Sirri couldn't help but smile at Makenna as they entered his apartment. She had been fussing over him since he was released from the hospital. Any other time, he might have felt irritated, but considering what had happened between them lately, he couldn't. His smile remained as Makenna ushered him into his bedroom. Like a drill sergeant, she stood by and watched as he made himself comfortable on the bed. He tried to tell her he was fine, but she didn't seem to care. She was stuck in serious caretaker mode. Nothing could bring her out of it. Honestly, he didn't mind. He enjoyed having her near him. The last two days had been the best of his life. He hoped it would be possible to extend it, to make it solid and permanent once again.
Makenna sat on the bedside. She took his hand. "Now that you're all situated, I'll go and let you get some rest."
He squeezed her hand. "Don't go," he said steadily. "Not yet. Not until I say what I need to." When she nodded her agreement to honor his request, he began to pour out his heart. "After all that has happened with us, I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me for you to be at the hospital. You amaze me."
He wanted to delve further, to say more, but what stopped him was that he noticed her eyes had begun to tear up again. Without missing a beat, he reached out, catching a tear with his thumb before it touched her cheek. He wondered how many tears she had cried for him, how many he had caused. It was enough to tug at his heartstrings. He had hurt her so badly. How could he ever redeem himself? Today, he intended to cover as much ground as she would allow. Hopefully, it would be enough to have her back in his life again.
"I had to come," she whispered. "If I hadn't, if something had happened to you, I never would have forgiven myself. In my mind, it overshadowed everything, made it less important. Knowing of your condition was the only thing that mattered to me."
"I know I have hurt you beyond all comprehension. I know what I am about to ask may be too much too soon, but I must speak. Nothing in my life makes sense without you. Would you…could you…give me another chance? I know now, more than ever, that I want you in my life, that I need you in it. I know what I'm asking is something I don't deserve, not after what I ruined. I can't let you leave today without knowing how I feel."
Makenna lowered her head for a moment before raising it to gaze into his dark eyes. He was looking at her earnestly, openly, with a look of determination on his face. It was one of the most intense gazes he had ever bestowed upon her. She had never seen anything like this before. "You really hurt me, Sirri," she said quietly. "It still hurts, but what hurt more was the thought of you being out of my life forever. It's one thought I cannot fathom. Before we discuss the future of our relationship, there's something you must know."
Solemnly, he nodded. "Okay. What is it?"
She took a deep breath, exhaled, and blurted out, "I'm pregnant."
"Pregnant," he repeated. The word left him as if it was exotic or foreign, as if it had no meaning in his vocabulary. "You're pregnant? Niko? He did this to you?"
His words were tinged with shock, but anger as well. He was set to get up, find Niko, and strangle him. She shook her head. "No, Sirri. You don't understand. Not Niko. You."
Shock wrapped itself around him and squeezed tightly. For a few brief moments, he couldn't breathe. He vaguely wondered if his brains were going to squirt out of his ears from the massive jolt he had received. "Me? But we haven't been together in over…"
"Four months. I know," she said with a nod, finishing his sentence for him.
He watched as she began to unbutton her shirt. Once every button was undone, he could see that she wore a dark undershirt beneath it. He immediately noticed that it was snug against her abdomen. His eyes fell down to her thickened middle. She took his hand in hers, settling it against her slightly swollen abdomen. It was quite obvious that she was more than a couple of months along. At that moment, he realized that each time he had seen her in the last few months, she had worn loose fitting or flat out baggy clothing. The nausea. The vomiting. The illness. All along, she was pregnant. All along, she was carrying his child. She had masked it well. He hadn't had a clue. Not one. He felt like an idiot for not picking up on it sooner, for not flat out asking her about it. They were always so careful and prepared. Evidentially, nothing was completely full proof. The evidence of that rested under his hand.
"You can see. You can feel," she said. "He is your son, Sirri. He is our son. We…you and I…made him."
