Word Count: 5,734
"Buffy, I can't seem to find the updated file on Lexie Fergus."
Buffy glanced at Giles from her computer, watched as he lowered his glasses to regard her. "I'm sorry, Giles, I wasn't listening."
"That's quite obvious. You haven't done much of anything since your return."
"Giles, that is so not fair." She knew that Giles did more than his fair share, especially when it came to paperwork and research. That didn't mean she was just sitting at her desk eight hours a day, watching the clock. She worked hard.
"All right, I should clarify that point. You haven't done much paperwork since your return."
"I'm not sure why I have to do so much of it anyway. I've never been book person. That was you."
"Yes, well, I'm not the slayer, you are. You're the one who finds and trains these girls."
"I know, I know." She sighed.
"Have you heard from him yet?"
"Yes, the gentleman you've been mooning over the past two weeks. I believe you or Willow mentioned he's flying in today."
"I haven't been doing any mooning, Giles. I've been working, training. And his name is Lee."
"If you say so," he said, sliding his glasses back on. "As I was saying, I can't seem to find the updated file on Lexie Fergus."
"Because I'm not done with it yet."
"Buffy, you've had two weeks. Your response times are normally much faster."
"I'm sorry, Giles. I guess you're right, I've been distracted."
"Care to talk about it?"
"I'm not sure I'd say anything you really want to hear."
"You're thinking of moving to Phoenix?"
"I've thought about it. Or at least somewhere that's not quite so far. And so expensive to get there from."
"You care for him then?" He sat as he posed the question, setting the papers he'd come into her office with on her desk.
"And you're not sure how he can fit into your life."
"Pretty much. I can't just walk away from this," she said, gesturing to her desk. "I did this, I'm responsible."
"Buffy, we've visited over eighteen hundred young girls and women over the past year or so. I think we've collected about as many as we're going to. The Lexie Fergus's of the world are going to be fewer and farther between now."
"You want me to go to Phoenix?"
"Of course not, but if anyone deserves a chance at a life it's you. We're here in London, my home. That gives me the chance for a life. To see family and friends," he sat up then, reaching for her hand over the desk. "I do understand what you're going through. I, too, have had an ocean and then some separating me from those I cared for."
"Among others, yes."
"I'm sorry," she whispered.
She smiled a little. "That's my fault, too, isn't it? If Merrick hadn't died…"
"Buffy, stop talking like that right now. None of this is your fault and I wouldn't take back the past eight years of my life for anything."
"Yes, I'm sure dealing with me has been a cake walk."
"Well, no, I wouldn't lie to you and if I said that I would be. I can assure you that even when you've let me down, as seldom as that happened, I was still proud of you." He released her hand then. "Look at me, Buffy."
She did as he asked.
"There's nothing I don't forgive you for. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
She swallowed. He was talking about Jenny Calendar. They never talked about her, about the time Angel ran free in Sunnydale without his soul, about Giles getting tortured, and Buffy leaving town for months without word to anyone she was okay.
"If you think he's the one for you then as much as I'd miss you I think it'd be prudent for you to pursue it."
"Well, I don't know if he's the one for me. I just know that I like him. A lot."
"And when was the last time you allowed yourself to feel that way about anybody?"
"I think it's time you gave it another chance. That's all I mean. I don't want you to go, but the bulk of our work is done. The hard part anyway. From here it's just maintenance. And as you said, I'm the book guy, you're the one we turn to for action. Faith has done just fine on her own in the States."
"He mentioned there are like ranches and stuff that might give us space like this place does."
"So, he's not just falling for you, but trying to make accommodations so you don't have to leave your priorities behind?"
"Yeah, we talked about it."
"I like him already."
"You would. He's a good man."
"When does his flight arrive?"
"It was due twenty minutes ago."
"And you're worried he missed it?"
"No, just wondering why I haven't heard from him yet. I was checking online to see if it had arrived yet when you came in."
"As you should be. Go, head to the airport, Lexie's file can wait."
"Thank you," she said with a smile. She stood from her desk, modeling her dress for him. "How do I look?"
He cleared his throat and Buffy smiled. "I'm not sure how to answer that question. As your watcher?"
"As a man?"
"Well, that I can do and tell you unequivocally that you look rather smashing."
"Thanks, that's what I was going for."
"A new dress?"
