Nico wakes up around midday, still a little groggy but awake enough to realize Coral’s acting stranger than usual. At this time of day she’s usually in her studio drawing, instead she’s got a very serious look on her face while reading a book he hasn’t seen before.
She puts the book down as he takes a seat next to her, careful to keep him from reading the cover: What to expect when you’re expecting.
“Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s just great.” She smiles, cuddling under his arm, resting a hand on his leg. “Just uh... Gem called me mom this morning. Sort of caught me off guard. Got me thinking.”
“That’s great!” He says, face lighting up. “I’m so glad he thinks of you as his mom. You’re the best thing that ever happened to us, and maybe one day we can give him some siblings. You know, waaaay in the future. I don’t want to share you with anyone else for a long time.”
She smiles at him, confident now that he’ll react well. “Baby, you’re going to have to learn to share me. I’m pregnant.”
He pulls away from her suddenly, looking at her strangely. “You’re... pregnant?”
Coral feels her heart breaking. “I am. Is that... okay?” She doesn’t know what else to say. Hadn’t he wanted another child?
“I guess, but I mean... are you sure? We’re not ready for a baby, Coral. I work all night, Gem’s at a very needy age, and Jade’s constantly doing those crazy experiments in the back yard. What if she blows up the house or something?”
He ignores her, going on and on. “And what if someone lets it slip that we’re related? Can we really put our kid through that kind of ridicule? I mean, you never go out and my coworkers only talk to me cause I’m their boss. We have no friends here, no one’s going to stick up for our kid at school or anything!”
Coral can’t help it. She’s feeling closed in, helpless, and honestly heartbroken. She hasn’t felt like this since Pearl took them aside and tried to convince them their relationship was a bad idea.
Just like then, Coral stands up silently, ignoring Nico’s attempts to get her to sit back down. She just needs to walk away. She can’t even look at him right now.
She doesn’t need him. Nico’s just a moron, and she and her baby will be just fine wether he wants to be a part of their life or not. And right now, Coral doesn’t care what he picks. She can handle this.
Jade invites Markus over. For the first time she let herself project outside of her home lot. She got as far as the river before her necklace tickled her body, reminding her she had one and bringing her back in.
He smiles, embracing her lovingly. “I’m so glad it works. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you, Jade.”
She smiles, melting in his arms from the way he looks at her. “And I don’t know what I’d have done without you. You’ve helped me so much.”
She asks him to escort her to her room.
They’ve woo-hoo’d a few times, almost everywhere and even at his own house after his party. But this is the first time she's let him into her bed. It almost worried him that she always says she loves him, but she won't ever let him meet her family.
In the days since Coral told Nico about her pregnancy, they haven’t even spoken. He tries to apologize, just like he did when word got out he was screwing Danika, but Coral was done. Her art was picking up, she could survive on her own and raise her child. Didn’t matter if her baby was a vampire, not in this town. She’d leave just as soon as she found a new place to leave.
It wasn’t rare for Coral to fall asleep in the rocking chair anymore. She slept here so she wouldn’t wake up with Nico’s vice like grip holding her tight against him.
What was rare was for her to wake up before morning. A quick look at her watch showed her it was about 1 in the morning, and she couldn’t quite figure out what had woken her. Nico should still be at work, Jade and Gem were likely asleep, it wasn’t a full moon and she doesn’t feel any labour pains.
Still slightly groggy, she leaves the nursery and heads towards the living room. She can’t see anyone, but that doesn’t mean no one’s here. “Hello?”
He appears almost out of thin air just as she’s turning to go back to bed. She should have known it was him, should have known jail could’t hold him.
He seems almost bored as he looks her up and down. Without meaning to, Coral wraps her arms around her belly protectively. He just sighs. “Really, child? What protection are your thin little arms going to be from me?”
She tries to run but his eyes glow, locking her in place as he takes control.
He’d tried this same trick on her when she’d been a teenager, and she’s managed to resist it. But this time its successful. She can’t lock him out of her mind, and the distress flees her as his will takes over.
“Master?” She asks, confused.
Jeffery’s smile widens, confident he’s finally won. “Yes, child. I am your master. Now answer my question, where can I find my dear grandson? I think I have a score to settle with him before moving on to my daughter and her husband.”
“He’ll be home soon.” Coral promises, before smiling and looking down at her belly. “Oh! The baby is kicking, master! Feel.”
He does, placing a hand delicately on her belly. “Is this child my grandsons?”
“It is. His other child is sleeping upstairs. We named him Gem, he’s such a sweet child.”
“So many children already?” Jeffery almost sounds surprised. “Ah well, just gives me more to hurt him with.”
“And I think I’ll start with taking you and your child.” He lunges for her, pulled her against him by the shoulder, and digging his teeth into her violently. She gasps in surprise, unable and unwilling to stop him. Neither even notice Jade returning from her work studio.
Jade grabs him roughly by the shoulder and he lets Coral go, pushing her out of the way as he studies Jade carefully, finally recognizing her. “Funny, I thought I’d killed you.”
“You tried.” She admits. “Now its my turn.”
The glass bottle in her hand shatters as it hits the ground, a strange purple vapour rising into the air between them. Jeffery stares at it strangely before looking through it at Jade. “Is that it?”
She doesn’t say anything, but a moment later he gets an answer anyway. As soon as the vapour disappears his skin begins to prickle, and then burn as if he were out in the sun. A second later he’s in agony as his lungs burn him from the inside out as the vapour he breathed in turns into sunlight.
“Sun in a bottle.” Jade explains. “Perfected it just this morning. Wonderful timing, Mister Dracule.”
He turns into ash right in front of both girls, his body burning from the inside out.
As soon as he’s dead Coral seems to pop, looking every which way in confusion as her mind tries to make sense of what just happened. She remembers everything, not being able to fight Jeffery’s hypnotism, and her telling him everything, even where Gem was sleeping. She feels sick, suddenly terrified and guilty. What if Jade hadn’t been there? He’d bitten her! He could have sucked her dry! Her head starts hurting, the room spinning as she tries to walk forwards. “Jade... I don’t feel so good...”
Jade tries to grab her but its too late, and Coral falls to the ground in a heap, just as a car pulls into the driveway.
When Nico gets through the door, Jade’s on the phone with 911, giving them their address for an ambulance.
He falls to his knees next to Coral, brushing the hair away from her face as she turns towards him, only half conscious. “Nico?”
“I’m here, love.” He says, eyeing the pair of bloody pin pricks on her neck and the pile of ashes nearby. “What happened? What’s going on? Are you alright?”
She doesn’t answer his questions, instead lifting her hand slightly to touch her belly. “I can’t feel anything.”
His hand flies to her belly, and although its faint he can feel the tiny heart beat. “She’s alright, don’t you worry.”
Coral smiles and closes her eyes, leaning back down on the floor. “Good.”
He feels her heart slowing, her body giving up as he tries to shake her awake again. He doesn’t even realize he’s crying until he feels their baby kick under his hand. “Don’t do this to me, love. You can’t leave us... please.”
I cried a little at the end there. Won't lie.