It was less than an hour later when Sean found himself once again moved into action by Awsha’s words. However, it was doubtful that she had gotten the reaction she had been aiming for this time. Sean went into Haven’s study where he had a few quick words with his sire before heading back to his quarters and gathering up several of his own belongings. It was only slightly after one by the time he easily managed to use all those senses of his to easily find the small home which Claire had found her own way to earlier in the evening.
Inside, Claire was tidying up the living room after Erica had been put to bed in the smaller of the two bedrooms for the night. Claire immediately sensed Sean’s presence as she was halted from her current task to look toward the door before he actually entered the home.
“Did I forget something?” Claire managed to ask him in greeting, though again, her voice was barely loud enough to escape her throat.
“Yes; your husband” was his simple answer as he dropped the box of belongings inside the door and moved to her side, immediately pulling her face to his as he covered her lips with his own.
After a kiss that lasted several dizzying moments, they broke off the contact but not their closeness as they still stood close in one another’s arms for a long silent moment before either spoke again.
“Sean, if you really don’t want to try to do this, I’m not going to force you to” Claire finally managed.
“I’m willing to try anything that keeps us together. That’s all I need to get through anything, no matter how… complicated” he decided on “it might be.”
Claire took another moment of the slightest relief at his words before finding her own “I know it’s crazy and stupid and ridiculous, and nearly impossible” she admitted “but I just feel like I have to try to be there for her. She has no one else” she added softly.
“Then we’ll try” Sean agreed as he pulled her into a closer embrace, both their minds racing through all the ways this could go terribly wrong, or just hopefully right.
It was a few hours later when Sean and Claire had done all they could to settle into this new much more modest home as Erica quietly slept in the smaller of the two bedrooms. They had also set up a temporary bed in Erica’s new room for Luke and Isabelle, who were getting their last few moments of sleep before sunrise brought their daily vigilance upon them. Of course, now that vigilance also included keeping Erica entertained and distracted during the day while her new parents were forced to slumber in the larger master bedroom until the sun that was so deadly to them finally disappeared below the horizon again.
As summer turned to fall, Haven still went forward with his plans to build separate homes for each of his Kindred council. He wanted to provide each with a safe homestead for they and their clans, without having to continue to try and cohabitate under one roof for so long that it created any more tensions between them. Despite Sean and Claire having left Haven’s own home earlier that year, theirs was still the first and largest house, other than his own, that he had constructed. After all, Sean was still his first-made childe and heir, and apparently already had a family to look after, as oddly as that situation did come to pass.
It had now been a week or so since Sean, Claire, Erica, Luke, and Isabelle moved into the new home which was nearest to, and almost as large as their Prince’s. That night, Sean exited his newly rebuilt studio to find Claire in the living room alone. Luke, Isabelle and Erica had all went to bed slightly before midnight, leaving Sean and Claire as the only souls still stirring in their new home until morning.
Sean found Claire staring out the living room window at the night time ocean with a rather sad look on her face. He furrowed his brow slightly at her expression, as this new home had been quite the positive in their lives, yet she still seemed troubled somehow.
He moved to take a seat behind where she sat sideways on the sofa, her pools of green still taking in the beauty outside their window. He took that place behind her, a knee on each side of her narrow hips, allowing him to look out the window with her as well. As he moved in close to her, he wrapped his arms around her chest from behind, and placed a soft kiss atop her head. He reveled a moment in the scent of those long raven-colored locks, as they hadn’t had many moments of intimacy since bringing Erica into their lives.
“New house, wonderful view, pleasing company” he added with a small smile, as his lips touched her hair again, “so why so sad?”
She just shook her head, though could not bring herself to look back at him, or move away from him either, for that matter “it’s just some silly thing that I’m letting get to me again. The usual” she added in a self-deprecating manner that easily reinforced his judgment of her current mood.
“And what silly thing would that be?” he asked, not letting her off the hook that easily.
She allowed a small sigh, “Just something Erica said before I put her to bed tonight”
“Oh no. Did the five year old say something inappropriate?” he smiled.
“I don’t know if inappropriate is the word” she replied with another sigh.
“Are you going to tell me what she actually said? Or should I just start randomly guessing at it?” he teased her again, allowing his pale fingers to move to trace the dark black velvet that covered Claire’s arms.
One more sigh before Claire offered him his answer “she called Isabelle her new mommy” she sniffled a bit. Not exactly expecting that answer, Sean was silenced a moment “I guess it makes sense though” Claire continued then “I mean, she only sees us for a few hours each night before she goes to sleep and then wakes up the next day with only Luke and Isabelle to look after her” she allowed herself to admit.
