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Claire Gallows
Eternal Light
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm

Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1158
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Jobs: City Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: The Sassy Owl Saloon or Underwood Manor in New Haven
296375.20 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Dunmovin Reply with quote

May 12th

"That all you got, Slugger?" Cooper had turned a massive bicep and broad shoulder into the high sidekick, blunting the force of her blow with sheer size but, despite the goading, he was backing away from the athletic woman in the ring with him. It wasn't as if he wasn't well aware of her skill, competitive or otherwise. But there he was, barefoot in athletic shorts and a sleeveless shirt, neck deep in an intense sparring session that had left both combatants filmed over with a thin sheen of perspiration.

While he was officially a member of Team Dirty, it wasn't as if the cowboy was an active member of the roster, just a face on the periphery of the brand. And it wasn't often that husband and wife stepped into the ring with one another, but it was a very special week and the big man certainly knew how much the pink-haired warrior before him relished theses moments. So he had brought her there that afternoon as a part of 'special plans' he had promised her for the weekend, a series of teased surprises that started early that morning with him throwing her training gear at her and demanding she go for a run with him, one that lasted for hours and ended at the team's training center.

"I'd have an easier time putting my foot through a brick wall, I think." She shot back with a grin, swinging back into a well balanced stance with ease despite the failed blow. Cooper was one of the few that she didn't have to worry about in the ring. Some of her other training partners were a little too breakable while others seemed to treat her as such herself. Of course, that was a brilliant way to get laid out within the confines of a ring, but still. Cooper wouldn't do that to her, not here at least. Pacing a circle around him, she prowled like she was ever bit the predator he was, seeking the opportune opening to get at him. It had been a fun start to the day, full of physical activity of a different sort for the couple. When she saw the opening, she took it, lunge in with a body shot intended for his ribs. "Gotta watch those elbows." Teasingly.

"Gotta aspire t'somethin'." He grinned crookedly at her. Where Cooper was all powerful strength, toughness, and stamina, his wife was agile and wily, he was looking for her mean hook when she came from the other side with a jab that caught him squarely in the ribs. Claire was no slouch and the controlled grunt she coaxed from him was no mean thing. The retreat however, wasn't going to be easy, as his recovery brought about the use of his superior reach to come over top to drive a padded head at her head.

"I suppose so." She clucked her tongue. Before she could fade back from the solidly landed blow, his padded noggin crashed into her own and sent her stumbling back with a startled laugh. Gloved hands came up to straighten her headgear, her cheeks puffing up against the guards with the grin she gave him. "After that, you're never allowed to call me hard headed. Damn."

"Psshaw. Y' love it when I give you head." He feigned a couple of jabs and moved around the ring, slow but steady. Studying her. "Y' had enough yet?"

"Not that kind!" She snickered and drew her hands up in front of her to guard. Peering through the gap, she squinted and kept pace, bare feet keeping her well away from him. It had been a long morning, good but long, so when he offered his question, she thought about it for a moment before reaching out with her left, steady, meant for a fist bump rather than a blow. "Yeah, I think I'm ready to hit the shower."

Finally letting his guard down, Cooper ripped off his head gear and bumped her fist, eventually leaning down to steal a lingering kiss from her lips. When that big arm was slung around her waist, hauling her sweaty frame against his for a squeeze, his chin resting atop her head. "Well, s' get cleaned up and then we can get started on the next leg of this trip. In fact, our next destination's the perfect place t' relax and loosen tense muscles."

She didn't even have her helmet off before he kissed her. Letting out a little growl of approval, she tried not to let it linger too long or get too lewd. With a rip of velcro, she tugged her headgear off and tossed it aside as he hauled her in. Hot and sweaty, he was lucky she loved him. That said, surely he would understand if she didn't hang there too long. Bumping her forehead against his chin, she squeezed him and let him go for the sake of dipping out between the ring's ropes and hopping down to the gym floor. "So do I even need to clean up first?"

