I'm thrilled to have Nem out there in the world, because even though this story is told through Thommas's eyes, in truth, it's really about finding Nem, about loving Nem, about how we can hold on to an old love, only to find that the new love waiting for us is our truth.
It's no surprise that this chapter is all about wrapping things up, about Thommas surrendering to being a part of Nem forever. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you've had fun reading along. While I've had my doubts at times, I know there are some of you who have been reading, and if you have questions, now is the time. Comments are open, feel free to ask and I'll get back to any questions people have... well, almost any questions!
In the meantime, if you're behind, or were afraid to start until the story was complete, you can still read the story from the beginning.
Nem spun in my arms as we moved around the dance floor. I preferred the frenetic exultation of joy that dancing was in the Real, but Nem’s incessant smile as we circled the ballroom in measured exacting steps was so bright and wide and full of happiness that I could not bring myself to pull us from the floor. If he wanted to dance, we would dance.
I spun Nem away and pulled him back to me, circled in my arms. It was a practiced move, but once he was in my arms he stayed there, curling his head into my chest. His hand reached to my neck, and I shuddered as it grazed the bruises where he’d marked me. “You’re ready to go, aren’t you?” he asked.
“I haven’t been one to dance till midnight in a long time,” I said, kissing his cheek. “But I’m content. You’re happy. I like making you happy.”
He grinned at me, pulling back enough that he could run a finger down my chest. The other couples on the floor glared, adjusting their spins to avoid us. But Nem paid them no mind. His attention was on me—on the little gasps I was making as his finger skipped over the very low cut of my clothing and onto the cloth. “I’m wearing something special,” he said, his finger catching on the waistband of my pants.
He pulled away and grabbed my hand, dragging me past the other dancing couples and out the door.
We’d stayed in Garuth a week since Jordan had seized his opportunity to return to the Real, and Janice hadn’t. I had done my best to help her get comfortable, but in this, the Lady of Garuth had proven herself a woman of her word. While she’d made no oaths the Realm would enforce, the Lady had spent days shut in chambers with Janice, helping her with dress, customs—everything.
Yarath of Om was quietly contemplative. He’d said little in the week, and there was much to say. Though Janice had chosen to stay, she’d still not consented to being Yarath’s mate, not yet. That he’d given her the choice had been beyond noble. A mating was a directive, and every moment without her must be an agony for him. But still he waited. Perhaps he saw that this was a wait he was fated to win. Or, perhaps he simply recognized, in the way a good mate must, that this was what Janice needed of him.
Nem, on the other hand, had taken the opportunity to assume his role as Prince of Zaharoth with extreme vigor. Our lives had been banquets and dancing and balls—not to mention long tedious meetings with goblins, ogres, and pixies. He’d met also with both the Lady and Yarath of Om privately. Now, the meetings finally finished, we were spending one final night dancing. And he’d cut it short for me.
He smiled as we reached the door to our suites. Once we were inside, he kissed me soundly, in that way that made my toes curl and my body tingle. I could have stayed there all night against the door, his lips against mine, tasting of his breath and his tongue as he pressed hot against me. But that was not his plan.
Nem pulled away and pulled at my shirt, forcing me to let go in order for him to pull it over my head. He tossed it aside and slid his fingers into the hair on my chest. The feeling of those fingers electrified me, filling me with sensation that burned inside, hot desire pushing everything else aside. My hands sought his ass and pulled him close enough for me to trap his lips against mine again as we shuffled slowly across the floor.
Nem stopped us for a moment to unbutton and pull aside his shirt, then met my lips again as his hands sought my belt, loosening first it, then his own. I felt the clasps loosening, Nem’s hand against my cock overriding even the heavenly sensation of his tongue exploring my mouth. I pulled away and kissed his forehead.
“My Nem,” I whispered.
He smiled as my pants fell to the floor, only to catch on shoes. He growled and wove the magic of his birthright and our feet were suddenly bare. I yelped at the chill of the floor and pushed him back, stepping out of the pooled fabric of my fallen pants.
But my admonishments were swallowed in his lips as he pulled us close and teased his tongue between them. I felt the wriggle of his body under me as he pushed his own pants down. Then he pulled away and looked at me, smiling. He waggled his eyebrows and glanced down the length of his body, a gaze I knew he meant me to follow.
The silk was a luscious red, and rather skimpier than even the ones I had asked him to wear. Every night they’d been different. I could tell the thrill he got when I saw them made him as happy as it made me to see his cock straining against the fabric. He was beautiful, and mine, and I loved him more than I had the words to say.
I pulled him against me and tilted my head to the side. The bruise was dark already, but I had a feeling Nem could make it darker. I moaned as his lips moved and clutched and sucked against my skin. I loved this. Not so much the marks or even the act of making them, though it made me squirm and scream. But even that beautiful ecstasy didn’t compare with knowing that he was declaring to the world that I was his. Nothing else was more important in the world. I was his mate.
When he was done, I pulled the flimsy silk off him, and lay against him, our naked bodies pressed tight together.
“I want it to be tonight,” I said quietly. “Before we go back.”
His eyes were dark, swirling. I loved that. Unearthly they might be, but they made me ache for him. “You’re sure?”
My answer was swift as I rolled him on top of me and assaulted the spot on his left side I’d learned was ticklish. He wailed and seized my wrists, pressing me down. “Not fair!” he gasped.
