Logan stomped back inside the bar, bringing a swirl of icy air with him as he pulled Marie in after him. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze as they passed Cole, who was behind the bar.

He cracked a wry grin and said, "Beer's on the bar for ya." He bent down to put something away under the counter and muttered amusedly to himself, "I figured you'd both be pretty damn thirsty after that. Shit, even I needed a drink after that."

Cole knew all about Logan's mutation, and he knew that he'd be able to hear him. In fact, he was counting on it. What good were old friends if you couldn't make an off-color joke at their expense from time to time?

Logan chuckled and Marie's face flamed as they made their way back to the barstools. All those unprotected touches had given Marie a rather healthy dose of Logan's mutation - which included, among other things, enhanced hearing.

Cole straightened and caught her blush out of the corner of his eye. Whoops. Shit. I guess she heard that, too. Cole flashed the couple an apologetic grin. I wonder what kinda mutation she's got?

The question must have shown on his face. Logan took a long pull on his beer and set it down. He met Rogue's eyes briefly and Cole saw her almost imperceptible nod.

"Absorption," Logan said quietly as he raised his beer back to his lips.

Oh. It took a second for it to sink in. Ohhhhh... Right then. No secret how she 'absorbed' him this time. Cole turned around to spare Rogue any more embarrassment as he tried to suppress a laugh and failed.

"Don't worry, sugar," Marie said to Cole. "It's not your fault tall, dark, and feral, here, couldn't keep it in his pants."

Logan nearly choked on his beer. Well, darlin', I didn't hear you complainin'. In fact, all I heard was you moanin' in my ear.

Logan wisely kept that thought to himself.

Cole chuckled as he saw Rogue grin wickedly. Apparently, she'd regained her composure, albeit at Logan's expense. He watched as she saluted Logan with her beer and took another long drink.

Damn. I'm liking that girl more and more. Cole shook his head in amusement.

Logan raised his eyebrow and smirked at her. "Careful now, darlin'. Crackin' jokes about pants might not be the smartest move to make, all things considered." He rubbed his hand over his knuckles, as if she needed a reminder about what his claws has been cutting through not more than a few minutes ago.

Marie flushed again and shot a silent 'thank you' skyward that her jacket was long enough to hide Logan's little 'modification' to her pants.

"Logan," she hissed playfully as she swatted his arm.

"Well, ain't that cute," a nasty voice interrupted. Logan, Marie and Cole turned to look at the owner of that sneering voice. It belonged to the first man Logan had beaten tonight.

Fuck. This happens too often.

Logan knew what was coming next. Sometimes he stayed and fought again, but this was Cole's place. Even though he could easily take this asshole, he couldn't risk starting a brawl that would bust up the bar. It was all Cole had. He was going to have to cut his visit with Cole short and leave before this dumbass started something he'd be forced to finish.


He didn't have that many good friends and he'd been looking forward to this visit, more so than he wanted to admit.

As much as he hated to leave, if it got out that Cole knew he was a mutant and let him fight anyway, these bigoted assholes would tear this place down and do worse to Cole.

Much, much worse, Logan thought grimly.

It would be better for everyone if they just left now. Cole was a hard man who'd lived a hard life. He'd understand if Logan just grabbed Marie and walked away without a backward glance.

"No human could fight like that and walk away without a fucking scratch," the man sneered again.

Christ, it's always the same.

"Don't start something you don't want him to finish, boy," Cole said, jerking his head towards Logan. "Besides, everyone saw him spitting blood in the ring. You lost fair and square, so suck it up and get your sorry ass outta my bar."

Nice try, Cole. But we both know it ain't gonna be that easy. Logan's eyes met Cole's briefly.

"It's easy enough to fake spitting blood," the ex-champion snarled. "And it's Ray, not 'boy', you old fuck."

"It's fine, Cole. We'll go," Logan said quietly. He wanted nothing more than to gut this asshole, wanted it so bad his knuckles itched, but he could swallow his pride and leave for Cole's sake. Good friends like him were hard to find and he had nothing to prove. It wasn't worth Cole losing his bar over.

"That's right, go," Ray threatened. "Take that little whore of yours and get the fuck out. We don't want your kind here."

At the word 'whore' Logan's whole body tensed and he started growling low and deep. It was a menacing sound that made the hair on the back of Ray's neck stand up.

