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Family and Responsibilities

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" Family and Responsibilities "

It had been an exhausting week for Michaela, but holding Brian in her arms was all that she had hoped for. The surgery to remove the pressure on his brain had been overwhelming, but above all she knew that she had to perform the duties that were bestowed upon her when she became a doctor. She had studied charts and diagrams and obsessively read over the procedure in her medical journals and textbooks. Had she really just performed such a risky procedure on her own son? Michaela had to remove all feelings from the operation she had performed, knowing that her emotions had gotten the better of her as she had stood in the hallway of the clinic with Sully, she knew she had to stay focused. Sully, she paused in thought, she had been so angry with him. Deep in her heart she knew it was an accident, but the frustration in being unsure of herself had come to the surface as she lashed out at everyone around her. She wanted to confront him, to make someone as uncomfortable as she had become, but when he had apologized and talked her through the feelings she couldn't express on her own, she realized that she needed him now more than ever. The feelings were real, and she decided right there that Sully or any other family member would not be helping in the operation room. She considered him family now, knowing he had not made that commitment to her, but the love he had for the children was as plain as day, and the support that he had given her, his confidence that she was the skilled surgeon that Brian needed, was enough to commit to him. He had once again been a rock for her. The feelings were strange, she had been so independent, relying only on herself for so long.

He was beside her now, relieved that Brian was going to recover. In his heart he knew that Brian was like a son to him and he cared very much for the children that Michaela had been raising, but he was Brian's hero and that demanded a level of responsibility that he had not been fully accepting. His feelings for Michaela ran deep but the pain of losing Abigail and his daughter still had a grip on his heart. Now he had almost lost Brian. But she had called him family, a part of their lives, a part of her life. The admission was made, she cared that much to save him from the pain of witnessing tragedy if things were to go wrong. No, it was all on her shoulders, and there was nothing he could do but wait. He had preoccupied his time with building the school with the rest of the townsfolk, and when the surgery was over, they would wait again. He didn't care that he had to sleep on the floor, to be near her in this time of uncertainty had been comfort for them both. When he had heard her rush out of the room and go down the steps calling Brian's name, he jumped up from his sleeping area on the floor, quickly noticing that Brian was also gone. He didn't know what had happened, maybe something was wrong with Brian, maybe she had taken him from the room to spare the rest of the family. Maybe it was just too much pressure and she couldn't stand the thought of telling them that Brian may never be the same. He woke Matthew and Colleen so they could assist if necessary. He hurried down the steps, and as he rounded the corner to look out toward the church, he saw them. Michaela made her way to the bridge and crouched down beside Brian who had been walking on his own. He hoped this was a good sign, and when he finally reached them, he knew Brian was okay when he turned and said, "Hey Sully." And now here he was beside her, she gently, but reassuringly held Brian in her arms, and Sully felt great relief as he looked into her eyes and placed his arm around them.

Colleen and Matthew quickly followed, they were elated that Brian was okay. Michaela handed Brian over to Matthew and gave them instructions for Brian to follow for the day. As much as she wanted to care for him, she was exhausted and the stress had been great. Relief gave way to the emotional burden of it all. As she watched the kids return to the clinic, she knew that Colleen would give Brian the proper care. As they reached the door, she turned all the way around. She looked across the bridge at the schoolhouse and then the church. As she found the graveyard in her view Sully slowly walked to her side trying to gauge her emotions. When their eyes locked, she resisted the emotions that wanted to show on her face, but they did show, and Sully was ready as an emotional storm came rushing in. Michaela had never felt such relief and devastation at one time. The tears formed and trickled down her face in an instant, and she fell into his arms and clung to his body. She was trying so hard to be strong in public. Sully wanted privacy for Dr. Mike, he knew none of the townsfolk would think any less of her for being so upset, but for her own dignity and to be able to fully release her emotions, she would need a quiet place of comfort. Michaela could feel his strong arms embrace her fragility as she collapsed into them. He picked her up and carried her to the wagon, where he helped her to the seat and climbed up beside her. She leaned her head against his chest and cried as they drove away.

