Slowly, Kevin tried to shift on the sofa. Lucy was literally balanced against his shoulder and chest, and he didn't want to wake her. Using his hands to support her, he turned his body so she could completely lay against him. She stirred and he watched her to see if she'd wake.

Her eyes opened and looked at him.


She mumbled something and snuggled closer.

Smiling, he wrapped his arms around her and held her. Someone pounded on the door and she instantly tensed and jumped. They pounded again and she pushed off Kevin to stand. Kevin doubled over from her shoving on his stomach and she leaned down to him. "I'm sorry, are you okay?"

"Fine." He couldn't really catch his breath yet, but he pointed to the door. "Get it."

When Lucy opened the door, Scott's hand was raised to pound on her door again. Grabbing him by the jacket, she literally dragged him into the room. "Well? What happened? You met with him, right? What did he say?"

Prying her hands from him, Scott held them and looked from her to Kevin, who had finally made it to his feet, and was standing behind her. She was still firing questions at him, and he tensed as she pulled on his hands. He stared at Kevin, who shrugged, and back to her. Meeting her eyes, he glared at her until she stopped. "You done?"

"SCOTT!" Intending to slap him, she tried to pull her hands away from him, but he held her until she got quiet.

"You better hope he lives a fairly long healthy life."

"What? Why?"

"Because if he so much as sprains his wrist, the cops are gonna be all over you."

Moving closer, Kevin reached for her shoulders and looked at Scott. "How much trouble is she in?"

"I didn't say she was IN trouble. I said she would be if anything happened to him." Scott looked at her. "Because they are scared to death of you and your friends." He smiled at her.

"AND?" She jerked on his hands again.

"You tell me how this sounds to you. Felony Assault, 2nd degree, 8 years suspended provided he remains in a residential inpatient treatment facility, with a follow up outpatient treatment to be determined when he's released. 5 years of probation, which starts AFTER he's released. That means he has to check in with his probation officer and the probation officer gets reports to be sure that he's following the outpatient treatment." Before she could start again with the questions, he pulled on her hands to stop her and continued. "A peace bond for you, and Mandy, if she wants it. He gets a felony record, and if he violates ONE of the conditions of the plea, he goes to jail for 8 years."

"What about Kevin and the hospital?" Lucy's mind was absorbing everything Scott said to her, but she was more worried about Kevin.

"You want everything, don't you."

"Scott! I'm not signing ANYTHING until this is over for Kevin and GH! What about them!" She jerked on his hands again so hard he lost his balance.

Sighing, Scott looked over her head and at Kevin for a moment. "Okay, how's this. The charges against Kevin and the malpractice lawsuit are dropped."

Lucy was speechless, which shocked both men. Scott took the moment and smiled at her. "Schneider's really pissed about that one."

"I bet he is, he doesn't get paid, right?" Kevin wasn't ready to believe it, and he squeezed Lucy's shoulders as he spoke.

"Well, he sends a bill, but I doubt he'll ever see a whole lot of it."

His words finally sank in to Lucy. "It's over? I mean, this whole thing is over?"

"As far as the legal system, yeah. As soon as all the papers are signed." Scott watched her carefully, waiting for her reaction.

"If he comes near me again, he goes to jail?"

"8 years."

"It's over." Lucy whispered it to herself. "No more headlines, no more reporters, no more waiting to see what's going to happen next." She turned to Kevin as she said the last sentence, and he knew what that meant to her.

Smiling at her, Kevin shook his head and pulled her into his arms. "It's over." He held her and looked at Scott.

"Well, I gotta go tell Lee and Alan. Just wanted to tell you first."

Scott backed towards the door, but Lucy turned to him.

"Scott.." She was crying as she went to him and wrapped her arms around his waist.

Returning her embrace, Scott held her against him. "Hey, you did it."

He whispered in her ear. "Look at me."

She did, and he smiled.

"You.. you went off, did something totally crazy, here, I mean really out there, even for you! And it worked! It really worked. One of your hair brained schemes actually worked!"

Laughing through her tears, Lucy touched his face. "It did, didn't it."

"Saved his ass, too." Gesturing towards Kevin, he continued. "So stop your crying and be happy about it." As gruff as his voice was, when he wiped her tears from her face, his touch was gentle, and his eyes met hers. "I gotta go get the papers drawn up and tell the board at the hospital." Looking at Kevin, he moved away from Lucy. "I guess the two of you can take it from here?"

Nodding, Kevin smiled and reached out to shake Scott's hand. "Thanks, Scott."

"I'm not done yet. As soon as I have the final paperwork, I'll call you for the meeting to sign them. And I'll hook up with Eve tomorrow and get that going." Shaking Kevin's hand, Scott hugged Lucy one more time and left.

Maria stared at Schneider. "This is the best you can do?"

