Summary: Remus finds a solution to his relationship with Tonks.

Nymph vs Wolf
: Sunsets

St. Mungo's Charity Ball: The Aftermath

Two hours of hell is the simplest way to describe our third date at St. Mungo's Charity Ball. My heart aches to see my lovely nymph on the verge of tears, but I have to steel myself for losing her, so I sit in silence. At least I can make this easy for her, so once I see her safely to the door, I decide that it's best to make the first move.

"I'll say good-bye now."

"You mean good night, don't you?"

She's stiffened as if she's angry, but I don't really want to hear a tirade on how I've ruined her life and corrupted her relationship with her family. I do deserve to be castigated for being a fool and letting our relationship grow, but I just can't handle the pain right now.

I don't look at her as I insist, "It's best that I leave."

But before I can make my exit, her vorpal bunny appears at her entry. Wimples has again raided Tonks' drawers of unmentionables. I feel obliged to help her deal with her errant pet, but the chase finally leads us to her bedroom where we trap the mischievous creature under the bedcovers.

The were-rabbit is hopping rather vigorously, creating little lumps on the tunnel of blanket. I turn to look at Nymphadora and suddenly we both break out in laughter at his antics. I feeling of relief and regret runs through me. We work together so well, we have such a facile connection to each other, and yet it still is not enough. Or is it?

As I sober up and look in her eyes, my body mirrors hers as we lean forward so that our lips touch in a kiss. And in that kiss I feel hope--and pain! Wimples' back feet connect sharply with my ribs.

"Ow! He kicked me."

"I'm sure it was accidental." Tonks releases her pet and soon the lepine is gone from sight.

Silence. The kiss would indicate that Tonks isn't ready to send me out the door, but now is the time to be strong and end this romance. I make an attempt to stand up, but I find my resolve faltering as I hear the whisper of her skirt across the bedcovers as she scoots closer to me.

Her gaze is direct and her voice holds command when she says, "Stay."

She still wants me? But I can't let her continue this madness. I remind her, "This isn't, nor has it ever been, a good idea." I cannot prevent my harsh tone as I add, "You heard them. Their insults weren't just directed at me."

We have a brief exchange about how quick people were to denigrate her for being with me. This ranged from Madame Malkin saying Tonks would be an unwelcome customer at her shop to Scrimgeour threatening her career as an Auror. Each time she counters my arguments until I bring up the encounter that cut us the most.

"And your parents? Don't tell me that tirade didn't hurt?"

Tonks averts her gaze and wraps her arms around her knees.. I see her blink away the tears before they fall, but her voice is firm. "They had no right to say those things to you. I never--I never expected them be so horrible."

"Nymphadora, they are your parents. Of course they'd worry about you." It's a half-hearted attempt to defend her parents because I don't want to be the cause of her losing contact with family. It's a painful subject, so I try to distract her by asking, "You weren't expecting them at the ball?"

"Mum never said a word to me about getting tickets." Tonks shakes her head and sighs before a bitter laugh escapes her. "Some surprise, eh?"

She throws a nervous glance my way and her voice is small when she speaks again. "They're good people, Remus, and I was hoping you'd meet them, but not like this. And I never realized that Mum thought you had corrupted Sirius."

"It was easier for her to blame the Werewolf than to lose faith in her beloved cousin." I'm quite familiar with this line of reasoning: The taint of the Dark Creature corrupts all around him. "If I were Fenrir Greyback, she would probably be right."

"But Mum doesn't even know that Sirius is innocent! And I can't tell her without, without--." She stops to rake a hand through her hair and merely ends with, "What a bloody mess!"

"Now they see you as my next target." Target? No, they see Tonks as my victim and I turn my face away as I recall their vile accusation. "And even touching you is a violation."

I hear her groan in disbelief and her voice is now angry. "I can't believe how they accused you of, of--"

"Rape? That was a new one for me," I confirm, but I shudder at the mental image that accusation creates because it is so ugly and violent. It is a stark contrast to the beautiful intimacy I have shared with Nymphadora Tonks. But then I am so much larger, older, dangerous. Could I blame them? I turn my back to her as these questions flit through my mind.

I wasn't surprised by the negative image they had of me, but to have so little faith in Tonks? To think she would let me force myself on her and then be too afraid to defy me? Didn't they know their own daughter?

"Damn it, I'm the one who's always jumping on you!" Tonks literally lunges forward and wraps her arms around me and leans against my back.

