**A/N: Read slowly?**
Godric gently placed his tired Cara down on her bed and arranged the covers over her chilled form. He then ensured that the room was made light-tight, closed and locked her door, and made to rest upon the covers to protect her from the chill of his body.
“Oh, no,” came her sleepy grumble. She held the covers open. “Get in.”
Unable to resist his love’s command, he smiled faintly as he slid in beside her. After once again ensuring her comfort, he settled onto his side to gaze upon her as she slept.
When she crossed the narrow space separating them, wrapped her arm about his waist and nuzzled her face into the crook of his neck where it met the pillow, his arms automatically folded around her and drew her even closer. He could do naught else.
Within moments she slept, her breathing peaceful, her body slightly over-warm but relaxed. He subtly drew his nose along her skin, into her hair, memorizing her scent, detecting the “cold” and noting how it seemed to be leaving her precious body.
As he allowed the soft warm fragrance that was uniquely hers to flood his body and sooth his demons, he felt faint tears of awe and gratitude prick his eyes.
She had not run.
She had not refused him.
She had not feared him.
She had…amazed him.
A cry caught at the back of his throat and through sheer will alone he subdued the need to allow wracking sobs to overtake his tense form.
In the end, after having seen him take leave of his senses, she had still chosen him. She had still welcomed his arms about her, his voice in her ear, his touch upon her body.
She had even welcomed him into her bed.
There, in that soft cocoon holding and held by the beautiful, courageous spark he felt surely enabled the continuance of his existence, Godric felt his heart break and reform a thousand times as thought after thought, memory after memory, rose and fell in the swarm of his mind.
To the comforting, grounding beat of her heart and divine choir of her slow, steady breaths, he would have sworn he felt himself coming back to who he had once desired to be, but had yet to become.
Never had he felt more grounded yet less restricted.
As the sun broke the horizon and eventually ruled on high, he held his Cara close, safe in the dubious security of his grasp, and refused to imagine releasing her from his hold come nightfall.
Cara woke later that afternoon feeling surprisingly well-rested and wondering why the bed was so hard and cool. She stretched, then leaned up and looked down to see that at some point during the day Godric had pulled her partially onto his chest.
As she gazed down at his handsome face, so relaxed and peaceful in his dayrest, with a pang she realized that a few tears had dried near his eyes.
That would not do. Her Godric shouldn’t cry, not ever.
She smoothed his silky bangs away from his forehead, and couldn’t stop herself from stroking her fingertips across his cheeks, the bridge of his nose, his softly firm lips. His handsome face seemed to call for her tender touch, and she had no will to deny it.
Eventually and with a huff at nature, she felt the need to rise and remove herself from his loose grasp. After tending to her needs in the bathroom, she found a stack of towels and wash cloths, and decided to take a quick shower. Being sick had always made her feel slightly dirty.
After grabbing a clean set of sleeping clothes from the pile that had come from her pillowcase, she returned to the bathroom and took the best five-minute shower of her life. Once she was dried and dressed, she wet a clean cloth with warm water, and returned to the bed.
For a long moment, she simply stood and stared at the ancient one so vulnerably at rest. As little as she knew about vampires, even she knew the risk he was taking, the trust he was showing her, in allowing himself to be so defenseless in her presence.
As old as he was, that kind of trust spoke very highly of his feelings for her.
He literally trusted her with his life.
But…she chewed on her bottom lip…was she ready for that kind of commitment? That kind of responsibility?
She sighed. She truly wasn’t sure if she was. Loving someone, and being loved by them, was a huge responsibility. As a commitment-phobe, accepting the reality of her current position was going to take a hell of a lot of thought…and courage.
At the side of the bed, she shifted from foot to foot as she considered all that had happened between them in such a short amount of time.
In some ways his almost obsession with her was scary. He was so intense, so deep and endless that she wasn’t sure what to make of it all.
He was so strong, so powerful, hell, even she could feel the power that seemed to emanate from his ancient presence, but at the same time he was so…exposed, almost desperate in some sort of pain that she both understood and…didn’t.
Could she do it? Could she be what he needed? Did she want to be?
Was she strong enough to help him keep himself glued together?
But…how could she not?
