Savage Love, page 25
Dylan felt as if he were plummeting from the top of Angel's Falls, hitting icy water, knew the sensation of being knocked inside-out by the impact, sinking into inky blackness and then he emotionally shut down to avoid storming out to find Liz and stab her to death. Clenching his fists at his sides Dylan struggled with common sense, felt his father's hand on his shoulder trying to keep him on the right path. Rising to his feet, Dylan could hear his own voice seeming to come from far away, “Once Carolina told me you're a fixer, but I believe you're more of an assassin. Now that we're bound will you tell me which is the truth?”
Getting to his feet Patrick faced Dylan stating candidly, “I'm a galactic journeyman specializing in demolition and negotiation to ensure universal security. I've solved more situations through annihilation rather than reasoning, compromise and bargaining.”
Dylan inclined his head respectfully, “Well once Liz is in New York, do whatever you feel necessary to guarantee the welfare of Carolina and the kids.”
Not trusting Dylan's facade of calm, feeling the intensely violent, pulsating energy radiating from his rival turned sibling and friend, Patrick stepped back, looking toward their sweet colleens then again to his little brother and simply indicated, “Understood.”
More than twenty-four hours with no rest and with the room in complete darkness, Dylan still couldn’t sleep. Instead he lay rigidly on his back in bed beside Carolina, craving her, but afraid to act on his desires. He looked through the blackness as if he could see beyond the wall into the adjacent sitting room she'd arranged into a nursery, hoping to discover the truth of his babies' existence so he could feel whole again. It saddened him that although Carolina had made no secret of her yearning for him since they'd arrived home he dared not touch her as a lover for fear that their babes would stir and begin wailing uncontrollably.
In sleep, she turned to him, draping her arm across his mid-section, snuggling closer, murmuring sweet words. He eased away trying not to wake her, and within seconds, she’d closed the distance between them, draping a bare thigh over the sensitive region of his pajamas. Rolling away from her, resting upon his side, he closed his eyes allowing visions of the babies to fill his mind and freeze his ardor. Eyelids growing heavy, breaths deepening, the rise and fall of his chest a self-hypnotic, he was drifting off to sleep when in his mind he heard Carolina's heart wrenching wails. Coming fully awake he turned and wrapped her in the security of his arms as she wept silently, whispering against her ear, “Honey don't fret. I'm right here. Go back to sleep.”
“You're afraid of me and the babies,” she whimpered.
He gave her a comforting squeeze, “That's not so.”
She swiped at her wet cheeks, “You won't touch or hold them or me.”
Dylan pressed his lips to her hair, caressed her upper arm, “I am touching and holding you now, but earlier I was tired and I still am.”
Being an adept pseudologist, she didn't believe him. “You're lying. I know Patrick allowed you to glimpse inside my mind. What I endured is equal to the pain I'm experiencing now that you're withholding your affections.”
Taking a deep breath he confessed, “Patrick and I believe if you give emotionally or physically to any of us the babes and you will suffer.”
Rolling over, she faced him, “No such thing will happen.”
He searched her glowing eyes, “Why did baby Pat cry when his Pa kissed you?”
Carolina held his steady gaze, smiling at him through the darkness, “He's possessive like his fathers and he was hungry.”
He wanted to believe her. “Every time I even thought about touching you this evening baby Dylan would pitch a right fit. So you're telling me if I kiss you, he won't let loose with his squalling and the others aren't gonna fuss mightily?”
Carolina moved closer to him. “No they aren't.”
“No scary being is gonna steal the babes from their cribs?”
Beneath the covers, she rubbed her foot up-and-down the curve of his muscular calf, “If you count your brothers as scary beings then you might want to check their luggage when they leave on Monday to make sure one of them isn't trying to abscond with baby Susan. Now kiss me.”
She was right about his brothers. He and Carolina hadn't offered an explanation about the sudden appearance of the babies and no one had asked because the entire household had fallen instantly and madly in love with them. Especially his brothers and their wives who'd grown childishly upset when they weren't allowed to play with them, with little Susan especially, seriously asking how they could get one just like her of their own. Therefore, the morning after their wedding he would be on vehicle check before his brothers took off for Texas.
