Evangeline sat in the budding grass on the hill, a few feet away from the safe house. The wind was still bitter with the fading imprint of winter. Killian had found a few old quilts under the daybed in the stark living room and had beaten the dust out of them. He said he and Evangeline should get some fresh air while Bo followed a lead on an ex-convict who had stalked Evangeline in the past and Todd planted a false trail, leading federal agents to believe Killian had run off back to Ireland.

Killian was laying back, his eyes closed, chewing on a blade of grass. He had forsaken all of the warmth of the cover, so he wouldn't have to see Evangeline shiver. Though she had gotten stronger, he felt her blood was still thin, and he didn't want her to have a lapse in health. He could hear the papers rustling in her lap, and he couldn't help but smile. Killian had been trying to get her mind off of their troubles, off of her Irishman. She would try to be brave for him sometimes and laugh at his jokes, but her eyes were distant when she thought she was alone. The only way he could convince her to come outside was to let her bring some files with her.

"So, tell me, love, are you done reading the same paragraph over and over again?"

Evangeline let out a small laugh. "How did you know I was reading the same paragraph over and over?"

Killian opened his green eyes and put his hand up to block out the bright, cold light of the sun. He turned his head to Evangeline. She had that faraway look on her face again, and when he reached over to touch her arm, he felt small goose bumps on her skin. He sat up, took the papers from her lap, and pulled the quilts up over her shoulders.

"You must be freezing," she said, absent-mindedly.

"No, love, I'm just fine."

Evangeline smiled at him, and Killian could see part of her was still missing. He pushed a lock of her hair back, only to watch it fall back into her face. She leaned against him and sighed. The soft, worn material of the handmade quilts felt warm, even through his clothes.

"Sometimes, if I'm still enough, I can feel him moving, wherever he is, and at night, when it's quiet, that's when I feel the most peace because I know he's somewhere safe, thinking of me," Evangeline said, a quiet tear leaking from her eye.

"I know how it is, how it can be," Killian said.

He grabbed her papers with one arm and held on to Evangeline with the other, as they both stood slowly. They walked together, back toward the safe house. Evangeline had the quilts gathered up in her arms, piled so high that she almost couldn't see where she was walking.

Just as they were in sight of the house, Killian stopped abruptly. Evangeline looked over at him with concern. She was about to ask him what was wrong, when she saw his face break into a dimpled smile.

"I'll take those quilts, love, maybe go back over the hill and sit in the sun for a while," Killian said, pulling the covers from her hold.

Still confused, Evangeline watched Killian as he walked away. When she turned back toward the house, with her vision clear, her heart leapt. "John," she squealed, running to her love. "John!"


John stumbled backward, as Evangeline jumped into his arms. She was out of breath from running to him, and he could feel her heart racing, as she pressed her body against his. He closed his eyes and nestled his face into the dark veil of her hair. She smelled like honey and berries.

"Let me look at you," he said, though he couldn't bear to separate from her fully. She felt so right in his arms.

Evangeline pulled back slightly, looking John in the eyes, his beryl-blue eyes. She bent forward and touched her forehead to his. She could feel his hands travel up her back to rest in her hair.

"I've missed you so much," she said, in between soft brushes of her lips against his. r John held her tightly to him, despite the pain it caused his healing bullet wounds. He nuzzled her neck, drinking in her scent. He could barely stop himself from making love to her at the door of the secluded house, when she began to whisper his name over and over again. There was an urgency in her voice.

He walked backward, his mouth finding hers. His hand gripped the doorknob, and they shuffled into the house. Just inside the door, Evangeline leaned against the wall. She moaned, as John put his hand between her legs.

Evangeline fumbled with the buttons to John's shirt, as he pulled her pants down and lifted her out of them. She wrapped her bare leg around his waist, and John could feel his arousal growing as he caressed the smooth skin of her thigh.

He almost lost control, as she delicately brushed her fingers over his zipper on the way to unbuttoning his pants. Nearing the edge, John unzipped his pants and pulled himself out, unable to wait any longer. He ripped her white, cotton pantie away and pushed himself into her. She took a sharp breath.

Evangeline closed her eyes, dropping her arms from around his shoulders, placing her hands on his behind as he thrust into her. His hand went under her tee shirt to cup the heavy round of her breast, and he pushed his mouth onto her open lips, his tongue dancing with hers.

"John," she said, her voice raw with passion.

A dark rose blush crept up from her chest to her neck to her cheeks. John knew she would climax soon and began pushing deeper into her center. When he felt her nails dig into his back, his rhythm became a wild, mad rush until he went over the apex himself.

It had been months since they had been with each other like this, and John lingered inside of her, kissing her slowly and softly. Her eyes were glassy with satisfaction, as she looked at him and told him she loved him.

"I love you," he said, stroking her cheek with the back of his hand. "I had to see you. All I could think about was you."

They stayed with each other, close and needing and wanting for an eternity, before finding their way to her bedroom to make love again. As they lay in the afterglow of their sharing of body and spirit, Evangeline cooed in his ear, her words indistinguishable. The licking flame of dying sunlight glowed on her skin.

John pulled her bare body as close to his as he could. He knew their time together would be brief, until he could find the person trying to hurt her. But at this moment, he couldn't imagine how they had ever been apart.