~Chapter Thirteen~

Must Love Dogs

If you ask me, I will say it.
You make me smile; it's contagious.
And in your eyes, I can see it.
'Cuz your heart is the greatest.

And with the road ahead,
This is the beginning
Of this love story.

~Love Story, by Nadia Ali

Disclaimer: Me No Own; You No Sue.


As the Blood Summons disappeared, the faces of the Zodiac flashed before my eyes, one right after the other, and there were several whispers of happy laughter accompanying this collection. Kyo and Tohru, Ayame and Miine, Hatori and Yuki and Momiji and Haru. Smiling and laughing.

Cord, be bound. Wings were swiftly released, unfurled, and spread with only a soft whisper of wind. Power, be bound. A breath of fresh air whistled through my nostrils as wings moved towards the glowing sun, and the sweet sensation of freedom finally took flight in my soul. Henceforth, I will be safe from harm, and protected thusly by this charm. My blue eyes were calmly staring into the stormy gaze of the man that I had fallen in love with only three months ago. I am free. And I closed them once more on the last chapter of the story. So mote it be.

Because I knew then that the curse had been broken.


Sammy's P.O.V.

TEN YEARS LATER; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; FIVE O' CLOCK PM

A blue Frisbee whizzed through the air, swinging to the left and right with the smallest flick of the wrist, and definitely farther and farther away from the black mutt desperately chasing after it, his eyes wide and tail erect. He opened his large mouth, barked loudly in irritation, and leapt at the magically controlled toy, snapping his sharp teeth at the blue plastic with a silly battle cry. Like Houndoom. Howl~!

At the last second, though, I smiled innocently to myself and directed the Frisbee to slowly veer away and to the left, towards the shining lake. The sweaty mutt obediently chased after, before realizing its impending destination. Shigure immediately panicked, and his dark eyes widened to the size of crunchy dog biscuits – the bone shaped kind, which warned of the KO in his future. He still attempted to dig his paws into the moist dirt, all the while yelping wildly and slamming on the figurative breaks. To no avail, I might add. Please insert incredibly evil smile right here.

The Wicked Witch of the Western Hemisphere has returned! My chapped lips twitched into the aforementioned incredibly evil smile, and I darkly added: Fear her magical powers and totally inexplicable omnipotence! Mwahahahaha!

Villains – like Voldemort, Darth Vader, the Doomsday Group, and the Volturi – had actually inspired and approved of these actions as of late, including the time that I tarred and feathered Shigure last week. Honey and yellow feathers everywhere! He looked like Big Bird, too, which I found to be absolutely hilarious. He laughed, too. Said I looked like Elmo. Asked if I had talked to Dorothy lately. Ha, ha, fucking ha!

And I slapped him for that, before refusing to sleep with him for an entire - yes, you heard right - week. It would have be longer, had I not been incredibly horny and in need of lovemaking. My entire body screamed for release, and Shigure was especially good at calming the storm in my soul, whispering in my ear and rocking against me. So, I removed the ban on sex and dyed his hair pink, instead. Yeah. I know, right? I was more accepting of the Dark Side these days, it seemed. Getting married apparently does that to you.

Shigure suddenly released several loud and high pitched yelps, which were quickly followed by a desperate – "Yip~!"

My ears perked lightly at the resulting chain of events, which included the black mutt trying to backpedal, tripping over a silver rock at the edge of the lake, and flying off of his padded feet. Happily, I watched with bright blue eyes as a very shocked mutt went airborne, progressing through the skies in slow motion, like a cartoon character. Very Scooby Doo, too!

And I laughed wildly at his EPIC FAIL. Totally BEAST, Shigure was not, in spite of being a silly mutt. Pun intended, by the way! ;P

A series of aggravated barks and dark growls of frustration suddenly shattered the sweet silence. I smiled, satisfied with the end result of the magical mischief that I had caused – and with basic math and knowledge of scientific laws, too! Thank Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton for that gift. Who else would allow us the privilege of watching dogs sprout wings and fly? Kinda like All Dogs Must Go to Heaven.

Or the Great Salt Lake…

Evil Grin.

"Splash!"

Ah, Physics! How I loved thee. Gravity was pretty self explanatory, too, even if it had been discovered by Newton, that genius. Even I, the witch with the attention span of goldfish, had been able to comprehend that much in school. What goes up must come down. The crazy mutt was still flying through outer space and around Earth in a manner eerily reminiscent of Superman, though. To Infinity and Beyond!

Oh, right. Wrong character! Er, I meant, uh…

Up, Up, and Away!

