Unexpected Visit

Luna’s Point-of-View

(This is an unedited scene)

The world is dark, the streetlamps dim, and the scuff of my shoes against the sidewalk the only sound at this hour. My shift ran later than expected, but one can never know what any given night in the emergency room will bring.

I worked into the wee hours and beyond midnight. And that was in a non-medical capacity. I am now dragging my tired and achy body home under the cover of early morning, and I can’t even imagine how much more draining the situation would have been as the attending doctor.

Some day. Some day I will know.

The crisp pre-dawn air against my skin fuels my system enough…if just barely…to make the journey from my parked car to the front door. My bed beckons me with every forward stride.

I catch something out of the corner of my eye, and I pause mid step, turning my head in a double take. The stuffed pink heart hanging from the interior’s review mirror marks Belle’s otherwise non-descript vehicle parked directly across the street.

What is she doing here at this hour?

I’m not yet home and my parents should be deep asleep.

Oh my god! Has something happened?

My steps to the house quicken.

The front room inside of the house is quiet and utterly empty. As I move through the deeply shadowed house, I find more of the same―the home of a sleeping family. My parents are sprawled in their bed, breaths heavy with slumber.

So… where is Belle?

Was I confused and the car wasn’t really hers?

Nah. I shake my head. I know her car. Feel her when she is near.

My bedroom door, which I recall leaving closed, is now propped partially open. Giving it a slight shove, I slip into the space beyond. Belle is curled up on my bed, one hand tucked under her cheek and the other wrapped up and over her head. Her chest rises and falls with soft, even breaths and her face is scrunched with sleepy thoughts.

Nothing is more beautiful than Belle at this moment…her asleep in my bed.

“Hey,” I whisper, moving to her side at the bed’s edge.

Her arm jerks forward and snakes around me, dragging me to the bed’s surface. “Missed you,” she murmurs. “We don’t get nearly enough time together with you schooling and working so many hours.”

My lips skim her temple, depositing a barely-there kiss. “I know. I ‘m sorry. I miss you too.”

She yawns and rolls onto her back. “I had a thought on how to improve our situation.”

“Did you now?” Shifting one leg over, I straddle her on the bed, and weave my fingers with hers at the side of her head. “And what thought would that be?”

“Your parents seem good now, are they not?” I nod and her sleepy smile widens. “Why don’t we try living together? I know my mom can be a bit of a handful, but I’ll take all that on me. You can simply be the mix of sugar to my bitter days.”

“You… You want me to move in with you…” My heart accelerates. “….at the house in Algiers?”

She sighs. “I know it’s a bit more of a commute, but I―”

“I don’t care about the commute.” My gaze roams over her face, my attention zeroing in on her lower lip pinched between her teeth. “But… living together…” My finger draws a soft line along her hair line. “Is that all you want? You don’t worry that I will cramp your style?”

“Cramp my style? Hardly.” A tiny smile snakes across her lips. The sight is a delight to my senses and my inner core. “I want everything about you. All the time.”

My muscles melt into puddy. “Then why stop at living together? I want to commit to you in every single way a person can commit to another. I want to wake up with you at my side and go to bed with you wrapped in my arms. I want to bicker over the grocery list and struggle through taxes together. I want to enjoy the beautiful with you, as well as the mundane and atrocious.”

Belle’s lips part and she stares at me. For a brief moment, a fear burns inside my gut that I have said too much, admitted to things that should have remained quiet.

Belle lurches upright, wrapping her arms around me. She presses her lips to mine and our tongues begin to move in an intimate dance.

She pulls away and gazes with eyes aglow. “I want the same, but I worry about subjecting you to my family on such a continual basis.”

“You’ve already made my family your own.” I rest my forehead against hers. “Now allow your family to be mine. Let us make a commitment to forever together. Because, I know, for my part, I will never stop loving you.”

Belle crushes me in her hold, her hands raking over my back and through my hair, her lips exploring mine. Her joy at my shared words is naked for both of us to savor.

Too soon, she pulls away, tugging my lower lip between her teeth. “It is decided then.”

“What is?” My hand drags over the curve of her shoulder and down her arm.

“We’ll live together and start our forever. Pick a date and place, my love, because I’m going to make you my wife. I’m taking you off the market and making you mine in every way possible. Forever. Together. You said it and so it shall be. Now we must merely secure that intended destiny.”

I seal her declaration with a kiss, deeper and stronger than any we’ve shared to date. Blessed goddess, I love this woman, and I cannot wait for our forever to start.

What am I thinking…our forever has already begun. It began the day we first met. And our beginning was exciting and beautiful….as will be our middle and our never-ending stretch or love, devotion, and support.

Belle and me, we are everything…individually strong and together a powerhouse.

Belle drags me down to the bed’s surface. “Sorry,” she says. “I could have been more romantic in my delivery.”

“This moment had the perfect amount of romance,” I reply, settling in at her side. I wonder…will one of us take the last name of the other? And if so, which last name will we choose?

Who am I kidding. I will take her last name. The ancestral family of witches known as Roussard.