A wry smile is on my face, but it falls as I consider my actions. Although Tonks initiates our sexual encounters, I quickly become the aggressor. My hunger for her hasn't diminished; only the full moon dampens my appetite. I never waste an opportunity to indulge in her body and when I'm lost inside of her, there are moments when I'm only driven by a burning passion.

"Yes, but sometimes I just lose control and--," I admit. "And I have worried that I've hurt you."

"You are the gentlest man I've ever known, Remus. You are not some monster; you're the man I love."

She moves close and kisses me tenderly. The touch chases away the shadow of the accusations. Her kiss is passionate, willing; she holds nothing back from me.

Tonks murmurs again, "Stay, Remus."

And with her invitation, I realize tonight is not the night to end things. I am being selfish, but her touch is the balm I need for this wound. I am not the monster, but a man who needs his woman.

"I'll stay," I whisper, but I can't promise beyond that. "Tonight, I'll stay."

"One day at a time," she agrees.

I take her hand and gently kiss her palm before removing the seashell bracelet. I inhale the sweet scent of the Wolf Flower before removing the corsage from her wrist. She brings her arms around my neck and melts into me with a kiss.

- - - - -

The desire flowing from his kiss makes me melt into Remus, but I need to keep my head. I know he was sorely wounded by those horrible things my parents said to him. I need to make him understand that there is no basis for them, that he doesn't abuse me in any way.

I have an idea, but it means that I have to stay in control of things. Do I have the confidence it takes to play seductress? With any man but Remus, I'd feel inadequate and--stupid! But he makes me feel so desirable, like some prize he's been seeking all his life. I still wish I could hear him say those three little words to me, but Remus is a very passionate man when it comes to physically expressing his love.

When I describe Remus as gentle, I don't mean he's some docile sap who barely musters the vigor to find a quick release with me. Ha! Not even the full moon keeps him down for long--did I just say that?

Remus approaches sex the way he approaches his other critical studies: with great attention to detail and a lot of passion driving his study. He calls himself an old man, but I think the energy he conserved during his years of celibacy is fueling our sexual activity. But to prove my point with him tonight will require that he let me control the pace of our lovemaking.

Ah, I feel his hand slipping up to the zipper on my gown. Time to make my decision...

- - - - -

My hand moves automatically to release Tonks from her gown, but she pulls away from me and says, "Wait."

I look at her a bit apprehensively. Has she changed her mind?

She leans in to whisper, "Relax, be passive."

She leans back to look into my eyes. She wants me to give up complete control to her? I nod in understanding.

She's shoves my jacket off of my shoulders and removes my tie as she gently pushes me to recline against the headboard. She kisses my lips as she disrobes me, always halting my movements with a gentle touch. I feel the satin of her gown against my skin and the warmth of her body radiates through the thin material. I watch as she releases my clothing, only moving slightly to facilitate her progress and she kisses my scarred body as it is revealed.

Then she lets her gaze scan across me and smiles in satisfaction. And it's in these moments that I don't feel ugly or inhuman, but very much a man. She clasps my hand for a moment before she rises from the bed and places it over her womb. The charm that prevents conception is whispered like a ritual and its importance is clearly evident after the attitudes we witnessed tonight. I will not be reckless and leave her with child, although the Healers say she will be barren.

She drops a kiss on my fingertips afterwards, running her tongue lightly across them and her actions inflame me, but again, when I lean forward, she puts a gentle hand on my shoulders to stop me.

I lean back against the headboard as my lovely nymph commands me to, "Watch, wait."

My full attention is on her body as she steps out of her gown. There is something very erotic about watching your lover undress. There's nothing brazen about her movements as she strips before me, but the slow maneuvers are sensual nonetheless. I watch the light dance across her skin, I can hear every rustle of fabric as if it's amplified. Even the scent of her body wafts toward me, so I breathe in deeply since I cannot yet touch her.

She's standing beautifully nude in front of me and indulging in a stretch. Damn! I want to reach out and drag her to me, press her beneath me as I kiss her body, but as soon as I lean forward she just shakes her head. I fall back against the headboard and I'm sure I'm pouting.

At this point I almost wish she'd immobilized me for this little game, but what would that prove? No, I think I'm beginning to understand her purpose. It takes more mental discipline to surrender to her gentle directives. It takes an exertion of will power to not violate the limits she sets, but through this she proves that I'm not some lust driven beast who only uses her body to obtain physical release. But I suppose there's a beast in every man because she has to keep encouraging me to be patient.

