About thirty minutes later, Jim and Melinda were at the hospital. Rick was there as well.
Melinda walked over to Rick. "Rick, I am so sorry that you got pulled in the way you did."
Rick shook his head. "No, Melinda. I'm glad that I was there...to atleast stop him from...."
Melinda nodded. "I appriciate what you tried to do. I'm fine though. I'll be fine."
Rick merely nodded.
Melinda walked away from him and back to Jim.
"Everything, alright?" Jim asked her.
Melinda smiled. "Yeah. Everything's just fine."
It was the next evening and Jim and Melinda were lying in bed.
Melinda began thinking about her life.
She could've died the other night.
Shane could've killed her and Jim, but he didn't.
She beat him, they beat him.
She had won, they had won.
She didn't want to let Shane have anymore control over her life.
She wanted to take back control of her life.
"Jim," Melinda turned to her husband. "I think....I want us to be together again."
Jim gave her an odd look. "When did we break up, Mel?"
Melinda laughed. "No! I meant...Like before."
Jim's eyes widened in realization. "Oh, you mean....you want us to have sex?"
Melinda nodded. "Yeah, I do. I love you, Jim. I love our life together, and I don't want to waste anymore time being stuck in the past. Shane is dead, he can't hurt me or you, or us anymore."
Jim gently touched her face. "Mel, are you sure?"
Melinda nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure." Melinda leaned in and kissed him, and than pulled back for a second. "Just go slow, okay?"
Jim nodded at her gently. "I will, I promise."
Melinda kissed Jim again and wound both of her arms around his neck.
Jim pulled her against him and laid back against the bed with her on top of him. He wanted her to feel comfortable and to know that she was in control.
Melinda smiled greatfully against him. "Will...will you take off my night gown?"
Jim sat up, and gently kissed her forehead. "Yeah, babe. I'd be honored to."
Jim gently removes Melinda's night gown, and she removes his boxers.
A minute later, there are no more barriers between them.
"Are you sure, Mel?" Jim asked again. "Because I want you more than ANYTHING, I always will, but I don't want you to feel like you have to do this or that you even should want to do this. I want you to be with me like this because it's what you want, and because you're not scared anymore."
Melinda gently smiled at her husband. She felt so blessed to have him. "I do want this, Jim. I'm not scared anymore. You did that for me. I'm sure."
Jim gently pulled her back to him, and kissed her deeply, both of their body's moving against each other and finally connecting as one.
About an hour after they'd made love, Jim and Melinda were lying in each others arms.
Melinda suddenly started sobbing in his arms.
"Hey, hey," Jim said soothingly, and gently turned to face her worriedly. "what's wrong? What is it?"
"I am so sorry," Melinda sobbed. "I am so sorry,"
Pain entered Jim's eyes. "You're sorry for what? You....do you regret this?"
Melinda continued to sob.
"I knew it was too soon," Jim continued on worriedly. "I knew you were rushing yourself...I should've sto--"
Melinda lifted a finger to his lips, to silence his ramblings. "No," She sobbed. "No, I don't regret this! I could NEVER regret this! You made me feel so loved and so....so safe and alive."
Jim sighed with relief. "Okay, so what's wrong, then?" Jim gently brushed her hair out of her eyes.
"I started thinking about....about how horrible I was to you." Melinda cried. "First I didn't tell you about what happened to me, and than I did nothing but take it out on you. I started drinking, and I crashed our car. I even slapped you!"
Jim shook his head. "Don't do this, babe. That's in the past, and you didn't mean it. You were hurting. I understand that."
"It's not an excuse," Melinda sobbed. "I hurt you. I said awful things....your father..."
Jim shook his head again. "It hurt, Mel. It did. It hurt a hell of alot, but you didn't mean it. You needed to lash out at someone. I knew when I married you that things weren't always gonna be easy or perfect. I married you because I love you, and because I wanted to take care of you for the rest of my life. It doesn't matter how many awful words spit from your mouth...it could never take away what I feel for you. It could never make me walk away from you, Mel. Nothing could."
"I don't deserve you," Melinda said brokenly. "I don't,"
Jim gently nodded at her. "You do, Mel. You do. You deserve everything and more."
"I love you," Melinda said emotionally. "I love you, Jim. I thought I was gonna be forever broken, but you healed me. You did."
"You healed yourself, Mel. I was just there for the ride," Jim responded. He gently kissed her and she threw her arms around him, as they began to make love again.
It was about a month later. Melinda was in counciling and she had started to take a self defense class at the local gym.
Melinda came home from her class and saw Jim making dinner. She snuck up behind him and hugged him from behind.
"Mel, you scared me." Jim gasped.
Melinda laughed."Sorry, I have some news to tell you."
Jim turned to look at her. "Okay."
"I'm pregnant!" Melinda squealed excitedly.
Jim smiled huge. "Mel, are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I went to the doctor. I found out today." Melinda smiled.
Jim leaned down close to her belly. "Hey, baby. I'm your daddy."
Melinda smiled and laughed joyfully. "Yeah, you are."
Jim gently hugged her stumach. "We're gonna have such a good life. You, me, and our new baby."
Melinda continued to smile, she was so happy. She never thought she could be more happy than she was, but she was wrong. "Yes, we are."