Title: Chapter 28
Series: The Key, the Dark-Hunter, and the Link
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Joss Whedon owns anything Buffy or Angel while Sherrilyn Kenyon owns everything Dark Hunter. I am just playing with them.
WARNING!!!: There are slight 'Acheron' spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with?” Dawn asks again. “Cuz Fury…he’s not really meet the parents material in the first place, no offense, and with breaking the whole supernatural thing, I just don’t see it going well.”
“Wes already explained the supernatural thing to them.” Vi replies. “So they know. We’ll be fine, you have your own family things to deal with and I have mine.”
“As long as you’re sure.” Dawn says. “And if you change your mind at anytime, just give us a ring and we’ll so come by and help.”
“We’ll be fine.” Fury grunts sleepily. “I’ve met parents before.”
“Whose?” Vi arches a brow in disbelief.
“Bride’s.” Fury pulls her back against his chest, face burying in the back of her neck. “Did okay.”
“I’m sure you did.” Vi rubs his hand, which is over her belly, relaxing against his hard body. “So I’m guessing you guys are going to be late?”
“M’not sure.” Dawn shrugs. “Ash didn’t say. We’re going to Vegas where Sin is and then who knows.”
“Are you okay?” Vi studies her intently. “You look kinda….tired.”
“That’s a polite way of saying I look like crap, Vi.” Dawn glares at her. “And gee, thanks.”
“I did not say you look like crap.” Vi says.
“You only implied it.” Dawn rubs her temple.
“And are you?” Vi asks.
“I’m not answering that cuz then Ash will read your mind and know what I said and if I’m feeling even the slightest bit crappy, he’s either going to have my butt back in bed, and not for sex, or at the nearest doctor.” Dawn replies. “Isn’t that right, sweetie?”
“You don’t feel well?” Ash silently moves to her side, brushing a kiss across her forehead as he palms her belly. “Does your stomach hurt?”
“I’m fine.” Dawn leans thankfully back into his body, trying to hide her exhaustion by siphoning energy and warmth from his body.
“If you’re ill, I think you should…”
Dawn leans up to catch Ash’s mouth with hers, cutting off his overly concerned words before he can voice them. “I’m fine. I want to see Kat. I miss my baby. You said we could go today so we’re going. I promise to do my best not to get kidnapped or attacked in anyway, shape, or form.”
Ash growls lowly against her mouth.
“That’s so freakin’ cute.” Dawn giggles. “I kinda love you, you know that?”
“Ugh, let’s go Vi.” Fury groans. “This is as bad as some chick flick.”
“You’re such a jerk.” Vi smacks him on the back of the head. “And you don’t have a single romantic bone your body.” Then she looks up at Ash. “Can I request a transfer to a new mate?”
With a loud growl, Fury flips Vi over his shoulder, smacks her ass, and flashes them out of the room.
“Akrrrrraaa.” Simi whines loudly. “The Simi wants to go see Kat.”
“We’re going, baby doll.” Dawn brushes her fingers over the demon’s forehead. “Can you take Claudia to the bathroom for me please?”
“Okay.” Simi holds her hand out to the little girl. “C’mon, Claudia, Simi take you to the toilet.”
“Is Ashy leaving?” Claudia asks, eyes wide as she looks up at him.
“Yes, little one, you’re coming with us.” Ash kneels down so that he’s eye level with the tiny slayer.
“I can’t leave.” Claudia whispers, small hands reaching out to touch his knees. “It’s not safe.”
“It is very safe.” Ash brushes the little girl’s curls off her forehead.
“Pinky swear?” Claudia holds out her pinky.
Ash interlocks his pinkie with hers and shakes.
“K, Ashy.” Claudia kisses his cheek and then runs to Simi’s side, taking the demon’s hand without a care in the world.
“So, we keeping her?” Dawn drops down on a kitchen chair, resting her elbows on the table, chin on her palms.
“Yes.” Ash nods, kneeling down in front of her. He tenderly brushes his knuckles across her cheekbone, concern filling his silver eyes. “Auyun, I think you should go back to bed.”
“I want to see Kat.” Dawn says. “I need to see my baby. And I want to meet Sin. Plus I told the girls we would take them out.”
With a reluctant sigh, Ash nods. “Fine. But I want you with me the entire time.”
“No place I’d rather be.” Dawn leans her forehead against his. “I think I’m going to drop out of school.”
“I thought you liked school?” Ash sys.
“I like learning and I don’t have to go to school to do that.” Dawn says. “School takes up too much time. I’d rather be with you and Simi and Claudia.”
“I’d rather you be with us.” Ash agrees. “But I don’t want you to give up something that you want because of me.”
“I know.” Dawn wraps her arms around his neck and leans into his body. “And that’s why I love you so much. You want me to have everything and are willing to do anything to make me happy. Anything I need to learn, you can teach me. With the whole Dark-Hunter thing, I don’t have to work, right?”
“No, you do not need to work, unless you want to.” Ash agrees.
“Do you want me to?” Dawn asks.
“Dawn, this is your decision.” Ash says.
“No, sweetie, it’s our decision.” Dawn corrects. “It affects you just as much as me. And your opinion matters just as much as mine. I don’t feel any need to work right now, so it’s not really an issue.”
“But?” Ash arches a brow.
“You never ask for anything for yourself.” Dawn says. “The only time you tell me to do anything is when it has to do with keeping me safe. Otherwise, you give me whatever I want but take nothing for yourself.”
“I don’t need anything, Auyun.” Ash kisses her forehead and straightens. “I have everything I need.”
“Not need, want.” Dawn grabs his hand. “What do you want, Ash?”
He starts to reply ‘just her’ but the sincere look on her face changes his mind. While she probably let his answer go at that, he knows she wants more than that. “You, with me, all the time. I want to be a family again, like we were before.”
“Okay.” Dawn kisses his fingertips. “I’ll stay with you, always.”
“And can you please try to stay out of danger?” Ash asks.
“I’ll try my hardest, I promise.” Dawn promises, standing up to wrap her arms around him. “I love you.”
“I love you.” Ash kisses the top of her head.
“Akri, the Simi wants to go now, she’s bored.” Simi skips over, Claudia holding her hand.
“Come here, little one.” Ash picks up Claudia, resting her on his hip and wraps his arm around Dawn, pulling her to his other side. Simi takes Dawn’s hand, his demon tapping her feet happily as she whistles. Ash rolls his eyes at the ’JT’ song and flashes them to Sin’s suite in Vegas.
“Oh, lord.” Dawn moans, stumbling as they land.
Ash gently but quickly sets Claudia on her feet as he scoops Dawn up into his arms. “What’s wrong, baby?”
“I don’t feel so good.” Dawn buries her face into his neck. “Let me down, I’m going to puke.”
“Bathroom.” Ash demands, looking at Sin whom is staring at them, mouth open. “Sin, bathroom.”
“Down the hall, first door on the right.” Sin says.