I soon get my wish to feel her body when she crawls onto the foot of the bed with a wicked smile. The contact of her lips at my ankle makes me groan--Can you imagine what I'm saying as her mouth trails up my limbs? I don't know either since I'm an inarticulate mess.

And any time she feels my muscles tense in preparation to grab her, she pulls away from me, shakes her head with a patient smile--and starts over again! So I endure this sweet torture and try not to pull her head toward me when she finally arrives at my very evident desire. But it is just enough to tease me into further acquiesance as she moves up my torso.

My voice is very hoarse as I accuse, "You are a very evil woman."

She just chuckles because she's finally made it to my neck. "And you've been a very good boy, Professor."

"And what are you trying to prove here, Nymphadora?" I ask as she nuzzles my ear.

"That you won't think I'm stupid for playing seductress," she admits, "and that you're not forcing me to do anything I don't want."

She kisses me deeply then just leans her cheek against mine as a satisfied sigh escapes her. The next thing I know her breasts are brushing against my lips. For a moment I remain still thinking that two can play at this game, but my body refuses to surrender to that ridiculous idea and my mouth opens to suckle her.

I raise my hands to hold her back securely since I'm sitting up against the headboard, but apparently she approves of this because she doesn't pull away. She does shift her torso so that I can attend to her other breast, but soon her body moves up further and I'm on to her game. That taut belly ripples as my tongue tickles her skin and I smile at her response.

Then she moves up further and again I adjust my hands to merely cup her buttocks. I let myself revel in her intoxicating taste, letting her direct my mouth, my hands on her body. Soon I reap my reward as her body arcs and her moans of pleasure send a chill through me.

I feel her body become relaxed as she slides down my torso again and just buries her face in my chest. I caress her back as I try to control my urge to roll over with her and lose myself inside of her.

I voice my yearning with a simple plea. "Tonks, I need--"

"Wait." The quiet word stops me as she nuzzles my neck again. She takes a deep breath before she straddles me as I sit and her intention soon becomes clear.

Oh, this is definitely worth waiting for, I think as she eases our bodies together. She moves once, twice, again and again. In this position I can see her responsive body flooding with desire. Her eyes are closed and her head is tilted back a bit, her body is taut. My hands help her balance before she moves one of my hands to brush her core. She leans forward to let me kiss her deeply before resuming her movements. And so we continue until the release washes over us and I feel her collapse on my body.

"Whew, this is a lot of work," she murmurs with a satisfied chuckle that I echo.

I respond by wrapping my arms and legs tightly around her and just squeezing for a moment to assure myself she is real. "You make every one of my fantasies come true, Nymphadora, just by being you."

She returns the embrace for a moment and the next thing I know, she's asleep. So after using me to fulfill her lascivious plan, I'm left to serve as her mattress. And how I wish this life of loving servitude could last forever.

Her weight on me is no burden and the demonstration is one I take to heart. We are connected by mutual lust, but these acts would not be possible unless we trusted each other's affection. And so I know that in spite of my silence, Nymphadora Tonks knows that I love her.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Tonks' Flat

This is the night. I've spent the past several days dodging Tonks because I know I need to find the resolve to end our romance. I've used the time to develop solid, logical arguments that illustrate the futility of our relationship. Now I'm at her flat to persuade the young witch of the wisdom of parting as friends. Yes, I'm convinced that this is the night.

And as we finish our supper, Tonks is the one to initiate the discussion.

"Remus, if you're going to dump me then do it face-to-face. And don't try to deny you've been avoiding me. I told you I'd abide by your decision after the third date, but I think it's a mistake to be hasty about, about abandoning our relationship."

I set my fork down carefully as she takes a large swallow from her wine glass. Actually, that looks like a good idea, so I, too, toss back a large gulp. Where's the fire whiskey when you need it?

I can do this. Yes, I can. I can let her go--why am I holding her hand now? I keep looking at our clasped hands as I begin my well-rehearsed excuses--reasons! Reasons for breaking up.

"Tonks, I'm too old, too poor, and too dangerous for you to throw your life away on me."

"You're still young enough to fall in love with me, Remus, or have I been nothing but a tumble in bed for you?" She says the last with a sigh as if she can't believe it.

I can't lie to her. "No, I couldn't use you like that. You are everything I've ever wanted."

"Then isn't that all that matters?" I look up to find her eyes wide with plea, but I have to harden my heart.

"Life isn't ruled by our heart's desire, Nymphadora. You'll get tired of having to weigh every purchase. The cost of the Wolfsbane alone is a drain, but I couldn't afford not to take it if we were to be together."