Carolina looked at him with great expectation. He could see her eyes glowing in the darkness, the smell of hazelnuts and cream all around her, the stimulating motion of her instep stroking his leg. Moving his head slightly forward, his lips brushed hers and nothing happened, no crying babies, no doors bursting open. Groaning, he pressed harder, teasing her lips with his tongue, felt her opening to him, granting him access to the warmth of her mouth and something out of the ordinary did occur. He didn't grow har; the tiniest jolt of arousal didn’t stir his slumbering member. With trembling hands, he gently cupped her face, brushing her cheekbones with his thumbs. Silently he wished she'd, that very moment, tell him the truth about everything because if she didn't he was certain his fear induced impotence would constantly greet her sexual desire.
With the tips of her fingers, she tucked locks of silky hair behind his ears, tracing the contours of his strong body down to his waist where she played with the tie of his pajama bottoms, knowing he was flaccid beneath the fabric. Accepting she'd never be free until her lying stopped, she complied with his unspoken request, “I can't love or be truly loved without paying a huge price and the problem started long before I became human. My fay mate didn't die and he wasn't my husband. He was a handsome rogue I foolishly lifted my fairy gown for, lay out with time-and-time again in the meadows and streams, dancing with him amongst the flames. Once he'd had his fill of me he flew off to be with his preferred, a human enchantress of unparalleled beauty, gifted in the arts of witchery, hearth, home, and mating. But he knowingly left me ripe with his seed.”
Dylan traced the line of her jaw with his thumb, “He was a fool. You're lovely and kind. If you were having his child he should have done right by you and the baby.”
“Not every male has your sense of duty and he’d made me no romantic promises ever, but I'd grown fond of him, enjoyed his attentions and I doubted I would attract another. Back then, I didn't look like this. Although my hair was red, it was dull. My features were mousy like my meadow father's, dark eyes, an overbite, and my figure was willowy, my chest almost board flat. Yet I burned with the passion of my fire fay ancestors. The yearning demanded satisfaction and once I set my sights in his direction, I couldn‘t look away, could see no other option, although he was cruel and unkind to me, telling and showing me constantly that we were through, never really were.”
Her words pierced his heart, causing him to sincerely state, “I would have stayed by you, been a good father to our child.”
Why had she not found him first, before her fay mate or Patrick? It seemed he was all she could ever want, yet she knew her heart still largely belonged to another. He deserved better, more from her and if she couldn‘t gift him the entirety of her love, at least she could be honest with him. Placing her palm atop his heart she continued, “Thank you for saying so. Really, I see now that his not wanting me was my own fault. I was childish and clinging, desperately wanted him to be with me so I tried ensnaring him. My efforts angered him and he put a binding craft on me that brought shame to my family. That disgrace, added to the unlikelihood of me attracting any mate and my having a wee nix at my tit, was enough for my family to send me away.”
“Well that wasn't right,” his voice was low and sad as he drew his finger down the slope of her breast, imagin
His compassion urged her on, “Their misrepresentation definitely wasn't. They said they’d agreed to send my babe and me over to a faithful human family to save their babies. The part about the human family's character was true but the rest was a plan of witchery and deceit. All along the comely enchantress had known she was barren, and she envied mousy me, an ill-favored fay, my fertility. The cross of fire and meadow fays, my kin, were able to have multiple babes, sometimes up to a dozen at a time, every six months.”
His member stirred at her announcement, his eyes widening at the thought of her bearing him so many little scamps. “Today, you could've given me a dozen babies?”
Pushing up his t-shirt, she ran her fingers over the muscles of his stomach, “I'm not fully fay anymore so I don't really know. However, when I was, my having that many babes very likely would have happened and that vixen knew my potential. From the start she'd set that rascal on me to get me with child and to steal my lushness, but he couldn't. So she made a deal with my kin to remove the hex from them if they'd give her my babe.”
