(This story is written strictly for the free enjoyment of fans of the "Beauty and the Beast" television series. No copyright infringement is intended.)

Together

Angie

His love was passion’s embrace: - as a tree
On fire by lightning, with ethereal flame
Kindled he was, and blasted.

- Lord Byron

He rested against the wall where a headboard should have been, a pillow behind his back for comfort, although comfort was far removed from his thoughts. His long legs were stretched out beside her.

Her cheek rested on his chest, her mouth almost on his nipple. He could feel her breath teasing his fur as she slept.

On her chest, almost in the same position, lay their son. She had half-covered him with one side of her hospital gown. The room was very warm, so they did not need blankets.

He had never felt so at peace. He could feel his son’s contentment through the newborn’s bond, as well as hers. They were each distinctive, like signatures.

He looked down at the two most precious people in his life and sighed. Nothing had prepared him for this overwhelming sense of a fulfillment.

It had been a stressful few hours. They had come here to this windowless room in the brownstone she had renovated some months ago. This particular room was used by Peter and Father for "special" patients and was starkly clinical, mostly stainless steel with minimal furnishings. There was a lot of complex-looking equipment. They had not wanted to take any chances with her labour - and privacy, of course, was essential.

He had sat next to her, holding her hand, transmitting all the love he possessed to give her strength. He had sensed the fetus as well, which was restless and uncomfortable in its too-small enclosure. He had tried to project a sense of the welcome awaiting it, of the rightness of what was happening.

She had pulled him to her, after a particularly violent contraction and kissed him full on the lips. He had not been able to prevent a shiver of delight at the touch. She had felt it, he knew. She then made it plain she wanted him closer, holding her.

Peter had insisted he undress completely, in the room next door, before being allowed into the sanctum. He had given him a hospital gown, which he had worn open side to the front, but did not reach past his waist. He put on a pair of drawstring pajama bottoms. The latter’s loose front opening was obviously not designed to close – and didn’t. He had swallowed his embarrassment when he returned, then realized that neither Peter, nor Samantha who was assisting, cared in the least about his modesty. He was not their patient. They were only concerned with her. He would have been excluded from the room until it was all over, he realized, had she not demanded his presence in no uncertain terms.

He had attended many births Below of course, but it was different when the woman he loved beyond all else was delivering their first child. He was afraid that his concern would affect her through the bond, so made himself relax and feel confident, figuratively and literally. All he could give her was his strength and support – and unbounded love. Himself was all he had ever been able to give her, but she had always insisted it was enough. Now she was about to give him a gift without price.

He had been shown how to sit behind her on the narrow bed, his legs on either side of her. She immediately took hold of them, with a strength he found amazing, almost cutting the blood flow to his feet. The contractions had increased in frequency now, and she was told to begin pushing.

Her head rested on a flat pillow between his legs, just touching his manhood. He could feel a few strands of her soft hair through the gaping opening of his pants. As her convulsions increased, her head had rolled closer, arousing him, to his further dismay. Fortunately, he was able to bend over a little and hide the problem with the gown, although no one was looking at him. Their attention was focused much further down, where his son was emerging into the world between her upraised legs. He watched intently as a red and wrinkled head crowned. He leaned over and took her hands into his own and wrapped them around his legs, trying to transmit his strength as he felt her strain massively.

With a huge gasp, she pushed their son out completely and he felt her relief – and their son’s distress at the bright lights and sudden loss of warmth and comfort. His robust cry broke the silence and echoed around the room. That sound was the most wonderful music he had ever heard. He projected calm along their bond, but could not be sure the child felt it. She did, because she relaxed with a sigh.

He wrapped his arms around her in the cradle of his legs as she lay exhausted. Their son was laid on her belly while they allowed the final rush of nutrients through the umbilical cord, then cleaned away the afterbirth.

The birth smell filled his nostrils and he looked closely at the blood-covered little form. The hair stuck out wildly on the tiny head, limbs were flexing, the mouth was open, the cries now plaintive. He could see nothing unusual – which was a further source of amazement.

Then they tied off the cord and took the baby over to a metal table a few feet away to be cleaned, measured and weighed. The coldness of the metal raised a cry that was part shriek from that tiny body and they all grinned at each other.

