"Put. Me. Down." Shae was not pleased to find herself in the arms of her former lover. "Now, Alucard!" she yelled when he didn't comply fast enough.
"As you wish, ma chérie," he replied, gently setting her down.
"Don't you 'ma chérie' me, you bastard!" She was livid. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" she asked angrily.
"I merely wished to keep you from injury when you fainted," he responded in a calming tone.
"I did not faint! It was just a..." she paused, thinking. "A momentary lapse in consciousness! And that's not what I was talking about. Why did you show up with my son who is now a...a—"
"Vampire," Devon supplied helpfully.
Shae ignored him. "I swear to God, Alucard if you're responsible for this, I will see you dead." Her eyes had gone as flat as her voice.
Now it was Alucard who was furious. "Do you really think me such a monster that I would wish this curse upon my own son?"
Shae failed to notice Adrian's quick intake of breath.
"Mom, he didn't do this to me," Devon interjected.
Alucard inclined his head before continuing, "You remember Carmen?" he asked Shae.
"That bitch of an ex?" she snorted. "How could I forget her?" Shae paused. "Wait. Are you saying she...?" Shae looked at Alucard questioningly.
"Yes. Her scent was all over him. She left him turned and nearly drained of blood on my doorstep."
"I'll kill her," Shae said in an eerily calm voice.
"That will not be necessary. I have personally seen to it that her presence will darken this earth no longer," Alucard assured her.
"Good," she smiled.
"Shae, this should not have happened."
"I know that."
Alucard sighed. "You do not understand. Devon is a full vampire. As a teenager, he should be the equivalent of a born vampire who has not yet come into his full powers."
Shae looked at him blankly.
"The thirst is upon him." He paused. "Shae, he requires blood."
"You must understand," Alucard pleaded a while later, "with his sire dead, unless he can be reined in by an older vampire, he will not be able to control his urge to feed."
"You want me to hand him over to you? To raise?" she asked incredulously.
"Please, Shae. Trust me."
Shae laughed bitterly. "Trust you? You have the nerve to ask me to trust you after everything you've done?!"
Alucard looked hurt. "Shae, you trusted me once. Loved me."
"Oh, I remember." And she did. She remembered how, in her youthful naiveté, she'd fallen head over heels in love for the man before her. Enough to believe he was human. Enough to laugh in Carmen's face when she told Shae the truth. Maybe even enough to accept him once she witnessed the truth for herself. But not enough to forgive him for choosing his duty to his fellow vampires over her and her unborn child. Never that.
She felt a slight tingling along her scalp. "Don't you dare invade my thoughts!" she yelled as she slapped Alucard across the face.
He didn't react. "I apologize."
Shae wasn't sure what exactly he was apologizing for. There was so much. She sighed, suddenly overcome by fatigue. "Devon, what do you think?" she asked, turning to her son.
"I trust Alucard. When I woke up, he took care of me and kept me from hurting anyone. I...I don't think I'm strong enough on my own," he said slowly.
"Adrian?" she asked the man who'd been unnaturally quiet throughout the preceding drama.
"I don't know anything about vampires, but if what Alucard says is true, then we won't be able to give Devon the help he needs."
Shae looked at Alucard. "This doesn't mean I forgive you. And if any harm comes to Devon while he's in your care..."
"I know, you will make my death long and most unpleasant," he said with a small smile.
"Devon, sweetie, come here." Shae had tears in her eyes as she hugged her son goodbye.
As the two vampires made their way to the door, Shae grabbed Alucard's arm. "Luc..."
"I know Devon's almost an adult," Shae continued, "but please look after him."
"I promise I will not fail you again, Shae," he said, cupping her cheek before disappearing in a blur.
Several weeks had passed since Devon moved out. Shae was doing surprisingly well. It helped that Clementine still needed her. Sometimes Shae worried about the girl; her habits were a bit strange to say the least. And then there was Adrian. He'd been her rock, letting her weep on his shoulder and talk to him when she needed to.
After one such episode, Shae had an epiphany. She realized she loved Adrian. Not just that, but she trusted him, had trusted him ever since she agreed to move in with him and allowed him to help raise her son. Never once had she doubted his motives or the truth of his words.
She turned to him, dropping to the floor.
"Adrian, marry me." The words she thought she'd never speak came unbidden to her lips.
Adrian's jaw dropped. "Are you sure?" he said, once he had recovered. "I mean, we've still only gone on one date," he teased.
"Hurry up and say yes before I change my mind," she laughed.
"Of course I'll marry you, Shae," he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
Their wedding was an affair to remember. Shae's bandmates all turned up as did many of Adrian's former clients.
Devon was also in attendance.
Ever since he'd become an adult, he'd gained much better control over his vampiric urges. So much so that he'd wed Lily and had already provided Shae and Adrian with their first grandchild, Emilie.
Adrian and Shae received many wedding gifts, but the best gifts of all were the new additions to their family.
Adrian and Shae were both surprised when her latest pregnancy resulted in triplets. Dawn, Eliana, and Leila were a handful, but Adrian finally got the big family he'd been longing for. And Shae, well, she got a man she could count on to be there through thick and thin.