Here is the last chapter, which actually inspired the story. Thanks to everyone for reading and especially reviewing.
24th December 2011
Harry drove carefully through the ice and the light snow. He parked at one end of the village, a typical English picture perfect village. Erin had been right, he had been being watched, but they were low level CIA, and they lost interest after a week or two. It seemed that he wasn't important, which was perfectly fine with him. He had made sure that he was left alone before daring to find Ruth. As much as he longed to see her and ached to hold her, he wouldn't dare to put her in danger. But now he was safe. So he was here to see her. Locking the car, he wrapped his scarf and jacket around him because it was very cold.
He walked through the small lanes, approaching her house from a distance. He could have parked in her driveway, but Harry was rather looking forward to surprising her. So he'd parked at the other end of the village and was slowly walking to her house. Ruth had bought a cottage away from most other houses and Harry looked around as he approached it. It truly was a beautiful place, even though everything was covered in white frost and a little snow. He felt nervous. He was going to see Ruth for the first time since he'd agreed to leave the service with her. Since he thought she'd died in his arms. He was actually going to see her. Walking up the driveway, his footsteps were muffled by the snow, but he paused when he heard someone behind him. He turned, fear colouring his mind but then he almost laughed with what he saw. An elderly man with a walking stick, walking his spaniel down the lane. Harry waited until he was out of sight before returning and walking to Ruth's front door.
A string of clear Christmas lights were in the window and he knocked on the door, taking a deep breath. There was a simple wreath on the door and he heard footsteps inside. He braced himself for her appearance, but he still wasn't ready when the door swung open. His eyes were drawn down as a black cat immediately ran out of the house. "Oh Frostie," Ruth said in an exasperated tone as she watched the black dash vanish around the house. Then her eyes flicked upwards to her visitors face and she froze. Their eyes locked and neither could move an inch. And then she smiled. "Oh God, Harry," she breathed, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. "You're here."
"I am," he said, voice breaking as his own hazel eyes swam with emotion. Then he reached for her slowly. When his hand touched hers she jumped back from the contact, surprised.
"Sorry," she said instantly. "I just can't believe you're here." She reached back for his hand and grasped him tightly, their fingers lacing together.
"Don't you ever make me think you've died," Harry said firmly. "I couldn't bear it all over again."
"I'll do my best." He put his palm on her cheek, feeling her warm skin under his fingers. He smiled at her and she tilted her head up slightly, invitingly. He got the point and leaned in very slowly and set his lips on hers. Ruth smiled into his kiss as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her body close against his. His kiss started soft, gentle and completely wonderful. Then it quickly changed into a knee weakening, passionate, all consuming kiss. His fingers were in her hair when he realised she was suddenly pushing his chest away from her. He stopped, confused and a little hurt.
"I couldn't breathe," she said smiling at him. "I'm not used to my lung yet." Harry looked at her in concern as her heavy breathing subsided.
"Erin didn't fill me in with the details," Harry said. "What happened?"
"Come in," Ruth said. "I'm cold and I don't want to discuss this on the doorstep."
"Thought you'd never ask," he said with a smile. He kissed her briefly once more before gripping her hand and following her over the doorstep. Ruth was about to close the door when the cat dashed back in, now more white than black.
"I had to have a cat," Ruth said apologetically as they went through to the living room and sat on the sofa. "I was lonely. So lonely, I knew you'd find me eventually." Harry looked at her and couldn't help kissing her once more.
"I'm so angry at you for taking the blame for Coaver's death," he said.
"I know," she replied with a smile. "But I wanted a chance of life after MI5. With you."
"You meant that then?" he said hopefully.
"Of course I did," she said, smiling at him. "I had to give up my house in Sussex, far too obvious if I moved in there, but I like this house too. Erin helped me."
"So medically, how are you?" he asked, holding her hand tightly.
"Half of my left lung has been removed," she said. "But I am fine," she added at the worried look on his face. I just get a little breathless at times."
"Like during that kiss?" he suggested with a raised eyebrow and she blushed.
"Well, that's the first time I've experimented with that theory, but I suppose so."
"Are you really alright?" he asked seriously.
"Yes," she said. "I've been checked over and I'm fine, I promise." She smiled at him as the cat came in and sat by the fire as if he owned the place.
"Oh, God I'm so glad," Harry said. He kissed her again briefly before drawing back. "I meant to tell you something. I should have said it ages and ages ago."
"Don't," she said, smiling. "I don't want you to say anything sudden now that you've seen me again."
"Its not sudden," Harry said. "I would have never forgiven myself if I'd never told you. And now I have a chance."
"Ruth, I love you," he said eyes glowing. She felt both her breath and her heart catch.
"I know," Ruth replied. "You don't always show it, but I did know. And for the record, I love you too." He reached for her and kissed her passionately, pushing her into the sofa as he hovered over her. She pulled him close as he continued to kiss her spectacularly, tasting her sweetness and holding in his groan with difficulty.
"Shall we… go upstairs?" Ruth asked, her cheeks red.
"Isn't it a little soon?" he asked, surprised at her forwardness.
"Actually, I think its about five years too late," she said, smiling at him. She stroked his hair softly and he nodded once.
"If you're sure," he said slowly.
"Its Christmas," she said with a smile. "And I've never been surer. If you want to?"
"God Ruth," he groaned. "What are you doing to me?"
"Is that a yes?" Ruth asked, biting her lip.
"Are you well enough?"
"I didn't ask my doctor, but yes," she said with a laugh. "I have a scar," she added apologetically, her hand on her ribs.
"I've got my fair share of those too," Harry said. Ruth smiled and got up from the sofa, holding Harry's hand tightly. "In so glad I'm here," Harry said sincerely. Ruth's eyes flicked upwards and Harry got the point immediately. He stood up and she followed suit, their hands holding each others tightly. Ruth reached up and brushed her lips over his briefly. Then she pulled his hand and led him up the stairs.
Ruth ached everywhere, but it was a very good, pleasurable ache. When she found the energy to open her eyes she saw Harry staring at her with what could only be described as a satisfied smile. "No need to look quite so pleased with yourself," Ruth said.
"Ruth, I thought you were dead," he said slowly, stroking her hair. "I would have given anything in the world to see you again. And somehow, miraculously, I found out that you survived. So forgive me if I'm incredibly happy."
"Well, when you put it like that," she said with a grin. "Have you left MI5?"
"I couldn't stay if you weren't there," Harry said seriously. "Especially when you offered a life for us together. Do you still want that?"
"Of course I do," Ruth said. "I always think things through properly. And I wouldn't have told you that if I wasn't sure."
"Just what I wanted to hear," Harry said with a smile that reached his eyes.
"Don't look at me like that, I can't resist you when you look at me like that," Ruth said quickly.
"Oh, I wish I'd known," Harry said. "I'd have given you that look years ago." Ruth smiled and allowed herself to be scooped against his chest and their arms tangled together. And she had never felt happier. It might have taken lies, spying, years of longing and separation, but they had found each other in the end. That was what counted.
I could be persuaded to write an M rated bit if anyone wants it. Let me know. Thanks for reading and a final review would mean the world to me.