"Did you find him?"
Wrapping his lightweight jacket more firmly around his body Blake nodded unable to keep his body from shaking with the biting cold. The sun had finally set and the temperature was falling quickly, if they didn't find some shelter soon…
"I found him…he had been blown free from the explosion."
"Is he dead?"
The question was asked so timidly Blake blinked in shock his dark eyes flickering to his companions face, Alexis's face was ashen, her emerald eyes stark against her porcelain features; only a slight smudge of blood on her temple even hinted she had been involved in an accident.
"Yes." Blake didn't try to sugar-coat the situation there was nothing more to be done for the poor pilot but he wasn't anxious to join him anytime soon but if they didn't get out of this freezing wind soon that might be out of his hands. He was cold and from the way Alexis was starting to shiver she was feeling it too and hypothermia was nasty, sent people mad before killing them.
"Come on we've got to find shelter."
Nodding Alexis followed him placidly, not complaining even as the rough terrain cut into her stockinged feet, her heels having been lost in the mad rush to get the hell out of the jet before it exploded. Her body ached, her wrist felt twisted and she cradled it close to her body, trying to keep up with Blake as he strode off into the twilight.
Yet of all the people to be stuck with in a plane crash she was grateful it was Blake. Blake wasn't interested in coddling her, he was focused on surviving and he would push her until they did. To some it would seem harsh but Alexis knew Blake, she knew his ruthlessness and knew it was a characteristic that he had honed over the years out of necessity to survive and unlike some she didn't chastise him for it.
The world was a harsh place and although people, some people, some naïve cosseted people preferred to think of things in black and white, or good and evil, the real world was far more complex. A man was not solely good or evil, a man could be ruthless and still be good in his heart, a woman could appear cruel and hard yet that could simply be a mask she wore to protect an already broken heart from further harm.
Alexis was so preoccupied with her thoughts, cradling her sprained wrist against her body and trying not to shake too much from cold that she didn't notice the ground slope away. "Shit."
Hearing Alexis's curse Blake stopped turning round intending to chastise her for falling behind it took a moment before his eyes actually took in her condition. "Jesus Alexis why didn't you say anything?"
"You're not fine." Blake corrected her storming back over to wrap an arm around her waist pulling her to her feet. "Don't lie to me."
"Fine I feel like shit, my feet are cut to ribbons, by wrist is throbbing and now I've taken the skin off of both my knees; not to mention it is bloody freezing." Alexis hissed yet she didn't push him away, he was so wonderfully warm.
"Not much longer I think I see some sort of shelter up ahead, not more than a shack but it will get us out of this wind. Can you make it that far?"
"I'm not a baby Blake, you tell me you see somewhere to get out of this damn cold I'll crawl there if necessary."
"Well that'll make the history books." Blake retorted surprised when Alexis snorted in gallows humour.
"Me on my knees? I didn't know I was that good." Alexis quipped back her smile growing as Blake practically chocked in embarrassment.
Choosing to ignore that comment Blake started them moving again, it wasn't getting any warmer and in the rapidly fading light the chances were growing of making a wrong step and getting more serious injuries than a few grazes. It took longer than Blake would have liked, yet he couldn't lay that on Alexis's head, it was further than it looked.
Finally they reached the shelter, it was a ramshackled more a cowshed than anything else and it took two good barges with his shoulder to get the damn door open and the structure shuddered worryingly. Stepping inside Blake wrinkled his nose in disgust, the area smelt of rats and damp but it was slightly warmer out of the wind.
"What no silk sheets and caviar, Blake you really should contact room service and give them hell, this is not what we ordered." Alexis muttered leaning against the wall to catch her breath.
"Yeah but what about the lack of neighbours and that view." Blake bantered back his eyes squinting as he caught sight of an old kerosene lamp hung up on the back wall. Picking it up he shook it slightly pleased when there was a squish of liquid, not he only had to find a lighter. Turning he watched as Alexis hobbled over to a pile of old horse blankets sinking down into them before squeaking and shooting back up as something brushed past her.
"Blake I think our hotel room already has occupants."
"Yeah well don't bother them and they should leave you alone." Blake muttered and Alexis snorted glancing up surprised to find Blake eyes locked on her. "Blake..What?"
"Your cigarette case?"
"Now is hardly the time to start smoking Blake…"
"No, do you still have it or is it back on the plane?"
