|"A Few Degrees Shy of Heaven"
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Summary: ***If you haven't read Road Trip, much of this will not make sense***
Category: After Hours
|"Your daughter?" Liz asked softly, breaking the astounded hush that filled the room.
Maria nodded slowly and then gave Michael a hug, her tears filling with eyes. She had seen her daughter! She was sure of it. "Oh God Michael!" she sobbed. "She was the most beautiful creature I've ever seen in my entire life."
Michael nodded and dropped his head to her shoulder to hide his own choked up tears. He never thought he could feel like that. He had been surprisingly happy when he had discovered that he was having a child but to actually see her, to feel her small hand wrap around his as she looked at his ring, it was...there was no words to describe it!
*So beautiful,* Michael telegraphed because his throat was so choked up that he couldn't speak. *Almost as beautiful as her mother.*
Maria sniffed and pulled back to look into his face again. "Of God Michael. I love you," she whispered as her hand caressed his face.
He had to clear his throat to speak. "I love you Maria," he whispered staring into her eyes in wonder. He had never felt like this before. His life seemed to only get better and better and he owed all the thanks, all the love he had in him to his sweet precious Maria. He didn't think that she could possibly know how much he really loved her and he would have liked to express it all to her but he couldn't even find the words to do it.
*It's okay, Michael,* Maria communicated silently. *I know.*
He pulled her into his arms again and allowed the tears of joy to fall freely. It was so unlike him but that was the old Michael. The new Michael was the most fortunate man on the planet and for that he was forever grateful. Maria was a God-send, a miraculous gift from heaven above. She brought him so much joy, she completed him. He still didn't know what he did to deserve it all but he wasn't going to complain. This is what he had waited his entire life for and going back to being the same person as he had been before would be like wearing an old, uncomfortable skin. No, for once, he had everything he had ever wanted in life.
Liz looked around at the others to see if they were as moved by the moment between Maria and Michael as she was? Watching Michael and Maria in that moment had brought tears to her own eyes. She never thought that this would happen between them because Michael had always seemed so coarse and cold but seeing him displaying his open love for Maria, it touched her deeply. She couldn't be happier for Maria. She couldn't think of anyone who deserved that pure of love more than her best friend.
Everyone was just as shocked but they were all lightly smiling and there were even tears in the Ice-Queen's eyes. Liz reached out for Max's hand and he pulled her in closer, repositioning himself so that her back was leaning into his chest and she sighed with contentment as his arms wrapped around her from behind and he lightly rocked her from side to side. For this one moment, everything seemed so perfect and she would have given anything to keep them there forever.
Michael finally pulled back from Maria and wiped his tears away with the back of his hand and then wiped Maria's tears away with his hand. She smiled and kissed his palm lightly as it brushed against her lips.
Michael smiled down at her and then suddenly remembered that there were other people in the room. He looked up at them proudly because it didn't cross his mind to be embarrassed. He was still marveling over the latest development in his life and besides, he didn't feel any reason to be embarrassed. He loved Maria and he didn't care if the entire world knew it!
The others were just smiling at him and he felt his lips turn up at the corners in response. "We met our daughter," he said proudly.
"Yeah, Michael. We gathered that," Isabel said, rolling her eyes but still smiling. "So, what was she like? That's what I want to know."
Maria turned around and Michael held her in his arms from behind. "She was beautiful, Isabel," Michael breathed, his head shaking with the wonder that was still rocking his body. "She was so beautiful. She had Maria's hair but longer and Maria's lips..."
"And Michael's eyes with that same wild spirit in them," Maria broke in, nodding. "She was just...perfect."
"And when I felt her hand in mine, I just knew." Michael shook his head in wonder then a though occurred to him and he looked at his mother. "Di...mom, what about these rings? Alice was saying that there is something important about our rings."
Dinah looked a little surprised but she nodded and smiled. "Yes, there is. I didn't tell you this before but those rings are actually weapons of sorts. Wearing them while you fight against Nacerro will give you both more power than you ever dreamed of because it connects you to the power of everyone of us. As you fight, we will be supplying you with our power. I'll explain more about that later though. Tomorrow. Right now, I think we should get you all rooms for the night. It's late and you've been through a lot today so I think it'll be good to get some sleep before we start with your training."
