Savage Love, page 34
The cracking sound from earlier resumed in her head and she closed her eyes tightly as if the action would drown out the sound. Embracing Calder a bit tighter she whispered against his hair, “Constance has been worried. Will you think of her for a minute?” At his nod, she placed her palm over his heart. Focusing her energy for several seconds she healed the deep emotional wound he'd suffered and the babes in the background began a loud song with one of the tanagers flying to perch on his shoulder to sing directly in his left ear. Calder began to giggle and squirm. Carolina released him and watched as he captured the mischievous babe in his palms and the little bird transformed itself into his newly arrived pink outfitted, sister.
Calder rubbed his cheek against the baby's plump face. “Her name will be Augusta Sienna and she says Constance told her she can be the flower girl at our wedding.” He walked over to Patrick and relinquished his sister who was reaching back for him possessively, so he allowed her to capture his finger for a few seconds more saying to Carolina, “Mom can I go now I want to spend some time with Constance.”
“Remember to stay close to the house.” Carolina watched as Calder, with a good amount of difficulty got his finger away from Augusta Sienna, who shifted quickly and flew after him at which point Carolina saw Calder make the slightest rotating motion with his finger and the wayward tanager flew back to the console, looking longingly after him.
The moment Justin had seen Vienna's heart-shaped face he'd begun to feel ambivalent about proceeding with the last portion of the plan. He didn't want to create disharmony with her in the house, feared she'd dislike and resent him for causing Patrick to go away. He looked directly at Carolina and even though he'd seen the little girl exit with Callum, from the corner of his eye, he caught a faintly flickering, transparent semblance of her beside the man that kept his mother from being happy, as if she were his self-appointed protector. Nervously he approached Carolina until he stood an arm's length away, “Mom I can explain.”
She took his hand in hers, holding it tightly. “You don't have to. We're all together and we're safe. That's all that matters. I'm grateful you helped Calder and if you want I can soon start teaching you fay ways of healing.”
In his mind he could hear Vienna scolding him for being false and his anxiety increased, yet he kept to the plan, knowing full-well he was already masterful in the magic of their homeland, to Carolina he said, “I'd like that and before I name the last babe will you heal me like you just did for Calder? I don't want to remember anymore.”
“Of course I will.”
Justin needed her to tap into any level of high emotion so he could get beyond the protective shield she kept in place over her mind to keep intruders out. So with calculated distress he filled his voice with tears and sorrow and allowed the heart wrenching elements to rain down on her as he asked, “Mom, can you fix the things Liz said are wrong with me? I want to get married and have lots of kids, like the rest of the Savage men. My heart doesn’t want me to be different, an outsider from this clan. What kind of life would I have without the closeness and respect of the only family, besides you, that has ever cared for me? But most of all mom, I need dad to love me like he did before, need to know you both won‘t turn away from me.”
Carolina was so furious with Liz that she felt her arms shaking and she struggled to control herself so not to upset him or the babes. Squeezing his hands she vowed, “I'll heal the wounds that woman and her associates caused you and that's all I'll do because you're perfect as you are. Liz is a spiteful, evil thing that has to destroy everyone around her. That's why she's tried to plant seeds of doubt in your mind. You know your father loves you, that we all do and when the time comes for you to decide about dating and marriage we'll fully accept your choices.” Carolina placed her hand over his heart, allowing her energy to flow into him so long she felt weak when she drew her hand away. She studied him intently for several seconds before asking in a solicitous tone, “How do you feel?”
Justin had conducted a quick but thorough survey of her thoughts and fears as she sent her energy into him. Having the requisite information he sighed, his heart feeling as light as it had been when he was a fay babe snuggled in her arms. Yet he still sensed Vienna's disapproving presence, only nearer, actually right beside him, a startling breeze of air against his forearm and hurriedly he exclaimed, “I feel great mom. Can I name the last baby now?”
“Sure you can,” she smiled happily.
