Title:  Paralysed

By: tayryn

Rating:  FRAO

Archive: my site

Disclaimer: seaQuest isn’t mine.  It never will be. 

Summary:  When things just don’t want to work…

Notes:  As always… my eternal gratitude goes out to my most wonderful beta, Jaya!!  She is the best!!



~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“So… I’ll see you in a few days then.”


“I’m looking forward to it.”


“So am I, sailor.  So am I,” Kristin smiled at Nathan through the vid-screen.


“Not half as much as I am!”  Nathan told her with his patented little boy grin.


“Don’t bet on it!”  Kristin countered.


“Two whole weeks on the island… alone…”


“Sounds heavenly to me.”


“Me too,” Nathan smiled then turned away from the screen momentarily.  He sighed as he looked back at her.  “I gotta go, baby… duty calls.”


“I know,” she nodded.


“Three more days,” Nathan said. 


“Three more days,” Kristin echoed. 


Nathan smiled and pressed a kiss to his fingers then placed them on the screen.  “See you soon, Kris…”


Kristin copied his movements, her fingers touching his through the screen and nodded as his image vanished from the screen.  “Not soon enough for me…” she sighed as she sank back in her chair and closed her eyes. 


A few minutes later, she opened her eyes and gazed at the picture sitting on the corner of her desk.  A soft smile touched her lips as she reached out for the picture.  It had been taken two months earlier at the christening of the new seaQuest and was one of her and Nathan wrapped in each other’s arms; the look as they gazed into each other’s eyes so full of love.


‘And yet… we’re still not even lovers,’ Kristin thought to herself then shook her head.  ‘Although… not from lack of trying.’ 


Kristin chuckled softly as she remembered the various attempts they’d made over the last year to take their relationship to the next level.  The first had been the night after the obligatory inquest into the sinking of the sub.  She and Nathan had managed to sneak away before anyone could stop them…


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Think we managed to give them the slip?”  Kristin asked as she and Nathan stumbled into the hotel suite.


“God I hope so!”  Nathan replied as he kicked the door shut then pressed her back against it with his body.  He fumbled with the lock as he dipped his head to kiss the upper swell of her breasts.  “I’ve been going crazy with wanting you all day.”


“Is that so?”  Kristin purred as she slid her fingers into his hair.


“You know it is, minx…” Nathan growled softly and lifted his head to look at her with dark eyes.  “Seeing you in this…” he gestured to her skirt and blouse, “caused this…” Nathan thrust his hips against her.


Kristin laughed breathlessly as Nathan ground his erection against her center.  “It’s my fault is it?”


“Oh yes…” Nathan nodded.  “You caused it… so I think you should be the one to take care of it.”


A slow, sensuous smile formed on Kristin’s lips as she slid her hands down to cup his rear and hold him tight against her.  “So… does that mean you would like to play ‘doctor’, Captain?”


“Well… I’d like to play ‘with you’, Doctor.”  Nathan answered as he caught her lips in a hungry kiss.


“Play away…” she murmured against his lips, as they staggered across the suite, locked in each other’s arms, neither one wanting to let go of the other.


Moments later, they tumbled onto the bed in a tangle of arms and legs.  Laughing, they broke off their kiss and smiled at each other.


“We can go slow later,” Kristin answered the question in his eyes as she began undoing the buttons on his uniform jacket.


“Are you sure?”  Nathan asked then moaned when she tugged the white turtleneck free from his pants and slid her hands beneath, her fingers raking through the curls on his chest.


Kristin wrapped a long leg behind Nathan’s knee and arched beneath him.  “Oh yes…” she murmured as she sought his lips once more.


Nathan growled his approval and helped her remove his jacket and turtleneck then began to work on releasing the buttons on her blouse.  He broke off the kiss to trail his lips over her jaw and down her throat.  When the last button was freed, Nathan rose up on one arm and slowly peeled back the silk covering.


“Kris…” he growled his approval at the sight of her breasts encased in the delicate white lace of her bra.


Kristin smiled at the desire she saw flare in Nathan’s eyes and arched her back.  “What are you waiting for, sailor?”


Nathan grinned and reached out to release the front closure of the undergarment then, as he had with her blouse, he slowly peeled away the lace.  “Oh god… Kris… perfect… your breasts are perfect…”


“Nath… an!”  Kristin gasped as he lowered his head and took one of her nipples into his mouth, suckling hard on the pointed tip.  Her fingers slipped into his hair as he kissed and licked his way over to her other breast to pull the hard point between his lips.  “Yes…” she moaned as his hand came up to knead her free breast, his fingers gently pinching and teasing the nipple.




“Bloody hell!”  Kristin swore as loud banging followed the shout of Nathan’s name from the other side of the door.


“Shit!”  Nathan swore and buried his face in her breasts.  “No no no no…” he mumbled against her.  “I don’t believe this…”




“His timing is as bad as Lucas’,” Kristin muttered.


Nathan lifted his head to meet her eyes.  He glanced down at her bare chest then met her eyes again.  He shook his head.  “No.  His timing is worse!”


Kristin laughed softly then harder when Nathan groaned.


“Don’t do that,” Nathan told her, his eyes riveted to her shaking chest.


The banging on the door resumed.


“Son of a bitch!”  Nathan swore again then leaned down to brush a quick kiss against Kristin’s lips.  “Don’t move…”


Kristin nodded as Nathan pushed himself off the bed then sat up and watched as he strode determinedly out of the bedroom.  Moments later, she heard the door to the suite swing open.


“Well it’s about time!”


“What the hell do you want, Bill?”


Kristin bit back a smile at the annoyance she heard in Nathan’s voice.


“Oh… am I disturbing you?”


“As a matter of fact, yes.”


Bill’s laughter rang through the suite.


“I repeat… what do you want, Bill?”


“What?  Oh yes, your crew has thrown together a quick party to celebrate the outcome of the inquest…”




“And some of the brass is there…”


“This concerns me how?”




Kristin heard Nathan sigh and as the two men continued their conversation, she reached up to redo the clasps on her bra then slowly began to button her blouse.  Just as she slipped the last button into its hole, she heard the outer door open then shut.  Kristin looked up moments later to see Nathan standing in the doorway.


“You heard?”


“Yes,” she nodded.


“I’m sorry…” he said as he slowly moved towards her then dropped to his knees in front of her.  Nathan reached up to cup her cheek.  “I wanted so much to make love to you tonight…”


Kristin smiled at him.  “I wanted that too,” she said, turning to press a kiss to his palm then spoke in a soft, husky voice.  “There’s always after the party.”


“Yes…” Nathan stroked his thumb over her bottom lip.  “There’s always after the party.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“After the party my ass,” Kristin murmured as she set the picture back on her desk.


They’d managed a few slow dances but for most of the evening, Nathan’s time had been monopolized by the UEO brass attending the celebration.  By the time they had returned to the hotel suite, they were both too exhausted to do anything other than change into their pyjamas, climb into bed and fall asleep in each other’s arms.


‘And that set the pattern for the next eight months,’ Kristin thought with a sigh.


Both she and Nathan had been so busy… Nathan with the rebuilding of the already started second seaQuest, and Kristin with new research projects.  Luckily, she’d been assigned to the UEO research labs right there in NCQ, so she and Nathan were able to continue seeing each other.


“Seeing… but not too much of anything else,” Kristin said to herself.  “Between Bill, Lucas and both of our jobs… I am amazed we even managed to sleep in the same bed on the nights we did.”


‘But that’s going to change this weekend,’ she thought with an anticipatory shiver.  “And woe to the person who interrupts us this time…”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


The insistent buzzing of the vid-screen pulled Kristin from the pleasant dream she was having.  With a groan, she rolled out of bed and stumbled over to the vid-screen.  As she reached out to answer it, the thought that it could be Nathan flashed through her mind, and she quickly brushed her fingers through her tousled locks then pressed the button to answer.


The smile on her face faded away.  “No!”


“I haven’t said a word.”


“You don’t have to,” Kristin answered as she shook her head.  “No.  I’m on vacation.”


“It’s an emergency.”


“It’s always an emergency… how bad?”




Kristin sighed then nodded.  “How long have I got to get ready?”


“Your transport leaves in two hours.”


“That doesn’t give me much time to pack and leave a note for Nathan at the dock.”


“You’ll have to forget the note…”


“Bill, I can’t do that… Nathan…”


“I will tell Nathan,” Noyce said.  “Right now, I need you to pack and get to NCQ headquarters within two hours.”


“I suppose I can call him when I get to wherever it is you’re sending me…” Kristin stopped at the shake of Bill’s head.  “I can’t call him?”


“I’m afraid not.”


“Nathan isn’t going to be happy about this,” Kristin told him.  “We’re supposed to be leaving for his island tonight.”


“I know…” Bill agreed.  “I’ll explain it to him when he gets here.”


“I’d do it from behind a well-muscled security guard if I were you.”


Bill laughed.  “Good idea.  I’ll let you get packed.”


“How long will I be gone?”


“I don’t know… a couple weeks at least.”


“I’d make it two armed security guards!”  Kristin said then closed the link.  She leaned down on the table; both hands flat on the surface and closed her eyes.  ‘Oh, Nathan… how can I just leave and not let you know…’


Kristin opened her eyes and flew into action.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Hey, Doc!”


“Hello, Bob,” Kristin replied as she hurried up to his desk.  “I can’t stay long… I’m on the clock.”


“Not a problem… what can I do for you?”


“Nathan is due in later this afternoon… would you see that he gets this?”  Kristin held out an envelope with Nathan’s name written across the front.


“Sure thing, Doc,” Bob said as he took the envelope from her.


“Thank you, Bob,” Kristin smiled then turned.  She paused at the door.  “Oh… if I were you… I’d hand it to him from behind your desk.”


Bob chuckled as he watched the auburn-haired woman walk briskly away up the dock.  “Yes, ma’am.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Have a good weekend, Bob…”


Bob looked up and smiled.  “You too, Commander,” he replied with a nod to the young submariner.  “Oh… do you know how much longer the captain is gonna be?”


“Afraid not.”


“Ah well… thanks anyway,” Bob replied and watched Ford leave just as another guard entered.  “Hey, Fred.  You’re early.”


“Evenin’, Bob.  Yeah… wife had a do… so I figured I might as well come in now.”


Bob nodded.  “Makes sense.  Hey… think you can cover for me for a few minutes?  I need to hit the john.”


“Sure thing.”


“Thanks,” Bob said as he stood and began to walk away.  He paused just before going around the corner.  “Oh… if Captain Bridger happens to come out… there’s a note on the desk for him from Doc. Westphalen.”


“Okay.  Lucky man, Bridger!  Westphalen is a damned fine looking woman.”


“No arguments here,” Bob agreed as he disappeared around the corner.


“Damn fine…” Fred murmured under his breath, as he turned then flushed slightly as he noticed the dark-haired woman standing in the room.  “Oh… hello, Doctor Smith.”


“Good evening, Fred,” Smith replied with a smile.  “I couldn’t help but overhear… I heard Captain Bridger say that he was going to be quite a while… and I just realized that I forgot some papers on the sub.  I could give him the note for you if you’d like.”


“Would you?  That’d be great,” Fred said as he held the envelope out to her and smiled.  “Thanks a lot Doctor Smith.”


“Anytime,” Wendy said as she took the envelope then turned to go back through the door leading to the seaQuest.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Do you see her?”


“No, sir… but wouldn’t she have come onto the seaQuest?”


“I would think so…” Nathan commented distractedly as he walked towards the door to peer out through the glass.


“You lookin’ for Doctor Westphalen, Cap?”


“Yes, Fred.  Have you seen her?”


“Yes, sir… earlier this afternoon… at headquarters.  She was getting into a launch…”


“She was what?!”


“Getting into a launch…”


“Son of a bitch!”  Nathan swore as he slammed his fist against the thick glass, startling the three other people in the room.  “I don’t fucking believe this!”


“I heard there was some kind of emergency…”


“Cap… you know she wouldn’t have gone otherwise…”


“I know!”  Nathan huffed as he shook his hand vigorously.  “I just… damn it!”  He swore then suddenly stormed out of the security office.


“Didn’t Doc…”


“Lucas,” Wendy interrupted in an anxious voice.  “Don’t you think you should go after him?”


“Good idea,” Lucas nodded and quickly took off after Nathan.


He’d just stepped outside when the loud roar of an engine sounded and seconds later, a large motorcycle raced past him.


“Oh shit!”  Lucas swore than hurried off towards his car.


“I don’t understand,” Fred turned to Smith.  “I thought… wasn’t that letter from Doctor Westphalen?  Surely she explained…”


“Maybe it wasn’t what the captain wanted to hear,” Wendy said.


Fred just shrugged as he moved back to his desk.  “I hope they get it all sorted out.  The cap and Doc Westphalen make such a lovely couple.”


“Yes… they do,” Smith replied as she moved to leave.


“Have a good night, Doctor Smith…” Fred called out to her as she left.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


The bike whipped around the turn, the back end fishtailing slightly with the high velocity; Nathan however, paid no attention and gunned the motor, increasing the speed.


While he was still angry, his anger was no longer directed at Kristin, but instead it was now directed at the person most likely responsible for Kristin not being there.


Secretary General William Noyce.


Nathan knew that Kristin would have left him some kind of note… no matter how little notice she’d been given… somehow she would have left him a note.


‘Maybe it’s waiting for me at home,’ he thought.


But he knew she would know that he would worry when she wasn’t waiting for him at the dock.


He gunned the motor again as another surge of anger washed over him and the motorcycle took off.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Lucas slowed the car down as he slipped around the curve.  He’d had a bad feeling from the moment the captain peeled off on his bike, and the feeling had been getting worse with every moment that passed.


‘It’s not like the doc to not let the cap know…’ he thought with a worried frown.


Lucas slammed on the brakes, bringing the fire engine red mustang convertible to a screeching halt.


“Oh God!”


He threw the car into park, the seat belt flying away seconds before he vaulted over the door, breaking into a run as soon as his feet hit the pavement.


“Cap!”  Lucas cried out as he fell to his knees beside Bridger who lay trapped beneath the mangled mass that was once his treasured motorcycle.  “Captain!  Can you hear me?”


There was no answer.


“Oh shit!”  The teen swore and dug into his pocket for his cell phone.  “Hello… yeah you can help me… I need an ambulance… fast… my captain’s had an accident on his motorcycle… yeah… we’re on Highway One just on the other side of Deadman’s Curve… no… no… I haven’t moved him… I don’t know… let me check…”


Lucas leaned in through the tangled heap. 


“Yes… he’s still breathing but I can’t tell where or how bad he’s hurt… but his bike is on top of him… and it’s a big bike… mmhmm… yeah… okay… oh no… wild horses couldn’t drag me away from him… yeah… please hurry.”


Lucas hung up the phone.  “Hang on, cap!  Help’s coming.”


He looked heavenward… “Oh please… please don’t let him…” his voice trailed off when he heard a soft groan come from the injured man.  “Cap?”




~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Doctor Phillip McGill walked slowly down the strangely quiet corridor of the hospital towards the waiting room where two anxious faces awaited him.




“He’s alive.”


“Thank God,” Bill exhaled and sank down onto the plastic chair behind him.


“Can we see him?”  Lucas asked.


“I’m afraid not… at least not for a little while.”


“What aren’t you telling us, Doctor?”  Noyce asked.


McGill sighed and began to explain.


Lucas turned eyes bright with fear and worry to Bill.  “I think we need to call the doc.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“What aren’t you telling me, Bill?”


Noyce glanced at the auburn haired woman walking beside him.  “He was hurt quite bad, was in a coma for a week…”


“Why wasn’t I called when the accident happened!?”


“You were needed where you were, Kristin.”


“I was needed here… I could have…”


“Sat out in the waiting room with the rest of us…”


“You still should have called me…”


“I didn’t want to worry or distract you from your work.”


“Instead you let me hear about it on the news.”


Bill stopped, his hand on Kristin’s arm.  “I’m sorry, Kristin.  You’re right.  I should have called you.”


“I’ve been sick with worry ever since I heard about the accident… and not being able to get here, or get in touch with anyone… I…” Kristin’s eyes filled with tears.  “So I repeat… what aren’t you telling me?”


“He doesn’t look good…”




Kristin turned to see Lucas hurrying down the hall towards her.  Moments later, he was in her arms, sobbing into her shoulder.


“I’m so glad you’re finally here,” Lucas cried.


“Ssh… it’s okay, Lucas… everything’s going to be all right…”


“No…” Lucas shook his head against her shoulder before he pulled himself out of her arms.  “He… he can’t walk, Doc.”


“What!?”  Shock covered Kristin’s face as she looked between Lucas and Bill.  “Tell me everything… from the beginning… now!”


“When you weren’t there waiting for him… and didn’t leave a note… he got angry and took off on his bike.  I followed him in the car but he had a good five… ten minutes head start,” Lucas told her.  “I was on highway one… going around Dead man’s curve… and found him… his Harley was all mangled, and he was pinned beneath it.”


“Oh god…”


“I called for an ambulance and stayed with him…”


“Was he conscious at all?”


“No… except once… briefly.  He called for you,” Lucas told her.


Kristin pulled in a shaky breath as a tear rolled down her cheek.


“He was rushed into surgery,” Bill took over the explanation.  “He had some internal bleeding, skull fractures… and massive bruising to his spinal cord.”


Lucas jumped in when he saw the fear fill Westphalen’s brown eyes.  “The doctors all say that the bruising and swelling have gone down… that the cap should be up and walking… but he’s not.  He says he can’t move his legs.”


“Hysterical paralysis…” Kristin murmured.


“That’s what they’re saying,” Bill nodded.


“I need to see him,” Kristin said then turned and began to walk away.


“Kristin, wait!”  Bill hurried after her.  


“What?”  Kristin paused and looked at him.


“He’s still angry… more so at me than you… but still…”


“Why’s he angry with me?”


“You didn’t leave him a note, Doc,” Lucas told her.


Kristin’s face became a mask of confusion.  “What are you talking about?  I left a letter with Bob at the security desk.”


“You did?”  Both men asked at the same time.


“Yes.  I know you told me I didn’t have enough time,” Kristin looked at Bill, “but I knew that Nathan would be upset and worried if I didn’t.  So I rushed over to the dock and left him a letter.”


“Then what happened to the letter?”  Lucas asked.


“I don’t know…” Kristin replied, “And right now… I don’t care.  My concern now is Nathan, and doing whatever is necessary to get him off his ass and back on his feet.”


Bill grinned.  “That’s what I wanted to hear.  Follow me.  Nathan’s in the rehab wing.”


Kristin nodded then she and Lucas followed the older man down the hall.  They’d just entered the area when a young man in a naval uniform rushed up to Noyce.


“Okay,” Bill nodded as the officer quickly rattled off his message.  “I’ll be right there.”  He turned to Kristin.  “I’m sorry… but I need to go take care of this.”


“It’s all right… go.  I’ll be fine.”


“Good luck,” Bill said then hurried off.


“This way, Doc,” Lucas said and slipped his arm through Kristin’s.  “The cap is most likely in the physiotherapy room… not that he does anything…” Lucas finished in a mutter.


Moments later, they stopped outside the room and Kristin gasped as she peered through the window.


