Going Home

~Sequel to At the Beginning~

2nd Part to Begin & End Trilogy



Chapter 1


“You ain’t wearin’ all black to yer own damned wedding!” Steve growled, staring at Mark, who was looking uncomfortable in his tuxedo.  They were out shopping for Mark and Chalice’s upcoming wedding, which would take place in a few short months.  It’d been two years since the engagement and both decided it was finally time to stop stalling and just get it over with.  They loved each other and wanted to settle down with a family, even though they never talked about having kids.  “Yer either wearin’ white or somethin’ else, but not black!”


Mark growled, staring holes through his friend and retorted viciously, “Man, who the Hell is marrying her?  You or me?”


As far as the friendship factor was concerned, nobody was closer than Steve and Mark.  They’d become best friends again, close to brothers, which is why they bickered and argued all the time.  Both had differences, but at the end of the day, Steve wouldn’t have shared a case of beer with anyone, but his sister’s future husband and his best friend.


“Well I sure as Hell ain’t marryin’ my damned sister!” Steve shouted, ignoring the looks from the salesman.  “We need a dress shirt big enough to fit this elephant, sir.  One in white and one in blue if ya got it.” He informed the man, ignoring the look on Mark’s face.  “I told ya, yer NOT wearin’ all black.  It’s a wedding, not a fuckin’ funeral!”


Groaning, Mark scrubbed a hand over his face in frustration and replied vaguely, “Steve, I’m nervous enough as it is without adding you to the damn mix.  You mind?  And midnight blue and silver are the colors of the wedding.” He informed his best friend, who just nodded, hoping he didn’t force him to try on a silver dress shirt.  He’d have to shoot someone if that happened.


“What the Hell ya nervous ‘bout?  Chalice is a great gal.  Yer ass is lucky to be gettin’ her!” Steve exclaimed, not understanding what the hell was wrong with his best friend.  Chalice had been with him for two years and, even though Steve didn’t like the idea of them being together at first, he finally stood back one day and just observed.  They were the perfect fit and matched each other’s personalities well.


Mark rubbed his face with his hands and let out a heavy sigh.  “It ain’t that.  What if she decides she doesn’t want to marry me or something?” He asked, revealing some of his fears that’d been bottling up inside of him for the past few months.  He was having pre-wedding jitters, worried his fiancée might get cold feet and run on him.


Steve nodded knowingly, guessing what was running through Mark’s head, and patted him on the back a few times reassuringly.  “If she was plannin’ on runnin’ off on yer ass, ya know I’d be a helluva lot happier then I am now.” He joked, relieved when the salesman returned with the dress shirts Steve instructed him to retrieve.  “Now go try these on.  NO MORE BLACK!” He ordered, pointing to the dressing room door, and crossed his arms in front of his chest.


A few minutes later, Mark stepped out of the dressing room, the midnight blue dress shirt on under his tuxedo, and asked, “How’s this?”


“Much better.” Steve complied, standing up from the uncomfortable chair he’d been sitting in.  “Now, go get the hell outta them clothes before ya ruin’em.  We’ll have them tailored and shit.” He ordered, waving off Mark, already discussing the adjustments with the salesman and tailor.  Steve couldn’t help, but wonder when he became a wedding planner in all this.


When Mark came back out, Steve was looking like he wanted someone to put a bullet through his head and asked hastily, “What’s wrong with you?”


“Please don’t ask.” Steve groaned, shaking his head back and forth.  “Just buy me a beer, alright?” Mark nodded.  They were almost out of the shop when the tailor came running up, looking frantic and out of breath.


“Mr. Williams, what were Mr. Calaway’s leg measurements again?” The tailor asked, having a notebook and pen in hand, and that was all Steve could take.  This had been the fourth time in the past hour this stupid tailor had asked him this same question.


“That’s it!  I’m done!  I don’t care how many inches there are from yer damned hip to yer balls!” Steve shouted, blowing his top, and watched as the tailor jumped about a foot in the air from the explosive temper.  “Ya answer the damn man’s question!” He ordered Mark, stalking out the door, heading for the nearest bar. 


Mark was mortified. 


He quickly wrote down all the information they would need.  Then as an after thought, added Steve’s cell number incase they had a question.  Revenge on Steve for humiliating him like this in front of this tailor, who looked like he wanted to piss himself.  Steve had one Hell of a temper on him and when it was released, everyone went for cover, even Mark.  After making sure the tailor wouldn’t lose his measurements, Mark headed down in the path Steve walked in, knowing he’d be headed for the first bar he could find.


He found Steve a few minutes later, being the first bar he’d passed up, not surprised in the least.  He sighed, taking a seat on the stool next to his best friend and ordered himself a beer.  Chalice suddenly popped into his head as he whipped out his cell phone and decided to call her, wondering what she was doing at that moment.  He punched in the number and drummed his fingers on the counter, waiting for her to answer.  They’d been apart all day and he’d missed her, hoping her mother wasn’t driving her completely up the wall.




“Damn it, mom will you stop?!” Chalice snapped, trying on the fifth dress that day, and shook her head when her mother continued to go on about something incoherent once more.  “Mom, screw this, I’m picking out my OWN wedding dress and you can go back home.  I don’t care what you or father feel or think.  Steve has been there for me through EVERYTHING and has supported me through it all.  If you can’t accept it then here’s a simple suggestion.  Ready?  DON’T COME!” She then stormed into the dressing room, practically ripping the ugly dress from her body.


It’d been this way for the past six months.  Her mother would always find someway to bring up the subject about Steve walking her down the aisle instead of her father.  Chalice was sick of hearing about it. 


Sick of hearing that it was hurting her father when, in fact, she knew deep down; the old man didn’t give a damn.  However, her mother refused to listen to reason and constantly begged her to change her mind.  Today was no different and Chalice was about to explode and take half of Texas with her.


Sighing deep with regret, Beverly slowly stood up from the bench, not believing what her daughter had just said to her.  Truth be told, she was livid at her daughter for even considering choosing their son over her husband to walk her down the aisle.  She’d tried for the past six months to convince Chalice that her father was crushed, but her daughter wouldn’t hear of it.  Sighing, Beverly walked into the dressing room and felt her heart break at the sight of her daughter crying. 


“Challie honey, I didn’t mean to make ya cry…” She cooed and walked over to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.


“Why can’t you understand mom?  I want Stevie to walk me down the aisle because he’s the only one who’s truly been there for me.” She cried softly, wiping away her tears, but they just kept falling down her face.  “I know dad isn’t really that crushed because he didn’t even come to me and talk to me about it.  He never does with anything and I’m sick of waiting on him to open up to me.  Stevie is walking me down the aisle and if you don’t like it then like I said before don’t come.  This is MY life and MY decision and MY big day, not yours.”


“Baby, I know you want Stevie to walk you down the aisle, but that’s yer daddy’s job…” Beverly tried to reason with her daughter and sighed when Chalice pulled away from her.  “Challie, yer daddy is hurtin’, baby because ya won’t choose him…”


“Now he knows EXACTLY what it feels like to be shut out!” She spat, standing up and walking over to stare at the remaining dresses, feeling like she was going to vomit at any given moment.  “Mom, I’m done talking to you about this.  I’m done trying to tell you how it’s going to be at my wedding.  If father was so hurt, he would’ve fought harder for the spot that Stevie has and WILL have at my wedding.” Chalice stated, voice low and full of emotion, not believing her mother was doing this to her. 


“Challie, please reconsider this…” Beverly tried once more and jumped when her daughter lost it completely.


“Enough, mom!  The conversation is OVER and the subject is CLOSED!” She snapped, before storming out of the dressing room again, furious that her mother wouldn’t leave her alone about this.


After trying on several more dresses and hearing her mother’s pleading, Chalice finally had it.  She didn’t say a word to her mother and stalked out of the dress shop, pissed beyond belief, and decided she needed to go back to the house.  Her and Mark lived right down the street since they lived in Houston. 


She’d moved in with him almost instantly after their reunion, having been away from him for close to three months.  She sighed heavily, walking down the sidewalk, deep in thought, and could already feel the tears burning her eyes.  Why couldn’t her mother understand she was just trying to make the happiest day of her life just that, happy?


Her cell phone went off, causing Chalice to break out of her thoughts, and answered it, not bothering to look at the caller ID.  “What?” She stated, mildly irritated at the moment, and sighed heavily when she heard Mark’s voice on the other line.  “Hey sweetie, what’s up?” She still sounded pissed, but she calmed down when she heard her fiancé’s voice.


The drumming of his fingers was pissing Steve off as he brought down his fist hard on Mark’s fingers and growled, “Knock that shit off.”


“Son of a bitch!” Mark roared, wincing, pulling his hand away.  “Not you, Chalice.  How’s the dress hunting coming along?” He asked, ignoring the throbbing pain in his hand, and shot Steve a deadly glare.


“Mark, please don’t mention the fucking word dress to me right now.” She stated in a deadly voice, getting into her car, and turned the ignition on, not even waiting for her mother.  She was so beyond pissed right now that all she wanted to do was go home and soak in a nice hot bubble bath.  “Any luck with the tux hunt?” She asked, changing the subject to focus on her fiancé.


“YOUR brother is a damned pain in my ass.  The son of a bitch…” Mark groaned, recounting what Steve had done in the tuxedo shop.  Including the hip to balls comment, nudging Steve off his stool when the man started laughing.


Chalice was having a really hard time trying not to laugh, hearing her brother and fiancé bickering over the tuxedos, and shook her head in disbelief.  “I swear as God as my fucking witness if you two start arguing at the wedding, I’m going to pull both of your scrotums over your heads and watch you walk around that way!” She threatened, not believing how much her brother and Mark argued.  “Fuck, is there anything you two DON’T argue over?”


Steve swallowed hard; Mark had put the cell on speakerphone so he heard that scrotum threat loud and clear.  “Beer.” He spoke up instantly, causing Mark to grunt in agreement.  It was the truth.  That was the ONLY thing Steve could think of that he and Mark didn’t argue over.  “Though there was that time I out drank yer ass and ya got so drunk…”


“YOU LYING PRICK!” Mark roared, his temper shooting through the roof as his green eyes spit venom back at his best friend, cutting him off.


“Figures.” Chalice muttered under her breath and sighed when they started arguing again.  “STOP IT NOW!” She shouted, screeching her tires to a halt at a red light, and growled angrily in the phone, “KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW BEFORE I PUT MY FOOT UP BOTH YOUR ASSES!”


“Bring it on, Challie!” Steve challenged, snorting.  “Ya gotta find us first!”


“Man, will you shut the hell up?  I live with her!” Mark snapped, knowing he was going to pay for what Steve said just now later on at home.


“Well put yer foot down!  Yer the man ain’t ya?” Steve grunted, getting back on his stool, and ordered, “Buy me a drink, jackass.”


“Buy your own goddamned drink!”


Chalice had heard enough of this shit.  “You know what?  FUCK YOU BOTH!” She shrieked and ended the call abruptly, throwing her cell in the passenger seat, and started driving home. 


Mark groaned when Chalice hung up, shooting Steve a deadly look.  “Thanks you cocksucker.” He growled, raking a hand through his long, black tresses in frustration. 


“Shit man, ya know I was only messin’ with ya.” Steve looked genuinely upset, knowing there was going to be some serious troubles in paradise now.  “Buy her some white roses.” He suggested, knowing Chalice couldn’t resist them.


“She’ll know I’m kissing ass.” Mark countered, rubbing his face with his hands repeatedly and through his hair, downing another shot of Jack Daniels. 


“Well, it’s the thought that counts ain’t it?” Steve retorted with a smirk, downing the rest of his beer, and sighed heavily, knowing his baby sister was pissed.  He didn’t blame her.  He’d been a total jag off and now Mark was going to have to pay for it.


Tears streamed down her cheeks the entire way.  When she got there, Chalice made sure to lock all the doors, set the alarm, and immediately went up to her room to start her bubble bath.  She honestly didn’t care about anything at the moment, especially her dickhead of a brother and fiancé.  “Fuck them both.” She muttered.  “I hope they fuckin’ kill each other then I don’t have to put up with either of them!” 


After pouring some bubble bath jasmine scent in the tub, Chalice swished it around, the tears still falling down her face, and sniffled a little.  She hadn’t meant to snap on them the way she did, but her mother had pissed her off so much that she didn’t feel like hearing her brother and fiancé bicker.  She sighed deeply, raking a hand through her hair, which was now back to normal black, but had red streaks throughout it, and closed the bathroom door behind her.


Chapter 2


Mark returned home a few hours later with a bouquet of white roses.  A joint gift from both him and Steve.  Though Steve had been too chicken shit to come with him.  He heard Chalice in the bathroom as he walked up the stairs of their two story house and took a deep breath.  Opening the door enough to stick the bouquet in, Mark waved it gently like a white flag.


“I surrender, just don’t throw anything!”


Chalice didn’t move or say anything, too focused on staring at the water.  Her knees were drawn up to her chest and her face was clearly tear streaked as she raked a hand through her hair.  She sniffled a little as she went under the water, soaking herself completely.  Not wanting Mark to notice she’d been crying before he arrived.  Mark hated seeing her cry or any sign that she had so Chalice made it an effort not to cry in front of him.


When nothing was said and nothing was thrown, Mark hesitantly stepped in, knowing his fiancée had one hell of a temper and could be waiting for him.  He spotted her under the water and stood there, one hand in his pocket, the other holding the roses, waiting for her to come up.  He knew she was crying because he’d heard her sniffle through the door and could already feel his heart breaking.


Chalice had dunked a second time before slowly resurfacing, rubbing her eyes, which were burning now, and stared straight ahead at the wall.  “What do you want, Mark?” She finally asked, her voice low and cold, wrapping her arms around her knees again as she sighed raggedly from crying.  “I’d like to enjoy what’s left of my bath if you don’t mind.”


Mark sighed, kneeling down next to the edge of the tub, holding out the roses to her.  “They’re from me and Steve.” He said softly, not surprised when she didn’t move to take them.  “Darlin’, I’m sorry.  I know you had a bad day and your brother and I shouldn’t have fought.”


Sighing, Chalice finally looked over at the roses and smiled just a little, taking them from him, and sniffed them as she closed her eyes.  “They’re beautiful.” She murmured before setting them aside, not wanting to ruin them.  “No, I didn’t mean to snap at you and Steve, sweetie.  My mom pissed me off to the point where I couldn’t see straight, which is when you called.  So I’m sorry for taking it out on you.” She touched his hand with her own, her eyes shimmering with tears.  “Forgive me?”


“You know I do.  Forgive me?” When she nodded, he smiled in pure relief, raising her hand to his lips, pressing a soft kiss to her knuckles.  “What happened today darlin’?”


“My fucking mother won’t leave me alone about having my father walk me down the aisle.  I finally got fed up with her and left her at the dress shop.  I can find my own fucking dress and I told her that if they don’t like the fact that I want my brother, who’s been there for me through everything, good and bad, to walk me down the aisle, then don’t come.  I’d rather not have them there anyway, especially with how they’ve been acting lately.” She explained, growling, and felt her anger boiling over again, but finally released it with a heavy sigh.  “It just was not a good day today.” She whispered heartbrokenly.


Nodding, Mark gently turned her so her back was to him and began to rub her shoulders, working out the knots he felt in her muscles.  “How bout you call up one of your friends and have them go with you?  Or maybe Steve?  He is pretty good at that sort of thing.  I would’ve been lost today if it weren’t for him.” He admitted, not ashamed of it, especially when it was the truth.  Steve had seriously helped him out with the measurements and everything.


“No, I will do it on my own.  I’m going on David’s Bridal tomorrow on the computer and I’m going to find a dress that’s for me and nobody else.  Fuck what my mother says.  Fuck what my father says.  Fuck it all.” She stated and leaned forward, allowing him to rub her back, even though it was tensing.  “The only thing that matters to me is you and my brother walking me down the aisle, Mark.  Everyone else can go shove it up their asses if they don’t like it.”


Mark sighed, knowing as long as she was still angry; he wasn’t going to get any of these knots out.  He bent forward to kiss her back, his arms wrapping around her shoulders.  “Would you rather just elope, Chalice?” He asked softly, leaning his forehead against the side of her neck.


“I don’t know.” She finally whispered out with a heavy sigh and stood up from the tub, stepping out.  His hands fell from her sides as she wrapped a towel around her body tightly.  She then leaned forward on the sink and stared in the mirror, shaking her head, and scrubbed her hand down her face in frustration.  “When did getting to plan a wedding become so damn complicated and downright stressful?”


“I’d say when interfering relatives get involved.” Mark replied absentmindedly still mortified over the hips to balls comment from earlier.  He stepped out into the bedroom, not closing the door and pulled off his shirt, suddenly feeling exhausted.


After brushing her teeth and hair, Chalice finally stepped in the bedroom, carrying the flowers with her.  She’d put them in cold water in a vase that was underneath her bathroom sink and set them on the dresser.  She fluffed them out a little and retrieved her clothes for the night, not caring if it was only five o’clock in the afternoon.  She slipped on a pair of red panties and a bra with a matching night gown that went just past her knees and was spaghetti strapped. 


Chalice then started cleaning the room up, retrieving Mark’s clothes as well as hers since they were both lazy when it came to throwing them in the hamper.  Sighing, she raked a hand through her damp hair and walked into the bathroom, cleaning up her mess, and then went back into the bedroom.  She turned on the lamp on the nightstand and crawled into bed on her side, turning the television on, not believing the sun was still out.


Mark rolled over to drape an arm over her way, pulling her body against him.  “Nice…” He murmured appreciatively, feeling and seeing her nightgown.  “Tired darlin’?”


“No, I’m frustrated.” She softly answered, snuggling further into her future husband, and sighed heavily. 


She still couldn’t believe the fight she’d gotten into with her mother, for however brief a time it was.  She hated her mother for making her feel bad for picking Steve to walk her down the aisle instead of her father, who’d never been there for her to begin with.  Granted, he loved his boy, always was there for all his football games and everything.  However, when it came to Chalice, he completely blew her off.  Was it a wonder why she chose her big brother instead of him?


He kissed the top of her head, his hands stroking her soothingly and softly asked, “Want to talk about it?”


Sighing heavily, Chalice sat up in bed a little bit, her knee bending while her other was beneath it Indian style, and raked a hand through her hair.  “My mother is a bitch and I can’t stand my father.  Why can’t they realize that this is MY day?  For ONCE, it’s not about THEM.  It’s about ME and getting married to the love of my LIFE and if I wanna choose my fuckin’ brother to walk me down the damned aisle, THEN I’M FUCKING GOING TO DO IT!” She snapped, not meaning to, but all the frustration was slowly getting to her.


Mark just lay where he was, rubbing her back with one giant hand, knowing she wasn’t aiming her venom at him.  “Darlin’, you know Steve and I will back you on anything.  If they can’t understand that then that’s their problem.  They’ll be the ones missing out.” He said soothingly, hating to see his fiancée this upset and aggravated.


“I told my mother that if they didn’t like or couldn’t accept it then it was really simple:  Don’t fucking come and I meant it.” Chalice said lowering her head as the tears stung her eyes, knowing it would hurt her not to have her parents at her wedding.  “Am I a bad daughter, Mark?” She suddenly asked in a whisper, trying to blink her tears back.


Mark blinked, looking downright startled when she asked that.  He sat up and pulled her into his lap, wrapping his strong arms around her waist, holding her tightly against him.  “No Chalice, you’re not a bad daughter.  You’re not a bad person, period.  They’re blind if they can’t see what a beautiful, intelligent, kind woman you are.  Darlin’, one day they’re going to wake up and realize what they’ve missed out on.”


“I try so hard to please them.  I really do, but my father has never been there for me and even Steve agrees.” She quietly whispered, silent tears falling down her cheeks, and wrapped her arms around his neck.  “I’m sorry for crying, I know it breaks your heart, but I can’t help it.  I love you so much and I want this day to be perfect and special.” She started trembling in his arms a little as his hold tightened around her.  “Maybe I should just walk down the damn aisle by myself.  That way it won’t tear my family apart…”


“It’s up to you, but if you want Steve to walk you down the aisle, Chalice, then do it.  It’s YOUR day, not theirs.  You do what makes you happy.  Maybe it would help if you went to talk to your father?” He suggested, not really meaning to, but he hated seeing her cry and getting this upset over their wedding.  It was their wedding, not her parents and the sooner they realized that, the better off they’d be.


“No, he’ll just yell at me and tell me how stupid and worthless I am to even consider picking Steve over him.” She protested with a shake of her head, sighing raggedly as she slowly pulled away to wipe her tears.  “Fuck my parents.  If they can’t listen to reason and realize why I’m picking my brother, then I don’t really want them at our wedding.” She meant what she said. 


Every word.


Mark’s green eyes narrowed to dangerous slits when he heard Chalice say that first sentence.  “Your father would yell those things at you?” He asked in a deceptively, neutral tone of voice, trying to keep the anger hidden.


“He’s always said those things to me, Mark.  Ever since I was little, he’s always thought of me as lower than Steve just because I’m the girl he never wanted.  He even told me one time that he hated me for being born because I was a girl.” She started crying again, burying her face in her hands, and could feel her heart breaking at the memory.  “It was right before I graduated high school and I haven’t spoken a word to him since then, which has been over a decade.”


“Then he don’t need to bring his ass to the wedding.” Mark growled, his temper on the rise at the THOUGHT of this man and how he treated Chalice, the love of his life.  “Does Steve know bout this, Chalice?”


“Why do you think Steve never goes home on his days off?  Father thinks everything is fine, that nothing is wrong between me and him, but he doesn’t have the slightest clue how much he hurt me.  That’s why I went to college straight out of high school and Steve supported me.  He even helped me pay my way and told me not to worry about paying him back.” Chalice explained, sniffling a little, and wiped away more of her tears as she sighed.  “If my father doesn’t go, my mother won’t.  She’s always been on his side from day one, no matter how much he’s hurt me or broke my heart with his hurtful words.”


Mark didn’t know what to say to ease her pain, knowing this was something that had a lot of time to fester, get worse.  Over a decade was a long time to go without talking to someone, especially her own parent, but it sounded like his soon-to-be father-in-law was a giant cocksucker.  One that Mark wouldn’t mind knocking down a peg or two. 


“It’ll be alright, darlin’.  Things will work out.” He whispered reassuringly, burying his face in her hair, and sighed at the scent of jasmine.


“I mean is it MY fault my mother spread her fuckin’ legs and got pregnant with a female instead of another male like my father wanted?” She rhetorically asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and allowed the tears to stop on their own since she was having no luck in the first place.


“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m glad your mother ‘spread her legs’ and had a girl.  I’d really hate to think there’d be two Steve’s out there.  Especially since that’d make me gay.” He teased, trying to cheer her up, and hoped to make her smile.


“You’re not funny.” She stated as she looked back at him, trying to hide the smile, and couldn’t do it even if her life depended on it.  She started laughing and shook her head, not believing Mark just said that, but appreciated him trying to cheer her up.  She scooted closer to him and wrapped her arms around his waist, resting her head on his massive chest.  “That’s why I asked you if you really wanted to marry me, Mark because of my father.  I mean, our family is fucked up beyond words and belief.  You can still back out and I wouldn’t blame you if you did.” She quietly said, trying not to cry again, but the tears slowly flowed down her cheeks again at the mere thought of Mark backing out of the engagement.


“Your family isn’t the only messed up one in the world.” Mark assured her quietly, reaching up to gently brush away her tears with his finger.  “And you’re not getting rid of me that easily.  I’m marrying you if I have to hogtie you in front of the priest.”


Laughing softly, Chalice’s heart warmed at his words, knowing he didn’t care about her father.  He loved her and wanted to be with her no matter what.  She slowly sat up in his lap and kissed his lips softly, pressing her forehead to his.


“That’s why I love you so much because of your big heart.” She pressed her hand to his chest and smiled, her blue eyes slowly lighting up with happiness again.


“Ssshhhh, I don’t want anyone overhearing you.” Mark whispered dramatically, looking around as if someone might be listening in.  He then gently pushed her back on the bed, bending down to blow raspberries on her stomach through the nightgown.


Chalice giggled out as she squirmed against him, laughing out loud, and finally pulled his face up to meet hers, running her fingers through his hair.  “I know you’re trying to keep your ‘Undertaker’ image, but even when you were in that mode, you still couldn’t hide your big heart from me.” She reminded him softly, kissing him, and groaned when the doorbell rang downstairs.


Mark echoed her groan, raising his head and stared down at her beautiful form.  “Do we have to get it?” He muttered, already knowing they did.  Sighing, he rolled out of bed and stated, “I’ll get it darlin’.  You just wait there.  This ain’t over yet.”


Smiling softly, Chalice shook her head, pulling on her silky black robe, and darted past him out of the bedroom.  She giggled when she heard him grumble under his breath.  Walking downstairs, with Mark behind her, Chalice headed for the front door.  Opening it, Chalice’s eyes instantly narrowed to slits upon seeing the individual standing before her and cleared her throat loudly, the smile disappearing from her face. 




Chapter 3


“Chalice.” Scott Williams nodded at her, his eyes moving to take in her soon-to-be husband.  “You really upset your mother today.” He said without preamble, arms crossed in front of his chest.


Raking a hand through her hair, Chalice sighed heavily and crossed her own arms in front of her chest, staring back into her father’s cold brown eyes.  “Mom really upset ME today too, father.  She doesn’t seem to want to let the fact go that I want Stevie to walk me down the aisle instead of you.” Her voice was just as cold as his as she kept her eyes narrowed. 


Mark folded his own arms over his chest, looking openly hostile, not appreciating this son of a bitch coming here just to upset Chalice.


Scott frowned at his daughter.  His only daughter.  “Your mother is traditional, Chalice.  The way a woman oughta be.” He said coldly, his eyes moving to Mark, and could sense the hostility from him.  “Is there a problem, son?”


“Well I’m not traditional and if she can’t accept that then I told her its really simple just like I’m going to tell you.  Ready, DADDY?” She sarcastically called him that with fire blazing in her eyes.  “Don’t come to my wedding.”


“You’re worthless, Chalice!” Scott shouted, more then pissed off now, not believing his daughter used that tone of voice with him.  “How DARE you talk to me like that!  I’m your father!” He actually moved to strike her, only to wind up with his hand trapped in a giant fist.  “Boy, you got two seconds to…” Scott didn’t get to finish that sentence as he was picked up by his shirt and literally tossed out of the house, landing in the front yard with a sickening thud.  Mark grunted wiping his hands together, no remorse in his eyes or body posture.


Chalice’s eyes widened in shock as she watched her fiancé basically toss her father out on his ass.  That didn’t make his words sting any less though as she felt a few tears slide down her cheeks.  “No father, YOU’RE worthless and guess what?  You’re not welcome to my wedding and if mom can’t deal with it, then I don’t want her there either!!” She shouted heartbrokenly before slamming the front door shut.  The windows rattled from how hard she’d slammed it and ran up the stairs to her bedroom, feeling her heart shatter.


Mark was more then tempted to go out into the front yard and beat the Hell out of Scott, but he somehow managed to keep his temper in check.  He had to stand there for a few minutes, clenching and unclenching his fists, forcing himself to breathe normally.  Finally, he followed Chalice up the stairs to their bedroom, knocking on the door before stepping inside, and called out softly, “Darlin’?”


She was sitting on the bed, her knees drawn up to her chest, and was holding the cordless phone tightly in her hand.  She wanted to call her brother, needing his comfort at the moment, but couldn’t even find the strength to breathe because she was crying so hard.  She didn’t even hear Mark come in as she finally took a deep breath and dialed Steve’s number and put the phone to her ear.  When he answered, she started bursting out in tears, crying so hard all Steve could hear were her heart wrenching sobs. 


“Challie, Challie girl, ya have to calm down.  I can’t understand a word yer sayin’.” Steve said patiently, concern evident in his tone.  Come on, breathe and tell me what happened, honey.”


“Father came…called me worthless…Mark threw him out…” She was heaving so hard from crying that she couldn’t make a single sentence out and cried harder.  She held the phone close to her ear as she curled up in a tight ball on the bed, coughing out a little, and heard her brother trying to calm her down.  “Why does he hate me so much, Stevie?” She whispered out heartbrokenly.


Steve felt his heart break, not believing how cruel their father could be.  “I don’t know, Challie.” He said honestly, not about to lie to her and tell her otherwise.  “Listen darlin’, I’m comin’ over.  I’m bringin’ over yer favorite movie and a gallon of ice cream.  Tell Mark to wear them fuzzy pink slippers I bought’em cause Stevie is on the way.” Then he hung up.


Chalice couldn’t even laugh at his joke as she hung up the phone, throwing it against the wall, and buried her face in her pillow.  Her body shook and trembled violently, shaking her head back and forth, and clutched the pillow against her chest.  She squeezed her eyes tightly shut, coughing out a little, and wished her heart would calm down.  Would stop breaking from her father’s harsh words. 


“Why does he hate me so much?” She kept whispering to herself over and over.


Not even feeling Mark pull her into his arms, he could only hold her against him, rocking her back and forth.  His heart broke when he heard what she was whispering.  He nearly sighed with relief when Steve came pounding up the steps.  Having apparently let himself in.  Mark had never been as excited to see his future brother-in-law and best friend as he was at that moment.


“I got chocolate, vanilla and yer favorite, Challie…” Steve announced, stepping in the room, spotting her and held out his arms, his blue eyes filling with pain.


Breaking away from her fiancé, Chalice instantly went into her brother’s arms, wrapping hers around his neck and buried her face in the crook of his neck as she sobbed violently.  “I’m sorry, Stevie.” She whispered out, holding him tighter to her. 


She didn’t even know what she was sorry for, but just needed her big brother at the moment.  He was the only one who could calm her down, especially after what just happened with their father, and hoped Mark didn’t hate her for going to him.  Steve would always be number one to her, no matter what.  Even after she married Mark and hoped he could accept that.


Steve just held her tightly, resting his head on top of hers, swaying her from side to side.  “It’s alright, Challie girl, I’m here.  I’m here.” He soothed, rubbing her back gently.  He looked over at Mark, pleased to find he wasn’t getting angry or jealous.  Just staring at Chalice with concern written all over his face and in his eyes.  “Tell me what happened, honey.”


“He came here and said I upset mom and that I was worthless after I told him that if him and mom couldn’t accept the fact that you’re walking me down the aisle then I don’t want them there.  He went to hit me and Mark stopped him and…” She started crying harder, not able to go on, and held her brother tighter, her entire small frame trembling violently against him.


His blue eyes widened, glancing back at Mark, who just nodded grimly to confirm what Chalice just told him.  “He went to hit ya?” He echoed, his jaw tensing, his tone remaining the same.  Though his eyes were shooting blue sparks.  “Fuck them both, Challie.  Ya already know I’d be damned proud to walk ya down the aisle.  They don’t need to be there darlin’, screw them both!” Steve was pissed at the way his father had treated his sister and had been for a long time.


Sniffling softly, Chalice slowly pulled back from her brother, staring up into his eyes with her bloodshot ones, and wiped her tears from his neck.  “Did you say you brought ice cream?” She asked, blinking a little, and cracked a small smile back at him.  “Cause you know I love me some ice cream, brother of mine.”


Steve nodded, smiling back down at her.  Though, he was planning on paying their dear daddy a little visit, knowing Mark would be more then up for it too.  “Yeah…I brought three gallons…and some Tequila Rose and those damned movies ya like.” He informed her, looping his arm around her waist.  “What do ya think?  Should we drag yer ol’ man downstairs and have a movie fest?”


Grinning from ear to ear, now through her tear filled eyes, Chalice nodded as she leaned her head against his chest before stepping away.  She walked over to Mark, wrapping her arms around his neck, and hugged him tightly as she whispered, “I love you.  Thank you for what you did.” She then pulled back and took his hand and then her brother’s leading them downstairs for some good ol’ fashioned ice cream and movies.


Mark shook his head as Steve started filling bowls, heaping them with ice cream.  “No…not that…Much.” He groaned when Steve handed him one, staring down at it.  He sighed, ignoring Steve’s smarmy grin and glanced back at Chalice as he jokingly asked, “How can you eat this?”


“Yer not that old where ya can’t remember ice cream!” Steve insisted, only half joking as he made his own bowl.


Giggling softly, Chalice was already snuggled up on the couch; her feet tucked beneath her, and had her huge bowl of ice cream in front of her, already eating it.  Ice cream was the perfect food to make her forget about all the horrible things her father said to her earlier.  She popped in the first movie she picked out of Steve’s bag and laughed at her brother and fiancé. 


“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!”


Mark shook his head, settling down on the floor in front of her.  His back was resting against the couch since Steve had commandeered the spot on the couch next to her.  He wasn’t about to even make the attempt to fit his large ass on the couch with them.  Screw that, he sure as Hell wasn’t about to sit that close to Steve.  The man was like a brother to him and they were best friends, but there had to be limits and that was definitely one of Mark’s.


Steve snickered, waving his spoon in front of Mark.  “Mmm…Chocolaty goodness…Don’t worry, ya still got plenty of time to drop the weight.  We all know that’s what yer problem is.  Yer afraid yer gonna get fat.” He accused, causing Mark to shoot him a deadly glare.


“I have to agree with you there, bro.  Shit, I offered to make this man a steak last night and do you know what he said to me?” She started laughing when Mark shot her a deadly glare as well, but brushed it off, not bothered in the least.  “He said and I quote ‘There’s too much fat on it and I don’t want to risk gaining anymore weight, darlin’.’” She started laughing harder and took a spoon full of ice cream in her mouth, giggling as Steve shook his head back at Mark in disgust.


Mark growled, turning his head to glare at them both.  “What I said, DARLIN’, is ya need to trim off the fat first!” He corrected, not amused when Steve started snickering again.  He loaded his spoon with ice cream and flung it at his best friend, smirking when it got him right on the top of his bald head.  “Bulls eye, cue ball.”


Chalice’s jaw literally DROPPED to the floor when her fiancé flung ice cream at her brother, biting her bottom lip, and tried so hard not to laugh.  Her face was turning as red as a cherry as she snorted, trying not to laugh, but it wasn’t happening.  She slowly reached over, taking the ice cream from her brother’s forehead, which was melting rapidly, and held it out to him. 


“At least its chocolate, Stevie…” She giggled out, snorting more, and could already feel her sides aching.


Steve’s blue eyes had narrowed into tiny slits when Mark did that.  He waved her hand away, shaking his head.  “No darlin’, I’m good.” He assured her with a wink before smiling innocently back at Mark.  “Yer lucky I’m inna good mood.  Otherwise, I might have to beat yer ass ol’ man.” He drawled and Mark just grunted in response.  Steve waited until Mark looked away before dropping his bowl on Mark’s head.  Laughing like a mad man at the shocked look on Mark’s face as the ice cream melted down his hair and over his face. 


“Oh my god…” Chalice whispered out, her eyes as wide as saucers, blue as the ocean, and blinked several times. 


Her brother did NOT just drop his ENTIRE bowl of ice cream on top of her fiancé’s head!!  Chalice couldn’t help it anymore and snorted before full out howling in laughter, rolling on the couch, and had to lean against her brother for leverage.  Steve was leaning against her as the two rolled in laughter at Mark’s expense.


