In The End
Davin brushed stray strands of hair back from Paige’s sleeping face, studying her with awe. He was still trying to wrap his mind around how his little sparrow had become a god slaying warrior. But more so, how she had risked everything to save him, even after he thought she would run from both what he was and what he did in the past.
And she loved him.
His lips curved into a bemused smile. He wasn’t sure if she was aware what she had let that slipped right before sleep overtook her but he would take the words to heart. It gave him the courage to imagine a future with her, regardless of their differences in lifespan. A future together as mate, if she would have him.
Not yet though. She had been through too much and it would be unfair of him to push for more right now. But when things settle… For now, he would focus on taking care of her, on proving to her that a long life with him would be good.
When Paige shifted to cuddle closer to his warmth, she whimpered and Davin resisted the urge to tighten his arms around her. The incubus in him wanted him to run his hands over her, to cling and never let her go again but he reminded himself that she was fragile with her wounds right now and any force would only exacerbate her wounds.
Another whimper drew Davin’s attention. She laid still, her brows furrowing, but it wasn’t until the hand she laid on his chest balled into a fist that he muttered a curse and pushed himself to slip into his trance.
The darkness that greeted him in the twilight of dreams was nothing like he had expected. There wasn’t even solid ground to stand on at first until he willed it into existence. At the sound of anguish and fear, he ran, heart pounding until a scene straight from his worst nightmare rose before him.
A behemoth creature with a multitude of red slitted eyes and angry black hands more than he could count hovered over a crumpled figure of Paige. That was when realization hit him.
This was what Paige fought.
The horror of it almost overwhelmed him but with great effort, he shook it off and began to move. The creature had no dominion here. His preternatural speed took him to Paige’s side where he scooped her up without ado and brought her to their bedroom. With a flick of his wrist, the curtains on the balcony doors closed, and a fire started in the fireplace.
Paige trembled in his arms her eyes squeezed shut. He leaned in closer, trying to capture the words tumbling in whispers from her lips. “Not again, please, not again. Can’t do it again.” Over and over and over.
He attempted to lay her in bed but she clung to him with a heartbreaking whimper.
“Paige, darling, open your eyes. It’s okay, you’re safe. It’s gone. I’m here.”
He recalled the hero’s welcome she receives when she came back. Davin kicked himself. He had taken care of her physical wounds and thought that was that. Did any of them have any idea how damaged her psyche had been?
“Davin?” Her voice croaked.
“Yes my little bird, I’m here. A nightmare. It was just a nightmare.”
She swallowed hard and shook her head. “Was it? Or was it like the inugami?”
Shit. He didn’t have an answer for her. It could be a nightmare, but there was so little information out there about the capabilities of an elder god that not even he could be certain. Davin cursed himself for the promise to always be truthful to Paige. And that meant not even misleading words.
“We don’t know, but you don’t have to fight it alone. I’ll always be here.”
She let out a broken sob. He wished he had better answers.
“We’ll figure this out, okay? Ava can help.”
She nodded, and he spied with relief a glimmer of hope in her eyes.
“Now rest, love. Let me guard you tonight.” And always.
He woke alone, his side of the bed already cold. Panic hammered in his chest and the incubus in him drove him to his feet. Without bothering to change his clothes, he rushed downstairs with preternatural speed. No, not the kitchen, not the living room. Where was she?
And then he saw her, facing away from the patio doors, sitting on a swinging chair out in Dante’s zen garden. The early morning light created a halo effect around her and he rubbed his eyes before opening the patio door, approaching barefoot over the cool slabs of rock. She sat still, with a mug of hot steaming tea in hand, making no acknowledgement of his approach, but the sight of her unwounded the coils of tension in his stomach.
He stood beside her but remained silent, letting her lead. After last night, she looked almost fragile as she sat huddled in a blanket, bandages and bruises peeking out from beneath an oversized t-shirt.
A bittersweet smile graced Paige’s lips. “I keep trying to figure out how we got here. A week ago, I was just like any other ordinary human. And now I find out not even human and I have something out of a Lovecraft book haunting my dreams.”
