She looked out the window as he came up behind her. Two weeks had passed since the first night she had a nightmare. The casts had just been taken off her arms by Ieyasu in the small house. He was happy with the way they had healed. “You don’t need my help now.” He whispered in her ear. “At least taking a shower.”
“Well, it was getting rather old, you know.” She said as she turned and found herself in his arms.
“I didn’t mind.” He chuckled as he just held her close and felt her tiny arms around him. They both felt the baby moving, and he went to move his hand to where she was. A bump had formed well now that she was eating again. “This little one is going to be a handful.”
“Probably like her mother,” Rine said as she just rests her head against him. This is where she had found safety. She knew with everything she was, Mitsuhide would never hurt her or her daughter. He would fight to the death to keep both of them safe.
“Well, if that is the case, I have my hands full, keeping you both out of trouble. I think after the last cast comes off that you should just move into my house.” He said as she looked up to him. “That way, we can free up this house, and you can start getting everything ready for her.”
“You really want us to move in with you?” Rine asked, not surprised, but she still was surprised about it.
“Rine, we talked about this. It is probably best if we just get this out of the way and out in the open. I will take over for the company, and I will be charge completely of your safety. Once the cast comes off, and you are healed, I want you to know how to defend yourself or her. You should also be thinking of names for her.” Mitsuhide said.
“Well, I mean, she already has a weird last name,” Rine said.
“Akechi is not a weird last name,” Mitsuhide said as he looked at her.
“I meant Tines,” Rine said.
“Why would she have your last name?” Mitsuhide asked.
“She is my daughter,” Rine said.
“And?” he asked, looking down at her, “We want to keep you off the grid. We know this guy Dave is still looking for you for some reason. if you go to the hospital, he may have people there to alert him.”
“Do you really think he does, or are you just saying that to get me to agree with you?” She asked with a smile as she looked into his golden eyes.
“I really do think that. I won’t risk you, Rine or her.” He said. “She doesn’t have to be born into a world where she will have to look over her shoulder everywhere she goes. I can give that to her. She will only know what it is to be safe and loved.”
“You really want to throw your whole single state to the wind to make sure this baby has a good life?” Rine asked. She already knew the answer. The more he thought about it, the more he had become increasingly protective of the baby. It was like he almost had officially claimed her as his own.
“Yes.” He said as he looked down at her. “I want you to have one as well. I make enough to make sure the both of you are comfortable and well taken care of. I want you to focus on her, Rine. Not wondering where you have to go next.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Why what?” he responded.
“Why do you care so much?” she asked.
“Because you and I are different. I don’t even have to tell you things. You just understand. We are the same in many ways. The simple fact is that you and I are not like everyone else. I am willing to look beyond the normal things, and I can see you for what you are not what happened to you.” Mitsuhdie said. “Just like you understand what happened to me. I got from her side of view. I don’t want that. If you keep floating out there in the world with her, you know that we attract the same types over and over again.”
“I do understand that.” She said. “I mean it was first my mother. She did horrible things, but no one ever cared.”
“I care.” He said as he just held her close.
“Fine, you win,” Rine said with a small laugh. “She will be an Akechi.”
“Good now that we have that out of the way, what about you?” he asked.
“What about me?” Rine asked.
“Do you want to be an akechi?” he asked.
“Are you asking me to marry you?” Rine was surprised now.
“Maybe,” Mitsuhide said as he looked down at her. “I mean, it would be the easiest way to make Rine Tines disappear. You could become Rine Akechi instead. That way, if something ever happened to me, you and her will be taken care of.”
“Are you serious?” She asked.
“Look, think about it.” He said as he saw the almost look of terror on her face with the thought of being married to someone. “We won’t have a normal marriage either way, but it is an option.”
“What would people think?” She asked as she looked at him.
’That I am a cradle robber or you are a gold digger. It really doesn’t matter what other people think.” Mitsuhide said. “The fact is I want her to have things I didn’t, and you didn’t. a stable set of parents is one of those things.”
“Mitsu.” Rine started to say, but she was cut off when he kissed her instead. Everything he wanted to say, everything he wanted to show her was answered in the kiss. Though simple, he was showing her everything. She looked at him as he pulled away, and everything else was in his eyes. “One question.”
“What?” He asked as he looked at her.
“Do you want more children?” She asked.
“I wouldn’t mind a few more. I never thought I would want them, but seeing you now, I don’t think I would mind them.” Mitsuhide said.
“That isn’t a real answer,” Rine said as she looked at him.
“I want more children.” He said as he ran his finger down her cheek. “With you.”
“Would you treat her differently?” Rine asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes.” He said as he smiled. “She is our firstborn, so she will get a little more spoiled than the others.”
“Mitsu,” Rine said with a slight smile.
“Did I have the right answer?” he asked as he left his hand at the back of her nape, rubbing his thumb over her soft skin.
“You did.” She said. “I will marry you, Mitsuhide. We will start this new life together.”
“Good.” He smiled as he bent down and kissed her again. “it won’t always be easy, but we will have each other.”
“And a few kids as well,” Rine said.
“I certainly hope so.” He replied as they went back to look at the water as the waves crashed onto the sand. It was peaceful and calming for the both of them. They had things to think about and how they would forge this new life together. They both knew one thing life was like the ocean, and it would keep pounding into the sand, and the sand would never change. It might move a bit, but it was always going to be there in the end. They would have to be there in the end for each other for this to work. Everything had changed for them when they found each other that fateful night.