Please note that this story is adult in nature.
© Copyright Mari Byrne, 2003.
Here is something
that was originally cut from one of my stories. It didn't fit
what I wanted to say, but I couldn't bring myself to delete it.
:-} So I thought perhaps my readers would like to see it. If you've
read DEATH REBORN you'll know that this is NOT the ending to the
book. If you haven't, well, this is NOT the ending to the book
either, lol! It is also how I first wrote it, so if you find any
errors, they are mine and not my wonderful Editrix Ann's. She's
much too good at catching those things ;-} Hope you enjoy it,
and let me know through the guestbook, or through email! -- Mari
Tawny woke up and rolled over in her bed. The motion sent her
head spinning and her stomach reeling. Bed sheets went flying
willy nilly as she bolted up and out of bed toward the bathroom.
Barely making it in time, she lost the entire contents of her
When finally the heaving stopped, she dragged herself back
Positive that she had the flu, she dialed work to let them
know she was sick and wouldn’t be in.
The woman who answered was sympathetic and assured her that
they would get by without her for a few days.
She hung up the phone and lay back down. Surely she would be
all better in a few days, and then she would make up for the
lost time at work.
Six Weeks Later
"I’m what?!?" Tawny asked the woman
who stood in front of her one more time.
She could have sworn that she had just said..."Pregnant
Ms. Delano." The doctor smiled at her. "You know,
with child, preggers, prego, bun in the oven, in the family
way..." The doctor trailed off as the woman in front of
her fell to the floor in a faint.
A few months later
"I felt him kick today Lucas." Tawny spoke aloud
while she folded her laundry.
"The doctor says everything is fine, with the exception
of my weight." Tawny paused with a look of bewilderment
on her face. "She told me I should eat more."
She looked down at her stomach and gave it a tiny pat. "I
don’t think I can fit anymore food in here, but I’ll
give it a try."
She went on to finish folding her clothes and wondered if there
were any Ice Cream Crunch bars left in the freezer.
Almost six months into her Pregnancy
"Your child grows inside of my body." Tawny rubbed
her belly soothingly as she wondered if that was a foot giving
her belly the appearance of a slightly larger protrusion.
"He constantly moves to let me know he’s there,
and enjoys the music I surround myself with." She smiled
slightly to herself.
"I miss you. I want to be able to come back from the doctor’s
appointments and tell you all I’ve learned. All the wonderful
things I’ll have to look forward to."
Her eyes misted slightly as she continued her daily ‘talk’
with Lucas. The doctor had assured her that it was normal for
expectant mothers to be a little emotional.
"I will never be able to give you half the gift that you
gave me, but I will make sure that your child will know how
loved and cherished he is. I will treasure this child beyond
A month and a half later
"How could you, Lucas?" Tawny sat starring at the
television as the credits scrolled up the screen. The movie
had made her bawl. It was the saddest ending she had ever seen
in her life, and all she could do was cry uncontrollably.
"Why did you leave me? Is there some rule that says you
can’t drop by and see how I’m doing? You must get
some time off for good behavior or something." She braced
her hand on the side of the couch and tried to push herself
When all she managed to do was fall back against the cushions,
she burst into fresh tears and sobbed into her hands.
When the crying jag seemed to subside leaving her tired and
thirsty, she grabbed a nearby tissue and blew her nose.
She wiped the tears from her eyes and face and wondered how
she could have blamed Lucas for anything.
He had given her the most precious gift she would ever receive
and she should be on her hands and knees thanking him, not railing
Not that there was any way she was going to be able to get
up if she got down on her knees, but it would be a nice touch.
She would do it just as soon as she was able to get up off
her knees again without the aid of a forklift.
She sniffed and reached for another tissue. After blowing her
nose once more, she tried again to get up off the couch and
this time succeeded.
She smiled in triumph and decided to celebrate. She went to
the kitchen to search her fridge for the last of the cookies
she’d hid thinking that if the baby got any bigger, she
soon wouldn’t be able to fit through her door when he
decided to make his entrance.
She grimaced at the thought of delivering him at home. She
wanted to make sure that she was within immediate reach of her
doctor when her child decided to make his appearance into the
world. She wanted people around her, just in case.
Not that she thought anything would go wrong, but she still
wanted the assurance that somebody else would be with her.
A month later
"I’m so excited!" Tawny whispered to her stomach.
"You’re going to be here in a little under a month!"
Tawny bent toward the back of the crib she had just finished
setting up and finished placing the tiny sheet on the mattress.
"I’m waddling like a duck, I can’t fit into
a single pair of the maternity pants I bought, and the poor
man at the Chinese place thinks I’m a pig."
Tawny giggled at the memory of the sweet man watching her put
away an entire pan of Orange Chicken.
"But the best part of it is I’ll soon be able to
see you. And I can’t wait!"
Just then, the baby picked that moment to make its presence
known and stood on her bladder.
She yelped, then went racing for the bathroom mumbling that
she sure wished he’d keep his feet to himself though and
stay off her bladder!
