A/N - You guessed it. Fic for Allie. I've actually started this fic with a prompt but then, I've strayed and so this is what I have now. I hope you aren't disappointed with the short length of this fic though. Another angsty character fic, much without plot as usual. Rated T because of the hint of adult themes. I'm not very confident that I've done justice to the characters with this fic but I do hope you enjoy! Especially you, Allie!

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls

By caramelapples

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
With vassals and serfs at my side,
And of all who assembled within those walls
That I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
And a high ancestral name.

But I also dreamt which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same.

- Marble Halls; Enya

She places her hand over the swell of her abdomen, feeling the slight fluttering movement of the baby. She is scared and although she has been through this twice before, the notion of introducing another little being into this world is intimidating. The child she carries now is an unplanned miracle and she is still trying to adapt, to wrestle her feelings into accepting the changes she will have to make.

She thinks that after the baby is born, she will need to spend more time at home to take care of her children. Afraid that she will not be a good enough mother to be able to handle three young children on her hands, she confides in her husband and he comforts her by wrapping his arms around her waist, palm resting on her belly, gently caressing her.

"What if I'm not ready for another baby?" she whispers, as though she's committing a crime. She feels guilty in feeling these emotions but she can't help them.

"We will be," he tells her, confidently. She turns slightly so that she can see his face in the moonlight from the window and he kisses her softly. "I'm here," he says, relishing the feel of her curves. "I love you."

She smiles in the dark. "I love you too, Brock," she says, feeling his arms tighten around her.

There are moments where she feels that her life is being sucked out of her. She hates that she is so tired all the time and she knows that she will suffer from a burnout soon if she keeps going on. Feeling unsure about herself and hopeless all the time, she often finds herself without an appetite and not able to sleep well. And so, she leaves her job at the dental practice.

She doesn't tell her children that she has started to take antidepressants but she has Brock to support her all the way through.

She hires someone else to take her place so that she can go home and be with her children - so that taking care of her family will be the priority on her list.

Afternoons become slower when the children are out. And she decides that she likes the quiet she gets when her little baby boy is sleeping peacefully in his crib. She sings to him if he wakes and he will go back to sleep, cradled in his mother's arms. When Cheyenne and Kyra come home from school and preschool, she goes back to mothering, making sure that they are clean, preparing meals and supervising homework.

Sometimes, Brock surprises her by coming home during lunch and more than half the time, they end up pressed against each other, bare skin on bare skin, slick with sweat. It is seldom that he comes home to eat but she doesn't mind at all. She likes it when he always insists on holding their baby son before he goes back to work.

And before he leaves, he never fails to kiss her, telling her silently how much he loves her. She feels loved during those little moments more than she's ever felt before.

Within the first three months, she doesn't need the pills anymore. She is happy.

He surprises her on their wedding anniversary by coming home from work half an hour after he leaves. And it turns out that he wasn't even planning on going in the first place. Instead, he drives to the local florist where he had placed an order for twelve dozen red roses the day before. He wants her to open the door and see him instead of the delivery boy. He wants her to be surprised.

He cannot afford Paris yet, but he will give her Paris when he can. He will someday.

She does open the door, and she is met by a looming mountain of deep hues of red. She gasps, one hand over her mouth. His white dress shirt open at the collar, tie probably discarded somewhere in the car and armed with the most dazzling grin one can possess, he proceeds to make her knees weak and her heart flutter. Not being able to stop herself - not wanting to - she moves in on him and their lips collide, fireworks exploding in the atmosphere around them.

Then, after they pull apart, for air no less, their eyes meet and she feels as though she is drowning in the sea of love shining in his eyes.

She doesn't mind drowning if this is exactly what it's like, she thinks.

Their argument is harsh and no less hurtful. It is seldom that they fight, and when they do, nothing is usually this serious. Jake starts to cry and Kyra takes him upstairs. Cheyenne isn't home yet and it is already way past midnight.

Brock shouldn't have allowed their daughter to go to that party, she thinks, worried. She tells him so and he retorts, telling her that she should allow more freedom for their children. According to him, too little freedom will have them rebelling more. She doesn't agree with him.

She isn't sure who raises their voice first though. But then, Cheyenne comes home right in the middle of the heated exchange and they ground her for a week. After the young teenager goes upstairs, sulking, the argument doesn't continue. But then, the tension is palpable and they don't know what to do with themselves. Silence reigns until she quietly goes upstairs and gets ready for bed, leaving him alone.

He still hasn't come upstairs when she falls asleep.

The next morning, she finds him sleeping on the couch downstairs. For the first time, doubts start to creep into her mind.

They don't talk much anymore, for fear that they will argue. She tries to avoid letting on to their children on how unhappy she is by keeping herself busy with managing the household. She redecorates the master bedroom and the living room so that she will not notice how much he is gone nowadays.

Sometimes, she thinks that she might be depressed, but other times, she thinks that she's just unhappy with how her marriage is slowly breaking apart. Brock is unhappy with how things are too, she knows. When they talk, she tries to avoid topics which will cause conflict.

