So this is it. The End of Sleepless In Trenton, complete with Epilogue, it's been a long journey, I hope you've all enjoyed it. Thanks for my many reviews, each one has really made my day, honestly.

Chapter 20

I hurt. I want to ignore it, to move on, but it's hard to ignore.

But if I hurt, I'm alive, surely? Unless I'm in hell?

But I couldn't be in hell, because on the periphery of my senses I could feel Ranger. He was with me. So I couldn't be in Hell. A sense of urgency filled me, I'd wasted so much time not being with Ranger, I wasn't going to waste any more.

With a strength of will that surprised me, I set about the task of opening my eyelids. Who knew eyelids could be so heavy?

I don't know how long I fought, but when I finally wrenched my eyes open I felt exhausted. My tired eyes struggled to re-adjust to the dim light of the room, but eventually I made out a figure next to my bed.

'Rang-' I managed to croak out, and the figure next to me stirred and turned to me.

'Babe.' He whispered quietly, almost unbelievingly.

I smiled.

Ranger leaned over and stoked the hair out of my face, all the while maintaining eye contact with me. 'Hey.' Ranger said, 'about time you woke up, angel.' He said it lightly, but I could hear the hours of worry underlying in his voice – and the exhaustion.

I reached up and stroked his face, grimacing as I saw the wires protruding from my skin.

'Do you want some water?' He asked softly.

I nodded, still not trusting my voice to my sore throat.

Ranger handed me a cup of water with a straw in it, and I began to suck up the precious moisture.

'Easy Babe, take it slow.'

I nodded again and sipped at the water instead of gulping it.

Ranger set the cup back down when I was done, 'I'll call a nurse.' He said.

'No.' I said, 'I want to be alone with you for a minute.'

Ranger smiled, and a sexy gleam entered his eye, 'trust me Babe, you're going to get plenty of alone time with me. Barbados or Aruba, or the Antarctic, wherever you want, and we'll stay there for at least a month, just you and me – that was the deal.'

'You missed out the lots of sex part.' I complained.

Ranger's smile widened, 'that's because it goes without saying Babe.' Abruptly his smile faded and despite his blank face, to me, he looked distraught, 'I don't know what I would have done Babe, if you had left me…'

'I'll never willingly leave you.' I said softly, just as serious. 'I love you Ranger.'

His liquid brown eyes met mine, 'I love you Babe, more than anything.'

'Good.' I smiled. 'Will you marry me?'

Ranger stared.

'Well?' I said, still smiling, enjoying his shock, knowing his answer.

'Yes Babe,' he whispered hoarsely, 'I'll marry you.' And then he leaned down and kissed me with tenderness and fire until I thought my heart would burst from happiness and my body would explode through frustration.

'Ranger?' I said, as he drew back.


'This celibacy crap is a pile of shit and if you ever suggest this again I'm going to run after you with a pitchfork.'

Ranger burst out laughing, 'Oh god Babe, you never disappoint.'



I was antsy.

There was no other word for it. I wasn't bored, I wasn't frustrated; I was antsy.

My days were filled with physiotherapy and a noticeable lack of sex. It had been three months since the incident as everyone seemed to prefer to call it, and I was pretty close to recovery. At least that's what I argued; my physiotherapist still wouldn't let me 'resume sexual activity'.

If she had known the truth she wouldn't have felt the need to add the 'resume' in front of it.

I had demanded the contraceptive injection about a month ago in anticipation for some 'resumption' but resumption hadn't come, and neither had I.

I was ready to chew off Ranger's arm, or maybe some other body part if he refused to have sex with me one more time. Apparently, there are some rules that Ranger thinks should be kept to. I keep pointing out that my therapist just wants him for herself and that she's trying to make him so frustrated he'll boff her.

Ranger just smiles and kisses me on my head likes he's humouring me.

But today's the day. I'm sure of it. Which is why I'm sitting in Miss Evil Plan's office, with Ranger's hand reassuringly on my thigh, while I threaten God with atheism if he doesn't let me have sex.

