Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The rights to those characters and to the show belong to the creators of the show, to CBS, The Sullivan Company and to A&E.

Warning: This story depicts lovemaking between two consenting, unmarried adults.

Because I Love You

Written by, Ashley J.

Written March 25, 2006

"Because I love you!" Her heart burst into a million little pieces, and she looked into his eyes, seeing the past year flash before her own eyes. Because I love you. I love you. I love…Had he really just said the only thing she had wanted to hear since the moment she'd met him? Had he really just told her everything from the depths of his heart?

The train shuddered, and she fell into his arms, not afraid to fall any longer. Her gaze melted into his, and their arms found solace wrapped around one another. His heart beat loudly and hard against her chest, and she took a breath, uncertain of what to do next.

"I should go," she whispered to herself. The words didn't reach his ears, and his hands desperately gripped her waist, bringing to her close to him. She wasn't supposed to be here. The train was beginning to lurch forward, along with her stomach. She was too quiet. She should have spoken moments ago.

"Michaela." Her name was lost in the sound of the whistle blowing, and she knew she was missing her chance to leave. She was missing her chance to break his heart.

"I should go," she finally spoke aloud, but as her words left her mouth, the train left the station, and it was too late. They were still in each other's arms, and it was too late. Too late…and she couldn't take her eyes off of his. "You…you said…"

"I know what I said," he breathed, not daring to move from his spot; not daring to take his arms away from her. He needed her there. He needed so much. She needed to hear it again just to make sure she wasn't fooling herself. Had she imagined it, just as she had in her dreams for so long? "Michaela Quinn, I love you." Her eyes searched his. They were full of truth and love and absolutely desperation. I can't lose you. I can't lose what we have. Not now. Never.

Why wasn't she speaking? Why couldn't she say it back? Did he just say the wrong thing? Did she not love him too? Had he been wrong all along? Why did his heart feel as if it was being threatened by a hundred sharp knives?

"I…" Her throat closed up, and she couldn't say it. She wanted to. She needed to. God, what was wrong? Why couldn't she speak. But, she didn't need to. Their souls spoke to one another, and he braved the forces that threatened to rip his life apart. He pulled her body against his, and his lips crushed against hers with more need than any one person had ever felt.

She gasped at the sensation, but her gloved hands clenched against his chest, and before she could push him away, her knees weakened, and his arms held her up.

I love you too! I love you. I always have.

When they finally pulled apart, his arms set her free, and they stood before one another, absolute fear and confusion heavily lining their faces. Did she need time? Did she need…what did she need? He had never been so uncertain. But, he wanted her to think. He wanted her to know for sure. As he turned to leave, her hand found the sliding door and enclosed them inside of the compartment and into their own private world.

"Sully," she finally spoke, searching for the words.

"Tell me what ya want, Michaela. Just tell me, and I'll leave ya alone." His hand enclosed over hers, willing to push the door back open, but her hand stayed firm.

"Don't leave. Please. Don't leave." Their eyes met again, and an unspoken agreement told him that if he were to leave, he'd lose her forever.

"Why'd ya stay? Why should I stay now?" he asked. He needed to know. Everything that mattered to him in this world depended on three little words that held more meaning than any others.

Her mind reeled. She wasn't supposed to do this. It wasn't proper. But, when she saw the challenge in his eyes, she knew he didn't care about propriety anymore than she did at that very moment. She wanted him to know she could never love another the way she loved him. He was it for her. He was the one person that felt right.

"Michaela," he said quietly, taking her hand from the door and holding it against his heart. "Why should I stay? Why shouldn't I let ya go?" She couldn't think of anything else to say that could mean more than this:

"Because…because, I love you too." And without words, their hearts found one another again, as they pushed and pulled against one another, clinging to every breath, every word, every magical flicker of sunlight in the other's eyes. And, she felt her back against the window, not caring that an entire world was passing her by on the outside, not stopping to think of the consequences or the fact that she was a stowaway, or the fact that her children were back in Boston, and she was powerless to get back to them. His arms. His hands. His lips. His tongue. She was surrounded, and she was falling.

She opened her eyes, and she stared up at him. She was lying on the seat, and his body was arched over hers, uncertain of what to do next. She didn't know. His mind was blank. She couldn't breathe. She held her hand against her heart, and it beat for him. It only beat for him. She'd never felt more alive than she did at this very moment.

"Sully," she whispered, feeling tears of uncertain joy spring forward, but when his body caved over hers, she knew, without a doubt, that this was right.

She let his hands roam over her shoulders and up her neck and into her hair. Her hat had fallen to the floor of the train moments ago. It was lying in a pile with his tool belt, and she hadn't expected his moccasins, coat and her purse to join the pile so soon, but when his lips met hers again, she didn't care what happened next, because all she wanted was this.

He held her gently against his body, until he felt her relax, and his lips discovered parts of her flesh that had been unknown to him before. His feathery kisses tickled her pulse, and she couldn't suppress the moan that burst forth from his simplest of touches.

I'll love you all my days. Marry me. Spend your life with me. Say yes. Just yes. It's all I need.