My chest was heaving. His hands might be delicate, but he was strong and the pressure on my wrists was forceful in a way that had me twitching against him. He smiled and rolled his hips against me. “Like that do you?”
I nodded eagerly.
He licked a path down my cheek to my neck where he’d marked me. He teased the spot with his tongue before sucking deeply from it. He was drawing blood, which was kinky and alarming at the same time. But I knew from the coppery taste of his lips when he kissed me that he had.
I spread my legs and let him settle between them. He was lower against my body now, his head at my chest, nibbling and sucking. I was going to have so many marks. I let my head fall back as I moaned. I felt my legs lifted. He was sucking another mark at my waist when he began to lift, and I knew it would be soon.
“Neeemm!” I wailed. But he didn’t say anything. His mouth was busy. On my waist, on my thigh, against my... “Oh, God!”
I shuddered as Nem’s tongue entered me. As hot wet heat pressed into me. As lips and tongue licked and sucked until my ass twitched. And then his tongue entered me again and I cast my arms out desperately to grab the sides of the bed, screaming his name.
It felt like hours that he spent giving me that pleasure—perhaps it was. Hours of licking and sucking and tasting of the musk that was me. And then he pressed against me, and there was pressure against the slick muscle that pressed beyond even what his lips had prepared me for, and he pushed.
I felt the sharp immediate moment of pain that was more shock and discomfort than hurt, and then Nem was inside me. I heard his gasp as he slid past the muscle into me—desperate, happy, and wanting more. I opened my eyes and gazed at my Nem. His arms were straining on either side of my chest. I wrapped my legs around his waist, wrapped them tight so he’d be forced further into me.
Nem gasped. “Thommas!”
I smiled at him, searching for breath myself as I pulled him deep. I grasped the edges of the bed and nodded at him, then my body was squeezed forward as he lunged to meet my lips with his own and his body moved.
It wasn’t exactly comfortable. But I knew it was right, because that was okay. We were finding our own way to be together. And it was awkward and uncomfortable sometimes as he shifted and tried to find that perfect spot. But it was also sometimes perfect, for moments as his breath mixed with mine and he tried to make us one. And that was good. Because in time those moments would get longer as we learned even more about each other. It might take a lifetime.
But that was what we had: a lifetime, together. We’d figure it out.
I screamed as he came inside me. His come was hot and it sprayed against my insides just above my waist. I loved that I could feel it. I loved that it was him. And as he collapsed against me, my own spent seed mingling on our stomachs, I kissed his cheek.
“I love you,” he said, still gasping.
“My Nem,” I whispered softly. And I grasped the soft flesh of his ass and pulled him close and held him till he fell asleep, still sticky and wet.
Tomorrow would be uncomfortable and messy. We’d start our journey back to Zaharoth to deal with his father. But we’d do it together.
The cabin looked different. I’d arranged to have it gifted to them, and I’d known they’d make it their own. That they’d have to make it their own. It took a moment for Brian to appear, and when he did he looked more harried than I’d ever seen him.
I looked into his eyes for a moment. I couldn’t get too close, I wouldn’t take that risk, but even from here I could see the sparkle there. He wasn’t just harried, he was happy.
“Thommas,” Brian said nervously. “There isn’t anything... I mean....” He scratched at his hair. Once it would all have been perfectly in place, but right now it was a bird’s nest of tangled strands.
“I worry,” he said finally.
“I know.” I looked around. “You look settled.”
Brian smiled. “We are.”
“He’s being safe?” I asked.
“Always. Since the wedding. It’s legal now. His father still hates us, but Jordan is all he has left, so he ‘tolerates’ it.”
“Because of the kids,” I said.
Brian’s eyes narrowed. “How did you know?”
I laughed. “You can’t think I didn’t know what it would take for you to look that out of sorts.”
“You’re not angry?” asked Brian.
“Just tell me you’re happy.”
Brian beamed at me. “I just wish you could be here to see it.”
I shook my head. “This is your life. It’s for you. Jordan loves you. Hold on to him, Bri.”
I woke with a start. A brief piercing cry sounded from down the hall and I looked beside me to see a rumpled empty spot next to me. I climbed out of the bed and padded down the stone corridors. The light in the halls was dim at this hour, the candles in their sconces burning low.
The floor was cold, but these nights were common, lately. I scrambled delicately down the hall on the awkward near tip-toe that both avoided freezing my feet and allowed me to move quietly. I leaned against the doorway for a moment. Nem stood in only the tight sexy briefs I loved so much, cradling a tiny body in his hands. He bounced our son lightly in his arms as the boy let out another piercing cry.
“Need help,” I whispered.
Nem turned to me and smiled. I wrapped one arm around him, the other joining his to gently cradle our son. Softly we sang him a lullaby, gently rocking him until he settled. We kissed him on the forehead, each of us, as we laid him back to sleep. I sought out Nem’s hand, only to find his was already waiting. I squeezed it and led him back to the room.
As we settled back into bed, I pulled Nem quietly on top of me and kissed him rather seriously. Our son would wake us again tomorrow, and the next day. But we would still find time, moments, to quietly be together.
I shuddered, gasping as Nem slid into me. His joy at being together filled me. And it was still sticky, and wet, and wonderful. I wrapped Nem in my arms.
Tomorrow would be uncomfortable and messy. I smiled as I pulled my mate close.
I love you, my Nem.