Miss E.P enters her domain like a dragon enters her cave, nostrils flaring at the scent of intruders. She sat behind her desk and flicked through some notes, making umming and ahhing noises. Finally she looks up and smiles at me, 'Good news Miss Plum, you've been cleared for resumption of strenuous physical activity which means-'

'Oh thank God!' I exploded. 'Ranger, if you deny me sex now I swear I'll make you sing soprano.'

He smiled, 'Babe, my voice has already broken, cutting off my nads won't change the pitch.'

I narrowed my eyes at him, 'I could always try it, just to see what happens; scientific curiosity.'

His smile widened, 'You know how it turns me on when you threaten to mutilate me Babe.'

'I'm frustrated, I'm stressed, and I'm horny. Do something about it. Now.' I demanded with a growl.

He pulled me onto his lap easily, looking hotly into my eyes before he lowered his mouth to mine and kissed me. I was like a person possessed, starved, I craved him like others needed nicotine or caffeine; he was my drug of choice, and I needed a hit NOW.

I moaned hopelessly into his mouth and moved my hips so that I rubbed against his firm erection.

I vaguely heard the door open, and Tank's amused voice told the doctor the he assumed we were cleared for sexual activity. The Dragon doctor made affirmative noises, and then it felt like something pinched my upper arm. I drew back to complain and saw Ranger rubbing his arm too.

'Tank.' He growled furiously, 'what have you done?'

Tank put a cover back on the syringe, 'you'll thank me later, man. Sleep well.'

I started to demand an explanation when the world went woozy and the lights went out without the use of a switch.

I awoke with the feel of Ranger stroking my hair, 'Mmm.' I said, prying my eyes open.

'Yo.' Ranger said, smiling.

'Yo yourself,' I yawned. And then I froze.

I sat up, all traces of tiredness gone, 'where the fuck are we?'

'Fiji.' Ranger grinned.

We were on a beach with sand so pure I was half sure it had to be an illusion or a mirage or something. We were lying on a big beach blanket with a huge umbrella giving us some shade in the early morning sun.

I twisted round and noted the beautiful hut behind us, as well as numerous palm tress, besides that, we appeared to be alone.

'Proud of you.' Ranger whispered into my ear, making my skin tingle.

I turned back to him, 'oh yeah? And why's that?'

'You're being aware.' He whispered again. His breath teased my ear, and I shivered involuntarily. His tongue reached out and gently drew a long lick along the shell of my ear.

I made an, 'Mmm,' noise in the back of my throat and he drew back with a smile, gazing down my body. 'Bit overdressed for the beach Babe.' He pointed out, smiling. And then he gently reached down and started to remedy that terrible oversight.

He eased my trousers off my body, which was definitely beginning to get overheated now - but that had nothing to do with the sun, and everything to do with the overwhelming anticipation as I was feeling.

I helped him out by removing my t-shirt, leaving me in a matching blue string bikini set.

I definitely wasn't wearing that earlier.

Ranger chuckled at my expression, 'Mary Lou dressed you.' He explained.

'And how do you know that?' I asked.

'The boys left a note to explain…and Lula definitely didn't pick it out.'

'Not a hint of spandex or sequins.' I agreed smiling. 'And what are you wearing underneath your clothes?'

Ranger smiled, 'it's one of those things you should find out for yourself.'

I laughed, and reached for him, a mischievous smile dancing across my face. He helped me remove his painted on t-shirt, but left me to attack his trousers by myself.

I couldn't stop my moan as I tugged his sweat pants down and revealed a body that was all muscley mocha manly perfection.

I groaned throatily as I stared down at him wearing nothing but his skin and a full erection. I soaked up the sight of him; lying on a blanket, surrounded by seemingly endless miles of gleaming sand, with his hair lose around his face, naked and gorgeous. Mine.

His eyes darkened and I realised I had spoken aloud when he replied with a growling, 'Mine.'

His arms pulled me down to him, and I straddled his washboard stomach before I leaned down and began to kiss him again.

My tongue slipped into the warmth of his mouth and I lost the control I'd been clinging too with all my strength. I started to kiss him with a desperate need I couldn't stop even if I had wanted to. He met my needy kisses, kiss for kiss, and his hands were running up and down my body, as if to burn the feel of my soft flesh forever into his memory.