“Payback’s a bitch, Austin.  Remember that.” Mark growled threateningly, getting to his feet.  He was more then a little tempted to attack Steve, but didn’t want to ruin Chalice’s good mood.  “I’m going to take a shower, darlin’.  Get this shit out of my hair.” He explained, bending down to kiss her, smirking when some ice cream got on the tip of her nose, and licked it off.  “Mmmm maybe I do like ice cream.” He murmured, heading up the stairs with a smirk on his face.


Chalice did a full body shiver when he did that, still laughing, and watched as her fiancé walked upstairs.  She then smacked her brother hard and folded her arms in front of her chest, glaring back at him.  Though, the amusement CLEARLY shone in her eyes. 


“Why did you do that?  Can’t you ever ONCE not antagonize or provoke him?” She asked, trying to sound stern, and bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing as the look on Mark’s face popped into her head again.


Steve shook his head, nudging her with his elbow.  “Now what fun would that be, Challie?  Come on, ya can’t sit there and tell me that was NOT funny!” He smirked at her, folding his arms over his chest.  “Could ya imagine if we’d been on live television?  The Undertaker gettin’ dunked with chocolate ice cream?” He actually closed his eyes, imagining it.


Chalice couldn’t stop herself even if she wanted to and burst out laughing again.  This time so hard, tears were rolling down her cheeks.  Her arms clutched her sides, not able to get the image out of her head, and laughed even harder.  “Oh…my…god….I can SO see that too!!  Mark would forever be known as the Dairy Deadman!” She started laughing harder.


“The Dairy Deadman?” Steve gasped, tears spilling down his cheeks as well, leaning against her, holding his sides.  “Oh my god!  He’d come out in his damned robe carryin’ one of them old fashioned milk crates with the glass bottles!”


“Special delivery!” She shouted out and started laughing even harder, leaning against her brother as more tears streamed down her cheeks.  “He’d be wearing one of them damned hats the milkmen used to wear.  Ya know the squared ones?  Only it’d be black and he’d roll his eyes in the back of his brain and go ‘Mmmm milk does the body and soul good!’” She couldn’t take it and doubled over on the couch, not leaning against her brother anymore, and started hitting it.


“The Undertaker, stealer of milk men’s souls everywhere!” Steve chortled.  “He snatches both yer milk and yer soul.” He tried to stop laughing when Mark came walking down the stairs, forcing his face to stay straight, fighting not to grin.  “Hey…what’s up?  …Milk man…”


Hearing her brother say that, Chalice doubled over in laughter again and actually fell off the couch, rolling around on the floor.  She started kicking her feet while pounding on the ground, her stomach killing her from laughing so hard.  She could hardly breathe as she clutched it, the tears streaming down her cheeks, and hit the carpeted floor so hard, the floor was actually echoing back at her. 


“The milkman…” She just laughed harder as she rasped that out.


Mark just stared at them like they had lost their minds.  “I don’t even want to know.” He muttered, sinking down into his leather recliner.


“Hey Mark, now is usin’ skim milk instead of whole considered cheating?” Steve asked casually, trying really hard not to laugh, but it wasn’t happening as his face turned red.


“Steve, I can’t take it!!” She gasped out, hitting the floor even harder with her tiny fists, and finally had to bolt into the downstairs bathroom before she pissed herself.  Her laughter kept echoing through the cracks of the door and into the living room while she peed, hitting the sink as she clutched her stomach.


“Alright, what the Hell is going on?” Mark demanded, not wanting to admit it, but he was curious, especially after seeing Chalice flee the room.


Steve smirked broadly, quickly launching into a detailed description of their conversation.  Not glossing over anything.  If anything, he embellished.  Making sure to drive home the whole dairy Deadman bit.  “Hey!  No violence!” He shouted when Mark tackled him to the ground.


“Say uncle!” Mark ordered, applying the headlock on his friend.




Chalice finally walked out of the bathroom, still giggling uncontrollably, and stopped when she see Mark and Steve rolling on the ground with her fiancé having her brother in a headlock.  She smirked and crossed her arms in front of her chest as she asked casually, “So, I take it the Dairy Deadman knows what his new gimmick is, Stevie?”


“I’d run cause you’re next, darlin’.” Mark grunted, wrenching Steve’s head when Steve tried to break away.  “Say it, Austin!”


“Dairy Deadman!  Dairy Deadman!  Dairy Deadman!  Dairy Deadman!  Dairy Deadman!” Steve chanted, still snickering, refusing to say uncle.


“I’m going to pop your head like a damn tick!”


Chapter 4


Chalice sighed with mock distraught and rolled her eyes at her husband’s threat, running a hand through her hair, and walked over, plopping down on the couch.  “You won’t touch me, Dairy Deadman.” She stated, smirking when he quirked an eyebrow up at her.  “I have my big brother to protect me.” She grinned proudly as they continued to wrestle, just enjoying this time with the two most important men in her life.


Steve managed to shove Mark away, tackling him and applying his own headlock.  “Now…Dairy Deadman…” He began casually.  “What was all that bout poppin’ my head like a tick?”


“I’m going to kick your ass, Steve!” Mark growled, wrapping his arms around Steve’s waist in a bear hug, squeezing as hard as he could.


Steve’s eyes bulged, but the grin never left his face.  “I knew it!” He crowed.  “Challie is just a cover!  You DO find bald men sexy!”


Chalice howled in laughter again as she stared back at her brother, shaking her head, and couldn’t believe what he’d just said.  “I think you might be right, Stevie.  He does seem comfortable down there wrestling around with you.” She smirked when Mark shot her a deadly glare and shrugged it off as she started laughing again.


Steve shrieked, “HE PINCHED MY ASS!” He shouted, now trying to escape Mark, no longer interested in maintaining that headlock.  “Lemme go you pervert!”


“But Stevie, you know I find bald men sexy…and you’re the only bald man around.” Mark teased, his green eyes glinting wickedly.  “Thought you liked it?  You’re the one who pushed me to the floor.”


“I’M GOIN’ TO KILL YOU!!” Steve shouted.  “STOP PINCHIN’ MY ASS!”


Chalice was rolling around on the ouch, howling in more laughter as more tears streamed down her cheeks, and couldn’t believe what Mark was doing.  “Well damn, I think I’d better go find me another man.  You done gone and stole my fiancé, Stevie!” She giggled wickedly, her blue eyes gleaming.  “I think we should go shopping, brother.  Dress shopping…”


Mark had about enough of his fiancée’s teasing and launched for her next, wrapping her in his arms, and growled in her ear, “Dress shopping?”


Steve was on his feet, rubbing his ass from where Mark pinched him.  “Yeah, get’em somethin’ in pink, the fruit bag.”


“I’m going to show you something pink…” Mark threatened in a hiss.


“Keep it in yer pants man, I ain’t interested!”


Mark groaned, burying his face in Chalice’s neck, and grumbled, “Why me?”


“Uhh honey, what are you doing?” Chalice asked innocently, her blue eyes gleaming wickedly as she smirked back at her brother knowingly.  “You’re with my brother now so I have to let you go.  It’s going to be SO hard…” She mocked sniffled and sighed sadly.  “But I wish you two nothing, but happiness in the future.”


“I ain’t interested.” Steve declared, plopping down in Mark’s chair, making himself comfortable.  “I like red heads and all, but uh…NO…A little less facial hair is ya don’t mind.” Mark’s hair was a dark red that almost looked black at times.


“You two are giving me a damned headache.” Mark growled, moving to sit on the opposite end of the couch, shaking his head.


“We could always dye your hair, Marky.  It’ll look good with the pink frilly wedding dress.” She teased, her eyes sparkling back and him, and laughed as she snuggled up in her corner of the couch, shaking her head.


“Oh yeah…with matchin’ bra and panties.  Ya a thong man, Mark?” Steve smirked as he asked, exchanging a look with his sister.  “Personally, I find that disturbin’, but whatever floats yer boat.” Mark’s face was slowly turning beat red, his hands clenching and unclenching, looking like steam was about to pour from his ears.


“I’m sure he don’t mind, especially since he wears a dress to the ring to compete all the time.  You can call it a robe if you want, Marky, but we both know you secretly call it a dress.” Chalice teased even more, loving how they were getting under Mark’s skin, especially the look of his face, and laughed.  “A thong man?  Shit, I don’t think you could fit his big, giant ass into a thong.  It’d snap off in a second!”


“THAT’S IT!” Mark roared, getting to his feet, and grabbed Steve by the back of his neck, squeezing.  “Get the hell outta here!”


Steve was still laughing, fresh tears rolling down his cheeks as he was bodily carted out of the house.  “Dairy Deadman in cow print thongs!” He hollered right before being tossed out the door.


Mark returned to his fiancée, towering over her, and growled out, “Now…as for you…”


Crossing her arms in front of her chest, Chalice looked up at him with a raised eyebrow, still giggling.  When he lunged for her, she immediately hopped over the couch and bolted up the stairs.  She laughed the entire way as she ran into the bedroom, locking the door, and immediately locked the attaching door that connected to their master bathroom. 


“Don’t be sour about it, Dairy Deadman!” She called out through the door.  “We both know you secretly love the gimmick, honey.”


Mark sighed when he seen the door was locked and knew he had three options.  One, he waited for Chalice to unlock it.  Two, he picked the lock.  Three, he kicked the door in.  He went for option three. 


“Come here, darlin’!” He bellowed, trying to keep the amusement from his voice.  “Don’t make me kick down that damned door too, Chalice.”


She immediately backed away from the door, knowing he was going to kick it in, and stopped as she took a deep breath.  “Mark, we were just kidding with you!” She called back, trying to keep the fear out of her voice tone.  “I’m not opening that door until you calm down!” She declared, crossing her arms in front of her chest defiantly.


Hearing the fear in her voice, Mark instantly felt regret shoot through him, knowing he had scared her.  “Darlin’, I was only playing.  I can fix the door.” He said softly, pressing his hands against the bathroom door that linked to their bedroom that she’d locked.  “Come on Chalice, please?”


“We were only kidding around, Mark.” She softly replied, staring at the door, and bit her bottom lip.  “Please, I’ll do anything if you promise not to do anything to me.” She called out pleadingly, still keeping her distance from the door, and began to tremble from head to toe as she took another step back. 


Mark felt his heart break at what Chalice said and sighed, raking a hand through his wet hair.  He didn’t say a word, just slid on his boots and picked up the keys to his truck.  “You can come out, darlin’.” He said softly, his tone full of sorrow and remorse, hating himself for making her scared.  Though, at the same time, he couldn’t honestly believe that she thought he would ever hurt her.  “I’m leavin’…”


Chalice’s eyes filled with tears when she heard him say that and started shaking with anger.  Her Williams temper was kicking into high gear as she ripped the door open and tossed the vase of flowers against the wall, smashing it to bits, and screamed, “NO, I’M FUCKING LEAVING!”


After everything that had happened that day with her parents, this was the absolutely last thing Chalice needed.  She grabbed her own keys and rushed out of the bedroom, not caring if glass got in her feet, and rushed down the stairs and out the front door.  Tears were pouring down her face as she got in her car.  She started the ignition and watched as Mark came barreling out the front door.  She showed him just what she thought of him, which was number one, like her brother did in the ring, before peeling out of the driveway and down the road.


Mark’s own dangerous temper was up now.  He got into his truck and peeled off after her.  His green eyes narrowed dangerously when he seen her turn and cut her off, the road thankfully empty except for them.  He gritted his teeth when she purposely plowed into his truck and got out, stalking over to her car.  He snorted when she locked the door and put his fist through the glass window, unlocking it before ripping the door open and pulled her out. 


“STOP IT, CHALICE!” He ordered when she began fighting him.  “DAMN IT STOP!  I would never fucking hurt you!  I was joking around in the bedroom for Christ sakes!  I didn’t know breaking the door would scare you like it did.” His tone lowered, holding her still, staring down into her eyes, his temper cooling off, regret filling them again at the thought of what he’d just done.  “Chalice, if you want to leave, fine, but I would NEVER hurt you, not as long as there’s a breath in my body.  I’d kill myself before I laid one harmful finger on you.  I love you, don’t you know that?”


She couldn’t believe he’d just put his fist through her window and was visibly shaken up.  She’d screamed out at him to stop when he’d done that and could feel her heart still lodged in her throat.  His green eyes stared back into her petrified blue orbs.  Seeing the passion, the intensity, and had to swallow really hard in order to speak.  She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.  She immediately looked down at his hand, which was covered in blood and glass, feeling tears instantly prick her eyes. 


“You’re hurt.” She whispered out shakily, swallowing her fear down to her stomach, and slowly began picking the glass from his hand.  Tears poured down her face silently as she worked, finally removing the final piece, and ripped a piece of her coat off, wrapping it up so it didn’t get infected.  She then looked back up at him, the fear clearly shining in her eyes, but she didn’t back away.


Tears filled Mark’s eyes when he seen the fear in hers, unable to blink them back, and honestly not caring as one slid down his face.  He reached out to cup the side of her face, drawing back when she flinched.  “Chalice…” He whispered, his tone filled with pain.


She hadn’t meant to flinch, but right now, she was scared to death of him.  She was literally scared for her life, not believing what he just did.  She wrapped her arms around herself and rubbed her arms as the chills ran throughout her body.  This was the first time she’d been scared of him in the past two years that they’d been together. 


The last time she’d been this scared of him was right before he almost raped her, after kidnapping her from her brother.  She could hear the pain in his tone of voice and wiped her tears away from her eyes, trying to get rid of those chills and the fear, but it wasn’t happening.  Not after what just happened.


Mark knew he had royally fucked up.  That it would have been better all the way around if he would have just let her go and waited until they were both calm before approaching her.  But damn it, this woman riled him up worse then Steve ever could.  She made him feel EVERYTHING on a different level then normal.  Everything intensified when it came to her.  Mark sighed, stepping away from her, the piece of her coat falling from his bloody fist.  Though, he didn’t seem to notice. 


“Take my truck…” He ordered softly.  “Go to Steve’s.  I’ll have my things out by mornin’.” He informed her softly, his heart breaking.  “You won’t have to…be afraid anymore, Chalice.”


“No…” She whispered out, taking a deep, shaky breath, and closed her eyes before opening them to stare into his.  “I’m not going anywhere.  I love you too damned much to let you just walk away from this.  From us.” Her voice was filled with determination and love as she walked over to him and wrapped her arms hesitantly around his body, burying her face in his chest, and clung to him.  “I didn’t mean to be afraid.  I didn’t mean it, Mark.” She started crying harder as she shook her head back and forth.  “Please don’t walk away from me.  We can work this out…” She snuggled further into his chest, rubbing his back with her hands, trembling.  “Please…”


He instantly wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her hair, inhaling her scent.  “I’m so sorry, Chalice.” He whispered, his voice hoarse with emotion.  “I would never hurt you, darlin’.  I’m going to spend the rest of my life proving that to you, making this up to you, I promise.”


“Shhh calm down, my dark prince.” She murmured softly in his ear, running her fingers through his long, dark red tresses, and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, trying to soothe his tormented soul.  “I love you, no matter what happens in our life together.  You’re it for me and I don’t care if we have to go through the fiery depths of Hell and back, we ARE going to be together.” She pulled back to stare into his eyes, pressing her forehead against his, and ran her hand down his cheek.  “We ARE going to survive this.” She whispered confidently and kissed him softly.  “Please, I want to go home.” She whispered pleadingly.


Mark nodded, raking a hand through his hair again before looking at his truck, then at her car, wincing when he seen glass all over the seat.  “Take the truck, darlin’…” He instructed softly, bending down to kiss her lips tenderly.  “It’s just a little dent, I don’t want you cutting yourself.”


“No, we’ll take the truck together.  My car can wait until tomorrow or something.” She ordered softly, taking his hand in her own, and lead him over to the truck. 


She took the keys from his hand, making him get in, and proceeded to drive them both back to the house.  After pulling in the driveway, Chalice slid out, tossing the keys back at him, and walked inside, needing a shot after what she just dealt with.  She poured it and downed it, then another.  Pretty soon, she was downing her sixth shot.


Sighing, having watched her drink, Mark finally took the bottle and shot glass away from her.  “Darlin’, don’t.  You had enough and tonight just ain’t the night to be drinking.” He said gently, but firmly, putting the bottle up on a high shelf.


Not in the mood to argue with her future husband, Chalice nodded as she limped out of the kitchen, little trickles of blood leaving a trail in her path.  She headed upstairs to lay down, not even realizing there was glass in her feet from when she ran out of the room earlier after throwing the vase against the wall.  Mark seen the blood and frowned, following and picking her up.  He carried her upstairs and gently set her down on the bed. 


He went to the bathroom to retrieve the first aid kit and came back out, kneeling in front of her.  Gently picking the glass out of her feet, Mark tried his best not to hurt her, having to dig some shards out that had been embedded in her feet from her walking on them, which pushed the shards in.  After he was done, he tenderly washed her feet, patted them dry, and put some salve and gauze wrapping on them, staring up at her.


Tears of pain were flowing down her cheeks, but when it was all over, her feet felt a lot better.  She slowly reached her hand out, caressing his face with the back of her hand, and pulled back before laying down on the bed.  She grabbed his hand in her own, entwining them together, and pulled him down with little effort to spoon up against her. 


“I love you, Mark.” She whispered, closing her eyes, and allowed more tears to flow down her cheeks, the exhaustion of the day’s events overtaking her body.


Chapter 5


~One Month Later~


A low groan escaped his lips as Mark rolled over in bed, sticking his head underneath his pillow, and tried to block out the pounding on the front door.  Not even knowing who it could be at nine o’clock in the fucking morning!  He was naturally a night person and had difficulty getting up and going first thing in the morning. 


“WHAT THE FUCK?” He growled when the knocking only got louder, tossing back the covers.


Chalice sighed heavily as she was outside, planting roses in the garden, all smiles, and couldn’t believe what a gorgeous day it was.  Her eyes matched the color of the sky that day as she slowly wiped the dirt from her hands, more at peace.  It’d been a month since the incident with Mark and they were more in love than ever.  It sickened her brother, but she didn’t care.  She slowly stepped inside the house and into the kitchen, seeing Mark stomping down the stairs, and washed her hands, knowing he’d get the door. 


“MARKY!” Serena cried as soon as Mark opened the door, tossing her arms around him.  Her obviously dyed platinum blonde hair bouncing with her every movement.  “Gawd baby, I’ve missed you SOOOO much!”


Mark recoiled, trying to pry her off of him, instantly waking up fully.  “What the HELL are you doing here?” He demanded, finally shoving her away, not believing the audacity of this bitch.


“I’ve missed you.” She pouted, jutting out her lower lip.  “I want you back, baby.”


“Mark?” Chalice’s sweet voice echoed from the kitchen as she finished washing her hands, wearing a pair of jeans with an Austin t-shirt, and walked out into the living room, stopping dead in her tracks.  Before her stood possibly the most fake bottled blonde bimbo she’d ever laid her eyes on and actually had to raise an eyebrow.  “Who is that?” She softly asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest.


Serena stared at Chalice, her own blue eyes, which were contacts because she hated the dull brown she’d been born with, narrowed.  “Who is THAT?  Please Marky, tell me you DID NOT pick up with some two bit piece of trailer trash!”


Groaning, Mark was tempted to strangle this bitch’s neck and finally managed to pry her arms off of him.  “This, Chalice, is the ring rat whore Steve and I told you about.” He answered, glaring down at his ex-fiancée, and couldn’t believe he’d actually wanted to marry her.


“You mean the bitch that broke MY brother’s heart?” She spat hatefully, her blue eyes that mirror Steve’s inflaming, and narrowed them to dangerous, deadly slits.  She took a step towards the front door, clenching and unclenching her fists at her sides, wanting to rip this whore a new asshole for what she did and caused.  “You have TWO seconds to get the fuck off of OUR property before I open up a can of whoop ass on your scrawny, bleach blonde, silicone filled ASS!”


“Broke your brother’s heart?” Serena echoed, arching a blonde eyebrow, looking quite amused.  “No, sweet pea, it wasn’t your brother’s heart I broke, it was Mark’s.” She corrected her, no remorse whatsoever dripping in her voice, and trailed a bright pink talon down his chest, smirking at him wickedly.  “You mean you didn’t tell her, hmmm?  Now that wasn’t nice.”


“Serena…” Mark growled threateningly, knowing exactly what she was about to say.


“Mark and I were engaged, sweet pea.” She announced smugly, spotting the ring glistening on Chalice’s finger.  “Looks like you’re getting MY sloppy seconds.”


“What?” She whispered out, her big blue eyes widening in shock, and swallowed past the lump that had formed in her throat.  “You were…engaged to her while she was…Oh my god…” Her voice trailed off as she suddenly felt her entire body tense, her fists clenched at her sides, and couldn’t believe what she’d just heard.  She didn’t say a single word to Mark as she slipped the ring from her finger and threw it at Serena.  “You can have him back.  I’m not his sloppy seconds.  Not anymore.” She stated hatefully and stormed out of the house, got in her car that’d just been repaired, and peeled out of the driveway.  Tears were already pouring down her cheeks as her heart shattered in her chest.


“Well, now THAT was fun!” Serena giggled cruelly as she licked her upper lip.  “Mark, she isn’t right for you, baby.  You know no woman but me is ever going to REALLY understand you.”


Wrapping a hand around her throat out of nowhere, Mark lifted her off the ground so she was eye level with him, and growled out menacingly, green eyes spitting venom, “You got two seconds to get the fuck out of here, Serena, before I change my policy and become a woman beater!!” He then tossed her back, hard enough to knock the wind from her body, and slammed the front door shut behind him so hard, the windows rattled and shook.


Chalice couldn’t believe how stupid she’d been to actually trust a man like Mark.  After two years of being with him, loving him, trusting him, giving him her whole heart and soul, he had to betray her like this.  He had to keep something THIS important from her!!  Chalice finally pulled into her brother’s driveway, screeching her tires, and got out of the car, slamming the door shut behind her.  She walked up to his front door and didn’t even have to knock. 


When he answered, her fist plowed forward, right into his nose as she screamed, “ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, STEVE?!  ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY NOW THAT YOU OFFICIALLY BROKE MY HEART?!”


Stumbling back, Steve’s hands flew to his blood gushing nose and shouted back at her, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FER?  WHAT THE HELL ARE YA TALKIN’ BOUT, CHALICE WILLIAMS?!” He reached out to drag her inside, slamming the door behind him, pissed off beyond belief now.  “You had best explain right quick before I punch YOU!”


“Don’t fuckin’ even try it or I’ll knock you flat on your fuckin’ ass, Williams!” She snarled back at him, her eyes filled with both pain and hurt, and couldn’t take it anymore as she started pacing back and forth in front of him.  “How long did you know about them, Steve huh?  How long did that bastard fuck her?  How long were they ENGAGED before you found out?” She was so livid right now, all she saw was red, and didn’t even feel the pain flowing through her hand from socking her brother in his nose as a greeting.


Steve’s eyes widened, instantly knowing who she meant.  He groaned, holding up a finger for her to give him a minute, before going to get a wet washcloth, pressing it against his nose.  “I didn’t know bout’em until I found her foolin’ around with Mark.  Just like he didn’t know bout her and I till then.  Serena was playin’ with us both, darlin’.  They were engaged for…a month I think.  Mark kept it under wraps mostly, at her insistence.” He explained, hoping the blood stopped gushing out of his nose soon, and couldn’t believe his sister actually punched him.  She had a nice right hook, he had to admit that much.


“Under wraps?” She laughed incredulously back at her brother and shook her head, still not believing this was happening.  She walked over and sunk down on the couch, throwing her head in her hands, and gripped her hair tightly.  “We’re done.  She’s at his house right now and I told her I’m not going to be his sloppy seconds anymore.  I’m fucking finished with him.  I can’t believe I was stupid enough to actually believe that man could have a heart and a damned conscience.” The tears were already pouring down her face freely as she kept her head lowered, shaking it back and forth sadly.


“Challie, what are ya talkin’ bout, darlin’?  Mark LOVES ya and if ya don’t believe that then yer a damn fool!” Steve said sternly, staring down at her, not liking to see her cry, but not wanting her to throw away her shot with a man who truly loved her either.  “Mark and I might act like we don’t like each other, but when it comes right down to it, we’re best friends.  Are ya angry with him for not tellin’ ya?”


“YOU DAMN RIGHT I AM!” She snapped, standing up from the couch, and glared back at her brother spitefully.  “You told me he was evil and that he didn’t have a heart.  YOU DID!  I didn’t listen to you, but now that the bitch is back in the picture, everything can get back to normal.  I will NEVER forgive him for keeping something THIS important away from me!  You’re lucky you’re my brother and I love you unconditionally or else I’d hate you too for not telling me about it sooner!” Chalice was beside herself as she leaned against the wall and slowly slid down it, burying her face in her knees, and started sobbing violently.  “How could I have been so stupid?” She whispered out heartbrokenly, feeling her heart shatter repeatedly.


Steve ran a hand over his head, sighing heavily.  He pulled the cloth away, grateful when he found his nose had stopped bleeding, and tossed the rag aside before staring at her.  “Did ya even give him the chance to explain, Chalice or did ya just walk out on him?” He asked, ignoring everything else she’d said.


“She told me I was his sloppy seconds after informing me that they’d been engaged prior.  He was fucking engaged to that whore while she was fucking you.” Chalice felt sick to her stomach, but didn’t make a move yet.  She just sat there, continuously crying, and knew her and Mark were over.  “Fate was never good to us.” She whispered, looking up into her brother’s eyes, and shook her head at the disappointment that shined back in his.  “Fuck it, I’m leaving.” She announced and stood up, dusting her jeans and shirt off.  “I’m going back to North Carolina, far away from both of you.” She then started for the front door, wanting to get out of the same state both her brother and Mark were in at the moment.


Steve shot forward, wrapping an arm around her waist, and blocked the punch she aimed for his face, not about to be decked again.  “Serena was fuckin’ us both and neither of us knew it!” He said harshly, knowing Chalice wasn’t going to listen to him, but determined to make the effort.  “Every time somethin’ has been thrown at you and Mark, you’ve overcome it.  Now yer goin’ to walk away because a TRAMP comes walkin’ in?  What are ya afraid of, Chalice?” He knew there was more to the story, more to what she was feeling, and wanted her to open up to him.  If she did that, maybe Steve could help her through it instead of allowing her to run out on the best thing that ever happened to her.


“He loved her once and he’ll love her again, Steve!!  I’m not about to get my heart broken again and watch him walk away from me!!” She cried out, fighting him the entire way, and finally sunk down on the floor on her knees, his arm still wrapped around her waist.  “I can’t take it.  I love him so much and now she’s back.  She said she wanted him back, Steve.” She took a few deep breaths, coughing out, and bent over further, trying to breathe.


“And just what the Hell makes ya think fer one goddamned second Mark is goin’ to get back with that bitch?  You say ya love him, Challie, but I find that hard to believe.  Ya should know him better than this.  That man would walk through Hell fer ya!  If ya loved him, you’d of given him a chance to explain before walkin’ away from him!” Steve shouted back at her, not caring if he was hurting her or not.  This was his best friend she was running out on all because of a fling he had in the past with a tramp that he did.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but Serena’s and Steve wanted to beat the shit out of her for even coming back and causing trouble. 


“And if you loved me as much as you say you do, you wouldn’t be taking his side and you would’ve told me from the get go that they were engaged.” She shot back in a cold voice, ripping her body from his arm, and shakily stood up to her feet, raking a hand through her hair.  “Was it worth it, Steve?  Tell me, was it REALLY worth keeping that factor from me?” She questioned and didn’t give him the time to answer before walking out of his front door, slamming it behind her harshly as the windows rattled.  She got in her car and revved it up before peeling down the road, headed for the airport. 


Steve shook his head, watching her pull out of the drive like the hounds of Hell were after her.  He sighed, dropping down on the couch, and buried his head in his hands, knowing deep down, his sister was right.  They should’ve told her from the beginning that Mark was engaged to Serena, but Mark pleaded with Steve that day in his hotel room not to say anything. 


He should’ve known better, especially when it came to his sister, and how she’d react to this piece of news.  For Christ sakes, the woman was getting married to his best friend in a few short months and NOW she finds out, after two years, that Mark was engaged prior to the same woman who was sleeping with both him and Mark!  Sighing heavily, Steve reached over to pick up the phone, wearily punching in a number, and waited for the recipient to answer.


Chalice could feel the tears streaming down her cheeks, but she didn’t care anymore.  Her heart was shattered and there was no mending it, not after this.  That bitch Serena had come into the picture and made all of her doubts about Mark come back full force.  She couldn’t believe the man she loved, who claimed loved her in return, would keep something like this from her. 


It didn’t make any sense to her.  Why would her brother and Mark deliberately keep her in the dark about Mark being engaged to the bitch if it was just their past?  Maybe Chalice was being unreasonable.  Maybe she was being selfish, but at this point, she was looking out for herself for once in her life.


Mark hung up after a twenty minute conversation and an hour bitch fest with Steve, having to sit through a rant about Serena.  Hearing about what a dick he was for not telling Chalice sooner.  Mark had pointed out that Steve hadn’t mentioned it either and the conversation sort of died.  Steve had mentioned something about North Carolina and that was all Mark needed to know. 


He immediately called a friend of his who was a private investigator and had him track down the airport, airline and what city Chalice was headed to.  He sighed when the guy came up short and decided he had to go visit Steve to get the directions.  Mark had one goal and one goal only and that was to find Chalice and win her back, no matter the costs.


Chapter 6


~Three Days Later~


The ocean breeze blew through her hair as Chalice stood on the beach a few days later.  Her arms wrapped around herself.  The tears sliding down her cheeks freely.  She was wearing a pair of blue jeans with a black tank top that was plain. 


Nothing special on it.  Her heart was broken so she didn’t feel the need to add anymore color than her jeans.  She would never give them up.  They were apart of her and always would be. 


The waves crashed on the shore lightly, soothing her a little.  She finally walked down as she grabbed a rock from the sand, skipping it in the ocean water.  She missed Mark tremendously, but she knew that they weren’t meant to be.  Fate had thrown her a twisted curve ball, but Chalice was determined to move on with her life.  She closed her eyes at the thought of what happened three days prior and allowed the tears to fall continuously.


He watched her from a few feet away, having quietly approached her.  It had taken him some time to locate this place.  Steve’s directions weren’t entirely helpful, but his private investigator finally nailed her location. 


He wore black jeans with a black muscle shirt.  His hair was pulled back in a low ponytail with a black bandana tied around his head.  Black sunglasses hid his bloodshot eyes and the circles beneath them as he finally couldn’t wait anymore. 


“Chalice?” He softly called out, taking a few steps toward her, but kept his distance.


Her entire body instantly tensed when she heard Mark’s voice behind her.  Her big blue eyes widened in shock and slowly turned around to face him.  Her eyes were bloodshot and swollen, having not stopped crying for the past three days, and hardly slept. 


“What are you doing here, Mark?” She asked in a cold voice, her eyes steely.  No longer holding the same love and admiration she once had for this man standing before her.


His heart broke at the tone of voice she used, wanting to keep just as cool and distant with her.  He also knew that wasn’t the way to solve things between them though.  One of them had to be make the first step.  He knew it would have to be him and he inhaled deeply before putting his heart out on the line. 


“I’m here for you, darlin’.  I want you to come home or at least give me a chance to explain myself.” He answered, loud enough for her to hear over the waves.


“Why, so I can become your sloppy seconds again?” She spat back at him hatefully, placing her hands on her hips, and could already feel the tears sliding down her cheeks, but she didn’t care.  She seemed unbothered by them since she’d grown used to feeling pain and misery over the past three days.  “Save it, Mark.  I can’t believe I trusted you.  I can’t believe I went against my own BROTHER for you and got you two to be friends again.  Must feel good, huh?  I hope you two are very fuckin’ happy together, you selfish prick!  You kept something like that from me because you were still in love with her and don’t fuckin’ deny it because I know its true!  If you didn’t want to be with her still, you would’ve told me that day in the hotel room when you two revealed to me about her in the first fucking place!”


Chalice wasn’t about to listen to his sob story.  Not in the mood for it, she didn’t want to see him.  She wanted him gone, far away so her heart could mend again.  If that was at all possible at this point.


“Chalice, do you think it was easy for me to even mention that whore?  Steve and I spent a YEAR trying to kill each other over that bitch!  She isn’t exactly something I really care to think about or even fucking mention.” Mark said, trying to keep his voice calm and his temper down.  “Yes, you’re right, I should’ve told you and you have no idea how much I regret not doing it!  I don’t love or want Serena.  I want you!  I love YOU!”


“Why should I believe you?  Why should I believe a single word that comes out of your mouth after what I found out?  Were you ever planning on telling me, Mark?” She demanded, her eyes full of fire and rage, mixed with love and confusion.  It was a swirl of emotions that were intense as she stared back into his black shaded covered eyes.


“No, I wasn’t.” He answered honestly, removing his shades so she could see into his own eyes.  “I never wanted to tell you about Serena.  I didn’t want you thinking any less of me, especially after everything I put you and your brother through when we first met.”


“How could you keep something like that from me, Mark?” Her voice was heartbroken now, full of pain and anguish as she felt her knees give out on her.  The look in his eyes was too much for her to take and handle.  “Do you have any idea how much it hurt me to actually hear her say that I was your sloppy seconds?  After she revealed to me that you two were engaged?” She asked softly, no hatred whatsoever in her tone, just pain.  Raw, brutal pain.


“You’re nobody’s sloppy seconds.” Mark said, kneeling down in front of her, resting his hands on his thighs.  He wanted to desperately reach out and pull her into his arms, but he wouldn’t be able to deal with the rejection if she pushed him away.  So he didn’t.  “I don’t know why I kept it from you.  All I can say is I know you have every reason not to, but forgive me.  I don’t want to lose your love, darlin’.  I don’t want to lose you.”


“Is there anything else I need to know, Mark?” She asked suddenly, looking up into his eyes, their bodies mere inches from each other’s and held herself up as she slowly rose to her feet.  “There’s not a love child or another woman out there carrying your baby right?  There’s not another woman out there who is still married to you, right?  You’re not MARRIED to anyone else, RIGHT?” She was trying to think of every single possible scenario in her head as she fired those questions back at him, dead serious.


“No, no, no, and hell no.” Mark shot back.  “I don’t have any love kids floating out there, no girlfriends, no wives, and no women waiting for me.  It’s just you and only you, Chalice.” He said softly, his voice telling her it was the truth, eyes mirroring it.


“I swear, as god as my witness as I stand before you right here and now, if you ever, and I do mean EVER, keep something from me again that reaches that magnitude, you WILL lose me and never find me.” She stated, knowing it wasn’t a threat.  It was a promise and she’d keep it if he fucked up again.  “You have one more chance.  Make it last for the rest of our lives if possible.” She whispered that last sentence out and finally dropped her arms at her sides, suddenly feeling exhausted.


Mark did what he wanted to do since he’d seen her.  He pulled her into his arms, stroking her back, and buried his face in her hair.  “I’m sorry, darlin’.” He whispered, his voice breaking and cracking.  “I’ll do my best to make this up to you, Chalice.  I won’t disappoint you again.” He kissed the top of her head, refusing to release her, trying to blink back the tears that stung his eyes.


