around the house so good luck getting around those. I'm going over to get the lasagna. You kids better get some clothes and whatever you need for the sleepover."
/ - / - /
"Fancy seeing you three here," Maya giggled when Anya, Lincoln, and Lexa took a seat at the table. "This is your first convention, right?"
The trio nodded. Although Lexa wasn't Fae, she was family and Indra didn't want to leave her behind. Gustus was having a guys night which explained his absence.
"I thought this would be a good learning experience," Indra informed before sipping her nectar drink. "Where's Forest?"
Maya lifted up the cat on her lap. "Right here. She doesn't want the other Faes to come up and complain about things that are happening in our world. I'm giving her a stressfree night as a lap cat."
"I wish I could do magic," Lexa sighed.
Anya nudged Lexa, "You have the magic of making people smile like Clarke. Besides, all Linc and I can do right now is turn into trees."
Lexa pouted, "That's still more than what I can do."
Forest hopped off of Maya's lap and onto the table before speaking telepathically, "It comes with a lot of responsibilities, Lexa. You have enough on your plate so focus on that."
"Excuse me, no pets on the table," informed a passing nymph waiter.
Maya picked up Forest and settled her back down on her lap, "Such a naughty kitty."
Forest meowed and curled up as the other attendees laughed. The event began shortly after that. Maya received several awards and Indra earned a few too while the children learned what their two heroes did to protect and progress the Fae world.
"So where are you having my dad drive us?" Clarke questioned Lexa as she strapped herself in for the car ride.
Lexa smirked, "I'm not telling you. You'll find out once we get there."
Clarke groaned, "You're not being fair, Lexa."
"It's our first official date, Clarke," Lexa pointed out. "Even if we are being supervised by your dad."
Jake chuckled, "Don't worry, you guys won't even know that I'm there. I've been learning the art of being invisible from Forest."
Lexa rolled her eyes, "But she's a Fae which means she can literally become invisible, unlike us humans."
Clarke giggled, "Being human is much more fun than being Fae. I think they have to live in a world of secrecy and that sucks because you wouldn't know who to trust."
Lexa took Clarke's hand, "Did I tell you about that Fae convention I went to yet?"
"Was this when Raven's, O's, and Murphy's punishment was over?" Clarke asked.
"I think so," Lexa replied.
"Well, regale away," Clarke laughed while Lexa committed that sound to memory before telling her the story.
/ - / - /
"We're going on the Ferris Wheel later," Clarke stated as they entered the fairgrounds. "I can't believe I didn't know the carnival was in town."
Lexa chuckled, "I might have had some help with that. Anyways, where do you want to start first? Food? Games? Rides?"
At that point, Clarke's stomach growled causing the trio to laugh.
Jake sighed, "Alright, I'll pay for lunch and then you two are on your own."
"Thanks, Dad," Clarke beamed, covering Lexa's mouth to stop her from protesting. "Let's get corndogs."
"And we can't forget the funnel cakes," Jake chuckled.
/ - / - /
Clarke didn't realize how athletic Lexa was until Lexa won the rigged basketball game and got her a large stuff raccoon.
"You must practice a lot," Clarke smiled from behind the raccoon.
Lexa shrugged, "Maybe. Should we leave our new friend with your dad? I can't see you or hold your hand."
Clarke laughed, "Yea. Let's go drop him off and go on the rides."
Lexa carefully guided Clarke through the crowd back to Jake. They found him eating yet another funnel cake when they dropped off the raccoon.
/ - / - /
The night and date ended at the top of the Ferris wheel with a kiss. Clarke snuggled against Lexa.
"Best date ever," Clarke whispered.
Lexa giggled, "There's always more."
Clarke smirked, "The first one is the most impressionable one besides the engagement date."
"Now you're getting way ahead of yourself," Lexa laughed. "But we'll have all the time for that and everything we can do together."
"Are you really 15?" Clarke teased. "Because you sound so much older and wiser."
Lexa rolled her eyes and pecked Clarke's cheek, "Possibly but for you, I'd be anything."
Clarke smiled, "Then be my girlfriend now and then my fiance, and lastly, my wife."
"I promise, Clarke," Lexa beamed, sealing it with a kiss.
"Who is the best baby brother?" Clarke cooed at Aden as she tried to get him to eat his breakfast. "Come on Aden. You know the answer."
Aden nodded but refused to open his mouth. He didn't want any of the avocado toast that Clarke made. Thankfully, the toast wasn't burnt due to the toaster being at the 1-minute mark but still, he didn't want any greens. Clarke sighed and called the one person she could count on when it came to food.
"Hello, Clarke," Maya answered Forest's phone. "Forest is a bit busy at the current moment. What's up?"
Before Clarke could reply, she heard Raven, Octavia, and Murphy crying out for more food. She chuckled and wondered how Forest would be able to keep up with that if they were all human.
"Clarke?" Maya questioned, pulling Clarke out of her thoughts.
"Uh... right," Clarke coughed. "How do I get Aden to eat some avocado toast?"
Maya giggled, "If you have time, add chopped hard-boiled eggs to it."
Clarke smiled, "Thanks, Maya. I'll try that."
Lucky for Clarke, there were a few hard-boiled eggs left from yesterday. Jake was trying out a new recipe from Forest and made too many boiled eggs. She heated them up a bit before chopping the eggs and spreading it on the avocado toast.
"Will you try now, Aden?" Clarke pouted, hoping it would get him to eat.
Aden grumbled but ate his breakfast. He seemed to like it since he finished half before moving on to his orange juice.
"Hey, Maya," Clarke beamed. "It worked!"
"That's good to hear," Maya smiled. "Also, how was your date on Friday?"
Clarke sighed happily as she slightly reminisced, "It was wonderful."
Maya hummed, "That's great news. You should prepare to be questioned soon. They're almost done with breakfast and will head over."
"Thanks for the head's up," Clarke laughed. "What will you and Forest be doing with them out of the house?"
"Well, Murphy will be with us learning magic," Maya informed. "We're a bit behind on his Fae studies."
"Ahh, sounds challenging and fun," Clarke grinned. "I'll try to enjoy my time babysitting Raven, O, and Aden."
Maya snickered, "Luckily for you, we already made a call to have sushi delivered to your place for dinner. It was approved by your parents."
Clarke smirked, "I thank you and Forest for making them go on a date today. They needed some time together."
"That's very true," Maya beamed. "Forest and I will see you later when we come by to get the girls. Enjoy your breakfast."
/ - / - /
"Was Lexa a good kisser?" Octavia questioned after the girls settled in the living room.
Clarke blushed, "Yes."
"Where did she take you?" Raven fired off quickly. "Did she pay for everything? Did she get you anything to remember the date?"
Clarke rolled her eyes and laughed, "The carnival and yes, she tried to pay for anything. She won me a stuffed raccoon."
"Must have kissed on the Ferris wheel," Octavia pointed out before gasping. "Should I ask Lincoln to take me out on a date or wait for him to say something?"
"Depends on you, O," Clarke shrugged as Aden groaned loudly.
"Clarke! Movie, please?" Aden pouted.
Clarke giggled and ruffled her brother's hair, "What do you want to watch?"
"Nemo!" Aden cheered.
Clarke sighed and went to put Nemo on for Aden. There were no more questions while the movie played.
"That's all you did?" Ontari groaned after Lexa finished telling them about her date.
Lexa rolled her eyes, "We're still young and her dad was supervising. I'm not going to get on his bad side."
Anya chuckled and pulled Ontari close, "Don't get so jealous, Ri. You know, some people at school have been asking about you."
"There is only Forest and Maya in my heart," Ontari huffed before sighing. "I feel so connect to them and yet not since they keep pushing me away."
Roan sighed, "There's a thing called the age limit. You're 14 and they're way older than you. They're protecting you and themselves."
Ontari grumbled, "Why must I have an old soul?"
Anya ruffled Ontari's hair, "One day you'll be with them but for now, enjoy your youth."
Costia hummed, "Are you sure they aren't using magic to influence you?"
Lincoln chuckled, "Faes have soulmates and any sort of love magic won't affect them. It's a pure love connection that we feel."
/ - / - /
Ontari woke up first and snickered quietly. She knew Lexa would be embarrassed and went to wake her friend.
"Hmm?" Lexa mumbled, rubbing her eyes.
"Your little friend is showing," Ontari informed. "You might want to use the bathroom before the other girls wake up."
Lexa blushed upon realization, "Thanks, Ri."
Ontari chuckled softly, "I got your back, Lexa. I think you should talk to Forest about your transition. Rumor has it that she's behind most curses."
"Do you really think she did it?" Lexa questioned sadly.
"If she did, she probably had a reason," Ontari answered. "And well..."
"What is it?" Lexa asked, leaning against her friend.
"I think my memories are coming back," Ontari replied. "My memories of many different past lives and past friends. You were there but looked different. I think in one, Clarke kind of killed me because of some throne war or something. She was hurting because you were gone, betrayed by someone called the flamekeeper."
"Maybe it's better that we're living this life together as friends," Lexa grinned before pulling away from Ontari. "If you don't mind, I have to take care of it..."
Ontari laughed, "I'm going to help Indra with breakfast."
Raven, being the one closest to their parents' room, quietly creaked the bedroom door open.
"So Kenzie or Bo?" Maya giggled.
"Bo since she's bi and I'd have a totally better chance in getting in her pants," Forest laughed. "I love watching Lost Girl!"
"And I love watching it with you," Maya laughed along.
Raven closed the door and signaled Octavia that they could start. Octavia went to her window and tossed out the rope ladder. Murphy tested the ladder and climbed down first. After a few moments, Octavia went next, and lastly, Raven. The trio snuck over to Clarke's and waited for Clarke to sneak out.
"Okay, let's go," Clarke whispered upon joining them.
They headed down the block and got picked up by an Uber driver. They were going to a party hosted by Finn Collins. His mother was the mayor of Arkadia and was usually busy. Finn's father was a businessman and also busy with his work. That left Finn to do whatever he wants and he started hosting parties every other weekend after Raven, Octavia, and Murphy hosted the best Back-to-School party.
"This party better be good," Raven huffed. "Cause we're risking our asses in going."
Octavia laughed, "They won't find out. Besides, they'll be asleep by the time we get back."
Murphy sighed, "Tell me when we're there. I'm only here to keep an eye out on you girls."
Clarke giggled, "Our hero in casual party clothes."
/ - / - /
Clarke was having fun dancing with her girls and she was buzzed. She kept to the rules that their parents told them to follow if they ever went to a party that they weren't hosting. She kept Raven, Octavia, and Murphy within sight and never took drinks from anyone she didn't know.
Clarke broke away from dancing and rested against the wall, checking the time. "Shit. We need to get home."
Clarke looked up and noticed that both Raven and Octavia were gone. Murphy was walking towards her so she waited.
"Did you see where Ray and O went?" Clarke questioned Murphy.
Murphy looked at her like a deer in headlights, "That's what I was going to ask you. Come on, we got to find them and fast. Our Uber will be here in 30."
They headed to the kitchen first and grabbed some water bottles after checking that they had not been tampered with. They carefully weaved through the crowd asking who they seemed sober enough where to find Octavia and Raven.
S.O.S saw O go upstairs with a guy. I tried to follow but needed the bathroom.
