"Well Mr Carrington apart from having a touch of hypothermia in your toes and fingers and needing a good meal I would say you are in excellent shape considering…"

"The fact that I spent a night on the mountainside in the middle of winter." Blake finished for him, favouring the young doctor with a rueful chuckle before his expression turned serious. "And Mrs Colby?"

"I'm afraid I cannot discuss Mrs Colby's medical status with you Mr Carrington, Doctor Patient confidentiality." The young physician replied regretfully. "However she is just next door, we need to keep both of you overnight for observation, and I doubt she has fallen asleep yet…" He added knowingly.

"Thank you Doctor." Blake replied as if by rote as he warred internally with the impulse to check on Alexis. On the mountainside her survival had been the full focus of his attention, the feel of her in his arms, their discussions had seemed more intense, more real and life shattering than any Blake had had in a long time. So perhaps it was only natural that now safe and far removed from that, in this little local hospital with its crisp sheets and glowing florescent light that those conversations and feelings seemed like a lifetime ago.

Yet the desire to check on Alexis was still there, lingering beneath the surface. It was a desire that Bake dare not give in to. There on the mountainside his behaviour could be explained away, his feelings natural given the extreme circumstances but now it would be better if he kept his distance. He was married to a wonderful woman that he loved, truly loved, and they had a precious daughter. Alexis wasn't free, she had a husband who worshipped her.

No it was better for all if he stayed in his own room; if he allowed the banality of his surroundings to lull him to sleep. If he buried the memories of how warm and soft Alexis had felt, how the lingering smell of her shampoo and perfume and the essence of just her had affected him. He should forget all these things and remember only that they had finally forgiven each other…

Or had he merely forgiven her, finally?

Her explanation had managed to ease that spike of deeply buried pain and anguish that Blake had suppressed within himself, the pain he had nurtured and dwelt on whenever Alexis had gotten too close the constant reminder that he carried never to let his guard down, never too let her in again.

"Mr Carrington sir do you want me to ask the nurse to bring you some dinner?"

Nodding as the doctor's question dragged him back to there here and now, far from that heartbreaking confrontation in his bedroom all those years ago and almost as far from the moment on the mountainside when he had let go of all that pain and anger. "My family have they been told?"

"Of course. They are on their way but with the bad weather closing in I wouldn't be surprised if they have to come by road, you were lucky we were able to get the two of your down in the helicopter before the wind picked up."

That made sense and in a way Blake was relieved, this way he would have the night to sleep on what happened, time to compartmentalise those newly awoken feelings to address and deal with them without people demanding questions. He had always been a private man and preferred to deal with his emotionally stressful situations alone. Only when he had things straight in his own mind could he be the pillar of strength he knew others needed to see. He had always been this way whenever things had pressed down on him Blake became introverted and only the most determined…the most stubborn of people had dared to call him on it.

Stubborn people like Alexis.

The day after the accident that had claimed his mother's life. He had tried to push her away, to lash out at her to force her to leave him alone to stew in his grief but Alexis was having none of that, she had refused to leave him alone, a fact that had lasting consequences for them both. Snorting to himself Blake mused whether his eldest child had any idea his entire existence boiled down to his mother's stubbornness?

"So this is where you have been hiding."

Blake's only answer to his fiancée's question was to tighten his finger on the steering wheel of his beloved Buick staring out of the windscreen as the light drizzle turned to fat droplets of rain. He didn't even turn his head as a slightly flushed and damp Alexis opened the passenger door and slid into the seat beside him setting down a picnic blanket and basket between them before slipping out of the light rain Mac.

"Your father said you might have headed here, he gave me a lift to the bottom of the rise but I had to walk the rest of the way. He said this is where you came to think as a child."

"Alexis please…darling I came here to be alone." Blake muttered his tone even but his fingers were white on the steering wheel the only outward sign of his internal struggle.

"And you neither asked for, nor want my presence?" Alexis added for him her English accent becoming all the more clipped as she struggled to suppress her own temper. "Well tough Blake I am not leaving you on your own to deal with this, we stick together from now on, for better or for worse, or have you changed your mind about making such a promise to me?"