"Can clean up here or there. Lady's choice." Ducking through the ropes, he trailed along behind her and patted her on the rear. "I've got food and accommodations lined up fo' the night, so whatever you're gonna do, get it done now."

"Gimme five, I'll be fast." She kissed him on the cheek and dashed off for the locker room without giving him the opportunity to join. Mostly because that would turn 5 into 45 and cut into their day even more. Still, the last she wanted was to get the passenger seat in the jeep all sweaty and gross, so she made quick work of showering and changing and eventually she emerged almost exactly five minutes later in a comfortable t-shirt, skinny jeans, and sneakers, her still wet hair left loose and wavy around her shoulders. "Alright I'm set."

The cowboy did the same, slipping off into the other locker room for a quick cleanup, rejoining her only a few minutes after her own return to usher her out the door. From there she was put into the Jeep and the pair enjoyed a quiet ride out of the city, heading in the opposite direction of Icarus Cove but still towards familiar territory. The road gave way to thicker forest and eventually their vehicle had to be abandoned in favor of a trip on foot, fingers laced together.

It seemed counterintuitive directionally, for the beach house to be up north and more heavily wooded areas to the south. But that's how it was. So she traded companionable silence and comfortable chit chat along the way until at last they had pulled off on a side inlet and hopped out. Hand in hand, she gave their arms a swing, a bemused expression tugging at her lips. "We're taking the hobbits to Isengard, we're taking the hobbits to Isengard..." Hum hum hum.

"Somethin' really lewd comes t' mind, but ‘m gonna be good." He grinned crookedly and squeezed her hand, with light above then fading with the coming of dusk but peeking through the thick canopy of trees just enough to light their way. Not that it was needed. Cooper could have found their destination blindfolded in a snowstorm and eventually could hear the telltale babble of water before they finally spilled into the all too familiar clearing that housed the springs.

The place had been decked out for the occasion, with a blankets piled up around a plush down mattress not far from a small, modest campfire. Two coolers and a large duffle bag lay nearby, with his guitar leaning against and his old Stetson sitting on top. The many tiered croppings of stone had been decorated with lit candles which, with some good humor and a painful trip to one of those niche stores in the marketplace, smelled like cupcakes.

"How do you make Lord of the Rings lewd?!" She asked, mock aghast in the quarter turn toward her husband. Tutting, she gave him a shake of her head and let him continue leading the way. While she had some idea of where they were going, this path wasn't exactly a known one for her. That said, she wasn't particularly surprised to hear the rushing bubbling water, a grin instantly livening up her expression. When the tree line broke to reveal the springs in all of their decorated glory, it turned into a light little laugh and a low whistle, evidently impressed. "Wow babe... you outdid yourself..."

"By tellin' you the One Ring t' Rule Them All is between yo' cheeks." Cooper paused, and then: "Muh Precious..."

He slowed a step when the moved deeper into the place that had become all too familiar in their time together, from their budding friendship to what blossomed afterwards. It was as special to them as their little hidden spot in Icarus Cove, even if each suited their differing tastes in locale. Big hands found the feminine curves of her hips as they walked, slowing them down and giving her all that much more time to soak in those opening moments.

"Tomorrow's a special day. Doubly so. Figured stealin' you away fo' this weekend of surprises warranted somethin' a little mo' special than usual." A crooked grin slowly slanted his mouth. "And this ain't even the biggest surprise t' come. So you'd better soak it up."

Cooper had a habit of slowing her down in a good way. Ever so high octane as she was, she lived a life of go, go, go. It wasn't until the cowboy came into her life that she learned what it meant to stop and smell the roses. This was a whole bramble of roses and she intended to smell every cupcake scented one. Sliding her hands over top of his, she bestowed a private little smile over the toned slope of her shoulder his way. It was a smile she reserved for him, another lesson learned at a time when she couldn't envision herself wearing that sort of smile for another man again. "Soak. Springs. Ha. I see what you did there, big guy. Really, you didn't have to do all of this. But you knew that so I'll just say thank you. Show me around? What's on the agenda?"