Murphy growled at the text that came in. "I'll get O, you get Ray."
The duo headed back inside and went upstairs. They tried every door and found Raven throwing up.
"I got her," Clarke claimed as she went to help Raven. "Go find O."
Murphy nodded in acknowledgment and left to try all the other doors they haven't checked. Clarke helped Raven to her feet and went to the sink, washing Raven's face with a cloth she found in the cabinet.
"Clarke, we're so fucked if we aren't sober by the time we get back," Raven laughed.
"Yea, we totally are," Clarke agreed as she made Raven look presentable. "Let's get some water in and head downstairs. Murphy's gonna get O and we'll meet them out front."
It didn't take long for Murphy to reappear with Octavia. She clung onto him for dear life.
"What happened?" Clarke questioned as they waited for their ride.
"Some asshole tried to get more than what I was willing to give," Murphy grumbled, looking at his fist. "He got what he deserved. Anyways, we need to take aspirin and water."
"I got my dose already," Raven sniffed, leaning into Clarke. "Is our ride here yet?"
"Yep," Murphy answered upon checking his phone. "Let's get home."
They piled into the car and Murphy gave the address. Clarke pulled out the aspirin packets and passed two aspirins each to Murphy and Octavia before handing them the water.
"Just so you four know, you guys are grounded again," a familiar voice stated.
The quad looked towards the front seats. Their driver was none other than Jake Griffin and seating in passenger was Maya, who was glaring at them.
"Hi Mom," Murphy waved nervously.
Maya frowned, "Don't 'hi mom' me, young man. If your mama was here, you'll be sent to Fae jail for the night. Two weeks. Straight to school and back. Exemptions are clubs and sports but no fun after those things. No TV and limited laptop privileges."
"Yes mom," answered Octavia, Raven, and Murphy while Clarke answered, "Yes, ma'am."
Maya turned forward and sighed, "I can't believe I'm missing cuddle time for this."
Jake chuckled, "I thought you and Forest were watching Lost Girl."
"We were," Maya pouted. "And it always ends with her being my little spoon after 3 episodes. Ugh, I know she's curled up in the sheets being cute. Jake, drive faster."
"I'm going as fast as the law allows," Jake pointed out. "It would be faster if you used magic to get us home."
Maya rolled her eyes, "Magic is exhausting and I used too much today, which was why Forest was pampering me a little extra. I want to cuddle my wife."
"You mean holding each other, right? And not sex?" Raven questioned.
Maya huffed, "Of course it means holding each other, Raven. Besides, if we were going to have sex, we'd go to our Fae home. Now go sober up."
"Yes mom," Raven replied, before sipping more water.
"Why do they continually get themselves grounded?" I groaned as I helped Indra and Gustus with their grading. "Is it just me or do the students just suck?"
Indra chuckled, "You're grading too hard. Just channel me for that stack of papers instead of your wife."
Maya giggled, "Is my kitten stressed out again? Do you need kisses?"
"Maybe," I pouted, dropping the papers on my lap. "Why are we grading at the indoor pool area? The kids are swimming and having fun when they're supposed to be grounded!"
Maya sighed and moved over next to me, massaging my shoulders. "Forget about that and focus on grading. Besides, how else are Clarke and Lexa supposed to meet? Relax, kitten."
"Careful," I warned. "You might make me too relaxed to grade."
Maya laughed and pecked my cheeks. "There's my good kitten. I'll let you bask in the nice warm sunlight later and give you some milk."
Gustus chuckled, "Ain't that a nice thing to do for your pretty wife."
"Well, I'm hoping to win the Best Wife trophy again," Maya joked, hugging me. "Keep going, love. You'll be done with grading soon."
/ - / - /
Ontari smirked and picked up the sleeping cat, pressing her face against its fur. She carried the cat over to where the rest of the teens were and sat down between Anya and Roan.
"Is that Forest?" Roan questioned, unfazed by the catnapping.
"Yep," Ontari grinned, rubbing cheeks against Forest's fur. "So fucking soft."
Something butted against Ontari's back, making her turn while Anya gapped, "It's a sheep."
Ontari let out a quiet squeal, "It's an Ouessant. Oh, it's so cute and tiny. Where did you come from?"
Lexa frowned, "Isn't Maya some sort of sheep fae?"
"Yea, you're right," Lincoln agreed. "In her half form, she got horns."
"But Ouessant ewes don't have horns," Costia pointed out with her phone out. "The internet says so."
Murphy scoffed, "You have to remember that they're Fae which means magic applies, therefore magical horns. Anyways, aren't we going to plan the next party?"
Ontari looked at the group with pleading eyes, "Can they stay? Pretty please, guys?"
Clarke giggled, "It's not like they stop us."
Raven smirked, "That's cause we're reasonable smart kids. We coast by the rules."
"Plus they'll probably want to know what we need for the party," Octavia laughed.
Ontari pushed at Roan to move so Maya could rest between them. Roan rolled his eyes but wouldn't deny his sister of happiness as they all discussed when and where the party would take place.
Abby stared at Clarke before sighing, "Please be careful, dear. We don't want an episode of last time."
Clarke beamed, "Don't worry, mom. I doubt Ontari will snoop around like that again. It's our home."
"Murphy, the next party better be at your place!" The duo heard Ontari shout. "There's nothing familiar here!"
"Quit crying over my mothers!" Murphy shouted back. "I brought you one of their blankets."
"Yes!" Ontari squealed, stealing said blanket from Murphy.
Clarke shook her head, "I can't wait for that ship to take sail."
"I think we're all waiting in that. Goodness, that relationship is complicated," Abby laughed, caressing her daughter's cheek. "Please make good choices. Maya informed me that there will be a sushi delivery soon and that pizzas have been ordered for the party."
"I will, mom," Clarke promised. "Go have fun with dad."
/ - / - /
"Sushi lunch!" Raven shouted when the food arrived. "Sushi lunch!"
Anya rolled her eyes and covered Raven's mouth, "We get it, Reyes. Now stop acting like a kid."
Raven nodded and Anya let her go. Raven beamed and leaned against Anya. Under normal circumstances, Anya would have pushed Raven away but they were all seated at the small dining table with little room to move.
Lexa placed a set of chopsticks in front of Ontari, "You should put that blanket away before something bad happens to it."
"Later," Ontari huffed, pulling the blanket closer. "I miss them. They didn't give me a hug before leaving again."
Roan reached over and patted Ontari's back, "They still love you, dork, but remember, this place is crawling with more humans who wouldn't understand your relationship with them. They're doing what's best for you and them."
Costia grinned, "At least they sent you a blanket so you'd have them in some way."
Ontari sniffled which made Lexa laughed, "Don't be a wet blanket, Ri."
Ontari glared at Lexa, "Whatever, Commander Hearteyes!"
Anya groaned, "Guys, just shut up and eat!"
/ - / - /
Roan was playing bartender, mixing everyone's drinks which he learned how to do from Gustus and Forest. He carefully watched every one that came up for a drink because he didn't want anything bad to happen.
"Hey, Roan," Lincoln beamed, walking over. "You want a break? I'll cover you."
Roan nodded, "Yea, I could use one. You did dancing with O?"
Lincoln grinned, "Yep. Raven dragged her do beer pong against the lovebirds. I told them I'd give you a break. Murphy's gonna cover next if you need extra time. Also, you gonna dance with Costia? Seems like she's been waiting for a while."
"I got to let her down easy," Roan sighed. "It's the right thing to do."
"Good luck," Lincoln wished as he took his place at the bar.
Roan went to the bathroom first before getting into the party mood. Many girls had tried to get him to dance as he walked over to the beer pong table.
"You made it," Costia beamed at him.
"Yea," Roan replied as Ontari shove a beer into his hand. "Can't finish your drink, sis?"
Ontari laughed, "I can drink you under. Drink up cause it's Anya and me against your ass and whoever you choose."
Roan rolled his eyes but drank the beer. He cheered along with the crowd watching the beer pong teams. Costia had moved closer to him but luckily, the game over and he was up.
"Murphy! Let's go!" Roan called out.
Murphy grinned, "Sure thing, buff guy. They beat these two."
Unfortunately, they ended up losing but had fun. Roan went to get another drink and that was when he saw Costia talking with another guy. He was glad that she was branching out and walked over to Lincoln for something with vodka.
"You tell her yet?" Lincoln questioned, looking over at where a guy was flirting with Costia.
"Not yet," Roan answered. "Don't ruin the fun."
Lincoln nodded, "Just keep an eye on our family."
Roan grinned, "You know I do."
/ - / - /
Murphy, ever the bad boy, was making rounds around the house, making note of where his family was at. Roan was back running the bar and Lincoln was dancing with Octavia. Those two had great chemistry like Lexa and Clarke.
"Anya and Raven at making out on the couch," Ontari informed, joining him. "So who are we looking for?"
"Where's Lex and Clarke?" Murphy asked as they slipped outside into the backyard.
"Right behind you," Lexa laughed, causing them to turn, revealing them to be on the porch swing.
"That's everyone besides Costia," Murphy informed. "You two seen her?"
Clarke giggled, "By the firepit with Finn."
Murphy nodded, "Cool, gonna check on her. Ri, you coming?"
"I guess," Ontari shrugged.
The duo made their way to the firepit and Ontari sat down beside Costia. It took Murphy saying hello to Costia for Finn to notice them.
"Hey Murphy, where have you been hiding this little lady?" Finn grinned. "Is that your girlfriend?"
"He's not even my type," Ontari gagged at the thought of dating Murphy.
Murphy laughed, "Nah, not yet."
Costia leaned against Ontari, "How come Roan doesn't look my way?"
Ontari looked at Costia sadly, "You're not his type, Cos, but you guys should talk it out."
Murphy got a whiff of something unfamiliar when Costia lifted her drink up for a sip. It was alcohol mixed with something. He nudged Ontari and signaled her to get one of the other guys.
"We need more drinks, boo," Murphy joked as Ontari got up.
"Damn, look at that ass," Finn laughed, watching Ontari go. "You gonna tap that, Murphy? I will if you don't."
Murphy grinned, "She's been playing hard to get all night."
Finn slipped Murphy a little baggie as he moved Costia to lean on him. "Just drop it in her drink. Makes it easier. I was planning on using it on Clarke but that small brunette hasn't left Blondie's side."
"With good reason," Murphy growled, punching Finn's nose.
"What the fuck, man?" Finn snapped, holding his nose while Murphy carefully pulled Costia away.
Murphy glared at him and shouted for everyone to hear, "YOU DON'T FUCKING DRUG PEOPLE FOR A QUICK FUCK, ASSHOLE. THAT'S RAPE AND I WON'T STAND FOR IT. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE AND NEVER COME BACK. YOU'RE BARRED FROM ANY AND ALL PARTIES THAT HAPPEN AT THE GRIFFINS AND TSING-VIES."
"You can't prove it," Finn huffed.
"I think this is proof enough," Murphy retorted, holding up the little baggie.
"Party's over!" Clarke shouted as several adult figures revealed themselves.
They grabbed Finn by the arms and took the little baggie from Murphy. Roan and Lincoln had rushed out to join Murphy's side.
"I don't feel good," Costia groaned.
"It's okay," Murphy assured. "You're safe."