Gritting his teeth Blake resisted the urge to snap at her, suppressing his grief and anger as much as he could lest he take it out on Alexis. He knew she wanted to help him, but there was nothing that she could do to take away this ache inside him, this crippling feeling of guilt that if only he had been there. If he had sent Ben to work on his father's rig and stayed at home minding his mother instead of his brother, then Ellen would still be alive.

And he would have been if he hadn't gone grovelling to his father for a second job, a job he had only needed because he wanted to quickly raise money for a house; a house for them, a house so they could marry sooner rather than later. He had left his own field in the capable hands of his own foreman in order to go to work for his father whilst Tom had to travel for business. Ben was too young and too reckless for Tom to trust with the family business even for a few weeks.

"Blake?" Alexis asked softly, her hand timidly reaching out to touch her lover who looked at it for a moment before shaking it off and getting out of the car not caring that the rain drenched him through in seconds.

"Blake for god's sake get in here before you catch your death…" Alexis groaned as the all too common but hardly appropriate saying slipped off of her tongue and she guiltily followed Blake out into the rain. "Blake I am sorry."

"Sorry?" Blake snapped his control finally buckling as he turned to glare at his wife to be. "Why are you sorry Alexis, or for what…My mother are you sorry for her?"

"Of course I am. Ellen was a wonderful woman…"

"Why you hardly knew her, you met her once." Blake spat back unable to stop the vitriol that was falling from his lips as his anger and grief bubbled up and overwhelmed him. "This is what most daughter-in-laws dream of isn't it, no interfering Mother-in-law to worry about, why don't you just admit it you're relieved she's dead!"

"NO! Blake I love you, and you adored your mother and it is killing me to see you in so much pain and know I can't make it all better but I refuse to let you push me away to! You maybe able to avoid the rest of the world but not me, so if you want to stay up here and hide away then I'm staying with you."

"No."

"Don't you tell me what to do Blake Carrington, someone needs to look after you and since that seems to be my job in this lifetime I might as well start early." Alexis answered hotly marching up to a stunned Blake and tilting her chin up to glare into his face not in the least intimidated by his scowl.

"But your mother won't approve…Alexis people will talk." Blake muttered reaching out and brushing back the wet fringe from her face marvelling at the softness of her skin and the way the raindrops ran down her cheeks like tears. "We aren't married yet remember."

"Hang the lot of them." Alexis retorted closing the distance between them and pressing her warm body against his frame and for the first time in hours Blake felt something, something other than grief and pain. "I am never leaving you Blake."

"Swear it."

"I swear my love." Alexis whispered softly threading their hands together and standing up on her tiptoes to press a chaste kiss to his lips. A kiss that Blake clung to like a lifeline, deepening before Alexis could protest or pull away his hands pulling her tightly against him even as thunder rumbled warningly in the distance.

Pulling away gasping for breath Blake gave himself over into Alexis's delicate little hands, she had the power to mould him anew to give him a way to live through the pain to push it aside if only for a little while. "I want you." He whispered in her hair pressing kisses wildly to every inch of her he could find. "I need you…Alexis save me please."

He followed willingly as Alexis pulled him back towards the car, taking over as she opened the back door and he pushed her inside and down onto the seat his hands pulling at her clothes as hers reached for his, neither of them caring when Alexis popped two of his buttons or Blake broke the elastic on her knickers. It wasn't gentle, it wasn't full of romance but it was real and it was exactly what he needed and after he found his physical release the emotional followed and Blake buried his face into Alexis's bare breast and shed the tears that previously he refused to allow.