"T'night? No real agenda. Nothin' spectacular," he told her as he dipped his chin to press a kiss to the side of her neck. Thick arms wrapped around her athletic frame, pulling her back into his chest. "S' just us. Maybe a soak and a massage fo' you, then we can do whatever you want. There's music. Food. Booze. And just you 'n' me. Here in this special place."

Leaning in closer, he kissed the lobe of her ear and murmured. "Y' know, s' where I first fell fo' you. I didn't know it was gonna be a love this deep, but man did I feel it..."

"But you just said a little more special than usual." She teased with a grin and a sway of her hips that wiggled her back against him in all the best ways. He slid into a more tender exposition though, muting her taunting into a more demure smile and a little turn in his arms to face him. Her hands slid up over his broad torso, tracing over his chest then sliding to loop around his neck. Fingers scratched lightly along his hairline, dragging a little distraction while she listened and he spoke. Quietly breathless, she found herself void of words for what felt like the longest time. Instead she was only able to smile until they showed up again.

"Is it? The night we fought in the mud?" She asked in a whisper. It had been a tense night, limned by her own frustrations with life's nuances. But the spark had been undeniable even then.

"Never wanted to admit it befo'," he confessed to her quietly, his nose teasing along the side of hers, their mouths close. "Not with you bein'... and what happened after. Didn't wanna cause you no grief that y' didn't deserve. And *** me if'n you hadn't stole muh heart by then..."

"I..." She bit at her bottom lip, considering her words carefully. Some may have had trouble seeing past the accent, but Cooper was always the more eloquent of the two of them. What could she say that would suitably answer that? Humming a little sound, her fingers stilled against the back of his neck. "I knew there was something there. Even that night. I felt it too."

"Y' gave me a reason t' fight when I thought I was too tired t' do it." He kissed her mouth softly. "And then y' made me the luckiest sumbitch in the cosmos. M' glad we're here, t'gether. This is yo' weekend, Slugger. T'night s' just you and me and then tomorrow more surprises when we get our babies. Sound good?"

"It was the least I could do... baby, you kept me going. I dunno what the kids would've done without you in our life." Or what she would have done. Her hands slid to his cheeks to stroke along his beard, unadulterated affection in the way she looked at him. "They'll be good for the night... tonight I'm yours. Got anything cold to drink in the coolers over there?"

"We're a pretty good pair," he conceded, "and m' pretty set on makin' some mo' just like 'em." Turning her around in his arms, he guided her over to the cooler, detaching himself from her to flip the top open. Within were all of her favorites in a wide away, packing ice and cold to the touch. Cooper backed up a step so that she could pick through the lot of them, allowing his hands to make a subtle, possessive claim at her hips. "There's cupcakes in the other cooler with mo' food. I figured it wouldn't be right t' tease you with the scent and got give you some."'

"I think I'm game for that." She shot him a coy smile. Just because Jake was only eight months old didn't mean they couldn't go for more. Letting him steer, she headed for the coolers and peered within as he opened it up. Hard cider would do for the evening, so she plucked one free and leveraged its cap off with a press of her thumb. A rumbled growl of approval followed, mid-drink. "See, I thought I smelled real cupcakes too. You know, my first birthday here, my friends sorta... forgot... Serah too, heh. Noct didn't, so it was just us and some cupcakes in the marketplace. And I'm rambling, don't mind me."

"Ramble all you want, babe," he closed the distance again and slipped an arm around her waist to squeeze her. His nose was buried in the wealth of pink hair, one hand rising to stroke at the back of her neck. "When y' wanna talk, m' always happy t' listen. Don't matter about what. Just talk. I love the sound'a yo' voice."

"Pretty much what I'm trying to say is... you did good." She said after a few diffident moments. Lifting her bottle, she teased it against his upper arm with the threat of pressing it against his skin. The warrior queen wasn't much of a talker but the fact that the cowboy would listen just the same, it meant something. Which obviously meant she had to tease him. "I figured you'd think there were better things I could do with my mouth. Ayoooo."

