A/N: I'm continuing Change; in fact I have half the next chapter done. I know where I want to go, and I know everything that happens, but every time I sit down to finish I hit a roadblock that sends my inspiration away. But I'm trying :)

In the meanwhile I wanted to write this piece!

Thanks Gladys for the beta!


The soft hue of a new dawn was breaking through the sky; black turning into purple turning into red as the sun rose far in the horizon, one ribbon at a time.

The dark water sparkled softly; calm and serene, touched gently as the rays of the sun brushed against its surface, a sliver of dull orange dividing it in two. The chirping of birds was loud, almost hysterical, as they rose from their nests, waking up with the sun. A promise of yet another beautiful summer day.

He watched, arms resting against the back porch railing, the morning breeze warm against his still clammy skin. The beauty didn't do much to calm his inner turmoil and he strained to pay attention. There wasn't much in this world that could soothe him, that could stop his trembling hands and his wild thoughts; the only remedy to it all was sleeping peacefully in the same bed he had been sharing mere moments ago.

Memories still haunted him. Flames and screams and bullet sounds and pain, all jumbled in the same package, loud and painful; flickers that tortured his brain, but not long and clear enough to give him a bigger picture. He knew there was still a whole world of pain out there for him to discover and sometimes the dreams mocked him.

In nights like these he wished his memories wouldn't come back. He was ready to accept the void his life was before Treadstone because not knowing sounded better than living with the pain. There was a time he'd have given anything to fill the blanks; the hunger for knowledge driving his life. But now... now he wasn't so sure if it was worth reliving it all. When he wasn't being haunted, he was happy.

The sun was higher, the orange glow reflecting on the now clear blue ocean and against the open glass doors behind him. The bed creaked slightly, but he didn't turn, even when the shuffling of feet got closer and the heat from her body teased his skin.

His eyes flickered in her direction and realized she was naked under the flimsy white sheet she had lazily draped around her body and even under the war inside his head he could feel the heat of desire rising, the way his body responded to hers even in turmoil. She was looking at him, their eyes locking and she smiled, and for a moment it felt like it was all he needed; a little bit of the tension fading away.

She rested her back against the rail and instinctively Jason's arm surrounded her, pulling her closer. She kissed his shoulder, letting her cool lips rest against his burning skin for a moment and it felt good; then turned her head and replaced her lips with her cheek. "I love you," she said, and the tension cracked some more.

His arms encircled her body, keeping her to him, and she hugged his waist; her soft, small hands splayed against his back. They stood there for minutes, taking and giving what comfort they could, Jason watching the sparkling water and rising sun and feeling her breathing, her heart beating against his own, as she had her eyes closed, seizing the moment; the tranquility.

Then his hands started a slow journey around her body until he found the ends of the sheet and pulled it loose; the white material fell to the floor and she raised her eyebrows. Jason shrugged, his mind now suddenly calm, his thoughts going quiet. "It was see-through, anyway."

She laughed and touched her lips to his in a kiss he didn't allow to be brief. He pulled her closer, his hands splayed against her back; her breasts pressed against his chest, skin to skin, and he felt the heat rise between them. Her arms encircled his neck, locking him to her, closing the last few inches between them, as their kiss grew deeper.

He felt his body wake up to her; wake up to this. His nerves alive and pleasure stung, and he had long learned not to fight the desire she brought in him, to just give in to it. His hands left her back to slide down to her hips and pull her closer, firm against him; she whimpered, her lips leaving his and he smiled, only to take in a deep breath when she rocked against him and kissed him again.

Jason grabbed her, quickly taking them to the bed and Nicky laughed, lying back against the mattress. "I'm in no hurry," she said, looking up at him with big brown eyes, and blond hair fanned out against the pillow; something trembled inside his stomach and he kissed her long and deep as if his existence depended on it; on the touch of her skin against his, her lips firmly pressed against his own.

"I am," he said afterwards, when they were both out of breath and she was scrambling to pull down his sweatpants. He rose to help her and she used the opportunity to turn them over, and sat on top of him; not quite where he wanted. His hands clenched against her hips, his self-control fighting not to grab her and move her, as she looked down on him, her hair falling down the sides of her face and she leaned in to kiss Jason again.

She was distracted and he rolled them over again, this time making sure she wouldn't be able to move, as they never stopped kissing. Deep, needy kisses, with dueling tongues and teeth scrapping and lip biting as he held her knee and pulled her leg up around his hip and entered her in one swift motion. She gasped, letting go of his lips as her fingernails dug into his back and he moved against her. They found their rhythm as easy as breathing, and moved as one, hard and fast and deep; differently from last night, gentle and slow and a full exploration. This time it was raw, a desperation that came with the flickering of his memories.

Her breath was fast and labored and he knew her enough to know she was close; his hands grabbed her hips and moved her against him so he could go deeper and her nails dug deeper into his skin and she finally shuddered under him.

His hands left her hips to rest on each side of her head as he supported himself on his arms instead of crushing her, and used one hand to brush the hair out of her eyes. There was a thin layer of sweat on her forehead and her heartbeat was frantic; he kissed the side of her face and smiled at her when she opened her eyes.

"I'm numb." Her arms draped lazily around his neck and let her fingers play with the hair at the nape.

He kissed her again, soft this time, lazy, and rolled onto the bed, pulling her with him. She snuggled against his side, their bodies a perfect fit, as her hand rested on top of his chest where his heart was starting to slow down, and her legs entwined with his. "I love you," she said as sleep started clouding her mind.

The repeated line tugged at him; every time she said it he was reminded of a life they overcame, of the odds of finding each other and being together in spite of all that came between them; of how lucky he was.

"I love you, too," he whispered into her hair and forced his mind to slow down enough to sleep before the memories danced behind his eyes again.