Lincoln took Costia from Murphy when one of the bodyguards asked Murphy to come with them. Roan and the others started corralling the partygoers out. As soon as the house was cleared of strangers, the gang knew they might be able to hold another party for a while but their main focus for the night was Costia and Murphy, who was gone.
"Think he's okay?" Ontari questioned.
Roan smirked at her, "Murphy's a tough little thing. Besides, those guys are on our side."
Anya paced back and forth, "Should we call 911 for Costia?"
Raven fished out her phone, "I got someone better."
It took a few seconds for the call to connect but after a quick explanation, Lorelei popped into the room.
"Grandma!" Octavia cheered.
Lorelei smiled, "Where's my patient?"
"Over here," Clarke answered. "We've been monitoring her breathing and keeping her hydrated. Will Costia be okay?"
Lorelei nodded, "Costia will be fine. You all need to keep hydrated. Clarke, sit her up. I'll have to use some magic for this and you all have to make a statement with Callie later."
"Yes, grandma," Raven and Octavia answered simultaneously. "And Murphy?"
"Murphy's safe," Lorelei chuckled as she examined Costia. "This will be simple."
Lorelei stayed with the teens after the quick magic performance. They insisted on having a trusted adult with them until their parents were home. But that didn't stop Lorelei from summoning a portal for Callie to join her in babysitting.
After the interrogation, Finn was led to a large cylindrical pod. He fought to get away but his captors were bigger and stronger.
"That's not gonna hurt him, right?" Murphy asked as he watched the camera feed with his mothers.
"No," Maya answered, hugging Murphy. "It's a simulator capsule. He's going to sleep in it for a bit and go through a simulation."
I reached over and ruffled Murphy's hair, "It'll take longer than mind control but much more effective in getting the message across. Once it's on, we can head home."
Murphy looked over, "What's going to happen to him afterward?"
Maya hummed, "He'll be returned home by our friends over there. They've been guarding you guys since we got you."
"So you guys technically know where we are all the time?" Murphy questioned.
"Pretty much, kid," I chuckled. "It's better than not knowing. However, you guys do have your freedom. They don't interfere unless it's a life-threatening situation. You did well protecting your family last night."
"Thanks," Murphy grinned. "And I guess having those bodyguards around ain't so bad. Can we get ice cream on the way to the Griffins?"
/ - / - /
Upon getting to the Griffins, we sent Murphy in first so we could grab the ice cream. There was a giant tub of Neopolitan ice cream and a box of orange creamsicles for me. I wasn't going to let any of them have that. We had barely made it through the door when Raven and Octavia jumped at us, clinging on so tightly.
"Girls, we can't breathe," Maya coughed after a bit.
They let go and we were met with nine scared teenagers and two tired adults. I walked over to my mother and hugged her.
"Not too much trouble, was it?" I questioned, backing up.
"Not at all," Lorelei answered, taking my ice cream. "Costia's safe and doing better than last night. What happened to the boy?"
I shrugged, "In the simulator. I doubt he will go near these little ones any time soon."
Callie cleared her throat, "Their parents will be here within two hours. I've already collected their statements and passed it on to a colleague."
I nodded at Callie and walked over to Costia. "How are you feeling, dear?"
"Better now," Costia smiled.
"Is it alright if I enter your memory of last night?" I asked. "It's okay to say no."
"No, I'm mean yes," Costia fumbled. "I trust you. Will it hurt?"
"Not at all, Cos," I replied. "Close your eyes and think about the banana splits Maya is making for all of you."
Costia smiled and closed her eyes. I took her hand and immediately flew into her memory of last night. I could see that Finn had targeted her when she left the beer pong table for a drink. Lincoln and Costia were laughing at something funny when someone came up to the makeshift bar. Lincoln had his back turned to make the drink while Costia was looking back towards where the beer pong was happening. I saw it quite clearly and pulled out of her memory.
"If my mama hasn't told you, you need to rest for the next couple of days," I informed. "And light duties. No PE or sports of any kind until you pass the physical."
Costia gripped my hand, "He won't hurt anyone else, right?"
I chuckled softly before pulling Costia into a hug, "He won't even be able to hurt a fly after his treatment. Try to forget about him and focus on your family. We all love you and will protect you from everything as best as we can."
There was a flash of light and I turned. Maya had snapped a picture of Costia and me hugging.
I huffed, "Really, Maya?"
Maya giggled, "It was a cute moment. Anyways, ice cream in the kitchen. Everyone march."
The teens slowly went to get their bowls of banana splits and we sighed. Things would get better once they overcame this. We just had to provide some joy.
/ - / - /
"No unsupervised parties for a while," Abby sighed before sipping her wine. "I can't believe this even happened."
"You know, it wasn't even their fault," Jake pointed out.
"Enough," Maya stated. "What's done is done. We move on and the kids know that we are here if they want to talk with us about it. There's no need to drag this out any longer."
I chuckled, "The real important issue is what we're having for dinner. I was thinking Vietnamese."
Nia smiled, "As long as I'm not cooking then I'm in."
"Will we also be hosting a giant sleepover?" Indra questioned, looking up from a stack of homework. "They still look pretty shook up."
"I'll go set up the den," I sighed, getting up. "Should take me a few minutes to get everything ready."
"Make sure to get the air mattresses out," Maya reminded me. "I know how much you dislike sleeping on the floor."
I leaned over and pecked Maya's cheeks, "Tobias should be giving you a call about dinner in about 30."
"Did you order ahead?" Gustus chuckled. "How did you do it?"
I smirked and shrugged before teleporting away.
"Bell, I'm here," I announced as I barged into Bellamy's apartment near the University of Polis. "Can you hurry it up? I'm going to miss the wild boar hunt.”
”Hi mama,” Bellamy beamed. “Is it alright if my friends come with us? They don’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving break.”
I sighed, “If they fit in the car then sure. Just hurry. I don’t know if Maya can handle four unruly teens and a 5-year-old."
Bellamy frowned, “Did you adopt two more kids?”
”Of course not,” I rolled my eyes. “I was referring to the two Griffin kids that keep coming over and eating all my food. Let’s go. I miss my wife.”
"Aw, that's cute," cooed one of Bellamy's friend. "Oh, I'm Gina Martin. I plan on opening a pizzeria one day."
"And I'm Niylah Trader," informed the other one. "I'm following my father in the family business at our Emporium."
I stared at them before holding out my hands, "A pleasure to meet you both and a wonder to welcome you into the family."
They shook my hands before grabbing their things and following me out. Bellamy trailed behind since he had to lock up.
/ - / - /
Maya sat at the kitchen table, getting the Thanksgiving Day dinner plan ready for the children who were left behind at Mount Weather. "We're going to need more food this year and every year following that. Where are we going to get the money to pay bonuses to the kitchen staff?"
"Mom?" Raven questioned, coming in. "Is everything alright?"
Maya smiled, "Mostly alright. Running a school is taxing."
Raven took a seat beside Maya, "What's on your mind?"
"The Thanksgiving meal at Mount Weather," Maya sighed, reaching out and stroking Raven's hair. "Most of the human children were left behind for the holiday week. It's a great reprieve from studies but family time is so important."
Raven moved closer and hugged Maya, "I love you and Mama for everything."
Maya beamed and hugged her back, "I love you too, little blackbird. Everything will work out once your mama comes home and offers a little brainpower."
"Hugs and kisses, right?" Raven smirked into the hug.
"Yep, and maybe some cuddling," Maya laughed. "I hope you find someone you can find absolute comfort in even when they make you mad."
"So how did you two meet?" Raven questioned when they pulled away from each other.
Maya smirked at the memory, "We grew up together because our families knew each other, mainly our mothers pushed us to play together. The first time I knew jealousy was when we gained several new friends and Forest was spending less and less time with me. When someone first kissed her, I stormed over and pulled Forest to me. After realizing my actions, I hid but Forest came to find me."
"Took me hours to coax you out," I smirked, leaning against the doorway.
The two turned towards me before Maya rushed over, tackling me in a hug. "I missed you."
"I missed you too," I laughed. "Even though we were apart for a few hours."
"Cute but can I get a hug?" Bellamy questioned.
"Bell!" Raven exclaimed. "I thought you couldn't make it!"
"Surprise!" Bellamy grinned. "Now where are the others?"
It wasn't long until there was a giant family hug for Bellamy. Maya showed Gina and Niylah to the guest rooms after they settled down from the hugging.
"Lexa!" Clarke shouted as she went through the portal. "Lexa, where are you?!"
"Your girlfriend's in the bathroom dealing with a boner," Ontari informed before proceeding to eat popcorn and watch a movie on her laptop.
"Oh," Clarke acknowledged. "So what got her hard?"
"She was probably thinking of you," Costia replied as the rest came through the portal.
"Ok, how come we didn't use that to get from Bellamy's apartment to your place?" Gina questioned.
Niylah rolled her eyes, "How do you explain to non-Faes about walking into a room and just disappearing when there was one entrance/exit? People saw us enter the building which means they have to see us leave. However, Mrs. Tsing-Vie, could you explain the Forest trick?"
Maya giggled, "Sometimes a name is magic. Anyways, Forest and I have to catch up with our friends. Jake's in charge but if it becomes Fae-related trouble, Anya's in charge."
"Cool," Anya grinned. "I get to order college kids around."
Jake chuckled, "Only if it's Fae-related trouble. Anyways, Forest gave us a game to play. Virtual Reality. Who wants to play?"
/ - / - /
Lexa opened the bathroom door and blushed, not expecting Clarke to be there. "H...hi Clarke."
"Hey Lexa," Clarke beamed, hugging her girlfriend. "I missed you."
"Missed you, too," Lexa smiled into the hug.
Clarke giggled, "So I heard. You got hard because of me."
Lexa shifted, uneasy about having to deal with that. Clarke sensed it and took Lexa's hand.
"It's okay if you think of me," Clarke smiled. "Better me than anyone else since we're together and you're mine."
Lexa blushed, "Thanks but I'm supposed to be a girl and not deal with it. I want to talk to Forest about it but I also don't want to go alone."
Clarke frowned, "Well that's a problem for another day since she and Maya went to join Indra and the others on the wild ghost boar hunt. I think Lincoln and Octavia snuck out to join them."
Lexa giggled, "I'm surprised Ontari didn't."
Clarke smirked, "Well... Maya handed Ontari this plush narwhal and told her to take care of it for Forest. She's been clinging onto it and growling at anyone that comes near her."
"So what's the plan for all those who are still here?" Lexa beamed as they headed back to the main room.
"My dad's in charge and he set up this VR game he got from Forest," Clarke answered. "Oh, Bell's here for the break and he brought some friends. I think they're drinking with my dad. Roan and Murphy are keeping Aden entertained and Anya had me get you so we could do the VR game. So is Costia and Ontari dating?"
"No, but they have gotten close," Lexa snickered. "It happened after the incident. Gotta protect the innocent or something like that. Besides, we all know Forest, Maya, and Ontari are OTT."
/ - / - /
"Why didn't you tell me you were going to be a Warrior class?" Clarke pouted after spawning in the new player area.
"It's not like Anya gave me the guide before we entered the game," Lexa pointed out. "And you look good as a Gunner."
"Yea, I'm so not playing with you two," Anya informed. "I can barely stand the hearteyes you make at each other in IRL."
"Oh cool, you're a priest," Ontari exclaimed, checking Costia's character out. "You can heal the team when we're injured."