The next morning Blake awoke able to face the outside world, to return to make arrangements for his mother's funeral, to once more become the dutiful and upstanding son that everyone in the community knew him to be. He never mentioned that night on the mountainside again and Alexis had seemed to sense his reluctance and embarrassment. She fell into the role of the dutiful but correct fiancée, supportive but allowing him his space when he asked for it. It was only a few weeks later that it was even hinted at and the circumstances for that were so completely different…

The sound of a familiar voice crying out jolted Blake from his memories and he didn't even pause to think about what he was doing. He was out of his bed not caring that all he had on was the hospital gown. He was pulling open the neighbouring door and entering the darkened room. A shaking Alexis was sitting up in bed clearly disoriented as if she had just woken from a nightmare which considering the scream he had heard suddenly made sense and there was no force on earth that could stop Blake from taking her into his arms and rocking her trembling body in his arms.

"Blake?"

"Blake?" Alexis asked blinking her emerald eyes as she tried to push away the lingering nightmare, the feelings of being alone all alone and trapped on that mountainside knowing she was dying had preyed on her mind warping her dreams. In her dreams there had been no Blake there to rescue her and she had called out for him afraid that he was lost in the wilds of the mountainside.

She had obviously called his name out loud not only waking herself up but alerting Blake in the process and for a moment Alexis felt the flush of embarrassment heat her cheeks but then she snuggled further into Blake's warm embrace and enjoyed his touch on her body and she realised that a bit of awkwardness was a small price pay.

"It's alright darling; it was only a dream…only a dream." Blake muttered soothingly his hands stroking her side and then her back, his fingers lingering when they encountered the bare slope of skin exposed by her hospital gown.

Closing her eyes as she felt Blake's intimate caress Alexis resisted the urge to sigh instead closing her eyes and trying to imprint this memory; everything from the warmth of his body as it pressed against hers to the slightly damp smell that still lingered in his hair, the ticklish itch of his stubble as it brushed her forehead but most importantly the feel of his touch on her bare skin.

"Better?"

"Yes but don't go, please don't go." Alexis mumbled tightening her grip on Blake squeezing him so tight that he practically chuckled before wheezing.

"I'm not going to leave you."

"Promise?" Alexis insisted opening her eyes and lifting her gaze to meet Blake's own as he looked down at her and even in the darkened room Alexis could make out the conflicted emotions in his dark eyes, amusement collided with concern, guilt clashed with comfort and deep in the centre suppressed desire lurked.

"I promise." Blake answered with a resigned sigh. "So scoot over and give an old man some room, I am getting the most dreadful draft."

Laughing at the flippant almost playful way Blake caved in to his suppressed longings Alexis willingly indulged him, moving to the far edge of the bed and turning on her side so both of them could snuggle down on her single bed.

"It's been a while since we had to do this." Blake muttered sighing as Alexis rested her head on his chest, almost mimicking the position they had been on the mountain, except when this time she lifted her leg and wrapped it over his it was her bare leg on his and there was no freezing cold to take the pleasure out of the situation.

"I only recall having to do this once." Alexis muttered. "And no the back seat of your car doesn't count." She added when Blake frowned as if trying to place where she meant. "Your trailer at the dig site remember?"

"Oh my yes."

"Oh indeed." Alexis added a smug smile paying about her lips as Blake became lost in the memory. Honestly it wasn't as though that night was forgettable.

It had been already dark when Alexis tipped the driver ignoring his question about whether she needed him to wait waving him on his way as she crossed the eerily quiet rig site and made her way over to solitary trailer. Lifting her hand she knocked on the door shivering in the night air until finally the door was unlocked and a stunned Blake Carrington came face to face with his fiancée.

"Alexis what are you doing here…It's practically one in the morning!" Blake exclaimed his surprise turning to horror as Alexis took one look at him and burst into tears.

"Sweetheart." Blake muttered his concern about the time a thing of the past as he ushered her into the trailer and over to the only place to sit, the rather dishevelled bed he had just vacated. "What's wrong?"

"Mother has booked our flights home, she is refusing to stay in Colorado any longer and she insists that Cassey and I fly with her…Blake I can't go home, I can't leave you!"

Sighing with relief as if that was all this was about Blake sank down beside her on the bed sliding an arm around her shoulder and pulling her shaking body against his own as he fumbled for a handkerchief in his trouser pocket. Yes it was horrible but it was hardly shocking behaviour from Mrs Morell and frankly Blake had been expecting her to try something since Alexis had announced her engagement to her less than thrilled mother.