"Yes! It cost a fortune. I wasn't exactly at my stylishly best in Phoenix, so I thought I'd make up for it." She noticed Giles smile a little. "What?"
"Nothing, it's just refreshing to see you acting this way."
"Why?" she asked, a little suspicious. It was very un-Giles-like for him to find her acting any way that wasn't slayery refreshing.
"You're growing up. You grew up very fast in some ways, and I've watched as the rest has caught up the past year or so. And I'm pleased he's human at any rate."
"Ah, the heart of the issue."
"No, if you had chosen to be with Angel or Spike that would be your decision to make. The differences are quite hefty. At least this way, your partner won't watch as you grew old and die while he remains as young as the day you met."
"He's older than you are?"
"Yeah, like ten years."
"And you're okay with that?"
"Sure," she shrugged. She kissed him on the cheek, grabbing the purse that came close to matching the new dress. "I'll see you later."
"You can just say tomorrow. I understand."
She laughed softly. "Well, you'll know where to find me anyway."
"I'll be mindful of the DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door."
She wasn't sure what it said about their relationship that they could talk like this now. Years ago, it would have just wigged her out to hear Giles talking about sex. Now, not so much. Maybe it was part of that growing up thing he'd mentioned.
She made her way to the airport. They'd agreed on a point she'd pick him up so that she wouldn't have to park. He called on her cell phone just as she was driving onto the airport property.
"Perfect timing," she said.
"How did you know it was me?"
"Because the call came up as a local number I didn't recognize."
"Ah, she's good at detective work, too."
"Sometimes I am."
"I've got my bags, so I'm ready for you."
"You are, huh?"
He chuckled in the phone. "I'm ready for you to pick me up."
"Oh," she said, feigning disappointment as she switched lanes in traffic to the one she wanted.
"I'm ready for other things, too, but that should go without saying."
"Hmm, we'd better hang up or I'm liable to have an accident. I'll see you in a bit."
She found him a few minutes later. He kissed her as soon as she got the back open.
"You look very nice."
"Thanks," she said, glad she'd spent the extra money on the dress.
"I know I look like I've been on a plane for a while."
She pressed herself against him, squeezing his hand and kissed him. It was one of those long and slow kisses that she had no business giving him outside of an airport. She did it anyway.
"You look very nice to me," she whispered, drawing away.
"I guess so."
It didn't take them long to load his bags into the back of her car and they were on their way.
"Mm, have to be prepared to haul a bunch of people around. I don't know where Giles comes up with the money for things, but we've got a few of these. Some are better and newer than others."
"This looks pretty new."
"Mm, one of the perks of being THE slayer."
"You get the best car?"
"Yes. The gas mileage stinks, but I don't drive often really. And Giles had the cargo area redesigned a bit so I can carry some supplies with me at all times without getting pulled over for having a battle ax visible."
"Good to know."
"He watches out for me."
"I would hope so since he's your watcher."
"Ha ha. That's not what it means, though when I was younger I sure thought it did! You know, one of the projects that we have underway is assembling all of the watcher's diaries and slayer journals, compiling the information onto disk."
"You could learn a lot that way?"
"Well, yeah, and I understand why watchers didn't relinquish their diaries at the end. Their slayer was dead, most often they didn't witness the last battle, and so in a way the diary is rather incomplete. But, we want that information. There had been a couple of watchers who'd seen that vamp I told you about, Drusilla, after she supposedly died in Prague. The information was never passed on, though. That's changed. Whether a watcher has a slayer or not, if they see anything they report it to our hotline. It's anonymous, so they don't have to get too involved, we just want the information."
"Are there watchers without slayers?"
"A few have elected not to stay with us as we've revised things. They liked the old way," Buffy shrugged. "Not many, though, really. The most slayers one watcher has right now is twenty."
"Twenty in one town?"
"Well, we try to put them in metropolitan areas so we get twenty slayers covering a larger area. Say, Chicago or New York, and then it's divided up into territories so each slayer knows where she's supposed to patrol. Obviously, if one needs help, they help."
"Can I say something without you getting insulted?"
"Sure, I think so anyway."
"To sit here and hear you talk like this, it blows me away."
"Why? And what's insulting about that?"
"Well, no offense, but to look at you. First impressions I mean. You're the stereotypical Southern California blonde."
"So, to listen to you talk about strategizing and organizing what basically amounts to a huge military project. Well, it's a little humbling."