Chalice melted into his arms, giving into her heart that was screaming at her to hold him tightly, and felt it break at his voice.  “Let’s just forget about this and move on, Mark.  Please, I just want to get married and I don’t care how we do it.  I don’t care, I really don’t.  We can elope and call Steve, if he even still wants to do it, but I don’t want ANYTHING else going wrong!” She started crying, breaking completely down in his arms, and had to grip his shoulders to keep from collapsing.


“Calm down, darlin’.  Calm down.” Mark soothed, rubbing her back, knowing this had taken a lot out of her.  Him as well.  “You’re going to make yourself sick if you don’t calm down, Chalice.” He waited a few minutes until she had finally settled down somewhat.  “We can elope, not a problem.  And you know Steve is going to want to come along.  If he misses giving you away, he’d probably go on a rampage.”


“He probably hates me after the horrible things I said to him about his best friend.” She replied, cracking a small smile up at Mark, who had his eyebrows furrowed together.  “I went and visited him after leaving you with that bitch and punched him in the nose and asked him if he was happy for breaking my heart.  He defended you tooth and nail, called you his best friend, and proceeded to basically tell me that I was making a huge mistake by walking away from you.  I told him that if he loved me, he wouldn’t stick up for you and that he’d be on my side, which was selfish on my part.  I was so angry and confused.  I didn’t mean what I said.” She started crying again after explaining what happened between her and Steve, clinging to her fiancé for dear life as she coughed out more, groaning.  ‘Damn it, what’s wrong with me?’ She thought, shaking herself mentally.


Mark always hated to see her cry and this was no exception.  His heart contracted painfully, feeling her hot tears beating down on him, soaking his shirt.  “Steve ain’t mad at you, darlin’.  He’s worried that you’ll never forgive him.” Mark coughed, the conversation he’d had with her brother prior flooding his mind.  “Do you want to see him?”


“Yes, I want to see my brother.  There’s something I need to tell him as well as you.” She replied softly, hugging him around the neck tightly, and sniffled a little more.  She just hoped her brother didn’t hate her or Mark for what she was about to reveal to him and felt herself tremble at the mere thought. 




Steve was standing in the doorway when Mark and Chalice pulled in the driveway several hours later, a grin on his face.  He strode out to greet them, pulling his baby sister into a bear hug.  “I’m glad ya pulled yer head outta yer ass.” He teased, kissing her cheek before pressing his forehead to hers, staring into her eyes that were identical to his.  “Still mad at me, Challie girl?”


“No, I’m not mad at you anymore.” She whispered back at him softly and took a deep, shaky breath, allowing him to escort her and Mark into his house. 


She raked a hand through her hair, on edge, and chewed her thumbnail as she wondered how she was going to tell them.  Steve was going to blow a gasket and probably take half of the state of Texas with him after this was all said and done.  As for Mark, she honestly never talked to him about this and it scared her because she didn’t want him walking away from her.


Mark and Steve both seen the look on her face, both taking note of her chewing her thumbnail.  Something she did only when she was nervous.  Steve guided her to the couch and set her down, dropping next to her while Mark sat in the chair beside the couch, leaning forward to touch her knee. 


“Challie, what’s wrong?” Steve finally asked after a few moments of silence between them. 


“Nothing, I need to make dinner for both of you tonight.” She announced suddenly, standing up from the couch, and walked into the kitchen, nodding at her plan.  She started dragging out pots and pans and preheated the oven while dragging out some food she’d found in her brother’s fridge.  “Just watch a game or something.  Dinner will be ready soon.” She called back to them, chewing her thumbnail again, and prayed this went well.


“She’s lyin’.” Mark whispered, his voice low and confident.


Steve nodded in agreement, reaching for the remote and turned the television on.  He flicked it to a channel with some kind of game on it, not really interested in it, just wanting Chalice to think they were listening to what she told them.  “I know.  What do ya think is goin’ on?” He asked his best friend, his blue eyes filling with concern for his sister.


“I don’t know.” Mark said softly, stroking his chin thoughtfully, and leaned back into the chair, wondering what was bothering her after all the shit they’d already been through in the past almost four days.


After preparing a meal, Chalice closed her eyes tightly shut, taking a few deep breaths to calm her racing heart, and cleared her throat.  She carried out two plates, handing one to the other, and bit her bottom lip as she stood before them.  On the plates were baby carrots, baby ribs, baby peas, and baby cut cornbread as she raked a hand through her hair. 


“Don’t eat yet.  Just stare at the menu for tonight carefully.” She instructed nervously.


“What the Hell is this?” Steve asked curiously, trying to figure out whatever it is she wanted them to know, shooting Mark a puzzled look.


Mark was studying his plate intently, finally setting it on the stand next to him, arching an eyebrow at her.  “Chalice?  We’re not that old.  You don’t need to serve us itty bitty pieces, darlin’.” He informed her gently, not wanting to upset her, but he could gobble this meal she’d prepared for them in two seconds.


“Mark, just focus on the damned plate harder!” Chalice snapped, wrapping her arms around herself, and started pacing back and forth in front of them.  “There IS a point behind why I’m serving you itty bitty pieces of food tonight in SMALL portions.” She emphasized that word small diligently, never stopping her pacing.  Mark turned in the chair to stare at his plate as ordered by the love of his life. 


“Because you think Mark is an ancient geezer who needs his vittles mashed so he don’t hurt his poor teeth?” Steve suggested with a smirk on his face while Mark shot him a glare for his troubles.


Chalice growled, smacking her brother upside his bald head, and pointed to his plate.  “Focus!!” She ordered in a shout, her voice trembling and shaky, trying to hide it, but it wasn’t happening.  Her hormones were going insane right now and had been lately as she started pacing again.


“I AM focusin’!” Steve growled back, rubbing his head where she’d smacked him.  “Damn woman, go take a chill pill!” He stared down at his plate sullenly, still not understanding what he was looking for.


Chapter 7


“Animal, mineral or vegetable?” Mark questioned, stroking his goatee thoughtfully as he glanced over at his best friend and future brother-in-law.


Steve snorted.  “All three, jackass, study yer plate a bit better.  She’s got’em all on there!”


“STOP LOOKING AT THE DAMN FOOD!!  WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT IT?!” She snapped, her hormones raging by now, and started pacing a hole in the floor as she finally stopped.  She stared hardening back at them with her steely blue eyes, which were narrowed slightly.


Mark and Steve both swallowed hard, trying not to look at the food, but at the same time, needing to look at it to determine what was so important.  “There’s more vegetables then meat?” Steve guessed, waiting for another smack upside his head while Mark just shook his in response.


Sighing and whimpering in agitation, Chalice pointed at the food and actually picked up a single baby carrot in her hand.  “What’s different about this?  What does the ENTIRE meal consist of?” She asked, trying to get their minds focused on the task at hand.  Though, she already knew men were clueless when it came to this sort of thing to begin with.


“Um…Midget food?” Steve asked tentatively, blinking a little, and raked a hand over his bald head.


Mark groaned, not believing Steve actually just said that, and retorted, “No you dumbass, it’s a fucking baby carrot…” His eyes suddenly flew open.


Chalice slowly backed away when she seen Mark’s eyes fly open, swallowing hard, and leaned against the wall as she started breathing raggedly.  She winced as another pain shot through her stomach and breathed it out.  “Yeah, a baby carrot...Just like everything else on that menu.” She replied softly, closing her eyes, and sighed as she pressed a hand to her stomach.


Steve was slower on the uptake then Mark, arching an eyebrow at his friend, who had gone still, face drained of color.  “Calaway?  Hey ol’ man!” He snapped his fingers in front of Mark’s face, trying to get his attention back.  Mark’s green orbs were firmly focused on Chalice, not blinking, not moving an inch.  “Would somebody please tell me what the hell is goin’ on here?”


Tears slid down Chalice’s cheeks as she slowly turned to face her brother, her eyes telling him exactly what Mark just figured out, and threw the baby carrot on his plate.  Her bottom lip was trembling so hard that she could already feel her teeth chattering within her mouth.  Her body was shaking violently as she kept her hand on her stomach.  Her blue eyes pleading with her brother to understand and not to be upset with her.  Even though she knew, he hadn’t figured it out quite yet.


The realization finally dawned on him as Steve’s mouth dropped into a perfect shaped O, finally cottoning on.  He glanced back and forth between Mark and Chalice then down at the carrot.  “Jeez, you tryin’ to tell us yer carryin’ a carrot stick?” He said at last, voice harsh with emotion.


“I’m pregnant, brother.” She finally whispered out, revealing what both men had figured out, and closed her eyes tightly shut, leaning back against the wall as she breathed in and out deeply.  Her hand pressed a little more against her stomach.  She didn’t say another word, just waited for the explosion to erupt, waited for half of Texas to explode with her brother’s temper.


Steve nodded, standing up, and swallowed hard repeatedly.  “I got that…” He rounded on Mark, who was already prepared for a blow, remembering what had happened when they’d told Steve they were engaged.  “Well, Dairy Deadman, I sincerely hope ya plan on marryin’ Challie before my niece or nephew is born.” He stated sternly, blue eyes raw with emotion.


Chalice’s eyes flew open as she stared at her brother in shock, her mouth in the shape of an O this time and blinked at him several times, not sure if she’d heard him right.  “Y-You’re not angry?” She finally stuttered out, sputtering incoherently, and finally looked at Mark, who hadn’t said anything yet or moved an inch.  “I’m sorry, I thought we were careful…” She whispered to him, the regret shining in her blue eyes.


Mark stood up, walking over to wrap one arm around her waist, a hand moving to feel her hardened stomach.  “What are you sorry for?” He finally spoke in a whisper, blinking back tears.  “We’re going to have a baby…” He bent down to passionately kiss her, groaning at what Steve said next.


“Aww get a damn room!” Then he started chuckling, still not believing this was happening.  “Just imagine it.  The Undertaker is havin’ a baby by Stone Cold’s sister.  Tell me that is not messed up?  Middle finger flippin’, eye rollin’ toddler.”


“My son or daughter is not going anywhere NEAR a wrestling ring.” She stated sternly, eyeing her brother knowingly, before staring up into her fiancé’s eyes, her blue eyes shimmering with happy tears.  “So you’re happy about this then?” She softly asked, brushing away a single tear that fell down his cheek, and was thankful his arm was holding her up as she started crying hysterically.


“How could I not be happy?” Mark frowned when she started crying, looking worried. “Is this normal?  Nothing’s broke is it?”


“Man, don’t ya know anythin’?  It’s called hormones.  They’re outta order.” Steve informed him, knowing this was going to be a long road ahead of them, especially with the temper Chalice had on her.


“I’m sorry!” She choked out, knowing Mark hated to see her cry, and wiped away her tears frantically.  “I don’t mean to cry.  I didn’t know how you’d take it!  I didn’t know how to tell you!  We just got back together and everything!” Her hormones were going full speed as she started rambling on, the tears never stopping even though she kept wiping them away.


“Holy shit.  We need to take her to one of them…lady doctors.” Steve said, staring at his sister like she was crazy.  “Challie, calm down.  Yer gonna make yerself sick and that can’t be good for the baby.”


Mark nodded in agreement, sitting down on the couch, and pulled her with him as he asked gently, “How far along are you, darlin’?”


“Two months.” She softly croaked out, sitting on her fiancé’s lap, and buried her face in the crook of his neck.  “That’s why I’ve been so damned emotional lately.  That’s why I threw that vase because of you kicking in the door and why I socked Steve in the nose.” She shot her brother a deadly glare.  “Why don’t YOU try carrying a baby in your womb and feel YOUR hormones going in a million different directions and see how hot YOU look, BROTHER OF MINE!”


Steve looked disgusted at the mere thought.  “Fer one, Chalice, I don’t have a WOMB!  Two, my body ain’t made for carryin’ or deliverin’ a baby so get the thought outta yer head.  Two months?  Shit, how long have ya been together?  Jeez Mark, ya must be old if it took ya this long to get her pregnant.”


“If it weren’t for my pregnant fiancée sitting on my lap, Steve, I’d have to hurt you.” Mark said calmly, resting his head against hers, and rubbed her back soothingly with his hand.


“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.  I was going to tell you that morning that bitch showed up, but obviously, that didn’t happen.” Chalice admitted, releasing a shaky breath, and slowly sat up from her fiancé’s lap, twiddling her thumbs.  “I found out two weeks prior to that morning.  I lied to you about going to the store, Mark.  I actually went to the doctor and that’s when they confirmed that I was two months along.” Tears were already sliding down her cheeks as she raked a hand through her hair and winced again.


Mark hugged her gently, not angry with her in the least.  “It’s alright, darlin’.” He whispered, smiling as he kissed her temple, and moved his hand down to gently rub her stomach, his breath catching in his throat again.


“If ya cry Calaway, I’m kickin’ yer big ol’ ass outta here.” Steve threatened, already a little emotional himself.  This was his baby sister after all and now she was having a baby of her own.


Giggling tearfully at her brother, Chalice held out her hand to him, her big blue eyes staring into his.  “I know this is hard for you, Stevie, but I really hope you’re ready to become an uncle.” She smiled and wiggled her fingers again at him.  “Come over here, please.”


Steve sighed mockingly, moving over to sit on the couch with them, taking Chalice’s hands in his.  “Of course I am.  Boy or girl, it’s gonna be the toughest little S.O.B. around, next to me that is.  I can teach him or her how to do the Stone Cold Stunner, first beer…” His eyes took on a dreamy look.  “And then send’em on home to you.”


“You do ANY of those things and I’ll ban you from seeing him or her.” She threatened, meaning every word that came out of her mouth, and smiled softly.  She took his hand and pressed it against her stomach, immediately crying when her brother started to.  She just wrapped her arms around her brother and held onto him for dear life, burying her face in the crook of his neck.  “I’m going to be a mother.” She whispered in disbelief.


“Yer gonna be a GREAT mother.” Steve assured her, adverting his eyes from Mark’s when he seen the big man was tearing up.  “Are ya sure no Stone Cold Stunners?”


Sighing exasperatedly, Chalice smiled as she lifted her brother’s chin up with her hand and stared into his eyes.  “Please don’t corrupt your niece or nephew.” She said, running her finger down his cheek, wiping away a stray tear, and smirked.  “What was that you said to MY fiancé earlier?  Don’t cry or else you’ll kick his ass?”


“Yer not kickin’ my ass, Challie.  In fact…” Steve’s blonde eyebrows drew together.  “Yer not kickin’ anyone’s ass.  This violent stuff of yers has to end.  It’s not good fer the baby.  Hear me girl?”


Mark’s eyebrows rose, almost disappearing into his hair, and grunted, “Brave man…”


“I meant you were going to kick Mark’s ass, you fuckin’ asshole!” She spat back at her brother, her eyes narrowed, and inflamed as her eyebrows furrowed together.  “And don’t even TRY to tell me what to do or how to act during MY pregnancy or I’ll stick my size nine foot up your ass!”


Mark’s arms tightened gently around her.  “Darlin’, this is what Steve meant.  Even when you’re not…emotional, you have one Hell of a temper.  You got to control it, honey.  It’s not good for the baby.  He was right.” He said gently, prepared to be attacked.


“What the fuck do you expect me to do, Mark?!” She shouted, sliding off of his lap, and turned around to face both of them.  “I have so many fuckin’ emotions and hormones swirling through me right now and I can’t control them!!  I’m sorry if this is a bother, but you’re not going to have to deal with it for seven more months until this baby pops out of me and the hormones stop raging!  This is why I’ve been temperamental!  I CAN’T CONTROL IT SO STOP ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF SPOILED, SELFISH BASTARDS!” Her voice had raised to a shrill scream before stomping out of the house, in the backyard, literally shaking and trembling with anger.


Steve and Mark exchanged heavy looks and the big brother was the first to speak.  “Well hell, if poppin’ a kid is what it’s gonna take to get that temper of hers under control, ya best be knockin’ her ass up again as soon as she delivers.”


“You both have tempers, it’s a genetic thing.” Mark retorted, standing up from the couch.  “What’re the odds she’ll rip my balls off if I go out there?”


“Oh…I’d say bout ninety/ten…”


Chalice just stood outside, staring off into the horizon of her brother’s huge backyard, silent tears streaming down her cheeks.  Her arms were crossed over her chest as the cool wind blew through her hair, causing her tears to dry on her cheeks.  Why couldn’t they understand that this was extremely hard for her? 


She hadn’t expected this to happen and now her body was changing in ways she’d never dreamed of.  Her hormones were causing her temper to rise more than usual, but all they could think about was trying to control her and it.  It wasn’t happening.  Not with Chalice feeling like this.


 “They don’t understand what this is doing to me…” She whispered regretfully, solemnly.


“I’m risking it.” Mark said finally after a few moments of silence, getting to his feet again since he’d sat down on the couch to think.  “I ain’t letting her run off on me again.”


Steve got to his feet as well, pulling a white bandana out of his back pocket.  “I’ll go with you.  Damage control.” He explained, following Mark towards the back door.  He stuck his head out of the patio door, waving it in the air, and shouted, “We surrender!”


Chalice didn’t laugh or find it at all humorous as she kept her back to them and ordered, “Leave me alone.  I want to be by myself right now.  Go watch a game, play cards, kill each other.  Do something.  Just leave me alone.” Her voice was filled with hurt, confusion and fear as she continued to stare out into the horizon, the tears never stopping.


“We can do all of that out here in the backyard.” Steve pointed out, grabbing Mark by the head and dragging him out into the grass right in front of her.  “Want to be our referee?” He asked hopefully, trying to cheer her up.  Mark grunted, smirking, and Steve yelped out, “NOT MY DAMN ASS!”


Chalice just shook her head back at them and turned around, walking over to the swing that was attached to the tree, and sat down on it.  She’d done that when she was little, since Steve was eight years older than her, and just started swinging on it, staring down at the ground.  She wasn’t in the mood for their stupid antics and wanted to be left alone.  All they did was always criticize her and try to control what she did.  When they didn’t have the SLIGHTEST clue what her body was going through.


Steve sighed, releasing his hold on Mark, and stood up, walking over to her.  “Challie, if we make a run into town, will ya wait here fer us?” He asked softly, knowing she was in a foul mood right now.


“Just go.” She whispered out, continuing to swing back and forth, her hair flowing over her shoulders and down her back.  “I won’t expect you two back from your beer drinking contest until late.” She added with disdain before getting up and walking into the house, into her old bedroom, and slammed the door shut behind her.


“Mark, c’mon.” Steve said, leading the way back inside and out the front door.


Chapter 8


Several hours later…


Frowning, Steve and Mark were finally back at the house only they were sitting on the front porch, staring at something they’d bought and groaned, “Now that just ain’t RIGHT!”


Mark frowned along with his best friend, cocking his head to the side, and asked, “Is that what it really looks like?”


Chalice was laying on the couch, a garbage can by her, and sleeping peacefully.  After her brother and Mark left, she’d tried laying down in her bed, but couldn’t.  The baby was stirring and caused her to throw up three times before venturing into the living room and laid down on the couch.  Just as a precaution, she set the garbage can close to her incase she had to vomit again.  One of the many joys of pregnancy.


Steve’s eyes bugged out of his head at what he saw next.  “MAN THAT IS JUST WRONG!!!” He shouted, his voice echoing throughout the yard.


“What?” Mark leaned over to look down and felt his own eyes widen.  “HOLY SHIT!”


Slowly opening her eyes upon hearing the yelling, Chalice groaned when she heard it was her brother AND fiancé doing it, and figured it was something stupid.  She growled, standing up from the couch, and held her stomach, walking over to the front door.  Ripping it open, Chalice went to shout profanities at them to shut the fuck up and stopped as the words died in her throat.  Her jaw dropped and her eyes were huge as she stared at them in shock.  She couldn’t believe what she was seeing before her very eyes.


Mark and Steve were sitting side by side on the porch steps, both hunched over their own copies of the book ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’.  “Hey man, check this out, around five months, you’ll be able to find out if it’s a boy or girl.” Steve said, pointing to a paragraph in the book, looking truly interested in what he was reading. 


Chalice just stared at them, a sigh escaping her lips, and smiled when she heard that.  “It’s a boy.” She softly informed from behind them, leaning against the doorway, and took a few deep breaths since another wave of nausea was overtaking her.  “I just feel it in my heart that it’s a boy and I’ve been having dreams about it lately.”


Mark and Steve both stood up, putting the books behind their backs, looking surprised to see her.  “We uh…didn’t hear ya come out, Challie.” Steve coughed, his face turning beat red with embarrassment.


“Do you finally understand why I’m acting so crazy now?” She asked them both, her voice low and quiet, almost soothing, and rubbed her stomach to calm down the fetus that was causing her some mean morning sickness. 


Mark nodded, his eyes filling with concern, walking up to her to rub her stomach gently as he whispered in her ear, “Feeling sick, darlin’?”


“Morning sickness…can occur any time of the day or night.” Steve said slowly, reading from his book.  “That fuckin’ sucks…”


“You have no idea…” Chalice started to say, but trailed off and immediately bolted back into the house, covering her mouth with her hand, and barely made it into the bathroom.  She spewed the contents of her stomach out, getting down on her knees, and coughed as the tears flowed down her cheeks.  “God please stop…” She whispered, vomiting harder, and held her hair back the best she could.


Mark followed her quickly, Steve right on his tail.  He kneeled down behind her, pulling her hair back gently while she vomited.  Steve was rubbing the back of his neck, looking both sick to his own stomach, and concerned.  “Want some toast?  Or maybe some crackers?” He offered, trying to help.


Chalice finally finished, pulling back from the toilet she’d gotten to know well over the last few hours, and leaned her head back against the tub, suddenly feeling extremely tired.  “Never again.  I’m NEVER going through this shit again.” She shook her head at her brother’s offers and slowly stood up, pressing a hand to her stomach, and took a few deep breaths.  “Do you have any ginger ale?” She asked softly, knowing that would do the trick since she had her OWN copy of the book they bought.


Steve nodded, disappearing into the kitchen, grateful for any excuse to get away from the bathroom.  Fairly certain he was going to start puking now if he hadn’t left.  Mark stared down at her, an eyebrow arched.  “Would you like me to get…fixed…darlin’?” He asked slowly, though he winced at the thought.  He’d do it though if she didn’t want anymore children and he couldn’t honestly blame her.  She looked like she was in the eighth circle of Hell.


“No!” She exclaimed at him, her big blue eyes widened in shock, and felt her bottom lip trembling.  “No because what if I decided I want more children with you?” She whispered heartbrokenly, staring back up into his emerald green eyes, and could already feel her hormones raging like a hurricane inside of her.  “You don’t want anymore children with me?  Do you even want THIS one, Mark?” Hurt was clearly shining in her eyes as she raked a hand through her hair, pressing a hand to her stomach further.


Mark knew it was the hormones talking so he didn’t get mad or upset.  He shook his head, grabbing her hands in his.  “I didn’t say that, darlin’.  I want as many children as you care to give me.” He said gently.  “But I want you to be happy too.  If this is making you miserable and you don’t want anymore after this one…” He trailed off, looking unsure of what to say.  “I’m afraid to speak.” He admitted openly.  “I don’t want you taking something I say wrong and getting upset.”


Sighing heavily, Chalice felt her heart tighten at his words as she wrapped her arms around his neck.  She held him close to her, burying her face in the crook of his neck, and sniffled a little.  “Mark, I’m sorry.  This is all a lot to take in so please just be patient with me.  I didn’t mean what I said.  I do want more kids with you after this one, no matter how much pain I go through.  I want a family with you, sweetie.” She pulled back to stare up into his emerald green eyes.  “Don’t be afraid to speak your mind to me.  If I say something cruel  or mean, just blow it off because its my hormones talking.”


Nodding in agreement, Mark had NO intention of doing what she said.  He wasn’t about to sit through anymore of this hormonal shit if he could help it.  He grinned, shaking his head when Steve hollered for her to come get her ginger ale. 


“I think your brother is getting worried, darlin’.” He whispered, bending down to lightly kiss her lips.


Nodding, Chalice grabbed Mark’s hand and walked out of the bathroom, smiling softly back at her brother, and took the ginger ale from him.  She kissed his cheek and whispered, “Thanks bro.” She then walked over to he couch and sat down on it, sipping her beverage gently, and leaned against it as she closed her eyes.  Tears swelled in them as she rubbed her stomach with her hand, not believing a little life was growing inside of her.


Steve sighed, remaining in the kitchen with Mark for a minute, taking care of the dinner no one had eaten.  Both men had been way too distracted by the news of the baby.  He got into the fridge and pulled out two cans of beer, handing one to Mark.  Mark popped the top and toasted his best friend and future brother-in-law in celebration of the new life that was about to enter their worlds. 


“To my nephew.” Steve grinned, raising his own can, remembering Chalice saying something about how she knew it was a boy.


Mark grinned as well, nodding before taking a swallow.  He nearly choked on it, his eyes bugging out before reading the label.  “Steve…”


“Yeah…I know…It’s light.”


Sighing, Chalice set her ginger ale down and slowly stood up from the couch, walking into the kitchen, and leaned against the doorway.  “It might not be a boy, but its just what I’ve been dreaming of lately.  It could be a girl, your niece, so don’t jump to conclusions, dear brother of mine.” She advised with a smirk, having overheard their toast.


Steve shrugged, sipping his own beer, looking like he might gag.  “Boy or girl, doesn’t matter to me.  It’ll be damned good lookin’, providin’ it has blue eyes.” He smirked at Mark.  “Sorry, yers are nice, but blue is better.”


“No, I want our baby to have Mark’s eyes.  I love the emerald in them.” She replied with a smile, biting her bottom lip, and leaned her head against the doorway even more.  “Sorry, bro, but I want it to have Mark’s eyes.”


Steve rolled his eyes.  “Good god in heaven, are ya SURE ya didn’t sacrifice her when ya kidnapped her?” He asked, looking at Mark, eyeballing the man.


Smirking wickedly, Mark wrapped an arm around Chalice’s waist, draining his beer, looking disgusted with it, and drawled teasingly, “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.”


“Change of subject now.” Chalice ordered abruptly, clearly not liking the conversation, and crossed her arms in front of her chest as she leaned against her fiancé.  She didn’t want to think about how close Mark was to raping her and shuddered at the thought as she took a few deep breaths.  “Fuck!” She groaned, running into the bathroom again, emptying her stomach once more.


Echoing her groan, Mark sighed while Steve shook his head as he stated, “Yer fiancée, go hold her hair back fer her.”


Mark flipped him off before going to do just that.  “Darlin’, maybe ya should go see a doctor and find out if there’s anythin’ that can be done to make this morning sickness a little bit easier on you.” He suggested thoughtfully, concern etched in his features.


“Mark, there’s nothing that can be done.  Didn’t you read the fucking book?” Chalice snapped at him, groaning when her stomach rumbled again, and threw up once more, coughing.  She’d never felt this sick in her life and knew she had one more month of it before it finally did go away.  Or she hoped it did at least, according to the book.


“I’m going to get you some more ginger ale.” Mark informed her gently, bending down to tie her hair back with his pony tail holder, his own hair cascading down around his shoulders.  He squeezed her shoulder gently before walking out into the kitchen, ignoring Steve’s curious look and got out the ginger ale.  “Don’t ask.” He ordered gruffly.


“She’s havin’ a hormone thingy ain’t she?” Steve whispered, knowing Chalice couldn’t hear him.  She was still puking from the sounds of it.


Chalice walked out of the bathroom sighing heavily, and collapsed on the couch.  She closed her eyes, hearing her brother and fiancé talking quietly in the kitchen, and pressed a hand to her stomach.  Sleep instantly claimed her body as she curled up on the couch.  She snuggled into the pillow and allowed instant darkness to overtake her body, needing as much rest as she could get.  The next month or so were going to be brutal.




The next day, Mark was up before Chalice that morning, downstairs drinking a cup of coffee.  He’d pretty much hidden anything food wise that might make her stomach turn, trying to help her with the morning sickness issue.  Though he knew it wasn’t just food that turned her stomach, it was just the pregnancy in general.  He was leaning against the counter, clad in a pair of cut off black denim shorts, his hair hanging around his face.  He had a coffee mug in hand and the book in the other, reading about what was to come in the next seven months of her pregnancy.


Chalice slowly stood up from the bed after waking up, stretching, and had never felt better in her life.  She yawned, a smile on her face, and slowly walked over to the mirror, staring at the reflection.  She was positively glowing as she grinned, wearing a silver night gown that Mark had changed her into the previous night, and sighed.  She ran her hand over her stomach, which was barely sticking out, and felt the happiness explode inside of her as she brushed her hair.  She then headed down the stairs, or more like skipped down them, and walked into the kitchen. 


“Good morning, sweetheart.” Her cheerful voice sounded throughout the kitchen as she poured herself a glass of orange juice, and started gulping it down.


Mark felt relief course throughout him when he heard her tone of voice an seen the smile on her glowing face.  He smiled back at her and walked over to kiss her, tasting the orange juice on her lips, and growled, licking his own clean.  “Mornin’ darlin’.” He drawled huskily, bending down to kiss her ear gently.  “How did ya sleep baby?”


“Mmm heavenly.” She purred back at him, the smile still on her face, and stepped back as she caressed his with the back of her hand.  Her blue eyes sparkled back at him, more than usual, and brought another cup of orange juice to her mouth, downing more of it.  She then kissed his lips softly and giggled when he growled again, her hair flowing down her back in waves.  “What’s the matter, sweetie?  Getting turned on by orange juice?” She teased with a wink.


“I’m getting turned on by your lips, the orange juice is just an added bonus.” He growled, gently pulling her up against him.  He smiled, kissing her again before taking a sip of her juice.  “Mmmm…” He groaned, slowly licking his lips in her direction with those wicked green eyes gleaming back at her.  Giggling, Chalice walked away from him, running her teeth across the bottom of his lip, and swayed her ass in his direction as she got some pots and pans out, deciding she needed breakfast.  More like a craving and began stirring the pancake batter, grinning from ear to ear.  Mark shook his head, sitting down at the table with his coffee and book, watching her.  “Hungry?” He asked, arching an eyebrow when she dropped a huge puddle of batter in the pan, wondering if it was going to make her sick.  The most important thing though was that she wasn’t in the same mood she’d been in the previous day and Mark hoped to keep it that way throughout her entire pregnancy. 


Wishful thinking on his part, but a man could dream, couldn’t he?


“Famished, sweetheart.  I have a craving for breakfast.” She responded happily, that same smile on her face, causing her to glow, and sighed as she started cooking.  A knock sounded at the door, causing Chalice to stop what she was doing, and walked out of the kitchen to answer it.


Chapter 9


Steve grinned when she opened the door, holding out a bouquet of white roses.  “Good mornin’, my beautiful sister.” He greeted warmly, leaning forward to kiss her cheek, and groaned when he smelled food wavering from the kitchen.  “Mmm, do I smell pancakes?”


“Yes you do and thank you.  They’re beautiful, Stevie!” She exclaimed, taking them from him, and smiled softly as she kissed his cheek.  “Come on in, breakfast is almost ready.”


She shut the door behind him and walked back into the kitchen, immediately putting the roses in a vase, and set them in the center of the table.  She then walked over to the pan and started flipping the pancakes in the air, the smile never leaving her face.  Chalice couldn’t remember the last time she felt this happy and never wanted it to end.


Mark groaned when Steve sat down at the table, immediately helping himself to a cup of coffee.  “Man, what do I got to do to get rid of you?” He joked, slapping his friend on the back with a grin.


“Yer stuck with me, man.  I come along with the package.” Steve nodded at Challie when she agreed with his statement.  “So, how are ya both this mornin’?”


“Spectacular.” Chalice beamed as she walked over, setting a huge stack of pancakes on the table, and whistled as she twirled around in the kitchen with bare feet. 


It was such a beautiful day outside as the sun streamed through the windows, which were open, and grinned as she started setting the huge spread on the table.  Bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausage links, waffles, and toast with orange juice were the foods consisted of the spread as she finally sat down at the table.  She grabbed her plate and immediately started piling it on after pouring herself a huge glass of orange juice in the process.


Mark watched her wide eyed, glancing at Steve, and grinned when he seen Steve was already pulling up a trashcan.  “Smells great, darlin’.” He complimented, watching as she ate.  “Hungry much?”


Steve was already making his own plate, making himself right at home as always and replied, “I would be too.  Takin’ care of yer ol’ ass must be exhaustin’ work.”


“I told you I had a craving.” She reminded him playfully and giggled at her brother, knowing he always made himself at home with her, and started eating.  There was a huge pile on her plate as she started shoving food in her mouth, groaning at how good it tasted.  She already knew breakfast was going to be one of her cravings and grinned as she poured more syrup than normal all over her food, even the eggs.


Mark looked sick himself when he seen her do that, making his own plate before studying the table.  “Forgot the ketchup.” He grunted, shaking his head and getting up.  He sat back down when he had his condiment of choice in hand and proceeded to drown his food in it.


“Now that’s just SICK!” Steve exclaimed, pushing his own plate away, and eyed his future brother-in-law skeptically.  “Are you havin’ sympathy cravin’s?”


Chalice didn’t pay attention to them, too focused gobbling her own food down, which was drenched in syrup.  She finally cleared her throat and piled more food on it, causing both her brother and fiancé to stare at her in shock.  She didn’t notice them though as she sighed happily and giggled, rubbing her stomach with her hand. 


“You’re a hungry little bugger aren’t you?” She started eating again after pouring syrup on her plate.


Steve looked back and forth between them, his blue eyes twinkling as Mark helped himself to more as well, proceeding to once again drown it in ketchup.  “This is so cute.  The Undertaker is havin’ pregnancy sympathy cravin’s…AND gainin’ sympathy weight!” He crowed amusedly.  Mark just grunted, flipping Steve off, not looking up from his meal, wondering if that all might be true since he generally despised ketchup.


“Mark, you hate ketchup.” Chalice suddenly pointed out, raising a curious eyebrow at her fiancé, noticing what he’d done, and put her fork down on her plate.  “Are you feeling alright?” She asked softly, pressing her hand to his forehead, her eyes filled with concern.


Mark smiled, catching her hand and pressing a kiss against her palm softly.  “I’m fine, darlin’.  Steve sounds like he’s right.  It must be sympathy cravings.” He started down at his now empty plate and shook his head.  “I can’t believe I just ate ketchup…” Steve snorted in response before going back to eating his food.


“I was hungry, honey and craved breakfast.  I told you that.  Why did you just eat ketchup?” She asked, truly shocked and astonished.  Even though, she was still licking her lips from the two huge plates of food she just engulfed.


“I don’t know.  Ketchup just sounded good is all.” Mark admitted, shrugging, raking a hand through his hair.


Steve held up the almost empty bottle.  “It must’ve, man…” He whistled.  “Yer gonna turn into a tomato now, ya know that right?”


“I’m the one pregnant and you’re having cravings?”


Chalice started laughing whole heartedly as she walked over to her chair and sat down, pouring more syrup on her plate, and started eating again.  This baby was making her a bottomless pit as she giggled to herself.  Ignoring her favorite men in the world for the time being, she started her third plate.


Steve watched Challie amusedly, his blue eyes twinkling as he watched her start on her third plate of food.  He’d finished his own plate and wasn’t about to go back for more.  Not with these two pigs.  He might get his hand bitten off or something.


“That is baby is going to be a big one.  How many pounds ya think it is?” He asked in the same tone of voice.