Justin studied the brightly colored group perched on the console, heard Vienna's sugary voice in his ear bossing him about, for the name she had her heart set on he never would've chosen and in a raspingly reluctant voice, he announced, “The little one on the end, will be named Camulus Amytal.” Shying away from the invisible, but persistent, spirit Justin refocused his attention on Carolina to say, “Mom I'm sorry about today. We should have been here to help you but...” For a moment, he thought to tell the agreed upon story but felt viselike pinchincg in his sides and with stinging eyes he confessed, “Liz kidnapped Calder and I went to get him back but that didn't work so we had to call dad. The good thing is she agreed to the adoption.”
Giving a girlish squeal Carolina whirled Justin around, hugging him tightly, kissing both of his cheeks before quieting down, feeling the flush of complete happiness all over her body she declared, “Oh baby, that's wonderful and tonight you'll wear your special shirt for me and I'll wear a green dress for you. Now off you go, my little Periwinkle.”
Kissing his mother’s cheek he inhaled the overwhelming aroma of vanilla cupcakes and chocolate-dipped orange slices wafting in the air from the direction where Vienna’s image had vanished from the moment he’d given the babe the name she’d wanted. Already he missed her dark-eyes, her determination and Justin asked Carolina while trying to suppress his desire to run out and find the brunette princess, and never let her out of his sight again, “Is Vienna staying with us forever?”
Carolina looked into his eyes reading concern and interest. “I'm not sure. Don't you want her to be with us?”
He thought about the years they'd have together before she'd be full grown and the time when she'd possibly want to leave, maybe for college or just out to explore the world and he felt terrified at the thought of her not being around. Looking back at Dylan and Patrick, he could see in their eyes what they'd done to ensure the safety of the family and he returned his gaze to his mother’s saying honestly, “It's horrible to be alone and without anyone to love and care for you. In my fay life, after you were sent away, I knew that reality every second of every day. Now she needs a family, people to protect her, so I think she should stay with us until she's ready to wed. Then I'll take her hand and be a loyal companion to her. With Vienna having an altered spirit, she must marry wisely for her security. I believe my wanting to do her bidding and guard over her are very important. Tonight I'll make my intentions clear. Do you think she'll like that?
She hugged him tightly. “Earlier, she was full of questions about you, however she'll need time to decide for herself where her commitment will be placed and you should strive for balance. Setting your devotion to one lass isn't the same as Calder or Callum deciding early on about a sweetheart. Though you are without magic, I feel your fay spirit is strong, and as such, once your favor is set it can be almost impossible to shift your attraction in another direction. Learn from me Periwinkle, it is no easy thing for a fay to suffer unrequited emotion,” she finished with a twinge of sadness, her eyes briefly flitting to Patrick, before they settled on Dylan where she made them stay for a long while.
Justin could see her struggle, could feel her heart wanting to make her look back at Patrick and his voice drew her attention to him, “Mom, I think Vienna and I will get along just fine and if she sets her sites on another I'll be understanding as you are with Patrick. Your life hasn‘t turned out so bad even though he’s never loved you back and now you’ve found dad, which proves that if Vienna won’t care for me, as Patrick doesn’t you, then perhaps
The boy’s needling wasn’t lost on Patrick, but he wasn’t bothered; he only hid his smile, seeing in the young man what he'd instantly, felt from Carolina when they’d first met and knew the teen had already assigned his heart to Vienna. He silently applauded himself for recognizing the qualities in her that would balance out that tow-haired rapscallion, feeling well armed against any attack he and the twins sent hurtling his way. Looking at his watch Patrick grimaced, “Gingernut not to rush you but-”
Her happy smile lost all of its brightness. “You will not sneak Dylan out of this house to spend the night with a bunch of strippers. It's bad enough little Patrick and Camulus are already demonstrating the Don Juan ways they've inherited from you.”
Patrick's eyes grew wide, “What do you mean?
A sad note crept into her voice. “My milk isn't good enough. They can smell the lunar-induced lactation of the other women and your babes have shunned me, wanting Vega and the other Savage women to feed them. You're going to get that naughty pair to see reason or I'll box your ears. Thank goodness, Calder and Callum are more reserved like Clover. Patrick you must correct the behavior of our wayward sons now or are you and Dylan prepared to face the inevitable consequences of Camulus and little Pat’s varied interests as they mature?”