"My…son," he whispered harshly. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
Ashamed, she lowered her head briefly before making eye contact with him again. He was hurt. It was obvious in the few words he had spoken. She should have told him sooner. She should have told him the same day she was informed, but she didn't. "I found out a few days after we broke up. I had the flu, I was quite ill, and I went to the doctor. I thought that was what was making me nauseous. Part of it was the flu. The other was the baby."
Makenna nervously ran her free hand through her hair. She afforded another look at Sirri. Not once since she had told him had he looked away. He was, in fact, looking at her right now. She was certain that withholding the information would probably hurt him as much as he had hurt her. She wondered when they were going to stop hurting each other and begin living again. From the moment she discovered she was pregnant, she had wanted Sirri to know, even in the beginning. She hoped she could make him understand that.
"I wanted to be selfish, not tell you, but I couldn't do that to you," she said shakily. "Despite the circumstances surrounding our breakup, there was no way I couldn't tell you. But it didn't feel right after some of the hurtful things I said to you. I wanted to wait for the right time. I planned to tell you after your graduation, but I…I couldn't. Not after I learned what Mel did to you. I didn't want you to think I was trying to manipulate or trap you. What she did was cruel, Sirri, and I…I didn't want you to think…"
"Oh my God," he breathed. He moved suddenly, taking her into his arms. What had he done to her? What had he done? "Makenna," he whispered down to her. "How will I ever make this right for you? For our child?"
At his soft-spoken words, she reluctantly drew away from him. There were tears in his eyes. It was rare to see him cry. She placed her hand upon his cheek. "You will do it one day at a time, starting right now."
Unable to help himself any longer, he kissed her hard and deeply. Her lips had never felt softer, her kiss never sweeter. It was incredible. Before long, their bodies drifted naturally down to the bed. When the kiss was broken, he couldn't stop looking at or touching her. He couldn't believe that she was allowing him to have another chance. He couldn't believe that she was carrying his child. It was almost overwhelming, but it was good. It was all so good.
"I love you," she said softly. "I couldn't say it before, but I can say it now."
"I love you," he replied. "Always. With all that I have in me." He stroked her hair. "Stay with me."
"Only if you make love to me…if you can."
He smiled down at her. "I think I can manage."
His lips met hers again, and he allowed himself to be completely lost in her. Her kiss took him to heaven and beyond. Her touch was paradise. Her love overwhelming, something of which he wasn't sure he would ever deserve again. During their kiss, he allowed his hand to travel the entire length of her body. When he moved it back up, he cupped her breast, brushing his thumb against her nipple. He heard her moan within their kiss. Already, it was enough to send him over. But right now, he wanted to maintain as much control as possible. It had been a very long time since he had her in his arms like this, since she was in his bed. He didn't intend to let her go ever again. With his hand still gently caressing her nipple, he broke the kiss. He gazed down at her, noticing that her eyes were closed, her lips slightly parted. Her breath came in light and sharp. It was yet another thing to drive him over the edge, but he held back. He wanted to make this last, make it permanent, forever. He was more than certain his life had been given back to him. All it took to completely convince him of this was her touch, her presence.
After a brief moment, she opened her eyes to meet his gaze. Although he had hurt her tremendously, her love for him had never left her eyes. Today, right now, it was even more obvious and evident. Where had he gone? What plain of existence had he been on the moment he stupidly strayed? He would never have an explanation for it, but he meant every word he uttered to her. If it took the rest of his life to make it right, he would do it. He would do it every moment he took a breath. He would give her and his son everything. His life. His heart. His soul. Whatever it takes, for the rest of my life.
His lips captured hers again. For a moment, he allowed himself to be lost within their kiss. He felt the sudden shift of her body. Before he knew or understood what was happening, their bodies switched positions. As soon as the kiss was broken, Makenna sat astride him. Her hands touched his face, neck, and chest before she brought them up to her body. Within seconds, she had stripped away both her shirt and undershirt. She had no time to reach for the front clasp of her lacy bra. His hand was there first. One handed, he unsnapped and opened it. She shed it just before he reached out to her. His hands came out, cupping her breasts gently. He felt the hardened peaks of her nipples beneath his palms. She was smiling down at him. He absolutely couldn't take his eyes off her.
