Title: One Knight
Disclaimer: not mine!
Summary: What could have happened after “Knight of Shadows”
Jonathan Ford stared pointedly at his watch before bringing his gaze back up to meet his captain’s. “We really do need to get started, Sir. This briefing is vital to our next mission.”
Nathan shrugged his shoulders. He knew the briefing was important but he personally wouldn’t have rated it as vital. “We’ve tried to contact Dr. Westphalen, Commander. I’m sure that she will be here soon. See, this is probably her now.” Nathan continued as the hatch door swung open.
Joshua Levin stepped through the door to find six sets of eyes staring at him. “Sorry I’m late. I was held up in med bay.” He slipped into his chair.
Joshua looked confused. “Dr. Westphalen hasn’t reported to med bay this morning. I just assumed that she came straight here. Perhaps…” Joshua looked thoughtful. “I’d better go check on her.”
Nathan caught Joshua just outside the hatch while Ford protested their exits loudly in the background. “What’s wrong, Joshua? Why are you so eager to go check on the doctor?”
Joshua looked uncomfortable. “I promised I wouldn’t say anything.” Nathan didn’t reply, just stared with eyebrows raised until Levin continued. “Two days ago Dr. Westphalen almost passed out in the science lab. Yesterday it happened again in med bay.”
“Why? Could this be some lingering effect from her exposure during the hurricane?”
“I don’t know. She refused to let me examine her. She said she just needed to rest. It isn’t like the doctor to miss a briefing though.”
“No, it isn’t.” Nathan said thoughtfully. “Go back inside and tell Ford I said to go ahead with the meeting. If Kristin isn’t feeling well then she doesn’t need to go on this mission anyway. You can lead the medical team. I’ll go find her and I’ll call you if she needs medical attention.”
A quick trip through med-bay and the science labs revealed to Nathan that Kristin was conspicuously absent so he headed to her cabin, making quick stops at the galley and gym along the way. Nathan knocked several times on the door to Kristin’s cabin but she didn’t answer. He was about to give up when he thought he heard a noise from within. A quick glance up and down the corridor showed no one else present so Nathan pushed the door open and stepped inside, closing it quickly behind him.
Kristin wasn’t visible and Nathan was sure he’d been mistaken when he heard retching from the head. Nathan’s own stomach rolled in sympathy as he stepped toward the sounds. ‘What could be causing this? It can’t be viral. We are in an enclosed system. Perhaps it’s food poisoning… She sounds really sick. Maybe I should call Levin. How do I deal with a vomiting woman? Damn, I haven’t had to do this since Carol was preg…’
Nathan stopped in his tracks as all the blood drained from his face. ‘She can’t be…She’s vomiting and she fainted… Oh, God!’ His mind drifted back two months to the strange episode he and his crew had experienced when they’d found a hundred year old shipwreck, the George…
The crew moved quickly toward the launch and cleaner air, all of them puffing on their rebreathers as they went. Lucas had just started down the stairs when Nathan felt Kristin pull her arm away from his grip. He looked up to find her moving away from the group back into the ship.
“Kristin, come back here!”
She continued moving as if she hadn’t heard him.
“Get everyone on the launch and stay there. I’ll get her and come straight back.” Nathan told Crocker and took off down the corridor.
Nathan caught up with the stunningly dressed woman just outside the door of the room where she had found the ball gown and been compelled to put it on. He immediately noticed that she’d lost her rebreather somewhere between the cabin and the launch. “Kristin, we have to go back to the launch. The nitrogen content in the air is too high,” he tried to lead her back in the direction they had come but she wouldn’t budge.
“I have to get my diary. I can’t let anyone else find it.”
“Crocker has the diary on the launch.” Nathan realized that Kristin or he or both were being sucked back into the unexplainable adventure he thought had ended. If that ending had come from the release of two tortured spirits into the next plane or from the realization that they were suffering from nitrogen narcosis he couldn’t say.
Kristin moved into the room giving Nathan no choice but to follow her. “Lillian?” Nathan asked quietly.
Kristin looked up at him and smiled brilliantly but with no recognition in her eyes. “Have you seen Robert? I have to speak with Robert.”
“Robert was here but he left. Do you remember? You were going with him. What happened?”
Kristin ignored the questions as she wandered around the room, plumping pillows and fingering tiny knickknacks. Nathan tried to question her several more times but she never acknowledged him.
“She won’t answer you, Captain. You gave her an answer she didn’t want to hear so she will continue to ignore you.”
Nathan felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end as he slowly turned toward the door. A young man in an early twentieth century officer’s uniform stood there, a man Nathan recognized as Robert Fitzgerald, the George’s chief engineer and Lillian’s lover. Nathan could have been greeting a fellow officer except that this man wasn’t solid. Nathan could see right through the apparition.
“You talk to her. Tell her to release Kristin. We have to leave this boat.”
“She won’t listen to me either. In her present state she can’t hear my voice while I’m on this plane.”
“Then how in the hell do I get Kristin back? Lillian can’t keep her body. How do I reach her?”
The spirit seemed to hesitate. “You care for this woman, Captain?”
“Of course I do!” Nathan was getting exasperated and light-headed at the same time. He stuck his purifier into his mouth and took a few deep puffs. “Why didn’t Lillian go with you? We saw her leave!”
“Something still holds her here. There is a way, Captain, but it would involve a sacrifice on your part.”
“Anything to get Kristin back. What is it?”
“Lillian is growing accustomed to inhabiting a solid form. If I were also in solid form she might listen to me but that would mean entering your body. You would have to consent before I would do such a thing.”
“Pity Lillian didn’t give Kristin that option. If that is the only way then do it!”
Nathan’s next conscious moment didn’t really consist of thought but more of feeling, overwhelming feelings of desire and need. His eyes flew open and his mind tried to absorb the sight of the gorgeous woman beneath him. Kristin’s eyes opened at that same instant and he saw that her awareness had returned as well. He also realized that he was naked and lying on top of an equally naked Kristin. She was screaming in pleasure because of his hard erection buried deep within her warm folds.
Nathan tried once to pull out of Kristin’s body but she had wrapped one leg over his hips and ass. Nathan didn’t have the strength to force the leg away and surged back into her warm passage. His own need overwhelmed him and he thrust again and again until he cried out as his body released his hot seed into her womb.
Nathan collapsed against Kristin, both of their bodies trembling in the aftermath of their climax. He heard her whisper his name and raised his face to look at her. The hint of a tear in the corner of her eye was his undoing and he lowered his head to caress her lips with his own. Kristin’s body convulsed against his and he realized that his own erection hadn’t diminished. He pushed himself up on his elbows and began to grind his hips into her wildly. Part of his mind was screaming for him to stop but circumstances and his own desire for the woman beneath him wouldn’t let him. Kristin met him thrust for thrust and rapidly reached the edge, arching her back and screaming his name as she exploded around him again. The tight grip of Kristin’s inner muscles pulling at his thrusting erection pulled her name from his lips as he came once again, his climax seeming to go on forever.
Nathan was pulled back to the present by the sound of the flushing toilet. He expected Kristin to appear at the door until he heard her being sick once again. He moved through the door and knelt beside the sick woman, gathering her auburn hair and holding it out of the way until she finished. Kristin started at his touch but she couldn’t do anything about it so she accepted his help.
Finally she pulled back until she was leaning against the wall of the tiny bathroom. Nathan grabbed a washcloth and wet it before gently wiping her damp face. He filled the small glass on the counter with water and Kristin rinsed her mouth out before falling back against the wall again.
“Feel better?” Nathan asked and Kristin glared at him.
“What do you think?”
“Are you going to be sick again? If not I’ll help you back to your bunk.”
“I have to get to the briefing.” Kristin tried to stand up but only made it to her knees before the room began to spin.
“I don’t think that you are going anywhere.” Nathan pulled Kristin to her feet and wrapped his arms around her, one at her shoulders and one at her waist, to keep her upright. They moved slowly through her cabin until they reached the bunk and Kristin collapsed onto it. Nathan sat down on the edge and cupped her face with his hand.
“What can I do? Do I need to call Levin?”
“NO!” Kristin snapped out. “Could you look in my desk drawer, the second one? I’ve got some saltine crackers there.”
Nathan retrieved the crackers and handed Kristin one. She began to nibble on it gingerly.
“Were you going to tell me? About the baby?”
Kristin’s head popped up. “I am NOT pregnant.”
“Then what is wrong with you? I realize that I’m not a doctor but fainting and morning sickness are two pretty well known symptoms. Look, Kristin, I realize that the circumstances… a baby would… what I am trying to say is that I am right here and I’m not going anywhere.”
Kristin smiled wryly. “I’m not pregnant, Nathan.” She paused and bit her lower lip, her brow furrowed in thought. “Fifteen years ago I had a very bad miscarriage. There were… complications and the result was that I couldn’t get pregnant again.”
Nathan felt his heart sink a little at her words. He hadn’t realized until that moment how much he would have welcomed a child, a child with this beautiful, intelligent woman.
Kristin was surprised to see the disappointment in Nathan’s face. She and Nathan had begun to build a friendship based on their work relationship but that had floundered since their encounter on the George.
“What else can I get for you?”
Kristin thought a moment. “Could you bring me a cup of tea from the galley, very weak? Sometimes that helps.”
Nathan agreed and left the cabin. Once he was gone Kristin slowly exhaled and fell back against her pillows as tears began to stream down her face.
Nathan was pleased to see that a hint of color had returned to Kristin’s cheeks when he arrived with her tea. She took it and murmured her thanks as she propped up on one elbow and began to sip it.
“So what do you thing is wrong with you? I would like for Levin to give you a full exam.”
“I don’t need an exam. I’m a doctor; I know what I bloody well need.”
“Touchy, touchy. Look, Doctor, I don’t want to upset you or imply that you don’t know your job but something is obviously wrong with you. Have you had a menstrual cycle since we left the George?”
“That is none of your damned business!” Kristin sputtered.
“Meaning that you haven’t. You know better than I that sometimes things are misdiagnosed. It seems to me that you should at least take a pregnancy test if for no other reason than to…” Nathan’s voice trailed off at the look that flitted across Kristin’s face. “You’ve already done the test… and it was positive!”