The wealth of feeling, of experience and love and desolation she had seen in his eyes had beckoned to her own soul in a way that she couldn’t ignore, didn’t want to ignore if she were being honest with herself.
Fuck. In for a penny…
She crawled back into bed, and began washing the dried tears from beneath the ancient vampire’s eyes.
Godric came to at the tender touch of a wet, tepid cloth gently removing evidence of his weakness, and the warmth of a hand lightly resting on his chest. His first unnecessary breath was ripe with the warm feminine scent of his beloved.
His soul sang with joy. His beloved was ministering to his needs even during his dayrest, tending to him softly as a Mate would.
Knowledge that he had spent his rest by her side, and that she had chosen to remain by his side even after waking, flooded his being with almost painful euphoria.
The beast within recognized that they had each ensured the other’s safety, and felt a primal satisfaction he could not name. He could no longer remain still.
In an instant his relaxed body transformed into throbbing fangs and hard cock, his firm thighs and taut core tensed and primed to…
His beast roared. Godric was ready to claim his Mate.
Cara gasped softly as his eyes popped open and she suddenly found herself on her back gazing up into their deep bright-blue depths.
“I’m sorr…,” she started, then found her words silenced as his lips captured hers in a long, slow kiss.
Finally, upon sensing her need to breathe, he raised his head slightly.
“No, my heart,” he growled softly as he gazed into the warmth of her eyes, “never apologize for tending to me.”
When she parted her lips to reply, he lowered his head and invaded the recess of her mouth, his tongue thrusting, teasing, his hips following suit.
Proof of his unmistakable need rested thick and heavy against her thigh, and she shifted as she longed to be rid of her sleep set.
Her moan of pleasure at his touch sparked to life a different kind of beast, a demon of sensual needs brought to life to be fucked into submission.
With a growl he mounted her soft, willing body more fully. His weight braced on his forearms, his solid thighs spread her legs and his groin nudged more forcefully at the warmth he so desperately needed to enter.
His kiss was neither slow nor gentle as he nipped at her lower lip only to soothe then capture her lips with his own.
When she drove her fingers into his hair and held him closer, he couldn’t help the shudder that rippled through his body, and when she brought her thighs up and wrapped her legs around his hips then ground herself against his hard length, he rhythmically obliged her silent request.
Cara could barely breathe from all the sensations running riot through her body. Heat and warmth and wave after wave of pleasure threatened to drown her, and they were both still clothed…and her hands…she couldn’t keep them still as they roamed from his hair to his broad shoulders and finally clawed into the firm muscles of his back.
Growling softly as her little pants and gasps drove him on, hips thrusting, hands fisting in the covers, Godric allowed his mouth and fangs to drift from her swollen lips down her jaw, finally fastening onto the sensitive skin of her throat.
To her shock and his immense gratification, mere moments later she threw back her head and keened through her first orgasm of the evening.
Primal, arrogant, well-deserved satisfaction ran like fire through Godric’s blood. He had given his Mate her first pleasure, and without removing a single piece of clothing.
He smirked…but slowed his movements to allow her to recover. When her breathing slowed, he held himself stiffly above her, and marveled at her softly bemused expression.
Her eyes were dewy, her face was flushed, her hair was a riotous mess, and there was no place or time on Earth he would rather be.
He inhaled deeply, and the scent of his Mate’s arousal and pleasure caused his hips to lunge forward as the taste of her skin lingered on his tongue. His hands clawed deeper into the mattress as he held onto his control by a thread.
“Cara,” he said, his voice husky and strained, “before we proceed, you must know that if I have you now, I will not let you go.”
After a few blinks to clear her gaze, Cara looked up into the heartbreakingly beautiful face of her ancient vampire.
The look in his slightly dilated eyes, begging her to understand how serious he was while desperate for her to accept him, eviscerated any doubts she may have ever had about loving him fully, completely.
He was hers, and she was going to claim him.
“Show me…show me what it’s like to be yours.”
**A/N: It was about time what with it being Chapter 22 and all, eh? And on that note, I have a question: Should this be continued in the next chapter, or should I leave it there? It’s not like we don’t know what happens… So, use the comment section below and tell me: how was it and what did/do you think?**