"Dr. Collins?"

Turning, Kevin saw a small woman that he recognized as being one of his patients wives. She stared at him for a moment, taking a deep breath. "I really need to talk to you for a moment."

"Of course, Mandy. I'm free for a few minutes now, if you'd like to come to my office."

"No." She shook her head. "This won't take long. I. I just can't do this anymore."

"Do what?"

"Deal with him." She shrugged. "I know the meds, and the therapy is supposed to be helping, but..."

"Another episode?" Kevin was worried.

"Episode." She laughed sarcastically. "I love that. You make it sound like some idiotic sitcom." Her eyes took on an angry glare, and she stepped closer to him. "Why don't you call it what it is? An out of control need to punch anyone that gets close to him."

"Mandy, did he hit you again?" Stepping closer to her, he kept his voice low. "I didn't think he was ready to come home yet. But-"

"But the insurance wouldn't pay. I know, but I also know I can't live like this anymore." Now she began to cry. "I know how hard he's trying, but I can't take it."

Kevin reached for her arm, but she pulled away, shaking her head.

"NO! I have to go. I have to get as far away from him as I can. Look, I appreciate everything you've tried to do for both of us, but I just can't stay." Before Kevin could reply, she stepped back. "My plane leaves in an hour. I can't stick around. I will probably call him at some point, I know I won't be able to help myself. But for right now, I have to protect myself. Can you understand that?"

Kevin nodded. "Of course I can. I can't begin to imagine what it's been like for you. Trent's got a lot of anger inside him. And I know how many times he's hurt you."

"No, you don't." Mandy shook her head. "Not as much since you started treating him, but before..." Taking a deep breath, she sighed. "I don't want to do this. I know he doesn't mean it, but he needs more than I can give him. And I'm NOT going to be his punching bag anymore." Without another word, she turned and left Kevin standing in the hallway alone.

Taking a deep breath, he thought about how his next session with Trent was going to go. He'd been treating Trent for about three months, since the last time Trent had put Mandy in the emergency room. For the last 4 weeks Trent had been voluntarily committed to the psych ward. Upon the end of Insurance covering his treatment, Kevin had been forced to reluctantly discharge him. Apparently, his diagnosis had been correct. Realizing that he would probably hear from Trent later, he signed himself out and left the hospital.

Trent watched Kevin get in his car, and grit his teeth. The note Mandy had left him said that she'd told Kevin she was leaving, and Trent was convinced that Kevin knew where she was. All he had to do was follow him to find her.

Not knowing he was being followed, Kevin drove to Lucy's house. She'd left him a message earlier and asked him to meet her for lunch and 'whatever else came to mind'. Smiling at the 'whatever else' that came to his mind, he turned the radio on and hoped Lucy had the same 'whatever else' in mind that he did.

When Kevin pulled into the driveway, Trent continued driving. Once he was safe distance down the street, he got out of his car and walked back towards the house. He was sure Mandy was there, and as soon as Kevin left, he'd go talk to her.

Lucy heard the door open, and came out of the bedroom smiling. "Hi, you. Glad you could make it."

"With an invitation like that, how could I refuse?" Reaching for her, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. The soft material of the silky white sundress she was wearing slid across her back as he held her.

After a few minutes, Lucy pulled away, shaking her head. "I almost forgot. I promised you lunch." She turned and headed for the kitchen. Staring at her, Kevin grinned. "You also promised me whatever else came to mind."

"Well, first, I had Café Matisse deliver. As far as whatever else…." She grinned back at him. "I didn't think we needed any help there." Deliberately, she stopped and turned to face him in front of the picture window. Her dress was completely transparent with the light behind her and Kevin realized she was nude underneath.

"Gotta tell you, there are a LOT of whatevers going through my mind right about now." Smiling, he let his eyes travel slowly down her body, admiring every curve of her shape under the dress.

"Good. That was the general idea." Still smiling, she turned and went in the kitchen. "I ordered grilled chicken. Hope that's okay."


"The wine's on the bar." Her voice carried out of the kitchen. "You want to open it?"

"Already doing it." Taking two glasses of wine, he sat at the table and waited for her.

When she reappeared, she had two dishes full of food for them. Placing his in front of him, she sat next to him and looked at him. Saying nothing, Kevin continued to stare at her.


"You." His hand reached for her and he gently touched her cheek. Staring into his eyes, Lucy tilted her head into his hand. When his fingers brushed her lips, she took his index finger in her mouth and sucked on it.