Without warning, the water parted for Moses and Shigure roared, "Sammy-chan!" He had apparently decided to transform back into his anthro form, complete with cute doggy ears and thick tail sticking out from between his wet, naked back legs. Yum!

And for that, I could not honestly help myself. I burst into laughter at the horribly constipated – er, concrete – expression crawling over parted lips, high cheeks, and dark eyes. Those dark eyes also seemed to glow with evil intention. Shigure had finally gone off the deep end, it seemed! Pun intended. Again.

Water cascaded from his form, falling to the ground and dampening the area around him. "That was not funny at all!" Shigure angrily growled, stalking towards me to shove his handsome face into my own and bare his (sharp, way too sharp) fangs at me.

"Uh…" Scratching my chin, I gulped and looked to the left, firmly avoiding look on my darling husband's face. I peeked at his expression, which was stormy, at best. He meant business! Better apologize! "My bad?"

As though confused, Shigure blankly repeated, "Your bad?" But, I kept silent because I knew that he understand its meaning now. We had been living in the United States for the last year, after all!

"Yeah! My bad, homeskillet," I nervously clarified. My legs bolted in a standing position, buckled from the tension of the situation, and then snapped to attention. G. I. Joe, at your service.

"…hmm…"

"I'm telling you, loosen up my buttons, baby!" I burst into song to ignore this thoughtful sound – which meant nothing good for me, anyway – and commenced with dusting off the (imaginary) dirt and debris from my sandals, green shorts, and black tank top. "Hum, hum, hum. I'm a sexy mama…"

After adjusting the skinny spaghetti straps on my shoulders, I smiled at him, winked at his stunned expression, and whirled around to face the public restrooms. I then propelled myself down the sidewalk, through the grass, and towards the silver Chevy Malibu, well, parked in the distant parking lot. What else does one do with their car in the parking lot? Besides have sex in the back seat, I mean…

"Get back here, you minx!" Shigure barked, infuriated with the distraction, and bolted after me. His long legs carried him further down the path than my own, much faster than I could hope for in my case. He was right behind me, too!

With a small shriek, I picked up the speed, channeling my inner Road Runner. Wolverine is gonna eat me – and not in the fun way, either! I thought, panicked, and almost crashed into the side of the building that housed the restrooms, cafeteria, and gift shop. I darted towards the car and began tugging at the handle on the driver's side, which was still locked. Shit, damn, motherfucker!

My husband chuckled softly, almost darkly, under his breath. So, I did what any (in)sane person would do: I screamed the dreaded R word, which startled him into dropping my small form to the ground, and I tried to run away. My only successful move was catching him off guard, though. I then tripped, landing against the car, and dropped to the ground in a quiet and dizzy confusion, thanks to these wonderful flip flops of mine. Damn the Egyptians and Japanese for creating these mobile death traps!

Two large hands slithered around the section just under my soft breasts, and I was promptly shoved, face first, into the side of the silver car. And I could not move, either, due to the hard weight pressing into me. With fangs bared, Shigure smirked against my neck. His hot breath, smelling faintly of watermelon, fanned across my neck. The baby hairs at the nape stood to attention, and I shivered, unnerved by the situation.

"What do you want, Shi-kun?" I quietly muttered, thinking that a simple apology might suffice in this situation. Then, I would be home free! Hallelujah. Amen. Bless you. Some Latin. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Instead, Shigure responded to my question with one of his own. He nipped at the side of my neck, just above my mating mark, and sensually whispered, "What do I always want from you, my sweet?"

My insides curled into themselves, then, practically quivering with want. I shivered again – this time, however, it was from the overwhelming lust and desire and hot magic coursing through our mate bond. Fuck, I wanted Shigure to fuck me into fucking oblivion. Huh. Any guesses which word had been on mind all day? Bet no one could fucking guess!

Shigure, as though reading my mind, slipped his fingers under my shirt, before sliding them up my gently flushed skin. And I moaned against the side of the Malibu, vaguely recognizing that the windows were also fogging up due to the wave of hot breath crashing against its glass. Not that I cared. Because I was more concerned with the fingers whispering down my skin. His calloused fingertips curled around two erect nipples and tugged at the pink flesh with gentle motions, up, down, around. Rinse and repeat.

I mewled with bone aching pleasure. Partly due to his familiar ministrations, and partly because I could feel his large, naked manhood quickly growing against my rear end, sliding up and down, up and down, until I thought that he would set us ablaze with the resulting friction. The red fire coursing through my veins was almost to the boiling point, and Shigure seemed to sense this, as well.

"Do…not…stop!" I growled darkly in displeasure. The threat, though silent, was made in vain, and I could feel him lift his slender hips to back away. "Damn dog!"