Sorrow infused Kristin’s features. “Yes, it was positive but it’s wrong. I saw my test results. I saw the scans of my uterus. I can’t conceive! I would have given anything to be able to have another child but it just isn’t possible.”
At her words Nathan suddenly understood the heartache Kristin carried. He was standing across the cabin from her but he may as well have been on the other side of the world for all the good he was doing her. Her strode across the space separating them and sat down beside her in the bunk.
“Nath…” Kristin didn’t have any choice but to do as she was told when Nathan kicked his shoes off and stretched out beside her. He settled back against the pillows and pulled her into his embrace.
“This whole situation is so surreal. I wanted to talk to you about what happened but you obviously didn’t want to talk about it. I don’t know what your medical records say but I think that what happened between us in that cabin made a child. I understand why you can’t accept that, given your history but we can’t ignore this. You have to let Levin examine you, give us an impartial opinion.”
“No, not Levin. You know how gossip spreads on this boat. I know that Joshua would be discreet but there are a dozen ways it could leak out, even if it isn’t true. I just thank God that Kreig wasn’t on the George with us or the rumors would already be rampant.”
‘They wouldn’t be the only rampant thing around here.’ Nathan shifted slightly as he became aware of the uncomfortable bulge growing between his hips. ‘This is just what we need to scare her off. She is so beautiful.’ His fingers absently fingered her back through her silky nightgown.
where do we go? We are only a few
hundred miles from
Nathan nodded and pulled Kristin tighter into his embrace, noticing the sweet scent of her hair as he did so. “Why don’t you try to get a little rest? I’ll make all of the arrangements.”
mission had gone efficiently and successfully so Nathan and Kristin found
Kristin followed Nathan into the hotel lobby yawning as they went. He quickly checked in then turned back to get Kristin but she wasn’t there. A quick glance around the lobby showed her in deep discussion with the concierge. She nodded when he caught her eye and moved to join him.
“What was that about?”
“Just saying hello.”
“You know the concierge at the
“I’ve stayed here before.”
Nathan wanted to ask when but he didn’t want to see pushy. He’d heard rumors about Kristin’s past but he didn’t place much stock in gossip. He did suspect that her past had been very interesting but they didn’t know each other well enough to inquire yet. ‘I don’t know her well enough to ask a personal question but we’re having a baby.’
Kristin looked around the room with interest while Nathan stowed their luggage.
“One bed?” She asked with an unreadable look on her face.
“It was all they had available on such short notice and I didn’t want to leave you alone. I’ll bunk on the sofa.” Nathan inclined his head toward the small sitting area. “Why don’t you see if you can get up with your doctor friend and then we’ll get some dinner.” He noticed the grimace that crossed Kristin’s face. “You have to eat something. You’ve lost a lot of weight haven’t you? How long have you been getting sick?”
Kristin sighed. “About two weeks. I haven’t kept much down. I have been so tired that eating wasn’t worth the effort. I guess I’ve lost some weight.”
“Why don’t we order room service then have a quiet evening. Tomorrow could be an interesting day.”
Kristin nodded her agreement then moved to the vid-link. Nathan wandered around the room trying not to eavesdrop as Kristin called Dr. Caraway and made an appointment to visit his office the next day. He did notice that Kristin never mentioned pregnancy but just asked him to have her medical records transferred from the states. “Ten tomorrow morning. I think he was very surprised to hear from me.” She said when she broke the link.
Nathan just nodded and moved forward with dinner plans. An hour later they had both showered and eaten and curled up on opposite ends of the sofa to watch on old movie. Half way through the light comedy they had migrated to the middle of the couch, Nathan’s arm thrown lightly around Kristin’s shoulders. By the closing credits Kristin had her head buried in Nathan’s chest as she tried to hide the fact that she was crying over the happy ending.
“Possibly pregnant women get very emotional!” She replied sarcastically when Nathan called her on it.
Nathan laughed and snuggled down into the sofa, enjoying the feeling of Kristin in his arms. It had been so long since he’d held a woman. He tilted his head so that he could stare into her warm brown eyes. “I think we need to talk about this.”
“Why don’t we wait until the appointment tomorrow and see if we have anything to talk about?”
“Nope. I’ve got some things I want to say to you and what we find out tomorrow has nothing to do with them.” Nathan paused and took a deep breath before continuing. “I was married to Carol for twenty-seven years. Not once in that twenty-seven years was I ever unfaithful to her and we were very happy. When she died I gave up on… humanity, I guess. I didn’t want to let anyone else be important to me because I might lose them too. When Bill shanghaied me off my island to visit the seaQuest I had no intention of staying, but I did. Do you know why?”
Kristin smiled. “Of course… that boat is your dream realized. You get the best of both worlds – a little military and a little science. I also suspect that you realized that maybe humanity wasn’t so bad. You missed having someone to care for in your life and you recognized that need in Lucas’ life as well.”
“Hey, you do know me pretty well. Everything you’ve said is true but perhaps there was one more factor. I was headed to look at the main drive propulsion units, minding my own business when this gorgeous red head burst into view and began to flay one of the most arrogant S.O.B’s I’d ever seen in my life. You were fantastic the way you ripped into Ford! Then you admitted that you’d actually read my obscure journal articles and I thought that I’d like to get to know you better. Not like we ended up getting to know each other but as a friend, a colleague. Your grasp of your research is awe-inspiring. We were getting to be friends weren’t we?”
Her nod answered his question.
“You’ve never asked me what happened on that boat, before you came around, I mean. Aren’t you curious?”
Kristin bit her lower lip. “A bit, but I think I have a fair idea of the circumstances. You wouldn’t have taken advantage of the situation so I’m guessing that we were both overcome by nitrogen narcosis and gave into to our… or perhaps Robert Fitzgerald was there as well.” She finished with a quirky smile.
Nathan was pleased to know that she trusted him. “You wouldn’t answer me so I tried to talk to Lillian. She wanted Robert and wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Robert appeared and said that he needed to borrow my body to talk her into releasing yours. He wouldn’t do it without my consent and I remember that he asked me if I cared for you. I said yes. I’ve thought a great deal about that in the last few months and I came to realize that it was true. I did care for you then and I do care for you now, not necessarily only in a friendship sort of way.”
Kristin lowered her gaze to Nathan’s chest but didn’t say anything.
“What happened between us in that cabin was the first time I’d been intimate with a woman other than Carol in almost thirty years. I felt like I was cheating on her. Can you understand that? It was just something I had to work through.”
“I understand.” Kristin whispered so that Nathan had to strain to hear her. “The first time after Alex died… I remember the feeling.”
Nathan wanted to ask who Alex was but he decided that now wasn’t the time. “I’ve been trying to get up the courage to make you talk to me for the last two months. I think that there is a connection between us, Kristin. What I’m saying is that I’d like to get to know you better, if you would like that too. Baby or no baby, I would like to have you in my life.”
Kristin pressed the palm of her hand into her forehead. “I have made so many awful choices in my life, Nathan. It isn’t that simple for me. I feel a connection too, but… I’m scared. I admit it. What if there is a baby and we don’t work out?” Kristin rolled her eyes at what she considered to be Nathan’s flight of fancy.
“What if there is a baby and we do work out? What if there isn’t a baby and we work out? What if there is a baby and we don’t even try? Just think about it. All I’m saying is let’s take things slow and get to know each other, see what happens.”
“Slow…” Kristin’s gaze came back up. “I think that I could handle slow.” She gave him a tentative smile and Nathan’s heart leapt within his chest. ‘God, she is so beautiful.’
Nathan pondered his next move. He didn’t think that Kristin was ready to start talking about her life and he had said as much as he felt comfortable about his. He didn’t want Kristin to think that he was buried in the past. He spied a small stereo system in the corner and slipped out from beneath Kristin. “Don’t move.” He told her before he crossed to the corner and turned on the stereo, filling the room with soft music then hit the dimmer switch, turning the lights down low.
Nathan moved back to the sofa and resumed his position on the sofa, his arms lightly holding Kristin’s shoulders, her arms resting around his waist. “So, you wanna neck?”
Nathan wasn’t sure how Kristin would take his suggestion but he didn’t expect her to giggle. “I haven’t necked since I was eighteen. I rather enjoyed it as I recall.”
Nathan shrugged his shoulders and moved his face in close until he could feel her warm breath on her cheek. “I haven’t asked a girl to neck since I was eighteen but we kind of missed out on some of the early stuff and I thought we might start over, slow remember?” Nathan felt rather than heard Kristin’s gasp as he brushed his lips lightly over hers.
The music washed over them, wrapping them in its soft tones as they made out on the sofa. They both enjoyed the feel of each other’s mouth, the touch of hands stroking hair. Nathan had one hand buried in Kristin’s thick silky curls and the other caressing her waist when he pulled his mouth from hers.
“So, is necking as good as you remembered?”
“Better!” The hand that was wrapped in Nathan’s hair pushed his head back towards hers. The music became more sensual and they subconsciously reacted, Nathan’s tongue running along Kristin’s lower lip requesting admission and her lips parting to receive him.
Nathan gently probed the inside of Kristin’s mouth with his tongue, learning her feel and taste as she did the same with his. Their tongues danced lightly around each other, pausing only occasionally to twist together intensely.
Nathan’s head fell back as Kristin broke the kiss to trail her mouth down his throat. He moaned when she hit a particularly sensitive spot and she latched on, sucking and laving it with her tongue until Nathan was more hot and bothered than he had intended to get. He pulled back slightly to break her hold and smiled at the desire he saw in her eyes.
Nathan captured her lips once more in a tongue-tangling kiss; the most passionate they’d shared. Both were breathing hard when they pulled apart. Nathan rested his forehead against Kristin’s as they held each other close.
“As much as I would love to continue this, I think that the slow part of our arrangement necessitates us stopping before we get too carried away.”
Kristin’s eyes showed regret but she nodded in agreement. “I think you are right. I’m feeling a little tired anyway. Would you mind if we went to bed? To sleep I mean?” She clarified quickly at the amused look in Nathan’s eyes.
“You take the bathroom first. I’ll put the dinner dishes outside and grab the stuff for the sofa.”
Kristin emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later to find Nathan laying a packet of saltine crackers on the bedside table. “Just in case,” he winked at her and disappeared into the bathroom.