Sliding his hands down to her waist to steady her, he leaned up toward her, his lips immediately seeking the soft flesh at the hollow of her throat. Her fingers sliced through his hair as he dared to venture lower. She threw her head back and arched her back as his lips moved lower. She opened her mouth and sighed shakily as his lips encircled the hardened nub of her right breast. His tongue traced a delicate circle around the coffee-colored peak before he drew it into his mouth, suckling ever so gently. He repeated the same passionate moves on its twin. Her skin was soft and tasted so very sweet.
He wanted to linger, to taste her flesh for the rest of today, tonight, and tomorrow, but he longed to be inside her. The more he thought of it, the more he wanted her. He drew back from her flesh to gaze up at her helplessly. Sirri hadn't once thought he would be with her like this again. For a very long moment, he was at a total loss as to what to do. If it wasn't for the sheer sweetness of it, he might have felt like a complete idiot, an inexperienced, goofy teenaged virgin. However, his senses returned to him fairly quickly.
Once more steadying her body, he lifted her slightly. She felt the sensation of drifting very briefly before he laid her on the bed. He placed soft kisses to her eyelids as her fingers began working on opening his shirt. In kind, his sought out the snap and zipper of her jeans. Their movements were slow and tentative at first. The instant bare skin touched bare skin, the urgency increased tenfold. What began slowly soon quickened. Before long, they had effectively stripped each other down. Flesh against flesh. Sirri couldn't remember a single day he had been happier than this. No other timeframe in his life could compare, would never compare for as long as he lived and breathed.
Without a moment's hesitation, he allowed his lips the ultimate pleasure of touching her again. He sampled her delicate throat, luscious breasts, and the taut skin of her upper abdomen before tripping his lips over her slightly swollen middle. Although he felt it, saw evidence of it with his eyes, he still found it unbelievable that they had made a baby together. He looked up at Makenna, noticing that her eyes were closed. She was biting her bottom lip, whimpering very softly.
Whispering against her skin, he called her name: "Makenna?"
"Sirri," she replied almost breathily.
He smiled against her lower abdomen. "I love you."
"I love you," she whispered shakily.
He uttered the words twice, heard her affirmation twice. It was real after all. His lips ventured even lower still. He heard her sharp intake of breath the instant his mouth touched the inside of her thigh. Makenna had never been one to enjoy teasing, even that of an intimate variety. Sirri was usually one who normally freely dished it out. But he sincerely lacked the patience. It was totally nonexistent. His tongue fluttered over her lightly. She gasped aloud, plunging her hand into his dark hair. His tongue fluttered again with more pressure. She was quivering now. He darted his tongue inside her, sending another strong wave of shivers along her body. Her essence, always sweet, was more so. He wanted so much to take his time, to make this last as long as it could, but he was almost certain that he didn't have the patience for it.
He listened as Makenna released a long sigh when his lips moved away to venture onto her lower abdomen again. His kisses were small and moist as they made a trail from her abdomen up. Once his lips were on hers again, she wrapped her arms and legs about his body, pressing her flesh against his. He had never felt more physically or mentally close to her. Part of him was afraid he was crushing her, but nothing could force him to move away. He kissed her hard, deeply, taking her breath, giving it back, and then taking it once more. He was drunk with it, completely out of his mind. There was nothing that could bring him back to earth now. In fact, he never wanted to come back. Everything could wait. All that mattered was the two of them, their love for each other, and that of the life they created.
After reluctantly breaking the kiss, he leaned up and noticed that her eyes were closed. One hand came up to caress the side of her face. She turned in to his touch. Without opening her eyes, she whispered, 'I want you so very much.' Once the words left her lips, she opened her eyes, where they met his gaze. Were there tears in them? Was that what he saw? Whether she cried tears of joy or pain, he was not sure. But he knew one thing so well. There was love for him in her beautiful eyes. More love than he could ever deserve in three lifetimes.
He kissed her again, very gently, briefly. "You have me," he told her softly. "Forever."
