With the vows said and kisses exchanged, it was time to inform the kids of the return of daddy. Sebastian and Clarity didn't seem to give a damn at all. Harmony, on the other hand, was thrilled to find out her father had returned and rushed out side to get to know the dad she had always longed for.
Hank became aware his his youngest daughter was crying silently in his arms when he felt his shoulder become damp. The realization broke his heart, and he tightened his grip on Harmony, and stroked her hair.
"Shhh baby. It's okay . Daddy's here. Daddy's here and he's not going anywhere. It's okay sweetie" he cooed softly.
"Damn Hank to hell for doing this to my babies" she thought angrily.
Her furor passed as quickly as it had risen as she watched Hank and Harmony separate. She watched as Harmony dried her eyes and beamed up at her father, than stood on her tip-toes and kissed him lightly on his cheek. As Harmony turned to go back into the house Crimson slid further back into the shadows, pressing her back against the wall. Harmony skipped past and headed inside to finish off her homework before bed and Crimson breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't want Harmony to know she had witnessed her very private moment with her father.
Hank wandered around in the garden, thinking of all the time he had missed with his children. Thinking of all the moments he had missed with Crimson. Words could not express the guilt and shame that Hank felt and had lived with for all those long years. He had known what a horrible mistake he had made the moment the door slammed behind him. He had tried to move on and convince himself he was happy. He had done a good job of convincing others he was fine. But behind the mask of the confident old bachelor had been an empty shell of a man, all joy and laughter left behind with his family. Lost in his thoughts, he smelt the sweet tempting aroma of Crimsons perfume tantalizing his senses as it had always done. It wasn't until he felt her arms wrap around his waist and her shirt pressing gently against his exposed back he realized that the scent was not a memory recalled to torment him like so many times before. He sighed contentedly and gently stepped away from her, briefly. He turned and gazed in wonder at his wife.
"Room looks nice Crim. Very bright, yet peaceful."
"That's what I was shooting for. Some days it's all that got me threw" She said simply. She didn't intend for the words to sound so malicious but Hank winced as though slapped none the less. Crimson glanced around the room, desperate to lighten the mood again. Thankfully Hank spoke first.
"I'm sure I'll find out soon enough with such stunning teen daughters. Either the tranquil bedroom will work, or the nearest bar will" He chuckled. He took her hand and led her to the side of the bed gently. "Bet this bed is real comfy too. Let's find out!" He teased, pushing her tenderly onto the bed. Crimson laughed softly and settled into the pillows as Hank slid into the other side.
"See? Damn comfy, although the springs are still a little tight. It's like it hasn't got a proper use in years" Hank joked cheekily. Crimson smiled lightly. "It hasn't" she said, so softly Hank thought he must have misheard. "Hmmm?" he questioned sleppily.
"It hasn't. Nobody else has been in this bed, or even in this room" She said, suddenly serious. Hank sat up a little more, surprised by both Crimsons tone and her words.
"This whole time, no other lover? What, is every man in this town blind, or stupid? Or both! That's it, they must be both! They don't know what a earth rocking they missed out on! Well, lucky me!" he exclaimed.
"Oh a few tried. I just had no interest. My heart was always with you Hank, and I secretly hoped one day you would come home. And if you were coming home, I wanted to make sure there was at least something the same as you left it. So this room, and my body went off limits. Plus, how can anybody compare to the man who hung the moon in the sky just for me as far as I am concerned? Nobody compare to you, Hank. You're my everything, and have been for as long as I can remember."
Romancing over, conversation turned back down the path they had been going last night before exhaustion took them both. This time it was Hanks turn to share the truth of his time away.
"When I walked out, I thought it was going to be like before I had to met you, all single and loving it. Instead it was like everyday was there was a rain cloud hanging over me. And no matter what I did I couldn't shake it"
"Aw, Hank..." Crimson started. Hank cut her words short.
"No Crim, it's true. And I deserved it. It took me leaving to realize exactly what you meant to me, how essential you are to my very soul. You're like the sun to me. I dated other woman and tried to replace you. But none of them could light me up the way you do. "
"I think I know what you mean. Although at least the kids made for my days only being partly cloudy."
" I guess what I'm trying to say is that nobody else felt right. With you it feels like....too cogs in the same machine, meant to work together but useless apart"
"While I echo the sentiment behind your metaphor, speak for yourself on the useless bit" she said teasingly.
"Less talking, more kissing please"
Hours later Crimson awoke and headed downstairs to take care of writing thank you cards for all the presents she and Hank had received for their second wedding. She was joined by her pack of teenagers doing homework. Apparently Sebastian only cares if anybody gave cash gifts >.<
"Well hello there, handsome stranger. Don't suppose you've seen my equally good looking husband have you?" she teased Hank. He smiled as his hand nervously ran through his hair.
"Do you like it? I wanted to look as young as you. Even though that's not possible with you still looking like a teen and all and me being an old man and all but..."he rambled. Crimson grabbed both his hands and cut his words off with a quick kiss.
"Hank my love, I think you look very handsome. I also thought you looked wonderful this morning when I went to sleep. I love you no matter what you look like you silly goose. Plus it won't be long now until I'm grey as well you know. Elder birthday is sneaking up on me. And I've still got one hell of a decision to make..."
"Ah yes, twins equal two contenders for heiress. I hadn't thought of that. It can't be an easy decision to make. Both girls are very different" he said. While he knew he could not make the choice for her, Hank hoped he could at least lend an ear for he thoughts. Perhaps with a sounding board the choice would become clearer to her. Crimson began to smile again, this time with appreciation.
"Exactly. I mean Clarity is a stunning girl, and she already has a ton of possible suitors. But she's evil. And I mean evil. Sometimes she scares me Hank. I sense a very dark energy around her sometimes, and I fear what she would do with some real power" Crimson started in a rush. It felt good to get the thoughts out, to hear them spoken aloud.
"And Harmony? he asked, encouraging her to continue.
"And Harmony is very sweet, and she's a beautiful girl. But I worry she's too timid to really make it. She's never been one to draw the boys, or even the girls. I worry the weight of having to carry on the family name might crush the poor girl. But than again after seeing her last night with you..." Crimson trailed off and flushed with embarrassment at the confession of her watching them.
"Ah, so you saw all that huh. Well good, because now I know you'll understand when I say your not giving the girl enough credit. She is a very sweet young girl, but I've got the feeling to she'll have a steel will when she needs to. Just like her mother" he said. He pulled Crimson close to him and buried his face in her hair. "No matter what, I know you'll make the right decision" he murmured.
"Thank you" soflty and closed the gap between them.