"I see you decided to go Rogue," Costia laughed. "So who is your dark floating goldfish thing?"
"That's Shifter, a pet Shiftling," Ontari explained. "Although we don't get pets until level 20 apparently it's a gift from Forest and Maya."
Anya frowned, "That's unfair."
Ontari smirked, "Not my fault they love me. Besides, did you check your inbox yet? There should be a special message from them."
Anya checked, "Oh, cool! I'm going to find the Fire Egg for my pet Phoenix after the tutorial."
"Dibs on the dragon!" Costia called out.
Clarke pouted, "Really? That only leaves a Fenrir the Wolf and some turtle thing. I want Fenrir."
"Fine, I'll take the turtle," Lexa sighed. "Let's just get this tutorial done."
"Wait!" Ontari shouted. "Let's make it a race to level 15! That's roughly the minimum level to pass the gate into the next zone according to the map. Loser has to give their desserts to the winner."
Anya smirked, "I'm in. Cos? Lex? Blondie?"
Costia beamed, "Okay."
"We'll be first," Clarke boasted, grabbing Lexa's hand. "Come on, I want Ontari's double desserts."
"It's not my fault they spoil me," Ontari huffed as she went to find the quest master. "Come on, Cos. I'll need your healing skills. Plus I'll get you a date with Anthony."
"Wait, who's Anthony?" Anya questioned, following the duo, leaving the lovebirds behind.
/ - / - /
"Nice save," Lexa complimented Clarke on the shot that killed the slime that was coming at her from behind.
Clarke smirked, "I have to keep my girlfriend alive. I'm starting to like the range on this."
Lexa laughed, "Okay, I think we leveled up enough to get our pets. What's the quest regarding yours?"
"Hunting 50 wolves within 30 minutes," Clarke read the info. "Yours?"
"Deep diving and if I survive going past 300 yards and staying there for three minutes," Lexa answered. "I wonder how that will affect me."
Clarke smiled, "Want to do yours first? It seems pretty easy."
"Don't you want a wolf pup following you around?" Lexa teased.
"I do," Clarke laughed. "But we have to disband the party for me to do the quest. It'll be faster if we do it separately."
Lexa sighed, "Well, we'd better go stock up on healing items and mana replenishers before we start those quests. Upon completion of the quests, we'll be level 15, so we should meet up in the new area."
Clarke took Lexa's hand, "Come on. At least, we're playing together. Plus, I'll be here for a week and mom will join us for Thanksgiving Day."
"I can't wait for snuggles later," Lexa beamed as they walked back to the town to turn in their quest.
/ - / - /
"Alright, time for desserts," I announced, getting up and heading back into the kitchen. "It's peach cobbler a la mode."
Lexa groaned, "Aw come on. An, you can have tomorrow's dessert."
"Nope, I'm not budging," Anya stated. "You and Clarke got there last. Deal with it."
Maya raised her eyebrows. "Girls, care to explain?"
"We made a small bet regarding leveling up and reaching the level 15 - 20 area in the game," Ontari smirked. "Lexa and Clarke showed up last. Anya and Costia got there at the same time but only because I had to chase my pet around. It was worth it since I found high-level weapons."
"A deal is a deal," Maya hummed. "Also, you two aren't the only ones who lost their desserts tonight."
"Worth it!" Octavia grinned. "Now Linc and I have matching ghost boar tusk horns."
"And matching injuries," I sighed as I came back with desserts. "Magic makes this so simple. So a second helping for Anya and Costia while none for Clarke, Lexa, O, and Linc. Tomorrow's dessert is apple pie a la mode so don't make any bets or do anything silly."
"As much as I love you, Eve, why are you here?" I questioned as I turned back to the three turkeys I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. "Go mentor Lexa elsewhere if you aren't going to help."
Eve giggled, "We came for both helping and mentoring."
I glared at my daughter before sighing, "Grab an apron and wash your hands. You two can prepare the macaroni casserole."
"How much of the food prep do you do, Forest?" Lexa asked as she washed her hands.
"Most of it," I sighed as put the first turkey into the apple cider brine. "Maya makes the salad and other healthier options with Indra on the day of."
"You like to stuff yourself with mom's candied yam," Eve smirked. "Plus you love to steal the boar bacon."
"Wild ghost boar is delicious and can only be hunted every 30 years," I huffed. "I'm glad we took down a big one and I've already portioned it out for the next 10 years."
Eve chuckled, "So can I get a bag of wild ghost boar jerky from you? Pretty please, mama?"
I sighed, "Ask your mom. She's in charge of the stash. So why are you two really here?"
"I was wondering when you would put Lexa on hormones," Eve shrugged as she tied off Lexa's apron.
I stared at the duo before sighing, "That would be a great solution to her current situation but on a technicality, Lexa is female and doesn't need it. The two real solutions we have are either getting the talisman back or waiting until she's 18."
Lexa opened the pantry door, "So when I turn 18, I'll be a girl?"
"An act of defiance in the face of the oppressor shall grant your wish," I informed. "Although, I really think you should consider storing sperm so you can make babies with Clarke later."
"That's a really good idea," Eve agreed as she got a pot of water ready on the stove. "Once the spell is over, so is your life as a boy."
"But won't the sperm turn into eggs?" Lexa frowned at the logic.
I chuckled, "Physically, you're a boy right now but once the spell is broken, you will physically be a girl, yes. However, anything that comes out of the body becomes disconnected, therefore, the sperm will stay as sperm."
Eve smirked, "AKA weird Fae magic logic law. I don't even get that far."
Lexa pouted, "So how did Eve get cursed?"
Eve laughed, "Technically, mama got cursed."
I groaned, "Long story short, I made one of my witch friends really mad. They slipped something into the honeycake I was stuffing my face with and the curse... well, you've seen Eve. Girl by day; guy by night. We never suspected anything until the first night we had the triplets. However, that did explain why I kept dressing like a guy more often after sunset."
Eve hugged me, "I still love you, mama."
"But wouldn't all three triplets be affected?" Lexa pointed out.
"Well, the curse was specific towards the nth-child whose number order is divisible by 3," Eve explained. "And I was the 9th child and 9 is divisible by 3."
I reached over and ruffled Lexa's hair, "You will be a girl one day so don't worry so much about it. You should enjoy your time as a boy while you can."
"But I want to be a girl now," Lexa grumbled.
"Okay," I grinned, grabbing a book out of the cabinet. "It'll be temporary but you will be a girl for 12 hours a day. However, you can only use it three times a week. Any longer and you have to deal with the horrible side effects."
"Oh," Eve beamed. "We're making magic gender pills now?"
"Yes," I confirmed. "I need you to pop over to the Woods home and get some hair from Lexa's mother. Make sure it's really hers. Lexa, I need three strands of yours. It's been too long since I've made this... I need to call Maya home."
Lexa pouted, "But if you call Maya, then Costia will be here."
I rolled my eyes, "It's a small sacrifice for a big thing unless you want me to botch this."
Lexa sighed, "Call Maya."
/ - / - /
"Am I allowed to be jealous?" I pouted at Maya.
Maya cupped my cheeks, "No. You always knew Lexa is a beautiful girl. You did well."
I smirked, "Don't you mean we?"
"Mama!" Raven called out after a few moments. "Can you turn me into a boy?!"
"And I am out," I stated, teleporting away.
Maya sighed, "Raven, my little blackbird, why would you want to be a boy? Also, you kids need to stop scaring Forest away! How am I supposed to spend time with my wife if you keep chasing her away?"
Raven shrugged, "But why would you want to spend every living moment with mama?"
"Because I love her," Maya answered.
Ontari huffed, "Technically it's my job to chase Forest away so the rest of you need to stop."
Lexa laughed, "Sucks to be you."
"Lexa, don't be mean to Ontari," Clarke scolded, taking Lexa's hand. "Apologize before we go steal cookies from the kitchen."
Lexa groaned and faced Ontari, "Sorry."
Ontari huffed, "Forgiven but only if you owe me a favor later."
"I guess," Lexa shrugged. "So cookies?"
"Cookies!" Octavia shouted, leading the way to the kitchen.
Maya leaned against me after the Thanksgiving dinner and whispered, "I am really thankful for the past 6 - 7 years with you and our new family."
I smirked, "I supposed it is a new family every time they are reborn and I am thankful that you have been by my side since forever."
"Only cause I love you," Maya giggled before pecking my cheek. "Everyone is in a good mood. Maybe we should slip away and snuggle."
"I'm definitely in favor of that," I grinned, nuzzling against her shoulder. "Snuggle with my favorite lamb."
"Mom, mama, there you are," Eve beamed, walking over to the duo.
Maya smirked, "Your favorite has found us."
I rolled my eyes and replied sarcastically, "They're all my favorites, especially when they interrupt my quiet time with you."
Eve giggled, "I, on the behalf of my siblings and the rest of the family, thank you two for hosting and preparing such a wonderful feast."
"She wants something," Maya grinned.
Eve huffed, "I do not. It's just...you two do so much for the family. Don't you two ever have a break?"
I chuckled, "Well, we were about to sneak away but it seems you have drawn attention to us and now we can't leave. Besides, it's kind of our job to look after all of you guys."
"Group hug!" Ontari shouted as Eve plopped on top of us.
/ - / - /
"Man, they had us going," Lexa laughed after recovering from the group hug scare. "Thought we really suffocated them to death."
Clarke giggled, "They like to be silly like us. I want us to be just as happy."
Lexa turned to Clarke, "Are you happy with me like this?"
"Babe, it's about personality," Clarke pointed out. "Your looks are just a bonus."
There was a flash and they turned to see Jake standing there. "Oh, don't mind me. Keep going."
"Dad!" Clarke groaned. "You're interrupting one of the most important discussions I'm having with my wife!"
"Just wife?" Lexa smirked.
Clarke rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms, "Psh! The dating, getting engaged, and getting married is a formality at this point. Besides, everyone knows we are soulmates which makes automatically make you my wife. Now kiss me."
Lexa giggled but leaned over, pecking Clarke's cheek. "I love you!"
Jake gasped, "Forest! Did you marry them while we were away?!"
Eve shouted back, "Fae time works differently than human time so mama might have when they were still babies!"
"Grown-ups are weird," Ontari stated as she walked over to the lovebirds. "So want to get another helping of ice cream?"
Before either could answer, everyone heard Forest telling them to stay away from the brownies. Maya shook her head as she followed her wife to the kitchen to extract all the brownies.
Indra sighed, "Why didn't you use the other kitchen? You're not supposed to use the main kitchen for baking or cooking weed-related food items."
"Oh, that's because I forgot to clean the other kitchen," Gustus chuckled nervously. "Like for a month now?"
Indra glared at her husband, "Couch."
Anya popped over, "We have to get some brownies now! Ontari, go do your thing!"
Ontari smirked, "Oh, I got this. I'll get us brownies."
Ontari snuck into the kitchen and found Maya pinning Forest against the refrigerator. They didn't notice her so she carefully moved closer to the Ziploc bag full of brownies.
"We should go while we have the chance," Forest grinned. "No one would notice."
Maya had Forest's shirt unbuttoned, "Yea. What's the plan? More foreplay?"
Forest chuckled softly, "Well, I was hoping you would use that newly purchased pair of handcuffs you got. Unless that was someone's gag gift."
