Disclaimer: For the last time in this fic I own nothing. Sniffle… sob… I'm tearing up form the sadness of this being over. Ajax didn't even get mad when I used his tail as a tissue. So just go! Read it already!
Two weeks later she found herself sitting next to the lake near the gazebo sketching an image she couldn't seem to get out of her head. It had been easy enough to get a sketchpad and oil pastels from her father. A breeze played through her hair as she added a few shadows to Ajax's face. She smiled when she finally set the dark tool back in its wooden box and closed the lid latching it firmly.
Her current subject was grazing nearby tail swishing as he kept an eye out for danger. Cain had given him very specific instructions not to let her out of his sight until he and Jeb got back from a short patrol that afternoon. Honestly she thought he as over reacting. Nothing had happened at all since she killed the witch, nothing dangerous at any rate.
She would admit that the first week had been strained. It had taken all of Raw's empathy skills, her mother's tact, and Jeb's stubborn and commanding presence to calm the people that suddenly found themselves in a strange place at gunpoint. Most of them had been put in custody immediately until their loyalties could be verified. Considering most of them had been Longcoats it wasn't all that surprising.
She supposed Cain was a bit justified in his worry. Her intense use of magic had a few unintended side effects on her. Other than a fair few mood swings the first three days, which she refused to acknowledge, even though Cain insisted it wasn't normal, there was one thing she couldn't deny. She had become crazily narcoleptic. It was becoming down right annoying. She kept waking up in very odd paces. The library, the garden, the study, the stables, and once the bathroom floor. That one had freaked Wyatt out, he hadn't been able to find her for a good thirty minutes.
Her mother insisted the effects would wear off in another week or so but until then she was getting antsy to leave. Her Tin Man had dug in his heels about that. Apparently when her safety was involved he was even more bull headed than she was. It was fairly impressive.
She sighed happily holding the sketch away from her with a grin. She felt much better now that it was on paper. She didn't want to forget the way Ajax had looked covered in a layer of Munchkin kids. It had been a good moment in their journey and she was eager to capture it. Maybe she could get Az to frame it later today. A shadow fell over her and she craned her head up to see Ajax gazing down at the image.
He snorted ears flicking up in interest. She giggled at him, gentle ripping the page from the book. She went up on her knees and turned holding the picture up to his eyes so he could see it properly. She raised an eyebrow as he studied it critically. "You like?"
She saw the mischief in his eyes a second to late. He snatched the paper out of her hand with a whinny and wheeled away at a gallop. "Hey! Get back here!"
She gathered up the notebook and box of pastels as she scrambled to her feet and took off after her wayward horse. He was freaking fast! It wasn't fair! He had two extra legs to work with. "Ajax that took me all morning to make! I want it back!"
She saw him glance back at her and his tail flicked high in good humor as he galloped around a small corpse of trees that lined the outside of the maze. She put on a burst of speed hoping to catch up to him when he couldn't see her. In retrospect it was a poor choice.
As soon as she rounded the corner she came to three unfortunate realizations. The first was that Ajax had slammed on the breaks. His rear end had lowered and his four feet had dug into the soft earth to cease his progress. The second was that he had stopped in order to avoid slamming into two riders. The third was that she wasn't going to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
"Crap!" Her one free arm pin wheeled as she tried to prevent the inevitable. She hit Ajax's rump and bounced backward landing face up on the soft grass her sketchbook dropping to the ground and her box of art supplies burst open over her head like a small fireworks display.
She threw her arms up when gravity reclaimed the colorful bounty and dropped them gleefully over her head. At least the box didn't hit her that might have stung a bit. She stood brushing herself off and glaring at her horse. "A little warning next time Jaxy! I swear if I'm bruised I'm letting Cain carry through with his threat about turning you into a plow horse!"
While she found this threat threatening she hadn't expected it to scare Ajax so badly that he would run around her and hide his face behind her back. "What's the matter with you? And stop crushing my art supplies!"
She heard a chuckle and finally glanced up at the two riders. A soft rugged voice addressed her horse. "Shame on you Ajax, I taught you better manners than that."
She recognized Ian immediately but the other man, the one that had addressed Ajax, captured her attention. She blinked in amazement when she saw Wyatt reflected back at her in an older form. And she thought Az looked like her mother. The man dismounted from a cream colored mare and stood easily in front of her. He had the same blond hair, although it was peppered with white, and strong jaw. While older he was fit and looked like he could hold his own if he needed too. It was his eyes that were different from his sons. They were the most vibrant shade of green she'd ever seen in her life.
He looked her up and down and she had the oddest feeling that his horse was doing the same thing. Ajax wuffled pathetically behind her. Finally the man smiled and extended his hand to her. She reached out and grasped it firmly liking him immediately for not bowing to her. "Princess DG I take it?"
