Over the next few days the family of two fell into a comfortable routine. With Galen making the meals and tending to the little garden out back. Luca would occasionally help in the garden to learn about the plants but the majority of his time was spent diligently learning his letters.
On one such evening, Luca was lying on the floor of the main living room scribbling away on the bark. Galen was preparing dinner occasionally glancing at his son with a smile. The sun was a dazzling display of orange and red, as it sunk below the horizon and the moss lights started to glow as the natural light dimmed.
With a loud bang the front door was violently flung open, a gaping whole appearing in an instant as the leaf shot into the gap in the wall. An imposing beastman loomed in the door frame, reeking of blood. An old scar ran from the outside, corner of his right eye, to his chin. Grey peppered his otherwise sleek, short, jet black hair.
The terrifying man’s piercing greens eyes nailed Luca to the floor, his stone-cold face not even twitching an eyebrow as he slowly stalked towards him. Like a dear in headlights Luca couldn’t budge a finger, pierced to the floor by the predatory, green cat slit eye's that were unwaveringly, fixed on him.
Suddenly Luca was broken free from the grasp of those eyes as a wave of water hit the man from the side.
Hands on hips with a leaf bucket still in one hand, glaring daggers at the panther beastman, Galen raged “How many times do I have to tell you to wash at the bath house after a hunt Donovan! Don’t come home reeking of blood, look you’re scarring Luca!”
The stone-faced panther beastman was still exuding an imposing aura even dripping with water and he hadn’t stopped staring at Luca for a moment. However, this time Luca noticed the tail and ears drooping slightly.
“Go wash up dinners almost ready, don’t come out till you’re completely clean,” a finger pointing straight to the bathroom Galen clearly wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Ever so reluctant, Donovan took one last look at his beautiful baby angel. The little miracle who was adorably scribbling on the floor. Donovan, expressionless, turned away to follow his mates’ advice and prowled off to the bathroom.
. . . . .
Looking at the table fall of food, and the two bean bag chairs, occupied by his parents Luca fell into a dilemma.
“Where do I sit?” Luca clutched his pants while glancing between his parents.
Galen’s eyes twinkled “why don’t you some sit with me, or you could sit with your father,” Luca quickly picked what felt like the safer option and climbed up to sit with Galen.
There was just enough room on the squishy seat for him to squeeze in beside his dad. Just as he settled in place, he noticed Donovan frozen with his arms slightly stretched out towards him. His father lowered his arms down again as his ears slightly wilted, his scarred face expressionless as an iceberg.
Unlike Galen who seemed to be vegetarian, or maybe the word is herbivorous, Donovan's piles of dried meat displayed his carnivorous nature. Although Galen insisted that both the cat people eat a few greens as well.
“I take it, seeing as your so intent on devouring Luca’s favourite jerky, that the hunt went well?” clearly Galen was still a little resentful over his mate’s earlier behaviour.
Donovan paused and stared at the half-eaten meat strip in his hands and the severely diminished meat pile in the middle of the table, then turned to look at his son who was only on his third piece, only his ears hinting at his regret.
“It went well,” struggling to improve his undoubtedly, bad image in his son’s heart, he spoke more than his characteristic few words. “Got a couple large dire deer, Boris is going to cure the meat. We’ll have it by next week. Sold the essence to the association, can buy more jerky,” Donovan's ears perked expectantly towards his son as if asking for praise.
Luca’s mouth twitched as he repressed a smile, this new father of his was surprisingly cute. Once you got past the stone-cold face anyway. Little did Donovan know that Luca wasn’t your ordinary hatchling, he certainly wasn’t going to begrudge his father a few pieces of meat.
“We could do with a new rug.” Galen muttered “Do you think Boris will want both the hides? We can always give him a larger share of the meat.”
“Should be fine, I’ll tell him tomorrow,” Donovan nodded then finished off the meat in his hand.