"Hey, you told me to end this! That was all they'd go for."

"He has to be put in a hospital!"

"Maria, this is over now as far as I'm concerned, so I'm just going to say it. He NEEDS to be in a hospital! We both know what he did to that woman. And it's NOT my fault he decided to wipe the floor with somebody that has friends from the courthouse to Pentonville! There was more. I just found out. His wife? She went to the prosecution. She was all set to testify about what your beloved son has been doing to her for years."

Maria glared at Schneider, but said nothing.

"You do realize that without that piece of information, I would have been eaten alive in a trial? I asked you about her, and you said she wasn't a problem! We would have LOST, Maria."

"She never would have testified against him."

"That's not what Baldwin says. He knew quite a bit for someone that hadn't spoken to her. And her on the stand? You would have been lucky to walk away with 10 years. So be glad he's going to some nice padded cell instead of jail. So at this point, my professional advice to you is to have him sign the agreement and make sure he sticks to the conditions."

"What about her?"

"Baldwin says she'll back off if he does. I'll make sure everything is legal and binding, but I have to tell you that this is the best you're going to do. I do have to disagree with your from a legal standpoint on the malpractice suit and the assault charges against Kevin Collins."

"I can't put Trent in any danger from her or her friends." Maria sighed. "And I don't trust her."

Schneider was a second away from saying he didn't blame Lucy, but instead he stood. "I'll have the papers to you in a day or so. I would strongly suggest that Trent sign the plea bargain and follow through on the conditions." As he stood, he stared at her. "And I'll have my secretary prepare my bill."

"You're bill." Maria stared at him. "We aren't going to get any money."

"Because YOU are dropping the case. That makes YOU responsible for my bill."

As he left, Maria sighed. She didn't know which way to turn, but she hoped she'd think of something.

The second Scott left, Lucy threw her arms around Kevin's neck. "It's over, Doc."

"Thanks to you. Lucy, I want you to be sure this is what's right for you." Leaning away from her, he stroked her face. "I want you to stop for a minute. Stop thinking about the assault charges, stop thinking about the malpractice case. Just think about you, and what you want. Are you okay with this?"

"I'm more than okay, Doc. He's not going to be free. I won't have to worry about running into him. And I won't have to worry about what's on the front page of the paper. All I want to think about is you."

Pulling him to her, she kissed him.

At first, he returned her kiss gently, but she held him tighter and deepened their kiss. Her tongue pressed between his lips, demanding to be tasted. The feeling of needing to be close to her overwhelmed him, and he crushed her body to his. His hands roamed her body until he caught her ribs and she inhaled sharply. Instantly pulling away, Kevin stared at her, reminded of what had happened to her.

"I'm okay." Taking his hands, she pulled him back to her. "I promise. I'm okay."

Putting his hands on her hips, he held her gently and kissed her again. Her hands traced his chest and she worked her way up to his face. "I love you."

"I love you, too." Kevin returned her kiss, fighting the urge to pull her to him again. She moved closer to him, kissing him passionately. His body reacted to the heat coming from her, and he moved away, taking a deep breath. Taking her face in his hands, he stared at her.

Their eyes met, and Lucy knew what he was thinking. "I need to be ready for this, Doc."

"You don't need to push yourself."

She sighed. "What I need is you. Don't you get it? It's over. I need to take my life back."

Kevin knew what she was doing, and why she was doing it, but when she moved against him and brushed her lips across his neck, he stopped arguing with her. Being careful to not squeeze her too tightly, Kevin wrapped his arms around her again. In his mind, he knew she was going too fast for her own good, but she was so insistent, he was more afraid of what trying to stop her would do to her.

An idea occurred to him, and he scooped her into his arms. For a moment she tensed in anticipation of her body protesting, but then she began to kiss him again. Slowly, he carried her into the bedroom and laid her on the bed.

Lucy took a deep breath to calm herself as he moved to lie next to her.

He could feel her trembling, and he took her hand gently. Bringing it to his lips, he kissed it. "Talk to me."

"I don't want to talk." Her throat tightened, and she whispered the words. "I just want to be with you."

"I'm right here." Moving closer, he kissed her lips gently.

Touching his face, she returned his kiss and began to relax. His hand traced her face gently before sliding down her neck and across her shoulder. Reaching her arm, he moved his hand down the outside of her arm until his hand was on the back of hers. Lacing his fingers in hers, he squeezed her hand gently. Smiling at him, she squeezed his hand and kissed him again. She was relaxed in his arms, and he reached down to the bottom of her shirt, playing with the edge and watching her.

Using his arm to pull herself up, she helped him pull her shirt up over her head. Before she could lie back down, he unhooked her bra. As he did, he felt the muscles in her back tense, and he didn't move to take it off of her. Instead, he moved behind her and gently kissed her across her shoulders. Moving her hair, he traced her spine with his lips up to her neck. Smiling, he kissed a spot on her neck that had made her shiver every time since the first time he'd touched her. Sure enough, she shivered, and he laughed softly.