She grinned up at him. "Yes sir, Mister Cain. Thank you for agreeing to come to Finaqua. You're a hard man to track down even with magic." She felt Ajax shake his head along her back and her body jerked gently. "Can I ask why Ajax is acting like a scared puppy?"
He let her hand go lip twitching. She noticed the laugh lines around his mouth and eyes. "He always was a trouble maker. Someone had to keep him in line and teach him how to behave like a proper horse."
"You raised him?" Ajax gave a dramatic sigh and raised his head to gaze at the man over her shoulder. That was crazy. Who would have guessed that Wyatt's father would be hiding on Glitch's farm. Wonders never ceased.
He chuckled again. "Him and all the other horses left on Lord Ambrose's farm. Used them a fair bit to smuggle families out of the O.Z. the last few years."
Her respect for the man increased. Apparently all the Cain men had been part of the resistance. She smiled at him. "Would you like to come in? I'm sure you must be tired."
He tilted his head indicating that she should precede him. She glanced down at her art supplies and after shoving Ajax to the side used a spurt of magic to toss the lot of them back into the box. She bent down picking it and her pad up and grinned up at Ian. "Thanks for delivering my message."
Ian just shook his head at her. "Anything for Jeb Princess." He leaned over and took the mares reins leading both horses toward the barn. She had a feeling that Ian had actually done this as a way to apologize for the whole 'life bond insult thing' but let it go. It didn't matter to her why he'd gone only that he had. Ajax gave her a sidelong glance shoved her drawing back in her free hand and practically ran after Ian. She snorted and headed toward the palace the Cain patriarch walking silently next to her.
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye before she spoke again. "I have to confess I didn't tell Jeb or Wyatt that you were coming. I was afraid to get their hopes up."
His steps faltered and she paused at his startled expression. "Wyatt?"
She raised an eyebrow. She had written in her letter that his family had been looking for him and would be at Finaqua for the next few weeks. "Yes. Is that a problem?" She was suddenly afraid this surprise, which she thought had been a great idea, was going to bust.
"Princess my son has been missing for years. Are you telling me he's here?" His voice clearly conveyed that this was too good to be true.
She nodded. "He's out on patrol but he should be back within the hour. Ian didn't tell you?"
He stared at her, then without warning, pulled her into the tightest hug she'd ever experienced. Her box dug into her ribs and she let out a squeak but made no move to get away. When he let her go she saw tears in his eyes and her heart melted.
"No need to thank me Mister Cain. I promised him I'd help find you. He saved my life more than once. In fact if it weren't for Wyatt I very much doubt the O.Z. would be free of the witch that possessed my sister."
He gazed a question at her. She smiled at him. "Maybe I should let him tell you about it. Come on lets go in. Are you hungry?"
He just nodded appearing shell-shocked. She laced her arm in his and that seemed to bring him back to himself. He peered down at her analyzing her again. "Your not what I was expecting."
"I get that a lot." She could see the amusement in his eyes.
They walked thorough the entryway and up the stairs. She figured the study would be a good place to wait for the other two. They ran into Glitch who was walking down the hall arms full of weirdly shaped pieces of metal. He paused eyes flicking between the two a smile lighting up his face. "Hello Doll! Who's this?"
"This is Mister Cain. Who's been raising your horses."
The metal dropped from his long pale arms with a clang. She snickered at his expression. Ignoring the mess he extended his hand. "Your Emmett? It's nice to meet you! I had no idea you were related to Cain. Does he know you're here?"
She bent down and started picking up scrap metal. "Not yet. Glitch why don't you just get a box to put these in?"
He ignored this question and the mess ushering Emmett into the study. On the way in he asked a guard to bring them some snacks. She rolled her eyes shimmering a box next to her and tossing the junk into it. She began to mutter under her breath when she heard footsteps behind her. She blamed her adventures and the paranoia they produced for the shield that flew into existence around her.
She turned swiftly hands glowing in a crouch and found herself staring up at an amused Wyatt and a smirking Jeb. She dropped her shield and her hands dimmed and she smirked back up at them. "Good your both here. I have a gift for the two of you in the study. I suggest you go save him before Glitch nags him to death."
They gave her identical odd looks and Wyatt was down right suspicious when he felt her satisfied joy through the binding but he helped her to her feet and they stepped inside. Jeb, who was ahead of them, made it to the open door first and jerked to a halt. Wyatt bumped into his back but went just as still when he spotted his father. She felt his hand tighten around hers and there was a long silence as the three men stared at each other.
"Dad?" Wyatt obviously believed he was seeing things.
