Tears welled in my eyes and steamed down my cheeks. "I just feel this emptiness inside and I don't know how to make it go away."
Jack leaned over and kissed me tenderly. "Just stop..."
"Jack I want you to make love to me." I blurted out.
Abruptly I turned away from him. "I'm sorry. This is wrong. This is... an inappropriate day for this. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
Jack brushed a lock of hair from my face and shook his head. "No. It's not wrong."
I looked at him in disbelief. "It isn't?"
"There's nothing wrong with trying to make the pain go away. Just for a little while." Jack said the words so softly that I started to cry again. His kisses were gentle as he kissed away each tear.
"Come on..." He said, taking my hand as he led me upstairs, stopping to kiss me when he heard a sob escape.
When we reached my bedroom, I stood there watching him, suddenly feeling a bit shy. It was as though I had forgotten that this wasn't our first time; that wonderful event occurred on the island just days earlier when we made love in a cave. But that was different. My cousin Hope was still alive, and I was happier than I ever dreamed.
I just wish I would have known that I'd never see my cousin again.
There were so many things I wanted to tell her. But she was gone, leaving Bo and Sean Douglas; her husband and son behind. And I'm left without my best friend.
All because of a "magic act" that went horribly wrong.
When I looked at Jack, he smiled and caressed my cheek with his hand. Minutes later we were entangled in the sheets, sharing the most intimate union possible.
He held me close, taking great care to be as gentle as possible. I was determined to focus on this blissful moment, but it proved to be harder than I imagined.
All I could think of was my cousin and how much I loved her.
I thought I could handle losing her, but something happened when I walked up to that pulpit in the church and began to pour out my memories. I couldn't help thinking that I could one day lose Jack too. I think that was the moment I realized that Hope's death had been real. To my horror I broke down in tears and, unable to go on, I rushed out of the sanctuary. As I stood in the foyer, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder, prompting me to turn around. I found myself looking into Jack's warm eyes; his hand on my chin as tears slid down my cheeks.
My mind returned to the present, and I arched my head back, sighing as Jack trailed kisses down my neck.
"I love you, Jack." I whispered.
"I love you, too." He said. He had no idea what his words meant to me, but they warmed my heart because I knew how hard it was for him to say them.
We kissed again and again, each kiss sweeter than the first before snuggling into each others arms. I felt safe, like I did on the island; the two of us, holding each other, hidden in a cave away from the world. It was the most wonderful feeling I could ever imagine.
"I love you, Jack." I said again.
When he didn't answer, I raised my head and looked at him, smiling when I realized he'd fallen asleep. I laid my head on his chest and sighed when the feeling I'd experienced on the island returned. I was happy again.
And somehow I knew that Hope was happy, too.