No Matter What

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                                                               EPILOGUE

 

“James?”

Her voice was soft and gentle, like her touch on his shoulders. It took a moment for J.D. to realize he wasn’t having one of his dreams.

“Misty,” he cried, standing and pulling her into an embrace.

“James,” she repeated her voice barely a whisper.

J.D. crushed his lips to hers. When she returned his kiss with just as much fervor it felt as if she was stealing his breath away. With his lips still pressed against hers, he swung her into his arms and carried her to bed. Neither of them spoke as they tore away their clothes, anxious to come together once again.

He watched with a look of hunger in his eyes as he ran his hands over her naked body, making her shiver and making her nipples harden with his effort. The perfection of her body was breathtaking, and it made him dizzy. She was the most sexual woman he’d ever met, and he was drawn to touch her. As he allowed his hands to explore her body, Misty studied with him with such a look of intensity it burned a hole into his soul, a hole only her kisses and her touches could fill.

There were still no words between them as he moved above her. As Misty guided him inside of her, she slid her fingernails gently down his back and kissed him more deeply than she ever had before. Their movements were wordless and effortless. The passion between them filled the room as did the moans and cries of their excitement. The nearer they drew to their release, the faster they moved. It was a different kind of lovemaking for them, and he knew it was fueled by the realization they were coming together again after almost losing it forever.

The sound of her voice calling his name broke the erotic silence that had settled between them. Hearing the ardency of her excitement drove him to the edge of his own, and J.D. held tighter to her as they indulged in their mutual release. Even after the moment passed and he’d collapsed in an exhausted heap beside her, still neither of them spoke. Instead, they moved naturally in to one another’s arms and held each other close. J.D. could feel the rhythm of her heart beating in time with his, just as he could hear the synchronization of their breathing. When he felt her run a gentle finger down the length of the scar on his chest, he pulled her tighter against him, wishing he could make their bodies and hearts and souls one forever.

“You know what you’re telling me doesn’t make any sense,” Misty said, being the first to break the silence.

She was speaking as though no time had passed since she’d read the letter and he’d confessed his lifetime of dreams to her. Fear constricted his heart as he realized making love with him may have been her way of saying goodbye as opposed to letting him know she’d forgiven him.

“I know it doesn’t. It doesn’t make any more sense to me than it does to you. I’ve just had fifteen years to accept it.”

“I keep trying to tell myself there’s some other explanation for all of this, but the things you know are impossible for anyone but me and Jason to know.”  

“I know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the truth sooner.”

“If you had I probably wouldn’t have believed you.” 

“But you believe me now?” 

“It’s hard not to.”

J.D. knew the window of opportunity had just been opened for him, but he was afraid to crawl through it, afraid of not being able to fit if he tried.

“I’m not Jason.”

“I don’t want you to be.”

“What do you want?”  

Misty looked into his face, allowing her eyes to rest on his as she spoke. “I want you, James,” she replied softly. “You were given a second chance at life, and we both know it was because you were meant to be with me. I know Jason’s heart is in your chest. I know his memories are in your head, but I also know the thoughts and feelings in both belong to you. I loved Jason Drew Norris and he loved me, and I know that’s why he found a way to make sure he kept his promise. Do you know what promise I mean?”

“We stick together,” J.D. said so softly he almost didn’t hear himself speak.

“We sick together. No matter what, we stick together.”

“No matter what.”

“No matter what, James.”

“No matter what, Misty. I love you.”

“I love you, James.”

As she settled her eyes on his, J.D. knew she was thinking the same thing he was. He knew she was reflecting on the memories of the life she’d shared with Jason and the life that had been given to share with him. There was no rational explanation for what brought them together, but both were satisfied with the truth of the one they’d been given. Neither of them could predict with any certainty what their future would truly hold. Whatever it was, they were prepared to face it. They would stick together, no matter what.

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