Title: "Affair"
A Erotic Series
Chapter (3/5)
Written by: Shawn

Summary: Tommy and Kim's 'affair' hits its first major snag when the
green-eyed monster rears its ugly head.

Rating: M for variety of adult content. Very sexual adult content.
Category: Erotica/Romance
Timeline/Spoilers: Everything up to and including the Dino Thunder
finale is canon - After that its my AU.

Characters: Tommy and Kim

Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with PR and won't make a cent
off of this.

Authors Notes 1: If you're in the mood for something grown, sexy,
flirtatious, salacious, blush inducing, and romantic then this is for
you.

Authors Notes 2: All lyrics used by Kim in this story belong to Amy
Jo Johnson for the song "Purple Skies"

Authors Notes 3: There will be five chapters now.

Dedicated to: The Grown and Sexy - Lovers of TK - and everyone at the
Perfect Chemistry forum.

Extra thanks to: Liz for her amazing artwork that accompanies this
story.

Beta read by: Angela the amazing

~~~~~~

"One must never lose time in vainly regretting the past or in
complaining against the changes which cause us discomfort, for change
is the essence of life."
~~ Anatole France

"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human
being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His
mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and
finds no other inspiration. "
~~ Pearl S. Buck

"Some of the greater things in life are unseen thats why you close
your eyes when you kiss, cry, or dream..."
~~ Anonymous

~~~~~~

******

******

(Day 2)

3724 Verdon Lane
Cabin 2#
Sunday, December 5, 2008 10:45 AM
South Lake Tahoe, CA

"Purple skies, butterflies, and love... this is what I'm looking
for... Raindrops, dandelions, sacrifice... is this what you're
looking for? Do you see me?... Do you love me?" Kim sang softly to
herself, working the melody and lyrics in her mind's workshop while
nodding her head. Seated on the flat-surfaced windowsill in her
living room, she set her guitar back on the floor and then grabbed
her song notebook. Unclipping the pen attached to the top, she jotted
down her new lyrics while mouthing them to herself again. So far, so
good. Her lips curled into a pleased smile as she flipped back a
couple of pages, noting the two songs she finished this morning
already. And with a third well underway, she was making some real
progress.

Sparing a glance outside, Lake Tahoe's winter wonderland now came
with a fresh couple of inches of white, courtesy of last night's
snowfall. Temperatures were the chilly expected, though Kim felt warm
and cozy in her cabin. She woke up this morning and rolled out of bed
with three important things on her mind.

One was that she wanted to get started on her music early, and that
was already accomplished. After making pancakes, scrambled cheese
eggs, and sausage for a shared breakfast with her "house guest,"
she'd spent the last two hours alone working on the main reason for
her vacation. Hopefully by the time she left, she'd have seven songs
finished.

Number two was to get some skiing in today. Good Ole Mother Nature
worked that out perfectly with the new snowfall, and it looked to be
even more fun now that she wasn't going to be doing it alone.

Third on Kim's mental checklist, well, he was reading on her bed at
the moment. Having experienced the most pleasurable, entertaining,
and unexpected twenty-four hours of her entire life, she needed some
time alone to breathe and think over her next steps. She sincerely
wanted to protect her friendship with Tommy, but at the same time
felt desperately drawn to him. Every kiss they shared made her want
more... each time they made love became the best sex she'd ever had.

They'd become engaged in this little "affair" that she knew had the
shelf life of seventy-hours, but would that be enough for her?

Running her hands through her brown hair, Kim sighed, her back
resting against the wall. She should be enjoying this for the time
they would have and not wondering if she could steal more. She was
going back to Florida and her apartment, business, and life in a
couple of days. He was going back to his life a coast away and aside
from phone calls and emails who knew when they'd see each other
again. And when they eventually did, he might have fallen in love
with someone by then.

The mere thought of which made her feel physically ill. And if that
wasn't a scary sign, nothing was.

In the last day alone since becoming Tommy's lover, Kim sensed a
growing possessiveness in her thoughts regarding him. They didn't
just make love yesterday, they really talked. Shared. Connected. Were
affectionate and loving in ways she'd barely ever felt with men she
dated and had hoped it would go somewhere. The intimacy they shared
was so easy to develop that it almost didn't make sense to her. It
was both terrifying and amazing how close she felt to him already.
Waking up next to him this morning after she'd slept so peacefully,
and all she could do was stare at him...

It was crazy and it didn't make any sense and it was as real as real
got. Kim exhaled slowly, chanting a frustrated, "I must be losing my
mind," to herself.

Still, the alluring draw she felt towards Tommy was pulling at her
even now, leaving behind her music to seek out the object of her
thoughts. She reached her bedroom in a couple of steps and found him
lying on his back reading 'The Tao of Jeet Kune Do,' written by Bruce
Lee himself. He was so into the book he didn't notice her gentle
appraisal by the door. Smiling, she enjoyed her hiding place, simply
watching him read quietly, appearing completely engrossed in his
book. "The martial arts were always your first love."

Peering up from the page he was reading, Tommy remarked at the sight
of her. "No, that was you."

"Cute. Real cute," she smiled brightly, crossing into the room. She
crawled onto the bed and then settled beside him, her head propped on
her arm. His clean, fresh scent instantly caught her senses. He
smelled entirely too good this morning. "My first love was
gymnastics."

Tommy wasn't surprised in the least when she said that. "Liar."

"Okay, maybe it was Jordan from New Kids on the Block." Tommy's
mocking glare made Kim laugh quietly as he went back to his book,
lifting it so that he didn't have to look at her. She quickly
snatched it from his hands, bent over and kissed him hard just
because she wanted to. When his lips parted her tongue delved inside,
and then she began sucking on his until he was holding her so close
she wanted him that
very second. Her mouth twitched over his, moaning softly when the
feel of his strong hands roaming her lower back descended to cup her
ass. Dear God, he could turn her into liquid in the span of a
heartbeat, but she wanted to actually accomplish some things today
other than mind-shattering orgasms.

Not that those were bad things, mind you.

Pulling her lips away from his own, the passionate, sultry heat
living in his eyes nearly made Kim give in. Lying on top of him
wasn't helping either as her body seemed to mold over his. "Of course
you're my first love."

"I should be your last," Tommy groaned before seizing her warm mouth
once more, his right hand cupping the back of her head, and then
rolled her beneath him. Their hungry kiss glided and swayed hotly,
with her hands ghosting under his shirt, over the muscles of his
shoulders and back before running over his backside. She felt the
solid weight of his erection press against her center and whimpered
into his mouth, her lips trembling. They engaged in a very intense,
wet lip-lock that had both panting and grinding against each other,
their hands roaming everywhere.

When Kim felt his caress drifting down her body towards the button on
her jeans she gave a gentle push against his chest. "Wait, wait,
wait," she gasped, breaking the kiss only to feel his head dip into
her neck and his tongue begin lashing over her pulse. All political
correctness aside, he made her want to fuck more than any man ever
had before. His touch was so viscerally sexual her legs were trying
to curl around him even as her words sought his attention. "Tommy,
listen."

Sighing almost painfully, he slowly lifted his head, aroused so
powerfully he could barely take it. Mercy, she was so gorgeous with
her face flushed, her lips kiss-swollen. He wanted to ravish her and
forget the rest of the world existed. "Beautiful.. ."

Lifting a finger to his face, Kim wagged it back and forth. "Don't
start with that Beautiful crap, Mr. Oliver. I know you just want some
pussy."