"You don't think I can make that sacrifice?"

"I don't think you should have to make that sacrifice. It's likely I'll never hold a real job, so do you think I like the idea that one day you'd resent all the freedom that being with me has cost you? My debts become yours, my curse might as well be." Ah, I can tell from her eyes she hasn't thought of that. I'm making headway. "And what happens when I can't afford the Wolfsbane? What do you think it would do to me if I hurt you?"

"I'm not some weak woman, Remus." Her hands clench at her side.

"No, we'd never have come this far if you had been," I assure her. The problems aren't with her, it's all me. I lift her hand in mine and let my greatest fear slip out. "I can't tell you how precious our time together has been for me, but I'd rather have you safely as my friend than wake up to find my wife is dead because of something I've done or failed to do."

I see her nod in understanding, but then she blinks twice. "Wait. Wife? You're saying you--you'd marry me?"

I take a breath and patiently explain, "No, I was explaining that as much as I might want to, I can't marry you."

"You want to marry me?" Her voice holds a note of wonder at this idea.

But I'm confused. How did this conversation about breaking up turn into one about marriage? "That's not the point. We can't get married--"

"But you want to!"

Why is the woman smiling at me when I've just presented her with these wonderfully logical arguments against continuing our romance? I just told her--

My thoughts lie broken, but I defy any man to be capable of cognitive processing when passionately attacked by a nymph! I manage to bring a few brain cells online, but all I can say is her name: "Tonks."

She takes that as an invitation to straddle my lap. Oh, she knows just where and how to wriggle to get a rise out of me! This is not...I survive the deep kiss and with the breath I draw, I insist, "Tonks, we need to end this."

"Mm, right, the bed would be much more comfortable." She hops off and tugs my hand.

Much to my chagrin, my body is merrily following her wherever she leads. "Yes--no!" Control! Must regain control! "No, we can't--"

"I understand, marriage is not on the present agenda," she explains patiently as she drags me to her bedroom.

Ah, so I have succeeded in making an impression. Good, so the detour to the bedroom is? "Right, so--"

"I understand. No marriage," assures Tonks as her fingers fly to release the buttons on my shirt..

"Good," I sigh. She understands, no marriage. But as she pushes me back onto the bed, she adds, "Yet."

Yet? Oh, hell, she's kissing me again and I can't think when she's kissing and groping and wiggling and--are those nipples I feel against my skin? "Uh huh, mmm, no!" The secret is to take a deep breath, get the oxygen to the brain cells and proclaim, "No marriage."

"Right, that's what I said," she replies as she slips off my shirt.

"Oh." Right, she does agree and that's what I wanted, right? What's that zipping sound? No matter. Yes, I'm getting exactly what I wanted. It all makes sense now--or as much sense as anything makes when her mouth is greedily attending to my arousal. "Oooh..."

Must regain control. Something important. Yes. I remember, I need to get payback on Tonks for this. Aha, I slip out of her clutches and push her back against the bed. Capture those luscious lips that have been wreaking havoc on my body with my own. Good strategy. Fondle with one hand while undressing her with the other. I've become quite adept at this if I do say so myself.

Do I sound conceited? Well, there are more important things to attend to than my ego--like these creamy mounds before me. And my hands can't be left idle so--Haha!

Who's the incoherent mess now? But I love those low moans, the way her breath catches as my hands stroke her body or my mouth teases her breasts. Her response is predictable, but no less beautiful each time I generate it. My lovely nymph, my woman, my--how I wish I could call her my wife.

The thought sobers me so I stop just to look at her face below me. She touches my cheek and just says, "One day at a time, Remus."

"One day," I echo before I kiss her deeply.

Our hands fall to her belly as is our custom, our ritual, to call the charm. Then our bodies move to a familiar accommodation and fall into the rhythm driven by our mutual desire. Ecstasy results from the natural accord of our bodies, but love brings the satisfaction, the lovely afterglow that blesses our union.

One day at a time, I think. Can anyone really ask for more?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Break Up
End of June

I walk with Tonks as we carry her vorpal bunny to be released in the Forbidden Forest. I have my exit all planned out, even to the point that I asked Albus to create a node so that I could disapparate directly from the Hogwart's grounds. It's rare that I ask anything of the Headmaster, so he readily conceded to my request.

I have a clear opportunity to break things off with my nymph and a duty to protect her. We could endure being ostracized by society, but her connection to me almost cost her life. Peter Pettigrew burned down her flat and the candle shop, sent her landlady to the hospital and mortally injured the were-rabbit that protected her home. And I'm the one who led the violence down her path.

