Warning: This scene contains sexual content that some may find offensive. Please read with caution.
Four months later
Micah stared at his reflection in the mirror. The furrows on his brow created heavy lines. Madison had cried herself to sleep while he held her, swearing it’d get better. He resisted the urge to punch the mirror.
January first was supposed to be the beginning of a new year, but also the first day of the rest of their lives together. A cold, brisk southern morning dawned and snow had been falling by lunch time, creating a glittering backdrop to their marriage. Elias had stood at his side as Micah’s best man and pride like he’d never known bloomed in Micah’s chest when Madison walked down the aisle in her stark white gown. The wedding had gone as planned and they’d toasted to their future together, covenanting their lives to one another for an eternity.
They’d taken a private jet to Paris and he’d been eager to get her into their honeymoon suite. Thoughts of stripping and loving her slowly died as he caught the excited gleam in her eyes and the first patch of her flesh was exposed. Lust too far gone and she’d smelled so damn divine, he’d taken her quickly and much too roughly. To make matters worse, he hadn’t realized his mistake until she turned her head aside and tears streaked her cheeks. A very hollow feeling settled in his gut as he finished inside her, his wife having enjoyed none of the process. She’d rolled away from him afterward and dragged the covers to her chin.
He’d wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight against his frame. “I’m sorry. It’ll get better, kitten.” But he’d felt her mental withdrawal like a protective barrier against further suffering.
Virgins weren’t a commodity he enjoyed often. Neither had his sexual partner’s pleasure hadn’t been his focus before tonight. Failure was a unique novelty and something he could happily never deal with again. Goddamn it, he’d needed her virginity to seal their cosmic deal.
Micah took a deep breath and exhaled it. “I will make it good for her next time,” he told his reflection.
Their next time ended just as badly. And a very real tenseness settled into their honeymoon. He had no idea how to proceed and feared he only made matters worse each time he touched her. If only he knew how to rectify his error.
Two years later
A son! She had a son. Labor had been long and she’d denied an epidural. Every second of it was worth the perfect little creature nestled in her arms, nursing at her breast. Amos Ross Dominus…the single most wonderful thing that happened in her life.
All the godawful sex was worth getting him too. But she wouldn’t think of that now. Not when her joy was too great. And Micah was pleased, he couldn’t stop smiling. She just wished things could go back to the days before their marriage, when they’d been comfortable with one another. Now every time he touched her, hugged or kissed her, she worried he’d want sex. Too bad she wasn’t the whore her father said she’d be. She displeased Micah and she desperately wanted to make him happy, but she couldn’t even bring herself to pretend she enjoyed making love with him.
Two years later
Micah stared at the Azura stones, an ancient prophetic device used by his Father. Please her or leave her. Displeased with the prophecy, he disliked the actions he’d be forced to take. He tucked the stones away and was placing them into his bedside table when Madison entered their bedroom.
“Amos asleep?” he asked as she walked toward her closet.
A few minutes later she emerged in a white silk gown. Beautiful woman. His. Bound to him for life and she detested his touch.
He went to her and clasped her face between his hands. “I wish to make love to you tonight.” Her blue eyes grew cloudy. “Don’t, kitten, please don’t. I’m sorry for the way I took you on our honeymoon. I wish I could do it all over again.” He’d damn sure tried to make things better in the four years since their wedding.
Madison swallowed. “I want to be what you need me to be, but….”
“Let me try, Madison. Just allow me to try.” But you’ll have to open up to me as well.
She’d once enjoyed his kisses. If he could just get her to recapture her youth, he could succeed. He knew he could and then he wouldn’t have to follow the advice of the Azura stones.
A hesitant nod, but he could tell she was afraid. He kissed her slow and with patience, taking his time to arouse her. Only when she began to return his kisses, did he deepen them.
“Help me remove my clothes.” Not something he’d ever asked of her before. And her hands shook as she lifted them to unbutton his shirt. He caught her wrists after she tugged the material free of his slacks. “You know I don’t bite. This is me, kitten. The same man you loved before we married.”
“I still love you, Micah.”
“Then show me.”
She did, or she tried. And she’d seemed to be enjoying his caresses and kisses. He went down on her—not something ever tolerated by her before—and she’d nearly came, but she shoved his head aside before the fireworks could claim her. Easing over her, he’d thrust easily into her, marveling that it’d been one of the few times lubrication hadn’t been necessary. Again, he felt her rising release and her lips parted, her eyes widening—in surprise?—as she neared a very real climax. The first ever with him.
Then something altered. A frown flitted across her brow and she’d bitten her bottom lip, as a sad shudder emerged from her lungs. He felt a mental shift because he felt her disconnect from him in an emotional sense. Fear turned her eyes shiny, brimming with tears and she whispered, “You’ll hate me.”
What the hell? Hate her for what? Nothing she ever did could bring about his hate.
