Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine! The ones you don't know belong to me. You can use them... : )
Summary: Maria is suffering...
TWO HOURS LATER
Michael crossed his arms over his chest and watched from the doorway as his soon-to-be wife rocked their daughter softly while nursing. Annalee's soft gurgles were heard through the room and for the second time that night he felt his heart burst with love for both of them. Maria was singing softly to their daughter while pushing the rocking chair back and forth.
Come stop your crying
I will protect you
For one so small,
'Cause you'll be in my heart
Maria hummed the rhythm softly, nuzzling her nose on the baby's head and closing her eyes, letting that feeling of pure bliss fill her soul. Annalee's left hand was clasping her mother's finger tightly and Maria caressed the back of the tinny hand with her thumb, kissing the top of her daughter's head.
Cause you'll be in my heart
She whispered softly on the baby's soft hair. Michael approached her carefully, his bare feet making absolutely no noise on the carpeted floor. His face was flushed and his chest was bare. Maria was wearing his shirt. Her long blond hair was still damp from the shower.
He placed a kiss behind her ear and traced the curve of her shoulder with the tip of his finger.
Maria turned her head around and flashed him a toothy smile.
"Where are my dogs?"
"Down at the living room. Your father and Dana are helping Liz clean the Crashdown."
Maria smiled and whistled. In two second the dogs were by her side, their ears down...
"My babies, look! Annalee is here!"
Maria patted her thighs and the dogs placed their front paws on them.
"Maria, what are you doing?"
The pixie blond smiled reassuringly at him and let the dogs sniff the baby. Tarra sniffed the baby's feet and Troy her little hand. Tarra licked the feet, Troy the hand and in their doggy comprehension, that kid was okay. And now that they knew her, they would protect her as well.
Michael placed a hand on Maria's shoulder and Troy barked at him, showing very sharp teeth.
"Troy, cut it out! Sit!"
The dog stared at his owner with his ears down and placed his head on her lap, looking at her with puppy dog eyes. Maria patted him on the head and turned to look at Michael.
"Give me your hand."
Michael looked suspiciously at her.
"He's just jealous. Let him sniff your hand and it'll be okay."
"Oh, no way!"
Her tone was more scaring than Troy's sharp canines, so he gave her his hand. The dog sniffed it, licked it and then let Michael play with his ears as if nothing else mattered anymore.
Maria soothed the squirming baby, rocking her back and forth until Annalee's eyes closed once more and she fell asleep, her tinny fists curled under her chin. Maria got up, feeling her legs wobbling a little and walked towards the playpen her mother had helped set into a makeshift crib. Laying the tiny baby there on her stomach, Maria turned the electronic babysitter on, smiling wider at the site of a tiny hand going to her mouth, the thumb slipping inside.
Michael glued his front to her back and placed both hands on her hips, placing his lips on the spot behind her ear. Maria sighed loudly and closed her eyes against a wave of emotions rolling through her. Emotions she couldn't quite control.
"She's beautiful, isn't she?"
Michael nodded and nuzzled the spot behind her neck, tracing a path with his tongue from her shoulder to her ear and then back.
"She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
Maria placed her hands on top of his and turned around on his arms, her green eyes torn between a burning happiness and mind blowing desire. One look into her eyes and Michael was gone. Groaning loudly, he crashed his mouth to hers, his tongue sneaking past her lips and stroking hers softly.
His hands traveled from her hips to her hair and lower back, while he crushed her to him from head to toe. Maria hadn't fell this for so long, that she actually felt herself start to melt on his arms. Her eyes rolled back inside her head and she barely registered Michael putting both hands on the back of her thighs and pulling her upwards. Unconsciously, she locked her legs around his waist and he stumbled backwards, towards the open door.
He locked it quickly and unlocked his lips from hers, breathing heavily. Resting his forehead on hers he sighed and closed his eyes, swallowing.
"I...I need you to know something."
He whispered, opening his eyes to look right into Maria's. She nodded softly, her eyes smokey from passion, her lips ruby red and swollen from his nibbling. He licked her lower lip and grinned.
"I love you. I never stopped loving you. You don't know how many sleepless nights since that day at the Crashdown... "
He ran his finger through the cheek he had slapped and kissed it. A tear made a path down his cheek and he buried his face on her neck, breathing into her scent.
"I'm so sorry..."
Maria lifted his chin and kissed him softly.
"It's okay. I could never stop loving you."
Michael smiled and kissed her again. Changing legs and hands wandering, they managed to make to bed. They made love tenderly, like they hadn't done the first time. The first time had been rough and hard and exploding. This time, it's was pure love and sparkling stars and sweet touches.
And when drifting off to sleep, Michael took a last look at Maria's sleeping face, then at Annalee's small body and finally at his pants laying on the floor. The ring was burning a hole there since the night Maria left. That night, he was going to look for her, but something held him back.
Smiling, Michael looked up at the full moon and allowed his eyes to close, feeling Maria's warmth all the way to his heart.
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