They've been playing nothing but the oldies station at my job for the last week or so, and I really hate it. There are maybe a handful, at most, of songs that are played that I actually like. One of them is the song used in this story, "Angel Of The Morning" by Merrilee Rush. Her version is the best in my opinion, though it's been covered by just about every female singer known to man. The song is the basis for this fic. I think it's only going to have this one, maybe...okay, maybe...it'll have two parts. When sitting down to write this I was aiming at writing something short and sweet for once, because I tend to be long winded. All song lyrics are included at the end. Story is told from AJ's point of view.

I don't own anything. I am using any and all names without permission. Song lyrics are used without permission. I am making no profit from this, it is only a work of fiction.

Morning's Echo Says We've Sinned

You told me as we sat one night, talking, that you sometimes felt as though your wife hated you. That moment was when I decided I would have you. That I would make you mine. If only you'd never said that...I know you'll never be mine.

I'm just waking up. You're still asleep there in bed. I know that I'll have to be leaving soon, it's almost sunrise, but not quite. There's still just enough darkness looming out there to let me know I have a little time left with you.

I've got this song stuck in my head. It's a song about you, about me, about us, about...about this. I heard it when I was flipping through stations a few weeks back on the ride to Tampa to see you. It's that oldies song about "Touch my cheek before you leave me, baby..." I'm not even sure what the name of it is or who sings it or any of the lyrics outside of the chorus, but I've got what I do know of it stuck in my head, and I'll be damned if I can get rid of it. It reminds me of you, Jay. How every week after television tapings I sneak into your house for sex.

Maybe your wife's away from home, traveling. Maybe she's just at work. Either way, I always have to sneak in, sneak out. I hate it. I'm not a sneaky person. Well, at least not until we started this...

It began with that statement about your wife. It snowballed into a whole story about how you'd grown apart from her and you'd been cheating on her, sleeping with other people for a long time now. How you knew she had been doing the same. That you didn't want to get a divorce, that it wasn't really broken as long as nobody let anything kept secret out in the open, and if it wasn't broken then why fix it?

At first your convoluted logic was strange, even a bit frightening, to tell the truth. I couldn't find the sense in it. If you wanted to sleep with someone else, then leave your wife. It sounded so simple...until I started doing it too. Until I became like you...

It started out innocently, our friendship. We were just like any other male friends. Talk about work, about women, about sports. I didn't want you right from the start, you grew on me. I found myself becoming both attracted to you and enthralled with you with passing days, especially on days when you and I would talk about your situation with your wife.

I secretly like to think that I'm your favorite, that I was the best. I'll never know, I don't want to know. I am afraid to ask. You had racked up a long laundry list of lovers over the years, both male and female, but mostly male. I was too intimidated by it, by you, to even ask.

I think some mornings, as I prepare to sneak away, about whether or not it's all worth it. If my wife, your wife, were to find out about this, then it wouldn't be pretty, to put it mildly. I hate lying to my wife. I tried to tell her once, but I just couldn't. I love her, don't get me wrong. I love her with all of my heart. It's just that...you give me something that she can't, and it's not just the mind numbingly incredible sex that I'm making reference to...it's something more than that...something that I can't put my finger on.

Then, some mornings, I think about how I sometimes want to tell you that I long for more than this. I want to tell you that I think I could be falling in love with you, that I want more than sex from you. But I know what you'd say...

You were just too good to pass up. You were to beautiful, too striking, too warm to not let in. Your touch awakens something inside of me that I haven't felt since I can't remember when. And that's why I do it. That's why I keep coming back. That's why I just can't end this, even though it's killing me to lie, I have to have you. I need you.

Mornings like this are rare. We've gotten to spend the whole night together, sleeping side by side maybe nine or ten times. Usually it's just a quickie here and there. I love mornings like this. They're special. Mornings make my thoughts clearer, make things come into perspective better for me. I know that this may not last that much longer, so I'd better enjoy these rare times while I can.

I'm pulling my shirt over my head now, searching for my pants. I peer over at you as more of those song lyrics permanently implanted in my brain come passing through. "Just call me angel of the morning, Angel..." I scoff to myself. We both know you're no angel and neither am I. You look like the farthest thing from it this morning, your lips pursed into that snide little grin you've patented as your very own. Even in your sleep...

I successfully locate my pants and pull them on, casting you one last sideways glance as I do. I make sure I have everything, my watch, my keys...I wouldn't want to leave a trace...your wife will be home soon from wherever it is she's gone this time, I'm sure...

Damn, I wish that song would go away. I put my shoes on and am ready to go, just about to leave, when a thought strikes me. I almost lose my nerve, but I decide to go through with it anyway. I know that not very much can wake you up when you're asleep. I lean back over, reaching out to where you're still laying, sound asleep. I decide, as I touch your cheek and smile, that maybe you could pass as an angel, just maybe...

I get into my car and start driving, that sinking feeling of guilt beginning to fill me once again. There are times when I tell myself that this week will be different. I won't sleep with you, I won't even stay down in Florida an extra day, I'll just do my job and go home to my wife and kid. And then I see you...

The sun is hot already though it's still early, it's damn near blinding me as I get on the highway and head home. Driving this morning, I feel as though the sun is trying to tell me something. That it knows what I've been doing. That it wants to further punish me by making it hard for me to see, to drive. It wants to burn some sense into me with it's rays. I squint as I pull down the visor above my head to block it out and turn on the radio, hoping to find that oldies station...

"There'll be no strings to bind your hands

Not if my love can't bind your heart.

And there's no need to take a stand

For it was I who chose to start.

I see no need to take me home,

I'm old enough to face the dawn.

Just call me angel of the morning, Angel

Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.

Just call me angel of the morning, Angel

Then slowly turn away from me.

Maybe the sun's light will be dim,

And it won't matter anyhow.

If morning's echo says we've sinned,

Well, it was what I wanted now.

And if we're the victims of the night,

I won't be blinded by light.

Just call me angel of the morning, Angel

Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.

Just call me angel of the morning, Angel

Then slowly turn away,

I won't beg you to stay with me,

Through the tears of the day,

Of the years, baby baby baby.

Just call me angel of the morning, Angel

Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby..."