Kristin had thrown her robe over the end of the bed and all but disappeared under the covers by the time Nathan reappeared. Nathan fleetingly wondered if she was wearing the same silky white nightgown she’d had on this morning but quickly quelled that thought when he felt a familiar pull in his groin.
“I left the bathroom light on and the door cracked, just in case you have to move quickly.” Nathan said as he bent over the bed and brushed a light kiss over her welcoming mouth. “Just call my name if you need me.”
“Good night, Nathan… thank you.”
“Nothing to thank me for, Babe.” Nathan hit the light switch, plunging the room into darkness.
Kristin awoke in darkness, the only visible light seeping out from beneath the bathroom door. Once her eyes adjusted she saw the shadow by the sofa. “Nathan?”
“I’m sorry I woke you up. Go back to sleep.”
“I rolled over in my sleep and slipped off the leather sofa. That isn’t funny!” He continued at Kristin’s giggle.
Nathan climbed back onto the sofa and tried to settle down but he was restless and just as he was about to get to sleep he once again slid off the sofa.
“Did I wake you up again?”
“I haven’t been to sleep. I’ve been listening to you toss and turn. Come get in the bed. There’s plenty of room in here and I won’t sleep well knowing that you are uncomfortable.”
Nathan gingerly felt his way across the dark room. “Are you sure?”
“We’re adults, Nathan. I think we can handle sharing the same bed without anything happening.” Kristin flipped the covers down on the opposite side of the king size bed and Nathan climbed in.
The fly continued to brush Nathan’s nose, just enough to irritate him. He swatted his hand across his face to shoo it away but within minutes it was back tickling him again. He tried to roll away from the irritation but found that one side of his body was trapped under dead weight. Nathan cracked one eyelid and stared at his nose only to find that what he had thought was a fly was an auburn curl and the dead weight trapping his body was Kristin. A quick glance showed that sometimes in the night they had both migrated toward the center of the bed and wrapped themselves around each other.
Nathan grimaced uncomfortably as he realized that his regular morning erection was reacting to the close contact with the warm female body lying next to it. A close check showed that Kristin was still sleeping deeply so Nathan settled back into the pillows and watched her face as sunlight began to flood the room. Nathan had memorized her facial features by the time the sunlight reached the bed. He started to move away from her when she began to stretch in her sleep but changed his mind. He wasn’t ashamed of the fact that he was attracted to her and she obviously felt the same way about him. After all they’d met halfway hadn’t they?
Kristin’s eyelids fluttered several times before they managed to stay open. Nathan felt her entire body tense when she realized where she was so he brushed a soft kiss across the top of her head.
“Good morning. How are you feeling?”
Kristin raised her head to stare at him. “Uhm… okay at the moment, no nausea. Maybe it was a false alarm.”
Nathan just smiled. “You want to shower first or do you want me to go. I can leave the door unlocked in case you need to… you know.”
Kristin reached carefully to the side of the bed, her hand returning with several crackers. “Let me go first in case I do get sick. I might need a little longer to get ready.” She cuddled back into Nathan’s chest and began to nibble on a cracker until his chest hair was full of crumbs.
“Hey, I know the old song says you can eat crackers in my bed anytime but I didn’t say that!”
Kristin laughed at Nathan as she sat up cautiously. After ascertaining that her stomach seemed stable she moved to get out of the bed but before she made it to the edge she turned back with a wicked gleam in her eye. Nathan eyed her warily, not knowing what to expect as she leaned towards him. At the last possible moment she altered her course from his lips to his chest, her tongue lapping over one of his nipples as it picked up a large cracker crumb. At the same moment her fingers brushed lightly over the erection he’d wondered if she hadn’t noticed. He groaned as his shaft jumped in response. Kristin’s fingers trailed back up Nathan’s body to cup his face as she slowly chewed the small crumb. Nathan couldn’t take his eyes off her lips. He was ready when her face bent to his again and their mouths met in a passionate kiss.
“I don’t think I said ‘Good morning’.” Kristin said then straightened and moved off the bed to the bathroom leaving a smiling Nathan stretched out on the bed.
Kristin’s hand fingered her neck as she and Nathan sat in Edmund Caraway’s office waiting for his appearance. Nathan had come to recognize the gesture as a sign of nervousness in his otherwise calm and commanding CMO. This was the first time he had seen it in a personal setting. He reached across the divide between their two chairs, holding his hand out to her. She stared at it for a moment before placing her hand into his grasp. Nathan gave her a smile and a wink and was glad to see a small grin appear at the corners of her mouth.
They were still holding hands when a small gray headed man came bustling through the doorway. “Kristin! It’s so good to see you. How long has it been? Six years? Seven?”
“Eight at least. It’s good to see you, Edmund. This is Nathan Bridger, my… friend.”
“Glad to meet you, Dr. Caraway.” Nathan held out his hand to the man. “Kristin speaks very highly of you.”
Caraway returned the handshake. “So what brings you here to visit me? The last I heard you were floating around on some old submarine out in the ocean blue.”
Caraway moved to sit behind his desk and Nathan and Kristin returned to their seats. “Did you get my medical records from the States?”
“I have them right here. I looked over them just a little while ago.”
“Then you saw how badly the uterus was damaged. There is no way that conception would be possible?”
“No, this scan shows way too much damage. But Kristin…”
Kristin had turned to look at Nathan and Caraway’s voice trailed off as she spoke. “See, Nathan? I’m sorry but I can’t be pregnant.”
“Wait a minute. Why would you think that you’re pregnant?” Caraway asked.
“I don’t!” Kristin stated emphatically as Nathan also began to speak.
“Several fainting spells,” Nathan felt himself falter momentarily under the famous Westphalen death glare but pressed on. “Morning sickness, no period in two months and a positive pregnancy test to boot. What does that sound like to you, Doctor?”
“Assuming that you throw in a little good old-fashioned sex during the appropriate time frame I believe your diagnosis is correct, Captain. It sounds like a baby in the making.”
Kristin was getting irritated. “I don’t care what it sounds like, Edmund. You just told me that I couldn’t get pregnant.”
“No, Kristin, I did not.” Kristin slipped back into her chair with a look of disbelief on her face as Caraway pulled some papers from a file on his desk and handed them to her. “I said the uterus in this scan couldn’t carry a child but, at the risk of getting myself beat up by Mr. Bridger here, I am intimately acquainted with your uterus and that isn’t it.”
Kristin’s mouth fell open. “Those are my medical records?”
“They are the records that were sent to me when I requested yours but if their diagnosis was based on this scan then it is wrong. The woman this scan belongs to has a pelvic base three inches wider than yours. Her uterus is also tipped and yours is not. The miscarriage couldn’t have caused that.”
Nathan saw Kristin bite her lip at this. He was coming to realize just how deeply losing her baby all those years ago had affected her. “It’s been fifteen years, Edmund. I obviously haven’t been taking precautions so why haven’t I conceived before now if it’s possible?”
“Did you actually go back and sleep with the cheating son of a bitch after you lost the baby? I didn’t think so. You were only married to the next bastard for four months before he went after your daughter. Perhaps you and Mr. Bridger have been together long enough to…” Caraway’s voice trailed off as he saw Nathan shake his head discreetly and hold up a single finger. “Apparently the two of you are just extremely compatible. Look, why don’t we do some tests and then I will examine you. That will answer all your questions. Let me set things up and I’ll be right back.”
Nathan moved to Kristin’s side once the door closed behind Caraway but she wouldn’t look at him. “Are you okay?”
Kristin’s head began to move side to side in a tight shake. “No, I am not okay. One of the major premises on which I have based the last fifteen years of my life may be about to be ripped away. To top that off my doctor and friend has just told you about the two most dismal choices I ever made in my life. So no, at the moment I am most definitely not okay.”
“Do you… uhm… want to talk about…”
“No, I do not! At least not now. Oh God, Nathan. What if there really is a baby?” The tone of Kristin’s voice scared Nathan and he knelt by her chair and forced her to look at him. What he saw in her face stunned him. He saw hope. Kristin’s face was infused with hope that she was desperately trying to keep under control. Nathan breathed a sigh of relief. He had been so afraid that she would be terribly upset if the pregnancy was proven fact.
Edmund Caraway stuck his head back in the door. “Ready to go?”
Kristin stood and gave a tentative smile. “No time like the present. Nathan, do you want to come or would you like to wait here?”
“Are you sure that you want me there? I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”
Kristin nodded her consent and they left the office hand in hand.
Nathan’s face broke into a huge grin at Edmund’s announcement but Kristin just nodded. “So now we need to do genetic testing?”
“It isn’t absolutely necessary but yes, I would recommend it.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
Caraway started to speak but Kristin interrupted him. “Nothing is necessarily wrong, Nathan. It’s just a precaution. I’m not exactly a teenager any more and as a woman gets older the chances of… problems increase.”
“I’ll put a rush on the tests so we should have preliminary results by tomorrow.” Caraway smiled. “How about we take a look at the little one?”
Kristin had been silent through most of the late lunch they shared at a small café and Nathan was getting worried. She stared out of the window at the busy street as she sipped her tea, reluctant to meet his gaze.
Nathan knew that he was reticent by nature and he was beginning to realize that Kristin was as well, at least about personal items. He debated leaving her alone for awhile to get her thoughts together but finally decided against that course of action. If they were going to have a baby together they had better learn to talk to each other.
“I’m not going to go away. We are in this together so you want to talk about it? Tell me how you feel, Kristin.”
Nathan thought she was going to ignore him but eventually she spoke. “I don’t know how I feel. I never dreamed I’d be in this position again. I wanted another child for so long and after the miscarriage I had to lock that dream away. A baby will certainly put a damper on my career…”
“It doesn’t have to. Lots of women have babies and careers. I’ll be there too.”
“You’ll be on the seaQuest.”
“So will you.”
“Be serious, Nathan. They aren’t going to let me stay on after they find out that I’m pregnant, and that you are the father.”
“If you go, I go. I spent the majority of my son’s life at sea. I missed every important event, even his birth. I am not going to make that mistake again. If the UEO wants me on that boat then you and the little one are part of the deal. If they don’t accept that we’ll go somewhere else, to my island maybe, but we’ll find someplace where we can do our research and raise our child.”
