Title: I Can't Be Without You

Author: TakerTakeMe

Disclaimer: I own no one and (as usual) everything that happens is fictional.

Summary: When Chris won't leave his wife, Stephanie does the unthinkable!

Chapter: 3

He felt her pulse. It was so weak that he could barely feel it, but it was fluttering along even so. He held her in his arms while he went to pick up his Sidekick 2. He quickly dialed 911.

When they picked up, he started yelling right away. "You've got to help me!"

"Calm down, sir. What's the problem?"

"The love of my life just swallowed a bottle of Tylenol!"

"What's your address?"

He gave the person the address to the beach house and hung up. He slipped the Sidekick 2 in his pocket. Then, cradling Stephanie tenderly in his muscular arms, he carried her out of the bedroom, down the hall, and carefully down the stairs. He laid her on the couch and ran to unlock the door. Then he went back over to the couch and held her in his arms, cradling her head to his chest.

"God, please let them hurry up." They were taking too long. Much too long. "Please, God. You know I don't ask you for much, but please don't take Stephy away from me. She's the only woman I've ever truly loved."

He looked down at her. She was so pale. So fragile. "Stephy, please don't leave me," he whispered. "Damn it, I need you!"

In the distance, he could hear the sirens of the ambulance. They got louder and louder as they approached, so loud until the point where Chris thought they were going to drive right into the house.

He laid Stephanie down on the couch gently again, then ran for the door. He opened the door and led the EMTs inside. "This way! She's in here!"

They ran into the room and just a short while later they were carrying Stephanie out on a stretcher with Chris right at her side.

"Are you coming in the ambulance with her?" one of the EMTs asked Chris.

"You're damn right I am," Chris replied almost savagely. "She needs me to be there for her." But if I'd been there for her before, this never would've happened.

"No need to be hostile, sir," the EMT said curtly, and soon they were in the ambulance and en route to the hospital.

"Will she be ok?" Chris asked, holding one of Stephanie's hands. It was cold and clammy.

"We don't know. We're going to need to pump her stomach when we get to the hospital," the EMT said. "Too many pills is toxic, you know?"

"I can't believe she would do this to herself," Chris said sadly.

"Has she ever been suicidal?" the EMT asked.

"Not until today," Chris replied with a sigh. He looked down at Stephanie. "You have to make it, Stephy. For me..." A lone tear trailed down his cheek and fell onto her face as he leaned over to place a gentle kiss on her clammy forehead. This is all my fault, he thought. All my fault...

Later that day after they had pumped Stephanie's stomach and gotten all the pills out of her system, Chris sat in her room, bedside, intently watching her face. He was willing her to wake up, reaching out with his mind and hoping they had telepathy of some sort. Stephy, open your eyes, he cried out with his mind. Look at me. Wake up. God, please open her eyes.

As if she heard him, her eyes opened and she looked up at him.

"Thank you, God," he said, looking up at the ceiling. "I owe you one, God. I owe you."

Stephanie looked at him with heavy-lidded eyes. "Hi."

"Hey," he said softly. "Glad to see you awake."

"I'm sorry," she said. "I shouldn't have..."

"Don't worry about it," he said calmly. "Just...don't do it again, ok?"

"Ok," she said.

"I thought I was going to lose you, Stephy, and that scared me," he admitted.

"Why?"

"Because..." He leaned down to place a soft kiss on her lips. "Because... I can't be without you."

"I can't be without you, either," she breathed. "I love you too much."

"I read the letter," he said absently. "And I'm sorry I put you through so much. But I'll make it right, as soon as I divorce Jessica."

"You're actually going to..." Her voice trailed off as she yawned. "...actually going to divorce her?"

"Yes, baby, because I want to marry you," he answered.

"That sounds..." She yawned again. "That sounds absolutely...exquisite. I can't wait to start planning and..." She closed her eyes.

"For now you just concentrate on getting better," he said, rubbing her cheek gently. "Get some sleep."

"I love you," she whispered.

"I love you, too," he whispered back.

She fell asleep with a smile on her face...

He watched her sleep and vowed that she would never be in this predicament again.

And that's the end, folks! You know, I almost put, "She fell asleep with a smile on her face..." pressed enter and put "She never woke up." But I couldn't bring myself to make her die! I admit it: I'm such a sappy sucker!