The echoing of a fork clinging against a plate sounded throughout the kitchen as Chalice slowly looked up at her brother, tears burning in her eyes, and pushed her plate away.  “Did you just call me fat?” She asked angrily, spitting blue fireballs at her brother, and took her plate, hurling it at him before storming out of the kitchen.  The happiness and glow were gone from her as she slammed her bedroom door so loud, the walls and pictures rattled.


“Man, I DIDN’T CALL HER FAT!” Steve protested, looking truly shocked, not caring if he was drenched in syrup.


Growling, Mark smacked Steve upside his bald head.  “Damn it!  Can’t you ever keep your fucking mouth shut?” He spat, pushing away from the table angrily.


“I didn’t mean she was fat, damn it!” Steve hissed in defense, following Mark out of the kitchen.  “I forgot about the hormone thing!”


Tears were sliding down Chalice’s cheeks as she stood in the full length mirror of her and Mark’s bedroom.  Sniffling, she kept looking at her stomach from the side.  She ran a hand down it, not believing what her brother just said, and raked a hand through her hair.  She knew she’d ate a lot, but she couldn’t help it!!  She was pregnant with Mark’s child and that man was NOT small by ANY means!!


“Baby?” Mark hesitantly called out softly, poking his head into the bedroom.  “Can we come in?” He kept Steve out of sight just incase she decided to lash out.


“I wouldn’t if I were you, Mark, because my fat body might take up too much room!” She spat back at him, her back to the door, and started looking at her stomach again, sniffling softly to herself.  Her stomach was just a small hump that couldn’t be noticed yet.


Mark sighed inwardly, stepping into the room, gesturing for Steve to wait outside.  He crossed over to her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and pulled her against his strong, muscular chest.  “You’re not fat, Chalice.  You’re perfect and beautiful.” He whispered, stroking her stomach with his hand, and kissed her neck gently.


“No I’m not!!” She cried out and ripped herself away from him, raking her hands through her hair, and plopped down on the bed as she curled up in a tight ball.  “I’m fat!!  I’m going to get even fatter and it’s all your fault!!” She started crying, her hormones raging, Steve’s words ringing through her mind.  “This baby is probably going to get so fuckin’ big, it’s going to explode out of my abdomen before I even go into labor!!”


Mark’s eyes widened, wondering how it was HIS fault when it took two to make a baby.  He was tempted to say that, but inhaled sharply, keeping himself calm before saying anything he would regret.  “Chalice, darlin’, you are NOT fat.  You’re pregnant.  Steve didn’t mean you were fat, honey.”


“Yes he did and he’s right!!  I ate THREE plates of food and that’s only going to add to the extra weight of this demon seed!” She shouted angrily and pulled the comforter over her head, refusing to stare at him or anyone else.  “Just go away!” She cried out softly, muffled, but she could still be heard clearly as she trembled.


“No.” Mark said firmly, setting down on the edge of the bed, and pulled the blanket away.  “Chalice, what you’re going through is normal, it even says so in that damn book.  You’re beautiful, you’re not fat so quit it.” He ordered, placing his hand on her stomach, rubbing it gently.  “You really think this is a demon seed?” He asked gently, kind of stung by her words.


“Its father is the fucking devil!” She retorted, burying her face in the pillow, and started crying harder.


“The devil?” Mark echoed.  “I’m a lot of things, darlin’, but that ain’t one of them.” He chuckled softly, bending down to kiss her ear, holding her close.  “Come on Chalice, you know I love you…”


Sniffling, Chalice slowly uncurled her body and turned on her back, staring up into his emerald green eyes with her bloodshot blue orbs, and nodded.  She pulled him down for a passionate kiss, sighing, and wrapped her arms around his neck tightly, holding him to her.  “I hate feeling like this.  These hormones are more than I can take.” She whispered out raggedly from crying so hard.


“It’s alright baby, you can’t help it.  It’s not your fault.” Mark said soothingly, kissing her neck gently, and wrapped her up in his strong, comforting embrace.  “It’ll be fine.  We’re going to get through this together, okay?”


Nodding with a small sniffle, Chalice slowly pulled back as she sighed heavily, raking a hand through her hair, and stared up into his beautiful green eyes.  “I’m sorry for reacting that way.” She apologized softly, wiping her tears away, and shook her head.  “I can’t wait for these hormones to stop.”


Steve took a chance and poked his bald head in the room.  “Is it all clear?” He asked hesitantly, offering a tentative smile at his baby sister.


Mark chuckled softly, keeping Chalice firmly on his lap, his arms still around her.  “I think Steve is feeling guilty, darlin’.” He whispered in her ear.


“It’s fine, Stevie.  You can come in.” She assured him softly, wiping more of her tears away, and looked back at him with hurt still shining in her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to…to overreact that way, Stevie.  I just…these damned hormones are driving me crazy and act up with the littlest thing.”


Steve walked over to sit on the edge of the bed, taking her hand in his.  “I shouldn’t of said what I did, Challie.  I didn’t mean to hurt yer feelin’s, honey” He said apologetically.  “I was just playin’ with ya and did it the wrong way.”


“I know I’m going to get big and I know this baby is going to be big.  It can’t help it if it’s daddy is the size of a gorilla.” She joked, letting him know that she was fine, and hugged her brother around the neck as she curled up in his lap after escaping her fiancé’s, sighing.  “Please bare with me for seven more months and it’ll all be over.”


“Gorilla?  I was thinkin’ an elephant unless ya meant King Kong.” Steve joked, hugging her back, and pressed his forehead against hers, staring into her eyes.  “I’ve been barin’ with ya since the day ya were born, Challie.  Seven months won’t be nothin’.” He kissed her cheek lightly.


Smiling back at her brother, Chalice giggled as she hugged him back tightly.  “I love you, Stevie.  You always know what to say to make me feel better.” She whispered in his ear and then pulled back as she raked a hand through her hair.  “Mark?” She suddenly called his name, her blue eyes looking at him intently.


Mark stared over at her, his own emerald orbs filled with nothing, but love and admiration.  “Yes Chalice?” He reached out to gently touch her knee, stroking it.  “What is it, baby?”


She didn’t answer him.  She looked back at her brother and slowly slid off of his lap before standing before them.  “I want to elope.  I don’t want a big wedding.  I don’t even want to wear a fuckin’ dress.  I just want to get married.  Mark, you had a great idea.  Our parents will NEVER accept Steve walking me down the aisle so I say we three escape.  You can bring whoever you want, Stevie, and just get married.” She was dead serious and rubbed her stomach a little, feeling herself growing nervous.


Standing up, Mark wrapped her in his arms, bending down to kiss her passionately.  “We can do that, darlin’.” He whispered huskily against her lips, his forehead pressed against hers gently.


Steve was rubbing his jaw thoughtfully.  “I can have Cindy come…” He said slowly.  “Where ya wantin’ to run off too, Challie?”


“Anywhere.” She breathed out, the kiss taking her breath away that Mark gave her, and smiled back into his eyes as she hugged him close.  “I just want to get married and be with Mark fully.  We can elope anywhere you want, but I just want to get married and I want to do it today.”


“Vegas?” Steve suggested, arching an eyebrow.  It was a bit cliché, but the first place that popped into his mind.  He suddenly decided not to invite Cindy since they weren’t together any longer, just close friends as she liked to put it.


“Could you think of a more romantic place?” Mark retorted, rolling his eyes, refusing to take his beautiful wife-to-be to some cheap wedding chapel in the city that never sleeps.  He wanted this to be special and memorable.  It was their wedding after all.


“Hey!  What could be more romantic than gettin’ married by Elvis?” Steve shot back, causing Chalice’s eyes to bug out of her head as she shook it immediately.


“Oh HELL no!” Chalice stated emphatically, putting her foot down, and grimaced when another wave of nausea hit her hard.  “No, I can’t fly.  I can’t trust it.  I’m only in the first trimester and I can miscarry if I go on a plane this early.” She informed them and had to sit down, rubbing her stomach to try to calm it down some.


Mark and Steve exchanged looks and said in unison, “Courthouse.”


“Or…we could head down to Mexico in the truck.  Ya could go straight on honeymoon from there.” Steve suggested, not really wanting to walk his baby sister down the aisle in a courtroom, but if she wanted to, then he would do it.


“What about that small wedding chapel in downtown Houston?” She asked suddenly, remembering that quiet little chapel, and smiled when she’d seen it with her mother.  Of course, Beverly would never allow her daughter to be married in a place like that.  Then again, Chalice honestly didn’t care what her parents thought anymore.


“Anywhere you want, baby.” Mark said, hugging her again, nuzzling her neck.  “You want to do this now?”


“Shit, I didn’t bring any nicer clothes!” Steve exclaimed, looking down at his shorts, boots and muscle shirt.


Giggling softly back at her brother, Chalice sighed exasperatedly and walked into the closet.  She brought out two midnight blue tuxedos that would fit each man perfectly and grinned at their shocked faces.  “Surprise.”


Chapter 10


Arching an eyebrow down at the midnight blue tuxedos, Mark stared over at her, and asked, “What bout you?  I hope you got a dress in there, darlin’.” He said, recalling her earlier words about a dress be damned.


“Man, she had this planned.” Steve moaned, walking over to examine his own tuxedo, and nodded in approval.  “Nice Challie.”


Smirking, Chalice rolled her eyes at her brother’s slowness, and giggled before walking into the closet.  A few minutes later, she emerged, carrying a beautiful white gown that was in plastic, and laid it gently on the bed.  “Of course I got a dress, sweetie.”


Mark growled, shaking his head and walked across the room to pull her into his arms, kissing her passionately, hungrily.  “You’re a wench, but I love you.” He whispered, nuzzling her neck.  “The dress is gorgeous, darlin’.”


“Get a room.” Steve groaned, taking his tuxedo, and disappeared into the bathroom for a shower.


“I’m not putting it on until you’re out of eye sight.” She informed him, kissing him back just as passionately, and moaned softly in his mouth as she whispered, “Wait until after we get married, sweetie.” She giggled when he growled at her again and picked her dress up, already dressed in a pair of jeans and a tank top.  She’d changed while in the walk-in closet before emerging with her dress.


Mark took the dress from her, laying it gently on the bed before unfastening her jeans, and slid them down her legs.  He grimaced when he heard Steve singing in the shower.  “How bout I help you get undressed then?” He whispered suggestively, kissing her inner thighs teasingly.


“Mark, no!  You can’t see me in the dress until I walk down the aisle!” She gasped out, her body already trembling against him.  Being pregnant, all of her senses were extra sensitive and twice as pleasurable.  “Steve’s here!”


“He’s in the shower…singing, might I add.” Mark replied, kissing her through the panties she wore, and slipped a finger underneath the material to gently stroke her throbbing clit.


As if on cue, Steve shrieked out, “Woo!  I feel good!  Da da da da da da…I knew that I would!”


“Oh god, Mark…” She whispered out breathlessly, immediately melting against him, and nodded as she leaned further against him, her knees buckling.  “Mark please…I’m so sensitive right now…” She bit back a cry of pleasure and that disappeared when she heard her brother.  Bursting out in laughter, Chalice pulled away from her fiancé and pulled her jeans back up.  “Oh my god…”


“So nice!  So nice…I got you!  Dun dun dun dun OWWW!” Steve chortled as he continued to sing in the shower.  “Christ, how much shampoo do ya need?” He shouted, seeing around five bottles on the edge of the bathroom and knocked one over, groaning when it landed on his foot.  “DAMN!”


Mark shook his head, no longer in the mood either and stood up, trying not to laugh.  “He sounds worse then me.” He joked, staring down at her longingly, and licked his finger clean of her essence he’d gotten before they were interrupted.


“Stevie was NEVER a great singer to begin with.” She rasped out, laughing so hard, she was rolling on the bed holding her sides, tears streaming down her cheeks.


“Gimme five more minutes!  I gotta shave my legs!” Steve hollered, busting up laughing at himself before bursting into another song. 


“I’m using the downstairs bathroom…” Mark grunted, shaking his head again, then cocked it to the side.  “Is he singing…It’s Raining Men?”


“No, I think he’s singing I Shot the Sheriff, sweetie.” Chaliced rasped out because she was rolling on the ground, holding her stomach, and laughing harder, the tears never stopping. 


She didn’t care how she looked.  Her brother was hysterical and Chalice loved him for it.  Just one of the many qualities from her lovable brother.


Mark shook his head again.  This time actually walking out of the bedroom, laughing his own ass off.  He winced when Steve hit a high note and clamped his hands over his ears.  Fairly certain Eric Clapton had never meant for that note to be reached.  He grunted, shaking himself mentally, and walked down the stairs into the bathroom.  He’d managed to grab his tuxedo on his way out of the bedroom while Chalice was busy rolling on the ground laughing her ass off at her brother.


Chalice groaned as she covered her ears as well while still laughing, giggling uncontrollably, and somehow managed to stand up on her feet.  She walked over to her dress and shook her head, not believing they were actually going to do this.  Another round of laughter escaped when her brother started singing Celebration and looked down at her stomach. 


“Your uncle is a madman, I warn you now.  Do NOT be like your uncle or I’ll have to kill you.” She spoke to her unborn child.


Steve poked his dripping wet head out of the bathroom door, blinking water out of his eyes, and had overheard her.  “And just what exactly is wrong with bein’ like me?” He demanded, tightening his towel with his hands.  “Got a comb?  One that ain’t been in Mark’s hair?”


 “You’re bald, you moron.” Chalice reminded him, raising her eyebrow in question, and truly wondered where her brother’s sanity had gone off to.  “I don’t want my kid like you because I don’t want my eardrums bleeding anymore than they already are.”


Steve sighed dramatically with a roll of his eyes.  “I KNOW I’m bald, jackass, notice how I never need shampoo or hairspray?  Ya got a comb or not?”


“A comb for what, dick weed?” Chalice shot back, placing her hands on her hips while her blue eyes shot icicles back at him.  Her lips were pursed together so tight, a piece of paper couldn’t be wedged between them.


Steve sighed, pointing to his eyebrows and facial hair.  “I don’t have my little grooming comb here.  Gotta keep what little hair I got nice and neat.” He leaned forward to tap his finger against the tip of her nose.  “Calm down, Challie girl.”


“I am calm.” She stated with a serene smile and kissed her brother’s wet forehead.  “Hold on, let me see if I got something for you.” She walked over to the dresser that had virtually anything in it and started sifting through.  A few minutes later, she pulled out a grooming comb and handed it to him.  “Mark hasn’t used it, I don’t think, but you’ll have to suffer if he has.  After all, he IS going to be your brother-in-law.” She giggled cheerfully and walked back over to her dress, contemplating whether or not to put it on now or later.


Steve’s blue eyes narrowed as he studied the comb, finally plucking out a fine red hair.  “I am NOT usin’ somethin’ he’s used to groom god only knows what.” He protested, putting it in the drawer before licking his fingers and smoothing out his eyebrows then his goatee.  “I’m still a handsome devil without it.  So, how bout ya get on in there and put that dress on, darlin’?”


“You are somethin’ else.” She drawled with a smirk and shook her head, knowing Mark and Steve would never see eye to eye on a lot of things.  She was happy that they had built their odd friendship back to semi-normal and couldn’t believe she was actually going to marry Mark.  “Nope, I’m waiting until we get to the chapel.  It’s bad luck for the groom to see his bride before she walks down the aisle.” She informed her brother, who was still grooming in the mirror, and giggled.  “Why don’t you try running scalding hot water over it and THEN use it?”


Steve snorted.  “Fine be that way.” He headed back towards the bathroom to finish getting around, freezing when he heard her suggest trying the water, and shot her a pained look.  “Challie, darlin’, what if he used it downstairs?  Ain’t water hot enough to fix that!”


Sighing exasperatedly, Chalice threw her hands up in the air and shook her head while trying really hard not to laugh.  “Fine!  You men and your damn problems!  You try carrying a baby for nine months while puking and having cravings and THEN come complain to me.” She stated and walked away from the bathroom door, finishing getting ready.  She slipped her socks and shoes on, grabbed some jewelry that she’d bought with the dress, along with shoes that matched it and walked downstairs, waiting for her favorite men to finish up.


A few minutes later, Steve came thudding down the stairs, looking uncomfortable in his tuxedo, but seemed to be handling it.  He frowned when eh seen Mark hadn’t come out yet and went to pound on the bathroom door.  “Hey ol’ man, pop some Viagra and let’s go!  Ya got a gorgeous woman out here to marry!” Steve’s eyes widened when the door creaked open and he was pulled inside.  A second later, he came out, grabbed Mark’s long leather trench coat, and passed it through the door.


“Mark William Calaway, get your ass out here right now!!” Chalice demanded, standing up, and planted her hands on her hips with narrowed eyes.  “I’m going to see you WITHOUT that stupid duster on!” She stated, no room for argument in her tone of voice.


Mark stepped out, his hair brushed back nice and neat.  Though he had wrapped himself in the black leather trench coat.  His green eyes took in her appearance, noting she wasn’t wearing the dress.


“You can see me when I can see you.”


“It’s BAD luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding!” She protested, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and couldn’t believe how stubborn her future husband was being.  “NOT the other way around, Mark.”


Mark folded his arms over his own chest, shaking his head.  “You can see me at the chapel, darlin’.  Come on.” He extended his hand to her, his green eyes piercing into hers.


“Trust me, he don’t look that good anyway.” Steve piped in with a boyish grin on his face, winking at his baby sister.


Sighing and holding her dress with the bag of items that went with it, Chalice walked over to Steve and took his arm, smirking over at her fiancé.  “Nuh uh, you ride by yourself to the chapel.  I want to talk to my brother for a few minutes alone.”


She didn’t want to hurt Mark’s feelings, but this was a really big deal and step for her and she wanted to talk to her brother.  She wanted to hear his reassurance that this was the right decision and that he supported her.  Mark nodded, bending down to kiss her gently before nodding at Steve.  He then walked out of the house, but not before shooting her a loving glance.


Steve took Chalice’s hand in his, squeezing gently, and softly asked, “What’s on yer mind, darlin’?”


Chalice didn’t answer right away as they walked out of the house toward her brother’s truck.  She made sure to lay her dress out so it didn’t wrinkle before sliding in the passenger side, sighing deeply.  She loved Mark and she knew he loved her, but she needed her brother more than ever right now. 


“Stevie, are you really okay with this?  I mean, me and Mark getting married and having a baby?” She asked softly, almost fearfully, and bit her bottom lip as the tears swelled in her eyes.


Steve arched an eyebrow at her, his hand hesitating with the key.  “Chalice, ya know if I wasn’t okay with it, I’d of said somethin’ the minute I found out bout both.  I don’t keep my mouth shut for no one, ya know that, darlin’.” He reminded her with a sigh, draping his arm across the backseat as he backed out of the driveway.  “Havin’ second thoughts?”


Sniffling, Chalice ran a hand through her hair and shook her head back in his direction.  “After what happened with father, I just really need your support through this Stevie.  I can’t do this by myself and I don’t want to lose my big brother.  I just want to make absolutely sure that you’re okay with this and that I-We have your blessing.” She started crying then, burying her face in her hands, and began to tremble.  She was getting married and it scared the hell out of her.


Steve pulled off to the side of the road, moving her dress so it hung on a hook in the seat behind them before hugging her.  “It’s alright, Challie girl, you both have my blessin’.” He assured her in a soothing voice.  “I know ya love each other and I know he’s goin’ to do his damnest to make ya happy.  Don’t cry, darlin’.” He stroked her back relaxingly, trying to get her to calm down, especially with the baby.


Chalice wrapped her arms around her brother’s neck and held onto him for dear life, sniffling as she buried her face in the crook of it.  “I love you, Stevie.  You’ll always be my number one, no matter what.” She whispered heartfelt, meaning what she said, knowing not even Mark could take her brother’s place in her heart. 


They were too close for that and she refused to allow anything to come between them.  Steve had been there for her through everything.  Kicked her in the ass when he needed it and supported her throughout her entire life so far.  It meant everything to her that he was giving both her and Mark their blessing about the marriage and the baby.


Steve sniffled, trying not to cry himself.  “So,” He cleared his throat.  “Does this mean I can teach my niece or nephew the stunner?” He asked hopefully, his blue eyes twinkling back at her, and pressed his forehead to hers as he sighed.  He still couldn’t believe how grown up she was, about to be a mother, and now she was getting married. 


Time was going by way too fast for Steve’s liking, but he had to accept it. 


Giggling softly and pulling back to stare into her brother’s eyes, Chalice sighed resignedly and nodded.  “I trust you with my life so I should trust you with my child’s as well.” She stroked his cheek with her hand and kissed it before hugging him again.  “I love you my brother.  Now get me to the damned church!” She ordered, pulling back with a bright smile on her face, and wiped her tears away.  “I got a certain Deadman I have to make whole again.”


“Dairy Deadman.” Steve corrected, putting the truck in drive, and hauled ass to the chapel in downtown Houston. 


So many thoughts ran through his mind while driving, not believing his baby sister was getting married to the last man he ever expected her to.  Her and Mark weren’t that much alike, but then again, they shared a lot of the same qualities.  As long as he treated her right, that’s all Steve cared about.  If he ever hurt her, Steve would make him regret it and he knew his future brother-in-law knew it just as he pulled up to the chapel.


Chapter 11


Steve smirked when he pulled into the parking space right in front of Mark, who was pacing outside the double doors of the chapel.  His hands were clasped behind his back, duster flapping with every movement.  “I think he’s worried you might’ve changed yer mind, darlin’.” Steve softly informed his sister, who had her eyes locked on her future husband.


“He’s a worry wart.” She commented and slipped out of the truck, staring at him for a moment before finally walking over, gently calling his name.  “Mark?” Her blue eyes were filled with tears of happiness, tears of joy, tears of disbelief that she was actually about to marry him.  “I’m here, sweetie.”


Mark pulled her up into his arms, burying his face in her hair, thanking god she’d shown up.  “What took you so long?” He whispered, trying to calm his racing heart, closing his eyes tightly shut as he held her.


“I tried talkin’ her out of it.” Steve joked, clapping his friend on the back.  “She’s stubborn though, wouldn’t listen to me.”


“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you worry.” She whispered, tears falling down her face as she held her future husband close, and pulled back enough to stare into his eyes.  “I love you.  I wouldn’t back out.  I just had to talk to my brother before this happened.” She rubbed his back through the duster and sighed when he held her even tighter.  “I’m not backing out, I want to marry you more than anything, Mark.” She assured him, knowing he was afraid she wouldn’t show up.


Mark nodded, holding her at arm’s length, green eyes staring into her blue orbs, and reached up to brush her tears away with his thumb.  “Let’s go get married then, darlin’.” He smiled down at her, leaning down to lightly brush his lips with hers.


Moaning softly against his lips, Chalice nodded as she walked away from him and over to the truck, grabbing her things out of it, and shut it as she walked back over to them.  “See you in a few.” She promised in a whisper, giving Mark a loving, longing gaze before disappearing into the chapel.  She was getting ready to walk down the aisle and marry the man she’d never in a million years thought she’d be with.


“You ready for this, Calaway?” Steve chortled, slinging his arm around Mark’s shoulders in a friendly manner, guiding him inside.  When Mark nodded, he smiled.  “Good…Now…If you EVER do anythin’ to hurt her or the baby, I’m goin’ to rip yer head off and ya really will be the Deadman, got it?”


“Got it.”


“That’s what I thought.”


Chalice stared into the full length mirror, tears in her eyes, not believing how well the dress fit her, even with her pregnant frame.  The dress was strapless and was a tulle A-line gown wit allover beaded embroidery on it.  It was long and flowing, but didn’t have a train and it was whitish silver.  Her jewelry consisted of a pure diamond choker that went around her neck with matching earrings that dangled, but didn’t outshine the dress. 


Her shoes were two inch open toed and actually shimmered along with the embroidery of the dress, causing her blue eyes to sparkle.  Her hair cascaded down her back in curls, since she’d done it at the house, and pinned it up on either side of her head, causing it to flow over her bare shoulders delicately.  She took a deep, shaky breath, closing her eyes, and knew this was it. 


It was do or die.  Sink or swim.  She wasn’t going to run from this because she truly loved Mark and wanted to be with him for the rest of her life.


Steve knocked lightly on the door to the room she was changing in, poking his head in.  His eyes widened when he seen her and couldn’t believe it was the same Chalice who loved wearing blue jeans and t-shirts.  “You look gorgeous, Challie.” He whispered, stepping in, and closed the door behind him, walking over to take her hands.  He was afraid to hug her incase he somehow ruined the dress. 


The masterpiece before him.


Letting out a shaky breath, Chalice smiled at her brother, squeezing his hands in hers, and felt the tears well in her eyes when she seen them in her brother’s, making them look identical.  “Please don’t cry, Stevie.  I really don’t want to have to kick your ass for making me cry on my wedding day.” She threatened half serious and pulled him in her arms, knowing he was scared to mess up her dress.  “Don’t worry, this is a sturdy dress and can handle your hugs.” She assured him in a whisper and pulled back to stare at him.  “You clean up nice.” She complimented with a teary eyed wink.


“I know, all part of the Williams charm.” He joked, still not able to get over how enchanting his sister looked.  “Of course, it’s only us with the charm, kinda makes ya feel bad for the rest of the world, don’t it?” He cleared his throat, wiping away some tears from his eyes.  “Let’s go get ya hitched before I wind up bawlin’.” He said gruffly, not ready for this. 


He wasn’t ready to let her go.


Giggling softly, Chalice wiped a few of her own tears away and linked her arm through her brother’s, not believing he was actually fine with this.  After everything Mark and him had been through with Serena and now he was giving her away.  His baby sister.  To the man he used to despise most in this world.  Chalice wouldn’t have had it any other way as she walked with him down the hallway of the chapel, her dress flowing behind her, and stood outside the closed double doors. 


“Are you ready to give me away?” She asked him softly in a hopeful voice, but didn’t look up at him.  Her eyes were solely focused on the closed doors before her.  Behind those doors was her present and future.


“No.” Steve answered honestly, not about to lie to her on her wedding day.  “Every time I look at you, I see the little girl who used to follow me all over the place with knobby knees and a long braid with dirt all over her face.  Now look at ya, yer grown up, been grown up, and I didn’t even realize it until just now.” He cleared his throat again, bending down to lightly kiss her forehead.  “Still my little Challie girl, even if ya will be an old married woman in a few minutes.”


Chalice couldn’t help it as a few tears slid down her cheeks, knowing her brother was having a hard time with this.  Even though they were brother and sister, Steve acted more like her father than anything and actually helped raise her.  She was always a tomboy.  Always playing in the dirt, loving to get her hands dirty.  That’s one of the reasons why Steve and Chalice got along so well was because they had a lot in common and thought a lot of the same way.  Some people even wondered if they were twins, but that wasn’t possible with her being eight years younger than him. 


She smiled as the doors suddenly opened, breaking her out of her thoughts, and tightened her grip on Steve’s arm as she whispered, “I’ll always be your Challie girl, Stevie.” She then stepped forward, Mark’s eyes locking with her own, and held his gaze.


Mark’s breath caught in his throat when his eyes landed on Chalice, eyes for her only.  She looked positively enchanting.  The most beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on.  He had removed his duster, now standing at the alter in his tuxedo. 


His hair was brushed so it flowed down past his shoulders.  He smiled tenderly at her, finally looking at her brother, who was obviously choked up and didn’t blame the man.  He was choked up too. 


“You look beautiful.” He whispered when she was near enough to hear him.


“You don’t look so bad yourself.” She whispered softly back at him, smiling when her brother held onto her tighter, and knew he wasn’t ready to give her away. 


They finally arrived in front of the priest, who was smiling back at them, and nodded as he asked who presented this woman.  Chalice closed her eyes as visions of her past flowed through her mind.  Visions of her and Steve together, playing and having the time of their lives.  Everything that had happened with their father, Steve helping her through college, living with him briefly, meeting Mark and the unforgettable summer on the road.  Finally, Chalice opened her eyes, waiting for her brother to speak. 


Steve smiled, glancing at her before back at the priest and cleared his throat.  “I do.” He answered, clearing his throat yet again, brushing his eyes with his knuckles as he finally released her.


Chalice smiled and turned to face her brother, wearing a white veil that clipped to the top of her head, and felt him lift it, kissing her cheek.  She kissed his cheek in return and then forehead as he whispered, “Thank you for everything.  I love you, Stevie.”  Their identical mirrored eyes locked together and she sniffled when he started to cry, wiping his tear away, and then brought her veil back down.  She then turned around to face her future husband and smiled back at him, taking a deep breath and slipped her hand into his awaiting one.


Mark squeezed her hand gently, eyes reluctantly moving away from her to the priest.  He listened as the man went on about marriage, the secrecy of it, and went into the bible, reading a scripture from it.  The entire time, Mark stroked Chalice’s palm with his thumb, facing her again when they got to the wedding vows.  The breath once more left his body as he took in his vision who was about to become his wife.  Who was the mother of his unborn child.


Staring up into his emerald green eyes, Chalice smiled softly as she grabbed both of his hands in hers.  “Ever since I laid eyes on you, I knew there was something beyond the image that you portrayed.  I knew you had a heart even when no one else believed it and thought I was crazy.  You proved that to me the night you brought me back to my brother on your own accord.  That was also the night I fell in love with you.  I knew right then and there that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.  Getting to know the real you, which I have.  Our child will only further our bond together that will last for eternity, even after death.  With my brother’s blessing, I take you as my best friend, my companion, my lover, the father of my future children and my husband for the rest of my life.  For as long as you want me.  Through the good and the bad.  Through everything that life and fate throws our way.”


Tears were streaming down her face like two raging rivers, but she didn’t care as she declared her love to her husband.  Since they agreed to say their own vows to each other.  It just meant more when doing it that way.


Clearing his throat, Mark never looked away from her as he began his declaration and vows.  “I’ve never been much good with words.  Especially when it comes to saying the things you ought to be told,” He began slowly, tone soft and loving.  “You’ll never know how much it means to me that you’re taking this step with me.  Making this journey with me.  I might not tell you the things you want or need to hear, but I promise I’m going to try, with every fiber of my being, to show you.  To make you feel loved.  To feel special.  You and our child will never go without the material needs and neither of you will ever, ever go without love because I’m going to give everything I am to you both.  I take you as my best friend, my companion in life, my lover, the mother of my children and my wife for the rest of my life.” He inhaled deeply, squeezing her hands tenderly in his own.  “I can only hope Chalice, that one day, I can give you even a fraction of the happiness you’ve given me.”


“I love you, Mark.” She whispered softly, wiping her tears away with her hand after slipping it out of his, but it immediately went back as soon as she finished.  They then turned to the priest with only their heads, still staying in the same position, and exchanged rings.  The rest of the ceremony went by in a blur as Chalice listened to the priest and finally came to the part she’d been dying to hear.


“From the great state of Texas and the city of Houston, by the powers invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride, sir.” The priest announced with a smile on his face and closed the book as he stepped back.


Chalice’s eyes locked on Mark’s through the white veil, tears shining in her blue pools.  Mark didn’t hesitate to pull her into his arms, lifting her veil, and kissed her passionately, all his love pouring into it.  “I love you, Chalice.” He murmured against her lips, smiling slightly as he held her tightly.  “Mrs. Calaway…”


“I love you too, Mr. Calaway.” She replied softly, kissing him once more as she wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled apart after needing air.  “We did it.  We finally did it.” She whispered and allowed a few more tears to shine in her eyes as their fingers entwined together before turning around to face her brother and Mark’s new brother-in-law.


“Great, two Calaway’s runnin’ around the Fed.  Soon to be three.  Dairy Deadman and his family…” Steve teased, wet trails down his cheeks where he had been crying as he reached out to hug her tightly before wrapping Mark up into a brotherly embrace.  “Now I can beat the ever lovin’ hell outta ya whenever cause yer family.” He joked, clapping him on the back.


Chalice laughed softly at her brother and shook her head, knowing he couldn’t resist, and smirked as she crossed her arms in front of her chest.  “Mark can get the better of you, Stevie.  Remember that.” She shook her finger warningly at him with sparkling blue eyes.


“But I won’t.  Consider it part of the being family thing.” Mark clapped Steve on the back before looking at his bride.  “You ready to go, darlin’?  Have you decided where you want to have our honeymoon?”


“I have no idea.  I was just worried about getting through the ceremony without fainting.” She replied, only half joking, and took her veil off from her head, folding it so it didn’t wrinkle.  “Wherever you want to go is fine with me, dear husband of mine.” She winked at him, causing Steve to snort.


“Anywhere is fine, as long as we don’t have to bring your brother with us.” Mark replied, smiling down at his brother-in-law.


“Well that ain’t fair!”


Chapter 12


“Stevie, I don’t think you want to be around the consummation do you?” She questioned rhetorically, raising an eyebrow up at her brother with as smirk on her face, her blue eyes sparkling mischievously back at him.


“Oh yeah, I want to be there, with camcorder and everythin’.” Steve replied sarcastically with a roll of his eyes.


“Not likely.” Mark growled.


Chalice started laughing at her brother and husband, shivering a little at the thought, and raked a hand through her hair after taking the clips out.  “We need to figure out something because this place has another ceremony ready to start.” She informed her husband and started walking down the aisle by herself, still not able to believe she was a wife now.


Mark followed, scooping her up in to his arms, and smiled down at her.  “Don’t say a word.  I’m carrying you whether you like it or not.” He stated, bending down to kiss the top of her nose, carrying her outside of the chapel.


“I’m not arguing.” She replied softly and giggled as he kissed the top of her nose, her dress flowing past her feet, and wrapped her arms around his neck.  “So, where are we going?” She asked casually.


“Anywhere you want, I don’t care.” He nuzzled her neck, ignoring Steve’s shouts to get a room.  “Anywhere special you’re wanting to see, darlin’?  Anywhere at all, just name it.”


“Wherever you want to go, Mark.  I don’t care.” She whispered softly, sighing in contentment when he nuzzled her neck as he carried her out of the chapel, seeing the sun descending on the horizon.  A golden glow flowed over her, causing her to shine even more than the pregnancy made her.


“Go somewhere warm, with white beaches and a lot of sand.  No offense, Mark, but ya look like a corpse, no pun intended.  A tan wouldn’t kill ya, ya know.” Steve piped in, already loosening his dress shirt after removing his tuxedo jacket.


“Would you stop being mean to my husband?” Chalice chided her brother, placing her hands on her hips even though Mark still held her like a princess, and narrowed her blue eyes at him.  “Mark has a tan, I assure you, Stevie.  He DOES live in Texas after all, just like you.” She pointed out with a cocky smirk.


Mark smirked with her, shaking his head and stated, “Alright Steve, I’m hauling her off now, you mind?”


“No, get the ragamuffin outta here.” Steve joked, waving his hand dismissively.  “Ya could always go abroad…” He stroked his chin thoughtfully.


“I’m going to kill you, brother of mine, if you don’t shut up!” She growled back at him, trying to get out of her husband’s arms, but he had her firmly in place.  “Come on, Mark!” She whined, struggling against him.  “I wanna hit him for what he said!”


Steve started backing away, his blue eyes widening slightly.  “Now I didn’t mean any of that, Mark.  Come on, man…” He opened the door to his truck and got behind the wheel when Mark let Chalice down.  “Now Challie!”