He grasped her strumming fingers and interlaced them with his own on top of the covers. “Why couldn't your family wait out the spell, be loyal to you?”
“Many humans were dying because my kin couldn't perform their duties. All of my relatives were cursed, hundreds of fays responsible for healing, protection and regeneration within the human realm. The situation was dire and my kin did what they thought best, but they didn't tell me the truth. They were supposed to send my babe directly on to me because he was so young and he didn't have the necessary magic to crossover on his own. However, they didn't, and I had no awareness of their intentions until I'd moved into human form and heard the wind whispering the truth they'd hidden from me. I couldn't go back for him because they'd blocked me from ever going home. My own kin threw me away, betrayed me and gave my child to that wicked woman. She wasn’t satisfied with robbing me of everything I had in my fay life. That witch cursed my human form, jinxing my meadow traits of fertility and abundance so they’d be diminished, leaving me unable to heal members of my human family. She wanted me to die heartbroken, miserable and alone.”
He could smell her sweet succulence, mingling with the creamy nut aroma of her breast milk, as if she were ready to conceive again and he wanted to fill her with his seed. However, he dare not, the time was too soon, and he wouldn't risk her health, not for all the babes in the world because he knew his life would be over without her. Yet he'd want many children from her womb as they grew old together so he needed to understand her plight and he asked, “Is that why you don't have a regular cycle?”
She sighed and arched into him. “Yes, and I think her hex is why I couldn't hold our first babe. She targeted my womb thinking that nesting place was the key to my fertility. However, it's not. Meadow fays are like farmers, we have to invest physical strength, mental stamina, spiritual tenacity and steady showers of love in order to ensure bountiful endeavors. My kind can carry babes in their wombs, hearts and minds.”
“I told Patrick you'd carried more than one child but he didn't believe me, because we saw you miscarry. He doesn't believe the babes are real and told me I had nothing to do with their being here. Patrick believes you used some type of magic to get them,” he professed, lightly brushing her arm.
She was quiet for a long time, the memory of promise flowing from her body making her want to run away and hide her shame. How horrible for the little soul to be left somewhere in limbo. Her fingers clutched Patrick's medallion for strength. She cleared her throat several times before she could continue, “The time was too soon. Meadow fay gestation of the womb is normally six months. The babes we carry in our hearts and spirits can be brought forth sooner though, if the bearer is powerful, skilled and the babes are properly nurtured. Rarely would any fay babe survive at just a month. However, I wasn't willing to let all my babes go once I knew they were trying to leave, felt them slipping away. My powers are stronger now, greater than when I was fully fay, so I put myself to sleep to focus all my energies inward to hasten their growth, shaping them from chunks of the love I'd received from you, bits and pieces from Patrick and an overall aura of adoration from your parents. Susan and Joe were with me, in my beautiful baby-filled dreams, helping me. I guess my love for you and my feelings for your parents manifested into baby Susan. She's real. They all are.” She looked into his brilliant eyes hoping he'd be understanding and accepting.
“Patrick hasn't slept with you in six years, how can any of the babes be his?”
She was momentarily shocked by his awareness of the intimate void in her life and was glad for the cover of darkness that might conceal her embarrassment. With a lightness of voice that wasn't mirrored in her heart and soul she acknowledged, “Little Patrick is not of my womb. None of the surviving babes are. I didn't need Patrick or you to physically mate with me to have those babes. However, I did need one or both of you to want me to have them, care enough that you'd invest time dreaming and imagining the babes into form. So in a way I did use magic to get them here. I used the power of your glorification, your whispered wishes and desires to shape them and strengthen me so I could speed up their maturity and bring them here safely. As far as little Pat is concerned you're more his Pa than Patrick. Without you wanting me to have him, he wouldn't be here. Patrick has never been in love with me. You are. He would never grant me the honor of bearing his child. You did. My successfully having babes, especially another man's, took a great deal of love on your part.” She caught his hand and brought the back to her lips, caressing its contours before rotating his wrist to place a kiss in the center of his palm. She secured her show of devotion in his strong hand by closing his fingers over her kiss then rested his arm across the indentation of her waist.