"Is that all, dear lord I thought something terrible had happened!"

"BLAKE!" Alexis exclaimed lifted her red-rimmed eyes to meet his own. "You want me to leave?"

"Of course not." Blake answered placatingly. "But we both know your mother does not approve of our engagement and this is probably her way of trying to break it, thinking that the mere Atlantic can keep us apart. Well she underestimates us my love. I am quite capable of following you to England you know, it may take a few weeks to arrange things here and then we can talk to your father who you say is far more reasonable. Then we can be married in England or you can come back here for the wedding. It will only mean waiting a few more months…"

"I can't wait a few months Blake!" Alexis insisted. "I need to be your wife now not in a few months or next year because in a few months it is going to be somewhat obvious that we are man and wife in all but name!"

It took Blake a good few seconds for her meaning to sink in, a fact he blamed on the hard days work, the couple of beers he had enjoyed with his dinner and the fact that he had just be jolted awake in the middle of the night. "Alexis are you…Are we…"

Closing her eyes against the inevitable anger and resentment at being so suddenly trapped, at having their future so irrevocably altered Alexis could only whisper, "I'm pregnant."

Winded Blake sat there frozen Alexis's words playing again and again through his mind. She was pregnant, pregnant by him and Blake couldn't help the sudden thrill that ran up from his toes and through his body and energy and joy the like of which he had never felt or experienced. He was going to be a father. Finally after all these years of working, of building a legacy for the family he didn't have, he would have someone to continue to build it for someone to pass it on to. But it wasn't just any child, it would be their child and it would be perfect.

Blake's whoop of excitement couldn't be contained and scooped a startled Alexis up his arms before falling back on the bed wracked by laughter.

"Dear god Blake are you quite well?"

"I am…I…don't know what I am but I don't care. I don't ever want it to stop!" Blake laughed not caring when Alexis slapped his chest, instead settling for rolling them over and kissing her soundly.

Kisses that quickly turned into something more as Blake ran his hands reverently over her body and removed her clothing making love to her with as much tenderness as he could possibly muster. They had only made love twice before, the night of their engagement and then a few nights later after his mother's death. Either occasion made this child a gift but Blake couldn't help but suspect that it was the later; that this is first born had been given to them in the depths of his grief.

This child was his future, their future, it would give him something else to focus on other than work and grief and Blake thanked god for sending this angel to him just before he would need her the most. Looking back now Blake could almost sense the hand of fate behind his and Alexis's first encounter and almost lightening bolt realisation that same night that this woman would be his wife and the mother of his children.

It was lying there Alexis's body curled up around his own on his small single bed listening the sound of her gentle breathing and the wind in the trees outside as he softly stroked her back that Blake realised Alexis was right. They couldn't afford to wait not unless they wanted everyone to know their child had been conceived out of wedlock. Yet Alexis's mother was as stubborn as they came and if they confessed the situation she would be forced to give them permission but Blake would never live it down and it would forever be held over his head and that of his child.

Almost instinctively Blake's hand moved protectively to rest on Alexis's stomach and a moment later Alexis's hand joined his as she threaded their fingers together.

"What are we going to do Blake?"

They couldn't tell anyone. This secret had to remain between them and they needed to marry soon, if they did no one would be any the wiser. Then it came to him and Blake burst out laughing it was so simple and to think Alexis's mother had handed them the perfect alternative excuse on a plate, she wanted to force Alexis to return to England.

"We're going to elope."

"What are you thinking about?"

Quirking an eyebrow Blake glanced down at the woman pooled on his chest, she had been unusually silent for so long he had mistakenly assumed she had fallen asleep so her sudden question had taken him by surprise. "What makes you think I am thinking about anything in particular?"

"This." Alexis answered raising her hand and touching her fingers to the corner of his mouth. "And this." Moving her hand to smooth out his furrowed brow. "You're the only man I know who both smiles and frowns at the same time, and you only do that when you're reminiscing, something is both amusing and frustrating you, so what is it?"