Chalice started stalking toward the truck and smirked when her brother peeled out of there like a bat out of hell, yelling back at her that he’d see her later and he loved her.  She smiled, shaking her head gently, and sighed as she wrapped her arms around herself.  The sun had set over the horizon and one by one, the stars were slowly starting to pierce the sky above. 


She couldn’t believe she was married. 


That her and Mark finally did it and couldn’t have been happier.  She pressed a hand to her stomach and sighed in contentment, not able to wait seven months to see her beautiful boy or girl.  Deep down in her heart, Chalice knew it was a boy, but she wouldn’t say it.  Not until she knew for sure.


Mark walked up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.  “Come on, darlin’…” He whispered, guiding her to the truck, and lifted her inside before driving out of Houston.


About an hour later, they pulled onto an empty beach that was secluded as Mark put the truck in park.  “Wait here…” He gently ordered, smiling at her before getting out of the truck, and went to the back.


“Alright…” She whispered back at him, her eyebrows furrowed together, and leaned back against the seat. 


She was still in her wedding dress as she rolled down the window.  The sound of water crashing against the shore soothed her and sighed in contentment.  She couldn’t believe she was married, that she’d actually done it, and felt somehow relived that it was finally over. 


She pressed a hand to her stomach and closed her eyes, knowing she’d spend the rest of her life making both Mark and her child happy.  Giving them all the love she could.  Giving it all the love she could.  What her parents could never give her and never want to.


Mark shed his clothes and changed into a pair of black jeans and a white long sleeved shirt that he hadn’t bothered to button up.  He worked quickly, laying out a blanket on the sand before building a fire.  He set out the picnic basket he’d made up and a bottle of sparkling cider. 


Chalice couldn’t drink alcohol and he wasn’t going to do it either because it wouldn’t be fair to her.  When everything was set up to his liking, Mark walked back to the truck, opening her door, and just stared at the beautiful goddess before him.  His stunning, captivating wife.


Chalice was so deep in thought that she didn’t even hear the door open or see her husband standing before her until he reached for her hand.  She jolted out of her thoughts, jumping a little, and looked back at him, blinking a little with a small smile.  “Hey, are you okay?  What’s going on?” She quietly murmured and allowed him to pull her out of the truck, still clad in her dress.  The moon was starting to come out as the sky was splashed with a mixture of reds, oranges, blues, purples, and pinks, causing her eyes to sparkle almost as much as the embroidery on her dress.


Lifting her up in his strong, massive arms, Mark carried Chalice over to the blanket, gently setting her down.  He made sure to keep her dress off of the sand, the firelight reflecting in his luminescent green eyes as he took her in hungrily.  “Mine.” He growled, leaning over to kiss her lingeringly.


Chalice’s breath caught in her throat at the look that came over his emerald green eyes before he kissed her, causing her arms to instantly wrap around his neck, and pressed herself against him.  She moaned softly, her entire body tingling at his touch and kisses, and sighed gently.  She broke the kiss, running her fingers down his cheek, his face and nodded.


“You’re mine too, forever.”


Mark pulled back, staring at her, reaching out to trace a finger over her bare shoulder, listening as the waves crashed onto the sand behind them.  “I love you, darlin’.” He whispered, inclining his head towards her.


She smiled back at him, pure love shining in her blue eyes, and nodded.  “I know, I love you too, Mark.” She breathed back heartfelt, her heart already thudding against her chest from the kiss he’d given her, and couldn’t wipe the smile from her face even if her life depended on it.  Her wedding ring reflected against the firelight, along with the embroidery of her gown.


Mark smiled, reaching over to pick up the basket, setting it down between them.  He opened it and pulled out a single white rose, reaching out to trail it across her lips.  “Beautiful…” He breathed, not believing how lucky he was to be married to her.


Chalice’s eyes slowly drifted shut, running a hand through her hair, her curly black hair, and enjoyed the sensation of the rose petals against her lips.  A soft smile crossed her lips as she leaned against it and slowly opened her eyes, staring into his, and took his hand as she pressed it to her stomach.  It was still pretty much flat, but had a small hump to it.


“This is always yours forever too.”


“Until he or she turns eighteen maybe.” Mark chuckled softly, rubbing her stomach lovingly before pulling her onto his lap, wrapping an arm around her waist.  “You’re mine forever, and I’m yours.” He whispered in her ear, his hot breath against it.


“Agreed.” She whispered back to him and leaned against his lips that were against her ear, moaning softly, and melted into his arms instantly. 


He still lit her on fire with one single touch.  One single kiss and looked back at the water on the beach.  It was so beautiful, the perfect night, and Chalice never wanted it to end.  Then again, she was married to this man now so they could have nights like this for the rest of their lives.  No they couldn’t because they only had one wedding night and this was it.


Mark rested his head on top of hers, staring out into the water as well.  He watched as the waves rolled in, thinking if he died right now, he would be the happiest man on the planet.  “What’re you thinking, darlin’?” He asked his voice a deep rumble.


“How much I never want this night to end.” She murmured back in a soft caress, flowing over his soul, and closed her eyes as she sighed in peaceful contentment.  She loved the sounds of the waves crashing softly on the shore and started twirling a strand of hair around her finger as she snuggled further against her husband.  “What are you thinking about, dear husband of mine?” She quietly asked.


“The same thing you are, darlin’.” He whispered in her ear.  “I could stay like this forever with you, Chalice.” Mark pulled her down onto the blanket with him, looking up at the stairs, enjoying the warmth of her body against him as well as the heat from the fire.


Chalice smiled as she spooned up against him, her head tucked under his chin, and closed her eyes.  Just the feeling of him holding her like this instead of jumping right into consummating their marriage made her believe even more that he truly loved her for more than that.  That he loved her heart and soul, her mind and not just her body.  That overwhelmed her as she caressed his arms while the fire licked at their bodies hungrily, but didn’t touch them.


Mark rubbed her stomach gently, smiling before sitting up and leaning over to nuzzle it with his face.  “My two babies…” He murmured, kissing her belly before laying back down, turning so he could stare at her.  Thinking she was more beautiful then the stars that shined above them.  “You hungry, darlin’?” He asked, knowing she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, suddenly concerned for her.  “Shouldn’t you eat three meals a day?  For both you and the baby’s health?”


“I believe I ate enough this morning to last us through the entire night.” She giggled softly with her joke and suddenly felt her stomach rumble, causing her to groan as she rolled her eyes.  “I guess our son or daughter has spoken for me.” She laughed again at the astonished look on Mark’s face and smirked, stroking his face with her hand after sitting up a little.


Sitting up, Mark opened the basket again and began sitting out all her favorite dishes as well as dessert.  “Good thing I came prepared, hmm?” He smiled, next pulling out paper plates and dinnerware, offering her one.  “Best be feeding my child woman, sounds like he or she is starving.”


“How did you prepare all of this?” She asked in astonishment, blinking rapidly, and couldn’t believe he’d brought all of her favorite dishes and dessert.  “I just surprised you with the idea of eloping today!” She exclaimed, raking a hand through her hair as the firelight reflected off of it.


Mark chuckled softly.  “I have my ways, darlin’.” At the look she shot him, he cleared his throat.  “When I went downstairs to change, I got busy.  Do you know how long you and Steve were up there?”


“No, he’s a damned goofball though!  He actually refused to use a grooming comb of yours because he thought you…” She trailed off, clearing her throat loudly, and pointed at his lower extremities.  “Brushed down…there…” She trailed off again, blushing furiously, and bit her bottom lip. 


Mark snorted, looking like he would keel over from trying not to laugh.  “He thought…” He slapped his knee, shaking his head.  “I use the damn thing for this.” He pointed to his facial fuzz.  “What the Hell does he need a comb for anyway?  He’s barely got any hair.  Boy needs to learn how to grow a mustache.” He joked, nuzzling her face.  “You’re blushing, darlin’.”


“I know and you don’t have to point it out.” She chided playfully, blushing even more, and raked a hand through her hair as she leaned against his lips and tongue.  “My brother is a moron, I admit that.  We have a moron for a brother and brother-in-law, but at least you got the smarter sibling.” She grinned, remembering the night Mark was acting gay toward Steve in their living room. 


“Oh you’re funny.” Mark growled, reaching out to take the dessert away from her.  “What was that now, darlin’?” He drawled teasingly, waving the dessert in front of her, just out of reach.


“Fine, take it away from me.  I don’t need it anyway and I’m sure your son or daughter can survive without it.” She lightheartedly replied, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and stuck her nose in the air before grabbing a strawberry and popped in it in her mouth.  She sighed and groaned in satisfaction, “Mmm I can ALWAYS survive off of these…”


Mark arched an eyebrow, watching her, feeling himself rise to the occasion just from watching her eat a strawberry.  He set down the dessert and leaned back on his hands, just watching her, admiring his beautiful wife.  His emerald green eyes darkened a little more with each passing second. 


Her pink tongue slowly snaked out, licking the juices off of them as she popped a piece of pineapple in her mouth, sighing wistfully.  Her hair was pooling down her back and over her shoulders as she moved her feet back and forth, which had the heels on.  She then reached over, biting into another strawberry, moaning softly from the back of her throat and out her nose.  His nostrils flared, his mouth compressed into one thin line, trying not to jump her.  Just wanting to watch her for now, even if she was teasing him mercilessly. 


Chalice didn’t even realize what she was doing as she picked up a piece of orange, popping it into her mouth, and groaned at the taste as she started eating one after the other.  Oranges were a huge craving for her and what boggled her was the fact that before she got pregnant, she hated oranges.  Now, she loved them.  Mark couldn’t resist when he seen a trickle of juice run down her chin.  He leaned forward, his hands splayed on the blanket and kissed her chin, his tongue darting out to catch the juice.


Chapter 13 


Staring into his emerald green eyes, Chalice felt the breath catch in her throat by how darkened over they became, and suddenly forgot her food.  She looked into his soul as her blue eyes darkened instantly to a midnight blue and brought her hand up, gently stroking it with the back of it, and let out a shaky breath.  Her heart was pounding in her ears and her pulse was racing.  She never tore her eyes away from her husband.  Too hypnotized by him and had been ever since they first made love.


Mark growled hungrily, turning his head to kiss the palm of her hand, working his way up to her fingers, sucking the juices from the fruits she had eaten off of them.  “Delicious.” He purred, his voice husky before kissing his way up her arm to her shoulder, burning a trail to her throat.


“Mark…” She whispered out throatily, her eyes drifting shut, and titled her neck up against his lips and tongue, embracing them.  Her hand rested on his shoulder and trailed up to the back of his neck, massaging it gently while her fingers entwined in his hair.


“Yes darlin’?” He murmured in her ear, flicking his tongue out against it.  He couldn’t get enough of her, the feel of her hands rubbing him lighting his body on fire even more.  Mark moved his kisses to the other side of her throat, growling as he pulled onto his lap.


“It feels so good…” She moaned out softly, running her hand up and down his chest and back down to where his shirt ended, slowly inching her hands up it.  She moaned more at the incredible bare flesh she found and nodded in approval.  “Simply divine.  God I can never get enough of your body…” She whispered breathlessly, loving how with every small touch, his muscles twitched and rippled beneath it.


“Ditto, darlin’.” He whispered gruffly, the feel of her small hands on his chest almost sending him into overdrive.  He slowly moved his hands to her back, running them up and down, pulling back to look at her.  “How do I take the dress off?” He asked, not wanting to ruin it.


“It unzips in the back.” She breathed out, her head spinning from the amount of passion that was flowing throughout her body at the moment. 


When he couldn’t do it, Chalice sighed as she stood up from his lap and turned around, her back to him, and slowly unzipped the gown.  It pooled down her body to her feet, leaving her clad in her strapless silver bra and panties, which had suspenders to her thigh high nylons, and raked a hand through her hair.  It wasn’t a thong, but it was those sleeping shorts that rode up her ass and thighs.  They were panties though as she slowly turned around to face him, her eyes boring into his soul.


Mark inhaled sharply, staring into her eyes for a few moments before rising onto his knees.  He wrapped his hands around her ankles and slowly ran them up over her calves to her thighs, loving the feeling of her silky smooth flesh underneath his touch.  Mark leaned forward, kissing where thigh and nylon met, groaning at how warm she was, how good she smelled.  Everything about her drove him crazy with love and passion.


Chalice could feel her body engulf in flames as she ran her hands through his hair, loving the silky, black tresses as they flowed from her fingertips, and sighed in contentment.  Her eyes closed gently as his strong, muscular hands caressed her, bringing her closer to him, and smiled when he started raining feather soft kisses on her abdomen.  Where their unborn child rested peacefully.  Mark chuckled softly, pressing his forehead against her stomach before moving his kisses back down, kissing her throat her panties.  His hands moved to her hips, holding her still so she couldn’t move.


“I love you, Chalice Calaway…” He murmured in between kisses, meaning every single word that came from his mouth.


“I love you too, Mark Calaway…” She moaned out softly in reply and finally sunk down to her knees on the blanket before him, staring into his eyes.  She reached behind, unclasping her strapless bra, and dropped it from her body as it landed on the blanket below.  She then peeled his shirt off of him, running her hands up his chest to his shoulders and passionately kissed him, pouring all of her love and feeling into it.


Mark laid back on the blanket, his hand skimming her ribs gently before moving them to massage her breasts, rolling her rosy nipples between his thumb and index fingers.  He stared up into her eyes, loving her flushed cheeks, the way she was staring down at him, and whispered huskily, “You’re so beautiful.”


“And you’re amazing…” She whispered back at him before leaning down, pressing her chest against his, their flesh touching, and kissed him again as she pulled away, pressing her forehead to his.  “Take me, Mark.  Make me yours completely.  Make me the real Mrs. Mark Calaway.” She pleaded, breathing raggedly from just how much emotion was stirring inside of her at the moment. 


It was the most intense, yet exquisite feeling she’d ever experienced in her life.


Groaning when he heard those words come from her lips, Mark rolled them over gently, careful not to hurt the baby.  He ran his hands down to her hips, quickly shedding the rest of her undergarments before sliding out of his own jeans.  He settled himself between her thighs, lowering his head to trail kisses on the swell of her breasts, alternating back and forth between them. 


How much desire he forced to course throughout her body.  She ran her hands up his strong, muscular arms and titled her head back, her black hair pooling around her, and moaned softly as her eyes drifted shut.  The stars were glistening down on them, along with the moonlight, giving them an incandescent glow, and the sounds of the waves crashing on the shoreline was almost enough to make her explode.  It was that intense of a mixture and her body was overly sensitive with the pregnancy.


“Mark, you must be gentle, sweetie…” She rasped out, her breathing extremely erratic, loving how this man touched her.  Made her feel.


Mark nodded, moving his kisses down to her belly, lavishing plenty of attention on the hardened little bump.  He smiled again, nuzzling her stomach gently.  Love coursed through him at the thought of this bundle they had created together.  Mark kissed it one last time before burying his head between her legs, his tongue attacking her clit.  He had to taste her before taking her and making her his forever.       


“Mark!” She shrieked out, her body more sensitive than normal and could already feel herself sweating bullets.  She raked a hand through her hair as she laid back on the blanket, her hair sprawled all over, and gripped his hair with her fingers.  “Mark, please!!  Please, I can’t handle it!!” She breathed out in a pleading whimper.


He didn’t answer her.  Just moved his tongue down her slit, lapping up her juices, groaning at how great she tasted, pure ambrosia.  He slid his tongue inside her hot, dripping wet sex, moaning when her walls practically inhaled him, shivering at how turned on she was making him.  The outdoor setting making it all the more erotic. 


“Mmm…Darlin’, you taste like heaven.” He murmured, his voice sounding like a low rumble from his chest, vibrating against her.


“Please…” She arched her body into him, her hips thrusting into him, and dug her fingers further in his arms.  The feeling of his tongue in her walls, thrusting in and out of her, caused sensations to course throughout her body.  Her thighs were shaking, trembling with anticipation.  Her juices instantly soaked his tongue, her walls contracting around his tongue painfully.  “Mark, I love you!!” She cried out, gripping his hair even tighter as her first orgasm ripped through her body.


Mark didn’t miss a drop, catching all her juices with his tongue, saving them, his darkened over green eyes fastened on her face.  He held her hips lightly, rubbing them with his thumbs.  Finally, he slowly move dup her body, keeping his weight off of her by bracing himself on his hands and forearms.  He bent down to lightly brush his lips against hers, then licking his lips sagaciously.  He loved how her essence could still be tasted when he licked them, groaning at the sweet taste. 


Snaking her tongue out and licking away his sweet kiss mixed with her juices, Chalice’s body shuddered beneath him as the ecstasy rose to new heights.  She ran her hand up to his neck, massaging it gently, pressing her forehead to his, and gasped out sharply when his tip entered her.  She couldn’t believe just how sensitive she was, but knew it was because of the pregnancy.  She bent her knees up, her feet pressed against the blanket, and felt him slide inside another inch, hissing out passionately. 


Mark gritted his teeth, taking it slow for her, feeling like his body had just entered a different plane of existence.  One that was nothing, but the sensations he was feeling.  A purely, sensual plane. 


“You feel incredible, darlin’.” He whispered huskily, finally stopping when he was fully sheathed inside of her, giving her time to adjust.


Her walls rippled against him, contracting painfully, suffocating him, and her moans flowed through her mouth.  She arched her body against him, gripping his upper arms with her hands, holding on for dear life.  Her eyes were squeezed tightly shut, her body trembling against his own, and tried to get rid of the burning sensation that was coursing throughout her walls. 


“Mark…” She choked out, the passion more intense than usual, and snaked her arms around his neck, holding him tightly to her, holding on with everything she had.


Mark buried his face in her hair, hissing, feeling like he would explode any minute now.  Not even moving, the feeling of her walls contracting around him was enough to push him towards the fine razor edge.  “Chalice…” He groaned softly, his voice husky with passion.  “Are you okay?” Concern laced his voice, wanting to make sure he wasn’t hurting her.


“Intense…” She whispered out breathlessly and nodded, not wanting him to stop or pull out of more to him, running her hands up and down his arms.  “Please move before I go insane!” She pleaded, finally adjusting to his huge size, and nodded when he slowly began moving in and out of her.  “Christ!” She gasped, her nails raking down his chest and ran her hands up over his shoulders and down his broad, muscular back.


Mark captured her mouth with his, tasting her lips before coaxing her mouth open, delving his tongue inside.  Exploring her crevices and every inch of her mouth like it was the first time.  The first kiss.  Every time he kissed her though felt like the first time. 


She never failed to leave his heart racing and knees weak.  His muscles rippled under her touch, flexing against her nails.  Her touch only turned him on even more.  He wrapped his arms around her, gently pulling her against his strong body, never changing the slow, methodical pace.


Chalice kissed her husband back as they became one, slowly rolling her hips against his, and held him tightly to her.  She broke the kiss, breathing raggedly, and massaged his neck with her hand while their foreheads were pressed together.  The cool night air blew over their heated, perspiration covered bodies, neither bothered by it.  Each in their own world solely for each other. 


“Cum for me, Mark.  I want to be yours forever…” She moaned out softly, moving her hips even more against him, and groaned when he started increasing the pace.


Hearing his wife’s words sent him spiraling over that line.  That razor sharp edge.  He gritted his teeth, determined to feel her cum first, loving the feel of her coming undone underneath him. 


“Darlin’…” He grunted, moving in her at a faster pace, but not pounding away like he would have done normally.  Enjoying this much more.  His own body’s senses heightened by the awareness that she carried their child, feeling her every delicate curve, every twitch, everything.


She started thrusting against him, wrapping her smooth, tanned legs around his muscular waist, and gritted her teeth.  The sensations were too great.  The feelings too wonderful for her to ignore.  The pregnancy was causing her to feel things tenfold, which caused her body to shudder uncontrollably beneath him.  Her nails dug into his arms as she gripped them and felt her first orgasm wash over her.  Crashing intensely and cried out his name as he rode it out, cumming a second time right after that.


Mark had barely rode out her first orgasm, struggling with his body as she gripped him like a vise.  When she immediately rolled into a second one, he knew it was done.  “Chalice!” He growled out, snapping his hips a final time, shooting his seed deep inside of her, filling her with it, his breathing coming in harsh gasps.


“Mark!!” She shrieked out, her entire body and existence shattering beneath him, and shuddered as she tightened her grip on his arms even more. 


After cumming three more times, one crashing right after the other, Chalice finally fell back on the blanket, breathing erratically.  Her eyes glistened with the stars above as her chest rose and fell rapidly.  Her heart was thundering against her chest and her pulse was racing like a speeding bullet.  She could hardly breathe as she coughed a little and pressed a hand to he stomach, taking slow, deep breaths.


Rolling off of her, Mark almost went right off the blanket, but didn’t, his own breathing sporadic.  He had to sit up, drawing it deep breaths, forcing air into his passageways.  Finally, he looked down at her, his emerald orbs back to normal, studying her thoughtfully.


“You’re so beautiful, Chalice.”


“You’re…amazing.” She breathed out, rolling over on her side, and finally felt herself calming down after ten straight minutes.  She looked up at him, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips, and reached her hand up, stroking his face gently.  “I can’t believe we’re actually here…” She whispered, her blue eyes sparkling and filling with tears of happiness.  She didn’t mean to cry, didn’t want to, but Chalice honestly thought this day and night would never happen.


“Believe it, darlin’.” Mark murmured, bending down to kiss her tenderly.  He lay on his side, reaching out to stroke her stomach, and held her tightly to him.  “I love you, Chalice.”


“I love you too, Mark.” She replied softly, scooting over to him, and draped an arm over his stomach as she rested her head on his chest, breathing in deeply.  She closed her eyes, envisioning their love making, envisioning becoming the TRUE Mrs. Mark Calaway and smiled in satisfaction.


Chapter 14


Mark groaned, outside the front yard working on a crib he’d built, busy polishing it up when Steve pulled in the driveway.  “Man, don’t you got a home of your own?” He demanded, catching the beer Steve tossed him with a smirk on his face.


“Nope.” Steve answered, popping his own open, and took a swig before getting out the truck, walking around to the back, and pulling out a bag.  “Guess what I bought?”


“Do I even want to know?” Mark asked, raking a hand through his hair, which was pulled back in a low ponytail.  Steve grinned as he reached into the bag and pulled out an Austin 3:16 black onesie for the baby.


“Steve…” Mark shook his head, opening his own beer, and drained it in two swallows, wiping the back of his mouth with his hand before going back to work.  “You’re spoiling the kid and it isn’t even here yet!”


Steve snickered.  “That’s not all I got.” He sorted through the bag, pulling out more onesies, finally holding up a little ball cap with 3:16 on it.  “Goes with the onesie.” He explained at Mark’s exasperated look he shot him.


Groaning, Chalice finally managed to stand up from the couch, after taking a nap, not believing how hard it was to maneuver now that she was eight months pregnant.  Her stomach looked like a giant balloon was inside of her, getting ready to pop.  She was afraid to stick a pin in her for fear all of her organs would explode on the walls and sighed, having more back pain. 


“I want this kid outta me now!” She shouted, pressing her hand to her back, and waddled into the kitchen, needing a glass of orange juice.  After gulping down half the carton, Chalice finally walked over to the cupboard, grunting since nothing appealed to her, and decided to call her dear husband in.  “MARK!” She shrieked, standing in the kitchen, and counted to five, waiting for him to arrive to serve her every whim and need.  Pregnancy DID have its perks after all.


Mark bolted, appearing at her side just as she hit four.  “You GOT to quit doing that!” He gasped, seeing the smirk on her face, leaning against the counter, pressing a hand against his heart..  “You bellowed darlin’?”


“Damn, you got him TRAINED!” Steve laughed, following, not believing how fast Mark had moved when he heard her scream.


“Yes I did, oh hubby of mine.” She replied, smirking when Steve arrived at his side, and shook her head.  “It never fails.  What did you get my child this time, Stevie?  Please tell me its not another toy.  I’ll have to kill you if it is.” She stated in a threatening tone of voice and winced as she waddled over to the counter, tossing Mark an orange.  “I want an orange shake.  The ice cream is in the freezer and the blender is down below in the cabinet by your feet.  I ain’t bendin’ that far and if you make me, I’ll rip your balls off.” She stated sweetly, a serene smile on her face.


Mark growled but got to work, huffing dramatically as he did.  “You’re going to pay for all this torture after you’ve rested up from having the baby.” He promised, smiling wickedly at her, emerald eyes gleaming with evil intentions.


“Empty threats.” Steve snorted, setting the bag down, and proceeded to show his sister what he had bought.  Pacifiers, bottles, the onesie and cap along with more onesies.  “I got more in my truck.” He announced, grinning from ear to ear.


“Oh Stevie!” She squealed happily, tears filling her eyes, and held the Austin 3:16 onesie to her huge stomach, grinning from ear to ear.  “He or she will LOVE it!” She truly loved it as she started admiring it and laughed when a baseball cap came with it.  “You’re gonna turn this boy or girl into you, aren’t you bro?” She asked, shaking her with a laugh, and turned around, pressing the onesie to her stomach.  “Mark, look!!  Isn’t it adorable?”


“Seen it.” He grunted in reply, busy getting the shake to the consistency she liked it.


“Hell yes Challie girl, didn’t I do a damned good job of turnin’ ya into me?” He teasingly retorted, walking over to hug her the best he could.


“You didn’t turn me into you.  I’m my own person thank you very much…” She gasped, wincing, and held onto her brother for dear life, breathing in and out heavily as his blue eyes instantly widened with worry.  “Don’t, I’m fine.” She whispered out, still holding onto him for leverage.  “It’s the baby moving.  Damn it, I think I have an NFL kicker in there.” She ran her hand over her huge beach ball sized stomach and tried to calm the baby down since it was kicking her like crazy.


Steve pressed a hand against her stomach, his blue eyes widening.  “Damn kiddo, don’t be beatin’ up on yer momma now.” He said, kneeling down to talk seriously to her stomach, watching as her shirt poked out from what appeared to be a foot.  “Ya goin’ to be a football player or a wrestler?”


“Your shake, darlin’.” Mark chuckled, holding it out to her, and watched Steve amusedly.


Chalice giggled at what her brother was doing, shaking her head, and winced again when the baby kicked.  “Damn it!” She groaned, glaring over at Mark, and took the shake he’d made, throwing it against the wall before waddling hastily out of the kitchen.  “I’m going to fuckin’ rip his dick off if he even THINKS about knocking my ass up again!” She growled, raking a hand through her hair, and plopped down on the couch with a thud.  “Come on kiddo, calm down for mommy please.” She whispered and cried out in pain when one of the feet got lodged in her ribcage.  “OWW!”


Mark winced, staring at the wall where the shake was now sliding down, forming a puddle on the floor, hearing her comment and crossed his legs as he growled out at his brother-in-law. “If you laugh, I’m killing you.”


Steve shook his head, getting out a mop, and handed it to him.  “Not laughin’, get busy Deadman.  When yer done, the toilet needs scrubbed.” He winked, walking out in the living room to join his sister.  “Not much longer, Challie.” He said encouragingly, knowing the kid was giving her a run for her money with these kicks.


“Stevie, this hurts…” She whispered out painfully, tears streaming down her cheeks, and sighed when Steve immediately began to freak out.  She was in too much pain to care or stop him as she rubbed her stomach, trying to dislodge the foot.  This was almost as painful as the labor would be.  “I love this kid, but I swear to god, I want it out of me.”


“That’s understandable.” Steve took over rubbing her stomach for her.  “Strong one, ain’t he?  Or she.” He corrected, smiling up at her, looking concerned when he seen her tears.  “Aww darlin’…Please don’t cry.” He begged, his own eyes tearing up, hating to see his baby sister cry for anything.


“I’m fine, Stevie, I promise.  This damned kid’s foot is lodged in my ribcage.” She gasped out, trying to soothe his fears, and grabbed his hand when she felt the foot slowly dislodge from her ribcage, sighing with great relief.  “God only three more weeks of this shit.” She groaned, wiping away her tears with the back of her hand.


“Got my camcorder ready.” He grinned, brightening up, offering her a bandana from his pocket, having learned to carry one in the event that she either one, tossed something at him or two, cried.  Mark leaned in the doorway, watching them, anxious as his wife for this to all be over.  He groaned inwardly, hoping to god she didn’t have post partum depression afterwards.


“Thanks.” She whispered softly back at her brother and leaned against his arm, blowing her nose and wiping her tears away before handing it back to him.  She then looked up at her husband with those narrowed eyes and planted her hands on her wide hips.  “Where’s my shake, Calaway?”


“You threw it against the damn wall!” Mark retorted, though at her threatening growl, he retreated to the kitchen to make her a new one.


“Mark’s gettin’ gray hairs isn’t he?” Steve asked conversationally, dropping down onto the couch, smiling slightly as he rubbed her arm with his hand.


“He’s gonna get a lot more than that if he doesn’t start cooperating with me.” She threatened, her blue eyes shooting icicles in the direction where her husband had been standing.  She crossed her arms in front of her chest in defiance and added, “He’s not the one carrying this demon seed, I AM so he better comply with whatever I want or I’ll make him pay!”


Steve swallowed hard, leaning back against the couch further, and draped his arm along the back of it.  So glad he wasn’t in Mark’s shoes right now and making a mental note to never ever get a woman pregnant.  “Demon seed, Challie?  Oh be nice, that’s my niece or nephew in there.  It’s got our blood in there so it can’t be all that bad.” He argued softly.


“You wanna feel something kick you in the stomach constantly and lodge its foot in your ribcage?” She retorted, raising an eyebrow at her brother.  “Because I will GLADLY relinquish this little bundle of hell into your arms and make you carry it for nine months, oh brother of mine.”


“Well Challie, if that were possible, I’d swap places with ya.  Though, even ya gotta admit, I’d look pretty damned ridiculous with a basketball sized bundle under my shirt.” Steve replied good-naturedly, knowing her bad humor wasn’t aimed at him so he didn’t take it personally.


“You wouldn’t last THREE seconds in my shoes.  You and Mr. Puss bags in there.” She stated confidently, bouncing her foot up and down, and sighed when the baby started kicking again.  “Christ, can’t this kid ever just stop for five minutes and give its mother a break?”


Mark walked out of the kitchen, carrying her a freshly made orange shake.  “Here you go, darlin’.” He held it out to her, keeping some distance away incase she tried to throw it again.  “Made just the way you like it.”


“Where’s mine?” Steve demanded, winking at his brother-in-law.


“On the walls.”


Giggling softly back at her husband, Chalice reached out, taking the shake, and groaned when the baby kicked her again.  “Mark please, settle your kid down before I reach in there and yank it out myself!” She growled and immediately started sipping her orange shake.  “Mmm orange…”


Mark kneeled down before her and immediately started massaging her stomach.  He watched as his kid at first kicked out at him before seeing the feet retract and asked softly, “How’s that, darlin’?”


“Much better.” She whispered out soothingly and smiled as she sipped her shake, not believing how smart their child was.  “Why is it every time I rub it, it kicks harder, but when you do it, he or she automatically stops?” She demanded softly, feeling really perturbed by the fact and sighed, glad the baby was settling down.


“Bigger hands.” Mark answered, holding up his hand against hers, smiling at the huge size difference.


“Well somethin’ on him has to be big.” Steve piped in with a snort, smirking at the look Mark shot him.


“Austin, please don’t be thinking about my dick anymore.  It grosses me out.”


Chalice actually spewed orange shake out of her nose, causing it to spray everywhere, especially on her husband.  “OWW!” She cried out, not believing how much it burned, and felt the tears prick her eyes from what her husband just said.


“Eww!” Mark exclaimed, jumping back and staring down at himself, not believing he was covered in shake and snot now.


Steve was rolling on the couch, tears streaming down his face from laughing so hard.  “Damn!” He got a bunch of tissues, holding them out to his sister.  “You alright, Challie?” He asked, seeing the tears in her eyes, and knew that had to burn like a bitch.


“Fine, thanks for asking, you jackass!” She spat back at him, yanking the tissues from her brother’s hand, and wiped away her tears and nose, groaning since her nostrils were still burning from the citrus.


“Want to sprit some water up there?” Steve asked seriously, concern in his blue eyes.  “Maybe clean out that shake?”


Mark grunted, shedding his shirt, and holding it out at arms length.  “Darlin’, got anything you need washed?” He asked, staring at what was his shirt, now a shake and snot mess.


“Go fuck yourselves!” She snapped, getting off the couch after rolling a few times, and threw the shake against the wall, barely missing Mark’s head, and stomped up the stairs slowly to their bedroom. 


Her wide stomach was rolling in front of her as she finally made it up there, breathing heavily, and dropped to one knee, raking a hand through her hair as she held her stomach.  She had to sit down for a minute, becoming out of breath quicker, and plopped down on the step as she leaned her forehead against the cool wall.  She couldn’t believe how tired she was after only walking up a flight of stairs and wished this baby would come already.


“Well…” Steve grunted, rubbing a hand over his bald head.  “That didn’t go well.”


“No shit Sherlock.” Mark snapped, heading to the kitchen to get the mop again, not paying attention to his coated jeans.


Steve followed, getting into his bag again before pulling out a camera and called out, “Say Dairy Deadman!”


“Huh?” Mark turned around and winded up blinking rapidly as the white flash of the camera hit his eyes.




Chalice finally caught her breath and slowly pulled herself up with the railing, groaning a little, and waddled into the bedroom.  She walked over to the bed and plopped down on it, looking down, and felt the tears well up in her eyes.  “I can’t even see my feet anymore!” She cried softly to herself and buried her face in her hands, shaking her head back and forth, and grunted when the baby began kicking her again.  “Damn it!”


Mark was busy chasing Steve throughout the house, trying to take back the camera, and bellowed out in an order, “GIVE IT HERE, YOU SON OF A BITCH!”


“Gotta catch me first, Deadman!” Steve shouted back, darting out the front door.  “Or is it Snotman now?”


I’m going to rip off your damn head!” Mark growled back at him, his green eyes spitting venom.


Suddenly, out of nowhere, Chalice felt something burst inside of her as the liquid slid down her legs.  Her eyes widened in shock as she trembled and pressed a hand to her stomach as she breathed in and out slowly, needing to stay calm.  She managed to pull herself up from the bed and walked out of the bedroom, wincing when a contraction hit her, and screamed out in pain.  She breathed through it, the tears streaming down her cheeks, and finally felt it subside as she headed down the stairs. 


“Mark?” She called out fearfully.


Steve froze, letting Mark plow into him, fairly certain he had heard a scream as Mark tackled him to the ground and asked, “Did you hear that?”


Mark’s eyes widened, glancing towards the house before taking off, shouting, “CHALICE?”


Now it was Steve who plowed into Mark as he rushed after him, calling out, “Challie?”


She was breathing through another contraction as she gripped the railing, her hand pressed against her stomach as they both ran in, bumping into each other.  “My water broke.” She announced softly, causing both men to stare at her with confused looks on their faces.


Chapter 15


Mark recovered first.  “Get her to the truck!  I’ll grab her bag.” Mark ordered, sprinting up the stairs.


“Come on Challie.” Steve took her arm, guiding her out of the house and toward his truck.  “Yer gettin’ yer wish, the baby is comin’ out.” He said, trying to laugh when in fact he was dead serious.  Mark came running down the stairs, almost tripping, still in nasty jeans.  Though, he had pulled on a leather vest, looking like he was going to have a heart attack.


