Ismael rubbed his forehead. “That was not what I wanted to hear...”
‘Now is not the time for lies, old friend.’
Ismael only sighed and let his eyes glaze over. The struggle was so exhausting. Perhaps it would be best to just give up already. Perhaps this battle was an inevitable reckoning. No stopping it. Even surrender would achieve the same outcome. Inevitable. Inevitable... And his mind drifted back.
A man. The day of his wedding. He has found the perfect woman. She can be a bit impulsive and unpredictable at times, but he loves that about her. He can hardly believe Nere agreed to marry him. He wishes his parents could have met her. They were both killed just two years prior. Cousin Melchor did not take their deaths well. That poor man has grieved so much for this family, living through the extinguishment of two entire generations. The groom is glad that Cousin Melchor is able to smile on this day.
Bliss does not last long. Cousin Melchor has become a person others fear, a person that even some of his own family fear. Melchor is possessed of an abiding hatred, a need to find everyone responsible for hurting his family in years long past. Melchor leaves both the family and the Vanguard, allowing none to accompany him.
In the meantime, Marshrock knows peace as House Blackburn attempts to rebuild its damaged bloodline. There are many weddings in only a few short years. The family is growing. All except the man’s own.
He and Nere are seemingly unable to have children. Even after multiple work-ups and analysis, doctors tell them the problem is idiopathic. Unexplained infertility, is what they call it.
Years go by without any solutions. Current medicine is of little help. Adoption is not even worth considering. As the primary branch of the family, they require an heir by blood.
For a time, he and Nere are so distraught that they can barely look at one another. With therapy, however, their relationship manages a slow recovery. And just when it seems they are growing closer than ever before, a miracle occurs. Nere is pregnant.