"I…"Alexis mumbled her hands fumbling in the pocket of her suit jacket. "Well bugger me. Here it is, god I could do with a smoke…" Alexis added flipping open her case and selecting a cigarette placing it between her lips and turning the case on it's side, rubbing her thumb across the lighter; surprised when Blake lent forward and pulled it out of her hands.
Spluttering with the unlit cigarette still between her pursed lips Alexis frowned. "Blake!"
"I need that besides you shouldn't smoke it's not ladylike."
Ignoring Alexis's growl Blake tried to get the damp wick to light. "Come on you stubborn bastard light….Come on…" He pleaded with the lamp, laughing in delight when the wick finally caught, turning to Alexis a smug smile on his face.
"Great so now we can see exactly how bad this place is." Alexis commented drolly and Blake scowled. "Now can I have my lighter back?"
Annoyed by her less than enthusiastic response Blake slipped the cigarette case into his own pocket. "No I might need it again besides some stray ash from your cigarette could send this place up and I don't want to have to spend the rest of the night trying to find another shelter in this wilderness thank you very much?"
Scowling at her ex-husband's answer Alexis wanted to argue back but Blake had a point and she had no intention of going back out there especially not for a cigarette.
Alexis's admission was softly spoken but even under the harsh whirl of the wind and the creaking of their temporary shelter Blake heard it. He understood what she was talking about, all they had found in to warm themselves were a couple of old moth eaten horse blankets and they simply weren't enough in the freezing mountain temperature.
There was only one thing they could do.
Unwrapping himself from his cocoon Blake shivered his breath visible in the air as he staggered across to a shaking Alexis. "Here unwrap yours and let me under."
Blinking her big emerald eyes up at him Alexis was too cold to argue, her hands trembling as she unfolded her blanket her breath catching as Blake settled down beside her tugging her blanket over them both before adding his own to their little cocoon. The sudden warmth of his body against hers felt wonderful and Alexis was quick to tuck her hands down between them.
"Dear god your hands are like ice."
"Cold...They hurt" Alexis muttered nuzzling her face into Blake's neck and chest relieved when he reached up and began to rub life into her hands.
"Yes." Alexis muttered pressing her cold nose against his warm skin. "Blake if I don't…" She paused before finding the strength to continue. "If I don't make it through this will you tell the children that I love them all very much and tell Dex that I'm sorry I am leaving him, that he managed to make me very happy, happier than I had any right to be."
"Alexis don't talk like that, you are going to be fine we both are. You've survived worse things than a bit of cold, besides you've got nine lives."
"Yes but how many are left?" Alexis muttered her lips blue with cold. "Promise me Blake, promise me if anything does happen that you'll do as I ask."
Sighing Blake pressed his cheek against her soft dark curls breathing in the light scent that still clung to her hair. "I promise but no more talk of dieing alright. You are not going to go dieing on me Alexis and that is an order."
"You can't go ordering me about Blake you're not my master not anymore."
Snorting in amusement Blake brushed the hair back from her face squinting down at her. "Lets be honest Alexis, despite promising to love honour and obey you very rarely did the latter."
Shrugging her shoulders Alexis allowed herself the guilty pleasure of being held by the man she loved, had always loved. If this was the way she was going to die then at least it would be in his arms. "I never enjoyed being told what to do Blake."
"Well I suppose we do have that in common." Blake muttered and an easy silence fell between the two of them. It was much easier than he thought to be this close to her, to hold her soft body in his arms and feel her breath tease his neck; much too easy.
"Blake." Alexis's soft voice broke the quiet a few minutes later.
"I just wanted…I needed to say I'm sorry Blake."
Freezing slightly at her words Blake tried to pretend he didn't know what she was really talking about, pretend it was about the crash yet he wasn't that good at fooling himself; Blake knew exactly what she meant.
"Isn't it a bit late to be dragging this up now Alexis?" He asked with a weary sigh surprised when Alexis lifted her head from his chest to look at him, his skin suddenly feeling cool from the lose of her body heat. But Blake Carrington wasn't a coward so he forced himself to meet his gaze, surprised to see her eyes so soft and that made him nervous. An angry Alexis he had ways of dealing with but a calm soft Alexis who talked to him in that gentle tone that he had little defence against especially when he could feel the press of her body against his own.