Then Jeb practically bounded across the room and the older man wrapped his arms around his grandson. Cain moved in after him letting go of her hand and she motioned for Glitch. He went to her and they left quietly closing the door behind them. The guard had returned with the food but she told him he was not to go in under any circumstances unless he was invited.
"That was sweet of you Deeg." Glitch had a contented gleam in his eye as he picked up his new box.
"Hey they deserve it." She yawned then glared down at her mouth going cross-eyed. Glitch just laughed at her.
"You should get to your bed this time. I don't want the Tin Man to have another panic attack when you decide to pass out next to your tub." She snorted amused but headed toward her room.
"I am so over this nap attack thing."
Glitch stopped next to her as she opened the door eyes twinkling. "Your ready to leave again already."
She fidgeted. "Don't judge me! I just hate being stuck in one place all the time."
Glitch chuckled warmly at her. "I know Cupcake. Don't worry you'll be off sooner than you think. Now go lay down, I can't carry you and the box."
"And knowing you you'd choose the box over me anyway." He gave her his jester grin.
She shook her head with good humor and went in closing the door behind her. She managed to get her boots off before she zonked out she was making progress. Glitch was right they would be leaving soon. Until then she should try to enjoy the bed.
She woke up when an arm wrapped around her waist. She blinked rapidly sitting up confused. Wyatt just tugged her back down against his bare chest with a happy laugh. He then proceeded to kiss every part of her skin that wasn't covered by her cloths. She started to giggle when his hands ghosted up her sides tickling her.
He trailed kisses up her neck then around her jaw before he kissed the side of her mouth. He situated himself over her resting on his elbows and pecked her on the nose. His eyes were dancing as he ran a thumb along her recently smooched jaw.
She gave him a cheeky grin. "So you liked your surprise then?"
His eyes told her he had but he said so anyway. "Very much Sweetheart. Thank you."
"Anytime blue eyes. Did you have a nice reunion?"
He hummed an affirmative sending vibrations through her body. Her world went hazy as her body moved closer to his without her direction. He smirked down at her deliberating. She felt her breathing shallow when she saw that particular expression on his face. It always meant good things. She twisted her head and nipped him just below his jaw line.
He growled moving his hand from her face down to her shirt. He sat them both up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He was still wearing pants. That was a shame but it was easily remedied. As her hands strayed south he caught them and held them above her head. She pouted at him but didn't move as he pulled her blue top up and off of her.
Her second attempt was equally unsuccessful. He caught her a second time and after removing her bra placed her hands on his shoulders. "Don't move them until I say Sweetheart." This had not been stated as a request.
She tilted her head considering him. She decided humoring him might result in something interesting. However she wasn't going to let his command go without testing out the loophole she had found. She swiveled her hips against his lap and was rewarded with a soft curse and his hands latching onto her waist. He growled at her willfulness but she could see his eyes darken in satisfaction.
"Very clever DG. No more moving unless I say." She grinned her tattoo tingling. "And no magic either."
She pouted some more but stayed still as his hands undid her pants then moved up her torso caressing her with calloused hands. She began to whimper when he found her breast and began to massage them lightly. She pressed against him without thinking about it and he rumbled a good-natured warning to her. "No moving Sweetheart. Do you want me to stop?"
She panted shaking as her body tried to react to his. He was the worst tease ever. He leaned forward capturing her lips at last and began to nibble at her bottom one as his hands continued to roam her body. She whined fighting not to move. He must have felt her frustration because he finally lowered her back to the bed when her nails started to dig into his shoulders.
He took her hands one at a time and placed them against the headboard eyes locked before he moved again. Her sigh of annoyance turned to a moan when one of his hands pressed between her pant-covered legs. Her hips bucked before she could stop them and she quickly pressed them flat against the mattress. He glanced up at her grinning. She gave him a half-hearted glare. "I don't like you very much right now."
He chuckled kissing her stomach. "That's a shame Sweetheart. How can I change that?"
She stared down at him. Was he serious? He ran his hand against her again in encouragement. She hissed feeling decidedly uncomfortable asking for what she wanted but she could see his eyes darken as he waited. Fine then she was up for this if he was.
She smirked. "I want you to let me move."
His lip twitched. "Anything but that Darlin."
She groaned in defeat. "Fine you horrid man! I think we're both wearing too many cloths. Do you think you could do something about that?"
He moved his hand away from her thighs and reached up grabbing the top of her pants. He tried to pull them off but she still had her hips pressed into the bed. His eyes flicked up to her and she put on her most innocent face. He rolled his eyes. "Lift up." She complied happily.
Once she was free from her cloths he moved off the bed and tossed his pants on top of hers. He crawled back on top of her and waited.
So this was how it was going to be. She eyed him before her next demand. "Kiss me."