"Oh, I got that for you," Maya giggled darkly. "My little pillow queen. I won't have you sitting for a week."
Ontari wanted to go with them but she was on a mission: get the brownies. However, she was curious as to how they were planning on using the cuffs and what the term 'pillow queen' meant. She crept closer to the bag of brownies.
Forest closed her eyes as Maya nipped at her body, "You're going to make me botch the teleportation spell."
"Don't think about it," Maya replied huskily. "Focus on me. I'll do the teleporting."
Ontari choked on her saliva from hearing that but the duo never turned to her. They were too far gone with each other to notice anything else. She grabbed the bag and left in a hurry but still heard Forest's moan, which was going to haunt her dreams in a deliciously evil way.
/ - / - /
"These are so good," Anya beamed, eating two more brownies bites. "I want to stand in the garden."
"Right now?" Lexa laughed.
Anya nodded, "Hell yes! I think I'm going to turn soon."
Ontari chuckled, "You and Lincoln. I'll help you out."
"Yes!" Anya cheered as Ontari walked over. "Take me to my favorite spot."
Costia giggled but assisted Ontari with taking Anya to the garden while Roan and Murphy got Lincoln. The brownies hit them fast, at least those who participated. They all moved outside to the garden and inadvertently watched Anya and Lincoln turn into dancing trees.
"Hey Ontari, you were beet-red earlier," Costia pointed out.
Ontari blushed, "I saw/overheard something I wasn't supposed to. I'm glad that they're happy without me."
Costia nudged Ontari, "But remember, they still want you. Meanwhile the rest of us unlucky ones are still searching."
Ontari grinned, "You'll find love sooner or later. Although, it wouldn't hurt to consult Forest and her ability to look into the future."
"I think I'm good with it being a mystery," Costia smiled. "Anyways, we should totally record them dancing like that."
"Already way ahead of you two," Murphy laughed, joining them. "I took a peek at mom's work and found a few files on some new people for Mount Weather. They seem like interesting people to befriend."
"You want to make friends?" Ontari teased Murphy. "I think you got soft."
Murphy scoffed playfully, "But I'm always hard where it counts."
"TMI, Murphy," Costia giggled along with Ontari.
"I think Lincoln and Anya are staying out here," Roan informed, walking over. "Should we ask if we can camp out here?"
"Hey Ri, where are the brownies?" Eve questioned, magically popping into appearance beside Ontari.
Ontari held up the bag of brownies, "What do I get for these?"
Eve snapped her fingers and camping gear appeared already set up, "I'll talk to the parents. Now hand my Mama's brownies bites over."
"I guess," Ontari sighed, handing the bag over.
Eve ruffled Ontari's hair, "You know they would make more for you anytime you wanted them. Enjoy the rest of your night."
"Too much hiking," Clarke groaned.
Lexa rolled her eyes, "We're so behind because of you."
Clarke huffed, "I'm allergic to exercise. I'm allergic to this."
"Come on," Lexa groaned, pushing Clarke to go faster. "You're making me regret hanging back with my girlfriend."
"But you love me," Clarke pointed out. "And quit pushing. We're at a fork in the trail."
Lexa stopped and looked at their surroundings. "Which path is it?"
Clarke rolled her eyes, "Let's just call them. We did bring our phones."
Lexa pulled out her phone and frowned. "No service. Great."
"Coin toss. Heads, we go left and tails, we go right," Clarke suggested.
"Fine," Lexa agreed, checking her wallet for a coin.
After the coin toss, they took the right path, hoping that it would lead them to their group.
/ - / - /
"They got lost," Anya stated after an hour of waiting. "Believe me when I say they have no sense of direction."
Indra sighed, "Well, Forest, care to rescue them?"
"Maya, do I have to?" I pouted as my stomach growled in hunger. "I'm so hungry."
Maya smiled as she rubbed my head, "Why don't you get lunch started? I'll find the missing lovebirds and bring them here."
I huffed, "Don't take too long. I feel lonely already."
"Even though you're hugging me right now?" Ontari frowned.
I chuckled and pecked Ontari's cheek, "It's different, Ri. We legally can't go pass PG-13 with you. Now shush, I have to get up in two minutes to get lunch ready."
Ontari giggled, "So what are we having for lunch?"
"Barbecue," I answered. "Deliciously marinated to perfection. There's also huge helping of salad we all must get through."
/ - / - /
"We did not get lost," Lexa protested when the others teased her and Clarke as they ate.
Ontari smirked, "You totally did. They gave each and every one of us a map with the highlighted trail we were taking."
"I might have lost my map after 5 minutes of holding it," Clarke admitted.
Costia grinned, "I'm guessing you lost Lexa's map when she gave it to you."
Clarke made a strangled noise of confirmation while everyone laughed.
Lexa grumbled, "So what if we got lost? We had some bonding time."
"But you made us wait for lunch," Anya pointed out. "Therefore, we're not satisfied."
"Definitely not," Ontari agreed. "It cut into my time hanging out with my future wives."
"Your future wives," Roan smirked. "Soulmates?"
"Obviously they are," Murphy retorted. "You should hear how Ontari fantasize her married life."
Ontari scoffed and nudged Murphy to keep quiet.
Costia looked at the duo, "Didn't realize you two were so close."
Murphy shrugged, "Can't a guy be friends with a girl without a romantic relationship?"
"I don't think so," Bellamy commented.
"So does that mean you're banging Gina and Niylah?" Octavia questioned.
"No," Niylah laughed. "But you do make an interesting point. Also, Bell isn't my type."
"Strike 1 for Bell," Raven giggled. "So Gina, is Bell your type?"
"He could be," Gina smirked. "But I'll let that stay a mystery."
"Kids, finish eating!" Gustus shouted. "We're heading down the trail in a bit."
"Lexa," Clarke called out from outside of the bathroom. "I'm not disgusted by you."
Lexa groaned, "I know but this is my issue."
Clarke giggled, "Your problems are my problems. Besides, I'm the reason you got a boner in the first place."
"You definitely are!" Ontari shouted as she walked past Clarke's and Lexa's shared room. "Better hurry or else you'll miss breakfast!"
"Why is she such a butt?" Lexa huffed.
"How should I know?" Clarke laughed. "I don't get how she is one of your best friends either. So, do you need any help?"
"No," Lexa answered. "I'll be done in a little bit. You should head down first."
Clarke sighed, "Fine but hurry up. I'm not sharing my bacon if you get there late."
/ - / - /
Lexa frowned, "These side effects are stupid."
"Sucks to be you," Ontari teased as Maya rubbed her back. "So how long do the side effects last?"
Maya hummed, "It depends on the person. Lexa, you have been taking only three times a week right?"
"Yea," Lexa nodded. "I took one on the day you made it. One on Thanksgiving and one on the hike."
"Space it out more," I yawned as I walked into the kitchen. "Where's my fruity tea?"
Maya handed me my mug, "Here you are, Forest. What's on the schedule for today?"
I sipped my tea before answering. "Reading Day. I'm finally going to binge-read my favorite series again."
"Well, it's my Cuddle Day so..." Maya smirked.
"Fun day," I chuckled. "Anyways, Lexa, space your pills or else the side effects will get worse and make sure you take it within an hour of your scheduled time."
"Yes, Forest," Lexa acknowledged.
I hummed, "I can't wait to get lost in my books. You kids better stay quiet or at least far away from the library."
Maya giggled, "Don't make Forest angry. She might turn you into a gerbil."
Bellamy shivered, "I still remember being a girl for a day. Worse day ever."
"How so?" Gina questioned.
Roan smirked, "I recalled Bell was on his period and in puberty."
There was laughter all around and it got worse when Maya and Forest brought out the pictures.
/ - / - /
Lexa, Clarke, and Ontari snuck into the library. They found Forest invested in her book while Maya was snuggled next to her.
"Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw," Maya grinned.
"They're cute," Forest hummed. "That plot twist in the next series was mind-blowing."
Maya giggled, "I remember when you came running to tell me the spoilers."
Forest chuckled, "You know I was in shock when I had to tell you. I would have told Ontari but..."
"I know," Maya sighed. "It sucks being stuck in different lifetimes. However, we're here now. They're alive."
Forest put the book down, "I still have nightmares about that dark time."
Maya snuggled closer to Forest, "I know. You scream and cry in your sleep. It hurts me when you have them."
"I love you," Forest sniffled as Maya kissed her cheek. "I love you so much, Maya Vie."
"I know and I love you so much, Forest," Maya replied. "Go back to your book so I can cuddle you. Also, so I can see your pretty imagery of the cat world."
"Aw, they're so sweet," Clarke cooed. "I want to grow old like that."
"Shh," Lexa shushed. "You're going to get us caught."
Clarke rolled her eyes, "That's Ontari's job."
They turned to look at Ontari only to find her already snuggling with the duo and a book in her hand.
"Now that is going to give me cavities," Lexa smirked. "Let's pick a book and get going."
Clarke pouted, "But I want to keep watching."
Lexa sighed and grabbed Clarke by the arm, "I don't want to find out what Forest and Maya will turn us into."
"Are you sure you don't need more condoms?" Maya asked as Bellamy packed his stuff to head back to his apartment.
Bellamy blushed, "I'm good, mom. I'm old enough to get my own."
Gina snorted, "It's a great offer, you know. Free condoms."
Bellamy shook his head, "I'm sure they'll deduct it from my weekly allowance of $20."
Maya frowned, "Babe, I thought you changed Bell's allowance to $10."
"I changed it to $5!" I answered from the master bedroom. "He's only getting $20 per month since we're paying for his apartment!"
"I'll have to check our accounts," Maya sighed as she pulled out her phone. "Will you girls be coming back for the next holiday?"
Niylah shrugged, "I'll have to check with my father. He usually takes me along on his winter business trips."
Maya smiled, "Well, if you have time, stop by with your father. Gina?"
Gina grinned, "Yea, I'll be back. No living relatives to visit."
"So you aged out of foster care?" I asked as I entered the room.
"Yep," Gina nodded. "It's been rough but luckily I got scholarships to cover what I need. Plus a decent job."
Maya gave me a look and I sighed before handing Gina a card. "If something ever happens and you're out of a job, apply here. I own Midnight but it's run by my favorite cook, Chef Tobias. Plus you'll get more experience in running a business if you ever need it."
"Thanks," Gina beamed. "I've heard about Midnight and I've always wanted to go."
I chuckled, "Best time is brunch but if you're gonna do dinner, Monday nights. You can get right in without reservations. Also, show them your student card and it's a nice discount."
Maya hummed, "Maybe we should visit and see how well all your businesses are doing."
I smirked, "Leave the kids with the Griffins for the week?"
"Yes," Maya agreed. "I'll go see which week is best for that."
/ - / - /
"Do we have to go home?" Raven groaned as she clung onto Anya.
Anya shook her arm, trying to get Raven to let go, "We hung out for a week. Go home and do your homework. I'm sick of your face."
Raven hissed, "Lies. You love my face."
Maya sighed, "Break is over little bird. Besides, we still see them roughly every other week."
Raven pouted, "Can't I get married to Anya now?"
"No," I answered as I conjured up the portal. "If we say yes to you, then we have to say yes to Octavia. I swear O is going to give me grandchildren too early."