She hugged his arms to her and Peter affirmed that what they saw was true. Their son was perfect. Their love for each other and their son ran along their bond, gathering this new life into it as well.

She found his hands again then, refusing to let him go, even as Samantha sponged her clean, meticulously. Reluctantly, she let them shift her enough to remove her gown and slide on a clean one. Then she had him move her further up so she could lay against his chest and hold their son against them both.

Soon after, Samantha pulled a sheet over them as far as the child and they were left in peace. The room was so quiet that there was nothing but the sound of their breathing, all three in harmony. A beautiful, quiet symphony, he thought.

Now, as he looked down at them both, he marveled at the sight. He felt her stir on top of him. He desperately wanted to hold his son. He had waited so long for this joy that a few more minutes should not have mattered – but it did.

She must have sensed this, because she opened her eyes and turned to look up at him. A smile brightened her face. There was an invitation in her eyes. He bent down to her and kissed her lips, softly but thoroughly, and felt her joy through the bond. Yes, their bond, which had been a bit impaired during her pregnancy, was definitely fully operational. He saw her recognition of that as his undiminished love ran along it to her.

"Lift me higher," she demanded softly.

He carefully pulled her up a little further, until her head reached his chin and she lay across his torso, her buttocks resting on his hip, her legs between his own. He lifted his knees slightly and crossed his ankles, making a cradle that enclosed them both under the tent of the sheet.

She lifted her head and smiled, inviting him to take his son. He gathered up the small body from her chest. His son felt warm, his skin as soft as silk - like that of his mother's, he thought. He moved his head down over the small body, kissing his forehead and nuzzling a tiny hand that lifted to him as a pair of brilliant blue eyes regarded him. He ran his nose along his son’s body, the scent of him heady, wonderful. He cupped the small bottom in his hands and marveled at the wriggling new life he held. There were still no words to describe the sensation. He felt such happiness that his heart was thumping with it. He closed his eyes and sighed.

Her arms lifted to him and he placed their son on his chest next to her. Then they held him together.

She looked up at him again and he sank his mouth onto her gently. She sighed.

Their son decided at that moment to fret and he shifted his arms so she could move the baby to her breast. She placed a bloated nipple into his tiny mouth, kneading the breast to encourage the flow.

Those blue eyes looked at her now and then he began to suckle, closing them again, as if in ecstasy.

Strangely, he found the sight of his son on her breast immensely sensual and felt the shiver along their bond that told him she felt his emotions.

She gazed up at him over the head of their son and shifted a leg a little, feeling his manhood’s slight arousal. Her eyes were filled with love for him.

He sighed as her head again dropped onto his chest. She rubbed her free hand down his fur, kneaded his chest, then ran her hand around his ribs to hug him.

As she closed her eyes, he brought the sides of his gown around them to enclose them in his heat, pulled the sheet up higher, then circled them both with his arms.

He watched their son nurse greedily, sucking with a strength that amazed him, felt his urgency along the bond. He could feel her thrill at the sensation and something else – deep joy.

He leaned against the wall again, let himself drift into an almost-nap, surrounded by – and surrounding - more contentment than he could ever have imagined.

Once their son had finished and had quietly fallen asleep, she held the baby in the crook of her arm, inside his, and he felt her fall asleep too. He let himself do the same.

He awoke sometime later as the door to the room opened. He saw the smiles on the faces of Peter and Samantha, confirming again that everything was alright.

His innate sense of time told him it was now mid-morning and he realized his back was stiff as he shifted slightly.

Peter told him there was a much more comfortable room ready for them. Without further ado, he lifted up his love and their son in his powerful arms and padded after Peter. He was shown into a bright room. A large tree outside the window cast a dappled, golden glow over a much larger bed with a padded headboard several pillows and a full set of colourful bedding.

Samantha lifted the blankets and sheets out of the way for him and stood by in case he needed help.

He sat on the edge of the bed and moved himself carefully to the centre, holding his precious burdens close until he could let himself down, then placed them beside him. Neither had awoken in the transfer. He smiled his thanks to Samantha as she lifted the blanket to cover their legs, stopping there when his furry hand bid her to. She gave him a small folded towel, which puzzled him. He put it behind them, against the headboard.