“Oh, Nathan…”


“Doesn’t look good, does he?”


“No…” Kristin shook her head as she stared at the man she loved.  His hair had grown out over the last six weeks, as had his beard, and both were unkempt… giving Nathan a scruffy, almost dirty look.  “He hasn’t been eating, has he?”


“Not much,” Lucas answered.  “He mostly picks at his food.  And when he’s not doing that… he just sits there.  He barely says more than two words…” the teen turned to look at her.  “I’m scared.”


Kristin reached out and placed a hand on Lucas’ shoulder.  “Don’t be.  I’m here now, and we’ll get him back to his old self soon enough.”


Lucas smiled and nodded his head.  “Come on… let’s go see him.”


They turned and were just about to enter the room when a young male nurse stepped in front of them.


“May I ask where you think you’re going?”  He addressed his question to Kristin.


“I’m going to see Captain Bridger.”


“Who are you?”


“Kristin Westphalen,” she answered.  “Now please, step aside.  I would like to see Nathan.”


“I don’t think so,” the young man said.  “You may go in,” he nodded to Lucas, “but I’m afraid you can’t.”


“And why is that, Nurse…” Kristin peered at the nametag, “Skerlick?”


“Because only people on the list may visit the captain.”


“What list?”


“This list,” Skerlick answered as he stepped over to the counter and tapped a clipboard with a sheaf of papers on it.  “And your name isn’t on it.”


Kristin glanced at the list and sure enough, her name wasn’t on it.


“I’m sorry, Ms. Westphalen… but only family and people listed here may visit the captain.”


“And who gave you this list?”


“Captain Bridger’s primary physician, Doctor Wendell Smith.”


‘Oh, this is gonna be good,’ Lucas thought and leaned up against the wall as he watched Kristin square her shoulders, her hands clenching at her sides.


“Is that so?”


“Yes,” Skerlick replied, oblivious to the sarcasm in Kristin’s voice, “it is.”


“And did you bother to check the captain’s file?”


“No… there wasn’t…”


“Because if you had checked, you would have seen that Doctor Smith, while the CMO onboard the seaQuest, is not Captain Bridger’s primary physician.  I am.”




“Yes.  Doctor Kristin Westphalen.”


Lucas watched Skerlick swallow hard as he digested the new information.


“And, if you had checked, you would have also discovered that I also hold Power of Attorney for Captain Bridger.”


“I… I uhm…”


“Did not check,” Kristin finished for Skerlick.


“No, Doctor.”


Kristin shook her head sadly then glanced over at Lucas.  “Go on in to see him, Lucas… but don’t mention that I’m here.  I want to surprise him.”


“Okay, Doc,” Lucas replied and slipped into the other room.


Kristin turned her attention back to the nurse once Lucas was gone.  “Now, I would like to see Captain Bridger’s charts… and I would like to speak to the doctor in charge.”


“I…” Skerlick began but at the determined look on Westphalen’s face, he stopped and nodded.  “Yes, Doctor,” he said and slipped behind the desk.  “Here is Captain Bridger’s file,” Skerlick handed her a folder.  “And if you’ll give me a moment, I will go get Doctor Allen for you.”


“Thank you,” Kristin replied as she began to flip through Nathan’s file.  She surreptitiously swiped the tears from her eyes as she closed the folder and stepped over to look through the window into the physiotherapy room to gaze at Nathan.  A deep sigh left her as she watched him sit in the wheelchair, staring blankly at Lucas.


“Doctor Westphalen?”


Kristin turned at the deep voice and smiled at the tall man standing before her.  “Doctor Allen, I presume?”


Allen smiled and nodded.  “Pleased to meet you.”


“Likewise,” Kristin replied.


“John tells me that you’re here to see Captain Bridger.”


“Yes, I am.”


“And I understand that it is you, not Doctor Smith, who is his doctor.”


“That’s right.  I also…”


“Have his POA, yes, John mentioned that as well.”


“So, what can you tell me?”


“You’ve obviously read his file… everything is there.”


“I was afraid of that,” Kristin sighed.


“It’s almost as he’s given up which, from what everyone has told me about his personality seems totally out of character for him,” Allen told her.


“It is out of character,” Kristin agreed.  “Why hasn’t he been discharged?”


“Wendy thought he would be better off here.”


Kristin scowled.  “He is well enough to leave is he not?”


“Oh yes.  His injuries are all healed.  The bruising and swelling of his spinal cord has gone down, and there is no reason for Captain Bridger not to be up and walking,” Allen said.  “I honestly don’t know why Wendy insisted that he stay here.  Nathan does have sensation in his legs… he’s just insisting that he can’t move them.”


“Hysterical paralysis…”


“That is what I believe it to be,” Allen replied.


Kristin looked back through the window.  “That’s the conclusion I came to as well…” she said, tapping the folder in her hands but not taking her eyes off Nathan.


‘She’s more than his doctor…’ Allen thought to himself, catching the look in Kristin’s eyes as she placed her fingers on the glass and continued to gaze at his patient.  ‘She’s in love with him… maybe…’


“Right then,” Kristin said as she dropped her hand and turned once again to face her fellow physician.  “How long will it take to process Nathan’s discharge papers?”


“I beg your pardon?”  Allen shook himself out of his thoughts.


“Nathan’s discharge papers… how long?”


“Fifteen, twenty minutes,” Allen answered.


“Good,” Kristin nodded.  “Will you get someone on it right away?”


“Of course…” he said.  “May I ask what you are planning?”


“I’m planning on getting Nathan back on his feet,” Kristin told him.


Allen grinned then chuckled.  “Something tells me, Doctor Westphalen, that you will have the captain running a marathon before the month is out.”


Kristin just smiled and glanced back through the window.  “From your lips to God’s ears, Doctor.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan sat quietly in his wheelchair and listened to Lucas go on and on about his idea for upgrading Darwin’s vo-corder.  He knew he should say something, should attempt to converse with the teen… but his heart just wasn’t in it.


‘Your heart hasn’t been in much of anything the last few weeks or so,’ a voice in his head told him.  ‘Bill told you… she’s on a mission and can’t be contacted…’


Nathan sighed.


“Sir?”  Lucas stopped talking at the sound and looked at him expectantly.  “Cap?”


Nathan knew he should answer the teen, but found he just couldn’t muster the strength nor the desire to do so; instead he merely shrugged and continued to stare at the wall.


Lucas sighed internally and was about to continue when he saw Kristin enter the room and slowly approach them from behind the captain.  He gave her a subtle nod then reached out to touch Bridger’s arm.  “I’ve gotta get going, Cap,” Lucas told him.  “I’ll come back and see you later.”


With that, Lucas stood and stepped around the captain.  He shrugged as he neared Westphalen and spoke in a hushed voice.  “He’s not talking today.”


“I figured as much,” Kristin nodded then laid her hand on Lucas’ shoulder as she leaned close.  “I need you to do a few things for me…”


“Is it something to help the cap?”


“I hope so, Lucas,” Kristin replied then quickly told him what she needed him to do.  “Think you can handle that?”




“Good,” Kristin smiled then gestured to the door with her head.  “Go…”


“Yes, ma’am…” Lucas gave her a quick peck on the cheek and left.


Kristin turned, took a step forward then stopped; surprised to feel she was shaking.  ‘Stop it, Kris…’ she chastised herself.  ‘It’s Nathan… the man you love…’ She took a steadying breath then stepped around the chair.  “Hello, Nathan.”


Nathan’s breath caught.  ‘She’s here…’ he thought but quickly put a clamp on his elation.  ‘So… she’s here,’ the voice in his head told him.  ‘It’s not like you can jump up and swing her around into your arms.’


After several minutes of silence, Nathan finally looked up.  “Finally decided to show up, huh?”


“Good to see you too,” Kristin replied as she sat down in the chair in front of him.  She reached out and laid her hand on his knee.  “I’m sorry, Nathan…”


“What are you sorry for, Kris?  Are you sorry that you weren’t here that day?  Are you sorry that because I didn’t see that damned rabbit streak across the road I’m in this chair?  Sorry that it took you so damned long to finally come see me?  Which is it, Kris?”  Nathan asked angrily.


“I don’t know… one… all of them,” Kristin replied in a quiet voice.  “I am sorry I wasn’t there waiting for you.  You don’t know how badly I wish I had been… both then and now…”


“Yeah… well, sorry doesn’t do me a hell of a lot a good now,” Nathan retorted then gave an angry swipe at the arms of his wheelchair.  “Why the hell did you have to go?!”


“You know why.  Those people needed me.”


“I needed you.  Here… with me.  You should have been here, Kris!”


“Don’t you think I know that!?  Don’t you think I’ve been beating myself up with those very thoughts from the moment I found out about your accident!?”


“Obviously not enough to get you here any sooner.”


“That’s not fair!  I was doing my job.  I never once complained about all the time you put in building the seaQuest… because I knew how much you and that sub were needed out there,” Kristin told him.  “But my job is just as important to me as yours is to you.”


Nathan didn’t reply but a deep scowl formed on his face.


“We both knew… getting into this relationship, that we would have to make sacrifices… that we would spend a lot of time apart…” Kristin said and blinked back the tears she could feel forming.  “I know you’re upset… and you’re hurting… and I’m sorry I haven’t been here… but I’m here now, and I’m going to help you.”


“Help me!?”  Nathan laughed bitterly.  “I can’t walk, Kris… and you may be a damned fine doctor, but even you can’t fix this!  There is no pill you can make up to give to me that will make my legs work again!  You can’t wave some magic wand over me and have me dancing a jig!  So just how the hell do you think you’re going to help me!?”


‘He’s lashing out… He’s not angry at you… he’s just lashing out because he knows he can with you…’ Kristin told herself as she bit back the angry retort that rose instantly to her tongue.  ‘Do not let him pull you into an argument…’ she smiled internally.  ‘At least not yet.’


“Doctor Westphalen?”


Kristin looked up to see Doctor Allen standing behind Nathan.  “Doctor Allen.”


“Everything has been arranged as you requested,” Allen told her as he handed her a clipboard and a pen.


“Very good.  Thank you, Doctor,” Kristin said as she quickly scribbled her name across the paper.


“What’s been arranged?”  Nathan asked in an annoyed voice, not bothering to turn to face the doctor.


“You’ve been discharged, Captain Bridger,” Allen answered as he took the clipboard back from Kristin. 


“What?”  Nathan suddenly whirled the wheelchair around to face his doctor.  “What do you mean I’ve been discharged?”


“Doctor Westphalen has signed you out, and is going to be taking over your physiotherapy.”


“Shouldn’t I be the one deciding this?”


“I’m sorry, Captain,” Allen smiled at him.  “It’s already been taken care of.”


“Excuse me… but do I not have any say here?”


Doctor Allen watched with interest as Kristin shifted her attention back to Nathan, stared him straight in the eyes and told him in a firm voice, “No.  Actually, you don’t.”


Nathan crossed his arms over his chest.  “Fine.  Whatever.”


Kristin sighed then stood and moved behind Nathan’s chair as Allen held out another folder.  “The regimen the captain’s been following… at least the regimen we’ve been trying to get him to follow.”


Kristin took the folder and nodded.  “Well, Lucas should have all the other arrangements made… and speak of the devil,” she said with a smile just as Lucas entered the room.  “Everything set?”


“Yep,” Lucas grinned at her.  “Just like you wanted it.”


“Good,” Kristin smiled and began to push Nathan out.


“Doctor…” Allen started.  “Could I speak to you for a moment?”


Kristin nodded.  “Lucas, please take Nathan out to the car.  Get one of the orderlies to help you.”


“Yes, ma’am!”  Lucas slipped in behind Bridger’s chair.  “Hang on, Cap…” the teen said then wheeled him out of the room.


“Are you sure this is a good idea?”  Allen asked once Lucas and Nathan were out of the room.


“What do you mean?”


“Well…” the doctor looked uncomfortable.  “It’s obvious that you and Captain Bridger are…”




“Yes,” Allen nodded.  “Are you sure this isn’t a conflict of interest?  I mean with the two of you…”


“Sleeping together?”


The doctor nodded again, looking even more uncomfortable than before.  “I’m sorry if I’m overstepping my bounds here…”


Kristin shook her head.  “It’s all right.  I understand why you had to ask,” she told him.  “It’s true, Nathan and I are dating, however…” Kristin felt her face flush slightly.  “Our timing always seems to be off,” she said pointedly.




“Exactly.  Besides… you know better than I that as far as Nathan is concerned… not everything is in working order,” Kristin said.  “I’m more interested in getting Nathan walking again… not jumping him.”


Allen smiled.


“After he’s walking…” Kristin began as she opened the door and walked out into the hall, “then I’ll jump him.”


The doctor laughed and shook his head.


“I’m sorry,” Kristin had the grace to blush.


“Nothing to be sorry for,” Allen told her, a smile still on his face.  “To be honest… I hope that is what happens… albeit for different reasons.”


Kristin chuckled.  “Thank you, Doctor.”


“You’re welcome, Doctor.  And please… call me Gordon.”


“Only if you call me Kristin.”




The two colleagues smiled as they quickly made their way down the hall, towards the car they could see waiting just outside the doors.


“In case you need it, I’ve written down my number… my direct line, in the folder.”


“Thank you, Gordon,” Kristin said as they reached the doors.


“Good luck, Kristin,” Gordon said.


Kristin glanced through the glass to see Nathan sitting in the car with his arms crossed and the scowl still on his face.  She sighed.  “Thanks.  I’m going to need it.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“So, now that you’ve kidnapped me… where are you taking me?”  Nathan asked after almost two hours of silence.


“To a friend’s house,” Kristin answered quietly.


“Why not to the island?”


“Because I don’t want us to be interrupted while I’m helping you…”


“Helping me?  With what?”  Nathan scowled.


“Regain your mobility…”


“I have that already with the chair.”


“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Kristin replied.  “I’m going to help you walk again.”


Nathan gave a bitter laugh and shook his head.  “Never gonna happen.”


“Not with an attitude like that it won’t.”


“Okay… I know you’re a doctor… so what part of paralyzed don’t you understand?”


Kristin sighed.  “I’ve read your file.  I know all about the swelling and the bruising of your spinal cord… and all the other injuries you sustained.  I also know that the swelling and bruising have gone down, and that there is no reason for you not to be up and walking.”


“Except that I can’t move my legs,” Nathan said.  “And don’t tell me it’s all in my head.  That’s all the doctor’s been telling me… and it’s obviously not, otherwise I’d be walking!”


Kristin sighed again and returned her full attention to the road.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“This is it?”


“Yes,” Kristin answered as she pulled up in front of the large house.


“We’re out in the middle of nowhere,” Nathan said.  “Shit, we should’ve just gone to the island.”


Kristin shook her head as she put the car in park then shut it off.  “I told you, I don’t want any interruptions, and the first place anyone would look for us would be the island.  Only Lucas and Bill know about this place,” she said as she popped the trunk then pulled the keys out of the ignition.  Kristin gave him a small smile.  “And they know not to tell anyone, or even to call.  Besides, this house is set up for you… the island house isn’t.”


Nathan frowned as he watched her get out of the car.  He listened as she carefully got the wheelchair out of the trunk and moments later he caught sight of it in the window.


Kristin opened his door and looked at him.  “So… are you planning on sitting in the car the whole time we’re here or what?”


“Funny, Kris…” Nathan commented dryly as he looked up at her.  “Are you going to help me or what?”


Kristin nodded slowly and with a little effort they managed to get Nathan out of the car and into the wheelchair.  “I’ll come back for our things,” she told him as she wheeled him up the ramp leading up to the large porch.


“I can wheel myself you know,” Nathan told her and grasped the wheels in his hands as they reached the top of the ramp.


“Fine… go for it,” Kristin said and dropped her hands from the handles.  She stepped around him, and walked over to the door to unlock it.  She moved inside and dropped her purse on the couch then slipped back outside.


Nathan watched her, his eyes on her long, bare, tan legs, as she passed him on her way back to the car to fetch their bags and felt a wave of desire wash over him.  He glanced down and sighed.  ‘Definitely not all in my mind,’ he thought dejectedly.


“Come on…” Kristin’s voice broke through his brooding.  “I’ll show you around.”


Nathan wheeled after her into the house.


“This,” she spun slowly around and stretched out her arms, “is the living room, obviously.  The kitchen is back there,” Kristin pointed to the archway that was now behind her.  “And through the kitchen is how you get to the pool.”


“There’s a pool?”


“Yes.  It’s very good for therapy,” Nathan scowled at that and Kristin merely shrugged as she continued.  “Okay, follow me.”


Nathan followed.


“The exercise room is,” she gestured to an open door as she passed it, “here.  We’ll be spending a lot of time in this room.”


Nathan raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment as he wheeled by the door.  He spared a quick glance into the room, seeing all the equipment then continued to follow her.


“Bathroom,” Kristin pointed to another door then continued on and into one of the rooms.  “And this…”


“Is the bedroom,” Nathan finished then looked up at her.  “Yours or mine?”






“What’s the big deal, Nathan?  It’s not like we haven’t slept together before,” Kristin pointed out.  “We have no choice anyway.  This is the only bedroom.”


“In a house this big?”  Nathan asked incredulously.  “You have got to be kidding?!”


“Actually no, I’m not.”  Kristin replied.  “Tom and Alice have no kids, so the extra bedrooms have been converted into offices for each of them.  One’s a sewing room, and the other as you saw, is the exercise room.”


“You’re serious?  This is the only bedroom?”


“Yes.  So unless you want to sleep in that chair for the next little while…” Kristin’s voice trailed off as she gave Nathan a pointed look.


Nathan sighed and nodded his acceptance.


“I’m going to go see what’s in the kitchen.  I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry,” Kristin said as she walked out of the bedroom.


“Damned stubborn woman!”  Nathan muttered under his breath as he spun the chair around and wheeled out of the room.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan lay in bed, flat on his back, head propped up on his arms on the pillow, listening to the sounds of Kristin in the bathroom; getting ready for bed herself.


He sighed, knowing she would be joining him any minute now. 


‘Great!  Just great.  We’re finally alone… no chance of being interrupted and I can’t do anything…’ Nathan thought.  ‘Way to be the stud there, Bridger.’


Nathan opened his eyes at the sound of the bathroom door opening, and looked down the length of his body to watch Kristin emerge; clad in one of his old tee shirts.


“Hey!  That’s mine!”  He said, surprising even himself with the teasing tone of his voice.


Kristin glanced down at the blue naval tee then smiled as she met his eyes.  “Yes… it is,” she agreed as she moved to wall and flipped the light switch.  “But you’ve always said your shirts look better on me than they do on you.”


“They do,” Nathan replied approvingly as he let his eyes travel down her form.  He watched as she walked towards the bed.  “They most certainly do.”


Kristin gave him a smile as she sat on the edge of the bed, slipped beneath the sheet then reached out to turn off the lamp.  She rolled over and propped herself up beside him, her hand on his chest.


“Uh… Kris…” Nathan began, his body stiffening as she flexed her hand on his chest and leaned closer.  “What are you doing?”


“What does it look like I’m doing?”  Kristin asked him in a soft voice as she lowered her face closer to his.  “I’m giving you a good-night kiss.”


