To Love Again

The door to her office opened without the customary knock that she required from all her employees.

"You are supposed to knock before entering this office," she said, looking up mildly perturbed.

Her breath caught in her throat as she saw the most beautiful man, one that she had never dreamed she'd see again. He stood over six feet five inches tall, broad shouldered and muscular, with not an ounce of fat on him. The jeans and long sleeved Henley he wore emphasized that fact. He had short-cropped curly, dark brown, almost black, hair and the most incredible blue eyes. But the most engaging thing about him, were the deep dimples that creased his cheeks; or maybe it was his sexy, to-die-for mouth.

He was older now, more refined, and sure of himself. Seven years had changed him, from the boy she had known, into a sophisticated young man. His career had taken off, and he seemed content; being a star came naturally to him and it set well on him. These things were evident at a glance.

"Emmett, what are you doing here?" she asked, as her heart began racing. "I thought that we'd decided…"

"No, Monica, YOU decided," he interrupted, gently. "I never agreed to it."

He closed the door behind him, in the curious face of her secretary, and best friend, Sheri, who was still trying to stop him. As he walked toward her, she couldn't help but admire the grace with which he moved. Most men of his size, lumbered across a room. Not her Emmett .Her heart lurched and her stomach quivered. He was not her Emmett anymore.

"Please, Emmett, let's not do this," she said quietly, looking down at her hands, lying folded, on the top of her desk.

"Don't do what, Monica?" he asked, sitting down in one of the two comfortable chairs facing the desk. "I just wanted to stop by and see and 'old friend'. It's been too long."

"You know exactly what you're doing," she said, standing up, turning to look out the plate glass window behind her. "And, it's not fair to either of us."

"I wanted to see how you were," he said. "The last time I saw you, you weren't doing so well." His voice grew husky. "Neither was I."

She turned and looked at him, feeling all the old anguish washing over her. He looked deeply into her eyes, for a long moment, a full gambit of emotion flashing in his.

"Come have dinner with me, just as friends catching up with each other," he suggested. As she started to shake her head, he continued, before she could say anything. "I promise that's all I want, Monica. Please?"

She knew that she shouldn't. It would take her weeks to get over the depression that it would cause. Hell, it had taken her two weeks to get over just seeing him on the big screen, and that had been an accident. Yet she wanted to do this, so very badly. She'd missed him, more than she'd ever admitted to anyone, including herself. She felt herself caving.

"Just dinner," she said. "Just to catch up."

She closed her eyes, and when she opened them, it was to see that sexy, silly, grin on his face; the one that had always caused her heart to flutter.

"Give me your address and I'll pick you up, say around eight o'clock," he said enthusiastically. "We can decide, then, where to go to eat."

"Actually," she replied, with a note of panic in her voice. "I'm kind of in the mood for Italian, and I know the perfect little place. It's off the beaten track, so you shouldn't have any problem with fans, or the paparazzi."

She wrote the name and address of Demitri's on a slip of paper. He stood as she approached him.

"I'll just meet you there," she said, handing it to him.

The familiar spark of electricity traveled up her arm as their fingers touched. She looked up into his face, watching, as his nostrils flared, and his eyes darkened for an instant. She gasped softly as he stared down at her, quickly pulling her hand away and slipping it behind her back.

She had to smile slightly at the fleeting look of disappointment that flitted across his face. Instantly, it was gone and he was grinning again.

"That's fine," he said, reaching for her hand and pulling it from behind her.

He brought her forward, and leaned down kissing her cheek. "I'll see you at eight."

She stood there with her fingers against her cheek, where his lips had touched her. She watched him leave, then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Oh, what had she just done?

She had turned back, leaning on her desk, when she heard the door open and close quietly.

"Monica, are you alright?" Sheri asked softly.

"I'm fine, sweetie," she replied, staring out the window. The sun was shining brightly, reflecting off of the windows of the building across the street.

"I tried to stop him," she said, stepping up beside her. "But he just smiled that smile, and barged on through. I'm sorry."

She smiled and draped her arm around her friend's shoulders.

"Yeah, he tends to do that, to get things his own way." she said, smirking. "Even a dinner date with an "old friend."

Sheri jerked her head up and looked at her.

"Monica, tell me you didn't!" she said incredulously, looking like she was going to cry when she saw the answer written on her face, "Oh, honey, do you think that's wise?"

"Wise, no," she replied, closing her eyes. "But I just couldn't help myself. I do still love him, you know."

Sheri's worried eyes followed her as she turned to grab her bag out of the bottom drawer of the desk. Slinging the strap over her shoulder, she headed for the door.

"Aren't you just setting yourself up for another world of hurt, sugar?" Sheri asked quietly. Her question was a reminder of the past.

"Probably." Monica sighed, turning to her. "But it may be worth it, for a few hours of mindless bliss. I'm so tired of only being the responsible CEO of West Freight Lines. I just want to be a woman for a while, to be pampered and cared for. That's only happened once since Josh died."

"I know, honey," Sheri said, rubbing her shoulder gently. "James and I just worry about you, that's all. Please be careful."

"He'd never hurt me, Sheri, I'm the one that ended the relationship, remember?"

Opening the door, she headed for the corridor and the elevators. She turned back from the doorway, stopped and made an impulsive decision. Something she never did.

"I'm going to take tomorrow off. Cancel, or reschedule, any meetings on my calendar," she said to Sheri's shocked face. "I'm going to take a three day weekend and play."

Turning, she strode purposefully toward the elevators. She pressed the down button and immediately the door slid open. Stepping in, she turned around to see Sheri, staring after her, the biggest shit-eating grin on her face.

"Whoo hoo!" she hollered, giving the thumbs up just as the doors slid shut.

In the parking garage, Monica climbed into her Infinity G37 convertible. She laughed as she realized that the color, inadvertently, matched the color of Emmett's eyes. She pulled out onto the highway leading to her apartment complex. She hadn't felt this carefree since before she'd left the Bahamas seven years earlier.

Stepping through the door to her apartment, she tossed her keys and bag on the table by the door. She slipped out of her shoes, made sure the door was locked and headed for the bedroom, taking her clothes off as she went.

She walked into the bathroom, began filling her large antique tub with hot water, and added her Giorgio Red bath oil. She settled into the hot, fragrant water, and with a sigh, she closed her eyes; and let the memories that she'd buried rise up and take her back…


The oppressive heat was the first thing that she noticed as she stepped off of the plane in St Bart's. After leaving the snowy winter of Northwest Arkansas, it seemed as if she was stepping into another world.

She made her way through customs and hailed a taxi to take her to the exclusive hotel that her lawyer had booked for her. Money was no problem; Josh had been extremely fortunate in his investment strategies and she was extremely comfortable financially.

The marriage had been the ideal of all marriages and their love was total and complete. When Josh was killed, while flying home from a business meeting in Denver, she had been devastated and had spent six months in a private clinic before being proclaimed well enough to continue alone.