Shigure smirked against my shoulder, kissed the patch of tingling skin there, and then cheerfully quoted, "'All dogs go to heaven, because, unlike people, dogs are naturally good, and loyal, and kind.'"

Why did I let him watch that movie with us again?

I sweatdropped. "Thank you, Annabelle," I sarcastically retorted, and with a soft snort of amusement on his behalf.

Shigure meandered to the trunk, removed his extra shorts, and pulled them up and towards his navel, effectively covering up. "Not planning to question how I know about your reference earlier?" His gray eyes glittered with glee and utmost amusement at the sexual frustration swirling within me.

"Nope," I deadpanned, obnoxiously popping the third letter at that exact moment.

Simply stated, I had discovered that I could slip into the magical bond that he and I shared. I could easily read his mind, just as my husband could read mine, more often than not. Damn dog always snooped in my mind, too. Kinda like all the times that he snooped through my underwear drawer, sniffing through my panties, bras, and lingerie, courtesy of Aya. Pause. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Shigure snooped, and he was a dog. Snoop Dog. Get it?

Okay. Never mind. Just forget I said anything…

The black mutt scowled, allowing the wide smirk that had claimed his lips to dissolve into nothingness. He paused, then – "Why not…?" Shigure whined petulantly, almost like a small child that had been denied another slice of cake. Brat!

"After ten years of being married to you," I dryly stated, starting the sentence with a wink and amused smile. A series of loud banshee shrieks suddenly interrupted the point that I had been in the process of making, though.

A masculine voice groaned quietly, annoyed at the immediate lack of response on my part, and then called, "Mama!" For like the fifteenth time in the last five seconds. Yeah. You do the math!

His feminine counterpart hiccupped and sneezed, thanks to her bout of hay fever, and several sniffles could be heard. She scampered through the wet grass with her tiny feet and bluntly shrieked, "'tou-san?! I'm hungry!"

The Twins then loudly chorused their question as one. Two hyper children paused for a moment, inhaled sharply to gather breath, grinned at one another in anticipation, and bellowed, "Where are you, Mama?!"

All of this happened in the span of twenty seconds, which was, oddly enough, their personal best, if I remembered correctly. Eating twenty hot dogs and three dozen cookies in about two hours was another good record, though! I smiled at the memory, and the dozens of others that followed, as well. Those two evil minions definitely belonged to me.

Although I cringed at the memory of the pain of childbirth, I blithely continued, "And I birthed both your children, as well." Shigure snorted at this declaration, but I ignored him in favor of adding, "One would think that I had already realized just how obnoxious you could be, and how much pain you can cause…"

"Oi!" Shigure cried, standing straight and placing both hands to his hips in a very feminine manner. "I take offense to that!"

I snorted, the whispered insult already traveling up my throat and into my mouth. "Drag queen."

My (please insert: over) dramatic husband then pretended to be mortally wounded by my words, acting as though I had shot him with silver bullets. Damn mutt thought he was a werewolf! He continued to stagger several feet backwards, towards the popped trunk of the silver car, and pressed his hand directly over the left side of his chest, right atop his heart. Then I smiled, because that heart was made of gold, and it belonged to me.

Shigure waggled his black eyebrows in my direction and quipped, "Mayday, Mayday! I've been hit!" He made this strange gurgling sound with his tongue clicking against the sides of his mouth and slumped onto the passenger side of the car.

"Drama queen!" I declared the correction with a gasp of laughter bubbling from within my chest, the sound stifled in spite of the antics that had ensued.

Per the norm, though, Shigure acted idiotically to ruin my self control. He collapsed against the Malibu and pretended to be faint like a clichéd Damsel In Distress. My laughter, as expected, finally burst forth at the sight of the crazy mutt reenacting various scenes and cheesy dialogue from the movie, Titanic. All I could do was giggle at his neurotic tendencies, which amused the other tourists in the park to no end, too. Because Leonardo Dicaprio he was not. More like Will Ferrell. With his sense of humor, I mean. Or lack thereof…

"We found Mama and 'tou-san!"

Two small bundles of black hair and denim suddenly burst into action, zooming right by me and into the open arms of Shigure. Both children effectively tackled him to the ground with the force of their combined attack, like Max and Fang dive bombing the evil scientists from The School. In other words, those kids were totally kickass. My husband let out a soft sound of shock and ultimately collapsed to the ground, his lanky form trapped by the heavy mountain of happy children. Well, I could see two children, to be exact – his children, and mine, too.

Using one of their affectionate nicknames, I chuckled to myself and gently said, "Okay, Pups." I nudged them up. "Time to get off of Daddy – he is waaaay too old to be taking such a beating from his kids."

