“Wow! You haven’t aged at all. You look the same as the day I met you. So… Handsome.” Mira gushed as she sat on a stool by the kitchen counter and watched Reignald cook breakfast for them the next morning.
“It’s a Zeihronian thing. When we reach a certain age which is the equivalent of 24 earth years, our aging process slows down physically but that only happens in our planet, the elements in our atmosphere and our orange sun react to our bodies’ chemistry in a certain way that decelerates physiological aging. Here on Earth, I’ll be old and wrinkly faster than an average human.” He smiled. “I’ll catch up to your physical age in two years but technically, I am much older than you. When we met, I was aged 23 in earth years, you were 20.”
“Interesting. But still, you look young and sexy while I...”
“You?” He looked over his shoulder and smirked. “What?”
“I’m... Much older. I look like your Aunt.” She laughed. “Okay. Maybe Daenerys to Jon Snow’s aunt and not Lyanna Stark to Robb Stark but still… Older.” She shrugged. “Not so hot.”
“Are you kidding?” He said as he laid the plate on the counter in front of her then spun her stool around so she can face him.
He stared at her and caressed her cheek. “You are even more beautiful than I remember. Your expressive eyes, your silky skin, your radiant smile, your full lips, the few pounds you gained even made you look hotter by giving you more curves in all the right places,” he told her as he bit his lip and reached behind her with one hand to squeeze her butt cheek. She giggled. “Your beauty hasn’t changed and my feelings for you haven’t changed. Mira, I love you very very very very very much. And...”
He slipped his hands around her waist and locked them on the small of her back. He leaned closer until their lips almost touched and whispered on her lips. “I’m still so hot for you.”
She giggled. “You’re also still very naughty.”
“You don’t like it?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Who says I’m complaining?” She smirked then closed the gap between their lips and kissed him passionately.
Celestine sat across from them on the breakfast table, her eyebrows furrowed with her tiny face clamped between her hands as she moved her stare from Mira to Reignald and back over and over, trying as much as she could to process what they just told her.
“She kind of looks just like you when she does that,” Reignald whispered to his wife. She nudged his side with an elbow to make him stop.
“Tin-Tin, it’s okay. You can ask us anything.” Mira addressed their daughter with a smile.
“So... I’m like Cinderella who has a stepmom and a real mom only Daddy is not evil, I do not have wicked stepsisters and Papa is not dead?” The little girl said.
Reignald chuckled and nodded his head. “Smart. Yup, definitely like her mother.” He thought.
“Yes, that’s pretty much how it is, baby girl,” he said out loud.
“If you weren’t dead, then where were you?”
Mira held Reignald’s hand who sighed before he answered.
“I was... I was taken far far away from here. I wasn’t allowed to go back. I couldn’t call or write to you. I was not dead but I died every day from my longing for you and your Mama.” Reignald’s voice broke as his eyes brimmed with tears.
“Like prison?” She asked.
“Yes.” He bit back a sob as a tear escaped his eye. “Like prison.”
Celestine gingerly got down from her chair and walked over to Reignald. She touched his arm. “Papa?”
Reignald sobbed and nodded his head. “That’s right. I’m your Papa. I’m... I’m your Papa.”
Their little girl wiped his tears with the back of her hand. “Don’t cry, Papa. You’re home now. You’re with us.”
With this, Reignald broke down and lifted his daughter to sit on his lap. “Yes. I’m home now. And I will never leave you. Not again,” he said in between sobs as he snugly held his little girl in his arms.
Mira joined her husband and child in their embrace with tears in her eyes and a smile in her heart. She was finally whole.
“So, you’ll be staying with us now, Papa?” Celestine said a few minutes later.
“Yes, that’s the plan.” Reignald smiled.
“What about Daddy?” The little girl asked.
An awkward silence followed their daughter’s question. Reignald respected his wife’s position to be the one to tell Celestine and Andrew while Mira was not sure how to tell the little girl just yet.
“What about me?” They heard Andrew’s voice say as he walked into the room. “I hear a little princess looking for me.” He smiled but his smile faded as soon as he saw Reignald. “What’s going on?”
“Andrew...” Mira stood up and started to walk over to him but Reignald held her hand so she stayed where she was.
“Baby girl, why don’t you go to your room while we talk to your Dad,” Reignald told Celestine. The little girl nodded her head. She gave Andrew a quick hug then ran upstairs to her room.
“Mira...” Andrew looked at her with an expression she did not anticipate.
She expected him to be angry and hurt and curious but he looked at her like he knew exactly what was happening and maybe guilty about something.
“Who are you?” Reignald asked sternly as he stared at Andrew with furious eyes. The other man didn’t answer and looked down. “Explain yourself, soldier! What are you doing with my wife and child?!” He demanded.
“Reignald, what’s going on?” Mira asked, utterly confused.