Shifting in his chair, he glanced at the table quickly before meeting her eyes again. "You know, this looks great, but....." With his other hand, he reached for her hand. "You look SO much better."

Laughing softly, Lucy allowed him to pull her into his lap. "I was hoping you'd see things that way."

She leaned to him, and he kissed her neck, working down her smooth skin to her collarbone. Shivering, she smiled at him. Before he could pull her to him for another kiss, her eyes caught the plate in front of him. Reaching for it, she broke off a piece of the chicken and put it in her mouth. "This is delicious."

As she placed a piece in his mouth, he laughed. "You have a one track mind."

"Two. But I'm great at multitasking." Still holding the chicken she leaned to him and kissed him. This time her tongue traced his lips, probing into his mouth gently.

"Great." He kissed her again. "Grab the plate." As he lifted her in his arms, Lucy grabbed the plate and tried to hold it steady. Laughing, he carried her to the bedroom. As he started to lower her, and the plate shifted in her hands. She squealed as some of the sauce landed on her chest just above her dress. Once she was on the bed, she put the plate on the nightstand and reached for a tissue.

Kevin took her hand gently. "I'll get it."

Smiling, she handed him the tissue, which he threw on the floor beside the bed. He leaned over her, tracing the line the sauce had left on her skin with his tongue. Inhaling sharply, she tilted her head back to give him better access to her skin. Her hands reached for his tie, undoing it and then starting on the buttons to his shirt.

Alternating between licking and kissing her skin, Kevin helped her take off his jacket and shirt before pushing her down on the bed. Once he was lying beside her, he ran his hand over her body, sliding the soft material of her dress along her sides. His hands continued over her stomach, tracing the lines of the taunt muscles below her ribs.

Lucy watched him as he explored her body. His eyes were practically devouring her even as his hand made it's way up to her breast. Holding her breast with his hand, he traced his thumb over her nipple. She involuntarily shivered under his touch, and he smiled at her. His hand slid up to her face and he caressed her softly before leaning down and kissing her lips.

Shifting her body so she was almost facing him, Lucy slid her leg up between his until her thigh was against him. She could feel how much he wanted her and it made her want him even more. Her fingers trailed across his shoulder and up to his face, then back into his hair as he tilted his head and smiled.

Their eyes met, and it was an intense moment between them. Each one recognized the dark desire behind the other's eyes, and Lucy licked her lips. As she did, Kevin leaned over quickly and briefly touched her tongue with his own as she glided it across her own lips.

Laughing, she clenched his hair and held him while she touched his tongue with her own again, this time drawing him gently into her mouth. As he rolled over on her, his hand slid down her body again, and back up to her breast. This time he massaged her, cupping her entire breast in his hand and squeezing gently. Not breaking their kiss, Lucy moved closer to him, running her hand down his side and over his hip. Deciding that he had far too many clothes on, Lucy tugged at his belt and started to laugh when she realized that the one handed approach wasn't going to work.

Finally breaking their kiss, Kevin laughed. "Need some help?"

Together, they undid his belt and pushed his pants down to his knees, where he kicked them off to follow his shoes to the floor beside the bed. Then he turned to her, pulling her against him. This time he kissed her hungrily, his mouth taking hers and his hands running over her. Her back arched and she pressed her body against his, using the silky material of her dress to slide along the length of him. He moved closer, sliding between her legs with only her dress between them. The sensations of the soft material combined with the heat of being so close to her made him moan softly in her ear.

Smiling, Lucy brought her legs together, effectively trapping him against her. Growing harder, he thrust himself against her gently. A shudder ran through her, and she reached her arms around his neck. His hands roamed over her, sliding down her hips and up to her arms. Their eyes met again, and Kevin stared at her.

For a moment, the depth of her gaze took his breath away. Finally he touched her face gently, never breaking eye contact. "I can't begin to tell you what I'm feeling right now."

"You don't have to." She whispered to him. "I'm feeling it, too."

Her lips met his once, gently, then she was staring into his eyes again. "I've always felt it. Every time you look at me."

He appeared to be concentrating on her, and she smiled. "What?"

"You. I mean, the way you look at me. No. The way you look INTO me."

"I love you." Breathless, Lucy pulled him to her and kissed him. He thrust against her again, and she sighed. He was hard against her, and the material allowed him to slide back and forth between her legs.