Upon release, she took over as president and CEO of West Freight Lines, a multi-million dollar trucking firm. The company trucks could be seen in every state in the union, Canada and Mexico.

Throwing herself into the task, she worked long, hard hours, seven days a week. Now, after a year of this grueling life, Felix Patterson, her friend and attorney had convinced her to take a much-needed vacation.

Arriving at the Isle de France Hotel, she was shown to a small, private bungalow. The walkway from the main part of the hotel was alive with a riot of exotic colors and scents. The foliage was lush and provided the much-needed shade. After tipping the attendant, she turned to survey the surroundings of what was to be her home for the next three weeks.

Four rooms comprised the bungalow.

The bathroom was a sea of white accented with gold fixtures.

The bedroom boasted a King sized four-poster bed with a matching dresser and chest of drawers. One whole wall was made of glass, affording a full view of the sandy beach that led down to the sea. Again, the main color in the room was white, with blue accents.

The spacious living room suite was elegantly done in white with red accents. It, too, had a wall of glass, with French doors leading out onto a wooden deck. From there, you could step right out onto the beach.

The small kitchen was fully equipped; both the pantry and refrigerator fully stocked. A small dining alcove occupied one corner of the room.

Everything was beautiful, and all anyone could ask for. The only problem was she was alone.

"Oh, Josh," she murmured, sitting down on the edge of the bed, her hands clenched tightly. Tears filled her eyes. "If only you were here to share all of this with me."

If Monica had been pretty at eighteen when she married Joshua West, she was beautiful now. The youthful curves had matured into loveliness. Her breasts were large, but stood firmly, without need of support. Her waist was still a small twenty-four inches, flaring into softly rounded hips. Her legs were long and shapely, making her five foot eight inch frame appear taller. Shoulder length, dark auburn hair framed her face. Her large emerald green eyes were wide spaced, with long dark lashes. Her nose turned up slightly at the end, with a sprinkling of freckles that still appeared whenever she spent time in the sun. But, it was her slightly wide, sensuous mouth that just begged to be kissed.

Yes, at thirty-six, Monica West was an extraordinarily beautiful woman to look at but, on the inside she felt as frozen as the artic wastelands. It was as if her heart had turned to ice when Josh had died. She had to keep on living, she knew that, but, oh, God, was it hard.

After settling into her temporary home, she sent off emails to her best friend, Sheri, and Felix, letting them know that she had arrived safely.

As the sun was waning, she changed into a sleeveless, apricot colored silk shift and a pair of heeled sandals, then made her way to the hotel restaurant, for a small supper.

She was shown to a small table on the terrace, where she sat facing the room. Halfway through her grilled salmon and salad meal she shivered, with the unpleasant feeling of being watched.

She turned her head slowly and the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen, met her gaze. Quickly, the young man looked away, bending to speak to his female companion. For a moment Monica could only stare down at her plate. Her hands were trembling and her heart was racing. Her appetite gone, she slowly rose from the table and walked off the terrace without looking back.

"What is wrong with me?" she asked herself as she walked back to the bungalow. "It's not as if I've never been stared at before"

Shaking her head she tried to dismiss her reaction, but the last thing that filled her mind before she fell asleep, were those beautiful blue eyes.

The morning dawned bright and clear and, after a fitful night's sleep, Monica put on a sleek black one-piece swimsuit and made her way down the deserted beach to the water's edge. Dropping her towel and sandals, she ran and dove gracefully into the surf.

She swam for a while, exhilarated by the warmth of the water and the freedom of the early morning. Soon people would be flocking to the beach, their noise drowning out the peace.

Wading back to shore, Monica toweled off and lay down to soak up some of the already hot sun. As she rose up to turn onto her back, a movement in the surf caught her eye. She leaned back on her elbows and watched as the god-like man emerged from the water.

Her breath caught at the sight of his body as he walked toward the shore. He was huge, standing well over six feet, closer to six foot five. Short, dark brown, almost black, curls glinted with droplets of water. His tanned face and neck complimented a broad, well-defined chest and torso, featuring an eight-pack, which rippled with each step. His arms were long and muscled, but not obscenely so. Narrow hips led down to long, muscular legs. He was breathtaking.

She realized she was staring and quickly lay back down and closed her eyes, her heart racing.

A shadow passed over her and a warm pleasant voice said, "Hello."

Cupping her hand over her eyes to block out the sun, Monica's gaze traveled up that magnificent body to the sculpted face of the young man who had been staring at her the night before. It was the face of a god. A smooth forehead led to slightly peaked brows, framing those incredible blue eyes. His straight nose was set above a mouth, with full to-die-for lips. But it was the dimples that made her mouth water.

She felt a tightening, a pull, that she hadn't felt in a long while.

His eyes twinkled brightly as Monica quickly lowered her gaze and returned a shy, "Hello."

"It's great out here at this time of day, isn't it?" he asked sitting down, cross-legged in the sand, next to her. "I always come out here for a swim before the guests start to arrive. You're new here, aren't you?"

"Yes," Monica replied. "I arrived yesterday. I'm Monica West."

"I'm Emmett McCarty." He smiled, shaking her offered hand. "Are you on your own here, or do you have a husband tucked away somewhere?"

Monica sat up and stared out at the sea.

"No, I'm here alone," she replied softly, pain tightening her throat. "My husband is dead."

For a moment neither of them spoke.

"Jeez, McCarty, way to go," he mumbled to himself, rubbing the back of his neck and looking back at her. "I'm sorry, Monica, I didn't mean to sound so flippant."

Glancing over her shoulder at him, she gave him a trembling smile, tears glistening in her eyes.

"It's alright, Emmett." She sighed. "I'm still just trying to accept the fact that Josh is gone."

"I'll go on then and let you be alone," he said, starting to rise.

"No, please," she said, looking up and placing a restraining hand on his arm.

She gasped at the electric tingle that sparked her fingers and pulled her hand away. Her eyes were wide, her mouth slightly parted, and she licked her lips before looking away, mentally shaking herself.

"Stay and talk with me a while, I've been alone too much lately," she added breathlessly.

Smiling, he sat back down.

Monica was surprised at how easy it was to talk with him. They had spent about an hour together, learning about each other and their mutual interests, before any other guests appeared.

It didn't seem possible that he was only twenty-two; his tastes were much more sophisticated than that. He enjoyed all types of music and liked poetry and literature. He was a well-rounded and educated young man.

"I have an idea," he said, as they stood and headed back to the hotel. "Why don't you let me show you around St Bart's? We could have lunch at this great little bistro I know. Then we can wander through the market place in town."

"Oh, I don't think so, Emmett," Monica replied. "I'm sure you have better things to do than showing me around. Besides, I have a couple of letters to write."

"Come on, Monica, I'd love to show you around the island," he pleaded. "I really don't have anything planned for today. Please say you'll come with me."

Monica looked up into his face, meeting the steady, guileless gaze of those blue eyes.

"Alright," she said, against her better judgment. She clutched her towel tightly to her breast, attempting to stop the trembling of her hands. "I'm in bungalow seventeen."

