tagSci-Fi & FantasyPortrait Of A Lady Ch. 05

Portrait Of A Lady Ch. 05


Rik Kershaw stalked the floorboards in front of the door, wringing his hands and chewing on his bottom lip. He was so angry that he had agreed to her wishes, to have the child in the old times, that he was nearly beside himself with fear now that the time had approached. Not only was he due to become a father this night, but he was also to achieve immortality with her. Please, Lord. You gave me Angelica. Please don't let her die! He could care less about the immortality bit; he was more interested in the family he was creating. His lovely girl and a child, borne from the love they had shared. My family.

"Mr. Kershaw?" A lovely woman of small stature but arresting beauty stood near him, a taller man with reddish-blond hair just behind her. "Are you Rik?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"I'm Hedda, Lady Hawthorn and this is my husband, Lucas, the Duke of Hawthorn."

Rik wondered what they must think of him. He just stood there, staring at them like a trout hooked in the jaw. They were the people in the third painting that Vertis had been commissioned to complete. With the birth of this child, they, too, would become immortal. Just when he was sure that he'd completely lost his composure, Hedda threw her head back and laughed. He was startled but he managed a shaky smile.

"Dear boy, do you know how long we've been waiting to do that?" The duke removed his monocle, collapsing into laughter so deep that he was reduced to tears. "The first time is always the best!"

Rik just stood there, staring at them and smarting as he was the butt of their joke but happy that they were so easy to get along with. He found himself easily falling into conversation with them, even as his focus was divided between their witticisms and the goings-on behind the well-hewn door.

"Angelica has been waiting for this for a long time." Duke Lucas said, sincerely staring into his face. "You've been a long time coming."


"Didn't you feel the pull? Did you hear her calling to you?" Hedda queried, her voice soft. "She's been calling for you every since Vertis told her where to find you."

"But why was she looking for me? Why me, exactly?"

"Why, silly boy, Vertis is your father."

Rik suddenly felt faint and had no idea how he came to sit on the low-slung couch. The duchess was lightly chafing his hands and the duke brought him a small glass of brandy, insisting that he drink it all down.

"Maybe we shouldn't have given him that surprise."

"No." Rik shook his head, still feeling light-headed. "Please, tell me ... "

"Vertis wanted a child but was never able to have one. He married three times and none of his wives ever produced any issue."

"So, he decided to paint one." The duke finished his wife's tale.

"You see, you really belong in our time, Rik, but you have the freedom to go wherever you like. Vertis made sure that you wouldn't be constrained by the painting."

Rik couldn't breathe. His father had died before he was born. That was what he had been told at the orphanage. His mother had abandoned him and he spent most of his life in different foster homes and group homes before graduating from high school and heading off to college on his own. Now, things made sense. His love for Regency-era objects, his intuition for art and his love for painting. These things he had inherited from his father.

"Can I meet him?"

"Later." Lucas patted him on the back. "He's attending to Angelica."

Just then, the door opened and a rosy-cheeked Vertis Holson stepped out, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows and his pants flecked with paint. "Your lady's ready."

Rik arose and smiled at the man, recognizing the same sharp line of jaw and the deep eyes in his father. "What do I do, Father?"

Vertis started at the pronoun the young man had used but easily returned his smile. "Come with me."

The birthing ceremony was to be accomplished with a laying on of hands by all those who were to achieve immortality. Angelica lay naked in the center of the bed, mouthwateringly desirable even in her gravid state and Rik found his hands drawn to her heavy, milk-filled breasts which he hefted reverently.

"She must cum at the same time the head crowns." Vertis explained, leading the duchess to a spot near Angelica's head and placing her hands on the girl's sweat-drenched forehead. The duke took hold of her feet and Vertis moved up on the right side. "Suckle her nipple and drink of her milk as she labors. She'll need the strength during the transference."

Rik smiled down into Angelica's beautiful face, pausing to drop a fleeting kiss on her panting mouth. "I love you, angel."

"I love you, too."

Vertis' gentle voice pierced their quiet veil. "It will begin at the touch of your lips."

Rik nodded and bent low over her distended nipple, running his tongue lightly around the rosy cap before sucking it into his mouth. Angelica moaned, attempting to arch but trembled as Vertis' mouth encompassed her other. It took a few seconds before the milk began, thin but warm and filling him with a warmth that made his toes tingle. Her moans increased as Rik's hand slid over her ripe belly and found her sopping wet pussy. His fingers snaked through her thick curls and found her little clit, massaging it into life and making her pant and groan at the same time. Vertis released her teat and moved in front of Lucas, watching as the head began to crown.

"Now, Rik!"

Rik sucked hard, knowing how much she loved the pain and lightly pinched her clit. Angelica roared in climax, her body stiffening as the baby sought to make its way out of her clenching muscles. A warm glow infused the room, stretching golden tendrils out across the participants and enclosing them in its magic. Rik felt the energy slip through his skin and he returned his mouth to her nipple, laving and nibbling now. She cried out in pain and moaned in pleasure, wrapping her fingers in his hair and forcing his mouth more fully onto her breast as the baby came out into the world.

"Congratulations, son! You have a beautiful daughter."

Vertis handed the bloody, wailing baby to Rik and smiled as the younger man cradled his daughter, his tears dripping onto her cheeks. "Oh, Angelica! She's so beautiful."

Angelica gave a weary grin, then slid into the land of sleep.

* * * * *

The manor was beautiful. Hedda knelt and worked her trowel into the earth, planting flower seeds and smiling happily at her husband who was lounging in a nearby chair and reading the newspaper. Vertis and Rik sat next to each other, talking and watching Angelica and the three children as they played Ring-Around-The-Rosie. Margaret, the oldest, had lost her front tooth two days earlier and could whistle like the wind. Nicholas tried not to trip over his feet and Vertis James giggled uncontrollably, clutching his baby rabbit.


"Well, what?"

"Are you happy?"

Rik weighed his father's words as he surveyed the members of his family. He had no need of money since Vertis had made it easy for him to skip through time and make investments that came to fruition. He was happy to have convinced all involved to return to present time and had spent endless hours acquainting them with the world via the Internet, which his father absolutely adored.

He had more than he'd ever imagined having: a father, a wife, children and his wife's parents. And then he turned and smiled at the portrait that hung in a special alcove, protected by the porch's overhang.

The new Marquess of Ravenstone, Patrick Russell, sat at the feet of his wife, Angelica's beautiful shadow. Vertis had christened her Angelina and was amazed to see that his powerful white magic and Russell's love had changed her as well. They lived happily in the castle, their lives almost mirroring Rik and Angelina's except for the absence of children. Since the last apex, he had noticed a distinct thickening around Angelina's middle and Russell was always gazing at her as if she was a goddess. He knew that look was reflected on his face, his eyes softening as he gazed upon his wife, catching her eye.

"Oh, yes, Father." He put his arm around the other man and smiled even wider. "Oh, yes."

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