The role of a wife is slowly being replaced by the role of a mother, as she has nobody to play wife to anymore. Her husband is distant, seeking happiness in someone else's arms. She thinks that it's a phase and that he will realize his place is at home with his family - that he loves them.

At night, she cries herself to sleep.

After one particularly bitter argument, he walks out and tells her that he will be back for his things.

She doesn't really think that he will leave. What happened to the times where he would love her as though there was no tomorrow? God knows, she still loves him that deeply, that passionately. She decides that when he comes home after the heat has settled down, they will somehow try and figure out things between them.

Her heart shatters into a million pieces and she thinks that she will fall apart any moment when she comes home from the grocery store one morning only to find his suitcase and bags packed, arranged hastily by the front door. She holds back tears as she watches him pull out of the driveway.

He has found happiness somewhere else - and she wonders if she has failed to be a wife and a woman. She's not enough to make him happy, she thinks, and that's the biggest blow of all.

She asks him to come home during court-mandated family therapy and prays fervently that he will agree.

Instead of agreeing, he tells her that he will be marrying Barbra Jean. They're going to have a baby, he says. Her world is crashing down around her and she can barely breathe. And when they find out that Cheyenne is pregnant too, she wants to run from the room and for everyone to leave her alone. Her hopes of reconciliation are dashed and it is the most hollow feeling she's ever felt.

But she doesn't and although the hurt in her soul is killing her, there is a wedding to plan and a daughter who needs her to be strong at the moment.

The flame of love for her husband dies in her eyes and Brock is the only one who notices. Guilt settles over him like a cape. How he wishes he can take it all back so that he can see her blue eyes light up with joy and happiness all over again - just as it used to when they were so happy together.

He can't.

He tells her that marrying Barbra Jean might have been a mistake and she can't stop the hope that flares all of a sudden in her chest.

And when he takes his words back, it is as though he has poured a bucket of cold water over her heart. She doesn't let it show and disguises her pain with humour and sarcasm. Doing the right thing, she tries to get her ex-husband and his wife to see reason.

She doesn't even understand her own actions sometimes.

Why does she take care of him even after he has hurt her so badly?

She meets someone, and she's immediately attracted to him.

A charming, handsome doctor who smells terrific.

There's nothing better than that, in her opinion.

When he kisses her, the sparks ignited in the pit of her stomach spreads until the tips of her fingers and electric currents sweep through her body. Arousal tinges her voice when she moans and heat courses through her body in waves. It has been a long time since she's felt that way - like a woman and she likes the way he makes her feel.

They make love and he makes her feel the sweetest agony with his tender caresses and worship of her body. She calls out Jack's name when she's pushed over edge and plunges through the waves of pleasure and overwhelming release.

The afterglow is sweet and her body still hums with the intensity of her orgasm when he pulls her to her him and she snuggles contently into his embrace.

She doesn't think of Brock then.

Six years after the breaking apart of her marriage with Brock, she finally declares that Barbra Jean is her best friend. The blonde woman is sweet, kind and amusing, she admits. And she does like her.

But when he declares that Barbra Jean is the love of his life, her heart clenches and she forces a smile to hide how she's feeling at the moment. Her heart is breaking all over again and she shouldn't be feeling this way, not after all they've been through together as family.

After three beautiful children and twenty years together, he declares another woman the love of his life.

He is still the love of hers.

And that perhaps, is what hurts the most.

One day, he comes over and pulls her aside to present her with two all expense paid tickets to Paris. She is too bewildered as to why the sudden gift to even speak. She stammers and tries to form sentences in her head but fails.

"I couldn't give this to you then," he says. "But I can now, and I want you to have it."

"But Brock -" she tries to protest, for he must have spent so much on this gift. And why is he giving it to her now?

"Please, take it. Happy Anniversary, Reba," he whispers and kisses her, for the first time in such a long time. She's confused at his words but gives in to his kiss anyway. Logic flies out of her mind and she's left with torrents of passion of love sweeping across her body. Sweet sensations crawl up her spine and she feels as though she can soar up in the sky with the happiness bursting in her heart. He nips at her lip, and then explores her mouth with such fervour that she feels naked before him despite being fully dressed. He tells her he loves her, and she swallows a ragged sob. She is hurting and yet, at the same time, so incredibly happy. She tells him she loves him too.

He leaves in haste then, hurting too much to stay any longer.

She looks at the plane tickets in her hand and teardrops slide down her cheeks as she remembers.

Then, after they pull apart, for air no less, their eyes meet and she feels as though she is drowning in the sea of love shining in his eyes.

She doesn't mind drowning if this is exactly what it's like, she thinks.

"Happy Anniversary, Brock," she whispers.


A/N - What do you guys think? I hope you aren't getting sick of the fics I write. I need to muster up courage for a plot-driven fic I know. But of course, reviews are much appreciated for this one. Thanks so much to all of you who reviewed my other fics! They really inspire and make me want to go on writing for this fandom. Thanks for reading! By the way, do you guys think I should attempt smut? Feedback is very much appreciated!