A/N: Mature content ahead. Reader discretion is advised.

Chapter Forty-Nine

Melody couldn't stop herself from smiling. Her hand still rested on the receiver of her telephone minutes after her phone call with Quatre had ended. He had officially returned to work with his company and would be contacting her regularly in regards to the restoration in the Colonies. Things were looking up.

She began gathering her papers into her briefcase, deciding that was a suitable end to her day. She ignored the progress report of her father's condition, leaving it on her desk to look at tomorrow. She knew it wouldn't be something she wanted to see and refused to let it put a damper on the end of her day.

Sifting her papers and folders into her briefcase, she gathered her coat, swung it over her shoulder, and walked to the door. Anna was sitting at her desk, jotting down something on a notepad. "I'm leaving for the day, Anna," Melody announced as she came to her secretary's side. "You can go ahead and go, as well. It's been a long day for all of us."

Anna nodded and put down her pen. "I will. Thank you, Miss Wysor."

Melody waved and walked down the hall with a joyful smile plastered upon her face. The sound of Melody's heels clicked against the floor as she made her way to the elevator. She shuffled her coat over her arm so she could push the down button. The doors opened almost immediately, and when she looked up from her feet, she found violet eyes and a wide smile beaming at her.

Melody stifled a chuckle as she watched Duo lean against the wall, arms folded over his chest, as he waited for her to board. However, she didn't. She stood there watching him, even as the doors began to close.

Duo jumped forward, slamming his hand between the doors before they could shut all the way. As soon as they began to open once more, his hand extended forward, snatching her wrist and pulling her inside. "I don't think you get the idea of elevators," he said with a wink. "When the doors open, you're supposed to get on."

"Sorry," she apologized. "I guess I wasn't really paying attention to the doors. My mind was stuck on some other things, like how you have an obvious fixation on elevators."

Duo shrugged, his smirk curving wide. "It's a really unhealthy obsession. I have you to thank for that one, babe." He leaned back against the wall once more for their long descent to the bottom floor. "I hope you're hungry, because I'm taking you out to dinner. And then when we're done, you can either come to my place or I'm coming to yours. Whatever you want to do is fine with me."

Melody couldn't hold back her smile. "That sounds like a lovely idea. We can just go to whoever is closest to the restaurant. I would be happy with that."

"Well, you better decide where you want to eat. It's all on me. You know I like to eat anywhere, so it's pretty much a win-win no matter what," he replied with a grin. "You deserve to be pampered a little bit after all the work you've been doing, and I wouldn't want to kill you with my cooking."

"I still have a long road ahead of me for you to be pampering me already," Melody teased, leaning into him so her arm grazed against his. "You should probably wait or your wallet is going to suffer for it."

Duo shrugged and scoffed. "Won't bother me any as long as you're happy. It's not like I have to worry about running off to fight or something. I have more time on my hands since I'm not a Gundam pilot anymore. And besides, you deserve the pampering, so get used to it." He bent forward and kissed her cheek. When he pulled away, his eyes lifted towards the lit numbers above the doors. "Well, we have a good ten or so floors to clear before we hit the bottom. When were you gonna take advantage of me? I think I've been patient enough."

Melody's laughter flittered around them as she carelessly dumped her coat and briefcase to the floor. She leaned for the buttons and slammed her palm against the emergency stop button. "You have two minutes, Mr. Maxwell," she informed with a smile.

Duo wriggled his eyebrows, causing Melody to giggle as he pressed her against the wall of the elevator. "Two minutes is all I need, babe."

They took six.

Sleep shattered around them as the deafening sounds of their baby son's cries rang through the baby monitor. Quatre was jarred awake, his eyes wide and staring up at the dark ceiling. He felt Lista shift next to him and moan.

"He's up again," Lista grumbled as she turned on her side, her eyes still glued shut. "Sweetheart, can you take care of it, please? I'm just so tired."

Quatre nodded and pushed himself into a sitting position. He rubbed his hands against his face before swinging his legs over the bed. He walked himself into the next room where Xander's wails were at their loudest. He leaned over the crib, murmuring heartfelt comments as he gently picked his son up, his blankets falling back to the small mattress.

He turned towards the changing table and began undressing him, Xander's cries softening just a bit. Quatre felt like the walking dead even as he changed his son's diaper, his exhaustion prodding him to return to his wife's side in bed and go back to sleep.