When she had taken care of that little problem, she sat down
in the baby’s room and took a final look around.
She had everything the baby would need, plus a few extra things
it probably didn’t.
"I know Lucas. I shouldn’t have, but it was all
so adorable, I couldn’t help myself."
She started the rocking chair she had sat in to rocking and
absentmindedly began rubbing her enormous belly.
"Besides. Today was my last day of work, and the lady’s
have already given me all the practical stuff. They all told
me to go out and spend a dime or two on something frivolous,
so I did."
She stopped the rocker and prepared to stand up. "I know
you can’t be there for the birth, but if something suddenly
goes wrong, and we need you..." she trailed off at the
If they needed Death at her baby’s birth, she didn’t
want to live through it anyway.
She shook off the thought as anxiety over impending motherhood
and went to the kitchen to see if there was anymore of the sweet
and sour pork that the nice man’s wife had insisted she
take home with her for a snack later on.
Nine months, One Day
If he were here, I would kill him! Tawny thought as
the doctor excitedly told her to push.
She wanted to scream at the doctor to get in the bed and push
out this damn basketball herself.
Her next thought held no hope of ever developing when the ensuing
contraction hit and the baby’s head finally pushed through.
Tawny leaned back in the bed and panted as she listened to
the cries of a miracle.
The miracle Death had given her, her child.
It took what felt like forever, but was probably only a few
moments, and then suddenly, a masked nurse held up a squalling
bundle and laid it on her chest.
Tawny grasped the screeching bundle of wriggling child and
held it in her arms.
She pulled the blanket down from the baby’s head and
gazed into the most beautiful face she would ever behold.
The face of her son.
Her baby was finally home.
It had taken a bit to adjust to being a mother, but Tawny now
luxuriated in the life.
She had decided that they needed a night out, so she had gathered
up Sebastian and taken him outside to enjoy the evening.
She now sat down in the outdoor chair that rested on her porch
with Sebastian and looked toward the heavens.
Tonight was as good a night as any. Tawny felt a driving need
to tell Lucas about his child, and to thank him once again.
She looked down upon the beloved face of her son and let the
tears of joy that had gathered fall where they would.
"I named him Sebastian Darin Aricin Delano, Lucas, and
I wanted you to know what it meant." Tawny used the pad
of her finger to stroke their baby’s cheek as she spoke.
She paused in her narrative as Sebastian began to fuss. She
rocked him gently to lull him back to sleep.
When he had quieted, she continued. "The meaning of his
name is Majestic Precious Present, The Eternal King’s
Son Of the Night."
"You see Lucas, at first there was little I could think
of beyond missing you." She spoke to Lucas but continued
to look at her cherished child. "But now that I have the
gift you left me, I have all I could have asked for." She
paused briefly. "So I chose names that would tell the world
what this child means to me."
She paused in her rocking and sat back.
"I fell in love with you that night knowing I could never
have you, and you gave back to me more then I could have ever
dreamed of. Thank you. I will cherish this gift through eternity."
Tawny gathered herself up, settled Sebastian securely, and
walked back into her apartment to begin the life she had always
Lucas listened while Tawny spoke.
The love he heard in her voice as she spoke to him about their
child would have brought him to tears if he could have still
The decision he had made had been the only choice, and while
he couldn’t say he was content with it, he would abide
by the dictates the Ascendant had set.
He didn’t know if it had been part of his punishment
that he had been allowed to retain that particular gift, the
gift of hearing the living, but if that had been the entity’s
purpose, it had succeeded.
Lucas knew if his soul had still been his to give, he would
have traded it for a life with Tawny and Sebastian.
To be able to hear them, but not see them or touch them...that
was true punishment.
Lucas might not have emotions such as mortals, but when it
came to his son and the woman who had given of herself to him
so freely, he grieved with a feeling such as he had never felt
He felt another soul about to part from its mortal bounds for
the last time and pushed his own thoughts aside.
There was no choice but to continue on his chosen path, so
he prepared to usher his next charge into their eternal life.
The Ascendancy listened to the woman as she spoke of her love
for her child and the love that she had found in the man she
knew to be Death.
The Ascendancy knew it had been a possibility that Lucas would
come into contact with the woman, it just hadn’t known
which road the two would choose once they did come together.
Free will always ruled mortals, and the choices made weren’t
always the best ones.
His focus changed as he listened to the thoughts that swirled
around in Lucas’s head. He also listened to the passionate
emotions that raced through Lucas’s body.
The feelings Lucas felt for the woman and his child were almost
strong enough by themselves to break the chains the punishment
held him by.
The Ascendant listened for a moment longer then broke contact
with Lucas as it felt the soul prepare to enter death.
When next the tide turned with the moon, the decision would
So it is decided, so shall it be.
Tawny watched as Sebastian grabbed onto the end table with
his chubby little fingers and raised himself up onto his feet.