"I would not," Octavia protested. "Lincoln and I would wait until we're both financially stable, have our college degrees, and a house of our own."
I stepped behind Maya, "I'm pretty sure they're still stereotypical teenagers who have sex when we're not around."
Maya giggled, "You already raised 10 of them. Why are you so scared of these kids?"
"Because I don't want them to grow up," I huffed.
"Aw, baby, the house still got you and me," Maya pointed out, hugging me. "And eventually, we'll have Ontari. They have to grow up but I'm positive that they'll visit us when they can."
I purred into my phone, "Maya, when are you coming home? My face is fuzzy. So fuzzy."
Ontari giggled in reply, "Forest, you're calling the wrong number."
"Are you sure it's not the right number?" I hummed. "I need yum-yums. You'll get me yum-yums, right?"
"Sorry but this is the wrong number," Ontari replied.
I huffed, "Babe, stop lying and pretty please tell me you'll bring food."
"Is she being serious?" Lexa gapped at Ontari, who shrugged, while their friends were stifling their laughter.
"Forest, I'm serious. I'm not Maya," Ontari stated sternly, hoping it would finally ward me off.
"My lambkins doesn't love me," I sniffled and hung up. "Maya! I'm hungry! Where are you?!"
/ - / - /
I was having a pleasant dream when I felt pain on my ass. I woke and was whupped again.
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Maya demanded, glaring daggers at me.
I decided to play coy, "About what?"
Maya groaned before slapping my ass again, "Don't you get high without me! You naughty kitty!"
"Maya!" I whimpered. "You're making me sore. Also, I'm still hungry."
Maya sighed and pulled me close, "You're lucky I love you. Did kitty not get yum-yums?"
I pouted, "I called you for yum-yums but you said it was the wrong number."
"I never got your call," Maya replied, picking up my phone and checking the recent numbers. "Kitten, you called Ontari."
I gasped, "No?! Wait, how did you know I was high?"
Maya gestured to the evidence that was lying on the bed. I forgot to take the empty gummy bags to the trashcans at the side of the house before knocking out.
I blushed sheepishly, "Oh... well, feed me please...?"
/ - / - /
"I still can't believe Forest called you while she was high," Anya chuckled as they settled down in her dorm room with Lexa.
Ontari looked at them worried, "Should I call back and check on how she's doing?"
Lexa shook her head, "Don't. Maya's home by now and will take care of it."
"But my wife," Ontari pouted.
Costia nudged Ontari's shoulder lightly, "You know Maya will take care of her."
Ontari sighed, "Fine, I'll stop. It was funny."
"Very funny," Lexa grinned as she checked her phone. "Looks like Murphy's putting together a party. They've been blowing up my phone."
"Oh right, our phones are on silent," Costia remembered, looking at her phone. "I think I'll sit out on this one."
Ontari took Costia's hand, "But we want you there."
Costia smiled nervously, "I'm scared that I might get targeted again."
Anya reached out and squeezed Costia's shoulder, "We won't let it happen. Murphy promised that it'll only be a few people from their school. There's a list that they're making. It'll be safe."
Lexa grinned at Costia, "If it does get too much at the party, you can hide in one of the rooms upstairs. Plus Forest and Maya will be there, hiding away in their room."
"Does it really say that?" Costia questioned, reviewing the group text.
"They'll be there," Ontari confirmed. "They're meeting everyone who will show up before stowing away in their rooms."
Costia nodded, "Okay, I'll go but I'm still calling Forest and Maya to confirm."
I stared at the two teenagers in front of me for a bit before turning to Maya, "So Independent living, huh?"
"Yes, dear," Maya answered without looking up from the agreements that the two had signed. "They'll stay in the guesthouse. Both are Fae and they're good kids. Nyko is their social worker."
"Well, we do trust Nyko," I sighed. "Come on, time for a tour of the house."
"Just like that?" questioned the red-head.
I nodded with a bored expression, "Yes, Ms. Luna Hilker. We also need to get more dye for your hair. Your roots are showing unless that's what you're going for."
"Hon, be a bit more enthusiastic," Maya scolded.
"Not until I get my cat nap," I huffed. "I have a late-night meeting with my siblings."
"So what are the ground rules?" asked the other teenage girl.
"Well, Ms. Emori d'Oliveira," I hummed as we started the tour. "Curfew is 10 PM on Sunday nights to Thursday nights. On Fridays and Saturdays, it's whenever you like. Dinner is at 7 PM in the main house unless there's a conflict of schedule. No violence of any form."
"What about drugs and alcohol?" Luna frowned, staring intently at me.
"Nicotine or weed is fine. Any other drug and we'll boot you," I replied sternly. "As for alcohol, know your limit and don't drink in front of people you don't trust. If you have an addiction, please tell us and we'll help you manage it."
"Since you two are in the guest house, we expect that you'll keep it clean," Maya informed. "It's a two-bedroom place with a shared bathroom. Basically communal."
"We can work with that," Emori shrugged. "Um... we need a car for work."
"We'll get to that," I sighed before pointing out each room on the second floor. "There are emergency phones in each bedroom and it will automatically go to my number when you use it so please use it for emergencies."
"Yes ma'am," they agreed.
Maya and I finished the tour at the guest house and let them settle in. I smiled at Maya and hugged her.
"Tired?" Maya hummed. "Want that nap?"
"Yes," I purred. "We don't have enough room for two more cars."
Maya sighed, "I'll ask them if they're okay with motorcycles. That or we'll be sharing cars."
I rubbed my head against her, "That will be a fun discussion."
/ - / - /
"Who are they?" Murphy grumbled. "Why are they here? Did you adopt them?"
Maya giggled, "Girls, introduce yourselves. Raven, O, set the table."
"Yes, mom," Raven and Octavia replied.
They watched Luna and Emori curiously as they set the table. Luna and Emori were quick with introductions and Callie was fawning over them. Lorelei studied them from her seat, waiting to hear everyone else's opinions.
Luna walked over to Maya, "May I help?"
Maya smiled and handed the bowl of garlic sauteed spinach over, "Make sure everyone gets a healthy helping. Don't skimp. I don't want leftovers."
"Spinach?" Murphy grimaced. "You know healthy greens are the bane of our existence."
"Quiet Murphy," Raven huffed. "I know you don't want us to lose our party privileges."
Octavia beamed, "Besides, mom only makes us this when we're having ribeyes."
I yawned as I walked into the kitchen, "Luna, it's fish and chicken, right?"
"Yes, ma'am," Luna answered making me frown.
"Don't call me ma'am. It's Forest or mama," I stated. "Ma'am makes me feel so old. Maya, refresh me."
Maya laughed and pulled me into a hug, "I want a nice grilled salmon steak and swordfish."
I nodded, "Anyone else wants grilled fish?"
"Is there also shrimp?" Luna asked, setting the empty dirty bowl at the sink.
"I'll take some swordfish with my ribeye," Emori ducked behind Luna.
I pulled away from Maya and stretched out my arms, "I'll have everything done in five. Please take a seat and do not grab at flying plates."
Shoutout to Northern_Insanity: Are you a mind reader?
"I can't believe I agreed to this," I groaned as I brought out my precious motorcycle.
Callie chuckled, "It'll be good to have someone riding mine since your mama keeps driving us everywhere."
"It's cause my car is nice," Lorelei laughed from her spot from the porch. "Quite expensive and it looks better than the soccer mom van."
I glared at her before sighing, "You kids are getting driving lessons soon. Thank goodness they can start at 15. That reminds me, little blackbird, what do you want for your birthday?"
Raven squealed, "May I have your bike?"
"Not if we get it first," Luna smirked walking over to me. "May I?"
I handed it over along with the keys, letting her test the weight. Luna set it on its stand once leveled on the street before hopping on.
"Feels good," Luna stated. "Test run?"
"So you've ridden a bike before," I mused. "Go once around the block, then try out Callie's."
Luna grinned and put the keys in, starting the engine. Before leaving, Callie handed her a helmet and reminded the girl about safety.
"How about it, Emori?" I questioned, turning to face the girl.
Emori looked at Callie's bike before shaking her head, "I'll stick to a car... Can I get a truck?"
I looked at the driveway and sighed, "We do have room if you drive it up to the guesthouse area... Maya, what do you think?"
Maya frowned, "A truck is rather large and I don't like the idea of it being near the trashcans. She'll have to take the driveway but for right now, we're sticking to small used cars."
"I'm okay with that," Emori beamed. "So when do we start driving lessons?"
"We can start after the party," Maya informed as she walked from the porch to me. "Hon, you have to go pick up the supplies."
I pouted, "I'm taking Luna and Emori with me. The other three can clean."
/ - / - /
"Maya, we're back and I'm tired," I announced, walking into the kitchen with a 24-bottle beer box. "Tell the kids to bring everything in."
Maya giggled and waved me over, "Set that on the table and come here. Ray, O, Murph, go help Luna and Emori with the groceries."
"Yes, mom," the trio answered, leaving the table to assist.
I nuzzled against Maya after setting the box down and mumbled, "Have I told you how much I love you today because I love you much."
Maya hummed and rubbed my back, "I never get tired of hearing you telling me every day for almost every minute of the day, and every moment you see me. I love you. That's a good kitten."
"Uhh, what did we walk into?" Emori questioned when she and Luna walked into the kitchen.
"This is Forest's cat form," Maya giggled, massaging my head. "Mama's so tired. Anyways, we'll be leaving you guys to have your party. Anya's in charge when the rest get here. If you need us, we'll be in our room after we meet the guests."
Luna nodded, "So away in a magic room. Cool. When do we get to learn that?"
Maya smiled, "Maybe later. Go get everything ready with the other."
"So it's a small gathering this time," Clarke beamed. "That's Harper McIntyre with her girlfriend, Zoe Monroe. This is Monty Green and Jasper Jordan. Over there is Nathan Miller and his boyfriend, Bryan Whitesell."
Ontari groaned, "There are couples everywhere."
Lexa smirked, "You should get a temp girlfriend that way you don't have to be so lonely."
Clarke giggled, "Don't tease Ontari. You know she'll get revenge."
"And you won't see it coming, Lex," Ontari warned with a light growl. "I lost Murphy to that Emori chick. Apparently her extra Fae finger does it for him."
"Ew," Lexa grimaced. "I can't unsee what I saw in my head. Clarke! Kiss it away."
"Never mind that," Clarke grinned. "Did you see how Luna just attached herself to Costia?"
Ontari sighed, "Guess I'm stuck babysitting all of you guys from doing stupid drunk shit with Roan."
"Or you could just ditch me and head upstairs," Roan suggested when he brought the drinks over. "I'm sure no one would mind."
"Maybe after a few rounds of beer pong and rage cage," Ontari shrugged and took a gulp of the mixed drink. "Some liquid courage ought to do the trick."
They all heard a thunk and looked around to see Raven on the ground. They deducted that Anya had pushed Raven off of her lap while in the middle of a discussion with Lincoln and Octavia.
"So how long until Anya gives in?" Clarke questioned.
Ontari scoffed, "They're already fucking."
Lexa smirked, "Bet."
"This is gonna be a long night," Roan groaned before chugging his drink. "Your friends are staying over, right?"
"Yep," Clarke confirmed.
"So how many of you guys are Fae?" Monty questioned excitedly.