“What's essence?” Luca glanced curiously up at his dad.
“There are some beasts that have developed abilities, similar to how some beastmen develop abilities. Only beast don't have the intelligence to control it so the essence of the ability is focused in certain parts of the body. With Dire deer it's usually the antlers,” Galen snuggled his little, curious kitten into his arms as he explained.
"Is this made from essence," Luca touched the pouch that was still hanging round his neck.
"No, that's made from crystals. The parts of animals that have it's focused essence are already fixed to a certain element so it can't be realigned."
“Right, how long do I have to keep wearing this?” Luca looked down at the pouch.
“It should be fine by now. We’ll check it tomorrow morning if it’s ready we can place it in the Lotus-port. Alright go clean your teeth it’s time for bed.” Galen gave Luca a little push towards the bathroom.
Donovan immediately got up to follow. “He doesn’t need any help Don, help me tidy up.” With Luca out of the way Galen grabbed Donovan for a little chat. He folded his arms and looked Donovan straight in the eye. “You saw how scared of you Luca was tonight right?” Letting that sentence sink in Galen continued “If you don’t want him to remain scared forever, you had better learn to wash up properly before coming home.” Galen was quite skilled at reading Donovan's non expressions so he knew he’d hit home with that remark.
Of course, he also knew that Luca had really only been scared because the blood had prevented his anima from catching the scent of his parent. But knowing how much their child meant to Donovan, he wasn’t about to let go of this Methorma given opportunity to finally house train his mate a little.
Donovan nodded determinedly, he definitely didn’t want the little angel to be afraid of him.
Luca finished up in the bathroom just as Galen finished hoodwinking his mate. Soon he encountered his second conundrum for the night. One bed for three people was going to be a tight squeeze.
“I don’t think we’ll all fit,” Luca glanced between the bed and his parents.
“We’ll fit,” Donovan nodded firmly, Galen turned away using pulling down the covers as an excuse to hide his smile.
Despite his protests Luca was promptly bundled in between his parents. Cosy would be the nicest way to describe it as they all squeezed into one bed. Lucas anima was certainly comfortable surrounded by the scent of his parents. Luca squirmed with embarrassment but his anima instinctively relaxed surround by a cloud of comfort. His eyelid's quickly became heavy, and his emotional discomfort, was smothered by the calming scent of his parents. It’s not that bad, I didn’t really have this before…hugging hurt, so they stopped…was mostly, just tight smiles…it’s nice, feels warm…safe. Luca barely finished the thought before he drifted off to sleep.
Softly smiling at his sleeping son Galen whispered, “we really should buy him a separate bed, it’s not like you can’t spend time with him in other ways.”
Donovan expressionlessly glanced at his mate, just a slight set to his jaw displaying his stubbornness.
Suppressing a smile Galen thought that between his mate and his baby he might end up laughing himself to death, not a bad way to go. Galen carefully reached over his sleeping son and trailed his finger from Donovan's ear to his lips, lightly resting his finger on Donovan's bottom lip. He arched an eyebrow, huskiness deepening his voice. “Your saying you don’t want to spend any alone time with me?”
Donovan froze, his eyes flickered, indecisively between his mate and the angel. Then, with one last look at his son, he lightly grabbed the taunting finger between his teeth and licked it from the base to the tip holding Galen’s black eyes with his emerald ones.
Galen smiled seductively my mates so easy to handle. Retrieving his finger, his smile became brighter. “The Church's evaluation will be in a couple months, you’ll be here for it right?” There was a sharpness to Galen’s voice that wasn’t softened by his smile at all.
Donovan quickly leaned over to capture those smiling lips with his own. “Of course.”
“Don’t wake Luca,” Galen thinned his lips but there was a slight upwards tilt to the corners.
Donovan glanced down at his still, sound asleep angel and nodded.
Both parents lay on there side their adorable cub nestled in-between them. The whole family finally went to sleep.