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My mother passed that day, the same time that the vampire king died.

While I had been saying the scared vows to the goddess, Devlin had been ripping the lifeless heart from his father's cold chest. The vampire king had no mercy for his son or the witch who he had chosen for his mate. A ruthless king. As the old vampire inhaled his last breath on earth, Devlin became the new king. This wasn't a fate either of us had wished for, but both of us found ourselves in positions of power and influence.

It was what we were going to do with it that mattered from here on out.

My father wept for the loss of his wife, and I knew in my heart, that his days were numbered. Mates often followed their loved one to the other side shortly after. The anguish was too much. I watched my father age decades in the first week.

I only hoped that he might live long enough to meet his grandchild.

Somehow Devlin and I were going to bring peace and tranquility between the vampires and the witches. For us. For our people. And...

For our unborn child I was positive grew inside me.

I lay a protective hand over my belly and felt a surge of love and watchfulness for our child. She would not grow up in the world as I had, sheltered, fearful, and restrained.

How could she?

Her father was the king of vampires and her mother the high priestess of witches. This little blessing was going to change our future.

Not long after I'd been crowned high priestess, I sensed the life that was growing inside of me. The heart of Devlin's baby beat alongside mine. Our blood, love, and magick had created more than just a bond between us. It had created a life.

Already, I treasured this teeny baby.

With all the commotion, I hadn't had a chance to tell Devlin. I was waiting for the right time, but who knew when it would ever be the right time to tell a vampire he was going to be the father of a half witch, half vamp tike.

But luckily, for now we weren't alone in this crusade, my coven, my father, and those loyal to Devlin stood tall and proud by our side. I believed my mother died knowing Devlin's fate and mine—including our daughter's. Her insight into of things yet to pass had been her gift.

Devlin came back to me an inch short of leaving this world. A spell punched with fierce love and he was as good as new, but his appetite for blood wasn't something my magick could cure. There were parts of one another that we both had to live with—and our baby... The struggles of both vampire and witch, or as I prayed, one would counter the other.

I stood on the balcony, my cheek pressed to the column as I overlooked the lush grounds. A white mist covered the dewy grass, and for a moment, I was content in the solitude of night.

Soft as clouds, gentle as the rain falling through the pearly moonlight, Devlin laid his lips on mine. "If I didn't know better, I would think that you cast a love spell on me the night we met," he murmured.

"Hmm, and if I did?" I teased, loving how the glow from the moon shadowed his face.

He gave me a sly grin. "I would say thank you."

I grinned back, giving him one last quick kiss. "I knew you were smart."

Leaning on the balcony railing, I stared out over Caledonia. It looked more beautiful to me, even though there were still plenty of witches who weren't gung-ho about playing nice with vampires. But I had known that this would hardly easy task. There was a flicker hoped inside me, that by the time our baby was born, there wouldn't be as much hostility and resistance to our future.

"Do you really think we can change the fate of our kind?" I asked, feeling Devlin wrap his arms around.

He rested his chin on my shoulder and whispered in my ear, "I know we can." Placing a hand possessively over my flat belly, I believed him.

I believed in us.

His fingers spread. "When do you plan on telling me?"

The beginnings a grin curled at my lips, and I intertwined my hand with his. "Um. Tell you what?" I feigned ignorance, knowing damn well that my secret was out of the bag.

Damn bond.

"Aurora." There was a touch of exasperation in his voice.

I tilted my head so I could see his amber eyes, loving the way they shone in darkness. Teasing him was just too much fun. "It's obvious you already know."

"But I want the satisfaction of hearing the words from your lips," he said.

A dozen butterflies had taken up flight in my chest. I couldn't believe I was nervous. Resting my cheek against his stubbly one, I said, "You, Devlin Cromwell, are going to be a dad."

The grin that split across his face was enormous. "Marry me, Aurora."


Look for the first chapter of my new book WHITE RAVEN to be released on Wattpad soon. I'm thinking Valentine's!!!

J.L. Weil♥

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