No real plot to this one, just two people getting to know one another on a different level. I wrote this originally for myself because I wanted to know what happened when Auggie and Annie woke up together after "In the Dark", but some kind friends have encouraged me to post it. I also find, I want to refer to some things that surface here in the stories I am working on now. Hope you enjoy. Reviews and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Dawn of a New Day

Chapter 1 Morning, Fun and Food

Auggie awoke to the knowledge that there was a woman in his bed. Not a woman, which wasn't an unknown phenomenon, but the woman. The woman he had wanted for so long, Annie Walker, woman extraordinaire. His Annie, who felt and smelled delicious. Annie, who said she loved him. Annie who didn't care that he was blind, and who did care when he'd been so sick. Annie, who breathed quietly, curled against his chest and belly. Was it possible to burst with happiness? He felt as if he were about to find out.

Annie stirred. Some change in his breathing, some tightening of his arms had roused her. Her first thoughts were of him. He'd been so ill when she first arrived, so in need of care and affection.

"Auggie, are you all right? She tried to turn to face him, but he held her tight against him.

"Annie, did you mean what you said before we slept? His question was low and intense. "You weren't 'being kind' because of what Joan told you?"

"No, how can you think those nasty words 'being kind'. And yes, I meant every word I said, and I will be glad to repeat myself. I love you, August Anderson, with all my heart. I'm yours for as long as you want me. I love you when you're healthy as a horse and tossing me around the exercise mat. I love you even more when you're half dead with exhaustion and still worrying about me. You are so danged lovable," she squeezed the hand that was stroking her hip and thigh, "I expect to have to hold those other witches off with a club. Now, will that do you for now?"

Auggie released her and rolled onto his back, half choked with laughter. "Yep, that should keep me at least until we get a shower and some food. And, just so you know, I feel the same about you."

Quick as a cat she flipped over and straddled him. Her strong thighs clamped his hips as she glared down at him. And a fat lot of good that does, she thought. "Damn, what is it with men and that word. Say it, Auggie! If you love me, say it!"

"Christ, Annie, I love you with everything that's in me!" It came from some deep, desperate place inside him. "Would you understand if I said that given a choice between having you and having my sight back, I'd take you every time."

Totally undone she collapsed on his chest. Between her sobs he heard, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I've done it again. I'm such an idiot. Auggie, I never meant to hurt you."

"You didn't, sweetheart, you didn't," he soothed her while he stroked the tangles from her long, silken hair: the beautiful honey-colored hair that he could never see. Somehow, he didn't care anymore. To hold her next to him was enough.

Auggie's deft and tender attentions soon dried her eyes and drove all coherent thoughts from her mind. She had enjoyed Ben's hungry, demanding lovemaking, but Auggie caressed and teased and tempted with an adept and caring touch. He brought her to the edge of wild implosion and then eased her back to eager wanting. He touched her in ways and in places she had never imagined as erotic centers. It took all her strength not to scream aloud and drive her nails into his back.

When he whispered, "I need to be sure. Tell me that you really want it, Annie; show me, sweetheart," she moaned aloud and thrust her pelvis hard against him.

In time, passion was spent and they lay exhausted but happy among the tumbled ruins of the bed.

Eventually, Auggie stirred and said, "At the risk of sounding ungallant, I'm starving. We should shower and get something to eat. What time is it?"

"I haven't any idea," Annie said. "For that matter, what day is it?"

"Is there light in the windows?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's filtering through the blinds, but it doesn't tell me much, except that it's not night.

"For your information, Miss Walker, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West."

He stood up. His long, lean body gleamed with sweat. She liked the view. Beautiful, tight buns.

Auggie moved to his bedroom window and put a hand against the glass. "West," he pointed at the window. "Still cool." He moved on to the big bay window that lighted his living room and touched it. "East; warm. I conclude that it is morning. Now, if we only knew the day and time? I could boot up the computer and check Greenwich Mean Time and do the calculations, or maybe, call the building Super and ask, but since we're desperate…" Auggie picked up his watch from the bedside table and flipped it open. "Remind me, and someday I'll teach you how to tell time."

"Auggie!" Her tone was decidedly dangerous.

"It's 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, August 28, 2011."

She swung and clipped him on his scared shoulder.

"Ow." He rubbed it and turned toward her with such a pained expression she felt terrible. "It's not fair to blind side a blind man." His mobile mouth turned down.

"You are such a faker! You stand there just the way God made you and complain about a pat on the shoulder. You're lucky I don't hit you where it would really hurt!"

His laugh washed over her, but he covered his male parts with both hands and turned away to find a robe.

"Go and shower, woman, and get going on some food while I clean up in here.

"Food." Annie's mouth started to water. "Steaks."

"And eggs."

"And hash brown potatoes."

"And toast and coffee."

"No." Annie said. "Juice, or milk, or tea. You drink enough coffee at work. It's bad for you."

"We'll thrash it out later." He didn't want to argue. "Annie, I hate to be a nag, but could you put things in the bathroom back pretty close to where you find them – please?"

"Why don't we shower together, and then it won't be a problem."

"Honey, if we get in that shower together, we're apt to end up in serious danger of starvation." He leered in her direction. "You. Go wash. Cook."

"Sure, bwana."


When Annie came out of the shower, the soiled sheets had disappeared into the hamper. The bed was perfectly made with military style corners and fluffed pillows exactly centered. Annie's nightgown was neatly folded at the foot.

"Augs, I think I know what you can do, and then you totally confound me."

"Sorry, Annie. I like things orderly. Just ask poor Barber. I've reamed him out often enough. I was pretty much raised to clean up after myself. With a houseful of boys, you had to have order or you'd end up with total chaos. Then the military sort of demands it, and when you can't see … I realize it doesn't make me any prize to live with."

"Darlin', I know women who would kidnap you, if the word got out. Most men are total slobs."

He was denied the pleasure of watching Annie get dressed, so he headed off to the shower.

Annie made a huge meal. They ate every scrap and wiped their plates with the ends of the toast. Auggie insisted on doing the dishes. "You cooked," he said; "I wash."

Annie sat at the table with a last cup of cinnamon scented tea and watched him at work. He cleared the table, stacked, and rinsed their dishes with the same even-paced, well-thought-out motions he used in the office. While not especially fast, it was remarkable efficient. Soon the dishwasher was loaded and running. When he finished, Auggie put both hands in the small of his back and stretched.

Annie stood and put her arms around his waist. The memory of something Joan had said stirred, and she ran her fingers lightly up and down his spine. "Back ache, babe?"

"Just stiff from too much sitting." Auggie sighed, "I should go work out."

"How about a back rub instead?"

"You would really do that for me?" He sounded amazed.

"Of course I would. I thought we were clear on this. I would do a great many things for you, Auggie. As my college roommate used to say, 'No shame, jus' ask.' She was from Hawaii."

Auggie delighted her with one of his engaging, room-brightening smiles.

"Okay, I'm asking. A back rub would be great. And yes, it does ache. Never quite forgave me for some of the things that happened to it in Iraq. Where do you want me?"

"How about the window seat in the living area? It should be warm there."

"Sounds good. I'll get towels."