There was a lot to unpack there. Pieces fell in place. The healing, the awakening, the power she exuded when she pushed him out of the twilight of dreams. It would explain why she was less susceptible to his incubus’ influence. But just what was she?
Paige turned to look up at him, her eyes haunted. “Am I broken, Davin? Did that thing break my mind?”
Her question stabbed at his heart. Davin sat down, wrapping an arm around her. When she relaxed again him, he kissed her forehead. “No darling. You’re made of stronger stuff that that. This is trauma you’re dealing with. You don’t fight and kill a thing like that without some lingering effects after. Time will help. Your friends will help. I’ll help.”
“I’m not sure if I can, if I’m ready…”
“There’s nothing you need to do, Paige.”
“But you need to feed.”
Davin smiled at that. “Funny thing about that. Just being around you seems to fill me. As long as I get to hold you, I’m satisfied, both sides of me.”
Paige opened her mouth then closed it then sighed.
He needed to get her mind off the nightmare creature. “Tell me about Maeve?”
He didn’t expect Paige to wince, but he waited for her words to come.
“Maeve was the only reason I didn’t get devoured when Anna was binding you. She was the one Seth was talking to over the phone, and she said she was my guardian, assigned by my face parents to watch over me.” Paige shook her head as if still in disbelief. “Apparently, I’m not human. Maeve said I’m a changeling. My fae parents left me to my human parents to protect me. Something about being a descendant of King Nuada.” Paige ducked her head and muttered beneath her breath. “Seth called me princess.”
His little sparrow was Daoine Sidhe royalty? If he wasn’t so stunned, he would have laughed at her disgruntlement.
“Davin?” She looked up at him and in her eyes, he saw a glimmer of aquamarine. Power.
When he didn’t reply, she began to withdraw from him, her body curling into itself as if to ward off the sting of rejection. Davin shook his head and pulled her back to him, his palm cupping her face to tilt it towards him.
“Don’t even think about it. No matter what you are, you will always be Paige Summers. No one can take that away from you unless you let them.” He leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers. “And Paige Summers is the woman I fell in love with and the woman I want to be with, if she’ll have me.”
It had the desired effect. Paige blushed. “I’m not sure…”
So she wasn’t aware of what she had let slip last night. Davin could understand. The feelings were there, but her life had just grown so much more complex and she needed time to sort all that out before she was ready for the commitment those three words would bring. Davin could wait. They had time. “You don’t have to give me an answer right now Paige. You’ve been through a lot and I don’t want you to feel pressured. I only need you to know that I’m here.”
There was weariness in her smile but he glimpsed a bit of the old her. Like her physical wounds, she would heal, eventually. He’ll see to that.
“I think I can handle a kiss.”
He chuckled, his hand trailing down to trace the contours of her face before tilting her chin up. “I believe that can be arranged.” As he leaned forward, his lips brushed against hers with feather-light touch and when she didn’t withdraw, he pressed forward, deepening the kiss with leashed desires.
In return, her lips parted with eagerness. Davin took it as an invitation, his tongue darted into her mouth, dancing and enticing hers until she delighted him with a moan.
With an abundance of reluctance and regret, he parted from the kiss and rubbed the pad of his thumb against her lower pouty lips. The sexual haze that began clouding her face. “No, my little bird, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I’ll be fine. Please,” she whispered, so full of wanting. “I need to know it’s still the same between us.”
The plea was his undoing. He rose from the swing and offered a hand up to her. As she slid hers into his, he pulled her up and led her back to their bedroom.
Her hands reached for his shirt as soon as the door closed behind them but he reached to stay them. “Let me.” With gentle hands, he undressed her and laid her to bed. Everything was slow, deliberate. It would crush him right now if he hurt her.