He had just turned nine months and was an exceptionally bright
She couldn’t have been a more proud mother.
She had continued to talk to Lucas, even though she knew he
couldn’t talk back to her, because she had a feeling that
he could hear everything she said. She wanted Lucas to know
everything that his son did, and sometimes even imagined she
saw him in a room out of the corner of her eye.
But as with every other illusion, when she looked straight
at where she thought she would find him, there was nothing there.
She focused once again on what Sebastian was doing and let
her thoughts of Lucas trail away. She knew from experience that
way led to thoughts of life with the three of them together,
and that wasn’t going to happen.
Sebastian had gained his feet and was using the end table to
balance himself. He took three steps toward Tawny and she held
out her hands to him.
"That’s my boy! Good job! I knew you could do it!"
And he had. He got within reach of her and grasped onto her
fingers, then fell forward connecting his head with her stomach.
He let out a giggling laugh and then smiled as he shrieked
Tawny felt the tears pool onto her lashes and knew that there
had never been a more proud parent.
"Mommy knew you could do it. You’ve been trying,
and trying," Tawny praised him as she picked him up and
held him high over her head.
She was just dodging the string of drool her son thought was
a new plaything when there was a knock on her door.
"Want to go see who that is, Bastian?" She asked
as she stood with him held in her arms.
"Berrropot," Sebastian answered her as if he had
understood her question.
"Then here we go," Tawny told him as she walked toward
She tickled his tummy with the hand that held him securely
to her hip and used the other to open the door.
The smile she had on her face fell as she sucked in a deep
breath of astonishment. There on the other side stood Lucas
in all his beautiful naked glory. Tears of happiness streamed
down her face.
She would have continued to stare forever if Sebastian hadn’t
interrupted her at that moment.
"Dada." The word startled Tawny as she looked in
amazement toward her son. She stared at him, and then turned
to look at the naked man in her doorway when he finally spoke.
"Wild Woman? May I come in?"
The deep huskiness he heard in his own voice assured him that
he really was standing at Tawny’s door sans clothing.
She stood with mouth agape, then stepped back as she closed
her mouth and gestures him in.
She held out her arms to him and thrust his son at him.
"Here, get to know him while I get you some..." She
paused, as she looked him up and down, "well, some covering
to start with."
She turned and headed toward the direction he vaguely recalled
was her bedroom, then suddenly stopped and looked back over
"And then you can tell me why you’re here."
With that said, she turned and continued down the hallway.
Lucas sat holding the wonder that was his son and drinking
in every sight and sound around him.
Tawny had come back and given him a blanket, then told him
to sit and explain why he had come back to them.
She had snuggled against him as he told both her and his son
of how his soul had been returned to him.
He explained that the sacrifices he and she had been prepared
to make had been the deciding factor.
The Ascendant had always been willing to give Lucas his soul
back. Lucas had only needed to give selflessly of himself and
he would be forgiven all.
"Once I had agreed to my consequences and the Ascendant
had seen that I would hold to the agreement, he relented. Thus,
my soul was restored."
"This Ascendant, I still can’t believe it gave you
Lucas patted Sebastian on his back with one hand and tightened
his other arm to bring Tawny just a little closer to him.
"I don’t care how I got it back, only that it was
given to me and I was allowed to come to you two." He paused
and bent his head to give her a quiet kiss.
"I come to you with nothing. I must learn to live in the
world as it is today, and I will soon lose most of the memories
I had of living as Death." Lucas gave a short laugh.
"Living as Death. Believe me, it wasn’t much of
a living." He turned his head and looked into Tawny’s
eyes, "I won’t miss a single moment, as long as I
retain the memory of my day and night with you."
Tawny looked at Lucas with tears in her eyes, "I’ll
always be here to remind you of that time."
She sat up and reached for his mouth giving him a kiss that
told him of her gladness to have him there.
She leaned back enough to see his face and spoke.
"So long as you’re here with us, I’ll give
you anything you need." She took a deep breath and opened
her eyes while she bared her soul to him.
"I love you. I think I’ve loved you since the day
you came for Nana, and I think I’ll love you through the
end of time. I pray that I’ll always be by your side."
She paused for a moment as her eyes went to Sebastian, their
"You had already given me the one thing I will treasure
above my life, and I would have been content with just him."
She looked back into his eyes with a look of naked yearning.
"But now that you’re here, I know I can’t live
without you. Will you stay this time?"
Lucas’s heart swelled with the words that Tawny spoke.
He wanted her to know that he felt the same.
Swallowing the lump that stuck in his throat, he spoke.
"I will love you both forever. I will put both your needs
before all others, including my own."
He looked deeply into her eyes and hoped that all he felt showed
through his own. "And if you allow it, I will never leave
your side. Not even in death."
Tawny’s smile shined through the tears in her eyes as
she met Lucas’s mouth in a kiss that sealed their promises
The Ascendant turned from the scene that had played out before
him. Death had finally been conquered. All it had taken was
sacrifice and love.