By the midpoint of that April, Aidan had sent their belongings from the royal palace, and Griffyn had also managed to push through the sell of the theatre, complete with ‘convincing enough’ documents. After all, he had spent nearly 130 years as Prince, and attaining fake documents and deeds for the plethora of Kindred he had ties to was nearly second nature to him at this point.
Although, other things were going less smoothly. On the surface, it looked as though Claire’s dreams of a new life where they no longer had to spend their nights in seclusion with their servants as their only ties to the human world, were beginning to come true. However, in the week since embracing Aidan, Sean’s cool words to her the very next night were about the only ones he had spoken to her at all. Each night that his silence continued made all those other dreams seem less and less important to her after all, at least in comparison to that original dream she had started her life with: The dream of lasting love.
When all the details about their impending move were sorted out that night, the two of them then made their way to one of Griffyn’s carriages, where the servants had already packed their belongings for the move that would hopefully be away from Griffyn’s home for a long, long time. Claire thought that she would be overjoyed at the idea of getting out from under Griffyn’s thumb, at least to some extent, but Sean’s continued silence did well to quash that small relief she should have felt.
Several minutes into their trip, Claire couldn’t help letting out a heavy sigh as Sean did nothing more than stare out at the nighttime landscape between Griffyn’s home and what was to be their new one. With Sean showing no visible reaction to Claire’s discontented sigh, she just had to find some way to force some kind of reaction out of him at all, before his silence drove her crazy.
On that thought, Claire decided to make her move. She looked over at Sean once more, then steeled herself into getting that reaction once and for all. Claire then moved her hand down toward the hem of the long emerald green velvet dress she had worn that night. Considering the driver was their only company, and he was outside, at the reins, Claire continued to carefully begin pulling the thick material up over her high boots, and higher still.
The very oddness of her motions did do well to form a slight crack in Sean’s composure. While he did stay turned toward the window, his eyes still moved to the side survey her motions. When she finally pulled her skirts high enough to allow the tiniest view of her undergarment, was when Sean finally allowed her to hear his voice once again, though he did well to try and keep it even and emotion-free, “Too warm?” was his only response.
“Working on it.” she purred her response, knowing damn well that what he knew about the process that Kindred went through prior to lovemaking would make her meaning more than clear, “How about you?” she added.
“Claire…” he began, though as she moved closer, his words fell short.
“Ten years, Sean.” she moved to whisper against his ear, “That’s such a long time.” she added as she gently began kissing his neck while moving even closer to him, her arm encircling his waist as her kisses continued.
Sean’s words were slowed even more as she finally moved to straddle his legs atop the cool wooden seat, pressing her chest tightly against his as her kisses continued with growing intensity, her skin now having warmed considerably to the touch.
“We’re not exactly in the privacy of our bedroom.” he managed, though his words were shaky as her attentions moved to unfastening the button at the front of his own black velvet trousers.
“Your point?” she giggled back at him as she finished her current task, her fingers easily moving inside his clothing as they began coaxing him into giving her the response she so obviously desired.
“This isn’t exactly like you…” Sean managed in the same stammer, his voice easily being halted again as she slid aside the material of her undergarment, pressing herself even more tightly against him as she did, the action easily causing him to give in and allow himself to harden against her.
“I hope that’s not a complaint” she whispered against his cheek while her hand moved to slide him inside her own body again, for the first time in way, way too long, almost immediately beginning to move against him in the same motion.
“I don’t think I’m capable of complaining, right now.” he admitted in a ragged whisper. His prolonged time away from the pleasure of her touch then caused Sean to easily begin matching each of her motions with his own, his anger towards her in recent nights all but forgotten, at least for that particular passionate moment in time.
When their lovemaking ended and the two finally managed to regain their composure again, Claire still gripped his waist tightly in the seat next to her as she rested her head against his shoulder. Sean’s fingers gently tangled in her now slightly disheveled locks as his arm encircled her shoulder, though he still had not spoken since their encounter began.
Finally Claire had to speak up again; the fact that at least the physical side of their relationship had been restored, giving her confidence, “Are we ok now, Sean?” she whispered, though tenuously.
Sean allowed his own small sigh as he searched for an answer, “I will never be ok with you coming so close to death, Claire. It’s not possible.” he added, though his tone still somehow remained gentle.
Claire turned her eyes downwards sadly before attempting her own response, “But if you cut me out of your life like you’ve been, won’t it be nearly as bad as if I had died?” she asked him desperately.
Sean shook his head before speaking again, “I haven’t cut you out of my life…it’s just…” his voice trailed off as he lost the words he had been searching for.
“You’re the only real thing I’ve ever had in this world, Sean, and if you won’t even speak to me…I just can’t bear it.” she admitted with a sniffle.
“You think you’re the only one who feels that way?” he managed, though in his own whisper, barely audible over the continued sound of the carriage moving through the night around them.
She looked up at him quickly, “I’ve been trying to talk to you, every night!” she denied.
“That wasn’t the part I meant, Claire.”
“Which part, then?” she asked with a slight furrow of her brow.
“You’re the only real thing I’ve ever had, too. And you risking yourself that way….risking leaving me so completely alone…I just am trying to grasp how you could do that to me.” he admitted with a shake of his head.
Claire sighed shakily, her eyes turning downwards again before she found her voice once more, “Before I chose to do that, you heard him. He was going to send you back to the palace again, and do who knows what with me.” a slight pause, “I honestly believed it was the only way, Sean. The only way we could ever both get away from Griffyn, at least enough so that we could try and have a life of our own, at last. I hated the fact that it could have cost me my life, but if there was any chance, any chance at all that we could finally have that life, together, I had to take that chance.” she allowed another shaky sigh, “Because if he really was going to keep us apart for even a second longer, let alone…” her voice trailed off sadly as she simply shook her head.
“I would’ve tried to find a way…some way that we could be together again.” Sean attempted.
“But I did, Sean. For once I’m the one who found the way. For once it wasn’t all left up to you. It may have been terrifying and dangerous, but I found it: Look at us. Here we are, about to leave him behind and really try to live, for the first time, since we died, fifteen long years ago. And I’m sorry that I let myself come so close to being torn away from you, forever, but I somehow survived. I knew I had to. For this. For us. Now, let‘s please make the rest of these long lives of ours worth that risk. That is why I took it at all, isn’t it?”