Patrick knew she was right. He already had his hands full with all the other issues being a part of this family presented, he wasn't looking forward to more problems to fix. “I will set Pat and Cam on the right course. However, that's a separate issue from me wanting to host Dylan's bachelor party. He has a right to a stag night.”
Carolina looked at the sinfully handsome man who was to legally take her hand in marriage. He was tall, broad of shoulder and muscular. His golden hair rivaled the sun and a single look from his lapis-blue eyes could make her warm, wet and ready. The sight of him holding their babe filled her with happiness and security that she didn't want to risk just because Patrick felt like having a bit of fun. With a sweet smile and a raised eyebrow she softly asked in a weblike voice spun of mead soaked cotton, “Dylan, my heart, my soul, my precious treacle bear, do you want to spend the night with a bunch of strange, bottle-blond, fake-boobed, crab-infested women gyrating in front of you?”
Dylan held his warm wriggling baby tighter. With a broad smile and a shake of his head, he honestly assured her, “No, honey I don't.”
Patrick shot Dylan a look that clearly read 'grow a set'. To Carolina he expressed sincerely, “Gingernut I'm his eldest brother now and our bond entitles him to certain rites. I want him to have a send off befitting my little brother, if not his princely status. We'll leave after dinner and be back home before midnight. You should know by now he's no average mortal with all he's given you. By rights I should be whisking him off to the outskirts of this universe but I'm sacrificing, settling for a harmless romp in Vegas.”
Carolina smoothed the imagined wrinkles from her shirt over her large breasts. “Patrick, if you insist on sneaking the Savage men off to Sin City, then I'll have male escorts come here. We girls will have our own party.”
Patrick gave her a look of outrage. “You wouldn't dare be so shameless.”
Carolina shrugged one shoulder. “I kid ye not. You may not care for me but imagine Vega in the clutches of some young stud, his oiled muscles glistening, with a hard-on that would make yours look like a string bean and you'll only have a fraction of an idea of what I'll arrange if any of the men in this house disappear during the night.”
Patrick used the full power of his beguiling smile on her, flashing his irresistible dimples. “Alright... We'll have a small party here. He has to have a celebratory rite of passage. You'll have him the rest of his life. He's given you everything you've ever wanted. Let him have a few hours of fun.”
Her heart fluttered and she smiled at him. “Well, when you put it like that.”
Dylan looked from Patrick to Carolina, not liking the evident power the man had over her and spoke out, “Really, I just want to spend the evening with you and the kids.”
She still gazed upon Patrick's adorable face. This was the way he'd looked when they'd first sat out under the light of the moon, when he'd first kissed her, holding her close well into the night, the way he'd looked when he claimed her maidenhead making her feel cherished and loved. Staring into eyes that glowed like low-burning firelight she told Dylan contentedly, “You can do that and later meet up with your brothers.”
He didn't like the plan. “But Carolina, honey-”
“Dylan, hush up. Gingernut has agreed, accept graciously and thank your lucky stars you're marrying such a beautiful and understanding woman.” The beguiling look slowly left Patrick's face to be replaced by one of appreciation, “Thank you Gingernut. I won't let him get drunk and now I'll take all the babes upstairs so the two of you can talk.” Collecting little Joseph from Dylan, Patrick easily held both he and Augusta. Over his shoulder, Patrick mimicked the whistling and chirping of the brood resting on the console, alerting them to follow him up to the nursery.
Dylan enjoyed the sight of his babes in flight, the feel of the air stirring around him as they soared by, brilliant streaks of red, blue and yellow lighting the room. When they were all gone, he walked lazily over to her. Bending his head, he prepared to touch his lips to hers but she turned away, a wounded whimper sounding from her throat. Straightening to his full height, he assured her, “Now Carolina I told you I don't want-”
“I can smell Liz on you and it's not just that perfume she bathes herself in, it's a womanly stench that wasn't on Justin or Calder. What were you doing with her?”
