He stood in the doorway, watching her, two coffees in his hands. She had scooted to his side of the bed when he rose, but she was
obviously still asleep. She looked peaceful there, happy even.
He found he couldn’t move, not even to bring her the morning offering of caffeine. What this woman had brought to his life . . . stability,
sanity, light . . .
Light, yes she kept away the darkness. He remembered that darkness all too well. Profiling, his uncanny ability, had plunged him into
painful, lonely darkness all too often. She had taught him boundaries - now only she resided inside of his.
Of course that also brought up what he had brought to hers. Instability, loss, uncertainty, pain, disease, infertility, shaken faith . . . She’d
told him so many times that she didn’t blame him for those things. That he hadn’t done those things to her. But that didn’t take away the
truth, that if she had never met him, been involved with him, those things would not have happened to her.
How could she look so peaceful and happy in his bed? Why should she?
She was his partner, friend, family and now, finally, his lover. Okay, he knew he didn’t deserve her, but the truth was, she was his. His and
she wanted to be. This woman knew him. She’d seen all of his sides, from playful pencil tossing when he was bored to agonizing pain
when his mother died. And in spite of it all, there she lay, cuddled around and nuzzling the pillow he had used last night.
The sheet covered her, but he knew what was beneath it. Her body, familiar to him from years of working together, was now essential to
him. He knew every curve, every freckle. He had spent most of the night memorizing, tasting and caressing that skin. She’d done her
share of exploring as well, and the memory of that was causing a reaction even now. Yeah, Scully aroused him, no shock; she caused
that reaction in more men than he cared to think about, but she was here, in his bed.
He’d slipped on his pajamas bottoms’ to make the coffee. What would she think if he stripped them back off and joined her in the bed again?
Was there any way to block out the rest of the world; to just stay here in this tiny apartment and love her for the rest of time? Ahh, now there
was a heaven he could appreciate.
She stirred, bringing him back to the present. She looked so peaceful. Asleep, the few lines that were on her face eased out and she
looked like that young girl who are come down to his office that day and changed his life. He knew he had put those few lines there, but
she hadn’t bolted from him.
His eyes scanned the outline of her body beneath the sheet again. He felt a momentary pang that they would never create a child. He had
no biological clock ticking in his head. Truth be told, if he had thought of children at all it had been as vague annoyances. That had changed
when he had held her daughter in his arms, rushing her to the hospital in a futile attempt to save her. The tangible proof of a child from her
body had caused unfamiliar emotions to flood him and he’d never forgotten that feeling.
He loved this woman. He loved her with every fiber of his being. He hadn’t seen it coming. Oh, he’d seen them growing closer; she’d trusted
him and stuck with him. “I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anyone but you.” Even now that statement brought a smile to his face.
When had it changed? When had he fallen in love? Was there a moment, like a switch being thrown? Too many moments came to mind.
Frankly, it was difficult to remember when he didn’t love her. She’d come to Puerto Rico, when they weren’t even partners and saved him.
He could hear her now countering that argument with Antarctica, but by that time not going after her was tantamount to suicide anyway.
“Hey, you’re letting my coffee get cold,” she said softly.
“Sorry.” He moved toward her then, where he belonged.
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