Status: Finished.

More Than Just Baser Instincts.

My New Life

“Are you sure you’re alright? I know I should have told you…but after seeing the trouble that it caused your mother, I thought I could keep you safe if you were kept in the dark about your heritage.”

“I’m fine, really, Lucille. I know you’ve only done what you thought was best for me, and thank you for that,” I murmured, holding Lucille tightly in my arms as I tried to make sure the sobs rising in my throat stayed buried. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, sweetheart,” she cooed, stroking my hair for a moment before gently stepping back. I rejoined Quince as her eyes drifted to him. “And I’d like to apologise to you. If she’s going to be with someone with feline blood in his veins, well…then I’m glad she’s with someone who won’t let her get away with anything she so pleases just because of her pigments; she needs to stay grounded.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment and run with it,” he promised, gingerly wrapping his arm around my waist and securing me at his side so he could brush his nose softly against mine.

“I sincerely pray you have a far better ending than Gerald and your mother.”

“I would never feel the need to run,” I murmured, pushing on his chest to keep our displays minimal.

“Then I should hope you won’t forget Grandma Lucille when you have children of your own,” she cooed, winking at me as my face reddened.

But I knew very little about the lion side of me, and I did not know how soon that milestone could be reached. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, to be honest.

Quince nuzzled my neck, pulling me from my thoughts and drawing my eyes back to him. Then again, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad—if I had someone to keep me grounded.

“We need to head back to the airport,” he murmured regretfully against my skin, apologising to the area with a soft kiss.

“Right…” I frowned to Lucille. “I’ll miss you. I wish you would consider moving out to Oregon, Lucille.”

She shook her head. “Your place is anywhere you so desire, but mine is here. My home. I’ll keep everything as you’ve left it, just as I did before.”

A heavy sigh slipped past my lips before I forced myself to nod.

“I’ll call you, I promise. Goodbye, Lucille.”

Goodbye, Elaine. Have a safe trip.”

Quince took my suitcase from me and guided me outside and to the taxi. It was hard to leave this all behind…

“Elaine, are you ready?” Quince murmured gently, smiling to me as he held open the door and gestured inside.

“I think I am,” I agreed, taking his hand and grinning like an idiot when he pressed a chaste kiss to my knuckles.

Then again, it was easier when I knew that I was leaving this behind to create something new with him.

I slept for most of the plane ride, and if Quince minded he didn’t say anything when I used him as my personal pillow. Anne called me mere minutes after Quince and I had hopped back into our car and headed back for Home.

“So you’re back, then? For good?” she gushed, and I could hear the grin on her face.

“Yes, Anne. For good. And… I’m going to need to get my things from the inn.”

“Oh?” Her childish joy seemed to dissipate. “Why? You’re always welcome here, I promise. We’re not at all bothered by you.”

“No, I’ve loved being with you, honest. It’s just, I have a more permanent arrangement, I think.” I cast a coy glance to Quince, and he looked away quickly with the slightest of smiles on his lips.

“You found a place? I highly doubt that!”

“Sure I did. I’m moving in with Quince.”

You are?!

I smiled to Quince as I held the phone away from my ear, and he leaned over for a quick kiss before returning his full attention to the single road that passed through Home.

“I am,” I confirmed once she stopped shrieking. “Let’s just say…you were right. But this is the only time I will ever say that!”

“Whatever,” she teased. “So… Is that to say you’re okay with being the m-word?”

“You could say that,” I muttered, rolling my eyes.

“So you could say that…you love him?”

I smiled. “I never really had a choice, did I?”

“Damn, I expect to hear what the hell happened back in Chicago! And in return, I’ll share a secret with you, Elaine.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m having two baby girls,” she whispered hurriedly. “But Bryce doesn’t know yet. So don’t tell! I want this time to be a surprise, and to be honest I’m shocked he hasn’t figured it out yet; my hormones have to be smacking him upside the head by now, honestly.”

“That’s really great, Anne. I can’t wait! I bet Cameron is going to flip.”

“Wanna know what’s really great?”

“What’s that?”

She laughed then. “Now when you and Quince conceive, we can set our kids up and become sisters!”

“Oh, Anne,” I grumbled, shaking my head.

“It’s perfect, Elaine!”

“You do that…”

She burst into a fit of never-ending laughter then, so I flipped the phone shut and cut a sour look at Quince. He immediately looked away and began whistling.

“You are ridiculous!”

“Hey, I have to be whimsical to keep you hanging around—at least until our kid is old enough to get married to Anne’s kid.”

“Oh, stop!”

He grinned at me as he threw the gear into park. But his smile slowly simmered until it was the gentlest of expressions. Then his eyes lingered downward, and he reached out with a ginger hand that just barely brushed against the fabric covering my stomach. The briefest of contacts made my skin all but burst into flames at the heat.

“A family of five, then? Bryce is a lucky man,” he breathed, kissing my cheek quickly before pushing himself away from the car.

I had to wait behind to catch my breath, my eyes planted firmly on my stomach.

A family… Funny, Quince hadn’t struck me as a family man on the night I first met him; yet now, it was so painfully obvious. But he said it had always been like this, I just hadn’t been aware of it—because I didn’t know about any of this craziness.


My head snapped to the right where Quince was offering that same hand, as always. I took it slowly, noting the way that damnable electricity danced amidst the contact.

“I love you,” he told me once more, pulling me up the sidewalk yet watching for my reaction.

“It hasn’t changed in the past ten minutes, I promise,” I teased, mulling over this nauseous feeling in my gut. Then I realised what it was, and I grimaced at him. “God, you’re giving me butterflies!”

He only smiled and said, “Good. I’ve been suffering alone for long enough.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Double-instalment! Okay, so now that my poor little Elaine knows the secret, the fun can really begin! Anyway, as always, thanks for reading :)