"Normally you." Blake retorted playfully catching Alexis's hand before she could slap his chest. "But…I confess I was lost in the past…I was remembering…" He broke off relieved that the darkness would cover the flush of embarrassment but he had reckoned without Alexis's tenacity.

"You're blushing."

"And you're prying." Blake countered yet there was little bite to his words and realising Alexis was unlikely to let it go he added softly. "Our trip to Ohio."

"Oh…" That trip, Alexis tightened her grip on Blake's hand and felt him return her hold just as tightly. It had been a magical if somewhat hectic twenty four hours, just the two of them against the world and at the time it had seemed as though the entire world was out to stop them.

"Just go up and pack a bag, enough for a couple of days but you need to be quick we don't need anyone catching us."

Blake's warning reverberated in Alexis's brain as she scampered round her room in the hotel packing a change of dress and her fingers lingering on a pretty belted cream silk day dress that she hadn't had an occasion to wear yet. It wasn't the full length lace creation she had been dreaming of since she was a little girl but it would have to.

"Where are you going?"

For a moment Alexis froze the pretty dress falling from her fingers as she fought to keep her composure.

"Lexi?"

It was only Cassey and Alexis sighed in relief turning to glare at her sister. "I am just getting a head start on packing."

"Liar." Cassey retorted knowingly her thirteen year old face screwing up as she scowled at her older prettier sister. "And you weren't in your room last night, I checked…I am going to tell Mummy and then you are going to be in so much trouble…" Cassey sung a smug little grin playing about her face.

"Cassey no!" Alexis hissed reaching out and grasping her little sister firmly by the wrist, ignoring her screech of protest as she dragged her out of their shared bathroom and firmly into her room. "You can't tell Mummy anything."

"Why not?" Cassey huffed wrenched her sore wrist free and rubbing it. "You were with that old man again weren't you?"

"Blake is not old he is only 29." Alexis snapped before she could stop herself, rubbing her forehead as her panic only multiplied she really didn't have time for this. She needed to finish packing, change and meet Blake at his car and all before her Mother woke and found her missing. That meant doing one thing Alexis hated, grovelling with her little sister.

"Cassey please you have to promise to help me, I love Blake and he loves me and we want to get married. I want to stay here with him and not go back to England. Please we are sisters, I can't live without him and I won't."

For a moment Cassey seemed almost moved and she chewed her lip uncertainly before her exotic eyes narrowed and Alexis was reminded just how similar the two of them were on occasion. "What's in it for me?"

"What do you want?" Alexis asked knowing she had no time to play hardball.

"Your pearl earrings and your new pink dress."

"That won't fit you."

"Not yet it won't." Cassey retorted. "But next summer it might. Take it or leave it?"

"Deal." Alexis answered holding out her hand for her sister to shake. "But you have to help me get out of here and then you have to convince Mother I have locked myself in the bathroom and am refusing to come out."

"Lexi!"

"Look you're either in or out Cassey, do you want that dress or not?"

"Alright." Cassey agreed grudgingly watching as her sister shimmied out of the dress she was wearing yesterday and pulled on a pair of peddle pushers, teaming it with a gingham checked shirt and red slippers before cramming her hairbrush and vanity case into the small suitcase she was already packing.

"So you're really going then?"

Pausing at the doorway Alexis was touched by the almost sad tone to her sister's voice. "I have to, I love him." She replied softly leaning down to pull her scowling sister into a brief hug. "You'll understand one day, I'm sorry for leaving you…"

"I was just checking, I can't wait now I will finally get the big room at home and Daddy might pay attention to me for a change." Cassey sniped but Alexis could tell her heart wasn't really in it.

"I'll miss you too Cassey."

"Do you remember that old couple we had as our witnesses?"

Snorting Alexis couldn't stifle her laugh. "Of course I was half terrified that they wouldn't make it through the ceremony and we'd have to start all over again, my poor heart couldn't have taken that!"

"Well you did practically kidnap them." Blake muttered. "Looking back it wasn't any wonder they looked terrified, I mean how often do you get woken up by some raving lunatic who drags you out of your house to stand as witnesses for a obviously clandestine wedding."