Ash runs Dawn into the bathroom, setting her on her feet in front of the toilet. She vomits immediately, dropping to her knees in front of the porcelain. He kneels down beside her, holding her long hair away from her face.
Dawn pukes until it feels like her stomach is going to come up, falling backwards into Ash’s body when she’s done.
Ash cuddles Dawn against his chest, rubbing her back soothingly as he checks her body for the hundredth time. “Do you need something to drink, love?”
“Some water, please.” Dawn murmurs, her body aching and throat sore; she hates puking.
Ash presses a bottle of water against her lips, holding it while she drinks. He helps her stand up, holding onto her waist as she rinses her mouth. “You need to see a doctor.”
“Not right now, I want to see Katra first.” Dawn whispers. “Later, if you know a doctor that won’t be freaked out by my…freakiness and one that isn’t evil or libel to go slashing at my belly, then I’ll go.”
Ash agrees reluctantly, following her out of the bathroom and into the living room of Sin’s suite.
“Mama?” Kat questions, concerned.
“I’m okay.” Dawn smiles reassuringly at her, crossing the floor to hug her daughter. “I’m still adjusting to my powers and all.”
“My powers.” Sin growls, eyes narrowing as he advances on the mother and daughter.
Ash grabs Sin by the front of the shirt and slams him back into a wall. “You get one warning. You look at my wife…..”
Dawn slams her hand over Ash’s mouth, cutting his words off. “Don’t, sweetie. You’ll say something you don’t mean.”
Ash gently moves her hand off his mouth, hand still holding Sin against the wall by the Sumerian God’s throat. “I do mean it.”
“I know, but let’s not kill our daughter’s boyfriend, please?” Dawn says. “We’ll talk this out, see why he’s so upset, and then deal with it.”
Ash drops Sin to his feet and then lifts Dawn into his arm, settling his lengthy body onto a chair. “Kat, over here.”
Kat brushes her fingers across Sin’s throat, smiling apologetically at her lover before crossing to her parents side.
“Akri, does the Simi get to eat Sin?” Simi asks hopefully, the demon still holding Claudia’s hand.
“No, baby.” Dawn answers for Ash. “Please take Claudia back to the bedroom and watch some cartoons. You can order some room service, okay.”
“Okay.” Simi chirps. “Come on, Claudia, the Simi is hungry.”
“I want to stay with Ashy.” Claudia says quietly.
“Come here, baby.” Ash holds out his arms.
Claudia launches her small body across the room, jumping twenty feet into the Atlantean’s arms. “Don’t leave.”
“What’s wrong, little one?” Ash tilts her chin up, thumbs reaching up to wipe her tears away.
“Mr. Man dieded, the other Mr. Man sent me away, and my mommy and daddy dieded.” Claudia whispers, tears falling down her face. “Nobody wants me.”
Kat watches her dad comfort the little girl, rocking her gently as he whispers into her ears, saying all the right things, and realizes how much she missed growing up. Ash is a wonderful father and she just hopes her parents have more kids because if anyone should have children, it’s her parents.
“You can be my akri too?” Claudia says, excitedly.
“Yes, if you want me to be.” Ash nods.
“And Dawnie my akra?” Claudia asks.
“Of course.” Dawn brushes the slayer’s dark hair off her face. “You get to stay with us now, we’re a family.”
“And Simi too?” Claudia asks. “And Kat-akra?”
“I always wanted a big family.” Kat smiles at the little girl, biting back her jealousy. It’s not Claudia’s fault she grew up without her father and mother, that she can blame on the goddess that raised her.
“The Simi do too.” Simi frowns. “Akra?”
“Yeah, sweetie?” Dawn looks over at her demon daughter.
“The Simi thinks you need to have babies.” Simi says. “The Simi likes babies. They cute.”
“Okay.” Dawn says after a second. “I’ll keep that in mind. But for now, scram.”
Simi sticks her tongue out at Dawn, giggling as she grabs Claudia’s hand. “Come on, sister. We go watch cartoons now.”
“Well, mama, looks like you’ve been ordered to have babies.” Kat says with a laugh. “And we all know Simi gets what she wants.”
“Brat.” Dawn laughs.
Ash tightens his hand around Dawn’s waist, curiously wondering if maybe her stomach problems might be something else. She didn’t have many pregnancy symptoms with Kat, and as he believed he was sterile then, he wouldn’t have noticed them anyways. But he’s not sterile and there’s a chance that his wife is pregnant for the third time. He won’t bring it up to her, not yet. The past few weeks have just been too stressful and chaotic. She needs time to just adjust and if he’s honest, so does he.
Dawn moves her hand over Ash’s, interlocking their fingers over her belly. And freaking out inside. The nausea and tiredness are starting to make sense, and so is the fact that her previously loose jeans are a little tighter. With Kat, she was only pregnant a few months before giving birth, her gestational period less than a third of humans. Doing the math, if she got pregnant the first time they had sex, she’s about six to eight weeks along now.
She wants to have babies. Ash’s babies. As his hand gently rubs her belly, she can barely bite back the urge to tell him. She loved being pregnant, it went much too fast for her, and Ash adored her pregnant. He spent hours with his face against her belly, just talking to their unborn child. Whenever they were together, his hand was touching her bump. She wants that again. Wants to have little boys with Ash’s eyes and face. She’s not sure if she’s pregnant, she’s going to have to take a test or something, but she hopes she is. She wants her family. Lost in thoughts of blonde haired little boys, she doesn’t realize her daughter is talking to her.
“Mama, what’s wrong?” Kat frowns.
“Nothing, baby.” Dawn shakes her head. “What were we talking about?”
“My powers.” Sin says, barely managing not to growl the words out. “And how you have them.”
“Um, papa took powers out of Artemis and gave them to me….”
“Who is papa?” Sin interrupts, clenching his fists at his side. He can feel his powers in the….whatever she is body, and if it weren’t for Ash, he’d be taking them back. But he’s not stupid and the leader of the Dark-Hunters will kill him if he approaches Dawn again.
“Zeus.” Ash says.
“What the…you’re not a goddess.” Sin frowns.
“I was a created child, about eleven-thousand years ago.” Dawn explains. “Zeus and Savitar made me. Then I met Ash, married him, had Kat, and then got killed. About six years or so ago, the Fates pulled me back out and viola, here I am again, in a whole different body.” Dawn cocks her head to look at her daughter’s lover. “How did Artemis get your powers anyways?”
“Then let’s go home.” Fury says, wrapping his arms around Vi’s waist.
“What, no?” Vi elbows him in the belly. “You’re supposed to talk me out of leaving.”
“Why?” Fury nips the back of her neck. “You don’t want to go inside, why should I make you?”
“Because I’m freaking out and I need you to be my voice of reason.” Vi tilts her head back to look into his beautiful face. “Just tell me everything will be alright and that my family won’t hate me for what happened.”
“Everything’s going to be fine.” Fury says. “And if they hate you, I’ll rip their throats out.”