What am I doing? Is it right? God, what's happening? What am I feeling? Why does he want me? Why me? How can he love me? We're so different. I've never felt like this before. I need him. I love him. I want this. I want to be everything to him. More.

"Michaela," he mumbled, as he began to work at the buttons of her dress jacket. He couldn't figure out how to open it up, and with a bright flush across her cheeks, Michaela helped him, and he slid it off of her with ease.

"I don't know," she whispered. "How do I love you?" Tears were in her eyes when he pulled away, and her hands reached blindly for his. "I want to love you."

"Then love me," he whispered. That's all she wanted. It's all she needed then. Another moment passed by that they were wasting. Another moment passed by that could have stopped this and torn them apart again. But, no. No. She refused to let that happen. She refused to let her head play games with her heart. No. Not this time.

"I do," she breathed. His fingers laced with hers, and he brought her hands to his chest. This was it. Her fingers slipped inside of his shirt, and he slowly began to undo the buttons. Their breaths were ragged, and her hair was already falling out of its pins.

She closed her eyes, as he pulled his own shirt off, tossing it to the floor.

"You're sure?"

"No," she said, shaking her head. "My head isn't. But my heart is. My body…" She flushed at her own words, and he consoled her with a loving kiss.

Regrets? No. Never.

"We should stop."

"And, I should have gotten off of the train," she countered. And, they knew. They were here for a reason. Their hearts had led them here, and now their hearts and bodies were telling them…yes.

I've loved you since the day I first saw ya.

He helped her sit, and his lips brushed against hers, fumbling with the buttons on the back of her blouse. She moaned softly, as the scratchy lace irritated her skin. She pushed her shoes off without even undoing the laces, and hands worked frantically against time and barriers.

In moments, Michaela's camisole was being invaded by foreign hands that pressed against the soft, warm flesh of her tummy. She moaned, when his mouth covered hers, kissing her without reservations. He felt her hands knot into his hair, deepening the kiss, as his hand felt her breast for the first time. She jumped at the feeling, and as he lay her down, he slowly lifted the material over her head, revealing her gorgeous form to him. She wanted to shield herself, but his approving smile and the kisses that followed caused her to writhe in ecstasy.

He lifted her hips, helping her out of her stockings and skirt, and when she felt his eyes on her, her body flushed with perspiration. She was beautiful. Every part of her. His hands couldn't control themselves, and he crawled over her, caressing her body with his own, as he slipped out of his buckskins.

Michaela's entire body was sparking with the need for more of him, and she shivered at the sight of him. He had bared himself to her, and she to him, and now what was next?

What do I do? I don't know. I'm terrified. I need him. I want this. I don't know how to please him.

"You're beautiful," he whispered softly.

I don't wanna hurt her. I'd never forgive myself for hurting her. She's the most precious thing in the world to me. How could I? How could we? This is right.

His mind began to spin, as he settled between her legs. Discomfort filled their bodies at the awkward position. Michaela's eyes closed tightly, and despite Sully's kisses, she didn't open them for anything.

"I don't wanna hurt ya." Her hands pulled on his shoulders, bringing his lips just a breath from hers. She didn't open her eyes, but she let her heart speak for her.

"Then don't. Just love me." He closed his eyes, and his heart rested against hers. And in a moment, they joined as one, breaking through the pain and everything that had ever come between them. She cried out, and her neck strained, as she clung desperately to him.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," he whispered frantically. But, her eyes opened, and though the blush of innocence rose from her core, she shook her head.

"Don't be sorry for loving me. That hurts more." His body moved with hers, and they had never realized how connected two people could feel. His hands gently cupped her face, and as they moved together as one, her eyes fluttered open, and their gazes locked. They'd never look at anyone like this, they realized. They would never feel, with anyone else, this incessant pounding of longing, need, love, and now…and now pleasure.

Why did I come? Yes, why? Because. Because? Because I love you. I love you. Because I want to spend the rest of my life showing you…

Their bodies tortured and comforted one another over and over again, as the train moved on down the line…farther away from Boston…farther away from caring what anybody else thought.

Her nails raked his back, trying to hang on to reality, as her mind spun in a world of ecstasy, where everything felt good and right, and when she finally let go, she began to fall with him, feeling higher and more alive than ever.

"Sully," she cried out, as an unfamiliar pleasure ripped through her body, causing her to tremble harder than she ever had before. Her body's reaction to him caused him to shudder too. It had been too long. There wasn't enough time, and when he collapsed against her, he feared too much.

They pulled apart, both silent and coming down from different highs. The train shuddered on the tracks, and they looked at one another, absolute change reflecting in each of them.

They pulled each other down to the floor of the compartment, holding one another and leaning against the edge of the seat.

"I never knew," she whispered, burying her face in his chest, as his arms surrounded her. "I never knew you loved me."

"Yes ya did. Ya knew. Ya felt it," he whispered. "I just didn't know how ya could love me."

"It's easy," she whispered. "It's so easy, but it's so hard at the same time. I don't know how to love sometimes, Sully. You…you've changed so much."

"So have you." Their eyes met and then their lips. And, Sully drew in a deep breath, looking into those eyes.

"I almost lost you…'cause I love you."

"You'll never lose me, Sully. Never. It's always been you."

The End