Then it was Sean’s turn to sigh “attempting to look on the bright side, here” he began “if this is the biggest problem we’ve had since taking her in, I guess we should be thankful that it’s not any of the slightly larger problems that we were worried about. I mean, maybe it is better for her to believe the two still living souls are her new parents. We still get to watch her grow up safe, which is the best any parent could hope for, right?” he attempted, though gently.
“Yes, I suppose you’re right” Claire conceded “I just wish…”
“I know” he said gently as he turned her into his arms, offering another kiss to her forehead as he held her close to him again.
When Haven entered his bedroom prior to the inevitable sunrise, he found his bed occupied already. Awsha lay there atop the bed, nothing covering her except a sheet draped over a few choice locations, “evening daddy” was her greeting.
“Something you needed, childe?” he returned, letting the door fall shut behind him as he managed to keep any reaction to the sight of her out of his voice.
“Just been a while since we chatted” she stated innocently as she pushed a few of those long black locks behind her to further expose her neck and shoulder.
“And this chat requires you to be naked and on my bed?” he returned with his own smirk as he took his own seat and began removing his boots.
“I know how much you like beauty after all” she purred back as her fingers traced his arm as he finished removing the boots.
Haven just shook his head as he moved on to his next task of removing the light coat he wore over his shirt that night “Skip the innocent seductress act, Awsha, and just tell me what it was you wanted to talk about” he stated simply, still not looking back her way.
“Aren’t Toreadors supposed to be romantic and seductive? It’s sort of our forté. Most of us, anyway” she had to add in response to the decided lack of romance and seduction Haven had been providing in return.
“Please let me know when you’ll be arriving at your point” Haven returned as he removed his shirt before sliding back across the bed and leaning back against his waiting pillows.
Awsha allowed an impatient sigh as he moved past her to his new location. She then shook her head as she turned to slowly crawl back toward him, the sheet that was the only thing hiding her body from his light blue gaze easily falling away.
“I suppose they’re all tucked into their new home now, with their new kid?” she stated with a muted sarcasm as she leaned across him to lightly trail her fingers over his now bare chest.
Forcing himself to keep his eyes on her fingers, rather than any other part of her, Haven spoke again “is this you finally getting to the point?”
Awsha allowed another annoyed sigh as she looked up at him at last, her fingers finally slowing their movements against his equally pale flesh “can you honestly tell me that you still think he’s the perfect childe? I mean, you’ve gotta see that this ridiculous plan to raise the kid is going to more than endanger their ability to uphold the Masquerade” she attempted to argue.
“I didn’t realize that you were so civically minded that you stayed up nights worrying about the laws and safety of my territory” he stated while a smirk played at his lips.
Awsha scoffed “well isn’t it good to know that at least one of the two you sired actually does care?”
“So, this is all about you trying to keep our secrets safe from a very dangerous five year old human child then? Is that it?” he replied, his smirk fully coming to life on his lips then
“Well, that child is going to grow up eventually, and if she’s not bound to us…”
“God Awsha, would you please stop?” he finally cut her off, his smirk making way for a less amused expression.
“Stop what? I mean these are valid…”
“Stop” he repeated more forcefully, “stop all your fucking acting! It does not and will not ever work with me. The fact that you continue to believe it will, it’s nothing short of insulting. So fucking stop” he finished plainly, his words doing well to silence her, however momentarily.
“I just…” she finally attempted a moment later, now having moved back from him to gather the sheet around her body again.
“Please think before you finish that sentence with another lie, Awsha” he warned with a shake of his head.
“What am I allowed to say, exactly?” she finally bit back, some semblance of her true emotions finally making it into her tone for once.
“Try the truth. You do know what that is, don’t you?” Haven returned with a bit of bitterness.
Awsha was quiet for another long moment “Sean is being ridiculous and stupid just for the sake of pleasing Claire. You have to know that” she added more quietly.
“And the fact that he is trying so very hard to make Claire happy; that’s your real issue isn’t it, Awsha?” Haven stated knowingly.
“He belongs with me, not her” she finally allowed her version of the truth, however quietly.
“Funny how all the laws of the universe seem to disagree with you on that” Haven stated bluntly.
The words did cut her, but she forced more “You made me into Sean’s equal, which is something Claire is not” she insisted.
“It’s true I made you, but you are so far from being Sean’s equal. And the strength of her blood aside, Claire is the only thing on this planet that could even come close to being his equal. She’s his soul mate. And you’re so very blind, and in for so much pain, if you don’t finally just accept that as the actual truth, which you know it is” Haven finished plainly before moving to lay his head on the pillow before having to give into that day’s slumber. Though he turned from her as he did, not looking back to see the red tears welling up in his childe’s eyes in response to his undiluted truth.