Good afternoon tbaa fans! :^) I have been wanting to write another story for a while, but I wasn't sure which way I wanted to take it. As a longstanding member of , I am coming off a very 'adult' story streak (meaning, it's very difficult to sensor myself). Then again, I consider that which I write to be tasteful and any adult material to be relevent to the story, at least. That said, I was very lenient with my rating here, because I recognize that stories marked "mature" rarely if ever get noticed or even read. But I assure you, it's not graphic in any way. I promise this. It merely straddles the line between teen/adult. So I went with a teen rating to give memebers the benefit of the doubt. Thanks so much for reading.

Disclaimer: I do not own TbaA (although at times I feel that I DO own it) lol - and I derive no profit from these works. Whatsoever. Thanks.

Beyond Heaven

In a darkened room, just out of the stream of moonlight, two angels shut off their natural glow and linked arms in the shadows. The human form tended to dominate the angelic one - but it was so easy to do, especially on Earth. Then again, the angelic form was a powerful entity; God had made it that way, connected directly with Him but also disjointed somehow.

His mouth found hers, and her sigh was like a prayer, a gust of life through him. She held onto him, her small hands on his shoulders, clasping his biceps, then sliding up through the wheat locks of his hair, and he shivered, lost to everything but her.

He pressed her gently against the wall and tugged handfuls of her hair, long golden red tendrils, silken and bountiful. Her lips were full against his as she kissed him, repeatedly, first his upper then his lower lip. She didn't mean to tease him, but she wanted to savor these times so she lingered on his mouth, marveling in the sensation.

And then he couldn't take any more but pulled her to him and crashed his mouth against hers, finding solace in her kiss. Her tiny gasp made him that much more thirsty for her, and he sought out her tongue and met it with his own, triggering a moan from his own depths.

They paused and simply stared into one another's eyes, catching their breath. He continued to stroke her hair, hating to lose contact. His face was so serious and she reached up and touched him, traced his brow and down the bridge of his nose. He lowered his lids over darkened green eyes and she could see he was pensive.

"Tell me, Andrew." She knew him well enough to know something was on his mind. He couldn't hide his emotions from her even if he tried.

"I've never loved anything this much." His voice was grave.

Her response was a tiny smile. She waited for him to finish.

"It's becoming more and more difficult…" he paused. "…to hide this."

She nodded her agreement as her mind began to wander… On their last assignment together, they had been so caught up in each other that it had been difficult to truly focus on their task and it was all they could do to keep Tess in the dark. Obviously, there was no hiding from the Father, but Tess was a different story. They were absolutely convinced that keeping her oblivious was the best bet.

"We've been careful." She spoke in a whisper. "Tess knows we're close, but…"

Andrew's half-smile was doubtful. "Not like this. She's been alive for several millennia; she's intuitive. Eventually, she'll know - if she doesn't already."

Monica sank against the wall, overwhelmed at the thought of that. "Then, she will have been meant to know, Andrew. Until then, maybe… we can go on like this."

He stared at her, wondering how she could be so optimistic – but then his face melted into a smile and she smiled back at him, her dimples deepening as he came in closer. His hands cradled her face, caressed the soft cheek as she leaned into the touch.

In another moment, their lips were pressed together, and Andrew once again let his fingers get lost in her thick long hair. Sometimes, this was too much for him, too encompassing. He had no idea if this was permissible by the laws of heaven and he was too afraid to ask. Somehow it seemed easier to remain ignorant even though that wasn't his way. When it came to Monica, though, the rules seemed malleable. He would bend any way for her, to be with her.

When this affair began, it was around the time that Gloria came into being. The tension between them had festered and almost bubbled over. Andrew had never known an angel like Monica, and he worked with her so often and so closely that his feelings of camaraderie towards her eventually morphed into something far deeper. She wasn't just a friend to him or a colleague. When he looked at her, he felt himself ache with a longing he couldn't quite put into words. The way she smelled, her voice, the soft accent, the deep cocoa pools of her eyes… even now, it was too overwhelming.

When he pulled back from her, she looked flushed with heat, eyes unfocused. Her full glistening mouth was swollen and pouty. He touched her bottom lip with his thumb, loving the softness of her. God had taken a great deal of care in her creation, and Andrew was thankful for that more than anything else in his life.

"I hate it when I want you this much." His voice was barely audible. "It feels like a sin."

