XIII

It took him weeks to see the old Emma smiling the way she did months ago. It took him nights of talking and sharing silence in the comfort of each other´s arms.

"You´ll forgive me, Em?" He had prepared dinner for her and moved to the couch later, where she´d cuddle on his chest, "… completely?"

"Yes", a nod reinforced her words, "It's just, Will, you… I don´t know how to say this without hurting you…"

"What is it?" Gently he pulled away and looked at her, at her distressed expression.

"I can´t help feeling… I feel I'm getting ready for disappointment again", and Emma couldn´t go throught that again; her heart punded hard just because of him.

"I won´t disappoint you, Emma", how long would it take to make her trust him again? "You have to believe me."

"I do. You´ve been… You for the past few weeks…", a soft kiss lingered on his lips. "And I never apologized for-"

"You have no reason to apologize." He silenced her with another peck before bringing her to rest on him once again, "I want us to be like before…"

"I should've been a little more considerate towards you… saying all those things about us, kids… you know? That´s how I've scared off every single man I've dated… So I shouldn´t blame you complet-"

"Emma?"

"Uhm?"

"Shut up."

She giggled softly and snuggled against him once more, breathing the warm breeze coming from the window.

"I want to tell you something." Maybe he should have said this before, "You´re the only woman I've been with since the accident."

His words caressed her spirit and absolute contentment made her chest swell. "Re-really?" That wasn´t what Emma had thought, but now, after all the water had passed under the bridge, she believed him.

"Really. I didn´t want to be with anyone else but you." He knew it was important for her to hear it, "Even before we were together… it just didn´t feel right."

"I thought you had… all those girls back in the Hospit-"

"I did date all of them… but suddenly I didn´t care for any of them… not like they deserve at least. I only wanted to talk to you."

"I wanted to have a reason to go see you." She spoke softly, rubbing his chest lovingly, before her next confession spilled, "I went to see you once, at night…", he tried to find her gaze with his, but she was shy hiding from him, "To take you dinner… but there was someone else with you… A, uhm, blonde girl"

"Terri… " He nodded regretfully, and just had to tell her, "I remember… that was the night I kicked her out… she, erm, she was being inappropriate."

"I know… I didn´t know you told her to leave."

"I didn´t want her close…" He explained sighing and holding her tighter, "I wanted to tell you that"

"Ok… I´m glad you did."

He left eventually; it was too soon to spend the night at her place. The fact that she didn´t ask him to stay every time he´d kiss her goodnight told him so. She wasn´t ready. And he deeply respected it, he would amend the big mess he´d made and he´d heal her, just like she had healed him.

"I love you." He´d whisper each time, before going back home, and kiss her smoothly.

"I love you too."

-xx-

Will never imagined something as silly as turning 34 would be that triggering. Realizing death had brushed his shoulder almost five months ago was a bitter pill he couldn´t cope with. He was walking now, as healthy and recovered as if nothing had happened. But what if he wasn´t? What if he wouldn't have been able to get off that bed? What if, what if, what if…? Guessing plagued his mind for days… it anguished him; thinking he could be at home now, lying in bed, with no other company than a nurse he´d be paying to occupy the same physical space.

Heartrending thought.

"Will, are you ok?"; Emma had surveyed him most of the daytime hours. He seemed so deep in meditation, for a moment she thought something bad would happen. But then he would be excitable, especially after minutes in silence when she´d call his name. He´d jerk and run a hand through his hair, trying to compose himself.

"Erm, yeah… ", he was a terrible liar, such as her.

"What´s going on?", gently dismissing his blatant lie, the redhead snuggled on his chest; the elm crown cooled their bodies with its shadow and Will sighed.

"It´s my birthday in a week…", he simply stated, wondering if she´d understand what he meant.

"I know… ", he felt her cheek nodding against his pec and instinctively, the grip around her waist tightened.

"I´ve been thinking about, erm, going to see my car", he coughed that last part with embarrassment, although she had brought the idea up once, a couple of months ago.

"Really?", a node was his silenced response, "Do you want me to go with yo-"

"Yes"

What used to be a high priced black car was now a piece of tin, every single inch that had collided against the asphalt was bent in strange, hair bristling, angles.

"What ya wanna do with it?", the middle age man working in the car depot asked Will with a hint of impatience.

His eyes were stuck on the dented vehicle, on the non-existent windshields, on the dry blood spots on the seat upholstery…

He gulped hard, endeavoring to picture himself right there instead of the glass smithereens adorning the leather, "Uhm, I-I don´t know". What could he actually do with a piece of garbage? Which also would bring him torment?

"Ya could sell what´s left of it", the man trailed thoughtfully, "Repairing it is-"

"I don´t want to repair it. You… you think you could sell what´s left? I´d pay you", he really didn´t want to take care of that.

