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189. Owen Grady 13 Part 2

~Kyra Grady sighed as she peered into the raptor pen from the safety cage. Delta had been sort of ill-tempered since her rehabilitation, which was still technically ongoing. It was a lot harder trying to work with a pack of only two raptors, which was perhaps why they’d brought in two new ones to replace Charlie and Echo.
The newer girls were smaller; Juliet was a soft brownish color, and India was the same sort of green as Delta. Blue had very quickly shown them who was boss.
In the six months since the Indominus incident, Kyra had been busy. She and Owen had been married only two months, a decision they had made after a month of working with the new raptors.
Their co-workers still had trouble trying to work out whether she should be called ‘Mrs Grady’ or ‘Doctor Grady’.
Whilst Owen was preoccupied with the younger raptors, Delta wandered over to the safety gate and chirped at Kyra.
“Hello, girl,” Kyra smiled, placing a tentative hand on Delta’s snout, entirely sure she wouldn’t be snapped at.
“How are you liking your new sisters?” she knew Delta didn’t understand her, but Kyra had found it comforting to talk to her favorite raptor. She felt it built trust.
She giggled when Delta conveniently huffed.
“I know they’re small and kinda annoying, but you’ll get used to them. They aren’t here to replace your other sisters, you know. They’re just… here to fill the holes in the pack.” Kyra explained.
Delta huffed again. Kyra reached into her pocket and pulled out the little zip-lock bag. With a furtive glance at Owen, she tossed the contents of the bag into the pen, giggling when Delta pulled away from her hand to devour the chopped meat.
“Kyra,” Owen had walked over, hands on his hips, “I saw that.”
“She’s my special girl,” Kyra shrugged, “I can’t help spoiling her. Besides, the new raptors unsettle her.”
Owen sighed. “Try not to make her fat, okay?”
Kyra smiled and watched her handsome husband return to work. Delta, however, refused to follow him. Kyra supposed that, given the new raptors needed more work, Delta was feeling out of place.
“How am I gonna tell him, girlie?” Kyra asked, pulling her dark hair back into a ponytail and securing it with a spare elastic from her wrist.
Delta made a weird clicking noise.
“Well, yeah, I mean, I hope he’ll be happy about it too, but we’re so under pressure at the moment… maybe he won’t be happy. I mean, we haven’t exactly been married for long.”
Delta snuffled, sensing Kyra’s discontent.
“I dunno. Maybe I’ll just… tell him.” Kyra scratched Delta’s scales absentmindedly.
Delta made a noise that could have been taken as agreement.
Soothed by her interaction with the raptor, Kyra was perfectly happy to surrender Delta back to Owen when he summoned her.
She’d given Owen an excuse about not coming into the pen that day; she wasn’t entirely sure that it was a good idea when she was nearly twelve weeks along.
God, I need to tell him, Kyra thought.
When Owen was done for the day, she buzzed open the safety gate to let him in.
“The new girls look like they’re progressing,” she commented.
“Yeah, slowly. I mean, they’re less aggressive which is good. I mean, they’re still aggressive, but… Blue and Delta were infinitely worse when they were that age.” Owen grinned, “They’ll be hitting the teenage phase soon. Trust me, that is going to suck.”
Kyra smiled. “Remember when they started teething?”
Owen chuckled ruefully, rubbing the small scars on his left hand.
“How could I forget that? I had to have twenty-nine stitches.”
“I think that’s the first time I’ve seen you more panicked about something than me.” Kyra said.
“Well, yeah, you weren’t the one with tiny little raptor bites.” Owen grinned.
“It’s good though,” Kyra said, “that they’ve been accepted by Blue and Delta. I mean… she’s still wary, but I think she’s wary of everything nowadays.”
Owen grimaced.
“I think it’s really great that Delta gets special attention from you,” he said as they got into the car.
“Really?”
“Yeah. She really needs it. She was always sort of a loner, even with the original squad. And I think, what happened to her, it’s been traumatic. She needs that close one-on-one bond with someone.” Owen explained, “and I’ve been busy with Juliet and India, so… I mean… I’m really glad you’re here.”
“You sound like you have a crush,” Kyra teased.
“We’re married, you dork.” Owen reminded her, “So of course I have a crush on you.”
Kyra laughed.
“Owen,” she said as they got out the car; their house really needed cleaning up a bit.
“Yeah?”
“I need to tell you something.”
“Oh god, you’re not sick are you?” Owen put his hand against her forehead, testing for a fever.
“No, sweetie, I’m not sick,” Kyra took his hand and kissed it, touched by his concern.
“Well, what is it?”
Kyra took a deep breath, then put his callused hand on her ever-so-slightly rounded stomach.
“You’re-?”
Kyra nodded, not daring to breathe.
His response was better than she could have possibly hoped; he didn’t say anything, he just picked her up, spun her in a circle, and kissed her soundly.
“How long?”
“Almost twelve weeks, the doctor thinks.”
“Wow… we’re having a baby… I’m gonna be a dad…”
“Oh, honey, you’re already a dad. You’re just gonna be a human dad, too.” Kyra smiled.
She let him carry her into the house, wondering to herself how she could possibly have been afraid of his reaction.
XXXXX
“Kyra Cassidy Grady, you are in no condition to be going out to the raptor paddock,” Owen scowled at his heavily pregnant wife, hands on his hips.