The mere fact that she said the word pussy had him about to lose his
mind. And the sexy way she said it made his toes curl and his throat
swallow. "Whatever did you come in here for?"

"Oh, so the only reason I would come in here is to have sex with
you?" she asked with a arched brow, testing him. "I thought I enjoyed
your company more than that."

"Kim, if you want to talk you can't do it by kissing me hard and then
running your hands up and down my back. Doing that tends to give a
guy the idea you want some."

Pursing her lips, she replied, "So I make you lose control?"

"Yes."

His admission did wonders for her ego. Slowly slinking her body out
from under his, she laid on her side next to him. He begrudgingly
rolled over onto his belly to try and hide his... ahem, affliction.
She couldn't resist ribbing him about it. "Just think of Bulk and
Skull naked and playing Twister."

Tommy gave her a crooked smile. "You are so not helping."

"Later," she promised seductively with a wink, and then pressed a
little kiss over his lips. She didn't linger this time, lying down
once more.

"So did you miss me?"

"I was only in the other room."

"That doesn't answer the question."

After a thoughtful silence, Kim confessed, "Yes, I missed you."

Lying his head on her pillow, Tommy smiled triumphantly. "Was that so
hard?"

"Not as hard as you are right now."

Her quip curled his lips. "That's all your fault."

"Blah, blah, blah," she laughed in his face, and then laid back and
relaxed, her gaze focused on the ceiling. She didn't need anything in
particular other than this. Being next to him. Knowing that he wanted
her. She ignored the warning bells for the tingles his nearness
caused her. "So tell me about the last woman you dated?"

Tommy assumed her position when he laid down beside her. "Her name
was Carmine and she was a pre-med student. Her six year old son,
David, became a student at my Reefside school."

That name didn't ring a bell when she thought over the names of women
she'd heard he dated in the past. "Was she the first woman you dated
with a child?"

"Yeah," Tommy nodded. "I always made sure I said hi to her when she
came to pick up David, and she always asked about his progress and
the class he attended. She was even thinking of taking some self-
defense classes on the weekends. We hit it off pretty well,
conversation wise. She's very independent and bold. She reminded me
of you, in a way."

Kim realized she wasn't the only one who found certain qualities in a
ex that still appealed to her today. "How did she look?"

"Carmine had long black hair and green eyes. She was about 5''7, with
a very nice figure," he remembered with a grin. "She was a tomboy who
had played softball in high school and college. Her beauty was in a
understated sort of way. She was so career minded that her looks were
almost a detriment in her eyes because she worried that men wouldn't
take her seriously."

"I know how that is," Kim related. "Been there, done that."

"Anyway, we dated secretly for about 5 months and had a great time.
Carmine was very, very protective of her son and didn't want any man
coming into his life until she was sure he was going to stay. So as
far as David knew, me and his mom were just good friends." Kim nodded
as he continued. "We had fun."

"But..."

"She was honest with me one night," he explained. "With med-school
coming up and raising David full-time alone, she didn't know if she
had the time or energy to date. And with my constant traveling she
wanted stability for any man in David's life. His real father wasn't
in the picture at all. According to Carmine, his idea of good
parenting was the money taken out of his paycheck each week. He
wanted nothing to do with his son."

"Men who don't take care of their children should have their balls
cut off with a rusty spoon and fried in front of them, then shoved in
their mouth and their lips stitched shut." Kim enjoyed his mildly
shocked
expression. "When it comes to dead-beat dads, I have no mercy."

"Understood. " Kim was something else, that was for sure. "Anyway,
after that talk, we agreed to just be friends. I couldn't commit to
her because I wasn't in love, and I respect her too much to develop a
father-like relationship with David when I wasn't sure about his mom.
We parted on good terms."

"You're still a wonderful gentleman," Kim noted, resting her hand
over his chest. "So it's your turn now. Ask me anything?"

"Anything?" Tommy laid back down, considering until it suddenly hit
him. "How long was it after you wrote me the letter that you lost
your virginity?"

Swallowing hard, Kim searched his face for the origin of that
question. He seemed genuinely interested and wasn't teasing. A subtle
note of sadness swept over her... past hurts were known for such
things. "Four months."

"Four months," he repeated quietly, and then shut his eyes. "I just
about drove myself nuts wondering if you had made love to him even
before the letter."

Kim laid perfectly still, reeling a bit. "Your opinion of me had
fallen that far?"

"When your heart is broken you can imagine anyone doing anything.
Especially the way you broke mine. I used to lie in bed at night and
torture myself with images of you and him laughing in bed together.
Sometimes I wondered if you were laughing at me."

"Tommy, no." Kim sat up, her hands in her lap, staring at him. "It
was never that way."

"I know that now," he assured her. "I'm just talking about the first
month or two after you broke up with me. You told me you found the
one you felt you were supposed to be with. So I thought you were
having a great time while I was crushed. And it took a while for me
to let all of that go. And to let you go."

Bowing her head, she sighed. "No matter how long ago all that was, I
still feel so bad about it. Especially since none of it, at least
personally, turned out how I thought it would."

"I would have killed to make love to you."

Not a part of her doubted him. "I didn't sleep with you because I
wasn't ready at the time. I loved you dearly, but mentally, I just
wasn't there yet. And with the jerk, as I call him now, I think I was
trying to justify my decision to break up with you by being in a
adult relationship that was so much more mature than ours. That's how
I rationalized it in my head."

It all made sense and truthfully, he understood her reasons. For
goodness sake, she was only seventeen. He certainly made his share of
mistakes then and since. "I just wanted to know."

Kim sat quietly beside him, her thoughts sweeping over their shared
past... and their present. "I cried myself to sleep the night you
saved Jason and I from Divatox."

The somber expression she wore tugged at Tommy's heart. "Why?"

"Because I knew you were in love with Kat. I wasn't just being told
secondhand by Jason or Rocky. I actually saw it. I saw how you looked
at her, and how you touched her. And it just..." shaking her head,
she craned her neck about. "I was so jealous. I felt like a fool and
a bitch because I didn't want to still have feelings for you and
Katherine was so sweet to me."

Tommy felt guilty for enjoying the fact that she was jealous. "For a
moment there I thought you were dating Jason."

"Pardon me, I didn't know you were smoking crack back then," she
joked, her fingers tapping over his chest. Touching him was simply
out of her control. "We might have made a bonehead mistake by scuba
diving at night, but as far as hooking up, I'd be with Adam before
Jason."

Turning his head, Tommy graced her with a curious grin. "Adam?"

Smiling a bit embarrassed, Kim shrugged. "He's quiet and has a
certain loner quality about him. I think he's cute and minus a shirt,
he's not bad on the eyes at all."

"I never suspected," Tommy smiled.

"I don't have a crush on him, for crying out loud. Tanya would go all
Michael Myers on me if I did. I'm just saying had I never met you, I
think Adam might of caught my eye. Maybe not back in high school, but
as we all got older."

"But never Jason?"

"God no! I've known him since I was seven years old. It would be like
sleeping with my brother." She caught his smirking look. "Not like
how you're my 'brother,'" she noted sweetly. "I mean it would be like
boning my real brother in that down south, hillbilly, living in a
double-wide, making moonshine in the bath tub, all my cousins look
alike sort of ewww way."

"You're entirely too visual with your words," he laughed before
moving on his side, closer to her. "So how's your music coming?"