"Sure. I know someone who´d offer…"

The man kept on talking despite Will's lost stare. Everything, every little detail and little thing he had said and done in the past now felt like had been lived by a completely different person. Even the remains of the car reflected what kind of man he used to be, what kind of expectation he had for life; picking up girls to reach what he thought was Paradise. What a schmuck

It wasn´t until a sound that made his heart beat faster reached his ears that Will turned around to see her.

Emma´s soft giggle. It drew a smile on him.

A little boy taming one of his puppies was trying to impress her. And the melody was absolutely chest swelling.

Realization had never tasted so sweet; what had been a knot constricting his guts was now thawing tickles ignited by a flame Will only could describe as utter and full-blown love and devotion.

The interested look on her face to what the boy was saying, the light beam on her lips, the tenderness casting every feature of her… everything, absolutely everything was so beautiful it made his chest hurt. And then the concern on her eyes when lifting her gaze to meet his.

He read his name on her lips and then watched her saying something to the kid before unbending herself to go to him. She couldn´t; in four strides he was facing her. Tall, so tall; eyes darkened and tears running madly down his cheeks.

"Will-"

Not giving her the chance to ask anything, he crushed their mouths together and kissed her like it was the last time he´d be able to. Roughly at first, then carefree and slow, rejoicing with her flesh moving so perfectly with his.

"Will-", she breathed sharply, cupping his face to catch the air.

"I love you", he flushed her body against his, passionately, and held onto her. She had always been his touch stone.

"I love you too", her fingers run across the curls on the back of his head to find the so familiar scar beneath the abundant hair.

"I´m in love with you", the words echoed in her ears and Emma shuddered, "You´ve saved my life, Em"

"I only helped you heal, Will", she was so modest sometimes and he pressed her on him further if that was even possible.

"You saved me", he stated sternly with a smile and added when she was about to protest, "You saved me from the awful me I was. And now, I´ll heal every wound I´ve given you"

"You already did", a soft kiss on his lips was her way to shush him, "And I´m in love with you too"

-XX-

"I have something for you." Emma´s voice came out softly when he walked to her while she made dinner.

"You didn´t have to get me anything, Em." He placed a soft kiss on her cheek and she shook her head.

"It´s your birthday, Will… And I wanted to. It´s in my bedroom, go get it. And tell me you don´t have it." She joked when he walked to where the present was.

"Em!" His excitement revealed he didn´t have it in fact, "Where did you get it?"

"An old records store", she explained and smiled widely seeing his thrill, "Go! Put it on the player…"

"How did you know I like Cole Porter?" He asked from the living and then came back to reunite with her again.

"You sang to me…"

He could tell there was a hint of sadness in her words; the little tiny wink in her eyes got his heart shrinking for a moment. "So in love…"

"Uh-hu"

"Em…"

"It´s ok, Will." It was really, but sometimes she regretted how things had turned out.

"Is it?" He couldn´t conceal his uncertainty.

"Yes. I love you. I´m done with the past."

"Are you-"

"Let´s fall in love…" She hummed with the background music and he chuckled, "The Dutch in all Amsterdam do it, not to mention the fans…"

Her hips shook lightly with the rhythm and biting her lip, Emma snaked her arms around his neck.

"You have a beautiful voice." Was his encourage for her to continue singing.

Some Argentines without means do it,

People say in Boston even beans do it,

Let's do it, let's fall in love.

He kissed her cheek and chin, letting his lips to run across her jaw line, spinning their connected bodies along the kitchen.

Electric eels, I might add, do it,

Though it shocks 'em I know,

Why ask if shads do it,

Waiter bring me shad roe

"I can´t sing if you…" She whispered snickering when his hands scratched her ribs, sending chills through her spine.

The dragonflies in the reeds do it,

Sentimental centipedes do it,

Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Mosquitoes, heaven forbid, do it,

So does every katydid do it,

Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Pinning her against the counter, his lips found hers even before he could think of taking things slow. "I don´t need to fall in love… I´m already in love with you, Em…" He mumbled between kisses which she returned with equal passion.

The most refined ladybugs do it,

When a gentleman calls,

Moths in your rugs do it,

What's the use of moth balls?

"Let´s do it…" She sang along and shivered at his touch.

"Let´s fall in love… "

Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Let's do it, let's fall in love,

Let's do it, let's fall in love

They landed on the soft mattress, lips puffed after kissing lengthily and non-stop for minutes. With patience and care, clothes slid down their bodies; fingers stroked places veiled for weeks, eyes watching carefully every executed movement, lips ghosting neglected skin.

Little by little, fire ignited their souls, breathing speeding up after every deliberate touch.

"So taunt me and hurt me, deceive me, desert me, I'm yours 'til I die…" Emma hummed in the shell of his ear, hands bringing him closer.