Tears appeared at the corners of Kristin’s eyes. “God, you must hate me!” She pushed back from the table and ran through the door before Nathan could stop her. Nathan grabbed the waiter and thrust several bills into his hand before taking off after Kristin.
A light rain had begun to fall and by the time Nathan caught up with Kristin they were both soaked to the skin. He grabbed her shoulders and whirled her to face him, causing curious looks from several passersby. “Why did you say that? How could you even think that?”
“You may be forced to give up your dream because of what happened. I should have known those results were wrong. I should have been protected.”
“I’m not being forced to do anything I don’t want to do. I am making a choice, Kristin, my choice. I choose to be with you and the child. As for the other, that is just insane. I was there too, remember. I could argue that I should have provided protection. The fact of the matter is that we weren’t. Fate has decided that we are going to have a baby. So our life takes an unexpected turn. Lucas once made a statement that really made me think. He reminded me that things change, life changes. I’m happy; no I’m ecstatic about being a father again. I don’t hate you, Kristin. I love you.”
Nathan hadn’t intended to say those words, hadn’t even thought about it until that moment, but he realized that the words felt right. What he felt for Kristin was love, different than what he had felt for Carol, but just as powerful and perhaps even more passionate. Nathan stared deep into her sable eyes and said it again. “I love you, Kristin.”
“I love you, Nathan.”
Their lips met, as they stood there in the rain, kissing passionately, oblivious to the amused grins of the people swirling around them.
Kristin was shivering by the time that Nathan got her into the hotel room. She tried to suppress a small sneeze but Nathan heard it.
“Come on, get those wet clothes off. I’m going to start the shower.”
Kristin’s fingers were stiff with cold and she had barely managed to unbutton her blouse by the time Nathan returned. “I’ll be just another minute.”
Nathan took her hands in his and felt the cold. He’d removed his wet shirt along with his shoes and socks while he was in the bathroom and now he went to work on Kristin’s. She protested once but he ignored it and within minutes they were both in the shower, the warm water caressing their cold bodies.
Nathan rubbed her arms and back vigorously and was pleased to see the pink flush indicating that blood was returning to her cold limbs. He continued the gentle massage until her entire body glowed. His own body was also quite warm but not because of the water.
Kristin turned to face Nathan, wrapping her arms around his neck. Nathan sighed at the feel of her pert nipples drilling into his chest. He slid his hands down the curve of her back to cup her bottom, pulling her into contact with his firm member. Kristin’s gaze fell to the dark pink spot on Nathan’s neck that she had discovered the previous evening. Her lips attacked it with a vengeance causing Nathan to moan. He thrust his hips against her, his swollen erection sliding over the wet skin of her stomach increasing his moaning.
Nathan felt Kristin’s knee as it slid sensuously up his leg. Her eyes opened wide with surprise when Nathan shifted them around and pressed her against the wall of the shower. His hands held her shoulders firmly as they kissed with growing desire. Kristin whimpered when Nathan pulled away from her but her whimpers turned to sighs as his mouth grazed the swell of her breast and continued on to capture the rosy nipple.
Kristin’s breath grew uneven as Nathan laved and sucked the tender peak, his caressing tongue punctuated by gentle nips with his teeth. As Nathan was moving from one breast to the other he glanced up and saw Kristin staring down at him, need evident in her eyes. As he worked the second nipple with his mouth he reached down and grasped his erection, flexing it away from his body. Kristin’s body, freed from his strong grip on one side, thrust forward involuntarily and Nathan felt his penis slid between her legs and along her wet folds.
Nathan’s hips surged forward seeking her entrance. ‘Not like this!’ He pushed himself away from Kristin, his body protesting. He yelped as his side hit the faucet sticking out of the shower wall. He and Kristin both screamed as the warm water quickly became icy cold, cooling off their bodies and their ardor.
Nathan cursed as he turned off the water and reached for a towel. After draping it around his hips he grabbed another one and began to dry Kristin. When she tried to take the towel away from him he stopped her with a gentle kiss. Once Nathan was done he grabbed Kristin’s nightgown from the back of the door and slipped it over her head. Nathan scooped her into his arms and carried her into the main room. He tucked her into the bed before sitting down beside her, the romantic moment broken.
“We’ve had an eventful morning, haven’t we? I know that you are tired. Why don’t you take a nap while I run an errand or two?”
“Where are you going?” Kristin finally spoke.
Nathan winked at her. “You shouldn’t ask questions. I thought that if you felt like it tonight we could have a special dinner, a celebration, if you feel up to it. What would you like to do? Dining and dancing? Take in a show? What about a concert?”
Nathan flashed her his best little boy grin. “Okay, but remember you said that.”
Kristin smiled sleepily as she watched Nathan pull on his clothes. Before he was completely dressed she was asleep.
The ringing of the telephone pulled Kristin from her sleep. She fumbled for the phone as she opened her eyes and realized that the sun had gone down. The only light in the room came from a small lamp beside the sofa.
“Hello?” She whispered, shaking her head to clear the confusion.
“You look beautiful sleeping.”
“Nathan! Where are you? Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”
“You needed your rest. I would have let you sleep longer but we will be late. I thought you might like some privacy. When you are ready meet me downstairs in the bar.”
“Where are we going? I didn’t really bring anything to wear out. I didn’t think we’d be here that long.”
“Check the closet. I hope I got the size right. I put a cup of tea and some crackers by the bed in case Junior is a little queasy. I’ll see you down here in a little while, okay?”
Nathan sat at the bar nursing his pint of bitter as he waited for Kristin, his mind a blur of activity. His life had certainly changed in the last two days but he was excited about those changes. Nathan knew that he wouldn’t have faced his budding feelings for Kristin so soon if the circumstances had been different but he was grateful for what had happened. He’d been made to realize just how much the fiery redheaded doctor meant to him and he was getting a second chance at a family in the bargain.
A low whistle from the man sitting next to Nathan pulled him back to the present.
“Wouldn’t you love to get to know her better?” The man muttered.
Nathan turned to look, his face breaking into a smile at the vision before him. “I intend to, my friend. I intend to.”
Nathan’s gaze took in every inch of Kristin as he moved to greet her. The simple black cocktail dress that the sales assistant had helped him pick out became so much more on Kristin’s shapely body. The silk and lace hugged her curves like a glove while the low neckline accented her generous bosom. Below the knee length hem sheer black stockings encased her long legs and she wore high-heeled black pumps on her feet.
“You look gorgeous!” Nathan told her as he kissed her cheek.
Kristin smiled her appreciation, her face alight at the complement. “Someone did a wonderful job picking out my ensemble.”
Nathan shrugged. “I had a little help. I’m glad you didn’t wake up and realize I’d stolen your shoe to get the right size. You really look fantastic!”
“You look very nice yourself.” Kristin ran a hand over the lapel of Nathan’s dark suit. “Very nice.”
“I haven’t been in one of these things in years. I’m amazed I remembered how to tie the tie.” Nathan liked the look in Kristin’s eyes as she touched the knot of his tie, straightening it slightly. The gesture was oddly intimate and their eyes sparked as they looked at each other.
“Would you like a drink before we go?”
Kristin debated before shaking her head. “I’d better not. I’ll just have a club soda if you want one. I’ll have wine later and too much alcohol isn’t good for…” her hand strayed to her abdomen. “I still can’t believe that I’m saying this, the baby. Will you tell me now what we are doing this evening?”
placed a hand beneath her elbow and led her toward the hotel lobby as he
spoke. “The concierge told me that the
evening dinner cruise on the
Kristin wrinkled her nose at him but tempered it with a smile. “Very thoughtful of you. So what did you think of next?”
“I thought about an evening of dancing. There is something very appealing about holding you in my arms on a dance floor. But even slow dancing can be strenuous and I’ve noticed that you have been very tired lately. So I discarded that idea.”
“I have been tired. That is fairly common in the early months… the body readjusting to the hormone levels and the diversion of nutrients. It should get better very soon. Until then I’ll just rest as much as I can.”
intend to make sure that you do, Doctor.
Anyway, I thought about a show but I realized that I didn’t want to be
stuck in a dark theater and not be able to talk to you. I suspect necking would be frowned upon at
“It’s a little cool for an outdoor concert. Did the ground dry after the rain?”
Nathan gestured to the limousine waiting at the front door. He helped Kristin in and named the restaurant for the driver before settling down beside her. His foot nudged a box and basket sitting in the floor. “The ground has dried out but we have everything we could need, a plastic sheet and a blanket for sitting on, and several large blankets for wrapping up in. I can’t think of a better way to spend the evening than wrapped in a blanket with you. The public place will ensure that we don’t get too carried away again…”
“You’ve obviously never been to one of these concerts. Would it be so awful if we did get carried away, Nathan? Or perhaps you don’t find the thought of making love with a pregnant woman appealing. Some men don’t.”
Nathan had a good idea that she was referring to one of her ex-husbands. “I’m not some men. You are beautiful, Kristin. You will be beautiful tomorrow, next week, next month, in six months time. I can’t wait to see you heavy with our child.”
Nathan’s free hand slipped to cover Kristin’s stomach while the one resting around her shoulder moved to cup her breast. He leaned over and placed a loving kiss on her lips. “We’ll know when it’s right for us, Kristin. I have a feeling that it won’t be long.”
The limousine drove through the almost deserted streets, wending its way back to the hotel. Nathan rested comfortably in the back seat, his arm around Kristin’s shoulder as she relaxed her head against his chest. They’d had an enjoyable dinner, although Nathan noticed that Kristin ate very little of hers. A small dance floor had allowed Nathan to hold her in his arms while they swayed to romantic love songs. After dinner they’d gone to the concert in the park. Nathan found a quiet place in a dark spot to spread their blankets and they had cuddled together, body heat and a bottle of wine keeping them warm in the cool evening air. Kristin had helped Nathan discover that darkness could be a very effective shield, even in a public place. They had both pulled back before things had gone too far, but Nathan had been delighted to realize that he’d forgotten to buy Kristin a bra that could be worn with the dress’ low neckline.
The limousine slid to a stop in front of the hotel and Nathan gave Kristin a gentle shake. She turned her face to smile up into his.
“I thought you were dozing.”