"I'll be there at, say, eleven, then?" he asked, grinning.

Those luscious dimples appeared beside his mouth. She agreed and he walked off, whistling.

"What am I doing?" Monica asked herself as she stepped under the shower. "He's so young, but I'm attracted to him and God I want him... No, I have to stop this, today."

She dressed in a pair of white jeans and a red peasant blouse, with white sandals on her feet. The entire time she was getting ready, she argued back and forth with herself. She wanted to get to know him, but was afraid.

With her mind made up she met Emmett at her door, ready to tell him that this was not a good idea. But, one look into his expectant face had her wavering. When he smiled, she was lost. She smiled up at him.

"Hi," she said softly.

"You look lovely," he said, his compliment causing her to blush.

He was in khaki pants and a tight blue T-shirt that matched the color of his eyes. She smiled to herself. This boy knew what he had and how to decorate and use it.

"You clean up pretty nicely yourself," she replied.

They stood for a moment, staring at each other. Then, taking a deep breath, she tore her gaze from his.

"I'm ready if you are you are," she said, clearing her throat.

That day was one of many that they shared. Emmett made sure that Monica didn't have time to brood over Josh's death. It was a reawakening of sorts for her. She hadn't felt this alive in months.

Although she and Josh had loved each other, business often took precedence over their personal life. She had now become the center of Emmett's attention and she was thriving in it.

She learned that he was a budding actor and had just finished shooting a film. The final scenes were shot on location in St. Bart's and he had elected to spend a few weeks there, before heading home.

While they were together, Monica blocked out any doubts and reservations about their relationship. It was only when she was alone at night that she was plagued by them. She knew that she should stop seeing him, but every time she resolved to, she just couldn't. All he had to do was smile at her and she was lost to her resolution.

She was hopelessly attracted and it grew stronger each day. There had been moments when she thought that he seemed just as attracted, but he never acted on it and neither did she.

The relationship was platonic. At the end of each day, he would walk her to her door, arrange the time for meeting the next day, and say a polite goodnight.

One evening, after a day of boating, Emmett asked her to have dinner with him. Her heart began racing as she looked up at him.

"Oh Emmett, I don't…" she started. He placed a finger to her lips, stopping her.

"Please, Monica, I want to see you tonight," he said softly. He looked down into her face, searchingly. "I want us to have a nice dinner and maybe go dancing afterwards"

He stroked her cheek with a gentle touch of his fingers. She closed her eyes.

"Please?"

Reluctantly, she opened her eyes and met his smoldering gaze. The message in his eyes was unmistakable and she wondered if her answer was as plain. With that plea, an ache began in her core, a strong ache that spread throughout her whole body.

"Alright," she whispered, taking an unsteady breath.

His eyes darkened, as a small smile raised the corners of his mouth.

"Seven?" he questioned. She nodded, and he strode away.

Slowly, Monica let herself into the bungalow. She was now certain that Emmett wanted her as much as she wanted him.

"What am I doing?" she asked herself, sliding down into a RED scented bath.

"If anything happens to me, Monica, don't remain alone. Find someone to love and that loves you in return." …Josh's words came back to her, easing her.

But, what would he have said about this age difference. She was fourteen years older than Emmett. Would he approve? Or was it she, herself, that didn't approve? Was she so bound by tradition that she couldn't just let it happen? She knew that she'd sleep with him, that was inevitable and she tried to convince herself that this was just a summer fling, nothing more, and nothing less.

She dressed in a short black halter dress of jersey silk that clung to her soft curves, and with it she wore silver heeled sandals. Her hair was pinned up into a messy bun, with a few curling tendrils caressing her face and neck. She touched her eyelids with silvery-green shadow, and darkened her lashes with mascara, a dark, rose-colored blush brushed across her cheeks and a burgundy gloss moistened her lips.

She was fastening her delicate watch, when her eyes caught the sparkle of her wedding rings. She stared at them for a moment and taking a shuddering breath, she slipped them off of her finger. As she laid them in her jewelry box, tears stung her eyes. For seventeen years, the only time they had been off was for cleaning or repair. She looked down, and realized that this was a giant step in her life; another part of letting Josh go.

She had just put the jewelry box in the safe, when there was a soft knock at the door. When she opened it, her breath caught at the sight of him.

Emmett stood there, dressed in thigh hugging gray slacks and a cobalt blue silk shirt. In his hand, he carried a single red rose and, with a smile he held it out to her.

"A beautiful flower, for a beautiful lady," he said quietly.

As she took it from him, their fingers brushed, and she felt the tingle again; a drawing ache that grew, with every inadvertent touch. She gave a silent gasp and turned into the room.

"Thank you, Emmett," she said, softly. "Won't you come in, while I put this in a vase?"

He watched the gentle sway of her hips as she walked toward the kitchen and felt his body respond. It had been doing so ever since he'd met her. His want of her was a heady thing and if he didn't have her soon, his cock was going to fall off from all the self-love he'd been indulging in.

Walking over to the glass doors, he looked out at the moonlight reflecting off the waves that beat against the shore.

At first, all he had wanted was to bed her. But, as he got to know her, he really began to like her. She was beautiful, intelligent, funny, and sad. Whenever the melancholy would come over her, he wanted to take her in his arms and just hold her until the sadness abated. Earlier that afternoon, he had gotten his chance to do just that.

They had been laughing at one of his inane jokes, when her face suddenly clouded over. Without thinking, he reached over and pulled her into his arms. She didn't struggle, just stood there stiffly, trembling. Then, with a soft cry, she buried her face against his chest, winding her arms around his waist. He held her until she drew in a shuddering breath.

She had been embarrassed and began apologizing. He stopped her, reminding her that's what friends were for. He watched the calm serenity wash over her, and she began to relax again. In that moment, everything changed for Emmett. When she didn't pull away, he felt as if his world was coming together at last.

He had been nervous as he asked her to dinner. Everything for the past week had been so casual. But he knew that she was as attracted to him, as he was to her. There were times when that electric connection was felt by both of them, and those occurrences were becoming much more intense and frequent.

"Would you like a drink before we go, Emmett?" Monica called from the kitchen, bringing Emmett back from his reverie.

"Oh, no thanks," he replied. "Our reservations are for seven-thirty."

She came back into the living room and sat the bud vase on the end table next to the couch. Turning, she picked up her bag and lightweight silver stole and smiled at him.

Twenty minutes later, they were seated at a small table, in an intimate little alcove of a quaint restaurant. They dined on succulent shrimp and crab legs, with shrimp risotto and Caesar salad. A nice white Zinfandel filled their glasses, complimenting the meal.

They talked quietly about everything except the subject foremost in both of their minds.

She studied his large hands, with their square tipped fingers, and wondered what they would feel like on her skin; what pleasures they could give her. She also wondered, if she would even be able to play the sexual game. The only man she had ever been with was Josh.

They finished their dinner and, after paying the bill, Emmett took her to a small club in an exclusive part of the island. They were seated at an intimate table, near the small stage, where a trio played softly.