“I…” Nathan turned his head away.  “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”


Kristin dropped her head to his chest and sighed.  “And why not?”


“Because… I… I just don’t, all right!?”


Kristin sighed again then lifted her head from his chest.  “Fine,” she told him as she rolled over onto her side, facing away from him.  “I didn’t think sleeping with me would be such a chore…”


Nathan heard the hurt in Kristin’s voice, even though she tried to hide it.  ‘You’re an ass,’ the voice in his head told him.  ‘She just wanted a kiss… a simple good-night kiss…’




“Yes, Nathan?”  Kristin answered in a quiet voice.


“I’m sorry.”


“I know,” she said, her back still to him.


“I just…” Nathan moved his hand to her hip.  “I’m sorry.  I wasn’t expecting this.”


Kristin released a deep breath then rolled back over and propped herself back onto her elbow to look at him.  “I know this is difficult for you.  I’m not stupid, Nathan,” she told him.  “I was not expecting anything.”


“Then this…”


“I wanted to sleep in your arms.  Nothing more,” Kristin said then gave him a small smile.  “I’ve missed you.  Missed sleeping with you these last three months…”


“I’ve missed you too,” Nathan admitted in a soft voice as he reached up to cup her cheek.


Kristin shifted a little closer as she turned her face into his hand and pressed a soft kiss to his palm.  “Please hold me…” she asked him in a whisper.  Nathan nodded and Kristin moved quickly into his embrace.  Kristin laid her head on his shoulder then released a deep breath when she felt his arms slip around her.  “Thank you…”


“Good night, Kris.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Kristin awoke to the feel of Nathan’s arms still tightly wrapped her.  She shifted and was slightly amazed to realize that his legs were entwined with hers; not only that… Nathan was lying on his side as he held her.


‘This feels familiar,’ she thought with a sleepy smile and gently circled her hips against the more than obvious bulge pressing against her center.  Kristin sighed happily and cuddled back into his embrace.


Sleep was just about to claim Kristin again when she felt Nathan’s arms tighten around her and his lips brush against the top of her head.  She tilted her head back to smile at him.


“Good morning,” Kristin whispered sleepily as she leaned in for a kiss.


“Morning,” Nathan replied as he lowered his lips to hers.


“Sleep well?”  Kristin asked as she laid her head on his pillow and gazed at him.


“Actually… yes.  Best sleep I’ve had in weeks.  I could almost forget that I’m…” Nathan glanced down between them at that moment.  “How the hell did we get like this?”


“I don’t know,” Kristin said.  “What’s the big deal?  We’ve always slept curled around each other.”


“Yeah, I know that… but how did I get onto my side… and how did this…” Nathan gestured to their entwined legs, “happen?”


“I don’t know,” Kristin repeated.


“You didn’t do it?”  Nathan asked.


“No…” Kristin dragged the word out slowly.  “Like you, I was asleep.”


“Then how?”


“Maybe you did it?”


“I can’t move my legs,” Nathan said.  “In medical terms I believe you would call that paralysis.”


Kristin’s eyes narrowed at the sarcastic tone in his voice.  “Look… I know you’re frustrated…”


“You don’t know the half of it!”  Nathan told her hotly.  “I mean, look at us… any other time, with you pressed up against me like this I would have a massive hard on… but now… nada!”


“What are you talking ab…” Kristin’s voice trailed off as she pressed her hips into his and discovered the erection she’d felt earlier was gone.  Confusion showed on her face as she glanced down.  “I…”


“Am not anymore disappointed than I am, trust me,” Nathan said in a disgusted voice.


Kristin shook her head.  “No, Nathan… when I woke up early… just minutes before you did,” she began.  “You had an erection.”


“Yeah, right,” Nathan said humourlessly.  “It’s not nice to tease the cripple.”


“Nathan,” Kristin admonished.  “You’re not…”


“What?  A cripple?”  Nathan asked with a bitter laugh.  “Oh… make no mistake… I most certainly am.”


“I’ve read your charts, Nathan.  Your legs are fine.  There is no reason why you should not be walking.”


“That’s what that quack doctor at the hospital told me too,” Nathan replied.  “Said it was hysterical paralysis.  That it was all in my mind.”


“Well… there has to be something… you’re obviously able to move otherwise we wouldn’t be in this position,” Kristin told him indicating their still cozy embrace.


“It wasn’t me.”


“Are you suggesting that I’m the one who got us like this?”  Kristin asked as she leaned back.  “That I pulled you onto your side, and entwined our legs?”


“Honestly… yes,” Nathan nodded.


“I don’t…” Kristin slipped her legs out from his and pushed at his shoulders so that he was lying on his back then quickly scrambled out of the bed.


Nathan watched her stride across the room towards the bathroom.  “Where are you going?”


“Where does it look like?”  Kristin answered as she paused in the doorway.


“But what about… aren’t you going to help me out of bed?”


“Actually… no.”  Kristin told him.  “You’re so damned stubborn… you can get yourself out.”


With that, she turned, walked into the bathroom and slammed the door behind her.


“How the fu…” Nathan swore under his breath.  He glanced up at the lift-harness suspended over the bed that had been swung aside then with a deep sigh, and more cursing, he reached up for it.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Good morning, John.”


Skerlick looked up from the chart he was holding to see Wendy Smith coming to a stop before him.  “Hello, Doctor.  Have a nice night?”


“Yes, I did.  Thank you,” Wendy replied with a smile as she gestured to the physiotherapy room.  “Is Captain Bridger in there, or still in his room?”


“Uhm… actually… he’s not in either.” Skerlick answered hesitantly.


“Oh… has Lucas taken him out on the patio for some fresh air?  That’s wonderful!  It will do Nathan some good.”


“I’m afraid he’s not on the patio either.”


“Then where is he?”  Wendy asked.


“He’s been signed out.”


“WHAT!?  By who?”


Skerlick looked uncomfortable as he slowly answered.  “Doctor Kristin Westphalen.  She came in yesterday to see him… and within twenty minutes had him signed out.”


“You were told no one was supposed to see him!  Only the people on the list I gave you,” Wendy told him angrily.  “Where is Doctor Allen?”


“In his office.”


A deep scowl formed on Wendy’s face as she spun on her heel and stomped down the corridor.


Gordon looked up as a heavy knock sounded on his door.  “Come in.” 


The door swung open and an upset Wendy stormed into the office.


‘I’ve been waiting for this,’ Gordon thought to himself as he put a smile on his face and stood, gesturing for her to have a seat.  “Good morning, Doctor Smith.  How are you on this fine day?”


“Where is he?”


“Where is who?”


“Don’t play dumb with me, Gordon.  Where is Nathan?”


“He’s been signed out.”


“I know that.  And I know that Westphalen woman is the one responsible.  Where did she take him?”


“I don’t know.”


“You mean you let her just take him away and didn’t ask her where she was taking him?”  Wendy asked incredulously.  “Nathan is in no condition to be discharged.”


“There is nothing wrong with him.”


“He’s paralysed.”


“No, he isn’t.  His inability to move his legs or walk is all in his mind.”


“He should not have been discharged without my authorization,” Wendy told the other doctor as she leaned on his desk.  “I am his primary physician.  I should have been consulted…”


“For what purpose?  I am the physician in charge of Captain Bridger’s case, and while you are the seaQuest’s CMO, you are not the captain’s primary physician.”


“I beg your pardon?”


“You are not his primary physician.  Doctor Westphalen is.”


“I assume she told you this?”


“Yes.  As a matter of fact, she did.”


“And you believed her?  The woman is sleeping with him for Pete’s sake!  She is NOT his doctor.”


Allen held his hands up in a conciliatory manner.  “I checked his file, and Doctor Westphalen is listed as Captain Bridger’s primary physician.”


Wendy frowned.  “For the moment, let’s say it’s true… that still does not explain why you let that woman sign Nathan out, and take him to God knows where.”


“I let her take him because I believed it was in the captain’s best interest to go with her,” Allen told her.  “I truly believe that if anyone can get through to Captain Bridger and get him on his feet again, it is Kristin Westphalen.”


Wendy’s frown deepened.  “She is not a telepath…”


“There is more to medicine than the ability to read someone’s mind,” Allen answered then held his hand up again when Wendy opened her mouth to speak.  “Doctor Smith… I know you are just looking after Captain Bridger’s best interests as his CMO, but so is Doctor Westphalen.  And as the doctor in charge of his case, I am not required to explain my actions to you.  Now, if you’ll excuse me…” he gestured to the folders on his desk.  “I have some paperwork I need to take care of.”


Wendy gave him a scathing look then turned and left his office.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Kristin stared at the pool, watching the wind ripple the water, and sighed.  It’d been three days since she’d brought Nathan to the house.  And over the last few days, they’d spent very little time in the exercise room.


‘Three days…’ she thought to herself.  ‘And all we’ve done is argue…’


“Damned stubborn man!”  Kristin said to the water.


“All part of my charm.”


“Go away!  I’m not in the mood to deal with you right now.”


“Yeah… well… it’s your fault I’m here…”


Kristin sighed.  “…Nathan…”


“Sorry…” Nathan said.  “That’s actually what I came out here to say.”


She turned to look at him.


Nathan held up his hands.  “Honest!  I don’t want to fight with you anymore…” a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.  “Despite how much fun we have doing it.”


Kristin couldn’t help it and smiled softly.


“So, am I forgiven?”


“Yes,” Kristin finally said with a nod.


“Thank you.”


Silence fell between them as Kristin returned her gaze to the pool then turned to stare at him.  After several minutes, Nathan began to shift under her critical gaze.


“What?”  He finally asked.


Kristin cocked her head to the side before answering.  “You look like shit.”


“Gee… thanks.”


“You’re welcome,” Kristin said and shook her head.  “I think before we even attempt to start again on your therapy that a shave is in order.”




“You need to shave.”


“What if I don’t want to?”  Nathan retorted, feeling his ire rise again.


“You look scruffy!”  Kristin told him.


Nathan reached up and ran his hand over the six weeks worth of hair growth on his face.  The nurses in the hospital had tried to shave him but he wouldn’t allow them near him.  Lucas, Jonathan and even Bill had made comment, but still he refused to shave.  He wasn’t totally sure about his reasons for not shaving; he simply refused to do it. 


Nathan met Kristin’s eyes.  “Has anyone stopped to think that just maybe I want to grow a beard?  That I like it?  That I don’t want to shave it off?  Not to mention that it’s my face…”


“It is your face,” Kristin agreed as she stood, walked over to him then leaned close and continued in an almost husky voice.  “But I have plans for your face… and they don’t include that scruffy beard.”


“Yeah, well… life’s a bitch and we don’t always get what we want,” Nathan said as he grasped the wheels and backed away from her, turned the chair then began to wheel towards the house.


Kristin grabbed the handles on the back of the chair just as he wheeled through the door.  “Life’s a bitch… and so am I,” she told him as she took over and began to push his chair in the direction she wanted.


“Hey!”  Nathan tried to stop her.


“You’re getting a shave,” Kristin told him as she continued to push him through the house despite his attempts to stop her.  “I’ve decided that today is going to be our first day.  We’re going to start over…”


“Fine!  But do I have to lose the beard?  You said you liked the beard.”


“I do like the beard.  I think you look quite dashing with it,” Kristin admitted as they entered the large bathroom, “when it’s trim and neat.  Not when it’s long and scruffy as it is now.”


“Well… I’m not going to shave it,” Nathan told her and crossed his arms over his chest in protest.


“I wasn’t expecting you to,” Kristin replied as she whirled him around so that he was next to the toilet.  She knocked the lid down and gestured to it.  “Wanna swing yourself up there please while I get things ready?”


“What are you planning?”


Kristin met his eyes and smiled at him.  “I’m planning to shave you.  So… up on the toilet please.”


Nathan watched her slip out of the bathroom and then, grumbling under his breath, he reached up to grab the harness and lifted his uncooperative body out of the wheelchair and swung himself onto the toilet as Kristin had directed; trying to keep his shorts from riding up as he went.


Moments later, her hands full, Kristin returned.  “Oh good, you made it,” she said.  “Are you comfortable?”


“As comfortable as I can be,” Nathan shrugged and watched as she unloaded the various items she’d gone into the bedroom to retrieve onto the counter surrounding the sink.  Scissors, clippers, a can of shaving cream and finally, “A straight razor?  You’re going to use a straight razor?”


“Yes,” Kristin flashed him a brilliant smile as she turned on the water and began to fill the sink.  “I’m a doctor, Nathan… I have steady hands.  Trust me.”


“I do trust you,” he said.  “But a straight razor?”  Nathan eyed the object in question warily.  “Couldn’t you just use a normal razor?”


Kristin shook her head.  “Nope.  A straight razor shaves closer.”


“Do you use that on your legs?”  Nathan asked with a chuckle.


“No.  I wax,” she answered.  “We could try that if you like?”


“Straight razor is fine.”


Kristin laughed softly.  “I thought it might be,” she said as she turned off the tap then reached for the scissors and turned to face him.  “First… we trim…”


Nathan sat quietly while Kristin bent over in front of him and began to cut away the extra length of his beard, dropping the locks of hair onto the floor around them.  As she was doing this, Nathan glanced down and realized he could see down the front of Kristin’s blouse, pleasantly surprised to discover that she wasn’t wearing a bra.  He watched, mesmerized as her breasts swayed gently with her every movement, and then, as if knowing his eyes were on them, her nipples began to pucker.


“Enjoying the view?”


Nathan lifted his head sharply at the words whispered huskily into his ear and found himself staring directly into Kristin’s sable eyes.  “Actually… yes I am.  Thanks for asking.”


Kristin laughed as she straightened up and dropped the scissors into the sink.  “Here,” she handed him the shaving cream.  “Make yourself useful.”


Nathan couldn’t help the chuckle that came out as he shook the can then squeezed a large dollop onto his hand.  He placed the can back on the counter then without looking; Nathan smoothed the white foam over his bearded face.  When he was done, he wiped his hands off on the towel Kristin held out to him.


“All set?”  Kristin asked him, tapping the straight razor with her finger.


“Yes,” Nathan nodded then drew back in surprise as Kristin climbed into his lap, straddling him.  “Uh… Kris?”


Too stunned by her actions to do or say anything else, Nathan watched as Kristin grabbed his hands and placed them around her waist; softly telling him to keep them there then reached out for one of the small hand towels, laid it across his shoulder and reached out again for the razor.


“Kris…?”  Nathan finally found his voice.  “What are you doing?”


Kristin gave him an amused smile.  “We discussed this already.  I’m shaving you.”


“Sitting in my lap?”


“Well… I need to be able to get close so that I don’t cut you,” Kristin answered then leaned in.  “Now… hold still.”


Nathan found his shoulders tensing as he held himself ramrod straight.


Kristin stopped, the razor millimeters from Nathan’s cheek.  She pulled back and met his eyes.  “Relax, Nathan… I’ve got very steady hands,” she told him and held out the razor.  “See?”


“You’re sure you’ve done this before?”  Nathan asked, eyeing the razor.


“What?  Used a straight razor?”  Kristin asked in reply.  “Yes, I have,” she told him then shifted closer and brought the blade back up.  “Don’t move…”


Nathan willed himself to relax as Kristin eased the razor down over his cheek, cleaning away the hair and foam.


“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”  Kristin asked as she wiped the blade on the towel she’d slung on his shoulder.


“No…” Nathan admitted and relaxed considerably.  As Kristin continued to shave off his beard, Nathan found himself focusing on Kristin and the feel of her around him.  He found himself holding his breath every time she would shift closer and press her breasts to his chest.  ‘Oh god… she’s wearing a thong…’ he thought to himself when she shifted back to rinse the razor in the sink, the smooth, bare skin of her bottom warming his thighs.


“You still okay?”  Kristin asked as she shook the excess water from the blade.


“Yeah,” Nathan nodded.  “Are you almost done?”


“No,” she answered.  “You have six weeks worth of hair on your face… why?  You got someplace to be?”


“Very funny,” Nathan said.


“I thought so,” Kristin answered with a smile then shook her head at the serious look on his face.  “I think after we finish here… that we should work on your lost sense of humour.”


“Kristin…” Nathan began in a warning tone.


“Ssh… don’t move,” Kristin said as she smoothed the razor over his jaw.


Nathan closed his eyes and once again found himself concentrating on Kristin as her scent surrounded him.  ‘Clean, fresh, and all woman,’ he thought as he slid his hands down from Kristin’s waist to her bottom and pulled her closer.


Kristin smiled to herself as she wiped the blade on the towel.  “Turn your head,” she told him.  “I need to do the other side.”


Nathan did as Kristin asked then found himself tightening his grip on her rear as she slipped.  “Whoa!  Don’t fall…” he said and pulled her tight against him.


“Thank you,” Kristin murmured as she adjusted her position on his lap, very aware of how close Nathan was holding her to him.


“You’re welcome,” Nathan replied, enjoying the feel of her breasts pressed against his chest.


She gave him a smile and leaned back slightly as she brought the razor up.  “Hold still.”


Nathan sighed.


“Not too much longer,” Kristin told him.  “And if you’re a good little boy… I’ll give you a lollipop.”  A smile tugged at the corner of Nathan’s mouth, which caused Kristin to chuckle.  “Good!  Your sense of humour is returning.”


“I just want a lollipop,” Nathan told her with a deadpan face.


Kristin pulled the blade away from his face as she laughed.  She swatted his shoulder.  “You’re terrible… hold still.”


Nathan smiled then let his face relax so she could finish shaving him.  Once again, he became hyper aware of everything about her… her scent, her warmth… the way her breath washed over his neck… the feel of her smooth skin against his bare thighs. 






The woman he’d wanted for quite some time now.  ‘Wanted, hell!  Still want…’ he thought to himself, and sighed internally.




Nathan shook his head then looked at her.  “Yes?”


“I need you to tilt your head back so that I can…” she brushed her fingers under his chin.


“Thank you,” Kristin said as she quickly took care of the hair there.  “Okay, you can put your head down again.”


“How much longer?”  Nathan asked.


“Not too much…” Kristin replied as she dropped the razor into the sink, and grabbed a washcloth.  She wet it then began to wipe his face, cleaning away the residual shaving cream.  She tossed the cloth into the water then reached for the clippers.  “Just have to tidy this up a little…”


“Tidy what?”  Nathan reached up to find she’d left him with a goatee.  “I thought my having a beard wasn’t in your plans for my face?”


“It’s not a beard, it’s a goatee,” Kristin told him.  “Hold still…” she carefully maneuvered the clippers over the hair she’d left, trimming it into a neat and tidy looking goatee.  “There… all done.”


Before he could ask, Kristin placed the clippers back on the counter and grabbed a small mirror.


“What do you think?”


Nathan turned his head from side to side.  “Not bad,” he nodded.  “Not bad at all.”


“Thank you,” Kristin smiled at him as she returned the mirror to the counter.  “I wanted to see if you looked as good with a goatee as you do with the beard.”




Kristin cupped his cheek and smoothed her thumb over the newly trimmed hair.  “I can honestly say I am not disappointed… very handsome,” she told him in a soft voice as her thumb moved to trace over his bottom lip.   “Very handsome indeed…”


“Thank you,” Nathan murmured as she leaned closer.  “Kris… what are you doing?”