“Owen, Delta needs me.” Kyra pleaded, “She gets so sad if I don’t visit her every day, and I haven’t seen her in three days.”
“You’re almost at full term, Kyra. You could put not only yourself, but our baby at risk too.” Owen sounded more tired and concerned than angry.
“Owen, please. I promise I’ll be careful. I just need to see her… and… explain why I can’t come visit every day. I know it’s dumb, I just…” Kyra was pleading.
Owen sighed. He was unable to refuse Kyra much these days, given that she asked for so little. (Admittedly, he’d found it incredibly hard to source a jar of pickles a couple weeks back when she had been craving them).
“Okay, fine. But you don’t go in the pen.”
“Fine.” Kyra squared her shoulders, “At least I can go at all.”
XXXXX
India and Juliet were almost fully grown by now, and followed Blue like little subordinates. Owen had the three of them doing a simple ‘hide-and-seek’ exercise whilst Kyra had Delta muzzled for a check-up.
“Hey, girlie,” Kyra said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been to see you for a couple of days. Your sister’s going to be born real soon, see, so Owen’s being crazy protective. But I know you won’t hurt me.”
Delta was in a huff with her, Kyra could tell.
“Come on, girlie, you’re still important. I promise I’ll come see you every day again once the baby’s born and bigger.” Kyra stroked Delta’s muzzle.
The raptor made a low growling noise.
“Oh, come on,” Kyra frowned, “You know you’re my best girl.”
To her surprise, Delta stopped growling and allowed Kyra to pet her, even closing her eyes.
“You’ll be okay, pretty girl.”
She would have said more, but anything she would have said was cut off by the rather large inconvenience of her water breaking.
“Owen!” Kyra called in a panic.
He looked over at her, saw the look on her face, and took off running towards her.
XXXXX
The island’s hospital was small. Kyra almost thought it was cozy.
Owen was dozing in the chair beside her bed. She herself had expected to be exhausted, but she surprisingly wasn’t. It had been a relatively easy labor, she reflected, only five hours.
Five hours of hellish pain, but still. It was over now, and worth it.
“Hey… you should be sleeping.” Owen had woken up, evidently.
“I’m fine,” Kyra smiled, “though maybe someone should go check on the raptors. I think I spooked them.”
“Barry checked up on them, made sure Delta wasn’t too spooked. They’re all fine.”
“Thank god.” Kyra hesitated, “Owen… I was thinking… for a name-?”
“We’re not giving her one of their names, Kyra. Not for her first name. Middle names, sure, but I’m not giving our daughter the same name as a giant lizard.”
“You love those giant lizards.” Kyra teased.
“True, but still. Did you think of any other names?”
“I was thinking, maybe… Mila?”
“Mee-lah,” Owen tested it out, staring down at their sleeping daughter, “Mila Echo Grady…”
“Do you like it?” Kyra asked.
“I love it.”
XXXXX
FOUR YEARS LATER
“Again, daddy, again!” Mila squealed as Owen spun her in a circle.
“Not too much, or you’ll get dizzy.” Owen put the little girl onto his shoulders.
Kyra smiled at the two of them together, keeping a firm hold of their two-year-old son, Charlie.
“Can we go see the raptors?” Mila asked, her eyes lighting up. She’d been seeing them from the inside of the safety cage for almost a year, and she loved them, sometimes whispering little things to India through the bars. Kyra wondered whether her daughter had inherited her little quirk. Sometimes she thought so, and worried to Owen whether Mila would grow up to resent her for it.
“Don’t be so silly,” he had soothed her, “it’s a beautiful gift. She’s unique, just like you.”
Both Mila and Charlie resembled Owen more than Kyra in terms of physical looks – both had wavy, light brown hair, and the same green eyes that Kyra loved on their father.
“Be careful with your fingers, Mila. They aren’t like dogs. They might bite you,” Kyra warned.
“She knows by now, Kyra,” Owen smiled, setting Kyra down in the cage, “Here, I’ll take Charlie.”
He effortlessly swung their son into his arms, resting the little boy on his hip.
“Mommy, look! Delta likes me!” Mila dragged Kyra over to the bars with her little hand.
Delta and Blue were almost eight, Kyra mused. They were getting older, middle aged. Blue had been muzzled, and after Barry was done checking her over, Owen let Charlie touch her. The little boy squealed in delight.
“Delta’s happy, mommy,” Mila informed her.
“Really?”
“Yeah, she’s happy that we’ve come to see her.”
“I’m glad she’s happy.” Kyra smiled.
“Do you think I can go into the pen like daddy?”
“You’ll have to ask him.” Kyra said, giving Delta a final little pat before Mila dragged her over to Owen and Charlie.
Mila repeated her question to Owen, who smiled and ruffled her hair.
“When you’re bigger, kiddo, I’ll take you in there and show you how to train them.”
“Really?” Mila’s eyes grew wide.
“Of course.”
Owen put his free arm around Kyra as Barry released Blue back into the pen.
“Ready to go?”
“Yeah, I think so.” She smiled and nuzzled into him.
With Owen still holding their son, and Kyra holding their daughter’s hand, the family exited the raptor pen.
When the children were in the car, Kyra stood on her toes and kissed Owen.
“I love you,” she said when they broke apart.
“I love you too,” he replied, and then they climbed into the car and drove off, headed home, their children asleep in the back seat.
 

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