Vi shakes her head, laughing. “I guess that’s supportive.”
“Or we could go home and have sex.” Fury dips his hand into the front of her jeans. “I’ll let you be on top.”
“I’ll be on top if I want to be.” Vi elbows him again. “And no, we’ve had enough sex for today.”
“There’s never enough sex.” Fury slides a hand up under Vi’s shirt, palming her breast.
Vi moans, head falling back on Fury’s shoulder…right as the front door opens.
“Vivian Jo Day, what do you think you’re doing?” An irate voice demands.
“Oh, god.” Vi mutters. “Daddy, I can….this is my boyfriend, Fury. We were coming to see how everyone is. Can we come in?”
Gerald Day paces the floor, his thinning brown hair looking more sparse given the fact that his fingers have spent the last twenty minutes pushing through it. “You should have told us.”
“Daddy, like I told you and Giles and Wes probably told you, it’s not something we’re supposed to tell.” Vi says, picking at her nails.
“So some British guy tells you you’re supposed to kill vampires and you just believed him?” Daniel Day asks, the preacher frowning. “Vi, you’re smarter than that.”
“I didn’t just believe him.” Vi rolls her eyes. “He showed me pictures. Scared the crap out of me, actually.”
“So that private school that you were accepted to, what was that?” Bernice Day asks, wringing her hands as she looks at her youngest daughter.
“Giles didn’t explain that?” Vi frowns. “There was a group out to kill all the potential slayers and watchers so Giles started gathering us up and bringing us to the hell mouth, which was in Sunnydale California. We stayed there until the town sank and then stayed in L.A. for a while.”
“And then what?” Sherri Walker-Day asks, staring at her little sister in disbelief.
“Then just fighting demons and vamps, wherever I need to be.” Vi shrugs. “I’m stationed in New Orleans now, probably for a while, then who knows where.”
“And how long does that last?” Mike Day questions, the doctor staring at the fresh bite mark on his little sister’s neck to the silent, long haired man sitting next to her. “What do you do once this slayer thing is done?”
Vi looks back down at her hands. “It isn’t done, Mike. I’m a slayer until I’m not anymore.”
“What the hell does that mean, Vi?” Gerald demands, the retired detective resorting back to his pacing.
“That I’ll be a slayer until I’m dead.” Vi looks up at her dad, amazed by the flash of emotions in his eyes. “It’s not a hobby or a part-time job. Being a slayer is what I am and what I’ll always be. I couldn’t change that even if I wanted to.”
“How long until…” Bernice doesn’t finish the question, eyes filling with tears and hand over her mouth.
“Mom, it’s….just don’t think about it that way.” Vi says. “I know what I’m doing and I’m usually careful. That and I have Fury now who won’t let anything happen to me.”
“Is he one of these slayers too?” Bruce Walker, Sheri’s detective husband asks.
“No.” Fury growls.
“Slayers are only girls.” Vi explains, subtly elbowing her mate. “Fury is a….werewolf.” ‘I’m not a damn werewolf, Vi.’ Fury growls telepathically.
‘I know but they don’t need to know that.’ Vi says back. ‘They only need the bare necessities of what’s going on. Calm down.’
“He’s not dangerous, is he?” Mike asks.
“No, he’s perfectly harmless.” Vi assures him. “He’s more like a fluffy teddy bear than a wolf.” ‘You’re so getting it when we get home.’ Fury warns.
‘Ohh, I’m so scared.’ Vi purrs back.
Fury lets a growl rumble through his chest, quieting only when Vi squeezes his thigh.
“So, Fury.” Gerald says, pausing over the name. “Tell us about yourself.”
“Wow, that was rather impressive.” Vi leans her head against Fury’s shoulder as she picks at the remainder of her potato skins. “You weren’t lying when you said you know how to talk to parents. My dad actually likes you. It took him like a year to accept Bruce when Sheri started dating him and Bruce was his protégé. But he likes you. You were charming…how come I didn’t know you could be charming?”
Fury nips her neck. “I’m very charming.”
“Offering for me to be on top isn’t charming.” Vi tilts her head, baring more of her neck to his mouth. He managed to keep his hands off her for the six hours they were at her parents, in fact, he behaved like a perfect gentlemen, discounting the dirty things he said to her telepathically.
“I’m not the charming guy that I let your family think I am.” Fury grasps her chin, tilting it up to look into her eyes. “We’re mated, I don’t think I should have to pretend to be something that I’m not.”
“I don’t either.” Vi agrees. “But I’m still a girl, Fury. I would just like a little charming, you know?”
“Fine.” Fury growls. “I can be charming, sometimes.”
“Don’t put yourself out.” Vi hides a smile at the flustered look on his face. “You’re kinda cute when you pout, you know that?”
“Mm, sweetheart, I’m not cute.” Fury pulls Vi onto his lap, caring less about the fact that they’re in a crowded bar. “Or pouting. I don’t pout.”
Vi nips his bottom lip, tugging on it with her teeth. “Pretty sure this is you pouting.”
Before Fury can say anything, he’s tapped on the back of his head. Fury tightens his arm around Vi protectively, preparing himself to fight….that is until his brother and Bride slide into the booth across from them.
“Making out in a bar, I’m shocked.” Vane smirks, his arm wrapped around his wife’s shoulder.
“Please, you would make out anywhere.” Bride elbows her husband. “Vi, you can ignore my husband, he’s just getting back at Fury for how he was during our courting.”
“I’m guessing he was an ass.” Vi cuddles into Fury’s side, a smile on her face. “He’s pretty good at that.”
“I’d say it runs in the family but Fang is nothing like them in that manner.” Bride says. “I think it’s just them.”
Vi laughs her agreement, laughing harder when Vane gets that same pissed off look that Fury has. “Yeah, I think it’s them.”
“No.” Phoebe grabs Urian’s hand, moving it off her thigh. “I’m sorry, I’m not ready for that.”
Urian takes a deep breath, reining in his overwhelming urge to possess his wife. “It’s okay, baby.”
“No, it’s not.” Phoebe tries to move off his lap but he just tightens his arms, holding her more against him. “I want to but….I’m not ready to go back to what I was before. Frankly, it terrifies me. I just need time to deal with…everything.”
“To deal with me.” Urian says quietly.
“No.” Phoebe cups his chin. “You’re the one thing in my life that still makes sense. That no matter what happens, I know you will always be there. I love you, Uri, I have since that night you saved me and I will until the day I die, again. I just need time.”
Her words warm his heart, words he’s missed for over six years. “I love you too. And I’m not going anywhere. Take all the time that you need.”
“Thank you.” Phoebe kisses his chin. “I still want kisses, just nothing past second base.”
“What exactly do you specify as second base?” Urian asks.
“Kisses and groping.” Phoebe bites his chin, running his tongue over the prickly beard. “Over the clothes.”
Urian groans, cupping her pert ass cheeks in his hands, pulling her closer to him. “This okay?”