"What if there isn't any later Blake? What if all we have is now?"
Alexis's question caught him off guard and Blake flinched, refusing to accept that could be the truth yet his voice croaked slightly as he answered. "I refuse to accept that might be the case."
Blake's answer brought a half smile to Alexis's face her lips quirking slightly. "Now that's the Blake Carrington I remember…Do you remember the night we met? It was Cecil's birthday party and you turned up so late dinner had already been served; you made quite the entrance as I remember."
Chuckling at the sudden change of topic Blake nodded oh yes he could remember that night well.
The delicate tinkle of polite conversation came to an abrupt halt the moment Blake came through the double doors. Denver's polite society paused to take note of the very late arrival before the gossip started up again this time about him. Yet Blake had never cared much for what socialites thought of him before. The conversation tended to be dull anyway so perhaps it was a good thing he had given them something else to talk about.
Crossing the room Blake tried to look for the birthday boy but the room was crowded, people having abandoned the tables for the dance floor. It was Cecil's affair and considering how much his friend had splashed out on this party he was clearly out to impress. Perhaps it was Denver's high society, to show them just who was the new power in the town or perhaps it was this girl that Cecil had been raving about since his return from Europe.
Shaking his head Blake couldn't imagine throwing a party this lavish just to turn some girls head.
Finally pushing his way through the crowd Blake caught sight of Cecil's tall frame over by the champagne fountain his arm around the back of a petite brunette wearing emerald green. "Cecil."
On hearing Blake's greeting Cecil glanced back over his shoulder his handsome aristocratic face creasing in a smile. "Blake over hear old chum."
Reaching for Cecil's hand Blake shook it before turning to greet others of their friends shooting Walter Lankersham a smile before turning back to Cecil. Yet his eyes never made it back to his friend they got caught on another far more appealing sight. She was stunning, beautiful in a way that he had never seen before and when she smiled at him her emerald green eyes lighting up as their gazes met Blake had to drag his jaw up off of the floor.
Perhaps there were some girls worth throwing a party like this for.
"Hello I'm Alexis."
The angel spoke and her voice was enchanting as her appearance and for one moment Blake felt awkward and unworthy, here was a cultured beautiful young girl from England and he was a wildcatter who having turned his back on his father's fortune was dragging himself up by hard work and his bootstraps.
"Blake." He answered simply yet his lack of eloquence didn't seem to dampen her smile, Alexis seemed as unable as he was to pull her gaze away from his. Her emerald eyes twinkled and she seemed to lean towards him as if drawn by an invisible thread, an instant attraction that Blake more than shared.
Yet their connection hadn't gone unnoticed by the others and Cecil coughed breaking the spell his arm tightening subtly on Alexis. "Come Alexis you can meet everyone later, for now I'd love to dance."
Alexis allowed Cecil to pull her towards the dance floor and Blake's eyes followed her every step his heart aching the further away she got. Yet it lightened considerably when she suddenly turned her dark head to glance back over at her shoulder at him, a bright smile lighting up her face as their gazes met once more and Blake found himself grinning back like an idiot.
"Oh my I smell trouble afoot." Walter's voice jarred Blake but he didn't take his eyes from Alexis to so much as glance at his friend.
"Cecil isn't going to appreciate you swooping in and stealing his girl Blake."
Now that wasn't such a bad idea and Blake checked his black tie before reaching out and taking two glasses of champagne from a passing tray. "That's his problem."
"How long has it been?"
Alexis's question roused Blake from the dozing state he had fallen into, his limbs now felt numb as though pins and needles had set in and if it wasn't for Alexis's body pressing against his trunk he wouldn't have been surprised if his whole body would have felt the same.
"I don't know." Blake grumbled wincing as he raised his hand to look at his watch, cursing as he caught sight of the cracked face. "Damn thing is broken.
"It'll be dawn soon though right?" Alexis asked her voice whispery. "It'll get warmer then and maybe people will be able to find us…In a few hours we could be home an the first thing I'll have is a hot bath…No scratch that a hot bath and a glass of champagne and then the largest pastrami sandwich the kitchen can make, with mustard and fresh lettuce."
"Alexis stop please." Blake muttered as his stomach groaned. "You're making me hungry."
"Do you know the first pastrami sandwich I ever had?" Alexis asked turning her head so she could watch his expression not surprised when he frowned before closing his eyes as if to go back to sleep. "It was yours…Your lunch remember, the day after we met, you shared it with me down by the lake. God that was a wonderful day."