After ordering Monica a glass of wine and a beer for himself, Emmett asked her to dance. She reluctantly took his hand and followed him to the dance floor. She hadn't danced in years. Josh wasn't a dancer and the only time she had the opportunity was at company functions.

Emmett proved himself to be a smooth, natural dancer, easily teaching Monica the latest steps. She was laughing happily when the music changed to a slow number Emmett pulled her into his arms and up against him. She held herself stiffly, trying to put some space between them.

"Monica, relax," Emmett whispered into her ear. "Relax and let yourself go with the music." Softly he began to hum in her ear.

Gradually Monica's arms slipped up around his neck and he pulled her tightly to him. She could feel the entire length of his body against her and she reveled in his touch.

Then he began to whisper some of the words of the song.

Hello, I can't wait till we're alone,

Somewhere quiet, on our own,

So that we can fall the rest of the way.

I know that before this night is through,

I'll be talking love with you,

Meaning every word I say.

Cause the last time I felt like this,

I was falling in love.

Falling and feeling,

I'd never fall in love again.

Yes, the last time I felt like this,

Was long before I knew,

What I'm feeling now with you.

Her fingers had slid up to tangle in the short curls at the nape of his neck and her head rested against his chest. His hands were resting on the bare skin above the skirt of her backless dress, his cheek against the top of her head. They were oblivious to everything around them.

Bringing his hands up, he cupped the back of her neck, using his thumbs to tilt her face up to look at him. He caressed her cheeks as he stared intently into her eyes.

They stood there, totally still, long after the song had ended, blue eyes gazing into green ones; shifting to her lips and back again.

"Monica," he whispered, leaning down toward her. When his lips were a mere breath away from hers, the lights came up.

Monica blinked and gasped quietly, pulling away slightly. She turned abruptly, walking back to their table, her heart racing. He followed slowly behind and then looked down at her, touching her cheek. Motioning for her to precede him, they left the club.

The drive back to the hotel was quiet, both of them lost in their own thoughts. He reached over and pick up her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing the back of it softly. Her eyes met his briefly, in the dim light. A ghost of a smile touched her lips, as she turned her head to look out the car window.

He walked her silently to the door and turned her to face him.

"Monica, I want to kiss you," he said softly, cupping her face in his hands "I really want to kiss you" She licked her bottom lip as she nodded slowly.

As his lips touched hers, she whimpered, while he groaned.

Stepping back, he took the key from her trembling fingers as she fumbled to slide it into the slot. Deftly, he opened the door and handed the key back to her. Hesitantly, she proceeded into the bungalow.

The bright moonlight spilling through the glass panels provided all the light needed. Taking her bag and stole from her, Emmett tossed them on the couch, then turned Monica toward him and took her in his arms.

"I want to make love with you, Monica," he murmured huskily, searching her eyes.

"Oh, Emmett, we can't," she protested, trying to pull out of his embrace. "I'm so much older than you and…"

"I don't care about our age difference, damn it," he whispered fiercely, tightening his arms around her. "It's how we feelthat matters, Monica, and right now I want you."

He kissed her mouth feverishly, pulling her into him and she could feel his hardness pressing against her.

"I know that you want me, too, don't you?" he asked, kissing the side of her neck.

She was silent for a long moment, and he raised his head to see the longing and uncertainty do battle in her eyes.

"Don't you?" he whispered again.

"Yes," came her barely audible reply. Then a little louder, "Oh, yes!"

His lips descended to devour her mouth hungrily. Her arms slid up around his neck, as she stood on tiptoe to press her body tightly to his. She could feel the trembling of his hardened body as she opened the sweetness of her mouth to his probing tongue. She tentatively brushed her tongue across his lower lip, and nibbled gently. He groaned, and suddenly, their tongues were dueling for dominance. The throbbing between her legs matched the thundering of her heart. The gush of moisture flowing from her soaked her panties and began to run down the inside of her thighs.

His hands came up and pulled the elastic band from her hair, letting it fall around her shoulders, in soft, silky waves. He buried his fingers in it, pulling her in for another searing kiss.

Suddenly, he felt her change. Her body relaxed, as she returned his kisses with abandon. She was ready to leave the past behind, concentrate on the now, and not worry about the future. It was time, and she came alive in his arms.

"Emmett," she whispered against his lips. "Take me to bed."

Without hesitation, he picked her up and carried her into the bedroom, setting her down next to the bed. He released her legs and she let her body slide down his. Groaning at her surrender, he captured her mouth again.

Her hands rested against his chest and as she gazed up at him, she began to unbutton his shirt. With each button that was released, she leaned in and licked and nipped at the revealed patch of skin.

"You taste so good, baby," she whispered, as the last button was undone. She pulled the shirt out from his waistband, as she licked back up to his throat. "Ummm!"

Sliding her hands up under his shirt and over his shoulders, she pushed it down his arms, letting it slide to the floor. She breathed in the scent of him as she raked her tongue across his nipple, nipping at it gently. He hissed.

As she was leaning into him, he reached up behind her and unfastened the halter at her neck, allowing the soft silk to fall to her waist. His eyes gleamed, as he brought his hands up to cup the ripe fullness of her breasts, dragging the pads of his thumbs across the already stiffened peaks. His lips coursed a trail of fire from her throat to her shoulder.

"You're perfect, Monica," he murmured, gently kneading the flesh in his hands before bending to take a nipple into his mouth.

"Oh, God, Yes!" Monica cried, arching, pressing into his hands. "Ohhh!"

Emmett reached around and slid down the zipper to her dress. It pooled at her feet and he stepped back to take in the sight of her. He gasped at the beauty before him.

She stood, clad only in a pair of black lace bikinis panties. His molten gaze traveled up slowly from her feet to her slender waist. Her breasts stood proudly, her distended nipples begging for his mouth. The slender curve of her neck drew his eyes to her beautiful face, surrounded by the tousled mess of her thick, shining hair. But it was her plump, swollen mouth, and the sultry look in her eyes that caused him to catch his breath. He pulled her back to him and plundered that inviting mouth seeking the warm moist cavern behind it.

He felt her hands slide down to his waist and reach for his belt. Without taking her mouth from his, she began to work the buckle. As she unbuttoned the waistband of his pants, he slipped out of his shoes and toed off his socks. Her nimble fingers slowly slid his zipper down, allowing his pants and briefs to fall around his ankles. She reached for him, and gently stroked him.

With a deep groan, he picked her up and laid her on the bed, sliding down beside her.

His lips started behind her ear and traveled across her jaw and down her throat. Pausing to kiss her succulent mouth, he continued his downward journey, licking and nipping and tasting her sweet exotic skin. Reaching her navel, he dipped his tongue inside, causing her stomach muscles to quiver. Sliding down, he reached the top of her panties and looked up at her through his lashes. She was looking back at him with glazed, lust filled, hooded eyes, her mouth slightly open, and her tongue peeking out. He groaned.

