Chapter 6: I’d Have Baked a Cake – part 8
The data pad in Addison’s hand tumbled to the living room floor as a smile spread across her face. He’s been thinking about me all day? Although the notion filled her with warmth, it also nudged Addison’s skeptical side. Shane could have been thinking about dissecting her slice by slice under a microscope. But that didn’t seem—or feel—right. She’d let him past her mental defenses. If Shane wanted her incapacitated, he could have done so already.
He wants to be with me. Again. Here. Addison wanted to say yes, so much so that it gave her pause. She sat up straight on the couch and took a deep breath. What are you doing? she asked herself for the umpteenth time. One moment she wanted to claw the man’s eyes out, and the next she was snuggling with him! Yes, they’d shagged, but this wasn’t about sex. What was it about? Getting involved with the father of her child could only complicate her life. Did she want that sort of complication? Did he?
Jacob radiated encouragement and happiness. Addison rubbed her belly, basking in her son’s pure, unconditional love. On impulse she reached mentally for her daughter. Despite being sound asleep, Ashlynn returned affection. She and Jacob made life easier and so much harder. If Addison let Shane into her life, he’d likely do the same.
Addison blinked. He already has.
If not for Jacob, Shane wouldn’t have survived the eternity it took for Addison to reply. His son’s love and happiness eased his worry and uncertainty. Everything was simple for Jacob. Shane envied him.
Finally Addison replied. I understand completely. Let me know when you’re ready and I’ll come for you.
Shane grinned from ear to ear. Okay. I’ll contact you in a little while. Then he dropped his connection with his crystal. Better to end the conversation than risk rambling again.
Walking back to his quarters required deliberate effort. Inside Shane was jumping up and down like a teenager whose dream date finally said yes. No matter how illogical and possibly dangerous his actions were, he was overjoyed that he’d soon be with the woman he couldn’t get enough of and his son. And he’d be teleported!
The first thing that Shane did upon entering his quarters was jerk off. He didn’t allow himself to feel embarrassed or foolish by his lack of self-control. It was necessary so he didn’t jump the woman when she appeared in his quarters.
With his libido temporarily appeased, Shane shaved off the day’s worth of stubble, then frowned at the clothes hanging neatly in his closet. He knew he had no eye for fashion, so he’d had his lovers over the years select clothes for him. After a few moments of indecision, Shane chose the outfit Ingrid had called “fuck-me casual:” a simple black T-shirt and tailored khakis. The shirt was tighter than Shane preferred, but Ingrid said that it showed off his muscle tone. He took her word for it.
Even as he donned his carefully selected clothing Shane chastised himself for preening for Addison. Why was he bothering? She wanted him. He wanted her. So far there was no clear ulterior motive. Preening for a nine months pregnant woman with a uber-psychic four year old, Shane mused, shaking his head at himself. Amazing.
Once he was ready he stood in the middle of the living room, pulled his prism from the pocket of his khakis, and made it glow to life. Okay, he thought. Addison’s “smile” made him smile as well. Whenever you’re ready.
Addison kept busy while waiting for Shane. Checking on Ashlynn killed a few minutes, and softly singing to Jacob a few more. Still her nerves mounted. Although she’d had plenty of casual lovers, Shane somehow turned Addison into a schoolgirl about to get her first kiss.
Addison channeled her nervous energy into cleaning. The work she’d brought home and Ashlynn’s toys cluttered the living room. Telekinesis made quick work of it.
Next up was Addison’s appearance. After a quick glance in her closet, Addison gave up with a laugh. There was no way to make beached whale look sexy. She settled for a short peach maternity gown and matching robe, then turned her attention to her hair. Her normally short, dark curls almost brushed her shoulders. Her hair and nails liked pregnancy hormones. Despite feeling silly for preening, Addison applied a bit of lipstick and eye liner.
Shane’s Okay, whenever you’re ready, brought a smile to her face and came not a moment too soon.