Afraid of losing control, Kevin pulled away from her and slid his hand down her body, caressing her breast before moving farther down. Still using her dress against her skin, he moved his hand down in a slow circular motion until he was stroking her between her legs. The pressure from his hand through the slick material created an erotic sensation that made Lucy hold him closer to her and run her hand down his side. When her hand reached his hip, she trailed her fingers over and gripped him gently.

When she tightened her grip slightly, his breath came out in a soft gasp. His lips met hers in a heated, carnal kiss, and he pressed harder against her body. Her body trembled from the sharp breath she took, and he leaned over her. "I can't wait."

"Me, either." She whispered into his mouth.

His hands frantically pushed her dress up over her hips as he moved over her. Staring into her eyes, he spoke a simple truth from his heart. "I have to have you."

Her answer was just as simple and just as directly from her heart. "I'm yours."

Their eyes stayed locked on each other's as he slowly entered her. Lucy took a shuddering breath and tilted her head back, but she kept her gaze into his. Propping himself up over her with one hand, he took her hip with the other and held her still. He took a few deep breaths and moved slowly out of her before sliding gently back inside of her.

Lucy clenched his arms with her hands and licked her lips. Stopping as far inside her as he could go, he leaned down to her and kissed her. He bent the arm he was leaning on, and let his weight fall to his elbow, still holding her still with the other hand. Finally he broke their kiss and trailed his lips to her neck, savoring the taste of her skin. She moved her hands to his back, dragging her fingers over him.

His tongue on her neck made her shiver and it sent a ripple through Kevin. "Lucy." He moaned her name into her neck. The way her body clenched around him almost drove him over the edge.

Gripping her hair, Kevin thrust again, this time a bit faster. Lucy sighed, more of a bit of a whimper, and kissed him. Her body shifted as she moved towards him, and he groaned from the effort it took to not lose control. His mouth met hers again, this time he didn't stop, and his tongue pressed between her lips.

Taking him into her mouth, she moved her hand back to his hair and held him. Focused on kissing her, Kevin moved in and out of her a few times quickly.

Pulling away from him, Lucy put her head back and whispered his name. He finally let go of her hip and reached his arm up under her to hold her shoulder. With a heated sense of urgency, Kevin held her and thrust into her so hard her body shook with every movement. Taking him all the way inside her, Lucy wrapped her arms around him and slid her fingers around his shoulder blades. He felt every movement in her muscles as she tilted her hips to him, and he couldn't hold back any longer. Gripping her tighter, he moved faster, continuing to thrust into her as far as he could go. Her muscles tensed, and she braced herself against his shoulders. The energy between them intensified, creating a rhythm they'd both only known together. When their eyes met, they both stopped for a moment, breathless. Kevin moved again, and they both cried out. Finally his body shook, and Lucy ran her hands through his hair as he came inside her body.

They held each other tightly long after the last ripple had passed through both of them. When Kevin finally lifted his head and looked at her, her eyes met his evenly. Another shudder passed through Kevin, and he touched her face. "You're so incredible." Smiling, she shrugged.

"I didn't mean like that, well, I mean, that was incredible too, but....." He answered her smile with one of his own. "I mean YOU. All of you. Lucy, I…." His mind searched for the words, but he couldn't find any. He pulled her closer to him and kissed her. With a great deal of effort, he slid out of her and rolled over on his back.

Rolling over on her stomach, Lucy put her chin on his chest.

Smiling, he reached down and rubbed her back, which was still covered by her dress. Her eyes drifted across him and caught the plate on the nightstand. Literally crawling over him, she reached for it.

When he realized what she was after, he began to laugh. "Back to that one track mind." His hands stroked her legs as they stretched across his body. As she pulled the chicken apart, he smiled. An evil thought crossed his mind, and he lightly traced his finger up the back of her leg and continued up to her waist. Before he could get over her ass, she squealed and pulled away from him. Laughing, he leaned up behind her and ran his fingers across her back.

"This is delicious." She continued to eat as he watched her. As he pushed the hair off her face, she turned and fed him some of the chicken she had in her hand. Still chewing, he leaned over and kissed her arm, then he smiled at her.

Finally she looked at him. "What are you laughing at?"

"I'm not laughing at anything. I'm just watching you. You're the only person I've ever seen turn eating into an erotic experience."

"Well, if you do it right...." Smiling, she dipped her finger in the sauce on the plate before feeding him a piece of chicken. He took the chicken with his mouth, and slid his lips over her finger, savoring every drop of the sauce. Following it quickly with her lips, Lucy leaned over him and kissed him gently.