When they had left town the tears began to fall even faster and by the time they neared the homestead, her sobs had turned into a full breakdown. His shirt was soaked with her tears. As her body shook, he jumped down from the wagon and took her into his arms. She was trembling and he needed to calm her down before things got worse. "Michaela...Michaela please calm down," he asked again and a again, but she continued on. Sully was at his wits end trying to calm her down and he decided it had to stop. If she continued on, it would surely lead to a headache and feeling sick. As he carried her into the homestead, he turned around and closed the door with his foot. Then he softly let go of her legs and as her feet touched the floor, he pressed her up against the door, bodies collided, and he kissed her with everything he had. Sully had never kissed her like that before and she immediately stopped crying and kissed him back.

The two broke apart and stared into each other's eyes. "Sully, I was so scared performing that operation on Brian. I thought I had lost him. I can't imagine losing him because of my own shortcomings," She started to ramble on, but Sully interrupted her, "Michaela, you didn't lose him and he's going to be ok, and you are the bravest, most talented woman I have ever known." he looked deep into her eyes. "I only wish you had let me be there with you, but I understand why you spared me and Colleen from being involved." Michaela jumped in, "Sully, I couldn't have you there, I couldn't let any family close to Brian in this case." That was the second time she had included him in the mentioning of family and he stopped her. "Michaela, I love Brian like he is my own son, but I'm not family." She interrupted him again, "Yes you are Sully, you would do anything for Brian, or any of the children. I can't pretend that you don't mean anything to them, that you don't mean anything to…" she stopped her sentence and dropped her head as she cast her eyes to the floor. Suddenly looking into his eyes became uncomfortable. Sully, reached up with his hand and using his index finger lifted her chin so she was looking right into his eyes again. "I love you Michaela Quinn" He had said it, and this time the tears that flowed we're tears of joy. In the midst of all the stress he knew he had to confess his love for her, for everything that she was and is, he couldn't hold back and as he took her into his arms again she whispered, "I love you too, Byron Sully." This time his kiss was full of gentle, repressed passion and his hands slowly caressed the sides of her waist. His lips caressed hers and his tongue begged for entrance, which she allowed. He was so loving and she wished their kiss would never end but the need for oxygen arose and the two slowly pulled apart.

He reached up and wiped the tears from her face, his thumb gently caressing her cheek. "Michaela, I think you should rest and if you want, I'll stay with you, I can sleep on the floor or in the chair over there." Michaela did want him to stay, she wanted him to take her in his arms and love her, but she knew it wouldn't be proper. Even being alone like this wasn't proper, but she nodded her head. As they split apart Sully longed to hold her again but he knew Michaela was a proper lady and he didn't want to cross any lines with her. She removed her shoes but decided to stay dressed even though Sully had seen her in her nightgown before. He found himself wanting to be close to her so he picked the location in the chair, opposed to the location on the floor. Picking it up, he placed the chair near the bed. As Michaela approached the bed she passed in front of Sully. Her heart pounding, she stopped with her back to him. "Sully, will you hold me," her voice was trembling. His arms would be such a comfort to her, but it wasn't what she really wanted to say, she took a deep breath. "Will you make love to me?" She hadn't said it, had she? "Michaela," he stood from the chair and moved behind her, "you should know I want you more than anything, but you would regret this." She paused and turned her head slightly toward him and placed her hand on her heart, unsure of herself, "I just, I need you, I need you to love me." Her voice trailed off. The past few days had been so stressful and Michaela needed to return to a life that wasn't so complicated, that didn't require her to always be the one in control. She needed him to take over, she needed him to be in control. She knew it was against her upbringing, but this wasn't Boston and if it were, Brian would have been under a different physicians care. Everything was different in the west, being here had released the hold of propriety. Being here demanded that needs were met with urgency. He hadn't replied,"Sully, please?" Michaela's hand dropped to her side. He held his hands together, resisting the urge to do what she wanted, and he considered what this would mean, it would change everything. He had gotten lost in thought when he heard her ask again. Realizing that she was serious and that her confidence was fading, he released his belt placing it in the chair, stepped forward, and put his hands on her tiny waist.

She was tense and holding everything on her shoulders. Both hands moved there, starting with her waist and moving up her back. Her muscles were tight and when he touched her she inhaled sharply. He massaged her shoulders to relieve the tension, and lowered his head to place a delicate kiss to her neck just below her ear. As his lips left her skin, the warmth of his breath lingered. How wonderful his hands felt, and when she had felt his hands grab the sides of her shoulders and his lips on her neck, she relaxed a little and let out a soft moan. Sully could feel the heat from her body and he slowly began to unbutton her dress. As he removed each layer, he exposed more and more of her beautiful skin. He placed another kiss on the top of her shoulder as he caressed her body with his lips and nose, and inhaled her heavenly sweetness. He had removed all of her clothes except her stockings now and she was still facing the bed. He placed a kiss to the center of her exposed neck and reached up to her long, brown hair to release it from it's constraints. Her hair fell gently down her back and he straightened it with his fingers. It was so soft and felt wonderful in his hands. She was nervous, no one had ever seen her like this and despite her need to be with him, she was trembling again. Sully could tell she was nervous and he moved closer and put his left hand on her shoulder while his right hand eased around her waist to her stomach. He pulled her close. Their bodies fit so perfectly into each other. He was so close to where she needed to feel him, and it made her dizzy with desire. "Michaela, it's ok if you have changed your mind..." He had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when she slowly turned around revealing her beautiful form.

Sully whispered, "You're beautiful," and their eyes locked. She was blushing and Sully knew that he had to take her mind off of the fact that she was the only one not wearing clothes. He stepped back and removed his shirt, never losing those mismatched eyes of hers. She stepped forward and gently touched him, being so close to him, her eyes wandered over his chiseled body. It told of the hard work he had endured making his way out west, of the strength it took to survive in a harsh environment. Her hands could feel the heat radiating from him and she caressed around the side of his rib cage and ran her hand across his pectoral muscle stopping above his heart. Sully closed his eyes and exhaled as her hand passed over his chest, and when he felt the warmth of her hand linger above his heart he opened them. He had never felt so much love in his life, she was giving her heart to him and he had opened his to her. She put her arms around him, leaned forward and placed a soft kiss to the place that her hand had just moved from. He gently eased her toward the bed, there was no question anymore that they both wanted to continue.

Michaela sat on the bed and Sully knelt to the floor and ran his hand one by one up the insides of her legs, slowly removing the last of her clothing. He stood and she reached out to unbutton the top of his buckskins. Sully's hand met hers and he finished the task. He removed his buckskins with care and when he stood completely, she became aware of the effect she was having on him. As he approached, she began to slide back and lean onto the bed, biting her lip with anticipation. Sully caught up to her, and as they moved his arms caught her and lowered her the rest of the way. He moved in between her body and he began to place kisses on her chest and throat, slowly working his way back to her lips. He kissed her hard and she could feel the growing desire from his manhood. His hands were everywhere, on her hips, caressing her breast, and splayed across her torso. He lowered his head and took her breast into his mouth, Michaela moaned with pleasure and he moved to the other side. His tongue stroked the tip of her nipple and he sucked gently. She had her hands in his hair. She had never felt such passion in her life and just when she thought she couldn't feel anymore pleasure, Sully reached down between her legs and caressed her soft folds. He stroked her most sensitive areas. She instinctively arched her back off the bed longing for more as her hands moved around him to the top of his shoulders. He could feel her body preparing for his entrance, and Sully knew she was ready to receive him.

He pulled back and looked deep into her eyes, knowing he shouldn't linger, he simply ask, "Are you ready?" She nodded and he affirmed, "I love you" as he descended to her mouth to take her lips. He held on tight and gently thrust his body forward breaking her maidenhead. Her lips quivered and a small whimper came from her mouth. Sully's heart sank because he knew he had caused her pain. He felt her tense up and pause, she felt the warm tears leave the sides of her eyes and then the pain subsided. Giving her time to relax and adjust to the feeling of having him inside her, he pulled back and promised, "I'll never hurt you again, from now on, you will only know pleasure." He caressed her tears away and stroked the side of her face with the back of his hand. Michaela was overwhelmed, and the way he filled her body with his brought her higher and higher. He gently began thrusting and both of her hands moved to his back, running up and down his taut muscles. Just as quickly, her right hand moved to the side of her face and reached above her head for the edge of the bed, as her left hand moved to his lower back. She pulled him into her body as she raised her hips to meet him. His hand made its way down the side of her body to the back of her knee and he pulled her leg higher and held onto it as he moved deeper inside of her, she felt her body start to clamour for more and tense with desire. Every thrust was impassioned, every caress was felt as she raced toward an unknown conclusion. They moved together perfectly as each gave and took from the other. He continued to kiss her all over as their bodies longed for every touch. As she neared completion, Sully reached for her hand at the edge of the bed and interlaced their fingers. She clenched his hand as they continued to move together, looking into each other's eyes. Calling his name and arching her head back, she tensed for a final time and then, relief as her body gave way to wave after wave of intense passion. She held onto him, burying her face in the crook of his neck and pulling him close, she was moaning as he continued to hit her most sensitive areas. He could feel her body clenching around him. With intense thrusts, he climaxed shortly after, calling out her name and pleasures of his own, as they both sank into the bed too weak to move.

Sully was now the one who trembled, not anticipating such an intense release. She was magnificent, and he rolled to the side clinging to her. Her body was burning with passion and Sully took her hand and kissed it again and again. They were covered with sweat as they both processed the emotions they were feeling. Sully reached for the hair that clung to her face and moved it away as he blew air gently across her neck. He kissed her lips and she smiled back at him as she ran her hands through his hair. "You are so beautiful Michaela, that was indescribable." "I never knew it could be like that." Michaela blushed with so many thoughts about the experience, about how she had made him tremble, about her own release, but she needed to thank him. "Thank You Sully"... "for being my rock, for understanding how difficult the past few days have been." She wanted to stop there but she continued to pour her heart out. "Sometimes I feel so alone because of my work, because of my place out here, you have always been there for me, for the children. I'm sorry I blamed you for Brian's accident, I'm…." Sully stopped her, "Michaela, you don't have to apologize, I shouldn't have told Brian that story, I shouldn't have taken my eyes away from him. If he hadn't made it, I would have blamed myself for the rest of my days. I don't know that I could have lived with myself, but you saved him, because you are talented, and smart, and you have an unwavering determination to succeed. And besides all that, you are the most caring, beautiful woman I have ever known. We will always face difficulty in this environment but I promise you, I will always do my best to be there for you and the children."

Michaela knew that he meant every word and her heart swelled when she considered his commitment to her profession and the children…. and to her. It hadn't been easy to get people to trust a woman doctor but Sully believed in her abilities like he would believe in any doctor, maybe more. It meant so much to hear his devotion. The tears welled in the corners of her eyes and she reached for his face. "I love you so much." She leaned forward and kissed him gently. Knowing they were both emotionally spent, he took her into his arms and pulled the covers over them. "I love you too" he said as he rolled to his back and guided her head to his beating chest, "rest now," and he kissed the top of her head. She breathed in his masculine scent and sighed as she listened to his steady beating heart. In that moment, she found the weakness that she would allow herself, she realized that she had never felt so safe and loved as her body slipped into peaceful slumber. Sully continued to caress her back as she drifted off. Her skin was soft and creamy and he loved the smoothness of it. His thoughts were of a future with her and he decided he wanted to marry her and take care of her and the children. He was fully in love, and it was different than it was with Abigail. He knew Michaela was strong and independent, and that's why he knew that it wasn't the need to take care of her that he felt but the feeling of wanting to take care of her. She was his soulmate and she deserved to be cared for, she deserved his commitment to her.