Chapter 6: I’d Have Baked a Cake – part 10
One of the thoughts lazily floating in Shane’s mind was wondering what had just happened. They’d had mind-blowing sex, but there was more to it. Whatever it was, it was breathtakingly beautiful. Etching the sensations into his memory, Shane resolved to examine them later. Right now he was curled around an amazing woman and his unborn son.
Addison’s stray thought prompted Shane to pry his eyes open. They lay on a bed covered with a flower-print comforter. Teleported to Addison’s bedroom, he presumed. Shane had no idea when they’d done so, but he didn’t really care, either.
Shane stretched, sighing contentedly. Why so long? Triptych and pride. Addison rolled on to her back, giving him a curious look. Pride for me, anyway. I can be a stubborn sonofabitch, he added with a grin.
Addison ran her fingers through his hair. “You can,” she teased. You’re right about Triptych.
Shane nodded. I’ll never leave— He couldn’t, but he didn’t want to broach that subject yet. —because of all of the perks and groundbreaking work being done, but this place makes everything complicated. He met Addison’s eyes. Things that shouldn’t be. She rewarded him with her bright smile.
The smile faltered as Addison struggled to roll her baby-heavy body to face him. Shane helped with his hands and a bit of telekinesis. Addison wiggled close, taking Shane’s hand and sliding one leg between his. It’s hard to not look over your shoulder. Triptych has a hold over all of us. Addison’s free hand moved to her belly. That’s why I bonded with him so early. I wasn’t supposed to be a part of his life. It was the same with Ashlynn. But they need me. There wasn’t a psychic powerful enough to help her, and she was my baby girl.
As tears welled in Addison’s dark eyes, images of a wrinkled, red-faced newborn flashed in Shane’s mind. He felt her love and determination. Then she moved his hand to her abdomen. Just like with Jacob. You’re here now. You love him and you’ll help protect him. Addison smiled through her tears with heart in her eyes. I only told you to be a bitch and draw first blood. But I’m glad I did. I’m glad he’ll have you.
Shane managed to smile even more broadly. Me, too. A jumble of nerves and happiness pulsed from Addison, which mirrored his emotions. Jacob, the little imp, added his own joy to the mix.
They lay quietly for a while, tired but not drowsy. Eventually Shane voiced the question that kept nagging at him. Addison.
She met his eyes candidly. Yes?
For no particular reason he brushed his lips against hers, which made her smile. I hate to ask, but… in the morning… Addison’s smile disappeared. Shane sent her a wave of reassurance. How are we going to handle this? Pretend it’s not happening, at least in public? Acknowledge it? Some couples here have survived. Married even. Apprehension from Addison prompted him to add, I’m not asking for that. I’m just saying.
Shane hugged Addison and their son closer. Right now they were simple and comforting. He could avoid the complications of Triptych for a few more hours.
Wrapped in Shane’s arms with Jacob drifting to sleep inside of her, Addison felt something unusual: contentment. On impulse she kissed Shane’s cheek and brushed her lips across his. She didn’t want to think about tomorrow or the next day, but knew that they needed to.
Might we keep this between us—and Ashlynn—for a bit? Things will be stressful enough, in a good way, once Jake is born. Addison ran her fingers up Shane’s arm to caress his shoulder. He leaned into her touch. She’s getting used to the idea of having to share my attention with her baby brother. Now she’ll have to adjust to two new men in our lives. Let’s give it some time for all of us, yeah?
Relief coursed from Shane as he nodded agreement. He propped his head up on one hand and glanced around the room. His gaze lingered on the intricately woven Golencian headpiece adorning one wall. A thread of uncertainty crept into his otherwise good mood. “I guess I’ll be spending a lot of time here,” he murmured. Shane’s eyes unfocused, and she felt his mind touch their son’s. The uncertainty disappeared.
Smiling slightly, Shane turned back to Addison. “Tell me what it’ll be like after Jake is born. I’ve been reading about babies and parenting, but I have the feeling that the books don’t cover everything.”
Addison grinned, bemused. She didn’t have a lecture prepared on the subject. “You don’t need to hear the gory details. You love him and that’s what’s important.”
“But what about—”
Addison interrupted her lover with a kiss. “All those things they say about it being natural? They’re true. It will feel right and you’ll just know. When you don’t I’ll be here to guide you.” She laced her fingers through his, and raised Shane’s hand to her lips to kiss it. We’re in this together now. The realization wasn’t half as frightening as she’d thought it would be.