"If they didn't want to be involved in such affairs they shouldn't live next door to a justice of the peace!"

Shaking his head Blake chose to ignore Alexis's indignant pout muttering under his breath. "You always have an answer for everything?"

"Lucky for you that I do…"

And Blake had to concede Alexis had a point if it hadn't been for her quick tongue they might never have been married at all and Blake might have ended up in jail for kidnapping or whatever else Mrs Morell could have had him charged with.

The flashing lights jarred Blake awake and he glanced across at his still sleeping companion. They had been driving solidly for about fifteen hours when Blake realised if they didn't stop soon he would fall asleep and drive them off the road anyway. Given the option of the roadside motels would have been ideal but considering most would at least ask to see a marriage certificate before allowing such a young couple to share a room and besides Blake didn't want to risk they might be caught.

By now Alexis's mother must have known what was going on and considering there was only one state in the country that allowed people to marry under eighteen without parental consent it was obvious where they would be headed. So Blake had pulled the car off of the interstate and finding a quiet side road with lay-bys settled down to get a few hours sleep.

Pulling himself back into the driver seat Blake ran his hands through his hair as he saw the police officer make his way over.

"Good evening officer."

"Good Morning is more like it young man, now what the hell are you doing parking here don't you know you are blocking an entrance to private property?"

Now that dawn was upon them Blake was able to spot that what he had thought was a lay-by was in fact a dirt track.

"You're trespassing on private property can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't arrest you right now?"

Mouth agape Blake could only stare at the officer dumbfounded.

"Please sir you can't." Alexis's soft voice spoke up from the back and the police officer blinked in surprise having only just realised she was there. "My husband had been driving most of the night, we only stopped for a little while, we need to get to Ohio tomorrow Blake's father is there and he is really sick."

And then the tears came and the officer immediately went into gentleman mode fishing for a handkerchief, which he offered the pretty young lady.

"Oh thank you…We've been living in Colorado when we got the call and we tried driving through the night to get there. Blake wanted to keep driving until we got there but he was so tired and I was afraid he might cause an accident if we kept going."

Rubbing the back of his neck the old officer was clearly torn. "I understand Ma'am but that is what Motels are for now you seem like a nice you couple but…"

"We just can't afford the motel prices." Alexis cut in. "I mean they aren't exactly cheap and Blake couldn't give his foreman any notice for this trip so he's probably lost his position and what with expecting a baby and…"

"Ok." The officer caved. "Alright as long as you are on your way now I don't see why we can't let this go just don't do it again."

"Oh thank you." Alexis's exclamation of relief was the only honest word Blake had heard her mutter. "Thank you, officer?"

"Frank Shields Ma'am." Frank replied tugging on his hat a slight blush staining his weather-beaten old face at having such a pretty girl beaming up at him.

"Thank you Officer shields." Alexis replied again before turning to Blake who could barely stifle his laughter as she added. "Frank is a nice name don't you think Blake, perhaps if we have a boy we should consider it?"

Biting down on his lip Blake could only nod, quickly reaching for the ignition and getting the car started before his luck run out or Alexis's Oscar face slipped. It was only when they were safely back on the interstate and Alexis was brushing out her hair that he dared let it out.

"Honestly Blake what is so amusing?"

Glancing at her reflection in the reverse mirror Blake's disbelief was only compounded by the look of honest confusion in Alexis's large emerald eyes and for a moment he actually wondered whether he was still dreaming. Then he caught Alexis's mouth twitch as she tried not to laugh herself. Shaking his head Blake could only think of one thing to add.

"We are not calling our son Frank!"

"You were right Adam was a much nicer name." Alexis mused her fingers tracing small circles on Blake's chest as she snuggled deeper into his arms relishing the way his grip on her tightened as if sharing her fear that something might try and rip them apart.

"Somehow Frank Alexander Carrington doesn't have the same ring to it." She added sighing with contentment when Blake rested her cheek against the top of her head; disappointed when he caught her wrist stopping her caress. "We were very lucky weren't we Blake, things just seemed to fall into place."

