"Did John say why he couldn't pick me up himself?" Natalie asked Nash as he drove her over to the Palace to meet John. She was confused as to why they were going there in the first place. She had been out of the hospital a little over a week and he had said he wanted to celebrate that. Still the palace wasn't quite their scene.

"No, Sorry." Nash said suppressing a smile. He and Natalie got along good. In the past week Nash had come to see her as a sister. Natalie was strong and determined, just like Jessica. He and Jessica had some news that they were just about ready to share. Jessica was pregnant and after tonight they were going to tell everyone. He suspected that Natalie already knew though.

"So when are you and Jess going to tell everyone?" Natalie asked confirming Nash's suspicions.

Nash smiled and said, "When the time is right. Maybe tomorrow if all goes well." Natalie gave a sound of happiness and Nash smiled again to himself.

"I'm gonna be an aunt. This is so cool!" Natalie said as they arrived at the palace. They didn't say much as they went into the Palace. John met them at the inside door.

"Hey," John said kissing Natalie softly on the mouth before taking her arm and following Nash inside the restaurant.

John was dressed in a black suit with a dark blue shirt underneath. He looked so handsome Natalie thought to herself. As they walked into the room Natalie's mouth dropped open. Everyone who knew and cared about her was in the room. John led her into the middle of the room stopped then got down on one knee, taking out a small square box.

"John?" Natalie gasped beginning to smile. She let out a full blown smile when John began to speak.

"Natalie, when you came into my life I was like a robot going through the motions of living. I didn't care about anything but my job. You brought me back to life and brought color into my world. I love you more then I can ever express. When you were missing I felt like someone tore my heart from my chest. I need you in my life more then I need air to breath." John paused, there wasn't a dry eye in the room, then taking a deep breath he said, "Natalie, will you marry me?"

Natalie looked at him stunned then smiling widely she all but shouted, "YES! Of course I will! I love you so much John."

John took out the ring and Natalie caught her breath, it was gorgeous. It was a single ruby in the shape of a heart set on a white gold band. As he slid the ring on her finger Natalie began to cry tears of joy, it fit perfectly. When John jumped up and kissed her passionately The room erupted in cheers. Rex's shouted whooping cheers were the loudest in the room.

John pulled back, "Do you like the ring? I picked a heart because you have mine and the stone because it reminded me of your hair," he said.

"I love it John! It's beautiful. You have my heart too. I love you, I love you so much!" Natalie said softly to him. Hugging him to her tightly, her ribs healing fast and not paining her so much anymore. "Can we leave soon?" She asked suggestively, hoping they could celebrate in private.

John groaned in her ear and whispered back, "God I hope so. It was Jessica's idea to invite everyone here." Kissing her again they prepared themselves to accept the congratulations of their friends and family.

John was surprised when his mother greeted them. "Mom! How did you get here?" he asked happily. He hugged her then turned to Natalie, "Natalie this is my mom Eve McBain, Mom this is Natalie."

Natalie hugged Eve, "It's wonderful to meet you, Mrs. McBain" Natalie said. She had been wanting to met her for a while but John had told her she was on a cruise ship singing. Turning to John she said, "I thought you said your mother was singing on a cruise ship for months?"

"She was!" John defended. "Mom how did you get away? How did you even know I was here?" John asked, then shook his head when Michael smirked at him, "Michael."

"Yes. Your brother called me. He thought I should know that my son was in love. That I was going to be a grandmother. It's not like you said anything." She chided him gently.

"I was gonna tell you, Mom. I have a lot on my mind lately." John said defensively. As they talked Eve liked Natalie more and more. She was just what John needed in his life and she could understand why John loved her.

After an hour or so John and Natalie managed to sneak out of the party. John took her to his room at the Angel Square Hotel. As he let them in he looked around the room with a rueful eye. Casually saying, "We need to find a better place to live. Especially with the baby coming."

Natalie grinned at his casual tone, not fooled for a minute, "Why John McBain, are you asking me to live with you before we are married?" She asked teasingly.

"I guess I am," John answered in his most sexy voice. Coming up behind her he wrapped his arms around her waist and said, "You will be my wife and I want you with me always."