Desperately, and probably stupidly, I will not think about the fact that Shigure is already thirty eight years old…

Giggles, a sound likened to bells by both Caleb and Katie, whistled through the clear winds. I smiled at the little girl that continued to sweetly laugh and clap her hands together in glee. My blue gaze swallowed her image, attempting to memorize each detail. Black hair, blue eyes, tan skin, and sharp teeth. With her wild hair and olive colored skin, Katsumi really did look just like Shigure, and he was rather proud of that fact, too. The only physical similarities shared between us were the height – which could change in her early teen years – and the blue eyes glimmering beneath dark lashes.

"Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi, hi!" Katsumi shrieked, repeatedly cackling the word that should be spelled high in this case. Damn Zyrtec. She sneezed, and the blue green markings etched into her shoulders and back began to shine brightly with magic.

Oh, right. Those blue eyes were our shared trait – and the tattoos were mine, as well! She and I did not serve one patron spirit, though, for which I had been infinitely grateful. Yes, I willingly served Lord Anubis, the Egyptian God of Judgment and Death, but there were many times that I found myself wishing for another set of Clan markings, in spite of the fact that the Jackal was so strong and beautiful. He was feared, and for good reason. Death was scary shit! Yo!

Thankfully, Katsumi was instead born to serve the revered Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Nature and Magic. Her Ivy Clan tattoos, shaped like vines, wildflowers, and leaves, wrapped around her tiny waist, shoulders, and back, before ending at the tip of her tail bone. Kat and I loved to count the flower petals along her stomach, all of which shifted daily, a sure sign of her growing power. She scratched absently at one such glowing leaf that sat to the left of her belly button. Several other flower petals shifted and leaned towards her fingers, almost as though searching for the sunlight. I smiled softly at the thought. Because Kitty Kat really was my sunshine.

My evil sunshine smiled, too. "'tou-san looks constipated!" Katsumi exclaimed, while poking her father in the stomach and watching with rapt fascination as my silly mutt pretended to play dead. Ha! I knew he should have been an opossum for Halloween last month!

"Constipated?" I snickered at her insult – er, sweet and innocent joke – and quietly stage whispered, "This is his thinking face, or so I have been told! Daddy tries not to think too much…"

To which Shigure scowled and flipped the bird at me, all the while keeping his dark eyes shuttered against the sunlight, chirping birds, and his crazy (his words, not mine) family.

"Oh! That must be why Daddy doesn't like reading instruction manuals and asking for directions if he gets lost," Katsumi smiled to herself at this realization, nodded slowly, and cheekily added, "Too much work for him, I guess!"

That was my girl, ladies and gentlemen! While her looks were closer to her father, Katsumi had a personality that reminded the family and friends of the pranks, jokes, and mischievous nature connected to my own. Kat snickered lightly and smirked down at her father from her perch at his side, reminding me once again of the similarities between us, the four Sohmas. She reached forward and poked Shigure again, using one small digit to stick it inside of his nose. Yuck, yuck, and double yuck!

Her brother, on the other hand, tackled Shigure to the ground yet again. Sweet Kaname, my Knight In Shining White Armor and Blue Green Tattoos, eyed his sister and me protectively, and then turned his dark blue glare to face his father, demanding, "Why were you molesting Mama in the parking lot?"

'Constipated,' and 'Molesting.' I snorted, shaking blonde hair back and forth at the oddities that were my children, neither of whom were adopted. Yeah, I really should hide the dictionaries from these kids…

"Uh," Shigure cleared his throat, smiling nervously at the child that had always been the more protective of the two. He blinked owlishly at the question and (stupidly) finished, "Because I find it fun?"

Kaname twitched spastically. The vines crawling towards Shigure wilted dramatically in response and dropped to the ground in a pile of black ash, the exact color of the magical aura surrounding Kaname. His tattoos, though similar in color to those of his sister, were shaped like feathers, the Egyptian symbol for rebirth and judgment. After all, Kaname served his Egyptian God, Osiris, the God of Life, Death, and the Nile. Osiris had always been gentle and kind to his people. Sweet Kaname, on the other hand, preferred to glare people to death and/or maim 'em.

I still loved him to bits, though! Such a cutie, that one...

"Bad Umbreon," I muttered absently to the Dark Eevee that had apparently possessed the elder Sohma Twin. My nails picked at the vines growing around his fingers, which I clasped with my own. "No throwing Shadow Balls at your perverted and somewhat retarded 'tou-san."

Kaname twitched lightly at this comment and scurried to the car, especially after Shigure had jumped to his feet and responded with – "Yeah! I have more than enough balls already, o' magical Ka-chan."

