John's pupils grew large in the darkness, trying to make out the figure of Evangeline as she stood by the high windowsill. The wind was tousling the hair at the crown of her head, where the moonlight faintly blessed her beauty. She was fumbling with an old candle, laughing because the wick besotted with hard, cracking wax wouldn't alight.

She stood still for a minute and breathed deeply. John could smell it too, whatever heavenly thing Killian was cooking in the kitchen. He was certain their moment together would end soon. He knew Evangeline's appetite was stronger than her desire to lay with him in the bed, candlelight licking their skin, their stomachs rumbling. And, he was hungry too.

"I could just stop living right now, and it would be alright. I'd be happy because this moment is perfect," he said, putting his arms behind his head.

"John," Evangeline said, abandoning the candle to the sill again. "Don't say that. The gods might hear you."

She crawled back into bed with him, just out of the scheming reach of the moonlight. She kissed the bending corner of his jawline and kissed him again on his neck.

"Don't say that," she said, more seriously this time.

Her fingers traced the line of his collarbone, and John put his hand over hers. They encircled each other in their arms to become one. He kissed her forehead.

"I hadn't seen Antonio for months when he came into my office with Michael. I knew inside that something was wrong before then, but when I saw the two of them together, I knew it was apocalyptic," John whispered. "I tried to hit Antonio before he could tell me."

"Baby, don't" she said softly, as she caressed the dark half of his face.

"I can't even remember all the obscenities I screamed at Michael before he gave me a shot of something, some kind of sedative," he said. "Then he told me it was true, that your plane had crashed and they weren't sure there were any survivors. I couldn't hold a thought, except that if you had died, then I would have to die too."

Evangeline reached up and wiped the unashamed tears from John's face. She wanted him to feel her there, to know that she was real. He sometimes had a problem with memories and time and fears taking over reality. She had worried about this whenever they were apart, and especially during their break-ups. She would have Michael check on him discreetly.

"It was a couple of days before my mind was clear. My mother came to see me, to take care of me somehow. When I first spoke to her, I made her cry because she thought I'd never speak again. The reason I could talk, the reason I hadn't lost my mind was because I could feel you moving. It didn't matter what anyone else had said about you dying. You weren't lost to me. You were alive," John said.

Evangeline kissed his shoulder. "You were the only thing I could think of, when I wasn't pushing ahead on sheer will. I couldn't let you lose someone else. I didn't want to be the reason for you shutting your heart down for good," Evangeline said.

She lifted her head in the air and breathed deeply again and smiled. John peeked at her through the corners of his eyes and smiled with her. The hunger had taken over, and Killian deserved their company.

John loosened his hold on her and told her they should go get something to eat. Evangeline readily agreed and began to put on her favorite white tee, the one with the fading Harvard Law on it, and her worn blue jeans.

"I should have flown commercial like I had planned," Evangeline said, as she put her feet in slippers.

John turned around slowly on the bed. "What do you mean, like you had planned?"

"I had a commercial ticket to San Francisco, first class, as usual," she said. "Then a client of mine from Port Charles offered me his personal jet, if I would take care of some last minute negotiations in Los Angeles. You know I couldn't resist."

"Which client is this?" John asked.

"You're not going to like it," Evangeline sighed, walking around to his side of the bed.

He knew it before she said it. Lorenzo Alcazar. He was more of a friend than a client to Evangeline, though she talked little of their relationship, knowing it thoroughly maddened her Irishman. Evangeline had met Alcazar when she spent a semester abroad at Oxford. They were both highly educated and cultured. John didn't know exactly what had transpired between the two perhaps an affair that had cooled over long distance or a simple, enduring friendship and appreciation for each other but whatever it was, he didn't like it. Evangeline had stuck by Alcazar through his descent into the criminal underworld, despite John's attempts to explain to her that Alcazar was no longer the young man she had known at Oxford who wore brightly colored polo shirts and read the Iliad to her from the ancient Greek text.

Evangeline could read John's thoughts. "Lorenzo would never knowingly put me in danger," she said. "If he thought for a minute that anyone was after him, he would have never put me on that plane."

"When did Antonio know you were going on Alcazar's plane?" John asked, his jaw tightening.

"I called him from the plane, shortly before it went down," she said. "I thought someone should know where I was. You and I weren't talking."

John put his hands through his hair. "I know we weren't."

His mind boiled over with thoughts. Why hadn't Antonio told him about the Alcazar angle in all of this? And, more importantly, why hadn't Alcazar called himself when he knew the plane had gone down? John felt he could only get the answers to his questions if he went home to Llanview at that very moment. And Evangeline would have to come along. He knew Alcazar would never talk with him alone.

"What are you thinking, John?" Evangeline asked, knowing the answer. She could tell by the knit of his brow that he was angry.

John stood and put on his clothes in silence. Evangeline watched him. She wanted to talk to him more, but she knew it would have to wait. He was closed off.

As they were going out of the room to tell Killian of their departure, Evangeline caught John's arm. "I'm sorry I didn't think to tell you that it was Lorenzo's plane I was in," she said. "You can't shut me out, or we'll be at square one again. You have to keep talking to me, Lieutenant. We're a team."

John's body relaxed slightly, and he stepped closer to his love. He put his forehead against hers, and before they broke apart, he brushed his lips lightly against hers.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm angry that I almost lost you, and I feel like it could still happen. I need this threat to be over. I can't go through this again."

"I'm right here, John. Stay with me in the present. There is only this moment. Nothing else. We take it as it comes, remember?"

John nodded and took her into his arms. "As it comes," he said.