He stroked her face and slowly captured her lips with his. He nibbled her lower lip gently before his tongue started to massage the inside of her mouth. She hummed into his mouth her body starting to tingle from his attention. He drew back slowly kissing the side of her mouth as he went. His hand had tangled in her hair but he made no other move to do anything to her. Her eyes fluttered open and she found him regarding her with amused impatience.
Her mouth went somewhat dry at the predatory gleam in his eye and she decided that she might want to humor him. "Wyatt…"
She whimpered. "Please, I want you inside me."
He growled pleased with her. "Spread your legs Sweetheart."
She obeyed swiftly and waited for him to position himself over her. To her surprise his hand snaked between them and she felt two of his fingers slide inside of her. Her breath caught as he began to stroke her his fingers crooking up and hitting the spot just inside her that made her whole body feel like it was on fire. She started to thrash her head and call out his name. He simply speed up his movements.
He pressed his face against her neck to whisper in her ear. "Does that feel good DG?"
She managed to get out a strangled response. "Yes, so good. Don't stop."
He kissed her moist skin continuing to talk to her. "I love to see you so worked up Darlin. You make the most beautiful sounds." He bit her shoulder gently where the bruise he had given her was starting to fade. "Do you want me to make you come now?"
His fingers twisted and his thumb pressed up hitting her clit. Her body went stiff and she saw lights flash behind her eyes she moaned helplessly as her body quaked beneath him. She went limp and finally managed to get her eyes back open. Cain was smirking down at her both his arms resting at her sides.
"Not what I meant but I'll take it." She panted up at him.
He leaned down and kissed her softly. "Maybe you should be more specific then Sweetheart."
"If I am will you let me move?"
He considered this request for a long moment. "I might."
She arched her neck up and slung a leg over his hip before he protest. She started to murmur hotly in his ear. "I want you to bury yourself as deep inside me as you can get Wyatt. I want to feel you pounding into me while I scream your name." She felt him stiffen above her at her unexpected dirty talk. "I want to hear you groan out my name when you can't stand to hold out for me anymore. Do you think you can do that for me?"
He growled catching her leg with one of his arms and thrusting into her in one swift stroke. She groaned in appreciation. "Always so good Wyatt."
He grunted as he moved inside her. She clenched around him trying to drive him over the edge. He started to mutter her name reaching down to capture her other leg so he could drive into her at a deeper angle. He tilted her hips up to help him moaning when he brushed against her clit. Finding he had hit a sweet spot he continued to move in her at that angel until she spiraled out of control again. She screamed out his name as he came hotly inside of her barking out her name in response.
They lay tangled together panting and she snaked a hand behind his head running her fingers through his hair. That had been a great deal of fun. Her mark tingled pleasantly as he shifted off her so she could breath. He wrapped an arm around her and flipped them so she was lying on top of him. She vaguely wondered if he had any more long lost relatives because she would gladly go get them if it resulted in another encounter like that.
She sighed and propped her chin on his chest so she could see his face. "So now that your father's here when do you want to have that ceremony?"
He stared at her astounded his ice blue eyes going wide. "Is that why you haven't wanted to talk about it? I though you changed your mind."
She smirked evilly. "Naw, I knew you'd want him to be there. I figured it was worth making you sweat a bit to get him here without you knowing. And while I'm being honest the last time you tried to talk about it I may have pretended to fall asleep over that history book."
He snorted at her. "Your not going to let me get bored are you Sweetheart?"
"Not a chance Tin Man. And since were on the topic of future stuff-" She gave a false shudder of fear and he smirked at her. "- I figure having a kid might be fun."
His eyebrows shot up and his jaw dropped open. "You want to have children with me DG?" His eyes had lit up like lamps.
She smiled softly. "I think just one if that's alright. And not until after I finished healing the O.Z. because that would be completely crazy. And I'm not sure I can live in the palace but that's open to negotiation."
He stared at her speechless for a long time before dragging her up to him and kissing her soundly on the mouth. "I love you DG even if you are the strangest princess I've ever heard of."
She just smiled down at him propping herself up on his chest on one of her elbows. "Being a normal princess is overrated. Who wants to be dressed up in gowns all the time? Or have eerily charming princess saving them from dragons? I think I prefer running around in the woods saving the world with a grumpy Tin Man and his really tight pants."
He glanced over at the pile of cloths on the floor. "What is it with you and my pants?"
"If you don't know I'm not going to tell you." She bent down and kissed him firmly. "I love you Wyatt Cain, now lets get up so we can go plan this marriage ceremony."
Author Note: Well that was a great deal of fun for me! This writing thing could be my new favorite past time. In fact, I have already started formulating another story for Tin Man in my overactive imagination so keep an eye out. I hope you all had as much fun reading this as I had writing it! Leave me one last review for old time sake if you would I do love the feedback. See you all down the old road!