Our kisses seemed to go on forever and I could feel his gentle hands carressin' my shoulders.

After several blissful moments, I drew back and then kissed him again.

"Daphne..." Niles said, forcing his mouth away from mine.

"I love you."

The words left my mouth as though I had been sayin' them for a lifetime.

"Daphne-."
"I understand if you don't feel the same way about me. I mean you are married and I had no right-."

His mouth returned to mine, kissin' me over and over again.

"I love you too, Daphne."

I felt tears spring to my eyes.

"Y-you do?"

He sighed deeply and gave me the sweetest smile, brushin a tear from my cheek.

"I've loved you since the moment I first saw you."

My mouth trembled. "Oh Niles... I-I mean... Dr. Crane..."

"Niles is fine." He said, brushing a lock of hair from my forehead.

"So, do you want to continue our walk?"

I sighed and leaned against his chest. His arm went around my shoulders and he held me so close that I could feel his heart beatin'.

I took his hand, lacin' my fingers through his.

"We should probably head back soon. Your father's reunion will be over and I guess we'll have to drive Stinky home again."

The thought of leavin' Niles arms made me feel a bit sad.

"I suppose you're right." He sighed, as he rubbed my arm.

Reluctantly we rose from the bench and walked hand in hand back to where we'd dropped off Stinky and Dr. Crane.

"It's going to be so hard to leave this place." I said taking one last look at our surroundings. "It's so beautiful."

Niles kissed the top of my head.

"You're beautiful. And we can come back whenever you want."

I looked up in surprise.

"But what about-."

"Maris? We're separated, and if she can go traipsing off to Aspen with her boyfriend at a moment's notice without giving any thought to my feelings... Well... Then I can certainly take you anywhere you want to go."

"Oh Niles..."

I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him warmly.

"I love you, Niles."

"And I love you, Daphne."

As we walked back to where we'd left Mr. Crane and Stinky, I smiled contentedly; Niles arm around my shoulders.

And that's when I realized, this was no charade.

This was true love.

THE END