“No, just resting, reflecting on a wonderful evening. It’s been a very long time since… well, since anyone went out of their way to plan something special for me. It was lovely.”
The driver opened the door before Nathan could kiss her. He climbed out of the car and tipped the man before holding out his hand for Kristin. She still wore a bemused smile and Nathan realized that she was slightly tipsy, having had a couple of glasses of wine on a nearly empty stomach. “Can you walk or should I carry you?”
can’t just carry me across the lobby of the
Nathan laughed and wrapped his arm around her waist, guiding her toward the elevator. Halfway there, the hotel concierge stopped them. “Is everything all right, my…”
“Oh dear. Is it that obvious?” Kristin whispered and looked around. “I’m fine, Dennis.”
The man gave Nathan a hard stare before reluctantly returning to his post. “Why do I feel like he’s going to come back and beat me up if you can’t make it to the elevator?” Nathan asked and Kristin began to giggle.
Luckily they only had to wait a moment for the elevator doors to slide open. The attendant fought to keep a grin off his face at the sight of Kristin hanging onto Nathan to keep upright. Once they’d gained the relatively private recesses of the elevator Nathan gave up and swung Kristin into his arms. She continued to giggle as she buried her face in his neck. Nathan heard the snicker of the elevator operator and looked up just in time to see a familiar figure. Admiral William Noyce stood about twenty feet outside of the elevator, his profile clearly visible to Nathan.
“Close the damn door!” Nathan hissed. The doors began to slide shut as Nathan swung toward the side in an effort to hide his face. He was too late. Noyce caught sight of him and called his name in disbelief just as the doors closed.
Nathan awoke with a start, feeling lost. A quick search revealed why, the bed next to him was empty. He’d quickly gotten used to finding Kristin next to him and he missed her. As his eyes adjusted he noticed the dim light from the small television in the sitting area. He climbed out of bed and made his way over to find Kristin lying on the couch. Her pale face told him that she’d been sick.
“Why don’t you come back to bed?”
Kristin shook her head slightly, the small movement bringing a green tinge to her face. “Maybe in a little while. I can’t get back to sleep right now. Don’t ever let me drink wine again.”
Nathan wrinkled his nose at that thought. “So Junior doesn’t like alcohol. That can only be a good thing in the long run. Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in the bed?”
“The television keeps my mind off of my stomach.” Nathan noticed that she had a pillow clenched over her abdomen.
“Think you could stand some company?”
Nathan grabbed the pillows off the bed and slid behind Kristin so that they were spooned together staring at the television. “So what’s going on?”
“The movie is one of those early 70’s horror films, a period piece, very campy but quite good so far. It’s only been on a few minutes but basically the woman just arrived at her fiancee’s home for their wedding. The guests are leaving just now. I’m sure the house will be haunted. Some strange things have already happened.”
“Hey, that woman kind of looks like you!”
Kristin eyed the screen critically. “Do you really think so? I’m not that pretty.”
Nathan popped his head over her shoulder. “You’re prettier.” He told her as he kissed her. “I’d love to see you in that dress, too.” He added as he ogled the actress in the revealing seventeenth century gown.
They lay together and watched the movie, both jumping at the sudden and unexplained attack on the bride on her wedding night and her subsequent search to find out what had happened.
“Kind of like us,” Kristin remarked. “Was it ghostly possession or nitrogen narcosis?”
The movie continued on, punctuated by their comments speculating on the role of an ominous woodsman and Nathan’s ongoing dialogue about the presence of “Thing from the Addams family in his first starring role” and his incessant humming of that television series’ theme song while snapping his fingers every time the disembodied hand crawled across the screen.
became much quieter after the discovery of the young wife’s pregnancy and the
appearance of the doctor from
Kristin didn’t protest and within a few minutes he had her back in bed, wrapped in his arms. “It was just a movie, Kristin.” He whispered to her. She didn’t answer but snuggled deeper into his embrace.
Kristin woke to an empty bed and an empty room. A red rose and a note from Nathan lay on the pillow beside her. He’d gone out to make some calls so he wouldn’t disturb her, the note said. He needed to arrange more time away from seaQuest and take care of a few personal things. He’d left her tea and crackers by the bed but they didn’t help and she was once again violently ill.
When she was feeling better she managed to get dressed and wandered around the hotel room until she couldn’t stand it anymore. Dr. Caraway had said he would call the minute he got any results back but Kristin knew that it would be several hours. A phone call from Nathan to check on her broke the monotony but only for a few moments. Finally Kristin decided that she had to get out of the room for a while or go crazy so she scribbled Nathan a note and went downstairs.
The small lounge looking out over a lovely courtyard was almost full but Kristin found an empty table next to the window and ordered tea and toast. She was enjoying the sunlight on her face when a voice cut through her thoughts.
“Would you mind terribly if I sat here with you? There are no other empty tables.”
Kristin opened her eyes to find a pretty woman about her own age standing by the table. She gestured at the table. “Please join me. I’d be grateful for the company.” ‘Anything to take my mind off that damned movie.’ “You’re American?”
“Yes. My husband is here on business and I came along for the ride. He’s in a meeting right now but he is supposed to meet me here in about an hour. My name is Janet, by the way.”
So how do you like
The two women made friendly chitchat until the waiter came to take Janet’s order and continued until their food arrived. Janet grimaced at the dry toast on Kristin’s plate. “That must be how you keep your wonderful figure.” She laughed as she bit into a decadent looking pastry.
“You don’t know how much I’d love to have what you’re having but…” Kristin paused and gripped the table as her stomach did a major flip. Janet immediately noticed that she had gone pale.
“Are you all right? Do I need to call someone?”
Kristin shook her head slightly as she struggled to breathe in and out deeply. Within a few moments the nausea began to wane. Kristin tentatively sipped her tea and was relieved that it went down with out incident.
“I’m fine really. Just a passing bout of morning sickness.” Janet’s eyebrows raised in question as her gaze dropped towards Kristin’s abdomen.
“Two months. We just found out yesterday.”
“Congratulations. Well, I mean, if you’re happy… I don’t know what I mean. Please ignore my bad manners.”
Kristin laughed. “Thank you. I don’t think your manners are bad at all. It was quite a shock for us as well.”
“You weren’t trying to get pregnant?”
“Oh no. Until I found out I was carrying this baby I was under the mistaken impression that I couldn’t get pregnant.”
“Oh dear. Is your husband happy about it?”
“He’s ecstatic about the baby, but he isn’t my husband. He does want to be involved in the baby’s life though… and he is a wonderful man.”
“So perhaps the two of you will be getting married, hmmm?”
Kristin didn’t really know how to respond. She hadn’t even considered that. “I don’t know. I don’t have a very good track record. I swore after the third marriage that I’d never do it again… I’m sorry. I don’t mean to just pour all of this out on you but you are so easy to talk to.”
Janet placed a friendly hand over Kristin’s. “Don’t be sorry. It sounds like you just needed an unbiased ear to listen.”
They both looked up at the approach of the waiter. “I’m sorry to interrupt, my lady, but the desk just delivered this message. They said you were waiting for it. They also said to tell you that the Captain just returned and is on his way upstairs.”
A quick glance told Kristin that the caller had been Edmund Caraway. She thanked the waiter then turned to Janet. “I’m sorry but I have to go.”
Janet gestured at the note. “Is everything okay?”
“I hope so. I have to call my doctor for the results of my genetic testing.”
Janet impulsively stood up and embraced Kristin. “I’m sure that everything will be fine. You go, but if you need to talk again we will be here for several days. I’m in room five ten.”
“Thank you, Janet. I really appreciate that.”
Nathan had called downstairs in search of Kristin so he was waiting by the door when she arrived. She barely acknowledged him as she hurried to the phone but when she picked it up she found she couldn’t dial. Nathan pried the note from her hand and pulled the phone away from her. He dialed the number and turned the speakerphone on before he wrapped his arms around her in support.
Edmund Caraway was on the phone in seconds spouting off medical jargon that Nathan didn’t understand but he knew that Kristin did. He felt her relax slightly with each new result so he knew that they were good. When Edmund paused, Nathan caught her gaze. Kristin could read the question in his eyes and she smiled and nodded to confirm that everything was okay. But then Nathan felt her stiffen as she began to ask Caraway about one further test. Nathan understood the answer to this question – inconclusive. Caraway tried to reassure Kristin that this wasn’t a bad result but more probably a defect in the machine. He asked her to return to the office and let them take another sample for outside testing. Kristin agreed calmly but Nathan could tell that she was very upset. Once they’d hung up the phone he led her to the sofa and knelt in front of her.
“Kristin, you are a doctor so you know that what Caraway was saying was true. Every other result was perfect. We can’t let ourselves get discouraged yet.”
“I know that. It’s just…” Kristin buried her face in her hands. “I just feel like the walls are closing in on me. I can’t get that damned movie out of my mind. I know that this baby is ours physically, genetically, but who made it? Was it us or was it the ghosts?”
“I thought you didn’t believe the ghosts. It was nitrogen narcosis you said.”
“Damn it, Nathan! I’m serious. It had to be the nitrogen levels but…
“I don’t give a damn what it was. We made this baby. Kristin, I was me when I climaxed, not possessed by a ghost or high on nitrogen. I might have been able to stop but I didn’t want to. Being inside you felt so fantastic. Besides, I don’t think it was the first time, I think it was the second. I have never come like that before and I think that’s when we made our baby.”
Kristin grinned slightly at the memory. “I think so too.” She answered, a touch of color rising into her cheeks as she remembered her own powerful orgasm.
“So, let’s go to Caraway’s office and get the sample taken care of then let’s get out of here.”
“We are not going to sit around this hotel room for the next twenty-four hours waiting for the phone to ring. We’ll leave the city; spend the night somewhere in the country. What do you say?”
Kristin looked thoughtful. “How would you like to see where I was born?”
Nathan was intrigued. Kristin was finally going to allow him a glimpse into her past. The thought of getting out of the city had cheered her up immensely and she taken over the preparations. Her first phone call was to her daughter.
its Mummy. Where are you? Heathrow? What are you…? Bloody hell, Cynthia! Why in God’s name would you go on vacation to
the Amazon Confederation? It’s dangerous
down there. Yes, I realize that you are
an adult… Yes… I just… I’m in
Kristin’s disappointment was obvious. “I’d hoped you might get to meet Cynthia. I think you would like each other. She’s a bit headstrong but…”
“Wonder who she got that from? I’ll meet her next time. We’ve got to tell her she’s gonna be a big sister. I only wish…”
As his voice trailed off Kristin knew that Nathan was thinking about his son, Robert. She placed a comforting hand over his. “Why don’t you get our things together and I’ll arrange for transport.”