Monica let her lids slip shut over her eyes. His words made her melt from the inside out. She didn't care about sin in this moment; she only knew she wanted him as much as he wanted her. She tended not to get caught up in the semantics of human versus angelic law. She didn't think the rules necessarily applied to them and what she had with Andrew didn't feel like a crime against heaven. It felt like love, real pure love.

"Touch me, Andrew?" her voice was soft as a rose petal and he could do nothing but comply.

The white mesh shirt she wore over her dress fell away beneath his hands. He carefully undressed her as she watched him with hooded eyes. His movements were sure and natural. She was a slender woman just under what was considered average height, perfect to him. She reached up and kissed his mouth as he slid the straps of her dress down her arms. Her human form got chill bumps along her vanilla skin even while she felt she might catch fire from yearning.

This wasn't the first time they had experienced it with each other, physical love, but they were each other's first. They had fallen together as if by gravitational force, her landing into his arms and them going over the precipice together into bliss.

Her hands reached for his belt buckle and slid the slip of leather through its loops, her fingers nimble as she undid the button and slid down the zipper. It was a dance they were becoming all too familiar with, the shedding of clothes, the joining of bodies, the rhythm of the passion.

"I love you, Andrew." She whispered against him as he lifted her naked body into his arms.

He answered by trailing his mouth down along her pale slender neck, his tongue tracing the sinewy muscle there. She shuddered against him, the scratch of denim and cotton against her skin making her shiver. He was too caught up to worry about his clothes. He loved holding her too much, loved the feel of his hands on her body, loved cradling her to him, the light weight of her, the feel of her human heart thumping through her, through him.

The place they were in was a makeshift efficiency. Neither of them needed much more than a soft place to rest themselves. They didn't technically need food or heat or even light. They emitted their own light, gave off their own heat.

She reclined back and her hair fanned out around her; she was a vision as she waited for him to join her, the flicker of mischief in his eye. He shed his shirt with trembling hands because it was like new, every time they were together. Before his shirt even hit the floor, her hands were caressing the soft chest covered in fine golden down; Andrew was perfectly built, evenly tanned, sturdy and yet simultaneously gentle – a masterpiece.

Instead of lying over her, he pulled her up to face him and held her in a loose embrace, inhaling the violet rosy scent of her. She smelled like a wedding bouquet and then he needed to taste her, his mouth meeting hers, and it was like they never parted. Moments passed and they were sinking deeper into one another, her limbs locked around him as they melded into one, rocking at a pace as slow and intense as the tides.

He tangled his fingers in her hair and held her impossibly close, as if it was the last time they would be together, whispering poetry into her hair, against her skin. And she sighed and let her head fall back, weary from the pleasure, fatigued from the high of having him inside her.

When they collapsed together, it was as if they had spent an eternity making love, they could scarcely catch their breaths.

"These bodies weren't made for this…" he exhaled deeply and wiped a sheen of sweat from his brow. "…we're angels, not humans. Hopefully, we don't damage ourselves. This is far more powerful…"

She smiled at him, her hair damp from perspiration. "… and exhilarating." Her Irish lilt seemed flushed out as she took deep breaths. "Andrew, if this is damaging, then I don't think I mind it much."

He chuckled then and pulled her into his embrace, loving the feel of her sweat slicked body against his own. "I have to agree with you, angel…" and then his face turned serious. "… but now we have to get going. We're being called to a case…"

-----

When Monica arrived in Portland some time later, she was met by a preoccupied Tess and a precocious Gloria who was deep in the middle of explaining to the elder angel why it was completely harmless for her to drive the Cadillac.

"I assure you, Tess, I am more than capable. I have acquired all knowledge about the make and model and the mechanics of operation. It seems quite simple actually…"

"And when did you 'acquire' all of this knowledge, my little angel?" Tess tried hard to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.

"Oh, just a few minutes ago when we stopped at the internet café. Those are very useful places by the way. I don't know why the humans hadn't thought of them sooner."

Monica smirked at the exchange, always amused by Tess and Gloria's 'chemistry'. When Tess glanced in her direction, however, she felt herself flush with heat. Something in Tess' almond eyes seemed probing, inquisitive. Monica turned towards Gloria, fearful of those wise orbs...

"So, Gloria, when you were at the café, did you happen to procure any of the house beverages? Particularly the ones in the coffee bean, variety?"