"Are you teasing me?" Her voice was low, but she was smiling.

"No." He licked the same spot and she jumped. "That was teasing you."

Laughing softly, she turned her head and looked at him. Her eyes met his, and he couldn't stop himself. Taking her face in his hand, he pulled her to kiss him. When they're lips met, he slid his hand down her neck and guided her to lie down on her side facing him. The kiss became more passionate, and Kevin had to force himself to refrain from running his hands over her body. Her fingers played with the buttons on his shirt, but she made no move to open them. He knew that she wanted to, but she really wasn't ready. Finally, he glided his hand down her arm to her hand. Squeezing it gently, he moved their hands together to her waist. Kissing her again, he slid his hand under hers against her skin. Gently, as if testing her, he pressed her lips apart and began to explore her mouth with his tongue. Responding to his kiss, she squeezed his hand against her bare skin.

His hand clenched on her, and she tensed. Leaning away from her, he stared into her eyes. "If you're not okay with this, say so."

"I'm okay." His face showed that he didn't believe her, and she reached up with her free hand and touched his face. "I need you to help me be okay."

Slowly, he moved closer to her and kissed her again. The way she returned his kiss told him that she needed his touch as badly as he needed to touch her. Keeping his touch light, he traced her ribs with his fingertips, being careful to not hurt her. As he found the bruises, she pulled away and stared into his eyes. He could see her hesitation, but he could also see how much she loved him. Breaking the eye contact between them, he slid down her body until his face was even with her ribs. As softly as he could, he pressed his lips to her body where the bruise was and kissed her. A shiver ran through her and she reached for his hair. Giving her the chance to stop him, Kevin moved his lips across her lower chest, kissing her as she rolled over on her back. As he moved over her, she threw her bra on the floor next to the bed and closed her eyes. Hesitating slightly, he moved up her body, kissing her softly. The taste of her skin stirred a heat in his body that he was afraid to show her. But he didn't have to. She knew, and she ran her hands through his hair as he moved closer to her. He didn't want to push her, and he made sure to not give any impression of holding her as he slid his hands over her breasts.

Her eyes were still closed, and she shivered as his tongue slid over her nipple. Forcing her mind to focus on the sensations he was sending through her, she reached for his hand that was barely touching her other breast and squeezed it against her. Taking her cue, he began to massage her deliberately, still not really holding her. She sighed and he moved up to her collarbone, kissing her across the edge of her neckline before moving back up to her lips. This time she clenched his hair and held him closer to her, opening her mouth to him and drawing his tongue into her.

A moan escaped his throat, and he moved his body closer along the length of her. When she felt his body against her, she broke their kiss and forced herself to take a deep breath.

Instantly, he moved away from her, but she held him and rolled over against him. When his arms wrapped around her, she snuggled closer and wrapped her leg over his waist.

"Don't pull away from me. I'm fine."

As he shifted his body, she could feel him against her. She knew how much he wanted her before she felt how hard he was against her abdomen. His hands traced her spine, and she unbuttoned his shirt to run her hands across his chest. Her lips followed, and when he sighed she pushed her face against him and slid her arms around him under his shirt. Resting his chin on the top of her head, he stared at the wall and held her against him.

"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Alan entered the library and stared at Scott.

"Well, this had to be taken care of immediately. There's a meeting set for 9AM and you need to know what's going on."

"What the devil do you want now, Baldwin?" Edward's voice carried across the foyer as he came through the doors. "This couldn't wait until morning? I don't understand why people-"

"Father!" Alan's voice overrode Edward's. "This has to do with Lucy and Kevin, right?"

"Yep. And I didn't think you would want to wait until morning to hear it." Scott stared at them for a moment.

"If it's bad news, I can." Alan gestured for Scott to follow him to the sofa and they sat.

"Nope. As a matter of fact, it's good news." Pulling papers out of his briefcase, he handed them to Alan. "It's over."

"What is?" Alan scanned the papers as Scott spoke.

"The malpractice suit. Davis dropped it. And the charges against Kevin."

Alan stopped reading and stared at Scott. "He just dropped it."


Staring at Scott for a moment, Alan finally put it together. "I have a feeling Lucy has more to do with it then you do. What did she do?"

"Who cares as long as she made them drop the lawsuits." Edward smiled. "Scott, I never thought I'd say this, but well done."

"Father, wait a minute. What did Lucy have to do to make this happen?"

Scott shrugged. "Let's just say she got one over on him."

"What does that mean?" Alan wasn't happy with Scott's answer.

