Author's note: Doc Martin owned by Buffalo Pictures. I own my own wild imagination.

This is literally the first thing I have written in 12 years. I would be very appreciative of your feedback!


She is lying naked in the bed next to me. I can scarcely believe she is real and not an image summoned from my dreams. I have often woken from restless dreaming and hoped I would, by some miracle, find her sleeping there at my side. She has done things to me tonight that even my own lustful mind has never conjured, and likewise my own intensity for her has surprised me. Now I long to reach out and touch her velvet skin, flawless and silvery in the moonlight, just to make sure I am not imagining her.

I don't want to wake her, and I reluctantly remain still. Her face in repose is so sweet, so peaceful. She is breathtaking. Her long, dark hair is tousled from our lovemaking, and covers her pillow like a fan. There is a slight flush to her cheeks, and I hope it is a sign that I have pleased her. Tonight was our first night together, me fumbling awkwardly through, praying I didn't do or say something to completely ruin the moment. Finding it impossible to accept someone so lovely and so full of life could ever find favor in someone as miserable as me. She was radiant, perfect, positively feline in her grace. I could have wept from the beauty of her body moving with mine, and even now, hours later, I can still taste her sweetness on my lips.

I have never felt so much love for anyone in my entire life. Ever.
I am terrified.

I have spent most of my life in solitude, preferring to keep to myself. I am not comfortable in the company of others and I find inane small talk and social interactions exceedingly aggravating. Administering medical care to the villagers of Portwenn is my only duty, and I do not understand the point of their idle gossip and blow by blow accounts of their personal lives. I am notoriously bad at lying, and I simply can't pretend to care about any of them. Do they really have nothing more important to do than sit around my surgery, clucking and pecking like a flock of Aunty Joan's chickens? And would it really be too much to ask for one of them, just once, to follow my medical direction instead of the expertise of Pauline and her internet or whatever ridiculous fishwives' tale they have heard for the last century? I mean really...the idiocy running rampant in this village is the biggest epidemic I have ever witnessed in my career.

Although I choose to be alone in my private life, I have never been lonely. My years of boarding school have cured me of ever wanting company in that respect. For someone like me who was already shy and introspective by nature, being surrounded by obnoxious bullies at all times of the day and night makes me thank the gods I can live alone. Years of communal showers shared with those possessing more than questionable personal hygiene. Inconsiderate roommates and their constantly raging hormones, their noise, their lack of respect. The idea of another person sharing my personal space, interrupting my routine and upsetting the order of things is appalling. Completely unthinkable. Out of the question.

But now, there is Louisa- intelligent, beautiful, confusing, exasperating Louisa-and everything I have ever thought or felt about sharing my world is completely turned upside down. Suddenly, I am wondering what it would be like to have her next to me every night. To look at her sitting across from me at my breakfast table, hair still untidy from sleep. To come into my living quarters from the surgery after a stressful day of moaning, whinging patients and have her waiting, happy to see me. Smiling her radiant smile and kissing me hello. The thought even crossed my mind that it may be lovely just sitting in the same room with her, reading my medical journals while she grades examinations or prepares her lessons for the next day. To share my quiet moments with her, I can admit to myself how...pleasant it would be. Just to have her close to me would be perfection.

Complete rubbish. When did I become such a soppy git? Perhaps I have finally gone bodmin, to use the local colloquialism. 'Round the bend.

Yesterday afternoon, after the debacle with her horrid friend Holly was over and most of the blood and glass was removed from the floor, I did something so unlike myself that the memory still sends me reeling. I was nearly out the front door of Louisa's cottage and presumably out of her life for good. I suddenly felt such overwhelming despair that my knees nearly gave way. I knew at that moment it was hopeless, I simply could not go through my wretched existence without her. The thought of being away from her caused me physical pain, a condition I had only heard grieving patients talk about but had never felt myself. It was unequivocally the worst feeling I have ever had. I was at once anguished, bereft, panicked: not at all unlike what it must feel like to be kicked in the stomach by a horse. There was nothing for it; I knew then and there what I had to do, completely going against all the fear and inhibition that has become a part of me. I asked Louisa to be my wife. I waited on pins and needles for her reply, dreading her answer and knowing in my heart she would refuse me.

Why in the bloody world would she possibly say yes? It's no secret I am complete crap at expressing my feelings. Nearly every encounter I have had with Louisa has ended in disaster, usually with her walking away angrily and me standing there wondering what has just happened. Her thoughts are a complete mystery to me; her attempts at intimacy or any sort of romance at all sail over my head. My brain simply does not work that way. And then by the time I have had a chance to absorb and process her intentions, she is gone-upset, disappointed-walking away from me as realization hits me. I am always a minute too late to save the situation from going straight in the bin. I do not understand the emotions she projects or the intensity in which she feels them. Our conversations often leave me unnerved, uneasy, and completely confused.

How can one woman make me so filled with longing for her, make me succumb to silly daydreams when I catch a glimpse of her, and then absolutely infuriate me all in the span of five minutes? I am besotted with her. I certainly never acted the moronic fool when I was a teenager, and I do not take kindly to feeling that I am becoming one of them all these years later. In the life of order and tidiness I have constructed for myself, there now is a bit of chaotic disarray. And although I should be upset by these disruptions, the truth is, I am strangely not that bothered by them. I remember what life was like without Louisa, and now that I love her, I can't imagine going back.

When she said yes to my proposal and jumped into my arms, it was the happiest moment of my life. Perhaps she really does care for me, despite my forthright manner. I want her to know how much I care for her too, but the words won't come. Outbursts of sentiment are not in my nature, nor have I ever had reason to say "I love you" to another person. Aunty Joan has always been a surrogate mother to me, but we have never spoken those words to one another. We each know how the other feels, and try to show it by our actions-she by cooking me a meal or bringing me vegetables from her garden, me taking things to her farm so she won't have to make the trip into the village. This is the kind of love I know. I want to show Louisa that I would do anything to make her day better, her life easier. Sometimes I wish it were not so hard for me to say, but nevertheless, she will still know she is loved.

The night sky is lightening outside the window. In a little while, it will be time for me to start preparing for my day at the surgery. For a moment I find myself wishing I didn't have to leave Louisa's bed at all, that I could completely ignore my duties as the village GP and have a long lie-in with the woman who will soon be my wife. None of my patients ever seem to follow any of my instructions anyway. It doesn't matter how capable I am in my profession-and I daresay I am very good at what I do-I still cannot make them even wash their hands regularly, much less take their medications or keep their contagious children home from school. But then, common sense was bred out of that lot generations ago, I fear.

Sod it. If I am anything, it is dedicated to my work. I have to get up in a few minutes. Before I do, I gaze at her a few more seconds, feeling like the luckiest man alive. Then I softly place a kiss on her cheek, on her pale shoulder. She stirs, inhales a breath, opens her eyes. She looks at me and smiles sweetly, still not fully awake. I softly kiss her lips.

'Good morning, Louisa,' I say to her.

'Good morning, Martin,' she replies.