Author's Notes: Warnings for general sappiness and fluff... lots and lots of fluff... GAH! I don't DO cute::looks at 'Reciprocity' to calm my nerves:: That's more like it. I'm actually changing this from M to T. It turned out sweeter than I'd have thought... I guess they wanted to be really nice to each other after what I did to them in my last story... ;)

I've written this in... 4 days... from idea to finishing the posting. That is a new record for me, but I couldn't stop myself from the image of Jackson showing up at Valentine's Day... it had to be written.

SORRY! There is no chapter three!

This is being bumped once... it's because I've made some changes to the ending. Fleshed it out a little. I finished writing it at four am... and then I woke and wanted to add just a little. SO YOU WHO ALREADY READ: look at the last few paragraphs, after they wake up.

Until next time: Love, Nic.

Part II To Steal You

Why? What a stupid freakin' question was that?!

Oh, God… you are so beautiful! How can anyone…

His eyes became a blue blur; his closeness, his scent, and his warmth interrupting her erratic thoughts. A soft mouth on hers sent vivid sparks flying through her chest. His lips kept tasting, nibbling, caressing, but still never fully kissing, as his hands slid up her thighs and gripped her hips, pulling her closer. Much closer. Lisa inhaled sharply when his warm fingers met with her skin under her blouse, and the calloused skin on his thumbs met with her softness, hidden from sight, revealed by him. Always him.

No, God!

She rose so abruptly that Jackson tripped backwards. She stood still, trembling and staring at him, then she gripped her glass and drank the rest of the content, her head thrown back. She wasn't a whisky person, but the sharp taste seemed to fit well with the tense atmosphere.

He stood slowly, regarding her, and when he opened his mouth to speak, she slammed the glass down on the table and dashed to the left of him, out into the corridor and into the bedroom, the closest room with a door, just about closing it when his foot snuck in and prevented her from shutting it.

The air left her with a loud gasp, and she pressed herself against the door from the inside, panting, not so much from the sprint as from what he'd been doing to her just a moment ago.

"Lisa," he said slowly. "Open the door."

Yeah! Right!

"No."

"Why?"

"Because." You're too close!

"That's not an answer."

"I don't care." Go away!

"You're not being reasonable."

She snorted. "And you are?"

"I think so. Yes."

"Well think again," she spat.

He was quiet for a moment. "Okay, Leese…" Then he shoved the door open with one violent thrust, making her stumble backwards, loosing her footing. "Have it your way, then."

"No!" she screamed, the shrill sound echoing in the room loud enough to wake the dead.

With one long stride, Jackson was on her, his hand clamping her mouth and preventing any further attention-seeking outbursts. He'llkillmehe'llkillme Her head spun from the sudden fear and her knees felt like they were about to fold any moment.

"I love you, Lisa, and I'm not leaving until you're coming with me."

"You don't-you what-you're not… you WHAT?" she cried into his palm.

He removed his hand and pulled her entirely into his embrace. She fit right in, like she'd always known she would.

"I love you, Lisa."

She didn't fight the arms holding her, or the lean, hard body pressed against hers, but her mind reeled from what he'd just said.

"You're… not gonna kill me?" she said to his shirt-clad chest.

"Ah!" he bellowed, sounding exasperated. "What the fuck? You WANT me to?"

"NO!" she croaked and cleared her throat. "No… no… But what was that other part?"

He loosened his hold and held her at an arms distance, regarding her, making her feel very much alive and at the same time like she would faint from the tension altogether.

"The 'love you' part?" he asked huskily and let his hands slide up to her neck, his thumbs rubbing the delicate skin. "Because I've been thinking about that a lot… to say it right, to-"

Lisa gave out a small squeal and jolted in his hold as he pulled her closer again, one of his hands finding the buttons at the front of her blouse, fiddling with the first one before he flipped it open.

"NO! Ehm… no… the other part. You said…"

"I know what I said," he countered calmly as he started to back her up against the side of the bed. "Tonight, I'm taking you with me."

The back of her knees hit the bed frame and she swayed a little, trying not to fall. "Ohhh, sure… I don't think so! Have you been eating mushrooms? What makes you think you can just 'take' me?"

