The siren’s loving, teasing mood faded the instant Devlin asked her about performing. Apparently he’d learned nothing from their last discussion on the subject. Alaska stood up, water droplets plummeting to the bath and leaving ripples in her wake. She grabbed a towel, wrapped herself up, and took slow, careful steps to the bedroom so she wouldn’t slip, even though she wanted to be as far away from the conversation—not Devlin—as possible.
He seemed incapable of respecting her wishes. She didn’t want to sing anymore and the ever so stubborn siren wasn’t going to change her mind. Despite the fact that the adorable Kieran was a horrid singer—so much so that Alaska had once stuffed an apple in his mouth to get him to stop—she left the performances to him and Levina. The two of them were a fine pair and Alaska had no intention of stepping back into her role as a performer for the tavern.
Singing had almost gotten Devlin killed.
Alaska dug through the dresser and grabbed one of Devlin’s old shirts, then tugged it over her head. She rarely bothered wearing anything underneath anymore, so long as she remained in the master bedroom. She climbed into bed, her mood for celebrating Devlin’s return home spoiled, and cuddled into the sheets. She’d made a habit of hugging Devlin’s pillow, his scent barely clinging to the fabric after being washed so many times.
She was trying to protect him and he refused to see it.
Devlin was a firm believer that time healed. It worked when he could finally heal the scars of losing his first wife, where over time he no longer was hurt or alone. It’s difficult to believe it at first, but eventually time would turn you into a different person. It might not have been the same for Alaska though, and maybe it would never heal at all. “Alaska?” He called out when she stood up, not reaching out because he didn’t want her to hurt herself if she pulled her wrist away. His heart thudded, feeling dejected and regretting that he brought up the topic. Even though he knew that bringing it up had the risk of her getting angry at him, he messed up by saying it.
He can’t blame her though, knowing at least that women tended to get emotional and hormonal when expecting. Several women who did come to the tavern did not have alcohol, but would talk to him and Nat, the herb experts about medication. He remembered when a woman threw a fit for not being allowed to have alcohol anymore, only to be cheerful not long after when he played music. Not only that, Alaska was stubborn to begin with, something that did irritate him more than a few times, but he got over it. It was just who she was, and she had her own reasoning.
Finally stepping out of the tub, he dried his body with the last towel on the rack, then used it to rub his head to get the drenched hair dried up. That’s when he became careless, his back scar was on full view as he opened a drawer. It didn’t seem like she saw though, which was a relief after slipping is shirt on hastily. She was curled under the sheets, and he took a seat beside, “I’m really sorry, Lask. I know you’re trying to protect me and all. I just want you to know that you can’t hurt me. That it’s just not possible for you to. You’re not going to avoid me now, not after I returned after so long? I won’t be able to bear it.”
She shifted. “I’m aware of how much abandonment and betrayal hurts.” Her fingertips brushed over Devlin’s bangs. “Those are the things that make us human.” She pecked a series of kisses along his neck and to his cheeks, murmuring, “My Jack,” as she snuggled closer to him.
Lindze frowned, sitting up, keeping her arms around his neck. “Fuck them, then. It’s their loss, not yours. They’re not worthy or you if they don’t want you.” She cupped his cheek and sighed. “Jesus, Jack…Dev, it’s not your fault.” She so rarely called him Dev or Devlin; it always lent to the severity of the conversation they were having when she did. She nuzzled her nose against his. “Ain’t no such thing as normal. Boring? Yes. And you are not boring. Why would you want anything or anyone who was?”
She tensed and shifted. She blinked, tucking her hair behind her ears. “And exactly which next step would that be? It’s like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book between us, there’s not just one next step from where we’re at. Okay, yes, we’ve basically moved in together, and we’re officially dating. There are various next steps. The next step could be engagement or sex. I’m perfectly content with the way that things are between us now. But…if you’re referring to sex, then yes, there are times when I want to. Really want to. But at the same time, it’s not like a deal breaker or anything.” Lindze looked down, frowning slightly then sighing. “I’m not with you because I want to fuck you, I’m with you because I love you, Jack.”