I'm thinkin' that was one mistake too many, bub.

Marie put her hand on Logan's arm.

Easy there, sugar.

She knew he was close to snapping, but she also understood his desire to protect Cole and his livelihood.

"Take your jacket off, sugar," she said slowly, never once raising her voice or taking her eyes from Ray. The tension crackled thickly as other patrons began to take an unhealthy interest in them. Usually, when a man stripped off his jacket he was preparing for a fight, but there was something odd in the girl's tone that suggested something other than a brawl was about to take place.

Logan's eyes met hers and she could see the uncertainty in their glittering depths.

You don't understand, darlin'. I can't fight him. Not now. I don't want them blamin' Cole when they figure out what I am - and they will, 'cause this is gonna get ugly.

More people were watching now, hoping for another fight, or hoping the Wolverine would turn out to be a mutant. In which case, they wouldn't mind siding with Ray and kicking a little mutie ass.

Marie's face gave no outward sign any of this was affecting her, but her fingers tightened on his arm and he could hear the frantic beating of her heart. "Trust me," she said under her breath just loud enough for him to hear. He tensed, but did as she asked and slowly removed his jacket, trying not to make it seem as if he was stripping to fight Ray.

I hope you know what you're doin', kid.

As the jacket came off, the vivid bite mark on his shoulder and the deep scratches on his back came into view. He'd forgotten about those. In an instant he understood what she was trying to do.

Damn, baby. It's a good thing I don't embarrass easily.

Too worried about Cole and the possibility of a fight erupting to be blushing, Marie took another sip from the bottle in her hand. She drew on her inner 'Logan' for the strength and self-assuredness it would take to pull this off without dissolving into an embarrassed puddle. She was the Rogue, for God's sake. She could brazen it out.

She took a steadying breath and trailed one fingertip over Logan's shoulder seductively, confidently, as if it was an everyday occurrence for her to be displaying the love marks she'd put on her lover's body.

"Well, Ray, take a good look." Marie arched her eyebrow at him. "I don't seem to have any trouble leaving a mark." Marie waited while Ray's disbelieving eyes slid over Logan, noting the still bleeding bite mark on his shoulder and the angry red scratches on his back.

When she figured Ray had gotten a good enough look she flashed Logan a smile and threw him his t-shirt. "Quit showing off, sugar. I think Ray, here, has seen enough and all that skin is giving me ideas…"

Logan caught the shirt and smiled at her, playing along. He chuckled darkly. It wasn't a nice sound. His gaze flicked to Ray and the smile vanished, replaced by a low threatening snarl.

As drunk as he was, Ray was rapidly realizing he'd made a serious mistake.

Shit. Shit! FUCK!

He'd been so sure the 'Wolverine' was a mutie. Maybe he'd been hit harder than he thought. Now that everyone knew he wasn't a mutant, Ray was gonna be on his own. He wasn't an indignant human backed by a bar full of self-righteous supporters any longer, he was just another drunk asshole looking like a sore loser.

Ray watched as the Wolverine put his shirt back on and picked up his cigar. He barely managed to keep from running when the Wolverine fixed his cold unblinking stare on him. Ray began to sweat, feeling decidedly like prey caught in a predator's sights.

Oh, fuck.

The Wolverine leaned in close - close enough for Ray to smell the blood that still clung to him from the previous fights. His guts churned and Ray thought he might be sick. He swallowed hard, all bravado gone, as the Wolverine exhaled, enveloping him in a cloud of cigar smoke.

"I think you owe my wife an apology." His voice was dangerously soft.


This was going from bad to worse. Not only had he accused him of being a mutant, he'd also called this man's wife a whore. "S- Sorry," he stammered.

Marie's soothing touch was back again on Logan's arm, but she knew better than to interrupt them this time. Logan was much more vicious about defending her than he'd ever been about defending himself. Logan looked Ray up and down once and grunted. He turned his back on Ray, the dismissal obvious. The Wolverine's wife jerked her head meaningfully at the door before she, too, turned away.

Ray wasted no time in leaving, thankful he was being granted the opportunity to walk away rather than being carried away - again. He got in his truck and left because the look the Wolverine's woman sent him gave him the distinct impression only she and Cole stood between him and another painful taste of the Wolverine's fists.

