Life in the Landgraab household was settling nicely. Lenora and Tyrone were enjoying their newlywed status and spent much time taking advantage of it. They never wasted an opportunity to express their deep love for one another. Tyrone treated his wife like a queen, and Lenora basked in Tyrone’s adoration.
One morning after Lenora finished preparing breakfast, Landon cornered her. The determined look wasn’t lost on his mother, and she could feel a bit of nervous anticipation from him through her empathic senses.
“Ma, today’s the day. Now that things are settling down, I think it’s high time I pop the question to Crystal,” he said.
“That’s wonderful, sweetheart! I say, it’s about time,” Lenora said firmly.
Landon grinned a little nervously. “Well, I wanted you and Tyrone to have your day in the sun first. Crystal doesn’t suspect anything, but I’ve planned a nice day for the two of us. I want to make it special for her.” He cleared his throat and locked gazes with his mother. “I want to make sure we have your blessing.”
“Of course you do, darling,” Lenora said. “You’ve always had it, and I won’t change my mind. Neither will Tyrone. I know how much you and Crystal love each other.”
Landon smiled and hugged Lenora tightly. “I know, Ma. I just wanted to be sure.”
They were silent for a long moment, just enjoying being mother and son before Landon spoke up again. “Ma, I want Crystal and me to give each other the Druid Binding Vows. I haven’t talked to her about it yet because I want the marriage proposal to be a complete surprise. I want to share that with her on our own wedding day.”
Lenora touched her son’s cheek and looked at him seriously. “You know that once they are given, they cannot be revoked and she is your mate forever. You do know that if she doesn’t return them what will happen.”
“I know. I’d ache endlessly for her throughout this life and any other life I would live. I know all this, and I’m not going to back down. Crystal is who I want to share the rest of my life with. I could never love anyone else, ever.”
“Well then, you must talk to Crystal and see how she feels, although I’m positive she would be just as excited to give them to you,” Lenora said.
“You think so?” Landon asked. “Gosh, I’m so nervous about all of this. I want it all to go just right.”
Lenora laughed softly. “I know so, and it’ll be fine. Just show her a good time, but most of all, show her you love her endlessly.”
“I will, Ma.” Landon kissed his mother and grinned a little lopsidedly. “I love you, Ma. Thanks for everything.”
“I love you too, Landon, my angel,” Lenora said, smiling as he left the room.
Landon asked a surprised Crystal to come with him to the beach where he rented a rowboat. “Oh my! This is so romantic!” Crystal said as Landon rowed them around in the ocean. “It’s so beautiful out here.”
“It is, but nothing can compare to your beauty, Thumbelina,” Landon said, smiling at his girlfriend.
“Oh, you are a charmer,” Crystal giggled. Feelings of warmth always swelled inside her when Landon praised her.
Landon just smiled as Crystal sighed in pleasure while taking in the beautiful sights. It was such a peaceful setting and perfect for how he wanted the day to go.
They rowed back to shore a few hours later, and Landon helped her out of the boat. “Are you hungry?” he asked her.
“Starving!” Crystal said, then laughed when her stomach gave a huge, loud growl.
Landon also laughed and patted Crystal’s stomach. “Methinks I’d better feed you or a gust of wind will come and blow my Thumbelina away,” he teased.
“Well, if it does, you’ll have to save me,” Crystal fired back.
“I’d follow you to the ends of the earth to get you back,” Landon said.
Tears of love and joy filled Crystal’s eyes. “Oh, Landon, you’re always so sweet. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Crystal,” Landon said softly. He held her tight for a long moment and kissed her softly before spreading a blanket and arranging the picnic basket.
They had a leisurely lunch, and then Landon poured them each a glass of wine Lenora and Tyrone had given them as a gift. “You think of everything,” Crystal said as she and Landon clinked glasses.
“I do try,” Landon said. When they finished their wine, Landon sprawled out on the blanket and tugged Crystal down so she could cuddle up next to him. He lay on his back with Crystal’s head pillowed on his shoulder.