“Testing my work,” Kristin replied as she rubbed her cheek against his.  “Mmm… perfect,” she murmured then repeated the action on his other cheek.  “Smooth as a baby’s bottom…”


Nathan chuckled and rubbed his cheek against hers playfully.  “You do good work, Doctor.”


“Thank you,” Kristin said as she pulled back to look at him.  “Do you like it or do you want me to shave it off?”


“No… I like it,” Nathan said as he brought a hand up to stroke his chin then reached out to cup her cheek.  “I know I was being an ass earlier… but thank you.  It really does feel much better.”


“You’re welcome,” Kristin told him then leaned in and brushed a soft kiss against his lips.  She lifted her head slightly and met his eyes then leaned slowly leaned back in for another, and then another… each successive kiss a little harder than the one before it.


Nathan slid the hand on her cheek into her hair, and at Kristin’s husky whisper of his name, he deepened the kiss, pressing his tongue past her lips to explore the warmth of her mouth.


Kristin moaned and wrapped her arms around Nathan’s head, her fingers brushing against his cheeks as she straightened up on him.  She pressed as close to him as she could manage and kissed him hungrily.


Nathan tightened his fingers in Kristin’s hair as he returned her fervent kiss.  He groaned as her flavour continued to flood his senses and at the feel of her breasts rubbing against his chest.  He flexed his hand against her rear and pulled her closer.


“…Nathan…” Kristin moaned into his mouth and began to rock against him as the kiss exploded, heating up to yet another level.


Nathan slipped his hands beneath her blouse to caress the smooth skin of her back, pleased when she moaned and arched against him.  ‘That’s right… get her all hot and bothered… and then what?’ the voice in his head taunted him.  ‘What else can you do?’


All of a sudden, Kristin found herself sliding off Nathan’s lap.  She landed with a small thud on the bathroom floor.  “Nathan…” Kristin looked up at him, confusion on her face.  “What…?”


Nathan glared down at her.  “What are you playing at?”


“What are you talking about?”  Kristin asked as she climbed, a little unsteadily, to her feet.


“You know damned well… what was this little performance for?”  Nathan asked angrily.


“I…” Kristin shook her head.  “What performance?”


“The lap dance!  Were we trying to drive home the point that I can no longer get it up?”


“Lap dance?  We were kissing,” Kristin said.  “It’s been three months.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve missed you… missed kissing you…”


“And I’m so sure you were enjoying yourself… making out with the cripple…” Nathan said sarcastically.


“You’re not…”


“Oh but I am!”  Nathan cut in before she could finish.  “And nothing you or any other doctor says will change the truth.  I can’t walk.  Nothing below the waist works the way it used to.  So… you don’t have to pretend any longer that you were getting turned on by what was happening, because we both know you weren’t… despite the performance.”


“You son of a bitch!”  Kristin swore.  “I am so tired of hearing you bitch and moan.  Fine!  You can’t move your legs… it’s all in your head, Nathan!  Your injuries have all healed… it’s all psychosomatic!”  She told him.  “And as for my not getting turned on…”


Nathan watched as Kristin reached her hand under her skirt and was surprised to see her slip her panties off.


“You make up your own damn mind!”  Kristin threw her panties at him then stormed out into the bedroom, slamming the door behind her.


“Hey!”  Nathan called out when he heard the lock click into place.  “What about…”


“You got your ass out of the chair by yourself you can get it back in yourself!”  Her voice came through the door.


“I don’t fucking believe this,” Nathan swore and glared at the door.  He looked down at the panties lying in his lap and grabbed them in his fist.  “What the…” Nathan stopped just as he was about to throw them against the door.  ‘They’re wet…’ he realized and let them fall open in his hand.  He stared at the damp spot then brought the small scrap of lace to his nose and inhaled deeply.  “Oh god…” Nathan groaned as the scent of Kristin’s arousal filled his senses.




Nathan’s hands dropped to his lap as he looked up at the soft moan that reached his ears through the door.  ‘Oh no… she’s not…’ he thought.


“Ooh… mmm…”


“She is…” Nathan exhaled the breath he was holding at the image that suddenly filled his mind of Kristin sprawled out on the bed… one hand playing with her breast while the fingers of her other hand worked to bring herself to orgasm.  He lifted her panties back up to his nose and breathed in her scent again just as he heard Kristin moan his name.


‘I can’t listen to this anymore,’ he thought as he tucked her panties into his shirt pocket then reached up for the lift.  He maneuvered himself back into his wheelchair then wheeled himself out into the hall, passing the closed bedroom door just in time to hear Kristin’s muffled shout of completion.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan wheeled his chair out onto the porch.


“I’m not in the mood for another round.”


Nathan stopped the chair at the softly spoken words.  “I’m not here to fight with you.”


“Then what do want, Nathan?”  Kristin asked in a tired voice.


“I want you to take me back to the hospital,” Nathan told her.  “Take me back and…”


“And what?”  Kristin turned to face him.  “Leave you there to rot in your own self-pity?  No,” she shook her head.  “I won’t do that to you.”


“Dammit, Kristin!  Can’t you see I’m just trying to do what’s right here!?”  Nathan said as he wheeled the chair closer. 


“Right for who?”  Kristin asked.


“For you!” 


“For me!?  You’re trying to tell me that you’re doing this… being an insufferable ass for me?”


“Yes!”  Nathan told her.  “I love you too much to saddle you with a man who can’t walk… or make love to you.”


“What did you say?”  Kristin asked in a quiet voice.


“I said I’m not going to saddle you…”


“No!  Before that… you said… you said you loved me…”


“I…” Nathan said.  “Of course I love you… you know that.”


“I know… or at least I’ve assumed… but you’ve never said the words… you’ve never told me,” Kristin said, her eyes bright with unshed tears.


“Yes, I…” Nathan began then stopped.  “No… I never… I can’t believe I’ve never…” he sat back in the chair.  He met her eyes.  “I do love you, Kris.  Very much.  And that is why I can’t do this to you.  I can’t let you throw your life away on… on this…” Nathan gestured to his legs.  “I won’t do it.”


Kristin slid out of her chair and knelt in front of him.  “You son of a… don’t you know that I love you too!?  That your being in this chair doesn’t change that!”  Kristin laid her hands on his knees as she moved closer, slipping between his legs.  “Let me help you… please…”


“But what if I never get out of this chair?”


“I will still love you and want to be with you,” she smiled at him and reached up to cup his cheek.  “Nothing can ever change that.”


 Nathan gazed down at her then nodded softly before he grasped her hands and pulled her up so that she was sitting across his lap in the chair.  “I do not deserve you… I am grateful beyond words to have you… but I don’t deserve you,” he brushed his lips over hers.  “I love you, Kristin.”


“I love you too,” Kristin whispered as she slipped her hand into his hair and pulled his mouth down to hers.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


A soft sigh sounded in the otherwise quiet bedroom, followed moments later by the sound of rustling sheets.


“You fidget too much first thing in the morning.”


“Sorry,” Kristin mumbled and shifted out of his arms.


“It wasn’t a complaint so much as an observation,” Nathan said with a yawn as he pulled her back into his arms.


Kristin snuggled back into his embrace and laid her head on his chest.


“So… what is the plan for today?”  Nathan asked quietly. 


“I thought we’d start off slow… a short stint on one exerciser to help build your muscles back up, ” Kristin answered.  “Followed by a massage.”


“The massage sounds nice,” Nathan said as he lifted her hand from his chest and brought her fingers to his lips.


Kristin smiled against his chest.  “It will be… I give pretty good ones if I do say so myself.”


“Something to look forward to now,” Nathan said.


Kristin chuckled softly and pressed a kiss to his chest then rose up on her elbow.  “Come on, Sailor.  We’ve got a lot to do today,” she said as she dropped a quick kiss to his lips then slid out of the bed.  She looked back at him.  “Do you…”


“I can do it,” Nathan replied before she could finish asking.  “But thanks.”


Kristin smiled and nodded as she made her way into the bathroom.


When he heard the shower start, Nathan threw aside the blankets then pulled himself up into a sitting position.  He stared down intently at his feet for several minutes then with a frustrated sigh; he reached up for the lift and hauled himself out of the bed.


He wasn’t overly looking forward to going on that machine or doing anything else she had planned for him, but he loved Kristin… and was willing to try.


For her.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan sank heavily in his chair and wiped the sweat from his brow.  “I didn’t think I would sweat so much with the machine doing all the work,” he said.


“Your muscles haven’t been used in a while,” Kristin told him.


“I know,” Nathan replied.  “But still…”


Kristin smiled and stepped behind the wheelchair.  “Come on… let’s get you over to the table for that massage I promised you.”


“Sounds wonderful to me,” Nathan said as she wheeled him across the room then with the help of the overhead lift, they maneuvered him up onto the large massage table.


“Lay back and relax,” Kristin told him as she reached for the small bottle of massage oil on the nearby shelf.


“Okay…” Nathan nodded as he watched her squirt some of the oil into her palm, put the bottle back then rub her hands together.  “Oh… that feels good,” he moaned moments later as Kristin’s fingers began to massage the sole of his right foot.


“It’s supposed to,” she said.  “Now… close your eyes and relax…”


“Yes, ma’am…” Nathan replied and closed his eyes.  His breathing slowed as he concentrated on the feel of Kristin’s hands.  “Mmm… you were right,” Nathan murmured a short while later.


“About what?”  Kristin asked as her fingers worked the muscles of his right thigh.


“You do give great massages,” Nathan answered.


Kristin chuckled.  “I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”


“I just wish I could return the favour.”


“You will…” Kristin told him as she reached out for the bottle of oil, squirted some more into her hand then laid her hands on this stomach.


“Hey!  That’s cold!”  Nathan’s eyes flew open as he sucked in his belly.


“Sorry,” Kristin smiled sheepishly at him.


“Sure you are.”


“I am.”


Nathan met her eyes and shook his head in amusement at the twinkle he saw in her sable depths.  “Mmhmm…”


“Oh… just close your eyes…”


Nathan laughed and relaxed back against the table as Kristin resumed her massage.  He watched her hands glide over him; softly kneading his sides then move up slowly towards his chest.  He glanced up to see Kristin biting her lip in concentration and just managed to bite back the moan that rose in his throat when her fingers combed through his chest hair.


His eyes closed as she methodically rubbed his chest then flew open seconds later at what he could have sworn was a soft moan.  Nathan looked at Kristin’s face.  ‘She’s flushed,’ he thought, noting the reddish hue of her skin.  He closed his eyes again as she shifted closer.  ‘And she’s aroused too…’ Nathan told himself as her scent wafted up into his nostrils. 


Suddenly, Nathan had an incredible urge to taste her… to hear her crying out his name in ecstasy.  He opened his eyes and reached out to grasp her hands.


“Nathan?”  Kristin turned to look at him.  “Are you all right?”


“I’m fine,” he replied as he tugged her closer.


“Then what…”


“I just… I feel the need to kiss you,” Nathan told her.


A brilliant smile lit Kristin’s face as she leaned over him and pressed her lips to his in a loving kiss.  She moaned softly then opened her mouth to Nathan’s seeking tongue, enjoying the unique taste that was his and his alone.  Kristin was so lost in the kiss that she didn’t feel Nathan’s hand slide down her body and beneath the short skirt she was wearing until he’d tugged and ripped her panties away.


“Nathan!”  Kristin gasped out of the kiss and looked down at him with wide eyes as his hand cupped her rear.  “What are you doing?”


“What does it feel like?”  Nathan asked as he gently squeezed the firm flesh.  “I’m grabbing your ass.”


Kristin laughed softly.  “That I can feel.  Why are you grabbing my ass?”


“I’m trying to coax you to join me up here,” he replied with a grin, as he pulled her back down for another passionate kiss.


Kristin moaned into his mouth as the hand on her rear began to move down her thigh, urging her closer.  She leaned over him, pressing her chest to his as the kiss deepened.


“Kris…” Nathan spoke against her lips, “climb up here with me…”


“There’s not enough…”


“Lay on top of me…” Nathan interrupted her as his hand moved back up to cup her rear.  “I want to feel you close.  Please…”


Kristin nodded, and straightened then climbed up onto the massage table with him; straddling his hips.  She laid her hands on his chest and slowly slid them up to his shoulders as she stretched herself out over him.  “This okay?”  Kristin asked, gazing down at him.


“Almost…” Nathan replied then gripped her hips.  “I just need you to move up a little more.”


“All right,” Kristin sat up then lifted to her knees and began to inch up.  When she was straddling his chest, she stopped and looked down at him.


“No… keep going…” Nathan said in a husky voice as he tightened his grip on her hips. 


“Nathan… if I keep going, I’m going to be sitting on your face!”


Nathan flashed her a brilliant smile, his blue eyes dark and lust-filled.  “I know!  That’s the idea,” he told her.  “I could… still can… smell your arousal, Kris.  I know I can’t love you the way I want to… the way I should… but I want to taste you.  I want to bring you pleasure… to hear you cry out my name as I make you come.”


“Oh god…” Kristin moaned as his hands slipped beneath her skirt to caress her inner thighs, his thumbs brushing her curls.


“Let me give you this, Kris.  Let me taste you.”


Kristin allowed him to guide her over him, her knees on either side of his head with her feet under his shoulders as he wrapped his arms around her thighs.  She glanced down and almost laughed at the sight of just the top of Nathan’s head sticking out from beneath her skirt.


“Beautiful… just beautiful…” Nathan murmured as he gazed up the patch of glistening auburn curls.  He licked his lips then lifted his head even as he pulled her closer.


“Nathan!”  Kristin cried out at the first touch of his mouth against her, a barely there kiss to her pouty nether lips.


Nathan smiled internally as he flicked his tongue against her again then again as he reached up and gently pulled her open.  He moaned at the sight of her pink flesh, swollen and glistening above him.  “Kris…” Nathan murmured appreciatively then lifted his mouth to her sex and drove his tongue deep inside her.  “Oh god you taste good…” Nathan whispered in between kisses and thrusts of his tongue.




“Mmm… love how you taste…” Nathan lapped at her with his tongue, coaxing her juices to flow with a mixture of light touches and deep thrusts.  “…Kris…” he hummed her name as he moved his mouth up, and pulled her clitoris into his mouth.


“Ooh…” Kristin gasped as Nathan sucked and teased the sensitive bundle of nerves, sending waves of sensation up through her body.  Her fists balled against her thighs when she felt his fingers slowly circle her tender opening.  “…Nath… an…” Kristin moaned and began to undulate against him.


“That’s it,” Nathan encouraged Kristin as he slid a long finger just barely inside her.  He pulled out then pushed the digit back in, deeper than before but still not past the first knuckle.


“Nathan…” Kristin groaned, frustration more than obvious in her voice.  “Don’t tease.”


Nathan smiled against her centre as he once again pulled his finger out of her, spreading Kristin’s moisture around her swollen flesh before he slipped the long digit back into her as far as he could.


“Oh… yes…” Kristin cried out softly as Nathan added a second finger and began to thrust them in and out of her.  Her head fell back as the sensations washed up over her.  She placed her hand on his chest for balance as Nathan continued to love her with his mouth then leaned back and closed her eyes.


“Kris…” Nathan called to her.  “Sit up, baby… please… I want all of you…”


Kristin opened her eyes and looked down her body at him, her new position having pulled her skirt away from his eyes.  “But what about… I don’t want to suff…” she couldn’t stop the blush that crept up her neck and face.


“I’m fine,” Nathan told her with a flick of his tongue against her clit, his eyes sparkling brightly at her.  “You’re not suffocating me… please, Kris… sit back up…”


Kristin smiled and nodded then slowly straightened back up over him.


“Mmm…” Nathan murmured in approval as he pulled her clitoris back into his mouth.  “Kris…”


“Ooh…” her head fell back again at the vibrations and a slow smile formed on her lips as she spied the lift hanging just over her head.  Kristin reached up and grasped the bar just as Nathan nipped her clit with his teeth.  “Na… than…”


Nathan smiled at Kristin’s low, almost guttural groan of his name and thrust his fingers faster within her while he sucked harder on her clit, teasing the hard bundle of nerves unmercifully with his tongue.


Kristin could feel her release starting… feel the pressure and the sensations building from her core and slowly sparking up through her body.  Her hands gripped the bar tighter as she began to rock her hips against Nathan’s face.  “Nathan… please…” she begged as the feelings became almost unbearable with their intensity.  “Nath… oooh… oh please…”


Nathan thrust his fingers deeper, twisting them in tiny circles as he moved them in and out of her.  He circled her clit with his tongue and alternately nipped it with his teeth as he began to hum softly against her.






“Oh god… Na…”




Kristin’s hands tightened on the bar.  “Ohgodohgodohgodoooh… NATHAN!”  She cried out as she felt her whole body throb with the vehement force of her orgasm.  “Oh yes…”


Nathan groaned in delight as Kristin came and pulled his fingers from her clenching sheath, quickly replacing them with his lips and tongue; her juices flowing into his mouth like honey.  His fingers moved up to continue to stroke her clit and prolong her release while he consumed every drop of her essence.


Despite her hold on the lift, Kristin felt her grip loosening.  “…Nathan…” his voice came out as a husky whisper as she reached down with one hand and grabbed at his head.  “I… I can’t hold on…”


Nathan gave her sex one last, deep kiss then reached up to grasp her hips.  He groaned at the feel of her damp curls sweeping over his chest as he guided Kristin down so that she was laying partially over him; her face buried in his neck, her breasts pressed into his side, and her legs straddled around his thigh.


“Ooh… oh my…” Kristin exhaled deeply and snuggled closer as Nathan slipped his hands beneath her blouse to stroke the hot skin of her back.  “That was… incredible… thank you.”


“Thank you for letting me…” Nathan replied and slipped his hand down to cup her rear then resumed rubbing her back.  “I’ve wanted to do that for you… for quite a while.”


“Mmm…” Kristin murmured happily against his skin.


“So would this be the plans you had for my face?”


“What?  Oh!”  Kristin gasped as she realized what he was referring to.  She flushed and slapped his chest.  “Nathan!  No!  I… I… of course not… you…” her voice trailed off and she buried her face in his chest.


Nathan chuckled as he felt the heat of her blush, and tightened his arms around her.  Several minutes passed before Nathan spoke softly against the top of her head.


Kristin lifted her head to look down at him.  “What did you say?”


“I said… I want my legs back,” Nathan told her.  “I want to be able to take long walks with you… to chase you around the house.  I want to take you dancing… and more than anything, I want to be able to lift you up in my arms… carry you to our bed and make love to you properly.”


A large smile broke out over Kristin’s face.  “Well… you’ve just taken the first step…”


“Not yet I haven’t,” Nathan chuckled.


“You know what I mean!”  Kristin rolled her eyes at him.


“Yes I do,” Nathan nodded as he grinned.  “But seriously… I want my legs back, Kris…”


“You’ll get them back,” she told him.  “It won’t be easy… it’s going to take a lot of work on your part.”


“I know…” he said.


“You’re going to get frustrated.”


“I know…”


“I will push you…”


“I know…”


“And you’ll get angry… both with me and yourself…”


“I know…”


“And I will no doubt get a little frustrated and angry with you at times…”


“I know that too,” Nathan nodded.  “But you’ll be there to help me, right?”


“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Kristin replied with a smile.


Nathan’s smile grew and he reached up to cup her cheek.  “I love you.”


Kristin leaned closer.  “And just remember that tomorrow when you’re ready to call me a bitch for pushing you too hard.”


“I would never call you that,” Nathan declared.


Kristin arched an eyebrow as she brushed a soft kiss over his lips.  “Mmhmm… sure…”


“I wouldn’t… I’m not saying I haven’t thought it…”


Kristin laughed.  “I love you!”  She exclaimed and gave him another quick kiss.


“Somebody’s got to,” Nathan said as he slid his hand into her hair and brought her mouth back down to his. 


“Mmm…” Kristin moaned softly as Nathan lightly traced her lips with his tongue then slipped past them as he deepened the kiss.  Without realizing she was doing it, Kristin began to rock against his thigh.


Nathan groaned softly at the feel of her damp curls moving back and forth on his bare skin and trailed his hands down Kristin’s back.  He slipped them beneath her skirt to cup her rear before he gently grasped her hips and pulled her body up a little.


“Nathan?”  Kristin broke out of the kiss.


“Trust me…”


“I… oooh…” Kristin’s breath caught her throat when she felt Nathan slide a hand between them and slip his two middle fingers inside her, his thumb pressing firmly against her clit.  She shifted against him, a low moan sounding deep in her throat at the sensations that shot up through her body.


“That’s it…” Nathan told her as he nipped at her chin, “move… rock your hips, baby…”


Kristin moaned and caught his mouth in a hungry kiss as she slowly began to move against his hand.  “Mmm…” she groaned into his mouth as with every thrust of her hips, Nathan pressed his fingers inside her and circled his thumb against her clitoris.  Kristin broke out of the kiss and pushed herself up on her arms, crying out his name as the change pushed her sensitive flesh harder against Nathan’s hand.  “…Oooh…”


Nathan gazed up at her, loving the sight of Kristin losing herself in her passion and loving that he was the cause of it.  He rubbed her clit a little harder, and smiled at the small gasp that escaped her lips.  “Let go, Kris…” Nathan urged her; wanting to shatter what little control she had left… to watch her explode in the frenzied sensation of her orgasm.  “Come for me, baby…”


“Oh… Na… than….” Kristin whimpered as she rode his hand.


“That’s it…” Nathan said when he felt her inner walls begin to clench around his fingers.  He thrust them deeper inside her and stroked her clit furiously.  “Come, Kris…”


“I… ooh yes…” Kristin’s thighs tightened around Nathan’s and she screamed his name as her release slammed through her, the intense sensations coursing wildly through her body.


Nathan grinned at the look of utter rapture on Kristin’s face and the feel of her juices flowing down his fingers into his palm and onto his thigh.  He continued to move his hand against her, prolonging her pleasure and was amazed when Kristin peaked again, a surprised gasp slipping from her lips as she collapsed on top of him, shuddering.  He slowly withdrew his slick fingers from her throbbing sheath and brought them to his mouth.  “Mmm…”


“Thank you,” Kristin whispered against his chest as her body continued to shake, shards of pleasure continuing to stab her nerve-endings.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan opened his eyes to the sound of the shower running and smiled at the image that came to his mind of Kristin, naked and gloriously wet… with suds streaming down her luscious body.


‘Another thing to look forward to,’ he thought to himself as he pulled his body up into a sitting position.  ‘Although I can’t believe we haven’t done so before…’


“Definitely on the list of things to do when I get my legs back,” Nathan chuckled to himself as he reached out and flipped the blankets off his legs, just as he’d done each morning since he’d loved Kristin with his mouth and hands on the massage table three days ago.  He stared down at his feet in concentration.  “KRISTIN!  Kris… come here!  Quick!”


Moments later, dripping wet with a towel wrapped haphazardly around her torso, Kristin came running out of the bathroom.  “What!?  What’s wrong?  Did something happen?”


“Come here,” Nathan gestured at her.


Kristin hurried over to his side.  “What is it?”


“Watch…” he said and pointed to his feet.  When he was certain she was watching, he concentrated on his feet and… “There… did you see…”


“Oh, God… you moved your toes!”  Kristin exclaimed then laughed happily when he wiggled them again.  She turned to meet his eyes; hers bright with unshed tears.  “Oh, Nathan… this is wonder… aah…”


Her sentence trailed off when Nathan suddenly reached out, grabbed her hand and pulled her down into his lap.


“Nathan!  I’m all wet!”


“I like you wet,” Nathan told her as he covered her mouth with his.


Kristin wrapped her arms around his head as she responded to his kiss.  Several long minutes later, the kiss slowly tapered off and Kristin pulled back to smile at him.  “You realize… this can only mean things will get better, and hopefully easier?”


“Yes,” Nathan nodded with a smile.  “So… what say we get our asses into the exercise room and get to work?”


Kristin smiled.  “I say, let’s go!”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Good job!  Now… let’s do it again.”


“Again?  Are you nuts?”


Kristin raised an eyebrow at him.  “Yes, again!”


“No way… I can’t.”


“Yes you can.”


“No.  I. Can’t!”


Kristin leaned in close, her nose barely touching his.  “Yes.  You.  Can!”


“Dammit, Kris!  My legs hurt… my arms hurt… my head hurts… hell, everything hurts.”






“Yes.  It means your legs are working,” Kristin told him.  “I told you I would push you.”


“I know,” Nathan said as he leaned heavily on the parallel bars.  “But again?”


“Yes!”  Kristin said as she brought her hand up to cup his cheek.  “You need to build up the strength in your legs.”


Nathan turned his face into her hand.  “You’re right… I’m just tired.  We’ve been at this all morning.  And this is the only exercise you’ve had me doing since I wiggled my toes the other day.”


“Because this is the best exercise for you,” Kristin told him then smiled.  “I’ve got an idea,” she said as she moved away from him and walked to the other end of the bars.


Nathan slowly turned himself around to face her.  “What?”




“What kind?”


“For every step you take… I’ll undo a button,” Kristin ran her fingers down the centerline of her blouse.  “And you should know… I’m not wearing a bra.  How’s that for incentive?”


Nathan grinned.  “Works for me.”


“I thought it might,” Kristin chuckled.


“But you realize…” Nathan took a step forward then grinned again when Kristin released the bottom button, “this is only going to work for a couple of days.”  Another step, another button.  “After that… I won’t be so easy.”


Kristin laughed and released another button from its hole as Nathan took another step toward her.  “I’ll just have to come up with other means of coaxing you.”


“Oh…” step.  Button.  “I am sure you will.”


The pattern continued… step then button, step then button, until Nathan was finally standing before Kristin.


“Well…?”  Nathan asked, panting slightly.


“Well what?”  Kristin asked with a small smile, knowing exactly what was going through his head.


“I made it…” Nathan gestured to her open blouse with his hand.  “Shouldn’t you be taking that off?”


“I didn’t say anything about removing my top,” Kristin told him.  “I just said I would undo a button for each step.”


“Kris…” Nathan growled, sensing she was playing with him.


Kristin laughed softly then shrugged her shoulders and let her blouse slip off her arms onto the floor.  “Better?”


“Yes,” Nathan nodded; pleased, when under his hungry stare, her nipples began to pucker.  “Much better,” he grinned then gripped the bars tightly and leaned closer to brush his lips over hers with a whispered, “Thank you.”


“For what?”  Kristin asked as she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around him, pressing her chest to his.


“For pushing.”


“You’re welcome.”


“So…” Nathan wrapped an arm around her as he nuzzled her temple.  “Does this mean we’re finished for the day?”


Kristin pulled back slightly to smile and nod.  “Yes.”


“Oh good,” Nathan replied as he returned his hand to the bar and leaned heavily against her.  “Because I don’t think I can stand too much longer.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Kristin bit her bottom lip as she watched Nathan take a shaky step and then at his pointed look she grinned and released one of the buttons on her blouse.  “And you said this would only work a couple of times.”


Nathan grinned at her.  “What can I say?  I’m a breast man.  And, sweetheart… your breasts are a wonder to behold.”


Kristin laughed and shook her head as she pointed down at his feet.  “Get on with it.”


“Yes, ma’am!”  Nathan said as he carefully took another step toward her, his hands gripping tightly to the support bars beside him.  “I’m thinking,” he began as he glanced up at her to make sure she undid the promised button, “that tomorrow’s incentive should involve a strip tease.”


“Is that so?”  Kristin asked with amusement and released yet another button with his next step.


“Yep!”  Nathan replied and took another step.


“We’ll see,” Kristin said as she undid yet another button.  “What are you doing?!”  She asked him suddenly.


“What does it look like?”  Nathan asked her as he slowly lowered his hands from the support bars.


“Nathan… I don’t think… it’s too soon…”


“I have to, Kris…” Nathan told her as he stood, swaying slightly, before her with a determined look in his eyes.


Kristin nodded then held her breath as he took first one slow, shaky step forward then a second one… falling forward into her arms.  “You did it!”


“And you owe me two buttons,” Nathan breathed huskily into her ear.


Kristin laughed as she slowly turned and lowered him into the wheelchair beside her.  Once Nathan was settled she knelt before him and released the two remaining buttons, allowing her blouse to hang open.  “You know, the way you’re progressing… you will be walking on your own before you know it.”


“That’s the idea,” Nathan grinned as he reached out and pushed her blouse off her shoulders then cupped her now exposed breasts.  “I so badly want to make love to you…”


Kristin covered his hands with hers as she held his eyes and spoke in a soft voice.  “You have made love to me, Nathan.  What we shared on the massage table… sharing that incredible experience with you… that was making love…”


“I meant properly… our bodies joined together as they were meant to be… gazing into your sable eyes as I move inside you… that’s what I want.”


“And we will,” Kristin told him.  “We will…”


“I know…” Nathan smiled at her and rubbed his thumbs over her nipples.  “Because I am nothing if not determined.”


Kristin laughed then stretched up to kiss him.  “I love you.”


“I love you too.”


They shared another gentle kiss.


“So tell me, sailor… feel up to taking a shower?”


“An actual shower?  No sponge bath?”


“An actual shower.”


“Will you still be doing the washing?”


“If you want me to.”


“Hell yes, I want you to!”


Kristin laughed as she climbed to her feet then moved behind the chair.  She bent down, her mouth right beside his ear and whispered.  “Yes… I’ll still do the washing.”


“Hot damn!  Let’s go take a shower!”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Nathan watched with rapt fascination from his spot on the bench in the large shower, as Kristin stepped beneath the spray of the water.  His eyes followed the rivulets of water as they coursed down her body then quickly moved upward again in time to watch her tilt her head back to wet her hair, the motion lifting her breasts into the air.


Kristin reached for the shampoo, squeezing a generous amount into the palm of her hand then massaging it into her hair, aware the whole time, of Nathan’s eyes on her.  She slipped back beneath the spray to rinse the soap out of her hair, the heat of Nathan’s gaze warming her more than the water.


“Like what you see, sailor?”  Kristin asked.


“Most definitely,” Nathan replied with a grin as she glided across the shower to stand before him.  He lifted a hand to her hip.  “I could look at you for hours… clothed or not.”


“And your preference?”  She asked with a knowing smile.


“Definitely unclothed!”


Kristin laughed and slipped onto his lap, the design of the shower and the placement of the bench allowing her to loosely wrap her legs around him.  “Now…” she reached out for the nearby bottle of body wash, “it’s time to wash you.”


“You won’t catch me arguing,” Nathan smiled as he wrapped his arms loosely around her waist.


“I didn’t think you would,” Kristin replied and reached for the bottle of body wash next to the bench.  She flipped the top and held the bottle on an angle.  “Hold out your hand.”


Nathan gave her a curious look as he slowly brought his hand up.  “I thought you were supposed to be washing me?”


“Oh, I am.”  Kristin told him as she squirted a generous amount of the fragrant soap into his palm.  “But first… I thought you could…” she gave him a sly smile, “soap up my chest.”


A broad grin spread across Nathan’s face as he rubbed his hands together.  “With pleasure, sweetheart,” he answered then cupped her breasts.  He lowered his gaze to watch his hands work up a thick lather over the full mounds.  “Yes…” Nathan murmured as his fingers pulled gently at the stiff, rosy peaks,  “I am definitely a breast man… especially if the breasts in question are yours.”


Kristin chuckled then moaned softly as Nathan slid his hands down over her stomach, his fingers just brushing the top of her curls.  “Are you finished?”


“Well… I could sit here and play with your chest all day, sweetheart.  But yes, I’m finished soaping you up.”


“Oh good… my turn to soap you up,” Kristin said as she slid her arms around his neck and pressed her chest to his.


Nathan moaned when she began to rub her chest back and forth against his, spreading the suds through the graying curls.  “I think I could get used to this,” he told her as he slipped his arms around her, and began to run his soapy hands up and down her back.  “Beats an old-fashioned sponge bath any day.”


“I thought you’d enjoy this.” Kristin laughed softly and leaned in to brush a kiss against his lips.


“You thought right.”  Nathan replied as he brought his hands up to cup her head; his fingers threaded through her thick, wet tresses while he stroked her cheeks with his thumbs then covered her mouth with his in a loving kiss that quickly grew into something more.


Kristin returned Nathan’s hungry kisses as she continued to rub their chests together.  A low moan sounded deep in her throat when she rocked her hips against his, and a smile formed on her lips.


“What?”  Nathan asked breathlessly as he broke off the kiss, having felt her smile.


“Have I told you how proud I am of the progress you’ve made?”  Kristin asked him as she reached for the hand-held showerhead secured to the wall next to Nathan.


“Yes… I believe you have,” Nathan replied, letting his hands drift down her back to cup her bottom as she rinsed the soap off them.


“I mean ‘all’ the progress?”  Kristin repeated as she hung the showerhead back up.


Nathan gave her a curious look.


“Are you telling me you don’t realize… that you can’t feel it?”


“Realize what… Kris!!  What are you doing?”  Nathan asked suddenly as Kristin climbed out of his lap then knelt before him and laid her hands on his thighs, her fingers tracing up the length of his… “Holy shit!”


Kristin chuckled softly as moved one hand from Nathan’s thigh and wrapped it around his more than obvious erection.  “You didn’t realize that you…”


“Had a hard on?  No!”  Nathan replied, his eyes still on the muscle in question, watching as Kristin’s hand slid slowly up and down his shaft.  “I… well… I…” he flushed with embarrassment.  “I thought it was my imagination.”


“Oh, baby… this is definitely not your imagination,” Kristin smiled at him then gave the steely member a gentle squeeze.


“No… I would say not,” Nathan moaned as she circled her thumb over the top of his erection.  “So… those times… those mornings… you mean I really was…”


“Getting a stiffy?”  Kristin asked with a grin then nodded.  “Yes… you were.”


“I’ll be… Kris… what are you… sweet Jesus!”  Nathan cried out as Kristin leaned in and gave a lolli-pop lick up the length of his shaft before closing her mouth around the head.  His hand flew to her hair.  “Kris…”


“Let me do this for you, Nathan.”  Kristin told him in between licks and light nibbles.  “I want to do this…”


“Are you… oh shit…” he groaned as she once again took him inside her mouth, consuming almost every inch of him.  Nathan fell back against the wall behind him as she reached down and cupped his balls; gently massaging them in time with the pressures of her lips and tongue.


Nathan watched, enthralled, as Kristin continued to slide him in and out of her mouth.  He groaned her name when she swirled her tongue around him, and caught the small drop at the tip.


“Mmm…” Kristin hummed in approval as she once again took him deep inside the hot cavern of her mouth.


“Kris… Kri… shit!”  Nathan moaned loudly as he felt the telltale coiling in the pit of his stomach heralding his release.  The hand he had lying on her head suddenly fisted in her hair and he attempted to pull her back.  “Kris…”


Kristin shook her head, and tightened her hand around his shaft, refusing to be pulled away from him.


“Kris… I’m gonna…”


“Come then,” Kristin told him as she continued to work him.  “Give me everything you have… let me taste you…”


“Oh… shit… ohshitohshitohshit…” the mantra flowed from Nathan’s lips as he felt his juices rise up his length, his hips moving of their own volition, thrusting in time with the movement of Kristin’s hand and mouth.  “Oh… sh… KRISTIN!!”


Kristin felt Nathan’s body tighten seconds before the first spurt of his essence flooded her mouth.  She swallowed the warm fluid as she continued to stroke him, coaxing more and more out of him until he fell back against the bench.


“Kris…” Nathan murmured her name, his voice replete with satisfaction as he pulled gently on her hair.  Kristin released him from her mouth, and licked her lips with a moan of approval then smiled at him.  “Come here…”


Kristin nodded, climbed to her feet and resumed her place in his lap.


“Thank you,” he murmured as he caught her lips in a ravenous kiss, moaning at the taste of himself on her tongue.


“My pleasure,” Kristin responded breathlessly as the kiss ended.


“No… I think it was mine…” Nathan grinned at her and trailed his hands down her back, one hand stopping on her rear, the other slipping lower to brush through her curls.  He groaned at the moisture he encountered… the slick warmth on his fingers having nothing to do with the shower water.  “You really did enjoy that, didn’t you?”


“Yes…” Kristin nodded then bent her head to nibble at his throat.  “I’ve wanted to do that for you for some time…”


“Is that so?”  Nathan asked as he slipped two fingers between her swollen lower lips and ran them slowly back and forth.


“Ooh… yes…” Kristin gasped as his fingers found and pressed against her clit then retreated to circle her opening.  “…Nath… an…” she buried her face against his neck as he repeated the movement; his fingers lingering on her swollen pearl a little longer with each circuit.  Kristin rocked against his hand.  “Nathan… please…”


“What do you want, Kris?”  Nathan asked as he slid his middle finger inside her up to his first knuckle, not surprised to feel her muscles clamp around him and try to pull the digit deeper.  “Do you want me to…” he pushed his finger in further, but still not completely within her sheath.


“Yes…” Kristin moaned as she circled her hips against his hand and bit at his neck when he pulled his finger out to once again stroke her folds.  She whimpered his name.


“It’s okay, baby…” Nathan spoke against her ear as he focused his attention on her clit.


“Mmm… yes…” Kristin ground herself against his fingers.  “More… please… more… NOOO!”  She cried out when and lifted her head to stare at him when he pulled his hand out from between her legs.  “Nathan?”


“Trust me…” Nathan told her as he reached out for the hand-held showerhead.  He quickly activated the spray then fumbled with it until he got desired spray style.  “Trust me…” he said again in a soft voice as he slipped the showerhead beneath her.


“Oh god!”  Kristin gasped loudly as the water pulsed up rhythmically against her clitoris.  “Ooh… oh, Nathan…”


“That’s it, baby…” Nathan encouraged her, one hand resting on the small of her back as Kristin began to undulate against him.  “Go with the flow…” he said as he slipped one hand back between their legs and slid his middle finger deep inside her.


“NA… THAN!”  Kristin cried out as Nathan added a second finger and began to thrust them in and out of her in time with the pulsing water shooting up against her clit.  The sensations soon overwhelmed her, and Kristin found herself rocking hard against him, straining for her release.  “Please… oh please…”


Nathan watched Kristin’s head fall back as she panted for breath, and continued to move vigorously against his fingers.