As Logan and Rogue turned back to the bar, Cole put another beer in front of each of them. He nodded once at the couple. "Thanks." There was a wealth of emotion in that one word. He knew he was the only reason Logan hadn't wiped the floor with that asshole.

Now that the threat had passed, Marie's face heated once again, knowing that everyone who'd watched that tense exchange had also seen the marks on Logan's body, and they all knew exactly how he'd gotten them - and from whom.

She stole a glance at Logan under her lashes.

Damn the man. He was sitting there looking smug as could be. Figures. You are definitely gonna pay for that later, sugar. Thoughts about just how she could accomplish that goal played through her head and she bit back a groan. Geez, girl. Get a grip.

Logan's head snapped up at the change in her scent. He met her eyes and smiled knowingly at her. He grinned and stretched lazily, like predator contented after a large meal. Marie shivered under his gaze and looked away, taking another sip of her beer.

Cole wondered how on earth she'd been able to mark Logan so easily, considering his mutation. How in the…? "What the hell?" he wondered aloud, knowing this wasn't the time and place to ask, but too curious to keep silent.

"Later," Logan said quietly as he finished his beer.

~ oOo ~

That night, over a simple meal in Cole's cabin, Logan shared their story, including how it was possible for her to mark him, even with his mutation. When he'd finished, Cole whistled softly. "That's some story," he chuckled. "You? Teaching? I'd give my right arm to see that," he joked.

Logan's mouth turned up at the corners and he flashed his claws at Cole with a cool snikt. "That can be arranged, bub."

Marie rolled her eyes. "Put those away, sugar. You aren't scaring anyone." Cole snickered and Logan issued a mock growl.

Uh huh. We all know underneath all that cussing and growling you're just a big old softie.

Marie's gloved hand absently stroked Logan's arm and she smiled at him, her heart in her eyes for all the world to see.

Cole got up and gave them a moment of privacy while he made some coffee. When he returned a few minutes later he wasn't at all surprised to see that Marie looked well and thoroughly kissed and Logan was sitting back, looking decidedly pleased with himself as he tucked a black bandana back into his pocket. Marie's mouth was slightly swollen and her soft, brown eyes were sparkling. In all the years he'd known him, Cole didn't think he'd ever seen Logan look so at ease, so happy.

The three of them spent a pleasant evening together talking. It did Cole's old heart good to see Logan so content. He grinned at the couple on the couch. "I know you were planning on staying in town tonight, but I was thinkin' you two might be more comfortable here." Before they could protest, Cole added. "Think of it as a wedding gift." He threw a wink at Rogue and looked Logan up and down, paying particular attention to his fists. "Just don't let him put any more holes in anything, honey." Rogue's rich laughter rang out.

"Real funny, bub," Logan shot back.

"Don't you two worry about me, either. I got me a room back at the bar for nights the weather's too bad to make it home. I'll be fine."

"Thanks, Cole. That's real nice of you," Logan said quietly.

Cole nodded and they said a quiet goodnight at the door. They'd be leaving in the morning, but they'd promised to stop and stay another night after they'd returned from Anchorage.

Logan closed the door and hugged Marie close. He could think of nothing he'd like more than spending a quiet evening in a secluded cabin with her. From the way she smelled, he was pretty sure she was thinking the same thing. Logan gave her a little squeeze and released her. He added a few logs to the fire and settled himself on the couch while Marie turned out the lights.

He leaned his back against the arm of the couch and stretched out his long legs, parting them to make a spot for her. "C'mere, kid." Marie settled between his legs, resting her back against his chest, and leaning her head back against his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly as they watched the fire pop and sputter.

"I like it here - up north," she said after a while.

"Do you?"

He felt her nod against his chest. "I like the solitude, the peace." Logan nodded. He knew just how she felt. "And nobody looks at me funny here, either - you know - like I'm a freak for being covered up all the time."

Her soft admission tore at his heart. You're not a freak to me, Marie. You're strong and beautiful and good, but she continued on before he could interrupt.

"Even at the school I'm a freak among freaks." She paused. "I - I like it up here because here I'm not 'that girl with the deadly skin.' Here I'm just Marie. Just myself. Just the Wolverine's woman, your woman." She lapsed into silence, a little shy about what she'd just admitted.