The smile that tugged Blake's lips was all the sign she needed, he remembered all right.
"Alexis where on earth are you dragging me."
"Nowhere special Cassey, I just thought since we are here we might as well see more of the countryside."
"I know that look Lexi you're up to something."
Yet Alexis ignored her little sister's comment her eyes scanning the horizon for the rig Blake had mentioned the night before. She would have preferred to come alone but Mother had insisted she take Cassandra out with her and if she had objected she would have had to explain just why she didn't want her sister to come along. Mother was already suspicious of this new man, this wildcatter of little family and prospects with whom Alexis had danced whenever she had gotten the chance the night before.
It wasn't hard to remember Mother's biting comments as they had gotten into the car the night before to head back to the hotel. "He's like a mongrel dog panting after a juicy bone."
Blake had escorted them to the door much to Cecil's annoyance as he had clearly been hoping for a more intimate farewell but Alexis couldn't help but be relieved. From the moment she had locked eyes with Blake she had known that this was the man she was going to marry, the father of her children, the love of her life. Now she only had convince him of that fact.
"There it is." Alexis could barely contain her excitement as she they turned the corner and the rig came into sight. Leaning forward she patted their driver on the shoulder. "Sir can you take us to that rig, I have a friend who works there."
"A friend?" Cassey's comment was knowing as was the raised eyebrow. "Mummy isn't going to like this, was this about that man you met last night?"
"Shush Cassey, if you keep this to yourself I'll let you borrow any of my dresses for your next party."
Taking out her compact Alexis checked her makeup and fluffed out her hair, she had to look perfect. She had chosen her favourite peach dress because it made her skin look flawless and wore her hair down tied with a simple ribbon because Blake had already seen it up and she wanted to make an impression. When the car pulled up by the rig Alexis saw the workers turn to comment, and watched as a young man shimmied down from the top, his exposed toned torso tanned and shiny, streaked with grease from working hard in the sun. It was Blake and Alexis felt her heart begin to beat wildly in her chest.
He made his way over to the car pulling on his shirt back on, his confusion turning to delight as Alexis stepped out of the car. "Hi."
"Hello Blake." Alexis replied unable to stop a blush from gracing her cheeks as he continued to stare at her and she couldn't tear her eyes from him either.
"You…" Both began to speak at once breaking off with an embarrassed laugh.
"No ladies first I insist."
"I just thought I'd take your suggestion and get out and see some of the countryside, you were right it is certainly beautiful here."
"I'm glad you like it…Would you care to take a walk with me, I'd be happy to show you around point out some of the more picturesque spots."
"I'd love that." Alexis answered before Blake could change his mind yet there was one small thing she had forgotten. "Ummm is it alright if my little sister comes along I promised my mother I'd look after her today?"
Blake seemed surprised at first as if he hadn't even noticed Cassey's presence until Alexis mentioned it. "Sure."
If Blake was annoyed about Cassey's presence he was far too much of a gentlemen to let either of his guests realise it. He walked them away from the rig down towards the lake having retrieved his lunch. It was a magical walk and Cassey was wise enough to give the couple their space although Alexis knew her sister's cooperation was going to cost her later.
Finally having settled under a tree by the lake Cassey had set off to explore by herself bored by the sappy goo goo eyes exchanged between the lovesick pair.
"Well I'd better wash up before lunch are you sure you're not hungry."
"I'm not Cassey and I ate before we left the hotel."
"Well I guess I got so distracted I forgot to eat at lunchtime." Blake replied with a smile before heading towards the lake and Alexis watched with a dry mouth as he scooped up handfuls of the fresh lake water to wash the oil grease from his face, the water wetting his shirt so it clung to him water droplets trickling down from his dark hair.
Glancing up from his impromptu wash Blake must have seen the hunger in her eyes, the invitation glittering in them for after drying his hands on his shirt he stalked towards her. Her heart was pounding in her throat as Blake lowered himself down beside her, his strong hands slinking out and sliding round her waist as he lowered his lips down to brush against hers.
"Blake…" The desire was obvious in her voice and Blake didn't need a gilded invitation, his lips were on hers firm, demanding, intoxicating and Alexis groaned into his mouth opening her own mouth to allow a more intimate exchange. Dear god this man could kiss, he had barely touched her and her body was on fire, if he pressed she would lay with him right here in the open, propriety and her sister be damned.