Phoebe moans, eyes fluttering closed as she moves closer. “Uh huh.”
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Urian drags his mouth down her neck, sucking softly at her pale skin. She tastes exactly the same, feels the same. His lips zone in one that sweet spot behind her ear, one that gets her wet with the slightest of caresses. He nips the spot lightly, smirking when his wife’s rush of arousal hits his nose.
“Uri….” Phoebe moans, head tilting back to grant him better access. She knows what he’s doing, knows he’s searching out her sweet spots….which is so like her husband. Because while he’ll grant her time, he’ll still do everything in his powers to seduce her. To make her completely his again. Before her, Urian never had anything that was his completely. Everything about his life before her was about his father, and doing what was necessary for his father’s plight against Apollo. Until her. It’s why he’s so possessive and selfish when it comes to her. She can’t imagine how he survived without her. It’s not her being vain, it’s her being honest. She was the only bright spot in his existence, the only unconditional love that he ever knew. And it breaks her heart to think of him all alone. “Over the clothes touching please.”
Urian laughs against her neck, one and moving off her as to cup her breast.
Phoebe sighs, letting her head drop back as her husband’s hands and mouth play over her body. Before, when he could escape his father’s watchful eyes, they spent days in bed, just touching and kissing each other. Everywhere. They spent hours at a time, making love, only stopping long enough to sleep. She remembers it completely, how hard and big her husband’s cock felt inside her, how his mouth felt on her body. How his skin tasted under her mouth . How his skin felt breaking under her fangs, his blood warming her belly. She can feel her teeth lengthening, feel her belly rumble at the thought of his blood. She wants to bite him, wants it so much. She always felt guilty feeding off him before but it was something that he loved.
Urian shifts Phoebe’s body, moving it more fully over his. He hates the layers of clothing between them but doesn’t remove them, letting his wife move at her pace. Her body instantly melts on his, like it knows where it belongs. He moves his mouth back to hers, kissing her with all the pent-up desire and love that he’s held back for so long. She kisses him back just as eagerly, hands digging into his back. He breaks the kiss when her heart starts pounding, letting her suck in the oxygen that she needs. She drops her forehead to his shoulder, panting. Her mouth moves to his neck, tongue lathing the thick tendon she finds there. “Go ahead, baby.”
Phoebe doesn’t hesitate, just eagerly bites down.
Urian growls when Phoebe’s teeth break his skin, eyes rolling back as she feeds on him. It takes all his control not to rip their clothes off and bury himself inside her sweet body. There is nothing more erotic than her fangs in his neck.
Phoebe moans as Urian’s thick, sweet blood warms her mouth, her hands digging into his shoulders to hold him still. He tastes so wonderful and so perfectly familiar. As she feeds, memories flash through her mind, memories from her past, long before she met Urian, to her death, at the hand of her husband’s father. Memories of her past, life long before she became a slayer. She jerks her fangs out of his neck and scrambles away from her husband.
Urian approaches Phoebe slowly, kneeling down in front of her shaking body. “Sweetheart?”
“He laughed.” Phoebe whispers. “He laughed at me. Said I was a worthless whore that stole his son.”
“Pheebs, he’s the worthless one.” Urian says, never wanting to kill his father more than he does in that second, except when he killed the terrified girl in front of him. “You are beautiful and perfect. He’s a bastard.” Urian scoops his wife up, cradling her against his chest. “Don’t ever think for one second that my father’s opinion matters. He’s a waste of space.”
Phoebe nods shakily against his chest, still feeling the knife plunge through her heart. “I’m tired, Uri.”
“I know, sweetheart.” Urian flashes them into her room, gently placing her under the covers. He moves to sit down on the chair beside her bed when she tugs on his hand.
“With me.” Phoebe whispers, pulling the covers back.
Urian climbs into bed beside her, moving her head to his chest. She automatically moves half onto his body, her slim body shaking as she sobs, heart breaking, body shaking sobs. He knows there’s nothing he can say or do, instead he just holds her, stroking her hair as she cries.
“Are you okay?” Dawn straddles Ash’s lap, cupping his whiskery cheeks in her hands. “You’ve been awful quiet all day. Not that you’re Mr. Talkative to began with but you know what I mean. Are you mad at me?”
“No, auyun, I’m not mad.” Ash says.
“Are you sure?” Dawn rubs her thumb over his cheekbone, staring into his silver eyes. “I know you want me to go to the doctor, and I will soon, I swear, I just wasn’t in the mood.”
“I know.” Ash turns his head to kiss her palm.
“Then why are you being so broody?” Dawn prods. “I don’t like it when you’re sad.”
“I’m not sad.” Ash says. “I’m just thinking.”
“Bout what?” Dawn taps his temple lightly. “I can’t crawl in there to get them but I want to know why my Ash is all upset.”
Ash sighs, knowing she’s not going to let it go. His wife is too damn persistent for that. “You gave Sin back his powers.”
“Yeah.” Dawn nods. “Should I not have? I assumed you would have told me if I shouldn’t have given him back his powers. He’s not going to take over the world or anything, now, is he?”
“No.” Ash shakes his head. “His powers are his and should have been returned to him.”
“Then why are you freaking?” Dawn asks.
“You gave his powers back without asking for anything in return.” Ash says. “And you have no intentions of asking for anything, do you?”
“They’re not my powers, I didn’t ask for them.” Dawn shrugs. “I didn’t ask for any of these powers. Sin’s powers are his so I really don’t think I can ask for something for returning something that doesn’t belong to me to begin with.”
Ash kisses her forehead, pulling her against him. “You are amazing.”
“Little bit.” Dawn agrees with a grin. “So, what, you expected me to ask for something?”
“By nature, humans aren’t giving without expecting something in return.” Ash says. “Sin would have given you everything that he had for his powers, he was just as amazed as I was when you just gave them to him.”
Dawn is briefly insulted, she can admit that, that he thinks her to be so selfish and shallow. Her Ash before wouldn’t have. He completely adored and worshiped her, which she loved then. Before, she was quiet and naïve, couldn’t see anything bad in the world. And between her fathers and Ash, she never had to. But now, now she isn’t naïve. She knows how awful the world really is, how cruel and selfish people are. Ash was never forthcoming with his past the first time they were together and she never questioned him on it as she knew it make him uncomfortable. But she isn’t that quiet girl anymore and that’s probably a good thing. Because she can see now, the amount of pain her husband is in, the amount of pain he’s been in for probably all his life. She just didn’t see it before. But she can see it now. He’s hiding so much from her, has their entire life together. In all reality, they were only together for a little under eight years before she died. “Ash, I’m not her.”
“Not who?” Ash frowns.
“Artemis.” Dawn whispers.
Ash’s face pales, guilt stabbing through his beautiful eyes. “I would never, in a million years, compare you to Artemis. You are nothing like her. You never have been and you never will be. Have I made you think you are like her?”
