Please note that this story is adult in nature.


Just For Fun
Cut Scene From:

© 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

Chapter Twelve

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 stomach.

When finally the heaving stopped, she dragged herself back to bed.

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 eternity."

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 upward.

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 at him.

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 thought.

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.

Chapter Thirteen

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 dreamed of.

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 wept.

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 before.

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 be made.

So it is decided, so shall it be.

Chapter Fourteen

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 baby.

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 his triumph.

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 her door.

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 her shoulder.

"And then you can tell me why you’re here." With that said, she turned and continued down the hallway.

Chapter Fifteen

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 your freedom."

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 child.

"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 forever.


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.

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