He ignored those calls, pushing them to the back of his mind as he put his son back to rights, pulling him against his chest. He was still crying. He hoped he wasn't hungry; otherwise, he would have to wake up Lista and have her feed him again. Instead, he first moved over to the rocking chair in the corner of the room, sitting down in it so he could hopefully lull his son back to sleep.

He closed his eyes, Xander's cries now hiccupping whimpers against his chest. He took a deep breath, using his feet to gently rock the chair back and forth. He only hoped that he wouldn't put himself to sleep instead.

"It's going to be like this for a long time, isn't it?"

Quatre opened his eyes slowly, finding a very disheveled Lista walking towards him, scratching the top of her head. He nodded tiredly, looking down at their son as his bottom lip quivered in the aftermath of his sobs. "More than likely," he replied softly. "Once we know Xander's sleep pattern, we will be able to accommodate to it. I'm sure it will get a little easier down the road."

Lista said nothing. Instead, she bent over to kiss Xander in the middle of his wrinkled forehead. "Go back to sleep, little one. You need your sleep, and so does Mommy and Daddy." She moved to Quatre, giving him a long, chaste kiss. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Yes. Go back to sleep," Quatre urged. "I'm sure he'll be asleep soon, and then I'll come back to bed. You can barely keep your eyes open."

"Neither can you," Lista pointed out. She yawned, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. "You have to go to the office in the morning. Are you sure you can stay up?"

"I'll manage, love. You'll have to be home with him while I'm gone all day, so it's probably better that you get your sleep," Quatre replied. His hand found her hip, and he gave her a gentle nudge. "Go."

Lista stared at him for a moment, then nodded and walked from the nursery, heading back to the comfort of their bed.

Quatre watched her disappear around the corner before returning his attention to his fidgeting son. His cries had since quieted down to nothing; he seemed quite content merely laying against the warm plain of his father's chest. He began to hum a random, gentle tune, hoping to lull the newborn back to sleep.

He knew he would be lagging quite a bit when it came to going to work in a couple of hours, but the prospect of spending his day yawning due to his son's constant interruptions in the night didn't seem so bad when it all came down to it. He couldn't think of his life being any other way.

"It seems like it's been so long since we've seen you two," Lista gushed over the dinner table. "I'm so glad you could come out for dinner now that we're back from the vacation estate. It's too bad everyone else couldn't join you."

"Thank you for having Duo and I over for dinner. The meal was great," Trowa thanked with a nod. "It's been a nice evening."

Lista nodded in agreement. "Yes, it certainly has. It's been a long couple of weeks. I can't believe it took us this long to get together, but I guess that's to be expected with you guys working so hard on the restoration. And with us having Xander to look after, we really don't have much free time anymore. But things are starting to become routine. That makes things a little bit easier on us."

"He's just too cute," Duo said with a smile, turning her head to look through the doorway into the living room. Xander was there in his bassinet sleeping with no care in the world. "He's the spitting image of you, Quatre. Well, except for the dark head of hair. That's all Lissy, obviously. He seems so well-behaved."

"He is," Quatre replied. "He only cries when he needs something. Other than that, he's rather content and easy to please. Lista and I have been blessed with him. He's been a welcome change in our lives."

"And it's good to know that you no longer have any physical restrictions, Lista," Trowa added. "And Xander is responding well to his treatment for his thyroid problem. That is always good news."

"I'm thrilled about both," Lista said. "I'm feeling like I did before I got pregnant. I couldn't feel any better than this. And with the weather getting nicer, I'll be taking Xander out for frequent walks. I think he'll like the sun. I'd love to take him to the park. I was worried about him being sensitive to the cold weather, but thankfully we didn't have much of it to deal with."

"I don't imagine the two of you have had a lot of free time, either," Duo said, lifting a glass of water to his lips for a small sip. "Now that you're back to work, Quatre, that leaves Lissy to watch over the kiddo during the day. You two probably don't get to see each other that much."

Quatre's face fell. "Sadly, that is the price we've had to pay with having a child. We will cope with it as much as we can. Today has been the most we've seen each other in a while." His hand moved over the table, grasping Lista's tight.

"Well, why don't Duo and I watch over Xander for a little while so you two can spend some time together?" Trowa suggested.

