I hope everyone enjoys the summer. I will be working on my next story, but I am unsure of when it will be posted.

God bless all of you and be safe...hug a soldier.



He purred his way up her warm, inviting body…seemingly touching every exposed inch of her skin. She glowed in the candlelight; toffee-colored skin glistening from the drops of sweat mingled with the moist trail his tongue was leaving.

He teased one tight, rose-hued nipple with his tongue, groaning wildly when her small, but talented hand wrapped around his throbbing flesh, making the hot tip of it weep with desire.

She writhed beneath him, her ultimate goal being to join their bodies and feed the hunger that was burning deep within her womb. She tunneled her fingers through his unruly dark hair and grasped it tightly, exposing the long, hot length of his neck to her invading mouth.

She took small, delicious bites of his skin…flicking her tongue over the sensitive, tiny wounds and leaving him panting for more. She could feel his burgeoning erection grow even more massive in her hand as she pulled his ear into her mouth and sunk her teeth gently into its fleshy lobe.

Erik was undone….the power she had over him only seemed to be getting stronger with each passing day; he ached for her throughout the day – when his mind was supposed to be on composing or designing – instead, his mind was on her and the delightfully sinful things she did to him.

He once again groaned deep in his throat and ferociously devoured her other taut nipple - sucking her greedily and enjoying the bountiful nectar that poured from her.

Naturally, as had been the case earlier that day, it was at that time that a loud wail sounded from the attached room.

Erik groaned loudly this time – out of frustration – that was two times in one day; and his body was again in a state of full attention and had nowhere to go.

"He cannot be hungry again…please…." Erik pled his case; his green, luminous eyes begging for a reprieve. "does he not realize that my hunger is almost to the unbearable state?"

Anya giggled and kissed the tip of his nose.

"Now darling…you know his screams will only become louder and more forceful the longer I wait to feed him."

Erik moaned and rolled off her, trying to ignore the heated desire racing through his loins….it had been over a week since he had made love to his wife.

"What about my hunger?"

His pout was the most adorable thing she had ever seen…except when that same pout adorned the beautiful face of their son.

"Now I know where Brendan gets that pout from."

Their son had been born just over three weeks ago; an event that would forever be a vital part of Erik's memory.

He could not have played the part in this birth as he did in the birth of Loring – for his hands were sweating and his insides twisted in every direction; he was sick to his stomach and the thought of seeing his wife in pain almost caused him to faint.

Thankfully, there were no complications and the doctor was competent and well versed in the ways of childbirth.

When the nurse had placed his newborn son in his arms, Erik thought he had died and gone to heaven. Perfect…the infant was perfect in every way. There was no flawed skin, and no dark cloud hanging over his tiny, heavily curled head.

He had looked down at his wife, assuring himself that she was fine, and was greeted by her bright-eyed gaze…the only sign of her labor was the thin veil of sweat that coated her body and drenched her hair.

"He is so beautiful, Anya…just like you." Erik remembered saying, and had barely moved his eyes from the face of his son.

"And like you, my love…I see so much of you in him."

He had bent down, still clutching his son in his arms, and placed a tender kiss on her mouth.

"What is to be the name of the child?" The doctor had asked.

"Brendan Christoph Lacroix."

Anya had looked at him, making sure the name was the one he wanted; his slight nod and joyous smile had assured her that it was.

Now, three weeks later, Brendan was even more beautiful. He had begun to react to things around him. His deep, moss green eyes would open and totally captivate his father…further wrapping him around his tiny finger. Thick, chocolate-black hair covered his head and he had even smiled – putting his father in a state of euphoria.

"I must feed him and then we have to start getting ready." Anya announced , making Erik hang his head.

He followed her into the baby's room and wrapped his arms around her waist as she bent to pick Brendan up and into her arms. She turned in his arms and kissed him quickly.

She sat down in the rocking chair and opened her gown to expose her seeping breast to her son's eager mouth; savoring the motherly warmth that spread through her.

She chuckled to herself as she compared the feel of her son upon her breast to that of her husband. Erik made her ache for more, and throbbing all over with need. Brendan made her feel nurturing and motherly with the constant pull of his mouth against her.

Erik enjoyed watching her feed their son…there was something so erotic about the process; he got the strangest sensation of alpha male instincts as he watched his son nurse at the breast of his soul mate and wife.

He knelt down beside her and gently traced the contours of Brendan's face, marveling in the softness of his skin and the innocence that shined forth from him.

"Enjoy it while you can little one…" Erik whispered, "…she is all mine later tonight."

Anya smirked and looked into her husband's laughing eyes.

"After the wedding and reception…Christine has offered to keep Brendan…Loring is spending the weekend with Raoul's parents and she wants Brendan…especially since Raoul will be leaving on business right after the ceremony."

Anya narrowed her eyes and smirked at him again, she could see the need and desire burning in his eyes and knew he needed her…desperately.

"So, my conniving husband, do you intend to have your wicked way with me tonight?"

Erik lifted one side of his delectable mouth and raked her body with his heated gaze, making no mistake of his intent toward her.

"Oh yes….very wicked….all night."


Watching the baby attempt to stand and then fall once again to the hard surface beneath him was comical to some extent, but Erik was certain it was a painful lesson to learn.

Wobbly, skinny legs – long and unskilled – tried and tried – time after time – to support the weight that they were burdened to support.

It was a beautiful thing…the beginning of a new era. If anyone had told him five years ago that he would witness just one of the events he had witnessed in the last year, he would have counted them among the lunatics and in need of hospitalization.

There had been so many things against him…but they had all fallen away – one by one; allowing him to live a normal, fulfilled, joyous life.

"He is so beautiful, Erik….so breathtaking and full of promise."

Anya stood beside him, cradling Brendan in her arms as they watched the foal attempt to stand…once again. This time, Sumukhi tenderly urged the colt with her nose…helping him shakily stand on his trembling legs.

This time, he succeeded. It was only an hour later that he was walking with greater ease around the corral; showing off his new ability and seemingly very proud of himself.

"He looks just like D'Ombre." Erik stated, a lump forming in his throat.

Anya cupped his cheek with her palm, smiling into his eyes with a love that would never die. It was a love that took every doubt he had ever had and buried them; leaving behind a man whose eyes were no longer blind to the beauty he possessed.

Finally, there was a man whose life had begun anew…moving from the dark side of the glass where no light penetrated and the flaws were carefully hidden to avoid detection, to the beauty and gentle ease provided by the stained, flawed beauty of a life filled with loved ones who were just as imperfect and bungled as he was.

"What shall we name him?" Anya asked; her eyes still riveted on the handsome foal.

Erik smiled and felt the tears gently slide down his cheeks. He looked at the miracle of his beautiful wife and son, looked at the stunning foal in front of him, and then silently closed his eyes for a moment.

When he reopened them, they were bright and full of a kaleidoscope of green-colored specks.

"The only name that fully suits him and the world he has entered…" as though the colt knew he was being addressed, his head lifted high and his warm brown eyes locked with Erik's gaze, "…L'espoir Règne."

Hope Prevails.