"You always were my lucky charm." Blake muttered his fingers ghosting along the soft skin on her wrist, stroking it absently allowing the warmth and comfort to lull him into a doze.

Tilting her head up Alexis watched as Blake's eyes fell closed and his breathing began to deepen. He had aged considerably since the last time they had fallen asleep in each others arms but Alexis still felt the same sense of security that she had always associated with him. If this was to be the last time they ever shared a moment like this then Alexis wanted to imprint it on her memory.

Alexis wasn't a fool.

As much as she had enjoyed this time together and how her heart ached at being so close to him again, to have him finally lower all that armour he wore around her and let her in; this time was not infinite, it would end far sooner than either of them probably would want. Come the morning Blake would probably be embarrassed at opening up so much to her, he would pull away, he always had in the past.

Back then a younger Alexis had found that enforced distance distressing and confusing, one moment her handsome husband let her in and the next he pushed her away; she didn't have the same life experience that Alexis now did. Now Alexis realised that Blake was just protecting himself as she had a nasty habit of doing the same herself; one moment clinging to Dex like he was her lifeline and the next pushing him away. The idea of letting someone that close again both attracted and terrified her, so now she was able to understand not accept but at least understand some of her first husband's behaviour. He hadn't been punishing her like her naive younger self had assumed he had just been protecting himself.

Now it was too late for that knowledge to do her any good. Blake was married and not to her and despite her disgust on the matter he clearly loved his wife and despite her many flaws Krystle a lack of affection for Blake was not one of them, she loved him, probably as deeply as Alexis. And she had Dex, who was a good man who loved her deeply and she loved him, not in the same way that she had loved Blake. After being hurt so acutely by his rejection Alexis had been wary about ever letting another man in. She had refused all offers of marriage, had spurned all men who had pursued her for a deeper relationship until Dex…

Cecil didn't count, that had been a calculated move, a partnership hidden by a marriage.

Dex had refused to accept her no's, had broken down every barrier and objection she had thrown up to deter him. He had managed to install himself in her life against her better judgement and despite their many ups and downs Alexis was glad he had persisted. She had forgotten how good it felt to know someone would be there when you came home, to rely on a man to have her back, as despite his many faults and their many arguments Dex had always been there when she needed him. She hadn't married him out of gratitude but perhaps she had married him for that sense of security; a feeling she hadn't felt since the last time she had lain in the arms that now gripped her tightly.

Blinking back the tears that threatened Alexis freed her hand from Blake's grip and reached up stroking Blake's jaw; her fingernails raking lightly over the stubble that still graced his chin careful not to wake him.

"I always counted any day we were together as a lucky one, even when we were fighting we were still together. I know you can't hear me Blake but if I don't say it now then I never will, tomorrow everything will change but I will always love you my darling Blake."

He could pretend he hadn't heard her, continue to feign sleep when in reality the touch of her fingertips on his face had roused him. Yet as he felt the dampness of her tears soak into his hospital gown Blake couldn't pretend he hadn't heard her.

"And I will always love you Alexis."

Opening his dark eyes Blake gazed down at a wide-eyed Alexis her expression so open and fragile, every emotion showing in her beautiful eyes, there was no pretence no shields to keep him out and Blake felt driven by the need to protect her. The need to gather her close and shield her from the world, to make their own world and keep everyone else out, at least for tonight.

So he kissed her.

This kiss was soft and tentative, nothing like the almost primal demanding exchange on the mountainside. Yet Alexis still sank into him, her soft body melting against his own as he deepened the kiss, opening her mouth to his tongue as her own slid sinuously against it. His hands moved of their own accord, mapping the soft curves that the thin hospital gown did little to hide, before sliding underneath and touching her skin enjoying the way Alexis arched against him moaning into his open mouth.