Then Peter gave him a broad smile and they both left the room, leaving him alone with his family again. He liked that word - "family." It was something he had never expected to have, in the true sense of the word. He was fortunate beyond anything he had dared dream.

Now he could feel the warmth of the sun on his back, a sensation that never failed to delight him. He closed his eyes and drifted into a nap.

When he awoke, it was because she had moved within his embrace. He looked down at her and accepted the invitation for another kiss.

"Please, help me sit up beside you," she demanded quietly.

He lifted her carefully until she could rest against the padded headboard, then sat beside her, keeping his arm behind her to support her. He put a pillow against her lower back and she sighed with relief. She held their son snuggled in the cradle of her right arm against her chest. He had been drooling. He gave her the towel and she carefully wiped herself, cooing at the small, sleeping form.

Her gown had fallen open, revealing two beautiful, swollen globes. As his eyes drank in the sight, he found he could not resist. He moved his head down to the nearest breast and put his lips to its firm roundness. He kissed it gently, inhaling the scent of warm milk and his son.

She looked at him and pushed the nipple towards his mouth with her free hand.

"Please," she said. "He is not feeding enough yet. It hurts. Please."

He shivered down his length at the invitation, but could not refuse her. He carefully extended his cleft around the hard nipple, trapped it with his tongue and sucked gently. The warm fluid filled his mouth, the taste of it thrilled him. He felt her sigh of contentment.

He felt his son move, as if in response to his own delight, and she moved the baby to her other breast, where he too began to suckle. She put her arm around his neck as she held their son in place with the other, keeping the big head and the small pressed to her breasts.

He suckled only a little, just enough to relieve her pressure, knew from their bond when she felt better. But he kept his mouth on the nipple a little longer, enjoying the warmth and an entirely different but so-wonderful scent. He felt satisfaction to his bones.

A residue of her milk still in his mouth, he moved to her lips and kissed her with gentle passion over the small form of their feeding son. He felt her delight in tasting her own milk.

She sensed something else as well. He groaned into their kiss and shuddered, felt his erection bulging from the pants opening. He quickly broke off and looked away, embarrassed. She turned his chin to face her again, looked at him with understanding.

"Don’t worry, love. What you feel is natural. This has all been very hard on you."

She looked down at their son, now sleeping again, then looked back at him.

"There’s a cot in this room somewhere. He should sleep for a while now. But first, you’d better diaper him."

He got up carefully and found the cot, put it next to the bed. Then he picked up his tiny son where he nestled against her breast, cupped that small bottom in his big hand, and carried the sleeping child over to the table. He placed him on a towel, but could do no more for the delight which suffused him as he drank in the sight of his son.

He put his nose into the fine, golden hair, planted the whisper of a kiss on that smooth forehead, the tiny nose, the chin. Then he moved to kiss that chest, felt his son’s breathing, then that round belly full of her milk. He lifted each arm to nuzzle the tiny fingers on each perfect hand, then he kissed the dimpled knees and nuzzled each foot’s curled toes.

Lastly, he kissed his son’s penis, which pointed upwards at him. In response, it suddenly let out a thin stream of urine. At his chagrin, obviously transmitted along the bond, he heard her laugh from the bed.

"I told you to diaper him first," she chuckled.

He found a soft cloth and cleaned off the liquid, then found one of the tiny, colourful cloth diapers she had insisted on buying. He lifted their son’s legs and positioned his bottom on it and wrapped it around, noticing with relief that it had velcro tabs and did not need safety pins. Then he carried the baby to the crib, lay him softly on his back and covered him with a blanket.

He looked over at her then. She was holding her arms out to him. He clambered onto his side of the bed and caught her in an soft embrace, felt her swollen breasts against his chest. He sighed and kissed her, nuzzling her face, that beautiful face which looked at him with such love.

To his dismay, his manhood was again becoming aroused and he could feel it easing through the slit in the inadequate pants. He caught her humour as she realized the reason for his embarrassment.