His arm burned from her touch, his body wanting him to put an end to talking and claim her, as was his right. However, he needed the answers, wanted total honesty from her. “What about Justin? Is he your son or isn't he?”
She touched his hair, liking the slide of the thick, silken strands between her fingers. “I swear his spirit is that of my fay babe. You heard the things he said yesterday. I'd never talked with either of you about the selfishness of my previous mate, but he knew, was trying to expose the truth.”
Extricating her fingers from his hair, he laid her palm against the heavy thumping in his chest. “Patrick says you've tricked yourself into believing Justin is yours.”
She felt his vibrations entering her body, modifying her rhythms and her eyes widened in wonder. “Justin is my babe; I vow our connection on my life, on the lives of his sisters and brothers. He doesn't appear to have retained any fay magic as I did and never speaks of his previous life other than saying he's been searching for me a long time. You fathered him on my eighteenth birthday, January first. Six months later the full-term of fay gestation, he was born to you.”
He pulled Carolina closer to the warmth of his body, kissing her lightly on each cheek before whispering the full measure of his confusion in her ear, “How can I believe you about Justin or the babes? You pretended not to know him at first and told me the babes were here because I'd wished for them, kept calling to them. Patrick believes you picked up on my thoughts and used them to explain away spells you've cast. He says the babes aren't telepathic either, claims you're sending the messages. As far as Justin is concerned, Patrick thinks you've been missing your own fay babe and Justin's need for a mother provided the opportunity for you to fulfill your maternal desire.”
With Patrick's name resounding in her ears, Carolina stayed very still, trepidation undulating along her spine. She'd wanted her treacle bear and Patrick to get along, but she hadn't expected their favorable bond leading to Dylan taking Patrick's word over hers because they'd both been so set on disliking each other, even after they'd become kindred. Anxiously she insisted, “All that I've revealed about the babes and Justin is true. Patrick means well but he's not omn
While nibbling her earlobe he used the flat of his palm to align her hips to the evidence of his need beneath the cotton of his pajama bottoms. His lips trailed back across her cheek to hover over the pink promise of her mouth where his gravel and smoke voice was let loose to work magic of its own, “This morning I asked for your honesty and you said you'd give it to me. Still you hopscotched across the facts of what happened with those men and the births of the babies. Now I'm telling you, from this moment on I need the absolute truth from you. Because in future, when I discover you've lied to me, even the tiniest, whitest lie, I'll not bed you for a month.”
His voice set her to quaking as if he'd already subjected her to hours of foreplay and the burning and throbbing in her maidenly meadow had her rubbing up against him like a hungry Abyssinian. She'd wither from starvation if he were to withhold his furious and frenzied lovemaking. Hurriedly she agreed, “Okay.”
He lowered his voice a bit more, “'Okay', as in you heard what I said or 'okay', you're on board with the plan?”
She giggled at his words. He was starting to sound a lot like Patrick. “Both,” she replied, growing serious at the promise of his throbbing length he'd released from his sleep pants to press against the 'V' of her want. Her breathing grew heavy and she professed as she moved seductively against him, “God, I never thought I'd love you this much, but I do treacle bear, I do.”
Happily, he smiled. That's the truth he needed to hear and just a bit more. With her undulating from undisguised desire he asked, “Why do you hate Liz so much?”
Her lips pursed as if she'd swallowed a huge mouthful of lemon juice before she answered, “Liz had you and Justin for years and didn't appreciate the wonderful gifts you both were. She sullied our future marriage throne with her perfumed stench, sweat, and feminine secretions. A place that hadn't held a woman before me, that would have always been my haven had she not cunningly outplayed me and secured you in the embrace of her scrawny arms and legs, luring you from me with her feral cries and cruelly thin lips. But most of all, I'd see her struck dead before my eyes and not lift a finger to save her because she had Justin kidnapped and abused.”