He had barely gotten the words out of his mouth before he entered her deeply, making love to her, touching her, touching her soul. He was alive and well, but he knew heaven. With each move, each countermove, he walked amongst the clouds, saw the gods, the stars. Oh, he knew the drama of it, the absurdity of his thoughts, but he didn't care. For him, for them, it was real. It was theirs. Nothing would tear them apart. Nothing…
Sirri awoke slowly, but didn't quite open his eyes. He stretched as carefully as he could. He didn't want to wake Makenna or overtax his shoulder. Hmm…I think it's already overtaxed. What the hell. He smiled lazily and opened his eyes. Makenna was already awake. She leaned up on her elbow, watching him sleep. It wasn't the first time she had done anything like that. The first night they spent together, he had awakened with her watching him like this. He had thought it was endearing the first time, and he still thought it was. He leaned up to meet her before placing a soft kiss on her lips.
"You haven't done that in two years," he said with a smile.
She laughed. "No, you just think that. I've done it lots of times, but you've never seen me. Well…not after that first night we spent together." She reached out and ran her fingers lightly across his injured shoulder. "You didn't strain yourself, did you?"
He chuckled lightly before shaking his head. "Maybe a little, but it was worth it. Are you okay?"
She nodded. "I'm great." She kissed his cheek. "I like to watch you sleep, I always have. You seem like a completely different person. I sometimes watch you, and wonder what I did to be so lucky to have you in my life. I'd like to find that guy in the airport and thank him for being such a clumsy ass." She ran her fingers through his hair and smiled at him. "You are a beautiful man, my love, but sometimes I truly miss that long hair."
He leaned toward her and gave her another brief kiss. "I truly missed you, but you're wrong about one thing. I'm the lucky one. I'm the luckiest bastard out there. I wronged you, I hurt you, but you still gave me another chance. You still loved me when I never thought I'd love myself again." He saw that her eyes were getting teary again. He didn't want to see her cry, not anymore, not because of anything he had said or done. He smiled at her. "As for the long hair, one day when I'm filthy rich, I'll grow it back. It might provide some amusement for our son."
She afforded a soft laugh and managed to wipe a few stray tears out of her eyes. "Yeah, it might. I missed you, too, Sirri. I missed you more than you know."
There were other things on his mind, more he wanted to say, to approach. At the moment, he didn't care if it was the right time or not. "Makenna, I have an idea…"
The room was small and stiflingly hot. There were too many people in this room. Makenna had always tended to be slightly claustrophobic. Crowded rooms like this didn't help her at all. However, Sirri was at her side, and she thought she could overlook her discomfort for him. Both of them were exhausted, but sleep would come later. Right now, at this moment, this was more important than grabbing a few winks.Makenna simply wished that they could just get the ball rolling before she passed out. Oh, you wimp. Grin and bear it. This is worth it and you know it. Nervously, she looked around the room. How many people were ahead of them? When she focused her eyes toward the front of the room, she saw that their turn would come sooner than she thought.
Sirri glanced down at Makenna. He noticed that she was uncomfortable. He hoped she wasn't having second thoughts. "You want this?"
She focused her eyes on his handsome face. She squeezed his hand tightly. "Of course I want this. More than anything." She sighed when she remembered Niko. "When we get back home, there is something I'll have to straighten out."
Sirri nodded solemnly. He knew what Makenna had to do. "I know. But we'll worry about that when we get home. This day has nothing to do with him. This day is ours."
She nodded in agreement. "Yes. Ours."
Less than ten minutes later, a voice announced, "Congratulations, Sirri and Makenna Amandurre."
A few states away, Niko Milionis stood in his bedroom gazing blankly out the window. He had called Makenna about five or six times in a row. Each time, he was met with nothing more than her voice mail. Part of him was angry about that. Yet, the other part was somewhat happy. If the 'accident' had worked as planned, Makenna might be out of the house helping plan a funeral. He hadn't asked about the accident just yet. It would seem suspicious. However, Makenna would call. He knew it. He had no idea that a supposed 'dead' man had just married the woman he was fantasizing about. No idea at all.