Lista's attention snapped to Quatre before turning back to her friend. "That's really nice of you, Trowa, but you don't have to do anything like that for us."

"Hey, take it while you can get it," Duo spoke up. "And besides, I think it would be kind of nice to watch him. I can bond with my awesome godson, and you can do your little sappy thing that you love to do so much. Trowa and I don't mind watching over Xander for a bit. Just pretend we're not down here."

Quatre looked at his wife, his fingers tightening over hers. The offer was too good to pass up, although he worried about inconveniencing his friends. "Are you sure you don't mind?" he asked. "It would be nice to spend some time with Lista, but I don't want the two of you to feel overwhelmed taking care of Xander."

Duo waved her hand dismissively. "We can take care of it, Quatre. He's sleeping right now, anyway, and if he needs his diaper changed, well…I'll make Trowa do it."

Lista couldn't help but laugh. "I think it sounds nice, Quatre. Duo and Trowa can bond with the baby a bit."

Quatre didn't need to mull over the offer any longer. He stood from his chair, pulling Lista along with him. "Well, if you're certain that you don't mind watching Xander, then Lista and I will go upstairs for a little while. But if you need anything, just yell up for us. We'll be right down."

"Don't worry, Quatre," Trowa assured him. "We really don't mind watching him."

"Thank you both so much. We really appreciate this," Lista thanked with a smile. "Xander should be okay for a little while. I fed and changed him right before putting him down to sleep, so he should be all right when he wakes up."

Quatre tugged on his wife's hand, chuckling as she attempted to continue her explanation. "Sweetheart, we can trust Trowa and Duo to watch him. He'll be all right down here with them."

Lista nodded in agreement, giving her friends a quick wave as Quatre led her to the second story of the house. He pulled her into their bedroom, closing the door behind them. "So, what are we going to do? I'm so used to watching Xander that I have no idea what to do with myself."

Quatre smiled and pulled her close. "Well, I think some pampering may be in order. How about a bubble bath? Together?"

Lista's features beamed. "That sounds wonderful. It seems like it's been a long time since we've had a bubble bath."

"Well, then, I see no reason to put it off any longer," Quatre replied with a smile. He led her inside their bathroom, giving her a gentle kiss before making the preparations. Lista pulled out towels and placed them on the rack for when they were finished.

Both tugged their clothes off and tossed them in the hamper while the water and bubbles filled the tub. Quatre turned the water off and helped Lista get inside before following her in, settling himself right behind her. He wrapped his arms around her belly, now nearly back to normal after giving birth two months prior, and pulled her against his nakedness.

"This feels nice," Lista swooned as she rested her head against his shoulder. "We'll have to thank Duo and Trowa again for giving us the time to do this."

"Indeed," Quatre agreed. His fingers splayed over her belly, sending shivers through her skin as he massaged gentle circles over her. He listened to her moan in response, her head shifting against him until her hair tickled the side of his face. "I love you, Lista. I'll spend the rest of my life showing you that."

"It won't take much effort since I already know that," Lista replied in a drunken murmur. "But I'll appreciate the effort nonetheless." She tilted her head to look at him, flashing him a smile. "I love you, too, Quatre. I can't remember a time in my life when you weren't in it. It just goes to show how much of an impact you have on people."

"It's not just me, sweetheart," Quatre corrected. "You've had that very same influence on me. There isn't a single woman in this world other than you that I could have ever hoped to marry and have a son with. Only you."

Lista released a short hum against her throat just as Quatre leaned over, pressing his lips against hers tenderly. What began as an innocent kiss quickly became heated as soon as his tongue passed through her lips, brushing hotly against hers. Lista turned on her hip, spreading bubbles along the expanse of Quatre's chest as her hand gripped his neck for support.

Quatre's hot mouth finally left hers, leaving her breathless, in favor of making a wet trail along her jaw line. His body cried out for much more than mere kisses along her skin, and for one of the first times in his life, he let go of his control and responded to the carnal instincts that had grown for her over the last several months.

Lista felt herself being pulled to her feet, her consciousness glazed over as Quatre's hands moved a gentle dance over her arms, waist, and breasts. She was being eased from the wet, bubbly confines of the bathtub before being suddenly jerked into his arms, rousing a sharp gasp from between her teeth.

When her eyes found his, there was a passion there she had never seen before, that her curiosity begged her to discover. Somehow she knew it would find her before she had such an opportunity.

Her body, still dappled with bubbles, fell to their bed, Quatre's body quickly falling over hers like a blanket. His mouth crushed hers, hungrily and almost forcefully, but Lista knew that Quatre, in that moment, was no longer the sweet, innocent boy of fifteen she had met several years ago at New Edwards. He was a man of nineteen, her husband, the father of her son, and the only man that could make her nerve-endings cry out for a blissful undoing.

Moonshine from the nearby window bounced off the top of Quatre's golden head, creating the hazy illusion of a halo. She had to enjoy the irony of it all, given their state and the impurity swarming around them like mobile dolls threatening holy grounds. She half-expected the halo to turn black as night, tainted with lust.

Lista's body arched into his in response to a deep-throated moan that seemed to awaken every single fiber of her being that had been asleep to his touch. Her impatience grew to astounding levels, and as soon as his lips left hers to trail upon the base of her throat, her fingers curled into his hair and her lips parted in a profane, raspy two-word demand she never thought she would utter.

Quatre jerked back, his wife's growling words echoing through his head as if on a broken record. He did not intend to deny her, of denying his own lusts that remained unsatisfied over the course of the past year.

Lista felt herself being pulled up and turned around until she lay on her hands and knees, fingers curling over the disheveled bed sheets. A familiar hand roved around her thigh, finding the apex of her legs, now hot and nearly dripping with desire. Her body seized when his fingers danced upon her, testing her, reintroducing himself to the part of her body that only he had the permission to see, to touch, to taste.

The motion of his fingers quickened almost instantly, finding the bundle of ripe nerves he had missed so much. He rubbed her, pinched her, until his wife was bucking against him in breathless gratitude.

Her orgasm burned through her like wildfire, an uneven cry breaking through her lips. And just as she rode out the final blissful trembles of her climax, Quatre's fingers were replaced by the quickened thrust of his aching erection.

The feel of him sliding inside her was like granting her new life. His hands gripped her hips, jerking maddeningly against her as if tomorrow would never come. Quatre watched as Lista's hands slid up the headboard, pulling herself up to a kneeling position so she could find the top of the wood to use for stability.

Quatre was quick to shove her body against the board, his thrusts relentless, violent, as they found their way through his wife's sweet body, pounding thought-spiraling shivers through her spine, her muscles, her very blood.

Lista cried for more, arching her neck back and her fingers clawing over the edge of the headboard. Quatre snaked an arm around her belly, yanking her tighter against his aching body. At that moment, all his mind cried out was that the body he was nestled so deeply inside was no one's but his to conquer, his to touch, his to shatter.

"Quatre, don't stop," she begged with a gasp, her hips now meeting backwards with his, meeting every single aggressive thrust. She released a heavy moan, broken and mingled with a pleasured cry as he thrust again and again. He no longer had any control over his movements. His body craved her, and, by god, he would have her until she writhed, screamed, and came under his influence. Nothing else mattered.

"Do you like it, love?" Quatre rasped, his lips finding the tender tendon where her neck met her shoulder. "Tell me." He gave a jerked thrust for emphasis, causing her to moan sharp and high. "Tell me."

"Yes," she answered, knuckles white and achy from her grip on their bed. "God, yes." Her inner muscles clenched down on him, pulsing and throbbing for her release that was soon to come. She released a sob and a whimper, followed by a quick cry of his name.

Her release was coming quickly as Quatre's thrusts intensified, deepened, sped up inside her. She pushed herself up and away from the headboard, her hand finding his neck. She grabbed it tight, fingernails digging deep crescents into his skin as a later reminder to this passionate liaison. Tension continued to spiral, body rocking and jerking against body, as both sought out their pleasure and nothing else.

Quatre felt Lista's muscles pulse and clench down violently; she was dangerously close, and one more push in the right direction would have her right where he wanted her. A palm cupped over her breast while his arm held her fast against him, preventing her from falling forward. His thumb grazed over her nipple, sending ripples through her.

That simple touch was enough. Lista convulsed against him, moaning Quatre's name long and loud, uncaring of whether their guests downstairs would hear. Bright lights flashed before her eyes and, within seconds, felt Quatre give one last deep thrust within her before groaning her name in her ear, spilling his seed deep into her body.

Lista slumped back against his body, her chest burning as she heaved for air. She felt Quatre slide out of her slowly, his forehead pressed against the back of her shoulder. She was surprised that after such a passionate interlude, far vigorous than they had ever been, that she was not as sore as expected.

A hand made its way around her belly, this time slow and careful. "Lista?" Quatre's voice came in a croak as he molded himself against her back, placing an open-mouthed kiss against the top of her shoulder. "Sweetheart, are you all right?"

Lista hesitated, summoning the strength to lift and turn her head to gaze upon her surprisingly passionate husband. "I'm fine, Quatre," she murmured, her throat dry from crying out. "Why would you think I'm not?"

He rubbed a hand against his face, pushing back his sweat-dripping bangs. "I was so rough with you. Far too rough. I was like an animal in heat. Dear God." He shook his head, slamming his eyes shut.

Lista stared at him in disbelief. "Quatre, don't. You're allowed to feel that way. You're only human."

"All I cared about was having your body," Quatre groaned, keeping his eyes averted from her. "I have never acted like that with you. And now I have to live with the fact I just used you as a – a tool."

She slid a hand up his chest, cupping over his neck. "I liked every single minute of it." She pressed a passionate kiss against him, suckling his bottom lip playfully. She leaned in to his ear, adding in a seductive whisper, "I can only hope to see more of that part of you. So much more."

Quatre's eyes widened slightly, his throat suddenly growing tight and dry. He cleared his throat loudly, shaking his head. "Nonetheless, I did it out of lust, not love, and that is unforgiveable. I should have made love to you properly, gently. I didn't even make love to you. That was just…sex."

"It doesn't always have to be making love, you know," Lista pointed out. She leaned in, dragging her lips teasingly over his again. "You have a part of you that you've been ignoring. And I want to see all of you, every single part, including that one." A moan vibrated against her throat as her hand trailed down his body, moving torturously close to the center of him. "It made me feel good, alive. You made me feel good."

Quatre swallowed loudly. His erection was sparking back to life at the huskiness in his wife's words. Ignoring his reawakened arousal seemed like a sin at this point. And from the hazed look in Lista's eyes, the touch of her fingers as she stretched down further still, she seemed far from satisfied.

Arms wrapped tight around her back, he eased her back to the bed. "This time I want to see your face. I want to do this the right way, the way you deserve." He bent down, his hot breath beating against the tilt of her neck. "This time, sweetheart, we make love."

Duo leaned over Xander's bassinet, watching the baby's chest rise and fall with every quickened breath. He was still fast asleep, far from content in the confines of his warm bassinet. "Gotta say, Quatre and Lissy sure did make one cute kid. I'll have to bring Melody over soon. I know she'll love seeing him."

About to offer a concurrence, Trowa opened his mouth, but a loud crack against an upstairs wall interrupted him.

Both former Gundam pilots snapped their heads towards the second floor. Duo's brows furrowed into points. "What the hell was that?"

"Hmm." Trowa's attention returned to the sleeping child before placing himself back on the sofa. "I suspected their moment alone would come to this."

"What? Do you mean that they're—" Duo was interrupted upon hearing another loud crack against the wall, followed by a very feminine moan. A wily grin spread across his face, stifling a laugh. "Oh, yeah, they're definitely up there doing that."

"Well, it has been quite a long time for them, and Lista was just cleared to resume any and all previous physical activities," Trowa reminded him nonchalantly.

There was another wall crack, followed by Quatre's name being called out in a shriek.

Duo couldn't control his snickering. "Quatre asked Doctor Vale literally like five minutes after Xander was born when he could start doing…that again. I could have never thought of Quatre being like this, but whaddaya know. The guy's always full of surprises."

Another high-pitched moan echoed down the stairs, causing Duo to look down at the sleeping child in his bassinet, oblivious. "Xander, something tells me you're gonna be having tons of little brothers and sisters."

Walking through the front door, Quatre quickly moved to loosen his tie. Had someone put a pile of bricks in his briefcase? Surely the weight wasn't just from the papers and folders he'd stuffed in there before leaving to return home.