Laughing, Kevin pulled her into his arms and held her against him. She snuggled against him, but continued to eat. "I guess I need to feed you more often."

"Okay." Smiling at him, she nodded. "Why don't we….." Her smile faltered as her voice trailed off.


"Never mind." She pretended to concentrate on the food in her hand, but Kevin knew something was bothering her.

"Lucy...." Taking her face, he forced her to look at him.

"Nothing! I swear." At his stare, she shrugged. "I was just going to suggest going out for dinner. But I know you can't." Before he could answer, she sat up and put her back to him. "I'm not pressuring you, Doc. I'm not. I swear. I just wish you could…." She took a deep breath, and kept her back to him.

"Talk to me, Lucy." Sitting up behind her, he reached for her hand. "Please?"

Lucy sighed, and Kevin knew she was close to tears. He waited, knowing that when she could, she'd say it.

"I was about to say I wish you could tell your... your wife about us, and I just realized..." Her voice broke, but she forced herself to continue. "I just realized how many times in my life I've said that."

A stab went through Kevin, and he sat up next to her. "I'm going to tell her, Lucy."

She winced and turned away from him.

"Lucy, I love you. I want to be with you. The only thing right now is that I don't know where Eve is. You know she left town, and I want her to hear about us from me, not from the gossip mill."

"I know. It's okay." She turned back to him, and he could see how much pain she was feeling. "I believe you. And I told you I'd wait as long as it takes."

Kevin knew she was trying to convince herself, but there was nothing he could say to make it better. Eve was still out of town somewhere, and she did deserve to hear about him and Lucy from him. But he knew that there had been other married men who had made the same promises to her, and he sounded just like the rest of them to her at that moment. Gently, he wrapped his arms around her. "Lucy, you know that if there were anything left between Eve and me, I wouldn't be here. There isn't. You're the one I want to be with. As soon as she resurfaces, I'll tell her. I promise."

She didn't answer.

"I love you, Lucy. I'm sorry I don't feel right about everyone finding out until Eve knows, but I can't help that. She deserves better then that from me."

"Yeah, like she thought you deserved so much when she-" She shook her head again. "I'm not doing this. I know you love me, and I love you. I don't want to fight with you. I do understand. I'll be okay."

He sighed. "Look, I have to get back to the hospital. But dinner does sound great. Can we meet back here say around 7? I'll bring dinner, and we can spend the entire evening cuddling in front of the fire?"

Forcing a smile, she nodded. "Sounds great. I have this new black nightgown you'll love." Before he could think about what she said, she pulled away and left the bedroom. Her words sunk in, and he stood. Pulling his pants on, he followed her to the dining room and put his arms around her. "Lucy."

She leaned against him, but didn't look at him.

"Look at me." When she did, he touched her face. "This has nothing to do with sex, Lucy. That's not why I'm here and you know that."

Nodding, she still didn't answer him.

Sitting in a chair, he pulled her by the hands to stand in front of him. "I'm not going to deny that making love to you is the most incredible thing I've ever experienced. It is. But it's NOT why I'm here. We went almost three years without making love to each other. We married other people. But we always ended up right here. When something good happened, I couldn't wait to tell you. When something bad happened, I knew you could always make it better. Fate. Destiny. The Universe. Whatever you want to call it, this is it. US."

"We just have to wait for your wife." She sighed and touched his face gently. "Doc, I know in my heart that you love me, and we're going to be together. I just.."

"Shouldn't have to wait for me, and I'm sorry." He kissed her hands and looked at her. "You deserve so much better then this."

"Now you stop it." Squeezing his hands, she sighed. "I know you want to do this the right way. And I understand. I do. Really. And I promised to wait for you and I will."

She kissed him softly, and he pulled her into his lap. "The day she gets back, I'll tell her. I really will, Lucy. If I knew where she was, I'd tell her today."

Any reply she was going to give him was interrupted by his pager rattling on the table. Sighing, she handed it to him.

"I have to call in." Lifting her to her feet gently, he went to the phone. After a short conversation, he hung up and turned to her.

"I know. You have to go."

Wrapping his arms around her, he kissed her neck. "Guess you're going to have to get used to life with a doctor again."

"I'm going to love it." Smiling, she kissed him goodbye. "7."

"Sharp." He kissed the end of her nose. "I love you."

"I love you to. Now go. before I decide you can't go." After he was out the door, she sighed and took the plates to the kitchen.