Nathan motioned for Kristin to exit the lift first and stood admiring the view as she sauntered out ahead of him. She was halfway across the lobby before she realized that he wasn’t beside her but standing just outside of the lift door, his eyes trained on her ass. She cleared her throat loudly and his gaze popped back to her face, an innocent grin plastered on his lips.
Kristin laughed in spite of herself. She was disconcerted over the events of the last few days but she also knew that it had been a very long time since she had laughed this much. In spite of all the turmoil Nathan had gone out of his way to make things easier for her. ‘He makes me happy. I can’t remember the last time being with someone, a man, really made me happy!’ She smiled when he caught up with her and wrapped his arm casually around her waist.
“Go check out while I check on the car.”
Kristin gave him a saucy wink then took off toward the front door, her hips wiggling suggestively because she knew Nathan was watching.
“Might I ask what you are doing here?”
Nathan cringed as the voice of Admiral William Noyce sounded in his ear. ‘Thank God Kristin had cleared the doors.’
memory serves me correctly the seaQuest is testing currents off the coast of
“I… uhm… I contacted your office but you weren’t available so I had to arrange emergency leave with the duty officer. I had some… personal business to attend to.”
Noyce nodded a knowing grin on his face. “I saw your personal business last night, at least from the back. She looked very beautiful.” He clapped a hand on Nathan’s shoulder. “I know that you’ve been alone for a long time but don’t make a habit of running out on the boat. Is the lady someone special? I didn’t realize that you’d… well, started dating since Carol…”
Nathan let Bill stew in his own embarrassment a few moments before bailing him out. “We haven’t really known each other that long but, yes, she is a very special lady.”
Nathan quickly signed the bill while Bill tried to pry more information from him, then began to inch steadily toward the exit, pausing only briefly to greet Janet when she joined them. Nathan hoped they would leave him at the door but instead they followed him out of the hotel. Nathan glanced sharply both ways, not knowing what type of vehicle Kristin had arranged for them to leave in. He hoped that she recognized Noyce. Revealing their relationship and their impending parenthood at this point might not go over very well. Besides Nathan wanted to enjoy some private time with her before everyone found out about them. Nathan didn’t delude himself that this was going to be easy. He fully expected Admiral Noyce to have a fit even if friend Bill might be just a little bit happy for him.
Nathan lost Bill’s words in the sounds of a revving engine as a vintage white Mustang convertible, top down, flew past the front of the hotel. It screeched to a halt about ten feet beyond Nathan and the driver, a woman in sunglasses and a baseball cap, turned back to flash Nathan a come hither grin.
Nathan was stunned when he realized that Kristin sat behind the wheel of the American car. “I think that’s my ride.” Before Bill and Janet could react Nathan had moved to the car, tossed the two bags he carried into the back and jumped into the passenger seat.
“But… Nathan!” Bill yelled as the car pealed into traffic, Nathan turning to give them a slight wave as they disappeared from view.”
“I can’t believe he didn’t introduce us!” Bill sputtered to his wife who stood beside him with a knowing look on her face.
“I can’t believe that you thought he would.” Janet soothed her husband’s ruffled feathers as she led him back into the hotel.
was still laughing half an hour later as they left
in God’s name did you get an American Mustang in
“It’s mine. My first husband bought it for me as a wedding gift.”
“Alex?” Nathan asked quietly and Kristin nodded.
keep it garaged in
“Doesn’t your daughter drive it?”
“Let Cynthia touch my car? Are you mad?” Kristin laughed at the thought. “We’ve got a couple of hours drive ahead of us depending on traffic so if you need to stop tell me now.”
“How about you tell me where we are going?”
“Don’t trust me, Captain?” Kristin laughed. “Several years ago I bought a small cottage in the village where I grew up, on the southwest coast. Cynthia stays there on weekends and school holidays. That way she can visit her grandparents but still have her privacy.”
“So I’m going to get to meet the parents? Should I be worried?”
“No. Mummy and Daddy go on vacation to the
“Until they find out I knocked you up.”
Kristin’s face was solemn but Nathan could tell by the shaking of her shoulders that she was struggling not to laugh. Finally she could stand it no longer. “I hadn’t thought about it in quite that way but that is exactly what happened. You knocked me up, you cad!”
Nathan leaned over and planted a kiss on her lips. “Thanks for not blowing the whistle with Noyce. I’m glad we can have some time alone together before we have to face the inquisition.”
Kristin bit her lip. “Did you know he was there?”
“I saw him last night as we were getting on the elevator and he saw us… well he saw me carrying you but your face wasn’t visible.”
“It’s possible that he might know about this by the time we return. When I went down for tea this morning a lovely American lady sat down with me and we struck up a conversation. She was very nice and in the course of the conversation I told her about the pregnancy. She was the woman standing with you and the Admiral so I am assuming she was Mrs. Noyce? If she recognized me I’m sure that she’ll tell him.”
Nathan thought a moment. “I hope she did recognize you. At least he’ll have a chance to get over it before he finds me. But that isn’t important. Today is about me and you. Let’s get on the road, okay?”
Kristin revved the engine. “Hold on!” She told Nathan as she peeled out of the lay by.
The village that Kristin called home was small but beautiful, with the smell of salt in the air and a view of the ocean in the distance. Kristin had taken tiny roads that Nathan would have characterized as farm tracks to reach the lovely cottage she owned. “They’ll recognize the car if I go through the village,” had been her explanation. After stowing their luggage in the house they’d walked into the village. Sunset was approaching so the streets had been almost deserted but Nathan noticed several people nod politely to Kristin. Her glasses and cap weren’t fooling anyone and she knew it.
They dove into the village store just before it closed to pick up a few staples for dinner and breakfast then headed back to the cottage. The light was growing dim so Nathan was surprised when Kristin pulled him away from the main path and up an overgrown trail.
“I want you to see this. This is one of my favorite places.” She told him.
The trail ended at the steps of a small chapel set deep in the woods. The stone building was beautiful in its simplicity. Candlelight glowed from the windows and Kristin pulled Nathan inside
“The chapel is actually on the manor grounds so they seldom hold services here but the local vicar looks after the place, keeps the candles burning. My brother and I used to come here when we were children. I played out my little girl fantasies of getting married right here. I suspect that James used to bring his girl friends here when I wasn’t with him. We had some happy times here.”
“Is this where you and Alex…?”
shook her head, a bittersweet smile crossing her face at the memory. “Alex and I were married in
Nathan moved in beside her. “Tell me?”
“I was barely nineteen when I met Alex. He was tall and handsome and brilliant and almost twenty years older than I but it didn’t matter. We fell in love instantly. Three months later we were married. Within a year we had Cynthia. He was a wonderful husband and we were so happy together. He encouraged me at every step, going above and beyond with Cynni so I could stay in medical school. I’d just finished when he died, a heart attack. Cynni wasn’t even three yet. I… was pregnant when he died, so early that I didn’t even know until I miscarried.”
Nathan wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her to him. ‘She’s lost two children. God, she must be terrified!’
“Kristin, are you afraid that something is going to happen to this child?”
“Strangely enough, no. I can’t really explain it but I know that this child will be fine. I was thinking about that on the drive down today. The rational part of me knows that if all the other tests came back positive the odds are that this last one will be perfectly fine as well. I just... feel it.”
“So… was your next wedding here?” Nathan knew that he was pushing his luck but he was curious.
Kristin wasn’t ready to go any further. “No, no more weddings here. We’d better get back to the house before the light goes completely.” She stood and moved out of the church, leaving Nathan to follow.
Nathan was pleased to note that Kristin ate a hearty dinner and he prayed they wouldn’t be seeing it again in the near future. He suspected that a large part of her exhaustion was lack of food but she had refused the medication that Edmund had offered. She insisted on clearing the meal away so Nathan wandered into the cozy den. By the time that Kristin joined him Nathan had soft music playing, candles burning and a fire roaring in the fireplace. He led her to the sofa then knelt on the floor beside her.
“I’ve been thinking… I know that we are taking this slow but I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy and I believe that when two people have a baby they should be married.”
“Nathan…” Kristin’s voice should have stopped him but it didn’t.
“I know that there isn’t the stigma attached that there used to be but I don’t ever want… I want our kid to have my name. So what do you say? Let’s get…”
Kristin pushed up off the sofa and walked away, leaving Nathan with a stunned expression on his face. She walked to the front of the house and exited, slamming the door behind her.
‘Shit Nathan! Could you have messed that up any worse?’ Nathan realized that he’d just made a huge blunder. Who wanted to be proposed to just for the sake of a baby? He jumped up and ran after her.
Kristin hadn’t gone far. The moonlight showed her form just at the edge of the back garden. Nathan approached her slowly.
“I’m sorry, Kristin. I really messed that up. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. I want to marry you, Kristin. No, I probably wouldn’t be proposing right now if there wasn’t a baby on the way but I really think that we would have ended up at this point even without the baby. I was attracted to you the instant I saw you, I just wasn’t ready to admit it. That didn’t happen until I realized that you were with Zeller. I thought I would go crazy. All the way to your cabin I just kept thinking ‘I can’t lose her’…and then you were okay and you let me hold you. Feeling you in my arms was heaven. When you came back to my cabin to play poker after it was all over, God how I wanted to kiss you. I wanted to do a hell of a lot more than kiss you but I wasn’t sure how you’d react. When the crew was infected by that thing on the Liberte and you worked so hard to find the cure, I wanted to hold you, to comfort you when you were frustrated.”
Kristin turned to look at him. “I never knew. I wanted you to hold me, needed you so much, but I couldn’t ask, not knowing how much you still mourned your wife.”
“Carol is always going to be a part of me, Kristin, just as Alex will always be a part of you. It just took me a while to see that. Tell me the rest, Kristin. Tell me why you don’t want to marry me.”
