Chapter 1: The Morning After

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He stretched lazily, his eyes still closed against the muted light filtering in through the curtains. He couldn’t quite believe he was here-in his Swan’s bed-after a night of passionate lovemaking.

And that’s what it was. He’d made love to her, wanting to give her only the most exquisite pleasure she’d ever know. He’d known winning her heart would take time and he was overjoyed that he hadn’t given up.

She was worth every heart wrenching, frustrating second. He bent his arm, propping it under the pillow his head rested on, savoring the lingering warmth under the duvet that she’d so recently vacated.

He’d fully expected her to creep silently out of the bedroom at the crack of dawn, trying to escape his notice and the inevitable change in their relationship. So he’d been pleasantly surprised when she’d snuggled back into his body, seeking out the heat he radiated. He’d been even more surprised when she’d turned in his arms, kissing his cheek and telling him to get some more sleep. That she’d only be in the kitchen and that she’d be back shortly.

He’d watched her rise from the bed with cracked lids, pretending to drift back into sleep so he could savor the view unimpeded.

Her lithe, naked form padded gently across the carpet and she disappeared into the walk in closet that was half empty, as if waiting for another occupant to fill it. She emerged a moment later dressed in short cotton shorts and what she’d referred to as a ‘tank top’. He noticed her distinct lack of undergarments, at least on her upper body, and he stifled a smile. While he did adore the complicated modern corsets made of lace and satin, he much preferred her without it.

He watched through the cracked bathroom door as she brushed her teeth, her hip propped against the pedestal sink as she brushed stray pieces of hair away from her face every few seconds. The bare bulb above the sink seemed to illuminate her golden hair, as if she wore a halo-something he could easily believe. After all, she’d saved him time and time again, proving the role as Savior was an appropriate one.

Then she’d left the bedroom, kissing him softly on the forehead as she went, and he’d been laying in her bed ever since.

The occasional thump or crash from the kitchen made him curious, but he was much too comfortable and sated to put much thought into it. He contemplated his future and all it would entail, hoping his Swan and her lad were permanent fixtures in it.

And then a shrill screech echoed through the apartment, jarring him from his restful repose. He leaped from the bed, gathering the top sheet around him quickly as he raced out of the room, tripping down the stairs in his haste. His bare feet slapped on the hardwood as he rounded the corner from the hall as he raced for the kitchen. As he rounded the last corner, his feet flew out from under him as he slipped. Emma’s sharp cry of alarm sounded in his ears as his backside met the hardwood floor and the sheet around his waist flew away.

That infernal screech kept blaring as he threw himself of the floor, fumbling around in some kind of white powder as he tried to stand.

“Swan! What is that racket?!? And-what the bloody hell happened in here?!?”

He knew his eyes were comically wide as they swept around the kitchen, taking in the chaos. Emma was waving frantically at the air and the shrill noise cut off suddenly, leaving his ears ringing in the silence.

“Are you alright, love?” Swooping down and snatching the sheet, Killian secured it around his waist as he gingerly stepped around the bombs of white and random kitchenware casually strewn on the floor.

Emma’s brow furrowed as she made her way over to him, wrapping her arms around his waist loosely. She fiddled with the hem of the sheet as she ground her pelvis lightly against his.

Killian groaned as his cock jumped to attention, but he shook his head and pushed her away, holding her at arms length. His eyes swept down her body, looking for any sign of injury.

“Why wouldn’t I be okay?”

“Come Swan, let’s leave the scene and call your father. He can help with the investigation!”

She dug her heels into the floor as he tried to tug her out of the kitchen. “What the fuck are you talking about, pirate?”

“Well it’s obvious someone broke in and destroyed the kitchen. Why wouldn’t you call David when you discovered the crime?”

Her face flared scarlet and Killian stopped, looking more closely at the room. It was a war zone of culinary mortality, broken eggs and splashes of flour littering various surfaces. A puddle of what looked like milk, but smelled slightly sour as he sniffed at it covered the counter in front of and under the toaster, which had char marks on the metal.

He glanced back at Emma to see her nervously twisting her fingers together and shifting from foot to foot.

“No one broke in. I-uh…I kinda just-wanted to…uh-make you breakfast,” his normally combative and confident woman stuttered.

Realization dawned and his face softened. He gathered her in his arms and planted a big, sloppy kiss on her lips. Never before had anyone made-or attempted to make-him a meal without currency being exchanged. He was touched, despite the obvious lack of talent Emma possessed.

“Thank you, love. I really do appreciate it-”

His words were abruptly cut off with another shriek from nowhere.

“Oh shit! The bacon!”

Emma darted across the kitchen, yanking a thick glove onto her hand and cracking the oven open. Killian reared back as a cloud of black smoke billowed out, blocking Emma from view. Her hacking coughs and the clang of something being tossed onto the metal stove reached his ears right before she stumbled over to him, clutching a dish towel between her fingers. Waving her hands frantically, she whipped the towel at a small plastic device mounted to the ceiling that seemed to be emitting the horrid noise.

The smoke cleared as he stood there, hands on his hips, waiting for an explanation. Emma finally managed to silence the infernal racket, glancing shyly up at him as she slowly crept back toward the stove. With a grimace and a flush creeping up her face once again, she turned back to face him,

“You like your bacon crisp, right?”

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