He ran his nose down across her soaked panties and placed a kiss on her lace-covered center. Slipping his fingers under the band of her panties he slid them down over her hips. Rising to his knees he pulled them free of her. Before tossing them to the floor, he brought them to his nose, enjoying the scent of her.

Lying back down between her legs, he rested his head against her thigh and ran a gentle finger through her dripping folds.

"You are beautiful, Monica," he murmured.

He brought his moistened finger to his lips and slipped it into his mouth, moaning. With his tongue, he licked up the fluids that had run down her thighs and then worked his way up to where they both wanted him to be.

Flattening his tongue, he placed it against her entrance and licked up to her clitoris, nibbling gently. He did this repeatedly until she was writhing under his face.

"Please, Emmett," she begged hoarsely, her hips bucking. "Oh, God!"

"Please, what, Monica?" he asked, his eyes flickering up to her wanton face. "Tell me, babe."

"Don't tease me, please, it's been too long. Emmett, please, baby."

Then he was fucking her with his tongue, lapping up all the fluid that her body had produced. He ran his tongue up to her clit, sucking it into his eager mouth. Slipping one, then two fingers inside of her, he relished the fresh flow of her fluid over them. He curled the tips of his fingers as he brought them out, seeking that spongy, rough spot of skin up behind her clit. She cried out each time he ran his finger across it and, feeling her begin to tighten around his fingers, he picked up his pace.

"Ohhh, Emmett…Oh, God…Oh fuck, Emmett!" she screamed as she began to spasm. An extremely intense orgasm washed over her body, and he continued pumping and sucking until her spasms began to cease. Then, he gently withdrew his fingers and kissed her folds before moving back up her body, trailing kisses.

"Babe, you taste so fuckin' good," he murmured as he took her mouth, "Taste yourself, Monica"

She mewled as she tasted her essence on his lips and tongue, and then she licked his face clean. He smoothed the hair back from her face and brought her mouth back to his.

Monica began placing small kisses up his throat along his jaw to his ear, where she nibbled and sucked gently on the lobe. Emmett groaned as she pushed him over onto his back. Sliding her leg over him she straddled his hips, feeling his hard pulsing cock against her core. She rubbed herself on him before leaning forward to place kisses back up to his ear.

"Now it's my turn, baby," she whispered. "You just lay back and let me take you for a ride."

She bit the underside of his jaw as she began her worship of his body.

Monica licked soothingly at the mark and continued down his throat, tracing small circles with the tip of her tongue. Stopping, she nipped and sucked at his Adam's apple before gliding across the indentation between his collarbones.

Sliding her moist, wet tongue down his sternum, she turned her head and wet his nipple and, blowing gently, her breath turned the taught bud into a rock hard pebble. Taking it into her mouth, she sucked hard.

"Oh, God, babe," he moaned hoarsely.

Sitting up, she continued her sensual exploration of his magnificent body, running her hands down his sculpted abs. Dipping her head back down, she planted a moist, open-mouthed kiss on each muscle of his eight-pack, licking the underside of it. Circling his navel she dipped the tip of her tongue inside.

The sounds of his pleasure spurred her on.

Sliding further down his body, she positioned herself so that his throbbing cock was nestled between her breasts. Pressing her breasts together with her upper arms, she began sliding up and down his shaft. As the head of his cock neared her mouth, she bent her head, and lapped at the tip with her tongue.

"Holy, fuck!" Emmett growled, lifting his hips, angling closer to her mouth.

When Monica reached her goal, she sat back on her heels and marveled at the size of the velvet-skinned hardness before her. He was magnificent.

"Oh, baby, look at you," she murmured, her lust filled eyes gazing up into his expectant ones.

She reached down and took him in her hands. Looking back up into his heavy lidded eyes she licked her bottom lip and, leaning forward, flicked her tongue out quickly, snake like, over the tip and lapped up the glistening drop of precum gathered there. She ran her tongue over the sensitive ridge and back up to the tip, pulling back to blow her hot breath across it.

Slowly, releasing her grip on his shaft, she slid him deep into her mouth, moaning at the feel of him, lightly raking him with her teeth, while her tongue swirled around him.

"Oh, God…so fuckin' good, Monica," he moaned, throwing his head back into his pillow.

Slipping her hand down, she gently cupped his scrotum, kneading the spheres within. Using her thumb and forefinger, she lightly pinched between them, as she continued to suck him.

"FUCK!" He shouted, as his body jerked. "What the…oh, babe…again!"

She repeated the touch, as his shaft touched the back of her throat, and he exploded. Streams of his spicy, hot cream filled her mouth, and swallowing it all, she continued to lick and suck him until his spasms ceased.

He reached down and pulling her up his body, captured her mouth in a fevered, demanding kiss. Flipping her gently onto her back and, covering her body with his own, he settled between her legs. Ghosting his hand down her side, to her knee, he pulled her leg around his waist. Amazingly he was hard again; ready to make love to this beautiful woman.

After placing himself at her entrance, he thrust deep and hard. Monica whimpered as he stretched and filled her. He groaned at the feel of her tightness around him.

"Oh, yes." She sighed, a single tear escaping her closed eyes.

It had been so very long. She had closed herself up, burying all her wants and longings so deep, that the wall, she had built around herself, seemed impenetrable. Yet, with one touch, one kiss from this gentle giant, it had crumbled, and he made her feelagain.

He stilled, waiting, allowing her body to become accustomed to him, before he began to slowly pull out of her and push back in again. He continued at this slower pace, until she began to match his rhythm. Gradually he increased the pace, as they moved as one.

Leaning on one elbow, he tenderly cupped her cheek. As their breathing became panting and their coupling became erratic, he stared deeply into her eyes, as if looking into her soul

"I'm almost there, babe," he told her hoarsely, his gaze never leaving hers. "I need you… to cum… with me."

Her muscles began to tighten, almost painfully, around him and he reached down to pull her to his chest.

"Oh, God, Emmett!" she cried, tossing her head back.

She spun out into space, in a white-hot explosion. Within seconds, he followed, arching his back and clutching her to him.

"Monica!" he roared, as he filled her with his hot creaminess, her spasming muscles milking every drop from him.

Slowly, they mentally returned to the bed that their bodies were resting on. He gently laid her back on the pillows, resting his face against her neck. She ran her hands soothingly up and down his back, kissing his shoulder.

He rolled over to his side, pulling her with him, and wrapped his arms around her.

"You are awesome, Monica," he murmured, resting his forehead against hers. "I am totally amazed. Where in the hell did you learn what you know?"

She smiled to herself.

"Honey, I was married to a very virile man for seventeen years," she replied softly. "We had a very healthy love life and experimented frequently"

"I'm very glad," he whispered, nuzzling her neck. "It's one of the best perks of being with an older woman."

She drew back and looked into his eyes.

"And have you been with many older women?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

He rose up on an elbow and looked down at her.

"And if I have?" he asked, a sexy grin spreading across his face.