Neither felt the need to speak, wordlessly they moved in sync each knowing without having to ask what to do, where to touch to excite the other further. Blake wasn't even conscious of having moved on top of her until Alexis's legs were wrapped around his hips and his own hands were sliding along the silky expanse of bare thigh. Pushing his hands higher tugging the bottom of her gown with him Blake relished and lavished attention on every exposed inch before sliding the gown off of her body completely.

"My god." Blake couldn't contain his surprise, he had expected to find her body altered by the years apart yet if there were differences between the woman lying naked beneath him and the twenty-six year old wife he remembered then he couldn't discern them. A fact that made him blush slightly in embarrassment as Alexis stripped him. He hardly had the figure of his youth; as despite the regular tennis matches and horse riding, spending his days behind a desk rather than in the field had contributed to a slight middle aged spread.

However Alexis's hot hands quickly made him shed that lingering embarrassment as her quick little hand palmed a part of him that hadn't changed with the years.

"Christ!" Blake muttered through clenched teeth as her clever little fingers touched and stroked him, his eyes fluttering up to meet Alexis's own as he heard her bubble with delighted laughter.

"Aren't we blasphemous this evening."

"You always brought out the devil in me." Blake grunted before reaching to grasp her wrist. "Enough woman I am only human."

"Oh you feel almost godlike to me." Alexis teased tensing slightly as Blake's fingers drifted from her hand to slip between her thighs, and she closed her eyes as she felt him touch her tentatively, whimpering as his thumb grazed the spot that made her arch against him.

"You feel like heaven." Blake mumbled trailing kisses down her skin before taking a nipple between his lips, tasting the salty tang that lingered on her body and relishing the panty little moans as his fingers began to tease her.

Biting down on her bottom lip Alexis tried to stifle her breathy whimpers, yet she couldn't contain her plea, "Blake please..."

Stilling his hand Blake lifted his dark gaze from her body meeting her emerald eyes that bored into his telling him without words what she wanted. Keeping his eyes locked on hers Blake shifted on top of her, pressing himself against her as he leant up to press a brief kiss to her parted lips. This was the point of no return, if she wanted him to stop now was the moment but gazing into her eyes Blake found nothing but love and encouragement. So he flexed his hips entering her willing body in one stroke before abruptly stopping, his breath stolen by the overwhelming sensation of her after all this time.

"B." Alexis moaned her eyes closing as he sank into her and she savoured the moment, the strength and heat of him inside her before she opened her eyes surprised by his abrupt stop. "Blake?"

"I just…I love you." Blake answered gruffly unable to keep the rough emotion from his voice and Alexis felt tears spring to her eyes.

"I love you too B." She added tilting her head to catch his lips and kissing him with all the feelings she had ever kept bottled up and like that their passion ignited and Blake lost what little semblance of control he had retained, falling on her body like a starving man on a banquet.

Swept away by his wildness Alexis forgot all about stifling her moans as her legs and hands gripped at him, digging into his flesh as if they could merge themselves into one being through sheer will and effort. Her blood seemed to boil and her body shook with need, need for him, for them and her climax ripped through her slender frame dragging a gasping Blake along for the ride as he buried himself deeply inside her, muttering her name into her damp hair as tremors rocked them both.

Finally his breathing calmed and now that the adrenaline had worn him out Blake Carrington could barely keep his eyes open. Still he responded to Alexis's gentle directions, rolling onto his back and tugging her with him before shuffling to make sure neither one was in danger of falling off of the small bed. Stroking her back Blake felt Alexis sigh in contentment and he pressed a kiss against her sweaty forehead before letting sleep finally claim him.

Never in his wildest dreams had he expected to find himself here, lying sated in the arms of the woman he had vowed never to forgive and never in her wildest dreams had Alexis imagined a way back for them. Yet as she closed her eyes and snuggled deeply into the security of Blake's embrace she did so with a lighter heart; finally he had forgiven her and she had forgiven him.

That terrible burden they had both carried for so long had evaporated in each others arms; they could finally just let it go. They could just be Blake and Alexis again; Two people who had met, fallen in love and shared something so precious that loosing it had shattered them. Well they were finally whole again now and that was a feeling Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter was not going to let go no matter what it cost her.