Four Years Later…
Rodrick kissed her and nearly stole the breath from her lungs. He braced himself on his arms, hovering above her and looked down, his eyes glimmering with the love he felt for her. It never failed to make her heart beat a little bit harder every time she saw it and filled her with emotions deeper than any ocean.
The love she saw in Rodrick’s eyes for her had not changed or dimmed a single bit in all the years they had been together. He looked at her with the same level of love and adoration in that moment that he had since they first fell in love with one another. And simply thinking about it filled Penelope with the most intense joy she’d ever felt before.
He rolled his hips, moving inside of her and Penelope had to stifle a gasp. She bit the side of her hand to keep from crying out as Rodrick began to move inside of her, his rigid shaft sliding along her warm, slick inner walls. She grabbed hold of his forearms as he started to plunge himself into her harder and faster.
“Yes, my love,” she gasped. “Yes, more. Please.”
The veins stood out on his neck as he strained. Penelope could tell he was holding himself back, trying to extend the pleasure they were both feeling. It seemed that these days, the time they had for intimacy and connecting with each other, seemed far too limited. His duties as Laird kept him far busier than either of them wanted. Although the clans were experiencing an unprecedented peace, there was still much work to be done.
Which was why they took advantage of the time they had together. Rodrick leaned down and found her mouth again as he continued to drive himself into her. She dug her nails into his skin, forcing him to draw in a sharp breath, but he did not skip a beat. The rhythm of their bodies filled their bedchamber with the sound of their erotic music.
Penelope pressed her head back into the pillows and moaned, doing her best to keep her voice low. Despite their protestations, Broden continued to post guards outside their chamber doors, which had led to a few uncomfortable mornings. Penelope hated seeing that knowing look in their eyes, even though they were good enough to not say anything.
Rodrick planted a line of kisses from her ear, down to her collarbone, and Penelope let out a soft yelp when he gave her a nip with his teeth. He drove himself into her, sheathing his staff as deep as he could go and held himself there, pressed against that sensitive spot deep inside of her.
Penelope drew in a deep breath and felt herself quivering wildly. The dam inside of her burst and her shudders turned into wild bucking as her climax came crashing down over her. Penelope pulled herself up and bit his shoulder, trying to stifle her own cries. But she was growing lightheaded as the bliss washed over her.
Eventually, the wild waves rolling through her body eased and her breathing returned to normal. Rodrick remained above her, looking down into Penelope’s eyes with a crooked smile on his face. He began to roll his hips once more, piercing her molten core with more vigor and force than before.
Rodrick drove his staff into her and Penelope felt him swelling. She knew he was close to the precipice and wanted to make him feel as good as he made her feel. She clenched his shaft with her inner muscles, gripping him tightly. It was only then that Rodrick’s rhythm paused, and a moment later, she felt his entire body stiffen.
He threw his head back and let out a low growl that sounded like the thunder that rolled across the land before a storm. She felt him shudder and then his staff began to pulse. He erupted inside of her and the rush of fluid inside of her sent delicious shivers of pleasure up and down her body.
They remained together, clinging to one another for several long moments as their bodies tingled with ecstasy. Rodrick let out a breath, beads of sweat dotting his forehead as he rolled off her and flopped onto his back. Penelope moved the furs so they were covering both of their naked bodies, and then laid her head down on his chest.
She really loved him more than anything in the world. Except maybe for her children. But what she felt for Rodrick…she couldn’t actually describe it. It was like a fire burning in her veins every time she looked at him. After so many years, it hadn’t diminished at all; in fact, it became even stronger every time they lay together, or when Rodrick would look at her with that smile on his face, as if she was the sun.
After everything they went through, it was time for them to create some happy memories, starting with their children.
“We dinnae do that enough,” Rodrick said.
“I agree with you,” she replied. “I would be more than happy to have more time for this.”
“As would I.”
The door to their chambers burst open and two small children came toddling in across the floor, making Penelope glad she had covered them when she did. A moment later, a harried nursemaid came into their chambers, chasing the children, an apologetic expression on her face. She was young, no more than twenty years old, and quite fair-looking. If Penelope didn’t know Rodrick loved her this much, she would be a little jealous. But Rodrick didn’t even pay attention to her. Or any other woman, for that matter.