When John said the word 'Wife' she started to cry. "Natalie? What's wrong?" John asked confused over her abrupt change in mood. John picked her up in his arms and carried her over to the bed as she continued to sob. "Natalie?" he questioned again.

Natalie was crying so hard she couldn't answer. She cried for a long time and John simply held her until she was finished. "It just hit me that Cris is gone. That I killed him. That I'm not his wife anymore. That part of my life is over." Natalie said finally. "I mean I knew all of this before but... Tonight I felt it. In my heart."

John nodded in understanding. She had let go of the past. He had been worried about her this last week because she hadn't cried or really shown much emotion one way or the other over Cris's death. Now he understood why. She hadn't really accepted the fact that he was gone. Not in her heart anyway. In her mind she knew but she still hadn't let him go in her heart.

"It's ok baby" he said. "I understand." Holding her close John kissed the top of her head. "Tonight is a new beginning for both of us. We get to start our lives together, right now, tonight." He said smiling into her hair.

Natalie smiled up at him and kissed him. Rubbing herself against him she was pleased when he groaned. "Mmmm" she said against his lips when she felt his erection through his pants. Reaching down she cupped him through the material of his dress pants. " I have been wanting to do this for days." she said to him.

John took his lips from hers and trailed them down the side of her neck, pausing to whisper, "Me too!" in her ear. He nibbled at her earlobe and Natalie moaned at the sensation.

"Oh John," Natalie sighed as his lips settled at the base of her throat and he sucked gently. Natalie moved her hands up and down his chest with restless passion, eliciting a soft groan from John. Throwing her head back as John continued to kiss and lick from her neck to her collar bone Natalie reached for the buttons on his shirt. Unbuttoning them one by one she soon had his shirt off revealing a white undershirt.

John pulled off his undershirt absently his attention on Natalie's shirt which he quickly helped her remove. He looked at her purple and gold bra in approval. Bringing his hands to her breasts he covered them and squeezed them firmly, running his thumbs over her nipples, bringing them to hardened points. Her moan sent a jolt straight to his hard and throbbing cock.

As John pleasured her breasts Natalie ran her hands along his back and into his hair. She loved the feel of his silky hair as it brushed her body. Tightening her hold on his head she drew him down to her aching breasts silently begging him to use his mouth where his hands were. Arching her back she gave him easier access to her, moaning when he took her tight throbbing nipple into his mouth through her bra.

When he reached around to unhook her bra she arched even higher. With her bra gone he brought his hands back to her chest filling them with her naked breasts. When he took her nipple in his mouth and sucked strongly on it Natalie moaned loudly. "John!"

He looked up at her grinning, loving the passion in her voice. Passion for him. Taking his mouth from her breast he trailed his lips to her stomach kissing it tenderly. He was awed but the fact that his child was in there. Their baby. Reaching for her skirt he slid it, along with her underclothes down to ankles grinning as she kicked it off quickly. Reaching for his own pants he removed them as well and soon they were laying naked heated flesh against heated flesh.

Positioning himself above her he reached down with his hand to see if she was ready for him. He moaned low in his throat at how wet she was. Bringing his hand back up and cupping the back of her head he drew her lips to his kissing her deeply as he sank his pulsing cock deep into her ready core.

Natalie moaned loudly as he entered her. Grinding her hips into him she pressed closer, trying to get as close as possible. She let out a surprised gasp when John suddenly rolled over changing their positions so that she was on top. She sat up slowly bracing her hands on either side of his head. Moving her hips up and down on his velvety hardness she began to ride him. Setting a rhythm that had him gripping the sheets beneath him Natalie leaned down and kissed him, sliding her tongue into his mouth.

John brought his hands to her waist and gripped her tightly. He began to help her move,arching his back and driving up into her,quickening the pace until they were straining for their release. Moaning long and loud they both came, together they slipping over the edge into paradise where there was only them and their love.

Breathing heavily and still shaking from their mutual release they came back to earth. Laying in each other's arms the clung together until their breathing slowed and their bodies calmed.

"I love you, John." Natalie said after a little while. They were both almost asleep and John murmured, "I love you too, Natalie." They went to sleep shortly after both eager to begin their life together.

The End