All three of the couples were taken to a different house directly behind the main house and Dinah explained to them that it was all theirs for the duration of their stay. No one had lived there for a few months because it's previous tenant had gotten married and moved into her new husband's house.
They were each given a room in the house which was still decorated and extremely comfortable despite it's vacancy. As they all said good-night and began to separated into their rooms; Max and Liz in one, Isabel and Alex in another and Michael and Maria in the last room, Dinah asked Max, Liz, Isabel and Alex to stay behind because she wanted to talk to them first. Michael was relieved that she didn't call them back though because he wanted more than anything to be alone with Maria. 'His' Maria, he mused. It still didn't seem real but no matter how much time passed, it still amazed him. She was all his!
He closed the door behind them and then locked it as Maria walked over to turn on a lamp. He couldn't help but watch her as she dreamily walked over to light the room, her steps light. He felt like he would die if he couldn't touch her right now. He walked up behind her as she bent to turn the lamp on and wrapped his arms around her waist, placing light kisses on the back of her neck.
"Mmm," Maria quietly moaned as she tilted her head to the side to give him further access. He took it by placing open-mouthed kisses over her cream-colored skin and began to nip at her sensitive flesh with his teeth. His fingers slithered up her front and slowly began to undo the laces of her bodice his lips never wavering from her slender neck. When the laces were undone, he peeled the bodice back from her shoulders and let it fall to the ground without another care.
He moved her around to face him and his kisses continued around to the front of her slim neck, relishing the clean, fresh taste of her skin. Her head dropped back as her arms encircled his waist and he smiled at the feel of her heart-beat fluttering under his lips. He massaged her back with his hands, kneading her tender flesh and she moved in closer to him, rubbing her body against his.
All he wanted to do was give her this one night of happiness without mention or thought of the grim job ahead. It wasn't about sex at all. He only wanted to love her, to show her how much he adored her. Despite the little detour with the dagger, they had had a wonderful...no, glorious day and he wanted to prolong it as long as he could.
With deft hands, she undid the laces of his shirt, which he was truly dying to get out of, and began to trail kisses over his chest, her lips barely fluttering on his skin. He couldn't help but smile and sigh at the touch of her mouth on his torso. His hands dropped to her lower back and he slowly began to fiddle with the latch of her skirt, finally undoing it where it fell off her shapely hips. They continued to gradually undress each other as they shared soft, fervent kisses and eventually, when they were entirely disrobed, Michael picked Maria up by placing one arm under her legs and the other around her back and he tenderly deposited her on the bed. She kept her eyes fastened on his as he stood back up and admired her.
God, she was exquisite! In the dim light, he scanned her bare flesh and felt his desire for her take over her body. His eyes paused to linger on her soft tummy and he leisurely dropped to his knees and placed a delicate kiss on her smooth flesh, noticing that the silver hand print had began to vanish. Maria's hands lowered to his head and she began to run her hands through his spiky hair and Michael's eyes slowly closed as her nails grazed against his scalp.
He began to move forward, his lips lingering on her soft flesh as he kissed a slow path up to her mouth. He paused briefly at her neck and agilely kissed every inch of accessible skin that he could obtain. Her sweet breath passed her lips at an accelerated pace and he could feel it blowing the hair against his forehead. When he could handle it no longer, he raised his mouth to hers and began to devour her succulent lips once more.
She reached for his shoulders, indicating that she wanted him on the bed with her so he released her lips just long enough to crawl up and stretch out next to her. He propped himself up on one elbow, half looming over her breathless body. He reached up with his other hand and smoothed back feathery her hair from her face as he stared into her smoky irises.