Gloria was about to comment when Tess cut across her. "Oh, I'm sorry angel girl, you were obviously too caught up in whatever it was you were doing to meet us at my specified time, so you missed out on coffee hour…"

Monica felt herself beginning to flush an even deeper shade, but willed it away as best she could. She thought she caught a flicker of implication in Tess' tone and it was enough to throw her somewhat off balance.

"Well, Tess, I was… talking to someone…and I lost track of…" she found it most difficult to fabricate a lie, and she didn't want to do it if she didn't have to, so it was a relief when Tess waved away her lame excuse.

"Never mind, angel girl, you're here now. And lucky for you, our assignment has yet to arrive…"

As it turned out, the case was a downtrodden, middle-aged man, fed up with his family life and seeking a change of pace, a fairly simple scenario – and one Gloria could easily handle mostly on her own. In fact, this was Gloria's case. Monica and Tess were only there for moral support and back-up.

As it was, Tess worked closely with Gloria, helping her to hone her skills as a caseworker while Monica found herself drifting away, getting lost in her daydreams of the angel of Death. Everything she saw reminded her of him. The wheat fields surrounding this land was like his hair, lightly blowing in the wind, gold as ember. The willow trees were sad and green, like eternity, like his eyes. The breeze against her skin was like his whisper against the shell of her ear. She shivered and thought she felt him near until she turned and saw he was indeed standing there.

She swallowed hard and restrained herself. Her first instinct was to rush him, to crush herself against him and taste his mouth. Instead, she let slip a little smile of recognition.

"Andrew? What are you doing here?"

He exhaled and approached but kept his distance. "Gloria's case."

"Oh no." Dread filled Monica's heart. It was a sweet little family that seemed strong enough to withstand this little setback with their father; she hadn't anticipated a loss of life. "Who?"

"I think that all depends on Gloria." He answered, drinking in her beauty. "You look incredible, by the way."

Monica let his comment pass. "I think Gloria is capable of getting the message across. She's very… articulate…"

"Unfortunately, it's going to take more than that…" he turned to look over his shoulder. "… where's Tess?"

Monica exhaled. "I don't know. But she could be anyplace. You know that." There was a tinge of disappointment in her voice because she knew why Andrew was inquiring. It would be nice to share a kiss with him, to hold him close, if only for the moment.

"I can't stop thinking about you." He said in a grave voice, a little crease forming between his eyes. "I don't know what to do about this."

Monica felt the same but thought it was pointless to repeat it. Instead, she took one step towards him and lowered her voice an octave.

"There's a banquet later, for the family. Tess and Gloria will be attending…" she waited as Andrew's eyes filled with hope. "… I won't be."

"What time?" he felt himself going crazy inside, imagining time alone with her.

"Eight o'clock. I'll be here."

"So will I." he whispered with a little smile and turned and vanished on the horizon as she stood there watching, a little tremble going up her spine. She liked the fact that she could feel human pleasure in this body, experience all the sweetness and the softness, the tenderness and love and none of the pain. It was one of the great perks of being an angel on earth.

And later, as the clock neared seven o'clock, Monica watched as Gloria dressed in a long conservative dress, fixing her hair in the mirror, and then her eyes linked with Monica's.

"You look like an angel with something on her mind, Monica." Gloria's voice was light, conversational.

"Do I?" Monica shrugged. "Well, I was just thinking about how far you've come in such a short time. You've become a very proficient caseworker, and I'm very proud of you."

Now Gloria turned, her round little face beaming. "Do you really mean that, Monica? It means a lot coming from you. I mean, I've had some bumps in the road, obviously, but everything seems to be going very well now. I'm getting really acclimated to this."

"I can tell." Monica meant everything she said. She was very proud of Gloria, and glad to see her progressing forward. With her enthusiasm and her gift for knowledge, Monica was sure she would get a promotion in practically no time at all.

"This banquet tonight is for Tommy Jr. His little league team is commemorating all the players with a little gold-plated statuette of sorts… Tommy has plenty already on the mantle…"

Monica smiled. "It's called a trophy, Gloria. The coach rewards the players for a job well done. Its common practice in athletic teams."

"Well, at any rate, it's going to be a nice time. Are you sure you won't come?"

"Oh, I'm sure…" Monica nodded and feigned indifference. "…I think I'll just putter around here and skim through a few magazines. You and Tess have a nice time, though."

