Chapter 10

(Warning NC-17 Rating)

 The bed felt cold, as if the warmth had suddenly been taken away. Evangeline felt the coldness at not having him next to her body and her heart.

"Evangeline, you awake?" he asked from the window seat.

"Yes, what time is it?" she said in hushed tones.

"Midnight or there about. You should go on back to sleep," he said.

"No, Iím up, why are you?" she said, she moves and slides her legs off the side of the bed and sits up.

"Couldnít sleep, too much going on in my head."

"I know. I felt you were becoming restless," she said quietly.

"I didnít mean to disturb you. Iím still trying to understand, why all this happened."

"John, it was me remember. I kept the truth from you," she said and got up sat by him. She placed her arm on the back of the love seat, not touching him but she could now feel his physical warmth again. She tucked her legs under her, so that her knees were pressed against his thigh. She wanted to be close without overstepping; she could feel the tenses in his body.

"Yes, it was somewhat my fault. If you felt you couldnít tell me about our child," he said sadly. John leaned back so that his head rested on her arm.

"John, it was me not you. I always knew that you werenít ready for more."

"Not more Evangeline. How did you think that?" he turned his head so he could look at her as she spoke.

"Well, you said it when we first met ...that you needed time."

"I said that months ago. We were way past that when you became pregnant."

Yes, but I still didnít want to move you to fast. We didnít start off like most couples. We kind of went in this relationship thing kind of backwards. You agree?

"No, I wanted you then and I wanted you more every time we were together. Iím not talking about physically, although that was unlike anything Iíve ever experienced. I began to enjoy your mind, the way you think, and he stopped and stared at her for a moment, thinking how does she not know what she does to me? he continued, I liked the way you challenged me freeing me to move on with life. With you."

"Freed you from what and how?" She was more than curious to hear what he had.

He smiled, she never asked simple questions. When she did another even more complicated one always followed them.

"McBain. Iím waiting, what and how?"

"What freed me is that you allowed me to believe in you and me. I didnít ever think that after I lost Caitlyn, I would ever feel deeply about a woman again. You changed that. And how? You were patient and pushy all at the same time. You wanted us to build bit by bit. I found myself wanting more and more with each moment I spent with you."

"You never said," she sounded regretful, "you let me think that love was not an option."

"Okay, tell me when did I say love wasnít an option? Was I sleeping? Did I mumble it under my breath, and not hear myself speak. Really. Tell me when I said love was not an option?" He was both questioning and sarcastic, and a little hurt."

"John, donít get upset. I just mean from where I stood. I thought love was a road you never wanted to travel again. If not true please enlighten me?"

"Evangeline, sometimes you canít choose when or how you love. One day your day is going along just fine, not great just okay. Then you hear footsteps and a tinkle and there is a knock on the door. A woman walks in like flowers in springtime, your breath catches and your heart stops. Then you suddenly begin to breath. You canít escape the knowledge that one person, has caused you to learn to walk again, and to reach out for things you had placed in a box, not to be opened," he said speaking from the depth of his heart.

"And what did you place in the box John?"

He lifted up his arm placed it behind her head bringing his hand to rest in her hair, and said, "Hope, joy and unbelievable passion. You know look forward to the next day. You donít look back to closely on the past and you reach for the happiness so long denied."

"John, I didnít know. I donít think I wanted to know. If I had I would not have tried to walk away," she said, with eyes that glistened with unshed tears for what she failed to see for so long. How deeply this man cared for her. She was not wrong that night when she found herself almost drowning in his eyes. She should have recognized that the whirlpool of emotion she saw was also mirrored in her soul. Was it too late?

"I tried to show you without using the words, because I thought you wanted that. I can see now you just did what you always do," he said.

"What is that?" She asked looking at him intently waiting for him to respond.

"Evangeline everything with us has been about not hurting me. You were letting me have space. Am I right?" He posed the question, already knowing her response.

"I never wanted you to feel obligated or feel you had to stay with me. Was that wrong?" she questioned simply.

"No, but you never asked me for anything. You just gave and when I gave back, you put up roadblocks. It was as if you were saying donít go pass go or Iím not ready. Every time I felt us getting closer you would shut me down. You would say things like one string at a time; leave words like love out of our relationship. Woman, you would constantly change the rules, I had to start to take notes." He said almost laughingly.

"I didnít do that. I told you it was divorce I was concerned about. We agreed to take things slowly."

"Well, actually you agreed, I never committed to the slow part."

"You never said different."

"No, I never said different. I tried to show you in so many ways, by asking you to stay with me when that man attacked you. I let you know how much I enjoyed spending time with you, and coming home to you."

"That was different you were just being a friend."

"No. It was more than that. I wanted you with me in my home and in my bed. Quite honestly, I need you, not just for a night but also for all time. Now is that clear enough for you? I could be clearer if you want?"

"John, I donít know so much has happened. How do you get past what I kept from you? I canít seem to understand how I could have lied and how you could ever forgive me?"

"Yeah, I thought about it. It is all Iíve been thinking about. How do I forgive the woman I love for giving up on us, for not telling me about our childÖfor letting me think that my life had gone dark?" As he said it he could feel her pain, and he let his arm drop to her shoulders and tried to comfort her. He rubbed her arm gently and waited for the tension to ease. ĎI could stay mad and be an unforgiving bastard, but what would that get me? I would lose what we have built up so far, as tenuous as I found it to be. Or I could start by giving you the benefit of the doubt. I would have to believe that you told me the truth, that you didnít think I was going to want to be a part of your lives. If I had been clearer about how I felt, you would have maybe made a different decision. Perhaps you would have told me the truth.