"Alan, what difference does it make? Lucy got one over on somebody and it wasn't you for a change." Edward took the papers from Alan and read them. "As long as it was legal, of course."

"Oh, of course." The sarcasm dripped from Alan's words and he started again. "Lucy dropped the charges, didn't she."

"She WHAT?" Edward finally looked up from the papers. "Don't tell me that lunatic is going to be running the streets! What if he decides to go after her again?! You better make sure that woman's protected from him, I-"

"Now, Edward.." Scott smiled. "I knew you had a soft spot for Lucy somewhere in that vice grip you call a heart."

"It's just that….. I wouldn't want…. oh all right. I never wanted to see her get hurt. What did she have to do to get him to drop all the charges?"

"She agreed to the plea bargain." Scott was not about to tell Alan and Edward what Lucy had really done to get them to go along with it.

"Which is..?" Alan still wasn't sure.

"He'll be in a hospital for a while, and he'll go to jail for 8 years if he so much as walks down the same street she's on."

Nodding, Alan sighed. "Is that enough for her?"

Scott's eyes met Alan's. "Going to court would NOT have been good for her."

"I got that idea. An investigator did ask me a few questions about her. I didn't give them anything, but.. I have to agree that it would have been a lot worse for her."

"Well, it's over now, so I just needed to get with you and let you know. I also wanted to clear with you that Kevin can come back to work when he's ready."

"As soon as the final paperwork is signed." Alan smiled. "Whenever he's ready."

"I'm not saying that it will be tomorrow, Lucy's still pretty shakey." Scott stood. "I just wanted to make sure this was cleared up with the hospital."

"I'll take this to the board personally first thing in the morning."

Alan stood. "I appreciate you bringing this over, Scott. I just hope Lucy's okay with it."

"I think she will be. It's gonna take some time." Moving towards the door, Scott turned to Edward. "I'll tell her how concerned you are about her."

Edward's voice was quiet. "I do hope she'll be okay, Scott."

Kevin was enjoying the feel of her body against him and traced her spine with his fingertips. She shifted against him, and he ran his hand along her side over her hip. The material of her pants was thin enough that he could feel the heat of her body beneath. Reaching her knee, he brought his hand back up the back of her leg. When he reached the curve at the top of her leg, he pulled her closer and squeezed her gently. His hands on her sent shivers through her, and she ran her hand over his chest and up to his face. Her eyes met his, and he leaned closer to kiss her gently. Her mouth opened to him, and slid her body against his.

Even through their clothes, Kevin could feel her against him, and he moaned softly. Knowing he needed her as much as she needed him, Lucy pulled back enough to push his shirt back off his arm. Shifting so he could remove it, his body pushed slightly against hers. As she felt his weight on her, she wrapped her arms around him again and held him. Unable to stop himself, he kissed her again, this time the kiss was long and hard. His mouth invaded hers, and he entwined his hand in her hair. A shiver ran along the length of her spine and she returned his kiss with an equal passion. Her fingers pressed into the muscles along his back, and she slid her leg between his. When her thigh pressed against him, he moaned again and reached down to hold her and pull her to him. Momentarily forgetting everything except the feel of her body in his hands, he moved his leg between hers and completely enveloped her body with his own.

As he held her tighter, her leg shifted against him and he moved his lips to her neck. As he did, his thigh moved higher between hers and pressed against her.

Before she could stop herself, she pulled away and cried out softly in pain. Realizing that he'd caught a bruise that was still very tender, he pulled his legs away from her and reached for her face.

"I'm sorry."

Shaking her head, she stared in his eyes. "I'm okay."

"No, you're not." Before she could argue, he touched her lips with his finger. "Lucy, I know we both want this. We both NEED this. But I WON'T physically hurt you."

"You won't. I'll be fine."

Shaking his head, he moved up to lean against the headboard and pulled her into his arms. As she moved over his chest, he stroked her hair. "We both need to give your body a chance to heal."

She knew he was right, but it still hurt, so she kept her face turned away from him and nodded.

"Hey." His voice was soft, but she didn't look at him. "Look at me."

When she didn't respond, he touched her chin and gently turned her face to his. She was trying to stop, but her eyes were filled with tears. "I love you, and you have no idea how badly I want you right now." He smiled at her, and she couldn't resist returning his smile. "But we can't pretend this didn't happen." Her eyes dropped from his, and he held her chin until she looked at him again. "I'm talking about the fact that you're physically hurt. And I won't even take a chance on hurting you any more."

Unable to answer him, she simply nodded.

"Come here." Trailing his fingers from her face to her hair, he leaned closer to her and kissed her. His lips gently touched hers, and he deepened their kiss, but only enough to briefly taste her. Shifting again, he laid down and held her against him. "We have forever, Lucy."

"That sounds so good." Slowly, she turned so her back was against his chest. When he reached around her, she took his arm and held it against her.