Chapter Thirty: Family

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Drake snuggled his babies closer. He would never get to have the others ever, but he could have Ferris and Jelani. They would have to be enough. Drake had lived without his other five babies for ten years now. He might carry their memories and scents with him, but he would never get to see them again. Such was the life of a breeding bitch. They lost their family at the whim of those that bred them. All Zabraks had been abused by the system. They were just slaves, nothing more than slaves. And there was nothing Drake could do to get his other kittens back.

After all, you couldn't track down what had been lost thirteen years before. Drake sighed as he looked down at the little ones in his arms. Jelani looked up after a few minutes and latched on to one puffy nipple. He sighed softly and allowed the kitten to nurse. What kind of mother would reject their own kit? Drake had known one mother to do that. That one had been young, though. Too young to have kittens. He shouldn't have been bred, but he had been because he was really pretty. A beautiful dark gold with amber eyes...

He was enough to make a Jedi question his vows!

Not that Drake cared. He had a family that he needed to care for. The Zabrak sighed a little as he held the kittens. Ferris squirmed a little in his arms. The only other kitten he got to hold was Jelani. And that was only because he had his kitten when he was a free man. The others were gone. Forever. They would never come back, no matter how much he wanted them too. The breeder had taken that from him. They had ripped his newborn kittens from his arms, almost for the sheer sake of doing so.

Someone opened the door and a ruffled head poked through. Drake looked up. He was still feeding his youngest, so he wasn't expecting anyone to come and talk to him. It was welcome, though. His youngest took a lot out of him and made Drake curse the fact he had ever been pregnant. The toll of repeated pregnancies was steep. It had resulted in exhaustion from him at least once and a near miscarriage that would have cost Drake his life. After all, what was the use of a breeding bitch that couldn't breed?

Slick dropped beside him, holding his cane close. "Are you okay?" He asked after a minute. Drake was touched that the clone cared and purred softly. His kittens stirred in response and Slick smiled. "I trust that you're feeling better. Does Fives yell at you like he yells at us?"

Drake shook his head as he held the kitten close to him. "No," he said after a minute. "I think he only does that to you and Dogma." He paused, thinking. "He's really insecure."

"Yeah," Slick bitterly said. "I kinda noticed."

What could Drake say to that? It was the truth. Fives wasn't the nicest clone around. Now, he could be sweet and he loved cuddling Drake at night, but he was still a little distant. Drake liked cuddling just because he had a hard time getting warm with a kitten still pulling off of him. He really liked it if Melia or Echo joined, because he got sandwiched between two very warm people and he got a night off from his babies.

More than one person had told Drake that he shouldn't have gotten knocked up at all. Failing that, he should have been more careful. Oh, and it was his fault for having all those babies.

He growled softly as he looked down at the sleeping children in his lap. Slick curled up close to him and sighed, his blind eyes fluttering shut.  Drake let him. The clone needed his sleep. It wouldn't hurt him to allow the other man his rest. Drake leaned his head back and thought about his other babies. His oldest, Silas, would have been thirteen. He might have been used for a stud, sold, used as a bitch, or given to some person as their new exotic slave.

It wasn't fair, but what part of life was? All that mattered was that Drake had a family now. He had two of his kittens and he has a good place to rest his head at night. He could sleep and rest as needed. He could hold his arms around his little ones and best of all, he never had to get pregnant again if he didn't want too. He was free now. Drake didn't know how to put the feeling into words, but he loved it. He knew he loved it. Drake could cry, this felt so good.

Slick looked over after a few minutes, his blind eyes wide open again. He didn't cry out, didn't say anything, but he didn't seem to be all there. "Drake?"

"Yes?" Drake softly said. He looked down at the clone and saw that he was shivering.

"I'm cold," Slick whispered. He looked miserable, too, his eyes screwed shut and his body shaking.

"I'll keep you warm." Drake drew the clone closer to him and started to purr. Jelani squeaked as he moved around. After a few seconds, the newborn rooted around and found the nipple he was looking for. Like all Zabraks, Drake nursed his kittens lying down. They had free access for as much as they needed.

"You smell sweet," Slick mumbled. "Warm. Like I'm always gonna be safe now."

Drake flushed as much as his skin would allow. "And that would be because I'm a nursing mother," he explained.

"You smell good." With that, Slick turned and cuddled into him. It took maybe five minutes for the clone to go to sleep. Drake just held him. He didn't let himself dare to imagine much more. This would be the closest he would ever get to having a mate for his kittens.

It was tempting fate to ask for anymore.

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