"I'm not sure I could do it."
"I don't have any choice."
"Well, no. I did this, I have to do my part."
"That doesn't mean you have to succeed at doing your part."
She glanced at him. "Failure just really isn't an option for me. I mean, sure I've had it happen, but I learn from my mistakes and go back and try again."
"I asked you not to be insulted. And, I'll be honest, it's kind of a turn-on."
She smiled at that. "Mm. And there are things that don't turn you on?"
"About you? Not many."
"But there are some?"
"Oh well, you know, I might not get turned on when you do laundry or something."
"I'll keep that in mind."
They were quiet for a while. Lee seemed to enjoy sitting there and watching the view as Buffy left the city for the more rural area where they were staying.
"Wow," he said as the gates swung open once she'd used her passkey card. The passkey system wasn't the only modernization done to the castle.
"You said castle, and I believed you meant castle. I just didn't think you meant A castle."
She smiled as they drove onto the grounds. She tried to remember when Giles had first brought her here, what her reaction had been. Sad to say, she was kind of used to it now. It was magnificent.
"Yeah," she said simply. There was nothing more to say really. It was what it was. If he had known her three years ago, struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over her head, working at Doublemeat Palace. There were times it made her so angry that the Council had access to this type of stuff and yet she was forced to sling burgers to stop from living on the street.
"What are you thinking?"
"You're thinking something not so pleasant. If I offended you…"
"No. I was just thinking about things in the past, no sense dwelling on them."
"Well, slayers aren't paid. It's not a voluntary deal, but there's no compensation in it either. After my mom died, things were pretty bleak. What she had for money saved went to pay her medical bills. Here I was struggling to keep me and Dawn safe and the Council had this type of stuff at their fingertips."
"Are they paid now?"
"We're working on it. We do provide them housing and there are so many of us now that taking a job isn't crazy like it was when there was just one. The thing is, we don't want to open purse strings to pay a thousand girls when after a year we may only be down to four hundred. That sounds bad, I know, but we're still gathering not just slayers but information. So, until we know for certain where everything sits."
She turned to look at him. "Does that sound bad? I'm doing exactly what I hated the Council did to me."
"Except there was just one of you and now there's several hundred. You're trying to be responsible. Is it wrong? I don't know, that's not for me to decide. You and Mr. Giles are the only ones who know."
"Giles seems to think we're doing the right thing until we know who's going to stay. Someone like Lexie, she might not even need anything from us. She's going to college and stuff. Then there are some who willingly left everything behind to come here and they'll do this until they can't."
"And we do have tutors available and colleges offer online classes now, so getting an education isn't a problem. In fact, Giles and I encourage it. Because they can't slay forever, they'll need something to fall back on."
"You're doing the reasonable thing, Buffy."
"So, I'm not evil?"
He chuckled as she turned the Expedition off.
"Why's this on your mind today?"
"I don't know. I guess I was remembering seeing this place for the first time, like you are today."
"I'm sorry if I brought up bad memories."
"No, it's okay. It's just one of those things that hurts, you know. I gave up my life for them and they couldn't even help me out with the mortgage on my house."
She got out of the car then, no use dwelling on things that couldn't be changed. She really had moved past it, but some things were easier to let go she'd come to realize.
"So, do you want the tour first?"
"If I say yes is that bad?"
"I've never been in a castle."
"Me neither, so I understand what you're feeling. And this place was empty when we got here. So, it was kind of spooky."
"We can just leave your stuff here and come back for it. Then again, someone might see it and know it's yours and just bring it to my room. Either way, it's safe. We've got spells on the perimeter, so it's difficult for people to just climb over the wall and walk onto the property."
"I didn't feel anything."
"Because you were with me and my passkey. That's the downside I guess, if they have a passkey or manage to slip in when the front gate is open, the spells aren't as strong. Really, we just wanted to keep curious kids out of here."
"So, there are three floors, a basement and a sub-basement. Not sure what the sub-basement is supposed to be for but we use it for training. And some storage. The basement is kind of our communications center. That's Xander's domain. He can track the slayers and access cameras all over the world. Maybe I shouldn't tell you that," she said with a smile.
"I'm off-duty and kind of out of my jurisdiction here anyway."
"Right. The infirmary is down there, too. This is the first floor, probably the most used floor to be honest because the great hall is so huge. We can spread out."