I facepalmed at this display of stupidity. My face kinda hurt, too, and there was a patch of red ink beside my nose now. Ouch. To even the score, I reached towards my darling husband and harshly slapped him, too. Shigure whined quietly to himself and clutched at his shoulder, the skin of which was now red, hot, and tattooed with my small fingerprints. His lips quivered lightly, and he turned to stare down at me with wide, innocent, sweet Puppy Dog Eyes.

"Idiot," I muttered after scowling darkly at his deceptively innocent gave, which had been counteracted by the cheeky smile on his lips. "What exactly are you trying to teach these innocent kids, anyway?"

Kaname, Katsumi, and I slapped him at the same moment, before summoning various elements to attack the ignorant creature we called their Daddy. Earth, Wind, and Fire beat him senseless! The elements, I mean. Not the famous musical band. 'Cause that would be weird…

In spite of the damage done to his partially magical form, Shigure channeled his inner child and stuck his tongue out at us. He lifted his nose in the air and haughtily declared, "Well, I guess this means that nobody here deserves that treat that Mama and I promised, eh?"

"No, no, no, no!" Katsumi squealed like a small, pink piglet and stampeded towards her father, clinging to his leg with fingers and flower vines alike. She sniffled to catch his attention and desperately wailed, "We'll be good~!"

Kaname followed suit, though in a (slightly) more mature manner, and nodded frantically at us to emphasize the truth of his statement. "We triple pinky promise with hot fudge and banana pudding on top!"

"Yeah, Shi-kun!" I stupidly added to the conversation, before tangling myself around him and pouting like a child, the expression completed by the famous Puppy Dog Eyes of Jacob Black the Great. Take that, Seth! "Can we still have ice cream?"

Exasperated, Shigure lifted his hands in the air and rolled his dark eyes at us. "Sure, because I love buying ice cream for my children." He paused, titled his head to the side, and dryly added, "All three of 'em."

We walked hand and hand into the distant sunset, following the laughter and delighted shrieks of our two little Shapeshifters. Both Kaname and Katsumi darted towards the ice cream stand that rested besides the old brick building at the entrance of the park, before screeching to a stop and silently staring up at the huge list of flavors, combinations, and available toppings with wide blue eyes. Rainbow sprinkles and cherries seemed to be of interest to them, it seemed. No! Nuts were better!

And I smiled tenderly at the arguments that ensued because of the varying cones and flavors – chocolate for Kat, and strawberry for Ka. The Twins continued to bicker about the better flavor, but I still could only laugh at this ridiculous scene, as it could not have happened without the rainstorm that shoved Shigure and I together. To think that I might not be here, with my sweet husband and children, and shackled to Kazuya the Cold Creeper, instead! Please insert dramatic shudder here.

Shigure wrapped his arms around those shaking shoulders, scooted closer to my side, and softly kissed my gently lifted lips. He whispered, "Yen for your crazy thoughts, my dear?"

"Nothing special, love," I said and shrugged lightly in response to his teasing question, before learning over to place my cheek against his shoulder, firmly tucking myself under his chin. "Just thinking about our children." My lips twitched into a small smirk. "'All three of 'em.'"

My husband opened his mouth to respond to that mocking statement, thinking it to purely be teasing in nature, before slowing to a complete and utter halt. "Three…?" Shigure hesitantly inquired, dark gray eyes comically wide at the simple number.

I nodded in the affirmative and placed his warm palm over my slightly swollen stomach, which bulged lightly beneath the relaxed cotton shorts that I had chosen to wear. Happily, I chirped the announcement: "I'm pregnant!"

"…what?!"


***Author's Note***

Sorry! It took me almost forever to complete this last chapter, due to the death in the family, school, and working two jobs. Shoot me! :P

But I was also sad to let this story end! Because I finally did end it! As in all done, bye bye, never to be heard from again! SOB, SOB, SOB! (Not to be confused with the abbreviation for the bad words! ;D) Shigure and Sammy and Kaname and Katsumi and Everybody Else had so much more to talk about, you know? So, I am thinking about doing a short collection of one-shots for this story, instead of writing the sequel. Bits and pieces of their life with the kids!

Please tell me whether or not you all liked this story, the ending, etcetera. And I would love to have about ten reviews for this chapter. Seeing 105 reviews would be nice. Kinda like a "Congratulations for finishing this story, Shadowsammy!" Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Cough.

Last, but not least, I love you all for reviewing, alerting, favoriting, and just reading this story! It means so much to me that you joined Sammy in this story, even if it was just to catch a glimpse of naked Shigure. ;) Thanks so, so, so much!

The End.