"Like scream over and over again when I've got ya bent over the furniture?" One dark brow arched, his free hand pinching at her hip while he grinned crookedly. "A mouth that perfect has a lot'a uses, Slugger."

"Something like that, yeah." She said with a laugh that echoed lightly through the little clearing. Squirming beneath the pinching, she withdrew and brought her cider up for a few swallows. "Which is why I thought you'd shut me up. But I like talkin'... sometimes. I'm not really good at doing it when it comes to, you know, me... but still. I appreciate you listenin'."

"You're my fo'ever girl, Claire." His fingers glided over her stomach as she separated from him. "If'n y' can't say it t' me, who can y' say it to? If'n it's on yo' mind, it's important. If it needs t' be said, I should be the one listenin'. Kinda how this whole love game is supposed t' work." His smile widened. "This is us. You and me against the world."

"Forever girl, huh?" She asked with a crooked smile. Leaning down, she snagged him a beer from the cooler and offered it out before taking him by the hand to drag him over to the water's edge. In the midst of spring, the heat would be divine, that much she was certain of. "You, me, and that little clan of heathens we're making. Gonna have a little army."

"Fo'ever girl," he confirmed with a nod when he took the offer bottle, popping the cap on it and tipping it back for a long pull. The cowboy was tugged along willingly and when the reached the water, he had an arm around her again, his chin dipping to kiss her temple. "I'll take an army. A nice, tight-knit clan."

"Or maybe just a football team. An army would be tough." She chuckled, leaning into the kiss. In place, she kicked out of her shoes and peered up at him. "We goin' in or just gonna look at the pretty candles?"

"We could at least practice like we want an army." The cowboy gave her a playful shove and then answered her question by getting his bottle aside. His shirt came off rather easily, followed soon enough by everything else. With that done, Cooper picked up his bottle again and grinned. "Why not both?"

"Practice makes perfect after all... though our babies are already pretty perfect." She said with a considerate look. Leaning down, she set her cider in the grass then straightened so she could follow suit. Shirt, jeans, everything; all ended up in a heap by her shoes. When that was said and done, she leaned over to snag her cider before stepping over and lowering herself to sit on the ledge. She slipped her feet in first then slowly eased her way into the hot water, hissing through her teeth at the change in temperature. "Mmm hot damn..."

"Sure are..." Clearly, he had been watching his wife disrobe and then slip into the water. Cooper followed suit in similar fashion but with seemingly less concern for the water's temperature. His bottle was polished off quickly and set aside carefully, before the big gurahl was wading over to wrap his arms around her wife and pull her closer.

She felt his eyes on her, make no mistake. But she liked it, liked showing off for him, liked when he watched her. It was all good. Contrary, she took her time drinking, a swallow her, a swallow there, but eventually her bottle ended up not far from his, set gingerly on the edge in respect of the setting's natural aesthetic. To be a tease, she floated back from his grasp, then rocked forward into the loop of his arm, drawing in close and wrapping her legs around his hips to hang weightlessly in the water. "Ya know, I woulda been thirty this year. That's worthy of a special celebration, yeah?"

"And a special gift." His smile was sweet but cryptic and when Claire wound her legs around his waist, he cradled her there with two big hands. Gentle kisses dusted her jaw, her cheek, and her shoulder, before Cooper was lifting his gaze to the night sky. When he spoke, it was in that low baritone of his, warm and ingratiating. "You're a pretty hard woman to shop fo' but this one hit me like an epiphany. Took a lot'a doin' not t' ruin the surprise you got comin'. But you deserve good things, no matter what argument y' try t' make. Don't fo'get that."

A gentle kiss finally touched down on her mouth.