He started with a kiss on the corner of her mouth, keeping himself braced above her, ensuring he didn’t press down on her. Davin trailed butterfly kisses down along her jaw, until he reached her neck, changing tactics to nibble and suckle along her flesh. For the first time he consciously released his aura, allowing the pheromones to heighten her arousal, helping her focus on it rather than the pain in her body. For this, he would use every skill he had honed as an incubus to give her what she asked for.
Paige gasped in the heightened sensitivity his incubus gave her. His hands drifted lower, preceding his lips as he caressed her body, scratching lightly at all her most sensitive spots. Where there were bruises, he caressed with his finger tips, careful to not apply any pressure. “Try to stay still Sparrow.”
His fingers drifted lower until he reached the apex of her thighs. He smiled as she parted her legs for him, her hips thrusting upwards with an eagerness that surprised him. It was a heady feeling to see her body craving his touch as much as he craved hers. He took his time, drawing lazy circles across her skin to prolong the anticipation, he lowered his head to press kisses around her breasts, closer and closer until his breath was upon her hardening nipple.
His lips tugged into a smirk but this morning he would give what she needed rather than tease. Later, when her wounds have healed, he could play with her more the way he wanted. He paused then with exaggerated slowness, licked one stiff nub. At her moan of encouragement, he wrapped his lips around it and sucked hard.
She buckled against him and Davin drew on his powers to restrain her hips, lest the sharp movements in moments of passion aggravate her wounds. He eased back, then blew a cold breath, delighting in the way her body shivered in reaction, the dusky pink around her skin darkening.
Certain that she was secured, he repeated his administrations on the other side. As she jerked beneath him again, he parted her folds, his fingers zeroing in right away on her clit. With no build up, he circled the sensitive area around the bundle of pleasure, sweeping his tongue around her nipple in the same motion but with an inverse direction.
“Oh god.” Paige gasped out before her head rolled back and she came shuddering, flooding his hand with her wetness. It was a gentler climax than some of the more explosive ones she’s had in the past but the last thing he wanted was for sex to be painful. At least not the non-fun kind of pain.
There was something he couldn’t resist though.
Just as her climax began to taper off, he slid himself down to rest between her legs, keeping them apart. Voice hoarse with desire, he inched closer. “Paige, I need to taste you.” He spared a glance to see her gaze down at him with eyes as round as saucers but soon he was staring at her pussy instead, studying the feast before him.
Keeping in mind that she was likely oversensitive by now, he swept across her slit with the flat of his tongue, lapping up her juices. He heard her exhale with a sigh of contentment and felt her body shift to lay back. When she began to relax, he switched to using the tip of his tongue to explore her folds, dipping and scoping her nectar to sate the hunger within him. Soon, her breathing quickened and her moans once more filled the air.
“That’s it my love. I need you to come for me.” She was about to crest again and the caveman in him crowed with triumph. He redoubled his efforts. His tongue pressed tight against her clit before he drew it past his lips. Two fingers delve into her entrance and curved upwards, pressing against her g-spot. She came undone with a scream of pleasure once more by his hands and he continued his efforts until he sensed her tipping to oversensitivity once more. He slowed his movements, gazing up at him as she smiled, softening her face and smoothing over the lines of fatigue and fears.
Despite his own throbbing needs, a deep satisfaction settled in him and even his incubus quieted as if sated. He slid up along the bed and drew her to tuck her body against him.
“I’m not in a place where I know where I’m at emotionally yet. There’s too much about my own life I don’t understand.” Paige swallowed and shifted until she was laying face to face with him.
“I know Paige. I’m not asking…” Davin’s brows drew together in confusion. Hadn’t he made his lack of expectations clear?
“Let me finish.” She shook her head. “What I do know is that whatever happens, wherever this weird new life takes me, I want you to be a part of it. It may lead to some not-so-happy places. It may mean a whole new set of danger but I’d like for you to walk this path with me, if you’ll have me, and not just in our dreams.”
This was more than he could expect at the moment, more than he even hoped. With solemnity in his eyes, he nodded. The answer came easily and resonated with every fibre of his soul. For her, he would do anything. But for now, the words he would give her would be enough.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. At your side. Always.”