"I might be a bit jealous," she replied softly, lowering her eyes, "I don't want to be just one in a string of conquests."

He lifted her face, to gaze into her eyes.

"I tell you, honestly, that there has never been anyone like you, "he said quietly. "You have touched me in a way that no other woman has, deep in here." He lifted her hand and placed it over his heart. "No one."

For a long moment she stared deeply into his honest blue eyes. He recognized the moment that she believed him and took her mouth in a sweet, loving kiss

Sighing contentedly, she reached up and ran a finger through one of his deep dimples, purring deep in her throat. She had never been attracted to dimples before, but Emmett's called to her, begging to be stroked and licked.

He turned his head and placed a tender kiss to the palm of her hand and then slowly, he began to make slow, gentle love to her again.

All through the night, they turned to one another, craving each other.

The sun was rising over the edge of the horizon before they fell into an exhausted, satiated sleep.

When she woke, Monica was alone in her bed. Looking around, she saw his clothes, still scattered around the floor, and smiled. Flopping back down onto her pillows, she began to giggle. For the first time in over a year, she felt carefree and happy, as if a great weight had been lifted from her.

Jumping up, she spied Emmett's shirt and picked it up. Slipping her arms into the sleeves, she buttoned it around her, as she headed for the bathroom. After taking care of her needs, she washed her face and brushed her teeth. Brushing the tangles from her hair, she slipped back into the bedroom just as Emmett came through the door.

"Damn, that shirt never looked that good on me," he declared, taking in the sight of her long legs, beneath the shirttails.

Walking purposefully toward her, he took her in his arms.

"Morning, gorgeous, "he murmured, taking her mouth in a glorious kiss.

She whimpered, sliding her hands up his chest and winding her arms around his neck. Slowly he lifted his head, and looked down into her hooded eyes. Taking in the sight of her swollen, pouting lips he groaned, pulling her tight against him.

"Damn, woman, you'll be the death of me," he murmured, kissing her.

She smiled against his lips.

"Oh, but what a divine way to go," she whispered and giggled.

With a growl, he scooped her up in his massive arms and she squealed as he dumped her unceremoniously on the bed. Lying on top of her, he grasped both of her wrists in one of his hands, and pinned them above her head. He grinned at her and leaned down to tickle her neck with his scruff. She giggled and twisted, trying to arch away from him. As they tussled playfully, the neck of the shirt slid open, exposing a creamy rose tipped breast.

During the night, the only light had been the moonlight shining through the windows. This was his first glimpse of her in the light of the day. He watched as her nipple began to harden. She whimpered, and his body responded to the want and need he saw in her eyes.

Slowly, he lowered his head, and took her nipple between his lips, flicking his tongue across the taught peak. With a cry, she arched her back, pressing against his hungry mouth.

Suddenly, a tiny spark turned into a blazing inferno of hands, lips and fingers. It was a fast, frenzied coupling that left them panting and slightly dazed. He slipped gently from her, and rolled over onto his back, dragging her into the warmth of his embrace.

They lay tangled in each other, silent, lost in the afterglow of such intense passion.

"Wow," Emmett said, taking a deep breath. "You are a total surprise, Monica, a marvelous one, but still a surprise."

"Why do you say that, Em?" she asked, looking up into his face.

"Out there, in public, you're a reserved, sophisticated lady, sometimes even haughty," he replied, smiling. "But here in the bedroom, you're a wildcat."

"More like a "cougar", you mean." She laughed. "I am in that category, you know."

"Don't talk that way," he admonished. "I don't like it."

"It's true, baby, whether you like it, or not," she responded softly. "I am fourteen years older than you."

"It doesn't matter to me," he answered. "And it shouldn't to you either. It's what's in here and here, that counts," he added, touching a finger to her temple and over her heart.

"I know that, but people will talk," she said.

"Let them," he growled. "They're just closed minded and mean spirited, if they do. What we have with each other is what matters. It's our time is right now and that's what we need to concentrate on."

"You're right,' she replied. "We'll take one day at a time, for the time we have left."

There was silence between them as they both absorbed her words. The time remaining was only one week.

"Well," he said, taking a deep breath. "Then we'll have to make the most of that time.

" Yes," she whispered, her breath catching. "We will."

The next few days were spent doing whatever they wanted to do.

Their evenings began with romantic dinners, followed by dancing or a walk on the beach.

Their nights were passion filled. Sometimes it was a fast mindless fucking, others a slow gentle loving, but all filled with that special passion.

Neither was willing to speak of their growing feelings for one another.

Emmett was excited and filled with wonder by what he was feeling for Monica. He hadn't been aware of his emptiness, until he met her. She was always in his thoughts, and when they were apart, he ached for her. He enjoyed being with her, talking to her, and just looking at her. He knew that he was falling in love, and embraced the fact.

Monica's feelings were more complex; she was afraid of her growing feelings for Emmett. She knew that it wouldn't take much for her to fall in love with him. But the age difference was holding her back. People could be small minded and mean. She could care less what anyone thought of her thought of her, but Emmett's career was just taking off, and she didn't want to be the cause of trouble for him. She was worried about how this would end.

It had been a glorious day on the water, and after a quiet, romantic dinner, at the hotel restaurant, they walked hand in hand, along the shore. A full moon reflected off the rhythmic waves that swirled around their ankles.

They were quiet, thinking about Monica's departure the next morning, but refusing to acknowledge or talk about it. The thought was weighing heavy on their minds.

They made mindless, passionate love, with a desperate intensity, clinging, touching.

Afterwards, they lay entwined around each other, stroking softly, gently.

"Monica," Emmett spoke softly. "I don't want you to leave tomorrow."

He felt her stiffen in his arms. She took a deep breath, preparing herself for what was to come.

"I have to, Emmett," she replied. "I have a business to run, with a lot of people counting on me.

"I know that, and appreciate it," he said. "But what about us? Where do we go from here?"

She closed her eyes and turned away, not wanting to see the look on his face. She was going to have to be the better actor…for his sake.

"What do you mean, Emmett?" she asked.

He was quiet, as she felt him tense.

"Monica," he said, turning her to look into her eyes. "I love you."

She smiled and chuckled, as her heart was breaking. She was screaming on the inside.

"Oh, sweetie," she said, patting his cheek. "I adore you, but it's time to get back to the real world. Yours and mine just don't mesh. I've had a lovely time with you, and it's a memory I will always cherish. But, our summer fling has to end now."

Her resolve faltered, as she looked up to watch the myriad of emotions flash across his face.

He blanched as her words registered and hurt was dominant in his eyes; followed by confusion, surprise, and lastly, anger, accompanied by the flame that colored his cheeks.

Angrily, he jumped out of bed, grabbing his jeans and pulling them on.

"Is that all this has been to you?" he demanded. "A summer fling? I didn't feel that I was good enough for you and apparently you feel the same. I thought that what we had was special and, fool that I am, I had hoped that you felt the same. God!"

He turned to stare out the window, composing himself. When she remained silent, he turned to look at her.