"This is pretty special." She gestured with a sweep of a hand. It was inevitably difficult to find things that she wanted or needed, so she didn't envy her husband when it came to gift giving. But she also knew he was aware of how sentimental she was. That was where he succeeded, finding the things that mattered to her and capitalizing on that instead. Her gaze tipped up too when he looked, scanning the stars before looking back at him, the cut of his features particularly rugged and handsome in the flickering candlelight. "As long as it didn't hit you like a midtown express bus... but if this isn't the surprise, then what is it?"

"You'll see t'morrow," he promised her. "Right now, you're just here t' relax. Figured I could give you a nice massage, maybe serenade you a little, and just have a quiet night'a enjoyin' one another without havin' t' worry 'bout who needs what at home or at work. Just a nice little reprieve from the rest'a our wonderful world. Sleep out under the stars in our special place. Sound good?"

"But tomorrow is so far away." She whined lightly, giving him her very best pouty lipped look. It wouldn't sway him, she already knew that, but it didn't keep her from trying at the very least. Cupping water in one hand, she splashed it lightly up onto his chest before sighing. "I suppooooooose. Honestly, your hands on me in any way sounds pretty amazing..."

"Well, darlin'," he murmured as he leaned his face down close to hers. "The night's pretty young, so m' pretty sure I can put my hands on you in every way imaginable with the time we've got." He clutched her tight against him, trapping her there so that he could steal a long, slow kiss. "Sound like a plan?"

The melding of their lips was a welcome reprieve from speaking, so she let it linger for as long as she could before nodding enough that her lips brushed his again. "It sounds like... a perfect night, yeah. Especially after you beat me up in the ring." Teasingly.

"I blame you," he teased. "You're the one who likes it rough."

"Victim blaming, I can't believe you." She gasped then tipped her chin to nip his bottom lip between her teeth, suckling and biting before letting him go. "Only from you."

"In that case..." Cooper's grip on his wife tightened, a low rumble bubbling up from within his chest. It was going to be quite the night…
The legends all say different things
She's a cruel incarnation of death
A merciful angel of the afterlife
A deity without divine power
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Claire Gallows
Eternal Light
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm

Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1158
See this user's pet
Jobs: City Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: The Sassy Owl Saloon or Underwood Manor in New Haven
296375.20 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May 13th

The couple hadn't stirred as early was usual for them, rising after the sun was already warming the grass around them in the little clearing that was home to the springs. They woke in much the same way they had collapsed the night before, with eager touches and hungry kisses, making bathing the sins of the night and the morning away a necessity before Cooper was finally packing their things up. Someone else would be along to collects the remnants of their night alone and it left the cowboy to walk his charge back through the forest and to the Jeep. The kisses that came inside the vehicle were the sweeter kind, capped with a secretive smile from the big man when he produced a blindfold. The thick strip of black clothed was secured over Claire's eyes in silence, with only one final kiss to tide her over before the Jeep was started and they were moving towards the next part of her weekend.

So much mystery, so few answers. Claire seldom did well with not knowing but if there was anyone she trusted, it was Cooper. Never had the cowboy led her astray and if he hadn't by now, she couldn't imagine a time he would, evil doppelgangers notwithstanding. With the clearing fading behind them and the Jeep dead ahead, she climbed in with his ever present help only to find him armed and ready with even more mystery.

"A blindfold?" She asked, more than a little bit skeptically. Just what did the big man have up his sleeve that required such a device. "You coulda broke that out last night, if you were so inclined. Maybe thrown in some handcuffs too."

Despite her teasing, she moved her hair appropriately for him to cloak her eyes in darkness. The rumbling of the Jeep's tires on the road once more did little to assuage her curiosity and so once they were rolling again, she spoke up. "So... no chance you're gonna tell me where we're going before we get there, huh?"

"We've got an anniversary comin'," he offered in regards to the blindfold and handcuffs, though she couldn't see the suggestive bob of his brows. One big hand rose to rest on one of her knees while he drove and when she asked him about telling her about their ultimate destination, all her husband said in response was "Home".

Except, it wasn't the long of a drive. But maybe Cooper's wandering hand distracted her from that fact.

