Chapter Twenty Five- Never Could Have Gone This Far Without You

At the Pine Valley Airport, Jason Morgan rented an SUV. Marco drove while Jason sat in the front next to him. Ryan and Johnny sat in the back seat. They rode in silence, with all of their minds lost in their own thoughts.

They pulled up to the gate outside of Erica's mansion. Marco rolled down the window and said "Mr. Lavery and associates here to see Ms. Hart."

The guard used his cell to call up to the house, then opened the gate. Marco drove through.

He was only half way up the long driveway when the doors burst open and Kendall came running toward the SUV. Behind her, was Erica, Jackson, Bianca, Carly and Brenda.

Marco stopped the SUV just as Ryan flung open his door and climbed out.

XXXXXXXXXXX

Though his body was aching in every spot he could name, and his head had been pounding since the moment he woke up in the ocean, Ryan felt like he was flying high. Seeing Kendall running towards him and knowing they would have the chance to spend their lives together, it was a miracle in his book. And when her arms wrapped around him, and he pulled her close, burying his head in the crook of her neck, he knew he was home.

She murmured, "I love you so much, so much, never leave me again."

"I never will."

Ryan kissed her, with both his hands cupping her cheeks, and when he pulled back she was smiling.

Kendall said, with tears streaming down her face, "You are the love of my life, you know that, right?"

"And you are the love of mine."

XXXXXXX

Johnny lifted Brenda off her feet and spun her around. She laughed. Her hands went into his hair, then down over his neck, and settled on his chest. She loved feeling him and knowing he was alive, here, and still hers.

She gave him a kiss that was quick but hotter than should be seen by strangers. She didn't care though, she loved this man and wanted the whole damn world to know it.

"You are so lucky," she teased "that you made it back to me in one piece. I would have kicked your ass if you hadn't."

"Since when can you kick my ass? I would like to see you try."

She laughed. "Do not write a check your mouth can't cash, tough guy. I know moves you and Jason have both never even heard of." That comment took them both back to the first morning after she came home.

Johnny ran the back of his hands over her cheek in a tender caress. "What I am gonna do with you?"

She eased close to him and whispered, "Love me"

"Believe me, I do." He leaned down and kissed her again. He was pretty sure no one was paying attention to them because they were all gathered around Kendall and Ryan, but even if they were, he couldn't be bothered to care because he was looking into the eyes of the woman he loved, and to Johnny that is what mattered most right now. "And I don't plan on ever stopping."

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As soon as Carly reached Jason she smiled and wrapped one arm around his neck, pulling herself close to him. "Thank you. For bringing him back. You know I love how you make the impossible seem like no big thing. How do you pull that off? Cause I would love to be able to do that-"

"Do not try flattery, Carly."

She played innocent. "What? I am just saying I am impressed with your skills. You tracked down Lorenzo and got us back Ryan and it only took a few days. You even got back to me, and our little unborn baby," she smiled at him, doing her best to lay it on thick, "before Christmas. You are my hero, Jase."

That much was true, they both knew, but it was also obvious she wanted him to forget about her fleeing the safe house, which he did not intend to do.

"Yeah, yeah..." He worked hard to not let her words make him forget to be mad at her.

"What? You are!"

"Why couldn't you sit tight? I asked you to do one thing- sit tight- and you had to go and do the exact opposite. Why do you risk so much when you know..." his voice dropped from annoyed to heartfelt "I can't lose you."

"I know my little plans-"

"Big, crazy plans."

"My big, crazy plans," she corrected "drive you nuts but I do them for one reason only- to get the life I always wanted. That starts with you and our children but also includes Kendall and Ryan and John and the Spencers and Johnny. I can't say I won't do something crazy again when it comes to making them all happy or safe or letting them know I love them... I will hatch another plan another time if I think I need to. So get used to it."

He shook his head at her, in a way that said I love you, you crazy woman.

"You are lucky you didn't get yourself killed," he grumbled but the anger was gone from his tone. He finally hugged her, pulling her close and reveling in the feel of her pressed against him.

She whispered in his ear, "I'm never gonna die because I am never gonna leave you. That may not sound possible but...I've got a plan."

Jason chuckled.

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Erica waited for Ryan and Kendall to separate and then she cried out, happily, "It is so good to see you alive and well. I thought...I never would again." The last word was tear filled. She brought her hand up to rest over her heart as she took in ragged breath, Jackson wrapped his arm around her waist.

"Good to have you home, Ryan," he said.

"Its good to be here," Ryan said. Then he looked at Bianca. Without saying a word, they hugged.

Ryan brought his eyes back to connect with Kendall's. "I want to see our boy."

She slipped her hands in his and led him up to the nursery. He looked down and saw his precious son laying there, staring up at him, his fingers curled in a fist as he made little sounds of happiness.

"Hello, John. Daddy's home," Ryan said.

He picked up his child and cuddled him to his chest.

There was a time Ryan did not think himself fit to be a father, but now that he was, he found it to be the most life changing blessing he had ever received- and it wouldn't have been possible if not for Kendall's unrelenting commitment to them and her unshakeable love.

(Hey, hey
you've been so kind and generous.


I don't know why you keep on giving.


For your kindness,

I'm in debt to you.


And I
never could have gone this far

without you.


For everything you've done
you know I'm bound--I'm bound to thank you for it) ( Natalie Merchant)

Kendall was more to Ryan that just the hottest chick to ever look his way, more than just a con artist like him who he could relate to, more than just the woman who knew all his past and didn't think less of him for it, more than just his friend and partner in crime...she was the one who made his soul complete.

She gave him this life, this family, this reason to live and a reason to fight for their life together. She made his life what it was, and even though it had led him into a dangerous situation he was still grateful to have this life with her.

Ryan's eyes moved over to hers and he saw how happy, relieved, and excited she was to have him back. Her eyes were lit up with joy. It was a beautiful sight, one he would never forget.

(Oh,

I want to thank you for so many

gifts.


You gave me love and

tenderness.


I want to thank you!


I want to thank you for your

generosity,
the love, and the honesty that you gave to me.


I want to thank you,

show my gratitude,
my love and my respect for you.

I want to thank you) ( Natalie merchant)

He thanked God for her and for this child he held and for the chance to live this moment in time with them.

(I want to thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you,
Thank you, thank you...)