Three years later.

The healing cavern was filled with the Birthing Chant as Carpathians inside and outside the cave awaited the arrival of their new members. The healers were gathered around the couple on the soil. Belle gave one last push to bring her daughter into the world. Voices went silent as they waited anxiously. Suddenly a shrill cry filled the cavern as the infant announced herself. The umbilical cord was cut and she was placed next to her brother on a blanket.

As Francesca helped Belle expel the afterbirth and completed the healing, Gregori and Deborah picked the babies up and turned to the waiting assemblage.

"Welcome a son for all to cherish," said Gregori, holding the little boy up to the prince.

"Welcome a daughter for all to cherish," said Deborah, as she held the little girl up.

Mikhail laid a hand on each child's head and said, "A fine, healthy boy and a fine healthy girl. You are beautiful. Son. Daughter. Sister. Brother. You lives are linked to ours for all time. You are Carpathian. It is an honor and privilege to welcome you."

Gregori and Deborah held the children up high to cheers that echoed throughout the chamber. They turned and handed the children to their parents.

Ramius looked at his children with reverence.

"They are so beautiful, Belle. Sometimes I can hardly believe our lives have been so wonderful."

"I know. So much has happened in our lives. We deserve some joy, don't you think?"

Ramius' answer was to lean down and kiss her.

Belle and the babies were cleaned up and the babies dressed. Carpathians came individually to offer congratulations, Tiberius among them. He looked at the twins a long time, he gaze drawn the girl.

"You have done well," he said to both of them, "I see only an infant at this time, and that is as it should be. I will follow Cedric's example. If it becomes too difficult, I will go to ground again."

"I hope it will not be necessary, old friend," said Ramius, "I hope that you will be available to teach them as they grow. You have much knowledge to impart."

"As do you, Ramius. Very well, I shall do my best. I will teach them before they are of age, before the mating instinct is triggered. When it gets close I will distance myself from her to give her a little time."

"Thank you, Tiberius," Belle said. She was suddenly overcome by images that passed by almost too quickly to see. There were glimpses of vampires and of other creatures, very pale and fanged, but different from the vampires she knew. Belle saw a young woman and a young man fighting for their lives. They were helping a beautiful blonde woman and a tall, pale blonde man with bared fangs. She knew she was seeing her children as adults, but didn't know who the others were. The fanged blonde man was not Carpathian. Ramius caught the vision from her mind.

Mikhail, feeling Belle's distress, came over to them.

"What are you seeing, Belle?"

"Our children are going to be in great danger." She was crying as she spoke. "They are in a strange place and they are in danger." She looked up at Mikhail. "They are adults when this is happening."

"These things are likely for all our children to face," he said gently.

"No, this is something else. I have the feeling this is happening in another world. They won't have us to help them." Belle was sobbing now.

Gregori was at her side.

"We will teach them. We will give them the tools to protect themselves."

"I will teach them," Tiberius said.

"And I," said Gregori.

"And we will, also," came a voice behind the men. Ivory and Razvan approached the group with wolves ranging about them. Raja walked up to sniff the infants. He looked directly at Belle.

"We will help." Belle started and the eyes of the men went wide. She reached out to rub the fur on the alpha wolf's head and sent, "Thank you."

"Well then, we will begin the task of giving them knowledge immediately. Not just these two but all our children. We will teach them to use this knowledge as their skills develop," Mikhail said, "I believe your children will be the best educated and trained Carpathians our race has ever seen."

Belle looked around at them. She felt at peace knowing her children would be armed with the knowledge of the best of their ancients. She bowed her head at all of them. Glimpses of the future could be frightening, but there was no point in being afraid of what might happen. They would all raise and love these children and they would grow up ready for whatever faced them.


A/N: There. It's done. I hope you all enjoy it. Someday, I will learn to write longer, more detailed stories. Maybe. I do have another one planned, but I think I will write all of it and edit before posting anything, so it will be a while. Thank you, everyone who read my stories, whether you review or not. You all gave me so much encouragement.