"This room was originally for servants I guess," she said of the first room they came to. "Right across from it is the library and since we make with a lot of research, we turned this one into a second library. The main library is just books, but this one has computers and stuff, too."
"We don't use the chapel much, but any of the slayers who want to can. We have Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Wiccans, Jews, you name it. So we don't have anything specific set up, except the holy water. But if they want some time to commune with their god this is the place."
She led him then through the great hall and kitchen and out to the courtyard briefly before heading back to where they'd started to grab his bags. And then onto the second floor.
"Giles, Xander, Willow and Kennedy, Dawn and I are on this floor. Our office is here, too. Giles and I are really the only ones who use it. Xander's stuff is downstairs." She showed him to a small room above the main entrance. "This used to be the room they controlled the main gate from I guess. Kind of weird to think it didn't just slide open like it does now, that someone stood here and had to do it by hand."
"Yeah," he said.
"Bored yet?" she asked, showing him her room. He set his bags down. She saw him look around. Mr. Gordo was overlooking things from the nightstand by her bed. She didn't leave Sunnydale with much, but she'd made sure Mr. Gordo hadn't been left behind.
"Well, this is about the end anyway. We can go upstairs, but it's just bedrooms, nine of them. They're big enough we can fit three girls in a room, four if we have to. For a while they were piled on the floor wherever we could find space. Right now, we're not quite to capacity, so I think only two bedrooms have three slayers in them."
"I'd like to see, just to say I've seen it."
She took him upstairs and then outside.
"We don't have a gardener or anything, but some of the girls are into gardening. And Willow, with the magic can make things grow pretty well. I've seen pictures of what the yard used to look like and we don't even do it justice, but it's better than nothing."
"Has this always been Council property?"
"Yes, well, going back like three hundred years anyway. A son of a son or something like that became a watcher and from that point forward it was the Council's."
"Glad you think so. I guess there used to be businesses and houses and stuff out here, like a village. But those are long gone."
"You'd really give this up to come to Phoenix?"
"This isn't mine to begin with, I've only been living here for a year. And this isn't a home, Lee. This is a means to an end, a convenience because I've been training hundreds of slayers while living here. On the other hand, would you give up Phoenix to come here? Castle aside, the place is always full. Six of us are constant. For someone used to living by himself…"
He shrugged. "I didn't think we were talking about living together anyway. Or am I wrong?"
"No, but I assumed you'd stay here for a while until you found a place or whatever. Or me the other way around."
"I'm not sure that would work."
"Why?" she asked, confused.
"I think if I came here or you there and I lived with you I'd want to stay."
"You seemed against it."
"I just think we need to know each other better. We both knew my time in Phoenix was temporary. If I go back there or you come here, it won't be."
"So, it's early yet but you've been on a plane for over half a day. Someone's probably cooking breakfast about now if you're hungry. Otherwise, I don't know what you want to do. Sleep?"
"Do I get the pleasure of your company?"
"That could be arranged. I know Giles wants to meet you, but I'm sure he can wait until when you haven't just gotten off a twelve hour flight."
Buffy turned in the direction of the voice, squinting into the sun to see who it was. The youngest slayer to stay with them, Caroline, was running toward her. She was sixteen and for whatever reason her parents had allowed her to come to London and train. Buffy didn't understand it, but it wasn't her job to question the motives of parents.
"Hi Caroline, what's up?"
"Oh, hi, sorry," she said, blushing deeply when she noticed Lee. She was like that. It was kind of sweet actually. She blushed like crazy around Xander.
"It's okay, Caroline, what's wrong?"
"It's Abby. We were working with the crossbows."
"Well, she shot herself with one of the quarrels."
"You can't be serious?"
"I didn't see it happen, it was so fast. I don't know what she did, but she's in a lot of pain."
"I don't know! I only saw you from the window."
"Sorry," she said to Lee.
"It's okay. I'll see about something to eat while I wait for you."
"Thanks," she said, leading Caroline and Lee back to the castle.
"Kitchen's back that way, but like I said someone should be up already. We have some early risers."
"I'll be fine, Buffy, take care of what you need to take care of."
"I'd bring you with, but it's kind of slayers only down there."
"I get that," he said, holding up his hand. She saw he did understand. She didn't wait to see if he remembered the way, taking the stairs as fast as she could downstairs.
