Ninety-Five: Forgiven

The POV switches with each scene change.

Darkness. Then the Haas Cemetery opened up before her.

Zooming onto Jakub’s grave, the dirt was still fresh from his recent death and burial.

Do the dead undead rot? Kat wondered.

The mound of dirt shifted.

Jakub’s hand emerged; fingers curling, grasping for something that wasn’t there.

Back from the dead. Again.

Startled, she awakened.

Jesus. I hope that dream doesn’t come true. Our family’s been through enough shit.

Besides, the dude no longer has a head.

The full moon claimed yet another day.

Aubrey’s gut twisted and turned in turmoil over her husband’s recent horrible behavior.

Not that she was perfect, of course.

Soft noises came from behind. She knew whom it was by the alluring scent of his cologne.

Only made her feel worse. Sexual arousal mingled with anger wasn’t a pleasant mixture.

“I’m… sorry.” Vaclav held her from behind.

“Please forgive me. I only want what’s best for you, Aubrey. I know I need to show my love for you in a much better way.” Gently, he turned her around to face him.

Then he backed her to the wall and kissed her.

“I love you,” he said, withdrawing for a moment. “I do, I just don’t show it properly at times.” He kissed her again.

“I love you too.” Tears stung her eyes.

Vaclav continued ‘showing’ his love for her. Meanwhile, their new son kicked inside her womb for the first time.

Time passed. One by one, events started happening like leaves falling in the autumn breeze.

Those events were not small.

Hunter took Kat to a nice restaurant overlooking the incredible downtown cityscape.

“The color of your dress makes me crave blood even more.”

“That’s what the red stuff in your glass is for, you know.” She chuckled.

“I’d rather suck your blood,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.

“I don’t think so. We’re not stuck in Purgatory anymore, and I’m no longer 17.”

Hunter laughed; then he rose from the table.

What the heck? Shrugging, Kat followed and stood in front of him.

Passionately, they smooched.

“I love you, Kat. I want to be with you forever.”

She smiled. “Same here, White Fang.” White Fang. It was a pet name she hadn’t called him in a long time.

He got down on one knee.

“Hunter? What are you doing?” Kat nervously glanced around the room. Thankfully it was almost empty.

He pulled out the ring. A different one this time.

“I know I’ve already done this, but hey, it’s fun proposing.”

It’s also fun getting a new diamond ring.

Hunter slid it on her finger.

Kat swallowed back tears of joy. She’d never felt so happy.

Snapshots of memories played in her head…

First time she realized Hunter wasn’t a total stranger…

their first kiss…

first time making love…

and finding out about their twins.

This time, maybe an actual wedding would occur.

Kat had a good feeling about that. A very good feeling…

As it turned out, she had good reason for that feeling.

Kat and Hunter’s wedding ceremony was held mere weeks after his proposal.

A dizzying array of guests attended, but most importantly her family.

Kat began by placing the golden band on Hunter’s finger.

My God. I have waited for this moment since I was fifteen years old. Now it’s here, and I can’t believe it’s happening.

“I Katerina, take you Hunter, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”

She held back tears, though her chin quivered.

“I Hunter, take you Kat, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…”

“‘Till death do us part, or until I get my head lopped off. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.” The ring slipped on her finger, signifying their never-ending love.

“Remember all those times when you were younger, when I told you this would never happen?” he whispered. She nodded. “I fucking lied.”

Kat laughed.

Applause and cheering broke out as the newlyweds kissed.

Even her father beamed.

Lauren went into labor on a dreary-as-always Shadowvale eve.

Reznik drove Lauren to the city’s medical center.

Ahhh, ahhh, it hurts!”

“C’mon, baby, it’ll be over in a few seconds,” Reznik soothed.

“Push, push, push,” Dr. Endelson said. Lauren bore down, grunting with the effort.

Oh shit… get this thing outta me now! Felt like her body was being torn apart.

Lauren screamed one more time. Then a tiny infant wailed.

“It’s a girl.” Snip snip went the scissors as they cut the cord.

Relieved beyond words, Lauren slumped down onto the mattress.

“Oh, my God… I never wanna do that again.”

“That’s what the Trojans are for, baby.” Reznik snickered. She rolled her eyes.

Vaclav, Aubrey, Hunter and Kat occupied themselves in the waiting room.

Hunter had forced Ashton to watch the twins and Cody.

He pecked Kat on the cheek.

Vaclav brushed his lips on his wife’s neck.

Finally a nurse rushed through the door, informing them of the good news.

Everyone gathered around Lauren’s bedside and watched the newborn. Azura’s little fists twirled in the air as she made tiny, cute noises and kicked her legs beneath the blanket.

“How much does she weigh?” Hunter asked.

“Seven pounds, ten ounces,” Rez replied. He leaned over and kissed Azura’s head.

“She looks like the Haases,” Aubrey remarked. Kat nodded.

“Yeah.” Reznik chuckled, looking prideful. Vaclav also looked proud.

“I want another one,” Kat joked.

Reznik picked up his daughter. “Hey there, Azura. I’m sure glad to meet you, and glad your mama let me name your Azura.” Her hands reached for his face.

After a while, he glanced at Aubrey.

“Here mom. I know you want to hold her.” He handed her over. “This will be good practice for you, since you’re having one in two more months.”

She grinned, then her smile deepened once she held the newborn.

“Aww, what a darling.” She went over and sat in one of the chairs.

Vaclav gazed at Aubrey. It was difficult to read his expression.

His gaze shifted.

Wait. I know that look. It’s worry.

Two major emotions collided inside her. Fear and joy.

Joy because of Azura, because of everything. Fear because… of what the future held.

Maybe Vaclav was right to be worried. Maybe she was right as well.


birth poses: