Chapter 23: The Honeymoon

Guys...I don't what to say. Just read, I apologize again at the bottom. :/

Max POV:

*The Big Night*

I pulled my coat up to my chin as Fang and I headed back to our hotel after dinner. It was almost eight o'clock at night here, but jet lag made me feel like it was the middle of the day. Clouds were gathering overhead, and there was snow in the forecast for tonight. Fang noticed me shivering and put his arm around me, pulling me close to him. We had on too many layers for his body heat to actually help warm me up, but it was a sweet gesture and it made me smile. The buildings on the sides of the road were adorned with Christmas lights and had Christmas trees displayed in the windows. My heart was beating like crazy as I was once again hit with the reality that I was indeed in Paris on my honeymoon.

The warmth in the hotel was more than welcome when we finally reached it. I started removing my coat and scarf as we headed up the elevator. As we stepped into our room, Fang set the Do Not Disturb (at least I think that's what it said, it was in French) sign on the door handle. My heart jumped slightly. I set my jackets and other winter things on the couch, but no sooner had they left my hand than Fang had me up against the wall, kissing me passionately. His hands slid under my shirt, his mouth pushed mine open. I pulled away and put my hand against his mouth. Fang frowned and growled warningly, "Max."

I smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not putting it off anymore," I assured him. "It's just," I stepped closer and put my lips against his neck. "I have a special outfit for tonight, but it doesn't seem like you want to see it."

The look on Fang's face was priceless. I could see his mind wrestling between seeing me dressed like something out of one of his fantasies and just tearing my clothes off as they were. Grinning, I told him, "Five minutes. Let me change, then meet me on the bed."

We had unpacked our suitcases after lunch, but I had left my lingerie in mine to prevent Fang from seeing it. I pulled one set out and headed into the bathroom. Before changing, I brushed my teeth and took my birth control pill for the day. One day, when this curse mess was fixed, I wanted a family, but now wasn't the time. Then I pulled off my regular clothes and ungracefully tugged on the tight red and black corset. Luckily Fang wasn't watching me change, because watching me jiggle and squeeze myself into the strangely cut top probably wasn't that attractive. I thought it looked good once it was on, though. A matching thong finished the look. I had tried on the "clothes" before buying them, of course, but they felt different now. I looked at myself in the mirror and actually felt sexy. I set my wedding rings in their box and put it on the counter, then ran brush through my hair. "Max?" I heard Fang call from just outside the door.

"Two seconds," I called back, taking one more deep breath. Showtime.

The bathroom was attached to the bedroom, so when I stepped out I could see Fang lying on the bed shirtless and in his boxers. It wasn't anything special, in fact it was what he wore to bed every night, but that didn't mean it didn't look good. Fang always looked good shirtless. However, my special outfit apparently looked as sexy as it made me feel, because as soon as I walked out of the bathroom Fang's eyes widened. I grinned and turned in a slow circle. "You like?" I asked, even though I could see the answer written both across his face and on some…other parts of him.

Fang slid off of the bed and grabbed my waist. "Yes," he breathed, pressing his lips to mine. "Well worth the extra few minutes of waiting." I giggled slightly as he pushed me aggressively onto the bed. He started kissing me again. Now that we had gotten started, I couldn't remember why I was nervous.

"Be gentle," I reminded him good-naturedly. "It's my first time." Fang didn't respond but slowed his kisses slightly, gently sliding his hands up my legs. We unmade the bed before adjusting the covers and pulling them up to our chests. Then, well…the rest is private, but I'm sure you can guess what happened from there.

*The Morning After*

My mind woke up before my body the next morning. After a moment of staring at the darkness inside of my eyelids, I became aware of Fang's fingers making gentle circles on my bare skin. Moment by moment, each body part reconnected with the rest of me. I was still naked, curled up against Fang's chest. My husband had his arms around me and was rubbing my back, waiting for me to wake up. I opened my eyes and looked up at him. Feeling my head move, Fang looked down at me and smiled. "Good morning," he said softly.

"Morning," I yawned, pushing myself into a sitting position. A slight pain shot through my midriff when I moved my hips. "Oh," I grunted, surprised.

"Sore?" Fang asked, giving me an amused smirk.

I glared at him. "Shut up," I muttered, moving to get out of bed. Looking around, I noticed that Fang and I were only lying underneath one corner of the sheets, and the rest were on the floor with the comforter. Several of our pillows were across the room as well. Smothering a grin, I slid off of the bed to go take a shower, but Fang put one hand across my waist and pulled me back to him. "Fang," I complained half-heartedly, leaning into him.

He kissed me before saying, "So?"

I looked at him, knowing what he was asking but not wanting to answer. "So…?" Fang just raised one eyebrow and looked at me. I sighed. "Why are you asking?" I dodged awkwardly. I didn't want to talk about my…experience, even though Fang had been the one sharing it with me.

"That was your first time. Our first time. I just want to make sure you enjoyed it."

I blushed and replied truthfully. "It was…amazing. Better than I thought it would be."

Fang feigned hurt. "You didn't think I'd be good?"

"Well, no, I did," I corrected, "I just didn't quite believe that sex was as fun as everyone says. And…it was." I shrugged, still feeling uncomfortable. "How was it for you?"

Fang chuckled. "Well, like you, I had my expectations surpassed." I blushed furiously again. "And honestly, whenever people would say "sex is better with someone you love," I passed it off as bullshit. But now I think they were right."

Still blushing, I tucked my face into Fang's shoulder. "I love you," I told him.

Fang pushed me back and pressed his forehead against mine. "I love you too," he replied. We kissed warmly for several seconds before Fang leaned over me, making me lie down. His kisses became a little more insistent. I pulled away and frowned. "Is there no sating you? It's been, what, nine hours?" I complained.

Fang gave me a cocky grin. "Well now that I remember how fun it is, I can't get enough."

Rolling my eyes, I replied, "Well, you'll have to contain yourself. Tomorrow night we'll go again."

"Tomorrow night?" Fang whined.

I leaned in and kissed his ear. "I need a little time to recover," I whispered. Fang sighed. "Now, I'm taking a shower, and then we're going sightseeing, okay?"

"Roger, Roger," Fang said, saluting me. I rolled my eyes and stepped into the bathroom.

By the time Fang and I had gotten up and showered (separately), it was lunchtime, so we stepped across the street for lunch at a small café. Fang informed me that he was going to force me to try escargot at some point during our trip. Luckily, I managed to avoid it for today. Then, we decided visit some of Paris's biggest sightseeing destinations. You know, the Eiffel tower, the Arc de Triomphe, etc. I was starting to understand why there was a period of dating people called "the Honeymoon phase". As Fang and I headed to the scooter rental center, I looked at him with what I'm sure were the dopiest cow eyes ever. Occasionally he would glance over at me and smile, until he finally asked why I was staring.

"I don't know," I shrugged. "I just can't help it."

Fang smirked. "Dazzled by my good looks? Guess I can't blame you. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I too can't stop."

I rolled my eyes. "You're stupid," I said, turning forward. "And doesn't that make you gay, if you're enamored by handsome men?"

"No," Fang retorted, shaking his head. "It means I appreciate art."

I snorted. "Yeah, whatever. Speaking of art, are we going to visit the Louvre one day?"

"Of course," Fang said. "But that's an all-day expedition. We can go one day when we're up earlier."

"I don't know," I said slyly. "I think we'll always be up so late that I doubt we'll ever be up any earlier."

"Mmm," was Fang's only response. He smiled at me as we got our mopeds. I had brought a small digital camera with me on the trip, so I snapped photos of street corners and people and everything else whenever we stopped at a crosswalk. The light dusting of snow over everything gave it a crisp, surreal look. Everything was so beautiful here, it astounded me.

I wish I had more to report about that first day, but we really did just ride around and take it all in. I'm sure some of you would love to hear about Fang and I just walking around, making googly eyes, and generally being romantic, but the rest of you would be bored out of your mind. In the interest of pleasing everyone, I'll just tell you about our last stop.

After dinner we went back to the Eiffel tower to go up to the observation deck. Of course, every tourist in the city of Paris was going to the Eiffel tower at night to see Paris from above. Neither of us was too worried about the line though. I leaned back on Fang's chest and he wrapped his arms around me. We chatted idly about what we wanted to do for the rest of the week. We decided that the next day, Tuesday, we would go to a Christmas market Fang had found just outside of the city when he was doing research for the trip. Wednesday we would spend the day at the Louvre. Thursday was going to be Disney day, which I was beyond excited for. It was also Christmas Eve. Then Friday, Christmas day, we were checking out of our hotel and spending Friday and Saturday in the countryside. In between planning and ideas there was lots of giggling and kissing, and while there were some similar couples around us who didn't seem to mind, the tourists not here on a romantic trip kept throwing us annoyed looks.

When we finally got up to the top of the tower, I was stunned speechless. The Christmas lights lit up all across the city sent my mind into a tailspin. The other people on the deck were smiling in the same kind of awe. One couple was wrapped in a passionate embrace and the girl was crying. I could see a gem-encrusted ring on her left hand, and I realized he must have just proposed. The thought made me smile. I looked over at Fang and though he wasn't smiling (of course), he had a relaxed look in his eyes. I was pretty sure he had noticed too. Holding hands, we fought the vicious wind out to the edge of the observation deck.

For a long time we just stood together, huddling into our coats and trying to ignore the wind. I could hear the chatter of several languages around us as people took in the incredible view. I looked up at Fang, grinning. The corners of his mouth turned up slightly and he leaned down to kiss me. My arms snaked around his shoulders and I leaned into him. When we pulled apart, I noticed a couple of people giving us exasperated looks, but most people seemed to consider it business as usual.

After a few more minutes of romantic gazing over the city and several photographs, Fang and I decided to head back to our room for the night. I was exhausted, both from the active night before and the trek around Paris today. When we got back I took a quick shower, changed into my pajamas, and fell asleep almost as soon as I fell onto the bed.

*Christmas Eve*

It was eleven thirty, almost Christmas. Fang and I had spent the whole day at Disneyland Paris, from the moment it opened until the end of the Christmas fireworks. Now we were in our hotel room, slow dancing to instrumental Christmas music as we looked out over Paris. Fang had one hand on my waist and the other holding mine out to the side. I had my other hand wrapped around his stomach and I was resting my head on his chest. It was the most perfectly serene, romantic moment ever.

So of course, I managed to ruin it.

As Fang and I swayed in a slow circle, I caught a glimpse of the Christmas tree in the corner. Fang had ordered it from room service and had it brought up. It was a seven-foot tree, not too big, and it was adorned with red and gold ornaments of all shapes and sizes. We had arrived back from the Louvre the day before to find it had been delivered, fully decorated, to our room.

Now for some reason the sight of it felt like a punch to the gut. It made me think of my mom and sister, of how every year we would decorate our fake tree that desperately needed replacing with ornaments that held memories-no two of them matched. I wondered how much it had hurt them, having to do it without me this year. Even if they knew I was safe now, they had no idea where I was, and I hadn't contacted them at all since I had left.

I started crying. I didn't really mean to, but I suddenly felt so homesick that my bubble of bliss seemed to shatter irreparably. "Max?" Fang asked, concerned, when he heard me sniffle. I pulled away from him and shook my head, going to sit on the couch. "Max, baby, don't close yourself off. What's wrong?"

My husband hovered protectively over me, nothing but the utmost concern in my eyes. Guilt crushed my chest as looked at him. I was ruining our honeymoon because I couldn't control my emotions. Then again, this was his fault. He was the one who wouldn't let me contact them, wouldn't let me visit.

Fang put his hand on my shoulder, then moved it to rub my back. He sat next to me on the couch. "Max, tell me."

I turned my head to him. I was torn between yelling at him and pressing myself against him, letting his warmth carry my troubles away.

"I miss my mom and sister. I've never had Christmas without them before," I said, waiting for his reaction to decide my own.

His response was exactly what I was afraid of. His jaw tightened, and all he said was "Ah." It was almost like he meant "I was afraid of that." He pulled his hand away from my back.

Frowning, I sniffed and said, "Well don't fall over yourself to comfort me. I'm not horribly upset or anything."

Fang rubbed his jaw. "I know you are. But I don't-"

"If you say you don't know why Fang I swear to God I will walk out of here and sleep on the street." I stood up, pulling away from him.

"Don't be dramatic," Fang said. "It's way below freezing out there."

I made a disgusted noise. "Well it's better than being in here with you. How could you respond like that?"

Fang stood up, walking towards me, but I pulled away. He hesitated, then said, "I just didn't want all of this to come up on our honeymoon. I was hoping it could wait until we got home."

I scoffed. "Oh, so you could put it off even more? Face it Fang, you won't ever talk to me about it. Time and time again I've told you I won't leave you, but still you forbid me from visiting home." My mood had definitely changed from depressed to defensive now. "Honestly, every time you refuse, I feel less and less like staying with you at all."

Fang's wings suddenly flared out, an involuntary reaction whenever he got angry. I heard the back of his shirt rip as they tore through. "Don't talk like that," he snapped.

"Why not? It's true," I said.

Fang glared at me. "No, it's not. If you missed home Max, you wouldn't have come back. I sent you home, and you left it. You decided you didn't want to be there anymore."

I frowned. "Well yeah, but I figured I could visit or something."

To my surprise, Fang rolled his eyes. "No you didn't. You're a rash thinker Max. This going home business just came up a few weeks ago, and you've been back for months. When you first left, you had forgotten them."

I slapped him as hard as I could. He didn't move other than his head turning to the side as my hand collided with it. "How dare you!" I shouted. "They're my family Fang! I'd never forget them! I just didn't feel homesick yet, I had assumed that as soon as I wanted to go home and visit I could. How was I to know you'd be such a dick about it?"

Fang gritted his teeth. His face had a red handprint forming across it. "Why wouldn't I be? You going home is nothing but a risk. If you slip, your mom could get suspicious, and if she starts investigating, then we could end up jailed, trapped studied. You may yet decide that being with us is too much of a risk for you and you might leave. There's too many unknowns, Max, things we can't plan for."

I frowned. "Oh, at least you have more bullshit to back yourself up now. You just don't want anyone to be able to love me but yourself. You're a selfish bastard, and you've been isolated for so long you've forgotten there's more to life outside of hiding in the Mansion. Most people don't live that way, Fang. It's only you."

Fang was focused on measuring his breathing, trying to keep himself from transforming into a wolf. Neither of us spoke for a minute, and I noticed that Christmas music was still playing from Fang's iPhone in the corner. An orchestral arrangement of Joy to the World was playing, woefully unfitting. After a few more moments Fang muttered, "I just don't want anyone getting hurt. If she finds out and freaks out…."

"She won't, Fang. Even if my mom did find out, she's more rational than that. She might panic, sure, it's a natural human reaction. But she won't call the SWAT team or anything without hearing us out first," I said. "Besides, we'll have a cover story and stuff. It'll be fine."

Fang didn't respond. He stood there, wings relaxed but still out, looking out over Paris. I waited for a response, but when he stayed silent I turned to leave and go take a shower. "For Christmas," he said.

"What?" I asked, turning back around.

"I'll let you see her," he said quietly, "Because it's Christmas. Consider it a gift. We'll go when we get back."

I huffed. "I'm pretty sure it's my right and not a gift, but thank you, I guess." Internally, I was in some sort of ecstatic shock. I couldn't believe he was actually letting me go home!

Fang nodded briskly, still turned away from me. I could see that his wings had completely ruined his shirt, tearing the back to shreds. I could see the smooth muscle there. Shaking my head, I headed into our room. I wanted to just ignore Fang for the rest of the night, but a part of me also wanted to make peace. The more he had talked, the more I believed there was a lot of paranoia behind his refusal to let me see my family. However, I knew a good chunk of that was also him not wanting me to see her and leave him. When I thought about it away from him, I almost wasn't as mad. Fang hadn't had any real social contact in centuries. He was trying to be protective; he was just going overboard.

Sighing, I went to my suitcase and pulled out Fang's "present." It was now twelve-o-five, Christmas day. No reason not to give him his present now. Technically, it was something for me, but I was pretty sure he would enjoy it more than I did. I pulled on the skimpy lingerie and looked at myself in the mirror. I almost burst out laughing. The extra-revealing outfit made me look like a stripper. I pulled my hair up into a high ponytail, then I considered putting on bright red lipstick to finish off the "whore" look. Deciding against it, I headed out to the main room.

Fang had taken off his tattered shirt and it was lying on the couch behind him. He was perfectly still, staring out of the glass window with an unreadable expression. I leaned against the doorframe, making sure he could see all of me. "Fang," I called softly. He didn't respond. "Fang," I repeated.

"Hm?" he grunted, not turning to look at me.

"Fang turn around and look at me," I snapped. How dare he ignore his Christmas gift? He turned, looking annoyed, but as soon as he saw me his jaw went slack.

"Um…I thought you were pissed at me," he managed, slowly walking over to me.

I shrugged. "I am, but it's also Christmas. I had to give you your gift." Suddenly, I was crushed against the wall, Fang's hot, feverish lips all over mine. I gasped and melted into him. This would be our third time, but already I wasn't nervous anymore. Fang made me feel safe, made me feel right. I loved him, no matter how much of an asshole he could be. That's why he was my husband. And honestly, I remember waking up in our bed, but I wasn't sure if we'd ever made it there.

Okay guys, this is what's going on. I've lost steam for this story, BUT I know what it's like to love a story on here and have it never get finished. Marching season is over, so I hope to update either this story or my other story every weekend. I know what's going to happen, I just need to write.

The truth is, I'm writing my own book. I don't know if it'll be any good, and I only have a few chapters down, but all of my mental writing focus and writing time has been going to that. However, as I said, I felt bad about leaving you all hanging, so I've decided to finish these stories as fast as possible so I can move on. Thank you guys for bearing with me. You're lucky I love you so much.