Nights Pleasure Page 52
Laughter bubbled up inside her as she tugged his briefs off and tossed them on top of her cast-off clothing.
’’My way\s faster,’’ Rane said, tucking her beneath him.
’’Maybe so.’’ She licked his chin. ’’But fast isn\ always best. Sometimes slow and easy is the way to go.’’
’’Is that how you want it?’’ he asked, nipping at her earlobe. ’’Slow and easy?’’
’’Yes,’’ she said. ’’This time.’’
’’Your way this time.’’ His hands moved over her, butterfly soft. ’’Next time, my way.’’
Savanah snuggled against her husband, her fingertips playing in the hair at his nape. ’’I like your way best.’’
His way, she thought, had been amazing. It had been like flying through rainbows, drifting through stardust, racing with the moon. She had never known such pleasure. She had often heard the term ’’two halves made whole’’ but never, until this night, had she truly known what it meant. There had been moments when she had been Rane, when she had known what he was thinking, feeling, desiring, and she had done her best to please him, and in so doing, found pleasure beyond anything she could have imagined.
Rane nuzzled the side of her neck. ’’Happy?’’
’’Oh, yes.’’ She smiled at him, and then her expression turned serious. ’’Can I ask you something?’’
’’I probably should have asked you about this sooner, or maybe later, but...well, I know this probably isn\ the right time, our being on our honeymoon and all...’’
’’Just ask me, sweetheart.’’
’’Okay.’’ She took a deep breath. ’’If I decide I\d like to have a baby in a year or two, would you mind?’’
’’Are you talking about adoption?’’ he asked, thinking about how his grandparents had adopted his mother. She hadn\ found out they were Vampires until she was a woman grown.
’’No, I was thinking of artificial insemination.’’
Rane pondered that possibility for a moment. His first reaction was that he didn\ like the idea of Savanah carrying another man\s seed, but when he thought it out, he realized he was being foolish.
’’I think it\s a wonderful idea,’’ he said, thinking it would be easier to love a child that was a part of Savanah than a child conceived by strangers. ’’Now that we\ve got that settled, would you think about doing something for me?’’
’’Something like becoming a Vampire?’’ she asked.
’’Something exactly like that.’’
’’Yes,’’ she said, ’’I\ll think about it.’’ In fact, in spare moments, she had been thinking of it quite a lot. If she decided to accept the Dark Gift, she wouldn\ want to wait until whatever children she had were grown, the way Rane\s mother had. Savanah blew out a sigh. Rane looked thirty and he would always look thirty;she was twenty-five. If she waited until her children were grown to become a Vampire, she would be forty-five or fifty. No doubt people would think she was Rane\s mother instead of his wife. But it was a decision she didn\ have to make now.
Drawing Rane\s head closer, she brushed a kiss across his lips. ’’Let\s do it again,’’ she whispered. ’’Your way.’’
Three years later
’’Breathe, Savanah. That\s right, love. Slow, deep breaths.’’
She glared up at Rane as another contraction threatened to split her in half. Why had she ever thought natural childbirth was the way to go?
Rane brushed a lock of hair from her brow, then took her hand in his. ’’Savanah, look at me.’’
’’I am looking at you.’’
His gaze locked with hers, his mind melding with hers, blocking the worst of the pain. ’’Just keep looking at me,’’ he said, his voice low and hypnotic. ’’It\ll be over soon and you\ll be holding our daughter in your arms.’’
Rane glanced at the doctor, who nodded at him. ’’Keep talking to her. The head\s crowning, we\ e almost home.’’
Rane rubbed his thumb over the back of Savanah\s hand. ’’You\ e doing fine, sweetheart. Just another few minutes...’’ He continued to murmur to her, telling her that he loved her, until the doctor asked him if he\d like to cut the cord.
Feeling like he was in a dream, Rane looked at his daughter for the first time. She had pale skin, dark blue eyes, and a thatch of thick brown hair.
He cut the cord, which was thicker than he would have thought, hovered over the nurse while she checked the baby\s vital signs. When the nurse took the baby out of the room to clean her up, Rane returned to Savanah\s side. Bending down, he kissed her on the cheek. ’’She\s beautiful, just like her mother.’’
Savanah smiled a sleepy smile.
’’Thank you, love.’’ Never in all his life had Rane expected to be a father. It didn\ matter that the child wasn\ biologically his. From this day forward, he would be her father in every way that counted.
Murmuring, ’’I love you,’’ he kissed Savanah\s cheek again, only to realize that she had fallen asleep. He couldn\ blame her for being exhausted. Watching Savanah labor to bring their daughter into the world had given him a new respect for the strength and courage of females everywhere.
Moments later, the nurse returned and placed his daughter in his arms. ’’She\s adorable,’’ the nurse said, smiling. ’’Just ring if you need anything. I\ll be right down the hall.’’
Rane stared at the tiny scrap of humanity cradled in his arms. She was small and perfect, from the top of her fuzzy little head to the soles of her adorable little feet.
’’Hello, darlin\,’’ he murmured, and would have sworn that she smiled as she curled one of her fingers around his much-larger one.
Rane glanced at Savanah. She had given him more than she would ever know. She had restored his faith in himself, given him her love and her trust, literally saved his life. And in addition to all that, she had given him a daughter.
He was marveling at his daughter\s tiny perfect toes when Mara materialized beside him. She looked radiant, as always.
’’I\ve been expecting you,’’ Rane said.
’’Sure. When Rafe and I were old enough to understand, our father told us that you named me and Rafe, and how you took our blood so you\d always know where we were.’’
Mara lifted her brows. ’’Do you have a problem with that?’’
’’No,’’ Rane said, grinning. ’’I warned Savanah you might show up.’’
’’Should I leave?’’ she asked imperiously.
’’Of course not. Don\ you want to hold your new god-child?’’
Mara smiled brightly as she took the baby from Rane\s arms. ’’Have you given her a name yet?’’
’’No. Savanah wants to name her Barbara Lynn after her mother.’’
’’And you don\ ?’’
He shrugged. ’’She doesn\ look like a Barbara to me.’’
’’No, she doesn\ .’’ Mara gazed into the baby\s eyes. ’’Her name will be Abbey. Abbey Marie.’’
Rane repeated the name, and then he nodded. ’’It fits.’’
With a nod, Mara used her thumbnail to make a shallow cut in the pad of the baby\s thumb, and then she licked the single drop of blood that oozed from the tiny cut. ’’There,’’ she murmured, licking the wound to seal it. ’’She\s beautiful, Rane. Cherish her.’’ Mara glanced at Savanah. ’’Cherish them both.’’
Rane nodded. ’’Are you okay?’’
’’Of course. Why wouldn\ I be?’’ Mara placed the baby in Rane\s arms and then, with a wave of her hand, she was gone.
Rane frowned as she vanished from his sight. There was something Mara wasn\ telling him, but he had no idea what it might be.
With a sigh, Rane pressed a kiss to his daughter\s silky-soft cheek. In a little while, he would take the baby out to show his family, but for now, for these few precious moments, his daughter was his and his alone.
And his life was again filled with magic.