“It isn’t that I don’t want to marry you, Nathan. I swore that I’d never marry again. After Alex died my judgement disintegrated, at least where men were concerned.”
“I sort of gathered that from what Edmund said. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to but I’d really like to understand.”
“How can I make you understand when I don’t? I married again about three years after Alex died. We were happy for a while; at least I thought we were. We’d been married about six years when I found out that I was pregnant. We never talked about children but he was a wonderful father to Cynthia and he seemed happy about the baby, but he never came near me again, not a kiss or a touch. I tried to talk to him about it but he always made some excuse about being busy at work. I went to the doctor when I was about six months along and I found out that I was carrying a boy. I thought that he would be so happy and I knew that he was at home that day so I called work and told them I wouldn’t be back in. I got home and the servants told me that he was in his study working. I went to the study but he wasn’t there. I thought that he’d had to run out so I went upstairs to change. As I was passing his bedroom I heard a noise and I went inside. He was there, in bed, having sex with a woman I called a friend.”
Nathan wrapped his arms around Kristin’s waist and pulled her to him. “Don’t. You don’t have to finish.”
“I want you to know. I want you to understand why I doubt my own judgement.”
She took a deep breath then continued. “I left the room, he came after me. Not to apologize or beg my forgiveness but to berate me for interrupting him. We argued somewhere near the top of the stairs and the next thing I remember I was waking up in a hospital and my baby was gone. I found out that she wasn’t the first affair; they’d been going on practically since the day we got married. I filed for divorce and went on with my life, trying to deal with the reality of my son’s death and that I couldn’t have any more children. Then I made mistake number two. He not only cheated on me but he tried to put the moves on my fifteen-year-old daughter. He only tried once. He’s probably still singing soprano.”
Nathan laughed quietly. This was the response he would expect from the Kristin Westphalen that he’d come to know. “So you divorced him, too. Neither one of these men were good enough for you, Baby. That isn’t your fault. Surely you’ve had some good relationships?”
“Not since Alex. I married the first man I dated after he died. After the second divorce I wasn’t interested in men anymore. I threw myself into my work and raising my child.”
“Wait a minute. Are you telling me that on the boat… when we… you hadn’t done that since…”
“Seven years. But it isn’t the sex, Nathan. The sex with you was fantastic, at least the part I remember. I just don’t want to make another mistake.”
“And you think that marrying me would be a mistake?”
Kristin looked up so that she was staring into Nathan’s eyes. “No, Nathan. I don’t think that marrying you would be a mistake. I’m just afraid that you might decide marrying me was one.”
Nathan cupped her cheek. “That isn’t going to happen. You complete me, Kristin. I feel like you are the other half of me. I know that it’s scary but sometimes you have to follow your heart.”
Nathan brushed his lips across hers. “So much for taking things slow. Let’s…” he stopped abruptly before pulling Kristin into his arms and striding across the moonlit lawn.
Once they reached the cottage Nathan released Kristin to stand on the soft rug in front of the fireplace. “Stay right there.” He told her before running from the room. He was back on moments, his hands full of pillows and blankets from the bedroom. He threw them on the floor by the rug then took Kristin’s hand and knelt in front of her.
“Kristin, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy. Would you do me the very great honor of becoming my wife?”
Kristin didn’t answer immediately and Nathan was afraid he’d misread the situation once again but then she knelt in front of him and cupped his face with her hand. “Nathan, I love you and nothing in this world could please me more than to be your wife. Yes, I will marry you.”
Nathan’s free hand rose from his side, displaying the small open box. Inside, the emerald cut diamond solitaire and its platinum band gleamed in the firelight. Kristin gasped.
“When did you…?”
“When I bought the dress. I used a piece of string to measure your finger so it should fit…” Nathan slid the ring easily onto Kristin’s finger. “So what do you think?”
“I think that I’m the luckiest woman on the planet and that you are the most wonderful man.” A single tear slipped from her eye and Nathan quickly moved to kiss it away. Another quickly followed that kiss, then another as Nathan blazed a trail to her mouth. Their lips met eagerly, rejoicing in each other’s touch as passion flared between them.
Kristin felt Nathan’s hands gently tugging the hem of her blouse from the waistband of her blue jeans. “Are you sure? We can wait if you want.” He murmured in her ear as his hands stilled at her waist.
Dark brown eyes met deep blue eyes, sharing a look more honest than any they’d shared before.
“I want to make love with you, Nathan. I want experience this with you from beginning to end… the two of us together, no nitrogen and no ghosts. Are you sure? You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
Nathan answered by kissing her deeply as his warm hands slid beneath her blouse to caress heated flesh. “God, I want…” he breathed as his tongue darted across her lower lip requesting entrance. She opened to him gladly, his kisses washing all her doubts away.
Only when their lungs screamed for air did Nathan pull away from her. “Let me love you, Kristin.”
She nodded and rested her hands lightly on Nathan’s chest, allowing him to take the lead. Nathan reached behind her head and slid the band from her hair. His fingers slipped through the fiery tresses, both caressing and brushing until they framed her face.
“I love the way you look in firelight, the way it glints golden in your hair.” Kristin’s breath caught at Nathan’s words.
His hands continued their journey; cupping her face and tracing the line of her cheek before slipping lower to caress her neck. His lips followed the same path, tasting what his fingers had just caressed. Kristin melted into his hands, powerless to move as he worshiped her with touch and taste. Her breath caught when his hands fell to the top button of her blouse and slowly freed it. Moments later the second button was undone, then the third. Each successive opening revealed more creamy white flesh for Nathan to devour.
Kristin’s hands found a purpose; undoing Nathan’s buttons just as her own had been undone. He moved his hands to still hers once but at her desperately whispered, “Please! I need to touch you too…” he relented. Nathan helped her pull his shirt tail out of his trousers before interrupting the quest to slide her blouse down her arms and cast it aside. His fingers sculpted her ribs as he drew back to stare at her. He looked so long that Kristin began to grow nervous under his gaze and drew her hands back to shield her body.
“No, don’t ever hide from me. Don’t you know how beautiful you are?” Nathan’s hands began to draw delicate patterns on the bare flesh of her stomach. Kristin arched into his touch, her eyes closing in contentment. She arched even further when she felt Nathan’s hands on the clasp of her bra. Nathan deftly unsnapped the closure and slid it down Kristin’s arms. Kristin took advantage of the break to remove Nathan’s shirt as well. They knelt staring at each other’s bodies gleaming in the firelight until Nathan could stand it no more. His hands returned to Kristin’s ribs and began to rub gently up and down barely brushing the under swell of her firm breasts. His tongue began to trace her collarbone as her fingers threaded through the salt and pepper hair on his chest.
“Come here.” Nathan sat on the backs of his legs and pulled Kristin toward him until she was straddling his lap. Kristin wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled down at him as his tongue began making lazy circular motions around the outside of her left breast. He slowly worked his way in to the pebbled center and lightly touched it, tasting as if it were a fine wine, before taking it fully into his mouth. Nathan groaned as Kristin’s hands tightened in his hair and she rocked her hips against his burgeoning erection.
“That feels so wonderful,” she whispered in his ear before sliding her lips down to the sensitive spot below his ear. Kristin tried to hang on but when Nathan began to suck her nipple she couldn’t. Her back curved, pushing her body into Nathan’s as her hands held onto his head, trying to push more of her aching breast into his warm mouth. Nathan nipped the hard peak lightly before leaving it to move to the other breast.
By the time her second breast had received the same loving treatment Kristin’s hips were straining against Nathan’s as her hands roamed up and down his naked back. Her mouth worked over his shoulders, alternately nipping and sucking his tanned skin. Nathan groped behind him, his hand finally finding one of the pillows he had dropped there. He tossed it behind Kristin then pushed up on his knees. She hooked a leg around his hip and let him guide her back to the floor.
Nathan pressed his hips into her cradle but held his upper body weight on his elbows as he stared into Kristin’s eyes. One hand once again played with her hair as he enjoyed just looking at her.
“I could look at you forever.”
“Oh, please don’t…” Kristin begged as her hands slid down his back to cup his ass, pulling him even closer into her.
Nathan chuckled. “Are we getting impatient?”
Kristin wailed. “Don’t tease me, Nathan, not now.”
Nathan relented because he could hear Kristin’s need in her voice and knew that his was just as great. He lowered his mouth to Kristin’s as he lowered his body, shuddering at the feel of her quivering breasts pressed firmly into his chest.
Nathan plunged his tongue in and out of Kristin’s mouth, matching the rhythm his hips had set against hers. He slipped his hand between their bodies and tugged at the snap of her jeans until it popped open. His hand slipped beneath the band, causing the zipper to slide down as Nathan slowly pushed his hand inside. He’d only gone a few inches when his fingers brushed the dampness on her panties. He pressed his fingers into her core and felt the dampness spread. Kristin was squirming beneath his touch when he shifted his body off of hers and began to drag his mouth down her torso.
Kristin was on fire as Nathan drew a line of kisses between her breasts, pausing to lap each nipple quickly before continuing his downward quest. His hands tugged gently at her jeans and she raised her hips slightly so that Nathan could slide them over her curvy bottom. He sat back between her legs and once again feasted on the sight of her flushed skin as he pulled the pants off, along with her shoes and socks.
Nathan’s hand slipped up to caress her damp mound through her silky panties. She pushed her hips into his hand in response, letting him feel her desire. Nathan bent forward and Kristin caught her breath as she spread her legs further apart but she was surprised when Nathan’s lips moved to her abdomen.
He traced his tongue along the barely perceptible swell of her stomach, his hands gently rubbing the bottom of her abdomen. Kristin couldn’t believe how erotic the feeling was. Nathan’s lips began to rub over her navel and she heard him whisper, “Hey little one. I’m your daddy and I can’t wait to meet you.”
Kristin propped up on her elbow and slid her other hand into Nathan’s hair. He looked up into her eyes, electricity flowing between them.
“Don’t ever think that this isn’t beautiful. This is my child in here, our baby. Watching him grow inside you is one of the sexiest things I can imagine.” His lips bent back to her abdomen as her eyes began to glisten with unshed tears. Nathan couldn’t realize how much his words were reassuring Kristin, healing a part of her damaged soul, but she knew and loved him even more for it.