“I am so sorry, Me Laird and Lady,” said the nursemaid, whose cheeks flushed as she suddenly realized what she’d walked in on. “They got away from me—”
Rodrick held up his hand and cut her off. “Tis all right,” he said. “Ye can go and please shut the door behind ye.”
“Of course,” she stammered as she backed to the door. “Beg yer pardon, Me Laird.”
She exited quickly and closed the door behind her. Penelope quickly jumped out of bed and threw on a robe. She crossed the room with a smile on her face, and scooped up both children, dropping them onto the bed. They giggled and grabbed at her, Luke crawling on the furs and Patrick almost drowning in them. They were both so small.
Penelope looked down at her children and could not keep the smile from her face or warmth from her heart. Luke was almost four years old, and Patrick was going to be turning two soon enough. It amazed her how quickly they grew up. Rodrick played with the boys, making noises that sounded like a monster and tickled the children, making them squeal with laughter.
“Dada,” Luke said. “Ye’re foolish.”
Patrick giggled and said something that quickly turned into a string of smiling gibberish.
She loved watching Rodrick with the boys. She loved her family and looking at them all made her feel more complete than she ever thought she could be. Joy and satisfaction—two things Penelope had questioned whether she would ever have many times over the course of her life.
But now she had them both. And so much more. They filled her heart, driving out all of the negative, and only leaving behind the bright, beautiful things that brought her joy. There were many mornings Penelope woke up and looked at the face of her husband and the faces of her children, and was nothing but grateful. There were many other mornings she had to pinch herself to make sure it was true.
“What are ye thinkin’?”
She gave him a smile. “Just how perfect my life is.”
“I’m perfect,” Luke squealed.
“Yes you are, my little angel,” Penelope said with a smile.
Rodrick’s face was filled with joy as he nodded. “Aye. I think the same thing every day,” he said. “Ye’ve given me so much and made me so happy, that I only want to give ye all the best things in life. I only want to see ye smile.”
“You do give me that, and so much more,” she said. “But…there is one more thing you can give me.”
“Oh aye? And what is that?”
A mischievous light shone in her eyes as she looked at him. She bit her bottom lip, suddenly feeling nervous. She knew there was nothing she had to fear and that he would greet this news with the same joy he had before. But that didn’t stop her heart from thumping hard inside of her.
“A little girl,” she said and slid her hand down to her belly.
Rodrick stared at her for a long moment, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open. He stared at her in disbelief for a moment. She had a faint worry that he wouldn’t want a girl, since many people were still concerned about not having a boy.
“A…are ye sayin’—”
Penelope cut him off with a nod of her head. “Yes, my love. We are going to have another child.”
Luke and Patrick both let out squeals of joy, though she was not sure they fully grasped what was happening, but the happiness radiating from both she and Rodrick seemed to have infected them as well.
The smile on Rodrick’s face was wide and the sense of wonder was as thick upon him as the joy that was painted clearly upon his features. He looked absolutely joyful at the news, prompting a small sigh of relief to escape her. Of course her husband would love to have another child, no matter what it was. She is sure that Rodrick actually, secretly, preferred having a girl. With three boys to watch over her, that little girl would be the most protected person in the world. Especially with a father like Rodrick, who would kill anyone who looked at his family in the wrong way.
“We’re goin’ to have another child,” he said, as if trying to make himself believe it. “Bleedin’ hell, I cannae believe it.”
“That is a good thing, isn’t it?”
Rodrick cocked an eyebrow at her and laughed. “Tis the best thing. Ye’ve made me the happiest man in the world.”
Once upon a time, Penelope had not believed in fairy tales. She had not believed in happy endings, nor had she believed in love. All it took to dispel those things and make her believe in them all was the love of a good man.
As she stared into his eyes, she knew they would indeed be in love—in Rodrick’s words—until they were both old and gray. And it was a life Penelope was looking forward to sharing with him.
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