"Pretty good," Kim revealed proudly. "Two songs down and I just need
to finish one more. I'm almost done."

"You think you might be up to previewing some of your work for me
later?"

"Of course," she replied, and then added, "I didn't know you were
interested."

"I'm interested in everything about you."

His flirtatious comment was blush worthy, although she fought it
tooth and nail. "Okay, a mini concert it is."

Tommy sat up, stretching his arms. "You ready for a break?"

"What did you have in mind?"

"Skiing." When she pouted, he adored her and her games. "Get your
mind out the gutter."

"If it didn't have the gutter it wouldn't have a home at all." Moving
off the bed, she felt his hand curl around hers. So warm and
loving... "What?" He came around to her, leaned down and covered her
mouth, kissing her deeply. Her hands rested tenderly against his
chest while his right hand clasped over her hip. "You are so going to
inspire me to write you another letter."

He stole another kiss for that one. ""You and your letters..."

"Just come on. I got a couple of bookmarks on the end table on my
side of the bed. Use one and let's blaze." Bounding off the bed into
the living room, Kim heard Tommy fumbling through something behind
her, and then heard him make the strangest noise she'd ever heard
before.

She turned around slowly and found him standing in the bedroom
doorway holding... her mouth instantly parted... a wildly alarmed
expression crossed her face as she couldn't blink to save her life.
Her eyes focused solely on Tommy's hand. Or more to the point, on the
hot pink, realistically shaped, seven-inch vibrator he was
holding. "Aww... Uhm... DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!"

Beaming a teasing smirk her way, Tommy held the vibrator a bit
higher, truly taking in its shape and texture. "I accidentally saw
this sticking out of your suitcase under the bed. It's very... pink,"
he declared while laughing softly. "I believe this takes C
batteries?" He pushed the small button on the side and her the length
began to vibrate while the head moved in a slightly angled, buzzing
sort of way. "Wicked."

Rushing to him, Kim quickly snatched the vibe from his hand and shut
it off, hiding it behind her back for some strange reason. He'd
already seen it, but still. She lifted her finger in a warning,
pointed at his face. "I am a normal, healthy, grown woman with needs."

"Of the battery operated kind?"

"If I had a dollar for every time you probably dated the Palm twins
I'd be able to retire, wouldn't I?"

"That's... that's neither here nor there."

"Look, I... I didn't... I wasn't expecting to hook up with anyone on
this trip, so I..." Words. She needed words. Words were her friends,
Dammit, where were the words to explain this? Why did she feel so
embarrassed? And then suddenly she just stood there, exhaled, and
laughed with him. She even smacked the side his head with the
vibrator, just for kicks. "You can make fun of me all you want, but
this thing is a woman's best friend. It never goes limp, never
cheats, never lies, and most importantly never leaves a woman
unsatisfied. It doesn't want to roll over and go to sleep after it's
gotten off. It can stay as hard as long you need it to be."

"Kim, are you trying to convince me that thing is better than a real
man?"

"If it could take out the trash, reach high places, pump gas, and
carry on a conversation with a woman's mother... the answer's yes,"
she giggled at the silliness of it all, and then was drawn into his
arms again. "Do not ever tell anyone about this, understood?"

"Okay," he chuckled softly in her ear, and then whispered, "I promise
you won't have any use for that thing while you're on this vacation."
She offered a cute little "Fine," to which he added, "Unless I get
creative."

Her body shivered sensuously in his arms over the way he said that.

Ten minutes later they were on the road toward the ski resort.

******

******

(Day 2)

Heavenly Ski Resort
Sunday, December 5, 2008 3:20 PM
South Lake Tahoe, CA

It was Mark Twain that said, "To obtain the air the angels breathe,
you must go to Tahoe."

Soaring through the air with the brisk winds kissing his face, Tommy
nailed his landing, grinning wildly when he caught sight of Kim hot
on his heels. They weren't racing today, but a certain
competitiveness marked their friendship no matter what they were
doing. And for the last couple of hours, they'd skied the
breathtakingly majestic slopes at exhilarating speeds without a care
in the world.

Today's perfect weather, coupled with last nights new snowfall, left
the courses in the best skiing conditions imaginable.

While enjoying the sheer rush of downhill skiing, Kim closely
followed her more experienced partner through hair-raising steeps and
snow powder-filled bowls past some of the most challenging runs the
resort offered. She was pushing herself for sure, but wasn't about to
let Tommy see any fear in her eyes. She craved being his equal and
sought to remind him of it at every turn.

Three hours of fun raced by.

Skiing over the wide-open, groomed boulevards allowed for precious
moments to visually capture the beautiful scenery around them. Awe-
inspiring mountain views accompanied them as they toured the resorts
challenging most slopes, blazing across the snow, and then enjoying
slow gondola rides to catch their back up the mountains, only to
seize them again.

They were having the time of their lives.

******

******

(Day 2)

Heavenly Ski Resort Restaurant
Sunday, December 5, 2008 4:40 PM
South Lake Tahoe, CA

"That thing is bigger than you."

Paying Tommy no mind, Kim bit into her massive bacon double-
cheeseburger and simply fell in love. Her expression at the delicious
taste was practically orgasmic. "It was Yoda who said, 'size matters
not.'" After quoting the esteemed Jedi Master, she took another big
bite, smiling when she had to wipe some stray ketchup off her bottom
lip with her tongue. "Let me guess? You found that sexy, didn't you?"

"No." Yeah, he did. "Not at all." Tommy had to shift in his chair.
She noticed, enjoying his expression of denial. "I wasn't even paying
attention."

"Sure you weren't." Seated in a private booth in the back of the
resort's restaurant, Kim admired the family atmosphere and modern
decor. As for Tommy, he tore into his bacon double cheese-burger and
chili fries as if he hadn't eaten in days. He ate like a typical man
in her eyes while she went after her melted cheese fries. A late
afternoon lunch, her treat, was their next stop upon leaving the
slopes and returning their rented ski equipment.

Skiing for most of the day had left Kim absolutely famished, and
seeing as how this was her vacation, a salad just wouldn't do. She
needed a burger, the biggest they had on the menu. And she needed
Tommy with her, though she wasn't ready quite to admit that yet. "I
swear I would marry this burger if I could," she joked, holding it in
her hands. His mock of a stare caught her attention. "No, I'm not
crazy."

"Kim, I see a strait jacket in your future at some time."

"Oh, so I'm Kim again," she teased cutely. "What happened to calling
me Beautiful?"

"Do you mean 'my' Beautiful?"

Flirtatious indeed... "Possessive, much?"

"You were mine once."

"Once," she noted fondly, if softly. "And you were mine."

"Once," he acknowledged, smiling at her. They continued eating lunch
in silence for a while, enjoying the quiet mood around them. From the
moment they were reunited on that train, their banter was tainted
with the most heated chemistry. Half-truths, veiled desires, and
hidden meanings laced the way they conversed with each other from the
start.

Tommy wasn't sure if that would ever change, or if he wanted it to.
She was the spark plug igniting his life the last day and a half. A
spark he didn't even know he was missing. "So, tell me something else
I don't know about you?"

Kim looked up after popping three dripping cheese fries in her
mouth. "I wish I'd ordered the chili fries."

Tommy expected no less. "Something serious. Come on."

After drinking from her Diet Coke, she swirled his question around
her mind a few times. "I can't parallel park to save my life."

"So of all the things you might want me to know about you, your
inability to parallel park came to mind first?"