I've lost Sirius Black; I will not lose Nymphadora Tonks. I should have been the one sent beyond the Veil, not her cousin. She doesn't need this old, indigent and dangerous man in her life. A person with my history should have known better than to expect happy endings. I want her to live a happy and full life, so that means I stop fooling myself about this romance.

And now I've been handed the perfect opportunity to dissolve our relationship. I was too selfish before in wanting to maintain at least our friendship. The break has to be clean, nothing left but the memories. I need to put her on the path to a life with a man who could not just love her, but offer her all the things she deserves.

So now I'm carrying Wimples and Nymphadora is at my side. We've been staying at Wolf Rock for the past few days, but I've made certain not to give me intentions away to Tonks.

No, instead we've been spending our time tending to her pet were-rabbit, helping clear things from number twelve, then coming back to the lighthouse to weep about the man who should have been there waiting for us.

And in our sorrow we turn to each other and make love with a desperation born of this loss. Gentle and loving. Furious and passionate. Lazy and languid. Deep and resonating. The emotions sweep over us and drive our bodies to respond. And I commit everything to my senses. Her voice, the moans of pleasure, the joyous laughter. The touch of her hands, the feel of her body with its curves and contours and all its feminine mysteries. Ah, the scent of desire, fulfillment. The vision of perfect skin, the eyes of desire, need, love. Precious memories, all of them, never to be shared with any other woman for although I will desert her, I cannot take back my heart once freely given.

So now our walk has ended and we release Wimples to a new life as we start our own new paths. I look down at our entwined hands and my thumb absently caresses her hand.

Now is the time to end this, so I take a deep breath and begin.

"I won't be going to back to Wolf Rock for a long time, Nymphadora. My mission requires that I leave all of it behind for an indefinite period of time. You can stay at the lighthouse safely for another week. That should give you time to find a new place to live."

She blinks as the information registers. Her voice is cautious as she says, "I, well, Fleur did say there was a vacancy at her boarding house. And I suppose we can still write--"

"I'll be among the Werewolves and it would be too dangerous for you to try to contact me."

"Werewolves? But you've lived among wizards too long. You'll be in jeopardy, too." Anxiety fills her voice, but she immediately offers, "I'll--I'll quit my job and go with you."

"No, no you can't do that." I can't look at her now, but my voice is stern. Merlin, I didn't anticipate her offer to follow me and I have to make her understand. "You're my ticket in, Nymphadora. You see, it won't be difficult to convince them that I've abandoned living among wizards because of a love affair gone bad. I only regret that your name will be tainted with mine."

"It's just an alibi, right? I'll wait for you, Remus, you know I will."

I don't question her loyalty and if this were just an alibi, I know she would wait, but it would be for a pointless future. I still can't bring myself to meet her eyes, so again I shake my head. "Your friendship is precious to me, Nymphadora, but we need to end this for your own sake."

"Remus, don't start talking about--"

"There's nothing to discuss," I admonish. "You promised to abide by my wishes and I ask you to hold to that promise."

I finally turn to look at her and see the stream of tears on her face. They tear at my heart like knives; how dare anyone hurt her like this? The man deserves to suffer and I will make sure that the one who caused her this pain will live his life in regret and loneliness. I can only hope that she will come to despise me for hurting her so deeply. She should embrace a life free of an old, poor, dangerous man.

"But you love me, Remus, don't you?"

And even now I can't admit this to her directly. Isn't it a mercy?

"Sometimes love is not enough and sometimes it's dangerous. Peter targeted you because of me and he turned out to be more powerful than I imagined to have ripped through the wards you had on the candle shop. But you won't be his target now, not if he thinks I'd find pleasure in seeing you hurt. And you won't have to think about whether a proprietor will chase you out of the shop, you won't have to worry about your job or your parents' approval. Don't you see how free you'll be without me?"

"Remus, don't do this."

It is a quiet plea and I know I should just walk away, but my heart directs me not to be so cold and to take one last kiss, so my lips gently touch hers. And now as I leave her, my mind is stained by one more memory: the salty taste of her tears. I know I will encounter them often in my nymphatic dreams.

I take several paces, but with each step I feel the pull to run back and take her in my arms. But this time, my resolve is complete and I will endanger her no more. So my body disapparates, but my heart is left with Nymphadora Tonks.