He moved to the living room, finding it dark and silent. "Lista?" He placed the briefcase on the sofa, followed closely by his jacket. He would hang it up later, as soon as he located his wife and son. He strolled up the stairs, finding it as dark as it was downstairs. Surely she hadn't gone to bed yet. She always made it a point to stay up and wait for him to return home, not to mention it seemed a little early still for Xander to be down for bed.

As he came up to his open bedroom door, he stopped short of the nursery, peering inside. He could see his son sleeping soundly within his crib, tucked tight under his blanket. He smiled and moved to the next door, finding a faint gold glow beating off the wood of the doorway.

He moved inside, curious, only to find the room blanketed with lit candles, all vanilla-scented, and a bottle of chilled wine at the bedside with two empty glass flutes. His fingers moved over the buttons of his shirt, taking several more steps into the room when he noticed the bed still made and Lista nowhere to be found.

"Lista? Sweetheart, where are you?" he called out again, growing seemingly worried for the whereabouts of his wife. As he took one more step forward, arms slid around his midsection, halting his unbuttoning.

"Welcome home, sweetheart," a husky female voice whispered in his ear. Slender fingers replaced his on his remaining buttons, unfastening them with ease. "How was your day?"

Quatre turned over his shoulder, smiling, to look upon his wife. Her hair was pulled up high on her head, and she was already dressed for bed – in a red satin nightie, no less. "It was eventful, to be sure. The restoration is moving along faster than expected, to which Melody is ecstatic over. Things seem to be going well within Preventer, as well. From what I understand it, everything is going exceptionally well. Melody sends her love. Expect a phone call from her tomorrow during lunchtime."

After finishing with his buttons, Lista urged him to turn around so he could completely face her. She moved her arms from his waist to his neck, twirling the ends of his hair around her finger. "That's so good to hear. I'm glad things are going well. But I knew they would be with Melody at the head of everything. Her determination is exactly what the Colonies need to thrive."

Quatre nodded in agreement. "How did Xander's doctor's appointment go?"

"Great. His treatment is doing well. His thyroid hormones are right where they should be, so at least we know everything is reacting well," Lista explained. Her smile widened as she leaned in for a quick kiss. "All in all, I had a nice day. I'm glad to hear you did, too."

"It would have been better if you were with me," Quatre admitted. "Xander, too. I missed you both a great deal today."

"The separation is healthy," Lista reminded him with a shrug. "That means when you come home, I can surprise you with the candles and wine and have a nice evening with you."

Chuckling, Quatre returned her kiss with one of his own. "So wise you are," he teased. His eyes scoped over the room once more, taking in the gentle sheen from the candles as their flames reflected off the walls. "So, is there a specific occasion for this?"

"Not really. I just thought it would be nice to recreate the mood from the night that more than likely produced Xander," Lista replied. "The only thing I'm missing is the flowers. I'll just have to make sure I have them the next time." She motioned towards the waiting bottle of wine on the nightstand. "But I do have your favorite wine, all chilled and ready, if you would like a glass."

A wily grin formed on Quatre's mouth. "So does this mean you have something specific planned to mirror that of the same night we likely conceived our son?"

Lista shrugged playfully, a swift red blush splashing her cheeks. "I don't know. Maybe. But then again, I'm sure it wouldn't make a difference if I planned for it because it would happen on its own. Wasn't that your excuse when this situation was turned around?"

Laughing, Quatre shook his head. "Not necessarily. I did, in fact, plan to make love to you that night, but I was worried you would be too tired for it. But you proved my worries wasted."

"Well, Xander is down for the night. He and I played for a good bit of the evening after dinner. There's a plate in the fridge for you if you would like to reheat it, by the way. He got so tired that he couldn't wait to go to sleep," Lista explained. "So, it seems as if we have the night to ourselves, and it will probably stay that way…so long as we're quiet."

Quatre scooped Lista up in his arms, causing her to laugh heartily as her arms found their way around his neck. "In the time I have grown to know you, sweetheart, I have never been able to keep you quiet. Somehow I don't think tonight will be any different."

The End

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed the story! The final installment, Blood Moon Rising, is in the works as we speak, so be sure to watch/follow me on here so you'll be notified when the story is posted! Also keep a look out on my blog - the link is on my profile page - for other sneak peeks and writing news. I appreciate all of you for taking the time out to read about Quatre and Lista!