“Please… Nath… please… I need…” Kristin clenched her inner muscles against his driving fingers.  “Nathan…”


Nathan nodded and reached up to grasp her wrist with his free hand.  “Hold on, baby…” he told her as he wrapped her fingers around the bar just above his head.  He slid his hand down between the close press of their bodies and when he reached her curls he pulled her swollen folds open.


“OH GOD!”  Kristin screamed as the jets of water hit even more fully on her sensitive flesh.  “Na… Nath… an… ooh… I…”


“Come, Kris… let go…”




“Come for me…” Nathan thrust his fingers deep inside her and twisted them slightly, hitting just the right spot inside her.


“NAATHANN!”  Kristin screamed again as her body convulsed, her orgasm slamming through her body in intense waves.  “…yesohyes… yes…”


Kristin collapsed against him, her faced buried in his neck as her release continued to pass over her; the powerful feelings coursing through every nerve in her body as the water from the showerhead continued to pulse against her swollen flesh.


Nathan groaned when he felt her body stiffen and her inner muscles tighten in a vice around his still moving fingers as another strong orgasm rolled over her.  He felt and heard her surprised gasp as she shuddered against him.


“No more…” Kristin whispered as another small wave washed over her.  “…too much…”


Understanding, Nathan reached down and pulled the showerhead out from beneath her, shut off the spray and allowed it to fall to the shower floor.  He slowly eased his fingers out of her body and brought the wet digits to his mouth.  “Mmm…”


“That was…” Kristin murmured against his neck before she raised her head to smile at him, “…different.”


Nathan grinned.  “Well, you know me… I love the water.”


Kristin laughed then caught his mouth in a loving kiss.  “Yes you do.”  They kissed for several more minutes before Kristin pulled away.  “So… shall we finish our shower then go see about having dinner?”


“Sounds good to me,” Nathan replied.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“So… any news?”


Lucas looked up the computer screen to see Janet Noyce standing in the doorway and shook his head.  “No… nothing yet.  But I haven’t tried to call the doc’s cell yet either,” he paused.  “I don’t want to… it’s only been a couple weeks.  I just hope Doc’s been able to help him.”


“If anyone can… it’s Kristin.”


“Yeah,” Lucas gave her a wry smile.  “She is kinda stubborn that way.”


Janet laughed.  “What else is on your mind?”


“What makes you think there’s anything else?”


“You’ve been pre-occupied since you came to stay with us, Lucas.  What is it?”


“The reason the cap stormed off on his bike was because the doc wasn’t there waiting for him like she said she would be… and any other time, if she couldn’t be there, she’d either call him on the seaQuest or leave him a note at the dock.”


“And she didn’t do either this time?”


“But that’s just it… when she came to the hospital, Doc said that she had left a note for him.”


“And you’re wondering what happened to the note?”




“Did she say who she left it with?”


Lucas thought for a moment.  “Yeah… I think she said she left it with Bob.”


“Then why don’t you go talk to him?”


“Hey!  That’s a great idea, Mrs. Noyce.”  Lucas grinned then pushed himself away from the computer.  “In fact, I think I’ll go there right now.  Catch him before he goes off duty.”


“Be careful!”  Janet called out after the dashing teenager.


“I will!”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“I’ve been thinking…”


“I’ll call him in the morning.”


Nathan chuckled and pulled Kristin closer.  “How did you know that’s what I was thinking?”


“Because I know you,” Kristin answered.  “Besides… I was thinking the same thing myself.”


“You realize don’t you, that we’re going to have to make it up to Bill and Janet?”




“He’s probably driving them nuts, and eating them out of house and home.”


Kristin laughed and nodded against his chest.  “He is going to be thrilled when he hears that you’re walking.”


“With the bars…”


“With the bars,” Kristin echoed.  “That is still remarkable improvement, Nathan.”


“I know,” Nathan replied.  “And it’s all thanks to you.”




“Yes,” Nathan interrupted.  “By being so bloody stubborn,” he laughed when she slapped his chest, “and not giving up on me… I’m actually… walking.”


“I… you did that yourself, Nathan…I just…”


“Wouldn’t let me quit.  Had faith in me.  Pushed me.  And more importantly… you loved me…”


Kristin propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at him.  “Loving you is the easy part.”


“Even when I’m being a stubborn ass?”


“Even then.”


Nathan grinned up at her.  “I love you.”


“I love you too, sailor.”  Kristin smiled as she leaned close and brushed her lips against his then settled back in his arms.  “Now, get some sleep.  If you think I’ve been pushing you… you ain’t seen nothing yet.”


“Do I get the strip tease?”




“All right.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Sorry I took so long,” Kristin called out as she breezed through the doorway into the exercise room, “I got lost in the book I was read… Nathan?!  What are you…”


“Surprise!”  Nathan grinned at her from where he was standing, unaided, in the middle of the room.




“Walking…” Nathan finished her sentence as he slowly and shakily began to walk towards her.  “No!”  He held up his hand to stop her when Kristin took a step towards him.  “Don’t move!”


Kristin stopped and held her breath as she watched him steadily cross the room to her.  “When?  How?”  She asked when Nathan was finally standing before her.


“You didn’t think I was spending all that time in the john because I actually had to go, did you?”  Nathan answered with a breathless grin, his chest rising and falling from his exertions.


“I…” Kristin shook her head in amazement.  “Oh, Nathan…” she reached out to cup his cheek.


Nathan smiled as he reached up to cover her hand.  “However,” he began and reached out with his other hand to grasp her shoulder as he suddenly swayed, “despite my little show… I don’t think I can stand up too much longer…”


Kristin caught him as he fell towards her and, holding his body close to hers, slowly lowered them so that they were kneeling on the floor.  “Okay… now let’s get you on your delectable tush and th…”


Her sentence remained unfinished as she suddenly found herself lying on top of Nathan on the floor, his hands roaming over her back and rear.


“You are the one with the delectable tush, sweetheart!”  Nathan told her as he gave the anatomy in question an affectionate squeeze.


“Nathan!”  Kristin laughed and propped herself up her elbows over him.  “If I didn’t know any better… I’d swear you planned this.”


“Of course I did,” Nathan grinned at her.


“You’re crazy.”


“Only about you, sweetheart.  Only about you.”


Kristin smiled and lowered her lips to his for a quick but loving kiss.  “So,” she began with a twinkle in her eyes as she gazed down at him, “I believe someone asked for a strip tease incentive the other day…”


“Hot damn!”  Nathan’s grin grew.  “Let’s get to it.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Lucas!  What brings you here?”


Lucas turned to see Doctor Allen walking down the corridor towards him.  “Hey, Doctor Allen!”  The teen smiled at the older man as he slowed then held up the large envelope he was carrying.  “One of the nurses called to say that the cap had left some of his belongings here, so I came to pick them up.”


“I see,” Allen said.  “And have you heard from Kristin at all?”


“Actually, yes I have,” Lucas replied.  “Doc called me just the other day.”


“Did she say how things were going?  Has Captain Bridger made any progress?”


“She said that they were doing fine, and that yes, the cap has made some progress,” Lucas answered.  “He’s talking to her again… so I think that is a good sign.”


Gordon chuckled.  “Yes, I think it is too.  Did she happen to mention if she’d gotten him to walk at all yet?”


Lucas frowned and shook his head.  “No.  She didn’t say anything.”


Allen sighed then gave the teen a small smile.  “Well, I’m sure that if there were any problems she would have called.”


“Yep,” Lucas agreed.


“Are you expecting to hear from her again soon?”


“Actually, yes.”  Lucas said with a smile.  “She’s supposed to call me to make arrangements to join them for the long weekend.”


“Well, when you talk to her, tell her I was asking after her and Captain Bridger, would you?”


“Sure thing, Doc.”


“Thank you, Lucas.”


“Anytime,” Lucas smiled then glanced down at his watch.  “I better get going.  I’ve got some things I need to do.”


“Have a good day, Lucas.”  Doctor Allen told the youth.


“You too, Doc.”  Lucas called back as he raced down the corridor.


Gordon chuckled and shook his head as he turned to head back towards his office.  He stopped when he saw Wendy Smith standing in a nearby doorway with a thoughtful look on her face.  “Doctor Smith?”


Wendy looked up and a smile appeared on her lips.  “Doctor Allen.”


“What are you doing here?”


“I… came to apologize for my behaviour last week.  I was very rude and disrespectful…” Wendy said, lowering her head in an almost bashful manner.  “My only excuse… I wasn’t expecting Nathan to not be here…”


“I can appreciate that…” Gordon said.


“Then you forgive me?”


“Of course.”


“Thank you,” Wendy smiled at him then offered what looked to be an innocent smile.  “So, have you heard anything from Nathan at all?”


Gordon gave her a sad smile and shook his head.  “I’m afraid I haven’t.”


Wendy nodded then shrugged.  “Well… I won’t keep you any longer.  I know you must be quite busy.”


“Thank you… I am actually,” Allen said as he moved to walk around the dark-haired woman.  “Have a good day, Doctor.”


“You too, Doctor.”


Gordon watched her walked away, shook his head with a slight frown.  ‘And even if I did know where Kristin had taken Nathan, I wouldn’t have told you, Wendy.’


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Come on!  Just a half a mile!  You can do it!”


Nathan scowled at Kristin on her perch on the front of the exercise bike facing him.  “Easy for you to say!”  He huffed as he continued to cycle, despite the burning in his leg muscles.  “I don’t think I’m…”


“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, Nathan Bridger!”  Kristin leaned forward and gave him a hard stare.  “You ‘will’ make it!  Now pedal!”


Nathan’s scowl deepened but he did as he was told and pedaled harder.  Less than five minutes later, the bike beeped at him; letting him know he’d reached his goal.


“Told you you could do it!”  Kristin told Nathan as she reached down to shut the beeping off then climbed off the front of the bike.


Nathan slumped back in the seat and reached up a hand to wipe the sweat off his brow.  “I wouldn’t have if you weren’t here.”


“Yes you would have,” Kristin told him as she slipped into his lap, straddled him, and wound her arms around his neck.  “You are as stubborn as I am, my captain.”


Nathan smiled and placed his hands on her waist.  “Is that even possible?”


Kristin playfully slapped his chest.  “Of course it is.”


Nathan merely raised an eyebrow then laughed as she swatted him again.  He grabbed her hands and pulled her closer.  “I love you,” Nathan said in a soft voice.  “Mule-headedness and all.”


A broad smile formed on Kristin’s lips.  “I love you too… and you’re still more stubborn than I am.”


“No, I’m n… mmm…”


Kristin’s lips covering his cut off Nathan’s words.  He moaned and sucked her tongue into his mouth as he deepened the kiss.


“I SO love your brand of therapy, Doctor,” Nathan murmured against her lips.


“Thank you, Captain.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“You haven’t been giving Bill and Janet a hard time have you?”


“No, Doc,” Lucas answered with a grin.


“What did you do?”


“What makes you ask that?”


“The grin on your face.  So… answer my question.”


Lucas laughed.  “I got Admiral Noyce hooked on Seahunt and we stayed up all night last night playing it.  Mrs. Noyce wasn’t too thrilled when she woke up this morning and found us still playing it.”


Kristin chuckled.  “No, I don’t think she would have been.  But other than corrupting Bill, you’ve been behaving yourself?”


“Yes, ma’am.”


“Good,” Kristin smiled at him, and the two continued to talk; touching on a few other topics before Kristin came to the reason she called.  “You are still planning on joining us Friday, are you not?”


“If you guys want me to.”


“Of course we do.”




“And you remember how to get here, right?”


“Yes, ma’am.”  Lucas answered.  “I’ve still got the directions you gave me the other day.”


“Good.  Oh yes… I’m going to need you to stop and pick up a few things.”


“Okay,” Lucas nodded as he reached for a pen.  “Fire away,” he grinned then began to jot down Kristin’s list.


Neither one was aware of the figure standing on the other side of the cubicle Lucas had been assigned to work in while Nathan recovered, frowning deeply.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“One more lap…”


“Yes, ma’am!”  Nathan tossed off a sloppy salute then pushed off the side of the pool into the water.


Kristin watched with satisfaction as Nathan’s trim form cut smoothly through the water with ease to the opposite side of the pool and back.


“Whew!”  Nathan came to a stop before her, floating up to where Kristin was sitting on the stairs.  He moved in close, supported by his hands, and dropped a kiss to the generous swell of her breasts revealed by the skimpy swimsuit she wore.


“Very nicely done,” Kristin smiled at him.  “How do you feel?”


“Pretty damn good actually!”  Nathan answered with another kiss to her chest.  “I feel like my old self again.”


Kristin’s smile grew as she reached out to push his wet hair out of his face.  “I am glad to hear that.  I knew you could do it.”


Nathan dropped his feet to the bottom, stood and moved between her legs as his hands slid up her arms to her shoulders.  “Thank you,” he said and leaned in to brush a soft kiss over her lips, “for not giving up on me.”


“There was never any chance of that,” Kristin replied as her arms encircled his waist.  “I love you… and, I knew you could do it.  You just needed that little push.”


“I just needed you,” Nathan corrected and dipped his head to kiss her.  “I always… and ‘will’ always need you.  I love you, Kris.”


“I love you too,” Kristin murmured then moaned when Nathan deepened the kiss, his tongue coaxing hers into an erotic dance.  “Mmm… Nathan…” she slowly pulled out of the kiss and gazed up at him when she felt his fingers release the bow of her bikini top at her neck.


“You’re overdressed for this party,” Nathan told her with a smile as he tugged at the second bow in the middle of her back then pulled her top off and tossed it back over his shoulder.


“Is that so?”  Kristin asked, a soft chuckle on her lips as his hands slipped down into the water to pull simultaneously at the ties on her hips.


“Yes,” Nathan nodded absently when the thin straps were finally undone.  “Lift…” he told her with a gentle tap to her hip then pulled the skimpy scrap of spandex away; letting it join its mate floating around the pool.  “Much better.”


“Mmm…” Kristin hummed in agreement as her hands dropped from his waist to cup the naked cheeks of his rear.  “So tell me… what kind of party are we having?”


“A very small… exclusively intimate one,” Nathan replied as he cupped her breasts in his hands.


“You won’t catch me arguing…” Kristin moaned as his fingers worked her already tight nipples into hard, aching peaks.


“Good,” Nathan said then slipped his hands to her waist and pulled her with him as he stepped back into the pool.  “Dance with me…”


“Naked… in the pool and without music?”  Kristin’s eyes twinkled as Nathan pulled her into his arms.


“Mmhmm…” Nathan nodded as he held her body flush against his.  “I like the feel of the water moving around us as I hold you close.”


“Still not arguing,” Kristin responded as she laid her head on his shoulder.


Nathan chuckled and nuzzled her temple as they began to sway to the melody he was quietly humming. 


They held each other close, the world outside of the pool ceasing to exist as they lost themselves in each other.  Gentle hands explored smooth and muscled backs, and cupped firm rears.  Lips sought out lips.  Soft, breathy kisses were given and quickly became passionate, biting kisses that stole the breath from both; only to return to the tender, barely there touches.


“I want to make love to you,” Nathan told her in a husky voice against Kristin’s ear long minutes later. 


Kristin pulled back to look at him and felt a rush of heat travel over her at the desire she saw swimming in his blue orbs.  She gasped when he grasped her hips and instinctively wrapped her legs around him as he lifted her off the bottom.


“I want to make love to you right now…” Nathan said as he slid his hands beneath her rear, his fingers just brushing her curls.


“Nathan… are you certain you’re ready?”  Kristin asked when he began to carry her through the water towards the steps.


“Oh yes,” Nathan replied.  “I told you… I feel like my old self again.  In fact, I feel better than I ever have.  And as such… I want nothing more at this moment then to make love to you.  Why?”  Nathan arched an eyebrow at her.  “Are you telling me you don’t want to make love to me?”


Kristin smiled at the teasing tone of his voice and shook her head.  “Oh no, lover… I most definitely want to make love with you.”


“Good,” Nathan replied as he slowly began to climb the stairs out of the pool.


“You aren’t planning on carrying me all the way into the house are you?”


“Actually… yes I am.”


“Nathan!  You can’t!”


“Why not?  It’s not like you weigh a tonne.”




“You’ve said so yourself, ‘Doctor’, that I’ve gotten my strength back, and that I am fully recovered,” Nathan pointed out.  “So what’s the big deal?”


Kristin shook her head.  “You’re incorrigible.”


“No… I’m horny.”


Kristin’s laughter echoed throughout the kitchen as Nathan quickly navigated his way past the island and into the hallway.  “We’re trailing water everywhere!”


“We’ll clean it up later,” Nathan told her as he carried her into the bathroom.


“I thought…”


“We need to clean off a little first,” Nathan told her as he let her down inside the shower then reached out to turn the water on.  “When I taste your skin… I want to taste you, not the pool.”


Before Kristin could respond, she felt Nathan’s now soapy hands moving over her body, gently washing away the chlorine on her skin.  Not wanting to be left out, Kristin reached out for the soap, quickly lathered her hands and began to soap Nathan up.


Within minutes, Nathan pronounced them clean, shut off the water, and pulled her out of the shower.


“Nathan!”  Kristin exclaimed as he once again lifted her into his arms.  “We haven’t dried off.  Nathan… are you listening to me?”


“Nope,” Nathan replied as he carried her into the bedroom.  “I don’t care if you’re wet.  I like you wet…” he told her as he laid her down on the bed and knelt beside her.  “Whether this wet,” his fingers danced over her shower-damp skin, “or this wet…” he slipped the digits between her swollen folds to dance in her moisture.


“Oohmmm…” Kristin moaned as he painted her clit with the slick fluid his fingers encountered.  “Nath… an…” she protested when he removed his hand.


“Patience, sweetheart.”  Nathan told her as he shifted around on the bed so that he was kneeling between her spread legs.  “I have waited too long to make love to you properly,” he grasped her left ankle in his hand.  “And now that I am finally getting the chance… I am going to do so slowly.  I want to know every inch of your delectable body… I want to know what every part of you tastes like… the texture of your skin beneath my tongue,” Nathan drew the muscle in question over the sole of her foot and smiled when she squirmed.  “And of course, there is the joy of discovering all your ticklish spots.”


Kristin laughed.  “You’re terrible…”


“Will it make a difference if I tell you where I’m ticklish?”


“It might,” Kristin nodded then gasped when Nathan began to nibble and lick his way down her left leg.  She laughed when he reached her knee and groaned softly at the wicked smile that touched his lips as he repeated the gentle caress to the sensitive flesh behind her knee.


“Number two…” he whispered against her skin.


“This is so not…” she cried out and giggled when he moved lightly over her inner thigh, the hair on his chin teasing her silky skin, “FAIR!”


Nathan chuckled.


“You are… oooh…” she arched beneath him as he brushed the lightest of kisses against her center. 


“I’m what?”  Nathan asked as he lightly combed his fingers through the glistening auburn curls at the apex of her thighs, the long digits barely touching her.


“Evil!”  Kristin gasped as she arched again in an attempt to increase the contact.


Nathan chuckled again as he moved his lips down along her other thigh.