Just when Kristin thought she could stand it no more, Nathan’s lips began to move slowly down, past her navel, past the band of her panties, lightly grazing her dampness before stopping to caress her inner thighs. He worked his way up one leg and down the other, paying scant attention to her center, until she thought she would die of want. Finally Nathan slipped a strong hand beneath each cheek of her bottom and hooked a finger through her knickers. He began to slowly pull them down as he watched her face, waiting for any sign that she wanted him to stop. Kristin simply smiled and raised her hips to help him.
Then she lay nude before him and Nathan moved straight to her dripping center. A short cry escaped her lips as he drew his tongue along the length of her folds, tasting her. Her cries turned to moans as his fingers delicately parted her and his tongue sought and found her sensitized clitoris. One of Nathan’s hands drifted slowly back up her body to cup and fondle her breast. Her legs fell to the side as she struggled to get closer to Nathan’s probing tongue.
“Yes… right there… oh, please!” She begged, not even realizing that she was speaking but focused completely on the pleasure Nathan was generating in her body. Nathan pulled his tongue back to her clit and replaced it with a long finger, then two. He pushed and probed with his fingers and his tongue until he felt Kristin’s inner muscles begin to contract around him. He added a third finger and latched on to the sensitive bud, sucking it firmly but gently until Kristin’s hips began to jerk and she began to scream. He snapped his body up, replacing his lips with his thumb to keep up the pressure, so that he could watch her face as she exploded around him. She screamed his name as she came and continued to come over and over as Nathan continued to touch and pleasure her.
Kristin floated lazy back to earth to find Nathan propped on his elbow beside her, staring at her face.
“That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He told her as he leaned forward to kiss her lightly. Kristin captured his mouth and deepened the kiss, thrilling at the taste of herself on his lips.
“That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Nathan wrapped his arms around Kristin and pulled her closer as their kisses grew more passionate. This time it was Kristin’s turn to loosen his jeans and slid her hands beneath. A low growl came from deep in Nathan’s throat when she stroked his rigid shaft through his briefs.
“Lift!” Kristin commanded and Nathan quickly elevated his hips so that Kristin could work the stiff fabric of his jeans down. Once she reached mid thigh she stopped to kiss him again. Nathan gasped in surprise when he felt Kristin’s knee slide up to his hip, her slender foot sliding between his legs to rub his erection. Kristin slowly ran her foot down Nathan’s inner leg, taking his pants along with it. She ran her hands lovingly down Nathan’s muscular back and slipped them beneath his briefs to cup his firm ass, pressing his erection into her aching sheath.
“I need to feel you inside me.” Kristin whispered as her hands moved lower, his briefs traveling with them. Nathan flinched as they caught and pulled on his straining erection but Kristin’s hand quickly freed him and soon they were both lying naked on the rug.
“Oh my!” Kristin smiled at the sight of Nathan’s erection resting between them. She ran her knuckles carefully up and down the silky length. “I didn’t fully appreciate this in the shower. You’re magnificent.”
Nathan laughed at the memory. Even thought this wasn’t the first time they’d been naked together, their previous two encounters hadn’t allowed them time to simply enjoy looking. On the George they had both been so confused in the aftermath. Kristin had leapt from the bed and disappeared into the other room before Nathan had a chance to speak much less look. By the time she’d emerged they’d both been dressed and the sound of Crocker’s voice calling for them had precluded any discussion. At first the shower had been about getting Kristin warm then afterwards their bodies had been pressed too close to look.
Nathan watched the firelight play over Kristin’s lustrous skin as she continued to stroke and caress him. He surged into her hand as her grip tightened. A small drop of white appeared on his head and she used her thumb to capture it and smooth the moisture across his hard shaft.
“You like?” Nathan whispered.
“Uhmmm.” Kristin moved her knee back to hook on Nathan’s hip and flexed his erection toward her until the head was just brushing her fiery curls. “I’d like even better if you’d put it in here.”
Kristin immediately found herself on her back with Nathan positioned between her legs
“I thought you’d never ask.”
Their hands worked together to position Nathan at her entrance. Kristin’s fingers slipped lower to caress his full sacs as he slowly lowered himself into her welcoming body, inch by inch, his eyes never leaving her face.
A contented smile covered Kristin’s face when Nathan finally filled her completely. That smile quickly turned to a frown of frustration when he didn’t move. She thrust her hips into his and he groaned.
Nathan began to move with slow easy strokes, enjoying the feeling of their bodies joined together. Kristin’s hands continued to play along his back and hips as she rocked against him in encouragement.
“You feel so wonderful, like warm velvet.” Nathan whispered as he slid between her hot folds. His face contorted and he began to move faster within her. Kristin felt the tenseness in his muscles and lowered her mouth to nuzzle his neck as she increased her rhythm to match his.
Nathan’s hand slipped between their bodies and he thumbed her clit desperately, needing to come but unwilling to leave Kristin behind. He felt her juices flow around him as her inner muscles clenched him tightly. Nathan felt his control slip and he began to thrust frantically into Kristin as she screamed his name. Her body slammed into his as she arched up in the throes of her climax and Nathan let himself go, spilling himself inside her welcoming body.
“Robert! I wanted to speak to you again and you came!” She threw herself into his arms.
“Lily, darling, it’s time for us to go. You’ve given up your anger. You’ve been released. Come with me.”
“I want to go with you Robert but… I just had to feel your touch once more. It’s been so long and I have missed you.” Her head fell against his shoulder as she wrapped her arms around him.
“I’ve missed you to, my sweet love.” His hand moved to cup her face. She pursed her lips and pressed her face towards his.
He allowed the kiss, savoring the feel of her in his arms, flesh touching flesh for the first time in a century. He felt her fingers move to the zipper of the strange clothing Robert was wearing and began to pull it down.
He stopped her. “No, Lily. These bodies don’t belong to us.”
“Please, Robert.” She pleaded breathlessly. “These two people care for each other. I feel it in this woman and I know that you feel it in this man. They would want us to have this time together.”
“Lily…” he tried to stop her but she’d managed to pull the zipper to the bottom and had worked her hands beneath the shirt. His resolve fled at the feel of her hands but he had to try one last time.
“They should have the right to decide if we…” he moaned as her hands slid up his back.
“They want this too, Robert. Can’t you feel within?” He could fight her no longer. He shrugged out of the unfamiliar uniform and quickly removed her lovely dress, allowing it to puddle on the floor as he swept her onto the bed.
Their passion came quickly to a head, him entering her and pressing up and down to the sounds of her cries. He felt his own passion coming to an end and struggled to hold back until she was pleasured. She cried out loudly as her climax hit. He grabbed her hand and pulled her up and away from the bed, leaving the two bodies there writhing in their passion.
Lillian fought against him but he held her close and she realized that even though they’d separated from the bodies their feelings were still intertwined. They rode the climax along with the couple, until the man collapsed into the woman.
Lillian once again cupped her lover’s face. “Thank you, Robert. I’m ready to go now…”
She turned back to the bed, as the sounds of lovemaking once more became unmistakable. “Oh, Robert let’s…”
“No, my love. We’ve had our turn. This time is theirs, their destiny. Can you feel?”
Lillian’s face slowly broke into a smile. “They… they’re making a child.”
Robert nodded. “It’s time for us to go.”
Kristin bolted upright expecting to find herself still on the bed in the George stateroom. She was slightly confused to find herself on the floor of her cottage, a light blanket pooled around her waist, the dying embers of a fire glowing in the grate. Nathan sat beside her with an equally stunned look on his face.
“I had a dream…” they said in unison.
“Robert and Lillian?” Nathan asked, although he didn’t need too. He pulled Kristin into his arms and they settled back into the pillows.
“It was nitrogen narcosis, Nathan. I don’t believe in ghosts.”
Nathan wasn’t about to argue with her when she had that tone in her voice. “Whatever you think, Kristin. I told you it was our baby though.” He silenced her protest with a kiss.
Nathan stood at attention as Admiral Noyce climbed out of the car. Bill walked over to Nathan eyeing him hard, paying meticulous attention to every detail of Nathan’s dress uniform.
“You call those buttons bright?! And those shoes polished!?! You are a disgrace to your uniform. I ought to bust you back down to ensign!”
“Shut up, Bill! Nathan, you look very handsome. Are you nervous?”
Nathan eyed Bill closely before relaxing but Bill just waved his hand as a smile burst out on his face.
“Not a bit. Can’t wait. Why don’t you go on inside?”
Janet left the two men alone staring at the ground.
“You realize that you’ve put me in a hell of a bad position?” Bill finally asked.
“I didn’t mean to do that, Bill. It just happened.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders.
“But Kristin Westphalen? Nathan, the woman is a bitch. Oh, she’s a wonderful doctor and a hell of a researcher but she’s as cold as ice!” Even as Bill said these words his mind flashed back to the image of the woman he now knew was Kristin in Nathan’s arms in the elevator. She hadn’t seemed very cold then.
“You don’t know the woman underneath the professional exterior, Bill. She’s warm and caring… and I love her.”
“As strange as that is to me I can tell that you do. Just be happy.”
Nathan’s ears perked as he heard music begin to play. “We will be happy, Bill. I know it. I think that’s our cue.”
Nathan stepped through the doorway of the tiny church in the forest and moved to join the vicar at the altar, Bill following close behind.
“I had a devil of a time arranging a special license.” Nathan whispered to Bill as they gazed down the aisle of the empty church. As if on cue Janet appeared with a small bouquet of flowers in her hand and walked slowly down the aisle to join them.
“You think you had a hard time! You should have heard me trying to explain to the UEO that you were marrying your CMO and you were both being allowed to stay on the seaQuest.”
“SHH!” The vicar cautioned them. Nathan couldn’t have spoken at that moment if he’d tried because his bride had appeared at the end of the aisle.
Kristin wore a silk and lace dress of pale pink that hung to her ankles. Her hair was arranged in an upsweep, with roses woven in. She carried a small bouquet of matching roses. The smile on her face spoke volumes as she moved up the aisle to join them.
“I’m sorry you had trouble, Bill, but the practice is good for you.”
“Practice? What do I need practice for?”
“For when you try to explain the baby!” Nathan gave a stunned Bill a wink as he took his bride’s arm and they turned to face the vicar.