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Sonora shot a glance at the driver of the underwater contraption she and Ian were on and snuggled up to Ian on the bench seat, then looked around the underwater--she wasn't sure what to call it. She looked at Ian with a question in her eyes. "So an underwater minivan?"

Ian almost choked. "We do not have minivans. Are not minivans looked down on by the males of your culture? It is a" then proceded to spout an unintelligible Atlantian word.

Sonora looked at Ian dumbfounded. "I will never be able to say that."

Ian frowned. "You will need to learn Atlantian."

Sonora smiled at his concern. "I know, but could we start with something that sounds easier?"

"Yes. Let us start with all the words of love." Ian grinned as he pulled her tighter. "We will begin with beloved."

Sonora put a hand to Ian's cheek. "I want to learn them all but first, I'd like to know where everyone is."

Ian smoothed a hand over Sonora's hair. "Of course. I apologize, I am just so relieved you are here safe. Let me ease your mind."

Ian ran a finger down Sonora's cheek, enjoying the softness, and the sparkle his touch created in her eyes.

"Your family is on a, let us settle on the word -- transport -- ahead of us. They were distraught when you had not arrived at the beach, so after settling them, I was on my way to find you." Ian kissed the top of Sonora's head. "I did not tell them, but I knew something was wrong, I felt your fear."

He lowered his gaze to hers, a question in his eyes.

Sonora caught her lip between her teeth as a bit of the fear she'd felt earlier resurfaced, then she explained to Ian what happened at the parking lot and her house.

Ian's troubled face darkened. "I would be happy if you never stepped foot on land again."

Sonora laid a hand on his forearm. "Dear, please don't say that."

"I could order it, you know."

"And please, don't do that. It won't go over well." Sonora vigorously shook her head. "Not at all."

Ian sat straighter. "I will be your husband, and one day sit on the council."

"Oh, lord," Sonora mumbled. How was she going to keep his ego down then?

"Some cultures would argue that also."

In your dreams. She rolled her eyes, "Please, stop."

Ian's stern face gave way to a plea. "I would do anything to keep you safe. I never want to worry over you again."

"I know, that I understand." How could I not with all the worrying I've done over him? "But I'm afraid there will be worrying at some point. Let's just keep it to a minimum. And discussions instead of orders will be appreciated. Deal?"

"Yes, my love. A very good deal." Ian lowered his forehead to hers.

Sonora drank in Ian's intense gaze until his eyes darkened. She threw a glance to the driver and brought up a new subject. "What about Jorah? Did he get the cure where it needed to go?"

Ian leaned back on his seat, one arm still around Sonora. "Yes. He gave the cure to the leader of the local military base. That man has assured Father it will get where it needs to go."

"I was hoping Jorah would oversee that." Sonora bit her lip.

Ian scoffed. "Don't have so little faith in your kind. We have done everything else for them, surely they can hand it out to their people."

Sonora twisted her hands in her lap. "I hope so."

Ian chided her. "It is usually I disparaging the humans, and you telling me I am wrong."

Sonora smiled up at Ian. "I know. I'm sure they can handle it. All they have to do it get it to the people. How can they mess that up, right?"

"Right."

"And Nick?"

"On his way to our past."

Sonora sighed. "Now what?"

When Ian raised a questioning eyebrow, Sonora giggled and said, "With us? Here, in Atlantis."

"We get married." Ian's tone was firm. "The instant we get home to Atlantis, and I never let you out of my sight again."

Sonora's eyes widened. "The instant, uh?"

"The instant. My mother probably has everything arranged already."

Sonora laughed, but then eyed Ian. "You're serious!"

Ian waved his hand. "I'm sure your mother had some input too."

Ian's reply didn't appease Sonora. "Ian! Give me a moment to breathe."

Ian changed his tactics and pulled her closer, murmuring in her ear, "You will have a whole lifetime to do that." He lifted her face to his. "I have waited so long for you, mourned you thinking I had lost you forever. Please be mine, my heart. Please be mine the instant you can."

Ian stared deeply into Sonora's eyes, and she swam in his grey depths, her heart melting at his words. Everything he said was true. She had almost wrecked this man. Sonora glanced down and back at him.

Ian knew the moment she gave in. His eyes gleamed as he gave her a triumphant smirk.

Sonora smacked his chest and wagged a finger at him. "Not the instant. I hope that was not literal. But--"

"Within hours."

"Within days, and I get some input too!"

"Thank you, my love." Ian picked Sonora up and sat her on his lap, joyfully kissing her all over her face.

Sonora giggled and reddened as she tried to free herself from him and threw a glance to the laughing driver.

She trapped Ian's face between her two hands, but that only encouraged him to become more serious. Cradling Sonora in his arms, Ian lowered his lips to hers.

Sonora enjoyed Ian's attention but would only allow so much of that in front of an audience. She slid back onto her place beside him. "Atlantis will be in view any minute, and I don't want to miss it."

Sonora held her breath in anticipation. This time she would enjoy the city in all its splendor, and in love with the man beside her instead of worrying what or who he was.

A faint sparkle started up ahead. Sonora grabbed Ian's hand and held it to her. She glanced at him, her blue eyes as brilliant as Atlantis' glow. "Look! We are there!" She shifted in her seat to get a better view out the large side window.

Ian curled his large hand into her small one, a warm glow filling every inch of his body. This moment is what he had waited for, longed for. He was taking Sonora home, his Intended, his beloved, his heart.


A/N: One more chapter! Please press the little star if you're enjoying the story. :)

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