Did she? Lindze did not tell much about her past to him- and he respected that. He knew well enough that there were just some information that one did not want to share with another person. Whatever her past was, he would wait until she felt comfortable enough to share. Those were for the more serious matters though, because he knew she was an actress and did have moments with her where he would watch old cassettes of her childhood acting on stage. That was okay to watch, although it made her adorably embarrassed in the process. But about past boyfriends, that was something he did not care for- mainly because it didn’t seem important. It was now that mattered, and their upcoming future. Despite the complications he had to arise when he completely got rid of his godly side- something that he had yet to tell Lindze- they were still a pair that was withstanding with little to no issues. Not that he was complaining.
That seemed to be the only reasoning- that the abandonment she felt was from a boyfriend, or something along the lines of that. It still pained him that Lindze had to go through abandonment, because it was a rather unpleasant feeling to feel dejected and inadequate- like you did not live up to someone’s standards. He ran his fingers through her hair when she snuggled up to him, pressing his lips to her forehead. Her touch felt so comforting that he could feel relaxed to the point that he can fall asleep. But he won’t, alert as ever now as soon as she called her Devlin. Rarely did she call him that. It was always Jack or another endearing nickname. Hearing it made him sigh, allowing him to relax a bit more to heed her suggestions.
"It’s a silly fear, I know- but I can’t help not being good enough. Like- there’s always this one person that I have to be. We demigods are taught to be the best and kill those who get in the way. It’s really not a lifestyle I can adjust with," he replied while toying with her fingers absentmindedly, a smirk subtly forming at the word engagement. "Sometimes I fear messing up, you know? If I mess up when battling a monster, I get physical scars that heal when I have some special medication. But I don’t want to do anything to lose you and- I kind of do want to go further, only if you want to. Thanks for reassuring me it’s not a deal breaker. Honestly, it’s what I’ve been afraid of for some time now."
Devlin liked the idea of intimacy, maybe even more than the act itself. He was a planner, where she liked risks. But maybe they both can find a compromise. “Miss Lindze Shelton, would you like to go out with me?” He asked comically, a teasing grin considering they’ve gone out plenty of times before, for a dance or card game.
The little siren clapped in her excitement and reached out for the honey bun, only to decide on the tulip first. She twirled the stem between her fingers and lifted the petals to her nose to breathe in the perfume. She’d ask Nat to braid it into her hair later. Alaska knew how difficult it was to find tulips in town; they had to be imported and didn’t remain alive very long once they were cut. She always appreciated them when Devlin went through the trouble find them for her.
She then stole the honey bun off its plate and nibbled on it slowly, the sweet honey sticking to her already smiling lips. Yum.
The guppy liked it too.
New shipments from overseas came to port and a small market was placed on that area. He’d always been interested in them and that’s where he saw it- or rather smelled it. The aroma he came across from a passing stand automatically reminded him of his wife. The red color looked just like the shade of her lips, and he got one with that intention. He passed a bakery on the way home as well, and because he had a full shift today, he can only leave the items as a surprise in the table near her side of the bed. If she liked honey, then she should try the honey buns. She might like it more than coffee- the drink he was wary of giving her before she even got pregnant, given how much energy she had and the crash that came after.
He saw her again that night, the flower tucked into her braid and looked rather appealing too. Her new habit was making bracelets, and she’d do that in the back room. A woman approached and asked if she sold them.
Kisses back with a lot of force. She truly missed this man more then her life.
Biting her lip at the thought of them two once again together it was silly although it had been a while she needed him more now then ever. She knew he wouldn’t like to hear from her very mouth where she had been hiding let alone know what happened to Sean. “I’ve been hiding from father. He’d kill me if he found out..” She paused her breath heavy as she looked deep into the man she loved eyes.
He tilted his head, fingers flicking the wisps of hair near her ears. Perhaps it was the lack of getting to see her, to touch her that made him so gentle now, as opposed to how forceful he was with the demon child before. He knew he could do that because she can take it, that she was riled up from the very act of it. Every night, he wanted her to forge, to erase and eradicate any memories that her husband left her. As immoral as if was, it probably didn’t matter to her because she was a child of sin anyway. “Hiding? Find out what?” She looked scared for once, and that was alarming.