“No, not really.” Dawn shakes her head. “It’s just….you expect me to hurt you, don’t you?”
“You would never purposefully hurt me, baby, I know that.” Ash kisses her temple.
“What did she do to you?” Dawn asks.
“You don’t need to know that, auyun, it’s nothing you need to hear.” Ash shakes his head.
“I’m not Auyn, not anymore.” Dawn holds his face firmly between her hands, keeping her gaze locked onto his. “I’m not some innocent girl that needs to be sheltered and protected. I’ve seen a lot of crap in the past six years, most of it bad.”
“Artemis never gave anything freely.” Ash says quietly. “Ever. Everything she did for me came at a price.”
“So every time you gave a Dark-Hunter back his soul?” Dawn prods.
“She made me pay.” Ash says.
“Pay how?” Dawn asks.
“Sex, violence, blood…whatever she wanted.” Ash says, jaw clenched tightly.
When it comes down to it, Dawn isn’t a violent person. She knows violence is necessary at times, but unlike her sister, she prefers to try to work a situation out before resorting to violence. But right now, she wants to beat the shit out of a certain red-headed goddess. “She treated you like a whore.”
“Yes.” Ash agrees, gently moving her off his body. “I need to take a shower.”
Dawn watches him walk away, having never seen her husband look so defeated. So broken. Like he thinks she’s going to be disgusted or walk away from him because of what Artemis did to him. And for the first time, she realizes how insecure and lonely her husband really is. While she’s been thinking she wasn’t attractive enough to keep him, he’s been thinking he’s not good enough for her. And she needs to know why. So she calls the one person that can tell her and won’t refuse to. Her daddy.
Ash stands under the spray of water, trying to let the water cleanse him. It doesn’t work. All he can think of is his life before Dawn, hell, his life before Artemis when he was nothing but a drug-addicted whore. Dirty and undesirable, nothing that should ever touch someone as innocent as Dawn.
He feels Savitar enter his home and knows instantly why the other immortal is there; because Dawn called him. Either to take her away, which would be his first assumption, or to tell her what he himself won’t. Not that Savitar knows himself but he does know how to access the past, could show Dawn what he was before.
He wouldn’t tell her before, not Auyn. She was too pure, too sheltered to be exposed to that filth of his existence. Savitar wouldn’t have told her before either. But Dawn, that’s different. She won’t back down and she wants to know something, she will force it out of whomever knows it.
He wants to stop them, flash out to his bedroom and make Savitar leave, let everything go back to how it was before this afternoon. Before he realized how perfectly selfless his wife is. She gave power away, free and clear, because it wasn’t hers to have. He doesn’t know many humans that would give power away, not the power of a God. Without Sin’s powers, hers are greatly depleted….and she doesn’t care in the least. She’s too good for him and if he wasn’t a selfish bastard, he would let her find someone not as tainted as him. But he’s not. He can’t live without her. Exist without her.
Dawn watches Ash’s life, his brutal and violent human life, flash before her eyes, tears running down her cheeks. Every time her husband reached out to someone, they just smacked him down. She wants so badly to hold him, kiss him, to tell him how beautiful and wonderful he really is. To give him what no one else in his life ever would, not his parents, his family, his brother…every damn person he met. Oh, his sister tried to help him but she couldn’t help but be disgusted by him while she did it. And then there’s Artemis, who shattered him in ways no one else did. Treated him like a worthless whore, a thing that she was ashamed of and had to keep hidden from everyone. She pulls herself out of the memories when she sees herself, that time outside of Artemis’s chambers.
“Are you okay, baby-girl?” Savitar asks, concern in his voice and eyes.
Dawn shakes her head as she presses a kiss to his cheek. “Thank you, daddy. I’ll call you later, okay?”
Savitar nods, kisses her forehead, and flashes away.
Dawn strips off her clothes as she pads to the bathroom, where her husband is still taking a shower. His shoulders tense when she walks in, like he’s expecting her to hit him or scream at him. To push him away like everyone else did. But she doesn’t, instead climbs into the shower with him, wrapping her arms around his rigid body, face burying in his chest. “I love you so much, Ash.”
Ash tenses when Dawn walks into the bathroom, not ready for her disgust and hate. He expects her to rage at him, to throw things, and call him every name in the book but she does none of those. She just wraps her arms around him, buries her face in his chest, and whispers the words he loves to hear. “I love you so much, Ash.”
He shudders and buries his face in her hair.
“You are such a wonderful, selfless man.” Dawn whispers. “I can’t imagine….I don’t deserve you.”
“What, no, of course you do, auyun.” Ash pulls back from her hair, tilting her chin up to look at him.
“No, I don’t.” Dawn shakes her head. “You went through so much horror, so much pain. I don’t know how you survived it with any semblance of sanity or compassion. And yet you are the sweetest, most giving person I’ve ever met. All the fights and tantrums I used to throw because I felt ignored….god, I was a selfish little brat. You are a beautiful, amazing man, Acheron Parthenopaeus, and don’t you ever think otherwise.”
Ash lifts her up, arms hooking under her ass as he brings her closer. “I love you, Dawn, so much.”
“I know.” Dawn cups his face, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips. “Can we go to bed now?”
Ash moves to flash them but stops himself before he does so. Instead, he carries her to their bedroom, bodies drying before they reach the mattress. To his shock, Dawn doesn’t put a shirt on, just pulls him down on the bed with her, letting his head rest on her chest. She wraps her arms around him, holding him against her.
For the first time in his entire life, including the marriage he forgot, he’s never felt so loved, so accepted. He hid what he was from her before because he didn’t want her to ever look at him the way his sister did. He knows she wouldn’t of left him but she might have been disgusted and he couldn’t have handled that. They don’t make love, just sleep, his wife wrapped protectively around his body.
“How’s Acheron?” Savitar questions his daughter, long body sprawled back on his chair. “Is everything….”
“He’s fine, daddy, perfect.” Dawn smiles, happily eating her Sweet-n-Sour chicken. The restaurant around them is packed, people moving around, going on about their everyday lives. “We’re perfect.”
“I can see that.” Savitar smiles at the blissful, glowing look on her face. “I’ve missed you.”
“I hasn’t been that long.” Dawn frowns. “Has it?”
“Two weeks, Auyn.” Savitar says. “Two weeks since you asked me for Ash’s past.”
“Oh.” Dawn murmurs. “Wow, it didn’t feel like that long. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, baby-girl.” Savitar smiles at her concern. “I just missed you.”
“I missed you too.” Dawn says. “Why didn’t you come visit?”
“I know you and Ash needed time.” Savitar replies. “I assume you’ve worked everything out.”
“Yep.” Dawn hesitates. “You didn’t watch them, did you?”
“No.” Savitar shakes his head. “Ash has gone to great lengths to hide his past. He wants it to remain that way.”
“Thanks.” Dawn says, knowing how much it would hurt her husband for anyone to find out his past.
“Where is Ash, by the way?”