The communications room was empty, which wasn't entirely unusual for this time of the day. Xander had alerts set which would signal him in his room if anything got tripped while he was sleeping. The other direction was the infirmary. She heard the screaming before she was even through the door. Louise, the only slayer who happened to be a nurse in real-life, was tending to Abby.
"I got the quarrel out," Louise said. "The sedative is starting to work, but she won't let me suture her so I have to wait."
Buffy looked at the diamond-shaped wound on Abby's chest. She'd seen worse, so didn't think it was too bad. Of course that was relative. She didn't have a crossbow quarrel wound in her chest.
"I'm sorry," Abby whispered.
"It's okay, Abby," Buffy said, brushing the other slayer's forehead with her hand. "Let Louise get you fixed up. You don't want to walk around with a hole in your chest."
"I screwed…Don't know…"
"You didn't. It was an accident," Buffy said, noticing when Abby had succumb to the sedative. She watched as Louise prepared her equipment. "Let me know when she wakes up."
"Okay. Caroline really didn't need to get you. We know your company just got here."
"No, she should have, I want to know when someone gets hurt. I need to know. And especially something like this. What were they doing?"
"I don’t know. I wasn't there and she wouldn't tell me."
"I'll ask her later." Buffy gripped Abby's hand briefly. She of course didn't respond. "I'm glad you're here, Louise. If I don't tell you that often enough I'm sorry."
"You do, and you're welcome. I'm just glad I hadn't left for the clinic yet."
"She would be fine. Faith and I didn't have the luxury of doctors and we survived, unscarred."
Louise's eyes fell to Buffy's neck, the scars there. "Those aren't from a fight," Buffy said quickly, with finality. No one knew where those scars had come from, it wasn't something Buffy talked about. They gossiped, of course, there were rumors but to this point Buffy hadn't heard anyone come close to the truth.
She wasn't ashamed, it's just that it had nothing to do with training the slayers. And she was entitled to some privacy. They wouldn't be saving a vampire's life anytime soon with their blood, so no one needed to know about it.
She found Lee at the large table with a few of the other slayers.
"I smell French toast," she said.
"It's good, too."
She sat next to Lee who gave her a bite of his French toast.
"Let me guess, Alyssa."
Alyssa raised her hand. "Yup," she said quickly.
"I can tell."
"Are they being nice to you?"
"Yeah, so far," Lee said. "No torture or third-degree anyway."
"Abby. She'll be okay. It wasn't too deep luckily. They'll let me know when she wakes up."
"Should be good to go the day after tomorrow if not sooner."
His plate cleared, she grabbed it to take it to the kitchen. He followed, sliding his arms around her from behind as she rinsed off the plate. He nuzzled against her ear and she took a deep breath, a little scared she liked him being so close this much. She'd been told she was overflowing with love, she was putting her heart on the line here and taking the chance that he was the one some of that overflow would reign down on.
"Why do they all stare at me like I'm an alien?" he asked, followed by a nip at the scars on her neck. He did that sometimes, though she didn't think it was intentional.
"Because you're the first non-slayer or non-part-of-the-team person they've seen here. And I get the impression a few of the younger ones haven't had boyfriends or anything. Like Abby."
"Listen, if I'm compromising something…"
She spun around in his arms, touching his face.
"No, Lee, you're fine. It's just we don't walk around broadcasting who we are or what we're doing here."
"All right, because I could stay at a hotel."
"Mm, no," she said, wrapping her arms around him. She went onto her toes to kiss him. "No hotels. That would mean you wouldn't be here with me. Now, if we want to get a room for a night or two so we can be alone that'd be different."
"You'd like that, huh?"
"Yeah, maybe. A weekend in town or something," she murmured before kissing him. "Take in a show or whatever. Okay, no maybes about it. Definitely."
"Count me in."
"In the meantime, let's get you tucked into bed."
"Alone?" he asked, his hands resting at her hips.
"Not at all," she said, pressing into him. "I've missed you," she whispered, kissing him again.
"I was hoping you'd say that and I've missed you, too."
Their kiss was interrupted by the sound of a throat being cleared at the kitchen's entrance. They drew away from one another, Buffy peaked around him to see who it was. Xander.
"Do you need to check on the injured girl?" he whispered.
