The Dragon Takes What's His(30)

By: Marcy Jacks

He brought the hot broth upstairs, found Zack with his hands on his stomach, muttering some incantation beneath his breath just as he walked over and put the oversized cup next to the bed on the nightstand.

Zack smiled at him, reached for the broth and brought it to his lips before Blaze could make some protest or offer to hold the mug for Zack.

Nope. His mate wanted to do this part on his own.

Blaze watched the man, waiting until Zack took three swallows and showed no signs of dropping the mug. “I’ll go and get her.”

Blaze used all of his willpower to walk instead of rushing out of the room. He went to where his daughter slept. She slept through most everything and did it so quietly so, while Blaze felt a momentary flash of guilt for picking her up, all she did was release a small, displeased groan before settling against his chest like a boneless, warm little meat sack.

He kept his hand beneath her butt, did a quick sniff check to make sure she was all right to be around Zack, then went back to his room.

Zack’s eyes were still open, barely. The mug of broth was only a quarter finished on the nightstand next to the bed, which Blaze supposed was better than nothing. Zack’s hands had been back on his lower belly, but when he saw Blaze standing there with their daughter, he smiled and reached his hands out.

“Let’s put her against your chest. That’s probably for the best.”

Zack lowered his hands, but he didn’t stop smiling. “Right.”

Blaze went to his mate, gingerly setting their child down onto Zack’s chest, taking extra care that she didn’t get anywhere near his stomach or the wound.

She barely gurgled, settling as easily onto Zack’s chest as she had on Blaze’s.

Zack inhaled a shaky breath, kissing her soft head of barely-there hair.

“She’s so pretty.”

Blaze nodded. “Yeah, she is.”

"You don't have many females in this clan."

Blaze shook his head. "No. She's special."

Zack sighed. He closed his eyes, resting them long enough that Blaze became worried he’d nodded off, but then Zack opened his eyes again, and he was able to breathe a relieved breath.

“Thank you.”

Blaze blinked. “For what?”

He sat down on the bed by Zack’s knees.

Zack sniffed, rubbed at his eyes, but he couldn’t seem to take his gaze away from the sleeping little thing on him.

“For everything. I just…I didn’t want them to kill her. They didn’t even see her as a baby. Or mine. She was just like hair or fingernails. Something they thought they could slip away from me and it wouldn’t matter. I shouldn’t have taken away your memories, but even without them, you’ve been the best.”

Blaze tried valiantly to ignore the painful swelling in his throat. He was a warrior, and yet his mate could so easily bring him to his knees.

“I’d do anything for you. You know that, right?”

Zack pressed his lips together, glancing at Blaze before glancing away again quickly.

That was his answer, he supposed.

Blaze took Zack’s hand. “I love you.”

Zack’s eyes widened more so than Blaze had seen in days. He looked wide-awake for the first time since their daughter was born.

And Zack inhaled sharply. “I love you, too.”

Blaze smiled. “Good to know, because I remember, everything. All of it. How we met, how we talked for hours before I finally took you for the first time. I even remember feeling nervous before telling you that I wanted you to fuck me. And just in case I never made it obvious to you or you thought I was lying, you really were the first person I ever let do that.”

Zack’s bottom lip trembled. The moisture in his eyes picked up, and it was clear he could no longer handle the emotional impact that Blaze’s words were having on him.

Zack sniffed, his mouth twisting, and Blaze leaned in to kiss him before he could finish his cries.

He kissed his mate, not for the first time since their daughter was born but the first time with any passion since it had happened.

Blaze kissed his mate as though he were tasting him for the first time. He kissed his mate as though it would be the last time, and he kissed his mate to show him just how much he was loved. To prove it with his mouth, his tongue, and his heat.

Poor Zack could hardly keep up, which was the only reason why Blaze pulled back sooner than he otherwise would have. He had to see to it that his mate was cared for. That was always the most important thing for Blaze to deal with.

Zack panted for breath, his cheeks flushed, but those flushed cheeks, and his puffing for air, did seem a touch stronger than it should have been, even though Blaze happened to be a fantastic kisser.