Talk? He wants to talk? "It's a little late…" she tried to squeak out the only sensible reason. Hadn't she just stated that she couldn't sleep? She couldn't think straight when he was so close. The glow of the light from the hall cast a flattering shadow over his muscular frame. She could see the reserved determination in the depths of his olive orbs. She could feel him taking seize to this private opportunity to get inside her head, and it unnerved her completely. She wanted to look away, but instead her eyes ended up focusing on his lips. The same lips that had kissed her earlier that day. As the memory returned of those precious little moments where her sanity had lapsed, she could once again feel the imprints of his lips burning against her own. She quickly snapped her attention back to his eyes, hoping that her blush wasn't visible in the shadows of the room. The longer she gazed into those inviting orbs, the more she felt inclined to tell him every intricate detail of her life up until this very moment, even the moments that hurt. For, she almost felt strong enough to relive it when he was so near…almost.

"May?" Shannon's voice held the questions May had so carefully avoided. The questions to which she had no answers and all answers at the same time. The questions that had been keeping her awake every night since the first time he kissed her: Why? Why are you fighting? Why are you running? Why?

"I don't know…" was all she could manage, for she truly didn't understand her own reservations. "It's just that I don't know how…"

Shannon regarded her strangely. He knew she had issues. All her attempts to keep him at bay, to keep him from even so much as holding her hand was evidence of that. He didn't completely comprehend his own fascination for needing to know everything about her or wanting to help her, but all he knew was that he wanted to try. Hell, he wanted her. "What do you mean?"

May let out a sigh as she tried to think of the best way to put her thoughts into coherent sentences. She'd only known this man less than two months and even though she felt she could trust him, she couldn't get over that. Only recently had she begun to trust her own brother-in-law, and he had been married to her sister for years. What did she really know about Shannon? Sure, they could play twenty questions all day, every day, but that still wouldn't tell her what she needed to know. Questions are only questions…Putting good faith in someone who has never actually shown trustworthiness was dangerous, and May always liked to stay on the safe side. Furrowing her brow she though, That's what got me into this mess. Taking a chance on the beach…being impulsive. What were impulses trying to tell her now? It took her a long time to think it over as Shannon waited patiently for her to explain. Finally, she decided to tell him how she felt, and in the only words that would come, "I haven't always loved my sister. We didn't have the greatest life as children, and we often competed for the smallest things and the tiniest inklings of affection from our parents. It took us years to figure out that we had only turn to each other for support. That no matter how we tried, some battles couldn't be won. When she had her first child, Chelsea, I couldn't understand how I could love a perfect stranger so fully, but I did. It was the same Josh, her youngest."

"The cat and Frankenstein, right?" Shannon smiled, despite the unseen waves of trepidation that radiated from her soft spoken words.

"Right," she smiled briefly, remembering Halloween.

"So…what do they…?"

"The point is," she licked her lips. She might as well be blunt. "Shannon, the love I feel for that part of my family is different. I can love them without even trying to figure out how to show them I care. It just came naturally, but…" She looked away, unable to look at him as she spoke her next sentence, "but loving my family and loving another person are two entirely different things. I don't know what you're looking for or what you want from me, Shannon, but I can guarantee you that if it's more than friendship or sex; you won't be able to find it here. I don't think I could ever really love anyone like that. I wouldn't know how."

If that was supposed to shock him, it certainly did. He didn't remember ever asking her anything about love for asking her to sleep with him…not that he'd mind, but he didn't want a bed-buddy and he certainly wasn't looking for love…was he? Why did he feel compelled to get closer to her? He found her eyes again…he could see their azure depths even in the darkness of the room. He knew she was waiting on him to respond, and he suddenly wanted to tell her that her notions were illogical, but his train of thought fled for a moment when he spoke, "Why is it that you're always at your best during the wee hours of the morning?"

May did a visible double-take. That was not at all what she had been expecting, "Wh-"

He smiled slightly, captivated by the way her hair fell around her face and how the shadows fell around her like a haze. She looked absolutely lovely to him, and he didn't regain his good sense until it was too late and his lips had met with hers. She was stiff at first, as they had been earlier that day. Memories of their brief interlude had been what kept him from sleeping. Slowly, she began to relax against his mouth, and even returned his menstruations, giving him just as much he gave her.

May couldn't breathe. She couldn't think. All she could do was feel…and oh, how wonderful it felt. She heard the sound of a shirt ripping, and when he took her breast into his mouth, she let out a blissful whimper. His tongue encircled her nipple in slow seductive circles. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around his neck, threading her fingers into his hair. He was so warm, and having him so near gave her a comfort she had never known before. Her only goal was to have him as close to her as humanly possible. The fear was gone when he held her…kissed her. As she pulled his shirt over his head, she wondered if they made love right now would the fear leave forever. Love…

This couldn't happen. She didn't love him……did she? "Shannon," her voice was husky and breathless from his kisses.

Shannon felt her go still, and pulled away immediately. He wasn't quite sure how he had ended up on top of her with a breast in his mouth, but he was pretty damn sure he wasn't the only one that had been enjoying it. He met her gaze, his eyes afire with a promise of passion. "Sorry," he managed to lie convincingly as he regretfully pulled the two halves of her shirt back together.

"Don't be," her voice shook as she clutched the material.

Shannon began to move from atop her, when a shy hand on his bicep stayed him. She looked as shocked as he felt. What was she playing at? "Alta May…" he half growled in voice ripe with need. "If you're intending to stop, then you might want to let me get up-"

His sentence was cut off when she flipped him over on his back. He looked up at her in astonishment. "What the hell…?" She silenced him with a harsh kiss, for she had decided to do at least one reckless thing a month, and damn it all…she wanted him. She felt him hesitate for half a second, before he finally touched her. The feel of his strong hands caressing her skin, sent waves of pleasure straight to her core. She was faintly aware of losing her tattered shirt and her underwear, for she had just as eagerly removed the confines of clothing from Shannon.

"Alta May," he voice was a husky whisper against her ear. A wonderful to which she could barely hear, let alone respond to. "I…" Shannon knew what he had been about to say the moment the thought entered his mind, but he couldn't say it here or now. He inwardly sighed in relief that he'd stopped himself in time, but when she took him into her hands, all thinking came to a halt. All he could hear in the back of his mind was a soft chant coming somewhere from within his chest, I love you, Alta May. I love you so much.

The only thing she was aware of as their bodies joined, was that she never wanted to be without him again. She no longer wanted to pretend she could walk away from the understanding he offered. He made her feel things that she thought would always be foreign to her. She'd only ever used the term 'making love,' but the tenderness and the pleasure he showed her in the act, defined the phrase for her and gave it new meaning. As the waves of climax washed over her for the first time, she sputtered incoherent words. She now yearned to know what it was to love someone. She wanted to love him. She wanted him to teach her how.

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Okay…only 3 pages, but I figured you needed something to let you know that I haven't given up. :D If there are typos, don't worry. This chapter isn't finished, and I'll be re-uploading it as soon as it is. This is just a preview. :D