"Let me," she whispered, mischief in her eyes as she regarded him. "It will be a while before I can do more for you. You deserve some relief. I am so lucky to have you near."

To his amazement, she grasped his struggling manhood, gazing at him with an intensity that made him shudder. Then she put the small towel over the opening of his pants and he watched fascinated as she put her hand under it, felt her slide her hand down to his furry balls. She began to massage them.

His arms dropped from her boneless, and he lay back, his claws reflexively clutching the sheets as his arousal ran along his skin like fire. He was unable to stifle a groan. Then she massaged his sheath until his penis emerged, throbbing and stiffening into a rock-hard ache. It stretched out, creating a peak under the towel which drew his eyes, made him shudder again.

He gasped for air as she continued her ministrations. He flung his head back against the bed and closed his eyes, giving himself up completely to sensation.

She added her other hand, clutching his penis tightly with one, while she stroked his balls with the other. He groaned again and she clasped his penis around the crown and suddenly squeezed tightly.

He let go then, exploded, his juices shooting out in a glorious wave of skin-tingling relief. He sagged and his head lolled. She captured his lips and kissed him hard.

He realized she had felt his climax through their bond, but felt no arousal herself. He had been told that she would not, for some time after giving birth. But it was still a shock. He had come to expect that reciprocal passion. However, he could feel her happiness at being able to pleasure him – and that soothed him.

He pulled her gently closer to his chest and sighed. She had given him so much more than he could have ever imagined in those long lonely years before she came into his life. His gratitude for the blessing of her love washed over him.

He looked down at her, humbled by what he saw in her eyes, a reflection of his own emotions. Her voice was deep when she spoke, softly.

"You are so beautiful when you look at me like that. No one could be more blessed, more loved," she said, as she stroked his chest.

Her love heated him from within, enclosed him, soft as silk, strong as steel. He sighed deeply and they slept, the sun still warm on his back, like a benediction.

When he awoke, she was still asleep. He noticed the towel draped over his manhood and decided he’d better clean up. He reluctantly extracted himself from her, transmitting calm along their bond so she would not awaken. She needed sleep far more than he.

He got up carefully, then padded to the bathroom, caught a glance at himself in the mirror and looked more closely. While he no longer avoided mirrors, he seldom used them – often forgot to. Had these latest events changed him, he wondered, as he stared at himself. His features were as usual, but there was something different. He looked completely relaxed, a little vague around the eyes. Small wonder, he thought. He realized then, that in the miracle of their perfect son, he no longer cared what he looked like.

He sighed, threw the towel into a nearby hamper, then cleaned and dried himself. He found another towel and padded back with it. He looked in the cot and noticed that their son was still asleep, his tiny lips pursed as if he were thinking. He bent down and lightly kissed the cheek turned to him.

Although he was no longer tired, he crept back into the bed and pulled a cover over them both. She sighed and awoke.

"Would you help me turn over," she asked. He did that and she gazed for a while at their son in his cot. He felt her joy and spooned himself against her, wanting the feel of her skin against his, put his arm over her. She hugged it to her, kissed the back of his hairy hand, an old gesture that never failed to thrill him. He nuzzled her hair and kissed the neck under it.

She sighed and snuggled up against him, drifted into sleep again. He basked in her sense of peace and the contentment of their son along the bond.

The next few days and weeks would be full of new experiences, but he knew now that they would not be marked with the physical or mental distance from her that he had feared – that he had half-expected in this new reality.

He realized that their child would not, could not, prevent her from giving him the attention she knew he craved. She was now like air or water – necessary to his life, his well-being.

Their son would give them a whole new level of togetherness – although not without some challenges and sacrifices, he was sure. Their next full love-making would be a continued affirmation – and begin a new chapter in their lives. He could wait.

But something else could not. A tantalizing scent was wafting under the door making his nose twitch. He realized he had not eaten in a long time. They both needed to eat – she most of all. He carefully extracted himself from her, slid off the bed and padded to the door, his stomach now rumbling insistently, as if it had finally run out of patience.

Before he opened the door, he looked back. There was another kind of sustenance in what he saw there - and it filled him, heart and soul. His world was complete.

They were three. Forever.

END