"Billie, we need to talk," she heard Bo say.
"What do we have to talk about?" she asked quietly as he held her in the circle of his arms, their near-naked bodies touching in the almost darkness.
Billie had forgotten all about the cold. Bo's warmth and the sensation of his skin was healing. She felt toasty warm with him under the covers. His touch was healing in other ways as well. Her heart felt much less frozen now that he was holding her. This was what she had needed all along; Bo's comforting touch.
"Let's talk about Chelsea..." he said. "And let's talk about us."
"Bo, there is no Chelsea, not anymore. And there is no us. It's just you, your wife, and your kids."
"No," he replied softly. "You're wrong."
"Our daughter..." he insisted. "...She will never be gone. She'll always be a part of us, because we loved her... and we miss her. She's our daughter forever, even if she's in Heaven. She's happy there. She's safe with Zach... and she'd want her parents to be happy, too. Both you and me."
"Ohhh Bo, you have no idea what would make me happy," Billie said as a painful expression overtook her lovely face. "I had everything I wanted... once."
"I know. Then Hope came back into the picture. My wife returned... and everything changed."
"But then we got Chelsea back, our little Georgia. When my little girl was back in my arms, it didn't hurt as much that I lost you to Hope, because I still had a part of you in our daughter."
"I'm so thankful that we found her again... that she really didn't die. She was a part of both of us. The best part."
"Yes, the best part," Billie agreed tearfully.
Very softly, Bo began to kiss her tears away. This time, when she felt his lips against her flesh, Billie didn't protest. She needed him... his touch and his gentle comfort. She needed his tenderness to heal the hurt that had formed such a deep wound inside of her.
After he had drank away every salty tear, Bo looked deeply into Billie's eyes. "You're wrong about something else," he spoke. "There is an us. There is definitely an us."
She shook her head. "You're a married man... with children."
"But a part of my heart, no matter what, has always belonged to you. Billie Reed. From the moment I met you, we had something incredible between us, and although I returned to Hope, those feelings didn't die... and they will never will."
"What are you saying?"
"Hope and I are growing apart. All we have right now that is holding us together is our little daughter Ciara. In the past, when Sean D. was younger, I thought I was doing the right thing, going back to my wife, the mother of my child. Then Chelsea came back into our lives... and I was torn. You and I had a child, too... but by then, Hope had given birth to Zach. As much as I wanted to be with you, Billie, I couldn't leave Hope, not after we had lost our little boy."
He let out a groan. "This is all so complicated. But I know one thing, I can't go back to Hope. I can't. I want to be with you."
"You don't mean it," she said in a sob. "You're drunk. You're just afraid I might off myself... because I've been so distraught over the loss of Chelsea."
He shook his head as his fingertip lightly traced Billie's trembling lower lip. "I am completely sober now. The alcohol I consumed earlier has worn off. Finding you on our daughter's gravesite did that... along with the bitter cold. It sobered me up... and you have to believe what I am telling you. I can't stay with Hope any longer... not when I want to be with you."
"Bo, I -," Billie began to protest, but he cut off her words with a tender kiss. In seconds, that soft, exploratory kiss had turned to one of passion. As he pulled the sheet away from her lovely body, his fingers sought out her sweet flesh. How he wanted to be one with her again. It had been far too long and he needed her. He not only wanted to be the comforter... he too needed comfort. He needed to be in the arms of the woman who had given him a beautiful child - a child they were both missing with all their hearts and souls.
"Bo, are you sure?" she murmured as he tossed his own sheet aside, baring his gorgeous, naked body. There was no denying his arousal or how much he wanted her. There was no denying he was completely serious that he was choosing her this time.
He nodded as he tugged her close, their bodies coming together as he resumed the passionate kisses. All thoughts faded as desire took over, hot and intense. It was going to be a wild and warm night after all, despite the snow and the wicked wind right outside their motel room.
Hope was in a state of shock as she lay in front of the fire on the thick rug, Justin's virile body lying atop her. What had just happened? *Ohhh God, Justin and I just made love! I had sex with my husband's cousin!* she was thinking.
"Hope, are you alright?" Justin asked as he tenderly stroked her cheek.
She shook her head, trying to clear it of her intense thoughts. "Justin, I can't believe I just cheated... I cheated on Bo," she said. "I mean... he was gone all the time, drinking heavily and staying out to all hours of the night. He was never there for me or our daughter, but he was grieving... and I- I can't believe what we did- what just happened."
Justin gently disengaged his body from Hope's. He lay down beside her, gazing loving into her haunted dark eyes. "Hope, I love you. What just happened ... I don't regret it. Bo - he's not been a husband to you in ages. Your marriage is in name only. You said so yourself, just before we..."
"Before we made love," she finished for him.
"Yes. We made love." He gave her a little smile and tenderly kissed her lips. "We'll work all this out in the morning. We need to get some sleep."
"Okay," she agreed. "But we should both get some clothes on. If Ciara comes downstairs..."
"Alright," he said as he reached for their clothing. "But I am not letting you out my arms. Not tonight... not ever again."
"Do you mean that?" she asked as she was tugging her shirt over her head.
He nodded. "If Bo thinks he's coming back for you, he's got a fight on his hands," Justin said. "Because we belong together."
"Ohhh Justin. I love you; I truly do... but..."
"It's late and you're exhausted. We both need some sleep," Justin said as he finished getting dressed.
After Hope had managed to tug on her clothing, he welcomed her back into his arms. "We'll work it all out in the morning," he promised as she lay her head against his chest, taking in the sound of his steady heartbeat.
He was here. Justin was holding her... which was far more than she could say for Bo. Where WAS he?
*Probably with Billie,* a voice spoke within her head. *My husband is probably having sex with Billie Reed.*
After the loving, Billie lay tangled in Bo's embrace. "What have we just done?" she quietly whispered.
"Hopefully, just now, we made a baby."
"A baby?" she said in a little squeaky gasp.
"Don't you want a baby?" he asked with a throaty chuckle.
"I don't know. I never really thought about it... after all the trouble I had giving birth to Chelsea."
Bo kissed the top of her head, soothing her. "We need to get some sleep. We'll talk about all this in the morning."
"What about your wife?" Billie asked.
"What about her? I am not going back to Hope... Not after what we just shared."
She wanted to believe him, but she was frightened. What if he woke up and he changed his mind? After all, she had lost him before...
"I am sleepy," she said as she curled up against him.
"I love you, Billie Reed," he murmured as she drifted off in the tender warmth of his muscular arms.