I groaned into his mouth again, and I couldn't stop as my hips began to rock involuntarily against his abdomen. His hand reached out and grabbed my bikini bottoms, ripping them off me, and I gasped as I felt my skin meet his. Ranger groaned gutturally as he felt the evidence of my arousal against his skin.

'So wet.' He moaned in between kisses.

'Need you.' I managed to reply.

His hand reached down to part my lips and I lifted my hips off of him to give him easier access; his fingers quickly sought my entrance, plunging deep inside me, making me arch back and cry out his name in eagerness.

I almost wept as he withdrew his thick fingers out of me, but a moment later I moaned my approval as his wet fingers rubbed against my hard clit. 'Yes.' I gasped as he touched me firmly, rubbing in firm frantic circles that had the heat broiling in my belly in seconds.

He kept up his delicious movements and I began to whimper and writhe as I felt the delectable tightening begin.

'Ranger!' I cried out as lights exploded behind my eyes, and I came with a furious orgasm that wracked along the length of my body and made me scream at the strength of it.

I came back down to my body and I realised that I was collapsed over Ranger. He was stroking my body, easing the uncontrollable shudders from my body. He kissed my cheek, 'ok?' he asked.

I nuzzled my head into his neck, kissing him lightly there, 'Oh yeah.' I affirmed. I kissed my way from his shoulder to his ear and whispered, 'I love you.'

His arms tightened around me, 'I love you Babe.'

I smiled against his neck, and continued to kiss and lick him gently until I made my way to his lips. I pulled back before he could deepen the kiss and he groaned.

I smiled into his eyes, 'something you wanted?' I asked teasingly.

His eyes were black, 'You.' He demanded.

Fire burned in my veins and I kissed him deeply, caressing his tongue with my own as we battled for possession for his mouth. His teeth scraped lightly along my tongue with his teeth and I moaned gutturally. Eventually I drew back, panting for breath. I met his desire soaked eyes with my own and I saw the exact moment where something inside of him snapped.

With a smooth move executed with precision, I found myself neatly pinned under him, my hands above my head, trapped under his firm grip.

'I nearly lost you.' He growled.

I opened my mouth to reply, and instantly he was on me like a starving man on a buffet. He tasted every curve and ridge in my mouth, hungrily consuming me. I moaned helplessly and writhed against his firm body that was holding me down.

Eventually he drew back and met my gaze. I swallowed hard as I saw a spark of cunning through all that animal desire. He was a man on a mission. And I was it.

My brain was hazy with lust, and I swear that's the only reason I didn't notice as he manoeuvred me closer to the sun umbrella. Normally, I'm aware of my surroundings, but having a naked sex god on top of you tends to screw with your awareness levels, right now all I was aware of was skin against skin. Abruptly I became aware of something else, as I heard a click and felt something fuzzy around my wrists. I groaned low in my throat as I realised that Ranger had cuffed my hands to the umbrella stand with a set of black fur lined cuffs.

'A note wasn't all the boys left.' Ranger whispered deliciously into my ear. A shiver ran through me as his breath tingled on sensitive skin. Ranger rocked back onto his heels and drew his gaze down my body, branding me with his eyes.

'You're so fucking sexy Steph.' He said hotly. 'You have no idea what it does to me, to see you like this, to know that you're mine, hopelessly mine.'

I felt his words trigger a swell of wetness between my legs, and I gasped low in my throat. I arched my body, silently begging to be touched. My thoughts were incoherent, lost in a rush of lust, 'Please.' I managed.

He sent me the wolf smile and I knew I was in serious trouble – the kind of trouble a girl enjoys until she screams herself hoarse.

In many ways Ranger knew me better than Joe, and one of them was that on our single night together he had discovered that I rather enjoy being dominated, which was fine by him, cos he loves to dominate me. He had that look in his eye - beyond possessiveness; it wasn't that I was a favourite toy that he owned, it was like I was his arm, a part of him, irrefutably belonging to him - to use as he willed. I moaned and he knew I was ready, knew I was wanting.