In the end, when they pulled up to a stop, her husband climbed out from the driver's seat and rounded to the passenger side. She was collected from her seat with a scoop of big arms and physically carried from their, the blindfold still in place. It wasn't a hundred feet hiked before the first giggle came from a short ways off, all too familiar, and followed by a whining grumble from a baby. It was only then that he set her back lightly on her feet and moved around behind her, one big arm around her waist and his mouth against her ear.

"Welcome home, Slugger." And then he took off the blindfold.

Once upon a time Cooper Gallows had built a home for his wife. It had been a beautiful thing of natural wood built into the side of a hill, its own little ranch sequestered away in the wild beauty of thick, dense forest. His wife had gone, a product of his choices. The home had gone as well, a product of his inaction. But the land still held all the same magic, all the same beauty, and what was broken could always be rebuilt.

So he had.

It wasn't the same, what the gurahl had painstakingly built since that fateful night in September. It wasn't meant to be. But what he had done held a beauty of its own and was made for a family. It was a big, beautiful thing, laid into the side of the hill and stretching out into a large pool made from natural slate gray stones that rose up out of the ground into an elevated hot tub. Four different out buildings dotted the rest of the property. A big garage, a stable with a large corral, and two other smaller buildings whose use wasn't readily obvious.

"Never needed an anniversary to blindfold me before." She shot back with a barely perceptible bounce of her brows behind the strip of cloth. His hand was a lovely distraction though not quite enough to keep her from pondering just what this could all be. A birthday, an anniversary, mother's day. It was all so close that it was hard to say. But 'home' should have been a hell of a lot further than the distance he drove before stopping. Giggling as he freed her from the passenger seat, she wriggled and squirmed, teasing as he carried her along. Blindfolded as she may have been, she definitely wasn't deaf, easily picking up on a boyish little giggle and a huff and whine of her youngest. She waited patiently for him to set her down and as soon as the blindfold was off, her gaze shot off to find her children.

So caught was she in looking for them that it took her almost ten full seconds to register the beautiful house before her. Welcome home. Beautiful words if ever there were. Cooper had told her stories of what had been here before and all that he had lost in this place. But with everything that had happened in the past year, she hadn't thought to return. Not quite yet at least considering the cowboy seemed to brush off the idea any time it was pitched. Evidently it was because he was a sneaky sonuvabitch. No offense, Mia.

"By the gods..." She said softly, slack jawed as she soaked it all in. "Baby... are you for real?"

"This place is sacred, much like the caern and the springs," he murmured against her ear, squeezing her slender frame. "And this is gonna be our home. Forever. Where we're gonna raise our little heathen army and live our happily ever after."

He wrapped her up and a little blonde hair tot wrapped himself around her leg, yammering on about the pretty new house built into the hill. Avy wasn't far off either, huddled with Cordelia and Jake as they approached. Claire felt her bottom lip quiver and her eyes sting and as carefully as she could, she shuffled around in his grasp to bury her face in Cooper's chest for a few long moments. "It's beautiful. It's *** beautiful."

"Bad word, Mama!" Alex called her out, prompting a muffled laugh from his crying mother even as she reached down to muss his hair.

"No," he chided her. "You're beautiful, Claire. Our kids are beautiful. This? This is just suitin' enough fo' that beauty." He pointed to one of the off buildings in the distance. "There's a gym there fo' you too, when you don't wanna be at the one in the city."

"Cooper... gods... I..." She gestured helplessly, leaning back to look to where he was pointing and then up at the mountain of a man. "C'mere."

One hand looped around the back of his neck to haul him down into a crushing kiss. "I love you. And them. And this. All of it."

Big arms crushed back just as easily, his mouth fastened to hers until they were near breathless. It was then that he slipped a finger beneath her chin, lifting it so that he could stare into the gorgeous shining pools of her eyes. "Love you too, Slugger. This only felt natural. Neither one of us was thrilled with stayin' in the city and it felt right that he had somethin' that was well and truly ours."