“Some Dark-Hunter thing.” Dawn shrugs. “He didn’t want me to go with so I decided to spend some time with my daddy instead.”
“And the girls?” Savitar asks.
“With Sin and Kat.” Dawn replies. “Having some quality ‘sister’ time.”
Savitar laughs, can just imagine what the three females are putting the Sumerian God through.
“Daddy?” Dawn says hesitantly.
“Yeah, baby?” Savitar arches a brow.
“I kinda need a favor or two.” Dawn says. “And I know you’re not going to like them, not at all.”
“Whatever you need, I’m sure it can’t be that bad.” Savitar frowns.
It is that bad.
“Papa.” Dawn whispers.
Zeus looks up from the book in his lap, a serene smile crossing his mouth at the sight of his daughter. “Come to me, baby-girl.”
Dawn runs across the room, jumping on her papa’s bed with a happy squeal. She throws her arms around his neck, squeezing tightly. “I missed you, papa.”
“I missed you too, Auyn.” Zeus whispers. “How are you?”
“Peachy with a side of keen.” Dawn chirps and then frogs him on the leg, hard. “Butthole.”
Savitar laughs loudly, head thrown back.
“What the hell was that for?” Zeus rubs his thigh. “And since when do you hit?”
“Hello, you bound me to the ‘red-headed heifer’ that tortured my husband for ten thousand years.” Dawn glares at him. “It kinda pissed me off a bit. And the hitting thing, kinda goes hand and hand with living on the hell mouth, fighting Uncle Hay-Hay’s creatures.”
“What?” Zeus roars. “You’re not meant to fight. You are to be protected.”
“Then the Fates never should have sent me to a slayer for protection.” Dawn says.
“You knew this?” Zeus accuses Savitar.
“Yes, eventually.” Savitar nods, still smiling as he watches the Greek God rub his thigh. “She packs quite a punch, doesn’t she?”
“Yes.” Zeus scowls. “Not many would get away with assaulting me, Auyn.”
“You love me.” Dawn says without an ounce of doubt in her voice.
“That I do.” Zeus hugs her to his chest, pressing a kiss against her forehead. “Is he taking care of you?”
“Of course.” Dawn nods. “He always has.”
“I know.” Zeus sighs heavily. “It doesn’t mean I like him.”
“I know.” Dawn kisses his cheek. “I love you, papa.”
“I love you too, baby girl.” Zeus says sincerely.
“That being said, if you help her hurt my husband in anyway ever again, I will not forgive you for it.” Dawn says. “I love you but I can live without you. I can’t live without him.”
“Artemis will never interfere with your life again.” Zeus assures her. “As of now, she is allowed to have nothing to do with Dark-Hunters, that includes the Atlantean.”
“Thank you, papa.” Dawn hugs him again. “So, where’s my wonderful and cheerfully sweet step-mother?”
“Around somewhere.” Zeus laughs at his daughter’s description of his wife. “Would you like me to go get her?”
“No thanks.” Dawn shakes her head. “She hates me and we all know it. I just wanted a quick visit before daddy takes me to get a tattoo.”
Dawn laughs at the expressions on her fathers’ faces, amused that they’re so put out by the idea of her getting a tattoo when they both have numerous ones. “Did I leave that part of the favor out?”
“Yes, you did.” Savitar scowls. “I am not taking you to get a tattoo.”
Dawn grimaces, squeezing her fathers’ hands.
“I told you it would hurt.” Savitar says in perfect Greek.
“Yeah, so block the pain like you would for anything else.” Dawn says back.
“If you didn’t insist on doing something so ridiculous, you wouldn’t be in pain.” Zeus growls in Greek.
“Please, you two have tattoos.” Dawn rolls her eyes. “This is something I want to do, for me. This isn’t for Ash, it’s for me.”
“You’re marking yourself with both his emblem and his name.” Savitar says. “How is that for you?”
“Because I belong to him and that’s never going to change.” Dawn sighs with relief when one of her fathers, she’s not sure which one, blocks her pain as the tattoo artist needles away at the back of her neck, where she’s having Ash’s emblem tattooed, a sun pierced with three lightening bolts. Below it, on the small of her back, ‘Acheron’ is tattooed in two inch script, the color the same silver as her husband’s eyes. That tattoo didn’t hurt very much, nothing like the one on the back of her neck, which while is so much smaller, is taking more time because of the color. “And I want everyone to know, including Ash.”
Zeus rolls his eyes.
“They’re nice tats.” Savitar admits. “Rock always does a good job.”
“And you’re sure they won’t fade?” Dawn asks.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Savitar replies. “I fixed the ink.”
“Thanks, daddy.” Dawn says. “I would smile at you but then he’d mess up.”
“And we wouldn’t want that.” Zeus rolls his eyes. “Your love for the Atlantean still confounds me.”
“I know.” Dawn says. “Just like your love for Hera….and her love for you. Because while I love you, papa, I know you’re little better than a manwhore.”
Savitar laughs at the affronted look on Zeus’s face….he’s loving how mouthy their daughter is. It’s amusing to watch her call Zeus out on his faults, which she would have never done before.
“I am not a whore.” Zeus growls. “I never seek profit for sex.”
“Okay, maybe not a manwhore.” Dawn agrees. “How bouts a horndog?”
“You’re a brat and I’m not sure I love you anymore.” Zeus scowls.
Dawn reaches out an arm to pat his leg. “Yes, you do. And hey, at least now you don’t have to hide your vices from me. I’m not that naïve little girl anymore.”
Zeus cocks his head. “That is true.”
“So, papa, I think you should get ‘Hera sucks’ tattooed on your chest.” Dawn says. “In regular ink. Can you imagine what she’ll do when she sees it?”
Zeus laughs with his daughter and surprisingly enough, her other father. “Hera would have a fit. Which is always amusing.”
“So, which one do you think I should get?” Dawn looks between her fathers, seeking their advise. Which neither of them give as their both staring at her, mouths hanging open. “Daddy, papa, a little help here would be appreciated.” As she says it, her phone rings, ‘Sexyback’ playing loudly. She flips it open with a smile. “Hey baby, how’s the hunting going?”
“Fine.” Ash drawls. “When is your father bringing you home?”
“In a few.” Dawn replies. “We’re at the store, does anybody need anything?”
There’s muffled silence as Ash asks, various responses sounding out. “Ice cream, chips, pop, pizza, chocolate milk, pizza rolls, spaghetti….”
“I get it, sweetie.” Dawn cuts him off with a laugh. “We’ll just go grocery shopping.”
“Who’s we?” Ash asks.
“Me, daddy, and papa.” Dawn replies. “We’ve been hanging out all day.”
Ash laughs. “And they’re both still in one piece?”
“Yep.” Dawn laughs with him. “I’ll be home a bit longer than a few. Love you.”
“Love you too.” Ash says. “Be careful.”
“I will.” Dawn assures him. “Bye.”