The End

- - - - - - - - - -


The wind whistles through the nooks and crannies of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse, but the sound is comforting, just another aspect of my home. Home at Wolf Rock. I smile at the thought because there was one year in particular when I thought it was lost to me. But here I am reclining on the bed as I wait for my husband. I look at the sunset out of our window and smile at the memories yet to made in this house.

"I know that smile," says Remus as he enters our bedroom and sits on the bed facing me. "That's one of your dangerous smiles."

"Maybe you're just paranoid, Professor?" I suggest.

He quirks an eyebrow in suspicion. "Now I know you're plotting something; you've got that innocent expression on your face."

"Well, I do have a few plans," I whisper as I lean into his ear. But then I sit back and dispose of the nightgown I'm wearing. "Care to join me?"

The look of desire in his eyes never fails to make me feel special, beautiful. He uses an elegant finger to just tease me by tracing the outline of my curves. "What do I get out of this unnamed venture? Besides the obvious, I mean."

"Well, Professor, the obvious can be used for a variety of purposes," I say as I slip my hands under his shirt to help him doff it. I trace the scars on his torso as I add, "Sex can be used as an expression of lust."

"We've plenty of practice at that," he agrees.

"Or a union of love." I sigh as he dips his head to kiss the top of my breasts.

"I think we've perfected that," he says.

"But we haven't ventured into creating a life," I say.

He stops. He is silent. No, wait. I can hear his breathing getting rapid and when I bring my hand to his chest, I feel his heart beating very fast. He raises his head and looks at me with a clear question in his eyes. "You're not--"

"Not yet, maybe--maybe never," I say and my eyes fall away. I take a deep breath. "Pomfrey still says the odds are against us conceiving, that our precautions have been pointless, but--"

"But you and I both expect differently," says Remus. He puts a hand on my shoulder and rubs gently.

We haven't spoken of our dreams about the children other than to know we both have them. I guess we've never wanted to jinx it by acknowledging them in detail. "I want them to be real, Remus, and not just a dream. At least to know that we've tried."

He remains quiet as if considering whether to pursue this. Then I blink back tears of disappointment as he places his palm above my womb, a gesture that is necessary to call the contraceptive charm. Then I realize I need to listen to what he's saying, because he's not chanting the spell.

"If there is anything in my power to give you, Nymphadora, then I will." He moves his hand to cup my cheek and wipes away the single tear that fell from my eye. "I just don't want you to be disappointed if our family remains nothing more than a fantasy."

"I can be patient, Remus. I waited for you, didn't I?" I lean in to kiss him as I tug off his boxers.

"You always held my heart, Nymphadora, even when we were apart," he says.

But then his mouth roams across my body and any sad memory falls away with the thrill his touch brings. His lips fall upon my belly and as he kisses along the curves, I can imagine what it will feel like when our child is growing within me. But it's not like I'll be suffering if we have to spend extra time engaged in such activity to create the life we want to bring into our lives.

My hand strokes through his hair that now carries more gray than when we first met. The heartaches, the lost lives, have left their mark on both of us, but we have learned to cling to any opportunity to love, a lesson we learned from the Headmaster.

But my thoughts become lost in the pleasure that Remus wrings from my body. We've known no other lover, but that means we have learned each other very well. And as my body begins to throb with release, he turns my body and directs his efforts to a deep and intimate stroke. I feel his hands clenching my hips and the force of his desire fulfills the ache I constantly have for him. And when he finally spills into me, I don't worry about whether we've conceived or not. Nature will take its course if we help it along.

I feel the kiss he drops on my shoulder and the long caress that glides the length of my body. I have to smile as he completes another of our rituals and echoes the words, "I love you."

Soon I'm curled up against his embrace and the old lighthouse is the most magnificent place on earth.

And forty weeks later, our first child leaves the realm of dreams and enters our reality.

The End...Really

Author Notes:

I snuck more character development than I originally intended, but that's an author's prerogative. The ending was so sad that I had to again add an epilogue just so I would feel better.

If you are a new reader, then the rest of the story is at Nymph vs Wolf. Warning: it tends to have long chapters (15 of them), full of puns, bad French, Moody swinging, and various allusions to odd fairy tales and pop culture icons. But, it is full of Lupin/Tonks.

If you are a faithful reader, then I need offer no further explanation.

To all, thanks for reading. Folks have been very generous with their reviews, so that's why I say no reviews are necessary. Yes, I always like them, but especially in the next few weeks, out of town plans will prevent my timely response. In any case, thanks for letting me share the story with you. Enjoy your summer!