"So what are you saying? That you forgive me? She asked waiting silently for his answer."

He waited to feel the peace that comes with forgiveness and understanding. He knew now that love is not about the mind but what the heart knows and the soul expects. That loving and forgiving are partners in the dance of a man and woman in love.

Finally he said, "I needed you yesterday. I understand you today. I want to be a part of all our tomorrows, can you handle that?"

"John." She said tearfully and he reached for her and brought her body closer. He tilted up her head and gently kissed the tears away. He lifted her up and placed her on the bed. She opened her mouth as if to speak, and he silenced her by placing his lips on hers, and kissing away her words for now. Gently he moved his hands to her waist and brought her closer so he could feel her breast her against his chest. They were taut and firm with the desire they were building together. He broke the kiss, and nuzzled her neck, flicking his tongue in circles just the way she liked. He moved down further finding her cleavage between her breasts and began to rain kisses that never seemed to stop. He could feel her melting and hear her moans of pleasure. He continued, to her stomach using his tongue and his hands to get closer and closer to her skin. He moved away, and the air blasted hit them not cooling them off but making them both more aware of what they needed now. Evangeline moved and lifted her nightdress off, and John watched. It seemed she took forever, but finally it was off, and she let it float to the bed. John just stared for a moment then he took her hand and began to kiss her from the tips of her fingers finally reaching her shoulder, flicking his tongue and kissing her at the same time. Taking her face in his hands, he used his fingers to part her lips. Then he entered her playing with her tongue like an instrument, making music for her and him. Breaking the kiss, he trailed his hand down her arm, and a moved away and finished undressing himself. While he did that Evangeline laid across the bed waiting for him, and never took her eyes off him as he got ready to join her.

John finished undressing then started toward the bed. He moved her legs open and leaned in to kiss her stomach gently and reverently. Lower and lower he went, kissing and blowing his breath onto her skin, making her insides tighten and her stomach go all a-flutter. He moved to her sweet mound and kissed her, continually using his tongue to find her secret pleasures and taste her sweetness. Lifting her closer he held her buttocks firmly in his hands, deepening the sensual onslaught as he heard her scream his name.

She was driving him wild. Kissing her this way always pushed him over the edge; he got as much pleasure from it as she did, more even. He wanted to bury himself deep within her and have her heat surrounding him, but the need to feel her come against his mouth was greater. He continued teasing and pleasing until her nub was so hard that every flick of his tongue drew her nearer and nearer to explosion. He made circular motions with his tongue then bit her gently and pulled her center using the suction of his mouth. Her essence was rushing; he heard her gasp and scream as her body shook. Holding her steady he took all of her in his mouth, finally quieting her with feather-light kisses on her thighs as she trembled.

"More, love? He asked, his husky voice low and seductive.

John knew that he was a lucky man. She was beautiful, her skin glistening, a look of complete happiness and satisfaction on her face. It was such a private look; one she showed only him. How long since he had seen her this way?

Kissing her knee he moved upward. She shifted her legs apart and lifted her buttocks off the bed slightly, inviting him in to put out her fire. His manhood was pulsating and hot, and he entered her quickly, but not all the way. He wanted this to be slow, sizzling, and exquisite. Just like her.

John entered her slowly feeling her soft folds contracting and relaxing, drawing him in. It was as though every part of his body was on fire and that only she could quench his need. He was right.

Evangeline rotated her torso and moved her hands to his hips pulling him in. The deeper he went, the more her pleasure increased. He kept moving in and out lingeringly, sweetly torturing her until she felt she would lose her mind. Moving her hips she urged him to move faster, driving him over the edge until finally he matched her stroke for stroke, the heat building until they came together in a frenzy of passion and pleasure unlike anything they had experienced before.

Slowly John rolled over and pulled her on top of him. Holding her in his arms, he remained buried within her, for which she was glad, as she was not ready to be separated from him just yet. They rested, waiting until the storm passed and the peace of pleasure and a need fulfilled only with the touch of the other enveloped them.

After some time he turned them to the side, and gently withdrew from inside of her. Rising from the bed he went to the bathroom and brought back a warm washcloth, which he used to gently wipe away his essence and hers. He kissed her before returning the cloth to its original place, and then rejoined her in their bed.

John pulled her into his arms and sighed contentedly. Just being with her completed him.

"Evangeline, you okay?" he asked.

"More than, okay. We never, I neverÖ knew it could be that wonderful, she said in awe."

"I do have that effect on you." He said jokingly, moving her closer to him, as if he was afraid she would get up and run away.

"You know what?" she asked.

"No. What?"

"I love you, McBain." She said hesitantly with a hint of surprise, not for saying it but because it was true.

"I know, I was wondering how long it would take you to figure it out." He said nonchantly.

She rolled over and faced him, she could move swifter than a cat at times. "So what do you say? She asked.

"I say that I love you, but Iíve always loved you. He said, rubbing his forehead against hers.

"McBain! What do you mean you always loved me, it just happened recently right?" She questioned.

"No. Evangeline Iíve always loved you from the moment you said "Thai, Greek, Chinese, and with your body, asked if Ďor me?í he laughed.

"No. That was a while ago." She said surprised.

"Yeah, but I knew then you were the woman for me. You know the one I would get torn up about but you are worth it. And you are love."

"I am?" she asked breathless.

"You are, he said and kissed her. She talked too much, kissing her always worked, when all else failed."

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