Chapter 3.

Sorry for the long wait, but instead of producing excuses, I'll just give you next chapter

Meghan's POV
Ash and I were growing closer. He still had his icy manner about him, but he wasn't as impassive as when we first met.
Though that only held true within the confinements of our times alone. He still kept up his façade around the rest of the court, and I was beginning to catch the hang of it. There was a reason for that; I knew that if anyone showed any weakness, it would be preyed on immediately, and I came to realize that Ash was actually a giant soft marshmallow who had to be burned in the fire to get a hard outer casing to protect himself from the court. And along with that, and even more vivid than that, was Ariella.
I could see it in his eyes. He was having trouble letting himself show emotion after all this time, trying to hide it, and trying to stop the outlet to prevent his heart being mercilessly ripped from his chest and shredded to shards of shattered ice. I could see he didn't really belong here, he wasn't fully part of the Winter Court, mind and soul, but he had to act like this to survive, and that is what had caused the icy cold exterior. The one that been there for so long he had almost forgotten that the other Ash existed.
And on occasions, I found it hard to see myself.
Except when he slept. A few times, he had snuck to my room just to chat, and we would end up falling asleep together, curled up side by side, his arms wrapped around my waist. And on the occasion that I would wake from the comfortable cocoon of his arms, I would watch his face, open and expressive. He looked much younger and the constant smirk was banished from his breathtakingly beautiful features. It was at these times that he looked human, because he would react to what he was dreaming about and I could see the stash of emotions he hoarded behind the silver sheen of his eyes, to stop the advances of the Winter army of emotionless, trying to crush him.
He didn't belong here. I had to save him. And, though it started off being something I was definitely not happy about, I had decided that our marriage was the best possible thing to happen. I could take him away from here, even for just a little while. Set his fears at rest and let the real Ash escape, even if not permanently . Let his army of emotions that refused to let him shut them out have a brief pause in their fight for survival.
Mab had sent the decision to Oberon a few weeks ago and our marriage was to be soon. Very soon. In a few days actually, and I was scared, so scared, to face the grotesque sneers of the courts at marrying one from another court. But I would be strong for Ash; he needed me. And no matter how much I tried to tell myself otherwise, I wanted this too.
It may have sounded stupid and human - but I partially was so who can blame me for my desires? - I wanted a boy who would kiss me in the rain, cuddle me when I was cold and make me fall in love over and over again.
I wanted to be the girl he is scared to lose, the one he can't walk away from knowing she's mad at him, the one who can't fall asleep without her voice being the last one he hears. The one he can't live without.
I knew Ash could be that guy for me and I wanted to be that girl for him.
Right now, I was lying beside Ash, his arms wrapped around my waist, his eyelids and beautiful long lashes fluttering as he dreamed. I smiled a soft smile and gently brushed a strand of hair out of his face.

Ash's POV

(dreaming) Also, listen to the song (while you are reading this!) Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute. Just put it on repeat and listen to as you read this! Trust me, it's worth it! …if you don't… *menacing look* (Queen of Air and Darkness here, adding a link to a good lyric video I found on YouTube: /watch?v=3JASDXBvZTw)

Stay with me, baby stay with me, tonight, don't leave me alone.
I trembled with the intensity of emotions flooding through my frame right then.
I needed her so much. She was the only one I wanted, and I needed her. She helped me come back to myself and I just felt so alive compared to the empty shell that I was before.
Walk with me, come and walk with me, to the edge of all we've ever known.
She had taken me beyond my comfort zone, made me reevaluate my life and realize I had so much to live for, and it was all because of her. She had shown me concern, gentleness and love.
I had not experienced any of these since Ariella, and though I loved her at the time, I can see now it's nowhere close to what I have with Meghan
The last time someone told me they loved me was at least seventy years ago.
How I a craved a gentle word, or look of encouragement saying 'I believe in you.'
And none had given it until now.
And because of her love, I now knew I could start to show others' compassion, and set a new standard for the fey law.
Mercifulness was something to be envied, not scorned at.
I could set right all the families I had wronged in the past. I was a changed person because of her love.
I could see you there with the city lights, fourteenth floor, plae blue eyes, I could breathe you in.
two shadows standing by the bedroom door, no, I could not want you more than I did right then, as our heads leaned in.
I knew I was dreaming, but I didn't want it to end.
I dreamt we had already gotten married and were on our honeymoon.
We had gone to the mortal realm to visit Meghan's family and had decided to stay in a hotel not far away so as not to inconvenience her family.
We were on the fourteenth floor and I stared at her, standing there at the balcony, so beautiful, strong and proud. It made my heart beat in crazy rhythms.
She turned and smiled at me as my breathing hitched and I struggled to contain the tremors threatening to overtake my body.
She walked over to the bedroom door and I wrapped my arms around her, breathing in her intoxicating scent.
My stomach clenched and I had never wanted you more than I did right then.
I placed a finger beneath her chin and lifted her face to mine, leaned in and pressed my lips against hers.
And I'm not sure what this is gonna be, but with my eyes closed all I see is the skyline, through the window, the moon above you and the streets below.
Hold my breath as you're moving in, taste your lips and feel your skin, when the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly.
I'm not sure how this is going to work out. A Winter Prince and a Summer Princess; It's unheard of, but right now I don't care. My eyes flicker shut as she traces her delicate fingers over my torso, tracing every battle scar, every ridge and valley.
I could see the sky beginning where the buildings end out the window, the moon light shined in on her beautiful form.
My breathing hitched and stopped for a second as she leaned in and I could taste her lips, my fingers itching to touch her skin.
Even as this happens, I know this is a dream. But I know, one day, it will be a reality.
Maybe not me being immune to iron, and maybe not in the mortal world, but us, being together.
I love her so much.
As I think this, just one thought comes to mind.
When the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly.
Stay with me, baby stay with me, tonight, don't leave me alone.
She shows me everything she used to know, picture frames and country roads, when the days were long, and the world was full.
She stood by as it fell apart, separate rooms and broken hearts, but I won't be the one to let you go.
I wouldn't be able to stand it if she left me, I know I would die if she did, because I couldn't survive without her.
While we were in the mortal world, she showed me her old life.
The picture frames of her old life and the country roads she used to travel on when her family was complete and unbroken.
But I hope I can change her opinion on that. I know they are her family, and I can never change that, but I hope, with her, we can make our own family.

I didn't want Meghan to feel she had to run because I was broken, because I was going to put everything I had into this.
She was beautiful, and I knew I didn't tell her that enough, I was going to get used to it though.
I'm not sure where this is gonna go, but in this moment all I know, is the skyline, through the window, the moon above you and the streets below.
Hold my breath as you're moving in, taste your lips and feel your skin, when the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly.
I was swept back into the moment and all I felt, saw, and thought was Meghan.

My dream ended and I sat up in the bed, sweat beading on my face, one thought in my brain that left me with a nervous smile hovering on my lips as I glanced at Meghan curled up beside me sleeping peacefully.

When the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly.

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-Cookie Monster and Queen of Air and Darkness.