"I love Underwood and all.... but..." She nodded along with him, in full agreement of everything he said. Biting at her lip, it tugged her smile crooked as she peered up at him. One hand came up to knuckle away a streak of a tear down her cheek. "Yes. All of that. All of it. So this is home huh?"

"This is home," he assured her with a crooked grin. "Everything's been moved in already. Had it all handled yesterday while you were distracted. Fridge should be stocked and I imagine Cordy got the kidlets all set up in their rooms. There's a permanent portal from here t' Underwood, so we don't always have t' make the drive if we don't want to."

"You sneaky bastard!" She said with a laugh, one hand pushing lightly at his shoulder. So much for no secrets between them, this was really something else. In spite of herself she laughed, shaking her head and looking over her shoulder once more to the house at large. "Wow... it'll make it easy to go to and from the city... to the gym and all that for work... or to get away if needed. Maybe Underwood can be a city base... for Enterprise and Dirty stuff... and once the kids get into school, sort of a halfway point home...?"

"That's what I was thinkin'." Cooper nodded along. "Underwood's big enough that we can use it fo' guests 'til we can do a little more with things 'round here and it's a good stagin' ground fo' whatever we get up to in the city. S' the best'a both worlds, really. And this? This is private. It's protected. We're on Our turf here, surrounded by friends."

"It's half the reason I liked the old compound." She turned back to him, nestling in close with a fond nuzzle of her nose against his bristly beard. Eventually she extracted herself from his grasp, leaning down to scoop Alexander up upside down amidst a peal of laughter from the little boy. "Look minis, we're home. For good. Should we go explore? Can we go explore?"

Claire had a hold on Alex and Cooper reached to scoop up Averia, making her giggle with a noisy kiss to her little cheek before he moved them onwards to wear Cordelia watch and waited with a smile. "It's all ours, so explore away. I imagine all the furniture'll look the same, 'til you decide t' change it."

"I might pull some stuff out of storage. Underwood will still need stuff." She said over her shoulder with an impish grin. "Maybe Raven can help me. She's got an eye for that thing."

The Wyatts certainly had a gorgeous home, thanks in no short part to the lady of the house. While Claire liked real estate, the décor part wasn't always her cup of tea. So maybe it could be a bit of girl bonding time while she soaked in the fact that Cooper had done all of this for her and their family. Once upon a time, Odin had said she wasn't meant to have any of this and just a few scant years ago, the prospect would have terrified her. But now... she had earned it. She and Cooper had fought the universe and come out on top. This was their happy ending. As they headed for the house, she took her time appreciating the details and the craftsmanship of it all. "We'll have to name it. Obviously."

"She's probably already got a book full'a stuff fo' you, considerin' Henry's the one who help me put all'a this stuff t'gether. So yeah, I'd say give her a buzz when you get a chance. S' not like we can't afford fo' you to splurge if you girls really wanna."

As they passed the room, he managed a crooked smile when he looked at the hot tub, but didn't say anything. Instead, he took Alex from her and carried both of the toddlers up onto the deck so she could liberate their youngest from Cordy. "We can name it. Hadn't really given it much though, though."

"Did he? You lot are a bunch of sneaky secret keepers." She tsk'd at him playfully and cut a smirk aside at the hot tub. Cooper's mind wasn't a difficult one to follow there. But there were children around so she kept her mouth shut and handed Alex off for the sake of snagging baby Jake from Cordy. "If this is forever, I probably be a little pickier about what stays and what goes. It's gotta be right, you know?"

A raspberry kiss for Jacob's chubby cheeks had the grumpy (read: hungry) little boy giggling accordingly before she was hefting him up on her shoulders, his chunky little legs on either of her shoulders while her elbows splayed wide to balance him. "Well, there was Caelum Manor... and Rose Cottage... and Underwood. Rose Cottage is probably the only one with any thought to it. But we'll figure out what feels right."