Dawn flips the phone closed and sticks it into her purse. “Okay, did you guys decide yet?”
Zeus is the first to speak, finger pointing at a box. “I recall seeing a commercial about that one being the most sophisticated piece of plastic you’ll ever pee on.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.” Dawn agrees as she grabs the pregnancy test and throws it into her cart. “Come on, we have to go grocery shopping.”
“You’re pregnant?” Savitar manages to choke out.
“I think so.” Dawn pats her belly. “My pants are getting too tight and with the nausea whenever I teleport somewhere, it kinda make sense. And if I’m right, I got pregnant the first time me and Ash made love, which was a little over a month ago.”
“Which would make you almost five months pregnant.” Zeus says. “And Acheron hasn’t made you see a doctor?”
“He was going to but I stopped puking whenever we flashed somewhere about a week and a half ago so he’s laid of the doctory concern.” Dawn yawns as she pushes the cart. Today has been the most active she’s been in a while, the past two weeks spent either in bed with her husband or playing with her daughters. Or sleeping, which she’s been doing a lot of. She’s pretty sure Ash knows something is up with her, but like the wonderful man that he is, he’s letting her be, not forcing it out of her. She shops on autopilot, not thinking about the cost and just throwing food into the cart. She’s enjoyed the day spent with her fathers but misses Ash; they haven’t spent more than a hour apart since she saw his memories. Within thirty minutes, her cart is packed full and she’s pushing towards a checkout lane. She uses the credit card Ash gave her two weeks ago, insisting she buy whatever she wants. The only thing she’s used it on is her tattoos and now the groceries. She pushes the cart outside and once there, Savitar flashes them to her home.
“Hey, baby.” Ash greets her instantly, sealing his mouth over hers in a light kiss. He wraps his arms around her, hands palming her belly, and looks at the two men behind her. “Savitar, Zeus.”
“Ash.” Savitar nods.
“Atlantean.” Zeus forces out.
“Akra, you back.” Simi runs into the room, Claudia on her heels. “We missed you, right Kat-akra?”
“Right.” Kat agrees. “Hi, grandpa. And grandpa.” Then she moves forward to hug her mother. “Hey, mama.”
“Hey baby.” Dawn pushes up on her tiptoes to kiss her forehead. “How’s Sin?”
“Insane.” Kat laughs. “And vowing to never have daughters.”
“The Sin don’t like to dance with us, akri.” Simi complains. “And he don’t like J.T.”
Ash laughs. “So you had a good time?”
“Yep.” Simi nods.
“How about you, little one?” Ash asks Claudia.
“Uh, huh, akri.” Claudia nods. “Sin is funny.”
“That he is.” Kat agrees, hugging her mom again. “And I better get back to him, try to make up for the torture we subjected him too.”
“Bye, baby-girl.” Dawn says.
“Bye, mama.” Kat moves over to hug her dad. “Bye, daddy.”
“Bye, baby.” Ash kisses her forehead. “Be careful.”
“I will.” Then she moves to her grandpas, one of which she hasn’t seen in over ten thousand years.
“You’re beautiful.” Zeus murmurs, hugging her close. “I didn’t know about you. Artemis hid you well.”
“I know, grandpa.” Kat murmurs against his chest. “You would have taken me from her if you had.”
“Yes.” Zeus agrees. “I wouldn’t have let her raise you had I know.”
“I missed you.” Kat whispers.
“I missed you too, little one.” Zeus says. “Why don’t you and your mama come visit me soon.”
“Okay.” Kat nods. “And grandpa?”
“I suppose.” Zeus sighs. “I have gotten used to his presence.”
Kat kisses his cheek. “Love you.”
“Love you too.” Zeus murmurs.
Kat hugs him again and then moves to Savitar, hugging him tightly. “Bye, grandpa.”
“Bye, baby.” Savitar says. “Make sure that boyfriend of yours stays in line or I’ll kick his ass.”
“I will.” Kat laughs, hugs him again. “Love you, bye.” Then she flashes away, waving at her parents as she goes.
“I better be going to.” Zeus reaches for his daughter, hugging her tightly. “Love you, baby girl.”
“I love you too, papa.” Dawn kisses his cheek. “You have to record Hera’s reaction or something, I can’t wait to see it.”
“I will.” Zeus assures her. “I’ll see you later.”
“Bye.” Dawn hugs him again.
“Take care of her.” Zeus orders Ash.
“I will.” Ash says firmly.
Zeus nods and then is gone.
“Call me when you know.” Savitar whispers in her ear as he kisses her cheek. “I love you, baby.”
“Love you too, daddy.” Dawn kisses his cheek and then he’s gone.
“Oh, food.” Vi says as she runs into the room. “Thank god, I’m starving.”
“Can you put everything away for me?” Dawn asks the slayer. “Without eating it all?”
Vi sticks her tongue out at Dawn as she grabs the cart standing a few feet from the watcher. “I’ll try not to….pizza rolls, these are so mine.”
“Nuh uh, you’re so sharing.” Phoebe walks into the room, Urian on her heels. “Is there ice cream?”
“Yep.” Vi nods. “Thanks, Dawnie.”
“You’re welcome.” Dawn says. “Simi, Claudia, are you staying with Vi and Pheebs?”
“You goin’ somewhere, akra?” Simi frowns.
“Take a shower and go to bed.” Dawn says.
“The Simi and the Claudia are hungry.” Simi flutters over to hug Dawn. “Is my akra okay?”
“I’m fine, baby.” Dawn kisses her forehead. “Just tired.”
“Okay.” Simi hugs her again.
“Come here, Claudia.” Dawn holds her arms out to the little slayer whom is still shy when it comes to physical affections. The little girl runs into her arms, face burying against Dawn’s neck. “Did you have fun today?”
“Uh huh.” Claudia nods. “Sin and Kat-akra took us swimming and Sin threwed me real high.”
“I’m glad you had fun.” Dawn kisses her forehead.
“I liked swimming in the pool.” Claudia says. “It not scary like the ocean.”
“I like pools too.” Dawn whispers in Claudia’s ear. “Maybe your akri will make us one if you ask him nicely.” She kisses them both on their foreheads and then sets them on their feet, squeezing her husband’s hand as she walks past, satchel held tightly in her hand.
Claudia and Simi instantly launch themselves at Ash. “Akri, can we have a pool?” Claudia asks hopefully. “With a slide?”
Ash wants to follow his wife but instead laughs at the identical hopeful looks on his girls’ faces. “Of course we can, as long as you understand you can’t swim alone.”
“Okay.” Claudia nods. “Claudia swim with her Simi?”
“Of course.” Ash says. “Alexion and Danger like to swim too.”
“Sure do.” Alexion holds his arms out to take the two girls from his boss. “But how about you two eat first?”
“The Simi is hungry, Lexxie.” Simi says. “Xirena is hungry too, Lexxie?”
“Probably.” Alexion sets the girls onto their feet and releases Xirena from his body. “Food first, and then swimming. After we find the pool, that is.”