“Sing to me, my love,” Crystal whispered while Landon stroked her hair.
Landon kissed her and placed his lips close to her ear. “You are so beautiful to me. You’re everything I hoped for. You’re everything I need. You are so beautiful…to me…” It was a simple song, but it spoke of everything he felt for his beautiful fairy, his love.
Landon’s warm embrace and his rich voice lulled Crystal into a beautiful, pleasant stupor, and she dozed. “Hmmm,” she whispered as Landon kissed her gently. He ran a hand down her back and snuggled her even closer. He, too, dozed and then awoke later with Crystal still snuggled in his arms. As his eyes opened, she began to stir.
“Hey,” she whispered, moving slightly so she could grin sheepishly at Landon. “I didn’t expect to fall asleep. Guess food, too much wine, and your singing did it.”
Landon chuckled and then stretched. “Nothing wrong with that. It’s good to have a lazy day once in a while.” He moved to sit up and then brought Crystal up to sit beside him. “Let me get this cleaned up and we’ll take a walk by the shore.”
They walked by the shore for a time but stopped every so often to hold hands and kiss. “I don’t remember having ever experienced such a beautiful day,” Crystal sighed as she snuggled close to Landon.
“Well, it’s about to get better, at least, I hope so,” Landon said.
When Landon got down on one knee, Crystal began to cry softly. “The day I met you, my life changed. I knew I loved you right from the beginning. You were so sad and scared that I wanted to take that pain away and replace it with the joy I wanted to see shine in your eyes.” He stroked her cheek. “I think I succeeded. Every moment spent with you was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The sound of your voice warms me from the inside out. Your smile takes my breath away. Crystal, will you do me the great honor of becoming my wife? Marry me, Thumbelina.”
“Yes! Oh yes, Landon, I will marry you,” Crystal said tearfully. She cried some more as Landon slipped the engagement ring on her finger and then threw her arms around her new fiancée.
Landon held her tight and kissed her passionately. Then, he moved his lips over her cheeks to kiss away her tears. “I love you, Thumbelina. I’ll love you my entire life long.”
“Oh, Landon, I never thought I could ever feel this way! You brought such renewal to my life. I was in such a dark place that first day we met, but both you and Lenora changed all that. I can never thank her enough, and I’ll show you how much I love you every single day.”
“Ma loves you. I went to go talk to her this morning before we came out here. She renewed her blessing for us, and I told her I wanted to give you the Druid Binding Vows during our wedding ceremony if you accepted my proposal.”
Crystal lifted her head and looked at Landon with wide eyes. “Really? You want to give me those lovely vows? Oh gosh! Ever since I heard Lenora and Tyrone exchange them, I wanted that so much. Oh, Landon, you have no idea! Is it true? Do you really?”
“It’s as true as the sunrise every morning,” he said, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “Will you be exchanging the Binding Vows with me, Thumbelina?”
“Oh yes! I want to do them here and now, but it will be so special on our wedding day,” Crystal said.
Landon smiled but then grew serious. “When I told Ma I wanted us to exchange them, she reminded me how serious, how irrevocable they are. She said we needed to be very sure, Thumbelina.”
Crystal locked gazes with her fiancee and spoke her next words with all the conviction she felt. “I have never been more sure of anything in all my life. I’m yours eternally, Landon Atherton, and I want that known in every way possible. Without you, there is nothing.”
Landon pulled her to him and whispered softly in her ear. “And I feel the same about you, always and forever. I want us to be married as soon as possible.”
“I’m so glad. I do too. Oh, Landon! My heart is overflowing.” She kissed him like a woman possessed and held onto him as the breeze lifted her hair and made her wings flutter.
Landon held Crystal in his arms for a long time, and they exchanged passionate kisses for the next couple hours. They talked of wedding plans, and Crystal said she wanted to start a family right away. Landon agreed, saying life was too short to shilly-shally. “I should know. I had it taken away once, and I won’t squander this second chance.”