"Jesus, darlin'." He hugged her close and rested his cheek against the top of her head. He knew she was uncomfortable around other people, but he had no idea it was that bad, had no idea she felt so strongly about it. She'd never said anything about it before in all the times they'd talked. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He didn't try to tell her she wasn't a freak. They lived in a world with harsh realities. Neither of them made excuses or lied to themselves. They couldn't afford to take a caviler attitude about who and what they were. That only put others in danger. They were simply two people bound by love and by the shared pain of being untouchable. There was no need to sugar coat things between them.

"You think I don't feel like a fuckin' freak for having these?" He released his claws on one hand and retracted them just as quickly. She shook her head. "Do they make you love me any less?"

"Of course not. I love them. They're beautiful to me."

"I feel the same way 'bout your skin." His voice was low and full of emotion.

"Even if I never learn to control it? Even if we never get to-" She wanted to tell him she'd controlled it that once, but she still didn't want to get his hopes up. They had time. She'd keep working on it and maybe tell him in the spring. It was his life too and he deserved to know the truth.

"Not even then, darlin'," he said softly. "Besides, we seem to be doin' alright so far in that department." There was a hint of amusement in his voice now. "I sure as hell don't have any complaints."

"You sure?"

"Christ, baby. How can you even ask me that after what happened behind the bar tonight?" he asked in bemused exasperation.

"Just checking, sugar." He could hear the smile in her voice.

"Marie? About what happened tonight, you sure I didn't-"

"I'm not made of glass, Logan. I'm fine."

"The truth, darlin'," he prompted softly.

"The truth? Yeah, you hurt me a little." She touched his shoulder where she'd bitten him. "And I hurt you a little, too."

"Marie I-"

"Let me finish. I've got a lot of 'you' inside me and I've got a lot of wildness in me that's just me, just in Marie. I don't know why it's there. It just is… and it was there before my mutation ever manifested. Sometimes I want to make love and sometimes - sometimes I just want what happened behind the bar."

"Fuckin'." His voice was rough.

"Yeah, sugar. Fucking."

He smiled a little at the way she tripped over that word. It wasn't one she usually used. Logan thought about her fiery temper. At least not one she uses out loud, anyway. He chuckled softly.

"Just because it's not sweet and soft and romantic doesn't make it any less powerful or meaningful to me, you know?"

His heart glowed. "I know, kid." He held her tightly. "It's always good with you. Always just right." She melted into him at that.


"You bet."

They lapsed into a comfortable silence, both content to just be in each other's arms, feeling the soft rise and fall of each other's breath. She felt safe, wrapped up in his strong arms and his body radiated a warmth that sunk deeply into her bones. Logan slowly relaxed, something he rarely allowed himself to do. He felt completely at ease with Marie nestled so close. He stroked her hair and idly twined a silky lock around his fingers. Closing his eyes, he breathed in deeply, enjoying the way their scents mingled.

Finally, he stirred. "I'm gonna go take a shower. Wash the fight offa me."

"Sure, sugar. I'm gonna go fix us a snack."

Neither of them moved an inch.

Eventually, Marie turned in his arms and smiled at him suggestively. "I'm gonna go fix that snack now. I've heard healing factors work up quite an appetite."

"Good thinkin', darlin'," he said with a chuckle as he headed to the bathroom.

While Logan showered, Marie hunted through the pantry. Looks like Logan isn't the only one with a sweet tooth around here. She grabbed one of the boxes of brownie mix, and in no time, the rich smell of baking chocolate filled the tiny cabin. While the brownies cooked, Marie undressed and got another bodystocking out of her pack. She wriggled into the sheer fabric and pulled Logan's flannel shirt on over it for warmth.

A little while later, Logan emerged from the bathroom wearing nothing but a clean pair of jeans that rode low on his lean hips. Marie's eyes sparkled with anticipation. She growled playfully at him and turned around to finish cutting the brownies into generous squares.

"Smells real good, baby." He sat down at the small table, enjoying the way she looked wearing just his shirt. Marie put the plate of warm brownies down on the table and poured two glasses of milk.

"Milk?" He quirked an eyebrow at her as she set the glass down in front of him.

"Milk," she said, as she slid into the chair across from him. "Beer doesn't go with chocolate."

He took a bite of the warm brownie. "Beer goes with everythin', kid."