“Oh GOD!!” She screamed out again, dropping to one knee as another contraction ripped throughout her body, squeezing her eyes tightly shut as the tears flowed. 


The contractions were seven minutes apart from her calculations as she waddled to the truck and Steve helped her inside.  Sweat was already rolling down her neck as Mark got in the passenger seat while Steve drove, knowing the father of her baby couldn’t drive right now.  He was a nervous wreck.  Mark called ahead of time to let the hospital know they were coming, checking with Chalice to find out how far apart the contractions were.  When she took his hand and started squeezing, he flinched, knowing she was strong, but damn she was hurting him!


“We’re here!” Steve shrieked, driving over the curb on accident, and winced.  “FUCK!  Sorry Challie!”


“YOU ASSHOLE!!  MY BABY COULD HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE BECAUSE OF YOU!!” She screamed, hitting her brother with her tiny fists, and screamed out in more pain when another contraction ripped throughout her abdomen as Mark pulled her out the truck.  “Mark, its too soon!!  I’m only eight and half months along!!” She cried, trembling from fear as he put her in a wheelchair, and Steve was right behind them, not caring if he ran over a handicapped sign.  He was more concerned about his baby sister and his niece or nephew.


“It’s alright, darlin’.  It’s going to be fine.” Mark soothed, watching helplessly as a nurse took over the wheelchair, walking alongside of her, still holding her hand.

Steve was sweating bullets, asking a nurse a million and one questions, ignoring her heavy sighs and kept on barraging her.  He frowned when he was informed he couldn’t go in with Mark and Chalice.  “THE HELL I CAN’T!” He roared, pushing right past her.


“YOU BETTER LET MY BROTHER IN HERE OR I’LL RIP YOUR FUCKIN’ HEARTS OUT!” She bellowed at them, her eyes spitting blue fireballs in their direction, and cried out again as she squeezed Mark’s hand, which had changed into a blue scrub outfit. “Stevie!!  God this hurts!!” The tears were flowing down her cheeks as she gritted her teeth, crying out in more pain.  “Never again!!  You’re NEVER DOING THIS TO ME AGAIN!!”


Mark personally agreed with her, thinking he wasn’t going to be able to handle going through this ever again.  “It’s okay, darlin’.  Steve is right here.” He said as soothingly as he could, though he was scared to death.


Steve moved to the other side of her, now wearing scrubs as well, looking uncomfortable, but more concerned for her.  “Want me to take him out back and fix him, Challie?” He only half joked.


She took her brother’s hand in her own, smiling a little at him, appreciating he was trying to calm her down as the pain subsided for the time being.  When the doctor asked her if she wanted drugs, she shook her head back at him, squeezing both of their hands tightly.  “No, I have all the support I need right here.  I don’t want my baby having any side effects.” She answered and growled when another contraction began ripping throughout her body.  “Ice!  GET ME SOME DAMN ICE!”


Mark growled when the nurses just stood there, blinking at her like she was the dumbest person in the world.  “GET HER SOME DAMN ICE!” He bellowed, watching with grim satisfaction as they scattered.


Steve smirked when the women was back in record breaking time.  “Damn Mark, so ya DO still have some of that authority shit left in ya.” He joked, wincing when Chalice squeezed his hand.  “I think my fingers are broken.” He whispered.


“Would you rather fucking go through THIS pain?!” She growled at her brother, taking the cup of ice from the nurse, and started crunching on it, and nodded when she swallowed.  “Mark, please tell me our baby is fine!!  Please tell me everything will be okay!!” An ear piercing scream flowed throughout the room when another contraction completely overtook her.


Mark winced, waiting until she was done screaming before glancing down, watching as a doctor checked to see how far she was dilated.  “Everything is going to be fine, darlin’.” He assured her, stroking back her hair.  “The baby will be fine.”


She believed her husband as she stared up into his eyes and finally felt the contraction subside, chomping on more ice.  Ice was one of the things that helped calm her down, according to the book, and breathed in and out slowly.  Her heart was beating rapidly in her chest from the pain. 


“Stevie, are you holding up okay?” She asked her brother, looking over at him.


Steve was staring down at his hand.  “I’m fine.” He squeaked out, slowly pulling it away and turning around, shoulders hunching.


Shaking his head, Mark walked around to look at his brother-in-law.  “Strong ain’t she?” He muttered, taking Steve’s hand and snapping his fingers back in place, ignoring Steve’s half muffled curse.  “Stop being a pussy.  She’s the one in real pain.” He ordered and Steve just nodded in agreement, trying to get rid of the pain that was flowing throughout his hand. 


“WOULD YOU TWO GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE BEFORE I GET OFF THIS BED AND BEAT BOTH YOUR ASSES?!” She screamed at them, anger flaring up in her eyes, and growled as she squeezed past another contractions, breathing in and out heavily.  “You two have NO fucking idea what kind of pain I’m going through!!  So what if your fuckin’ hand is broken!!  YOU DON’T HAVE TO SQUEEZE SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A WATERMELON OUT OF SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A LEMON!”


“I could stick my boot up your ass and you can try to feel the pain.” Mark whispered, walking back over to his wife.  He glanced at the clock, wondering how much longer until he could greet his son or daughter, feeling anxious.  “You’re doing great, Chalice.” He murmured, taking her hand and raising it to his lips.


“How much longer till she pops that kid?” Steve demanded, not taking her hand, though he did rub her arm for comfort.


Grabbing both of their hands, Chalice screamed out again, the contractions only three minutes apart now, but it’d been several hours since they’d been in the delivery room.  She finally couldn’t take it anymore, sweat pouring down her neck and forehead, and squeezed her eyes shut when another one followed.  The baby was coming slowly, but surely, taking its sweet time.  She growled, gritting her teeth, and released both of their hands.  She didn’t need them to get through this as she chomped on more ice.


Mark and Steve waited patiently, both their hands and ears suffering through her squeezes and screams.  “Come on…breathe darlin’.” Mark urged, seeing she was getting exhausted from the labor.


Steve frowned, not thinking, and leaned down when the doctor let out a cry of triumph.  “Oh that’s just SICK!” He gagged, turning green.


“Don’t be looking at my wife!”


“SHUT UP, MARK!” She snapped, glaring up at her husband, and looked down at the doctor with a smile.  “Is my baby coming?” She asked softly, gritting her teeth again, and sighed with inner relief when the doctor said it was time, that she was dilated to ten.  “Thank GOD!  Get this kid outta me!!”


Mark remained silent, stroking her head and hair while she pushed, waiting breathlessly, watching as Steve paced alongside the bed.  “Is it a boy or a girl?  Can ya tell yet?  How much hair?  What color?” Steve demanded, firing questions left and right at the doctor while Chalice pushed past another contraction.


“SHUT UP!” She screeched at her brother, her head pounding from all the damned questions, and raked a hand through her hair.  She gripped the bed sheets as they sat her up, putting her in the stirrups, and leaned against the pillows as she breathed in and out harshly. 


Steve shut up instantly, going green when he heard a wet noise.  ‘I ain’t ever havin’ kids.’ He promised himself silently, also promising if Chalice and Mark ever did decide to have another, he wasn’t going to attend its birth.


“Alright Chalice, you need to push now!” The doctor instructed, causing her to nod as she started doing it, squeezing her husband’s hand so hard, it was turning purple as her screams echoed off the walls.


“Its head, I can see the head!” Mark whispered awed, his height giving him a good view advantage.  “Almost there, Chalice!”


“I can’t do it anymore!!” She breathed out, coughing, the sweat coating her entire body, and shook her head.  “I’ll carry this kid around with me for the rest of my LIFE!  I can’t do it anymore!!” She cried out, another contraction rippling through her as she trembled, and started sagging against the hospital bed. 


“Come on Chalice, push!” Mark ordered, his green eyes and tone firm, but gentle.  “You’re almost there, darlin’.  Don’t give up now.  PUSH!”


Steve nodded, wringing his hands together and piped in, “Come on, Challie girl, ya can do it, darlin’!”


Coughing out a little as she looked at her husband and then back at her brother, Chalice nodded as she squeezed her eyes tightly shut and took Mark’s hand in her own.  She then squeezed it with every ounce of power she had left in her body as she screeched out in pain, doing the final push, and finally collapsed against the bed.  Moments later, the cries of a baby rang throughout the room, causing tears to spring to her eyes, and pressed her hand to her heart, hearing the most beautiful sound in the world.  When the doctor announced it was a boy, she immediately started crying hysterically, burying her face in her hands, and knew her premonition had been true.  She’d dreamed of having a baby boy before she even found out she was pregnant.


Mark watched with trembling hands and tear filled eyes as the doctor handed his son over to a nurse to be weighed and washed before holding out his arms.  He cradled the newborn, hunching down next to his wife.  “Look darlin’, this is the youngen that drove ya nuts.” He whispered, his accent coming on strong, voice husky.


Chalice laughed through her tears as she took her son in her arms, running her finger down his little cheek, and held him close to her as she cried harder.  “He’s so beautiful…” She whispered.  “So perfect.” She gasped in amazement when the baby opened its eyes, searing blue eyes staring back at her, and looked up at her brother with tears streaming down her cheeks.  “Stevie, come here.  It’s your nephew.  He’s got our eyes like you wanted.”


Steve walked over and hesitantly took the baby from Chalice, smiling down at his nephew.  “Hey there little man…” His smile broadened, seeing the blue eyes.  “Got them gorgeous eyes don’t ya.” He cooed, truly amazed by the bundle that was in his arms at that moment.


Mark took his wife’s hand, wiping away tears from his eyes with his free one, and asked, “Know what you want to name him, darlin’?”


“Marcus Steven Calaway, J.R.” She announced proudly with a grin, her own tired blue eyes sparkling as her brother and husband stared at her in shock, and yawned loudly.


Steve and Mark exchanged looks, apparently sizing each other up, before grinning.  “Perfect name, sis.” Steve announced, bending down to kiss her forehead, jumping when Marcus started crying.  “I broke’em!”


“No you didn’t, you goofball.” Chalice chastised, laughing softly, and took her baby boy from his arms, shaking her head as she sat up, and started rocking her baby boy back and forth.  “Shhh that’s it, relax my beautiful boy…” She cooed and started crying, tears rolling down her cheeks, and pressed her forehead to the baby’s gently.  “God, I already love you more than my own life.” She whispered breathlessly, pulling back to stare down at her little bundle of joy.


“He’s probably hungry.” Mark mused, peering down at his wife and son.  “Um, darlin’, how you planning on feeding him?”


Steve arched a confused eyebrow.  “With a bottle, you…” His eyes widened when he realized why Mark asked that question.  “OH!”


“Just like this…” She proceeded to open her hospital gown, knowing they were allowed to do this, and fed her son, smiling when the baby instantly attached to her nipple.  “Breast feeding is the best milk for a baby to drink.  It makes them more healthy and strong.” She informed, tears in her eyes, and started running her fingers down Marcus’s cheek.  “I also have a breast pump so that way you men can feed him whenever I’m not there to do so.”


Steve groaned, turning his back.  “Challie, couldn’t ya at least give a man some warnin’?” He demanded, shaking his head, trying and failing to not sound amused.


Mark sat on the edge of the hospital bed, reaching out to caress Chalice’s face.  “Now I’m jealous.” He teased, looking pointedly down at their son, eyes full of love.


“I love you so much, Mark.” She whispered softly, staring back into his emerald green eyes, and reached out, touching his face with her hand.  Her thumb ran across his red lips gently, promising him she’d make it up to him somehow.  “Don’t be jealous, you’ll bond with him more than me when he’s older.” She assured him with a sad smile and lifted the baby up after he pulled away, proceeding to burp him.


“Man, a boy.  We can take’em fishin’, huntin’.  Teach him how to wrestle…” Steve was euphoric, already planning out things that wouldn’t happen until years from now.  “Football.”


“Basketball.” Mark piped in, smile widening when Marcus burped. 


“His first beer…”


“You ain’t givin’ him his first beer at one.” Mark stated, shaking his head, keeping his voice down.


“Why not?  Perfect time; hell, we can even make it a light, just for’em.” Steve countered, a grin on his face as he pulled off the scrub cap he wore on his bald head.  “I’m bald damn it.  What the hell?”


Chalice just shook her head as she allowed the men to talk, holding her little boy close to her as he burped a second time, and finally cradled him in her arms.  “God, I love him so much. He’s so perfect and healthy.  God, thank you.” She closed her eyes and allowed the tears to flow, knowing her prayers were answered, and kissed his forehead as he yawned, snuggling into her arms as he fell asleep.  She was in her own little world with her son, just him and her, nobody else as she refused to tear her eyes from his angelic face, no matter how tired she was.  She didn’t hear anything as she gazed down at her beautiful baby boy and sighed in contentment.  Her beautiful baby boy, her precious angel.  It was worth the pain to feel this amount of love for such a tiny life.  “Mark, do you want to hold him?” She asked softly, staring up at her husband and into his eyes with a loving smile on her face, handing Marcus over to his father.


Mark walked around in a slow circle, cradling his son, running a gentle finger over that tiny, perfect face.  He rolled his eyes when Steve sidled up.  “Man, give me a damn minute with him.” He said, though there was no anger or irritation in his tone. 


Right now, he was too happy and content to be angry.  Chalice smiled as she slowly felt her eyes droop, her entire body sore from head to toe from the birthing, and finally slumped against the bedding.  She sighed, knowing and trusting Mark with Marcus’s life, and allowed the sleep to finally claim her body.


Chapter 16


“Marcus, guess who’s here?” Steve poked his head in the front door, grinning when he seen Mark sitting on the couch, feeding his nephew.  “Breast pump thing already?”


“She’s upstairs sleeping, you ass.  She’s worn out.” Mark growled, putting a rag over his shoulder before gently raising Marcus up to burp him.  “Don’t you ever stay home?”


“Hell no.” Steve stepped in, carrying another bag with that grin on his face.  “Guess what I bought…”


“Aww hell…”


“Are you spoiling my child, Stevie?” Chalice’s sleepy voice sounded down the stairs, a bright smile on her face, and slowly walked down them, wincing since she was still sore.  She wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world and walked over, hugging her brother around the neck, and kissed his cheek.  “What did you buy now?”


Steve wrapped an arm around her waist, pressing his forehead against hers, and kissed the tip of her nose.  “Nothin’ much, just some more clothes and whatnot.” He answered with a grin, guiding her to the couch before dropping down in the chair, the bag at his feet.  He quickly pulled out a camouflaged outfit, holding it up.  “What do ya think?”


“Ohhh that’s too cute!!” She squealed happily and smiled as she held it up, seeing Marcus wouldn’t fit into it for a few months, but it didn’t bother her.  Marcus wasn’t like other babies, especially with Mark and Steve’s genes flowing through him, and set it aside.  “Did you see what your nephew is wearing today?” She asked casually and glanced over at her husband, who had the baby, and showed the Austin 3:16 onesie Steve had bought him.


Mark held Marcus up, grinning when Steve started laughing.  “Kinda big on him, but he’ll grow into it.  Won'tcha?” He rubbed his nose against Marcus’s cheek, smiling.


“Damn kid is gonna break some hearts.  He’s too good lookin’.  Just like his Uncle Stevie.” Steve joked, next pulling out a monster truck.  “Now I know he’s too young for this, but…”


“We’ll keep it in the packaging until he grows up for it.” Chalice smiled back at her brother reassuringly, taking the monster truck, and held it up to Marcus.  His big blue eyes were looking at it in wonder and reached for it.  “Nope, not right now, baby boy.  You get this.” She handed him his stuffed animal and smiled when he snuggled into it.  “He actually looks a lot like Mark, except the eyes.  He’s got that auburn fuzz going.  Makes me wonder if you two got together and made him.” She giggled.


Mark grimaced, making a face, agreeing when Stevie started sputtering out Hell no’s.  “Now that is just sick and twisted, darlin’.” He grunted, shooting her a look, rolling his eyes when she just giggled some more.


“I ain’t havin’ nothin’ with Mark, Challie.” Steve finally said, calming down.  “Except maybe a hangover.”


Chalice laughed softly as she took her baby boy in her arms from her husband and started bouncing him.  “Wow and here I thought I was married to the most sick and twisted man in the WWF.” She retorted with a teasing tone to her voice and smirked at her brother.  “And I thought I was related to the toughest S.O.B. in the business to date?  I guess I was wrong.” She smirked wickedly as she looked down at Marcus.  “Whatcha think, buddy?  Are they both a bunch of wimps?”


“We’re wimps cause we’re not gay?” Steve shook his head, burying his head in his hands.  “I have one seriously demented sister.”


“I’m inclined to agree with you, Steve, for once.” Mark stared at his wife and son, smirking when Marcus spit up on her.  “I think you have your answer, darlin’.”


Sighing exasperatedly, Chalice rolled her eyes and took the rag, wiping it off of her, and then shot Mark a look.  “Well if SOMEONE would’ve burped him the RIGHT way, he wouldn’t be puking on ME now would he?” She shot back and started walking back and forth with him, burping him with a growl.  “You two are the demented ones.  I was only implying you two can’t take jokes, but whatever you say, pops and gramps.” She smirked and walked into the kitchen with her son.


“Pops and gramps?  Well hell… Mark ain’t THAT old…” Steve snickered, ignoring Mark’s warning growl.  “Jeez, ya look like shit, man.  Yer hair is all over the place.  Ya look like ya slept in them clothes, what the hell?”


“Steve, why the hell are you checking me out?” Mark asked in an irritated voice.  “Go get laid…by a woman.”


Chalice walked over to the window, seeing how beautiful it was outside, and smiled when the baby burped as she wiped his mouth off.  “That’s my baby boy.” She cooed to him and smiled when he giggled back at her, sighing when she smelled his diaper, and got a smirk on her face.  She walked out to the living room, handing Steve his nephew, and stated, “I’m going to take a shower.” She kissed her brother’s cheek with a sweet smile.  “Oh and by the way, brother of mine, he needs changed.  Love ya!” She then bolted up the stairs, laughing her ass off.


Steve inhaled deeply and regretted it, turning a sickly greenish color.  “He’s YOUR son, you change’em!” He ordered, holding out Marcus to Mark.


Mark shook his head, laughing.  “Nope, diapers and wipes are over there.” He pointed, getting up and backing out of the room.  “Have fun!”

Growling, Steve seen they had both abandoned him and sighed, holding Marcus against his shoulder while he got a diaper and the wipes.  “This can’t be all that hard…” He said, trying to reassure himself, laying Marcus down and undoing the onesie.  “Holy Hell, kid!  What is in that milk?” He held his breath and undid the diaper.  “Oh Christ…Hey…HEY STOP!” Steve exclaimed when a stream of urine came flying up at him.


He knew he was alone when he heard the back door shut, knowing Mark had gone outside and Chalice was in the shower.  He pulled off his wet shirt and tossed it aside, making a face.  “Now no more of that junior, it ain’t nice to piss on people, little man.” He made another face, quickly cleaning his nephew’s butt.  “Is that thing supposed to be there?” He murmured, studying Marcus’s umbilical cord, and shrugged, guessing it must be before diapering and refastening the onesie.  “That wasn’t too bad…minus the shower.” He yawned, laying down on the couch, Marcus on his chest.


Chalice finished up her shower, a towel wrapped around herself, and walked down stairs.  She had her robe on too and it was tied as she smiled tearfully at her brother.  Marcus was sleeping on his chest as she shook her head, slowly walking over, and gently pried the baby from her brother.  She then carried him upstairs to his nursery.  She kissed his forehead before laying him down, turning on his spinning toy that hung over his crib, and walked out.  She stretched and yawned, heading to her bedroom to change.


Steve shot up not more then ten minutes after Chalice took Marcus, his hands going to his chest.  “Oh fuck!  I lost’em!” He shouted, looking all over the place.  “Marcus?  MARCUS?”


Mark came bursting through the door at the sound of Steve shouting and demanded angrily, “What’d you do now?”


“I lost him!”


“How the hell did you lose him?” Mark growled, grabbing Steve by the throat and lifted him up in the air until his feet dangled off the ground.  “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU LOST MY SON?!”


“We were sleepin’ and I woke up and-and-and…I CAN’T BREATHE!” Steve rasped out, his air supply being completely cut off by Mark’s hand wrapped around his throat.


Chalice fished through her closet, a smile on her face, knowing her baby boy was sleeping peacefully in his nursery.  She picked out a pair of pajama pants with a tank top that showed off the tops of her breasts.  It was an Undertaker set that was purple and black as she slipped it on before walking over to the mirror, brushing out her black hair. 


She’d let it go back natural and smiled at her reflection, her stomach a little big from the pregnancy.  After the six weeks was over from recuperation, she was going to hit the gym and get her old body back in shape.  Chalice stopped what she was doing, hearing commotion downstairs, and immediately bolted out of her room and down them, her blue eyes widening in shock. 


“Mark, put him down right now!!” She ordered, rushing over to them, and tried to break her husband’s grip off of her brother’s neck. “Mark stop it!!  He can’t breathe, you monster!!”


Mark reluctantly dropped Steve, wanting to tear the man limb from limb.  “I lost him, Challie!” Steve gasped out, looking panicked, stumbling away, a hand on his throat as he coughed a few times to get the air back in his lungs.  “I lost Marcus!” Growling, Mark tensed as if he would go for Steve’s throat again, green eyes narrowed to dangerous slits.


“Good fucking god you two!” She growled back at them, planting her hands on her hips, and sighed exasperatedly.  “Stevie, I took MY son upstairs to sleep in his nursery while you were sleeping.  You two really need to stop overreacting like this or else I’m taking MY son and LEAVING!” She shouted at them angrily and stormed upstairs, flipping them both the bird on her way up, and walked into Marcus’s room since he was crying from the outbursts.  “Shhh I’m here, Marcus.” She cooed and picked him up, holding her baby close as she started bouncing him, calming him down.


Mark and Steve both trudged to the kitchen.  Mark pulled out two longnecks and handed one to Steve before both men dropped down at the table, clinking their bottles together.  They popped off the caps and took long swigs, not sure what to say to the other.  Steve rubbed a hand over his bald head.


“She got that…post partum shit?”


“God I hope not.” Mark groaned in reply, looking alarmed.


“That makes two of us.  I don’t know if I could handle that.  She was a pill durin’ her pregnancy.  Could ya imagine her bein’ depressed?” Steve’s blue eyes widened at the thought.


“No.” Mark replied honestly, not wanting to imagine it.  “Doesn’t matter, we both still love her.”  Steve agreed with his brother-in-law, taking another long swig of his beer.


“You two have a funny fucking way of showing it.  Thanks a lot for making me realize what two DICKHEAD men I have in my fucking life!” She shouted at them, truly hurt that they would even talk about her that way behind her back, tears swelling in her eyes.  “I’m SO sorry that my pregnancy put a damper on your fuckin’ moods and days, GENTLEMEN, but you know what, fuck it.  I hate you both so much right now.  You both can sleep on the fuckin’ front porch for all I fuckin’ care tonight because you’re NOT staying in MY fucking house!”


She then stormed away from them, having overheard every word, and ran up the stairs, slamming her bedroom door.  She locked that door then the one that lead to the bathroom, refusing to come out, having everything she needed in the bedroom for Marcus.  She’d set up a bassinet in their bedroom, wanting her son to stay close to them, especially with his tiny form.


“Oh shit.” Mark groaned, not believing his wife had overheard what they were talking about, and felt like an ass.


“Hey…What are ya doin’?” Steve demanded when Mark got up.  “Answer me!” He snapped, watching as Mark disappeared in the utility room, coming back out with two sleeping bags, and got the picture.  “OH…”


“You’re camping out with me.” Mark said gravely, leading the way to the front porch.  Steve grabbed the beer from the fridge, pretty certain they were in for a long, grueling night.


Chalice flat out refused to come out of the bedroom for the remainder of the day.  Once night fell, she immediately walked out and locked the front door, putting on the security alarms, and then locked the back door.  She then locked all the windows and proceeded to make her some dinner.  Marcus was laying in his playpen in the living room as she wiped away her tears.  She was truly hurt by what her husband, the man she loved and gave her whole heart too and her brother, the man who’d been there for her entire life, said and couldn’t believe they talked bad about her behind her back. 


“They need to grow a set of balls and tell this shit to my face or I swear I’ll leave both of their asses and take my son somewhere.” She threatened, meaning what she said, and threw the oranges away, feeling sick at the thought of them since that was her craving throughout her pregnancy.


Mark and Steve had built a bonfire in the front yard, not even bothering to attempt going inside for anything to eat, not that they were hungry.  Instead, they both just sat in front of the fire, nursing their beers, wondering how the hell they were going to make this one up to her.  “Roses?” Steve suggested, knowing his sister’s love for white ones.


“If you want them stuck up your ass…” Mark growled, downing his third beer, and threw the bottle in the fire before dropping his head in shame.


Hearing Marcus whimpering, Chalice smiled tiredly as she walked over, lifting him up in her arms, the shades drawn so she didn’t have to look at the scum that was in her front yard.  She then sat down on the couch, rocking her baby boy back and forth, and proceeded to feed him.  She smiled as she ran her finger down his cheek and kissed his forehead softly, allowing him to have his fill before putting him over her shoulder and burping him. 


“That’s my beautiful boy…” She murmured softly to him in a soothing voice.


“How bout we build her somethin’?” Steve suggested once more, wanting to get back in his sister’s good graces fast. 

“Steve, we can’t be buying our asses’ outta this.  She’s not stupid.” Mark sighed, tossing another bottle into the fire before laying down on top of his sleeping bag, finishing his fourth beer.  “Best be apologizing is what we need to do.”


“Written?” Steve asked hopefully, not wanting to face his sister.


“You’re chicken shit, Austin you know that?”


“No, I’m smart.  This way, if she don’t accept the apology, we ain’t around to get jack slapped or somethin’.” Steve argued, sitting on his own sleeping bag, his knees bent, and had his elbows resting on them.


“Steve, this was the kinda talk that got us in trouble.” Mark reminded him, groaning, and stared up at the stars, wishing he was inside with his wife and son.  “Think she locked the doors?”


“Just as sure as I got balls.”


After putting Marcus to sleep, Chalice laid him in his playpen on his stomach, since that was his favorite sleeping position, and sighed sadly.  Why did her brother and husband have to be such fucking pricks?  They could be standing here with her watching Marcus fall asleep and felt the tears burn her eyes. 


She hadn’t meant to be so mean during her pregnancy toward them, but damn it, it was her hormones!  How could she stop or control them?  Shaking her head, Chalice walked over and laid on the couch, curling up in a tight ball, and sobbed silently to herself.


After having herself a decent cry, Chalice finally picked up her son and headed upstairs to bed.  She didn’t care about her husband at the moment, deciding if he wasn’t going to show her any love then she was going to reciprocate those feelings.  She decided to have Marcus sleep with her in the bedroom, shutting the door behind her, locking it along with the adjoining one.  She knew Mark could get through the garage, since the door didn’t have a lock on it, and set Marcus in the bassinet.  She then laid down on the bed and just stared at the wall, crying silently, not wanting to wake up her son.


When it got too cold out, Mark said enough of this shit and found a way inside, Steve following.  He pointed to the couch before heading upstairs, hesitantly trying the door.  Sighing regretfully when he found it to be locked.  Mark settled down against the wall, his feet planted near the door, and hung his head.  He planned on sleeping right there, as close to Chalice and Marcus as he could.


Halfway through the night, Marcus started screaming, causing Chalice to bolt up off the bed, and immediately picked him up in her arms.  She sighed, knowing he needed to be fed, and was too tired to feed him through her breasts since they were sore.  She unlocked the door and walked out, almost tripping over Mark’s huge legs, and grunted as she held her son protectively against her.  


“Damn it, Mark!” She growled at him and stomped down the stairs, needing to warm up a bottle for Marcus as he continued to cry.


Mark got up and followed her, taking Marcus from her even though she shot him a deadly look, holding his son against him, and rubbing his back soothingly.  “Momma’s heating up a bottle right now, little man.” He cooed, listening as Marcus calmed down somewhat, now nuzzling his shirt as if searching for his food.


“Give me my son.  I need to feed him.” She ordered, extending her arms to her husband, and growled when he refused to hand him over.  “Fine, you wanna feed him?  FINE!” She shouted, thrusting the warm bottle in his direction, and stormed away from him and up the stairs.  Too tired to deal with this shit right now.  He’d really hurt her, but all she wanted to do was sleep at the moment and knew he’d take care of Marcus.  “Fuckin’ prick.” She muttered, slipping into the bed as she wiped away a few stray tears that fell down her cheeks.


Mark sat down at the table, cooing as he fed Marcus.  He didn’t think about Chalice, just focused on his son and spending time with him.  He wasn’t surprised when Steve padded into the kitchen and joined them, just sighed. 


“She hates me.” He murmured softly.


“Nah, she’s just pissed at us.” Steve assured his brother-in-law, patting his shoulder.


Mark smiled down at his son.  “Easy there, tiger, drink it slow.” He whispered, tugging away the bottle.  “Get some air into them lungs, son.”


Finally deciding she couldn’t sleep, not without her son, Chalice turned on the television, flipping through the channels, boiling with anger.  She couldn’t believe Mark would actually say those things about her behind her back.  Even though Steve said most of them.  She knew she shouldn’t be upset, but after everything that happened, she thought Mark would defend her.  Apparently, they were closer than Chalice ever thought and shook her head as she stared down at her wedding ring.  Anger coursed through her body as she took it off and put it on the nightstand before flipping it to a movie.


Steve studied Mark thoughtfully, taking in the haggard look on his face, dark circles under his eyes.  Steve whistled when he seen an actual lock of pure gray hair streaking through Mark’s tresses.  “Damn, ya are gettin’ old.” He murmured.


Mark just nodded, burping Marcus before standing up.  “Night Steve.” He muttered, heading up the stairs, walking into the bedroom, cradling against his shoulder as he stared down at his wife.  He didn’t miss the fact that she wasn’t wearing her ring and it was on the nightstand.


Chalice lay on the bed, her arms crossed in front of her chest, and immediately stood up when she seen Mark walk in with her baby boy.  She took Marcus from him and laid him down in the bassinet.  She completely ignored his presence as she pulled the comforter back and slipped under it, the bed big enough for both of them, and turned the TV off.  She rolled over on her side, facing away from him, not wanting to look at him right now.  Chalice wanted him to hurt as much as he’d hurt her by talking about her like that behind her back and breathed out shakily, sniffling a little and closed her eyes.


Chapter 17


Mark picked up her wedding ring, kicking off his boots before sliding into bed next to her, pulling her against him.  “Stop.” He whispered when she tried to move away.  “Stop it, Chalice.” He held her firmly, slipping her ring back on.  “I love you and I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have said what I did.  I should’ve said something to Steve, but I didn’t.  I’m sorry.”


“Go to hell.” She whispered harshly, sniffling even more and felt more tears streak down her cheeks.  “I thought you loved me and, yes, I know I was a bear during my pregnancy, but that wasn’t my fault!” She was keeping it down so they didn’t disturb their son and tried pulling away from him again.  “Don’t touch me, you asshole.” She ordered in a whisper and scooted away from him, curling up in a tight ball at the edge of the bed, clutching the pillow to her as she began to cry silently.


Mark sat up, his heart breaking at her tears, and gently uncurled her, pulling her onto his lap, pinning her arms at her sides when she went to hit him.  “I do love you, Chalice.” He whispered, kissing the top of her head.  “I do and I’m in hell now because you hate me.” His tone was heartbroken.  “I know it’s my fault, darlin.  I know it is.  Please don’t cry.  I’ll go if you want, just don’t cry.” He wiped away her tears with his thumbs, always hating to see her cry.


“I don’t want you to go.  I want you to love me and stop talking about me behind my back.” She whispered heartbrokenly, crying even harder, and wrapped her arms around herself, feeling chills run up and down her body.  She knew he hated to see her cry and she wasn’t going to stop the tears this time as she cried harder.  She wanted him to feel and understand how much overhearing that conversation hurt her.


“I do love you, darlin’.  I do.” Mark assured her, turning her face towards him and bending down to kiss her cheek, savoring each tear.  “I’m so sorry, Chalice please.  Forgive me, darlin’?”


Chalice cried harder as she nodded, wrapping her arms around his neck, and buried her face in the crook of it.  Her entire body was trembling from head to toe as she clung to him, sniffling as she breathed raggedly.  “I do forgive you, Mark.  I just really wish you didn’t feel that way about me.” She whispered heartbrokenly before slowly pulling back, wiping her tears away from her eyes, and looked over at her precious angel that was sleeping.  “He was worth it all.  Every single bit of pain I went through to get him here with us.  If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Not one single thing that happened.”


“I wouldn’t either, darlin’.  He was worth it a million times over.” Mark whispered in agreement, caressing her face with the back of his hand.  “I shouldn’t have said what I did, I wasn’t thinkin’ darlin’.  I’m sorry; you’ll never know how sorry I really am.” He stared down into her blue eyes, raising her hands up and gently kissed them.


“I really hope you are because if you EVER talk about me like that behind my back again, I’m gone and I’m dead serious on that, Mark.” She wasn’t threatening him.  She was telling him the truth, making it a promise.  “That hurt me more than words could say to hear my own brother and husband, the love of my life, talk shit about me behind my back about how horrible I was during my pregnancy and everything.  And no, I’m not going to have that post partum depression bullshit either so you can sleep easy.” She sarcastically informed him, rolling her eyes, and scoffed in disgust as she shook her head in disappointment.


Mark hung his head, regret and shame shining in his green eyes, though she couldn’t see it.  His hair was hanging over his face, the gray lock included.  “It ain’t happening ever again, Chalice.” He said softly, his voice honest.  “I don’t ever want to lose you, darlin’.  You and Marcus are my life.”


“It’s fine, sweetie.  I’m over it now and I forgive you.” She whispered softly, lifting his head up to meet her eyes, and kissed him softly, her body lighting on fire with just one touch and kiss from him still.  “I love you, Mark.” She whispered, pressing her forehead to his, and entwined their fingers together as she pressed it against her chest, her eyes never leaving his.


Sighing raggedly, Mark stared back into her eyes, becoming lost in those blue pools like he always did, gently feathering his lips over hers.  “You look tired, darlin’.” He commented in a whisper, stroking her back gently.


“I am a little.” She admitted softly, resting her head on his shoulder, and ran her hands up and down his arms.  “Mark?” She softly called his name, biting her bottom lip when he responded to her, and took a deep, shaky breath.  “After Marcus is a little older, I was thinking.  Maybe we could try for that girl?” She asked hopefully, looking up into his emerald green eyes, and ran her finger down his cheek. “I just want to know if you want more children with me or not.” She quietly asked, glancing over at Marcus.


Mark nodded, smiling.  He turned his head to kiss the tip of her finger.  “I want to have as many children as you’re willing to bear me, darlin’.” He replied honestly.  “A little girl.  An angel just like her momma.” He smiled at the thought.


“No, I want her to have your eyes.” She replied softly and yawned, snuggling further against her husband, and sighed in contentment.  “Let’s go to bed.” She whispered softly and slid from his arms, beneath the comforter, and smiled when he joined her moments later.  “I love you, Mark.” She whispered, snuggling further in his arms when he pulled her into his arms, and looked over at the bassinet.  “I love you, Marcus.” She then closed her eyes and allowed sleep to claim her entire body.