Keeping his eyes on hers, not wanting to let the vision of beauty that was Maria out of his sight just yet, he brushed her lips with his and then used his thumb to explore their satiny-smoothness. Her eys closed briefly as she placed her warm mouth on his thumb and sucked lightly and then she looked up at him again as her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him down on top of her. He sank into her lush body with a sigh, careful not to squash her and he took her lips once again. His tongue ran over them slowly and then he coaxed her mouth to open, laving the softness of her mouth with his tongue.
Her hands began to rub up and down his back in drawn out sweeping motions and then once again weaved through his hair bringing his mouth even closer to hers. Her kisses moved from teasing to needy to fervent, causing his head to cloud with lust.
He moved lower, his mouth seeking out the firm flesh of her breast. He molded his lips to the delicate slope, careful to ease his way gradually as he shaped the lush fullness with his hand, sucking the peak gently and tenderly.
Maria writhed under him, arching closer to his mouth as she moaned his name, her voice high and wispy as she used her hands to hold him in place. She fought to hold him in place when he began to pull back but moaned again when he took her other creamy breast in his hand and gave the same loving to that one.
Her hips moved in a circular motion under him causing violent jolts in his groin as she grinded against his arousal. Her legs spread under him in welcome and it took all of the resistance he could muster not to drive into her in one swift motion. He wasn't done loving her yet.
He slid his hand between their bodies, moving down her slight rib-cage, her soft tummy and finally reaching their destination as he encountered the mound of curls between her legs. He massaged their silkiness with his fingers for a while before searching out her the swollen nub with his thumb. She quivered when his thumb began to run slow circles over her, her moaning becoming more constant. Keeping his thumb in place, he brushed her lower lips with his fingers surprised by the extreme wetness he encountered. He continued to tease her, to love her with his hand for some time, keeping his eyes glued to her face, making sure that he was bringing her the pleasure he wanted to.
Her body suddenly thrashed wildly as he brought her to orgasm, the sound of his name breathlessly exploding from her lips. He kept his hand in place until she was pleading with him to make love to her. He wasn't going to argue with her this time. He felt like he would explode if he didn't have her. He removed his hand from her and cupped his rigid arousal, bringing it up to her center and tenderly easing it into her slick cavern. He almost came on contact as he fitted himself inside of her and quickly reached for the base of his arousal to prevent it.
Breathing deeply, eyes closed against the passion that surged within him, he pulled back and then slid into her again, allowing her time to adjust. She shuddered against him and then threw her arms tight around his back as they began to kiss. He held still, just enjoying the feel of himself entirely sheathed inside of her as his tongue tangled with hers.
He opened his eyes to see that she was watching him with such love in her eyes and all he wanted to do was lose himself inside of her. He slid his arms beneath her, up her back until his hands clasped her shoulders and holding her tight to his chest, he lifted himself and slid deeper within her narrow walls. His kept his eyes on hers, not daring to close them, to lose sight of her lovely face. He wanted to show her how much he loved her as he made love to her. Again and again, he sought the depths of her warmth as her moans became a soft cadence of whispering words.
He fought to slow his pace as he became aware that his release was rapidly approaching but she wouldn't let him and he realized that she was almost there as well. His breath shuddered against her face, causing her hair to fan out on the pillow as he continued to move inside of her until he felt her walls clench around him like a vice and with a groan he surged within her. He continued to push into her, riding her out until she threw her head back with a strangled cry and then finally with one last shudder, went limp with exhaustion.
He collapsed on top of her, his head resting on her chest as he struggled to catch his breath and her arms began to cradle his head. He could hear the beating of her heart under her heaving chest and stayed in place until it slowly settled to it's normal pace.
When they had both caught their breath, he moved his head up to look her in the face and was surprised to see that she had drifted of to sleep. He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and then slowly disjoined his body from hers, moving to one side of her and pulling her into his arms. She stirred but did not wake for which he was grateful. He didn't want to wake her for the world. He felt his own exhaustion overtake his body and his eyes began to flutter shut. He sleepily leaned over and brushed the hair from her temple with his hands, smoothed back her damp skin with his lips and whispered, "I love you, Maria Deluca," and then fell into his own blissful slumber.
|Part 24 | Index | Part 26
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours