Chapter 1

The grayish blue Rolls Royce pulled up in front of the police station and sat purring at the curb, gleaming in the morning sun. Police officers and station personnel were heading inside to start their day or end their shift. A few paused at the sound of luxury coming from curbside to see which of Llanview’s wealthy ruling class had to visit the cop shop today. Inside the station someone commented out loud about the very high end vehicle sitting out front.

There weren’t any stringers from the Banner or the Sun around to get a jump on a very newsworthy sighting; no one from the TV station was hanging about either. But the alert and discerning among the watchers knew from the moment the woman stepped out onto the sidewalk that someone special had come to their neck of the woods. Although they couldn’t fathom the reason she was there. Was it her sexy stance as she paused before entering the station? The cool tilt of her head? Something royal about her cheekbones visible behind the sunglasses? All of it combined with the shoes that probably cost as much as the car screamed babe-alert but there weren’t enough men around yet for her to set off a riot.

Stopping in front of Marcie’s desk the woman lightly tapped her fingers on the desk to get Marcie’s attention. "I’m sorry, can I help you?" Marcie asked then gasped, "You’re…you’re…aren’t you?"

Is Lt. McBain around?" the woman asked in a voice that was the sound of silk being pulled across the skin, ignoring Marcie’s shock and questions she continued, "If not, will he be here soon?"

"He’s on a call, no telling when he’ll return. Would you like to wait?" Marcie squeaked.

The woman looked around the station then back at Marcie, "You’re Michael’s Marcie, aren’t you?" "Yes, sort of."

"Listen Marcie, I’m beyond jet lagged and it’s taken everything to remember we now live in Llanview, Pennsylvania. Can you give the Lieutenant’s home address? It’s ok, I can assure you, you won’t get into any trouble; you’ve seen my photos I’m sure and Michael can vouch for me. Michael’s mentioned me to you, right?"

"If you’re who I think, yes. Why don’t you know John’s address?" Marcie’s curiosity overcoming the shock of seeing a famous face up close.

"Because when I left this wasn’t where we were living and I’m too wiped to recall where I wrote down the information. I’ve been through all my calendar variations from digital to basic old paper and I can’t find the address or the phone number, I just remembered the town’s name. Can I get that address?" then she took off her sunglasses and smiled at Marcie.

Practically in a trance Marcie complied, "Well, I’m really not allowed, but seeing it’s you, right? I’ll just write it down. That’s not the same as telling you now is it?" she laughed nervously.

"Thanks. I won’t forget this, really. You’re a life saver and a sweetie." The woman turned and sauntered out the office as the cops and suspects arriving gave her a second then third glance:

"Can’t be, can it?"

"Nah…sure looks like her though."

"What would she be doing here?"

Preparing to enter the back seat she hands the driver Marcie’s note "Take me here and we’ll call it a long morning and we’ll both get to rest up." "Yes, ma’am." The driver replied, tipped his hat to her and closed the door.

She fairly collapsed onto the seat, ‘Just stay awake a bit longer; then you can sleep for days on end. Just hold on.’ she whispered to herself. But she couldn’t resist stretching out on the leather seats as she fought to stay awake and take in her new surroundings passing outside the car’s windows.

She awoke with a start when the driver touched her shoulder, "Didn’t mean to startle you, ma’am. We’re here. The doorman and I will bring up your bags."

He helped her out of the car as the doorman rushed towards them to help. His eyes grew saucer-size as he took her in up close and just knew it must be her. "Anything I can do for you, ma’am?"

"Yes, let me into the penthouse. I have no clue where my key might be." "Sure thing."

Her bags in the bedroom, the chaeuffer and doorman tipped and sent away she was finally free to let exhaustion claim her but just one more thing. She flipped open the tiniest yellow cell phone, no need to dial a number or punch in a code; the phone automatically dials to only two numbers, both of them his. "Husband. I’m home and what a home this is. You’ve surprised me again. Don’t rush to me, I know you’re working and I’m utterly wiped. I plan to sleep forever or at least until you wake me with the kisses I crave so much. I love you."

Four hours later when he had a chance to check his messages his own tiredness fell away when he heard her the silky lilt of her voice and the sultriness of her tone with the hint of laughter peeking through, "Husband. I’m home…" John McBain hastily issued quick orders as he prepared to leave for the joy and relief of sitting by the bed and watching his wife sleep.

John kept reminding himself that it would not look good for Llanview’s top cop to get a speeding ticket. He pulled into the garage, keyed the private elevator and went hurtling to the top floor of Llanview’s poshest residential address.

Making his way to the master bedroom John turned on a light far enough away not to wake her, close enough to give him enough light to really see her. He examined her with his eyes to see how she was. Beautiful. Even with lines of weariness under her eyes; even clad in one of his old FBI t-shirts.

As he watched her eyes opened and met his, a look of gladness chasing away the tiredness, "I so hope this isn’t another damn dream," she murmured. "Husband?" she asked stretching fully under the sheets.

"No dream. Or maybe the dream starts now. It’s me, Evangeline. Welcome to your new home; our new life." John said smiling happily if tentatively. He wasn’t at all sure this move would be welcomed by her and that she really could adjust; he only hoped she loved him enough to give it a try.

Evangeline rose up from the bed and put her arms around him, "You feel solid enough. I told you not to rush home. How long have I been out?"

"Like I could stay away. You need at least another full day of sleep; you’ve only slept about six hours so far."

John’s hold on her waist was growing tighter as he pulled her closer into their hug. They held each other in silence for a long time, just reveling in being able to reach out and be close again.

"I didn’t mean to wake you. I just wanted to look at you. You always wear exhaustion so well."

In the soft reflection of light she was thrilled by his slow smile and heartbroken at the guilt and pain she saw lurking in the back of his eyes. Well, she was here now and she’d love all the pain away.

"Go back to sleep," John said, lowering her down and moving off the bed.

"Hey! Come back here. I haven’t used up my hug quota yet, where are my kisses?"

He was amused that she really was indignant. He went back to the bed and reached out for her again and pulled Evangeline to a kneeling position so his hands could fully roam her body as he held her this time. She pulled him into her clinch and between kisses whispered how much she’d missed him.

"John?" "Yeah?" "When I’m rested and coherent you will explain to me again what we’re doing here right?" Evangeline asked as she pressed light kisses along his neck..

"When I left you were FBI, our primary residence was New York, with our beach house in NC and a ranch in Colorado. I come back and apparently you want landlocked Llanview to be our main home. I walked the bedroom’s entire balcony and no water in sight, not even a reflecting pool or a retention pond. I do see a big mountain, big whoop. We must discuss." Evangeline’s sleepiness was evident in her voice.

"We will, but for now rest, honey, just rest."

Evangeline drew back slightly out of their embrace and looked into his eyes then drew him into a deep hungry kiss that went on and on, telling each other what this 20 separation had cost them.

Leaving her to settle back into sleep John went out on the bedroom’s balcony to make a call, "Bo? John. Listen, I know it’s short notice but I need a few days off right now. Personal…my wife just arrived and…." He glanced back at the bedroom "Yeah, we need some alone time. Thanks, Bo."

John went back inside took off his clothes and got comfortable with having his wife in their bed and back in his arms.

When John woke up he felt for Evangeline and found nothing. The pain of loneliness threatened to unhinge him. The dream had been especially vivid and real this time. He choked back a sob, reached out and threw the clock radio which shattered against the wall with a satisfying sound.

"What was that?!" came her voice, floating towards him before her wide brown eyes were visible—a startled doe at the bedroom door. "John?"

He was out of bed and had her in his arms in seconds, "Evangeline, I thought…I thought…" "This was still a dream?" he nods, his face buried in her hair, she felt a momentary wetness trickle through the strands then he was kissing her face and neck. "I’m here, John. I’m right here with you."

She pressed herself into his body and dropped her hands to his waist, pulling him into her, moving languidly against him, enjoying his instant firm response as his erection brushed between her thighs.

His mouth back in her hair he asks, "Tired?" "Yes, a bit still," she laughs then shivers as his hands explore her, "But think how well we’ll both sleep after we make extra sure neither one of us is dreaming."

John pulls the t-shirt over her head and kisses his way down her body and starts to kneel in front of her, "No John, I won’t last a minute if you…" her gasp changes to John’s favorite sounds as he takes firm hold of her thighs and parts her legs with his kisses and persistent touch.

Riding on his tongue Evangeline’s fingers are wrapped in his hair alternately trying to push his head away then changing to pushing him further between her legs as his hands grasp her hips to steady her and enjoy that her throat was no longer capable of forming coherent words. John knew she was right; they wouldn’t last much more than a few minutes for the first time. But there would be so many more times now to come…and come…and come with her.

Still eating her John lifted Evangeline and sat her on the edge of the bed, in ecstasy she fell back, her hands clutching the sheets then her arms reaching out for him. "John, please, I need you inside me!" Putting one knee on the bed John spread Evangeline’s legs and placed them over his shoulders then sank himself inside of her. Neither tried to stem their need to climax as immediately as possible, John’s hands on her waist guided Evangeline’s movements as he pulled partly out of her only to plunge deeper still and thrust vigorously inside of her finally home and on his way to heaven.

Evangeline gloried in the feel of John collapsed on top of her and still firm inside of her. She wrapped her legs around him and drew the last drops of pleasure from him. Thrilled by the guttural moan her movements forced from him she cried, "Stay in me forever, John. Forever." "My pleasure," John whispered in her ear.

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