“Oh yes… just evil…” Kristin said as he flicked his tongue out against the underside of her right knee then nibbled his way down her calf to her ankle.


“Mmm…” Nathan murmured as he pulled her big toe into his mouth.  “But you love me anyway…”


“Very much…” Kristin nodded as he nipped the ball of her foot then laid it back on the bed beside him.  She smiled at him and released a contented sigh as he stroked his hands slowly up and down her legs.  “Mmm… I love the feel of your hands…”


Nathan smiled.  “I love the feel of you…”


Kristin’s smile turned coy.  “There’s still a whole lot more of me to feel, sailor…” she told him in a husky voice as she arched her back and thrust her breasts out.


“Oh… make no mistake, sweetheart.  I will be feeling all of you before this night is over.  Inside, and out.”  Nathan replied in a low voice as he shifted closer then bent down over her to place a series of kisses on her belly.  He chuckled when she sucked her stomach in with a hiss as his tongue darted out to ring her navel.


“That tickles!”


Nathan merely chuckled and nuzzled her stomach as he stroked his hands up her sides, his fingers brushing the swells of her breasts on their return down.  He squeezed her hips and slowly began to kiss his way up her torso.


Kristin gasped when Nathan’s hands moved from her hips to cup her breasts, his thumbs playing over her hard nipples.  She watched the delight on his face as the dusky tips grew even tighter under his touch.


“I wonder…” Nathan gazed down at her breasts.  “If your nipples,” he brushed his thumbs over the distended buds, “taste as sweet as they look… like ripe cherries…”


“Nath… an…” Kristin cried out his name when his lips closed around the tender point.  Her hands flew to his head to hold him against her as Nathan suckled hard on her nipple.  “…yes…”


“So sweet…” Nathan murmured as he kissed his way over to her other breast and pulled the rosy tip into his mouth.


A wave of sensation washed over Kristin and she arched beneath him, trying to push more of her breast into his mouth.  “Nathan… please…”


Nathan smiled around the nipple he held between his teeth and reached up with his hands to cup her breasts, pushing the mounds together and attacking both nipples simultaneously.


“Oh yes…” Kristin clutched at the blanket as she writhed beneath him as Nathan continued his oral assault.  “Na… than…” she moaned as he swirled his tongue around her nipples.  “I…” her head shook back and forth on the pillow as another swell of pleasure moved through her.  “No!”  Kristin protested when Nathan suddenly released her breasts.  “Nathan?”


“Trust me, sweetheart…” Nathan told her as he began a journey down her body.


Kristin shifted on the bed as she felt Nathan’s lips blaze a heated trail over her stomach; his hands stroking the path ahead in light, barely there caresses, and arched her hips in anticipation. 


“Nath… an… oh please don’t tease…” Kristin pleaded as his fingers traced her inner thighs, his knuckles brushing her wet curls.


“No… no more teasing,” Nathan told her as he urged Kristin to spread her legs then settled his body between then so that he was lying with his face between her creamy thighs.  He wrapped his arms around her thighs then reached out and with his long fingers; Nathan pulled her swollen folds apart.  At the sight of her glistening pink flesh, Nathan groaned her name and leaned in to flick the end of his tongue against her clit.


“Oooh… oh you prom… oh god, Nathan!”  Kristin cried out as Nathan suddenly covered her sex with his mouth.


Nathan kissed her slick flesh with a hungry fervour and thrust his tongue deep into her sheath; a low groan sounding in his throat as her unique flavour washed over his tongue.  After several more plunges into Kristin’s hot core, Nathan moved his tongue up over her in a hard, lolli-pop lick then pressed the muscle hard against her clitoris.


“Na… than…” Kristin moaned and reached down to clutch at his hair as he swirled his tongue around her clit then pulled the hard bundle of nerves into his mouth to suckle the sensitive flesh.


Nathan smiled against her as he felt a small shudder move through her body and slid his mouth down to once again drive his tongue into her; lapping at the small stream of Kristin’s juices flowing out of her.  As he continued to drink from her, Nathan began to circle her clit with his thumb, causing another small orgasm to rush over her.


“I could love you like this all day…” Nathan spoke against her in between swipes of his tongue.  “The scent of you…”




“The taste of you…”


Long lick. 


“I love it…”


Thrust and lick. 


“I love you…”


His tongue once again concentrated on her clitoris. 


“I love how you respond…”


His teeth grazed her and Kristin arched off of the bed.


“Naaathannnn…” Kristin moaned and curled her leg around his back.  “Ooh… yes…” she gasped her approval when she felt Nathan slip two fingers inside her and began to thrust them in and out of her slick passage.  “I… oh… Nath… mmm…”


Nathan increased the pace of his fingers, pushing them deeper inside her even as he increased the pressure of his tongue against her clit when he sensed that Kristin’s climax was approaching.


“Na… oohmmm… I… oh…” Kristin moaned and her fist tightened in his hair as the sensations that were coursing through her body intensified.


Nathan smiled internally at the feel of Kristin’s grip in his hair and without losing his rhythm, he brought the fingers of his second hand into play; circling her clit as he continued to lave it with his tongue.


All of a sudden, Kristin curled off the bed, Nathan’s name tearing from her lips as her orgasm slammed through her.  Wave after wave of powerful feelings washed over her as Kristin fell back on the bed; Nathan’s name a mantra on her lips.


Pulling his fingers from her throbbing sheath, Nathan replaced the wet digits with his tongue, which he thrust deeply inside her.  He moaned and consumed her essence as it flowed into his mouth, his fingers continuing to rub her clit; pushing her into another climax.


After several long, pulsing minutes, Kristin tugged on Nathan’s hair in an effort to stop him, the sensations having become too much for her to bear.  Nathan looked up at her, his mouth still moving against her.  “Nathan…” she spoke his name in a husky whisper.  “Come up here, my Captain.”


Nathan nodded, and with one last deep kiss to her sex, he slowly crawled up over her and their mouths came together immediately, Kristin moaning at the taste of herself on Nathan’s lips as she kissed him hungrily.  His erection nestled between her wet, swollen folds as Nathan settled his body against Kristin’s.


“Nathan…” Kristin gasped out of the kiss and arched beneath him when she felt him gently rock against her, the head of his member pushing into her clit and sending spasms of pleasure through her.  “Nathan… I need you…” her hand clutched at his rear and she arched against him again.


Nathan lifted his head and gazed down at Kristin, her need and desire more than evident in her smoky brown eyes.  He nodded slowly then pushed himself up onto his arms.  Nathan grasped his arousal, already wet with Kristin’s juices and brought the broad, purple head to her waiting entrance.  With a whisper of her name, Nathan held her gaze then slowly; very aware of how long it had been… for both of them, began to press his length inside her. 


A softly gasped “Oh!” escaped Kristin’s lips as Nathan continued to fill her, inch by hot hard penetrating inch, until he was seated fully inside her.  She clutched at his hips, the pressure from Nathan’s girth, while not unwelcome, overwhelmed her senses beyond anything she’d ever felt.


Nathan dropped to his elbows, and buried his face in her neck as he fought to hold on to his control; the feel of Kristin’s wet warmth tight and quivering around him almost his undoing.


Kristin slid her hands up Nathan’s back and wrapped her arms around him, glorying in the feel of his total possession of her body; both inside and out.  She nuzzled his temple as she eased her legs up around his waist and moaned as the change in position allowed him to sink even deeper inside her.


At the feel of Kristin’s legs around him, Nathan gently circled his hips against her and smiled at the low moan that sounded in his ear.  He kissed her shoulder then caught her mouth in a voracious kiss as he slowly rose up on his elbows, his hands framing her face.


As the kiss grew in intensity, so did the movement of their bodies.  Nathan’s hips followed the pace of his tongue; both sliding back and forth into Kristin’s body.  Kristin responded in kind; her hips meeting Nathan’s every thrust as her tongue tangled and danced with his.


All too soon, it wasn’t enough.  Both of them needed more.


Nathan’s lips left hers and he dipped his head to flick his tongue against her nipples then gave each rosy tip a quick yet hard suck before he rose up on his arms.  With a determined look on his face, and curling his toes into the blanket, Nathan began to thrust harder and faster into her.


Kristin groaned his name and her nails scored his back as her hands trailed down to grasp the firm cheeks of Nathan’s rear and she arched up to meet his thrusts.  “Oh yes…” Kristin moaned as Nathan hit a particularly sensitive spot within her.  “Just like that… Nath…”


Nathan growled as he felt Kristin clench around him and strove to repeat the move that caused it.  A grin flashed across his face when he succeeded and Kristin cried out his name, her legs tightening around him while her nails dug into his ass.


They continued to move against each other; their bodies working in sync… thrusting, driving, clenching… striving for the pinnacle of ultimate in pleasure they knew they would only find in each other.


A soft whimper escaped Kristin’s lips when Nathan suddenly stopped moving.  She looked up at him with confused, questioning eyes as she gasped for breath.  “Na… than?”


“Trust me,” Nathan answered in a husky voice as he shifted onto his knees; keeping his throbbing member within the tight clasp of her hot sheath.  He grasped her legs and pulled them from around his waist then slipped his arms behind her knees.  Slowly, with her legs hooked over his elbows, Nathan leaned over her; pushing her knees toward her chest.  “All right?”  He asked in a breathless voice when he stopped.


Unable to speak, feeling utterly vulnerable; wholly exposed and extremely aroused by the total and complete possession of her body this new position gave Nathan, Kristin merely nodded and slid her hands up his chest to rest them on Nathan’s shoulders.


At Kristin’s nod, Nathan pulled out of her until just the head of his shaft remained within the entrance of her core, and then, slowly… almost achingly slow, he eased his length back into her.


“Oh… god…” Kristin groaned as the pressure and fullness increased.  ‘And the pleasure,’ Kristin thought as Nathan once again pulled out of her.  ‘Oh good lord the pleasure…’ A low moan sounded when he sank back inside her.


Kristin reveled in the feel of him… of every glorious inch of him that she could feel sink deeper inside her as Nathan glided slowly in and out of her body.  She clenched her inner walls around his length with each withdrawal… smiling at the low groan that sounded from Nathan’s throat but soon it wasn’t enough.


“Nathan…” Kristin’s grip on his shoulders tightened.  “Please…”


Nathan met her eyes, and seeing the burning need smouldering in their smoky depths, he nodded and began to increase the speed of his thrusts.


“Mmm… yessss…” Kristin hissed with unrestrained bliss.  “Ooh… oh yes, Nathan…”


It wasn’t long before what little control Nathan still held slipped away, and he began to drive into Kristin; his thrusts alternating between long and deep to short and shallow as he pushed them towards climax.


“Nath… oh yes…” Kristin moaned loudly and dropping her arms to the bed, she grasped his wrists on either side of her head as he continued to pound against her.  A low keening began in her throat as wave after wave of intense feelings washed over her, heralding the fast approach of her release.


Stroke after stroke, Nathan drove himself into Kristin’s willing body relentlessly; deeper, harder, faster… until without warning, the sensations coalesced and he thrust hard into her with a loud, hoarse shout of Kristin’s name.  He groaned as his hips spasmed against her, his juices leaving his body in long, hot ropes to splash against her womb.


Nathan’s release seemed to spur on Kristin’s, and she screamed Nathan’s name as her body, despite being caged by Nathan’s, lifted off the bed as her orgasm slammed through her; this one even stronger than the one before.


“Nathan…” Kristin gasped as Nathan eased his arms from beneath her legs, allowing her to entangle the long limbs with his as he collapsed on top of her.  “Oh… Nathan…”


Nathan nestled into Kristin’s embrace as small residual tremors wracked his body.  “Oh shit… Kris…” he murmured against her shoulder.  “That was…”


“Incredible…” Kristin finished in a whisper against his ear as she gently stroked her hands up and down his back.  As if to emphasize her remark, a shudder passed through her body and she moaned softly.  “Oh yes… most definitely incredible.”


A soft chuckled escaped Nathan and he slowly pushed himself up onto his elbows over her.  “Worth the year long wait?”


“Mmhmm…” Kristin smiled up at him then a twinkle formed her eyes and she tilted her head.  “Well… almost…”


“Almost?”  Nathan grinned and reached down to attack her ribs.


“Yes… almost…” Kristin squealed with delight and retaliated by tickling his sides as well.


“You minx…” Nathan laughed as they continued to tickle each other.  Several minutes later, Nathan grabbed her hands and pinned them above her head.  “So… almost?”


Kristin smiled.  “I knew it would be this good with us… and while I would not trade any of our time together for anything… I could have done without all the sexual frustration.”


Nathan nodded.  “Me too, baby… me too.”  He said as he released her wrists, wrapped his arms around her and rolled them onto their sides.  “So…” Nathan began as they lay face to face.  “I’m thinking we should spend the whole day in bed making up for all our missed opportunities this last year.”


Kristin chuckled.  “I would love nothing more… but we can’t.”


“And why can’t we?”


“Because we have company coming over.”


“Let’s call him and tell him to stay with Bill and Janet.”


“Bill and Janet are coming up as well.”


“Well then, let’s call them and tell them to stay away!”


“And what would we tell them?”


“That in celebration of me getting my legs back, you and I are making like bunnies for the rest of the weekend.”


Kristin laughed.  “Oh… I can just imagine the look on Lucas’ face if you told him that.”


Nathan joined her laughter.  “What about Bill and Janet?”


“Bill would turn as red as a tomato, and Janet would laugh and tell us it’s about damned time.”


Nathan grinned.  “So, what time is everyone supposed to be here?”


“Lucas should be here around four, and Bill and Janet a couple hours later.”


Nathan glanced over Kristin’s shoulder to the clock on the nightstand.  “That gives us plenty of time to start working on that catching up…” he thrust his hips against her, his smile growing at the low moan Kristin released.


“I need to clean…” Kristin moaned again when Nathan’s hands slid down her back, cupped her rear and pulled her closer.  “And make up the spare room…”


“I thought this was the only bedroom!”  Nathan said.


A sly smile came to Kristin’s lips.  “You didn’t really think that after three months of not sleeping with you that I was going to sleep in a separate bed now, did you?”


Nathan laughed and leaned forward to brush a kiss against her lips.  “I love you.”


“I love you too,” Kristin replied as she combed her fingers through his chest hair.


“So… how about it?”


“What?”  Kristin asked, deliberately misunderstanding him as she focused her attention on tracing circles around his nipples.


Nathan groaned.  “You don’t play fair.”


Kristin laughed.  “No…” she shook her head as she clenched her inner muscles around his hardening member, “I don’t.”


A low growl sounded deep in Nathan’s throat as he rolled her onto her back and loomed over her.  “So I take it cleaning can wait a while?”


“Oh yes,” Kristin replied as she wrapped her legs around his waist.  “Cleaning can wait.”


Nathan lowered his mouth to hers.  “Good…”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean!  She was the best damn woman I had ever seen!”  Lucas’ head bobbed around and he sang at the top of his lungs as he sped down the highway; top down on the Mustang with the music blaring.  “My mind was aching and we were makin it, and you… shook me all night long!  Yeah you, shook me all night long.”


Lucas continued to sing and drive, totally unaware of the small silver sports car that was following him.


“Working double time on the seduction line… she was one of a kind, she’s just mine all mine…”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Wendy frowned as she watched Lucas dance in his seat.  She eased her car closer and tried once again to touch his mind with hers; very aware that a deep probe could be dangerous to both of them, especially while driving.


“Oooh you shook me all night long.  Yeah you shook me… yeah you shook me…”


“Dammit!”  Wendy swore at the words that flowed through her mind; her mind filled only with the image of the road ahead of the young man.  She smacked the steering wheel and dropped back once again.  “Where the hell are they?”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Lucas turned off the highway and into a small gas station.  He quickly turned down the stereo as he pulled up to the pump.


“Can I help you?”


Lucas turned at the soft feminine voice and swallowed hard at the sight before him.  “Uh… yeah… uhm… fill’er up please,” he said to the young, willowy blonde who stood smiling at him.


The young woman nodded, and moved over to the pump.


‘Way to be cool, Lucas.’  The young man thought to himself.  He opened the door and climbed out of the car then stretched a little before he turned to the attendant.  “You’re from around here right?”


“Mmhmm,” the blonde answered as she reached for the nearby squeegee and moved around to the front of the car then began to wash the windshield.  “Are you lost?”


“Sort of,” Lucas answered with a bashful smile.  “I think I missed my turn.”


“Where are you headed?” 


Lucas reached into the car; pulled out the directions he’d written out and showed them to her. 


He didn’t notice the silver sports car pull up on the other side of the pump.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Wendy closed her eyes and concentrated all her telepathic senses on Lucas.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“So then you make a right here,” the attendant pointed at the map.  “And the Horton place should be down a ways on your left.”


Lucas smiled, and both suddenly turned at the sound of a car tearing out of the parking lot to see a silver sports car speed away.  He shrugged and turned back to the blonde.  “I’m Lucas by the way.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


‘Hang on, Nathan!’ Wendy thought as she cruised down the road, her eyes watching for the turn off that would take her to him.  ‘I’m coming… I’m coming, my darling…’


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Why is it… of all my shirts that you always grab that one to wear?”  Nathan asked Kristin as she slipped her arms into the sleeves of his blue faux-denim shirt and began to do up the buttons.


“Because it’s my favourite.”


“Mine too,” Nathan said as she finished with the buttons, leaving the top three undone, and began to roll up the sleeves.  “Guess I’ll just have to go out and buy another one.”


Kristin laughed and nodded.  “Good idea,” she told him as she moved over to the dresser, opened the middle drawer and pulled out a pair of baggy, cut off shorts.  She’d just pulled them up to her knees when she felt Nathan’s arms slide around her waist from behind.


“What do you think you’re doing?”


“Putting on a pair of shorts.”


“I don’t think so,” Nathan said as he pushed the shorts down.  “It’s bad enough you’re wearing panties.”


“Nathan!  I can’t wander around the house in just your top!”


“Yes you can… at least until we hear the kid pulling up, and then you can pull the shorts on,” Nathan replied then nuzzled her neck.  “Please… I love seeing you like this.”


“So I can feel,” Kristin circled her bottom against the bulge she could feel pressing against her then grinned at the low moan that sounded in her ear.


“Come on… I’ll fix us some nice lemonade, and then we can cuddle up on the porch swing for the next hour.  That way, we’ll see Lucas pulling up, and that will give us enough time to slip into the house… me into the chair, and you into your shorts.  What do you say?”


Kristin turned in his arms and gave him a soft kiss.  “Don’t make it too tart!”


Nathan laughed.  “I won’t.”


“And you know,” Kristin’s hands slid down to cup his bare rear.  “I think that since I’m not wearing any shorts…”


Nathan stepped out of her embrace, lifted his arms and slowly turned around before her.  “You want me to walk around like this?  Totally bare-assed to the world?”


“Well… it would make it a hell of a lot easier to jump you,” Kristin responded with a coy smile as she breezed past him.  She paused in the doorway.  “But if you must wear something…” she said in an exaggerated drawl.  “How about those blue silk boxers of yours?  I love the way those look on you,” Kristin finished in a low purr.


“One pair of silk boxers coming right up!”  Nathan grinned and dashed over to the dresser.


