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Darkness surrounded us as I led Corvin to the mouth of my river, the widest bit a cool pool of inky blackness at the base of a waterfall. If there were a sun on Tartarus, I’d imagine these waters would be indigo or a deep royal blue, but with the twin moons in the sky, that was not the case.


“Can I open my eyes now? I want to see this place,” Corvin grumbled, his blindfold slipping just past his nose as he tried to peek around the fabric.



“Considering you’ve been peeking this whole time, I guess so.”


Grinning, he yanked the blindfold the rest of the way off before reaching for my hand and pulling me into his side. Cerulean ferns dotted the pond’s edge, coupled with magenta lotus blooms and bright green nightshade. As much darkness as there was here, there was also so much color, too. The pool was hidden behind towering pomegranate and persimmon trees, creating a screen of privacy I’d always adored.


“This was always my favorite spot on Tartarus—my oasis. No one has ever come with me here—not even Caius—not in five thousand years.”


It was the perfect place to tell him the news. Maybe it would soften the blow somehow.


Steel-blue eyes met mine, the flare of gold in them making my heart race. Corvin relished every new thing he learned about me. Cherished them like little jewels he would keep in his pocket. He swore to me once that he thought it would take centuries to really get to know me, and he proved time and time again that he was up for the challenge.


“You honor me with this, Storm Cloud.” He took in his surroundings, the awe on his face easing my trepidation a bit.


“Yeah, well, don’t say I never gave you anything.”


His grip on my hand got tighter for a second before he dropped it, snatching me off my feet as he swung me around. I laughed at first, but then I got dizzy—the motion a bit too much, too fast. I clung to him, waiting for the spinning to pass, praying he didn’t ask too many questions. I wasn’t quite ready to spill all the beans just yet. Though, if he spun me anymore, he’d figure it out.


Those eyes flared again as he set me on my feet, only this time they blazed with his gargoyle. His mouth opened, ready to shatter the crumb of peace I’d shored up for precisely this moment.


As they said on Earth, “the jig was up.”


I had to distract him somehow, so I did the only thing I could… I yanked off my shirt. Instantly, his attention diverted to the swell of my breasts, which were much larger now that I was…


I was…


“If you’re trying to make me lose my train of thought, you’re doing a hell of a job, Storm Cloud.”


Very good. But he’d need a little more if I wanted to really derail his train.


One bend later, and my skirt was off, the see-through lace of my underwear practically frying his brain. His shirt was gone in an instant, his jeans a memory.


“I swear, every time I look at you, it’s like the first time. How did I get so lucky, huh?”


And just like the day we first met, when he took a step toward me, I backed away, luring him to the water as I unclasped my bra and shucked my underwear.


I’d barely gotten the lace past my toes before Corvin was in my space, his fiery touch on my hips.


“It won’t work, though. I know something’s up with you. You brought me all the way to your favorite spot in the universe to tell me, and even with your perfect body in my arms, I won’t forget.”


He was right—I had brought him all the way here to tell him the news, but I was chickening out. It was so big, so…


He dipped his nose to my neck, taking in the scent just behind my ear. After five thousand years, I sort of thought this particular problem wouldn’t happen to me. With all the lightning, I figured it couldn’t happen, and yet…


“I’m pregnant,” I breathed, the words barely above a whisper. There was no way I could have said them any louder. I barely wanted to say them at all. It wasn’t until I broke down and talked to Broca, of all people, that I actually believed it was true.


Pulling back, those fiery eyes danced, his grin so wide I thought it would split his face. What was not there was surprise. “I know.”


Blinking, I shoved his shoulder, thunder cracking in the distance. “What do you mean, you know? I just found out three days ago. How the hell can you know?”


This was the one thread I couldn’t see, and it was driving me up the wall. If I could see what was to be in this instance, I’d be a hell of a lot more comfortable with the idea. Instead, I was a mess of worry, tears—yes, actual tears—and a tilt-a-whirl of vomit.


It was what Penny called “made of ass.”


“I know you thought you were pulling the wool over my eyes, Storm Cloud, but your boobs have doubled in size, your scent changed dramatically, you’re puking before and after every meal, and you started rubbing your tummy every time you’re worried… Kind of like right now.”


I looked down, and the fucker was right. Both hands were on my tummy.




“Plus, Penny started the week-long brew of her anti-nausea potion, stinking up my whole kitchen. The only time she does that, it means we have a pregnant pack member.”


And here I thought I was being so slick.


“Are you mad?” That was what I was most nervous about. We hadn’t been mated for very long—only a couple of years. He might not want children this soon. He might not want children at all. We’d never discussed it.


Why had we never talked about it?


What if he didn’t want—


“Mad?” he murmured, pulling me closer, lifting me off my feet as he strode into the water, the cool pond easing some of my fears. “Why would I be mad?”


Not being able to see this thread was doing my head in. It made me unsure of everything. I’d never been less confident in my life, but I was also afraid to hope. These last few years had been the best I’d ever experienced—growing the pack, spending time with Corvin, helping Caius.


What if it all came crashing down?


What if I messed it all up?


What if I was a bad mom? I’d had a good one, but that was so long ago…


“We never talked about kids. I know you’re good with the pack children, but—”


“I love kids,” he said, cutting me off. “I want as many as you want to give me—be it only one or twenty of them. I want everything with you. Don’t you know that by now?”


I did know that. I just needed him to tell me one more time. Or a hundred more times.


“Well, it won’t be just one,” I said, the biggest sticking point of them all. I’d nearly fried Broca to a crisp when she’d told me.


Surprise finally lit his eyes then.


Yeah, welcome to the party.


“Twins?” he breathed, a level of reverence in his voice that made my heart squeeze.


His warm hands found my belly, the water no match for the heat of them. They pressed into my skin as if he were worshiping me, and damn if it didn’t thaw the rest of the ice around my heart.


He kept doing that—finding new ways to make me love him a little more. I didn’t think my heart could take it.


“Girls, Broca thinks, but she wouldn’t tell me anything else. Do you think Caius would be too mad if I hit her with just a little lightning? Not too much. Wouldn’t want to kill her or anything.”


Okay, so I wanted to kill her a little bit, but I wouldn’t.




“Twin girls,” he murmured, and it was as if I’d just given him the world. “They’ll have your eyes and your smile, I bet. Twin handfuls of awesome with a whole pack at their backs. My little princesses.”


His gaze focused on me, the awe in his expression going to my head. “My queen, my goddess.”


He cupped my face, his lips searing my soul. His joy, which I’d been refusing to feel, flooded through the bond, telling me everything I needed to know.


He was ecstatic, he loved me, he had no fear of the future, and he would likely be the most overprotective mate in the history of mates.


And as he pulled me further into the water, I realized I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Want more in the Immortal Vices & Virtues World?


Did you love Legion in Shadow Me? He will have his own story in Hunt Me coming April 15, 2024! This fated mates, M/F story will appear in season 3 of the IV&V world!

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