Blake it seemed felt the same as he pressed her back into the sweet grass his mouth exploring hers as his hands began to roam, moving from her waist to stroke her side and Alexis writhed under his touch. "Blake…" She groaned when pausing to breath Blake moved his questing lips to her jaw and then down her neck.
"God Alexis I want you." He whispered and she could hear the hunger in his voice, hear it warring with his control, with his gentlemanly instincts.
"I want you to…I've never met anyone like you before…I feel like you're part of me, a part of me I've been missing until now." Alexis answered breathlessly. "I'm in love with you Blake…I know it seems insane we only met last night but I feel it…In here." She paused to take his hand to move it up from the relatively chaste place at her side, threading their fingers together she brought it up to rest over her heart.
"And you are in mine…I am falling in love with you Alexis, I know you're right it's crazy but I feel it to."
Blake's declaration brought a blinding smile to Alexis's face. He loved her. Her beloved felt the same way. "Oh Blake!" Alexis exclaimed throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him close pressing wild kisses across his face before catching his lips in an intense kiss.
"Alexis." Blake groaned when she pulled away. "You keep kissing me like that it's going to be hard to be a gentleman."
Laughing as she lay back in the grass Alexis reached up and traced his handsome features with her fingertips before threading them into the hair at the back of his neck and tugging him back down. "Who says I want you to be a gentleman?"
"I'll get you all dirty." Blake commented trying to stay the voice of reason.
Glancing down at her favourite dress that already had smudges of grease and damp patches in incrementing places Alexis raised an eyebrow suggestively. "I'm already dirty…and wet so what are you going to do about it Mr Carrington?"
"Do really mean it…Do you regret what you did." Blake paused unable to believe he was really asking this but as the hours dragged on Alexis's apology continued to dwell in his thoughts and he had nothing else to concentrate on other than the biting cold and a growing fear that perhaps they wouldn't survive this after all.
"Yes." Alexis's answer was croaky but her conviction didn't waver. "I was an idiot, I through away my marriage and our love because I was too stupid and too spoilt to look beyond my own pain. You're absences hurt but instead of trying to reach you I accused you and yelled at you, I drove you away and then I blamed you for leaving me alone. Then I tried to get my vengeance by cheating on you, I listened to the flattery of those other men and I let them take me to bed when I really wanted you. But Grimes was worse of all. The others were just a one night fling, I'd get mad, I'd strike out at you but then I would feel so guilty that I'd swear never to do it again."
"But Grimes was different how?" Blake dreaded hearing that answer, there were something's he was better off not knowing but it was like a sore, a deep-seated wound he had carried and compensated for, for years. "Why him?"
"He was my friend, or at least I thought he was. He didn't try to get me into bed, not at first. He played to my ego, but there didn't seem to be anything sexual in it at first." Alexis admitted closing her eyes as if she could erase her mistakes by refusing to even look at them. "He courted me and I let him, I tried to convince myself it was love so I didn't feel so cheap when we slept together and after that the lie was easier to believe but I didn't love him Blake."
Blake felt his chest tighten, he didn't know whether to believe her or not, he wanted to believe her. All these years he had carried a deep-seated anger, at her at the world. He had bought lock stock and barrel into the idea of love at first sight, of happy endings, of love being powerful enough to change the world and he had been betrayed. The day he had asked Alexis to marry him he had thought nothing could ever stop them, not Cecil Colby, not her mother's disapproval. He had the most beautiful girl in the world to love and she loved him back, there was no mountain he couldn't conquer.
He was nervous.
No scratch that he was terrified, his hands were shaking.
Standing in the lobby of Alexis's hotel Blake smoothed down the lapels of his suit ignoring the interested glances from the receptionist. Alexis and her family had been invited to a party at the old Harrington Mansion, a vast rambling place that was in desperate need to some restoration but it had potential if someone had the necessary ready cash. It was just shame it was owned by such a pair of old stiffs, still they didn't have any children so it was likely on their deaths that it would be sold at auction to cover their estate costs.
Blake was so preoccupied that he didn't notice the elevator doors opening but he did look up when Alexis's cried out. "Blake."