Steve was up before anyone else, in the kitchen cooking breakfast, something he did rather well, especially stuffed omelets.  He’d noticed the lack of oranges in the house and figured Challie had decided she was sick of them so he made coffee instead.  While he cooked, he waited nervously for her to come down, ready to receive the tongue lashing of a lifetime.


The smell of breakfast filled her nostrils, causing her eyes to slowly flutter open, and turned on her back, gasping when she seen Mark staring down at her.  “Good Lord, you scared me.” She whispered, caressing his face tenderly with her hand, and kissed his lips softly.  “What’re you doing up?” She quietly asked, staring into his emerald green eyes.


“Watching you.” He answered, bending down to lightly kiss her, smiling against her lips.  “You looked so damn peaceful I didn’t want to wake you.” He inhaled deeply at the scent that wavered in the room.  “Is that…Steve cooking?” He arched an eyebrow at her, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.


“Yeah, his way of sucking up.” She muttered under her breath and smiled when her son started fussing.  She immediately stood up from the bed, picking him up, and hoisted him over her shoulder as she walked back over and sat down.  She proceeded to feed him, wincing a little at how tender her breasts were, and leaned against Mark.  “You don’t mind that I choose to feed him like this, do you?” She asked softly and smiled when his arm wrapped around her shoulders.


Mark shook his head, looking bemused.  “Why would I mind, darlin’?  Breast milk is best for him; helps build his immune system…” He started rattling off more things Marcus would benefit from being breastfed, apparently having been reading his books again.  “Though I am jealous.” He teased, reaching out to stroke Marcus’s tiny hand, grinning when his son wrapped his tiny fist around Mark’s one finger.


“Don’t worry, he’s your son.  You’ll have plenty of bonding moments with him.” Chalice assured her husband with a smile, finishing up the feeding with Marcus and proceeded to burp him as she closed her eyes, sighing in contentment.


Smiling, Mark watched his wife and son, grinning when Marcus burped.  “Damn boy that was a loud one.” He chuckled, leaning over to kiss the top of his head.


Giggling softly, Chalice agreed with her husband before slowly standing up from the bed, wearing the Undertaker pajamas she’d put on the previous night, and started bouncing him.  “I suppose we should go see how your uncle is doing.” She grumbled, looking over her shoulder at Mark, and smiled slightly.  Though, her eyes still held the hurt that the conversation the previous day had caused.


Mark stood up, ignoring the fact that he was in just a pair of loose fitting sweat pants, having changed in the middle of the night during one of Marcus’s feedings.  “I love you, darlin’.” He murmured, hugging her and Marcus gently.


“We love you too, Mark.” She replied sweetly, turning around to stare up into his eyes, and leaned against his chest as he hugged them both.  “Alright, we can’t prolong this anymore.  If I know my brother, which I do, he’ll be up here any second to drag us downstairs for breakfast.” She stated and smirked when Mark started chuckling.  “What?  It’s the truth!”


“What kinda cook is he, darlin’?  I’m not going to have to fake liking it am I?” He asked playfully, following her out of the bedroom, having to admit whatever it was Steve had made smelled pretty damned good.


“Steve is a very good cook when he wants to be.” Chalice admitted, holding her baby close to her, and smiled when Marcus rested his head against her shoulder, being quiet.  They walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, causing tears to swell in her eyes at the beautiful white roses on the table.  They always touched a place in her heart that was indescribable as she leaned in the doorway and watched him bustling about the kitchen.  “Havin’ fun, bro?”


Steve was wearing a frilly, lace edged yellow apron, tied in a big bow at the back with flower covered pockets on the front.  “Yes, Challie, I am.” He answered with a grin, walking over to kiss her cheek then Marcus’s head.  “Sorry Mark, no smooches for ya.”


“That’s quite alright.” Mark replied good-naturedly, standing behind his wife.


“Hungry folks?” Steve asked hopefully, staring down into his sister’s blue eyes that mirrored his own.


“Actually, I’m famished.  Let me go set the baby down in the playpen.” She said and walked out of the kitchen, pressing her lips to Marcus’s forehead, and gently set him down in the playpen.  For not even a week old, the beautiful boy was adapting well to his new environment and she smiled when he closed his eyes, yawning.  He’d kept his daddy up for most of the night as she admired him for a bit longer before walking back into the kitchen to join her husband and brother.  “Stevie, you made my favorite!” She squealed happily, wrapping her arms around his neck, and hugged him tightly as she whispered, “You’re forgiven.” The breakfast consisted of blueberry waffles, eggs, toast, sausage links, bacon, and omelets.


‘Thank god.’ Steve thought with relief, hugging her back tightly.  “Thank you, Challie girl.” He whispered, kissing the top of her head.


Mark had already pulled out a seat for his wife, watching the siblings with a grin on his face.  “Damn Steve, nice to see when you finally get snagged up, you’re already halfway domesticated.”


“Halfway is right.” Steve chuckled, agreeing with his brother-in-law.


Chalice nodded as she started crying, not able to stop herself, and buried her face in the crook of her brother’s neck.  She knew he was sorry and this more than made up for it as she felt him hold her tighter to him.  “Please don’t ever think that way about me again.  It almost broke me completely in half to hear you say those things.” She whispered in his ear, sniffling a little, and wiped her tears away on his shirt, but never released him.  She had to let him know how much he’d hurt her, since she’d put her husband through hell the previous night.  The last thing Chalice wanted was for her husband and brother to not want to be around her anymore, especially when what she did was out of her control.


Steve could only nod, not trusting himself to speak, blinking back tears of his own.  He felt horrible for what he had said about her pregnancy and hearing her forgive him made him want to cry.  “I love ya, darlin’.” He whispered gruffly.  “You have no damned idea how sorry I am for what I said.”


“Shhh it’s okay, Stevie.  Don’t worry about it anymore.  I forgive you and I love you too.” She whispered soothingly to him, rubbing the back of his neck, and smiled when he held her even tighter to him.  Causing her to lean her head on his shoulder as she sniffled a little more.  This was what her family was built on.  No matter what horrible things they said to each other, Steve and Chalice always found a way to make it up to one another.  They couldn’t explain it.  It was almost as if they were always destined to be brother and sister.  “Come on, let’s eat.”


Mark waited until Chalice had seated herself before scooting her towards the table, waiting for Steve to sit before seating himself, glancing towards Marcus.  “Poor kid, he’s missin’ out.” Steve said, feeling bad for his nephew.  “These are some awesome waffles.”


“He’s got plenty of time to be introduced to the finer things in life.  I’m fairly certain he’d say we’re the ones missing out.” Mark winked at Chalice, referring to her breast feeding.


Chalice just shook her head and laughed, putting some food on her plate, and stood up as she brought Marcus in to join them.  She smiled at her brother and held out a small piece of waffle to her son, grinning when he took it.  It was small enough for him to swallow whole without choking on it.  She laughed when he licked his little lips hungrily and began reachin for the fork, shaking her head. 


“Uh oh, I think we have another hook, line and sinker with your waffles there, Stevie.” She smirked at her brother, her blue eyes twinkling.


Mark arched an eyebrow.  “Isn’t a week old too young to be giving him table foods?” He asked, watching his son curiously.  “Damn, that boy’s hungry!”


“Well my waffles are AWESOME.  Try’em ol’ man.” Steve said boastfully, patting himself on the back on a job well done.


“There’s nothing wrong with it, Mark.  They eat the jar baby foods.  Why should this be any different, especially when I’m mashing it up before?” She questioned with a smirk and quirked an eyebrow before continuing to feed herself and her son, laughing when Marcus took the fork from her grip.  “Okay little man, slow down there tiger.” She shook her head, wiping his mouth off.


Steve shook his head, working his way through his own plate of food, watching Marcus with wide eyes.  “That boy is gonna be big like his ol’ man, ya know that right?”


“Nothing wrong with being my size.” Mark chuckled.  “I haven’t heard any complaints yet.”


“Yeah, but if we ever have a daughter, she’ll take after me.” Chalice piped in with a smile, eyes sparkling with such love down at her son.  She cooed to her baby boy and continued feeding him, the sun radiating off of them, making her look more beautiful than an angel in their eyes.  She ran a hand through her hair and laughed when Marcus took another tiny bite of waffle.  “Ya like that, beautiful boy?”


“Shit, I should’ve made some more.” Steve groaned swallowing down his coffee, wincing as it burned his tongue.  “That’s not gonna tear up his stomach is it?”


Mark stared intently down at Marcus, wondering the same all of a sudden. “I don’t know, Steve.  He seems to be handling it fine.”


“Would you two stop worrying?” Chalice snapped softly at them, her blue eyes narrowing dangerously now, filling with anger.  “Goddamn, you’d think the MOTHER would know what the fuck to feed her OWN child!” She then abruptly stood from the table and walked into the living room to calm down, cooing to her baby boy, who was snuggled against her chest.


Mark frowned, getting up to follow her.  “Darlin’, we’re not trying to say you don’t know what you’re doing.  We’re just trying to learn, is that so wrong?” He asked softly, listening as Steve started clearing the table.


“No, it’s not wrong, but I wouldn’t feed Marcus anything if I knew it was going to harm him in ANY way.” She argued back at her husband in a softer voice, staring down at her precious angel, and sat down on the couch with him as she sighed heavily.  “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to snap in there.  I just, you two are so damned overprotective and it’s unnerving at times…” She bit her bottom lip as she raked a hand through her hair, knowing they meant well.  They drove her up the wall sometimes with their protectiveness of Marcus.


“Can you blame us?” Mark reasoned, setting down besides her.  “My first son, Steve’s first nephew.  We’re learning as we go.  We’re men.” He rapped his knuckles against his head.  “We’re thick, darlin’.  Bear with us.”


Sighing, Chalice reluctantly nodded as she looked down at her son and then scooted closer to her husband when Steve entered.  She smiled at him, patting the seat, and watched as he lowered himself beside her.  “I know you two are only trying to do what’s best for Marcus and I love you both dearly for it.  I truly do.  I didn’t mean to snap in there, but I want you two to realize that I would NEVER do anything to harm him.  He’s allowed to have table food because he’s human, just not in large quantities.” She spoke soothingly to both of them and smiled when the baby started squirming as she put him over her shoulder, rubbing his back.


“Here, let me.” Mark gently took Marcus from her, feeling his stomach.  “His belly’s hard…” He groaned when he realized what that meant.


“When he drops that waffle, I’m NOT changin’ it!” Steve declared, draping an arm over Chalice’s shoulder, chuckling softly.


“Funny, I will.” Mark replied, gently laying Marcus tummy down on his knee, rubbing his back with one hand while gently supporting his head and neck with the other.


“He’s gonna have a digestive system like his father too so who better than to change him?” Chalice retorted swiftly, agreeing with her brother, and leaned against him while she watched husband care for their child.  She truly felt at peace and sighed in contentment, closing her eyes, and patted her brother’s leg reassuringly.  She wanted him to know that she did forgive him for the previous day and they could move on as being a family.


Steve watched as Marcus started grunting, wrinkling his nose.  “That’s disgustin’ and I don’t need to know bout Mark’s system thank you very much.” He leaned his head against hers.  “Challie, I’d say ya got that man flat out house broken.” He whispered, watching as Mark stood up and started walking around with Marcus, cooing at him.


“Yeah, but he loves every second of it.  He loves being a father and actually showing his love to someone other than me.” She whispered back to her brother and snuggled further into him; her knees bent and shook her head.  “Can you believe that you’re the uncle of Mark’s baby?” She asked softly out of nowhere, crossing her arms in front of her chest, thinking about the past again.


“Now if ya would’ve asked me that two years ago, I’d a given ya a big HELL NO.” His voice was just as silent, just putting stress on certain words.  “Now though, yeah, I can believe it.  We’re friends again and honestly, I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d want to be my nephew’s father.  He’s a good man.  Dumb as an ox sometimes, but a good guy.  That and he loves ya and Marcus to death.”


“I told you he had a heart.” She remarked with a smirk, watching her husband cooing to their beautiful baby boy, and nudged her brother.  “I truly love him, Steve.  He’s my soul mate and I knew that the minute I laid eyes on him when we walked into the arena.  He was the Undertaker back then, but deep down, I could see it in his eyes that he was masking the real him.  He was masking Mark.  Does that make sense?” They were speaking quietly to each other, not wanting Mark to overhear.


“Yeah, that makes sense.” Steve admitted, shaking his head, trying not to chuckle before smirking back at her.  “Lucky fer him ya came along or he might still be wearin’ that damned musty robe and sportin’ that Amish lookin’ goatee.”


“That goatee was absolutely ridiculous and did NOT suit him.” She stated quietly, giggling softly at the memory, and sighed as she shook her head.  “Did you ever think you’d actually be related to him?” She asked her brother, taking his hand in her own, and patted it gently.


“Not in a million years.” Steve admitted, stroking his chin thoughtfully with his free hand.  “Come on, who would’ve EVER thought it?  Ya seen how we were…If it weren’t fer ya, Challie, we’d probably still be runnin’ round like jackasses tryin’ to kill each other.”


Sighing, Chalice knew he was right in saying that as she turned her focus back to her husband.  “I’m just glad you two are back to the way you were before I even came in the picture.” She murmured softly and closed her eyes, not believing how her life turned out.


Chapter 18


~Five Years Later~


“Marcus Steven Calaway, you be nice to your sister right now!” Chalice admonished her little boy, who was now five years old, while little Rose Chalice Calaway was three, going on four in a few short months. 


It was a beautiful summer day, right in the middle of June, and Chalice was watching her children play in the backyard with each other.  Marcus was growing so fast, just like his father.  Those big blue eyes and auburn hair made him stand out; making him a sheer knock out with the ladies she’d meet on the street when she’d take them for walks and whatnot. 


On the other hand, Rose was stunning with her long, black locks and emerald green eyes that matched her father’s identically.  Both were extraordinary children and smart as a whip.  Though, Chalice didn’t want to admit it and sighed, not believing how fast her babies were growing up.


“Aww hell momma, she started it!” Marcus shouted back, snatching away the remote to his monster truck from Rose.


Steve was standing at the grill with Mark; both on their day off, and paled when he heard that from his nephew as he groaned, “Aww hell…”


“You’re in trouble now.” Mark murmured, busying himself with the steaks and hamburgers.


“Marcus!!” Chalice shouted and immediately walked over to him, snatching the remote out of his hand, and smacked him upside the head lightly.  “Don’t say that word again!  You know better than that!” She added strongly, anger flaring in her blue eyes that mirrored his own as well as his uncle’s, and slowly turned around to face her brother.  “Stevie, did you teach my son to use that word?” She asked and growled when he just lowered his head in shame.  “Mark, aren’t you going to hit him or…SOMETHING?!  This is OUR son for Christ sakes and he’s already saying that word and he’s FIVE!!”


“On it, darlin’.” Mark whacked Steve upside the head, not so lightly, with his hand.


“Ouch, you mean sumbitch!” Steve whined, rubbing his bald head.  “He heard me use it!  I ain’t teachin’ him jack…OUCH!” He moved away after Mark clocked him again.


“Watch your mouth around the kids!”


“Mommy, why are Daddy and Uncle Weavie wighting?” The beautiful three year old Rose asked her mother, causing Chalice to stare down at her daughter, love shining in her eyes as she bent down to be eye level with her.


“Because, my beautiful angel, Uncle Stevie needs to learn to watch his mouth.” She talked softly to her daughter and smiled when she ran a hand through her black hair, just like Chalice did and bit her bottom lip.  They had a lot of the same characteristics, but those emerald green eyes set her apart from her daddy.  They were mirror images and she was indeed a daddy’s girl.  “Do you understand?”


“Yes, I wanna go pway on the swing set!” She shouted excitedly and ran over to her brother, pulling him with her as he groaned, and Chalice smirked at her son.  She knew they were going to be just like her and Steve.  She just had a hunch it was going to happen that way before venturing over to see how the food was coming along.


“You didn’t pop him in the head too hard, did ya sweetie?” She asked her husband, running her hand up his chest.


“Hard enough to rattle his teeth, darlin’.” Mark answered, bending down to kiss the top of her head, casually flipping a burger before glancing over at Steve, who was now taking turns pushing the kids on the swings.  “He won’t be usin’ any foul language anytime soon.”


“Good.” She replied softly and leaned up on her tiptoes, kissing his lips, and felt her entire body light on fire instantly.  After seven years of being together, he never ceased to amaze her and loved how their passion never died for each other.  “I love you.  Let me know when the food is ready.” She said before walking away and over to her brother, who was now wrestling around with Marcus in the yard.  “Haven’t you learned anything from my husband?” She asked dramatically, causing Rose to giggle.


Steve didn’t answer, too busy pretending to be in pain from the headlock Marcus had on him.  “I tap, I tap!” He howled, grunting when Rose joined in, dropping a tiny elbow on his ribs.  “Ouch!  Mercy!” He shook his head when they let him up.  “That’s my girl!  You dropped that perfectly.” He patted her head before looking over at Marcus.  “And ya owe me a rematch, buddy.”


“What have you done to my babies?!” She sarcastically cried, burying her face in her hands, and shook her head back and forth.  She laughed when Rose tackled her legs, causing her to fall over in the grass, and grinned before doing the airplane with her.  “You can fly, my white Rose!” She cooed and grinned when Steve picked her little girl up and started spinning her around in circles before going over to her son.  “Done rough housin’ and beatin’ up your uncle yet?”


“No!” Marcus exclaimed excitedly, blue eyes twinkling.  “He said he’s gonna teach me how to do the stunner!” He started jumping up and down in his excitement, grinning at his mom.


Steve heard that and coughed, holding Rose against him in a defense posture.  “Protect me, Rosie.” He whispered, causing her to giggle more.


“Is THAT right?” Chalice questioned, her eyebrow rising, and turned around slowly to face her brother.  “How many times do I have to tell you that I don’t want my children being influenced with that sport?” She chided, placing her hands on her hips, and stared hardening at her brother.  “What do you have to say for yourself, Stevie?”


“Um…Don’t trust anyone?” Steve replied, trying not to grin when Rose kept on giggling.  “Come on Challie, they’re Dad and Uncle are wrestlers.  They’re gonna learn bout it sometime or another.”


“WHAT?!?” Marcus shouted another one of Steve’s lines in the ring.


“My children are NOT becoming wrestlers!” Chalice stated emphatically and groaned when Marcus started chanting the word what to her.  “MARCUS, knock it off before I put you over my knee or have your father do it!” She threatened in a growl and looked over at her daughter, who was giggling full blown now.


“What?  What?  What?  What?  What?” Marcus kept chanting, bouncing around the yard along with his head, driving Chalice up the wall.


Mark sighed, setting aside the plates of steak and burgers before walking over to pick up his son.  He dropped down to one knee and turned Marcus over before delivering one open hand smack to his butt.  “You heard your momma.” He admonished sternly.


“Ouch!” Marcus whined, his butt stinging.


“Happy now, Steve?  You corrupted your nephew!” She shouted at him before walking over to her husband, who’d just set Marcus down on the ground, and stated, “I want you to go up to your room for fifteen minutes and think about what you did.  The next time, maybe you’ll listen to what your mother has to say.  Now get goin’.” She ordered, pointing in the direction of the house, and scrubbed her face with her hand.  “Why was I blessed with such a devil child?”


Marcus was muttering under his breath while he stalked into the house and shrieked out to just spite his mother before slamming the door behind him, “WHAT?!?”


Steve clamped a hand over Rose’s mouth when she took up the 'what' chant her brother was doing.  “How bout we go look at what yer Dad made to eat?” He suggested gently, placing her on his hip, and carried her towards the picnic table.


Mark took Chalice’s shoulders in his hands when she went to chase after him and said, “I’ll tend to it, darlin’.  Go eat.”


“No screw that!” She snapped and walked over, taking her brother by his ear, and pulled him into the house as he shrieked at her to let him go.  “Get your ass upstairs right NOW and talk to your nephew before I tear him a new asshole!” She growled in an order, pointing at the stairs, her blue eyes spitting fire, and breathed heavily.  “I mean it, Steve.  Don’t even THINK about joking with him either!  You tell him if he doesn’t start listening to me, he won’t get to spend the night at your house anymore!”  Steve nodded, swallowing hard before heading upstairs, looking like an admonished child himself.  He went into Marcus’s room, stopping him from destroying his toys and set him down for a nice long talk.


“Daddy, why is mommy so angwy?” Rose asked her father, those big emerald green eyes staring back into his, mirroring his own, and had a confused look on her features.


Mark sighed, pulling her onto his lap, cutting up her food for her.  “Because she doesn’t like how your brother is behaving, darlin’.” He answered her softly.


“He’s being mean.” She pointed out, her bottom lip sticking out as she batted her eyelashes at her father.  “Daddy, am I bein’ a good girl?” She asked softly, that sweet, angelic voice flowing to him, and leaned her head on his shoulder while he cut up her food for her.


Mark chuckled softly as he nodded.  “Yeah darlin’, you’re being a good girl.  Keep it up alright?” He moved her and set her plate in front of her.  “Eat up, Rose.” He patted her head before glancing towards the house, hoping Chalice hadn’t killed some boys.


After calming herself down a little more, Chalice finally walked back outside, sighing heavily as she shook her head.  Marcus was a pill that was for sure.  He took after his uncle and was a trouble maker.  It made Chalice wonder why so many of Steve’s genes were in her son, but then again, he had Williams and Calaway blood flowing through his veins. 


She sighed again and walked over to her daughter, who was eating peacefully, and kissed the top of her head before walking over to the swings.  The cool wind blew through her hair, causing her eyes to drift shut, and enjoyed the peaceful moment as her arms wrapped around herself.  Even if her son gave her a hard time, she still loved him and knew her brother meant well as far as wanting to make him a wrestler.  She wanted Marcus to make his own decisions though, wanted him to be happy with his life like she was as well as her beautiful daughter.


“You sit here and eat darlin’.” Mark whispered, kissing Rose’s cheek before walking over to his wife.  “I’ll give ya a push.” He drawled his green eyes twinkling as he gently pushed her.  “Everything alright in there, darlin’?’


“Yeah, Stevie is having a talk with him about his attitude and everything.” Chalice quietly replied and smiled when her husband started pushing her.  It was moments like these that she cherished most as he wrapped his arms around her while swinging her lightly back and forth.  Her feet dangling as she sighed and leaned back against his strong chest. 


Mark sighed contentedly, smiling down at his wife.  She looked beautiful, still managed to take his breath away.  “You’re gorgeous, Chalice.” He whispered, halting her on the swing to hold her tighter.  “The most beautiful woman in the world, alongside of Rose.”


“Quite the charmer.” She commented with a smile and snuggled further into his chest.  “I can’t believe it's been seven years, Mark.” She breathed out, her hand trailing up to massage his neck gently, and closed her eyes as the breeze picked up.  “They’re growing up so fast.” She added, a hint of sadness in her voice, but she knew she couldn’t control it or how fast time went by for that matter.


“Kids do darlin’.” Mark pointed out, watching as Steve and Marcus walked out, joining Rose at the table.  “Don’t worry; you still got plenty of time with them.” He nuzzled her neck.  “You hungry?  There’s plenty over there.”


“I’ll eat later.  I’m enjoying this too much right now.  We hardly have time to ourselves anymore.” She quietly responded, stroking his forearms with her fingertips, and tucked her head beneath his chin as he held her to him tighter.  “Not that I regret having them because I don’t.  They’re beautiful angels, even though your son is a demon spawn.” She smirked when he began to chuckle and shook her head.  “Laugh if you must, but I’m tellin’ ya, that boy of ours is trouble, just like his Uncle and father.”


“The kind of trouble you like, darlin’.” Mark teased, tilting her head up to bend down and feathered his lips against hers, smiling against them.  “And he’s not a demon…Semi-demon.” He corrected her with a soft chuckle.  “You wouldn’t trade him for all the world and we both know it.”


“I hate it when you prove me wrong.” She grumbled against his lips, though the smile remained, and brought her hand up to stroke his face tenderly with it.  “I love you so much, Mark.” She whispered and stood up from the swing, wrapping her arms around his neck as she stood on her tiptoes.  She giggled when he lifted her up, causing her legs to wrap around his waist, and rested her head on his shoulder as she ran her finger down his cheek.  “You sure you can still hold onto me like this, old man?” She teased with a small laugh, snuggling further into him.


“Darlin’, I’m going to hold onto you forever until this old body of mine is buried six feet under so don’t be worrying that impertinent, beautiful head of yours.” Mark promised, capturing her lips in his in a passionate, soul searing kiss.  “Old my ass…”


Chalice laughed softly against his lips as she kissed him back, moaning softly, and felt herself melt into him like molten lava.  “I had to make sure. I don’t want to wear you out or anything.” She giggled when he growled and wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in the crook of it.  She sighed when she witnessed Steve put Rose on his lap, trying to get her to eat, and smirked when she flipped a spoonful of potato salad in his eye.


“Oh god…” Mark groaned, watching as Marcus and Rose both began pelting Steve with their food, giggling sweetly while Steve tried to fend off their attacks, finally hurling potato chips back at them.  “Remind me, we raising two kids or three?”


“I thought it was two, but I think I was mistaken.” Chalice answered with a smile, shaking her head, and looked up into his beautiful emerald green eyes, pressing her forehead to his.


“Alright, I surrender, I surrender!” Steve shrieked, darting away from the picnic table, covered in potato salad and macaroni and cheese.  “ACK!” He went down face first when they both tackled him to the ground.  “HELP ME!” Mark just snorted, trying not to laugh.


“You’re on your own there, bro!” Chalice called back to him, laughing harder when Rose started jumping on his stomach while Marcus had him in a headlock.  “I’m having a moment with my husband.” She then turned back around to face him, her blue eyes twinkling mischievously, and giggled when Mark’s eyes began growing a darker color.  “Later on after they’re asleep.” She whispered promisingly before kissing him again.


“I don’t know.  Naptime IS coming up and Steve can always keep an ear out for them.” He growled, hoisting her up over his shoulders, and smacked her ass lightly with one large hand.  “I might just kidnap you for a few hours.”


Chapter 19


“Marcus, Rose, help Mommy!!  Daddy’s trying to take her away!!” Chalice shrieked out, kicking her feet as she laughed when they automatically came to her aid.  Rose tackled her father’s legs while Marcus wrapped his arms around his dad’s muscular waist, causing Mark to stop in his tracks.  “Let go Marky or you’ll be sorry!” She threatened and laughed when he started fending them off.


“No, mine!” Mark growled, trying to free himself from his children.  “My Mommy!”


“No, she’s our Mommy!” Marcus shrieked, his legs dangling off the ground since he had to leap to catch Mark’s waist.  “Put her down!  Uncle Stevie, help!”


“No, our Mommy!  Daddy let go!!” Rose demanded in that sweet voice, her arms wrapped tightly around her father’s leg, clinging to it for dear life while Marcus refused to release his waist.  “Marcus, don’t let go!” She squealed when her father started to slowly move his leg with her on it, wrapping her small legs around it to prevent him from moving further.


Steve was busy with the hose, rinsing himself off, looking like a drowned rat.  Finally, he sauntered over and asked amusedly, “Havin’ problems there, Marky ol’ man?”  Mark nodded in response, trying to keep from losing his balance, still holding onto his wife.


“Mark, the kids aren’t going to budge.” Chalice laughed softly, not believing how protective her children were of her, and felt her heart swell with love for them while glaring at her brother.


“Steve, I’m going to injure you when I’m done here.” Mark threatened playfully, grunting as he finally was able to start moving, Rose still on his leg and Marcus clinging to his waist while Chalice laid over his shoulder.


“I wanna ride too, Daddy!” Steve shrieked in a child’s voice, hurrying over to grab Mark’s other leg, laughing his ass off.


“Yup, we are raising three children instead of two, dear hubby of mine.” She joked, giggling softly, and yelped when he smacked her ass again.  “Oh you’re going to pay for that!” She growled and bit into his neck, smirking when he growled back at her, and continued nipping and licking at it, knowing it was one of his weaknesses.  “Let go, Marky boy.”


Rose was squealing up a storm as Mark started walking with her clung to him again until her Uncle Stevie joined in the fun and ordered, “Make him let Mommy go, Uncle Weavie!”


“Hmm…” Steve looked around, finally snatching up Rose’s baton from the ground, not able to resist his adorable niece.  “Put Mommy down!” He ordered in a laugh, jabbing the baton up lightly.


Mark’s green eyes widened when he felt that.  “WHAT THE HELL?” He looked down, wincing when he was jabbed again before gently putting Chalice down on the ground.  “I’m going to kill you!” Steve prodded him one more time for good measure before bolting.


“Now Mark, let’s talk bout this!” Steve pleaded, laughing his ass off while scaling a tree.


“I’m going to rip you apart limb by limb!” Mark threatened in a promise, following him.  “Get back down here and fight like a man!”


Chalice laughed when she landed in the grass on her back, causing Rose to instantly come to her side while Marcus was on her other.  “I’m alright sweethearts.” She assured them, laughing softly, and watched as her husband chased her brother around the yard.  “I think Uncle Stevie is going to get a beating.” She commented and pulled Rose on her lap, smiling when she snuggled against her while Marcus’s head rested on her shoulder, causing her to stroke his hair gently.  “Are you going to behave now, Marcus?” She asked softly, staring over into his eyes that mirrored her own.


Marcus nodded, cuddling up to his mother.  “I’m gonna behave.” He promised, trying and failing to stifle a yawn.


“Alright.” Chalice softly murmured as she smiled, hearing him try to stile a yawn, and immediately stood with Rose in her arms.  Her beautiful little angel was already sleeping as she held her and took Marcus’s hand before leading them in the house.  She brought them up to their bedrooms, tucking Rose in first and kissed her forehead before guiding Marcus into his own.  She tucked him in and sat on the bed, stroking his face with her hand, and sighed.  “I love you, my beautiful boy.  Go to sleep now.” She gently commanded and smiled when his eyes closed.  Chalice sat there, staring at him for a long while before finally walking out, keeping the doors cracked and walked downstairs out into the backyard.  She smirked when she seen her husband still chasing her brother around and began cleaning up the mess from lunch.


Mark finally got a hold of Steve and lifted him up in the air, groaning when he carted him over to the pool.  “You…have…got…to lay off…the damn…beer.” He grunted out.


“I don’t drink as much!  NO!  Not the-” Steve shrieked again and was cut off as he was tossed in the pool, courtesy of his brother-in-law.


Mark smirked, walking away and brushing hands together, a triumphant grin on his face, and stated, “That oughta cool your nut jabbin’ ass down some.”


Chalice started laughing so hard, she had to lean against the table before she fell over, not believing her husband just did that.  She shook her head and walked over to the garbage, dumping the paper plates and whatnot inside before finishing up.  She let out a squeal when she was hoisted up over his shoulder again and knew her Calvary was asleep as she started shaking her head. 


“Mark, the kids are sleeping!” She warned and started squirming in his arms again while her brother came up sputtering water from the pool.


“So?” Mark growled.  “Steve will watch them.” He carried her inside and down into the basement, which had been done as a sort of family room.  “Nobody to save you now, darlin’.” He taunted, smirking at her as he dropped her down onto the couch, pouncing her, instantly going for her neck and earlobes.  “What’re you going to do now?  Hmmm?” He purred, loving her soft skin against his tongue and lips.


Chalice moaned softly, knowing she was at her husband’s mercy, especially with her brother still trying to get out of the pool and having to watch the kids.  “I can’t do much of anything with your big ass on me.” She retorted playfully and tried scooting further up from him, her hands pressed against his shoulders, and instantly melted when he hit her sweet spot on her neck.  “Not fair.” She growled out softly, knowing he knew that was the spot that made her completely turn into jelly against him.


“I know…Just the way I like it.” He drawled out, running his strong hands down her ribs to her waist, finally moving to the waistband of her jeans.  He made short work of her clothes, then shed his own, not letting her up the entire time.  “Any other objections you’d like to voice?” He murmured, going back to kiss her sweet spot, nestling himself comfortably between her thighs.


“Yeah, quit teasing and get to the pleasing.” She ordered in a half moan, half sigh, arching her neck against his lips and tongue as he caressed her neck.  “Mark, its been too long…”


She ran her hands up and down his chest, over his shoulders, and down his back, raking her nails gently against his flesh, loving how his muscles rippled beneath her nails and fingertips.  Her entire body was tingling with anticipation and trembling in desire for him, needing him more than anything at that moment.  The kids were asleep with her brother watching over them so she wasn’t worried about them overhearing, especially with how big the house was that they lived in.


Mark nodded, slowly sliding inside of her, hissing through his teeth.  She was right.  It’d been way too long.  He had to stop once he was fully sheathed to calm himself down, knowing if he moved or she even twitched, it was all over.  Inhaling raggedly, Mark started moving in her, a slow, steady pace, grinning when she groaned. 


“What’s wrong, darlin’?” He whispered in her ear, loving how she looked beneath him.


She bent her knees up on the couch, driving him even deeper inside of her, and gasped when she felt herself suffocating him, writhing beneath her husband in ecstasy.  “Mark…” She couldn’t even say what she wanted; her head was spinning from how much pleasure was coursing throughout her body, and arched it against him as she gripped his forearms with her hands.  “Faster please.” She groaned out, meeting him for every deep thrust he produced, and smirked as she cried out softly against his ear.  “Oh god yes!!  I was wrong; you’re not an old man.  You can still hit it right...oh fuck yes…Mark!!” She buried her face in his neck, breathing raggedly.


Mark didn’t bother replying, saving his breath for more important things, like fucking her senseless.  He pounded in her, giving both of them what they needed, his face buried in her hair, sweat beading on his body.  The sounds of flesh smacking flesh echoed off the walls around them and that was only music to his ears, accompanied by her moans and exclamations.  The sweetest things he’d ever heard. 


“Fuck Chalice!” He growled, gritting his teeth.


“Mark!!” She shrieked out when her climax hit her hard, causing her entire body to explode, soaking him as she shattered beneath him, and flew over the edge of ecstasy.  Her body shuddered when another orgasm began climbing inside of her and quickly released it, voicing just how much she was enjoying him fucking her senseless like this.  They hadn’t done this in months, with him being on the road and everything, so she didn’t want this to end.  Not yet anyway.  “Yes god, fuck me harder!” She cried out, her body molding with his as they became one again, kissing down his neck to his chest and back up before wrapping her arms around his neck.  Holding onto him dear life, her breathing was erratic now as her chest heaved up and down at a rapid pace. 


Not about to deny his gorgeous wife anything, Mark went at it full force, slamming into her like a jackhammer, barely breathing.  Her first orgasms had taken his breath from him, almost sent him over the edge himself, but he was holding on, wanting to make the most of this.  Growling, Mark pulled out of her, positioning her so she was on the floor, leaning over the couch face first.  He teased her by rubbing the head of his cock against her soaking wet slit before slipping back inside of her, cursing harshly at how tight she felt around him. 


“Goddamn Chalice!” He groaned, gripping her hips in his hands, pulling her back against him.


“Oh yes!!” She rasped out, feeling him begin to plow into her from behind, and dug her fingernails into the cushions as she arched against him.  She started meeting him for every thrust, bending over further, causing his cock to drive even further inside of her, hitting her sweet spot repeatedly as she began cumming harder than she’d ever have before.  “Mark, cum inside of me please!!  I need to feel you.” She begged out in uncontrollable moans, nodding her head as she hissed, and started powering herself against him harder.  Her breasts were bouncing up and down with how much force he was using behind his thrusts.


