The beat up old SUV finally pulled to a stop at what I hoped would be our new home. Kennan had wanted to blindfold me but given the events of the past few months he had agreed to just let me close my eyes. I could barely contain myself, I desperately wanted to see what would become our home.
We were finally safe. No more Corporation, no more Xavier, no more Council. It could finally just be us and our future. A future that would begin in the house if Kennan ever let me see it.
“Are you ready?” Kennan’s voice rumbled next to my ear causing my toes to curl. I would never get tired of this man.
“Yes!” I wanted to rush out of the SUV and see our new home. As I started to open my eyes, Kennan placed his hand over them. “But, we’re here…. I want to see!”
“Patience. Just keep them closed until you get out. Promise me.” His breath was hot against my skin. I would pretty much do anything he asked if it got me inside of that house with him any faster.
“Promise. Now come help me out so I can see our new home.”
“You are so impatient.” Kennan grumbled as his door shut. Before I could really breathe again he was opening my door. He must have used his super Guardian speed to get over there that quickly.
Two strong arms lifted me out of the car. He helped me down to the ground and then led me around the SUV. I was barely able to keep upright. I hoped he would let me open my eyes soon.
We came to a stop and all I could feel was Kennan’s heart beating against my back. I sank into his heat. “Ready?” he breathed against my ear.
I opened my eyes and looked at the two story farmhouse. It was a simple white house with dark shutters. The paint was chipping away on the wood siding from years of being weather beaten. This house held memories and would hold many more I hoped. I was finally home. I turned toward Kennan with tears brimming my eyes.
“We’re home.” I squealed as I threw my arms around him.
“Yes, we’re home.” Kennan mumbled into my hair as he kissed the top of my head. “Let’s get you inside.”
He swept me up into his arms once more carrying me over the threshold into our new home. I looked up into his face taking him in. This was the man I was going to marry. The man that I would spend the rest of my very long life with. I lifted my hand to his face causing him to look down and meet my gaze. His eyes flashed with a fiery passion I had grown to love.
“Would you like a tour?” Kennan barely choked out.
“How about we start with the bedroom?” I could not think of anything but being with him. The house be damned, I needed to feel safe. I needed to feel like I was a part of something else. Something more than the events of the past few months. I reached up to brush my lips along his as he rushed us up the stairs to what I guessed was our room.
The next few hours passed in a haze of sheer physical delight. I threw off all that haunted me in favor of the man lying on the bed. He became my soul focus and with that all else seemed to vanish. As we lay there exhausted, and the last of the euphoria faded, reality crept back in. I was exhausted and I knew without a doubt that the dreaming would take me soon.
My eyelids grew heavy as the dreaming started to take me away into its foggy grasp. I fought it trying to keep myself awake. It had been weeks since I had experienced my last nightmare, but somehow the fear lingered. I never knew what might be waiting for me over that precipice. I wondered if I would ever be okay again.
My body jumped just as I started to drift off. I had once more startled myself awake. I opened my eyes to find Kennan staring down at me intently.
“Do you want me to block it?”
“No, I need to learn to deal with this. I won’t let him haunt me forever. I can’t.” I settled back down against the bed and strengthened my resolve. I would not let him torment me forever. I couldn’t. If I spent the rest of my life like this then Xavier had won. I wouldn’t let him win.
“It is always your choice, Izzy. Just know that I am here if you need me to pull you out, or if you need me to do something to help you.”
“I know. I love you, Kennan O’Malley. Just having you here makes me feel better.” I curled my body against his and let his warmth guide me fully to sleep.
“I love you back.” Kennan murmured sleepily.
My lack of sleep and the nightmares had been keeping Kennan up for the past few weeks. I knew that I needed to get myself under control for the both of us. He had helped me put a stop to the dreams more or less, but I was still having some nightmares. They weren’t dreaming induced nightmares, just the normal sort. I knew eventually, those would fade as well.
“Go to sleep.” I whispered entwining my fingers with his.
“Wake me if you need me.” With that Kennan was out. I had always marveled at his ability to pass out so quickly. I had never been one to fall asleep so easily.
I lay there for a while longer sending up a prayer to God as I shut my eyes. “Please bring me peace tonight.” I begged as my eyes closed and sleep finally pulled me under.
I was in the dreaming. Not just a regular dream night then. Awesome. I swallowed deeply trying to calm my nerves. I looked around trying to make sure I was safe, that nothing was coming for me. Something was different about the fog. Instead of the grey smoky miasma I had grown so accustomed to, there was now a blue tinged fog.
I walked through it running my hands along the low lying clouds and felt an inexplicable sense of calm wash through me. I had never felt anything like it before in my life. I was at peace. Truly at peace for the first time since this whole thing had started.
I giggled loudly as I spun in the fog. I let the dreaming sweep over me and relished in the way it pulsed through my body. Just as I threw myself into it fully I heard a sound in the distance. The sound brought all of my fears rushing back to the surface.
“Who’s there?” I asked with trepidation. I had grown wary of any night time visitors. They never bode well.
“All will be revealed in time. For now, know that you are safe, Izzy.” The voice was a deep rumble surrounding me in the fog. I had no idea where the voice originated. I had no clue who it might belong to, but I knew whatever or whoever it was meant me no harm.
“Who are you?” I yelled to the fog. I wondered if God himself had come down to protect my dreaming. After all, I had sent up a plea just as my eyes shut.