Coming, Addison replied and concentrated on his location. A moment later she stood in Shane’s quarters, four feet from the man himself. She’d expected his usual dress shirt and trousers. The dark tee conforming to Shane’s lean muscle was a pleasant surprise. Addison bit her lip as her eyes traced his contours. Blimey, but he’s fit.
Once Addison’s eyes had completed their head-to-toe circuit of her lover, she strode up to Shane. Her– their son sleeping inside her prevented Addison from getting as close as she would have liked, so she only managed to rest her hands on his shoulders. “Are you ready?”
Watching the gorgeous, fiery mother of his son appear literally out of thin air left Shane speechless. He drank in the sight of her. Shane couldn’t put his finger on what, but Addison had done something to look even hotter than usual. His hormones rallied despite the fact that his body wasn’t ready to follow through.
Judging from Addison’s expression, she liked what she saw as well. Pride swelled, but it felt different somehow. After a moment Shane realized why: he didn’t feel smug. Flattered, yes, and genuinely happy to please.
Addison’s touch carried her happiness, mild arousal, and lingering nerves. She’s nervous, too, Shane marveled.
“Are you ready?”
Shane smiled. “Yes.” He was surprised by how honest the answer was.
“All right then.” Shane felt her concentration, then her body temperature spike followed by his, and energy sparked around them. His living room seemed to dissolve into an unfamiliar one; presumably Addison’s.
Shane’s awe of her ability made Addison smile. She didn’t often demonstrate her teleportation ability. She could count all of the people she’d teleported on one hand. Shane had been added with no hesitation.
The living room was still something of an organized chaos, but it didn’t embarrass Addison. With a four year-old and a baby ready to be born, organized chaos was the best she could hope for.
As if to punctuate the thought, Jacob let loose with a kick and a punch. Surprise and happiness surged from Shane. After a moment Addison realized why. With her belly pressed against him, he’d felt Jacob’s movements.
Addison smiled, then winced when Jacob’s foot lodged in her rib cage. She pushed at the spot, annoyed, while empathically urging Jacob find another position. “He’s a bit confined now,” she told Shane, “so he doesn’t have quite the room to move that he would like. But he’s definitely got quite a punch and kick.” Her words caught up with her, and Addison grew self-conscious. “A bit of mood killer, then, eh?”
Shane was so focused on his son that he didn’t notice Addison’s discomfort until she spoke. He left one hand on her belly as he replied. “I guess it should be, but it’s not.” The smile Addison gave him made his stomach do a somersault. Feeling unsure and awkward, Shane nodded at the couch. “Can we, um… sit and talk?” Addison blinked with surprise, but agreed.
After clearing some of Ashlynn’s toys away they settled on the cushions. Shane wasn’t sure if he was supposed to put his arm around Addison or hold her hand, so he just sat close enough that their legs were touching. Addison seemed satisfied and extremely curious, so Shane forced himself to speak before he lost his nerve. “I need to tell you about me. So you’ll understand Jake.”
For some reason relief flowed from Addison. He’d expected fear or wariness. Instead she met his eyes. “Go on.”
“You know that I’m not completely human.” Addison nodded. After fighting back another urge to flee from the conversation, Shane continued, “My mother was human.” The word “was” prompted sympathy from Addison, which sparked anger. “Don’t,” Shane snapped. More calmly he explained, “I don’t remember her. She gave me up when I was a baby.” Addison nodded again. “As far as I can tell my father was an energy being. I never knew him. I think he was…”
Shane gulped. This part always made his audience squirm. He broke eye contact and kept talking. “…wearing a human body when he impregnated my mother. So I’m mostly human with this extra energy. I can feel it in Jacob, so I know that he’s like me to some degree. Except for that energy he should be a normal human. A normal human/Homo superior hybrid. I’ll help him understand the part that’s different.”
Despite his best efforts resentment, bitterness, and loneliness welled up; everything Shane didn’t want to expose to Addison and their son. Seeing no other choice, he retreated to his placid alien side. It was lonely there, but without emotions he didn’t care.