Ignoring his obvious attempt to know more about her, Kim
shrugged. "Fine, I also think that little soul patch thing you got
going on your chin is sexy." He seemed pleased enough, if a bit
exasperated at her. She loved pushing his buttons. "Same question to
you. Tell me something I don't know about you?"

While wiping his hands with a napkin, Tommy graced her with a soft
smile. "I can't sing."

That certainly piqued her interest. "Not even in the shower?"

"Not anywhere, anytime, ever. My singing sounds like cats having sex.
You don't ever want to hear it."

Laughing, Kim ate a couple more cheesy fries. "I may have to hear you
sing just to know how bad you are."

"I don't sing for anyone."

"Not even for me?"

Her mildly pouty expression charmed him. "Maybe. It depends."

"On what?"

"How bad you want it?"

Smirking, Kim felt the heat of his gaze fall over her. "Shut up," she
ordered playfully, and then dumped his bowl of chili fries over her
cheese fries. She forked a mixture of the two and hummed
delightfully. "See how clever I am?"

"That's one of the reasons why I love you." Tommy noted her
expression softened ever so, and then she looked away. She was always
beautiful to him, only now that she was tempered with age and life
experience, she was luminous. He was crushing massively on her, and
felt pretty cool about it.

"You're staring."

"You're gorgeous."

Bowing her head a bit sheepishly, she gave a little tilt of her
head. "If your intention is to make me blush, it's working."

"My intention is to take you home when we leave here..." he began
seriously, but sensual. "Then take you to your bedroom..." he
continued, holding her gaze. "And then remove every piece of clothing
you're wearing and make love to you for the rest of the day."

Feeling so very hot and bothered all of a sudden, Kim needed a sip of
something cold while looking away from the man that was driving her
body crazy. He effortlessly set her hormones on fire, and made her
feel so feminine and good about herself as a woman. He was drowning
her with adoring attention. "What are we doing?" she asked softly.

"Spending time together and getting to know each other again."

"Is that all?"

"I certainly hope not."

'Is it possible to feel scared and elated at the same time?' Kim
wondered while staring into his warm brown eyes. He captured her gaze
and refused to let go, binding them as one. And once he drove them
back to her cabin, she'd lose the rest of the day in his arms, making
love to him until he didn't have a drop of essence left. All the
while, she would let her body sing and try not to listen to the love
song her heart began writing without her consent. He didn't just
thrill her body, he made her feel like she could trust him with
anything. "Are you afraid I might hurt you?"

"Yes," Tommy answered truthfully, pleased that she was at least
testing the waters where they were concerned. "But I'm more afraid of
traveling down the easy path because I lacked the courage to see what
the unpredictable one might bring. I hate fear, so anything I want, I
go after. I refuse to live with regrets of what might have been."

"I'd hate to be one of your regrets."

"I could never regret a day with you."

Kim sighed thoughtfully, exhaling deeply as their talk naturally
evolved into something that was personal personal, albeit in their
unique way of communicating. "You're amazing."

"I'm alright, I guess."

"No, you're amazing, trust me," she complimented, smiling for his
eyes only. "I can't remember the last time I've had so much fun."

Tommy leaned forward, clearly serious when he asked, "Am I only fun
to you?"

At the risk of revealing too much, Kim opened up to him, no matter
how her voice trembled. "You make me feel loved."

Progress, at last. Tommy settled back in his seat. "It's because you
are."

"Do you know that I love you too?"

Tommy gave a slow nod. "I know."

"Good," she said, feeling a little nervous as their conversation was
moving dangerously close to... something... she wasn't sure.
Something meaningful. Something that she just wasn't quite
ready for... just yet. "Excuse me. I need to go to the ladies room.
Be right back, k?"

Kim was off and running and Tommy knew it, but didn't mind. She was
coming around and that was all that mattered to him. "I'll be
waiting. I'm a patient man, Kim."

He wasn't talking about her trip to the bathroom. She picked up on
his hidden meaning and that only made her feet move faster.

Sitting back while finishing off his sandwich, Tommy felt just about
on top of the world. He wasn't prepared to tell Kim he was in love
with her again because he wasn't sure about that and he felt it was
to soon even if he did. He'd already come to the conclusion already
that this three-day weekend wouldn't be enough. He wanted to see more
of her and see where things might lead, and though she was fighting
it a bit, he could tell she was weakening. He was sure before they
left Lake Tahoe that the conversation of seeing each other again
would arise and then she wouldn't be able to run.

For now, he allowed her the space she needed. Like he told her, he
was a patient man.

"Funny, I thought I was the only one who wanted chili-cheese fries."

Looking up, Tommy was shaken from his inner thoughts by the voice of
a striking red head with the most glorious emerald green eyes he'd
ever seen. She was smiling brightly, having appeared out of
nowhere in her sexy little red snowsuit. "It was a spur of the moment
thing, though I can't claim the idea as my own."

"It was clever, nonetheless, " she offered while giving him a slow
once over that ended with a lick of her full lips. "My name's Carmen."

"I'm Tommy." He extended his hand, shaking hers softly. Carmen's
clear olive skin and facial feature seemed Italian in nature. No
matter her heritage, she was stunning. "So you're a fan of chili-
cheese fries?" he teased her good-naturally, causing her to smile.

"Trust me, I've used better excuses to say hi to a handsome guy
before. Not that I do this all the time, mind you," she noted
smoothly. "But when I walked in and saw you..."

"Eating chili-cheese fries?"

He was a joker, but she liked that already. "Yes. I was stricken with
the need to embarrass myself by using your obvious love of fatty
foods as a means of introducing myself."

Tommy was flattered, though uninterested. Now if Kim wasn't
here... "Your secret is safe with me."

Carmen nodded, hoping her enthusiasm wasn't showing too badly. He was
just so utterly gorgeous. "Listen, I just walked in, so pardon me if
you're with your... wife or girlfriend?" Before Tommy could answer
Kim returned, coming to stand by Carmen's side. "Uhm..."

"Carmen, this is my sister, Kim," Tommy just had to say no matter the
hell he might pay later on. And sure enough, the former Pink Ranger's
expression turned grim and pissed.

Exhaling her relief, Carmen extended her hand to Kim. "It's nice to
meet you. I'm sorry for interrupting, but I was just introducing
myself to your brother."

The jerk, aka Tommy, had the nerve to be grinning. Kim wondered if
that grin would be as wide with her foot up his ass. "Hello, Carmen."

Turning her attention back to Tommy, Carmen took a deep breath,
smiling. "Listen, I don't normally do this, but I was wondering if
you'd like to have drinks later on? Maybe meet back here in the bar
area and talk. Might be fun."

Sparing a glance at Kim that revealed she had better be kept away
from all sharp objects, Tommy asked. "What's your cell phone number?"

Standing there about ready to break Tommy's neck, Kim quietly watched
him put Carmen's number in his cell phone, smile widely, and then
wave as she walked away, looking like she was on Cloud Nine.

Grinning evilly, Tommy sat back as if nothing had happened, enjoying
Kim's obvious anger of his flirting with another woman. If he had
doubts before, there were none now as she looked three shades of
furious
with him. "What?"

"Fuck off." Kim grabbed the bill from the table, marched off, paid
for their meal, and left Tommy behind without so much as saying
another word.