“Not God.” I heard a slight chuckle before he continued. “Patience, Izzy. For now, enjoy your life. Enjoy your Guardian. You will find out more in time.”
A figure emerged from the fog and moved toward me. It moved so quickly I could not track it with my eyes. Suddenly I was staring up at a man. The most breathtaking man I had ever seen. He had shoulder length jet black hair and eyes that burned an intense blue. There was something not quite human about him. My breath caught in my throat as I looked up into his rugged face.
“Who are you?” I gasped. It seemed my stupid mouth refused to form any other words.
His hand lifted to run along my cheek in the barest of touches. I looked up into his eyes and my heart dropped. Staring back at me were the saddest eyes I had ever seen. I knew these eyes. Somehow, in my mind, he was there. He brought his other hand up to cup my face. I was pinned down by his gaze. I could not move even should I want to.
“All will be revealed in time.” he said brushing his thumbs along my cheeks. “Slumber now, Izzy. Rest. When you once more awaken, you will have no memory that I was even here. Yet, you will remember that you no longer need to fear the dreaming. You are safe now, Izzy. You are protected.”
He bent his forehead to mine and muttered words so foreign I could not even begin to decipher their meaning. I was struck once more by that great sense of calm before I was sucked out of the dreaming and into a dreamless sleep.
I opened my eyes to the morning light and stretched out my sore muscles. The room came into focus, and for the first time, I really noticed my surroundings. The furniture looked like something straight out of a Country Living Magazine photo spread. It was sheer perfection. A loud yawn escaped my lips causing Kennan to stir next to me.
“What time is it?” he grumbled.
“I have no idea. Is there a clock somewhere?” I looked around the room in search of said clock and found one next to his side of the bed. Its red numbers blinked back the hour. It was ten in the morning and I felt more rested than I had in months.
“Gah, it isn’t even eleven.” Kennan threw himself back on the pillows trying to pull me back down with him.
“Nope, I am getting up. I want to explore our new house.” I barely evaded his clutching hands. I knew the only reason I was able to escape was because he was tired. If he had been more awake I would not have stood a chance. “Is there a coffee pot in the kitchen?”
“Mmmm hmmm.” he mumbled into the pillows.
“Alright, well I am going to go downstairs and make some coffee. Maybe you could wake up and join me?” I poked his side and made my way toward the door.
“Unnnggggh.” was the only reply I received.
I walked down the wooden stairs slowly running my hand down the beadboard walls. This house was everything I had ever imagined wanting. I could grow old here, have a family here. I smiled brightly at the thought of a tiny Kennan running amok. I wondered if he would love mornings as much as his father. I giggled at the thought as I made my way into the fully furnished kitchen.
It was a thing of glory. I was surrounded by bright white cabinets in an open farm style kitchen. I made my way straight to the coffee pot and found everything to get it going. It looked like it was a much better one than the one I had in Chicago. I turned around and propped myself against the cabinet so that I could take in my surroundings. When had Kennan done all of this? He was quite resourceful.
“It is too early.” I heard and ogre grumble. Oh, wait, that was Kennan.
“No it isn’t. You are just a lazy bum.” I snickered as he pinned me against the cabinet, caging me in with his body. He brought his face down to nuzzle my neck causing shivers to run the length of my body.
“I don’t have to be lazy.” he mumbled sleepily. I swatted at him just as the coffee pot announced its successful finish.
“Cofffffffeeeeeee.” I droned.
“Really, you will choose coffee over all of this?” Kennan moved his hands up and down his body in mock affront.
“Yep.” I moved to fill my cup with liquid perfection.
“Why are you so chipper this morning?” Kennan grumbled moving toward the refrigerator. He began pulling out stuff to make for breakfast as I perfected my cup of coffee with some sugar and milk.
“I slept really well. I can’t explain it. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I feel free.” It was bizarre. I couldn’t remember anything from the night before. All I could think about was the great sense of peace that had washed over me in the dreaming. It was as though my fears had all been erased.
“What happened in the dreaming?” Kennan asked with more seriousness than I felt the situation warranted.
“I don’t really remember.” I shrugged moving toward the table.
“Was someone there?” Kennan’s intensity was really starting to unnerve me.
“Um, not that I remember. It was just me and the blue fog. It was lovely.” I stared off into space feeling well and truly whole.
“Damn him.” Kennan murmured under his breath.
“Um, who? What are you talking about?”
“What? I didn’t say anything.” Kennan deflected. “You want some bacon?”
“Subject changer.” I groused. I really could care less what he was talking about. I felt good for the first time in months. He wasn’t going to rain on my parade. “And yes to the bacon. That sounds yummy!”
“Alright, you settle in there and I will get to cooking. Maybe afterwards we can drive around so that you can see where we live now.” Kennan waved a spatula around as he talked making me giggle. I could just see him in a frilly apron.
“I would love to see the town, but maybe we could get a better look at our room after breakfast. I feel like I missed some details last night.” I arched a brow in his direction.
“Do you really want to wait until after breakfast?” He growled in response.
“We need fuel, sir. Get to cooking.” I blushed and looked down into my coffee. I was still not used to his intensity. I knew I would never get enough of this man. No matter how long we were together, it would never be long enough.
I hope you enjoyed Part One.... feel free to leave comments and let me know your thoughts!