She was sitting up, the sheet tucked under her arms. She was beautiful with her hair tousled around her head and shoulders, and her mouth red and swollen from his kisses. Her eyes were big and wide, shimmering with the tears that she fought to keep at bay. It was all he could do to keep from begging her to stay.

"I love you, Monica, and it hurts like hell to know that you've just been using me to scratch an itch," he growled. "Well, you go on back to your friends. I doubt that they can make you feel as alive as I did. They certainly hadn't before you came here. When you're laying in your cold, empty bed, I hope you remember what you left behind. I didn't have any trouble finding ladies before you came along, and I certainly won't have any trouble after you're gone. How naive of me to think that you might want to marry me."

He didn't hear the agonized gasp she gave, didn't see the deep sorrow that brought her hand to her heart, and he didn't see the love that shone from her soul.

He finished dressing and started for the door and she began to panic.

"Emmett, please, I…" she started. Turning back to face her, he cut her off.

"I don't want to hear it, Monica," he shouted, his voice cracking. He ran his hand angrily through his hair and around the back of his neck. "Oh, hell, I've got to get out of here."

She saw the glint of his tears, as he turned and strode angrily out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

"Emmett!" she cried, scrambling from the bed, getting tangled in the sheets.

She tripped and sprawled on the living room floor. Then, gathering up the sheet, she picked herself back up and raced for the door. Flinging it open, she screamed his name again.

He looked up as he put his car in reverse, and stared at her. She was standing in the open doorway, wearing nothing but a bed sheet. Tearing his eyes away, he backed out of the drive and was gone.

Nothing in his life had ever prepared him for the hurt and devastation he was feeling at that moment. She didn't love him. Period. And he was lost.

As his car disappeared, Monica closed the door and slid down to the floor, a sobbing, quivering mess. He was gone because she had sent him away, cruelly and heartlessly. She told herself that it was for his own good. But, was it?

All that night, and into the next morning, she waited for Emmett to call, or come to see her. He never did.

She packed her bags and checked out of the hotel. At ten thirty, she was at the airport, checked in, and waiting for her eleven o'clock flight to Bentonville.

Her flight was called and she joined the line of people filing through the gate. One last time, she let her gaze scan the room, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. He wasn't there.

She was seated next to the window and tears were coursing down her cheeks as she gazed out. Suddenly, she spotted a solitary figure standing outside the fence next to the runway. Hastily, she wiped her eyes, knowing it was Emmett. He was standing there, shoulders hunched, hands in his pockets, as he watched her plane taxi down the runway.

"Oh Emmett, I love you," she whispered brokenly, placing her hand against the small window. Not until the revving of the engines and the rumble of the tires ceased, did she realize that they were airborne. With a resigned sigh, she settled sadly into her seat.

She was on her way back to her empty, solitary life…


The water had turned cold by the time Monica broke out of her reverie. With a sigh, she stepped out of the tub. Wrapping herself in a bath sheet, she walked over to her vanity and sat down.

"So he's here, and what are we going to do?" she asked her reflection. "I still love him. Does he still love me? After seven years? Lets just take it moment by moment, shall we? Don't go reading more into this visit than there is."

She took time to perfect her makeup, accentuating her large green eyes, piling her hair up into a bun on top of her head.

She dressed in white leggings and a lightweight emerald green sweater. It skimmed the tops of her thighs, and was cinched at the waist with a silver link belt. She added silver heeled sandals. Checking herself in the mirror near the door, she picked up her keys and headed for the building's garage.

Fifteen minutes later, she walked into Demitri's.

"Ah, bella Monica." Demitri himself greeted her. "We no see you ina longa time."

"Yes, I know, sweetie," she replied, kissing his cheek. "You know me and work."

"Si, you worka too hard," he replied. "No time for amore. No good!"

She patted his cheek affectionately. She'd been coming here for a long time and Demitri and his wife treated her like a daughter.

"Well, actually I'm meeting someone." She smiled. "He's a very big man, with dark curly hair.

Taking her arm, he pulled her to the doorway of the dining room. Peaking around the frame, he pointed at Emmett.

"Heem?" he asked quietly.

Monica gasped softly at the sight of Emmett, sitting at the small table, secluded in the back of the room. He was dressed in nice black slacks and a royal blue long sleeved, V-necked sweater. She blushed, when he glanced up and looked straight into her eyes.

"Molto brute, fia mia," Demitri murmured, and gave her a gentle shove into the room.

Emmett stood, politely, as she approached the table.

"I wasn't sure if you'd come or not," he said quietly, as he seated her.

"What, and miss a free meal?" she teased. "I came because I'm curious, Emmett. Why are you really here?"

He smiled, his dimples deeply creasing his cheeks.

"Are you trying to charm me, Emmett?" she asked, chuckling.

"Is it working?" he teased back.

"No." she replied, looking at him across the table.

He pouted, playfully.

"You forget, I knew you when." She smiled at him, although she felt like crying.

"Yeah, you did," he said softly, taking one of her hands in his.

Demitri came to take their drink order. Emmett ordered a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, a hearty red wine.

Still holding her hand, he looked down for a moment.

"I was going to wait, but I can't," he said quietly, and looked back up at her. "Why, Monica?"

Her breath caught. She knew that he would ask; she just hadn't thought he would start the conversation with it.

"Don't, Em, please," she whispered, tears filling her eyes. "It's over, in the past. Can't we forget about it?"

"Maybe you can," he said, squeezing the hand that he was still holding." I have to know, before I can let it go."

"Why now, after all this time?" she asked quietly.

"Because I'm getting married and I don't want to take excess baggage into the marriage," he replied, an edge to his voice. "I have to know, so I can let you go."

Monica pulled her hand from his grasp and wrapped her arms around her stomach. She was surprised at the pain she felt at his words. Married. The little glimmer of hope, which she'd carried for the last seven years, flickered and died. She closed her eyes, and he watched as a single tear escaped. Opening them again, she gave him a watery smile.

"Well, I guess congratulations are in order," she said, clearing her throat. She swallowed. "What's her name? Is she an actress? Have I seen her in anything? How did you meet? What does…"

"Monica…" He tried to stop her.

"…she look like…"

"Monica," he said louder.

She blinked, and focused back on him.

"Why?" he asked again.

"Because I wasn't good enough for you," she blurted out. "You didn't need an older woman clogging up your life, as you began to build your career"

"Oh, Monica," he said. "Why couldn't you have talked to me, instead of just ending things between us? We could have worked something out."

"Could we have? I don't think so," she said sadly. "There was nothing to work out. You had a career that needed your undivided attention, and I had one I didn't want to give up. I did what was best, for both of us."

"Did you love me?" he asked solemnly. "At all… ever?"

She felt her throat close up and, for a moment, she couldn't speak. The pain washed over her like it had seven years ago. She looked up into his anxious, questioning eyes.

"Yes," she whispered, reaching for his hand. "So very much."

He stared at her for a long moment, and something flashed , fleetingly, through his eyes.