"No…" Gently he pulled away, cupping her face, "Never again, doll." His lips found hers, caressing them so very softly.

"Ok." She opened for him, luring him into her, "So in love with you…my love… Am I…"

Two gasps flew out in harmony as their bodies collided. "I love you." He breathed and moved his hand beneath her, adoring the curve where her waist became hip, so trapped against him and the mattress.

His shoulders felt strong and fitting under the pads of her fingers, pressing his back onto her nudity, applying just the right amount of pressure on her breasts.

He moved forward and Emma mirrored his action, hipbones rubbing together painfully delicious after every thrust; being imprisoned like that, never felt so right, and she enveloped her thighs around him, allowing him to be deeper inside her.

Gazes remained locked; fire and yearning taking control of both, but neither of them willing to succumb into desperation. They had time, so much time…

"Easy…" Was his gruff plead against her mouth when his lover sway forward; it was his turn to take care of her. "Slowly, sweetie." He placed feather kisses behind her ear and travelled to her neck, sucking and biting the hot skin there.

She nodded enthusiastically, feeling herself blazing beneath him, under the passion of his eyes, as he moved with almost maddening slowness, although he was making her burn, "O-ok."

"I love you, Emma." Gradually, his pushes became deep, long, paused strokes, leaving her mewing after every one of them.

"Iloveyoutoo", she was already panting, writhing, meeting his vigorous rams, holding onto him tightly as she could, nails digging into his strong shoulders, "Ugh,Iloveyoutoo"

Her walls clamped around his manhood, announcing her climax and Will kissed her passionately, gripping her face, obliging her to look at him to observe her come undone. "Come, Em…" His fingers combed through her hair, as the first tremors began; inadvertently at first, hard and intense later. She cried, arching onto him, breathless when his drives lingered inside her for more time than necessary, helping her reach her highest peak. "Can you feel it? We´re making love…"

"Ugh, yes, yes… " Her hips shook violently and eyes rolled back, thighs wringing his lower half; the desperation of wanting him there forever, every inch of her skin about to explode, the tension in belly… it was excruciating. She shuddered, his name rolling off his lips, the blanket crumpled securely between her fingers as choppy, raspy moans, she didn't care to stop, spilled forth. A whined mew left her, eyes wide opened and felt him tremble, bathing her insides when coming inside her shaking body, his mouth unconsciously finding her when their eyes met.

"Oh, God…" She was breathing heavily, softly sucking on his bottom lip, when they were still one, connected, and refused to let go. "You-you gave me chills…" He chuckled hoarsely and shifted her a little, "Oh-Don´t…" Her insides were on fire; it was skin to skin contact and Emma loved it; the feeling of such intimacy; but she´d come again if he moved too much, "I´m- Uhg… Will…"

"I know…" He teased her, winded, rotating himself on her sensitive nub of nerves, and the redhead snorted a giggle

"W-Will…."

"Don´t you want?" He could feel the new contractions squeezing him all over again and his hot tongue learning the angle of her gullet when Emma tilted her head aside.

"Y-yes-" His moves were calculated, coaxing her to a second explosion of bliss and delight… Gosh she didn´t know if she could do it without bursting into tears of love.

His wet flesh took her there, his gentle fingers sandwiching amid their bodies to circle on her velvety heat, pushing her to that hallucinating state that´d make her legs numb and make her cry in pleasure. She did, eventually; the record was still playing and they were gasping for air, still clutching themselves to each other, unwilling to feel alone and cold again.

He felt her lips touching his, almost brushing them, and not even waiting until the air was enough, he kissed her senselessly, feeling her smile against his flesh.

"Happy birthday." Her caresses were like velvet across his jaw, lurking there for a moment before bringing him to lean completely on her.

"The night is young, the skies are clear, and if you wanna go walking, dear," his uneven voice came out low on her naked chest, joining the background music and Emma giggled, "It´s delightful, it´s delicious, it´s delovely…"

"I understand the reason why, You´re sentimental, ´cause so am I, It´s delightful, it´s delicious, it´s delovely." She joined him coyly.

"You know… Cole wrote this song for Linda." He spoke in a murmur slightly lifting himself to look at her.

"Really?"

"Yes, he had to come up with this word to even begin to explain his feelings for her."

"Oh…"

"Which is a huge inconvenience for me…"

"Why is that?" Her question was playful as a wide grin lined her lips

"´Cause if a genius like him had to do that… what will I have to do to show you how much I love you? I´ll spend the rest of my days thinking about that…"

She giggled and held him tighter. "What you just did is perfect already."

"And that is…?"

"Spend the rest of your days thinking of me as I´ll think about you."

That´s all folks! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! I would like to thank Becca for being an amazing Beta- Reader and helping me with this!

Pay attention! I´ll be publishing a new story soon!

Aggie