"No, they'll let me know if they need me. I'm yours." She turned her attention to Xander, leaving her hand in Lee's. "This is Xander. Xander, Lee."
Xander walked toward them, offering Lee his hand. "Hey, glad you made it."
"Xander, good to meet you."
"We were just heading upstairs. He's tired," Buffy said.
"I'm sure he is," Xander said with a wink. As if she had anything to be ashamed of. He and Anya couldn't keep their hands off each other. "See you later."
"Bye," Buffy said, overlapping with Lee's, "it was good to meet you, Xander."
"See ya," he said. "Oh, good, Alyssa made French toast," they heard him say.
Up in her room, Lee took to the bed almost immediately. He must have been tired because the only thing he bothered taking off were his shoes. "You know, I did nothing but sit on an airplane for twelve hours but I feel exhausted."
"It takes a lot out of you."
"You do this all the time."
"You get used to it."
She lay next to him. He played with her hair. "If you were in Phoenix would you have to get used to it more?"
"Not necessarily. I talked to Giles a little this morning and he thinks that we've found most of the slayers. So, I think the time of racking up my frequent flyer miles is about coming to an end."
"You're okay with that?"
"God, yes. I wouldn't do it differently, I mean, the world is still here. But, I'm ready to rest. I'm ready to just be Buffy for a while."
"They come to you for everything, don't they?"
"Yes, but again I wouldn't have it any other way. It's the only way I can really know what's going on. Faith stays away because she feels like she's playing at being the slayer to my being the slayer or something. It's not like that, but she had a rough time growing up and I think that's just part of it. We had a hard time of it when she first came to Sunnydale and I guess some hatchets are easier to bury than others. She came through for us, I'm willing to overlook her past, but I think she needs to come to grips with things. I don't know. I've never asked her to stay away."
"I came here honestly, to talk you into Phoenix, but seeing this and what you've got here. I'm not sure that's fair."
"Well, it doesn't have to be a full-time thing for me."
"That's not fair to Giles or your friend, Xander, though. You up and move to Phoenix and they're stuck here."
"No, you're right," she said, turning to look at him on the pillow. "I don't know that there's an easy answer, and we don't have to make it now or even before you leave."
"You want me to leave without some idea of what we're going to do?"
"I honestly don't know, Lee. I really don't. It's not like I planned on this happening. I didn't go to Phoenix thinking I was going to meet someone."
"Let me see what there are in the way of jobs here while I'm here."
"You don't have to do that."
"You'll need time to do your thing anyway. I have nothing important holding me to Phoenix. The job, but life can't be entirely about the job."
"But you're doing exactly what you're saying I shouldn't have to do."
"Except I don't have hundreds of people counting on me, Buffy. I can't take you from this, even if you spend your time with me at my place instead of here you'd be a car ride away."
She kissed him. "You are a good man."
"So you keep saying."
"Well, you know, a girl falls in love with a guy they kind of hope he's a good man. It's nice to know so far I haven't been wrong."
There, she'd said it. She'd hinted at it, toyed with it, at his apartment saying she thought she was falling in love with him. There was no thinking involved now. She knew she had gone and done it.
He rolled onto his side, gathering her to him. "Oh man, you say that when I'm exhausted."
"Is that bad?"
"Babe," he said, running his fingers along her face and hair. "A good looking woman tells me she loves me it'd be ideal if I could not just say the words back but show her that I mean them."
She smiled, tilting her head down a little. "The words would do for now. If you want to say them I mean. No pressure. I just can't close my heart off anymore, and I don't want to say if I lose you that that's why."
"You're not going to lose me, Buffy," he whispered, kissing her. "We'll figure this out somehow. And I love you, too. I wouldn't haul my ass to England for anyone but you."
"You wouldn't huh?"
"While travel has always sounded nice, on a cop's salary trips to London are a little out of my league in general. So, no, I wouldn't lose the vacation time, spend a whole bunch of money to come here for someone I didn't love."
"Well," she said, tracing the outline of his lips before kissing him. "That's very good to know. Now, we'd better let you rest up."
"Because when you wake up, I have big plans for you."
"You do, huh?"
"I can't wait to find out what they are." He gathered her to her. "I missed this," he said as she nestled against his chest.
"Me, too," she whispered. "More than you know."
"Yeah, I know the feeling. Scary, isn't it?"
"See you when I wake up?"
"I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com