"Oh, please." She tapped her head. "I have you in here. I know you like milk-n-cookies, milk-n-brownies, milk-n-" She broke off. His ears were getting red. "You blushing, sugar?"

He didn't say anything; he only reached for another brownie and growled playfully at her as he poured himself another glass of milk.

She took another bite. So he wanted to play, did he? "Maybe you could do one of those 'got milk' ads. You know, the big badass mutant cage fighter with a milk mustache?"

Logan dropped his half eaten brownie back to his plate. That was all the warning she got. With a feral smile he lunged for her, but she quickly darted under his outstretched arm with a squeak and ran for it. The cabin only had two rooms and a loft so there really wasn't anywhere to go, but that was the whole point. What fun was running if you didn't get caught?

Marie skidded to a stop on the far side of the couch. They circled each other, keeping the couch between them. Marie was gasping for breath she was laughing so hard. He growled at her again, enjoying even this simple chase.

"Hey, bub. Got milk?" she wheezed.

"GRRRR." You're gonna pay for that, darlin'. To hell with going around it, in a split second he was up and over the couch. A few seconds more and he had her right where he wanted her, pinned under him on the thick rug in front of the fire.

Even though they were just playing, she didn't hold back. This was no mock struggle. In between bouts of laughter, she bucked wildly under him in an attempt to break his hold. He just chuckled at her and easily pinned her hands above her head with one of his. A wicked, feral smile tugged at the corner of his lips. He lowered his mouth to her ear and she stopped struggling. His bare skin was too close to hers now and the last thing she wanted to do was hurt him.

"Yield to me, darlin'," he growled softly in her ear.

She didn't move, but she didn't relax under him either. Her muscles were coiled, ready, waiting for him to pull back enough so she could safely fight him without worrying about the skin on her face touching him. But he'd had enough playing. The animal surfaced for an instant and he bit her neck sharply, his eyes sliding towards gold.

"Yield." His growl was rougher this time. It sent little erotic shivers down her spine.

As if I'd be stupid enough to say no to that, sugar. I guess this win makes you 'King of the Cabin'.

Marie kept that thought to herself. While he let down his guard with her and shared parts of himself with her that nobody else ever saw, he was still the Wolverine underneath it all. And sometimes, like now, he needed her to submit. A warm smile touched her eyes.

"You win, sugar. Just like you won tonight." Her voice was soft and full of pride in her mate. "I'm all yours. Every bit of me."

With a triumphant smile, he rolled off her and stretched out on his side next to her. He propped his head up with one hand, but his other hand never left her hip. Marie rolled to her side to face him and propped her head up as well. A slow smile played at her lips.

"I loved watching you fight. Watching you win. You were... "

"I was what?" He asked, interested in both her answer and at the way her scent was changing. His hand tightened possessively on her hip.

"Savage. Beautiful. Only... "

"Only what?"

"Something was missing," she said honestly.

"What?" He asked, a little more sharply than he had intended.

It sure didn't seem like anythin' was missin' when you shouted for me to win or when I fucked you 'till you screamed, either.

She saw his scowl. "Not that, sugar," she said with a shy smile. "This." She pulled the tags from around her neck. "You were missing this." She refastened them around his neck and took a good look at him, bare chest, bare feet, jeans, wild hair, tags. He looked exactly the way he'd looked when she'd first seen him in Laughlin City, except now he was wearing a wedding ring.

"I told you I wasn't gonna take these from you again." His voice still had a little bit of an edge to it.

"I know, sugar. You aren't taking anything. I thought - I thought maybe we could share them tonight..." her voice trailed off.

Logan had to admit he'd missed the familiar weight of them. For a lot of years they'd been his only companion. He wasn't too sure what to say to her.

Unsure of his silence, her face fell. "I'm - I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you think I didn't want to wear them. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I just thought... " her eyes filled with tears. The tags – and their emotional weight – tended to bring her feelings to the surface.

"Whoa. Whoa there, darlin'. It's real sweet what you did. I was just thinkin' how much I missed wearin' 'em, is all." She smiled a little at that. "That's right." His brows drew together in thought. "But I still like seein' 'em on you, too." He pulled her close and nuzzled her neck. "I can't help it," he whispered against the skin of her throat. "I like markin' you as mine. Markin' you with my tags or my mouth or my scent," he admitted softly, his breath hot against her skin. "Makes you mine." His nipping and kissing was becoming more urgent. "Mine," he growled again as his tongue flicked over the pulse pounding at the base of her throat.