"Uh... five if I'm counting correctly," Ontari answered. "Anya, Lincoln, Murphy, Emori, and Luna. The first three are half-Fae. Anya and Lincoln have a wood nymph for a mother and a human father, meanwhile, Murphy had a Fae father and a human mother."
"Cool," Jasper grinned. "Say, do you think their parents would mind if we smoked weed?"
"Just do it outside," Roan informed. "I think they're a bit sensitive about the smell. We've seen them with lots of edibles though."
/ - / - /
Halfway through their second round of Rage Cage, Forest and Maya came downstairs. The duo giggled as they headed to the kitchen before coming over to watch the teens play. The game ended with Lexa drinking the final cup because she got stacked and missed her one shot to passed her stack.
Anya turned to the adults, "Do you guys want in?"
Forest giggled against Maya's shoulder, "Should we, dear?"
Maya smirked, "It's been a while since we played any drinking games."
"Let's make them drink!" Roan shouted as he grabbed a new set of cups for the game.
Maya looked at them, "I hope that you guys are cleaning those cups later. It's a complete waste to throw them away when they can be reused."
Murphy saluted, "Yes, mom. We'll deal with it in the morning."
"So what's your poison?" Ontari questioned as she put bottles of alcohol on the table.
Forest smirked, "Mix the final cup with Jack, Jose, Gin, Brandy, Sherry, Jim, and Captain Morgan. Oh, and don't forget Tito."
Maya shook her head, "You're going to kill the kids."
"Nothing like a little bit of alcohol poisoning," Forest laughed. "In this case, they'll just get a huge hangover."
"Not if I make you drink it," Maya smirked. "Remember the last time we played King's Cup?"
"I remember," Forest grinned. "But I recalled getting you back at beer pong."
Lexa gulped, "Can I sit out on this one?"
"No!" everyone declared making Lexa groaned with dread and disappointment.
Forest nudged Maya, "If you end up drinking that concoction, you have to take me to the famous Fae spa on Venus."
Maya smirked, "Psh, you're gonna drink it and you'll make me make that once-in-a-lifetime Scotch Eggs for breakfast. I get to request it on three different occasions."
"Bet," Forest grinned. "Also keep track of how many you had to drink. Least amount gets to pick the next movie."
"Let's get the game started," Maya huffed, moving to stand between Murphy and Costia. "Luna, it's your job to stack Forest."
"If she can that is," Forest quipped. "Murphy, sorry but you're gonna have to stack mom."
"That's a bit cruel," Murphy huffed. "So I'm calling a steak breakfast for this."
"Done," Forest shrugged. "Let's start."
Anya handed one of the ping pong balls to Forest and the other to Maya. As soon as it started, it nearly ended as quickly but thankfully Forest and Maya didn't torture Murphy and Luna too much with the pressure. Although they couldn't say the same for Lexa, Roan, and Ontari.
"This is bull!" Ontari shouted when she got stacked for the tenth time that round.
"Just drink," Costia giggled, passing Ontari a cup from the middle.
The game ended with Emori getting stacked but Maya stopped her from drinking. "I think you had too much, Em."
"I can drink," Emori protested but Forest had taken the final cup and chugged it.
"That was rather refreshing," Forest smiled afterward. "I guess you get to pick the movie and I'll make your Scotch Eggs. Let's head back up."
Maya yawned, "Fun game. You kids should get ready for bed soon and please be responsible."
"Night moms," Octavia, Raven, and Murphy bid as the duo headed upstairs.
Lexa yawned, "I think they're right. Let's call it."
They slowly cleaned up the mess, putting all the dirty cups in the sink and the remaining alcohol into the alcohol cabinet. Luckily, they didn't have to check the doors since they were locked after everyone had arrived. They each took some pain killers and had at least one full glass of water before heading to their designated rooms to sleep off their drinks.
Lexa woke up to Clarke nibbling her neck and she couldn't help the moan that escaped her lips. "Clarke, what are you doing?"
"Waking you up for some fun," Clarke replied in a husky tone. "I want you so bad."
"What if the others wake up?" Lexa questioned wrapping her arms around Clarke's waist.
Clarke giggled, "I locked the door last night. Anya's with Raven and Luna lured Costia to the guesthouse. Plus everyone else drank a lot. Don't you want me, Lexa?"
Lexa smiled shyly, "You know I do but is this really the right time?"
Clarke stared into Lexa's eyes and smiled, "I guess not. I can wait until you're ready."
"Thank you," Lexa beamed before pecking Clarke's lips. "We can still make out."
Clarke giggled and kissed her girlfriend.
/ - / - /
Anya sat on Raven's bed, holding the younger girl against her, and massaged the sleeping girl's head. It took a while to get Raven to fall asleep since the girl managed to get her hands on Molly.
"Such a troublesome little bird you are," Anya sighed. "But I do love you."
Anya thought about what they had discussed before Raven drifted off. She was ready to accept Raven as her soulmate after their talk. There were cultural differences and other things that were hashed out.
Anya sensed that Raven was a bit Fae which was confirmed. Raven's Fae element was wind but she couldn't use it since her Fae heritage was quite diluted. Raven was basically human, her human.
Anya sighed and gently adjusted Raven before scooting down on the bed. She pulled the covers up to their chins and wrapped an arm around Raven.
"I love you, Raven Reyes," Anya whispered, closing her eyes to join Raven in dreamland.
/ - / - /
Ontari regretted taking Molly but was also loving it. She snuggled between Forest and Maya, watching movies.
"Drink," Forest advised, holding an open water bottle near her.
Ontari carefully took it and sipped the water. She didn't want to accidentally swallow her gum. Once satisfied, she handed it back to Forest.
"You good?" Maya questioned, rubbing Ontari's hand.
Ontari purred, "I'm good. Love you both."
"We love you, too," Forest replied before pecking Ontari's cheek. "Not so scary, huh?"
Ontari giggled, "Not at all. You'll protect me from the monsters and nightmares."
"Usually it's you protecting our little kitten," Maya pointed out. "The movie is ending soon. Want to watch another or sleep?"
"Sleep please," Forest yawned, curling into Ontari.
Ontari smiled, "Sleep sounds good."
Maya nuzzled against Ontari, "Don't sneak into our room again, little fish. It's better to wait for our reunion."
"I know," Ontari yawned. "But I miss you two. I miss this and your kisses. I miss everything regarding us."
Forest hummed, "We do, too. I'm sorry for being selfish and power hungry. I ruined us."
Ontari giggled, "I still love you so much."
"Told you so," Maya teased Forest as her wife rolled her eyes and rested closer to Ontari. "Alright, close your eyes and sleep, my loves."
"Christmas, once again, was a big success," I chuckled as I held Jane. "She looks just like Eve, right Maya?"
Maya giggled as she settled down next to me on our couch with a wine glass. "She does but I can see a bit of Queenie. Where is your mama, Jane?"
Jane grinned, "With mommy. Mommy said I stay with grandma and you."
"Maya," I sniffled. "I want another baby."
Maya laughed and took my hand, "Forest, I would in a heartbeat but we have to wait until Ontari is old enough. We can't without the last piece of our soul."
"I know," I sighed, hugging Jane lightly.
Jane leaned against me, "Grandma, I think I found my soulmate. His name is John and he's a water dragon."
I pouted, "Do I know John the water dragon? Are you sure he's your soulmate?"
Jane giggled, "Yes, Grandma. There was a spark when we shook hands and our eyes changed colors like mama said it would."
"And is John your best friend?" Maya questioned, sipping her wine.
"Yep," Jane beamed.
Maya smirked, "Well, tell him that if he ever hurts you, he'll have the Fae King after him."
I rolled my eyes and pecked Jane's cheek, "Tell him what grandmom said. She means it."
Jane laughed, "He knows that you are the Fae King, grandma. John is very kind and honest like mama."
"Jane!" Ontari squealed, running over. "How are you, little cutie?"
"Ontari!" Jane called back with the same amount of enthusiasm. "I miss you."
Ontari hugged Jane and beamed up at us, "Can I take her to play hide & seek with the others? Pretty please?"
"Fine," I groaned. "Jane, have fun with your cousins and friends. Don't forget me."
"How could I forget one of the best grandmothers I ever have," Jane smiled as she took Ontari's hand. "I'll come back when I'm tired."
I huffed and leaned against Maya, watching Ontari and Jane leave. "So not fair."
"You could turn into a cat and join them," Maya suggested.
"But I'd rather be here with you," I chuckled, turning to peck her lips. "Hmm, that's a good rose."
"Ahem," someone coughed. "I don't mean to interrupt but I have something to say."
Maya nodded, "Go on, Lexa. What is it?"
Lexa stared at the ground and became flushed, "I'm running out of those pills you made me. I'd like some more, please."
I stifled my laugh against Maya's neck, earning a smack from the missus herself. "It's in one of your gift boxes, Lex. Don't worry, we got you something nice for Christmas, too."
Maya reached out and patted Lexa on the back, "What we gave you, you should open it alone. Trust us on that. Ok?"
"Okay," Lexa beamed. "And thank you for all the help."
/ - / - /
"They told you to open it alone?" Clarke frowned in confusion as they got ready for bed.
"Yea," Lexa confirmed as she stared at the Christmas gift box from Maya and Forest. "I consider this is alone as I'll get cause I never want to leave your side."
Clarke smiled, "I'm glad my parents and your guardians are fine with us sharing this room together. Being alone with you is magic."
Lexa giggled and pulled Clarke close for a kiss. "You are magic to me."
"Lexa," Clarke smirked. "Just open the box already."
"Way to ruin the moment, Clarke," Lexa huffed playfully before opening the box and froze.
Inside the box were sex toys and a note that read 'Use it wisely! XD P.S. Try the best of both worlds, Lexa. XOXOXO' Clarke glanced into the box and fell onto her side laughing.
"This isn't funny, Clarke." Lexa recovered and closed the box. "You know I'm struggling with this stupid body of mine."
Clarke slowly stopped laughing and reached out to her girlfriend, "Lex, I know. I don't exactly understand but I, also, struggle with accepting my own body too. Ever since I started 'developing nicely' people stare at me. I know Jasper does cause my boobs are huge but he doesn't do it to offend me. He knows you would and will kick his ass. Of course, there are my bad days dealing with my monthly periods. It's gross and you're kind of lucky you get to skip it for a few years."
Lexa laid down and moved closer to Clarke. "Do you want kids?"
"With you, always," Clarke smiled. "I don't care if we have to adopt or look for a donor. I want the experience of having kids with you because we belong together as wife and wife. I want to have a family with you, Lexa. No one else but you."
Lexa smiled back. "I guess I'll have to explore this stupid boy's body until my 18th birthday. Also, I'll probably have to um...make sperm donations."
Clarke pinned Lexa on her back and pecked her girlfriend's cheek, "Can we explore together?"
"Yea," Lexa confirmed. "I would like that but just... not today. Can you just hold me?"
"Always," Clarke grinned, settling back down. "To be honest, I'm not that ready either but I know I want to experience everything with you, even if some moments are bad, terrifying, or downright terrible."
Lexa whispered, "I want everything with you too. All of it. Plus we can be prepared for when we're ready."
Ontari didn't mean to, it just happened. She needed the restroom and walked in on Lexa trying to put on a condom. The two stood frozen for a bit before Ontari locked the door and closed it for Lexa.