Sharing her smile Blake reached out as she practically ran towards him his hands going to her waist as he twirled her round her scarlet cocktail dress swirling around her calves. "Hello Beautiful." He muttered aching to kiss her but a clipped disapproving voice soon put paid to that.
"Honestly Alexis will you please show some decorum even if your escort is incapable of such."
Setting Alexis back on her feet Blake gritted his teeth and politely turned to their chaperone. "Mrs Morell."
"Mr Carrington." Her greeting was icy and Blake didn't need to by psychic to pick on her disapproval. Clearly she had been rooting for the wealthy Cecil Colby and didn't believe he was good enough for her daughter.
"Well let's not stand around lollygagging I hate being late it shows a lack of breeding." Mrs Morell muttered casting her eye over Blake before striding towards the exit. Yet he wasn't about to let her opinion alter his plans, tonight was going to be perfect.
"Oh Blake it's so beautiful here." Alexis's contented sigh as she tucked her head into the crook of his neck as they danced peacefully under the stars having escaped the party crowd, the strains of the orchestra spilling out into the night air. "It's almost like we're in Europe, I haven't since a house like this since we left."
"Well if you want to head back in and see more of it, I'm sure I could find you a proper educated gent to describe the architecture and lecture on about the paintings?" Blake teased pleased when Alexis batted his chest playfully.
"You shouldn't take Mummy's word to heart she is just rather protective. I tend to let my heart rule my head and she is just trying to protect me."
"Yes from marrying for love and not money." Blake corrected smiling as Alexis scoffed.
"Well fortunately for me that isn't going to be a choice I have to make."
Raising an eyebrow Blake feigned a sorrowful expression. "So is that it, are you throwing me over for Cecil Colby after all?"
"Don't be silly Blake."
"I am not being silly, you know I am not a rich man Alexis, true I have prospects but it will mean hard work to make something of them, are you sure you don't want to get out now while you still can? I may never be able to give you the lifestyle you deserve…"
"Blake you are going to be one of the most powerful men in the United States." Alexis insisted her voice so adamant Blake found himself believing her.
"You really think that?"
"I know it. Just like I know I love you."
"Well then I guess there is only thing left to do." Blake paused pressing a chaste kiss to her cheek before he lowered himself to the floor, Alexis gasping as he got down on one knee and reached into his jacket pocket. Lifting out a small ring box, Blake flicked it open to reveal a delicate diamond engagement ring. It wasn't much but it was a family piece and that gave it added value to Blake.
Alexis appeared enchanted. "Oh Blake."
"Alexis…Darling since you came into my life it seems I came alive and I want to keep on living every day like this but the only I can do that is if I somehow manage to persuade you to stay with me in Colorado. Will you please help keep me alive, consent to be my wife, the mother of my children, my companion through the years, my love?"
"Oh yes…YES…" Alexis's response was immediate and her enthusiasm undeniable as she flung her arms around Blake's neck sending them both crashing to the floor.
Laughing as they rolled in the grass underneath the trees Blake pulled her against him. "This seems to be a pattern with us." He joked before pulling his new fiancée in for a long kiss.
"Now lets do this properly." He added retrieving the ring from the box and sliding it onto Alexis finger, relieved when it fit perfectly. "No going back now you're mine Miss Morell."
"Oh am I Mr Carrington…" Alexis teased her fingers moving to tug at Blake's necktie her eyes suddenly brightening as she recognised the new tune being played. "They are playing our song Blake."
Listening closely Blake smiled, he caught the opening strains of Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered. "So they are…" He answered glancing back Alexis surprised that her eyes had darkened to pool of black and he felt his pulse jump in excitement. "Alexis?"
"Make love to me Blake…Here…Now…While they are playing our song, I want to be yours in all things."
Blake only paused a moment, wavering afraid they might be caught but the press of Alexis's lips to his own as she tugged him down on top of her, her foot travelling up his calf, vanished all doubt and there under the stars to the sound of a distance orchestra in the grounds of what was to become his future home Blake claimed his wife.
Feeling Blake's hand tighten on her, his grip almost desperate Alexis knew without asking what he was thinking about. It was their secret; it was why that house meant so much to them, why she had done everything in her power to return there. Living in her studio had been the closest she had managed and every time she had bumped into Blake in the grounds it had been there, that knowledge had simmered between them.