Just that fast her arousal died away and her orgasm never surfaced. Frustrated, Micah finished, burying his face in the curve between her neck and shoulder as he released. It didn’t seem right to groan his release too loudly, when she hadn’t enjoyed it.
He had his answer. He knew what he must do. Tears burned his eyes and he’d never shed a tear for anyone. No one had ever been that important to him, not even his bastard of a Father.
Micah rolled off her onto his back. “Tonight marks a new beginning, Madison.”
She sniffled but didn’t look at him. He fiddled with her hair, wishing he possessed another alternative. Goddamn, he wanted a different choice than the one he was presented with.
“It’ll eventually work out, kitten.” Her gaze walloped him, doubt stark in her eyes. “Do you trust me?” She nodded. “Then trust me when I tell you we will work it out.” But she’d need to evolve first. That had been clear in the Azura stones. “You’re my future, no other will suffice.”
“I don’t want to lose you.” Madison snuggled against him, resting her head on his shoulder. Even though her tears were warm against his flesh, he relished the way she turned to him for comfort. Her rock. Her foundation for seven years. Maybe that’d been his mistake, solving all of her problems for her. “Will you help me be what you need?” She asked in a small voice and her uncertainty broke his heart.
“You’re already what I need.” He hugged her tight against him. “I love you and nothing will ever alter that. Remember that, okay?” Regardless of the nasty things I will be forced to do. She nodded, but he needed to see her eyes, to know she truly meant it. He placed a finger beneath her chin and tilted her head back until their gazes touched. “Regardless what happens, promise me you’ll never forget I love you more than anything. You are my world, kitten. I’ll always protect you, now and forever, even if it seems that I’m not. Promise me you believe me and that you won’t forget, Madison.”
Her voice sounded rusty as it emerged, “I promise.”
The next morning, Micah descended the stairs as always, but his mood was cautious. When Madison finally slumbered last night, he’d exited the bed and consulted the Azura stones once more. He hoped they’d give him an alternative course.
The prophecy was as dire the second time as the first. He perched on a crossroads. If Madison were cool toward him this morning, his mission was likely doomed. He’d been uncertain how he would handle the situation if that occurred. If she uttered words of encouragement, there was hope. A fifty-fifty chance his plan would succeed. To up those odds, he’d have to commit difficult actions toward her, but all would be necessary to push her in the direction she must go. Madison had to evolve or he would lose everything, not just his ultimate endgame, but her as well.
As he entered the kitchen, his stomach churned with uncertainty. Madison cooked a typical southern breakfast—bacon, fried eggs, biscuits and grits. He adored her cooking and his belly grumbled at the scents wafting to him.
Amos sat in a chair on his knees, giggling at the pup he’d received for his birthday wallowing on her back making grunting and groaning noises. The blue Great Dane—Amos named Dixie—would protect him, and that was all Micah cared about.
“Morning, kitten,” he said as he walked up beside her to snag a piece of bacon. She hugged him and gave him a peck on the cheek. His eyebrows flashed upward at the flush on her face. “You’re practically glowing this morning.” Beautiful.
Madison adjusted his tie and her shyness cramped his gut with nostalgia. After all this time she continued to worry about his reception.
She peeked at him through her lashes. “I wish to try again tonight.”
All is not lost! Hope surged inside him and he buried his hand in her hair, angling her head back to stare into her eyes. She didn’t flinch away as he’d expected.
“You almost came last night,” he whispered low so Amos wouldn’t hear. “A first.”
An adorable blush infused her cheeks. “Yes.”
“You weren’t disgusted?”
“No.” A frown hit her forehead. “Is that what you thought all these years?”
“It doesn’t matter what I thought.” He kissed her cheeks. “All that is of importance is our future.”
He and Amos chatted as they ate breakfast, most of the conversation centered on the Great Dane, how she hogged the bed and begged for loving, but he didn’t mind because they were friends. Dixie whined for food and he realized halfway through the meal that his son snuck bits of biscuit to her.
“Give her a whole one, Amos.” He nodded at the platter of biscuits. Amos’s blue eyes lit up and he scrambled halfway across the table in order to reach one. The delight of such simple things warmed his heart and they’d be missed.
He looked at Madison as he pressed a napkin to his mouth. She smiled.
My beautiful family. So precious and so far from where they need to be.
Micah slid back his chair. “I have an early morning hearing. I need to run.”
He scuffed his fingers in Amos’s hair and then drew Madison out of her chair into his arms for a lingering kiss.
“Good luck in court,” she said. He grinned. Luck had nothing to do with his success. She straightened his tie. “I love you, Micah.”
He tipped her chin back with a fingertip beneath her chin. “And I am so in love with you, kitten.”
Micah snagged his briefcase out of the kitchen chair and left.
© Gracen Miller 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller.