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By Wendy Stone


Danielle and Ken find each other under a bridge during a store. They marry and have the kind of life some people only dream of. Now, as Danielle lies in a hospital bed, Ken at her side, can their love surpass even death?



He stared out the window and watched the forked tongues of lightning slash the angry sky, feeling the fury of the oncoming storm. Thunder sounded ominously, grumbling and building until the windows shook in their frames. The rain drumming against the house and the howl of the wind drowned out the machines beeping and hissing behind him. He just wished it would as easily drown out the pain in his heart and soul.

It seemed fitting in a strange way that it was storming today. A sudden summer storm had brought them together, and it was right that it should storm on the day they would be parted. A tear tracked across his cheek, the only sign of the vast emotion he held in check as he stared at the reflection in the glass.

A hospital bed sat behind him, its side rails up. The metallic sheen of the I.V. pole held an array of transparent pouches and tubes that carried necessary medications and fluids to her slowly dying body. The rhythmic hiss that seemed to blend so well with the rain came from the small ventilator forcing air into her lungs. It had been keeping both her body and his hopes alive. But today, ironically a day that should have been so joyous for the two of them, he couldn't stand to see her in such torment any longer.

He glanced back at the frail body that barely raised a bump under the blankets. The body that had been so beautiful, so startlingly lovely, even as she had aged, was now little more than skin and bones. The weeks since her body had failed her had taken their evil toll like a thief, stealing her youthfulness, her vibrancy.

He couldn't bear to see her this way, to know deep in his heart her ending, their ending, was near. He turned back, stared out the window again and remembered the first day they met.

* * * *

The storm had been raging, clouds billowing and building in dark gray rage, moving in fast. He'd been on the interstate, running late coming from a friend's home where he'd spent the night. Before long, he couldn't see to drive, and even at top speed the wipers hadn't been able to clear the rain from the windshield. He'd pulled over, running from his car into the comparative shelter of the overpass. At least under here, if a tornado came he'd be more protected then sitting in his car.

Not two minutes after he'd run under the bridge, he saw a figure in the rain, hurrying, with the same idea he'd had. As she emerged from the storm, reaching up to push long tendrils of wet hair from off her face, he got his first good look at her.

She was beautiful, her wet clothes sculpting her body with stunning results. She tipped her head to the side, not yet sensing his presence, and wrung out her long thick hair before flipping it back over her shoulder. Her white shirt was soaked through, clinging to her full breasts with the familiarity of a lover's hand, giving him a glimpse of dark hardened nipples etched in stark relief.

Unknowingly closing the distance between them, she climbed the steep incline, angling towards the more sheltered area of the bridge. A loud clap of thunder made her jump before she turned and sat, crossed her arms and shivered, her hand rubbing against the wet fabric of her shirt as she tried to warm herself up.

He stepped out of the shadows and quietly said "Hi," to make his presence known, trying not to frighten her.

She whirled around, hurriedly coming to her feet. Her eyes widened at the sight of him, his hair shaggy and wet, wearing a light coat and expensive looking slacks.

"Hi," she managed to say.

"Nice day out," he said, committing himself to conversation. At her look, he gestured beyond the shelter of the bridge to where the storm raged.

She jumped at the sound of the thunder as it bellowed directly overhead, then smiled a thousand-watt smile that he felt down to his knees. Her eyes seemed to sparkle with humor in the dim light.

"Yeah, it's just gorgeous. I'm headed for the beach to work on my tan. What about you?"

"Oh, I thought about the park, you know, for a picnic lunch and then a bicycle ride around the jogging trails."

He laughed at the silliness, and smiled wider at the sweet sound of her laughter. But his eyes kept straying down to the gorgeous breasts so fantastically displayed under the thin veil of her wet shirt.

He knew the instant she noticed because she turned, crossing her arms over those beautiful globes, shielding herself from his gaze.

"Oh, God," she said, her face turning bright red in embarrassment.

"I'm sorry," he said quickly, not quite sounding that way. "I couldn't help it. You really are very beautiful."

"I look like a drowned duck, but thanks anyway," she said, trying to smile at him through her embarrassment.

He watched as she pulled the fabric away from her breasts, which momentarily helped. But as soon as she let go of it, it once again cupped the smooth globes, and faithfully followed every curve and line of her slender body.

Who could blame me for looking? he thought, than shrugged out of his damp jacket, carefully sliding it over her shoulders. He couldn't help but let his hands linger against her, feeling the heat of her skin under the wet clothing. He'd never before felt so attracted to a woman immediately after meeting her.

Maybe it was her hazel eyes, a color he usually thought of as dull. Hers were mixed with flecks of greens and gold and when she laughed, they danced with light. Or her hair, wet and heavy now, long, thick and dark with rain. He couldn't wait to find out exactly what color it was, to see it shine under the sun.

Her vivacious smile would turn anyone's day brighter and her laughter rang out free and gentle, and wanting to nestle next to his heart. The blush that rose to stain her cheeks, her embarrassment, was sweetly innocent, calling to a surprisingly protective side of his nature.

He retreated, slightly confused by his reaction to a woman whose name he didn't even know. Sitting on the hard concrete incline, he glanced over and saw her shiver, drawing the coat even closer around her slim frame. He held out his hand. "You're cold. Come here. If I promise to behave myself, we could share some body heat."

* * * *

She'd moved towards him, a little wary of the attraction she was feeling. Thunder roared out from above them, making her jump and slide under his arm, scooting closer as she shivered in reaction. Lightning streaked down, striking not a hundred feet from where they sat, the smell of ozone hanging heavily in the wind.

"Damn," he hissed quietly, as she moved even closer. "That was really close."

"I don't know what's wrong with me," she said, staring up at the handsome faced stranger. "I usually love thunderstorms." His eyes were deep blue, she noted, like the sky just before sunset. Dark hair that curled wetly, slashing arched brows and a chiseled face with a nose just a touch too big. He looked like the handsome and daring pirate you'd see on a romance novel cover, wearing a white billowy shirt with an arm around a buxom maid and a cutlass clenched tightly in his fist, out to ride the wild waves of the seven seas.

"But how many times are you stuck in one with a stranger?" he asked, staring down at her and squeezing her shoulder reassuringly.

* * * *

The look in her beautiful eyes as she studied him did nothing to calm the wild racing of his heart. Whether it was the danger of the storm or her loveliness, it was having an affect on him. He could feel the blood rushing to his groin, making his cock ache and stiffen against the hard metal of his zipper.

"I'm very happy you're here," she said, her voice just above a husky whisper.

Then she surprised him, reaching up to gently touch his face while staring into his eyes. She blinked and her eyes fell to his mouth, seeming fixated there. It sent his pulse racing and he had an overpowering urge to kiss her. A groan escaped his lips.

"I have to," he whispered.

It was tentative at first. A cautious tasting as his lips brushed gently against hers, only changing when he felt the hesitant flicker of her tongue against the closed seam of his lips. He opened his mouth above hers, sipping with increasing need, the dark passion of her mouth. Pulling back, his hand cupped her cheek as he stared into eyes that had turned a burnished gold with pleasure.

"You are so beautiful," he said as he rubbed his nose lightly against hers, before again kissing her gently. "Your breasts are perfect." He pulled her closer, his mouth capturing hers as all hesitancy was thrown into the storm.

Her kiss was sweet, wild and innocent at the same time. She moved against him like liquid fire, sending flickers of flame through his body as his blood started to thicken and pulse heavily in his veins. Her hand raked through the thick strands of his damp hair, tracing the firm muscled lines of his neck.

Soft hands stroked greedily over his shoulders and down, finding the buttons of his shirt and opening them. Her fingers found the tautness of his chest, stroking skin that seemed to smolder beneath her. Her mouth left his, nipping against his strong jaw as she pushed him gently to his back. She straddled him, a wicked grin blossoming across her lovely face, holding him captive to the spell she was weaving. She bent over and took a quick kiss, then bit softly into his bottom lip, before laving it with her tongue.

The cold dampness of her shirt against his chest was a startling contrast to the heat of her mouth. She trailed it over him slowly, wending her way along his body, nibbling and kissing masculine flesh that tasted of storm and spicy man. The taste was intoxicating, leaving her longing for more.

His head tipped back against the rough cement, his eyes closing helplessly as he groaned. "I'm in trouble here, aren't I?"

The wicked sound of laughter against his skin was his only answer. Her hands skimmed slowly across his belt before undoing it quickly and reaching for the fastening of his pants. Her fingers pulled at his zipper, slipped under the material and found his cock hard and throbbing, reacting to her touch with a life of its own. She pushed his clothing down his legs, slid closer and stroked its soft-skinned length.

He gasped as he felt the heat of her breath against the tip of his cock, so different from the storm-cooled air around them, and stared down to watch this gorgeous stranger as she made love to his body.

Barely an inch away, her eyes fastened upon the length of him. She traced the warmth of her hand over him before pursing her lips and blowing across the swelling head of his cock, a stream of air that moved up and down his shaft with its own special caress.

He arched into her hand, desperate to feel the luscious softness of her lips around his cock, the wet suction of her mouth drawing him in. Goose flesh trickled up his stomach, making the muscles flex in reaction, and a small drop of moisture beaded, proof of his growing need.

She took one more long breath and licked her lips, ripping another groan from him. Her mouth opened just above his flesh, a small trickle of saliva dripping from her tongue. Then the heat of her mouth engulfed him. Sucking deeply, her tongue stroked the rigid vein that ran along the bottom of his cock.

"Oh, my God." His voice was a deep moan of bliss. His eyes closed as he savored the sensations she was creating only to open and watch as she stared up at him, enjoying his reaction to her ministrations.

His hand tangled in her hair as she moved above him, her mouth a hot, damp haven of pleasure. She moved on him endlessly, as if she could read his mind, knowing what he wanted almost before he did, creating a firestorm of pleasure that burnt low and hot in his belly.

"Stop," his voice was a mere rumble, all but drowned out by the hell all around them. "You've got to stop, baby." He pulled her away, drawing her up and over himself. "I've got to have you."

His hands pulled recklessly at her clothing, and he mumbled a half-hearted apology when he heard a seam rip.

She laughed huskily and he realized that she didn't care. With fevered hands, he pulled and tugged until she was naked before he pushed her down onto the soft fabric of his jacket and coat. Twisting over her, he found her mouth in a kiss that was frenzied with need, tongues twisting in hurried heat, hands searching for and finding sensitive skin.

He pressed his palm gently to the damp heat between her legs and moaned, his eyes staring down the sleek curves of her body and between her thighs. His hands danced across her smooth, bare flesh.

"Oh, God, angel, that has to be the most erotic thing I've ever seen."

His finger slipped between swollen lips and found her hot and wet. He pressed further, sliding one finger into her, then two, pushing into moist giving flesh. He felt the hard pearl of her clit and nudged it with his thumb, listening to the sobbing sighs coming from her lips.

"Please," she whimpered. "Please..." Her grasping hands reached, pulling him to her. Her voice called to him, moans and sighs of need urging him to continue.

He slid between her thighs, the smooth skin silky next to his hips, her hands guiding him into her with an insistence that was impossible to resist. Her flesh stretched delicately around him, welcoming him eagerly as he slipped deeply into her. Her hips arched, taking him even deeper until sheathed fully in the tightness of her body.

He moved inside of her, stroking hard as she urged him on, her hands clutching his back, her fingers digging in for purchase. Pleasure spiraled through her, rocketing into her body. She gasped for air, feeling him plunge ever deeper as her body convulsed around his cock in mindless need. The spasm of the immense orgasm flooded her, hot waves trapping him deeply within her, her muscles milking at his shaft as he resisted the urge to join her.

"More," he growled into her ear.

Before she had a chance for more than a single deep breath, he pulled away, sitting on his legs, lifting her so that he held her weight. She shifted as he pulled her against him, taking him back inside. A grimace of pain crossed her face as overly sensitized flesh was stimulated more, but pleasure quickly followed. His hands were on her thighs, cupping her hips, lifting her, moving her above him.

"Go over again, angel. I want to feel it. Once more, baby."

"It's too much," she moaned, her eyes closing tightly as unaccustomed sensations of ecstasy swamped her.

Her back arched and he gently lowered her so that her head was against the ground, her hips still held firmly in his hands, still elevated in the air. He thrust into her, holding her with one hand so that he could slip his fingers between her thighs, finding the smooth knotted flesh of her clit. A shrill cry escaped her lips and her body again trapped his in its heaving grasp.

The pleasure was indescribable. She clutched around him in almost unbearable rapture. Long shudders wracked his body as he came within her in endless swelling waves. His hand slipped down, flattened against the cement next to her, holding himself up weakly as the last shivering spasm left him.

"My God," he whispered breathlessly feeling as if she'd turned him inside out with the joy that she'd brought him.

Her lips found his, gentle and tender. His hand touched her face. They stared at each other silently, awed by their shared experience. Then, as one, they noticed the lack of noise.

The storm was over. Dark clouds were rapidly disappearing, leaving blue skies behind. The air was clear as crystal, washed clean by the rain. Traffic started to pick up again, whizzing by them. He grinned as she grabbed her clothing and pulled away to dress, blushing.

Pulling on his pants, he reached for his shirt, watching her as she hurriedly covered the beautiful body he'd just adored. Someone honked and he stopped buttoning his shirt to wave, making her laugh, a sweet sound that widened the smile on his face. A sound he would love to hear more.

When they were both dressed, he turned to her, holding out his hand. Staring down at her, he couldn't believe the turmoil welling in his stomach. It got worse as he walked her to her car, holding her hand. He wanted to see her again. He didn't want to let this angel go without getting that chance.

"Can we..." he stopped as he realized what he was about to say and laughed. "I was going to say, do this again, but that's not what I mean." He pushed a strand of still wet hair behind her ear, letting his knuckles softly caress the skin of her cheek. "I'd love to see you again, angel."

She laughed up at him, her face flushed, her body humming with contentment. "Next storm, meet me here," she said, making him laugh too.

He reached into his back pocket and took his wallet out of his pants, removing a piece of paper. He handed it to her after writing his phone number on it. "Please, call me, angel."

A gentle kiss on her soft lips and he stepped back reluctantly, watching as she got into her car. He waited until she started the engine and pulled out into traffic before getting into his own.