Mark groaned her begging sending him over that edge he’d been managing to avoid thus far.  He gritted his teeth, driving his cock deep in her, bellowing out of her name as he came, shooting load after seemingly endless load deep inside her pussy.  Filling her with his seed.  Mark pulled her up by her hair, leaning over to kiss the back of her neck, murmuring softly.  Finally, he buried his face against her, almost collapsing on Chalice, but held himself up on his trembling arms. 


Chalice was coughing and heaving because she couldn’t breathe.  The intensity of the bout she just had with her husband was almost more than she could stand.  She collapsed against him, not able to stand on her own at the moment, and licked her lips as she brought her hand back and ran her fingers through his long, thick mane, sighing softly. 


“M-Mark…” She whispered out breathlessly, blinking a little, and held onto him for dear life.  She was thankful he was holding her up by the waist or else she would’ve been down on the floor because her legs wouldn’t function properly right now.


Grunting in response, Mark somehow managed to pull them both back up onto the couch, laying down with her on top of him, stroking her back while he regained control of his senses and breathing.  “I love you, Chalice.” He murmured finally, kissing the top of her head, holding her tight against him.


“I love you too, Mark.” She murmured softly in reply, snuggling further into his chest, and sighed in contentment.  After all this time, Mark could still make her body ignite with passion beyond her wildest dreams.  She smiled softly, finally breathing in and out slowly while her heart rate calmed down.  “Are you okay?” She asked softly in a giggle, running her hands up and down his strong, muscular chest.


Mark nodded, smirking down at her.  “Of course I am, I’m with you ain’t I?” He raised his head to kiss her lingeringly.  “How bout you?  Feeling better, darlin’?” He arched an eyebrow, staring at her, admiring his beautiful wife.


“So much better.” She whispered back and kissed him again, moaning softly, and snuggled as she buried her face in the crook of his neck.  “I don’t regret a single second I spend with you, Mark.” She started running her fingers through his hair, a small smile on her face, not believing he’d cut it a few years back for a gimmick on television.  He was slowly growing it back though for an upcoming match with Glen Jacobs at this year's WrestleMania.  “You’re not cutting your hair again; I don’t care if it is for your stupid gimmick.”


“I agree with ya, just don’t feel right short.” He chuckled, having hated the short hair just as much as she had.  “But…just incase it happens, what’s the punishment?” His green eyes twinkled mischievously down at her.


“No sex until it grows back.” She stated and smirked when his eyes widened in shock as she slowly stood up from his chest, laughing softly.


Growling, Mark pulled her back down so she was sitting on his waist, moving so he was sitting up as well, wrapping his arms around her.  “Oh really?  Think you can hold to that, darlin’?” He murmured, kissing her neck, slowly moving up to her sweet spot.


She immediately shoved away from him, laughing softly, and nodded as she pressed her hands against his chest gently but firmly.  “Yes, you can cut your hair again and I’m not giving you any sex until it grows back.” She repeated herself, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and tried not to melt when his hands moved up her back as she bit her bottom lip, blue eyes sparkling back at him.


“You two done down there?  Rose just wet herself and I’m NOT changin’ a little girl!  When she was a baby, it was one thing, but now…Nuh uh!” Came Steve’s voice from the doorway, calling down to them. 


Mark groaned, burying his face in his wife’s neck.


Giggling upon hearing her husband’s groans, Chalice lifted his face to meet her eyes and kissed him softly.  “Your hair is growing back so you can have all the sex you want from me.  Just not while I’m tending to our children.” She smirked and stood up from his lap, pushing him down, and started getting dressed.  “I’m on my way up, Stevie!” She called up to him, winking back at her husband, and wiggled her ass teasingly in his direction. 


Mark growled, licking his dry lips as he watched his wife saunter up the stairs.  Smacking his face, he slowly got dressed, growling more before chasing after her.


“She’s up with Rosie.” Steve informed him, looking comfortable in Mark’s favorite chair, munching on chips and flicking through the channels on the television.


“Cozy there?” Mark questioned, crossing his arms in front of his chest.


“Perks of bein’ a free babysitter.”


Chapter 20


Chalice sighed when she walked in Rose’s room, seeing her daughter crying, and immediately went to comfort her.  She changed her, putting fresh clothes on, and changed her sheets, thanking the stars above she’d actually put a plastic bedding cover on her mattress.  She then took Rose downstairs to watch some television with her uncle, knowing that would cheer her up. 


“Stevie, Rose wants to watch cartoons so you need to relinquish the remote, dear brother of mine.” She informed with a smirk.


Steve grinned, flicking it to Rose’s favorite cartoon channel, and reached out for her, grinning even more when she snuggled into his arms.  “Rosie and I got it.  Mark, ya can go back to harrassin’ yer wife now.  Right Rosie?” He kissed the top of her forehead.


“Whatever.” Rose murmured softly, snuggling further into her uncle’s arms, and sighed as she started watching Rugrats.


“Oh gee, thanks Stevie.” Chalice growled out at her brother playfully, rolling her eyes, and bit back a squeal when she felt her husband lift her up yet again over his shoulder.  “Mark, this is getting rather old.  I can walk you know.” She informed her husband and huffed when he ignored her.  “Where are you taking me now, King Kong?”


“To the kitchen first.” Mark replied, slapping her ass none too gently.  He stopped in front of the fridge, opening it and grinned, stooping down to grab a can of whipped cream.  “Now…” He opened the patio doors and stepped out, careful not to whack her head against anything.  He slid the door shut behind him and carried her out to the rose arbor.


“Mark, what if Rose or Marcus needs me?” She questioned, trying to squirm out of his grip, and groaned when he smacked her ass again, causing her to growl as she stared back at her house.  “Can’t we do this in the basement or something?  Somewhere NOT outdoors?” She asked hopefully, knowing her husband wouldn’t budge.


“If Rose needs you, I’m sure Steve will holler.  He’s not deaf.  I’m sure he heard the door open and close.” Mark informed her, stepping through the bushes and into the tent pavilion they liked to retreat to at the end of the day.  A baby monitor was always at their side generally, but with Steve there, it wasn’t necessary.  The scent of roses surrounded them as he laid her down on the cool grass, setting aside the whipped cream for now.


Chalice smiled up at him as she looked around and closed her eyes, inhaling the roses deeply.  Every color that could be thought of was in this arbor.  She brought her legs up and leaned back against the grass, tilting her head back as her hair cascaded down her back and rolled her head from side to side.  She’d changed into a pair of black cotton shorts with a matching tank top so her long smooth, tanned legs were in his vision as she squished her toes in the cool green grass. 


“I love it out here.” She sighed in contentment and finally opened her eyes to meet his heated gaze, blushing a little, and bit her bottom lip as she turned to look out at the horizon.  “I remember when you surprised me with this…” She murmured thoughtfully, the memory sweeping her away.


Grinning, Mark laid down beside her, propping his head up on the palm of his head, his elbow braced against the ground.  “Mmm you were such a wench that day, refusing to leave the house so Steve had to physically cart you out.” He chuckled, shaking his head.  “I thought for sure you were going to clock me one when you got home…”


“Hey, it wasn’t MY fault that I was five months pregnant with hormones that were flying all over the place.” Chalice countered with a smirk back at her husband, running her hand down his cheek gently as she sighed.  “I remember how you surprised me though.  You had candles lit in a path back here when I got home later that night with Stevie.  It was so beautiful.” She murmured and looked around her arbor, which had lights stringed around it as the roses bloomed with life.


“Mmm a bottle of that sparkling juice you liked, soft music…” Mark looked down to kiss her lightly.  “You looked so beautiful that night, glowing from the pregnancy…” He ran a hand down her stomach.  “You’re beautiful now, even more so.” He murmured, meaning what he said as he continued caressing her.


Her cheeks tinged red as she smiled softly back at him, their foreheads pressed together, and kissed him back as she wrapped her arms around his neck.  “Mmm you’re so amazing, Mark.  It makes me wonder though how you managed to plant all of these beautiful, colored roses in such a short amount of time…” She started kissing down his neck while her hands ran up and down his chest gently since it was bare.


Mark smirked, his green eyes twinkling amusedly.  “That’s a secret, darlin’.” He announced, groaning when she ran her hands up his chest, burying his face in her hair.  “You feel wonderful, Chalice.” He whispered huskily, half leaning over her, pulling his head back to stare into her eyes.


“I love you.” She whispered softly, staring up into his eyes, and ran her fingers down his cheek gently before sitting up again as she ran a hand through her hair.  “So, what exactly are we doing out here?  We haven’t been out here in ages…” She thoughtfully pointed out, smiling from ear to ear, and seen the stars were poking out of the pink, orange colored sky that had a tint of blue within it.


Mark grinned, sitting up and wrapping an arm around her shoulder, resting his head on top of hers.  “Can’t a man just want to spend some quality time with his wife, the beautiful goddess who gave him two gorgeous children?” He drawled softly.


“Uh huh…” Chalice drawled back, not buying what he said for a second, and giggled as she pulled back to stare up into his wicked green eyes.  “Because this beautiful goddess of a wife knows her husband way better than he knows himself and knows he’s up to no good.” She tapped his nose and cleared her throat, peering over his shoulder at the can of whipped cream behind him.


Smirking, Mark followed her gaze before pinning her to the ground, capturing her wrists in one hand, and pinned them over her head, his other reaching for the can.  “Oh really?  Then you should know what I’m going to do with this.” He replied, waving the can in front of her face, shaking it up a bit.


“Making me your dessert?” She questioned with a knowing look in her blue eyes, which were widened, and bit her bottom lip as she tried moving her wrists from his hands.  “Mark, this is outdoors…” She whispered, her eyes moving to the can that he was waving in front of her face, and licked her dried lips, knowing once again, she was at his mercy.


“What better place?” He replied huskily, setting the can down long enough to pull off her shorts and panties.  He moved her wrists so they were laying on her stomach, never letting go as he shook the can.  He flipped open the top and moved down so his head was between her thighs.  Mark chuckled when she jumped from the cold cream he spread on her, tossing the can aside.  “Dessert is right…” He growled, licking his lips before slowly running his tongue up her whipped cream covered slit.


Chalice gasped out sharply when she felt the cold cream on her slit and then the sensation of her husband’s tongue mixed in caused her body to jolt off the ground.  She looked into his eyes as he proceeded to eat her out and ripped her wrists out of his hands, burying them in his hair, and cried out in passion.  “Mark!!” She breathed out in a low moan, nodding as she thrusted her hips against his mouth, causing whipped cream to cover his nose as she brought her finger down.  She swiped it off, and seductively slid her finger in her mouth, her eyes darkening with desire for him.


Mark growled, his eyes never leaving her as he gripped her hips, pulling her up slightly before plunging his tongue inside her hot, wet sex, fucking her with his tongue.  He groaned, the taste of the cream paling in comparison to her, lapping up her juices eagerly.  “Mmm…” He purred, pulling away, smacking his lips loudly.


Smirking back at him, Chalice scooted away, sliding her panties and shorts back on so she didn’t get dirt down there, and pushed her husband down on the ground, straddling him.  She passionately kissed him until he was breathless before grabbing the can of whipped cream, her blue eyes gleaming wickedly down at him, and whispered, “My turn.” She then stripped him of his pants, loving how he always went commando, and sprayed the whipped cream on the tip of his already throbbing cock as she smirked, flicking it off.  “Mmm yummy.” She moaned before deep throating him, coating him with the whipped cream.


Mark groaned, propping himself up on his elbows to watch her, just seeing her bobbing on his cock turned him on even more.  He had to fight to keep from bucking his hips up, not wanting to hurt her, and exhaled sharply through his nose, his hands balling into fists.  “God Chalice…” He choked out, his voice a deep rumble.


“You like that, Mark?” She taunted him before deep throating him again and started licking him like a popsicle.  She smirked as her darkened blue eyes locked with his forest green ones before going back to the task at hand.  Her nails raked down his thighs, causing him to shudder beneath her, and never stopped the pace of her bobbing, needing to taste him.


Grunting, Mark felt his balls tightening and knew this was over.  He buried his hands in her hair, arching his hips as he came, moaning out her name.  His head dropped back into the cool grass, feeling spasms shooting throughout his entire body.  “Christ almighty, Chalice!” He gasped in between breaths.


Chalice smirked as she swallowed him whole, not leaving one drop behind, greedy for him.  She slowly pulled back after sucking a little more on his tip to get the last few drops before licking her lips hungrily.  “Mmm tastes sweeter than honey.” She purred and winked down at him, wiping the corner of her mouth off, and put it in her mouth, groaning at the taste.  She leaned back against the grass while he regained his breathing and asked teasingly while leaning back on her hands, “You alright, Marky?”


“Give me a second and I’ll tell you.” He growled back, sitting up, and pulled his jeans back on.  Mark pulled her onto his lap, rocking back and forth with her, his forehead pressed against hers.  “You’re incredible, darlin’.” He declared, kissing her gently.


“And you’re amazing, sweetie.” She replied gently, kissing his lips softly, and leaned against his chest as she buried her face in the crook of his neck.  “I love you so  much, more than I ever thought I could.” She murmured and looked up into his smoldering green eyes, caressing his face with the back of her hand, and sighed in contentment.  “Did you ever think we’d be like this when you first met me?” She asked suddenly, running her fingers up and down his forearms.


“When I first met you, I don’t know what I was thinking besides I had to have you.  Your body, heart, mind and soul.  I was a man possessed.” He admitted, rubbing the tip of his nose against hers.  “All I knew was I wanted you more then anything else in this world or the next…”


“What did you think when you first seen me and referred to me as a ‘fan’?” She asked softly, turning around to stare into his eyes, and ran the pad of her thumb across his red lips.  They hadn’t talked in a long time like this and she’d missed it honestly, but never asked him these types of questions before.  “Did you really think of me that way before you found out I was Steve’s sister?”


Mark coughed, raking a hand through his hair, recalling that.  “I don’t know what I thought of you.  I knew Steve didn’t generally take up with ring rats, but I figured to hell with it and shot it off anyway.  But I didn’t think of you like that.  You had…I don’t know, something different about you.  That and you weren’t dressed like a slut.”


“So what DID you think of me then when you first seen me?” She urged, snuggling further against him, and looked up into his hesitant green eyes.  “I won’t hold anything against you, but I am curious.” She admitted in a reassuring voice.


“After seven years, you best not be holding anything against me woman!” He growled, bending down to kiss her before resting his chin on top of her head.  “I don’t know.  I was curious about you, but I knew you weren’t a ring rat or just some woman he’d picked up.  I knew there was something special about you.  I knew one way or another I was going to have you.” He smirked.


“Oh really now?” She replied, seeing the smug smirk on his face, and shook her head, laughing softly.  “So is that why you basically shoved your way in my hotel room that night?” She shivered, recalling that night, and could still feel his lips on hers, even after seven years.  The memory was that strong, just like the rest as she raked a hand through her hair.


“I told you, I wanted you and I take what I want.  Most of the time.” He amended, having both kidnapped and let her go within the same twenty four hours, unable to follow through with his original intentions.  The thought of kidnapping Chalice, of having caused her pain, still shamed him to this very day.


“What were you going to do that night, Mark?” She asked suddenly, biting her bottom lip, and turned her attention back to the beautiful house they lived in.  “What were your original intentions?” She knew this was causing him pain to relive the past, but they hadn’t done this yet and she wanted to know the truth.  She loved him unconditionally and hoped he trusted her enough to tell her the truth finally.


“What do you think, Chalice?” He replied somberly, his voice low and even, a hint of pain in his tone.  His eyes told the story, turmoil and guilt swirling in them.


“I don’t know, Mark.” She whispered back softly, snuggling further against him as his arms wrapped around her body, pressing her back against his chest.  “I want to know.  It’s been seven years and I want to know what you originally planned to do.” Her voice was low and quiet, but filled with determination.


“I was going to hold you until Steve stepped down from wrestling.” Mark said quietly.  “That night, with you, I wanted you so damn badly.  I was going to take you, willing or not.” He was being brutally honest and hoped she didn’t hate him for it.


“Then what stopped you?” She quietly asked, not letting up and not feeling scared or intimidated by him.  She didn’t hate him for his honesty because of what she just heard him say.  This was a long time coming for both of them and she wasn’t going to let up until she had all of the answers she needed. 


“You.” Mark replied softly.  “Your tears, your pleading…You made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time.  Regret.  I regretted hurting you.  Regretted what I had started to do to you.” He winced, recalling that night, remembering how he had shouted ‘what are you DOING to me’ at her. 


“So that’s what you meant…” She thoughtfully said, remembering what he’d shouted at her, and raked a hand through her hair.  “So what happened with you at the rest stop?  You were this completely different person than the monster you were in the bedroom.” She pointed out after asking him that question, still pressed against him as she stared at the night sky that overlooked their huge property.


“I don’t know.  You just, brought something out in me.  You tend to do that a lot.” He smiled slightly.  “I started truly caring about you then.  More then just wanting you.  I wanted to start knowing you…”


“Then why did you say goodbye at the hotel after dropping me off?” She whispered out, feeling her heart wrenching at the memory.  The heart break.  She took a shaky breath before allowing a tear to slip down her cheek.


“Because I had every intention of staying away from you, darlin’.” Mark admitted.  “You seen how I was during that time.  I didn’t WANT to care about anything or anybody.  But I did.  I cared about you.” He reached around, caressing her face, feeling that one tear, and his heart shattered.  “Chalice…”


“I’m fine.” She assured him, pressing her hand to his as she rubbed her face against his palm, and sighed heavily as she sniffled.  “Why did you follow me that night to the club with Jason if you wanted to stay away from me?” She quietly pried on, wiping away her tear, and tucked her head beneath his chin, wanting to hold him tighter.


“Because it’s a hell of a lot easier to say something then do it.” He answered, his eyes darkening at the memory, smiling grimly as he recalled how he had sent Jason straight through a mirror AND a table.  “How the hell did you even get hooked up with that jackass?”


“You don’t remember?” She questioned and smirked when he shook his head.  “I told you.  My brother convinced me to go with him just to get out for the night.  I was so in love with you that I became a shell of myself.  I wasn’t myself after being with you and being forced to say goodbye to you.  Steve didn’t know it and if he did, I’m sure he would’ve thought twice about convincing me to go to the club with that jackass.”


Mark snorted, shaking his head.  “I still can’t believe he sent you out with that slime ball.  The cocksucker at one time was a member of my stupid Ministry.” He snorted again, wrapping his arms around her waist, holding her tightly.


“Oh wow, I didn’t know that.” Chalice softly whispered as she blinked a few times, wondering why her brother would convince her to go out with someone from Mark’s Ministry of Darkness.  “I thought my brother hated the Ministry…” She wondered a loud, tapping her chin in thought, and started shifting her eyes back and forth while her eyebrows furrowed.


 “He, Adam and David left.  We had…a difference of opinion.” He wasn’t about to admit he had flogged Jason, not wanting to remind either of them of his prior cruelty.  “So I’d imagine that was a redeeming factor in your brother’s eyes, him leaving.”


“Oh, then I understand that.” Chalice still didn’t sound amused, but she shrugged her shoulders, not really concerned about it anymore.  She was more concerned about what had gone through her husband’s mind those years back.  Curious to find out exactly what drove him to do the things he did.


Mark sighed, tightening his hold on her, having a pretty good idea of what was running through her mind right now.  “Anything else you want to ask me, darlin’?” He asked softly.


Chapter 21


“There’s so many things I want to ask you.  I’m sorry, I’m just…We never talked like this before and I feel like I don’t know a whole lot about your past, Mark.” She truly felt left out, especially since her husband knew everything about her.  He was like one big mystery and she wanted to finally crack it while they had this quality time together.


Mark sighed, resting his chin on her shoulder, hugging her tightly.  “Don’t be sorry, darlin’.  You’re a woman.  Women are naturally nosey.” He teased, trying to lighten the mood.  “Ask me anything you want, Chalice.  You might not always like the answers, but they’ll be honest ones.”


“Where did you grow up?” She finally asked after a few moments of silence, turning around in his arms to face him, but never pulled away as she stayed in his arms, just facing him now.


“Here in Texas.” He replied.  “Houston.” Mark chuckled softly, staring down into her blue orbs, having to blink finally before he became lost.  “I thought you knew that, darlin’.”


“No, I don’t know anything about your past.” She quietly replied, searching his emerald green eyes intently, and smiled a little before biting her bottom lip.  “Any siblings?  Where are your parents?” She ran a hand up and down his chest to his shoulders, massaging them gently.


Mark sighed, raking a hand through his hair, blinking slightly.  “My dad, Frank, died.” He said quietly.  “Mom is still around and I have four older brothers.  David, Michael, Paul and Timothy.” He frowned, looking past her.  “I’ve alienated myself from them, which I’m sure you’re going to point out, and I don’t have a reason.  I just did.”


“Why did you alienate them?” She asked, turning around to face her husband, and raised an eyebrow at him.  “Mark, people don’t shove their family away without some kind of reason.  Was it demons or maybe something they did to you?” Chalice had a hard time believing that Mark would push his family away without any reason behind it, especially since he was such a great father and loving husband.


“I don’t know, Chalice.  I just did.  It was when I was going through that Lord of Darkness bullshit.  I guess I didn’t want my family seeing how that wasn’t an act.  They seen enough of TV and I thought that’d be enough.  They’d think it was just the gimmick.  It wasn’t though, you of all people should know that.” He explained, being brutally honest with her, not sugarcoating anything.


“Then what was it?  What forced you to become someone like that?” She pried, shivering slightly, remembering all too well the type of man Mark used to be and what her brother had told her throughout those two months. 


He’d actually made it look like he’d cut someone’s wrists in a ‘sacrifice’ on TV and she found that disturbing.  Not to mention beating people and taking their souls.  It wasn’t just the gimmick and that’s what had terrified her the most.  It didn’t now, but it did back then.


“It was a dark time in my life, Chalice.” Mark held his arms out for her to examine, knowing she had every tattoo memorized, but gesturing to them anyway.  “I’ve always been a morbid person.  My life bored me, depressed me.  I was feuding with your brother, coming off the whole ‘whore’ deal with the Bitch.” He shrugged, raking a hand through his hair.  “The Undertaker is who I am, at the time that was me.”


Chalice shook her head and stood up from him, out of his arms, and walked over to stand by the gate that surrounded them.  Surrounded her rose arbor he’d made for her.  “No, you’re Mark Calaway, the man I love and married and who I have two beautiful children with.  You’re only the Undertaker on television, but not when you’re here with me.  I don’t care what you say, you’re not him.  You can’t sit there and tell me that when I know you don’t really believe it in your heart.” She was speaking quietly, but firmly, wrapping her arms around herself, and allowed a few tears to slowly trickle down her cheeks.


“Darlin’…” Mark stood up, pulling her back into his arms, tilting her head back so he could stare down at her, seeing the tears causing his heart to break.  “The Undertaker is me to the extreme, part of who I am.” He explained gently.  “Just like Stone Cold is Steve to an extreme.  It’s us with the volume cranked up.”


“No its not!” She protested, breaking away from him, and shook her head as she walked over and stared back at the house.  “My brother is not Stone Cold Steve Austin to me.  He’s Steve Williams, the man I used to follow around and play with.  The man who walked me down the aisle in our wedding.  He’s not that character unless he’s on television.  Just like you.  You’re not the Undertaker unless its in front of a camera and millions of people in an arena wrestling.  You’re not him, Mark.  He’s not apart of you.  It’s your job and that’s it.”


She didn’t want to listen to this.  Didn’t want to believe that the monster she’d first met still lived inside of her husband.  Even though, deep down inside, she knew he did.


Mark sighed, knowing she would never accept it.  He had and moved on.  He knew the dark side was still there, but also knew it would never resurface.  He was too happy and content with his life. 


“Darlin’…” He began, moving to stand next to her.  “Please don’t be mad at me.”


“I’m not mad at you.  I’m just…I don’t understand.  I don’t understand anything and I don’t want to try anymore.  You keep your past to yourself and your…dark side.  I’m going to check on my beautiful angels.”


She then walked away from him out of the rose arbor and ran toward the house.  Once inside, she didn’t even acknowledge her brother as she ran up the stairs and into Rose’s bedroom.  She lifted her baby girl in her arms, and walked with her to Marcus’s bedroom, tears streaming down her face.  She laid down with them three in the bed, Rose behind her, while Marcus was in front.  She held her children close to her, shaking her head as she silently cried harder, not wanting to disturb their peaceful slumbers.


“What the Hell did ya do to her now?” Steve demanded when Mark walked in, looking completely defeated.


Mark dropped down heavily on the couch and recapped the conversation with Chalice he’d had, finally burying his head in his hands.  “You mean she didn’t know that?  After seven years?  Dude, don’t ya talk bout anythin’?” Steve sighed, shaking his head.  “How many times do I gotta tell ya, Mark, don’t keep stuff hidden!”


“I didn’t keep it hidden, I just never thought to tell her.” Mark corrected him, knowing his brother-in-law was right, and felt completely helpless at the moment.


“My beautiful angels.” She whispered softly and sighed when Rose began to stir, instantly pulling her into her arms, and cradled her to her chest. 


She buried her face in Rose’s black hair, her shoulders shaking, and couldn’t believe what she’d found out from her husband.  She married a man that had all the qualities that she despised and yet, she fell in love with him.  He wasn’t the Undertaker, but at the same time, he was. 


He had a darkness about him, she knew that, but what she just heard literally tore her heart in half.  How could he say he was still the Undertaker and that monster was apart of him when he hadn’t showed one ounce of being that in seven years?  It didn’t make any sense to her and Chalice was through with trying to understand her husband.


Mark was silent, leaning back on the couch thinking.  He partly understood how Chalice was feeling.  It was only normal.  But at the same time, he knew he had been nothing, but a loving husband and father.  He had reconciled the fact of who he was and moved the hell on.  Why couldn’t she?


It wasn’t the fact that Chalice blamed him for his past or held it against him because she didn’t.  What terrified her was the fact that he actually admitted to her that the monster she’d first met was still living inside of him.  Mark had scared her to death when she first met him and that’s why she’d tired so hard to forget him.  She knew he had a dark side, a DEEP, dark side that was morbid and cruel. 


He said she’d changed him, but if she really did, he wouldn’t even mention that monster in the first place.  That was his gimmick on television and she wanted it to stay there, not come into their loving home.  He’d been nothing, but wonderful to her for seven years, as well as their angels, so why did he say that the monster she first met, that was him, was still living inside of him?  It didn’t make any sense to her and in truth, scared the hell out of her.


After sitting with her children for a long while and going over things in her mind, Chalice finally slid from them, exhausted and wanted to sleep in her own bed.  She kissed their foreheads softly before venturing out of their bedroom, closing the door quietly behind her.  She knew Marcus wouldn’t mind Rose sleeping with him.  They’d done it whenever it stormed outside or something scared them.  Sighing, Chalice walked inside her bedroom, raking a hand through her hair, and closed the door quietly behind her before walking over to change into her pajamas.


Mark was already in there, having moved to their bedroom.  He was standing at the window, staring outside, his hands clasped behind his back.  He cleared his throat, not turning to look at her, and asked, “Are you mad with me, Chalice?”


Jumping, Chalice held her chest as she breathed heavily, not seeing him in the shadows since the room was dark, and raked a hand through her hair.  “Damn it you scared me!” She whispered harshly, walking over to the bed, and had to sit down.  She just had a mild heart attack from her husband scaring the shit out of her and needed a moment to recuperate as she patted her chest gently with her hand.  Mark turned to stare down at her, finally walking over to kneel before her, resting his hands gently on her knees, his green eyes searching hers intently.  Chalice looked down into his orbs, seeing all the love and confusion swimming through them mixed with hurt and shook her head as she sighed.  “No, I’m not mad at you, Mark.” She finally spoke, wrapping her arms around his neck, and hugged him tightly to her.  “I just feel like I’m married to a stranger at times.” She admitted quietly, running her fingers through his tresses.  “I love you so much, I just wish you’d open up to me like I do you.”


Mark stroked her back soothingly, resting his head against hers, and sighed inwardly.  “Darlin’…” He murmured, suddenly recalling their wedding vows.  “I never was a man for words, actions have always been my thing.” He confessed, never releasing her.


“I know that, but what you said out there earlier…” She trailed off and began to shiver, holding onto him tighter before slowly pulling away to stare down into his eyes.  “It scared the hell out of me.  I don’t want that monster EVER coming into this house, Mark.  I don’t ever want to meet him face to face again.  I want YOU, Mark Calaway, a wonderful husband and loving father to his wife and children.  I never wanted the Undertaker.  I wanted YOU.  When I got you, that’s when I truly fell in love with you, not him.  It hurt me to hear you say that he was still apart of you because if he was, he’d be in your heart and I don’t believe he is.  God, I sound like I’m fuckin’ on drugs or something.” She murmured, shaking her herself mentally, knowing what she was saying sounded completely insane, but it was true.


“No, you don’t darlin’.” Mark soothed, staring up at her, his eyes reflecting the love and admiration he felt for her.  “I didn’t mean to scare you, Chalice.  I was trying to be honest and explain it as best I can.  Words…just don’t come easy for me.”


He sighed inwardly, knowing it sounded lame, but it was the truth.  When it came to trying to express himself the way he felt she deserved, being told all the romantic things he knew she sometimes needed to hear, he was at a loss.  Always had been.


“Do you know what I want from you?” She asked, searching his eyes intently, and took his hand in hers after he shook his head, entwining their fingers together, and pressed it over her heart.  “I want you to speak to me from this.  I want you to open it up and talk to me.  Tell me everything and anything you want.  I just want to know the man I love more than my own life.” She never released his hand as she slowly leaned forward, pressing her forehead to his.  “I want you to speak from your heart, Mark.  The heart I always knew you had, but nobody else believed existed.”


Mark smiled, reaching out to gently caress the side of her face.  “Alright, darlin’.” He promised in a whisper, leaning down to rub his nose against hers.


Chalice smiled back at him and closed her eyes, allowing a single tear to flow down her cheek, and dropped her head forward as she wiped it away.  “I’m sorry for tonight.  I don’t know what got into me.  I feel so guilty for being afraid of you when I know you’d never hurt me or the kids.  I’m so sorry, Mark.” She started to cry softly, burying her face in her hands.


Mark pulled her into his strong embrace, his hands rubbing her back soothingly.  “Calm down, darlin’.” He whispered, burying his face in her hair, inhaling her scent.  “It’s alright, Chalice, calm down baby.”


She shook her head back at his words, gripping his shoulders with her tiny hands, and sniffled as she breathed raggedly.  “No its not.  I should trust you fully with my life and the kids.  I should never be afraid of you.  It’s not you I’m afraid of though.  I’m afraid of Him.” She started crying harder than ever, not believing she was actually saying these words, but then again, it was a long time past overdue.


‘Him?’ Mark thought, inwardly sighing for the umpteenth time that night.  He gently guided her over to the bed, pulling her down onto his lap.  “Darlin’, didn’t you notice the change after that night?  When I dropped you off at the hotel?  I stopped provoking your brother, lost interest in the Ministry…all because of you.” He said softly.


“Yes I know that…” She whispered out, her breathing shaky and ragged, and snuggled into him as she buried her face in his chest.  “I’m just afraid that one day down the road, you’re going to get so pissed off or something is going to happen to make him return.” She raked a hand through her hair, knowing it sounded crazy, but there it was.  “I’m sorry, Mark.  I love you so much and I shouldn’t even be thinking like this.  You’ve been nothing, but wonderful and loving.” She hated herself right now as her husband held her and sniffled more as she shook her head.  “I don’t deserve you for thinking this way…”


“No, I don’t deserve you, darlin’.  And He ain’t ever coming back, you can bank on that.  He’s been laid to rest, tamed, by you Chalice.  By you.” Mark whispered, cupping her face gently in his large hands before leaning down to tenderly kiss her.  Chalice softly moaned against his lips, Mark’s lips, the lips of her husband, and wrapped her arms around his neck.  She entangled her fingers in his hair, pressing herself further against him, and ended up straddling his lap as she moved her head back and forth, deepening the kiss when she opened her mouth for an invitation for him.  Mark wasn’t about to pass up that invite.  He delved his tongue in her mouth, exploring her crevices, tasting her and groaned.  He placed his hands on her waist, gently massaging her with the tips of his fingers.  “I love you so much, darlin’.” He whispered against her lips once the kiss was broken, staring into her blue pools.


“I know, I love you too, sweetie.” She breathed back, caressing his face with her hands, and sniffled a little from her previous crying.  “I’m sorry for bringing that shit up.  I don’t care about your past or what you’ve done in it.  I care about you here and now and we deserve each other.” She corrected him with a smile, her blue eyes glistening back at him, and sighed when there as a soft knock at their bedroom.  Following it came her daughter’s sweet voice as she slowly stood up from her husband’s lap.  “What is it, my beautiful white Rose?”


“Mommy, I had a bad dweam.” She sniffled a little, rubbing her eyes, and walked into the room as Chalice opened her arms as she hugged her close and started to cry softly.


Mark sighed and stood up from the bed, rubbing his face.  He smiled softly as he watched his wife comfort their daughter.  He loved watching her with the children.  Chalice had been born to be a mother.  Then again, he was born to be a father and had to admit he was doing pretty good so far.


“Okay sweetheart, it’s alright.” Chalice cooed to her daughter, running her fingers through her long, black tresses, and lifted her up gently in her arms.  “Come on, you can sleep with daddy and I tonight.” She turned around and smiled when she seen her husband watching her, still stroking her little girl’s head as Rose clung to her.  “She had another night terror.” She explained in a whisper to her husband and closed their bedroom door.  She gently walked over to the bed and laid Rose down, joining her, and wrapped an arm around her waist as she started humming a soft tune while stroking her hair, her eyes focused on her daughter.


Mark nodded, joining them on the bed.  He listened to Chalice humming, his eyes moving back and forth from mother to daughter.  Taking in their angelic faces, not believing how much they resembled each other.  He reached out to caress Rose’s tiny hand, marveling for the umpteenth time at how tiny and perfect she was. 


He smiled when she turned her eyes onto him and whispered, “Hey darlin’.”


“Hi daddy.” She whispered softly, yawning and curled up against him, causing Chalice to smile as she rubbed her back gently.


“Daddy’s little girl.” Chalice murmured softly with a smirk at her husband, not minding it at all, and ran her fingers through Rose’s hair while Mark held their daughter close to him.


Mark smiled at Chalice over the top of Rose’s head, snuggling up with his daughter.  He gently rubbed her small back with one hand, feeling like a giant compared to her.  Remembering how small she had been as a baby.  She had been so fragile to him.  She still was.


Chalice snuggled with them as she draped her arm over her husband when a small knock sounded at the door again.  She smiled when she seen Marcus walk in and immediately put him between her and Rose, knowing he was feeling left out.  She stroked his auburn hair and kissed his forehead, locking eyes with her husband, and smiled, pure contentment obvious in her eyes. 


This was her family.


This was what they’d worked their entire lives to achieve.  Now that she had it, she never wanted to let it go.  She thought going home wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but as she stared at her family.  Her beautiful children and loving husband.  She couldn’t help, but think that she’d made the right decisions in life. 


She was home.


She was finally home.


The End.