He sniffed the air but couldn't smell a thing. “I went to get my sons back and to put an end to her misery causing.”
Carolina widened her eyes. “And you had to touch her intimately?”
He placed both of his hands on her shoulders, his eyes holding hers, “I injected heroin into her upper thigh.”
Carolina's nervous hands found a place to rest, flat against the solid muscles of his chest, feeling his strong, steady heartbeat. “Did you sleep with her?”
His voice was full of righteous indignation, “Heck naw.”
She knew some people found drugs sexually gratifying. “Did you enjoy it?”
“No way,” he exclaimed with a shudder of revulsion.
“Is doing drugs something you need? I've never done them nor am I willing to try. I'm too fiery to have such elements or alcohol introduced to my system.”
“The only drug I need is you.”
Carolina raised her palm to stroke his cheek. He had beautiful skin, without lines, seemingly pore-less and naturally tan, but she could see he was tired. “You look worn out. Do you want to talk about what happened?”
He pressed the side of his face into her palm, “It's over. Liz is out of our lives. Now I'm going to teach Callum and Vienna how to drive. Maybe I'll have Justin come along if he's not too tired. Should we be concerned that he's smitten with her?
“No, the healing has given her some powers but she'd never hurt him. Her sweet human nature is enchanting Justin, further righting the damage Liz caused him. He will always be gentle with Vienna. We don't have to worry about him as we do about Little Pat and Cam. I thank the heavens that you're not a narcissistic hound, that you didn't pass on any peculiar womanizing habits to our eldest as Patrick has done with those two you've given to me for him.”
Dylan inclined his head, although his past conquests could probably rival Patrick's, he saw no reason to tell his honey and go creating problems for himself or worry her. He, along with his parents August and Patrick, would keep a close watch over little Pat and Cam to make certain they behaved appropriately. With so many eyes fixed upon them, the little scamps wouldn't have an opportunity to get up to mischief and all he'd need worry about was keeping Caroli
Carolina felt a strong fluttering low in her pelvis and caught her breath, heard more splintering sounds and confessed, “You do a lot more than that, but you're not exactly human.” She touched her hand to the diamond necklace. “I can't get this off. Will you unfasten the clasp and put it in the safe.”
Releasing Carolina’s hand he encircled her throat with his fingers feeling strength, warmth, energy, and the sensations he experienced were hotter and more piercing than the bullet that had passed through his body earlier. His grip tightened and he pulled her closer to him. Lowering his head, he placed his lips over the pulse beating in the left side of her neck to whisper huskily, “No. I want you to keep it on.”
Carolina’s knees threatened to give way, as her breathing quickened. She wanted to climb all over him and she purred lustily, “Okay. Now take the kiss you wanted. I'd give it to you but I want to feel you overpower me.”
He shuddered, his climax so close to the surface that the tip of his penis felt swollen and raw as if he'd made love to her nonstop for days. His need was so strong that he feared doing to her what she might consider the unforgivable, so abruptly he released her, watching as she visibly steadied herself at his sudden and unexpected movement. Reaching out he braced her with the strength of his forearm drawling, “Girl, don't start. I have plans with Callum. Give me a little peck on the lips and keep your hands to yourself when you do.”
Standing on tiptoe, Carolina did as she was told, and saw a broad smile brighten his face. As her heels reunited with the ground she felt him pat her backside then watched him swagger away and the only thought in her mind was that he was all hers, all six-feet-plus of muscled hunk she wasn't expected to romantically share with anyone. Her heart felt as though it would fly from her chest as she strolled toward the entryway with the intention of going to the nursery. The closer she got to the glass front door she could see a hesitant looking, slim, black clad figure, holding a duffel, out on the porch, with several reporters and photographers at her back. Touching the fingers of her left hand to the large pink diamond at her throat Carolina walked purposefully to the door, her eyes meeting Liz's pale gaze through the glass. Keeping in mind the need to be civilized, so she wouldn't make an absolute laughingstock of Dylan and his family, Carolina opened the door with a radiant smile. “Hello Liz.”