“It’s on the back of the west wing.” Ash says. “Have fun.” He smiles as he listens to the three girls chatter, Simi’s voice louder than her sisters. In a matter of two weeks, Claudia has become his daughter, he can’t imagine not having her around or imagine giving her up.
Ash can hear the shower running before he even makes it to his bedroom. The last two weeks have been wonderful, perfect even or as close to perfect as it can be. He’s spent most of the last two weeks in bed with his wife, venturing out only to help Dark-Hunters and play with the girls. Dawn stopped getting sick when he flashed them anywhere about a week or so ago, which is the only reason he hasn’t taken her to a doctor. Today was the first time they’ve been apart for more than an hour and he can admit it wasn’t fun. He missed her.
The bathroom is full of steam, so much so that the mirror is fogged over, and he can make out his wife’s body through the shower curtain. He dissolves his clothes off as he steps inside behind her. A growl rumbles through his chest, the back of his wife’s neck and the small of her back both dressed in thick, white bandages. “What happened?”
“Um, hey baby.” Dawn turns to face him, wrapping her arm around his neck. “How was your day?”
“Fine.” Ash cups her ass cheeks, pulling her more firmly against him. “What happened?”
Dawn ignores him, inside smothers kisses across his jaw, sucking softly on his chiseled chin, before nipping her way down his throat. She sucks softly on his jugular, dragging her fangs across his smooth skin. Ash hisses, another growl rumbling through his belly. She fights the urge to bury her fangs in skin and instead kisses her way down his chest to play with his perfect abs. She runs her fingernail around the outline of each one, smiling to herself when her husband groans, loudly. Then she does it again, only with her tongue, and barely keeps from giggling when her husband starts cursing in Atlantean. His cock is near her breasts, the rock hard staff rubbing against her soft skin. She kneels down in front of him, grasping his large cock in her small hands.
“Auyun, you don’t have to.” Ash murmurs, head thrown back against the shower wall in ecstasy. Like normal, she doesn’t listen, instead runs her tongue back and forth over the tip of his cock. Then she reins kisses up and down the shaft, her hands squeezing his balls rhythmically as she does so. She sucks his cock into her mouth, tongue caressing him until it feels like he’ll go out of his mind. She likes for him to come in her mouth, which he also likes, but he needs to be inside her, now.
Dawn whimpers when Ash pulls her away from his cock and then mewls loudly when he lifts her up, arms hooking under her knees to spread her wide. He enters her in one hard thrust, both of them moaning at the impact. He makes love to her with quick, hard movements while still remaining gentle. Within moments, she’s sobbing his name, body arching in his arms.
Ash dries them off as he walks to their bed, placing Dawn on her stomach. “What happened?”
“Why don’t you take ’em off and see for yourself.” Dawn suggests. “Start with the top one.”
Ash frowns and slowly starts to remove the bandage, sighing softly at what he finds. His emblem, a smaller version of the tattoo he has on his own body, is tattooed on the back of her neck. “Auyun, you didn’t have to do this.”
“I know.” Dawn murmurs sleepily. “But I wanted to.”
“It’s beautiful.” Ash presses a gentle kiss to the tattoo, healing the slightly scarred ink.
“Whadja do?” Dawn asks.
“Saved you from a few days of itchy skin.” Ash says. “It doesn’t hurt but it is annoying as hell.”
“Thanks.” Dawn turns her head to find his lips. “Now the other one.”
“You got two tattoos?” Ash frowns. “And your fathers approved?”
“Approved, not really.” Dawn says. “But you know them, they can’t tell me no.”
Ash hums noncommittal as he gently removes the second bandage. He knows what the tattoo is as he pulls back the first corner of the bandage and his heart swells. His emblem was enough of a display of devotion but this takes it to a whole different level. Right above her ass, on the small of her back, from one end to the other, his name is tattooed in two inch script, the same silver as his eyes. “This is….auyun, why did you do this?”
“Because I’m yours.” Dawn says simply. “Every part of me. And it’s something I’m proud of, something I will not hide from anyone.”
Ash traces his finger over his name, healing this tattoo as he did the first one. He presses a kiss against the ’e’ in his name and then lifts her up onto his lap. “You didn’t have to do this but I love that you did.”
“I love them.” Dawn kisses his chin. “Now, let me up.”
“Why?” Ash lets her go, watching as she digs through her satchel to pull out a plastic bag.
“Be right back.” Dawn hugs the bag to her chest and runs into the bathroom. “And stop looking at my ass.”
“Not going to happen, love.” Ash calls, head tilting to watch her ass sway.
Dawn blows him a raspberry before slamming the bathroom door shut. She opens the plastic bag and grabs the ’Easy Clear’ box, tearing it open. She knows the basics, pee on the stick, wait a few minutes for lines to appear. Except in this test’s case, a plus sign appears if you’re pregnant and a negative sign if you’re not. Hand shaking, she pees on the stick, biting her lip nervously.
She washes her hands when done, placing the plastic cap over the part she peed on, and then leaves the bathroom, taking a deep breath as she walks into the bedroom.
“Are you okay?” Ash asks, concernedly.
“Uh huh.” Dawn jumps onto the bed next to him, shoving the test into his hand. “Okay, you get to look.”
“Look at….you’re pregnant?” Ash looks from the bit of plastic in his hand to his wife’s face.
“I think so and so do you.” Dawn replies nervously. “And I’m a bit freaked out cuz this might be too soon but I want to be pregnant. I want to have your baby, again.”
“Me too.” Ash says huskily.
“Then look.” Dawn orders. “Plus means yes, minus means no.”
He doesn’t have to look to know, he knows Dawn’s body better than his own and it is changing. But he looks anyways and a vivid plus is staring back at him. And even though he knew, seeing actual proof is staggering.
“Ash, I’m freaking out.” Dawn prods.
“Yes.” Ash whispers.
Dawn squeals excitedly and throws herself at him.
“Whoa, baby, you’re going to hurt yourself.” Ash catches her to his chest, smoothing her hair back gently. “You have to be more careful.”
“Ash, I’m pregnant, not dying.” Dawn rolls her eyes. “This can’t be like before. I can walk and go outside, I’m not breakable.”
Ash just lifts her up, pulls the covers back, and gently tucks her under them. “Do you need anything?”
“Yes, my husband to stop treating me like I’m a piece of glass and talk to me because I’m freaking out.” Dawn pulls him down beside her. “Are you mad? Upset?”
“Not even close.” Ash gently pulls her against him. “I’m ecstatic. Beyond happy. You’re having my baby, again.” He cups her belly, closing his eyes as it completely hits him. “We’re having another baby.”
“I know.” Dawn presses her hand over his, leaning her head against his shoulder. “I want to have lots of Parthenopaeus babies. Tons of them. Like an entire football team of Parthenopaeus babies.”
Ash kisses her forehead and cups her belly more fully. “Me too, baby, me too.”