"Leese," he said patiently. "What makes you think I can't?" Then his lips parted and his face split into a smile that made her heart melt.

Oh! Oh My God! You're just JOKING!

She was just going to say something like 'ha-ha', but the words got caught in her throat when he pushed her, following in a languid movement until she lay on her back and he was straddling her hips, his face once again so close that their noses were touching.

Her breath met his as they both panted and stared at each other.

"Kiss me," he whispered.

She frowned and bit her lips. GOD she wanted to, but she had been used for so long to live in solitude, both mentally as well as physically, and that barrier wasn't easy to break with just a few words in spite of eons of longing.

Jackson kicked it down instead. In one single blow.

When he lowered himself onto her, she had nowhere to go, and nothing else to do than to respond. His lips touched hers, asking a question, her lips quivered against his, answering, and then he descended fully on her mouth, sweeping her completely off her feet with the fierce passion with which he kissed her.

Deft fingers opened the remaining buttons in her blouse. She arched into him as his hand slid in between them to caress the areas on her skin he had touched the last time he was here, where the imprint of his hand on her breast - unwanted then, hungered for now - still lingered as an invisible burn mark.

Their bodies soon ended up as an entangled heap of limbs with chests heaving and cheeks flushing, the pile of discarded clothes next to them on the floor growing. Lisa groaned loudly when he bit her hard where the neck meets the shoulder and then gasped when he pulled her even tighter into his embrace, his passion so fierce, so demanding that all she could do was hang on for dear life.

Not that she was a lifeless rag doll herself… Jackson made her dare. The things they had gone through together made it impossible to resist the heat between them when it was finally set free. She wrestled him over on his back, still kissing passionately, and unbuttoned his shirt, his naked skin sending bolts through her hands as she spread her palms over his chest.

They stilled. Both at the exact same time.

What?

Jackson tensed. "What's that?"

"It… it's the doorbell…" CYNTHIA!

She pushed herself up and tried to stand, but Jackson gripped her wrist. "Are you expecting anyone?" He suddenly sounded wary.

"Eh, yeah… when you came I thought it was my friend… It must be her." Lisa stuttered slightly, suddenly mortified with what she'd been doing a moment ago. She tried to free herself from his hold and Jackson let her. They both stood.

"I have to open. She knows I'm home."

"You have to get rid of her."

"I can't."

He strode closer, all of a sudden making the air very hard to breathe again, his blue eyes glinting wickedly. "Yes, you can. You're a good liar, Leese. Make something up."

With a heart trying to beat her black and blue from the inside, she nodded and wrapped a robe around her. "Okay."

A widely smiling Cynthia held up a brand new issue of 'Cosmopolitan' and a bottle of white wine when Lisa opened.

"Hey you. Look what I got! The latest eye-candy, gossip, and fashion, all in a shiny wrap." Then her face turned into a frown. "How are you, Leese? You look terrible."

Lisa thanked heaven for her tousled hair and her flushed face. "I'm so sorry, Cynthia. I feel terrible. I just threw up in the toilet and my whole body aches." At least it was only a half lie… In the corner of her eye, she saw Jackson nod and grin smugly.

"Oh, my God. Do you need anything? Do you want me to come in anyway and take care of you?"

"No! Ehm, no… I wouldn't want you to catch anything. I'll be all right. I just need to sleep."

"Okay. What a shame. On Valentine's Day and all…"

Yeaaahhhh… what a shame… She couldn't help but cast a quick glance at the incredibly beautiful man who stood half naked in the shadow next to the door. If she stretched out her arm, she would touch him. If Cynthia took one step inside, she would see him.

"I have to go to bed." Not a lie either… Good job, Leese.

"Sure. Here, take this. It'll comfort you a little." Cynthia handed her the glossy magazine and Lisa took it.

"You're a doll. Good night."

"Take care."

"You too." Lisa shut the door quietly and sank to the floor trembling, her hand still on the door knob, the magazine falling heavily onto the carpet next to her. Her nerves were about to burst through her skin from the tension.

"Did you have to stand so close?" she hissed, looking up at Jackson.

"Had to make sure you didn't do anything peachy," he retorted, strolling closer.

"I thought we'd been making progress," she snarled.

"You think so, huh?" He pulled her to her feet and then lifted her effortlessly over his shoulder in a fireman's grip, carrying a squealing Lisa the few steps back to the bedroom. "Well see about that."

Unceremoniously dumping her on the bed, he then slowly crawled on top of her again, bending down and catching the belt to her robe with his teeth, pulling at it until it gave up and unfolded. The fabric fell apart and revealed a flat, pale belly and white panties. He dropped the cotton and let his teeth graze the soft skin, sending a wave of goosebumps travelling along her body until it made her toes curl. When he bit in, she screamed and was then sent into a laughing fit, banging at his head, squealing and begging him to stop. He didn't. He kept nibbling and biting while he caught her flailing arms and pressed them down on the bed on each side of her body. Soon her whole belly was flushed pink from all the tiny little bite marks and the only struggling she managed was the squirming attempts to get closer to him.

They had all the time in the world, and he was a far tenderer lover than she would have ever imagined. Not that she would have ever imagined him… as a lover… not at all…

Liar, Leese…

"I love you, Lisa," he whispered huskily. "I want to make love to you tonight. I've waited so long… You are my soul mate, the one I never thought I'd find. You are the most beautiful, strongest, most intelligent, most stubborn, and most intriguing woman I've ever met. I knew from the first moment I lay my eyes on you that I was lost, that it needed to be you - or no one at all." His hands cradled her neck, his fingers entwined in the increasingly tousled tresses of her hair. Blue eyes roamed her face, seeking for even the slightest hint of rejection, looking desperately for acceptance. "I love you. I won't ever hurt you – again, and I'm so fucking sorry that I ever did. Please forgive me."

He kept repeating the beautiful words she so desperately needed to hear. That she'd needed to hear for so long that she'd almost thought they didn't exist for her any more. They soothed her torn soul and filled her empty heart with a new strength, the kind that came from knowing she wasn't alone any more.

Not alone any more.

I love you, Jackson.

The force in the emotion frightened her. It made her dizzy. Where would it take her? What would she do when he left?

Oh, God! I don't want you to…

They slept light, Jackson cradling Lisa from behind, his chest to her back, thighs to thighs, feet entangled. His hands kept caressing her even in his sleep. She had fallen asleep with a smile grazing her lips, and it was still there when she woke and felt his warm body pressed against hers, his breath on her neck and the soothing rise and fall of his chest.

He held her hand as she turned to face him, entwining his fingers with hers, his other hand softly pulling some strands of hair away from her face.

"Hey," he whispered.

"Hey," she echoed, unable to hold back the smile when her heart jolted with happiness.

You're still here!

He let go of her hand and laid his arm around her back, pulling her closer. "I love you," he mumbled into her hair, ruffling the tresses with his breath.

"I love you, too," she answered truthfully, finally giving voice to the words, her heart pounding hard from revealing the naked core within her that now lay at display, for him to accept – or not.

Jackson twitched and pulled away slightly so that they could see each other. He opened his mouth as if to speak, and then he closed it. Lisa was suddenly afraid that she had said too much, that she'd done something wrong.

Damn you!

His eyes glittered and she'd never seen such warmth in his features before.

"Marry me, Lisa."

She frowned, her heart skipping a beat. "No… I can't…"

"Marry me," he repeated calmly, a bashful smile playing at the corners of his mouth as he sat up and pulled her with him.

"But… we can't… I mean… how…?" His hands clutched hers, his fingers intertwined with her own, and she felt like never letting go.

"We'll work it out. Marry me." His eyes never let go of hers and her head spun from the huge change that had just taken place between them.

"I…"

"Marry me, Lisa. Do you want me on my knees?" He kept holding her hands and slid down from the bed, sinking down on one knee before her, looking up at her but still managing to look as if he was on top.

You're insane! I love you! Jesus… I really do. She started laughing. Yes! Goddamnit, yes! It was probably completely insane. Irrational. Stupid. Mad. What the heck! It was romantic. Beautiful. Sweet. True.

She nodded. "Okay… Yes. I will. YES." The smile on her face etched itself there as they regarded each other.

He stood and stretched out his hand. "Come."

She took it and followed him into his warm strong arms. "Where're we going?"

"I don't know. Where do you wanna go?"

"Steal me away, Jackson."

THE END