He was on me in an instant, pushing my body into the blanket. His kiss was savage, his tongue plunging into my mouth as I moaned and longed to touch him. His hands cupped and massaged my breasts and then roughly pinched the nipples until I groaned deeply at the perfect pain/pleasure feeling. He ground his cock against my clit and I gasped again.

'I'm going to go down on you,' he growled, 'suck the juices of your tight little pussy whether you want it or not.'

I felt his words right down to my core, and I knew that my juices were slowly leaking out of my body.

'Yes.' I said hoarsely.

He licked his way down my body, licking across my tight and trembling abdomen muscles, creeping to my bellybutton, sucking, licking, and possessing me. It was sweet heaven and tortuous hell, and all I wanted. The instant his tongue touched my clit my hips arched off the blanket, unable to stop their desperate grinding. He pressed his tongue hard against the tight nub of nerves and I couldn't hold back my gasp. He licked down to my wet pussy and growled low in his throat as he tasted my intense arousal.

'You want this.' He snarled.

Before I could form a reply, let alone pant it out, his tongue was back at my clit, licking me firmly. He slid two thick fingers into my pussy and my hips arched up in pleasure. His fingers fucked my pussy as his tongue lapped at my clit. He sucked lightly and rhythmically on my clit for long agonisingly perfect minutes as I arched towards the ecstasy of the cusp. I threw my head back as the heat broiling in my stomach intensified and rippled. I was so close…and he stopped.

'Beg for it.' He commanded.

'Please.' I managed.

'You're asking. I told you to beg.'

I was close to tears at the thought of not getting my orgasm, being denied my desperately needed release, 'Please, please Ranger.' I moaned desperately, 'Please. Please Master.' The instant the M word left my lips, Ranger was on me again. His tongue hot and rough on my clit as he pushed me over to give me everything I needed in that moment.

My body shuddered and cried out through the intense orgasm, strengthened by Ranger's continuous suction on my clit. As my body arched, my arms pulled down on my restraints, and I knew that I belonged to him, as did my orgasm.

By the time I came back down Ranger was positioned between my legs, his hard cock at my wet and trembling entrance.

The instant the glaze left my eyes Ranger pushed into me with one firm thrust. My pussy was so sensitive after my orgasm that I cried out as he stretched me. It was pure delectable torture.

He rammed into my craving and flinching body, pushing the boundaries between pleasure and pain, mixing and moving them until neither existed, nothing existed but the moment.

His fingers rubbed my sensitive clit roughly and I knew he was as close to the edge as I was.

His firm strokes sped up and I writhed around him as he split me in half. Our bodies slapped against each other, slick with sweat, desperate with need.

He bit down on my neck as he came in hot spurts against my walls, and both sensations triggered my own thunderous release until I moaned his name over and over.

When my heart rate had settled enough for me to determine I wasn't going to die, I opened my eyes. Ranger had un-cuffed my hands whilst I was in my very own zone, and now he lay next to me.

I laid my head on his still labouring chest and his arms wrapped around me and held me close.

'God.' I finally said.

He flashed me a cocky grin, 'Master will suffice for now.'

Oh boy.

Our almost-honeymoon in Fiji had been amazing, mostly being dominated by, but not restricted to, amazing and varied sex. But that wasn't all it was, at times Ranger would surprise me by just stroking my hair or touching my face at random intervals. I could tell it was in those moments he was remembering that he had very nearly lost me. It was only in the second week of our time together that I pointed out he was being a little more sappy than I would have expected him to be.

He turned to me, all serious and shrugged, 'of course.'

I raised an eyebrow in question and he grinned. 'SAP Babe – Standard Affectionate Procedure.' I mock hit him and tackled him to the floor, and that led to round two of that day.

Even now at the end of our month together I'm still coming to terms with how much closer we have grown. After all those days together, in my flat, in Miami, I would have sworn we couldn't be more in Love. Just goes to show, nothing like a little close encounter with Death to spice up your love lives. Not only did it help my love life, it's also helped with my nightmares. Ever since my brush with death they've completely gone, guess you really do fear the unknown, and once you've kinda faced it, well, you're stronger for it.

I don't fear sleep anymore, once again it's returned to being my refuge and hobby. Life is good. My eyes are wide open; looking to the future with the man I love.