Gloria shrugged. "Okay then. We'll see you soon."

And after they left, Monica was only alone for a few minutes before she felt the familiar warmth of his presence in the room. She turned and looked at him, her body going weak as she gazed at him in his cream colored turtleneck and matching slacks. He was glowing even when he wasn't and she could feel the heat radiating off him as he came near.

"I love you…" he bent his head towards her and she let her eyes slip shut.

"Andrew…" her breathy reply was swallowed by his kiss. He held her body against his and buried his hands in her hair.

They moved, slowly towards the wall and he pressed her against it as she lifted the shirt over his head, eager to touch his downy skin. She caressed his chest through the soft hair there and kissed him where her fingers had been.

"Monica…" he moaned softly as she caressed him, and he pushed his hands through her hair, getting lost in its silky waves.

In another couple of minutes, she was sitting in his lap, his hands all over her, his mouth leaving heat across her skin wherever it touched. He draped her naked body across the carpet and kissed her neck, her sternum, her belly, dipped his tongue into the hollow of her navel. She squirmed beneath him, shut her eyes, one hand clasped around his wrist.

She arched her back and bit her lip as he covered her body with his own and sheathed himself within her. The sensation caused a tremor to ripple through the both of them and it was all they could do to hang on. The rhythm grew frantic fast, more out of urgency rather than desperation. They had no idea how much time before headlights flowed into the driveway – or angels appeared right where they lay, tangled together, naked, exposed. The element of uncertainty added a new thrilling dimension, and drove them along further, harder.

Friction gaining momentum, they held tight to one another for fear of dropping off the edge of eternity, the power in the act almost overtaking them - and Monica's cries were lost in the radiance and reverberation of their immense force. It was white hot, molten as magma and they reached a height so great, time stood still for one brief moment as they surged into one another.

Her head lolled and Andrew held her up with one powerful arm. She rested against him, limp, his hand against her heaving ribcage as she found herself again. Beautiful red hair spilled down her sweat-dampened back and across his shoulder, and he brushed it away from her face to gauge her condition.

"Monica?" he was barely able to speak. "Are you okay, angel?"

She murmured something against his slick skin, her lips brushing his shoulder, and he smiled down at her. Their bodies were very weak, but he lifted her up and put her on the couch. There wasn't time to dress manually, so he willed himself dressed – and her as well. He made the room as it was before they made love, fixed the carpets, got rid of any evidence.

She opened her cocoa eyes and looked at him, her perfect mouth curled into a small smile. He came to her and kissed her forehead, then her mouth. He caressed her hair, her face, dabbed at her dampened brow. It concerned him how feverish she seemed, but then, she had a reason to be feverish after what they had just experienced. He wondered if she would be able to hide this from Tess, however…

Thankfully, it was much later when the family returned home. Tess was in a foul mood already because Gloria had managed to screw things up on a grand scale and cause a rift between the father and son, and Gloria was downtrodden because she felt she had failed.

After the family went to bed, Tess went to heaven overnight to handle business, and Gloria remained. She wandered the house, feeling sorry for herself and then she went outside to stare up at the stars and maybe find guidance from the heavens. It was there that she found Monica out in the gazebo.

"Monica?" she approached the weary redhead angel and considered her. "Are you alright?"

Monica smiled, even though it ached her to do so. In fact, her entire body ached, which was odd. "I'm fine. Why do you ask?"

Gloria wasn't sure why. Monica looked the same, for the most part, but there was something off about her that struck Gloria as peculiar the first moment she spoke. She couldn't put her finger on it… "No reason, I guess…"

"How was the banquet?"

"A truly royal disaster, to borrow a human phrase." Gloria sat beside Monica on the cast iron bench. "I somehow managed to mess things up just because I stated the rules of baseball out loud, causing an irate response from Mr. Petersen. It was like I unleashed a demon when all I said was…"

"Sometimes, its what you don't say that makes all the difference, Gloria…" Monica was glad for the cover of night so Gloria couldn't see her wince with every movement…

It was getting more and more difficult to be intimate with Andrew, but somehow the more it impaired her, the more she wanted him. She couldn't pinpoint it… and she couldn't explain it. She had experienced pain only a few occasions in all her hundreds of years as an angel, but this was all encompassing – as was her desire…

tbc