If it hadn't been for that bimbo of a wife of Blake's history might have repeated itself numerous times. As despite the years apart the chemistry between them was undeniable, it hung in the air between them at every meeting, sparking every time their eyes met.
"Blake did you miss me at all?" The question wasn't easy to ask and Alexis was afraid of his answer.
"Yes I did." Blake's answer was short and gruff.
"Did you ever try to see me?" Alexis asked rubbing her hands across his chest, relishing the feel of his heart beating under her palm.
"I did see you once…" Blake admitted his answer clearly surprising Alexis as her head turned so fast he was surprised she didn't get whiplash.
"It was in Italy, I was stopping over in Rome on a trip back from Saudi Arabia, I would have been happy to stay in the hotel but I bumped into an old colleague and he dragged me out to this little nightclub. You were there and you weren't alone."
"Ahmed." Blake confirmed. "You were dancing and laughing with some friends. I sat in the back nursing a bottle of scotch and my bad mood, I watched you with him…You seemed enamoured and it was then I convinced myself it had all been an act, you seemed just as into Ahmed as you ever were me and I hated him for it."
"I enjoyed Rashid's company Blake but I didn't love him."
"You could have fooled me." Blake's reply was bitter.
"Well obviously I did." Alexis snapped reaching up her hand to cup Blake's jaw and force him to meet her gaze. "I have never loved anyone the way I love you."
"You talk a convincing argument Alexis but then you always did."
"Blake Carrington do you really think I would lie to you now?" Alexis asked aghast. "We are out here alone, we may die, I am trying to make amends for the wrongs I have done you, do you really think I would lie about this?"
For a moment Blake stared down into her eyes, he didn't want to believe her, dear god his life would be much easier if he knew she was lying. Yet her eyes were open and honest, no emotion was hidden; it was like she had nothing left to hide. He believed her. "Thank you."
"You don't need to thank me for telling the truth Blake." Alexis answered softly.
"No thank you for loving me…Thank you for marrying me and giving me four beautiful children. I don't think I ever got round to actually thanking you for giving me Amanda, even if it was a little late." He added chuckling under his breath pulling her closer and pressing a frosty kiss to her forehead.
"You're welcome." Alexis muttered her voice breaking with emotion her eyes closing as suddenly the effort of keeping her eyes open seemed too great. She just wanted to sleep; here in Blake's arms she was safe.
"Alexis?" Blake's voice was soft at first then when she didn't answer he tried again shaking her. "Alexis."
When she still didn't answer Blake felt panic begin to grip at his heart, reaching out he braved the cold to touch her face, wincing at the icy feel of her skin as he fumbled to find her pulse. It was there but it was slow and weak.
"No…No you are not doing this to me dammit, not now." Blake growled his hands reaching down rubbing the life back into her limbs. "Don't you dare leave me."
Pulling her back into his arms Blake rocked her pressing kisses randomly to her face trying to breath life back into her icy exterior and it seemed to be working as Alexis groaned and wiggled slightly before her eyes slowly opened. "I was just sleeping."
"Keep your eyes open Alexis, I don't care what it takes don't go to sleep."
Feeling her heavy eyes drift closed Alexis felt a small smile tug at her lips. "So tired."
"No don't you dare ignore me." Blake growled loosing his temper with her, ignoring his own exhaustion as he shook her before unleashing his final weapon.
Gripping her head Blake fitted his lips over hers, it was easier than it should have been, her lips were so soft and she fitted so easily against him. Coaxing a response Blake felt Alexis begin to stir her mouth opening under his, her fingers clenching in his shirt as he rolled her under him.
Pulling away when he needed to breath, Blake took in lungfuls of the freezing air. "Don't scare me like that again." He chastised a stunned Alexis. "You can't just tell a guy you love him and then pass out on him before he gets to say it back…Don't go leaving me Alexis."
"Never I promise." Alexis whispered burrowing her face into the crook of his beck, breathing in his scent. It didn't matter if they were found anytime soon anymore she had everything she ever wanted right here. "Things won't ever be the same after this Blake you realise that."
Closing his eyes Blake nodded. She was right. They were both married to other people, and they both loved their spouses but it would be foolish to pretend things hadn't changed. She loved him and he loved her and damn the consequences but it felt good to finally have that confession out in the open.
Even if it had taken twenty years and a plane crash to drag it out of them.
It had been a confession worth waiting a lifetime for.