"I love being yours, Logan." She cupped his cheek with her gloved palm. "I love you."

"I love you too, kid."

They made love by the fire, slowly, passionately, showing each other how they felt with touches instead of words. They stroked and caressed, savoring each sound, each fevered reaction they wrung from each other. In time, his growls and grunts of pleasure and her throaty groans of release turned to soft sighs and slow even breathing.

When the fire had died down to glowing coals, Logan gathered her close and watched over her as she slept. He thought she was most beautiful like this, her lush mouth gently bruised from his kisses, her body still flushed from his touch, his scent drying on her skin. While the flickering light from the coals danced over her flawless creamy skin, he pulled her close and whispered to her of the deepest desires of his heart.

He told her his secrets, his hopes and fears, his dreams and wishes. It didn't matter that she was asleep. He would tell her again when she was awake, when he was ready, when she was ready. But right now his heart was too full to be silent.

He brushed his fingers gently over her flat stomach and whispered to her about children, about his joy at someday seeing her body change as she carried their child inside her, about raising a family with her. Protecting them. Watching over them. Loving them. He whispered to her about the cabin he'd bought years ago, humble like this one, only farther north. For now it would be a place they could go in the summer when he wasn't teaching and she wasn't taking classes, and later it would be a place they could raise a family together.

His heart was full; of love, of wonder, of peace, and for the first time that he could remember, full of hope. He lay beside her and pulled her close, wrapping an arm around her protectively. It didn't matter that they couldn't touch. The intimacy they shared went far beyond any physical caress. She was the first one, the only one, to touch him inside, where it truly mattered. Curled around his mate, he joined her in sleep.

At dawn, Logan woke her and they made love again. Slowly at first, and then more passionately as they lost themselves in each other. Afterwards, while Marie showered, Logan repacked the truck and straightened up Cole's cabin.

Half an hour later, they were on the road. Marie was asleep again, bundled up in his leather jacket using his leg for a pillow. He knew he'd been demanding last night, consumed by desire for her, he'd not allowed her much time for sleeping. With a small self-satisfied smile, he turned the truck north.

Logan realized they were traveling the same road they'd started out on so long ago. In a few hundred miles, they'd pass the place he'd found her. The same place he'd found himself. The place where the present had become more important than the past.

He looked down at his sleeping wife and smiled. This road, their road, wasn't lonely any longer. He knew it wouldn't always be an easy road to travel, and up ahead there would be many unseen twists and turns, but if they were lucky, the road would be long, and together they would find both the bitter and the sweet.

~ The End ~

Author's notes: I wanted to send a big thank you to everyone who sent me feedback on this one and let me know what they were thinking or how the story made them feel. It does my little writer's heart good and makes my muses stand up and do the happy dance! I'm so glad you all came along for the ride. This was the very first piece of fanfic I ever wrote and it's got a special place in my heart because of that. ;) It might also be a little telling. A 100,000 word first fanfic? Who the hell does that? cRAYze! Ding. ding. We have a winner! lol I know, I know. I need serious help. Heh.

For those of you who want to know what's next, here's the juice. I'm working madly on my next W/R novel, Run. It just might be the most favorite thing I've written. It's dark, twisty and citrusy. I'm excited to share it, but it's not quite finished yet. In the meantime, up next will be:

Holding Ground
In a post MRA, post Legacy world, Logan and Scott fight to hold on to what little peace they've found. A coming-of-age story. AU 13 chapters (complete)

After that, the tentative ficcy pipeline looks like:

Strip Chocolate
Logan discovers that not all board games are boring when he and Marie give an adult board game a whirl. 4 (steamy!) chapters. (complete)

"Logan's claws were in her chest. His life force filled her body. His thoughts echoed in her head, shouting one thing over and over. Run." She does... and it takes him a decade to catch her again. 30 chapters (nearly done!)

Shine Against Me
Logan and Marie and talk about pornography… and then things get crazy. 20+ chapters (and counting!)

Walk the Line
Marie comes back after taking the Cure. "She'd always defend him though, even now – powerless and helpless, and they both knew it. It didn't even need saying. The care of this beautiful man was written in her bones." 9 chapters (at least 4 more to go)

Yep. Still certifiable! ;)