"Thanks for ruining my image of you," Ontari shouted through the now-closed door.
"You couldn't have knocked first," Lexa retorted.
Ontari rolled her eyes. "Take any longer in there and I'll send Clarke up. Now I have to use the other restroom."
Lexa huffed, "At least you're in the right body."
"Sorry, Lex. If I knew a way to magic spells, I would," Ontari replied before leaving since her bladder was near exploding.
/ - / - /
"Mom, where's mama?" Raven questioned when they all gathered in the living room for a movie. "I feel like we haven't seen her since New Year's Eve."
Maya smiled sadly, "Mama's away on some Fae business. She'll be back before you know it."
Murphy frowned as he studied Maya's expression. He knew something was up and had a feeling that Maya didn't want them to worry.
Murphy cleared his throat, "We forgot to get drinks. Ri, mind helping me?"
Ontari shrugged and got up to help. She followed Murphy to the kitchen and started picking out the cold sodas from the refrigerator.
"Ri, when was the last time you spoke with Forest and Maya?" Murphy questioned.
Ontari paused to think. "Maybe New Year's Eve. I just remember them pecking my cheeks at the countdown. Why?"
Murphy pulled out his phone, checking the calendar. "I don't think Forest has been seen for an hour into New Year's Day. She's gone missing on Fae business. What if that's some bullshit excuse to hide the fact that something bad happened?"
"Maya wouldn't let that happen," Ontari replied, opening up a can of Cactus Cooler. "Besides, it's only been 15 days in the year. Forest will come back. She always does."
"Fine," Murphy grumbled. "But if I don't see her by the end of this month, I'm calling an intervention."
/ - / - /
"Why does looking for the most important potion ingredient always involve a reckless dangerous quest?" I groaned as I studied the paths on my nap. "Is this the updated one?"
"Yes," Ratu answered. "I made sure to get the best gear and everything for this quest."
Batara gave an unamused look. "Why do you even need this potion, Ratu?"
Ratu rolled her eyes. "It's an Elixer of Memories. It can reverse the effects of memory forgetting potions which I need to get answers from a very important prisoner. Don't you ever listen when I explain?"
"You two, shut up!" I growled. "We have to go left. I need a long soothing bath when this quest is over."
"But you still need to help make the Elixer," Ratu pointed out.
I sighed and started trudging through the Fae swamp water. I regret having obligations with the Fae community but it wants as if I could get out of them since I was dubbed the Fae King.
The Plague Doctor: https://www.squishable.com/squishables/squish_plague_doctor_15.html
It was the 1st of February and Murphy has had it. He knew Maya was sad that Forest wasn't around and was trying to hide it. However, he has caught her several times hugging one of many plushies Forest was gifted or bought. He assumed the favorite one was between the Plague Doctor and the Narwhal.
Murphy snuck into his parents' room with Ontari, who grew concerned after not seeing her future wife in a month. They tried to find something that would either lead them to Forest or give them a clue regarding her whereabouts.
"Anything over there?" Murphy questioned as he shifted through some paperwork at a desk in the corner of the room.
"Nothing," Ontari replied. "You?"
"Same." Murphy frowned and looked around.
They heard footsteps coming down the hallway, coming closer and hid in the closet. Maya entered the room and sighed as she put the Plague Doctor plush on the bed. She walked over to the desk and drew a symbol on the bottom drawer, opening it. She pulled out several items, placing it on top of the desk, and went back for the plush before sitting down.
"If I recall, this goes here. That goes over there," Maya mumbled as she rearranged the items on the desk.
Once everything was in place, a small portal opened up. It was the size of an oval wall mirror and it seemed to be ringing. It rang a few times before someone answered.
"Maya! It's so good to see your face," Forest beamed. "Is that my little Doctor?"
Maya smiled, "Yes and it's good to see your hideously swamp dirty face. You're not stepping a foot into this house without a proper hose down."
Forest laughed, "Yea, I need it. So how have you been?"
"I miss you constantly," Maya sighed. "Even with the kids gathering together each weekend. Murphy's worried about you too. He's getting suspicious and I think he's dragging Ontari into whatever he's planning."
"Well, we're almost done with the current quest," Forest chuckled. "We got to the final ingredient a few days after the full moon so we have to wait until the next one to harvest."
"Your siblings still bickering?" Maya smirked.
"Constantly," Forest groaned before smiling again. "I miss you and the kids."
"Forest! Giant spiders!" Either Ratu or Batara shouted.
"Gotta go, dear," Forest huffed. "Did it really have to be spiders? Love you and tell the kids I love them too."
The portal disappeared but they had caught a glimpse of Forest dodging a giant spider leg. Maya felt bad for her wife because Forest had a fear of them and would usually scream for her to take care of it. She sighed as she put the items away back into the bottom drawer of the desk and locked it with a spell.
The duo waited for Maya to leave before exiting the closet. Murphy tried to open the bottom desk drawer, following Maya's movement from earlier but it didn't work.
"Damn it," Murphy grumbled. "Mama's stuck in some swamp fighting giant spiders. She hates spiders."
Ontari rested her hand on his shoulder, "She has her siblings as a backup. She'll be okay, Murphy. Come on before we get caught snooping around in here."
/ - / - /
Raven was clearing the table after dinner. "Hey, mom. Is it alright if we host Valentine's weekend party?"
Maya hummed, "Of course, Ray, but won't Roan and Ontari be without partners?"
"But I have you," Ontari smirked, going as far as hugging Maya's arm.
"Niylah's visiting so I won't be alone," Roan informed. "Mom's sort of cool with it."
Maya sighed, "You have the house, Raven, but remember, Anya's in charge. As for Ontari, I suppose without Forest here to protest, I'll take you out on a date but only with Nia's permission."
Ontari squealed, "Seriously? Just you and me?"
"Ask Nia first," Maya laughed as she pulled away from Ontari. "Also, it's about time for you guys to head back."
"Aw," Octavia groaned. "Why can't they sleepover?"
"Because you all have school tomorrow," Maya pointed out. "And I have a meeting to prepare for."
"Maya!" Forest gushed tiredly when the portals connected. "Morning, my love."
Maya beamed at her wife. "Good morning to you too, Forest. Done with your quest?"
Forest chuckled. "Mostly. Ratu's having Batara help her with cleaning the ingredients, leaving me to relax for the next couple of days at our lovely home."
"Please tell me that you're going to hose yourself down before setting foot into the house," Maya laughed.
"I'm also going to have to burn the set of clothes I'm wearing plus some other stuff," Forest grinned as she turned on the hose faucet before dragging it away from the house.
Maya studied the background of the portal and realized exactly where Forest was. "So you'll still be there for Valentine's Day?"
Forest moved the hose away from her face. "Yeah. I'm not meeting back up with them until the 18th at that alchemy place. This freshwater feels so nice."
Maya hummed. "Take off your shirt."
"Oh, I see where you're going." Forest held the hose using her knees and peeled off her wet shirt. "Like what you see?"
"So much swamp grime!" Maya covered her face while giggling. "Make sure to scrub it all off."
"I promise I will." Forest bent over slightly so she could wash her hair. "Remind to never go to the swamp for more than a minute."
Maya smirked, "That'll be easy since I'm locking you inside the house when you come home to me. Never again will you venture into nature."
Forest smiled. "You know I would love that but we still have obligations to fulfill. However, you can have me for a whole month as your slave."
"You're already my slave." Maya moved her hands from her face and reached out towards the portal. "When you're good and clean, take a relaxing bubble bath in the healing herb oils. I'll be there as soon as possible. I just have to get through today and make sure the house is stocked up for the kids' party."
"Are they doing a couple-themed one for Valentine's Day?" Forest was now washing her neck and front area. "Murphy and Emori are hooking up, right? Also, I think Roan and Niylah are like a thing. Did Costia get together with Luna yet? Aw, our baby Ri will be without an SO."
"Yes, yes, no, and I wouldn't worry too much about Ontari right now," Maya answered as she brushed her hair out of her face. "Hopefully, Valentine's Day provides them a much-needed distraction from your absence."
Forest smirked as she moved towards washing below the waist. "Well, I could use you as a much-needed distraction from my obligations as Fae King. Will my Queen stay with me until the morning light on Monday?"
Maya nodded. "I will but right now, I need a cold shower and then to get to work. You, my love, are a terrible tease."
"No, you are," Forest retorted with glee. "I'll see you when you get here, Maya."
/ - / - /
"Ontari, calm down," Anya grumbled as they all got together for lunch.
"I can't help it," Ontari beamed. "I have a date with Maya today. Possibly all weekend long."
Lexa rolled her eyes, "A PG-14 date. You're still a minor."
Ontari huffed, "It doesn't matter. I get to spend time with Maya. But I wish Forest was there too."
"It can't be helped if she's on Fae business," Luna stated, poking at her salad with her fork. "Although, I do wish she was back. The meals are rather lacking as of late."
Emori chuckled, "I swear, it's as if we mostly need her around to feed us and maybe for some other stuff."
"She'd be hurt if she heard that," Lincoln pointed out. "Maybe we should convince Maya to throw a 'Welcome Home' party for Forest when she gets any news of Forest's whereabouts?"
"Sounds like a great idea," Roan chuckled, nudging him. "Maybe we'll get them to drink with us too? Last time was fun."
"Why are you trying to kill my wives with alcohol poisoning after a long business trip?" Ontari boiled at Roan's suggestion. "Forest will need rest and Maya needs her cat snuggles!"
"So head over heels for them," Costia giggled at Ontari's reaction. "That kind of love is what I aspire to have one day with my significant other."
Luna smirked at Costia as she took her hand, "And you will."
"Hey!" Emori huffed. "No being cute over there."
"Not my fault your boyfriend goes to another school," Luna teased. "Oh, wait, that applies to the rest of you guys, too."
Anya rolled her eyes, "It's not like we don't see them every weekend. Hell, we're seeing them later today."
/ - / - /
Maya had made them a snack to eat in the kitchen. Murphy ignored his food as he was in thought, trying to figure out how to locate Forest and bring her home. He broke out of his thoughts when Maya hugged him.
"You're thinking too much, kid," Maya teased before addressing all of them. "Mama is fine. She called this morning and she's recovering at our Fae house."
Raven beamed, "Will she come home after that?"
Maya sighed, "No, she still has a lot of Fae business to get through but I'll make sure she's here for your birthday, Raven, and for her own."
"But I, I mean we, want to see her now," Octavia pouted.
"I know," Maya smiled sadly, patting Octavia's head. "Ontari and I are going to see her tonight. If there's anything you want Mama to know, just write it down and I'll take it to her."
"Why is it just you and Ontari?" Murphy huffed, annoyed that they were being left out. "Can't we go too?"
"Mama would love for all of you to be there," Maya informed. "But the Fae house, the location of it, is protected and only three specific people are allowed there. That house was made for just Ontari, mama, and me. Anyone else trying to get there will get lost in a forest or die a horrible death. I would take you, truly, I would but the protective wards would kick all of you out."
Murphy sighed, "Can you at least convince her to see us? Even if it's just for a minute or so?"
Maya nodded, "Of course, Murphy. Now, mama would want all of you to have fun at your party. You all know the rules. Also, don't tell Ontari anything. I am going to surprise her about seeing Forest."