Landon gave Crystal a massage and then suggested they return home because the day was starting to heat up uncomfortably.
Shortly after returning from their honeymoon, Lenora began to feel queasy in the mornings. Tyrone grew increasingly concerned every time Lenora disgorged the contents of her stomach, but he stood true to his inclination that his wife was, indeed pregnant.
She took a pregnancy test, and when it tested positive, she asked Mathilda to come over to confirm it. She was elated when she got the news she’d been longing for.
“Oh, Mathilda! I can’t believe it! Tyrone said he knew I was pregnant, but I shrugged it off. You know how pregnancy never came easy for me. Oh, I just can’t believe it.” Tears filled her eyes and she wept with joy.
“Believe it because it’s true, sweetheart. You’re expecting,” Mathilda smiled. She gave Lenora some potions to help with the nausea and some supplements to help keep her and the baby healthy.
When she told Tyrone, he howled his unceasing pleasure and spun Lenora around in his arms. “Oh, Lenora, I knew it,” he said, holding her. He buried his nose in her hair and drank in her scent. “Wolves just know these things. I could smell it immediately, not to mention being able to feel it.”
Lenora let out a sob and buried her face in her husband’s chest. “Oh, darling, a baby! We’re having a baby! We conceived during our honeymoon.”
“I don’t normally like to say I told you so, but I told you so,” Tyrone said, wiping away his wife’s tears and grinning at her.
“This time I’ll let you get away with it,” she teased lightly.
Lenora made them a special dinner, and afterward, Tyrone made tender love to her. He was gentle so as not to hurt her and was ever mindful of the child she was carrying.
There was never a day that went by when Tyrone didn’t lay his hand gently over Lenora’s belly and tell his baby how much he loved him or her. “Da loves you so much and can’t wait to see you.”
Lenora loved this routine and was always deeply moved at Tyrone’s love for both her and their unborn baby. He was always so gentle but protective of her. There was nothing he denied her, and he was always attentive to her needs and moods.
It didn’t take long for Lenora to get over the morning sickness. Pregnancy agreed with her more than it had when she carried Landon, and Tyrone lavished her with abundant love. He always listened to her tummy and talked to the baby inside. One day, Lenora started laughing as Tyrone talked of buying the perfect running shoes to the baby.
“He or she has to learn to walk first,” she said, snorting with amusement.
“Hey, it’s never too early to plan,” he grinned. “Our babies will want for nothing. Mom and Dad are already buying out the stores as we speak.”
“Babies? Tyrone! We’re only having one baby,” she said. If she knew Amadeus the way she knew she did, she had no doubt that any baby she and Tyrone had would be treated like the crown prince or princess.
He gave her a knowing grin. “Darling, I don’t think so. You’ll see I’m right about this, too.”
“Oh, Ariadne, save us all!” Lenora said, rolling her eyes heavenward. After Tyrone predicted the pregnancy in what seemed like moments after conception, Lenora knew better than to doubt his word. “What the hell are we going to do?”
“I think we’re going to have to buy at least two of everything,” Tyrone said, his eyes sparkling.
“I think you’d better catch me because I just might faint,” Lenora said.
Tyrone laughed and swooped his pregnant wife into his arms. He stood with her cradled against him for a long moment before settling them both in the rocking chair. He loved holding Lenora and rocking with her, and he loved it even more now that she was pregnant. He surmised it soothed the babies, and it made him feel even closer to her. He sang love songs softly to her while keeping the chair moving slowly and gently. His beautiful voice and the movements lulled Lenora so much that her weight grew heavier against Tyrone as she relaxed into sleep. He cherished this time when he could just hold and sing to his wife in the stillness when it was just the two of them. As he continued, the gossamer strands of their bond sang in harmony with Tyrone’s exquisite voice, causing Lenora to dream of wonderful days to come with her husband and unborn children.