“They ain’t the only thing…” he heard her say as she left the bedroom.


Nathan’s grin grew and he chuckled as he quickly slipped into his boxers then hurried out of the room to fix the lemonade, quite anxious to get Kristin back into his arms.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Forty-nine twenty… twenty-two… where is it?”  Wendy grumbled to herself as she drove slowly down the road, and peered at the numbers on all the houses.  “Forty-nine twenty-seven!  There it is!”


She pulled off the road into the entrance of the driveway and parked her car just inside the gate then climbed out. 


Wendy stared at the large house at the end of the drive and shook her head.  ‘Lord, she’s taken him to the middle of nowhere!’


“I’d better…” Wendy leaned back against the hood of her car and focused all her attention on the house.  She allowed her eyes to fall shut as she reached out with her mind to try and touch Nathan’s.


A small wave of disappointment washed over her, and her eyes flew open.


“I’m here, Nathan…” Wendy said and began to walk determinedly towards the house.  “Hang on just a few minutes more, and I’ll get you away from that wretched woman.”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


Kristin hummed a nameless tune as she strolled out onto the wide front porch, her step light and happy.


“So this is where you’ve hidden him away!”


Kristin’s good mood evaporated immediately as her eyes settled on the dark-haired woman sitting on the porch swing.  She groaned internally.  ‘How the hell did she find us!?’ Kristin thought as she turned to face the now standing physician.  “Doctor Smith.  To what do I owe the honour?”


“You know very well why I’m here.”


“How was the traffic on your way up, if you don’t mind me asking?  Lucas is on his way, and I wouldn’t want him getting caught in any jams.”


“Stop evading me, Doctor.”


“I was only being polite,” Kristin shrugged.


“Where is he?”


“I beg your pardon?”


“Where is Nathan?”  Wendy asked as she advanced on Kristin.  “You had no right to take him away!  I could have you brought up on kidnapping charges!”


“I beg your pardon?  Kidnapping?”


“Yes!  Nathan was in no condition to be removed from the hospital, and was in no shape or in the proper frame of mind to give his permission… so your taking him amounts to nothing more than kidnapping.”


“There was nothing wrong with Nathan,” Kristin said quietly.


“Nothing wrong!?  And you call yourself a doctor!”  Wendy sneered.  “Nathan is paralysed… his legs aren’t working.”


“His injuries had healed.  His paralysis was all in his mind.”


“If it was in his mind I would have been able to help him,” Wendy spat at her.  “I’m a telepath.”


“Apparently not a very good one,” Kristin retorted.


A dark look formed on Wendy’s face as she slowly paced back and forth before Kristin.  After a moment of silence, she began to circle the slightly older woman, looking her up and down.  “So is this your form of therapy, Doctor?”  Wendy asked with a wave of her hand.  “Do you steal Nathan’s clothes and parade around in them… teasing him… flaunting your sexuality in front of him… that is an awfully insensitive thing to do a crippled man.”


“Nathan is not a cripple.”


“Well he won’t be when I take him away from here and get him some proper treatment,” Wendy told her.  “Now step aside.”


“I don’t think so,” Kristin said taking a step back to block the door.  “You’re not going anywhere except off this property.”


“And just who is going to make me?”


“I will,” Kristin said with a hard look in her eyes.  “Don’t try me, Wendy.  I will kick your sorry ass into the middle of next week.”


Wendy took a step towards Kristin.  “Tell me… how did you talk Gordon into changing Nathan’s file to name you his doctor and POA?  Or did you do any talking?  He’s always been a sucker for redheads,” she said with an evil smile.  “Did you sleep with him or just give him a blow job?  Is that how you got him to let you sign Nathan out?”


The hard look on Kristin’s face became even more pronounced and her eyes narrowed as she stared at the brunette standing in front of her with a smug look on her face.


“What do you think Nathan would say if he knew that his precious Kristin was performing the ultimate service on his specialist?  Shall we go inside and tell him?”


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


‘Oh you little bitch!’  Nathan thought to himself from just inside the front door as his hands balled into tight fists.  ‘Your scrawny ass is going to be off of my boat so fast it’ll make your head spin.’


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“Listen to me, you little bitch,” Kristin said in a low, dangerous voice.  “I have been nothing but polite since you showed up here, but no more.  You can tell Nathan anything you like about me, but he won’t believe you.”


“And why is that?”


“Because he loves me,” Kristin stated with a broad smile.


“No he doesn’t…” Wendy began but was silenced by the sound of squealing tires behind her.  She whirled around in time to see Lucas, in his red mustang, come to a screeching halt.


“Hey, doc!”  Lucas grinned as he pushed himself up in the car so that he was sitting on the back of the seat.  “I made it in…” his voice trailed off as he suddenly noticed Smith standing beside Kristin.  “What the… how the hell did you find this place?”


Kristin focused her attention back on Wendy as a thought suddenly hit her.  “Yes… come to think of it… how did you find your way here?  No one but Lucas and Janet know the address.”


“Nathan called me.”


“Bullshit!”  Kristin swore.


“It is the truth.  He called me and asked me to rescue him from this hellhole,” Wendy replied.  “He couldn’t stand to be here with you for another day.”


“That’s your car down at the entrance, isn’t it?”  Lucas asked as he walked up the steps of the porch.  “The same car that was following me on the highway, and…” he turned to Kristin.  “I stopped at the Shell to ask for directions ‘cause I thought I’d missed my turn… anyway, while Brandi was showing me where I was on the map, we heard a car pull up but I didn’t pay much attention, and moments later, the car tore out of the parking lot…” Lucas turned back to face Wendy.  “Your car, Doctor Smith.”


“That’s ridiculous!  Why would I be following you?”


“Because it was the only way for you to get here,” Kristin pointed out.


“And that had to have been you at the gas station, because we were never close enough while driving for you to do a scan…” Lucas said then glared at the doctor.  “I felt you touch my mind.”


“You did not!  You were too engrossed trying to look down that blonde bimbo’s shirt to even know that I was there.”


“I don’t remember Lucas saying that the young girl was blonde.”


Wendy swallowed.  “That isn’t the issue here,” she said in an anxious voice.  “Your kidnapping Nathan is.  Just because you feel guilty for not being here when he was hurt is no reason to interfere with his recovery.”


“I beg your pardon?  Guilty?”


“Yes… if you had been waiting at the dock for Nathan… he wouldn’t have gotten angry and sped off… and then he wouldn’t have gotten into that horrible accident.”


“And if you hadn’t’ve stolen the note Doc left for the Cap he wouldn’t have gotten into that accident.  So really… it’s your fault the Cap got pissed off, not Doc Westphalen’s!”  Lucas said.  “If anyone is the guilty party here, it’s you.”


“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Wendy replied with a slight tremor in her voice.


“Oh, I think you do,” Lucas grinned.  “You see, ever since the Doc came home, something she’d said stuck in my brain, and that was that she had indeed left a note for the cap explaining to him why she wouldn’t be waiting for him.  So with some encouragement from Mrs. Noyce, I headed down to the dock to talk to Bob.”


Kristin watched Wendy pale slightly, and in that moment, felt a hatred beyond anything she had ever felt before.


“When I asked Bob about the letter, he said he remembered the Doc bringing it to him, and asking him to give it to the Cap but he didn’t remember giving the letter to the Cap or seeing the letter again after we’d left,” Lucas said.  “Now that didn’t sound like Bob.  He’s always been really good about giving the Cap any notes or such from the Doc… so I questioned him again about it… verified when it was that he’d last seen it.”


“While he was thinking about it, Fred walked in and suddenly Bob remembered.  Just after Commander Ford had left, Bob remembered asking Fred to keep an eye on things so he could run to the john, and he also told Fred there was a letter from you,” Lucas looked at Kristin, “for Captain Bridger.  Turns out that she,” he turned dark eyes back to Wendy, “overheard Bob telling Fred about the letter.  She volunteered to bring the letter to the Cap for him after she told Fred that Captain Bridger would probably be working quite late.”


“I never received any letter.”


Lucas and Wendy spun around at the sound of Nathan’s voice.






“You’re walking!!”  Lucas exclaimed excitedly with a large smile.


“I’m walking…” Nathan nodded.  “Thanks to my very own physiotherapist, and her ‘special therapy’,” he finished as he stepped up behind Kristin and placed his hands on her waist.  “But we’ll talk more about that later,” Nathan told Lucas.  “I believe you were telling us what happened to my letter.”


“Na… Na… Nathan!?”  Wendy stuttered, shock and surprise clearly written on her face.  “When… how… you’re walking!  This is so wonderful!”


“Thank you,” Nathan said in a neutral voice.  “Now… the letter.”


“I don’t know what they’re talking about, Nathan.  Honestly,” Wendy answered as she shifted back and forth on the balls on her feet.  “I did not take any letter…”


“Then why did I find this in your desk on the seaQuest?”  Lucas asked pulling an opened envelope out of his back pocket.  “This is the Doc’s writing on the envelope… and it’s addressed to the Cap.”


“It… that can’t be!  I tore that letter up and threw it in… the…” Wendy’s voice trailed off at the triumphant look on Lucas’ face.  Anger spread across her features.  “Why you little shit…” she began and took a step towards the teen.


Kristin moved out of Nathan’s embrace and stepped in front of Wendy.  “I would seriously consider your next move carefully, Doctor Smith.”  Kristin told the woman in an icy voice, her protective mothering instincts rising at the perceived threat to Lucas. 


Wendy turned pleading eyes to Nathan.  “Nathan… you can’t honestly believe… I would never…” she began then pointed an accusing finger at Kristin.  “She’s just feeling guilty for not being there and trying to shift it all onto me.”


“I feel no guilt,” Kristin said.  “If anyone should… it’s you.”


“Me?  I did nothing.”


“You took that letter, and as a result, you are inadvertently responsible for Nathan’s accident,” Kristin told Smith, her sable eyes full of anger.  “Because of you, Nathan could have been paralysed for life.”


“No… Nathan, she’s lying…”


“You have been found out, Wendy.”  Kristin interrupted.  “Now, please leave before I really lose my temper and forget that I am a lady and toss you out on your skinny little ass.”


“I… Nathan…”


“Go home, Doctor Smith.”  Nathan said in a hard voice.


“But, Nathan…”


Nathan held his hand up to stop her.  “I have nothing to say to you,” he told her.  “You’ve been asked to leave.  Please go before it is necessary to call the police and have you escorted off the premises.”


Wendy stared at Nathan and opened her mouth to speak but at the dark look on his face, she brushed past Kristin and Lucas as she hurried off the porch.


Nathan stepped up behind Kristin, wrapped his arms around her and drew her back against his chest.  He rested his chin gently on the top of her head as they watched Smith continue to make her way down the long drive way.  When she finally disappeared from sight, Nathan felt Kristin relax against him.


“I’m proud of you,” Nathan dipped his head down to whisper in her ear.  “You handled that admirably.”


Kristin turned in his arms and wrapped hers around his waist.  “I knew you were there… and that helped me keep my temper in check, otherwise I probably would have hauled off and knocked that bitch out.”


“I think you should’ve, Doc.”  Lucas said with a grin.  “Would’ve served her right.”


“Violence is not an answer, Lucas.”


“I know… but after what she did… it would have looked good on her,” the teen replied.  “I still can’t believe she tried to pin everything on you, even after she knew she’d been found out.  I mean, I know she’s got it bad for you Cap,” Lucas looked at Nathan.  “But wow… that takes balls.”




“Sorry, Doc.”  Lucas smiled sheepishly.  “But you gotta admit… it does.”


Kristin laughed and nodded.  “Yes, it does,” she said then laid her head on Nathan’s shoulder as she tightened her arms around him and sighed.  “I’m glad that’s over.”


Nathan reciprocated and pulled her closer.  He kissed the top of her head and murmured, “Me too.”


Watching the two adults embrace, Lucas sensed a change between them.  The captain and the Doc had always been touchy-feely with each other… from the moment they met.  A hand on the arm here.  A small hug there.  Small touches.  They were never obvious about it.  But after the seaQuest had been destroyed the touching and feelings between them became much more noticeable, especially when the doc had moved in with them.


‘But something is different now,’ Lucas thought as he eyed the couple more critically.  ‘Something has definitely changed between them.’


It was while he was watching them that he followed the captain’s hand as it trailed down the doc’s back on the way to her…


‘Holy shit!’  Lucas swore internally then began to cough as he realized that Kristin was dressed in only the captain’s shirt.


“Lucas?”  Kristin pulled her head off Nathan’s chest to look at the hacking teen.  “Are you all right?”


“Ye… yeah… I’m all right,” Lucas stuttered.  He gestured over to his car.  “I’m just… gonna go get my things and let you two go… uh… get dressed.”


Nathan and Kristin looked down between them as Lucas jumped off the porch and ran to his car.  Nathan laughed as Kristin blushed and buried her face back in his chest.


“What are you embarrassed about?  You’re more covered now than when you’re wearing that itty bitty white bikini I love so much,” Nathan told her.


Kristin’s head popped up.  “Our bathing suits!  They’re still in the pool!”


“No they’re not.  I got them out before I came out here,” Nathan told her then smiled as she relaxed back against him.  “So before we embarrass the terror…”


“I’ll go slip my shorts on.”


Nathan sighed.


Kristin chuckled softly and reached up to give him a quick kiss then moved out of his arms and into the house, putting an extra sway in her hips as she knew Nathan was watching her.


“How come when I do that, I get smacked and told not to ogle the girls?”


Nathan turned to see Lucas standing on the porch steps with a slightly embarrassed grin on his face.  Nathan cleared his throat, opened his mouth to answer then closed it again and merely shrugged.


“Thanks, Cap.”  Lucas laughed and shook his head.  “So… when did you get your legs back?”


“Last week,” Nathan answered as he gestured for Lucas to follow him into the house.


“I knew the doc would be able to help you,” Lucas said as he trailed after Bridger, the screen door slamming closed behind him.


~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~ ~sQ~


“She didn’t!”


“She did!”


“I would have smacked her!”


“Believe me, it was all I could do not to.”


“Not do what?”  Bill asked as he watched his wife and Kristin enter the living room carrying drinks.


“Smack that telepathic bitch!”  Janet answered her husband as she settled down beside him on the couch.  “Do you know that she actually had the nerve to suggest that Kristin offered favours to Doctor Allen in order to secure Nathan’s release from the hospital?”


“She didn’t!?”


“She did!”


Kristin chuckled softly as she handed Lucas his Coke and ruffled his hair when he smiled his thanks, wisely refraining from commenting on Janet’s words to her husband.  She made her way over to where Nathan was seated in the over-stuffed chair, and was about to lower herself into the chair beside him when she suddenly found herself in Nathan’s lap.


“And you didn’t smack her?”  Bill asked, surprise evident in his voice.


“Contrary to popular belief, I do know how to control my temper,” Kristin answered smartly then rolled her eyes at the mock looks of disbelief on the others’ faces.


“Kristin handled herself with the utmost charm and poise,” Nathan said.  “She was grace personified.”


“You’re biased,” Kristin smiled down at him.


“I’m honest,” Nathan stated.  “After what Smith did… I don’t know if I would have held my temper as well as you did.”


“Something tells me there’s more to this story,” Bill said as he watched Nathan and Kristin share a look.


“You’re right.  There is more,” Kristin answered.  “Do you remember me telling you, at the hospital the day I came home, that I had left Nathan a letter?”




“Today we found out what happened to it.”


Janet looked over at Lucas.  “You figured it out.”


Lucas nodded.  “Yep.”


“Figured what out?”


“Wendy stole the letter Kristin left for me,” Nathan told Bill with a scowl on his face.  “And because of her childish behaviour, I ended up in that accident… not to mention damned near paralysed for the rest of my life.”  Nathan paused.  “I want her off my boat, Bill.  As soon as humanly possible, if not quicker.  I want her gone.”


Bill nodded slowly.  “Of course… of course.  I will see to it as soon as we get home on Monday.  Lexie won’t like it of course.  She’ll raise a stink.”


“I don’t care about Lexie,” Nathan replied.  “It’s simple really.  Either Smith goes, or seaQuest will need a new captain.”


“Now, Nathan…”


Nathan held his hand up to stop his friend.  “I’m not giving you that ultimatum, Bill.  That’s what I want you to tell the UEO.  I will not work with that woman ever again.”


“I understand, Nathan.  Really, I do,” Bill said.  “But the UEO is going to want an explanation as to why you don’t want Smith on the seaQuest.”


“And you can tell them, that because of her immaturity and her petty jealously, I could have ended up paralysed for life.”


Bill nodded.  “All right.  I will see what I can do.”


“Thank you.”


“If Smith goes, who are we going to get to replace her?  It was extremely difficult replacing Kristin… and Smith isn’t half as qualified as she is.”


Kristin looked at Nathan, and the two held a silent conversation before Nathan nodded silently.  “Are you certain?”  Kristin asked softly.




“What?”  Bill asked.


“Bill… I know the perfect person for the job,” Nathan told him with a smile as he glanced up at Kristin.


Bill looked back and forth between Nathan and Kristin then smiled.  “I agree.  Kristin is the perfect person for the job.  She is more than qualified… both as a medical doctor and as a scientist… but I don’t think the UEO will approve.  Not with the two of you being involved as you are.”


“Think they’ll like it any better if we’re married?”




The chorus of voices echoed throughout the large room as four sets of eyes stared at Nathan.


“Nathan…” Bill began.


“Bill… you know as well as I do, that I originally designed the seaQuest to house families,” Nathan said.


“Yes, I know that.”  Bill nodded.  “But…”


“But nothing.  If the UEO wants me as captain of the seaQuest then they’ll do so with Kristin as both my wife, and as the Science and Medical head.”  Nathan’s eyes sparkled as he gazed up at Kristin.  “What do you say, Kris… care to make an honest man out of me?”


Lucas, Janet and Bill watched in anticipation as Kristin swallowed then questioned Nathan softly.


“Are you serious?”


“Of course I am.  I was planning on asking you our first night on the island… but I got a little sidetracked,” Nathan grinned at her then grabbed her hands in his.  “I don’t have the ring with me… it’s at home… but I am asking you anyway.  Kristin… will you marry me?”


Tears slipped down Kristin’s cheeks as she slowly nodded.  “Yes,” she whispered as she reached up to brush away the tears.  “Yes, I will marry you.”


Nathan smiled, and reached up to cup her cheek.  He ran his thumb over her lower lips as he pulled her head down and caught her mouth in a loving kiss.  “I love you,” Nathan whispered against her lips before he claimed them again.


Janet squeezed Bill’s hand and rested her head on his shoulder as they watched Nathan and Kristin continue to kiss.  Bill smiled and turned his head to press a soft kiss to the top of his wife’s head.


Lucas glanced between the two couples and shook his head as he settled back in his chair, his attention once again focused on the captain and Doctor Westphalen.  After several minutes, he glanced down at his watch.


“So… how long do you think they can keep it up?”  Lucas asked quietly, amusement in his voice.


“Knowing those two,” Bill answered.  “Quite some time.”


A soft giggle escaped Janet as she playfully slapped Bill’s chest then settled back against her husband, and the three of them watched Nathan and Kristin start their happy ending.





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