"And now?" he asked, barely above a whisper, squeezing her fingers, almost desperately.

At that moment, their dinners arrived. She withdrew her hand from his, placing it in her lap. She was trembling. Could she, or should she, tell him that her love had only grown deeper over the years? That the few men, she had been with, had come up short, in body and mind, compared to him?

They ate in silence, the question hanging over them like a cloud.

"Dessert?" he asked, looking over the rim of his wineglass.

"No, I'm fine," she replied.

He signaled Demitri for the check and, after paying the bill, walked her out to her car.

"I had a nice time," she said politely, digging in her purse for her keys.

"Bullshit," he replied, and she stared up at him. "This was as hard for you, as it was for me. Would you care to go for a drink, so that we can finish our conversation?"

She started to refuse, but didn't. They definitely had to settle this.

"Why don't we go to my place?" she suggested. "We'll have more privacy there."

"Are you sure?" he asked, touching her cheek.

She nodded, trying desperately not to whimper at his touch.

"I'll need to call a cab," he said, reaching into his pocket for his phone.

She touched his hand gently.

"You can ride with me," she said tremulously, "I'm going in the same direction."

"Yeah, I guess you are," he replied with a slight grin. "Would you like me to drive?"

"No, that's okay, " she said, opening her door, and pressing the lock release for the passenger door. "It's quicker if I just drive."

He nodded in agreement and strode around to the passenger door. Once he was settled in, she started the car.

When they reached her door, he took the keys from her and opened it. She preceded him into the entry and flipped on the lights. She took the keys back and tossed them down on a small table near the door.

"Have a seat," she said softly, going over to the small wet bar in the corner. "What's your poison?"

"If you have a red wine, that will do," he replied, sitting down on the couch.

"I have the same Cabernet that we were drinking at the restaurant," she said, picking up two wine glasses, and the bottle, carrying them to the coffee table.

Emmett quickly uncorked the bottle, and filled the glasses, handing her one. Picking up the other, he sat back into the corner of the couch. Monica sat at the other end, facing him, curling her legs beneath her.

Holding her glass with both hands, she looked at him while taking a sip. He drank from his, then set it down and slid closer to her. He took her glass from her hands and set it aside.

"You never answered my question," he said quietly, taking her trembling hands in his.

"Which question was that?" She stalled as her heart began to race.

He smirked, knowing what she was doing. She was afraid to answer, and he was desperate to hear.

"Do you still love me?" he asked, never taking his eyes from hers.

Taking a shuddering breath, she stared back at him.

"Yes, Emmett, I do still love you," she whispered, tears filling her eyes. "And I'm afraid I always will."

His eyes darkened and suddenly she was in his arms, his mouth crashing down on hers. Moaning, she slid her arms up around his neck, pressing against him. His tongue caressed across her bottom lip; she opened to him and their tongues began the ancient dance. She ran her hands up into his hair, tugging gently. She sucked his lower lip into her mouth, causing him to groan.

He pulled back, resting his forehead against hers. Brushing her cheek, he watched the emotion in her eyes.

"Do you know how long I have waited to hear you say those words?" he whispered brokenly, tears filling his eyes. "You never said them on St. Bart's, and when you left, you took my heart and soul. I have been an empty shell for too long and I want to feelagain, Monica, and only you can give them back to me."

"Oh, baby," she whimpered, pressing her lips back to his. "I'm so sorry."

Their passion ignited, hotter than it had ever been. Having feverishly undressed each other, Emmett scooped Monica into his arms, and carried her into the hallway.

"Where?" he muttered, looking for the bedroom.

She pointed to a door at the end of the hall. She watched his face as he entered the room. He stopped abruptly, amazed at what he saw. She had replicated her bedroom from the Isle de France Hotel on St. Bart's

"Oh, babe," he whispered, drawing her lips into a passion filled kiss.

He laid her carefully, in the middle of the bed.

"My God, You're even more beautiful than I remembered," he murmured, sliding down beside her, and pulling her against him.

He kissed her neck, continuing down her throat and across her collarbones. He watched her, as his hand caressed her breast. Tracing his thumb across her hardening nipple, he leaned down and took it into his mouth, groaning at her sweetness.

His hand ghosted down her body to the inside of her thighs. Feeling the moisture there, he gently inserted a finger through her folds, into her entrance. With a cry, she pressed against his hand. Within a few strokes, on that most sensitive spot, she came, drenching his hand.

"Oh, Em," she murmured, her lips pressed against his throat. "You are the only man that has ever made me cum in that way."

Turning his face to her, she kissed him, with all the love in her heart. Slowly, she began licking, nipping, and sucking down his body. When she reached her goal, she gently took him deep into her wet mouth, swirling her tongue around his shaft. After kneading and caressing his sac, she slipped a finger down between his ass cheeks, to that most private entrance. He groaned loudly from deep within his chest, and pressed down against her for a moment, before reaching down and pulling her up to his mouth.

"I want to be inside of you when I cum, babe," he said, against her lips. Then he kissed her.

He rolled her onto her back and settled himself between her thighs. He entered her slowly, intending to ease himself into her, when she surprised him by thrusting hard, taking him all the way in. They both cried out, at her tightness and at how he filled her. As they stared into each other's eyes, he began rhythmically thrusting. It wasn't long before she felt her inner muscles begin to spasm.

"Babe…I… Oh, fuck…Now!" he cried, and exploded into her.

"Oh, God, Emmett!" she screamed, as she joined him on the wave mindless bliss.

"Monica, I love you." He sighed, as he collapsed on top of her.

"I love you, too," she returned softly. "So much."

As their heart rates slowed and their breathing returned to normal, he rolled them over on their sides. Gathering her close, he rested her head in the crook of his shoulder.

They lay there quietly. Then, taking a deep breath, she sat up, pulling the sheet over her nakedness.

"I think we need to talk," she said quietly.

"I agree," he replied, sitting up next to her.

"So, you're getting married," she said softly.

He looked down at her,

"Uh huh," he said. She looked up at him in surprise.

"Are you going to tell her about us…this?" she asked.

"Annie knows," he replied.

"Who's Annie?"

"The girl I was going to marry." He smiled down at her. "She knows all about you and I think that she half expected this. That's why she insisted I come to see you."

"She knows about me? How?"

I guess I talk about you a lot,' he said. "Once or twice, at the most inopportune moment."

"Oh Emmett, you didn't?" she said, shocked.

"Afraid so," he said with a grin.

"Oh, that's…that's awful!" she responded, and they burst into laughter.

"Yes, it is," he said, sobering. "But Annie is the one who saw me through the depression, after you left. She's my PA, and she's mostly on your side."

"I guess I'll have to thank her," Monica said, tracing a finger through his dimple.

"Yeah, well, you'll get a chance to before long," he said, smiling brightly.

And she did, three weeks later, at the small wedding that took place on 's.

It had been a long bumpy road to this conclusion. Both Monica and Emmett knew there were a lot of things to work out in this new life. But, this time, they would work them out together, at this chance To Love Again.