"We are. But it was sneaky fo' a good cause." He leaned in to steal two kisses, one to his son's forehead and one from her lips, before allowing Cordy to let them side. The sliding door opened into their new home, a rustic looking affair that could have been a rich man's hunting lodge for all of the natural touches it was given. "I'm not in any hurry. We'll figure it out and m' sure it'll fit just fine."

Cooper got thwack-thwacked by the baby on his wife's shoulders when he leaned in to kiss her, not as though she thought he would mind. Jake got a kick out of it, that's what mattered. She followed him inside and once more marveled at the attention to detail and way everything fit together so perfectly. Some of the furniture would inevitably need to be changed but by and large, it worked for now. "I think 'Home' works for now. I like the sound of it. So tell me about the place?"

"Fo' bedrooms and two bathrooms between the first and second floor," he told her, giving the twins each a kiss before setting them gently on their feet to let them wander alongside their parents. "Another half bathroom on the sub level with another den and some storage rooms. Henry and I tailored the architecture'a the place to made it convenient fo' when we add on to it."

Not if but when.

"Everything's custom. Nothin's stock. What me and Henry couldn't do ourselves, we got some'a the best tradesmen in the city t' come out fo'. If we were back on Earth, this would have cost us a metric asston."

For now that meant one bedroom for each kid plus the grown ups. That said, the twins still shared a room and Jake was little enough that he ended up in his parents' room many a night anyways. All in all, it would be more than enough for the time being. Her gaze lifted upwards with talk of the second level and as the toddling twins set off to explore in their own little way, Claire meandered pointedly from room to room, memorizing the layout of the first floor before heading for the second. "If we were back on Earth. What was the damage here?"

"Henry's got the numbers at his place, but you'd whistle. And blanche." He kept the twins within his sight but also trailed a ways behind Claire and the babies. "But easily three or four times what I put into it all."

Caelum Manor had sold for almost twice what she and Noctis had bought it for and only a fraction had been used on Underwood. That said, she hadn't noticed any exorbitant amounts of money leaving any of the accounts, so whatever he had done, he had done it on the sly. Chewing at her bottom lip, she paused in the doorway of one of the upstairs bedrooms, head tilted thoughtfully. "But it was worth it, yeah?"

"This?" Cooper gestured around. "Why wouldn't it be? It's our home. A real home, made just fo' us. I'd have paid ten times as much and would've worked twice as hard." There had been some creative rearranging of some of what he controlled off the Hangman's spending and his own account, but nothing that had ultimately caused any harm. He lingered by the stairs, watching her. "Can't put a price on happiness."

"Because it's a lot of dough. But I trust your judgement." Without fail at that. The question had been less about doubt and more about affirming his choice. They were partners. Not just in business but in life now. If he believed in it, so did she. Beckoning fingers curled, gesturing for him to come over with her. "I think this one can be Jakey's room. Whatcha think, Jakey Cakes?"

Jake gave no ***. But the tickling from his mom got a squirming giggle, so that was good enough for her. She looked up to her husband and smiled. "We'll have to properly inspect the place when it's just you and I."

"Gotta do somethin' will all that money," he teased and stepped up behind her to smooth a hand over her hip. He joined Claire in the tickling before her suggestion produced a crooked smile and a nod. "I figure it'll be easier t' show you everything when we don't have munchkins t' chase, but fo' now we can make a nice family day of it. Maybe some pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Hot coffee."

"I went a really long time not having much of it. I can't help if I'm careful with it now." She stuck her tongue out at him amidst a grin before shifting Jake off her shoulders and onto her hip. The other hip was used to lightly check her husband in passing on the way back to the stairs. "Let's do it. I desperately need coffee. And pancakes. But mostly coffee."

"Lead the way, darlin'." He kissed her one more time and then nudged her towards the stairs. "If'n you wanna wrangle the sprouts with Cordy, I'll start' whippin' somethin' up."

"For our first breakfast in our forever home." She said as she tromped down the steps, grinning like a fool.

Damn. She liked the sound of that.
The legends all say different things
She's a cruel incarnation of death
A merciful angel of the afterlife
A deity without divine power
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