******

******

3724 Verdon Lane
Cabin 2#
Sunday, December 5, 2008 6:00 PM
South Lake Tahoe, CA

Back in high school when they were dating, Tommy often thought
humorously that as the comic book legend the Incredible Hulk was
supposed to get stronger the madder he got, that Kim became cuter the
angrier she became.

Such a statement for the here and now, not so much.

Pulling up in her cabin's parking spot, the former Pink Ranger's mood
towards her ex-beau was as chilly as the weather outside. No, scratch
that, it was colder. The proper term was frigid in Tommy's
estimation. After her angry parting shot in the restaurant, she fled
to his rented S.U.V, climbed in, and hadn't said so much as a single
word the entire drive back to their weekend home.

Tommy, while appearing casual and calm on the outside in the wake of
her silence, was thoroughly amused by her response to his flirting
with another woman. What it meant was exactly what he was hoping for
and if she had reacted any other way, he would have been horribly
disappointed.

Much like the Incredible Hulk, Tommy felt Kim was as green as could
be right now. The green-eyed monster was chewing her up inside and he
was loving every second of it.

"Home, sweet home," he said cheerfully upon turning off the truck's
engine. Wasting no time, Kim bolted out of her seatbelt and the
vehicle so fast that he couldn't help but smile. Of course, he was
sure that once they were inside the cabin, he'd be put through a
couple of hoops for his evil deeds, be forced to apologize on bended
knee, and then they would make up. And he was sure that make up would
involve some very naked activities.

He couldn't wait for that.

Bounding out of the S.U.V wearing a devilish grin, Tommy took the
porch steps two at a time, finding the front door wide open. Once
inside, he saw one of Kim's boots on the left side of the room, while
another had been kicked to the right. Her coat, hat, scarf and gloves
were carelessly thrown over the rocking chair recliner. He had to
fight not to laugh as she was so pissed at him. He just hoped she'd
admit why before she threw something at his head. Jason often warned
him that a pissed off Kim was known to throw a shoe with deadly
accuracy.

Across the room, while she was lighting the fireplace, Kim heard
Tommy taking off his shoes and coat. "I wouldn't get too comfortable
if I were you." Rising to her feet, she turned around, her hands
braced on her slender hips, eyes blazing. "I want you to leave. Now."

Tommy stood just inside the cabin with his coat in his hands,
graciously trying not to smirk. "Why?"

"Why the fuck do you think?"

Ouch. Kim dropping the F-bomb twice within the hour was a clear sign
that Mount Saint Hart was about to blow. "Enlighten me?"

She really wanted to enlighten him with a baseball bat. Kim began to
pace slowly, trying to control her temper, which so far wasn't
working. "Do you think you can flirt with some other girl in my face,
call me your sister, take her fucking phone number, and then go home
with me like nothing happened?"

"Well, yeah."

When Tommy snickered under his breath, Kim knew she was near her
breaking point. He had the nerve to not be taking her serious and
didn't seem to have a clue what he did was wrong. "You disrespected
me today."

Approaching her slowly, Tommy lifted his hands defensively, hoping to
ward off the fight he felt was on the horizon. "I was only playing
the game the way you do," he told her flat out, stopping just out of
arms reach. "Now why don't you just admit why you got so mad?"

Her eyes narrowed. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"You're a big girl. You figure it out."

"I'm not playing games with you."

"I'm not sure you know any other way to interact with a man." She
looked insulted, so he took a step back, trying to choose his words
carefully. "Flirting with that girl was me playing games with you,
all right? I admit it. I'm no better than you are. I wanted to see
how you'd react. But can't you admit what this is really about?"

Kim thought it over a moment, and then remarked, "Yeah. You're an
asshole."

Grazing his chin with his hand, Tommy was quickly losing his patience
with her. He had to take a couple of deep breaths just to control his
own temper. "Kim, you were jealous. That's obvious."

Her mouth parted as if he'd verbally slapped her. Shaking her head,
the tick of her jaw tightened angrily. "I wasn't jealous, I was
disrespected. "

"Fine, I disrespected you. There, are you happy?" he practically
snarled at her. "Now will you admit you were jealous?"

"I don't take orders from you."

"All I want is the truth."

"If that's all then, here it goes. You don't mean enough to me to
make me jealous," she fired back venomously and felt his cold glare
bitching at her. Good. "I thought this weekend was our special time
together."

"It is. I was just testing you."

"No, you were being a jerk."

"A jerk you made love to last night," Tommy retaliated.

Nearly trembling with anger and frustration, Kim closed the distance
between them, staring straight into his eyes, her voice deadly razor
sharp. "What we were doing wasn't making love. It was exercise."

Feeling as though she all but spit in his face, Tommy nodded slowly,
the vein on his temple throbbing. "You're right, Kim. It definitely
wasn't love making, but thanks for the workout. You're a hell of a
one night stand."

Swallowing hard in the back of her throat as she felt like she
suddenly wanted to throw something at his head, Kim softly
added, "There's the door. Goodbye."

Turning on her heel, she stormed into the kitchen area, barely able
to breathe she felt so emotionally frustrated and furious with him...
and herself. He nailed her on being jealous, though she'd die before
admitting it. Still, her rage exploded when she angrily swiped a cup
off the counter top, the handle cracking off when it hit the floor.

Goddammit, why did he make her feel things so powerfully she couldn't
understand herself anymore?

Reaching the kitchen table she braced her hands on the edge and bowed
her head, eyes shut, angry at the whole world and everything in it
for reasons she couldn't name. Or wouldn't just yet. Fuck, he was
toying with her and that made her furious beyond words. She wanted to
choke him... just get her hands on him!

That was when in the span of a heartbeat she sensed him near her, his
quiet steps having invaded her privacy. The hoarse moan that escaped
her lips when she felt his strong, warm frame press against her from
behind, followed by his arms closing around her sent trembles
throughout her body. His embrace tightened, and she melted when she
didn't want to, breathing heavily, unsure of whether to curse at him
or force him to realize that he belonged to her and only her.

Craving...

Her body was craving his the very second he touched her, no matter
how angry she was at him. She could barely breathe when his hands
maneuvered themselves under her shirt, rising over her belly to
firmly cup
her breasts. Having gone without a bra today, the sensations his
hands created when they molded around her soft flesh, kneading them
sensuously, caused her backside to arch against the heat of his
erection. Hard evidence of his acute arousal.

Groaning her name softly, Tommy buried his face against her shoulder
blade, noting the seductive feel of her small brown, pebbled nipples
brushing over the palm of his hands. He couldn't speak, having
intended to roar angrily out of her cabin when unconsciously he had
to have her again. Had to feel her body writhe against his and hear
her moaning the way she was now.

Madness is what she swept into his life. And now he felt addicted to
her.

Tommy panted hot over Kim's left ear, "I never wanted that girl." His
right hand trailed lazily down her trembling belly, brushing over her
navel, and then descending inside her panties until moist, hot flesh
quivered against his fingers. She arched hard against his hand,
shuddering when his middle finger dipped inside her, stroking
deeply. "I've only ever wanted you."

Eyes strained shut, Kim bent further over the table, grinding against
the long finger diving in and out of her while his other hand tweaked
her tender nipple until she was pure liquid heat, whimpering through
clenched teeth. "Prove it." Boldly, she reached behind her, squeezing
his hard cock through his pants, and then deftly undoing the top
button. She contracted sharply around the finger thrusting into her,
but reveled in the harsh breathing that told her he was at the end of
his control. "Show me I'm yours."

Shaking from the feel of his thumb now ghosting over her swollen
clit, Kim groaned passionately, biting her bottom lip when the finger
slipped from her. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Tommy lift it
to his lips and suck it dry. Her hand kept grabbing at his hard cock
until he was fumbling with her pants, dragging them and her panties
down her thighs in a single aggressive tug. The sound of his belt and
the pulling noise of zipper tore the very air from her lungs. She
felt the head of his rigid cock nudge at her slick entrance, and then
cried out, "Ahhh," when he drove every inch of himself into her with
a hard, surging thrust.

Kim's hand reached behind her, braced on his chest over his heart.
She felt the life-beat beneath her fingertips, and then arched
forward when he slid back before slamming into her so deep her body
recoiled, shivering
all over. She was blood-red angry, seriously frustrated, and so
aroused she didn't want flowers and candy love-making. She wanted to
mark this man as hers, make him lose his mind, and never forget she
belonged to him.

A long, low groan fled Tommy's lips as his hands kneaded and squeezed
the perfect little globes of her ass before anchoring her hips. With
the humid depths of her fitting tightly around him like a moist
living glove, he began taking her from behind with long, deep
thrusts, forcing a chorus of "Ohhh's" and "Ahhs" from her that
crippled his sanity. She was bent over and his, giving herself to him
fully. He couldn't get over taking her this way, how sexy she looked,
and the sultry sounds she made while he fucked her. The loud,
impacting smacks of their bodies colliding as she pounded back at
him, meeting his aggression, striving to murder the tension and anger
between them with a primal, animalistic fuck over this table.

Clenching around him like a vice, Kim felt the surging length
swelling inside her, thrusting in time with her rhythmic counter-
thrusts. "Oh God... Oh my god... justlikethat. ..
alittlemorejustlike that," she whimpered, her body twisting, fist
clenching over the table. Trembles roared through her body as she
began bucking wildly, being pounded into while he held her hips
steady. He was throat deep, and yet gasping for air, wincing from
pleasure and exertion he could only find inside her. She gave as good
as she got, fucking him so that he might never forget her name.

"God, Kim... ohhh...Sogood. .." Claiming her with the most hungry need
he had ever felt for a woman before, Tommy felt her quivering around
him so frantically he drove into her that much faster. In the midst
of their wild coupling he heard her whimper a secret, hidden
whisper... something that lit his mind on fire and died to hear it
again. "Say it!, Kim!"

"No," she groaned defiantly, her leg muscles shaking while he fucked
her brains out, her teeth flashing with every slap of their bodies.

"Say it!" Tommy chanted while increasing the tempo until she was
slippery wet and trembling around him. "Kim... pleasesayit. "

"I... I..."

"Say It!"

Grunting, Kim shook her head, "I... no..." When his hand slipped
between her legs to strum her clit she cried out that very second,
cumming wildly, "I love you....ohgodohgodI love you....I love you!!"

Tommy groaned from the pit of his lungs that very second, jetting
into her powerfully with hot, wet bursts of the most exquisite
pleasure he'd ever felt before. Her inner muscles were drawing on him
still, draining him until he had nothing left to give. Gasping for
every breath he took, his body half-slumped over hers, both of their
pants hanging down around their ankles.

"I love you so much," he gasped into her ear, causing her to smile
brightly.

"You're still a jerk," she half-laughed shakily.

"Yeah, but I'm your jerk."

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

******

******

(Day 2)

Tommy's cabin
3723 Verdon Lane
Cabin #3
Sunday, December 5, 2008 7:45 PM
South Lake Tahoe, CA

"You have got to be kidding me?" Kim laughed warmly, her head tilted
back, eyes shut while lounging blissfully on her end of the 75 inch
bathtub she shared with Tommy.

"I'm not joking, I swear it." Tommy lifted his hand over his heart
like a boy scout while following a single liquid droplet cascade down
the regal column of her throat to where the water crested just above
her breasts. He had to suddenly refocus on the story he was
telling. "The only reason you don't know about that costume party is
because none of the guys want to remember it."

"So you actually dressed up as Robin Hood? Complete with the sheer
green tights and little hat?" His head bowed as he laughed, signaling
his shame. "Zach went as Lando Calrissian, which doesn't surprise me
in the least. But why in the world did Billy and Jason go as women?"

"Jason and Billy lost a bet we made over... it doesn't matter," Tommy
said while humorously reliving that crazy Halloween night two years
ago in his mind. "I am still haunted by the image of Jason in drag,
wearing lipstick, mascara, a tight mini-skirt, and complete with high
heels."

Kim bristled from his description alone. "What about Billy?"

"I can't go there, Beautiful. I just can't." Shuddering, Tommy
blocked that particular memory forever. "He didn't shave his legs.
That's all I have to say."

"There have to be pictures, Tommy. There's no way you guys would go
to a Halloween costume party and not take any."

"If, and by saying that word, I am in no way confirming anything," he
clarified wearing a grin, "But if pictures of that night exist, trust
that they will never see the light of day. A male blood oath will
assure that."

Lifting her arm from the warm waters, Kim pointed at her ex-honey. "I
will make it my life's work to find those pictures someday."

"Good luck with that." Thankful for the tubs extra length so that he
could stretch his legs, Tommy watched Kim reach for her tall glass of
white wine from the small black night stand that was next to
her end of the tub. He decided against a drink tonight, feeling good
and relaxed solely because of her.

After, ahem, making up a little while ago... they decided to retreat
to his cabin for tonight, seeing as he paid for it already. Upon
touring it, once Kim caught sight of the oversized bathtub in the
back area she thought that a Lily-scented bubble bath and a chilled
bottle of wine might help them both relax, unwind, and talk. The
soothing warm waters certainly did wonders for her back after
their "session" in her kitchen.

Sighing pleasurably with her legs floating between his, Kim enjoyed
her white wine and the intimate mood she'd created. Three lit candles
on the windowsill provided all the light they needed as day evolved
into
night outside. She set her glass back on the table and closed her
eyes again, reveling in the underwater foot massage she was being
treated too. "That feels wonderful."

"I aim to please."

"You certainly do," she assured him.

Tommy couldn't take his eyes off of Kim for a single moment, loving
the way her chestnut brown hair was piled atop her head. Minus any
make-up, she was naturally lovely, and had breathed a much-needed
breath of fresh air into his life. His good mood was all her
doing. "What are your plans for the holidays?"

Kim yawned, lazily rocking her head back. "A day before Christmas
Eve, my brother and I are flying to London to spend Christmas and New
Year's with my mom. Last year belonged to dad, so this time around, I
shall be shopping in merry old England. How about you?"

After raising and pressing a little kiss to her right foot, which
made her giggle softly, Tommy replied, "I honestly don't know. My dad
has it in his head that he wants to be surprising and wild this year.
He bought plane tickets for me, David, his girlfriend, and mom to a
location he won't reveal until Christmas Eve. He told us to pack
light and for warm weather. You should hear his maniacal laugh every
time we try to get a clue out of him."

"Seems like he's going against a traditional Christmas this year."

"Yeah, but he's excited about it, and so are we. It'll be fun and
hey, it's a free trip. And I really like free."

Trying not to stare, Kim swore he looked entirely too sexy when
dripping wet and relaxed. Especially with his already spiky hair
looking... well spikier. And now he was working on her other foot
under the bubbles, completely robbing her of any coherent
thought. "Your hands are incredible."

"And they smell like lilies," he chuckled. "You just had to use
scented bubble bath, didn't you?"

"Hey, hey, hey, I just gave you some not too long ago. No dissing the
bubble bath."

"Whatever," he smiled, lying back comfortably as the warm waters
soothed him.

Slowly lifting one leg above the water, she adored the way his eyes
sensuously appreciated her little sexy show. No man had ever made her
feel as wanted as he had these last two days. Or made her laugh as
hard... or had ever turned her inside out with such wicked pleasure.
A shy smile curved her mouth as she considered his unexpected
intrusion into her life, and how in such a short period of time he's
become Intimately precious to her again. "I'm sorry... about earlier,
I mean."

"So am I," Tommy assured her. "I thought that if I flirted with that
girl, I could get a reaction out of you. It was meant to be for fun
and I didn't think it would hurt you. That's something I never wanted
to do."

"Yeah, but you didn't do anything I wouldn't have done either. In
fact," she laughed, "if you had gone to the bathroom and a guy
introduced himself to me, I would have flirted in front of you, too.
And yes, I was jealous. I was a little hurt, but mostly jealous."
Unsure if it was wise to admit this, she threw caution to the wind,
holding his gaze close to her heart. "And from the moment you first
touched me on that train until now, we've been making love."

The candlelight' s glow sparkled something beautiful in her warm,
brown eyes. Kim's dear words caressed a part of Tommy he swore before
meeting her again that he wanted nothing to do with anymore. He knew
she could hurt him like no one else had the power to, and if he fell
in love with her... if he wasn't already... the result could be...
And still he wanted her in his life. "No more games," he promised
her. "I just want to be with you, Kim. That's all."

"Good. Cause I'm not sure if my back could take any more of that kind
of make-up sex," she snickered, flickering her tongue over her teeth.
Here they were on a quiet Sunday evening, sharing a warm bubble bath
by candlelight, and she couldn't recall the last time she had felt
this good about the man she was with. "I have to warn you, Tommy. I'm
a relationship disaster specialist."

He smiled after stretching his arms out, enjoying the pull of
muscle. "No more than I am."

"Don't be so sure," she playfully warned him. "Remember, I'm a
product of a broken household. My parents divorce and later on
finding out that my dad had in fact been cheating on my mom for over
two years did some real work on my ability to trust men and
relationships in general. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to
blame all my problems on something that happened to my parents when I
was sixteen. I'm almost thirty for goodness sake. When my mom finally
confessed to me why they divorced, she told me she didn't have a clue
he was cheating and she didn't see it coming."

Kim continued on, "My mom's sharp and smart. If she didn't see it
coming, and from a man that was supposed to love her more than his
own life, well, that didn't exactly leave me unaffected."

"We all have issues."

"True, but mine seem to be focused on my relationships with men," she
tried to explained. "I dated a guy named Dylan when I was twenty-
three years old for almost two years. I was so in love with him,
Tommy. You just don't know. We mentally and physically clicked and I
started to think he might be the one. And then he cheated on me with
a good friend of mine and got her pregnant. How's that for some
drama?"

"Ouch."

"Exactly," she nodded. "So that was almost two years of my life
wasted and yet again, I was a woman who didn't see it coming. I
thought everything was perfectly fine with us. Unlike when I cheated
on you when I was so young, Dylan and I had a adult relationship. We
were living together at one point and had both recently graduated
college. We both had careers and similar outlooks on life. I thought
we were really going somewhere. And yet again I was wrong. I felt
like a fool."

Judging her expression and mood, Tommy sensed that particular
relationship still hurt her to this day. Some wounds tended to
linger. Especially emotional ones. He was beginning to get a clearer
picture of her and what made her tick. "You just hadn't been reunited
with Mr. Right yet."

Teasing her aside, she almost agreed before she caught herself. A
warm, vibrant laughed escaped her lips. "Nonetheless, I've struggled
with trusting men and myself. And when things get too close, I bail
because I'm afraid of giving my all and being hurt again."

"You'll never be happy if you can't share all of yourself."

"Then tell me how to do that when you've been burned like I have?"

"You share yourself with me."

Their soft gazes held tightly across the water, illuminated by
candlelight alone. Things were changing right before their very eyes.

Exhaling a deep, somber sigh, Kim responded, "You make it sound so
easy."

Resting his head back comfortably, Tommy shut his eyes. "Trust me, I
know it's easier said than done. And I understand how it feels when
the past affects your present and future."

His tone sounded serious as Kim regarded him closely. "You sound like
you have a story to tell. What's her name?"

"It's not a relationship thing with me, Kim." He paused before adding
seriously, "Its something even more personal."

"Tell me. I want to know."

He felt that she truly did, and if he could trust this with anyone,
it was her. "A year ago, I found out who my birth parents were and
why I was adopted, as well as that my parents have lied to me for
years about it whenever I asked."

Betrayed by family... Kim knew that ugly hurt all too well. "No one's
perfect, Tommy. I know that's no excuse and I will never forgive my
dad for all the hurt he caused my mom, but life goes on. We either
deal or we let it eat us up inside."

Opening his eyes, Tommy found her attention focused solely on
him. "You're right, and I haven't told my parents that I know they
lied. I may never tell them. It's my cross to bear."

"Don't bear it alone."

"You want in?"

"I want you," she vocalized what her heart wanted no matter the fear
of getting this close. "So you found your birth parents. What did you
find out?" She watched him sit up, the water glistening over his
chiseled chest. His expression became unreadable as he appeared weary
and vulnerable before her, and she knew he had never told anyone what
he was about to tell her.

"I hired a private investigator a week after I accidentally overheard
a conversation my parents were having about my deceased mother,"
Tommy noted solemnly. "Up until that very second and for all my life,
I wondered if she was alive or what happened to her. Anyway, I heard
my mother call her Miranda Mayes. I thought of storming back into the
house, but if they'd lied for this long, then they might lie again. I
needed answers for myself so I hired a private investigator to find
out what happened to her. The P.I. had my entire birth history for me
in three weeks time."

Curiosity swept over Kim. "I'm listening."

"My mother died from child-birth complications two days after
delivering me."

When Tommy bowed his head Kim moved across the tub, embracing him
tightly. She tenderly kissed his cheek before caressing it. "I'm so
sorry."

"So am I," he told her in a quiet voice. "She was twenty-two years
old, unmarried, and only had a female friend with her when she was
admitted." Lifting his head, he fought his own painful emotions as he
tried to tell her so many things at once. "She was a beautician, but
she had a heart condition doctors discovered when she was twelve. The
delivery didn't go well... A father's name was put on my original
birth certificate. His name was Frank Ackers. The private
investigator told me he was alive and where to find him."

"My God, that's so much to learn all at once. Why didn't you tell
anyone? Maybe Jason or David? Katherine or Haley?"

"I don't know, Kim," Tommy answered truthfully, now lost in the
moment. Her hands rested on his upper thighs while she listened and
was there for him. "David and I don't have the same father, but he
deserves to know who his mother was. I just... I don't know. I need
to tell him, but even after a whole year, I'm still struggling with
all of this myself. I hate lies and deception, and yet now I'm a part
of it."

"You're human."

"That's no excuse."

"Exactly. But it doesn't make it any less of a fact," Kim expressed,
gently drawing his face to meet her tender gaze. "No one is perfect,
no matter how hard they or you strive to be."

"Yeah... I guess so." Taking her hands into his, he brought them to
his lips, kissing each. Her dear smile lifted his soul. "I went to
see my father."

"Was he what you expected?"

"I... I don't know what I was expecting. He's a mechanic in San Jose
and I stopped by his shop one afternoon. I saw him outside joking
with some co-workers and I just stared at him for the longest time...
I favor
him alot. We have the same eyes and chin. It was kind of like looking
into a mirror. Strangest moment of my life."

"Did you talk to him?" Tommy nodded. "And?"

"I already knew from the P.I. that he and my mother were a casual
fling. I was the product of that," he told her, hating the sound of
his own words; as if he was a mistake. "They were never in love. So
when my mother died, he gave me up for adoption. I sat there in my
car for almost thirty minutes just staring holes in him. When I
finally got up the nerve to approach him, my hands were shaking so
badly I thought I was going to pass out. I could barely breathe."

Kim's heart went out to him. "What did you say?"

"I made up a story about having engine trouble. He asked me a couple
of questions about my car, but I barely remember what he said. Only
how his voice sounded. Then I kept remembering what I read in the
file I had on him. He was a recovering alcoholic who was estranged
from his second wife and has three other kids. So I have three more
half-siblings, " Tommy explained. "Anyway, when my birth father asked
me to pull my car into the garage, I just drove off and didn't stop
until I got back to Reefside."

Pressing gently against his chest with her hand, Tommy settled back
against the tub while Kim took her place between his legs, nestling
her back to his chest. She pulled his strong arms around her,
embracing this warm little world all their own. Her head rested
softly over his shoulder. There was more to this story... more
details she was sure he was wrestling with. For now though, he'd
shared with her one of the most profound experiences of his entire
life. She felt emotionally bound to him in a way she wasn't sure
she'd ever felt before. "That's one heck of a story."

"I was a mistake."

The hollowness evident in his voice only strengthened her own. "No,
you're the most wonderful gift anyone could ever have been given."

"My father signed me over to strangers when I was five days old."

"Maybe Frank knew he couldn't be the father you needed, so he gave
you up to a loving family that desperately wanted a child. That
doesn't make him a saint by any means, but it doesn't make him your
father either. He only donated the D.N.A. Your real father's name is
James and he has loved you from the moment he saw you. He told me
so."

Softly stroking Kim's arm while holding onto her, Tommy bowed his
head against hers, his eyes shut, and sighed. "I'm not over any of
this."

"Life's not a race. You'll be over it when you are. But please,
please, please, never doubt your worth. You mean the world to your
friends and family."

"But what do I mean to you?"

She twisted just enough in his arms to capture his handsome face in
her hands, gazing into his eyes. "You're the best brother I've ever
had."

He burst out laughing, holding her closely while the emotional weight
of his revelation seemed to lift from his shoulders. She easily made
him feel better when he wasn't sure that was possible. "Funny, but
you're dodging the question."

Her nose crinkled. "I was hoping you didn't notice that part."

"No such luck."

With her hand tenderly stroking his neck, their heads bowed closely
together. Kim softly brushed her lips over his once... and then
again, kissing him deeply, her mouth gliding and swaying over his
until they parted on a tiny gasp of air between them. "I gave my
heart to you first," she whispered, "And my trust... and my faith in
men... and now my body. No one's ever taken better care of those
parts of me than you. You're my best everything."

Her declaration was made more meaningful by the way she clung to him,
her eyes softly settled on him alone. "... good answer," was all that
he could say before kissing her again, his hand gently cupping the
back of her head while their lips played seductively. She tasted so
sweet as he drank from her lips all that he had ever desired. Their
kiss ended with a last peck, and then she settled back in his arms,
her eyes closed, cuddled against his chest.

Pressing a soft kiss to her temple, Tommy asked, "Tell me what you
want out of life?"

Kim laughed softly in his arms. "You don't start out with the easy
questions, do you?"

"I'm just curious."

He was probing her for vital information of the most personal kind
and she knew it. There was a compliment in his asking, coupled with a
fear of how serious things were becoming. Though their affair still
lived in the
realm of hidden meanings and half sayings, she couldn't deny that the
thought of giving up how he made her feel was devastating. "I want
what every woman wants?"

"And what's that?"

"A perfect hair day every day."

"Kim..."

"Okay, alright." Lounging in his loose embrace, her hand drew
tenderly over his. "I want to be in a strong, healthy, sexy
relationship with a man I trust. One who can make me laugh, is
caring, romantic, affectionate, genuinely interested in my life, and
patient enough to deal with my many imperfections. He must love pets
because I want a dog, and he must be a gentleman. He doesn't have to
be the best looking guy in the world. He just has to love me the
best."

"Interesting. "

"Why?"

"He sounds like me."

"Interesting. I thought he was Brad Pitt, but all right. You'll do...
for now," she teased wearing a smirk. "I want to grow my business
into something really successful, and I want to give my music career
a real shot. Not just playing a few small dives, but actually having
the change to put a album together and pushing it."

"You're pretty close to both of those."

"Close to some degree, but a long way from those goals being
reached," she amended. "I want children... someday. At least two."

Watching her unconsciously stroke over his hand while lying against
him, Tommy felt an overwhelming sense of protectiveness and affection
for Kim. "Two kids sounds nice."

"That's all you're getting." Upon second thought, she reconsidered
how that had to sound to Tommy. Especially since he was grinning all
sexy at her. "I meant to say, that's all of my things I want out of
life you are getting."

"Sure."

"I'm serious." He nodded, the jerk. Sweet jerk that he was. "So what
about you? What do you want out of life?"

"A very short, complex, sexy, brunette with relationship issues and a
flair for fashion. She must also be a recovering shopaholic and throw
a mean snow ball."

"You're such an ass, Tommy Oliver." She laughed, and then
added. "Seriously?"

Gently tipping her chin, he forced her to face him. "A good marriage,
a loving family, and the personal space to continue my love of the
martial arts."

"Is that all?"

"When 'you' look in a mirror, then you'll see what else I want in my
life."

"Is that your best line?"

"I got that from Zack."

"I knew that because I heard him say it to a girl before."

"Yeah, but the thing is, I mean it." She smiled in his arms, offering
no reply thus far. He knew he was pushing things a little, but he saw
no reason to let her think he wasn't interested. "So what are you
thinking right now?"

"That I want some deep dish pizza."

"And what else?" he asked with a laugh.

"I... I was wondering if your schedule and finances would allow you
to stay an extra day?" The idea sparked in her mind and took flight
from her lips before her head could ever question its origin. All she
knew was that she couldn't say goodbye to him just yet.

Thinking her request over, Tommy brushed a kiss over the nape of her
neck. "All I need to do is make a couple of phone calls."

The soaring feeling Kim experienced surprised even her. "Good. Then
let's get out of here. I'll order us a deep dish pizza and then we
can watch the action packed, death-defying, explosion filled movie '
21 Dresses' on my laptop."

Twirling that title through his mind, Tommy couldn't recall a action
movie called that. "I never pegged you for the action movie kind of
girl."

Smirking, Kim shrugged. "Trust me, you'll love it. It's filled with
men running in slow motion with things blowing up behind them and
villains galore."

"Cool."

"One more thing."

"What?"

"I love you."

"I know."

******

The End of Chapter 3

Chapter 4: Tommy and Kim get their butts kicked, enjoy a mirror, a
certain pink toy, and come to grips with their imminent separation.