Chapter 41: Kat Part 2

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The touch of soft feathers caressed the side of my face, stirring me from an otherwise peaceful sleep. The feathers morphed into hands that cupped my cheek, grazing fingers across my skin as if the fingers were trying to memorize how my skin felt.

"Kat," a voice called, pulling me from my slumber with a smile already on my lips.

His eyes were the first thing I saw. Eyes I'd never dreamed I'd see again stared down at me with a loving devotion that stung my eyes with tears that he quickly brushed away.

"What? So sad to be seeing me again that you cry? Hardly the hello I was expecting."

His voice was so real. Everything about him was so real that I was so scared to speak or to move, not knowing what would happen to him beside me if I did.

"I'm dreaming, aren't I?" His nod brought more crushing disappointment than my heart could handle.

"Yeah, Kitten, You're dreaming."

His touch pushed through my hair on the pillow, cradling my head in his hold as tears poured out in unstoppable troves. "That's so unfair," I sobbed, willing it as hard as I could that if I could wake up right now, I could bring him with me.

"At least we have this. We have now."

"Yeah, but for how long?"

From inches above me on the bed, sorrow grew behind his dark as night eyes as he shook his head. "Not long. You'll have to wake up soon."

Another sob broke through, wrought with grief. "But that means leaving you."

Blake propped himself on his side next to me, watching his hand as he traveled it across my hairline. "You were never mine to have, Kitten. We both know that."

My lips quivered without consent as I fixed my watery stare on his. "Doesn't mean I want to leave you behind again."

Blake smiled a sad smile. "You're not leaving me behind. Don't think of it like that. Think of it as getting back on course again with a few added bags of baggage. You're strong. You can carry them."

"That doesn't change how much I miss you," I whispered.

For the first time in this dream, Blake took on that longing expression I'd seen him with more times than I wanted to remember. "You know I miss everything about you, too." Warmth pressed into my forehead as he kissed his to mine, bringing with him the smell of smoke from his lips that were now near, and comforting my mind as I breathed it in.

"Kat." His voice was a beautiful melody, dipped in sadness. The sincerity shining in his eyes pulled my breath away, as did his next whispered words.

"It's okay to let yourself be happy. It's all I ever wanted for you."

The ache in my chest grew as Blake stared down at me from inches above with that way about him that demolished my defenses from the very start. It was still true that no one looked at me the way he did, and this was the last time I'd be receiving that bittersweet look.

The smooth touch of his thumb wiped the last of my tears away before leading down to my lips. He traced his thumb along the outline of my upper lip down to the bottom, brushing his touch, damp with my own salty tears, across my parted lips so lightly they tingled in response.

My heart thumped harder and harder as Blake touched me, mesmerized in his own skin touching mine. Still with his forehead pressed to me, his eyes flashed from my lips to meet me head on. With his nose touching mine and the midnight in his eyes beginning to rise to a dawn so brilliantly stunning I felt pricks of tears welling in my eyes once more, he spoke.

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