Michael woke up to find Sara sleeping against his shoulder. It was still dark out, he could see through the blinds of the window at the safe house. What time was it? He looked over at the clock radio on the night table. 2 :38 am. He lightly kissed her head and slowly slipped out of the bed. He went out to the kitchen to find Lincoln pouring over the folder of their father's papers that Self had given to them yesterday.

"Where's Bruce?"

Lincoln looked up. "He hasn't come back. Everything okay?"

"Mmhhmm, just wondering….. you should get some sleep Linc."

"I would say the same to you but I know what you've been doing."

"Linc!"

"Sorry man." He chuckled. "Thin walls in here."

There was an awkward silence for a few minutes.

"Not exactly how I would have liked our first time to be." Michael whispered to himself.

He stood there for a minute wondering if he should explain himself to his older brother. Somehow this situation felt strange, almost paternalistic like he had been caught with a girl in his room. It was silly he knew. They were both adults….but Linc couldn't possibly know why they needed last night. Did he need to explain it to him ?

"I am gonna go back in ." Michael said, as he pointed to the bedroom door.

"Have at it" he smirked.

Linc could be so crude sometimes.

Michael turned and quietly entered the bedroom. She was awake now , propped up on pillows in bed. She looked at him when he came in. He held his breath for what seemed like forever, just staring at her. She still wore his boxers and her thin white blouse. Her hair was loose around her shoulders now. God she was beautiful!

He realized he was embarrassing her by staring. She tucked hair behind her right ear and looked down for a second.

"Um , it's been a long time for me…" he said nervously.

He looked hesitant to approach her, just like he did months ago in that train bathroom.

Why was he bringing that up? She thought

Unless-

Was he apologizing about last night? Was this some attempt at heading off her possible disappointment?

As if to answer her puzzled look- "I heard you crying…in the bathroom after the first time we…um … You stayed there for a while. I was going crazy out here wondering what I had done wrong, then I realized …it was probably too rushed maybe? But it's been a while for me …..and I've never um….been in this situation. I left you alone in there….didn't think you would want my company."

She sighed and looked at him with wide sad eyes. They certainly knew how to torture each other.

"What situation?" she asked

"The one where I get to make love to a woman I am actually in love with."

.

There he was …saying those things to her again. She had already decided that this conversation was pointless because she was most certainly not crying last night because of something he did but, curiosity got the better of her…..

"How long has it been for you Michael?"

He sighed and closed the door behind him . "Maybe 2-3 years. I lost count". He smiled sheepishly.

Oh. She extended her arm in a welcoming gesture for him to join her on the bed. She looked at him and said,

"What? What about Nika?"

"Nika"?

"Yes Michael. Your wife?"

"Oh. Right. We never really got to talk about her did we Sara . He hedged a bit. " You should know I never touched her. We were never in a relationship. We were never together in any way."

She looked away for a minute.

"It's been about 2 years for me . I was dating someone back then….when I went into rehab. It was best that I stopped seeing him. He didn't really care anyway." She smiled and said to herself.

"Michael, last night was incredible. That's why I was crying in the bathroom."

Oh

Oh

"So it wasn't my fault? I wasn't rough? Or too ..um … fast?"

"What? No! …..No!"

"And you were …um…satisfied?"

"Michael! I bet if you ask Linc he could tell from what he heard out there."

He put his hands around her face and began to kiss her . He kissed her like there was no tomorrow, over and over. He was running his fingers through her hair . She was definitely caught off guard …..like in the infirmary months ago….but then…she kissed him back.

Just like she had back then.

The memory of it began flooding her senses. She suddenly realized that her feelings for him, for what he had done for her, were exactly the same now as they were in that infirmary almost a year ago. She had loved him then , as she loved him now .It was during that first kiss that she admitted to herself that she had been in love with him. He had unveiled darkness so heavy, so seemingly permanent in her life . A darkness she never thought she would escape.

He began to whisper to her. He whispered his secret thoughts, his desires. She was caught off guard by that too….

"Don't stop loving me ….please"

"Never ." He sighed against her mouth.

They continued to kiss, their tongues were interlocking. He was leaning over her in the bed, now kissing her neck and chest. She started tugging at his sweater and pulled it over his head and off. She reveled in the feel of his skin against her hands as she massaged his chest, his back. God, he was beautiful. A work of art. Soon he was lifting her blouse off and she let him. She was left wearing her bra, feeling very vulnerable. Last night had been so rushed that they had never gotten to this point. He laid her back in the bed and continued to kiss her. He placed his hands under her lower back and moved them upwards towards the bra.

He suddenly stopped kissing her and his hands froze.

Then Sara froze.

Shit!

What the f-? He felt something on her upper back. What was that?

She jumped up out of the bed and grabbed her blouse, apologizing, "Sorry…. no time for this…..we should plan our next move". She quickly threw the blouse back on and walked over to sit by the window where she started putting on her boots . She was harried and upset. He could tell.

What just happened?

Michael sat on the edge of the bed and pulled his sweater back on , sighing. What was this?

He walked over to her and touched her shoulder. She jumped.

"Sorry", he said." Didn't mean to scare you". She kissed his hand .

"You want to talk about it?"