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{{{ Chapter Two }}}

{Brennan's Point of View}

Warmth. Comfort. Love… Wait… back up, love?

Trying to force logical thought into my sleep filled head was always difficult. Even more so when I was so comfortable and warm. When I had silky silver locks resting on my arm, and a head resting in the crook of my shoulder… and a warm chest pressed into my side… not to mention – okay then, that's about enough. Time to stop dirty thoughts right there. These thoughts of course woke me up completely.

Lying in my bed, first thing in the morning, barely awake, with my angel pressed to my side. It doesn't get better than this. And not just in a purely sexual way. Though that's good too. Just having her here, after so many years. I feel like I've been given a second chance and there is no way I'm going to blow it. I have her here with me, and I'm not going to let her go. There's that protective streak again. Ohh well…

Smiling to myself, I decided to open my eyes… just to make sure I wasn't just imagining this. And the sight that greeted me, glorious. She is so beautiful, so serene, and so… angelic. I guess that's where I get my nickname for her. She looks so innocent, with not a care in the world. Until…

Raising her head slightly, so it was properly turned towards me, she opened her eyes. And that simple action shattered many of my previous thoughts, and illusions. Sure she was still beautiful, but she definitely has many cares.

"Good morning Angel." I whispered quietly, smiling slightly. Bringing one hand up to lightly brush a few loose strands of hair from her face.

"Good morning," came her slightly mumbled reply.

"Feeling better?"

"Much," she answered with a smile at me before turning her head away again.

I held her tighter as she snuggled up to me, hiding her face in my chest. The feeling of her breath softly on my bare chest was almost enough to make me forget what she had just done. After our time apart, 10 years in which we had both grown up, it seems we have also grown apart. I know her well though, just as she knows me, and she knows that I can read her eyes. "You know, turning your head away, so I can't see your eyes doesn't change anything."

Sighing softly, her breath wafting over my chest with more vigor, she whispered, "I know… but hopefully then you won't have to see it all."

"All what?" I asked back, not sure if I was meant to hear the last comment, but taking full advantage of the fact that I did.

"You know… the bad stuff. That you of all people should never have to see, especially not in me." Tilting her head back to me, she continued, "I'm sorry, so sorry. I didn't mean to dump everything on you last night. I just saw you, and forgot, and I missed you so much. You used to comfort me, and I just wanted…" she whispered, turning away again and sitting up, her back to me.

Quickly, I hugged her to me tightly. Turning her face to me again, I wiped the tears from her cheeks. "Sssh, it's okay. You had been holding it all in much too long, and you needed… you needed someone. And I am truly glad, that after all these years, I was able to be there for you again. I'm glad you still trust me with that."

"Of course," she said with conviction. "I would, I will, always trust you." Hugging me tightly to convince me, she then smiled at me. Not a 100-watt smile like she used to have, but close.

Happy with my achievement so far, I decided not to push too hard. Smiling back at her, I said, "I really want to know what's wrong, why you were – still are… so upset, so sad."


Stopping her with a finger on her lips, I continued, "Wait. I want to know, and I want to… you know, catch up on lost time. So, when you're ready to talk, I'm ready to listen. I'm not going to push you now, but know that I do want to listen when you're ready to talk."

Her eyes wavered for a moment, as she smiled sadly at me. "I am so glad I found you again. I truly don't know how much longer I could have lasted without you."

With a serious expression, I added my last thought on the subject, "You should never have to handle the stuff you have bottled up inside, you of all people, you were so sweet and innocent. I promise that I will do everything I can to help you." Smiling comfortingly, I changed the subject to one easier for both of us. "So, anyway," I began with a grin, "I better get downstairs, no doubt the others are up and raiding my kitchen."

At the sound of the doorbell intercom coming on, I laughed lightly. "Yup, they're up, and they've already rung the others."

Taking her curious expression as a positive, I got up. "Come on, up you get. I want you to meet my friends."

"Your… your friends. I don't know, maybe I'll just stay here in bed."

"Ohh come now." I said with a grin, as I held out my hand to her to pull her out of bed. As she stood up easily, I continued, "how about you have a shower first, I'll go down a greet the others, then I'll come back up for you? Sound good?"

"Ahhh…" she began, looking at me.

Standing a mere few inches apart, I looked down into her eyes and saw the nervousness and caution. Feeling my newly awakened protective streak, I instinctively pulled her to me. Perhaps not such a good idea I realised a moment later, as her whole body came into close contact with mine. Clearing my throat slightly, I pulled back again, with a reassuring smile. Assuming that all was sorted out, I turned her towards the bathroom. Leading her in there, I thought it best that I leave quickly. Not that I doubt my control or anything… 'yeah sure…' After showing her the bathroom and giving her a clean towel, I left my room. As I stepped out, I realised I was only wearing silk pajama pants. Thinking it a good idea to dress first, I went back in a quickly dressed before deciding it was time to face the lions downstairs.

Next chapter coming soon!

Love Tamashii Hime